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The Umbrella Academy (2019)
Binge worthy gem
I am not usually a fan of superheros but this has brought about my conversion. Great music, great cast and performances, special effects, script I could go on. But don't waste time reading this watch it!!! Mix up Twelve Monkeys, Superheros, Lemony Snicket, Pulp Fiction , with a tiny dash of the Big Lebowski to get the recipe for this show.
I started watching this by accident, and was hooked. It is so sweetly different and well worth a binge session. The characters were well written and not like the two dimensional ones in some dramas. I don't know anything about the Haredi community but this web of very human stories made me laugh out loud, brought me close to tears and left me wanting more.
SIT BACK AND ENJOY
Whether you are a Harry Potter fan or not, just sit back and enjoy. I saw it at the cinema and a third of the way in I knew it was a "ten". Don't listen to critics who look for faults, the main purpose of cinema is to entertain and this film does that. Fantastic special effects, J K Rowling genius and superb acting are the ingredient that make this well worth going to see.
I clicked on this out of curiosity and ended up immersed and watching the whole first season! Set against the wonderful back drop of St Petersburg, and 18th Century Russia, the characters are excellently portrayed and I soon forgot I was reading subtitles. A great introduction to Catherine the Great, Elizaveta and the Romanovs. It gave me a thirst to know more and after setting off on a google trail, I found little to contradict it. Peter 111 was a more complex character, and tried reform, but it would be difficult to portray more in the time allotted in the part.
War & Peace (2016)
Lap it up and enjoy!
I have read some of the reviews, and seen previous versions so looked forward to this with both hope and trepidation. I loved Anthony Hopkins in the 70s as Pierre, Sergay Bondachuk in the Russian version and Henry Fonda earlier than that. The character is one of my all time favourites, so it took me a while to take to Paul Dano, but once I had, I found it to be a sensitive performance that had its own merits, and deserves praise. Jim Broadbent, Ade Edmondson and the rest of the cast also make it worthy of your time.
All I can say is enjoy the show, lap up the scenery, wallow in the wonderful characters and costumes, charge in your minds eye to battle and dance at the balls. Visit Old St Petersburg without leaving your armchair and be entertained. The book has too much to ever do justice to, (unless perhaps Peter Jackson took it under his wing).
Accused: Tracie's Story (2012)
I am not often moved to write a review, but felt I had to in this case, the other reviewers have given a lot of details, but what made me feel I had to write was the quality of the performances by the main characters, and gut reaction to the story.
Sean Bean continues to surprise and his portrayal of Simon/Tracie was so moving and unexpected. The poetry, tension, and direction from the golden city streets, to the bleak lakes and so much more make this something to remember. I am rambling a bit now but it is late at night and I am trying to write ten lines, when two words will do:- Oscar worthy.
Thank you BBC I Player, I would have missed this without you.
Treasure Island (2012)
Eddie Izzard steals the show
Understated but brilliant, Eddie Izzard plays Long John Silver like no other before him. This is the best since Robert Newton!
An excellent version of the Treasure Island Story, costumes, scenery and atmosphere are set to make this an enjoyable voyage for the viewer, the location contrasts with darkly grim England, and the wildly beautiful Island mirror the battle between good and evil. But nothing is ever cut and dried, Elijah Wood's appearance as Ben Gun is another surprise, his performance is again different to the usual representation, but it works, as he questions what are in fact the most important things in life. Choosing a piece of cheese and the "word" over riches.