Quick Thought – The OA

Netflix has been doing an amazing job at smashing out Original series lately, all of them seem to be huge successes. But there’s so many, it’s hard to know what to watch! So, I thought I’d share a short post on my thoughts of one of their newer series, The OA. I’m not giving a full hugely detailed review (spoiling too much personally ruins a show for me), and I don’t have any theories about what certain things mean (I want to be surprised when season 2 comes out).

It took me a while to pick one of the many Original series that are available, but after hearing so many mixed feelings about it, I finally decided to give The OA a go. Some said it’s a lot like Stranger Things, others have said it’s just a bit too weird. I like weird, so I thought I’d give it a go.

I’ll start by saying that the cast is amazing. Just flat out brilliant and captivating. If you love watching amazing acting, then just go for this because these actors won’t let you down.

As I mentioned, I’m not going to reveal too much about the plot, because it’s so eccentric, I don’t think I’ll be able to do it any justice what-so-ever. All you need to know, is that it’s about a blind woman who went missing and she returns to her family 7 years later, with her vision fully intact. She tells her story of how she got her sight back and what she went through during the 7 years and it’s incredible, both in good and bad ways.

The biggest gripe I have, is the reveal of the title. OA. I don’t think I quite understood it, and because of that it lets everything down a bit. It’s almost as if the creators had this amazing idea for a series and then ran out of steam when thinking of the title and therefore didn’t put any effort into it. It was obvious the reveal was important, but it just didn’t work. And from what I’ve heard, I’m not the only one that things it was a bit silly. (if you have watched this series, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the reveal.) I’m sure there are a few others problems with the series, but that, for me, was the biggest one.

That aside, The OA is a pretty incredible series about life, death, ‘the other side’ and love. If you like weird, I highly recommend you watch this. Once you’re 3-4 episodes in, you will likely be hooked. I cried toward the end of the last episode (there are only 8, so it’s not a long series) and I think the ending was fairly satisfying.

Overall, I give The OA 4 out of 5. The title and the reveal let it down in my opinion. I’m sure there could have been much better options. You definitely need to pay attention while watching and it’s not a happy-jolly show, it’s some serious, confusing, crazy shit and I hope there’s a second season.

 

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Blood Is Thicker – Bloodline Netflix Original

Bloodline turned out to be a very addicting series and I enjoyed it so much, I just had to write about it. A few spoilers will be found below, but I have tried to keep it to a minimum.

The Rayburn family are a well known, well respected family in Florida. The parents run a successful Inn and even get a pier named after them, they seem like the perfect family. But as you watch you quickly realise that this ‘perfect’ family is anything but.

Meet Danny Rayburn, a complete mess of a man and the outcast of the family. No one seems to know why Danny is such a mess at life, but the family constantly goes out of their way to remind him that he is just that. I feel for Danny, in every episode. My heart aches for him as you learn why he continually messes up at life, but it won’t take long until you too are wondering if you should care, or if you should forget about him.

His brother, John is a control freak to say the least. Being a detective, nothing gets passed this guy…except everything. When I think about it, he’s also a huge mess of a man, who doesn’t know which direction he’s walking. I like John, he’s the one that tries to look after everyone and pick up the mess left behind. But at times, I just couldn’t help but think ‘seriously John?’ as a lot of his decisions are questionable.

Then there’s Meg, (shut up Meg!) she is a lawyer and also a massive bitch. But you can’t blame her for that, she was completely ignored as a child and was that popular kid in school we all hated. She panics, cheats, discriminates and gets bullied by her brothers, but no matter what she does, I just can’t like her. At times I feel like she’s being dumb on purpose, just to avoid awkward situations and then there’s cutting Danny out of the will. She just seems a bit…cold.

But I don’t dislike any of them, as much as I dislike Kevin. A short fuse doesn’t even scratch the surface with this guys temper. He’s the type of guy that would bump into you and then shout at you for not looking where you were going. Hot headed, stupid, reckless and a complete mess (are you seeing a pattern here?), Kevin is just universally unlikable and the biggest pain in the ass, after Danny of course.

Onto the parents. If there was an award for World’s Worst Parents ever, they would win it by a mile…or ten. Sally and Robert Rayburn are…frustrating. Sally is oblivious to why her children are the way they are, it’s either that or she doesn’t want to believe why, so she doesn’t. Robert is a scumbag in my opinion. He favoured his children and neglected others. I cheered when he died.

Watching a dysfunctional family always makes for good entertainment and even though I disliked a lot of the family most of the time, I still cared and wanted them to mend the cracks in their relationships. But it seems this family forgets that blood is thicker than the water that surrounds their island. They didn’t choose their family, but they did choose to neglect Danny to the point of destruction and they have to live with that for the rest of their lives.

As a side note, John’s wife annoyed me more than anything. She just seems like a complete cow who doesn’t understand anything that’s going on. She asks stupidly obvious questions and creates arguments out of thin air. Every time she opened her mouth, I got annoyed.

However this series was brilliant, the camera angles and music really put you on edge, the actors were marvelous and the characters were exactly what you would expect them to be when you learn of their upbringing. I found myself constantly saying ‘Oh Danny, what have you done?’ and with every episode, I seemed to say it more and more.

A lot of emotions will wash over you while you go on this journey with the Rayburn family. But there is one that will stay with you throughout the whole thing and that’s the pity you feel for Danny. No matter how badly he f**ks up, you feel for him because you know the only reason he does what he does, is because of his family and how what they did affected him.

I can’t wait to start the second season, it’s going to be very…interesting.

The Gauna Have Returned!

Recently we welcomed the wonderful Knights of Sidonia back onto Netflix. If you’re not familiar this fantastic show is an anime, based in space…with robots. Need I say more? No, but I will…

The residents of Sidonia may be the last human colony in the universe and their survival is constantly challenged by the ruthless Gauna. The humans were nearly wiped out by the ugly pink alien life form and now in Season 2 they seem to be bigger and more ruthless than ever.

I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that we are thrown into the action from the word Go! Some interesting twists are…twisted, in the first episode and you will find yourself immediately saying “What the heck?” when the credits roll for the first time. I find myself asking that question when the credits roll after every episodes, there’s just so much going on!

Relationships continue to blossom and some characters take turns we don’t quite expect. I’ll admit, that I’ve been scratching my head asking “Is she or isn’t she?” because the character development just catches you completely off guard…and I like that, it makes a nice change, it keeps you interested and very confused.

The animation style does take some time getting used to as it isn’t like the usual anime styles, but it is stunning and I love it. Obviously it is best to watch the anime in Japanese, but it is available in an English dub if you’d rather not do any multi-tasking (it’s hard work, I understand).

All in all this is a fantastic, entertaining anime that everyone can enjoy, even if you’ve never watched an anime before. This (in my opinion) is a great introductory show to the weird and wonderful world of anime and I have no doubt that after you’ve watched these 2 seasons, you’ll be asking me what anime to watch next.

There’s aliens, talking bears, robots, space…what more could you want?! Go watch it!

(P.S. Sorry I’ve been MIA for a while, I shall enlighten you all when I have more time and freedom to.)

5 Films I’ll Always Enjoy

There are thousands of films to experience, but we all have our favourites that we always go back to. Here I have picked, in no particular order, 5 of my favourite films, they’re all very different but equally enjoyable.

 

Labyrinth

I don’t think I have to really say much about this film, it is truly a classic from the 80’s. It is a favourite in our household, I mean, come on, who doesn’t love a bit of David Bowie, right? The music in this film is catchy, the puppets are wonderful and the adventure that Sarah embarks on never gets old. If you’re a Jim Henson fan and you haven’t seen this film, you need to change that. This is truly a Henson classic, he reminds me of the babe.

 

Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels

A very different film from all of the others on this list, but bear with me here. This film is witty, gritty and while it may not be to everyone’s taste, I personally find this one of the perfect films to put on if you’re in the mood for some gritty humour. I was first introduced to this film while studying film in college and I fell in love. Vinnie Jones, Jason Statham, Sting…I mean, what’s not to love? There isn’t a British film that is quite like this, it is unique and will always have a place in my collection.

 

Spaceballs

When will then be now? Soon! This spoof has to be my favourite, forget Scary Movie, this is the master of spoofs. It is still relevant today and as long as Star Wars is around, it always will be. Mel Brooks at his best, in my opinion, it far suppasses Blazing Saddles and Men in Tights. The graphics may not have aged well, but the comedy is always on point and that is the most important part of this film. It’s not scared to break the fourth wall and it pulls every joke off perfectly. A must see for any spoof fan. May the schwartz be with you!

 

Anastasia

Okay so this is very different, but if you have ever seen this film, you will know that it is a beautiful, emotional, witty film with plenty of charm and character. A 1998 Academy Award winner for it’s score, this film is without a doubt one of the most memorable films of my childhood. Forget about the history and just get lost in the mesmerizing music and the stunning animation. I will always hold this film close to my heart and I truly hope that future generations will love it as much as my generation did.

 

A Knight’s Tale

My lords, my ladies and everybody else not sitting on a cushion, I present the wonderful, flawless work of Heath Ledger, Paul Bettany, Mark Addy and Alan Tudyk. Where do I even begin with this film, it is simply perfection. Every performance is just amazing, there are no other words to describe it. This was the first film I saw with Heath Ledger and naturally I immediately fell in love with his incredible acting ability. If you are a fan of any of the actors in this film, you will most certainly enjoy this film, I guarantee it! Ulrich Von Lichtenstein (William) and his faithful friends will steal your hearts with their cheeky personalities and witty banter. I don’t know if there is anything to not like about this film. Watch it, you will not regret it.

3 Titles I Can’t Wait For

2014 was a brilliant year for the silver screen, but does this year show any promises of beating it? After hours of searching through thousands of titles that are due to be released this year, I didn’t really find anything that grabbed and excited me. I did however pick out three titles that I will definitely be seeing in the cinema when they come out.

Avengers: Age Of Ultron

I am, without a doubt a huge Marvel fan and I absolutely adore the films they seem to be pumping out at a rapid rate. Guardians of the Galaxy was simply breath taking last year and I always enjoy Avengers Assemble. The trailers all look incredible and I cannot put into words how excited I am to see the gang back together. The action will undoubtedly be bursting at the seams and with a generous sprinkling of humour, I have no doubt that Age of Ultron will be a fantastic edition to a franchise that shows no signs of stopping. Next month the Avengers will be back and by the looks of it, they’ll be back with quite a few bangs.

Jurassic World

When I was a little girl, Jurassic park both amazed and scared me. I thought the dinosaurs were realistic and I’m sure they gave me a nightmare or two. But I always went back to it, it’s a classic and I still love it today. A lot of people may be sick of Jurassic Park, as you can find it on television quite often, but I am ecstatic for this new release. The trailer doesn’t show us much more than teasers of the dinosaurs and what the park is to humans; but when you hear a scientist utter the words “Genetically modified” you know something is going to hit the fan. I cannot see this film soon enough and thankfully, with a release set for June, I don’t have to wait too long.

Fantastic Four

The original Fantastic Four films were…unique. I enjoyed them at the time, but there was something about them that didn’t do it for me, something was missing. Maybe it was just a bit too cheesy. They were films that you would watch once, forget about and then turn your nose up if someone suggested it. So I am extremely excited to see the reboot, to fail on this film would be a disaster for Marvel. The trailer for this film looks impressive and so my fingers are firmly crossed for a beautiful, comedic action adventure that Marvel fans can love over and over again.

The reason I only have 3 titles on this list, is because honestly they are the only three that stood out and interested me. I don’t know if Hollywood are having a hard time coming up with new ideas, but come on…Pride and Prejudice and Zombies seriously?! I hope this title is a joke because that would be an embarrassment and an insult to classic literature.

I am intrigued by Chappie (which is out now), Pan and of course I am open minded about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but unfortunately I am not overly excited yet, maybe that will change when future trailers have been released. I will definitely be seeing Minions but not in the cinema and as for Furious 7, well I stopped watching those after 4…or was it 5? No, it must have been 4, there’s no way I’d sit through a 5th!

 

Let me know what films you’re excited for over the coming months and if you think any of my choices are worth seeing at the cinema.

My Top 5 of 2014

2014 has been a fantastic year for Hollywood; adventures have come to an end and new ones have only just begun, there is no doubt that 2015 is under a lot of pressure to beat the previous year. If you were unable to see many films last year, don’t worry because here are my top 5 2014 films that everyone must see.

 

  1. The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies. If you are a lover of Middle Earth, this film is obviously a must see as it marks the end to Peter Jackson’s 14 year run in Tolkien’s World. This film does not let the franchise down in any way. The action is non stop, with the familiar humour from old and new characters and side stories help to make the film one big bag of emotions. If you’ve not entered Middle Earth yet, what are you waiting for? Adventure, drama and lovable characters await. When you start watching, you won’t want it to end. 8/10

 

  1. How To Train Your Dragon 2. It’s very rare for a sequel to be just as good, if not better, than the first film, but this is a diamond in the rough. This installment gives you everything, more dragons, an adventure away from Berk and some difficult times. Hiccup is all grown up and I have to say, I wish this World was real. How To Train Your Dragon is fun for the entire family, with charming humour, enjoyable characters and a beautiful soundtrack. I cannot wait for the third film, if it’s anything like the first two, we will have a rare hat trick from Hollywood. 9/10

 

  1. Guardians of The Galaxy. Another action packed, humorous film from Marvel. This film will not let down hardcore fans. It’s different from every other Marvel film and it does a very good job of being unique, which is difficult for a film of this type, as there’s so much competition. The Guardians don’t have to worry because this film is so different nothing can compare. There aren’t many space adventure films like this and none have a Groot. Need I say more? 9/10

 

  1. Dawn of The Planet of The Apes. Another sequel that does a phenomenal job of not disappointing fans. This film, along with the first, are simply amazing; they do an excellent job of reviving the franchise and I just want to see more. Andy Serkis is a genius and it’s simply amazing to see these apes come to life on the screen. The Planet of The Apes takes you on an incredible journey and it’s definitely something you have to see to appreciate. 10/10

 

  1. The Grand Budapest Hotel. A quirky film that is wonderfully made. Fantastic acting from Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori, the characters are charming and witty with huge personalities. This film is a definite must see; It grabs your attention from the start and doesn’t let go until the credits begin to roll. Grand Budapest doesn’t try to be anything it’s not, it’s different and proud to be. 10/10

 

Honorable mentions go to X-Men: Days of Future Past, Birdman, Interstellar and The Lego Movie. I recommend you see all these films and more; 2015 looks promising with the eagerly anticipated Star Wars The Force Awakens due in December, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man and many more. Get yourself to the cinema this year, because I very much doubt any of these films will disappoint.

A Sequel that’s not a let down? How To Train Your Dragon 2

Sequels; they are often an unnecessary follow up to films that have smashed the box office. While some franchises pull the plug after the second installment, others insist to milk it for everything they can. How To Train Your Dragon 2 breaks the tradition of mediocre sequels and remains exciting for audiences of all ages.

The characters we know and love have grown a little older but their personalities are still the same. They all continue to have their own little quirks and with the addition of dragons living on Berk, the cute Island and it’s residents have become even more charming.

If you thought the first film was amazing and if it left you wishing you owned your very own toothless; but you were still left thinking there weren’t quite enough dragons, then this sequel will not leave you disappointed. New dragons, new locations and interesting new characters truly add to this magical world.

While the film may not be perfect; I thought Hiccup’s reaction to his mother being alive was a little relaxed, he was a lot calmer than I would have thought possible for someone who thought his mother died twenty years ago, it is certainly not far from the mark. The animation is breathtaking, the soundtrack is dramatic and the story will keep your eyes on the screen until the very end; and then you’ll wish for more.

The new additions to this franchise fit into the world perfectly, even the villain had a place and he posed a real threat to the world. And while we learn that there is always a nice way to control a dragon army, you’re still left wondering if our power hungry villain, Drago could have ever changed for the better.

I certainly don’t think this sequel was unnecessary, just like the first film it left me wishing Berk was an actual place and that dragons were real. I personally cannot wait for the third installment; if Dreamworks devote the same amount of passion into the third as they have with the first two, it will undoubtedly be another amazing piece of art.