We will head home next Wed. Nov. 30 to spend a month back in Canada, before we head back to Florida just in time to celebrate New Year’s Eve. It has been a very strange week here in the time that has passed since the Election. Everyone is on tenterhooks to see how the new Administration will shape up and there is much uncertainty about the state of the nation right now. I have decided to remain hopeful that Trump cannot possibly follow through on all his election promises as they constitute major and expensive program and policy changes, not to mention the Wall, the deportation of millions, the rollback of Obamacare, etc. We shall have to wait and see. In the meantime, I am going to highlight some of the films and programs I have been watching.
On the Big Screen
The Arrival is a very cerebral science fiction film with a time travelling twist. Full disclosure: I watched this film at our Mercato Silverspot Cinemas after dining at a restaurant (with an incredibly liberal Happy Hour policy) called Blue Martini. The combination of two of the best Mojitos I have ever had plus the cinema’s incredibly comfortable reclining leather seats caused me to doze through much of the film. From what I was actually conscious for, Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner are part of an effort to communicate with visiting alien spaceships and the movie is framed by references to their life together in the future. Very mysterious and layered. Not your usual alien invasion fare.
The Fall is now complete in 3 seasons on Netflix. I finally finished watching Season 3 this week. Gillian Anderson (X Files) is haughty and complicated as a Police Detective from London assigned to Belfast to mount a case against a serial killer played by James Dornen (50 Shades of Grey). Season 3 is full of twists and turns and shockingly suspenseful bursts of violence. The series simmers with lots of complex characters and a slowly unwinding plot.
Paranoid debuted on Netflix this week. This British crime series is filled with cliches: older cop romances younger cop; eccentric witness becomes involved with cop; cops latch on to easy suspect; etc. The dialogue for this series seems incredibly silly and the tone is very uneven with comic turns scattered amidst the investigators’ conversations. I have made it through 3 episodes of 8 so far and will give it a further go before deciding whether I hang in for the whole series.
As a way of escaping reality, I dipped into a few family films:
The BFG – I tried to watch this Spielberg film and had to admit defeat when the film kept stopping and eventually gave up. I will come back to this one as it stars the great Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies Oscar winner).
Pete’s Dragon – tried to watch this Disney film and I was frustrated by constant stops. From what I could see in the first 6 minutes or so, their is a very silly looking furry and cuddly dragon at the heart of the film. I don’t think I need to watch the entire film.
The Secret Life of Pets – started watching this film and lasted through about 30 minutes. The beginning of the film is adorable as we see the pets frolicking in their owners’ absence. It then degenerates into an adventure film where the hero has been abducted and must be found. I will watch the rest of the film, only when I can find a child willing to watch it with me.
SNL (Saturdays at 11:30) has been very watchable. Last night’s show (hosted by Kristin Wiig) featured Alec Baldwin in the cold opening as his very popular Donald Trump character. I think this sketch overshadowed the rest of the Thanksgiving themed show as it showed Trump coming to terms with the difficult task of carrying out his election promises.
The Exorcist (Fridays at 9) continues its silly way of showing the effort to exorcise a teenage girl who has become possessed by the devil. Unintentionally hilarious!
Good Behaviour (Tuesdays at 9) stars Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary on Downton Abbey). Dockery plays a down on her luck drug addict and grifter who is reluctantly forced to go into partnership with a contract killer. Lady Mary, who knew you could convincingly play a Southern gal with a very dark side?!!
Shooter (Tuesdays at 10) stars Ryan Philippe as a former Marine sniper framed for the assassination of a US President. Intriguing!
Goliath starring Billy Bob Thornton is an 8 episode miniseries about a down on his luck lawyer who goes to war against a big corporation and his old law firm. Very old fashioned in a way. The ludicrous dialogue has made me decide to give up after 3 episodes. For serious BBT fans only.
Chance is an 11 episode miniseries starring Hugh Laurie as a forensic psychiatrist who gets drawn into the case of a femme fatale whose husband is a very bad man. I love Hugh Laurie and will watch him in anything!
If you haven’t discovered Younger (Wednesdays at 10) yet, see if you can find it on demand or through streaming. I am extremely amused by this comedy about a 40 something who must pretend to be a 26 year old in order to get a job in publishing. Sutton Foster is delightful in the lead role.
I have been consciously looking for escape in film and television over the last week or so. Art can be very therapeutic in working through pain and anxiety, so I recommend you all immerse yourself in something very joyous (try The Crown on Netflix if you haven’t discovered it yet). It’s going to be a very busy week here for us as we gather with friends for soothing golf games, mahjong games, cocktails, dinners, etc. If you’re in the South, enjoy the beautiful weather. I will see my family and friends in the North soon and I look forward to lounging under an afghan on a comfortable couch and enjoying the holidays with all of our loved ones.