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Gran Hotel (2011–2013)
Great journey, but disappointing arrival
9 August 2014
Fun Spanish series, which owes quite a lot to "Downton Abbey". Great villains (almost everyone is morally dubious at some point), interesting characters and a nicely twisty plot line, with emotion, suspense and humor all mixed in. With slight reservations over to the number of people who found themselves lurking in exactly the right place at the right time and the fact that the hero never actually seemed to do any work, we really enjoyed the whole thing....until the last 5 minutes of the last episode which were (a) inexplicable (b) unexplained and (c) a real letdown. However, don't let this detract from the other 30 odd hours of entertainment. Thoroughly enjoyable and borderline addictive.
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The Master (2012)
21 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Certainly the worst film I have seen this year and contender for the bottom 10 of all time, this was uninteresting, poorly directed and frankly rather annoying and pretentious. The acting was okay and could have been good if they hadn't had such poor direction. The music was intrusive, particularly at the beginning (you should never notice a good film score, but you couldn't escape from this one), the storyline was non-existent and the characters unsympathetic - a pretty lethal combination. When Phillip Seymour Hoffman started singing and all the females in the scene suddenly appeared naked, I just had to laugh and from then on, each idiotic new "sensational" set-up just made me laugh more. And it DRAGGED - the longest 137 minutes of my life. I would have walked out well before the end, but I was with my wife, who said the only reason she didn't walk out was that she wanted to see me suffer as payback for making her sit through "The Tree of Life", which oddly enough we both thought of as we endured this "Modern American Classic" - I suspect that the silliness on the beach brought it to mind. Why can't modern Directors (a) learn to edit properly and (b) entertain us? Appalling.
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