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The Kitchen (2019)
6/10
A bit of a muddle
14 August 2019
This movie couldn't make up it's mind what kind of a movie it wanted to be (Gritty Crime Drama, Female Empowerment Vehicle, Action Adventure Ride, Anti-Hero Saga). One one hand it had a high power primary cast with an equally stellar supporting cast, on the other hand it was loosely based on a DC comic series. The acting was passionate and well articulated, yet the writing was muddled, the premise kept shifting and the resolve was unfulfilling. The acting was good but rather drowned out by the movie's lack of focus. I give this film a 6 (fair) out of 10. {Crime Drama}
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7/10
Two perspectives
13 August 2019
For this review I will defer to my intrepid AAC*, 9 year old, Sophie. She liked the whole movie and didn't think it had any boring spots. Her favourite part was when they all turned into cartoons. She was not surprised by the twist and felt there might be some good in the bad guy. She gave the movie a 9 (not perfect, but really good) out of 10. *AAC = age appropriate critic

In my opinion, the movie was enjoyable but had some parts that lagged. I'm always concerned when parents are portrayed as clueless and silly, but the young audience found those points very funny. The acting was good. It was probably a good homage to the TV series. I give the movie a 7 (good) our of 10. {Family Friendly Action Adventure}
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3/10
Bad
4 August 2019
Nothing much to redeem this. Production quality is really poor. Lead actress has only one tone. Even two good actors like John Hannah or Ryan Robbins couldn't save this badly written, badly directed, badly produced movie. I give it a 4 (bad) out of 10. {Apocalyptic Western}
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Closer (I) (2004)
7/10
Perfect performances
4 August 2019
WOW! I don't care for the premise of the piece but it gives a platform for a masterclass in acting. As I was watching it I thought how it would make a great play, and afterwards I discovered it was, at first, a play in which Clive Owens had been in, on the London stage.. The stellar cast must have been drawn to the depth of the characters and the emotional range they would be demanded of them. Their performances were spectacular. The acting deserves a rating of 10 (perfect) but the situations and the morality of the characters did not resonate with me, so I'm giving it a 7 (good) out of 10. {Adulterous Drama}
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Pennyworth: Pilot (2019)
Season 1, Episode 1
8/10
A promising start
4 August 2019
This looks promising. This is the backstory of Albert, the Wayne's butler, which it seems is all action, adventure. By and large, the actors are unknown to me but they do a marvellous job. Alfred and Esme have great chemistry. Poloma Faith is a menacing henchwoman. Great writing. Great performances. A very different feel to the other DC Universe series which may have to do with the British cast, period setting and locations. All together, a great start. Upon watching this pilot, I give the series an 8 (great) out of 10. I'm looking forward to the rest of this first season which is being released episodically. {Comic Book Backstory}
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White Dragon (2018– )
8/10
Enjoyable
3 August 2019
I really enjoyed this. A mystery. An adventure. An accident? What is real? Great premise. Interesting characters. Great cast. Great performances. I give this limited series an 8 (great) out of 10. {Mystery, Suspense}
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7/10
Gearing up for the reunion?
3 August 2019
If you have ever wondered, "Who are these Jonas Brothers musicians?" This is the documentary for you, seemingly produced by themselves (well, by that I mean, by their "people"). Interesting. Learned things about their roots, the band's ups and downs and their individual careers that I didn't know. It strikes me that the timing of this is to relaunch their Jonas Brothers band. I give it a 7 (good) out of 10. {Fan Piece/Documentary}
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Mercy Street (2016–2017)
4/10
Misses the bar
3 August 2019
(My apologies to my friend who recommended this and liked the series.) It's hard to believe that the BBC (who has set the bar for writing superb historical TV series) had anything to do with this series. The premise of a drama centred around an important, civil war, military hospital in Virginia certainly has potential for great themes: North/South tensions, 1860s medical science, changing race relationships, political intrigue and the beautiful location shots from Virginia. This series runner may have pitched these concepts but forgot to hire script writers that were steeped in their historical subject. The style of conversation was decidedly modern. The characters were shallow, often silly. The drama was more akin to soap operas than life and death matters. No such hospital would have time for the medical staff to sit around having extended personal conversations while the patients under their died horribly. Totally unbelievable. The women were poorly written and the men only fared marginally better. I give this series a 4 (poor) out of 10 and I felt no sympathy or interest when it was cancelled after the second season. I had only continued watching in hope to see what my friend (and those who rated it 7 or 10) had seen. {Period Drama}
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The Game (2014–2015)
8/10
Great limited series
3 August 2019
Intrigue. twists. Solid cast with great performances. Just an around good series. I give this limited series an 8 (great) out of 10. {Spy Thriller}
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7/10
Must See follow up to WHEN THEY SEE US
3 August 2019
This special interviews the people of the production WHEN THEY SEE US but also interviews the five men at the centre of this important series. It is heartbreaking and, hopefully, can serve as a bridge of understanding as to how circumstance and perspective can pervert justice. {Interview}
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9/10
Important
3 August 2019
This is an important series. It is also heartbreaking and, hopefully, can serve as a bridge of understanding as to how circumstance and perspective can pervert justice. The writing is superb. The passion behind the project was indomitable. The performances are masterful. The impact is raw and transformational. I give this series a 9 (superb) out of 10, and encourage everyone to see it. {Historical Reconstruction of a Crime}.
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Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013– )
8/10
An unexpected fan
3 August 2019
As a late-comer to this series, I was cautious (I'm not a big SitCom fan) but what a wonderful discovery. The writing is smart, the characters are quirky (in the best way), and the wit is clever, rapid paced, self-depreciating and funny. Sure, the main character is a boy/man so the humour can be pubescent, but I love this character driven humour (like in BIG BANG THEORY or BARNEY MILLER) because I love the characters. The casting is as spot on as the performances. The relationships are pivotal and, at times, poignant. But, what really caught me, hook, line and sinker, was the realization that the dialogue is embarrassingly similar to my own inner dialogue, just barely beneath my filters. Totally enjoyed this series and I give it an 8 (great) out of 10. {Cop Comedy}
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Warigami (2019–2020)
8/10
A great adventure in a growing media format
3 August 2019
A great adventure in a growing media format. For quite a few years now, you could find short episodic productions posted on the web, often low budget, often student or fledgling filmmakers with limited financial support. More than some of which are gems in niche markets or genres. This series is An Original Gem Production (CBC's 🇨🇦 streaming service). For such a short (10 min episodes) format, it packs a lot of punch. It has an interesting premise, a compelling threat, well drawn and performed characters, situational humour, good production value. In short, I liked it, and I hope they will follow up on the last episode's teaser for another season. I give it an 8 (great) out of 10. {Fantasy Action Adventure}. Available free on the GEM app.
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The Boys (2019– )
3/10
A Dangerous Trend
3 August 2019
Offensive, Vile, Paranoid, Violent, Perverse, Dehumanising, Base. For some reading these adjectives, this will be a positive review, "Gotta see this, just love lurking around in the dark!" For me this is an indictment against a growing trend in art to elevate the vile and stigmatize hope or goodness. This message is all the more dangerous when marked by good performances, a powerful production, and digested by an immature audience (and I don't just mean chronologically). Good and evil have been apart of the world's framework since the beginning, but, folks, when our creative communities slander and misrepresent good as evil and frame life as inevitable moral failure, they precondition our culture to see a future without hope or choice. I won't support this project and rank it as a 3 (vile) out of 10. {Super Hero Noir}
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6/10
Boring or Disrespectful
2 August 2019
My first reaction was, "Who is the audience for this?" Manson, Helter Skelter, the Hollywood of Sharon Tate are almost in the forgotten or unknown history of anyone under 40. Will the audience pick up the subtle establishment of these historical characters? Unless they go to the theatre prepped with the significance of the dates, will they know the context of the plot. If they think this is a movie about the fading trajectory of Hollywood careers, they will find the plot very slow and plodding. If they are knowledgable enough to know the Sharon Tate's story, they may feel the weight of the inevitable hanging over the whole piece, but, even with this stellar cast and a pervading anticipation of doom, this movie spends a lot of time on nothing. Personally, I think the cheat at the end is not a good enough payoff for the 161 minutes. The acting is good enough for a 6 (fair) out of 10, but Tarantino come close to boring us to death or, worse yet, disrespecting the victims of a shocking evil. {Criminal Dramedy?}
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8/10
Action et al
2 August 2019
Action, action, Kirby and Elba, action, action, Helen Mirren, family time, Johnson and Stratham, bickering, action , action, action, family time, action, action, assorted cameos, action, action, action, harmony and brotherhood, ACTION, ACTION, ACTION, world saved, or is it? teaser lots of sequels. I give this an 8 (lots of action) out of 10. {Action Adventure}
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Pandora (2019– )
5/10
This could have been good.
30 July 2019
This could have been good. I had an interesting premise, it just didn't rise above a high school space opera. After watching 2 episodes, I'm rating this a 5 (a bore) out of 10 and abandoning watching it any further. The direction is just too immature. {Scifi Space Opera}
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6/10
Season One underwhelming
17 July 2019
After watching the first season, I was on the fence as to whether I would continue with the series. The things that glue me to a series are: story, characters, core relationships, good writing and great performances. The mysteries were all right. The cast seems sound (RIck Donald is a favourite from 800 WORDS and WENTWORTH). But I think where it is failing for me is in the character development and the relationships. My first thought, after a couple of episodes was, "I don't think the writers know how to write female characters." The primary female character, Jean, has no depth (she could have just as easily been cast as an aged housekeeper left from the household of the former Doctor Blake, except for the fact that she seems to be be being held in reserve for a romantic relationship for Blake). Her role in the household switches from episode to episode (surrogate wife, receptionist, bookkeeper) and she has one emotional response to most everything, disapproval. I don't think this is the fault of the actress. I think this is a fault of the writing. Poor Mattie doesn't fare much better. Why is she in the household? She isn't a relative. Is she a boarder? She is definitely a tease for a romance with Danny. But, once again the women are only written as peripheral to the men. With the season finale, we are lead to believe another femal is about to join the household and by the posters of other season, relationships seem to be on the horizon. So, I think I'll slog on, but my rating for this season is a 6 (fair) out of 10. {Period Episodic Mystery}
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Good Omens (2019)
6/10
Blasphemous
17 July 2019
Three times I've begun Neil Gaiman projects (LUCIFER, AMERCAN GODS, GOOD OMENS) with interest in their theological premise and three times I've left them in disgust. His blasphemy sickened me. Now, I do know that Neil Gaiman is a talented and awarded writer. I also believe that he has been quite immersive in his study of his subject matter. And, I was always glad to see his name on a Doctor Who episode. But his recent treatment of Christian themes is cavalier (which I can overlook as an outsider's perspective) but in these productions he seems almost vindictive in his portrayal of Christian divinity. He is not only disrespectful but he is obscene in his portrayals. Is he that mad at Christians or at God? It feels personal. I abandoned both LUCIFER and AMERICAN GODS, because God and Jesus are personal to me and I was offended by his contempt, but, I finished this first season of Good Omens (partly because I'm a fan of David Tennant), but I can't say I liked anything about the series. It's a 6 (poor) out of 10 for me. I will watch other projects of Neil Gaiman because I admire his imagination, but not on these themes. I hope he hasn't fallen into this black hole of inspiration. {Fantasy Comedy}.
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10/10
Rocky start to a fantastic season
11 July 2019
Whenever a new season starts in a series that had complete archs in its previous seasons there is always audience impatience if it doesn't hit the same highs right off the bat. It often takes a few episodes to lay a new foundation, tease out the loose ends and build a framework for another great story. But this season hit a new low. It would have been better to merge the first two episodes, get past "the kids are growing up, romance is in the air" and on to the peril and ingenious response. Once it picks up speed, though, this season is back up to its high potential. The bedrock of this series is its wonderful characters, well delivered. The story arch was inventive, the characters welcoming, the young talent just getting better and better, great new cast members, clever humour and a wonderful revisit to the 80s. The parallel story lines were riveting. Altogether, a great experience. Despite the rocky start, I give this season a 10 out of 10, and maintain my series rating of 10 (totally entertainment) out of 10. {SciFi Mystery Drama}
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Jessica Jones (2015–2019)
10/10
A bitter-sweet goodbye
11 July 2019
A bitter-sweet goodbye. This review is overdue because to write it meant I finally had to say goodbye to the JESSICA JONES created under the Netflix's banner. I have really enjoyed this series. The writing has been sharp, self-depreciating and grimly humorous, like it's protagonist. Krysten Ritter has brilliantly inhabited this character. The first season of JESSICA JONES was my second favourite Netflix produced Marvel TV series (DAREDEVIL, season one was my #1). Unlike DAREDEVIL and his team, JESSICA JONES' outlook on life is not optimistic. She battles internal as well as external demons. Season One and Season Two are very different from one another, so brace yourself, the former is about finding a team/family, the latter is about the dissolution of family/team, and, perhaps, a redefining of family. The acting is good. (David Tennent is getting too good at playing the villian). The dramatic tension in both stories is palpable. The third season was more about what heroism is (or does) than it is about a fight against villainy. As is always true with the series, the struggle is real and the lines hard to define. Even though this season had a slow start (it must have been hard to reset after Killgrave) all the avenues were explored. Great writing, great plot, characters in whom you can invest, a bitter-sweet finale to a series I truly enjoyed. I give this season a 9 (superb) out of 10, but I give the whole series a 10 (the best) out of 10. {Superheroine}
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Jessica Jones: A.K.A Everything (2019)
Season 3, Episode 13
9/10
A Bitter-Sweet Goodbye
11 July 2019
This review is overdue because to write it meant I finally had to say goodbye to the JESSICA JONES created under the Netflix's banner. I have really enjoyed this series. The writing has been sharp, self-depreciating and grimly humorous, like it's protagonist. Krysten Ritter has brilliantly inhabited this character. This third season was more about what heroism is (or does) than it is about a fight against villainy. As is always true with the series, the struggle is real and the lines hard to define. Even though this season had a slow start (it must have been hard to reset after Killgrave) all the avenues were explored. Great writing, great plot, characters in whom you can invest, a bitter-sweet finale to a series I truly enjoyed. I give this season a 9 (superb) out of 10. {Superheroine}
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Game of Thrones (2011–2019)
10/10
A Watershed Moment for Television
11 July 2019
It is not by oversight that I have not written a review of this series, before today. I was a late adopter, having been initially repulsed by the lasiviousness, lewd, violent coarseness of the show (I think I watched one random episode and recoiled). Then, when the popularity of the show skyrocked, my curiousity lead me to start at the beginning and give the show a chance. I binged what I'd missed, then watched it episodically as it was broadcast, then, just before the beginning of each new season, I would binge the previous season, just to be caught up and ready to go. All those things that originally repelled me where still all there in abundance but the story telling, the characters, the acting, the quality of the production, and the human drama, on an epic scale, held my fascination and it became a guilty pleasure (so, watching, but not reviewing). Then, the production overshot the source material and the direction became less crisp and the characters struggled to find their footing. Finally, the end was near, and production values soared to Movie-of-the-Week standards. The last season ended and the audience was stunned. Some with disappointment (wounded by the trajectory of the plot and their beloved characters). Some with grief (no more GAME OF THRONES!?!). Some with sense overload (What did I just see?!?). I was in that category. It took days to reconcile what I had just watched. My only clear thought was, "Well...they had to end it some way." I was sure they could not have ended it in a way that would have satisfied everyone. Is there ever a good time/way to watch a beloved thing die? So, now, 53 days after the last episode was broadcast, I am summoning up the courage to write my review. This was a landmark series. It set the bar for non-network television productions: the story, acting, technical magic, locations, international cast, budget, quality were all the best of the best. For me, it will always be about story and characters: George R.R. Martin's concepts were epic and compelling; I can't imagine a better cast or better performances (indeed they harvested from some of the greatest while also forging a new generation of talent). No matter where you land with the ending (and I'm still not sure how I feel about it) this has been a tremendous ride and it has change our landscape of expectations. I can give this series no less than a 10 (watershed moment) out of 10. {Epic Fantasy Action Adventure Drama}
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Bosch (2014– )
8/10
One of the Better Cop Dramas
11 July 2019
At first, I was cautious about this series, the first season began as a cliche (tough cop, living by his own code) with dialogue that was uneven (tough, angry talk without context or emotional depth). I didn't have the experience of the Michael Connelly novels so I didn't come with any preconceived expectations but as the first season and then the second season unfolded the characters found their pace, broadened the dialogue, and I enjoyed it. Season 3 reverted to the angry, misunderstood and arrogant cliche and was by far the weakest season but ended better than it began and was followed by 2 great seasons. After 5 seasons of great stories, solid acting, great supporting and surprising guest cast, and, despite the uneven highs and lows, I'm rounding out my rating of this series to a 7.5 (one of the better) out of 10. {Cop Drama}
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The Widow (2019– )
10/10
The total package
8 July 2019
This was a wonderful surprise! An intricately crafted story. Twists and turns in abundance. Fine performances. An intriguing palet of venues. Rarely do I give the first episode of a series a 9, but this series sustained its quality til the very last act. I give the whole series a 10 (worthy) out of 10. {Mystery Adventure Drama}
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