The Latest In Television, Movies and Documentaries
Whenever I stumble onto a great television show, movie or doc, I will post it to this page. When possible, I will provide links to the best add-ons for streaming the available content. Otherwise, I will suggest you add this to your trakt.tv account for future consideration. If you don’t already have a trakt.tv account, I highly recommend you get one. It’s the best way to save a suggestion from friends, family, co-workers or social media post. With one click you can add the television show, movie or doc to your collection and it will be there waiting for you to watch when you get home. If you find something you think I should check out or if you have any questions, please drop me a line via my fb page. You don’t have to like my page or follow me on Twitter, however, if you do like what you find on my site, please do me a favour and tell your friends. Last but not least, I would appreciate it if you would click on one of the banner ads to the right once in a while. You don’t have to buy or subscribe to anything. I make a few pennies from every click and it goes a long way to paying my hosting fees for this site. All the best!
The Defiant Ones
In 2014, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre signed a 3 Billion dollar deal to sell Beats Electronics, which the two founded in 2008, to Apple music. This was an unprecedented deal worth an unprecedented sum of money in the music business. Both producers in their own right; Jimmy forging his path through Rock n Roll, working with people like John Lennon, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, U2, and, having created some of the most iconic albums in Rock n Roll, Born To Run, Rattle and Hum, Damn The Torpedos, the list goes on. Dr. Dre, helped invent the Hip Hop/Rap genre as a member of N.W.A and later as a solo artist. He would go on to produce artists such as Snoop Dog, Eminem, 50 Cent and so on. Both men never went to college. Both were driven by a passion for music and a desire to be the best at what they do. This is a 4 part documentary that took 4 years to complete. It’s perhaps, the most in-depth documentary covering the emergence of the West Coast Hip Hop/Rap scene in addition to covering Jimmy’s rise through the ranks of rock royalty. Lot’s of footage of both artists throughout the years. If you love music docs like I love music docs, you’re going to be all over this! Indulge yourself and binge all 4 episodes. Brought to you by HBO.
I’m Dying Up Here: Season II
For the record, I thoroughly enjoyed season 1 of I’m Dying Up Here. I find the characters and the story compelling. Although the series is about stand up comics during the 70’s in LA, it’s not a comedy per say. There are funny elements however, the series is more of a journey into the lives of some of these characters; their life events as children and young adults leading up to what it took to make it in showbiz pre-internet era. Without question, some of the best comedians come from dark places; Richard Pryor, Robin Williams, George Carlin, Bill Hicks, Mitch Hedberg, Sam Kinison, all validate this statement. Jim Carey, as an executive producer on the show, is determined to share some of those stories with us and give us a glimpse of what it was like during the heyday of this era in comedy. For those that are not aware, some of the stories told in this series are based on Jim’s personal experiences, events that happened to him directly or he witnessed firsthand while climbing the comedy ladder. With that information, it’s hard not to watch the series without trying to discern who this or that character is in real life. The truth is, each character is a blend of many people Jim met along the way. To that end, I think each actor in this series, is doing a great job! Like them or hate them, there are no weak links. Melissa Leo, as Goldie and the owner of the comedy club of the same name is a stand out in this show. For those familiar with her work in Homicide: Life on the Streets, Law & Order, Treme, she can carry any scene. Goldie runs her club and stable of comics with an iron fist. She did the same at home but where her comics will tow the line and do whatever she says, her relationship with her daughter is a casualty of what it takes to be a woman of power during that era. Season II explores this and we get some amazing performances from Melissa. Nick Beverly, played by Jake Lacy, is another dark character in this series, who has a natural talent for the stage as a result of being a dark guy with some serious demons that go back to his childhood. He’s a character you can’t help but root for as he lives his life true to himself, in spite of himself. Erik Griffin as Ralph King, Ari Graynor, as Cassie Feder, Michael Angarano as Eddie Zeidel, Clark Duke as Ron Shack, these are all interesting characters with compelling storylines. If you haven’t already, give it a chance. Brough to you by Showtime.
I’m one episode in and I’m thoroughly hooked! Benedict Cumberbatch plays Patrick Melrose, a character from the get-go you learn is deeply flawed. Flawed by entitlement; Patrick appears to be the only child to a family of great wealth. He expects and gets his way, every time. He treats everyone he encounters, be it a waiter, cab driver, hotel concierge, friend, lover, etc. as a means to whatever needs he must fulfill at any given moment, being both incredibly selfish and dismissive of the people around him. This is due in large part to his raging alcohol and drug addiction, fueled primarily by what appears to be a traumatic childhood at the hands of his father, who may or may not be a psychopath. Benedict is a masterful actor, you hate him as the villain Khan in Star Trek: Into Darkness, your heart goes out to him as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, and you believe in him as Dr. Strange in the Marvel Avengers series. As Patrick Melrose, Benedict plays this character, with such familiarity and conviction, you wonder if he himself has ever been on a dinner date while suffering from heroin withdrawal and having just taken a quaalude to numb the pain. It’s darkly funny at times, while at others, just plain dark. Patrick’s father is played by Hugo Weaving, whom you might remember as Mr. Smith from the Matrix film franchise. Hugo as David Melrose is a frightful character. The casualness to which he describes killing a man inflicted with rabies illustrates his unfeeling nature, and we can then sympathize with Patrick in spite of his obvious flaws. Rounding out the cast of names and faces you might recognize, Jennifer Jason Leigh, plays Eleanor Melrose. This series, while consisting of darker and deeper subject matter for a 5 Episode series, is in my opinion, well worth your time. Brough to you by Showtime.
Legion: Season II
The comic book genre has been popular in theatres for some time, and, with Netflix wading into these waters with titles like Jessica Jones Luke Cage, DareDevil, The Punisher, etc. some might argue this genre is getting its fair share, if not overexposure, in this arena as well. For me, a good story, well told with good acting mixed with unusual twists and turns in the plot, wins every time. For those familiar with Season I of Legion, you will find all the oddities and unusual storytelling firmly in place. Show creator Noah Hawley, perhaps best known for Fargo, another series favourite of mine, is taking television to new heights with his outside of the box storytelling, compelling viewers to watch week after week. The acting is quite good as well I might add. In particular, Abrey Plaza, this is perhaps her best role as her character Lenny, runs the full spectrum of acting from dark comedy to loss and hopelessness. You want to root for her as she’s had to endure a lot at the hands of Amahl Farouk, but her motivations are selfish and you can’t trust her to do the right thing, especially where David (played by Dan Stevens ) is concerned. There are a lot of moving parts to this series and it’s not one you can really be a casual observer of. You’re either all in or you will be lost. The pay off for you is an intelligent take on a saturated genre that will leave you looking forward to each episode and wishing the entire superhero spectrum was treated with this much style and story. Brought to you by FX.
Westworld: Season II
Some people didn’t like this series. I, on the other hand, LOVED it!! A quick recap of Season 1, in the finale we saw Delores ( Evan Rachel Wood ), take out Dr. Robert Ford ( Anthony Hopkins ) during a black-tie dinner for members of the Delos board. This was followed promptly by an uprising of the robot rebellion, which saw some of our favorite background cast members (I’m looking at you Angela Sarafyan, you goofy eyed minx!) murder, presumably all the dinner guests from the Delos Board. Bernard ( Jeffrey Wright ) we have learned, is, in fact, a robot (his mind was blown, my mind was blown, all our minds were blown)! Maeve, ( Thandie Newton ) gave herself various protocols that enable her to be free thinking and completely independent of the host’s commands. She could turn out to be the most dangerous robot yet! But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Lastly, what came of The Man In Black ( Ed Harris ) and Delos bigwig, Charlotte ( Tessa Thompson )?? Charlotte revealed in the last episode of season 1, Delos is collecting the DNA of its parks visitors. What’s more, as a park visitor, you forfeit your right to any DNA collection under the terms of the parks entry agreement and becomes the sole property of Delos Corporation. Kinda like Google, Facebook, Apple, etc., without the robot sex. What could be more appropriate and timely right now than this little plot nugget??!! Especially in light of the recent revelations between Mark Zuckerburg aka. Facebook robot, selling your data to nefarious corporations like Cambridge Analytics, who in turn get people like Donald Trump in the White House, and influence an entire country into leaving an economic union using lies and misinformation. Season II has some big boots to fill if it wants to maintain the quality Season I gave us and keep our eyeballs week after week (Westworld is brought to us by HBO, and as such, episodes are delivered on a week-to-week basis, unlike the dump and binge model offered by Netflix). HBO, in many ways, wrote the book on creating binge-worthy television and in so doing, has made television the place for A-list celebrities, scriptwriters, and authors, tell their story in a way Movies can never do…12 Episodes! Goodbye Oscars! Hello Golden Globes! Looking forward to seeing where Westworld Season II take us.
Fans of great television are going to want to watch The Terror. This 10 part series, is based on a true story about two British Navy ships, The HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror, who set off in 1845 looking for a passageway through the Arctic, to India and China. Both ships were said to be the most technologically advanced for their time. Little did the British Navy know the Arctic was impassable and then men aboard the Erebus and the Terror, were doomed. I’m not giving anything away here, the first episode makes that clear right out of the gate. Shows like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, The Wire, Treme, have all proven, shows where the fate of any character, characters we’ve become invested in, could be killed off without warning, makes for highly engaging television. With The Terror, we know from the get-go all the characters are going to die. This formula does not guarantee success. The story needs to be great, as do the actors. The Terror has that too. The story, based on the Novel by Dan Simmons, is a classic tale of Man vs Nature, Man vs Man, and Man vs Himself, where The Terror, could be any one of those things, depending on how you interpret the story. You will recognize Jared Harris from Mad Men, Tobias Menzies Game of Thrones, Ciaran Hinds, Game of Thrones, AND Ridley Scott as Executive Producer. Brought to you by AMC, They, like FX, are showing other cable television stations, pedestrian stories will not suffice if you want to win your audience en masse. Great television is not only possible, it’s mandatory! As is this show. Get watching!
Atlanta: Season 2
I found this clip from Atlanta: Season 2 taken from Ep. 01 Allegator Man/Robbin Season. If you’re not familiar with the show, this clip exemplifies what viewers can expect. Hitching a ride with Darius (played by Lakeith Lee Stanfield ), Ernest, “Earn” played by show creator Donald Glover, gets treated to the often strange, sometimes funny, scratch your head moments that are in never-ending supply from Darius. It’s the beauty of this show, with its ability to keep the viewer entertained while providing social commentary on pop culture, the music business, black culture in the US and white peoples perception of it. In Episode 2, Sportin Waves Earn and Paper Boy (played by Brian Tyree Henry ) head to the offices of an online music company where they find themselves surrounded by hipster millennials, looking to cash in on black culture. Nothing goes right for both Earn and Paper Boy in this episode. It moves from funny to cringe-worthy throughout the show until finally, Paper Boy calls it a day, walks out of the office, eliminating any chance of stardom/success with the online hipsters. Both Paper Boy and Earn witness what it takes to make it in the business they both seek to conquer. The question remains for them both; how far are they both willing to go? How much of themselves are they willing to sacrifice, sell out, perpetuating stereotypes, all for the love of money, success, and fame. For the uninitiated, this show is The Wire, Treme, Fargo, Breaking Bad good!
Yes, the writing is that good! The acting is exceptional (see Kat Williams as uncle Willie in S02E01 Allegator Man). Shows like this only come around once every few years. Brought to you by FX.
If you feel like this winter/spring 2018 has produced a lackluster list of tv shows, think again. Coming to you from Starz is the series Counterpart starring J.K. Simmons, in which he plays two roles, or should I say, two versions of himself; Howard Silk. On the one hand, there’s Howard Silk, 30-year veteran desk jockey at the UN. He’s a grey strip of wallpaper in a grey building if you will. He’s done very little with his life and with time ebbing on, we clearly get the sense he wished he had done more with his life. It’s at this point we learn the UN has been guarding a top-secret portal to a parallel dimension. Howard is introduced to his parallel self, Howard Silk special agent/assassin. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is just another sci-fi action show, there’s a much deeper element to this story, as plain Howard Silk tries to discover what events were the catalyst for change and where his path diverged, separating him from the parallel universe version of him. J.K always puts in a good performance and if the trailer and reviews are any indications, this is the next big show talked about around the water cooler at work!