Bohemian Rhapsody * 2018 * Rated PG-13 * 2 Hours 14 Minutes
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Freddie Mercury and Queen are musical legends. As with Elvis Presley and the Beatles, whether you love them or hate them, there’s no denying Queen’s talent, uniqueness and cultural impact. Bohemian Rhapsody, the film, chronicles their history, and especially Freddie Mercury’s history, with that legendary status in mind. Though he only lived to be 45, Mercury was such a larger than life, complex figure that no single film could do justice to his life and work.
This film, made under the guidance of the surviving members of the band, who still tour using the name Queen (as is their right), was created with the goal of preserving the public history and legacy of Queen and Freddie Mercury, and introducing them to new generations. In short, this film is meant to continue the legend. With that goal in mind, it succeeds.
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The Passage and Deadly Class are tied for my favorite new shows of the season, and episode 3 of The Passage, That Never Should Have Happened to You, has only made me more excited about it. The way showrunner Liz Heldon and her team are perfectly balancing plot, character and world-building remind me of SYFY and Amazon’s The Expanse, one of the highest quality science fiction shows of this decade.
The Passage may not be a space epic, but it does tell an epic, sweeping story, just as The Expanse does, and it’s carefully arranging all of the necessary elements, while telling an exciting story. The set up for the long-term arc isn’t being rushed, even though in the present day, the end of the world is fast approaching. It’s an incredibly delicate balance to maintain, along with introducing viral vampires who need to be threatening, but not so camp that you can’t take them seriously. So far, based on the books, this adaptation is everything I would wish it to be. I’m just having a hard time not rushing them to the next part of the story!
Continue reading “The Passage Season 1 Episode 3: That Never Should Have Happened to You Recap”
Deadly Class’s second episode, Noise, Noise, Noise, was just as amazing as its pilot. It lived up to its title, from the noise of the loud house party Marcus and the Rats coerce another student into hosting, to the noise in Willie and Marcus’ heads as they process the murder of Rory the night before. Then there’s the extra loud sound of a gun being fired very close to Maria’s head.
But let’s save that for later. Chico isn’t ready to spoil the surprise yet.
The episode begins with a long, morning-after monologue from Marcus, reflecting on the events of the night before and what it means in the context of the larger world. In the end, it comes down to nihilism and tribalism.
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The Passage’s second episode, You Owe Me a Unicorn, slows down the pace a bit from the pilot’s continuous ‘on the run’ vibe. All of the main characters are represented, and many of the recurring ones, as we get to know them all a bit better. Time is still a factor, as it always will be on this show. One of the ‘passages’ referred to by the title is the passage of time, which speeds up and slows down according to our perception of current events.
Another theme which is explored this week is the issue of determining who your real friends and family are, as opposed to the people who are nice to you in order to use you for personal gain. This theme goes in some surprising directions.
Then there is the unicorn, symbolic of Amy and Brad’s dream that they can become each other’s family and live happily ever after. Dreams, visions, hallucinations and predictions are a huge part of this story. Everyone approaches Project NOAH with a dream of their own. Eventually, the dream changes. For some, the dream improves on reality. For others, it becomes a way to deny reality. For larger subset, it becomes a nightmare.
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Roma * 2018 * Rated R * 2 Hours 15 Minutes
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Roma, written, directed and filmed by Alfonso Cuarón, is a project that is clearly close to the filmmaker’s heart. The film is a barely fictionalized version of a year in the life of Cuarón’s childhood, a tumultuous year which changed the family’s dynamics and drew them closer together. The ostensible focus of the film is Cleo Gutiérrez, an indigenous Mixtec woman who serves as the family’s maid and nanny, with a secondary focus on Sofia, the lady of the house and a stand-in for Cuarón’s mother. Cleo is based on Cuarón’s beloved real life nanny, Libo Rodriguez, now 74, to whom the film is dedicated.
The family Cleo works for, headed by Dr Antonio, lives in the comfortable Mexico City neighborhood of Colonia Roma, with their four young children (Pepe, Sofi, Paco and Toño), Sofia’s mother, Teresa, another maid, named Adela, a man who acts as their driver and their enthusiastic dog, Borras. In the beginning of the film, the children and the maids are laughing and happy. Cleo’s biggest problem in life appears to be keeping up with the messes Borras makes in the alley where he runs free and Antonio parks his massive Ford Galaxy, which barely fits into the space allotted.
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In episode 4, Transfers takes the viewer deeper inside the illegal transfer business, showing the perspective of a buyer who is an average person and showing the workings of a mass body theft scam. The investigative process used by the BATI is also followed closely, and where it all goes wrong is revealed. There is unjust bias among the BATI and there are important people exerting undue influence. There are BATI officers who are obsessed with following their own agenda. But those could all be overcome. It’s the major leaks from a highly placed person in the BATI to a ringleader in the transfer traffickers that foil the BATI every time.
Florian is still working his way through his philosophical and moral crises. Sophie is discouraged by his continued exploration of Sylvain’s life, but her uncle, Vautier, tries to reassure her that this is a normal part of the process for many transfers. As Sylvain, Florian is making waves by taking a stand on transfer issues, which causes everyone around him to reassess him, their relationship and their own opinions.
He’s not exactly keeping his head down and blending in so that he can quietly slip away with Sophie and the kids in a few months. Instead, Captain Sylvain Bernard is becoming more famous, and more controversial, than ever.
Continue reading “Netflix’s Transfers Season 1 Episode 4 Recap”
IO * 2019 * Unrated/~PGish * 1 Hour 36 Minutes
😸😸😸😸½ Rated 4.5 Happy Lap Cats
IO, which is the name of one of the moons of Jupiter, is also a new apocalypse/slow dystopia film from Netflix. The film takes place in a time when a rapid rise in man-made levels of pollution reached a tipping point, which caused a snowball effect, wiping out almost all life on earth and making the air and water even more toxic. Most of the human race has escaped the planet to live in a space colony orbiting IO. Now, years later, the colonists are ready to move on to a new planet, outside of the solar system, so the last stragglers on earth must catch the final shuttle to IO or be left in isolation on the dying planet forever.
Sam Walden, a young scientist, lives on a small farm at high altitude in one of the last few places on earth with breathable air. Her father, who was a famous scientist named Dr Henry Walden, believed that the earth, its species, and humans could evolve quickly enough to survive this crisis, because the earth would also be repairing itself while life was evolving. He was against the migration to the IO colony.
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The original TV series Roswell (not to be confused with the new CW show Roswell, New Mexico) ran for 3 seasons on The WB (seasons 1&2) and UPN (season 3), from 1999-2002, for a total of 61 episodes. The show was very loosely based on the YA book series Roswell High, written by Melinda Metz. Jason Katims (who later went on to create Friday Night Lights and Parenthood) created Roswell and stayed on as showrunner for all three seasons.
Roswell takes places in the real life small town of the same name, in southern New Mexico, where a mysterious crash in 1947 has become legendary in the decades since it happened. The alien spaceship crashed out in the desert, leading to rumors and guesses about what really happened, which quickly led to a government cover up. Roswell houses a military base which took part in an investigation of the ship and secret alien remains. The town itself has embraced its notoriety as an alien and UFO Mecca, with businesses and events throughout the town sporting space themes and catering to alien-hunting tourists.
Continue reading “Quick Review of Roswell: Entire Original Series”
Roswell, New Mexico is The CW’s latest entry into the reboot and revival craze that’s brought back so many old TV shows, whether they should have been resurrected or not. As a fan of the original Roswell series, I had mixed feelings going into this version. After watching the pilot, I think that if viewers can focus on this version and leave behind expectations based on the original series, it’s an enjoyable show. Roswell, New Mexico has the potential to live up to some of the early promise that the original showed, before it turned into a charming mess.
We (Metamaiden and Metacrone) loved the original Roswell fiercely. We own the DVDs and have watched the entire 60 plus episode series ‘I don’t know how many’ times. Actually, we should probably write a Quick Review of the series and recommend essential episodes.
Keep an eye out for that review. It’s HERE.
We also own the original Roswell High Series of 10 books by Melinda Metz. The original TV series was commissioned based on the first book, so the two series don’t have much in common beyond the basic premise.
What we’re trying to say here is twofold: This is a major fandom for us, and Roswell has always been a story with multiple versions. The novels and the original series were written at the same time. So which is the real cannon? Neither. The story works best if you’re open-minded about many things, from “mixed relationships” to different versions of stories about aliens to reinterpretations of beloved characters.
Continue reading “Roswell, New Mexico Season 1 Episode 1: Pilot Recap”
BlacKkKlansman * 2018 * Rated R * 2 hours 15 minutes
😸😸😸😸½ Rated 4.5 Happy lap cats
BlacKkKlanman is a comedy-drama film that is a semi-fictionalized version of the true story of Ron Stallworth, the first black cop in Colorado Springs, CO. It follows his rise from a desk job to becoming an undercover detective, working on a case based on a classified ad he saw in the newspaper, recruiting new members of the white supremacist organization the Ku Klux Klan.
The film was directed by Spike Lee (She’s Gotta Have It) and produced by Jordan Peele (Get Out). It was written by Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, and Spike Lee. It stars John David Washington as Detective Ron Stallworth, Adam Driver as Detective Philip “Flip” Zimmerman, Laura Harrier as Patrice Dumas, Topher Grace as David Duke, Jasper Pääkkönen as Felix Kendrickson, Ryan Eggold as Walter Breachway, Paul Walter Hauser as Ivanhoe, and Ashlie Atkinson as Connie Kendrickson.
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