Movie Review: The Breaker Upperers

The Breaker Upperers Poster

The Breaker Upperers * 2018 * Not Rated- Probably PG-13 for Language, Nudity and Adult Situations * 82 Minutes 

😸😸😸😸🌑  Rated 4/5 Happy Lap Cats

Spoiler-Free Review:

As the poster above says, 6 different times, The Breaker Upperers is hilarious. It is, first and foremost, a wacky comedy that’s not afraid to go for the laugh in whatever situation it finds itself in, whether that’s with a newly pregnant woman becoming nauseated while sharing the news with a friend, or engaging in drunken karaoke on a party bus.

Actually, those situations are likely to end the same way, so maybe that wasn’t the example of opposites I was looking for.

The great thing about this film is that, while it’s a wacky, screwball, sort of romantic, sort of musical, sort of dark, comedy, it’s also real. It’s the kind of female-oriented film I’ve been looking for on Netflix, as I’ve watched their romantic comedies pile up over the last year, almost all so laden with stereotypes and misogyny that I can barely manage to finish one viewing. The two female characters at the center of this film are just people, living their lives, not heroes, not villains, not stereotypes, and not trying to be any of those things. So are the rest of the characters.

The Breaker Upperers was written, directed by and stars Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek, two multi-talented women from New Zealand, who have been friends for many years in real life. In the film, they play Mel and Jen, who have also been friends for many years. Mel and Jen own and operate their own business, the titular Breaker Upperers, who clients hire to do the dirty work of ending a relationship when they can’t or don’t want to do it themselves.

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Dark Season 1 Episode 2: Lies Recap

Dark 102 Young Jonas with Treasure Map

Dark, episode 2, Lies, picks up 9 hours after Mikkel’s disappearance. There’s still no sign of him. Large search parties fan out over the area, methodically covering every inch of the countryside.

The hooded man who exited the cave in episode 1 stands on a hillside and watches one of the search parties. He’s covered in dirt and grime, still wearing his hood, and carries a battered suitcase and a backpack. He looks down and notices a dead bird on the ground at his feet. He doesn’t seem surprised by the bird, but he is interested, and bends down to examine it.

Jonas startles awake in bed. He sits up and realizes that blood is running out of his right ear (or possibly an oily black substance?). When he gets up to look at his ear in the mirror, a man whispers his name. Jonas turns toward the mirror, and sees his father’s reflection. Michael looks the same as he did when Jonas saw him the night before in the woods- covered in blood or something else that’s dripping and black.

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Dark Season 1 Episode 1: Secrets Recap

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Okay, kids, shall we recap Netflix’s first German-language show, the mysterious Dark? It was released more than a year ago, but there’s still no definite release date for season 2. (Rumors suggest it’ll be in June, 2019.) So, if you haven’t watched, or rewatched, Dark yet, there’s still time.

This is the show that says the question isn’t, where? Instead it’s, when? To which I would add, who???? This show has a giant cast, spending time with the same characters in two or three different time periods as its complex mystery unfolds. The same characters are played by different actors in each time period, so it takes a while to remember who and when everyone is, but the extra work is worth it.

Once you start to get a sense of the characters, setting and time periods, the show gets into your head. It can’t help but be layered, with all of those facets to the characters, some of whom we see in three time periods. We get to know the village of Winden, including three generations of each one of the four main families.

Wiki has a Cast and Characters chart that explains how everyone is related to everyone else, but don’t look too closely yet! There are spoilers there! TV Guide has a useful diagram and description of how everyone is connected. It also contains spoilers, so proceed slowly. Underneath the recap, I’ve taken the photos from the opening of this episode and added brief descriptions of the characters’ identities and relationships. I tried to leave out major spoilers, for now.

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Movie Review: Roma

Roma Film Poster

Roma * 2018 * Rated R * 2 Hours 15 Minutes

😸😸😸😸🌑 Happy lap cats

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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Netflix’s Transfers Season 1 Episode 4 Recap

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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.

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Movie Review: Netflix’s IO

Netflix's IO- Poster with Margaret Qualley & Anthony Mackie

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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Quick Review of The CW’s Containment: Entire Series

 

Containment- Sabine, Jake, Lex, Katie, Jana*With this post, we’re beginning a new series of posts, called “Quick Reviews”, where we do short reviews on older series and films that we wouldn’t normally review. There are so many great older shows out there, that we’ll never get around to fully recapping, but we still want to recommend.*

Containment was a limited series which ran for 13 episodes on The CW in the spring and summer of 2016. Like all CW shows, it now lives on Netflix. Because it aired during that odd time of the year that isn’t a traditional TV “season”, Containment didn’t get much attention at the time, and had mixed critical reviews. (Metawitches wasn’t around yet.) Metamaiden and I both thought it was a fun show, for the subject matter, and brought some things to the table that we rarely see when a plague is the main subject.

Containment, based on the Belgian series Cordon, was developed for The CW by prolific showrunner Julie Plec, of The Vampire Diaries fame. She and David Nutter both served as executive producers. It starred David Gyasi as Major Alex “Lex” Carnahan, Christina Moses as Jana Mayfield, Chris Wood as Officer Jake Riley, Kristen Gutoskie as Katie Frank, Claudia Black as Dr. Sabine Lommers, George Young as Dr. Victor Cannerts,
Hanna Mangan-Lawrence as Teresa Keaton, and Trevor St. John as Leonard “Leo” Greene.

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Travelers Season 3: Why Is It So Hard for the Travelers to Face Being Solo?

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From Philip to Boyd to Hall, the Travelers Don’t Like the Idea of Ending Up Alone

Spoilers Through Season 3 Episode 10, Protocol Omega

Being a solo Traveler or the last remaining member of a Traveler team has come up several times this season. Grace and 5416 are solo Travelers. The Archivist, A-18, appears to also be a solo traveler. Hall becomes the last member of his team when Luca and Kyle defect to the Faction. Hall dies soon after.

The Shanghai historian becomes the last member of their team when the bomb explodes. Both Philip and Boyd face the possibility of being alone, Philip because of the Seattle bomb and Boyd because her historian, Nathan, is kidnapped by the Faction. Even as part of a five person team, travelers face frequent danger, including the possibility of being overwritten by the Faction.

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Travelers Season 3 Episode 9: David Recap

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Episode 9, David, is the penultimate episode of season 3, but it actually feels like episodes 8, 9 and 10 are meant to be watched together as a trilogy, since they breathlessly flow from one to the next.

This season goes out with several bangs, beginning with this episode. It’s crazy and intense and will have you on the edge of your seat.

The episode begins in Shanghai, with a Traveler team infiltrating a dark building. Inside the building, they climb on top of a self-contained vault, similar to the archive in Seattle. Next, they wave a Geiger counter over the roof, then mark a spot with chalk. They drill through the metal of the vault, then lower a wire cable, hooked to a small tool, down to a device below. It’s a nuclear bomb, and they’re attempting to disarm it. The design for the bomb can be seen on a pad held by one of the Travelers.

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Travelers Season 3 Episode 8: Archive Recap

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Welcome to the beginning of the end, fellow Travelers! Episode 8 marks the start of the story cycle that will take us through the season finale. These are three exciting, well-written episodes, and I’m looking forward to writing about them. They’re also very emotional and filled with plot and science.

So, rather than spoil anything, let’s get started.

The scene opens on beloved Canadian actor Christopher Heyerdahl, who you’ll definitely recognize from somewhere if you’ve watched any genre TV in the last 30 years. His character, Andrew Graham, is alone outside, in a deserted area, wearing a pair of coveralls and burning the personal effects of Linda MacVicar, who was Aleksander Andrieko’s foster mother in S3 Ep3. He even has her purse and phone.

The phone rings as he’s slowly removing and examining the items in her purse. He gently places a unicorn figure on top of the pile, then answers the phone, but doesn’t speak. It’s Linda’s foster son, Ronnie, who was also shown in episode 3.

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