Godless…simply brilliant

Well…where should I even start…other than say “Watch it!”. And soon….wow…what a ride…

Ok, well maybe I need to take a quick step back and put a warning out there…this is not one for the faint hearted (well, the first episode definitely is the most brutal of the lot). I must admit that after having finished the first episode I was a bit nervous about the rest but yet, the brilliance of what I’d just seen had the remaining episodes just begging to be watched. And…think me strange…I loved it so much that I put off the last episode (with difficulty) because I just didn’t want it all to end.

Oh…what am I on about…have a look (this is not my video and belongs to Rotten Tomatoes TV):

This 6 episode “mini-series” has Roy Goode (played by an actor I’d admittedly never hear of before, Jack O’Connell) leaving Frank Griffin’s (Jeff Daniels is soooo scary here) violent gang, resulting in said gang tracking down the former protégé and brilliant gunslinger. This on it’s own wouldn’t be so bad, but it is the violence and destruction that is left wherever they go. Even more so when a town or person has aided Roy (even by just letting him ride through).

This relentless chase leads (via some other stops of course) to the town of La Belle which has its own problems: the entire town is made up of women and children due to a mine accident that claimed the lives of all bar a handful of men. And the word is out, attracting all sorts of unsavory opportunists. Trying to keep things together are Sheriff Bill McNue (Scoot McNairy), deputy Whitey (Thomas Brodie-Sangster has sure grown up since Love, Actually) and holding her own to keep the town in check, Mary Agnes (Merritt Wever). And then there’s “outcast” Alice (Michelle Dockery first coming to my attention the other day in The Gentlemen) who keeps to herself with her son, mother-in-law and a herd of horses. Oh, and a group of Civil War veterans trying to keep out of everyone’s way. Of course, all of the La Belle inhabitants as well as passers-through (although, some tend to outstay their welcome) add a vital role.

Each character’s individual story pulls you in as little by little the pieces start coming together. You’ll want to know how it all turns out for them. If their hopes and dreams turn out for the best. And while wondering this you’ll start to realise that this isn’t going to be all wonderful and happy because just as you start to relax a little, you’re reminded of the monster that is Frank Griffin. He’s always there…waiting on the edge of your screen, having you wonder what atrocity he’ll (unflinchingly) commit next. This means that it can only come to a head in a spectacular (but of course brutal) showdown.

Hope you enjoy this one as much as I did. Definitely going to re-watch it very soon. Just after I finish my post on The English, another superb mini-series (which I want to re-watch just as soon).



“…Don’t you worry…daddy’s home…”

…that’s the moment I knew The Boys was just great! Billy Butcher…I couldn’t imagine anyone else but Karl Urban in that role…here’s that bit:

One of those perfect lines followed by the equally perfect bit of soundtrack. I think the combo just did it. I was grinning from ear to ear. And shaking my head…in disbelief or who knows what…

Oh…The Boys? Yeah, well, that’s a strange one. Rogue superheroes and the shenanigans they get up to while saving (oh yeah? Saving? Right…whatever) the world.

As many of you know, I’m not really one that gets past the first, maybe second, episode of series (bar the few exceptions like Rome and Peaky Blinders), but this one kept me watching. As gruesome or just bizarre as it sometimes is (I mean come on, that dolphin scene is just wrong on so many levels – you’ll know which one when you see it), and as much as I absolutely detest Homelander (and threaten to switch off because I hate him), I’ve kept watching. Because, albeit the blood and gore, it is fun and sometimes just over the top.

The story starts with innocent Hughie (Jack Quaid) looking forward to a future with his girlfriend who become a bloody mess (literally) all over Hughie and the pavement….a casualty of a superhero rescuing someone else. And that’s where it gets going. The corporation behind the superheros (it is business after all) wants to make the incident disappear (with money off course) and through this all, somehow Hughie ends up with a bunch of seedy characters (I’ll avoid the c work from the snippet above) who are out to expose the sex, murder and corruption taking place in the name of saving the world.

Besides Karl Urban being brilliant as Butcher, I thoroughly enjoy the character Frenchie (Tomer Capon). Actually, the dodgy vigilante ensemble are absolutely super…who also include Laz Alonso and Karen Fukuhara (I’ve mentioned Jack Quaid). I must admit, I’m not a fan of the Supes (the Superheroes) at all including their business partners and bosses…but then, I guess that is goal achieved*. The series is there to portray them as shallow and self-centred. And gives me all the more pleasure when things don’t go how they envisage it.

I’ll never look at the likes of Spiderman, Superman and co the same way again…because, thinking about it, there were bound to be casualties along the way…we just never thought about it that way.

The Boys really does deserve that Primetime Emmy nomination for outstanding sound editing. The soundtrack is perfectly selected and timed (once again, the above snippet confirms that).

*Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Chace Crawford, Elisabeth Shue, Dominique McElligott, Jessie T. Usher amongst others form the supposed good guys.

Enjoy it! But please don’t expect a typical superhero series you’ve come to expect from the movies.

Peaky Blinders…series 3 excellent as ever

peakyblindersseries3I just can’t get over how brilliant this series is. From the very first episode in series 1 right to this last episode of series 3…all I can say (and do say to everyone who’s looking for something great to watch) is…”watch it”.

Ok…so I’m way behind with watching (I’ve had the Series 3 DVDs waiting since their release, series 4 too) but I just haven’t had time. I guess that is rubbish because the moment I had a chance to watch the first episode of this series I was hooked (as per series 1 and 2) and finished all episodes in two days. I guess time can be made.

In this installment of the BBC crime drama, a wedding serves as a kickoff for business (what else would you expect?) and so the Shelbys get involved with the Russians, their jewels and weapons. A dodgy Father John Hughes has his share in a whole lot of dirty negotiations and Alfie Solomons is brought back into the wheeling and dealings. If you know the series so far, then you know that you’re in for lots of backstabbing, corruption, family disagreements (and agreements) and the works. Even the women surprise you in this one.


The story is always intriguing and you never see the twists and turns coming. Accompanied by an excellent soundtrack and stunning cinematography, this is one of the only series that I’ve ever watched and not given up on (the other being Rome).

Just be warned…you will sit there in disbelief as the last scene plays out…

…and now I just have to start series 4. Tommy Shelby…what a bastard you are.

Here are some thoughts after Series 1: Peaky Blinders – a work of art and how Tommy Shelby is totally crush material: Sexy Crush…Peaky Blinders’ Tommy Shelby

Almost Human…short-lived but good…

almost-humanI was going to write about Peaky Blinders for this Blogathon but I can’t keep going on and on and on about how brilliant it is (ok, I guess I could). But, change is good. And there’s another show that I thoroughly enjoyed. Unfortunately, as would be my luck, this one only went for one short season (2013 to 2014) and failed to get the nod for another round. What a pity. But don’t be put off by that…enjoy that one special season for what it is. Oh…hmmm…I guess I do watch more series than I suspected (and claim) after all…I always say I’m “not a series person” but I guess the odd one I do watch.

Hsmall-screen-2ere’s Almost Human…my entry to The Small Screen Blogathon hosted by Maddylovesherclassicfilms.

We’re in the future where human police officers have been teamed up with human looking androids, more specifically MX-43s. This, to get a good, supposedly effective balance of human thought processes together with the emotional detachment and superior fighting skills of androids. Paired are “old school” (read “not-at-all-happy about this) detective John Kennex – he’s the human, played by Karl Urban – with Dorian – a retired DRN model android (“dug out the storage area” but that’s not really the case), played by Michael Ealy. Huh? Yes…you see, John was initially teamed up with a fancy schmancy MX-43 but let’s just say, they had a personality clash and said android was not-so-gracefully dispatched of by allocated human partner (thus bringing the DRN into the picture). Now, the thing is, John is grumpy and fighting his own daemons which include amnesia and a prosthetic leg and really isn’t too chuffed with Dorian‘s constant advice, opinions and general input. I need to mention that Dorian and fellow DRN models were retired due to their emotional programming not being quite right for the job. The MX-43s are purely logic based partners.

Karl Urban and Michael Ealy fulfill their roles perfectly and have a superb chemistry. You’ll find yourself constantly chuckling as they bash heads due to different opinions, emotional states and outlooks on life while trying to solve various cases. Add to this duo the wonderful Mackenzie Crook  as Rudy Lom (you might know him from Pirates of the Caribbean as the pirate with the wooden eye that keeps popping out) who is the tech support/nerd/lab guy. He’s the go-to guy for all things…techie. Oh boy is he great. As miserable and gruff as John is, there’s a subtle soft spot (he’ll never admit it) there with colleague Detective Valerie Stahl (Minka Kelly). I was really sad that this didn’t get to be developed more but that was probably left for a subsequent series which we’re never to see…booohoooohoooo. Lili Taylor is Captain Sandra Maldonado who sees John for what he is while other detectives and MX-43 android models keep opposing him.

And so this team fights futuristic (actually, not too futuristic) crimes while John and Dorian become the best duo I’ve seen in a long time. Well worth watching despite the short season.


Sexy crush…Peaky Blinders’ Tommy Shelby

I’d pretty much written this post (albeit unconvincingly)…then I went to Switzerland…

PeakyBlinders5My sexy crush was obvious from the very start – Tommy Shelby from Peaky Blinders. Yet somehow, I just didn’t know why. Last year’s choice for this Blogathon (here) was easy – a look back on a straightforward teenage crush. But now, 20 or so years later, what’s the appeal in a bad boy? I should be more mature than that. Actually, maybe that’s exactly it…as a teenager, the crush is probably more superficial, more about looks and visual appeal. Now, sexy (which goes hand-in-hand with a crush for me) is much, much more than that. It took me a week of time-out from the everyday with some awesome people* together with great conversation to realise this (I probably knew it anyway – I just hadn’t formalised it in my mind). In fact, one of the topics (co-incidentally) we contemplated one night was exactly that – what makes a person sexy and appealing? We’d agreed (I think) that it was more than just looks. While we didn’t chat about it long, it did get me thinking…

So…I consider myself a good girl who doesn’t really fall for bad boys but ooh, oooh, oooooh, I just couldn’t help falling head over heels with Tommy Shelby. From the opening scene of Peaky Blinders I was totally smitten. Whwwwwew…it isn’t easy trying to write up a post while totally swooning over the character in question. Moving along swiftly…but hey…he’s just sooooo sexy…

Yes…sexy. What is it that makes a man sexy in the first place? Why do you fall for him? Why do we have that crush? One that almost wrenches your heart out? Because crushes are infatuations we have with the unattainable.

What draws me to Mr Shelby (and yes, that’s “Mr” to you or anyone else he encounters who isn’t family or exempt from formalities)? I don’t know. I really don’t. Maybe it’s that he’s always well dressed. Maybe it’s that se… that was pre-mini-break…
Now, I think I know. It has something to do with his presence…definitely. He’s the first person I notice in the room on the screen. The only one who draws me in. Inexplicably. Immediately. Some sort of combination of charisma, outward confidence and yes, naturally (because I’m human), looks. Not the society-conditioned-hot-hunky look but a mature, sophisticated, yet very attractive look. And outwardly, he acts and dresses that way too:


I’d never consciously noticed eyes on men before, but strangely enough, the eyes seem to be a striking trait found in the men I’ve found sexy. Don’t take me wrong….I don’t often have crushes, but those few I’ve had, now thinking about it, have something about their eyes. Just look at these:


And the crush in question has some “rough” edges…he’s definitely not a boyish man…no, he’s a manly man but never old man. Oh just look at him:


There’s some ruggedness about him yet at the same time he has a softer way with women. What makes Tommy Shelby attractive is that Grace never needs to go out her way to attract his attention. He goes about doing his job and whatever else he deems important and the relationship just happens – a natural “gel”.  He’s also able to hold a good conversation.


And…it is not about the “deed”, the “s” word…not at all. Tommy Shelby has all the appeal without that. The ultimate for me, the defining moment, is where he (spoiler alert) “rescues” Grace from the men who want their own way with her (even though the “off-putting, totally un-crushable” part should be that he led her to them but I’ll just file that away for now).

PeakyBlinders6He has a history that has shaped him. Hidden daemons. Depth. Dimensions. But he’s not scared to admit it. Through this, he makes me feel alive. There’s a sense of living dangerously (of course, glamourised, it being a series). And that gives even more flutters. Re-ignites something that the day-to-day life doesn’t have. In fact, one of the people I spoke to overseas said something along the lines of falling not for the person but for the euphoric, electric feeling one experiences from the person in question. A high.

Realistically, I know I shouldn’t like him. I mean, who likes a guy who’s every move, every action has an underlying motive? Tommy Shelby never, ever does anything “just so”. Absolutely everything is calculated and for the good of him (and his family – which is totally sexy in the right context) or his business ventures. And he’s mean, cold and pure work, no fun. He’s a gangster.

While crushes and sexiness are far more than just this, I’ll ponder those thoughts some more. In the meantime, my tummy flutters. I’m totally aloof, struggling to think straight. There’s been some profound effect on me.

PeakyBlinders7.jpgOk, ok, fine…I’ll admit it, I’m shallow – he just looks so damn good. There. Happy?

On a less shallow and infatuated note…if you haven’t seen BBC’s Peaky Blinders, I highly recommend you give it a go. Yes, it is gritty, dark and violent but it is really excellent with superb performances from all involved. They include Cillian Murphy, Sam Neill, Paul Anderson, Joe Cole, Helen McCrory, Sophie Rundle, Ned Dennehy, Ian Peck, Annabelle Wallis, Tom Hardy, Iddo Goldberg, Noah Taylor and many more.

Gosh, I could go watch Peaky Blinders right now…I think I will.

*To L and S (Ihr wisst wer ihr seid), thank you for putting my post into perspective and for some good conversation last week.

Thanks to Silver Screenings and Font and Frock for hosting this hot, hot Blogathon. Head on over to Reel Infatuation to read more…and…for my teenage infatuation with Lucky Luciano and Will Scarlett have a look at my entry from last year’s Reel Infatuation Blogathon: Crushing on Will Scarlett and Lucky Luciano.

In a Nutshell: North & South (2004)

Ahhh…just passionate and beautiful and oh soooo romantic. North & South had me right from the beginning. This 4 part mini-series tells the story of southerner Margaret Hale (Daniela Denby-Ashe, at first I didn’t even recognise her as Janey from My Family) who is uprooted by her father and moved to the northern town of Milton. Here she befriends local mill workers and their families, being made aware of their daily struggles. She also crosses paths with mill owner John Thornton (Richard Armitage) and so the sparks of attraction are subtly set off against the backdrop of industrialisation and related hardships. I’ve never read Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel on which this is based but it has now found its way onto my To Read list.

Wonderfully acted, you get drawn into every character’s life and almost wish you could resolve all the problems on their behalf. BBC never fails to deliver. I devoured all four episodes back-to-back. Absolutely brilliant!







Peaky Blinders – a work of art

Peaky Blinders is not a series, it is a work of art. An exceptional work of art. It is going to be years before something matches up to the caliber of this show. In fact, I’m not sure anything ever will. The intricate detail that has gone into every scene of this BBC production is just amazing. I take my hat off to the cinematography team. In fact, to the entire team, as this show would most definitely not have been possible without the input of all involved – each and everyone brings the excellence of what they do to this series – be it acting, directing, cinematography, wardrobe…and the list goes on.

peakyblindersbannerThe acting is top notch. In my opinion, the British are so good at casting characters and not “beautiful people” in order to draw viewers. Not that I’m saying the actors are ugly. Not at all, but that they are chosen with their role in mind. The cast work so well together. So much so, that the Shelby family really comes across as just that to the viewers – a family, with their problems and their successes. The actors are also supported by the wonderful cinematography. The opening scene in the very first episode where the Chinese girl is summoned as a fortune teller is brilliant and sets the tone perfectly. The other scene that stands out is Ada in her wedding dress contrasting with the dreary grey surroundings. But everything really – the smokey bars, dark rainy streets, sparking factories, shadows and on it goes. Throughout the series there are moments when I can’t help but notice some small detail that really makes all the difference.

peaky-blinders-staffel-1-szene-1-frontpageThe music is woven in so well and adds to the atmosphere while keeping it modern. And then there’s the wonderful Red Right Hand theme song by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds which opens each episode with a creepy, yet suspenseful sort of mood that only gets cranked up as the minutes unfold. That’s the other thing – these minutes go past waaaaaaaay too quickly and before you know it, another episode is complete. In fact, in the first series, which is only 6 episodes long (or should I say, short), I was wondering how I would be able to avoid the end in an attempt to prolong the experience and savor every moment, yet, still get to the end because I just needed to know the outcome. Thank goodness series 2 came out and I’ve watched the first episode. They’ve really started us off with a bang on this one – seems like things have gotten a whole lot more intense (hence the age restriction gone up from 15 to 18) but boy is it brilliant so far! Going to be an interesting 5 more episodes which will be over before I know it. I just hope I feel the same at the end as I did at the end of series 1 – totally besotted!