Showing posts with label Movies and TV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movies and TV. Show all posts




Detectorists, is a quirky British comedy-drama TV series about two friends who share this passion for metal detecting.

Written, directed and co-starring Mackenzie Crook (who played the detestable Gareth Keenan in The Office) now playing the character of Andy. Along with his wise-cracking friend Lance, excellently played by Toby Jones (Marvellous, Infamous) the two spend their days plodding through fields, hoping to find their fortune with a couple of metal detectors.

Through the six episodes series you are introduced to an amusing cast of characters who are also drawn to this curious hobby. Detectorists, is well written with clever humour and enjoyably charming.

Here is a short preview of Episode One that ran on BBC Four.


The First Grader

The First Grader
Based on a true story, The First Grader is about a Kenyan man in his 80's who is determined to learn to read after hearing that the Kenyan government is promising free education for all. The story is about Maruge (beautifully played by Oliver Litondo) an old Mau Mau freedom fighter who fought for the liberation of his country and now feels that he too is entitled of the chance of an education that was denied to him.

The movie takes place in a primary school in a small mountaintop village in Kenya. The school's head teacher Jane (played by Naomie Harris) is quite moved by Maruge's passionate plea and decides to help him to get admitted to the school.

The First Grader is quite a heart-warming, uplifting movie that explores the relationships Maruge develops with the young children at the school. Through this adventure we are taken back 50 years to the dreadful period of British rule in Kenya, when Maruge fought for his country and ended up in extreme and harsh conditions in the British detention camps.

The film is directed by Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) and written by Emmy-winner Ann Peacock (The Chronicles of Narnia).

The First Grader is an inspiring story of one man's fight for what he believes is his right.



Treme is a four season (36 episodes) American television drama series created by David Simon and Eric Overmyer writers/producers of Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets and The Wire.


Treme is about the life of residents of New Orleans who are rebuilding their lives, their homes and their culture after the disaster of the 2005 Hurricane Katrina. The series focuses on an eclectic group of New Orleanians among them; a trombone player, a civil rights lawyer, a disc jockey, a chef, a Mardi Gras Indian Chief but mostly the series focuses on music and its musicians who provide the soundtrack for the city.

Treme might seem slow-moving at the beginning of the series but there is a lot going on, many different little stories and different characters and how some of these lives inter-connect. If you love music, especially Jazz, you will love this smart, moving, funny, charming series.

Cast members include; Wendell Pierce (The Wire, Waiting to Exhale), Steve Zahn (Forces of Nature, Riding in Cars with Boys), Melissa Leo (Homicide, The Fighter), John Goodman (Raising Arizona, The Big Lebowski, Argo), Clarke Peters (The Wire, Person of Interest), Kim Dickens (Deadwood, Friday Night Lights), Khandi Alexander (The Corner, CSI: Miami) among many others.

Treme also features well-known musicians throughout the series among them; Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, Kermit Ruffins, Elvis Costello, The Soul Rebels, Spider Stacy, Steve Earle and John Boutté who wrote the infectious "Treme Theme Song". CHECK OUT THE VIDEO


Brendan O'Carroll - Mrs. Brown's Boys

Brendan O'Carroll is an Irish writer, producer, comedian, actor and director; he was born in Finglas, a suburb of Dublin. 

Brendan O'Carroll has been a popular comedian in Ireland since the early 1990's, he is best known for portraying the foul-mouthed Irish mother Agnes Brown in Mrs. Brown's Boys.
Brendan O'Carroll - Mrs Brown's Boys
Mrs. Brown's Boys is an award winning BBC sitcom created by and starring Brendan O'Carroll. The show is based on O'Carroll's character he created for an Irish radio series he did in 1992 before using the character for his stage plays which were developed from books and straight to DVD films.

Mrs. Brown's Boys is about an 'Irish mammy' who refuses to cut the apron strings from her six grown-up children who are all adults but she treats them as if they are five. As well as having to deal with her children, she has her hands full dealing with her best friend Winnie, the elderly Grandad and various friends and family members.

Agnes Brown is an outspoken woman never at a loss for words. Here is an outrageously funny exert from Mrs. Brown's Boys staring Brendan O'Carroll as Mrs. Brown.




Parked - the movie (2010)

Parked is the story of Fred Daly a middle-aged Irishman, who is down on his luck. The role of Fred is superbly played by Irish actor Colm Meaney (Hell on Wheels, The Perfect Stranger). Fred has just returned home to Ireland after living in England and discovers there's no work to be found. With no means to support himself, Fred lives in his car parked by the sea in a car-park.

Life changes for Fred when a young dope-smoking Cathal played by Colin Morgan (The Adventures of Merlin, Island) moves his car in the same car-park and starts living there. The two befriend each other and help each other out.

Cathal introduces Fred to a nearby pool where they can clean up and enjoy a swim. This is where Fred meets Jules, an attractive music teacher played by Finnish actress Milka Ahlorth. The three grow closer to each other and are set on a course that will change their lives forever.

Parked is at times a comedy and at other times dramatic, but it is consistently engaging and quite moving, a good directional film debut for Irishman Darragh Byrne.


Jayne Mansfield's Car

Jayne Mansfield's Car is a funny, crazy drama directed by Billy Bob Thornton.

Jayne Mansfield's Car

This quirky film is about two colourful families who are brought together by the death of a woman. The acclaimed cast includes Robert Duvall (Apocalypse Now, Lonesome Dove), John Hurt (The Elephant Man, Harry Potter), Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade, Bad Santa), Kevin Bacon (Footloose, The River Wild) among others.



Outside Bet

Outside Bet is a tale of seven friends, who embark on a journey that eventually leads them to gamble all of their savings and redundancy money on a single race.

Outside Bet movie
Outside Bet is a British comedy film directed by Sacha Bennett and starring Bob Hoskins (Mona Lisa, Who Framed Roger Rabbit), Jenny Agutter (Logan's Run), Philip Davis (Vera Drake), Adam Deacon (Anuvahood, Criminal Justice) and Montserrat Lombard (Ashes To Ashes).
A light, enjoyable film.


Public Enemies (TV Series)

Public Enemies is a quality three-part BBC television drama series, created by the award winning writer Tony Marchant (The Mark of Cain).
Public Enemies
The story is about the relationship between a convicted murderer, Eddie (Daniel Mays - Ashes To Ashes, Made in Dagenham) who is released from prison after serving 10 years and his probation officer Paula (Anna Friel - Pushing Daisies, The Street) who is just back at work herself after being suspended for a crime that was committed by an offender under her watch. Both characters have to deal with the strain of personal and public disgrace while they are still trying to reclaim their lives and reputations.

Public Enemies is an amazing, riveting and incredibly moving drama with a captivating performance by Mays.


Romance & Cigarettes

Romance & Cigarettes is a 2005 offbeat romantic comedy musical written and directed by John Turturro.

The film has quite a stellar cast; James Gandolfini (The Sopranos), Susan Sarandon (Thelma & Louise, Deadman Walking), Kate Winslet (Titanic, The Reader, Mildred Pierce), Christopher Walken (The Deer Hunter, Pulp Fiction), Steve Buscemi (Fargo), Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds), Aida Turturro (The Sopranos) and singer Mandy Moore.

Romance & Cigarettes is not your usual drama about a troubled marriage. It attempts something original by melding light opera with soap opera into a modern day musical. It is a dark and passionate comedy about one man's journey into infidelity and redemption. The hero, Nick Murder (Gandolfini) is a Queens, NY iron worker who has been married for years to Kitty (Sarandon), who works as a seamstress and is the mother of Nick's three daughters (played by Moore, Parker and Turturro). While Nick loves his wife, he is seduced by the sexy red haired lingerie salesgirl Tula (Winslet). When his wife finds out about the affair, she becomes enraged and kicks him out, forcing him to decide what he really wants from life and what's most important to him. During the movie, the characters periodically turn to their favorite songs to explain their emotions, lip-synching along with the original recordings.

There is a scene during the film with a slicked back Christopher Walken performing Tom Jones' "Delilah". It's quite fun! Walken had a notable music video performance in 2001 with Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice".
Some of the other songs featured on Romance & Cigarettes' soundtrack include; Engelbert Humperdinck - "A Man Without Love", Dusty Springfield - "Piece of My Heart", Bruce Springsteen - "Red-Headed Woman", Cyndi Lauper - "Prisoner of Love", Elvis Presley - "Trouble", Buena Vista Social Club - "El cuarto de Tula", James Brown - "It's a Man's Man's Man's World", Vikki Carr - "It Must Be Him" and original performances by Mandy Moore with Aida Turturro and Mary-Louise Parker of "I Want Candy"  and also James Gandolfini and Susan Sarandon singing "The Girl That I Marry".

Romance & Cigarettes is quite the work of art; it breaks out of the Hollywood movie mold with originality that is bold, cheeky and liberating.


Sarah Vaughan - Whatever Lola Wants (Gotan Project Remix)


American jazz singer Sarah Vaughan recorded "Whatever Lola Wants back in the 50’s. What makes this version so special is that it has been remixed by Gotan Project who distinctly gives it their unique signature sound with sultry tango beats and the incorporation of the rustic romantic accordions.

Gotan Project is a musical group based in Paris, France consisting of musicians Philippe Cohen Solal of France, Eduardo Makaroff of Argentina and Christoph H. Müller of Switzerland.  This Gotan Project Remix of Sarah Vaughan's "Whatever Lola Wants" appears on the Verve Remixed 2 compilation released in 2003 on Verve Records.
"Whatever Lola Wants" is a popular song that was written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross for the 1955 Broadway musical Damn Yankees. The song is performed by ‘Lola’, who plays the role of the Devil's assistant, a role performed by Gwen Verdon who also stars in the role for the musical film "Damn Yankees" that was released in 1958.

"Whatever Lola Wants, Lola gets" has been recorded by many artists through the years among them; Petula Clark, Ella Fitzgerald, Eartha Kitt, Mel Tormé and Sarah Vaughan.

"Whatever Lola Wants" is also the title of a light romantic comedy film, released in 2007. The movie directed by French Moroccan Nabil Ayouch and stars Laura Ramsey who plays the title role of 'Lola'. The movie is about a young woman who dreams of being a dancer but has to work as a New York City postal worker to make ends meet. Lola decides to travels to Cairo to find and reconcile with her recent boyfriend but ends up pursuing a passion for belly dancing and finds 'Ismahan' a legendary Egyptian dancer played by Carmen Lebbos to be her instructor.



Stand-up comedian Louis C.K. has written directed and created this television series entitled Louie. The show is a fictionalized version of Louis CK, a recent divorced stand-up comic, struggling to raise his two young daughters in New York City.
Louie Season 1 & Season 2 DVD
This comedy series consists of different stories and segments about Louie's life as well as fragments of his live stand-up performances.
Louis CK lets you see life as something ridiculous, vulgar, honest, funny and beautiful.
I highly recommend this hilarious comedy series. "Louie" Season 1 & 2 are out on DVD. Season 3 is currently airing on FX Network.


The Slap

An excellent Australian television drama series based on the 2008 controversial novel The Slap written by Australian native Christos Tsiolkas. The eight part series explores what happens when a man slaps someone else's bratty undisciplined child at a birthday barbecue get-together. Each episode of the series is told in the point of view of one of eight different people that attended the barbecue and how the repercussions of the slap affect this group of family and friends.
Though at times disturbing it is a believable story that I enjoyed. The series features great performances by Melissa George, Jonathan LaPaglia, Alex Dimitriades, Sophie Okonedo among others.


Page Eight

Page Eight
Page Eight is a BBC film written and directed by David Hare. The spy thriller set in London and Cambridge, England stars Bill Nighy as MI-5 agent Johnny Worricker. Johnny is left with a secret file that could bring down the Prime Minister and his government, then his closest friend who is also his boss, suddenly dies. He is then compelled to carry out the unspoken and make the report public. During this time he also grows suspicious of his beautiful young new neighbor who seeks his company, the political activist neighbor Nancy Pierpan, is played by Rachel Wiesz.  Johnny is then forced to walk out of his job, and then out of his identity to find out the truth.
Bill Nighy is quite riveting and captivates you into this mystery drama. The film also stars Michael Gambon, Judy Davis, and Ralph Fiennes.



Homicide - Life On The Streets

 (TV Series 1993–1999)

Homicide: Life on The Street an American police TV series of the Baltimore Homicide Unit.

The show ran for seven seasons (122 episodes) on NBC from 1993 to 1999. The series was originally based on David Simon's book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets. Many of the characters and stories used throughout the show were based on events depicted in the book, which was also used for Simon's own series, The Wire on HBO.

This series has it all; crime, drama, mystery, humour and great character development of the detectives involved. Considered by critics to be one of television's most authentic police dramas, as well as an excellent dramatic series propelled by a talented ensemble cast; Yaphet Kotto, Andre Braugher, Richard Belzer & Melissa Leo to name a few.