Thursday, January 28, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks #342: TMP Television Edition - 2020 Freshmen Series



Hello there and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple: based on the theme of the week pick three to five titles and tell us why you picked them. For further details and the schedule visit the series main page here.

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This week's Thursday Movie Picks is TMP Television Edition -  2020 Freshmen Series

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Limited series cannot be included today. Because the theme does refer to Freshmen, which means the first season of a series and limited series with only the one season is not the first of anything. So there goes my possible pick of Queen's Gambit and Little Fires Everywhere. No matter, I still saw plenty of good ones that had their first season in 2020. All of the series I picked today have been renewed for a second season, but who knows with the ongoing pandemic...there have been other renewals that were eventually scrapped. So here's hoping they all still get their second season.

Home Before Dark (2020 - )
A young girl and her family moves back to her father's childhood home in a small town after he loses his newspaper job in the city. An aspiring journalist herself, she starts her own newspaper and begins to dig into the unsolved case of her father's still missing best friend who had been abducted as a child. While clearly made for tweens and teens in mind, it was still surprisingly good and one adults can enjoy...the way Pixar movie manages the right amount of darkness and heartbreak while still being acceptable for kids. The young lead actress is the standout in this atmospheric mystery which was only partway solved in the first season so I'm glad this series is getting a second season.

Outer Banks (2020 -  )
A group teens who are the poorer year round residents of the Outer Banks go on a search for a long lost treasure. When this came out, there had been some comparisons with the other Netflix show about poor kids also featuring a treasure hunt which had a diverse cast, On My Block. I actually didn't like On My Block. The acting in that is awful, the series is a comedy but the humor just doesn't land right, the poor acting probably has something to do with it. So I say skip On My Block and watch Outer Banks. Outer Banks was such a surprise. It had no recognizable names headlining it and it premiered seemingly without much buzz, but it turned out to be actually a really good teen adventure series. The teen characters are older here and the actors are also much older but at least they can act. I think it is the chemistry between the characters which made this good and fun to watch.
 
Upload (2020 - )
After dying, a man's wealthy girlfriend had his consciousness uploaded into a virtual world. In his new existence, he befriends his handler (a person who still exists in the real world) who takes care of his needs in the virtual world and also starts to question the circumstances around his death. This sci-fi series is a lot of fun, sweet and funny. There's also a murder mystery element which keeps the suspense going with what or who is behind the main character's death.
 
Trying (2020 - )
After unsuccessfully trying for a baby on their own, the series follow a couple as they go through the adoption process. This is a sweet charming series that has an almost indie romantic comedy feel to it and the chemistry between the leads is great. I think, out of the five I've picked today, this is probably the least talked about, at least I haven't seen much buzz. It's actually on Apple TV, which is mostly populated by American productions, and this being British seems to be a little overlooked.
 
The Flight Attendant  (2020 - )
A flight attendant, an alcoholic, after a night of heavy drinking wakes up in a bed in a hotel in a foreign country beside a dead man. Unable to remember what happened and fearful of being held up in a foreign country, she goes on to her next flight and does her job like nothing has happened until they land in New York and the flight crew is brought in for questioning by the FBI. I had read the book this was adapted from. The book had been more of a drama thriller, but this TV series totally change the tone of it making it more of dark comedy thriller...and I think it still works. Kaley Cuoco plays the flight attendant in this and she was pretty good, her flight attendant is messy and has that ditsy blond thing going on which plays well into the whole dark comedy tone. While her situation was dire...there was still a little humor, unlike the book which was all rather dark. So yeah this adaptation turn out to be a fun watch, looking forward to the second season.
 
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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks #341: Police Detective


Hello there and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share your movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple: based on the theme of the week pick three to five movies and tell us why you picked them. For further details and the schedule visit the series main page here.

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This week's Thursday Movie Picks is Police Detective

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There are a lot of police detective movies, but this time I'm trying to go with movies that I have not picked before for TMP. Here the three:

In the Shadow of the Moon (2019)
A police officer has been trying to track a serial killer who resurfaces every few years. The movie jumps in time often, so the main character isn't a police detective the whole time. Anyway, I didn't know what to expect with this one and it turned out pretty decent. There's also a time travel element here which is always interesting.
 
Frequency (2000)
Through an old HAM radio, a police detective is able to communicate 30 years into the past with his father who had died when he was a child. Warning his father of his impeding death triggered a set of new events, including the murder of his mother, which father and son now try to solve and prevent. I'm quite surprised that I've not picked this for TMP before. It's been a long time since I've seen but I remember liking it a lot. If you've seen and liked the Spanish film Mirage (2018), then I recommend watching Frequency as well.

Bad Boys (1995)
Two detectives protect a witness while investigating a case of drugs stolen from the police's evidence storage room. I saw all the Bad Boys movies last year and this is one of those rare franchise where the movies are consistent, I enjoyed all of them. But if I have to pick, it would be the first one, since it started it all. I think the best thing about these movies is the chemistry of the two leads. The constant bickering of the two characters is just funny.

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Thursday, January 14, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks #340: 2020 Releases

 



Hello there and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share your movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple: based on the theme of the week pick three to five movies and tell us why you picked them. For further details and the schedule visit the series main page here.

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This week's Thursday Movie Picks is 2020 Releases

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I've seen few 2020 releases so my options were limited. Here are the ones I like.

Blow the Man Down (2020)
After having just lost her mother recently and getting into an argument with her sister, younger sister Mary Beth goes to drown her sorrows at the bar. Meeting a man there she decides to get in a car with him only to see something terrible resulting in a gruesome incident which further leads to her and her sister discovering the criminal activities that have been going on in their small fishing village. The movie opens with a bunch of fisherman singing a shanty and I really didn't know what to expect because it looked like it could be very quirky something perhaps like a Wes Anderson movie. Turns out it really wasn't all that quirky. It's more of a small town crime drama that was rather atmospheric and reminds me of other similar sort of small town crime movies like Fargo or Shimmer Lake except that this is a very female centric movie. Anyway I really really like it.
 
The Half of It (2020)
A jock gets an introverted smart girl to help him write love letters to his crush and along the way the girl starts to fall for his crush too. When I saw the plot of this I thought...nooo...not another sort of secret identity love triangle-ish plot like Sierra Burgess Is a Loser. Well it's not. This is a sweet and charming movie about love, friendship, being selfless and above all just being kind to each other.

Enola Holmes (2020)
Sherlock Holmes' teen sister, Enola, sets off on her own to find her missing mother using what she thinks are clues left by her. I've picked this before for the adaptations theme last year and I'm picking it once again. This was a super charming and fun adventure movie. I love it. I hope they quickly make a sequel before Brown gets to old to play the teenage Holmes.
 
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Thursday, January 7, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks #339: Oscar Winners Edition: Best Picture



Hello there and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share your movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple: based on the theme of the week pick three to five movies and tell us why you picked them. For further details and the schedule visit the series main page here.

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This week's Thursday Movie Picks is Oscar Winners Edition: Best Picture

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Hi and welcome to the 8th run of TMP. Today is also the start of Oscar Winners Edition with Best Picture being first up. Shouldn't be too difficult with 90+ winners to choose from. I'm picking some of my favourites.

Rebecca (1940)
We've had a similar TMP theme way back in 2015. I picked Rebecca then and I'm picking it once again because I love this movie. Joan Fontaine is the star here. She is so perfect as the Second Mrs. de Winter. Her portrayal had the right mix of youth, innocence and naivety.
 
A Man for All Seasons (1966)
Henry the VIII's rule from the point he tried to divorce Katherine of Aragon to his death was a tumultuous one and makes great drama for the screen. A Man of All Seasons is I think one of the best movies that depicts a short span of that period and focuses on Thomas More who tried to defend himself against charges of treason. The movie is based on a play so is very dialogue heavy which I like and had good performances by the cast.

American Beauty (1999)
This is such a great movie and was my first introduction to dark comedy back in 1999. It's funny, it's sad...it is just soo good.

The Departed (2006)
Mob movies tend to bore me but the whole undercover cop vs mole in the police premise was interesting and made the movie thrilling with all the twist and turns. I also thought it had great pacing.
 
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