Tag Archives: Available on Netflix

TV Tuesday: Zoo

zoo
Post written by Ainsley Peace

Loosely based on the novel by James Patterson, Zoo was quite the surprise when I decided to watch it. I am glad that I finally jumped on it as there are many aspects of this show that play into our very real fears. It makes us question our place on the food chain and puts at the very bottom as animals begin to attack humans. The investigations bring’s together five very different individuals, tour guides Abraham Kenyatta and Jackson Oz, French Intelligence Officer Chloe Tousignant, Veterinary Pathologist Mitch Morgan and Journalist Jamie Campbell. Caught up in the investigations the team leads their old lives behind and realize that even when fighting the animals, humans really are the worlds worst predators.

There has been a lot of growth in the series and not all of it has been beneficial. It is normal to lose characters early on and new ones to be added. The changes that occurred in the second season may have changed things up quite a bit the added characters gave the show something more as the story developed and the problem grew larger. Now the show is in its third season complete with time jump and major character development it appears that the story may have take far too many sharp turns. What I loved about the first season with the viability and honesty that came with it. It was an adventure and the characters were relatable but still gave us someone to live through. I was enthralled with the story but as I went into season three I realized that so much about what made seasons one and two enjoyable are missing.

While I wouldn’t be so quick to recommend the series were it is now I would gladly send someone over to Netflix to watch the first two seasons. Two strong, independent female leads who don’t sacrifice their femininity for strength stands out. Friendships and a growing familia bond that is embraced over the course of the first two seasons adds to the heartbreak that comes with fighting the war on humans, a war that many of the audience members probably understand.

Zoo may take the story to extremes but as you watch this show you will probably embrace some of those fears we once thought as irrational while nodding along to the fears that are all too real on a daily basis. We are often told not to be afraid of animals because they are more afraid of us. Now I am beginning to think that is part of the problem.

Film Noir Friday: The Third Man

primary_the-third-man-361
Joseph Cotton with Wiener Riesenrad behind him

 
Directed by Carol Reed from a screenplay by Graham Greene, The Third Man is a British Film Noir often considered one of the best films from Britain. Starring Joseph Cotton, Alida Valli and Orson Welles, The Third Man is celebrated for its acting, score and cinematography.

American Holly Martin is given in a job in Vienna by his friend Harry Lime. When arrives he is told that Lime is dead. Believing the death to be suspicious, Martin begins to investigate.

One of the top films that I love to recommend to people, The Third Man is a stunning look at post World War II Vienna through shadows and distorted angles as a man investigates the death of his friend. Played by real life friends with multiple collaborations under their belts, Joseph Cotton as Martin and Orson Welles as Harry Lime add a little something extra to the characters.

802820_069
Orson Welles as Harry Lime

The Third Man is a great use of a variety of film techniques and looks like the perfect mesh between British and American Cinema during the time of the film’s release. The use of Vienna’s landmarks, American lighting techniques, and Dutch “Deutsch” angles, a German filming technique used to portray psychological unease, The Third Man mixes various genres and styles to create a film that makes you feel out of place.

With one of the greatest scenes and film speeches of all time, one you have to hear for yourself, this 1949 Film Noir is a must see. If you are an aspiring director or a successful one, this is a film you should study. Also an important film for Cinematographer’s to view, The Third Man’s use of angles and lighting portray the unease of being in a foreign country while dealing with strange circumstances.

The Third Man is available to watch on Netflix. Perfect for Friday night viewing, turn off the lights, make some popcorn and grab a beverage of your choice. It’s time to investigate the death of Harry Lime.

Film Noir Friday: Laura

Canadian
Laura

Detective Mark McPherson investigates the apparent murder of advertising executive Laura Hunt. Told in flashback by Newspaper columnist Waldo Lydecker, Laura follows the detective as he falls in love with her through diaries and a portrait that hangs on her wall.
Gene Tierney stars as Laura, the titular character whose image floats through the film as if she were a mythical creature. Dana Andrews stars opposite her as the detective, Clifton Webb is Waldo Lydecker, Vincent Price is Shelby Carpenter, a role that would surprise today’s audiences, and Dorothy Adams is Bessie Clary.
Laura was adapted to screen from the 1943 novel of the same name by Vera Caspary. Directed and Produced by Otto Preminger, Laura is a classic Film Noir making lists of the top Noir’s for years.
While today’s audience may not find themselves as satisfied with the reveal, Laura still stands the test of time. A successful and talented woman is at the helm. Put on a pedestal by all the men, today’s feminist audience may see these male characters in a less than romantic light.
Film Noir has allowed women to take on roles usually reserved for men. After the Hayes Code was instated women typically portrayed the love interest, the wife, or the daughter. Occasionally they got to play roles far more interesting than that and Laura was a role worth having. Gene Tierney is perfect, as it is believable that any man could fall for her on her portrait alone. She has an essence that pours off the screen; her image excites us as she glides through the memories and imaginations of the other characters. While this role puts Tierney in a place of objectification she is also a strong and smart woman who fights against the ideas that men have of her.

 

laura2
Gene Tierney and Vincent Price

Laura could have been created for the young starlet who by this time was best known for her film Heaven Can Wait alongside Don Ameche. While other good roles came before Laura better ones came after. Tierney would go on to star in Leave Her to Heaven alongside Cornel Wilde, Jeanne Crain and once again, Vincent Price. Vincent Price would appear in a few more roles outside of the genre he is most associated with but would eventually find his home in horror.

 

 

 

TV Tuesday: Riverdale

MV5BNTkzOTA4ODE3Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODIzMTQzMTI@._V1_UY268_CR18,0,182,268_AL_
TV Tuesday, written by Ainsley Peace

For the first TV Tuesday I will talk about The CW’s hit neo-noir drama Riverdale; an adaptation of characters from the Archie Comics focusing on the town and its inhabitants. The first season revolves around the investigation into the murder of Jason Blossom and the affect it has on the less than picturesque town. These aren’t the characters we see in the comics. While fans of the comics may fear this to be “just another teen drama,” it has a lot more to offer. The mystery mixed with the complexity of the whole story, Riverdale gives us something to root for.

In Riverdale Archie is an oblivious brooding jock with a heart of gold. Always wanting to do the right thing, Archie often makes mistakes regarding his relationships but always tries to make it right. Torn between music and football, Archie is falling more in love with his musical side everyday and he might just leave the sport behind as he teams up with his musically inclined friends to pursue his dreams.

Archies best friend is Jughead Jones, most known for his love of hamburgers in the comics. However Riverdale’s Jughead is a little different then the character we know and love. While he spends the majority of his time at Pop’s, Juggie as Betty affectionally calls him spends more time consuming coffee then food. He is writing a book about Jason’s death and becomes a suspect in his murder early on. Still sporting his ever present hat, Jughead is the outcast of the town and who often has to deal with the many bullies Riverdale has to offer.

Betty begins the series as a lovelorn girl who wants to be more than friends with Archie. The Betty of Riverdale has a darker side that scares her but excites us none-the-less. Wanting to make a difference and tell the truth, Betty reopens the Blue and Gold at her school, gets revenge on Chuck Clayton for his slut-shaming behavior and joins the river vixens along side reformed mean girl Veronica Lodge.

One half of V & B is struggling to accept her new life and to live below the means she has become accustomed. While the version of Veronica in print is a rich white girl, Lodge at sixteen in Riverdale is a woman of color who’s rich father has gone to prison for Ponzie scheme antics. The cast is full of adapted characters including mean girl Cheryl Blossom, gay best friend Kevin Keller, Archies rival Reggie Mantel, front woman Josie McCoy, appearances by Jason Blossom, Dilton Doiely, Chuck Clayton, Ethel Muggs and a bevy of others.

Riverdale is a great show for women to sink their teeth into. The female characters may be role models but they are real. The female characters of Riverdale are people who change, grow and develop like the male characters of the show. They fight back, make mistakes and lose control without it being used to titilate the male audience. There is kissing and crushes but hardly any sex. The affair between Archie and his teacher Ms. Grundy, don’t worry she is younger than the white haired lady from the comics, made some cringe but it gave was a look at the female predator. In her exit we see who she really is. A woman devoid of remorse and any understanding of her actions and we the audience are devoid of sympathy for her.

The show contains great direction and cinematography. It is well written with witty dialogue and a slew of smart pop culture references. The cast members and the characters they play are perfect. While they mirror the characters in the comic universe, the Riverdale incarnations are more complex as are the relationships. You even sympathize with the bad girls and get mad at the good ones. The good guy has you livid at times and the bad guys have out root for them. Riverdale is how a teen drama should be written and how a comic book like Archie should be adapted.

At the end of the first season we learn who killed Jason Blossom but not everything is tied up with a bow. The actions of the first season and the last episode will spill over into season two. Character development will continue and relationships will struggle. New characters will be introduced and the darkness of Riverdale will remain. If you are looking for your typical teen drama, Riverdale is not for you but if you are looking for something with substance and intrigue you might want to give this show a shot.

Riverdale will return to The CW on Oct 11. Riverdale is available to stream on Netflix. Grab a milkshake, a burger and some fries and settle in to a night on the couch as you binge this teen drama with a twist.