nancyldraper

IMDb member since July 2006
    Highlights
    2019 Oscars
    Lifetime Total
    500+
    IMDb Member
    14 years

Reviews

The Irregulars
(2021)

It draws you in slowly
It was a slow beginning to adjust to this world and unwind it from the iconic types of 221b but by the end of the series I was well and truly hooked. I was sorry to see it was cancelled but, in a way, it was a fitting one season series. The overt occult horror always gives me pause, especially aimed at teens. It is nothing to be played with or encouraged. But, the clear definitions of good and evil, the heroic values, and the sub themes of self sacrifice and compassion were real hooks for me. It has all the period authenticity of British drama and the writing was good. I shall miss the characters this young cast so brilliantly brought to life. I give this series an 8 (very good) out of 10. {Young Adult Pseudo Historical Fantasy Drama}

Shadow and Bone
(2021)

Creatively Crafted
I think I'm going to stick with Young Adult fiction. I'll tell you why. I've been watching two fantasy series: this one and one on HBO. Both of them are well written, well performed, with interesting adventurous suspense as they create credible worlds. However, the HBO one has gratuitous and salacious nudity and sexuality that you have to wade through that neither furthers the plot or does anything but overexcited the libido. This one felt no need to any of that.

The other things I liked about SHADOW AND BONE was the choice of culture and period, Quoting the author of the trilogy this series was based on, Leigh Bardugo, "I think there's tremendous power in the images we associate with Russian culture and history, these extremes of beauty and brutality that lend themselves to fantasy. And honestly, as much as I love broadswords and flagons of ale-and believe me, I do-I wanted to take readers someplace a little different. Tsarist Russia gave me a different point of departure." This series is so good I think I'll read the trilogy while I wait for the next season. I give this series an 8 (creatively crafted) out of 10. {Pseudo-Historical Fantasy}

Kung Fu
(2021)

For a young audience
After watching the pilot, I must say I had higher hopes. This is aimed at a young audience, more pre-teen than young adult, but for that genre, it's a decent watch. I had hoped it would be a contemporary spin on the original series, but, then again, I was a young teen when I was a fan of it, so maybe it is the same audience. The plot is simplistic, the fights are engaging, it will appeal to young Asian viewers, and, despite the dumbing down of some of the dialogue, I'm going to give it a passing grade. I give this series a 6 (fair) out of 10. {Action Adventure}

Without Remorse
(2021)

Badly Written
This was a really badly written movie. The leaps of logic are too much to stomach. It's too bad. It was a good premise and a good cast. If it does become a franchise they need a better script. I give this film a 6 (fair) out of 10. {Action Adventure}

Sound of Metal
(2019)

Riz Ahmed's performance is this film
I'm a little lost for words to describe this film... it is a journey for both the protagonist and the viewer. It is evocative and intimate. The acting is powerful. It really is an actor driven vehicle. It is not about Metal music, so if you are not a metal head, be patient with the opening minutes of noise, turn down the volume and wait. It actually becomes somewhat of a study of silence. It was nominated for 6 Oscars (2021). I don't think it will win Best Picture but it is definitely worthy of its nominations. If the competition wasn't so stiff for Actor in a Leading Role, Riz Ahmed would be a contender. His performance is a 10. But, for the whole film, I give this an 8 (very good) out of 10. {Drama}

Minari
(2020)

Captivating
Nominated for 6 Oscars (2021) in a field of equally lauded offering, this story of struggle, family and dreams is a winner. The story is unique yet classic, the performances are well articulated (Yuh-Jung Youn is phenomenal in her role), the struggle is real and the character arcs are poignant. I was once told I was stingy with my 10s, but this Oscar's Best Picture category is filled with them, even though they are all very different from each other. I give this film a 10 (captivating) out of 10. {Drama}

Nomadland
(2020)

A beautiful melancholy
People stories. A person's story told slowly. There is a beautiful melancholy in this production. The characters have authenticity. Francis MacDormand's face alone deserves an Academy award. Every micro expression tells the story. Beautiful cinematography. A truly masterful movie. I give this film a 10 (minimalistic vastness) out of 10. {Drama}

The Trial of the Chicago 7
(2020)

Pop Drama
First of all, I would not suggest watching this after watching JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH, even though their timelines intersect at the death of Fred Hampton. The first is an exceptional historical drama, important in its scope, this one is more entertainment and frivolous in its tone, which might be why Sacha Baton Cohen's cavalier portrayal of his character garnered an Oscar nomination (people thought it was a comedy). The serious actors fought against the tide and grounded the film but, and maybe this is a hallmark of our times, it felt as if the subject matter was purposely lightened to hold an audience. I think it cheapened the subject. I give this film a 7 (cheap knockoff) out of 10. {Pop Drama}

Judas and the Black Messiah
(2021)

Powerful
This is a powerful movie, stunning in the fact that it depicts a period of American history, seldom told. The script is tight. The performances are engaging. The story is transforming. Nominated for 6 Oscars (2021). I give this film a 10 (powerful) out of 10. {Drama, History}

The Father
(2020)

Intensely Perfect
You may go into this movie thinking you know what it is about. What is surprising is, what another reviewer called, the unreliable narrator. Nominated for six 2021 Oscars, this film is incredible. The adaption from stage to film is powerful (nominated). It is a masterclass in acting, Anthony Hopkins (nominated) and Olivia Coleman (nominated) are perfect in their roles. Definitely one of the best pictures of the year (nominated)! This film will break your heart and it is all the more poignant the older you are. It can be terrifying. This is a movie you may not be able to bear seeing again. I give this film a 10 (intensely perfect) out of 10. {Drama, Psychological Twister, Horror}

The Irregulars: Chapter One: An Unkindness in London
(2021)
Episode 1, Season 1

Promising
I'm just beginning this series. It's a youth mystery but a step up from CW. Good performances from the young cast. Encircling an alternative darker perspective on Dr. Watson and the other resident of 221b Baker Street. A little bit light horror, a little bit thriller, all adventure. On my initial look, I give this series a 7 (promising) out of 10. {Fantasy, Drama, Mystery}

Thunder Force
(2021)

Disappointing
This could have been so good! Great talent! Great concept! But why did they have to settle for crass and crude? It just stunts any character development and limits the audience. I give this film a 5 (disappointing) out of 10 {Superhero Comedy}

Unforgotten
(2015)

Truly a UK Crime Drama at its best
(Review at the end of Season/Series 3) Nicola Walker is a brilliant actor! So it is not surprising that this is an exceptional series. Don't expect a fast paced, shoot 'em up, action car chase police drama. If that is your favourite fare, you probably won't like this drama. But if you like a well crafted story that reels you in until you are sitting at the edge of your seat, with multi-faceted performances from an excellent cast, portraying believable characters living out the consequences of their own choices, you will love this series. At the end of Series 3, I elevated my rating from a 9 (superb) to a 10 (brilliant) out of 10 and it now is on my Top 40 TV Series list. The finale of this past season felt like a series finale, but the writer (Creator/Executive Producer - Chris Lang) of the show has since teased out that, should the audience wish, there may be a 4th. Already garnering critical success and BAFTA attention, I think the audience is not ready for DCI Cassie Stuart/Nicola Walker or DS Sunil' Khan/Sanjeev Bhaskar to retire. {Police Procedural}

(Review after the end of Season/Series 4). Fantastic, if heartbreaking, finale.. Chris Lang, did you have to be so brutal. Straight 10s for the whole series. Truly a jewel in the crown of UK Crime Dramas.

The Bay
(2019)

Ok but not up to UK Crime Drama standards
(After viewing the first season/series). It's not a top UK crime drama, but, then again, the UK sets the gold standard for Crime Dramas (or do they call them Police Procedurals). The lead actress seems to have one setting for all the different dramas in her life which limits the credibility of her character. The location is magnificent. The script doesn't leave enough breadcrumbs to allow the viewer to solve the crime before or along with the police so it remains a mystery until the writers decide to declare the criminal. I'm still going to give the first season a 7 (ok) out of 10 and hope for better in the second season. {Crime Drama}

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar
(2021)

Therapeutic Silliness
If you are looking for a completely silly movie, then, look no further. If you need a giggle or a sudden explosive laugh, it's here. Absurd, preposterous, farcical, ludicrous. It's therapeutic. I needed it, so, I give this film a 7 (cathartic) out of 10. {Comedy}

Hamilton
(2020)

Perfectly crafted but warped by its bias
{This is not a majority opinion} A musical play so barrier breaking it was sold out for most of its run. An historical biography told by thoroughly modern rhythms and rhymes. For the audacity, poetry, artistry and performances it deserves a 10 and it probably will always be rated as such by Americans. But, I'm not American, and my enthusiasm was dampened by the blind patriotism of its narrative. What was clear to me, however, is that the partisan divide that is so raw today had its seed in its very founding. This in a nation born to destroy itself. I'm glad I saw this production once, but it's not something I'd watch again. I give this play a 7.9 (perfectly crafted but warped by its bias) out of 10. {Musical Biography}

Raya and the Last Dragon
(2021)

Superb animated artistry
Superbly beautiful animation! A timely message that is too simplistic to make a dent in the discord in our world. Worth seeing for the artistry of the animation alone but I'd wait until it's in general release. It's not worth the Disney+ Premium price. I give this film a 7 (good) out of 10. Caution: the penultimate moment of the drama might be a little overwhelming for the littlest ones of the family. {Animated Family Adventure}

Archive
(2020)

Emotion not action
I didn't think a story about artificial intelligence could be so heartbreaking. If you aren't willing to be emotionally invested in this film then don't bother to start it. It has a good premise and some interesting themes. The acting is solid. I give this film a 7 (good) out of 10. {SciFi, Thriller, Drama}

Deadwater Fell
(2020)

Another great, tension filled, UK drama
Another great, tension filled, UK drama. David Tennant needs to do a couple of nice guy roles, though. He's stuck on menacing. Cush Jumbo is always a chameleon. Great supporting performances. I give this limited series an 8 (great) out of 10. {Crime Drama}

Promising Young Woman
(2020)

81% Evocative
WOW!! There is simply nothing I can say about the plot of this movie that won't mislead you or give away its trajectory. It's uncomfortable, unpredictable, inevitable and intense. It will be a different experience depending on your gender and intensely evocative for 81% of women. Be prepared! Carrie Mulligan is superb in this role. She defies chronology. I give this film an 8 (evocative) out of 10. {Thriller, Drama}

The Castle
(1997)

A good bit of fun
This is a great tongue in cheek comedy, a Darryl versus Goliath movie. There were times when the pace lagged a bit but I guarantee, if you watch it to the end, you'll be smiling as the credits roll (and, yes, that is Eric Bana in his first film). I give this film an 8 (great fun) out of 10. {Comedy}

The Mauritanian
(2021)

At the film's core is outrage
This is a difficult movie to watch or write a review on. At the core is outrage. Those who don't want to believe that such outrageous things could be done by their beloved country and those entrusted with its values and justice will deny its assertions to protect the vision they hold as sacred. Others will raise their fist and proclaim they fight for the right of those abused and violated. Both sides will claim they know the truth. I am not surprised by man's inhumanity. Indeed, my faith calls it original sin. The difference being, I believe we are all capable of it. But my faith also believes in deliverance and hope, responsibility and the power of redemption. This film does a remarkable job of representing this man's story. The performances are flawless. The storytelling is compelling. The warning is important. For those reasons, I give this film an 8 (well told) out of 10. {Drama}

Belgravia
(2020)

Splendid
Another splendid drama from the pen of Julian Fellows. More Romance than the Dynastic Epic that was DOWNTON ABBEY but a treat from beginning to end: Fabulous cast giving great performances; showcasing a less known period of time; villains and saints; thrills and splendour. I give this limited series a 9 (splendid) out of 10. {Period Drama}

Land
(2021)

Beautiful
First of all, I want to say how good it was to see a newly released movie on the big screen. I missed "going" to the movies. This may very well prejudice this review. This was a beautiful movie, epic in landscape, quiet in thought, skillful in silent performance. Filmed in the Canadian Rockies (or as Robin Wright said, "the Alberta mountains"), the location is equally a character. It has garnered many film festival accolades and I've heard it described as Wright's greatest work. It definitely was her work. She produced, performed and directed it. It is a beautiful piece of film making. I give this film an 8 (beautiful) out of 10. {Drama}

The Dig
(2021)

Very good
This is a wonderful story, exquisitely told. A wonderful cast giving fine performances. The whole production is understated which only lends to its tone and colour. Even the music is gracefully simple yet classic. I give this film an 8 (very good) out of 10. {Drama based on a real event}

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