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Harrow: Facilis Descensus
Episode 9, Season 2

Harrow's determination to prove Chester is still alive has been dragging for possibly two episodes too many but I'll bear with it as I want to see how it ends. The one big flaw in this episode is the hospital emergency. Chester wants to get in and finish the job of killing Cal, Cal being the one who could positively identify that Chester is alive. He achieves his aims by setting off an alarm at the hospital and all the staff are told to leave. Now, I have no knowledge of hospital procedure in this circumstance but I fail to see how the whole staff would just vacate the hospital leaving all the patients to fend for themselves. What if there had been a heart attack or in the middle of surgery, that's life (or death) but nevermind, we're safe and well.

Harrow: Pater Familias
Episode 10, Season 2

Harrow's fight to prove he's not mad comes to a climax
Battling against all the odds where only his perceived biased daughter, Fern, is the only one to believe him, Harrow brings the drama to it's climatic end. Overall, Ioan Gruffud brings his very capable acting talents to the fore as the haunted pathologists defeated at every turn by his nemesis, Chester. The only blot in a well executed storyline lies at the very end where Maxine is packing up her office and Harrow tries to convince her to stay. In reality, this scenario wouldn't happen as Maxine is more likely to find herself behind bars for having falsified the evidence that helped to put Chester away irrespective of any good intentions that she had in putting away a monster.

London Has Fallen

Pure hokum
Not a total disaster but not far off. I just caught this on Netflix and I'm glad I never paid to see it when it first came out. Other than the obvious faults with it that many others have already pointed out, two things sprung to mind. One is that the SAS who are one of the finest special forces in the world are shown as some second rate gung ho force rushing into a hail of bullets. By all accounts everything they do is well planned with a huge amount of stealth. Secondly, Freeman plays the part of VP Trunbull. Had Donald watched this hence the reason that he called Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull, Trunball? Just a thought.

God Friended Me

Fairly decent but...
I'll start by declaring I'm a Christian so I was intrigued as to how they would play this - make a mockery of Christianity or over the top. Although neither, it's full of faults. Miles and Rakesh characters are weak. Miles especially is just rude and antagonistic to his minister dad. An example is in episode 3 and while his dad is saying grace for a meal, Miles is on his phone. No matter whether you believe or not, it's just rude in the same way if you're having a conversation with someone then you turn away because your phone is ringing. You're saying you are not important but this call/notification is even though I have no idea who it is yet until I check. Also, he and Rakesh appear to work in a call centre yet at the drop of a hat they can just breeze off as soon as Miles gets a call. They'd be fired on the spot. And I doubt his blog makes any money so how can he afford a really nice apartment from his call centre pay. Doesn't add up. To summarise it's not bad but it's not going to get any awards either for acting or for the script. If it ended tomorrow I wouldn't miss it.


Remove all sharp objects before watching
It's captivating and makes you want to continue to come back for the next episode just to see how it all pans out but it is all so depressing. The problem is that every single character has no redeeming features, they are all unlikeable with the men being the weakest. The most common word used must be'sorry', every one seems to be sorry for one thing or another and they continue to make apologies just about every five to ten minutes.

Prime Suspect 1973

Before I start, this review is solely for episode five. Up to this point, I'd give the series a ten but I was to some extent disappointed with this episode which is as far as the ABC here in Australia has got to. The story line is by and large good but there are a number of points that had me annoyed. The first was that Tennison did not need to give the lie she told as witness to O'Duncie's beating. She could easily have contradicted Flowers assertion that she witnessed the events merely by truthfully saying that she had already taken Flower down and that Flower could not have witnessed the beating. If she had to lie, she could have said she did not witness the events as she was walking back up at the time. I realise that this was a plot device to make her 'one of the team' but it seemed clumsy. Secondly, was when Ashton approached the neighbour as the crime was being committed. As he knew they were under surveillance from David Bentley he could have spoken to her then walked of with her thereby appearing to know each other and to remove her from the possibility of a violent outcome. Thirdly, when the police entered the bank why was there no officers entering through the cafe at the same time to prevent any escape that way. Lastly, why wait for them to start opening up the safety deposit boxes. Bradfield said that he wanted to wait until Bentley actually broke into the bank to make his arrest in order for him to get the maximum sentence. The officers could have been waiting in the vault or have the door ready to open and as soon as the gang entered the vault that would have been enough to arrest them. Waiting only makes the damage to the vault and it's contents worse for no possible benefit.


What did I watch!?
The only good thing about this project(?) is that it appears to give employment to people who would normally be cashing an unemployment cheque. You couldn't really call it a film as it's so terrible with it's attempt at cheesy one liners. The acting is so bad I'd swear this was their first attempt at it if I hadn't checked their previous history. Clearly Netflix is padding out their library with rubbish like this. Do yourself a favour and give it a miss.

The 9th Life of Louis Drax

A snail would beat it for pace
I'm glad I only watched it on Netflix, it's soooo slow I gave up. All I got out of it was a jerk of a kid who's accident prone. I don't mind psychological thrillers, quite like them actually but there needs to be something of interest to hold onto my interest and this didn't have it. I persevered for about a half hour or what seemed like a lifetime before giving up. The hook that there 'might' be something of interest at the end is not enough for me to invest and hour and a half of my time or however long this film was. No thanks, time to move on.

Once Upon a Time

Truly imaginative
This is a great series although at times it brought in too many new characters at once so it got confusing. Overall though it's been enjoyable. The best character has been Regina while the weakest has been David/Charming, he's weak and you wonder what Snow ever saw in him.

The Durrells

Reality not living up to expectation (yet).
I have never read any of the Durrells books so my review is solely based on the first two episodes. The good: the setting is absolutely gorgeous and... and that's it. The two older children, Larry and Leslie are a pair of idiots absorbed in themselves and totally useless bereft of any redeemable features. The daughter, Margo, doesn't do a lot but can be forgiven as she's only 16 and lovestruck. Gerald being the younger child has his head lost in the clouds who's only interest is in the proliferation of animals on the island. Mrs. Durrell is constantly fighting a losing battle trying to get her children to be useful members of society. I am really hoping this magically improves but right now I'm not expecting much.

Jason Bourne

Deja vu
You've seen it all before but dumbed down. The action jumps from country to country seemingly at random. The Bourne Identity was a great film along with the first two sequels but this is a rehash with the same plot line especially of Supremacy: girl close to him gets killed, Bourne tries to find details of past and lunatic asset. Does the CIA really hire psychotic murderous lunatics? We also have the obligatory big car chase and high body count. Boring and a sad end to the franchise. I even enjoyed Jeremy Renner's Legacy but this was a pale imitation of all that went before. I marked this as having spoilers but the real spoiler was going to see it.

Star Trek Beyond

fun romp but ludicrous story line
Forget it's Star Trek and it's an enjoyable action film as long as you switch your analytical brain to off. The action is fast paced and the effects are good with a touch of Inception, a Death Star and Fast and Furious thrown in. Huge numbers of the crew die in what can only be described in horrific ways either having the Enterprise torn to bits or cast into space sans space suit but at least there's a toast to the departed and not the usual jokes as if nothing happened poignant considering the death of Anton Yeltchin.

However, if you happen to even think about it at all then the whole thing is just ludicrous from beginning to end. We have a vast outpost out in the furthest reaches of known space yet it has millions of inhabitants doing what??? why build such a huge edifice THERE? OK, this station needs resupply but being that size it'll need a constant fleet of the equivalent of white van man and not one battle cruiser half way through its five year mission. We have the scene of Sulu meeting up with his family but not to labour the point, this station is out in the middle of nowhere. How would Sulu get the opportunity, if ever, to see his family again. Having his family there was a very poor plot device just to get him to meet said family. Okay, next we have a liveable planet in a nearby nebula. Since the station was built, didn't anyone at anytime think to explore the nebula. Isn't that what the Federation is all about, to explore strange new worlds to boldly go etc etc. Moving on to Krall. How did he not know about his old ship, the Franklin cloaked or not, it was HIS ship. and a motorbike! seriously? A 150 year old bike and Kirk gets it going, Leave something lying around for a year or so without maintenance and that thing will seize up, it's tyres will have rotted away but Kirk has it purring away as if it came straight off the factory floor. and please tell me why Krall needed that device when his drones did such a perfect job ripping up the Enterprise and was in the process of doing the same to the Yorktown. (shouldn't the name Yorktown have been given to a sister ship of the Enterprise and not a static space station?)

State of Affairs

A pleasant evenings watching
Reading other reviews, this show has been damned for 1. Heigl is an executive producer therefore has a vested interest in promoting her character 2. She's too young for her high level role 3. She's got a daft name in Charleston 4. Poorly acted and poor plot. Let's look atthese 1. Check out the exec producers for, amongst others, TheBlacklist, CSI (all iterations) and Bones (now there's a show long pastit's best used by date that's now smelling). 2. Heigl is in her mid 30's but I didn't hear any similar criticisms of the character of Jack Ryan in the same role. Also, a bit older but is 44 too young to actually be the President (JFK). 3. And did others say Indiana Jones had a silly name. I've heard a lot of silly names but this is no worse than many 4. Subjective but it's not bad. Not great but not bad.

So, to summarise, it hasn't set the TV world alight and I can't see it winning awards but I'm happy enough to while a way an hour watching it as reflected in my score. As an aside, I knew about POTUS and also FLOTUS but as the spouse of the President is a man, what DO you call him? FHOTUS doesn't trip off the tongue so easily.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

A dish served warm
This film shows having a host of big names does not necessarily make for a good film. The first film was a surprise delight with excellent characters and a great story line. This was an unnecessary sequel with the producers trying to cash in on the original. Sonny is irritating from the very start and gets worse with his character lifted straight from Basil Fawlty at his most cringe inducing worse when faced with either the hotel inspector and also on another occasion, the American. Sonny when faced with the assumed hotel inspector of Guy Chambers (Gere) is like Basil, downright rude to another guest who checks in earlier. The film just had so many disparate plots I just ended up not caring for most of the characters. Best roles went to Dames Judy Dench and Maggie Smith with Bill Nighy not far behind. All in all, one that's best for rental.

Exodus: Gods and Kings

Mixed feelings
The movie can be viewed in one of two ways. The first is one with a action packed spectacle laden with action scenes on the grand scale, massive vistas and a (CGI) cast of thousands but ultimately lacking in likable characters. On the other hand, if you were wanting a remake of The Ten Commandments with modern sfx then you're going to be very disappointed. From the use at the very beginning of the atheistic BCE as opposed to BC (but ironically still reliant on the birth of Christ for it's dating) you just knew the movie had as much to do with the Bible as Darren Aronofsky's Noah, i.e. not a lot with it's complete re-telling of the character of Moses to God being represented as a petulant and vindictive child. Did the screen writers even bother reading Exodus? Based on this, then the answer has to be no. Everyone has an off day and this is Ridley Scott's off day. I hope he get's back to his glory days of Alien, Blade Runner, Black Hawk Down and Gladiator. I hate to think what his mini-series 'Killing Jesus' and forthcoming feature 'David' of David and Goliath is going to be like. And why Ben Kingsley was even in it was hard to tell, he was hardly there, his talents totally wasted.

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