1 Jun 2018

FILMS 2018 #1.

Given that we made the decision to opt out of our contract with LoveFilm in favour of Amazon Prime; what with Mr T's work load, his Ordination, his studying for his second degree; the fact that we chose to spend Mr T's time off work, recovering from surgery, re-watching the full five seasons/63 episodes of Six Feet Under, a series we'd first watched on tv way back when HBO was in its infancy (at least here in the UK), we haven't watched many films. 

BUT that's about to change. 

Not that there will be a monthly post as before but hopefully there will be one once in every while, starting with, not a film, but the afore mentioned ...

Sixfeetunderlogo.jpgSIX FEET UNDER ...

Essentially the goings on of the somewhat dysfunctional Fisher family who run a funeral parlour. Not something you'd maybe expect to be high on laughs but, darkly funny, it has its moments -  with every episode beginning with a death, just ask Mr T about the woman with a frying pan.

What surprises me though is just how much I'd invested in these characters. With the world outside proving to be just as challenging, I laughed; I cried (Oh my goodness! The last ever episode); I raged with/at brothers Nate and David; their sister, Claire; their mother, Ruth ... the whole entourage.

My only gripe? Some of it relevant, some of it not; much of it fast-forwarded through the further we got into the series there were too many sex scenes for my liking. TT 

NJT - Very biased on this one so not much of a review, more a paean of praise. Death and its rituals have always been a subject of interest for me and possibly more so now engaged in the delivery of funerals. This box set has been watched several times over and bits of it feature regularly in training and lectures. The struggle for meaning and purpose, nothing less is the theme here, set around the stories of one family whose business is a funeral home. 'tis a gritty one that doesn't pull its punches and not for the delicate of language or those put off by sex scenes. Not that this is gratuitous in anyway but I know some who find it a bit much. Totally engaging life stories of rich characters whom you will love in one episode and detest in the next as you follow the roller coaster of their life and loves. A favourite element of the show for me is that each episode opens with a brief scene of a death, the deceased turning up in the mortuary basement of the house and frequently joining in the conversations... if only the dead could talk, and here they do. Some of them bitter deaths, some are tear-jerkers and others are, well, Darwin Awards readers will appreciate, very, very funny... as well as episode mentioned above the episode beginning with The Rapture is pretty impressive.


Pride and Prejudice and Zombies PosterPRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES ... 

A book both Mr T and I enjoyed (him more so than me if memory serves but then he had read the original novel). The film started off well with laughs aplenty. However, it soon became, well, well, 
somewhat ... meh. TT

NJT - Having left school with a passionate hatred of the English classic and swearing never to look at Austen, Dickens, Bronte ever again, I of course had to take a butchers at this cultural melange. The book a better read than the film... (I sent my copy to an Austen loving friend in Louisiana!) the film sticks pretty rigidly to the story and extends Austen comedy of Englishness, manners and stiff upper lips into the zombie genre with good grace on the whole. Good settings and scenery, costume its worth a watch but not one to go back to I don't think.


The Martian PosterTHE MARTIAN ...

Having read (and not enjoyed) the book and this, being on a terrestrial channel with adverts, ten minutes short of three hours long, I decided against watching it. TT

NJT - Yes worth a viewing, it certainly has more to commend it than Apollo 13 in my opinion. As a technical malfunction and a failed transmitter leave the astronaut stranded a long way from home it follows his struggle with loneliness and eking out an existence with what he has to hand. Back on earth meanwhile the error is discovered and the rescue plan put in place. A bit long perhaps and I would have shaved a good 20 minutes out of it at least, but an entertaining enough piece.


VICTORIA AND ABDUL ...

One of the best film I have seen in a long while. Highly watchable; funny and charming, a poignant portrait of the human connection, the sense of grandeur palatable; the cinematography beautiful. Its not afraid to have a few digs at racism and snobbery, its illustrating the palace's games for power, fascinating; the use of poetic licence both impeccable and exquisite.  

A far better film than Mrs Brown (for one thing Victoria's companion; her 'Munshi', Abdul Karim played beautifully by Ali Fazal, is so much more pleasing to the eye than Billy Connoly), this sees Judi Dench return to her role as the now 68 year old monarch.

I don't see it as my 'job' to recommend films; only to record my thoughts on them, BUT if I were to do so I'd say ... watch this. TT

NJT - Thoroughly enjoyable couple of hours tracing this later relationship in Queen Victoria's (Judi Dench) life which was kept very hush and hush and only revealed in the discovery of Abdul's (Ali Fazal) personal journals years after he died. Chance as chance is, unpredictable, he finds himself plucked from Agra to be one of a pair presenting a ceremonial medal to Queen Victoria in England. The chance develops into something wonderful as the two find a mutual liking and she appoints him her 'Munshi'.  The establishment is scandalised of course and fails to see the delight and happiness that the Queen gains from this and the forces gather to see it ended. Not least of these is in Bertie, her eldest son, who played by Eddie Izzard is reprehensible and displays nothing but contempt for the man. Dench is superb as the crabbitty had enough of this lark queen, and Fazal plays a delightful, honest devotion that is compelling, their conversations touching on meaning and purpose in life and the constraints that we face in discovering it. 

Inspired by Kelly's One Sentence Movie Reviews, you can catch up on what she has been watching here.


12 comments:

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Great post! Victoria and Abdul is going on my list. I don't watch much television - choosing instead to read - but this sounds like one I'd enjoy. Thanks for the recs!

Kelly said...

As you know, I loved the Martian...both the book (which I read first) and the movie.

Having never read any Jane Austen (gasp!), I've not seen Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and don't know if I could truly appreciate it. (though I might still find it entertaining because, well....zombies)

Victoria and Abdul is one I've wanted to see, but don't know if my husband would agree. I might just have to insist.

If Mr. T has not read Stiff by Mary Roach, he should.

Thanks for the link up. :)

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

The new feature definitely has the thumbs up from me and although I do watch the occasional film, I am generally too busy blogging in the evenings, so hubbie is the real film fan!

I know he watched 'The Martian' on one of the more obscure TV channels just last week and thought it was very good.

I have never watched 'Six Feet Under' but I think it would really appeal to my rather matter of fact attitude towards death, which most people do find rather strange.

I shall have to make a note of the films we watch, so that I can post both to your own and Kelly's movie review posts :)

Yvonne
xx

Brian Joseph said...

I think that I mentioned this before, but I once called myself a film buff, but life has gotten too busy to watch many movies these days. Maybe when I retire :)

I must say that I was skeptical when I heard about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. However, everyone is telling me that it is imaginative. I would give it a chance.

Suko said...

I watched The Martian a while ago. (I enjoyed it, for the most part.) I will keep Victoria and Abdul in mind. I've never watched Six Feet Under but it sounds a bit intriguing now, due to this post. Have wonderful weekend, Tracy.

nightwingsrraven said...

Tracy,
I think I would appreciate
Victoria and Abdul very much
and I will add it to my list.
After Kelly recommended The
Martian in one of her One Sentence
Movie Review posts I have added
it to my list. And I am willing
to give Pride and Prejudice and
Zombies a chance. Though I am
uncertain about Six Feet Under.
But thank you for your excellent
reviews.
Raven

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

Greetings Tracy. Thank you for the reviews, you are so kind to share your opinions on books and films. I don't watch much TV, but thank you for your review of 'Six Feet Under', which sounds like a good show. I believe in life after death. Blessings to you. Love love, Andrew.

Tracy Terry said...

I haven't read Pride And Prejudice either Kelly but was able to enjoy Pride And Prejudice And Zombies for what it was as i'm sure you would too. I'll be sure to think on and ask Mr T about Stiff by Mary Roach.

A series you are going to either love or hate, Six Feet Under is not to everyone's taste because of the theme in general and because it does contain a fair amount of sex scenes, some of them graphic, some of them not; some between hetrosexual couples, some not. To be honest, not my thing to begin with, I quickly grew bored and we ended up fast-forwarding through them.

Literary Feline said...

I can't bring myself to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but I might watch the movie someday. I never did watch Six Feet Under. I know it was quite popular when it first aired. I quite liked The Martian and hope to read the book at some point. I look forward to your next post about what you have been watching.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I've only see Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but I thought it was fun. Never read the book and don't really have an interest too, but yeah, I liked the film. :)

fun post! I love seeing what people are watching and what they thought.

-Lauren
www.shootingstarsmag.net

Sherry Ellis said...

I saw the Martian. Can't say it interested me. Victoria and Abdul, however, sounds like a good one.

Gina R said...

First, love the post...second, the only one I've seen is THE MARTIAN, and really enjoyed it. I classify it as sort of a CASTAWAY but in space...and one can only watch it so many times in a row because of the type of film, but still good! ^_^