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The Sapphires

This absolutely delightful film focuses on 4 women who form a soul singing group in the 1960s. They are Aboriginal Australians-- 3 sisters and a cousin-- who travel to Vietnam to entertain the troops and make money. Their manager is the white guy from the IT Crowd. Great to watch if you like ladies, music, singing, and movies that don't focus on white people. Content notes: overt racism, discussion of awful racist Australian policies towards native peoples, and some war violence. Has captions. Based on a true story.

Europa Report. 2013, 90 minutes.

This tense SF film is done in documentary style, about a troubled mission to Jupiter's moon Europa. I liked it quite a lot! It moves back and forth in time, contains "interviews" with mission planners and astronauts, and keeps you wondering until the end. It's one of these movies that has a fairly simple idea and does it well. A bit scary at times.

The Bletchley Circle

I highly recommend this mini-series even though is about tracking down a serial killer. The heroine of the tale is a housewife who was a code-breaker / analyst during WWII, and now after the war she solves puzzles as a hobby. When she starts to investigate a spate of killings, she gets the band back together (3 more women) to help her. They use math and complex data analysis to try and catch the killer; one of them has a photographic memory. They do all this without the police's help, and their partners/husbands don't support them either. It's a brilliant show.

North and South. British miniseries.

This adaptation had a "Jane Eyre" feel to me, except it's in a Mill Town rather than a manor. I liked how Margaret's ideas about places and people change. She has a complex relationship with an owner of one of the mills, who is a friend of her father. Margaret is an outspoken and compassionate person who seems fundamentally normal, and very relatable. Recommended.
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[personal profile] sasha_feather
Because of Reasons, I've been watching a lot of TV on Netflix.

I enjoyed Life, a 2-season show about a detective who spent 12 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Det. Crews had been sentenced to life before being exonerated. As part of his settlement, he gets to be a police detective again-- he wants to do this because he's good at it, and he also conducts a side investigation into who set him up to go to prison, and who the real killers were for the murders he went to prison for. His partner, Reese, is a very no-nonsense woman played by Sarah Shahi. She often is the "straight man" to Crew's quirkiness.

This show occasionally plays fast and loose with reality for the sake of the story. For instance, one episode is based on the Stanford Prison Experiment, and the professor in charge says something like, "I followed the standard protocol", which, hello, no. The prison experiment is taught as an example of unethical research and even the guy who ran it admits it was evil. Another episode has a murder victim who supposedly froze completely solid by breathing in liquid nitrogen... which just does not seem possible to me. The writers go for weird and interesting but ignore the facts.

So, if you can sometimes suspend your disbelief, this show is worth watching for the characters and the longer story arcs. There are some great emotional payoffs and the ending is NOT a cliffhanger, but a satisfying ending. Crews struggles with his "path to Zen"/Buddhist beliefs vs. the anger and bitterness that come with his circumstances and his job.

"Terriers"

Jul. 31st, 2012 07:06 pm
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[personal profile] sasha_feather
If you have Netflix streaming I recommend watching "Terriers"! It is GREAT. It is only one season long.

It is about 2 private detectives. Hank is an ex-cop who is a recovering alcoholic. His partner Brit is an ex-thief. They have really great chemistry and banter. Early on, they uncover some kind of conspiracy in their town of Ocean Beach, CA, which forms the arc of the season. There are also a few stand-alone episodes and some relationship stuff.

Brit's girlfriend Katie, a vet student, is also a regular character, as is Hank's ex-wife Gretchen. Hank's old cop partner, Sgt. Gustafson, is also a character. There is a sense of backstory between all these people, of family. They get in fights, make serious mistakes, and go forward with their relationships anyway. They joke and banter with each other. I loved this aspect of the show. One of my favorite arcs involved Hank's relationship with his sister.

Both Brit and Hank show a huge range of emotion. They are not shy of showing affection towards each other. This would be a good slash pairing-- one that hopefully included Katie in an OT3/open relationship kind of thing. There was a plot line in canon that did not support this, and that frustrated me, but oh well, you know, canon schmanon. There was also an episode involving a trans* prostitute that I could not tell if it was offensive of not? It seemed OK to me, if a little awkward because it was trying a little too hard in the way that a show tries to address a social justice issue.

Overall this show was good! Highly recommended. Also Brit is super cute (I nearly forgot to say).
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[personal profile] pinkadot89
I just finished watching "Love and Other Disasters" on Instant Watching, since it says it'll be unavailable after June 17th. If you like romantic comedies, which are more on the cheesy side, I'd definitely recommend this one. I couldn't help but smile during some parts. I wrote a little review which I'm sticking behind the cut. There's no spoilers though!

Love and Other Disasters )
Now I'm about to begin a "My So-Called Life" marathon! I was only 4 when this show was originally on, so I didn't watch it then. But when The-N (now Teen Nick) picked it up, I was hooked! Too bad there's only one season. I'm just really excited that Netflix has it on Instant Watching!

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