Luther – season 5

We were worried the excellent TV show would end after season 4 because Idris Elba was too much in demand elsewhere.

Happily, after a long gap, season 5 dropped in 2019. I finally saw it on CBC GEM in Canada.

It’s only 4 episodes.

85% on Rotten Tomatoes.

I’d rate it even higher. Believable and entertaining dialogue.


Psychotic killer and love interest, Alice Morgan, is back. There’s a lot of blood and gore.

Luther’s old adversary George Cornelius is the bad guy.

Dermot Crowley as DSU Martin Schenk is excellent in that role. As is new recruit DS Catherine Halliday as a bizarrely upbeat cop.

There will be no season 6. But there is a follow-up movie called Luther: The Fallen Sun, released 2023. It should end up on Netflix.

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Nope (film)

Nope is a 2022 American neo-Western science fiction horror film written, directed, and produced by Jordan Peele.

For me it’s more of a horror / black comedy.

Smart. Well executed. Original.

On Rotten Tomatoes, 83% of 452 critics’ reviews are positive. It’s praised for many things — though I felt it was far too long.

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Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Excellent. Literary students should be studying this book.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a novel by Gabrielle Zevin

Amazon named it the best book of 2022.

I’d heard the hype — but didn’t rush to get a copy. The plot didn’t sound all that intriguing.

Over the course of three decades, the relationship between two friends, Sadie Green and Sam Masur, changes as they develop video games.

But it is fantastic. A modern classic.

Delightful. Original. Charming.

All true.

Modern and philosophical.

How many novels feature a love story where the couple are not sexually involved?

All that said, I found the second half of the book not nearly as good as the beginning. Anticipating a poor ending — I am pleased to say the wrap-up is very well done.

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Paramount Pictures and Temple Hill Entertainment purchased the film rights for Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow for $2 million.

Banshees of Inisherin

Just excellent.

Excellent in every way.

I saw it described as a “finely crafted feel-bad treat“.

A dark comedy.

Set on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland in 1923, lifelong friends Pádraic and Colm, who find themselves at an impasse when Colm unexpectedly puts an end to their friendship.

The most memorable performance is Barry Keoghan as Dominic who steals every scene.

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The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver

The Bone Collector is a 1997 thriller novel by Jeffery Deaver introducing Lincoln Rhyme, a quadriplegic forensic criminalist.

HOW does a quadriplegic solve crimes?

He has to be a genius.

This is an excellent book. It was fun to see how Rhyme first meets his future partner, Amelia Sachs. She’s a bit of a disaster as a NYPD Patrol Officer — but Rhyme sees potential.

The killer is well written, as always with Deaver.

And there are plenty of twists and turns to the plot.

It was adapted for Hollywood in 1999, starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.

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NBC had a TV adaptation, as well, that I haven’t seen. It looks even better than the film though it got low ratings. They’ve changed the book to be more entertaining. But only lasted 1 season.

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Nine Perfect Strangers – season 1

Nine Perfect Strangers is a  miniseries based on the 2018 novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty

I couldn’t get into the book.

But the TV series appealed.

Nicole Kidman? Making fun of a health and wellness resort?

What’s not to like?

Melissa McCarthy as struggling romance novelist Frances Welty, is funny and interesting, as usual.

All of the cast is good. I didn’t particularly relate to any one more than the rest.

Turns out the secret of this resort is micro-dosing. And it just might work. … Or not.

For me it was 20% too weird. But I loved the ending. And it’s rare for a miniseries to have a terrific ending.

David E. Kelley pitched the series alongside Kidman. Hulu instantly gave it the green light.

It was actually filmed in Australia during the pandemic.

A second season is planned.

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His Dark Materials – 3 seasons

Somehow I managed to get through most of 3 seasons of His Dark Materials.

It really isn’t very good.

The books are much better – His Dark Materials Trilogy (The Golden Compass; The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass)

And the big budget 2007 film is better – The Golden Compass. GREAT cast.

My favourite character on the TV adaptation might be Ruth Wilson as Mrs Coulter. That’s a tough role when you know you’ll be compared with Nicole Kidman who’s perfect in the film version.

The show follows the orphan Lyra, played by Dafne Keen, as she searches for a missing friend and discovers a kidnapping plot related to an invisible cosmic substance called Dust.

Ultimately, I didn’t care much about the plot. The prophecy. The Magisterium. Nor many of the characters. Dust. Angels. I really didn’t care about anything in this show.

Most interesting are the animal companions called daemons.

And there are some interesting special effects and speculative fiction touches.

Read the books. Watch the movie. Skip the TV series.

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IMAX 3D – Avatar: Way of Water

Reviews have been mixed. Including my own.

Rotten Tomatoes, 77%.

Avatar: The Way of Water is the sequel to Avatar (2009).

… The film received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the film for its visual effects and technical achievements but criticized the thin plot and lengthy runtime (3 hours and 12 minutes). …

Too sentimental.

But I’m glad I saw it on IMAX. And the 3D was not annoying. They seem to have made that technology more subtle.

Personally, I want less battle, more visuals of that amazing world.

Cameron said that about ten minutes of “gunplay action” were cut from the film as he was no longer inclined to “fetishize the gun” — but there’s still too much for me.

He also said that if you loved the first movie, you’re gonna love the sequels, and if you hated it, you’re probably gonna hate them.

My favourite character was Sigourney Weaver as 14-year-old Kiri.

She was the most tortured by being part human. BUT adapted to the water world most quickly.

I was intrigued, too, by Bailey Bass playing Tsireya (aka Reya), the daughter of clan leaders Tonowari and Ronal.

No doubt I’ll pay good money to see the sequels in the theatre. These special effects are fantastic.

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Bullet Trail – the movie

Only 3.8 on Rotten Tomatoes.

But I enjoyed it. Brad Pitt is always good.

I’d call this one an ultra-violent cartoon comedy. Something in the long line of similar concepts going back — for me — to Clockwork Orange (1971).

Pitt is a professional hitman who’s trying to quit.

Unfortunately he accidentally replaced a sick coworker (another hitman) on a Japanese train. And everyone wants to kill him.

It’s fast paced. Never boring. Often entertaining. Good dialogue.

Silly. For sure.

Read a positive review.

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