A Day late but here is Custards Weekend Roundup, Adjustment Bureau and a great bit of TV, The Shadow Line.
I find this highly amusing. After last weeks big show of my weekly schedule, I manage in just 7 days to completely miss a day. OOPS.
Yesterday, I got myself very involved in other things meaning I was unable to type up my weekend round-up post. Sorry readers I will go and sit on my naughty step for a good few minutes…HAHA
The Killing – Back for Season 2
Anyway on with the post. I got a bit of viewing in this weekend, first up was the sweet film Adjustment Bureau, with Matt Damon and the stunning and enigmatic Emily Blunt (as readers may be aware I am just a little in love with EB). Next up we managed to catch up with all of ‘The Killing’ leaving just the finale next weekend, which I am very excited about as it seems to have finally got to the point!! And what a point it is! Great news is that has been already signed up for season 2. This makes me a very Happy Bunny. The Killing now join the brilliant Mad Men and The Walking Dead in AMC’s shows that get the green light to make it past the first season. That channel is really going from strength to strength. I really must try to see the Danish version of the show as it is about to embark on its 3rd season in Denmark.
Staying with TV I got an email from Toby @ blahblahblahgay, he gave me the heads up on a show that is now on my planner and we are working our way through it. The show is a BBC drama called ‘The Shadow Line’. Here is a mini review…
The Shadow Line
The Shadow Line
I am pretty hard to please when it comes to British Drama, I tend to stay across the pond for my crime and mystery, The production values are always so much better. You hardly ever see a cardboard set that is so often the case with UK stuff. But with The Shadow Line, as Toby pointed out to me,we have almost HBO or AMC type of funding, only with less breasts and swearing. Written and Directed by Hugo Blick, The Shadow Line is a conspiracy thriller, revolving the investigation of a murder from both sides of the Law.
In the opening episode, a body is discovered by two uniformed policemen. As it turns out this is the body of Harvey Wratton, convicted drug lord who had been given the Royal Pardon and released this very day with his Nephew Jay. So, Harvey was released and shot on the same day, was he shot because he ‘grassed’ on his peers?
Rafe Spall as Jay Wratton
The job of solving the crime falls into the lap of Inspector Jonah Gabriel (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a cop who is stuck in the middle of a classic dilemma. On one side, his boss who sits firmly in the camp of ‘Life would be easier if you didn’t solve the crime and let it go away’, on the other Gabriel has an accute dose of amnesia from being shot in the skull a few months prior. This bullet is stopping him from knowing if he is a good cop, or a corrupt one.
The Drug-Smuggling community is having an equally BAD time of it. Harvey getting shot left the next in the chain Glickman in charge. Unfortunately he is also missing, leaving the responsibility of ensuring all the gangster creditors that everything is fine in the lap of Joseph Bede (Christopher Eccleston). Bede also has a hard time trying to control Harvey’s Nephew Jay (Rafe Spall), whose love for psychotic violence is making it hard for the business like calm to shine through.
I have only seen the first 2 of the 7 parter, but from what I have seen I really like it. It is a gritty and real show with some great acting throughout. Special note for Rafe Spall, his portrayal of Jay is truly scary and totally different from any other role I have seen him in (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead etc). If Nolan ever wanted to re-cast The Joker in the Batman films, he would make a worth replacement to Heath Ledger, big words I know, but he does an amazing job.
I look forward to watching the rest of these during the week. Thanks again to Toby for telling me about the show!!
The Adjustment Bureau (2011)
I wanted to like this one. I mean look at the title, ‘The Adjustment Bureau’, very sexy I think you would agree. The word Adjustment inspires all type of visions in my brain from an old aged gentleman looking in a mirror adjusting his hair piece to try to hide his receding hair-line, to a crime lords book-keeper cooking the books to wash away the dirty money.
What it actually means is this, The Adjustment Bureau is a group of dull and grey man in hats and suits that run around behind the scenes of our lives, adjusting the course of our lives without us knowing. Imagine if Men in Black was made during the dull period after Margaret Thatcher when that John Major was in power. Still feeling sexy? NOPE!!
The marketing department for the film also made the fatal mistake of using a ‘Mash-Up Magazine Quote’ on the advertising campaign. A big NO-NO for this film lover, “Like Bourne meets Inception”. REALLY??? I do so hate that.
Luckily for them they had managed to secure two of Hollywoods hottest properties, Matt Damon and Emily Blunt (yum). But are this pair enough to cancel out the rubbish title and duff marketing? As much as I want to say ‘Yes’, I am finding it hard to do.
I can’t get out of my head that mash-up, I was hoping for mind-blowing cinematic’s and breathtaking action sequences, but it was all a bit average in that department, using those two films as a selling point for The Adjustment Bureau is not really a master stroke. The Film opens well with a charming and charismatic Matt Damon as a political hotshot who is wooed by some totally believable chemistry from Emily Blunt. From this strong start the Film loses traction and the plot goes a bit haywire. It’s like a game of show and tell with all tell and no-show.
Philip K Dick’s cold war short story, The Adjustment Team was used as the source for the film. Unfortunately not a lot of the original source remains. STretching out this story to feature-length by using one premise, that this bureau exists to keep us on the straight and narrow according to ‘The Master Plan’, becomes quickly boring and had me checking my watch. George Nolfi it seems, has mistaken what makes this kind of romantic paranoid thriller so gripping; we need to feel the fear of being controlled, not the fear that we are going to get told off and have it explained to us.
All in all, ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ stacks up a bit like a loud dog, all bark and no bite. Although the chemistry between Damon and Blunt was truly believable.
Have you been watching The Killing or The Shadow line? Enjoy the shows? Got any other recommendations for me? What about The Adjustment Bureau? Was I too harsh on the film? Comment below….