Black Sails (♦♦♦♦): Season 2 of this Starz pirate show was bigger and better than its freshman season. There were secrets and explosive revelations galore as we learned of the beginnings of Captain Flint as a naval British lieutenant who befriended an idealistic couple with dreams of making Nassau a self-sustaining paradise where pirates were pardoned in exchange for their commitment to progress.
The whole Season 2 built up to a crescendo, with the last two episodes being GOT's season finales worthy. I wonder what will happen in New Providence Island in Season 3 with the changes that none of us could have seen coming, already in motion.
Hail, Caesar! (♦♦♦♦): A day in the life of a studio fixer is anything but boring...From the kidnapping of a major movie star by Hollywood writers turned Commies, to the undisclosed pregnancy of a cinematic darling and the hunt for a husband A.S.A.P., to twin gossip columnists chasing scoops...It's all there.
Written, directed, and produced in part by the Coen brothers, Hail, Caesar! has very great moments of social and religious commentary, though the humor is not evenly spread out through the movie. One of my favorite scenes is in which a Rabbi, a Catholic Father, an Orthodox priest, and a Protestant Minister argue about the nature of God and Jesus Christ. It is hysterical! Funny as well is the scene in which a cowboy star, who isn't used to the talkies, must repeat the lines the movie director is dictating to him.
There are very good moments in this movie and the screenplay is a gem, but above all, major kudos to the all-star ensemble cast for making it seem effortless.
The Dinner (♦♦♦♦): this Italian adaptation of the eponymous novel by Herman Koch—about two families torn by a moral dilemma revolving around two teenagers—packs some punch but it’s best appreciated by going in as blindly as possible. It is amazingly acted, particularly by the concerned adults. The open ending left me in shock, but with questions that I feel only the novel can answer (perhaps).
10 Cloverfield Lane (♦♦♦½): A survivalist man rescues a woman from a car crash, and brings her to his bunker. Meanwhile, his attitude suggests something more sinister is going on.
I have to say that I had fun with the first half of the movie, because like Michelle, I thought something weird was going on in Howard's head. I kept telling myself he was one creepy bastard, but as one realizes as the final credits roll on, this is a classic case of "is it, or isn't it?"
The claustrophobic feel of this movie—from keeping the cast to a bare minimum, to the setting being almost completely indoors, to the ambivalence of Howard's mental state—is not only palpable but quite intentional as well.