Snapshots - #5

TV shows...

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.

The movies...

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.

What prevented me from giving this movie a higher rating was that wacky ending, that though fitting, I didn't like too much.


  1. Love the Coen brothers and Hail, Caesar! definitely sounds like another winner for them.

  2. OK, I just put Hail Caesar in the queue. I was not a fan of the book, The Dinner. But I guess it would be interesting to see what they did with it as a movie. I truly cannot remember the ending of the book except that it did not please me any more than the rest of the novel.

    1. Let me know if you like Hail, Caesar! I thought it was very entertaining.
      I know you didn't like The Dinner, though most people who have reviewed it, liked it. The movie was very good and, I think, faithful to the book. The ending was shocking but I would like to know if the novel ended that way. Not exactly "open ended", just not that closed as I would have liked considering the circumstances. I think two or three things can be inferred from the ending. That said, it was shocking and unexpected. If you decide to watch it, come back or let's e-mail because I would like to discuss the ending. I'm that puzzled.

  3. I am only a couple of episodes into the 2nd series of Black Sails - I look forward to the explosive finale you've mentioned!

  4. Yeah I listened to the novel The Dinner as an audiobook last year and thought it was very good and the ending was shocking. It starts out simply & slowly and then it packs a wallop. I had gone in not knowing anything and was pretty shocked by it. I didn't realize the movie of it was available -- so I will check it out without telling my hub anything, see if he catches on beforehand. All is not right at this meal!

    1. I know exactly what you mean. I hope you enjoy the movie.

  5. I also love the Coen brothers - not heard of this one so thanks for sharing.
    Lynn :D


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