Snapshots - #37: It, Breathe, Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down the White House

It (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Four inseparable friends in middle school bond with other three newcomers. They all have in common that they are bullied by the same people. Over the course of one summer they'll fend off bullies and face a centuries-old demon in the form of a clown, named Pennywise, whom has been disappearing kids and terrorizing the town of Derry, Maine, every twenty-seven years since the town was founded.
Based on Stephen King's novel of the same title, It is a movie with a smart script and a sympathetic ensemble of nerds that deliver light humor, and deep thrills. It doesn't hurt that each and every character has his or her own arc, thus one gets to know their motivations and fears before Pennywise enters head on into the picture.
In a nod to 1980s movie classics such as The Goonies, and the Brat Pack ensemble, the newest adaptation of It takes place at the end of that decade, when it seems, at least from the Hollywood perspective, that every kid harbored a genius insi…

Snapshots - #32: Restless, Landline, The Bachelors

TV shows...
Restless (♦♦♦): Ruth Gilmartin (Michelle Dockery) goes with her son to visit her mother Sally (Charlotte Rampling) in the country, and finds her in a distressed state, as someone appears to be stalking her. Sally gives Ruth, in bits and pieces, her story as a British secret agent during the Second World War.
Sally's real name is Eva Delectorskaya (Hayley Atwell), a Russian immigrant with flawless English diction, whose brother was killed by a fascist group he was trying to infiltrate. As Eva Dalton, Delectorskaya was trained in spy craft, and flew to America with a unit to exercise the trade. At first, they work as a news agency planting war stories to be picked up by major newspapers, but then a big assignment comes for Eva; one in which she may be either the fall guy or a dead one.
This BBC adaptation of William Boyd's spy novel left me confused at first, due to the several name changes and a cast change, which I thought very unwise, for the younger characters.
Polished cinematic productions the world over, pay special attention to the likeness of characters who are related; that didn't happen here at all. Curvy, dark-eyed Hayley Atwell interpreted Rampling's character in her youth, with the minor oversight that Charlotte Rampling has green eyes and a ramrod thin physique. The same happened for the leading male: handsome Rufus Sewell played a middle-aged Lucas Romer (Eva's handler and boss), while Michael Gambon played the thirty-years-older character. Have they ever heard of makeup and aging effects?
It is a pity that Restless suffered from those technical gaffes, because I found the slow-burning intrigue completely absorbing if somewhat convoluted.
The movies...
Landline (♦♦♦♦): When Ali (Abby Quinn) tells her sister Dana (Jenny Slate) that she suspects their dad (John Turturro) is having an affair, they both agree to spy on him without telling anything to their mom (Edie Falco). But how can they be truly objective when they are hiding secrets of their own?
I started watching Landline with no expectation that I was going to like it and was pleasantly surprised to discover that is very funny in an understated way. This is the second movie that I watch with Jenny Slate in it—the previous one being Gifted—, and I'm happy to say that she is quickly becoming my favorite funny lady.
Watch it without preconceptions and you may well have a good time.
The Bachelors (♦♦♦♦): Widower Bill Palet (J.K. Simmons) hasn't overcome his wife's death since it happened a year ago. She was a very special person, reason why Bill can't find how to fill her void. In an impromptu decision, Bill uproots his teenage son, Wes (Josh Wiggins), from the familiar surroundings, and both move cross country to a small community outside San Francisco.
While Wes adapts to his new all-boys private school, getting the chance to befriend two outsiders and the most elusive girl (Odeya Rush) he has ever encountered, Bill is befriended by a youngish French teacher (Julie Delpy) who pushes him emotionally to express his grief in physical ways. Their journeys to healing is what this movie is about.
The Bachelors is an understated drama with powerful performances about living with grief and what it takes to mend the heart. All four leads are perfect in their roles, especially J.K. Simmons, whose typical roles—and he rocks them, by the way— are usually guys with sullen attitudes.


  1. These all sound intriguing. I'm a fan of Rufus Sewell, so Restless sounds like an entry for my "to be watched" list and it is always a pleasure to watch John Turturro and Edie Falco work. And J.K. Simmons. So, yes, they all sound like possibles for my watching pleasure!

    1. Nice. I hope you enjoy them if you decide to watch them.

  2. All three look pretty good. I read the Restless book, but it was years ago and I'm not sure I fully remember the whole story. I usually like Michelle Dockery and Charlotte Rampling but is the story too slow-burning? Landline looks to be fun, so I will look for it. I could use some laughs about now. thanks!

    1. Restless is slow burning, but not exaggeratedly so, and it's far from boring. Landline is a lot of fun. I hope you enjoy it.

  3. Once again thanks for the movie reviews! Your review of the Restless adaptation reminded me to read the book. I almost always like Boyd's novels.

  4. I like the sound of Lifeline - I will definitely look out for that one.
    Lynn :D

    1. I hope you enjoy it if you decide to watch it.


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