Category Archives: Drama

SUCCESSION (2018): To Continue, Or Not To Continue, That Is The Question…

How do you tend to decide when to give up on a TV show/series? I usually quit for typical reasons. For example, there’s an actor in the show that I find annoying; that’s a generally typical reason, right? Another would be if the story is silly and not in an enjoyable way. Or the writing is lacking, the location, music, plus the editing is uninspiring.

Additional explanations for why I’ve had to abort viewing sessions include the subject matter leaning too far into the dark side, and I’m neither in the state or mood to endure the onslaught.

I’ve even been known to watch and enjoy all of the first season of a series, only to realise that I must have been especially vulnerable and needy at the time. Because now that season two is here, I find the show thoroughly annoying, plus I’m having difficulty figuring out how I could have liked it so much the previous year. This latter predicament has occurred just once, and the unfortunate series in question was New Girl. (2011-2018) 

More recently, I’ve started watching a show I’ve heard so many people talk about positively. Succession is the name, and it’s an HBO drama series about a family known for controlling the largest media/entertainment company in the world. It’s specifically about how things change when their father steps down as the head of the company.

Succession (2018), Jeremy Strong, HBO
Succession (2018), Jeremy Strong, HBO

I’ve progressed as far as finishing episode one of the first season – and watched one-third of episode two.

Starring Brian Cox, Sarah Snook, Jeremy Strong and Kieran Culkin, the talented cast is certainly more than capable. The writing is noticeably good, and the theme tune (which happens to be my favourite thing about the series so far) is just perfect. As such, my aversion to continuing with Succession might be that I do not want to see families in serious conflict right now. Especially considering how much the anxiety-inducing sibling relationships in Succession leave much to be desired.

I’d probably have relished the chance to watch all of Succession, if I’d come across it at a time when I was still super curious about the dynamics of various kinds of families, particularly that which is different from my own. I may also be mistakenly feeling a little too well-versed in the ins and outs of the human condition. Therefore, I am too sure about how this story is going to turn out.

Or, maybe I’m just not connecting well enough to any of the seemingly unsympathetic characters, yet, and I’m being judgemental. Whatever the truth may be, what I do not want is to quit Succession too early. Could I hold on for the corporate dramatics? Or have I seen a a fair amount of that in other shows like Suits (2011-2019)?

Have you watched Succession? Is it worth continuing with the series? Which shows have you had to quit early recently and why?

Let me know in the comments. 

Happy Film Loving

G

THE GUILTY (2021) New Trailer From Jake Gyllenhaal, Bill Burr, Paul Dano, Ethan Hawke…

The Guilty (2021). Jake Gyllenhaal, Netflix
The Guilty (2021). Jake Gyllenhaal, Netflix

Jake Gyllenhaal, Ethan Hawke, Bill Burr and Paul Dano are the stars of director Antoine Fuqua’s latest, The Guilty.

And action/thriller, the story follows Joe Baylor (Gyllenhaal), a demoted police officer assigned to a call dispatch desk. Baylor finds himself conflicted when he receives an emergency phone call from a kidnapped woman.

I’m pretty sure that Dano and Gyllenhaal are only ever in good movies. I sometimes say things like: ‘I didn’t know I missed (insert name of great actor) until this new trailer.’ But, I’ve been needing an intense Gyllenhaal film for a while now. And knowing that Fuqua, the director of the excellent Training Day (2001) and The Equalizer (2014) is behind this movie has me that little be more excited.

I also happen to have a special place in my heart for 911 responders. Nevertheless, I didn’t miss the part where this trailer states something along the lines of ‘there’s more to the story than meets the eye.’ I guess we’ll have to wait and see just how likeable Gyllenhaal’s character is by the end. I, for one, can’t wait to find out.

Byron Bowers, Riley Keough, Bill Burr, Peter Sarsgaard, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, David Castañeda, David Castañeda, Terence J. Rotolo, Edi Patterson, Adrian Martinez also star.

The Guilty Release Dates: September 21st, 2021 (US); October 1st, 2021 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE (2021), New Trailer Starring Jessica Chastain, Vincent D’Onofrio, Andrew Garfield…

The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021), Andrew Garfield, Jessica Chastain, Searchlight Pictures
The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021), Andrew Garfield, Jessica Chastain, Searchlight Pictures

Jessica Chastain, Andrew Garfield and Vincent D’Onofrio are the stars of new drama/biography The Eyes of Tammy Faye.

From director Michael Showalter; what’s on offer is an intimate look at the true story of the extraordinary rise, fall and redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker.

Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker’s story isn’t one I’m familiar with. And so I look forward to learning about it all thanks to what appears to be excellent performances, and hopefully a well-executed story.

Anyone else notice how super adorable Chastain’s character is, especially at the start of this trailer?

Sam Jaeger, Cherry Jones, Fredric Lehne, Louis Cancelmi, Joe Ando-Hirsh, Randy Havens, Gabriel Olds, Kevin J. O’Connor, Coley Campany, Kimberly Hester Huffstetler, Chandler Head and Meredith Jackson also star.

The Eyes of Tammy Faye Release Dates: September 17th, 2021 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

THE KOMINSKY METHOD (2021): The Things I Liked…

The Kominsky Method (2021), Michael Douglas, Sarah Baker, Netflix
The Kominsky Method (2021), Michael Douglas, Sarah Baker, Netflix

Created by Chuck Lorre of Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang TheoryThe Kominsky Method is a California-set comedy/drama series starring Michael Douglas as an ageing actor who now spends his days coaching up-and-coming young actors. 

Also starring Alan Arkin, Lisa Edelstein and Sarah Baker, I watched the first season of The Kominsky Method almost two years ago and I remember thoroughly enjoying it. Season two turned out even better than the first, thanks to Lorre’s expert writing.

Douglas and Arkin are brilliant in their roles. The chemistry between the two actors and their excellent comic timing firmly places The Kominsky Method in the top five of my favourite things that Netflix has ever released. One might say it’s the side of me that’s a sucker for stories of beautiful friendships, but that’s only part of the reason I love the show. 

Watching The Kominsky Method, especially the first two seasons, is a moving experience. One that’s highly likely to result in satisfying laughter as it reminds you of what great writing can look like.

Up to this point, I haven’t said too much about season three, the last instalment of The Kominsky Method. And that’s because even though it features several memorable scenes and bits of dialogue, I can’t deny that at least two things make it less impressive to me than the first two seasons. The absence of Arkin means there’s no Douglas/Arkin chemistry to enjoy. The second disappointment for me is how rushed it felt. And I don’t just mean because it’s six episodes instead of the usual eight.

If you haven’t already watched the show, definitely give seasons one and two of The Kominsky Method a chance. Like me, you may enjoy it so much much that you’ll feel compelled to see how it all ends.

Happy Film Loving

G

NO SUDDEN MOVE (2021): New Trailer From Steven Soderbergh, Starring Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, Brendan Fraser…

No Sudden Move (2021), Don Cheadle, HBOMax
No Sudden Move (2021), Don Cheadle, HBOMax

Director Steven Soderbergh’s latest crime/mystery/drama No Sudden Move stars Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, Matt Damon and Brendan Fraser.

The story follows a group of criminals who are brought together under mysterious circumstances. When their simple job goes sideways, they have to work together to uncover what’s really going on .

It’s great how this trailer slowly reveals one brilliant actor after another; making it near impossible to decide who I’m most excited to see.

I’m curious about how much like an early Guy Ritchie movie (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) / Snatch (2000) this Soderbergh film ends up being.

As for a favourite bit of dialogue so far…

I’m going to punch you now, sir. I’m punching you. This is going to be a punch.’

Noah Jupe, David Harbour, Jon Hamm, Ray Liotta, Kieran Culkin, Amy Seimetz, Julia Fox, Frankie Shaw, Bill Duke, Craig muMs Grant and Lauren Rys Martin also star.

No Sudden Move Release Dates: July 1st, 2021 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

IN THE HEIGHTS (2021): The Things I Liked…

In The Heights (2021), Warner Bros. Pictures
In The Heights (2021), Warner Bros. Pictures

In the Heights is a musical film I’m happy I watched, and that’s not something I say very often. Especially since what usually happens with me musicals is, I get annoyed with all the singing, how annoyingly simplistic the lyrics are and I have to stop. 

Luckily, this time director Jon M. Chu and Lin Manuel Miranda, the man in charge of creating the film’s music delivered a movie that has more good/great songs than not.

Impressive and energetic dance choreography, an engaging story and all the colourful summer costumes helped to keep me watching. In other words, ‘A sweet, moving, and joyous two-and-a-half hours’ is how I see In the Heights.

The experience of the movie is, I imagine, more heightened for Latin American audiences, since it’s focused on their multi-generational stories of life in the United States – specifically Washington Heights, New York. Still, all you need to appreciate Chu and Miranda’s movie is to be open to a good musical film; one that you’re very likely to enjoy. You may even catch yourself singing ‘In the heights…! Because the title song is catchy in a non-regrettable way. 

Happy Film Loving

G

LAST NIGHT IN SOHO (2021): New Trailer From Anya Taylor-Joy, Thomasin McKenzie, Jessie Mei Li…

Last Night in Soho (2021), Anya Taylor-Joy, Focus Features

Directed by Edgar Wright of Baby Driver (2017); Last Night in Soho is a new drama/horror/mystery that stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Thomasin McKenzie and Jessie Mei Li. It’s the story of a young girl (McKenzie), passionate about fashion design, who finds herself mysteriously able to enter the 1960s.

While there, she encounters her idol, a dazzling wannabe singer (Taylor-Joy). Only 1960s London isn’t quite what it seems.

The part-horror categorisation makes me nervous but I remain curious. Who knew that Taylor-Joy had such a beautiful singing voice? No t me.

Here’s to hoping that there are more pleasant surprises to look forward to.

Diana Rigg, Matt Smith, Rita Tushingham, Terence Stamp, Margaret Nolan, Lisa McGrillis, James Phelps, Synnove Karlsen, Oliver Phelps, Katrina Vasilieva, Michael Jibson and Kassius Nelson also star.

Last Night in Soho Release Dates: October 22nd, 2021 (US); October 29th, 2021 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

RESPECT (2021): New Trailer Starring Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Marlon Wayans, Forrest Whittaker…

Respect (2020), Jennifer Hudson, MGM
Respect (2020), Jennifer Hudson, MGM

I’d call this the ‘final’ Respect trailer, but that would be silly. There’s at least 2 more to go, probably. I’m not necessarily complaining because I do like this edit.

Starring Jennifer Hudson, Tate Donovan, Mary J. Blige, Marc Maron, Forest Whitaker and Marlon Wayans; Respect, the life story of Aretha Franklin is directed by Liesl Tommy.

I’m excited to watch the young Franklin grow up to find her voice, and see the kindness of the people who helped her along the way. I also can’t wait to expereinec the way Franklin’s most iconic song, Respect came to life. Especially after having seen how beautifully the inception of Elton John’s ‘Your Song‘ is captured in Rocketman (2019).

Bring on the music and great performances, because I’m ready for my appreciation for Franklin, Hudson and everyone else involved to grow.

Lodric D. Collins, Joshua Mikel, Marc Maron, Jamaal Burcher, Tituss Burgess, Victoria Paige Watkins and Saycon Sengbloh also star.

Respect Release Dates: August 13th, 2021 (US); September 10th, 2021 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G