Movie – Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit: B

jack ryan shadow recruitB

This film reeks of generic. Its a thriller without thrills. I kept waiting for some twist or interesting development but, nope, just lack-lustre spy action. Nothing stands out, but nothing truly negative comes to mind either. Pine, Costner, and Knightley’s performances aren’t poor, but stop at satisfactory. Jack Ryan defines “OK”.

TV – Wallander: Season 3: B-

wallander season 3B-
Like Luther’s second season, much of the established cast is absent and also like Luther, those absences are glaring and detrimental, especially Tom Hiddleston, who I feel never quite got his chance to shine on this show. It tried to “shake things up” but it all just felt forced and out of sync with the smart moodiness of the first seasons. The second episode, “The Dogs of Riga” represents the low point of the series, attempting a mob story, which rarely works as a subject for a detective series in my experience.

TV – Wallander: Season 2: A+

wallander season 2A+
Wallander elevates the detective drama. Normally I prefer a focus on story rather than “character studies” but the series takes such genuine effort to make it’s characters seem real that it’s impossible not to enjoy. The first episode contains an authentic, and original look at racism that avoids cliche. Others show Wallander dealing with heavy issues surrounding death that I’ve rarely seen handled so well.

TV – Wallander: Season 1: A

wallander season 1A
I really enjoy British shows like this whose “season” consists of 3 hour-and-a-half episodes. Though at its heart its just another detective drama, Wallander just seem classier. Also more believable. The second episode, Firewall, featured the least ridiculous take on “hacking” I’ve seen in a crime show and the final episode really had the actors on the top of their game. It doesn’t hurt that it’s set in Sweden and I have a crush on Scandinavia.

Movie – My Week With Marilyn: B-

I didn’t like most of the main characters, even after they “revealed” themselves, especially Marilyn Monroe. Biopics are all about performances, but Branagh’s portrayal of Laurence Olivier was the only one I enjoyed, though the other performances were probably fine. The writers simply couldn’t convince me to try noticing.

Movie – Thor: B

I watched this movie with conflicting biases. On one hand, I’ve enjoyed all the Avengers set-up films so far and devour Norse mythology like it’s ambrosia. On the other hand, the trailers lowered my expectations so far that I almost considered not seeing it opening weekend (shocking!) It seems those biases balanced each other out; I enjoyed, but didn’t love the film. I didn’t exactly relish the sci-fi-ifying of the mythology but understand that’s probably the best way to believably incorporate Thor into the Marvel movie universe. Thor’s sudden character change was also a little abrupt for my tastes. But I liked the battles with Destroyer and against the Frost Giants. I just wish the Asgardians didn’t look like Power Rangers Space Force.