Category Archives: Movies/TV

Comfort Films

Struggling with a herniated disc for the past month, I have found myself immobilized and cranky during April and in dire need of diversion. The weather has been annoyingly volatile too which is standard April weather in this part of the world. It’s either too hot to wear spring clothes or then it’s snowing. Certainly excuses enough to return to my favorite comfort watches on the screen for when I am feeling moody and tired!

Gandalf & Frodo

It’s safe to say that the Lord of the Rings movies by Peter Jackson remain my favorite films of all time. Having rewatched the extended versions of the trilogy again last week for the umpteenth time, I feel like they’re the gift that keeps on giving: each time I discover a new detail or line I hadn’t noticed as much before. Or maybe it’s just me focusing on different themes as I get older – great art grows and changes with the observer. The passion and craft that has gone into the 20 year old masterpieces is as impressive as ever. To this day they stand far above the rest.

There’s something uniquely comforting and uplifting about watching the LOTR films. From the moment the magnificent Shire music by Howard Shore starts to play and Gandalf’s cart is arriving in Hobbiton, it’s as if I’m transported back to the past and greeted by a dear old friend. There are only very few movies, books and games that can create that wholesome, almost therapeutic effect for me. Here is a familiar place under the sun where I can relax and recharge for a little while. The stories and characters of Middle-Earth are like immortal companions and the world like a warm blanket to wrap myself in.

I wonder if we’ll ever see another production of LOTR’s calibre but I doubt it. The movie industry has changed too much and failures like Amazon’s dreadful Rings of Power only serve to drive the point home. Apparently there’s an animated movie coming out by the end of this year called War of the Rohirrim, co-produced by some of Peter Jackson’s old crew, but I’m not holding my breath for anything.

(P.S. Just after posting this today, I learned of the passing of the great Bernard Hill this May 5th. He was a wonderful actor and among my favorite characters in the films. Rest in Peace, Théoden King!)

Binging the Fallout TV Show

Fallout is out on Amazon Prime this week and it so happens that I already watched all 8 episodes (don’t ask). After seeing the brilliant teaser trailer for the show, I took conscious steps not to go and read the hype-threads on Reddit or fall prey to the negativity surrounding Amazon after the debacle that was Rings of Power. The creators behind Fallout are responsible for Westworld and Jonathan Nolan, brother of the famed Christopher Nolan, boasts an impressive resumee of his own as a movie director. Add to this Ramin Djawadi of Game of Thrones fame as new Fallout composer and Walton Goggins, one of my favorite actors from Justified and The Shield, playing a major role in the series: I dare say we have a recipe for success! [Mild spoilers ahead]

And the show really delivers, I’m very happy to say. It is a fun and wild watch with some massive world building, wide vistas and beautiful shots. The humor is very sharp and things often turn to the bizarre and macabre. Many an easter egg and inside joke will be missed by the uninitiated as the show is full out fan service galore. I greatly enjoyed the cast and how the different places, back stories and timelines slowly come together towards the end of the season. Goggins’ character is a joy from the first scene and it’s fair to say he’s carrying large parts of Fallout. Ella Purnell and Aaron Clifton are great too even if I felt their romance happened rather haphazardly and could’ve used more time to develop. Some of the relationships fell a little flat.

Generally if I was to criticise anything, it’s that things feel somewhat rushed halfway through. There’s so much ground to cover between the past and present that it’s hard to take in everything about the very detailed scenery and locales. I would also have liked characters like Wilzig or Ma June to get more screen time, to learn more about why they got to where and who they are. I wonder how much had to be cut and edited out as it feels like there was material enough for 10 episodes at least. As someone who is not too familiar with all the Fallout lore myself, I feel like I probably also missed quite a few things along the way. The show is big into ‘show rather than tell’ which generally is a very good thing.

“Wasteland has its own golden rule. Thou shalt get sidetracked by bullshit every goddamn time.” [The Ghoul]

It’s definitely rich and entertaining enough for me to give it a second watch soon and the way things were left off in the final episode, it’s clear we’re supposed to get a second season. That at least should be a given – Fallout is an excellent watch and deserves all the praise it’s receiving. It’s not often we get such a high quality adaption for a video game series, even less so when it comes to live action!