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Rinzy Reviews ‘Les Miserable’ (2018)

Network: BBC

Starring: Dominic West, Lily Collins, David Oyelowo, Olivia Colman, Josh O’Connor, David Bradley, Ellie Bamber, et al.


Putting it mildly, Les Miserable is a story of how much good can still come out of a person, even when the world is being evil.

Jean Valjean (Dominic West) has seen and lived through the harshness of this world to a very high degree, but yet outlandishly refuses to succumb to the high pressures of the dark side. Hot on his heels, through many years on the run, is Inspector Javert (played to near excellence by the very talented David Oyelowo). Throughout the course of the miniseries, Javert harbors a long hatred for Monsieur Valjean; with him claiming, more than once, that he can’t find peace until criminals like Valjean are brought to book. The farce here is that Valjean happens to be the most selfless character on the show, a fact that doesn’t bode so well for Javert when he finally realizes how wrong he’s been about him.

To Jean Valjean, Dominic West brings his A-game (well, at his point in his long career we’d expect nothing less). His facial cues and expressions are top-notch when he’s not speaking, making his character even more relatable.

The rest of the cast are wonderful in their respective roles. Olivia Colman is always a delight to watch, even when she’s playing a despicable wrench of a woman whose reward for living an awful life is rotting in jail. Not the end I was hoping for, but it’ll do.

The set is top-notch, it’s clear a lot of research and work went into the birthing of the show.

The six hours spent Les Miserable is a good investment in quality TV.

PS: This one isn’t a musical, not in the slightest.


Rinzy’s Rating: 3/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Code 8’ (2019)

Release Date: December 13

Starring: Stephen Amell, Robbie Amell, Sung Kang, et al

You watch this movie and can instantly tell it’s a passion project – the Amell brother’s. 

When one powered man (Robbie) struggles to make ends meet for his sick mom, he turns to a friend (Stephen) who works for a high-powered drug lord (Greg Bryk, Ad Astra), and the two turn to superpowered crime. But they’re on the run from two detectives (Sung Kang and Aaron Abrams) and a scarily high-tech police force that feels like Robocop crossed with District 9. – Collider

Based on the 2016 short film, ‘Code 8’ revisits the familiar story (thanks to the X-Men franchise) of humans afraid of other humans who’ve evolved into something more. The story might be somewhat familiar, but the execution (writing, acting and direction) is undeniably good. The CGI used to bring the powers to life, too, is surprisingly clean for a low-budget movie. This is a commendable piece of art.

The Amell brothers (Robbie and Stephen – Fire Storm and Green Arrow) aren’t strangers to our screens, yet this movie showcases their acting range in a way the Arrowverse never could. After this, I’m excited to see more of Stephen’s career path, post-Arrow.

Rinzy’s Rating: 3/5

Directed by: Jeff Chan

Rinzy Reviews ‘Dracula’ (2020)

Network: BBC – Netflix

Release Date – January 1, 2 & 3

Starring: Claes Bang, Dolly Wells, et al


A better title for this miniseries should’ve been ‘The Charismatic Evolution of Count Dracula’ because, a transformation story is what we get in Dracula.

Since his first introduction to the public in Bram Stoker’s 1897 eponymous novel, Count Dracula has enjoyed an ever-increasing popularity with the masses. When report had it that the BBC and Netflix were teaming up to resurrect him once more, the news was very well received because there’s always going to be a new Dracula movie.

Does it live up to expectation?

For a three-part miniseries, things went to shit real fast on Dracula. Each episode runs for about 90 minutes, so that’s basically three movies for the price of one. The episodes boasts of commendable set pieces, intense plotting and some unforgettable dialogues like the one below, courtesy of the world’s most awesome nun (Sister Agatha):

Like many women my age I am trapped in a loveless marriage, maintaining appearances for the sake of a roof over my head

As the story progressed, the miniseries reinvented itself while still telling a central story about the titular, charismatic villain. The nature of this progression allowed the show morph through various amazing locations — a castle, a ship and a graveyard, amongst others — which helped elevate it even at times when the story quality waned.

Claes Bang’s performance as Count Dracula is terrific. He’s menacing, yet charming enough to draw unsuspecting victims in for his next kill. Dolly Wells, too, puts up a good one as Sister Agatha, the nun with trust issues pertaining God-stuff. Weird, right?

Verdict

The latest peak into the life and times of Count Dracula starts strong but quickly leaves much to be desired. Is that to say it’s terrible? NO!


Rinzy’s Rating: 3/5

‘The Witcher’ Is Good, But It’s No ‘Game Of Thrones’

Release Date: December 20, 2019 (Netflix)

Starring: Henry Cavill, Anya Chalotra, et al.


The Witcher is a decent entry into the fold of fantasy TV but, is it the new Game of Thrones? Let’s find out.

Henry Cavill was most certainly a delight to watch as the brooding Witcher with a conscience, but it’s safe to say he isn’t really the star of this show, which was surprising, being that he plays the titular character. That honor arguably goes to Anya Chalotra‘s Yennefer, the true break-out star of this show, all thanks to its writing.

Although the show follows the old monster-of-the-week pattern, it still spent so much time fleshing Yennefer’s arc that, by the final episode, it felt like I really knew her, which is more than I can say for Geralt of Rivia.

The timeline of The Witcher might just be the biggest issue anyone has with this show. It takes some time before the events happening start to make sense and even more time before you correctly deduce same events are taking place in three different time periods. Once you get over this hurdle, the show really picks up and in flows the endless thread of entertainment; from Yennefer’s long-thirst for more power to solve a problem she created for herself to her fate cross-haired with The Witcher’s who, in turn, has his cross-haired with a princess who doesn’t know just how powerful she is, yet, to a dragon. Yes, a freaking dragon. The list is endless.

I do hope for its second season, The Witcher dives deeper into its mythology, we need to understand how stuff really works there. It also needs to fine tune its pacing.

Just how entertianing is The Witcher? That’s something only you can decide. For me, I give it a 3/5, which I think is fair.


🎵 Toss a coin to your Witcher, o valley of plenty. 🎵

This song line might just be what Netflix The Witcher becomes most memorable for, in the future, rather than its amazing set pieces, actors commendable performance, and so often gratuitous nudity.


Rinzy’s Rating: 3/5

2019: RR’s Top TV Shows

Say what you may about its final season, Game of Thrones still isn’t anyone’s mate. Since 2011, thanks to the show, fans worldwide have been privy to high-quality entertainment, the best in decades, so I’ll be damned if I let one polarizing season mess things up so much I don’t give honor to whom its due:

Game of Thrones is RR’s show of the decade! 👑

(Breathes heavily)

Now that we’re done with that, here are the top 20 TV shows that made 2019 awesome for us.

PS: This list includes miniseries, traditional TV series and web-series, and are arranged in no particular order.


1. Four Weddings and a Funeral – Hulu

This miniseries presented a heartfelt, self-contained story about love and loss. It’s n exceptional watch.


2. Euphoria s1 – HBO

Teen angst has never been well captured as HBO did it with this one. Expect lots of sex, drugs and all other crazy teen stuff.


3. Watchmen – HBO

A lot of people are calling this the show of the decade; for a show that premiered just two months ago, that’s pretty commendable. If you haven’t yet, you should watch Regina King kick-ass the HBO way.


4. When they see us – Netflix

There was a time in America when racial injustice didn’t receive as much backlash as it does today; this show takes us back to those perilous times and how four men eventually got compensated for losing their youthful days to an unjust system.


5. Sex Education – Netflix

Gillian Anderson is sexy and we now know it very much, thank you.


6. Chernobyl – HBO

Although one of the biggest disasters to have occured, not much was known about it; this show’s changed that.


7. The Mandalorian – Disney +

Pedro Paschal is having the time of his life playing really fun characters. Though Mando might not seem like it, he’s been having twice his normal fun since Baby Yoda came into his life.


8. Undone – Amazon Prime

The shooting technic used to create this live-action-animation easily makes it one of the best shows of this year. Then, factor in its strong story and cast performance, you’ve got a big winner.


9. See – Apple TV

If you thought Jason Momoa’s awesomeness had peaked out playing Khal Drogo and Aquaman, wait to you meet Baba Voss, his fiercest yet.


10. The Morning Show – Apple TV

Jennifer Aniston is back on TV as Alex Levy. I can tell you one thing though, she’s no Rachel.


11. Barry s2 – HBO

Bill Hader continues to impress as Barry. He’s on fire and so is his character.


12. The Hot Zone – Nat Geo

Ebola is a disease that’s always wiped out large number of people whenever it reappears. This is a trip to one of its earlier occurrence in history.


13. Evil s1 – CBS

Our current world is inherently evil and CBS has found a way to phone-in to make a truly drama from these happenings. If you didn’t like Mike Colter during his time as Luke Cage, then you should like him here as a priest-in-training.


14. Swamp Thing s1 – DC Universe

Although this show got cancelled, it still remains one of the best things to come out of 2019. It’s a pity its strong story and cast performance couldn’t save it from issues behind the scenes.


15. The Boys – Amazon Prime

What will be said of 2019 if we don’t mention the show that gave us the best instance of what it’d be like if Superman and the rest of the Justice League were evil? Nothin good.


16. How to Get Away with Murder – ABC

The current season 6 might be its weakest, but the love I’ve got for the show just wouldn’t let me not include it on this list. I’m sorry.


17. Fleabag s2 – BBC One

Fleabag is hilarious, entertaining, and mostly educative. It’s obvious a lot of work went into the crafting of this piece of art; great writing, awesome acting, and a very believable world; definitely worth all the hype.


18. Doom Patrol s1 – DC Universe

Another DC offering that really surprised me. Just like Legends of Tomorrow, this show knows it’s stupid and embraces it well.


19. Stranger Things s3 – Netflix

Allow your mind to be blow again by Eleven and her crew of merry men and women.


20. Carnival Row s1 – Amazon Prime

No doubt, 2019 was a good year for Amazon. This Orlando Bloom/ Cara Delevingne lead fairytale fantasy also helped make it so.


Honorable mentions: The Crown; Love, Death & Robots; The Terror; Good Omens; Mindhunter s2; Emergence; AHS: 84; Godfather of Harlem; Succession; A discovery of Witches; Stranger Things; Killing Eve s2; The Politician s1; Agents of SHIELD s6; All Rise s1.

2019: RR’s Top Netflix Movies

Since it first delved into producing original contents in 2013 with the premiere of House of Cards, Netflix has helped redefine the way movies people consume movies and TV shows. With one of the most diverse catalogue of any studio/service, Netflix hasn’t relented in its resolve to keep providing something for everyone, irrespective of labels.

This year, the streaming giants took things a step further with the release of Martin Scorcese’s The Irishman, a vastly unprecedented move that’s sure to further redefine how movies are released and consumed. Like my friend Magnus would say, paraphrased, the age of cinema might just be over.

The downside to a lot of content (both good and bad) is that it becomes increasingly more difficult to keep up. So, if by some miracle you’re hoping to dive into the new year binge-watching something worthy, this ranking should help with that.
In the order of my previous ratings, here is a list of what I think are the top 10 Netflix movies of 2019


1. The Irishman 4/5

Martin Scorcese helped bring Robert Deniro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci under one movie roof again, for which we’re grateful.


2. Marriage Story 4/5

Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver greatly shine in this intend story about love and divorce, no wonder award buzzes are really going off.


3. Dolemite is my Name

It felt so good to see Eddie Murphy back in action.


4. The Two Popes 3.5/5

Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce are two well-respected legends; so I they’ve got a story to tell about the Vatican, we listen.


5. Klaus 3.5/5

If you’ve ever wondered where Santa came from, this movie tries to provide answers.


6. Murder Mystery 3/5

Before Jennifer Aniston capped-off 2019 with her phenomenal role on The Morning Show as Alex Levy, there was this inane comedy with Adam Sandler.


7. El Camino 3/5

Who’d ever say no to more details on what happened to Jesse after his tryst with Walter White? Not me.


8. The King 3/5

Ambitious and murderous Timothee Chamalet was something I never knew I needed until I saw this.


9. Extremely wicked, shockingly evil and vile 3/5

Even though it’s difficult for some people to look past his High School Musical days, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to deny Zac Efron is evolving into more mature roles. That’s a good thing.


10. Someone Great 3/5

Break ups are painful. This movie doesn’t shy away from the topic.


Some honorable mentions: 6 Underground, Velvet Buzzsaw, and The boy who harnessed the wind.

Rinzy Reviews ‘The Morning Show’

Network: Apple TVStarring: Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carrel, et al.


Having been a huge fan of both Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon for a long time, I went into The Morning Show with high expectations. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to tell you those expectations weren’t cut short.For those who don’t know, we’re in the age of the ‘Streaming Wars‘; an era when streaming services fight for supremacy. With offerings like The Morning Show and See on their catalogue, Apple TV seems to be on the right track.The Morning Show‘s plot revolves around the #MeToo movement; a campaign which exists to expose and stop the filthiness of sexual harassment in the work place.Mitch Kessler (played by the super-talented Steve Carell) is a predator who thinks himself a saint (like most actually would). He’s wealthy, successful, and influential. His life and career of over 15-years crumbles when reports of his unprofessionalism finally make the news. Jennifer Aniston’s Alex Levy, his narcissistic, longtime on-air partner finds herself caught in the cross-fire of this revelation. Society thinks she’s complicit but same society expects her to act strong, so she puts up an commendable show of strength even though she’s constantly welling-up on the inside.

The network, UBA, needs a Savior, Alex too. Then out of the blues comes Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon), the journalistic misfit who happens to put out the wrong kind of video at the right time and finds herself thrust into the spotlight of the riveting world of The Morning Show.Alex Levy is, arguably, Jennifer Aniston’s finest role till date (apologies Rachel). Her portrayal is so absorbing it hits home every time she’s on screen. Reese, too, is superb. Actually, the whole cast is and I believe award season will smile on them. Rumor has it the two leads received a paycheck of $1M per episode… That’s a lot of money.’The Morning Show‘ does a good job maintaining its narrative pacing and balancing drama with a topic that’s dear to a lot of people, that, in my opinion, is no easy fit. You should watch it.


Rinzy’s Rating: 3.5/5