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Movies you shouldn’t have overlooked: Locke

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Movies you shouldnt have overlooked Locke

As always, no spoilers.

Tom Hardy in a car having conversations on the phone for 85 minutes. That doesn’t sound like the kind of movie anyone would want to watch, and, as it turned out, very few did. Locke grossed $1,375,769 at the domestic box office, which is less than many movies make in the first two or three hours after they’re released.

But when I saw it received a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes and noticed that I’d never even heard of the movie, I knew it was worth checking out. One thing that should be noted to anyone considering seeing it is that it’s listed as “Drama, Mystery & Suspense” on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s a drama. One can say that it’s a little suspenseful, but not the way most “suspense” movies tend deliver. Go in knowing nobody’s trying to hunt him down, there are no dead bodies in his trunk, and if he breaks the speed limit while driving, we aren’t made aware.

As true dramas go, it’s stellar.

Some may say it’s too gimmicky. After all, being able to hold an audience’s interest for an hour and a half with a man driving a car and talking to people is some feat. In this case, the execution of the gimmick itself is excellent because Hardy is able to deliver. His smooth transitions between private rage and soothing calm when he takes a call is magnified by a flawless Welsh accent. We believe that he’s passionate when he rages and we accept his sincerity when he’s calm.

The film was essentially a play that was performed over and over again with cameras in different places inside and outside the car. Then, they’d piece it all together for the finished product. It’s one of the few films where direction was much less important than good writing, which is why it’s a good thing that writer/director Steven Knight is much better known for his writing than directing.

Hardy’s acting is complimented by a strong mix of voice actors, including some pretty heavy hitters like Olivia Colman, Andrew Scott, and Tom Holland, but of the voices on the other end of the line, it was Ruth Wilson who stood out as exceptional.

If you go in thinking a man in a car having phone conversations sounds too boring to watch, then Locke probably isn’t for you. There’s a Marvel movie or another installment of Fast and Furious coming out any moment that better suits your tastes.

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The Expanse season 4 is coming soon. Time to binge on the first three seasons.

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The Expanse season 4 is coming soon Time to binge on the first three seasons

One of the most commented on part of my list of 12 binge-worthy shows was having The Expanse at #2 ahead of stalwarts like Peaky Blinders, Sherlock, and Stranger Things. Invariably, those who complained about it being so high on the list were people who hadn’t seen it.

Don’t make that mistake. Don’t assume the show, which started on SyFy and is now being produced by Amazon, is just another run-of-the-mill science fiction hodgepodge of lasers and poorly conceived aliens. This show is political, dramatic, and tense without having to rely on scientific psychobabble to make its point.

News broke yesterday that Amazon will start streaming it next month with the highly anticipated season 4 slated to be released later this year. It’s time to get caught up on this show, but don’t binge too quickly. You’ll want to minimize the agonizing wait to see what happens next in season 4.

Here’s my review:

Binge-worthy show: The Expanse is the best sci-fi show on television now… and maybe ever

http://noqreport.com/2018/11/26/binge-worthy-show-expanse-best-sci-fi-show-television-now-maybe-ever/The stakes get higher with each season. Thankfully, the storytelling matches nicely with the series title. As problems are solved, bigger problems pop up. As opportunities are realized, bigger opportunities present themselves. The scope and scale of the series is expanding with each new season. This can be a problem for stories that end up getting too big because the stakes are increased as the story progresses, but it fits nicely in The Expanse. In fact, the transition from the initial answering of a distress call in season 1, episode 1 all the way through to the exponentially more encompassing problems faced at the end of season 3 seem natural.

What makes The Expanse so amazing is that it’s not a science fiction show. It’s a suspenseful drama with the future as the backdrop. It’s every bit as character-driven and emotionally satisfying as any Grammy-bait historical drama.


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Oscar nominations demonstrate how bad 2018 movies really were

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Lady Gaga A Star is Born

Of the nine movies nominated for Best Picture by the Academy Awards last year, I’d seen six of them before the nominations were announced. This year’s batch of eight nominees has two on my list to watch later and two that I’ve already seen. I’m nobody. I’m just a guy who loves watching movies. And the only movie I really loved this year didn’t get nominated, so I’m annoyed.

No, it wasn’t First Man. I didn’t see it and I’m glad it wasn’t nominated. I loved A Quiet Place. I’ve been meaning to write a review on it but I enjoyed it so much I want to do it justice, so I’m waiting to watch it again first.

As for this year’s batch, let’s see how some of them did by critics’ standards. Bohemian Rhapsody, which won one of the two Best Picture Golden Globes, scored a 62% on Rotten Tomatoes. Green Book, the other Golden Globe winner, did better with an 82% on Rotten Tomatoes. Both were Oscar-bait movies, so even an 82% should be considered low.

Vice, the politically charged hit piece on Republicans, should have been a darling among critics, especially with Christian Bale’s satanically inspired performance. But it rang in at an abysmal 64%.

The other five did well with critics, scoring in the 90s.

Oscar nominations demonstrate how bad 2018 movies really were

Still, there were no standouts. Dunkirk, The Shape of Water, and Three Billboards would all be favorites to win if they went up against the eight from this year. Throw in Darkest Hour and Get Out as possibly better than anything in this year’s crop and it’s clear 2018 was a weak year for critically acclaimed movies.

Back to A Quiet Place. This wasn’t just the best suspense flicks of the year. It was one of the best of the decade. For it to be pushed aside for some of the dregs that got nominated is a complete joke. Was it political? Does Hollywood secretly have something against their soft spoken power couple, John Krasinski and Emily Blunt?

As we quickly approach blockbuster season at the theaters, I’m hopeful that there are critical gems being put forth that make up for last year’s horrid output. Hollywood needs an infusion of quality. We all do.


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US singer Chris Brown detained in Paris after rape complaint

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US singer Chris Brown detained in Paris after rape complaint

PARIS (AP) — U.S. singer Chris Brown and two other people are in custody in Paris after a woman filed a rape complaint, French officials said Tuesday.

The Grammy Award-winning singer was detained Monday on potential charges of aggravated rape and drug infractions and remained in custody Tuesday, a judicial official said. Investigators have another two days to decide whether to let him go or file preliminary charges.

Brown’s publicists at Sony Music would not immediately comment on the complaint or say what Brown, 29, was doing in Paris.

Brown has been in repeated legal trouble since pleading guilty to the felony assault in 2009 of his then-girlfriend, Rihanna. He completed his probation in that case in 2015, but has continued to have run-ins with police.

The woman who filed the complaint said she met Brown and his friends overnight Jan. 15-16 at the club Le Crystal in the 8th arrondissement near the Champs-Elysees, and then they all went to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel near the Concorde Plaza in central Paris, according to the official.

One of Brown’s bodyguards is among the others detained in the Paris investigation, according to the official. Neither official was authorized to be publicly named discussing the investigation.

The detention was originally reported by French gossip magazine Closer.

Brown is best-known for hits in the 2000s such as “Run It” and “Kiss Kiss.” He retains a hard core of fans, including nearly 50 million followers on Instagram. He posted an Instagram photo Monday from Paris appearing to show him at a night club.

He released a new single earlier this month and has a new album coming this year. Six of his albums have gone platinum.

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