franks farrago

Escape At Dannemora

Ben Stiller directs a dark series about two inmates escaping a high-security prison, based on a true story. If the name Ben Stiller leads you to the conclusion that there has to be some humorous elements in this series, I can assure you, nothing is funny in this.
Excellent show with outstanding acting, especially by Patricia Arquette and Paul Dano.

4 Blocks Season 1

Yeah, I’m late to the show. Just this:
One of the best German TV series around.

Unfortunately Season 2 seems to be less good according to the critics. I might just skip it.

Good entertainment, but Suburra is still the little brother of Gomorra for me.

Counterpart

I just finished the second season of Counterpart. The bad thing you can say about it, is that Starz cancelled the show. The good thing is that the writers found a pretty good ending (which I’m not going to spoil). Otherwise, great acting by J.K. Simmons, Olivia Williams and Nazanin Boniadi.

Hi, there. Long time, no see. Been a bit busy (see Instagram).

Anyway, let’s talk series. It’s unavoidable to compare Russian Doll to “Groundhog Day”, but Netflix gives that idea a different twist, which has its own right to exist beside the giant example. It’s sometimes funny, sometimes mysterious, sometimes dark. Definitely recommended.

Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace is a wonderful, little, quiet gem of a movie.

And Thomasin Harcourt McKenzies performance is marvelous.

Bandersnatch

Is it a movie? Is it a game?

The makers of “Black Mirror” just released their first full-length interactive “movie” on Netflix. The special thing is that the viewer can control decisions of the main character so the whole movie becomes  a “choose your own adventure” story. Everything gets quite meta and eventually the viewer is part of the story itself. The storyline is more than a binary “live or die”, and even “wrong” decisions have an impact if one is forced to start from a “saved game”. Hard do explain, give it a try. It works pretty well and the experience makes up for a bit overall weak plot.

Be aware that Bandersnatch does not work on all devices. Apple TV for instance is currently not supported, but the Netflix Client on my LG TV was fine. Also all browser should be ok.

Everyone who likes the Black Mirror series should watch this.

 

If Jan thinks Searching is one of the best movies of 2018, there has to be something about it, right? Well, my résumé is a bit more disillusioning. Searching is based on the visual storytelling idea, that we, the audience, are basically just looking at a computer screen of a Dad who is trying to solve the disappearance of his teenage daughter (watch the trailer if you don’t understand what I mean). This works astonishing well, and we can expect that there will be quite a few of remakes of this in the next time – similar like the Blair Witch Project founded the “lost footage” concept (not always for the better). So while the idea works in this case, I don’t want to see this as a new trend. I’m also struggling with the performance of the actors, which sometimes feels a bit wooden. So in my spontaneous invented movie charts, it ends like there:

  • Had to stop
  • Meh
  • Okayish ✅
  • Would watch again
  • Would buy a 4k UHD Blu-Ray if I’d had a player

 

 

A Quit Place doesn’t do a long introduction of story or characters – the audience is thrown right into the action. The premise is simple – in a post-apocalyptic world people have to live in silence if they don’t want to be killed by monsters with ultra-sensitive hearing. Simple idea but so effective. 1,5h can pass so quickly. Recommended!

Das Boot

German TV series “Das Boot” does make some references to the classic movie from 1981 but finds its own style. While the roles and characters of the movie were pretty clear and distinct, the modern version doesn’t offer a clear picture about who is good and bad. Overall a solid TV series, which get’s better in the second half.

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