Posts Tagged ‘crime’

Broadchurch (Season 1)

Monday, July 8th, 2013
Yeah, I know I look like shit. I'm still your boss!

Yeah, I know I look like shit. I’m still your boss!

This was originally created as a stand alone series, however it has now been renewed for a second season.

Broadchurch tells the story of the death of a youth in a small beachside town and its impact on the community and the police is an emotionally exhausting yet totally engaging journey. Tennant (DI Hardy) moves to this small town with no real crime after a terrible murder case. Infact the first crime we see him investigate is a perfect entrée into the community. Colman (DS Miller) is the local police woman who has to manage this terrible murder of her friend’s son, while still remaining professional officer – hard to do when you know the victim AND every possible suspect and have for years.

Pros:
Brilliantly written.
Minor characters are so well developed with strong arcs of their own.
The child actors are not your typical can’t act for anything child actors.
The killer is revealed in a way that is heartbreaking.
The depth of the main characters is extraordinary.

 Minuses:
I had a headache from crying so much after the conclusion.
I didn’t pick who the murderer was till a particular conversation between two characters about an unrelated matter – then I knew – but it was so close to the reveal that it barely counts.

Broadchurch was the best 8 hours of TV I had seen since Borgen. Like the fantastic NordicNoir, a lot of what is said is actually, unsaid. The ability to build and then deflect tension is outstanding while never losing empathy for any of the characters. Even when the murderer was caught, my heart was still breaking.

FIVEPANDAS

#Fivecrimesolvingpandas

Review – The Killing – Episodes 1-4

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

I am just going to sit here and pretend to smoke dope, doing my thing. Me a cop? Nah!

Synopsis:
Based on the critically acclaimed and popularly embraced Swedish crime drama “Forbrydelsen” (The Crime), the show follows the murder investigation of a seemingly happy and well adjusted young woman in high school. A large cast, all with their own agendas and secrets, this show has already woven piece of complex yet intriguing drama that sees my hypotheses blown out of the water on a weekly basis.

Pluses:
So many familiar faces (including small roles) but also some amazing new ones.
Michelle Forbes’ Mitch Larsen – truly amazing stuff. The scene in the 3rd (I think) episode where she tries to connect with her daughter is just heart breaking.
Joel Kinnaman as Stephen Holder. I was gobsmacked at how good this actor was and why had I never seen him in anything? Turns out he is a Swedish actor – so fantastic tie in.
The level of intrigue here is insane. Just when you think you know something, you don’t.
I love how we are seeing the same story from so many different perspectives plus the mini personal arcs of the main characters.

Minuses:
Having to wait a week every time to find out what happens.

I couldn’t actually wait to see what happens, especially given the original Forbrydelsen was 20 episodes, so I got the BBC’s subtitled show and watched all of them. One thing I will say, if you think that the The Killing is like a Sara Lee danish pastry (layer upon layer) it is NOTHING on the level of intrigue, false leads, character development and emotional gut wrenching that is Forbrydelsen. I am not quite as impressed with The Killing now I have seen the original, but this review was written before I had spent a good portion of the Longest of Weekends watching Forbrydelsen – so the original rating stands. Oh and I know who did it – so going to watch for all the signs – can already think of a couple I saw but dismissed.

#fourandahalfdrownedpandas

Review – Animal Kingdom (2010)

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

How could anyone come after you my darling! Nana loves you.

Synopsis:
Following the death of his mother, Josh turns to the only family he has, a family his mother walked away from. Falling into a world of crime and drugs, Josh tries to be a normal teenager, yet his uncles’ and his grandmother’s conflicting priorities, ultimately take over his life.

Pluses:
Stellar Australian cast.
Pope (Ben Mendelsohn) scared the beejeebees out of me.
Janine/Smurf (Jackie Weaver) really scared the heck out of me.
Interesting take on the family relationship taken from a fringe perspective.
Corruption.
Representation of family life in Australia in the 70s without it being all disco.
The second Art Gallery scene.
The unusual expression of affection by Smurf to her sons.
The character of Craig was very interesting and had such split dimensions.

Minuses:
Josh’s recalcitrance really frustrated me. Even a sentence here or there would have pushed the story forward or made it much stronger.
Josh’s inability to make a decision and stick to it.
Accessories not in key with the time period – distracted me.

This is a great Australian movie. It managed to portray crime without tits and arse, as TV is want to do. It didn’t glamourise it, and it didn’t shy away. Jackie Weaver was well ID’ed by the academy for her nom.

When I first saw this movie I wasn’t doing Pandas yet. I have rewatched it over the week (post-Oscars) to refresh my memory.

#fourguntotingpandas
PS. I have meant to write this up for ages – sorry Panda Lovers.

Review – Hawaii Five-0 – Ke Kinohi (S01Ep13)

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

You can tell just how bad arse I am by my fierce pink hair extension, biatch!

First up – let me say that I know I am way behind in reviews – I do plan to catch up, maybe with a multi-ep review.

This week:
McGarrett’s little sis (Mary Ann) has been kidnapped and it ties back into the Champ case left to McGarrett with his dad’s last few words. Corruption goes very high in Hawaii it seems. Motorcycles, the Yakuza and golf.

Pluses:
Good use of tension.
The ep wasn’t all about getting Mary Ann back.
McGarrett goes all Ninja-Seal for the episode.
Nice background development on McGarrett.
Danny still has the best lines.
There was actually some acting this week.
Solved the recent mystery of McGarrett’s mum’s murder.
Opened new mini-arcs for team to solve instead of case of the week.

Minuses:
A bike up the stairs into a building with Yakuza who would all be packing guns? Sure.
Let’s kidnap you but leave you your phone.
Not much Chin or Kono.
Just how many international crime syndicates operate in Hawaii?
Shoot out on the beach.
People relaxing on the beach not 20m from uncovered dead body while police work on it.

This episode had all the things I love about Hawaii Five-0 plus all the things I love to being so bad – bad policing, stupid plot devices, obvious twists and turns, the twee use of island language or terms, and insanely beautiful panoramic shots. For all its faults, they are ones within the “Hawaii Five-0 Believability Universe” so it is OK.

Oh – I forgot to say that this episode’s title “Ke Kinohi” means a new beginning, which tied in very nicely to the episode.

#threeandahalfpandas

Review – Blue Bloods – Privilege (S01Ep03)

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

I want to be the bestest beat cop ever!

This week:
Danny is on the trail of a rapist on NYU campus. Likelihood that the perpetrator will walk. Lies surround lies. Aspiration. A tease of the arc. Frank goes passive aggressive.  Jamie “collars” his first weapons charge.

Pluses:
I like how Jamie’s work doesn’t lead back to the major case of the week.
Frank finally did the right thing.
Nice interaction between Jamie, his stick and his fiance.
Jamie’s subtle questioning.

Minuses:
Plot, twist and outcome has been done before – so 0 surprises.
Really? Just sending out a detective without a partner?
Erin seems to be quite removed from the plots – a walk in and walk out skirt with some family moments.
Why does Erin have to cook when she goes to her father’s house?
I think Jamie is going to be single soon.

This was an OK ep, just not up to standard. I have high expectations when I turn on an episode of Blue Bloods, and this didn’t deliver.

#twobeatcoppandas

Review – Blue Bloods – Samaritan (S01Ep02)

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

True to form, my favourite character is a minor one. Please don't get shot Renzulli!

This week:
During a heist on the subway in NYC, a good samaritan finds himself on the wrong side of the law. The question of right and wrong is explored. The solve the case without firing a gun yet again.

Pluses:
Real police work, no CSI team in sight.
Highlighting bad police work.
Great dialogue driven drama.
Interesting character development of Danny (Wahlberg).
One choice can change your life.
Doing right for the right reasons sometimes means you are wrong.
A tease of the overall arc.
No police guns fired.
Love the banter between Jamie and Renzulli (senior beat cop/partner).

Minuses:
Felt there was a bit much “baddie” development.
I don’t like Danny’s new partner.
Can’t anyone have a normal relationship – looking at you Frank.
I think Danny’s wife is going to leave him.

This show delivered a very strong episode that wasn’t just a “case of the week” scenario. Yes there was a case of the week, but it was used to really delve into the complexities of the characters, rather than just show how awesome a team is. I especially loved Renzulli pointing out all the mistakes that Danny made to his little brother – I was watching thinking – just typical police show – then they hung a lantern on all the errors other shows make in a sly way.

#fourcrimefightingpandas

Review – Castle – The Mistress Always Spanks Twice (aka Castle Bondage)

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

This week:

Castle The Mistress Always Spanks Twice

Yes, Mistress.


Random person finds a person dead. Only the dead person is in restraints and smothered in caramel in a playground. Beckett teases Castle mercilessly. Castle fantasises endlessly. Cheer leading.  Lots of time with Mistresses. Sexual tension. Red herrings. Solution.

Pluses:
Fillion’s protrayal of Castle was just delicious.
Esposito and Ryan buddy cops.
Banter was slightly predictable but highly enjoyable.

Minuses:
Felt staged (but that is to be expected).

At least with this bondage ep of a show I am not scrubbing the images out of my brain as I did with Smallville. It was done as tastefully (?) as you can without going for mass scene of people in leather hanging from the ceilings. This was a remarkably funny episode. Well worth catching it on repeat.

#threepandas