I was pondering whether to keep these Watching Lately posts for only things I’ve really liked and would recommend, but then I decided that would be no fun so it’s a bit of a mixed bag for installment number two. It’s also a mixture of TV and films this time, but mostly still ones that are on Netflix. Because Netflix is my liiifeeeeee at the moment (and by that I mean always).
1. S. Darko
Let’s get the worst one out of the way first, shall we? I knew before I started watching this that it would be terrible, but I watched it anyway. WHY? Sometimes I watch films, knowing they’ll be really bad, but I kind of enjoy them anyway. This one was just plain awful though. It’s a sort-of sequel to Donnie Darko, and the basic premise is that Donnie’s younger sister, Samantha, is all grown up and starts having weird time-travel related visions. Samantha herself (Daveigh Chase) is the only original cast member who makes a reappearance, which probably gives you an indication of how rubbish it is. It was almost as if the director hadn’t even understood what Donnie Darko was actually about, and was just rehashing events and symbols from the original film. There was no real plot, loads of it didn’t make sense (the bit at the end – boy going a bit alien, tesseracts, WTF) and most of the scenes were just weird copies of the original film with some slight alterations. Like, they burn the pastor’s house instead of Patrick Swayze’s; there’s a 4th of July party instead of a Halloween party; Samantha gets hit by a car instead of Gretchen; there’s a guy called Frank and someone makes a bunny mask for NO REASON blah blah blah. Even if you’re vaguely curious about this film, I wouldn’t bother, it’s beyond terrible.
2. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
This is another film which I thought I wasn’t going to enjoy before I started watching it (although, for different reasons – I thought this one was just going to be a bit boring). It kept coming up in my recommended section on Netflix, and Ewan McGregor is my fave, so I decided to give it a go. Traditional and uptight fisheries expert Dr Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor) is roped into a project to introduce salmon fishing to the Yemen, despite his hefty reservations that the scheme will be a total failure. But he and the Yemeni Sheikh’s legal representative Harriet (Emily Blunt) end up working together on the supposedly impossible project and both become gradually invested in making it a success. And, of course, they end up falling for each other. I ended up quite enjoying the story as it wasn’t too much of a political drama (as I thought it might have been) or a rom-com (as it could easily have ended up). I also loved the fact that the Sheikh’s country estate in Scotland was also the one from Monarch of the Glen. Hiya Glenbogle!
3. Bad Samaritans
I hadn’t heard anything about this before (and it seems neither has anyone else – the IMBD page is so naked!), but it popped up on my Netflix homepage a few times so I decided to give it a go. At the moment, there only seems to be five 20 minute episodes and I’m not sure if there are more waiting to be aired or another series in the making, but I hope there is because I really liked it. Drew (Julianna Guill) and Jake (Brian Kubach) accidentally start a huge forest fire whilst in the process of breaking up with each other, and get stuck doing 2,000 hours of community service together. The series focuses on their little rag-tag group of parolees – Trainy the wannabe socialite, Haggerty the stoner and Doug the ex-biker gang member – as they get sent on various community service assignments like looking after the elderly, working at a dog pound and picking up litter. Unlike a lot of American comedies, it doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously and it has a wicked, vaguely offensive sense of humour. It’s not quite good enough to make it into my favourites, but a couple more seasons and a bit of character development and it might be getting there.
I’m sure pretty much all of you will have heard about Dexter. I only started watching it last year, but I raced through the first six seasons and caught up with number seven in “real time” as it was being shown on TV. The eighth season started a few weeks ago so I have been hooked once again and always look forward to Monday evenings when there’s a new episode for me to watch. The show focuses on Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), a blood spatter analyst at Miami Metro Police Department who also just happens to be a serial killer – but he has a special code of ethics and only kills “bad” people. I’m not even sure what it is that I like about this programme, but I LOVE it and would definitely recommend giving it a watch. This series has had a disappointingly small amount of murdering (is it weird that I’ve missed that haha?!) and has focused more on Dexter and sister Deb’s complicated relationship. I’ve preferred the previous seasons which all have one main arch-villain Dexter attempts to get to before the police do, but this time there isn’t really any of that (unless it turns out to be Dr Vogel…which it probably will be); I’m still enjoying it nonetheless.
And finally, we have a real-life superhero movie directed by M. Night Shyamalan in which security guard David Dunn (Bruce Willis) becomes the sole survivor of a horrific train crash and then learns that he is “unbreakable”. Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), who has a genetic defect which causes his bones to break very easily, is obsessed with comic books and becomes convinced that David is his polar opposite and tries to encourage David to fulfill his destiny as a real-life superhero. David completely dismisses the idea at first, but then starts to notice that he’s never really been ill, never been injured, is super strong etc. and then it all starts to get a bit ridiculous. David’s son is totally convinced he’s a superhero so tries to shoot his dad to prove that he’s indestructible (whaaaat, you don’t just shoot your dad, especially if he’s Bruce Willis!!); David begins to have visions about bad people who need sorted out using his superpowers. Eventually, David fulfills his superhero role by killing a murderer and freeing two children that had been kidnapped. But guess what his superhero costume was? Wait for it … a rain poncho! A RAIN PONCHO!! HAHAHA. It was hilarious (although his ‘kryptonite’ was water, so I guess it makes sense but still – a rain poncho). I expected this film to be a standard Bruce Willis action film with lots of explosions and stuff, but it wasn’t at all. It was pretty ridic but I secretly kind of loved it.
What have you been watching lately?