Monday, February 29, 2016

What I Watched - February 7-13 2016


Ash vs Evil Dead Season 1 (2015) AVI
 - I finally got around to watching this awesome series (filmed here in my native New Zealand), digesting it in just a few days. It's only 10 40-minute episodes, perfect for binge-watching. And what a show it is! Of course, I'm a huge fan of both Bruce Campbell and the Evil Dead movies, so I'm slightly biased, but my girlfriend isn't too familiar with either and she really enjoyed this too. Bruce is in great form in his return to the boom-stick and chainsaw-arm of Ash, and has a pretty good supporting cast (Ray Santiago is hilarious as Pablo). Best of all, it doesn't spare the blood and guts, which is vital. This really does feel like an extension of the original movies - I can't wait for season 2!

Burying the Ex (2014) Netflix
- I've heard a lot of good things about this horror comedy from Joe Dante (you know, the guy who did the Gremlins movies, Small Soldiers, The Burbs, Piranha, The Howling - the list goes on). It spent a while sitting on my Netflix list before I finally gave it a watch, and... it's pretty okay. As a zombie romcom it doesn't come anywhere near close to Shaun of the Dead, or Zombieland, but it's not bad. I like Anton Yelchin (having recently seen him in Odd Thomas), who is charming enough to do the donkey work here. More cute than outright funny but worth seeing.

The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies (2014) Netflix
- Sometimes I just browse a synopsis, think something sounds interesting and add it to my Netflix list, but when I finally watch it, it turns out to be very different than what I was expecting. This is a case in point - I thought it was a documentary but it's actually a dramatised retelling of real life events. That being said, it's an intriguing watch, telling the story of a man who is accused of a rape/murder basically because of his odd behaviour and appearance. He is found innocent but the damage is done by the media. Originally aired as a mini series, it plays a bit long in the "movie" form on Netflix, but is never boring and often awkwardly funny due to Jason Watkin's stellar portrayal of the title character.

Better Call Saul Season 1 (2015) Netflix
- Another series I've been looking forward to seeing for a while now. As a big fan of Breaking Bad I was so happy to hear that Saul Goodman was getting a spinoff show. This played on TV here in New Zealand last year but I don't have cable, so I waited until it showed up on Netflix. This first season was great, showing the history of Saul as struggling young lawyer Jimmy McGill, his nutty shut-in brother, his love interest fellow lawyer and best of all, Mike Ehrentrout, who is just as surly as he was in Breaking Bad. While Saul on Breaking Bad came across as an inscrutable lowlife, we get to see the man before he "went bad", the man with morales and dreams. Of course, seeing all of that get crushed and a life of crime come beckoning is all part of the fun!

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