TV and Movie Reviews - Week 8
The Movie Maestro, Evan Wade!
First up this week is Martin Scorsese's 2006 crime/thriller, The Departed. An undercover agent and a spy constantly try to counter-attack each other in order to save themselves from being exposed in front of the authorities. Meanwhile, both try to infiltrate an Irish gang.
The Departed is one of my favourite films. From the atmosphere, to the music, to the Boston setting and the punchy performances. Scorsese out-did himself with his tale of two men on either side of the law chasing each other down amidst the backdrop of the Irish mafia and the Boston police department. With an all star cast featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Vera Farmiga, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, Martin Short, Ray Winstone and Jack Nicholson as the charismatic and fearsome gangster boss Jack Costello, this movie does not disappoint in terms of acting. An intricate, well-weaved plot of honour and deceit accompanied by The Rolling Stones makes for a very enjoyable and rewatchable epic crime story.
Secondly this week is Danny Boyle's 2019 romance/comedy, Yesterday. Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) is a struggling singer-songwriter in an English seaside town whose dreams of fame are rapidly fading, despite the fierce devotion and support by his childhood best friend, Ellie (Lily James). After a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, Jack wakes up to discover that The Beatles never existed.
Yesterday is a quaint story with a very interesting and unique concept that explores the question of what would you do if a major band disappeared and only you remembered them and their songs. As Jack begins to reintroduce the world to The Beatles' hits he also experiences the same amount of fame and popularity they did, but in a much shorter span of time. Featuring great renditions of various hits from Himesh, a great performance from him and Lily as his best friend/manager, a funny cameo from Ed Sheeran as himself, Yesterday is a fun, bittersweet movie that you can enjoy whether you're a Beatles fan or not.
Lastly this week is Showtime's 2007 comedy series, Californication. A self-loathing, alcoholic writer must move to Los Angeles for the sake of his job. His life complicates further due to his writer's block. He attempts to repair his damaged relationship with his daughter and her mother while also combating sex addiction, drug abuse and the seemingly inability to avoid making bad decisions. It doesn't sound like a comedy, but it certainly is.
Californication has become a timeless series, due partly to it's clever snappy writing, but mainly to David Duchovney's portrayal of the enigmatic, loveable and troubled writer who leads the life of a rockstar - Hank Moody. Even though the series is a (very funny) comedy it still constantly deals with themes of morality, legacy and family very well. Hank's hilarious sex and drug fuelled escapades with best friend and agent Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler) are levelled out by the harsh reality of the consequences of his lifestyle and choices. Unfortunately the series takes a dip in writing quality in the last few seasons, but the first 3-4 are fantastic and still tell a very well structured and self-contained story that's well worth a watch.
The Departed and Yesterday are currently available on Amazon Prime Video
Californication is currently available on Sky box sets and Now TV