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  • Brian Alex Clark 7:22 pm on September 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , doctor, , , house, hugh laurie, miniseries, review,   

    Fortysomething Episode 1 Review 

    To start things off right, I watching the entire first episode of Fortysomething, a miniseries staring Hugh Laurie (House) as a doctor (yes, doctor) named Paul Slippery, thinking that his character’s wife, Estelle Slippery (Anna Chancellor), was played by the same actress that portrays his House foil and love interest Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein). They looked so similar I just thought Hugh brought his previous costar to share the screen with him again on American television screens.

    So, once we collectively get past the mistake we’ve all made (read: the mistake only I made), does Fortysomething live up to the legacy that is House?

    Unfortunately, while it is good, it is not on the same level as the bitingly perfect television series Hugh Laurie is most commonly known for. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have it’s upsides. Fortysomething is the story of a doctor in his mid-40s who is all too comfortable talking about sex and drugs with his 3 sons, but who recently has started losing his memory about certain things (like when the last time he had sex with his wife was). To top it off, at the start of the episode he starts hearing people’s thoughts.

    I’m not sure if this will be a running theme through the series because halfway through when he asks his coworker if she thought what he heard (that he looks like he hadn’t had sex for 6 months) she corrects him quite honestly (she thinks he looks like he hasn’t had sex for a year) and he doesn’t have any more “mind reading episodes” for the episode. If it is something that will continue into other episodes, it wasn’t handled very well.

    During his troubled day off (he forgot he doesn’t work Tuesdays) during which he acts as what can only be described as House Jr. (he tries saving a patient who doesn’t need saving), his wife goes to the first day of her new job only to find out the position she was hired for isn’t needed anymore and his oldest son Roy (played by Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch–the reason I had to check out the series) has to deal with his younger brother Daniel trying to sleep with his girlfriend. It’s strange and fun to see Roy get calmed down and convinced to wait downstairs for nearly forty minutes while they pretend not to hear Daniel succeeding. It’s the kind of thing that would make me never talk to my brother again forever, but Roy seems to forgive him by the end.

    So through an episode filled with 23 fridges being dumped on his lawn and his wife going AWOL on a walk through the park while he is desperately trying to get a hold of her driving him to come to the lesbian conclusion, it’s definitely not a boring show. But having seen it just yesterday, I’m already not interested in continuing on, which I can’t explain.

    If you have Netflix or are considering the 30-Day Free Trial, this is something you might want to check out. After all, I remember enjoying it while watching it and Hugh and Benedict were very good, but ultimately it’s up to you whether to put it in your Netflix Cue or not.

    And don’t forget, the easiest way to stream Netflix is through the #1 Rated Netflix Streaming Device, the Roku, with a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee, just like Netflix.

    If you’re still on the fence, check out the trailer below.

    Let us know what you thought about the show by clicking “reply” at the top of the article.

    Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/Netflix-Critic-Review for future reviews.

    For those who like their Special Features and Audio Commentaries, here is a helpful link to the physical copy:

    Fortysomething, The Complete Series

     
  • Brian Alex Clark 6:16 pm on September 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , british television, , , review, , the inbetweeners, twat   

    The Inbetweeners Episode 1 Review 

    British television is quite brilliant in it’s way of getting people to keep coming back every week. In it’s second season, Luther edited clips from the next episode into the credits sequence. The Inbetweeners, a show about a school reject trying to make friends at a new school, doesn’t wait that long into the episode. In the first minute while the main character Will McKenzie (Simon Bird) is still doing his voiceover listing his woes about the coming year, we get what can only be described as a funny highlight reel of things that won’t happen this episode, but later down the line. That’s the benefit of a 6 episode season: everything’s filmed before you air.

    But is the actual show interesting enough that you want to stick around to find out what caused all these glimpses into the future?

    In a very short answer, yes. In a slightly longer answer, The Inbetweeners is a great example of brilliant television programming. We follow Will, a kid that screams “bully magnet” so intensely that his own newly estranged mother doesn’t believe him when he tells her he wasn’t bullied at his last school (I’m not sure we’re supposed to believe him either) and who on his first day can’t walk down a hall without at least 5 different people insulting him on his clothes (posh wanker) or his suitcase (Charlie Bartlett would call it an attache case) or the big, green, stupid button the school makes all the new kids wear. AKA Will and “The Freaks” as he calls them. Even an 8th Grader gets in a shot. Hell, even the teacher gets in a couple good ones. This definitely isn’t a school that screams “the children are our future.” Punching bags would be more accurate.

    So how does Will’s first day go, besides the “not bullying?” Not well, I’m afraid. The school day consists of him trying to wedge himself into a group of three guys who just barely register as better than The Freaks that were trying to be his friend from the start. There’s a school tradition where all the underage kids go out to a pub on the first day, but this group of cool cats can’t be seen with him. After all, they consist of Simon (Joe Thomas), a guy with a slightly off hairdo who gets a boner just from talking to the girl he likes, Neil (Blake Harrison), the tall stupid guy with some surprisingly excellent dance movies (that comes later in the series), and finally James (James Buckley), the one guy in the group who’s actually gotten laid “loads of times.” In fact, he’s so experienced he knows you don’t just go balls deep (which is difficult enough according to him), you go balls in. Otherwise, as Neil’s heard, “it doesn’t work.”

    So after a waterfall of bad luck, Will finally makes SOME ground when his future pals meet his mom, who is “so fit” and immediately start talking about getting with her. They go so far as to ask Will if he’d shag her if she wasn’t his mom, but he’s unwilling to accept the groundwork for the “what if” scenario question. It’s probably the one smart choice he made the entire episode, since doubtless he would have opened himself into a whole tirade of Oedipus-inclined mockery if he hadn’t.

    Alas, things don’t go smoothly after they go out. Not only do they land themselves at the wrong pub, but at both their first location and the second one (once they finally relocate) no one but James can get a drink, because only James thought of getting a fake I.D. That and the other 40 or so classmates they find at their final destination. It shouldn’t have to be said that this is the breaking point for Will, who gets so frustrated he outs every single person at the bar for being the underage blokes they are thus locking in his role as most-hated by everyone including–unfortunately for his future–the crazy psychopath of the school. Unfortunately for poor Will, his mother says the boy seems nice after Will tells her he just threatened to kill her. Parents.

    If you have Netflix or are considering the 30-Day Free Trial, this is a show you can definitely devour. And it’s a plus time-wise that there’s only 2 seasons totaling 12 episodes, though I wish the E4 Network had’t been so clever when they chose to keep the 3rd season off Netflix, forcing people to buy the 3rd season through other means if they wanted to be all caught up for the coming movie. Though it’s not perfect in that sense, the first two seasons are definitely something you should bookmark on Netflix.

    And don’t forget, the easiest way to stream Netflix is through the #1 Rated Netflix Streaming Device, the Roku, with a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee, just like Netflix.

    If you’re still on the fence, check out the hilarious movie trailer below.

    Let us know what you thought about the show by clicking “reply” at the top of the article.

    Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/Netflix-Critic-Review for future reviews.

    For those who like their Special Features and Audio Commentaries, here is a helpful link to the physical copy, as well as extra links to season 3 episodes:

    The Inbetweeners – The Complete Series

    Season 3, Ep 1: The Fashion Show
    Season 3, Ep 2: The Gig and the Girlfriend
    Season 3, Ep 3: Will’s Dilemma
    Season 3, Ep 4: The Trip to Warwick
    Season 3, Ep 5: Will is Home Alone
    Season 3, Ep 6: The Camping Trip

     
  • Brian Alex Clark 11:57 pm on September 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , emily thorne, emily vancamp, , , revenge, review, ,   

    Revenge Episode 1 Review 

    Revenge is the type of programming you consider buying on BluRay or iTunes because it’s not on Netflix but seems too good to miss out on. Of course, that dilemma would be easily avoided if you just caught it on ABC when it originally aired. But since the advent of Netflix on my phone and iPad, the feeling that I NEED to catch my shows during their weekly times is gone. (The last time I had such a need was back when Glee was in the middle of it’s third season). The problem I got tired of having was that if I missed an episode, I would inevitably fall behind since I refuse to skip episodes in ongoing stories like Glee or Revenge. It’s a little bit different if I stumble upon an episode of Family Guy with my friends.

    Nevertheless, not a month ago was I roaming the aisles of Best Buy considering if I would buy the pricey enough first season of Revenge to finally bring me up to speed with all the hype. Thankfully, I didn’t bite. Because now it’s on Netflix and the instant I saw it I was ready to rip my teeth into it. So did the long anticipated (for me) first episode live up to the praise I’ve read on the internet or Entertainment Weekly (don’t worry, I’m fully digital–I read it on my iPad app)?

    The answer is “not yet”.

    Revenge is the story of Emily Thorne’s summer in the Hamptons. Except, of course, there’s more to that. To begin with, Emily Thorne (played by Emily VanCamp) is not her real name. No, the truth is she’s Amanda Clarke, the daughter of a now deceased former Hampton-ite who was framed for a crime he didn’t commit and sent to prison for life. Choosing to not follow in the footsteps of her father, who found peace by forgiving his wrongdoers, she instead is back to get revenge against everyone who wronged her and her father. And in one episode, she gets a lot done. I won’t spoil the juicy details for you, but by the end of the episode she’s already crossing one name off her list.

    While the first episode didn’t bring the guilty pleasure giddiness I was hoping for, there is literally nothing I can complain about the first entry in what will surely develop into a long and complicated story. While things happen that you could easily see in overdramatic shows like Gossip Girl or Desperate Housewives (both on Netflix, and both shows I deeply enjoyed, at least for their perfect first seasons), a twist at the end of the episode reveals that the main character Emily Thorne is more involved behind the scenes than you might have expected. This isn’t a character who believes in waiting to get her revenge. She’s going to find the perfect moment to strike; and if she can’t find one you damn better believe she’s going to make one.

    So will I continue watching Kill Bill: Slow Burn? Yes. I would be lying if I said I was interested because a long time ago I imagined what a T.V. show would be like if it was just a vicious cycle of revenge plots. “I want revenge on these people, I get it, but now their loved ones are after me, etc.” Hopefully this is what the second season becomes. But more importantly, I hope the show is up to the hype. I’ll be watching the complete first season and coming back to you for an assessment.

    If you have Netflix or are considering the 30-Day Free Trial, this could easily be a show to check out.

    And don’t forget, the easiest way to stream Netflix is through the #1 Rated Netflix Streaming Device, the Roku, with a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee, just like Netflix.

    If you’re still on the fence about Revenge, check out the trailer below.

    Let us know what you thought about the show by clicking “reply” at the top of the article.

    Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/Netflix-Critic-Review for future reviews.

    For those who like their Special Features and Audio Commentaries (and this has many), here is a helpful link to the physical copy:

    Revenge: The Complete First Season

    Strangely, there has been no Blu-Ray release. So you might want to wait and enjoy it for now on Netflix, though there’s been no indication that anything special will be available on the Blu-Ray as opposed to what is already on the DVD release.

     
  • Brian Alex Clark 10:42 pm on September 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: avengers, captain america, devil's double, dominic cooper, movie, review, saddam hussein, the devil's double, uday, uday hussein   

    The Devil’s Double Reviews 

    The Devil’s Double is the first review from NetflixCritic.com and in the spirit of the name, we’re supplying you with DOUBLE the number of reviews in one article. Say hello to our two writers, Brian Alex Clark (creator of NetflixCritic.com) and Leo Chacon Rodriguez (plucky sidekick, the Robin to Brian’s Batman). They’ll be competing for your attention in the future, occasionally Doubling Up for reviews from time to time. So pick a side, hate the other, and Bella be damned. Here, for your reading pleasure, is The Devil’s Double… Reviews.

    Brian’s Review

    This movie could be fiction. Based on Latif Yahia’s second book by the same name, it accounts his time as Uday Hussein’s body double, something that has been disputed by close friends of Uday’s and CIA case officers alike. It’s an interesting thing to discover after having watched two hours of what you thought was fact. What isn’t fiction is this: Uday Hussein (played by Dominic Cooper), the eldest son of Saddam, was a spoiled kid driven crazy with power. His most popular pick up line in the movie is offering underage girls a ride and going so far as to use his protection detail to force them into his car. At one point he even takes the virginity of a woman–on her wedding day. He is without a doubt a monster, and no one in the movie thinks otherwise. So what happens when Uday enlists (aka forces) an old classmate Latif Yahia (also played by Dominic Cooper) to become his body double? Will Latif hold onto his humanity or become all too like the horrible man he is tasked with impersonating?

    What separates The Devil’s Double from Adaptation (another movie that utilizes the one actor for to parts strategy) is one word: stakes. In Adaptation, the main character (played by Nicholas Cage) is a longtime writer that has to struggle with his next script while his twin brother takes up screenwriting as less than a hobby, but immediately strikes big. At every moment there seems to be something working against him, something he needs to struggle to overcome.

    But in The Devil’s Double, as soon as Latif becomes Uday Saddam Hussein’s double, he stops caring, immediately making him the least interesting character in the movie. He doesn’t even fear death, at one point slitting his wrists to get out of killing a man. If a main character does not even desire to live, what does he have to live for?

    I would have preferred to see this as a fictional miniseries instead of a biography. There could have been so many more interesting things to do with the main character. He could fight to stay good natured but as he lived in Uday’s shoes more and more, he would not be able to stop the inevitable transformation into his lesser half. And that is where this film fails: there is no question of identity. Good Dominic Cooper is Good Dominic Cooper and Bad Dominic Cooper is Bad Dominic Cooper. Latif begins by seeing Uday as a monster and his vision is never blurred, which is unfortunate. There are so many ways perspectives could have been played with, I am forced to look at films like The Black Swan and ask “what if they went this far?” Because based on the trailers, I went into this film thinking Latif would eventually make a power play to replace Uday permanently, ala the plot of the Hitman movie. But when we see Latif using a retainer to mimic Uday’s teeth, we suspect that will not be an option.

    It’s unfortunate Dominic Cooper’s (up till this point) career making role is stuck in such a lackluster film. In terms of acting, it’s in a completely other league from what he did in Captain America: The First Avenger, another movie available on Netflix Instant Streaming. And yet this performance does not make his turn as Howard Stark seem any less talented.

    If you have Netflix or are considering a 30-Day Free Trial, it won’t hurt your pocket to check out The Devil’s Double for Dominic Cooper’s performance. You’ll definitely keep an eye for him in future blockbusters after seeing this. But if you’re looking for something on par with Adaptation, where everything is firing on all cylinders, you’ll be unfortunately left wanting.

    And don’t forget, the easiest way to stream Netflix is through the #1 Rated Netflix Streaming Device, the Roku, with a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee, just like Netflix.

    Leo’s Review

    The Devils Double tells the story of deranged playboy, Uday Hussein, son of Saddam Hussein, and his ‘fidei’ or Body Double (a dual role played by Dominic Cooper). The film beings with Latif Yahia, an Iraqi soldier fighting in the Iran-Iraq war who is offered with a propostition far from his position as a war fighter, taking part as Uday Hussein’s body double. At first Latif refuses Uday’s proposition which enrages Uday, leading him to be tortured and forced to work for Uday or else he and his family will be killed.

    Latif reluctantly takes the job and becomes his double.

    The film fulfills it’s premise as a firsthand account of the life of the sadistic son of Saddam while still giving enough time to explore the man held with the task of being his bullet catcher. The film could have done a better job at giving a more appealing look into Latif’s character, which is where the film kind of seems to slow down a bit, but the performance given by leading man Dominic Cooper is worth your time, which I believe to be the biggest highlight of this film. The film as a whole gives us all it has to show, with a lot of major scenes striking us like a gun to the head.

    I myself enjoyed the film for what it was solely for the fact that it was exactly what I was expecting to get out of it. Although I will admit I wouldn’t spend money on the film, it has it’s moments and performances which is where I found most of it’s charm; but I’d consider this a solid rental. My partner Brian deserves most of the credit for using films such as Black Swan or Adaption as examples, giving a better understanding of the film. I look forward to seeing Cooper headline more mainstream films in the near future. If our reviews may not be enough, give a film a look see on Netflix, it’s worth the watch.

    If you’re still on the fence about the The Devil’s Double, check out the trailer below.

    Let us know what you thought about the film by clicking “reply” at the top of the article.

    Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/Netflix-Critic-Review for future reviews.

    The Devil’s Double is rated R for strong brutal bloody violence and torture, sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and pervasive language.

    For those who like their Special Features and Audio Commentaries, here is a helpful link to the physical copy:

    The Devil’s Double [Blu-ray]

    I wanted to give you links to the paperback and ebook as well, but the only one available is a used copy priced at $489.00 and the ebook simply does not exist! For now we’ll only be able to enjoy the cinematic version of the story. Hopefully the publishers get their act together and release another printing. They missed an opportunity for a good amount of sales to coincide with the theatrical release. #theymessedup

     
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