Not much for us this week so with only 4 releases (so far) and one late one, I’ll go with a Review Round-up and not a New This Week. First we have Straight Forward. The show starts out in Denmark where a woman double crosses a gangster and her father is killed because of it. The story involves Paris and New Zealand as well when she goes on the run and tries to hide out. It’s an 8 episode series which I binged over two days and was pretty decent. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, but the lead actress is good. She tries to hide out in a small town in New Zealand working at a coffee shop while her friends try to get her daughter and mother out of Denmark. A Danish cop is trying to solve all the crimes involved and gets suspended so he heads to New Zealand to find her. The kingpin guy sends a team down there and eventually he goes as well which leads to one final set up. It does leave the door open for a second season and I’m not sure if there is one or not. It’s an easy enough watch, but but it’s nothing original. I could see myself watching a second season if it comes my way.
Sticking with TV, NCIS: Los Angeles: Season 10 is out this week. The NCIS franchise is one I never got into. I watch them when they hit DVD to review, but my parents do watch most of them. NCIS: Los Angeles is my mother’s second favorite behind the original. The season starts with Callen, Sam, Kensi, and Deeks trying to escape Mexico with a bounty on their heads. Other episodes include them protecting a prince after his double is killed, an informant is arrested, a home invasion of a NAVY captain, a security box is stolen in a bank heist, possible use of chemical weapons in Syria, Kensi and Deeks get married, the NCIS team travels to Cuba, and a crossover with JAG actors. It’s not my favorite show but I tend to binge it over a few days when I get it. My parents watch it every week when it airs so there’s still an audience for it.
Third we have Miss Arizona. The film stars Johanna Braddy who I best know from Quantico. She plays a former beauty queen (Miss Arizona) married to a talent agent who is unhappy with her life. At a lunch with other upper class women she gets convinced to talk about her experiences, but ends up in a sort of women’s shelter with women who want nothing to do with her rich life. Of course they bond over the movie when one woman has her kids taken away and sent to Kentucky. They need money to fly her there and there’s all kinds of fun adventures like a drag show and more. I’m not exactly the target audience but I did like seeing Kevin Heffernan show up. I guess if you want to see women bonding and supporting one another it’s for you.
Next is Pixelia and it’s another movie I’m not exactly sure what to take away from. It’s an Indian film that finds a man quitting his regular job to drive for Uber and be a writer. He’s writing a graphic novel about a woman who turns into pixels and only lives online. While driving he meets a Transgender woman and spends time with her. This changes some of his story in the graphic novel. There are scenes in the film that represent scenes in the graphic novel, but honestly? I’m not sure what the graphic novel part had to do with the story of the movie itself. Maybe it’s a metaphor that went over my head, but to me the film should be about the lead character meeting the woman in the car and their relationship. I did think the lead actor was really good and he holds your attention throughout. It’s a quick film shot with a low budget, but it doesn’t look cheap in the slightest.
Last we have All is True which came out a few weeks ago, but I got my copy the end of last week. It stars Kenneth Branagh as William Shakespeare, Judi Dench as his wife, Ian McKellen and more. It tells the story of Shakespeare after he stops writing and moves back to his small town. His son had died and he has two daughters. I wasn’t familiar with the story (I’m not a fan and don’t know much about The Bard’s personal life) so I did find it pretty fascinating. One daughter was a storyteller but couldn’t tell anyone because she was a woman. She also had issues with her love life. Shakespeare wanted to live a quiet life, but hadn’t properly mourned his son and wasn’t there when he had died. Branagh, Dench and the cast are great and I’m sure Shakespeare fans will eat it up. Branagh also directed it.