Up first for us this week is Sniper: The White Raven. It’s based on a true story about a Ukrainian teacher whose wife is killed by Russian soldiers in the area of Donbas in 2014. He leaves his non-violent ways behind to seek revenge on the men and nation who killed his wife. I wasn’t familiar with the story, but have a soft spot for sniper films and I liked this a lot. The lead actor is pretty fantastic as he goes through military training and uses his mathematics background to become a fantastic sniper. I don’t know how many liberties the film takes with the historical accuracies, but since I didn’t know the story in the first place I don’t mind. Even for non-US history I enjoyed it quite a bit and I have certain friends I would definitely recommend it to. It’s closer to American Sniper than the Tom Berenger Sniper franchise because it’s based on real life events. I can see myself watching this again at some point. I was really surprised at how much I got into the film.

Second we have Miracle, a film out of Romania. A young woman at a convent who isn’t quite a nun leaves the convent for a bit to visit a hospital. She changes her mind about a situation and instead of getting a ride back from the taxi driver who drove her in secret, she takes a different taxi. When something bad happens the film takes a turn into a police drama. It becomes about a detective trying to prove the man’s guilt and how far he will go. It’s well acted and well made, but I don’t know if I loved the ending. Well the second ending at least because I liked where it was going before shifting gears. I’m not familiar with anyone in the cast, but the actress playing the young woman is good and actor playing the detective is very good as well. It has a great setting for these events and was shot well. I could see Hollywood remaking it actually. Like Sniper: The White Raven, a nice surprise watch for me.

Third we have Invisible Imprint. Even though I’m from the Boston area where the group in this documentary are from, the film didn’t do much for me. Well let me clarify that, I enjoyed the history lessons in it, but I’m not a fan of interpretative dance and spoken word which these performers do. It follows a troupe of twelve Boston-based spoken-word poets and modern dancers through the south to Chicago performing and learning history. A lot of the performers haven’t been to the south and you can tell they are genuinely moved by the places they visit and people they meet. I’m just not into this type of art. I understand its place in the arts and how it’s used for social change, but it’s just not something that moves me as a person. Seeing the places and museums they visit was cool as was hearing from some of the people who fought the good fight decades ago.

Seal Team: Season Five hits DVD this week. I enjoy military dramas and respect the fact the show uses veterans to make it look somewhat authentic so I like reviewing the DVDs when I receive them. Now that it’s only airing on Paramount+, I’ll never be able to watch it until the DVDs come my way. The first four episodes of this season aired on CBS like previous seasons, but then episodes 5-14 you could only stream on Paramount+ which sucks for people like my parents who like the show, but don’t stream. CBS is making a huge mistake turning their backs on their older viewers. It opens with a training exercise actually being a real mission, the team travels to NYC for 9/11, they return to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan, they travel to South America for different episodes and more. I do like the show and this season because it was on Paramount+ you get a lot more swearing and violence which adds to its authenticity.

Next we have Magnum P.I.: Season Four. I don’t love this Magnum reboot, but it has grown a bit on me. I only watch it when it comes my way to review, but I don’t mind watching it. This will be the last season for CBS as CBS cancelled the show, but NBC picked it up for two more seasons. Season Four sees Magnum and Higgins reuniting, the team go undercover at a golf country club, Higgins gets a new assignment through MI-6, a nun hires the team to investigate a cash donation, they are hired by a bail bondsman, Katsumoto and his ex-wife are abducted. It’s not ground breaking TV, but it’s at least watchable.

Last we have Deus: The Dark Sphere the latest science fiction film that sends humans into space. It’s nothing original or groundbreaking, but it’s good enough for a watch if you like sci-fi. A crew wakes up from hibernation in their spacecraft to investigate a giant sphere in space. It’s broadcasting one word Deus (God) and they must figure out what is happening and if it’s safe or evil. Of course there is a twist with what is behind it all. I understand climate change and population control are buzz worthy topics right now, but I’m already kind of tired of their use in movies. Sure sci-fi has always tackled humanity’s effect on the planet and the universe, but lower budgeted sci-fi seems to rely on it to get noticed. There aren’t a ton of special effects, but the ship looks cool as does the tech. It won’t wow you as a film, but again if you are into science fiction you might like it.

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