Posted in Review, Television

Le Casa de Papel (Money Heist) Review

The Spanish Crime Drama has been an international success and for good reason. This captivating telling of multiple bank heists is TV done right.

An iconic look known all over the world from this show.

First off, if you haven’t watch La Casa de Papel it advertises itself in parts. This is actually seasons. I was told initially it was 2 parts and was like, great a few hours and I’m sorted. Then I realise part 1 is 13 episodes…

Mind you, finding out there was like 21 episodes to watch at the time was great, as I was already hooked.

There’s something about this show that draws you in. Whether its the characters, the back stories, the planning or the actual heist, something keeps you.

That’s how this show is told, everything at the same time. We see the heist of the Royal Mint at the same time we see the planning. It runs in a parallel. Amongst all of this we’re learning about these characters that we initially only know as cities they have chosen as their names.

The exception is the Professor (Alvaro Morte). He orchestrates the whole thing, together with Berlin (Mint Heist) and Palermo (Royal Bank Heist). With each heist they use the same cast of misfits.

The first we meet is Tokio (Ursula Corbero). My favourite character of them all. She is the narrator of the whole thing, keeping you in check with what is going on. She’s feirce, vulnerable, a badass and generally a leader throughout it all. In many ways the whole show is her story, or at least from her perspective.

Tokio .

She forms a relationship with the Professor who she calls her guardian angel. Together they work with Rio, Denver, Moscu, Nairobi, Helsinki and some others here and there. Each with a distinctly different role but the same aim.

As the seasons play out so do the heists. These are expertly clever and almost believable. The immersion for this show is brilliant. It’s only when we get to part 2 that things seem to get a bit dramatic but that’s also the charm.

The relationships during the heist are brilliant. It’s stressful, tense and exciting all at the same time. While they’re in the heist the idea is to become heroes of Spain.

This is where the show is clever in it’s telling of the story. The police are naturally never in charge during the heist, however it may seem. Raquel (Itziar Ituno), the head of the police lets call her, and the Professor seemingly play a chess match the whole time, but it’s like the Professor has seen the match already.

All the while you’re rooting for the guys in the masks all while they’re committing the biggest crime Spain has seen. The masks have become a symbol that is iconic within the show as much as it is outside of the show. Moreover during the heist you’re rooting for the smaller stories. Those relationships and events that are happening throughout the season between these characters.

It’s stressful, tense and exciting all at the same time.

One rule of the heist is to not talk about the heist, okay its not, it’s actually not to form any personal relationships, hence the nicknames. That was always an unlikely rule to be kept and it’s for the better.

Seasons 3 and 4 really build on this and provide heart warming and heart breaking moments as the events play out. I’m still not sure I’m over a certain event.

Neither season is packing loads of action or missing any details. They’re both well balanced in terms of characters and story.

The show isn’t without its draw backs. Each heist is over 2 parts that can feel a bit drawn out, especially the second heist as it’s yet to be concluded. There’s naturally some characters we wish weren’t in it but it wouldn’t be a good show without them.

When the action does get a little bit out of hand it does break the immersion a little bit and you remember this isn’t actually real life.

Overall, I believe this is a must watch. I know some people may not like foreign TV but this is worth getting used to. Either dubbing or subtitles are worth using. The dubbing is well voice acted.

It’s easily a top 5 Netflix show for me. Maybe I’ll do that list soon? Check out my Instagram to see that!

Stole my attention / 10

Posted in Film, Review

Uncut Gems Review

Much like the title this really is an uncut and unpolished gem. It really is a bit of a mess and wasn’t deserving of an Oscar.

Adam Sandler surprised everyone when he released his out of character crime drama on Netflix.

Naturally this garnered a lot of attention as to what was Sandler thinking.

The film quickly started to gain praise for its story and portrayal.

All of a sudden it was found amidst award nominations that Sandler wasn’t humble about.

Checking out this film I had high expectations but was ultimately let down.

Uncut Gems follows the events that unfold when Sandlers main character Howard manages to get his hands on a precious uncut Opal from an Ethiopian mine.

With this discovery he hopes to make a lot of money and finally settle all his debts. Not your typical debts, he’s a fucking moron that deals in dodgy business.

It’s all a bit of a mess.

Part of my confusion came when I realised how much he owed to one particular party, $100,000. Yet he appears to own an apartment in New York and a nice family home, a nice car and care for his 3 children.

How could this dodgy del boy really still have any money. His reputation seems to proceed him but he is still able to deal amongst the elite?

Before he is able to sensibly sell on the gem he’s acquired he agrees to let NBA start Kevin Garret look after it who then believes in it spiritually as he performs better.

Mix that in to the people after Howard, his affair and his gambling addiction and its all a bit of a mess. And that’s how I found this film a mess.

It seems looking around that’s what people liked about this film, that its difficult to follow and it really works in Sandler’s favour. I however thought the opposite.

I never struggled to keep up, but I struggled to stay invested. Howard isn’t a likeable character, in fact, no one is. The film ends, and I kind of thought, what’s the point? Nothing is explained, so don’t be looking for answers.

Sandler gains praise, but I honestly thought he’s still same old Sandler, just without any jokes. I’m glad he never won an Oscar. Julia Fox was good throughout and I hope it breaks her into further roles. Idina Menzel had nothing special to work with.

All in all there are some good parts to this film and you do wonder how badly it all ends. Sandler does have another trick up his sleeve, but it’s unlikely we’ll ever see it again. I think with some better direction this film would be a extraordinary crime film. [Insert joke about crime and my time].

Posted in Review, Television

After Life Review

The Ricky Gervais Netflix original has just aired its second season, so what’s the deal with this emotional telling of grief?

You could be forgiven for hearing that the British comedian and part time actor, known for his sarcastic commentary on this world, has written and directed a new series and you’d rather miss it, thank you very much.

Seasons 1 and 2 now showing on Netflix

But here’s why maybe, just maybe you should take a (small 12 x 30 minute episodes in total) amount of time to give it a chance.

After Life is a simple concept, how do we cope with grief? It centres around an early 50’s character named Tony that recently lost his wife to Breast Cancer. In a P.S I Love You style she left him a video telling him not to be the, how do I say this, grumpy old man (she uses a not so nice ‘C’ word i’d rather not include), that he inevitably will become.

“It will make you laugh and cry in equal measure”

If you’ve lost anyone or know anyone who’s been through cancer, grab some tissues.

Does he listen? Does he fuck. She asks him to do one thing. Since Lisa departed Tony has taken the opportunity to say whatever he would like because being nice doesn’t get you anywhere. Throughout Tony talks about the want to kill himself and would have, if it weren’t for his dog. He refers to this like a superpower because if he ever went to far, he’d commit suicide and that would be that.

Once we get past the establishment that Tony is played by Ricky Gervais the show begins to let us into his life. We see his job, the regular people he meets and what he’s been not getting up to. The cast are charming and full of people you mostly recognise for one reason or another.

Tony and Anne – Something in common

Its an honest as possible take that suits Ricky down to a tee. His comedy works because he explains why ‘its like a superpower‘. You excuse his behaviour, when once you may have found it not so funny or original.

The humour is consistent but not overbearing and its balanced by the emotions Ricky displays when he explains why everything is so painful. The lowest parts come when he is watching his old videos of Lisa, dealing with drugs or alcohol and seeing his Father in a care home. You’re sad for someone that used to be so happy.

“A charming slice of village life”

Tony impacts all the characters he meets and takes several steps of development in grief in season 1.In season 2 he realises its too far and dials back to his comfort zone but is less of a dick to everyone around him.

I wouldn’t expect too much of the other characters or development. They’re likable and we get to know them slightly but not attached. This can be frustrating as throughout season 2 Tony does get ever so slightly tiresome (we get it you’re Ricky Gervais and Tony is sad).

Just as you start to feel this way you’re reminded of why Tony is like this or the show shares another video and charms you in a sad kind of way.

Overall After Life does a very good job of letting you into one mans journey through grief and trying to move on. its a charming slice of a little village life and what loss can do to you and those around you.

It will make you cry and laugh in equal measure.

Definitely going to TV heaven out of 10.


p.s If you’re struggling with anything please, please reach out. We should all take care of ourselves and each other at all stages of our life. Some people do some great work for example Samaritans or Mind.