A Bookaholic, Pro-life, Pro-Family, Pro-Oxford Comma, Catholic (with Asperger's) who reads and writes as her obsession. I've been reading over 400 books a year lately. These are my ramblings on some of the books I read. To read about all the books I read and comment on, visit me at LibraryThing or Goodreads.
I've been blogging since 2007 and at this point (July 2015) am trying my hand at turning the theme of this blog towards mystery, thriller, and crime, fiction and nonfiction. I have some special interest topics and categories within this broad genre which include (but are not limited to) serial killers, scandi-crime, Victorian history and historicals, history of the criminally insane and asylums, psychopathology, death, funerary practices and burial, corpses, true crime and anything dealing with the real life macabre, or that portrayed in fiction.
I also read a short story a day from various collections, sometimes anthologies othertimes collections of a single author's work. These reviews are also posted here and while they are of mixed genre the mystery, thriller, horror, gothic and macabre often appear within their pages as well.
I also blog about graphic novels and manga on a separate BLOG.
I also blog about graphic novels and manga on a separate BLOG.
Monday, March 21, 2016
Movies/TV/Concerts Watched 2016
This is a running list for the year. The list will include the movie and indicate whether it is a re-watch otherwise, it can be assumed it was my first time watched. My family hardly watches any TV and unlike most families who are trying to cut down on television consumption, we've made a decision to try and watch more than the none we do now to engage the family in spending time together, giving us common interests to talk about and be entertained together. Good times, good fun.
Title (the year)(rewatch?)(owned/rental/library/borrowed/theatre/Netflixed)
and a brief review which could be just one word such as good, great, just OK, whatever. If I feel like expounding on the review I will. No rules here just a list with a bit of extra information. I will also probably note who I watched it with.
1-3. Bates Motel Seasons 1-3 (2013-2015) (streamed) - I went to visit my son and we decided to binge watch something for the duration. Neither of us had heard anything about this show but are big fans of Psycho so watched a couple of episodes and were hooked. Season 1 really sets you up thinking Norman is nice and wondering just where they are going to go with this show. Then Season 2 goes all out freaky and we were sad to have the end of Season 3 come. Season 4 is currently showing on TV but I don't like watching live TV so will watch it come summer when I can binge watch the entire season.
4. Psycho - (1960) (rewatch) (streamed) - the last evening we watched the last 2 episodes of the above nd decided to rewatch "Psycho" since it had been years since either of us had watched it and we wanted to see what things we were not catching in the show and what we were not remembering, etc. This is a classic. I love the filmography and the camera work. Hitchcock is my favourite. Freddy Highmore is doing a wonderful job of capturing Anthony Perkins mannerisms while still making Norman Bates his own. Anyway, great movie.
5. Anger Management - (2003) (streamed) - the three of us sat down and watched this as a family. Dh likes Adam Sandler, he's hit and miss with me but I like Jack Nickolson. 15yo Ds complained about having to spend so much time watching TV with the parents. Verdict? It was only just ok, a few funny bits but neither I nor dh thought it was particularly funny. Ds ended up engaging more than he had been willing too, so had a good time after all, but don't tell anyone I told you. (shhhhh) Not terrible, but wouldn't recommend it.
6. Shanghai Noon - (2000) (DVD owned) - I'm going through all our DVD's and getting rid of a bunch but will be watching some first. Dh and I sat down to this Kung-fu western and ds ended up joining us. Fun comedy. Would watch the sequel (s?).
7. American Horror Story (Season 3: Coven) - (2013) (streamed) - My favourite season so far. Brings back lots of previous actors but adds a bunch of new ones. I loved the witch part best, the voodoo not so much. Loved that I got who all the historical references referred to!Zoe was my fav. character. This was Kathy Bates first season and she was awesome! Watched this by myself and loved it. Next comes Freakshow, the season I heard about that turned me onto this show in the first place.
8. Climate Hustle - (2016) (Cineplex, Toronto) Fabulous documentary on the climate change co2 hoax which is really all about economics and wealth distribution.
9. Sherlock Season 3 - (2014) (Netflix) - Continues to be an absolutely fantastic show. Ends with a cliffhanger so am hoping for a season 4.
10. Sherlock: The Abominable Bride - (2016) (Netflix) - A Christmas special episode which has Holmes and Watson in the 1890s. It's very different from other episodes. It's a comedy, parodying themselves and the novels, but midway things began to flip from the past to the present and it got pretty intense and funnier. So I ended up really enjoying it. It continues the cliffhanger from Season 3 but only advances the plot a tiny bit.
11. TINY: A Story About Living Small - (2013) (Netflix) - A documentary certainly not riveting but very interesting. I always want to go live in one of these when I see a show, photos, etc. about them.
12. American Horror Story (Season 3: Freak Show) - (2014) (streamed) - My least favourite season. It was enjoyable and I watched 3 episodes at a time, but it just wasn't great. I did like that I knew most of the history of the real-life characters they portrayed. That's always one thing I love about this show. This season I found a bit much for my tastes in that it was very sexually perverted. Not into that. Then it really wasn't very scary or gross. The clown stuff at the beginning was scary but after that nothing else. I liked the cameo bits from actors in the previous seasons (and I mean the ones not cast as major characters). I kept expecting a twist at the very end but it was pretty much a let down ending. So, ok, but not the best. My favourite season so far has been Coven, then Murder House second.
13. Bates Motel Season 4 - (2016) (streamed) - This is the penultimate season which starts to catch up with the movie. I think they are going to redo the movie as part of the final season as I heard they had cast an actress to play Marian Crane. Anyway, this was an awesome season. Norman is totally a psychopath now, and I hate him so much. No more sympathy for him ever. The final two episodes I cried! The season finale made me bawl even though I knew what was happening. Can't wait for next season to start and be over so I can binge watch it!
14. The Lady in the Van - (2015) (Netflix) - Wow, I actually watched a movie! A quaint British film based on a true story with Maggie Smith portraying a homeless lady. Good, but not great.
15. Stranger Things Season 1 - (2016) (Netflix) - Wow, wow, wow! Loved it!!! The first couple of episodes I wasn't getting into it, wondering what all the hype was but by Episode 4 I was hooked and binge watched the whole thing.
16. The Fall Season 2 - (2014) (Netflix) - I watched the first season last year and don't know why I waited so log to finish it. The second season was just as good and I absolutely loved Gillian Anderson's performance in this Irish television series. Season 3 will be airing in the UK this fall (2016). So hopefully next year we'll get it on Netflix.
17. River Season 1 - (2015) (Netflix) - A Netflix original British crime starring a Swedish detective. I loved it! Very dark, sombre and cerebral but I was hooked.The song "I Love to Love" by Tina Craig was featured a lot and I fell in love with it not having heard it before. This was only a six-episode miniseries so was easy to binge watch. I wish American TV would make more mini-series like back in the '80s, I just can't keep interested in these 6,7,8 etc seasons-long shows.
18. Hinterland Season 1 - (2014) (Netflix) - I continue on my British crime spree. I liked this a lot, not love, but really liked. It is very dark and very cerebral, so slow at times but I loved the atmosphere. Was also really interesting to see how the police work in Wales as opposed to other UK countries.
19. Marcella Season 1 - (2016) (Netflix) - This is another British police show, a Netflix original. It was a little hard to get into but by the 3rd episode I was hooked. Watched 4 episodes the first day and the last 4 another day. Really looking forward to a 2nd season.
20. The Do-Over (2016) (Netflix) - Dh and I decided to have a movie night and since we both enjoy Adam Sandler, dh chose this one. OMG! This is probably the raunchiest movie we have ever seen. We were laughing our heads off one minute and almost throwing up at the perverted sex. We screamed "Ewww" as often as we laughed. It really crosses a lot of lines and includes male nudity (very gross at that). Anyway, we laughed and agreed it was about a three out of five.
21. Shetland Season 1 & 2 (2013, 2014) (Netflix) - Continuing on with my British crime kick, I chose this one next because of where it took place. I'm not really familiar with the ShetlandIslands except knowing they were part of Scotland. Anyway a very good serious crime drama with great actors and characters. The crimes aren't gross but they are interesting. Not a continuing arc but each two-part episode is a separate case based on the books by Anne Cleeve.
22. Shetland Season 3 (2016) (Netflix) - I enjoyed this a lot better than the first two seasons. Rather than being based on a book the entire season is one big drama and it's very intense.
23. Inspector Morse Series 1 (1987) (Netflix) - I've seen all these episodes but it's been a very long time since I watched the show. Each season is 3 movie-length episodes. I didn't remember who dunnit in any of these three and was thrilled to watch Morse from the beginning. I love how he drinks all the time and comes onto a woman in every episode! The whole thing is so eighties but great fun and holds up well.
24. Murder Maps Season 1 (2015) (Netflix) - Excellent British crime docu-drama focused on sensational crimes in Victorian London. Four episodes and I'd only heard of one (Crippin). Excellent. Will be watching the next season soon!
25. Inspector Morse Series 2 (1988) (Netflix) - This is really a trip down memory lane. I watched this with my parents when it first aired in Canada. I hated the first episode as it was terribly '80s and had some really bad acting from the lead woman but the others were great.
26. Murder Maps Season 2 (2016) (Netflix) - This was an excellent series. The last episode seems to have wrapped it up and I'll be surprised if there is another season. All the episodes are top-notch but this season the dates range from the 1920s to 1950s so I didn't enjoy it as much as the first season since I loved the Victorian aspect. But still highly recommended.
27. Inspector Morse Series 3 (1989) (Netflix) - With this season the show becomes more like what I remembered and the characters have grown. Lewis isn't such a teetotaller and Morse is less of a womanizer. Al great episodes. There are 4 movie-length episodes at this point.
28. Happy Valley Season 1 (2014) (Netflix) - A Netflix original and a brilliant British police serial. Set in my neck of the woods, Yorkshire and occasionally Huddersfield, I found this riveting. I'm extremely delighted with the main female lead who I recognised right away as Raquel from "Coronation Street".
29. Happy Valley Season 2 (2016) (Netflix) - Even better than the first season! I hope it continues.
30. The Sopranos Season 1 (1999) (Amazon Prime) - Nothing better than good old The Sopranos. I've never seen the whole thing, ust bits here and there so I'm settling in for the whole shebang. I love James Gandolfini!
31. The Sopranos Season 2 (2000) (Amazon Prime) - Love!
32-35. Whitechapel Seasons 1-4 (2009-2010; 2012-2013) (Netflix) - Excellent. Really enjoyed the historical tie-ins within the modern setting. Season 4 wasn't that good as it started getting a paranormal vibe.
36-37. Broadchurch Seasons 1-2 (2013; 2015) (Netflix) - Really enjoyed. Second season ended on a final note and Ithought it was finished but I've just found out season 3 will be aired in 2017.
38. The Sopranos Season 3 (2001) (Amazon Prime) - Getting better and bettr. I'm starting to talk like the Sopranos now and use their catch phrases. LOL
39. Real Detective Season 1 (2016) (Netflix) - An amazing docudrama where each episode features one detective as he recalls the one case that made the biggest impact on him. I was very surprised at how excellent the show is.
40. Josef Fritzl: Story of a Monster (2010) (Netflix) - An hour long UK television special which interviews the friends relatives and victims. Filmed in Austria with lots of subtitles. It is a very impressive production without any of American TV's glitter and sensationalism.
41. Southcliffe (2013) (Netflix) - This is a British mini-series aboout a man who goes on a random gun rampage in his small town. It is dark and slow, not comparable to the fast pace ofAmerican TV. I really enjoyed it.
42. True Crime (Netflix) - Filmed by a joint New Zealand/Australian company these are 6 movie-length made for TV movies which chronicle real life crimes committed mostly in New Zealand. These were very professionally done and emotionally gripping. Titles shown in this collection are: A Model Daughter, How to Murder Your Wife, Siege, Venus and Mars, Bloodlines and Safe House.
43. Paranoid Season 1 - (2016) (Netflix) - A UK cop series. Very good with some familiar faces. Lots of character stuff along with international intrigue and murder. Good stuff! Hope it makes another season.
44. No Escape (2015) (Netflix) - An action/adventure starring Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan. Not great but ok enough for a mindless chase movie.
45-47. Wallander Season 1-3 (2008, 2010, 2012) Three movie length episodes per season. A UK show set in Sweden, doing the scandi-crime with Kenneth Branagh. Not the best or very exciting but some of the murders are good and after the first season I became familiar with the characters. I'll watch the next season once it uploads to Netflix for sure.
48. Lost for Life (2013) - Movie length documentary on kids sentenced to life without parol in the United States. Very interesting! Most people they talked to were very sympathetic characters who had gone to prison age 15 or younger who I felt had certainly done the time already. One person hadhis sentence commuted and was back on the street as a successful adult. And one kid had been in for five years and was obviously still delusional about his innocence, while his partner in crime had obviously matured, grieves, and is becoming a fine young man who should have a chance again some day. We may have a terribly lax sentencing system here in Canada ut at least we don't punish children forever for a crime.
49. The Detectives Season 1 (2015) - This was great! Documentary TV with three episodes followig a new sexual assualt unt in Greater Manchester. Each episode deals with a crime from start to finish plus running through the whole series is the historcal case radio dj Ray Teret, a long time friend of Jimmy Saville.
50. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) - Great thriller with a bit of everything starring John Goodman. Each time you figure out what's really going on they throw a twist a you. You never know what's cming next and I loved the outlandish ending!
51. Forensic Files Collection 2 (1996-2016) - 40 random episodes of this fantastic forensics TV docu-drama. Each episode is just under a half-hour making the series great for those times you can't concentrate long enough for a movie or if you want to just watch one more thing before going to bed.
52. Too Young to Die (2012-2015) - 8 hour length documentaries produced in Germany. I really, really liked this because of the international flavour. There are a lot of subtitles during the intrviews and some of the people chosen are too old to have died young but I enjyed them all except one on an obscure Communist Russia entertainer. Others featured such as Natalie Wood, Heath Ledger, Kurt Cobain and Falco.
53. Best Laid Plans (1999) - a decent thriller starring Reese Witherspoon. Not fantastic but an entrtaining 90 minutes.
54. Line of Duty Season 1 (2012) - Really enjoyed this UK police procedural show. Features the Anti-Crime unit which is like US Internal Affairs. First time I've ever watched a UK cop show that starred a black man too, which was great. Plenty of black female cops in UK shows but not many male ones.
I add to this page all year but never update the feed so bookmark it if you are interested in following.