My Fortnight in Film, 2016 Weeks 41 & 42

Apologies for the lack of update last week, I hadn’t written any reviews and I was too engrossed in season 2 of The Wire to get anything else done. Now I’ve finished that season, so it’s the perfect opportunity for me to discuss it, spoiler-free of course.
wire-2Season two is essentially known as the “Docks” season, or the “Cannot Live Up To The Greatness Of Season One” season, but it also felt a lot like the “Setting Up Lots Of Elements And Putting Them In Place For The Future At The Expense Of The Season’s Overall Quality” season. Initially I didn’t much care for the entire docks side of the story, as it at least partially side-lined the more interesting and engaging characters and storylines from the previous season. Also, I felt it took too long to resolve how some characters ended up last time around, and get them into a position where they could interact with this season’s plot, and that come the climax the writers were so eager to get out of this season and onto the next one that they threw everything together in the last episode or two, cramming in as much as possible to get it over and done with, which I found very unsatisfying. Still, I liked the introduction of some of the new characters, like Beadie Russell (Amy Ryan, an actress I’ve been keeping an eye out for since she blew me away in Gone Baby Gone) and Frank Sabotka (Chris Bauer). And whilst this season wasn’t as good as the first, it was still very compelling, and I’ve heard season 3 is possibly even better than the first, although I might take a little break and watch a season of something else, just to space it out. Fortunately The Walking Dead starts again this week, and The Night Of is available streaming on Sky, and I’ve heard great things about that. Look for my thoughts on those soon. In the mean time, here’s what I watched this past two weeks:
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My Week in Movies, 2016 Week 39

I’m still in China as I write this, but I should be on my way home when it gets published, so I’m going to reserve any further tales of my exploits for the upcoming monthly recap that should drop this weekend, providing I don’t just collapse onto a bed when I get home and sleep for several days, which to be honest I’m not exactly ruling out.
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Instead, here’s my thoughts on season 1 of The Wire, because there’s nothing better to do when you’re alone in a foreign country for an extended period of time than binge watch a TV boxset. I’m just annoyed I only brought the first season with me. I’m going to go out on a limb here and make a fairly bold and potentially controversial statement – The Wire is great. I’m hooked, I can’t wait to watch more and see what happens and where all the characters go next. It’s got this ability to make utterly despicable characters – on both sides of the law – and make them compelling, watchable and endlessly entertaining, whilst ruthlessly maiming, imprisoning and killing off other, more likeable characters, yet still keeping me engaged. Scene-wise my highlight is still detectives Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West) and Bunk Moreland (Wendell Pierce) investigating an old crime scene in episode four, with the entire dialogue for the scene being comprised of “Fuck” and it’s numerous variations. I’ve gone back and watched that scene a few times and, if I can find it on Youtube once I’ve returned to a country that has access to Youtube, then it’s probably I’ll be covering on a future Favourite Scene Friday for To The Escape Hatch. There are too many great characters to list, but personally I find the law-enforcement side to be richer and more developed, even the more supporting ones like Major Rawls (John Doman) and Sergeant Jay Landsman (Delaney Williams). On the main team, it’s all about Lester (Clarke Peters), and I’m looking forward to seeing where he goes next. Criminal-wise, nobody outshines Omar (Michael K. Williams). Expect to read my thoughts on series 2 as soon as possible.
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