My Fortnight in Film, 2016 Weeks 48 & 49

Parks and Recreation is rapidly becoming one of my favourite sitcoms. I’m a few episodes into series six (of seven) and all the actors have really settled into their respective grooves and know exactly what they’re doing, and for the most part the writers know how to handle them too. Of the main cast it’s too difficult to pick a best character or actor, as they are all great in their own ways, although for me one of the funniest moments so far is Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) attempting to do the unthinkable and eat a banana. I will be sad when I get to the end of this show.
swanson-bananaI’ve also watched all of Westworld recently (no spoilers, don’t worry) and whilst I enjoyed the premise and a lot of the set-up, I’ve been disappointed and feel let-down by how the series ended, as little happened that I didn’t see coming a long way off, and the parts I did find surprising felt like a disservice to the characters effected. I wasn’t expecting everything to be wrapped up neatly, and things have been put into an interesting point from which season 2 will have to start, but this has yet to join the pantheon of all-time greats like Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones. There’s potential – as long as they keep giving Jeffrey Wright and Thandie Newton killer scenes to chomp on – but it’s not there yet. Anyway, enough about TV, what have I been watching recently movie-wise?
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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.
wire
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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