Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is an Australian series that just appeared on Netflix and Amazon. Season 1 is available on Netflix, season 2 is currently airing in Australia.
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries takes place in 1928 Melbourne. Essie Davis is Phryne Fisher, a feminist and free spirit who becomes a detective. The music, the sets, and the costumes are delightful, as are Phryne (pronounced fry-nee) and the people around her. Phryne is bold and clever and a couple of steps ahead of the police in solving crimes.
Other major characters are Nathan Page as Detective Robinson, Ashleigh Cummings as Phryne’s maid Dot. (That’s her in the photo at the top.) Tammy Macintosh is Phryne’s doctor friend (a woman doctor in 1928!). A couple of characters who run general detecting type errands and drive Phryne around are played by Travis McMahon and Anthony Sharpe.
They are keeping the Orphan Black cards pretty close to the chest with these teasers. They fall into the “is that all there is” category.
This one tells us even less.
In spite of this pitifully lacking look at what season 2 promises, I cannot wait to see what Tatiana Maslany does with the multiple parts she plays in Orphan Black. It is at the top of my list of fascinating and compelling TV for 2013. I hope 2014 will be equally excellent.
I went to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire the first weekend it was out, unlike the elders they interviewed for this film. I was not the only person in the theater with gray hair, either.
It was very exciting, dramatic and suspenseful – as you would expect from a film like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Yes, there is gratuitous killing in the story. The deeper story is about revolution and change, about oppression and exploitation, about freedom and fairness. Katniss represents the power to energize people to make the world a better place. She symbolizes leadership and love and justice. She does it all while being female. It’s extraordinary. It’s important.
Muffin Top: A Love Story is a movie by women, about women. It’s also about body image. And love.
I love it already.
Watch the trailer.
Muffin Top: A Love Story was funded by a Kickstarter project and a bunch of awesome people who like the idea of women both in front of and behind the camera as much as I do. The muffintopmovie.com website has more stuff about this chick flick made by real chicks.
The English Teacher has potential, I think, as I’m thumbing my way through Netflix on a Friday night. Julianne Moore, Greg Kinnear, Nathan Lane. It looks like a romantic comedy that could work on an otherwise long evening.
I took a chance. I enjoyed it. I watched it all the way through. It wasn’t so terrible that I had to quit 10 minutes in, but it was definitely not as good a film as you might expect from Julianne Moore and the other exemplary members of this cast.
The plot was fine. Julianne Moore is an English teacher – one of her former students returns to town feeling like a failure because his play was rejected – she decides to get the play produced at her high school. Nathan Lane is fantastic as the high school drama coach. Michael Angarano is perfect as the talented but immature playwright. Greg Kinnear, who of course we know will be Julianne Moore’s love interest simply from reading the cast list, does a fine job as the father of the young playwright and eventually makes it to love interest category. The play gets produced with a few bumps along the way.
Maybe “bangs” along the way would be a better term. Michael Angarano and Julieanne Moore have a moment on the desk in her classroom which adds complications to the plot. Especially when he then moves on to the high school girl leading the play, Lily Collins. And, of course, there are the complications involved in getting Moore and Kinnear together after they get off to a rocky start.
Predictable plots are a romantic comedy staple and new approaches to the various plot changes are always appreciated. This film does fine at that.
No, it wasn’t the plot.
It was the cute.
There was too much cutesy voice over. (Voiced by Fiona Shaw, by the way.) That grew annoying. Also, there was the cutesy way the teacher graded men like they were an English essay and we saw her “notes” plastered on the screen as she talked to them. If I could magically sweep away the cute, I’d recommend this as a great representative of the romantic comedy genre.
Alas, I can only recommend it as an average representative of the romantic comedy genre. Which, of course, is why I watched it all the way through and found it entertaining. Let’s face it, if you’re into rom coms, you’re used to average.
Check out the trailer.
If you watch The English Teacher, I’d love to hear your opinion of the cute. Was it as annoying to you as it seemed to me?
If you can pry the TV away from the football fans, there are many good movies available for instant streaming that can be fun for a family holiday weekend. Here are a few ideas for your Thanksgiving viewing.
For the Grown-Ups
Robot & Frank is delightful. Frank, warmly played by Frank Langella, is a former jewel thief and second story man who is losing himself to Alzheimer’s. His son, James Marsden, gives him a robot butler to take care of him. The robot makes sure he eats healthy and takes his pills. Plus, the robot can carry on an interesting conversation. One problem – or bonus – the robot makes no moral judgements about theft. The robot is voiced with great charm by Peter Sarsgaard.
Robot & Frank appeals because of its older lead characters. Here’s another.
A more complex story with many more characters that would do well for the family over a holiday weekend is The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The cast includes many of the world’s best actors, most of whom are over 50! There will be a part 2 of this delightful movie in the future.
For the Younger Crowd
If you plan on heading out to the theater to watch The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, why not watch the original The Hunger Games before you go to refresh everyone on the story?
Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, is an inspiring character that everyone in the crowd can root for.
There’s plenty of action in The Hunger Games, but another action-filled option for the late teen/young adult contingent would be The Avengers.
Everybody loves a good superhero, right?
For the Little Ones
Why not step back in time a bit to something the kiddos haven’t already watched 80 times in the last week. And why not pick something with enough humor to keep the adults interested, too. Once such choice is Cars.
Don’t be afraid to go way, way back to old classics. They always satisfy and keep the little ones glued to the floor until dinner is ready. How about Chitty Chitty Bang Bang one more time? You know you enjoy it.
Our modern world brings so much choice in entertainment into your home every day. Why not put some of these movies in your watch list for the holiday?