Watch This: Trailer for Transparent

Amazon released a trailer for the Amazon-only Transparent, which will begin on September 26. Right now you can see the 1st episode free, even if you don’t have Prime.

This very complicated tale stars Jeffrey Tambor as a man making a gender transition late in life. There’s a huge and wonderful cast supporting Tambor with plenty of complexity to make up a family of interesting characters.

I don’t know how old Tambor’s character is supposed to be in this show, but in real life he is 70. That puts him in a generation when the opportunity – even the idea – that one could change genders was somewhere in the realm of impossible. Young people today who feel compelled to transition manage to accomplish it at a much earlier age. I think the series title, Transparent, is a clue that the reactions of his grown children to the transition will be important.

poster for Transparent

The series was created by Jill Soloway, who has worked on such great shows as Six Feet Under, Afternoon Delight and United States of Tara.

All 10 episodes of Transparent will be available on Amazon Prime on September 26.

Watch This: Trailer for The Calling

In The Calling Detective Inspector Hazel Miscallef (Susan Sarandon) realizes there’s a serial killer loose in her area of Ontario, Canada. Generally all I need to know about a film is that Susan Sarandon is in it to be interested.

Susan Sarandon in The Calling
Susan Sarandon in The Calling

From the trailer the film looks grim and a bit gruesome.

However, the thriller does have a great cast. In addition to Sarandon, there’s also Gil Bellows, Ellen Burstyn, Topher Grace, and Donald Sutherland.

Here’s the plot description:

Detective Hazel Micallef hasn’t had much to worry about in the sleepy town of Fort Dundas until a string of gruesome murders in the surrounding countryside brings her face to face with a serial killer driven by a higher calling.

The film opens August 29 but it’s a limited release, so you may have to watch for it to make it to most locations.

Watch This: A Thousand Times Good Night

A Thousand Times Good Night will be released in the US on October 24. It looks to be a marvelous film. Continue reading “Watch This: A Thousand Times Good Night”

Season 2 of The Fall with Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan

The BBC released a season 2 preview for The Fall without mentioning the date when it will be shown. They merely say “coming soon.”

It’s been about a year since my enthusiastic review of season 1 in “The Fall: Mystery Great from the BBC.” Both Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan will be back for the new 6 episode run.

Jamie Dornan is the serial killer Paul Spector. He’s pursued by the Dublin Police Service and Stella Gibson, a Detective Superintendent played by a spectacular Gillian Anderson. At the end of series 1, Stella Gibson had figured out who the killer was, but she hadn’t captured him.

As you can see in the preview, Paul Spector is spying on his pursuer and keeping ahead of her every move. The MO of this particular serial killer is that he studies his subjects carefully while planning a kill. Is that what he’s planning for the detective? She is hardly a gullible and weak damsel who will be easy to kill.

A face in the cast that American audiences will recognize is the motorcycle riding pathologist, played by Archie Panjabi.

As I mentioned in my review of season 1, this brilliant series is slow-paced and intellectual. The audience has known from the start who the killer was, seeing into his life, work, marriage, family and killer’s mentality. At the same time, the audience has been inside the workings of the police and the analytical mind of Stella Gibson. Gibson is as complex as the man she’s hunting. The two are both angel and devil, each in their own way.

Season 1 is available in the U.S. on Netflix. If you missed this excellent mystery I urge you to catch up on season 1 and be on the lookout for season 2. It will be on BBC Two in the U.K.

Watch This: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

I absolutely cannot wait to see The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The first one was arguably the best movie on planet Earth, and in 2015 we’ll have yet another best movie on planet Earth. Such riches.

Among the riches: the best cast on planet earth, including Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Richard Gere, Penelope Wilton and Dev Patel.

John Madden is directing, with the screenplay written by Ol Parker.

I love these people! Wait, am I gushing too much? I’ll restrain myself and simply say it looks good.

Not to take away from The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, because I know it will be good, but I have a question. Why are women in shows about older people always chasing after men? Why isn’t it the other way around? Why aren’t the men chasing after the women? So Richard Gere is handsome and attractive – so what! Aren’t the women gorgeous and attractive, too? What’s up with this trope about women needing to be sexually predatory in their old age if they want to be with someone?

Watch This: Trailer for A Second Chance

The Danish film A Second Chance (En Chance Til) will premier at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival. It’s a film from Academy Award winning director Suzanne Bier.

Based on the trailer, the film looks powerful and gut-wrenching. The film stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Ulrich Thomsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, and Maria Bonnevie.

A police officer steals a child from drug-addicted parents at a crime scene. His wife bonds with the child and threatens to kill herself if he returns the child to the real parents. It looks complicated and fraught and full of many of the deep, meaningful emotions that make me a fan of many Danish films.

It will be a while before this film reaches any likely places to view it in the U.S. – probably on a streaming service like Netflix or Amazon. It looks excellent. I hope it becomes available to Americans soon.

A Second Chance Photo by Henrik Petit

Watch This: Our Leader the Mockingjay

A new trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 released. Looks like Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss is getting herself an ragtag army and a rebellion whether she wants one or not. The suggested hashtag from the trailer is #OurLeaderTheMockingjay.

I caught a glimpse of Julianne Moore in this trailer. She’s a nice addition to The Hunger Games franchise. She’s a nice addition to anything.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 is scheduled for release in November. What a good way to spend the Thanksgiving weekend. I’m ready to drop my dollars going to see this female-led drama. What about you?

Watch This: Trailer for Fort Bliss

Men go off to war and women support them and their country by staying at home, taking care of the kids, taking care of the house, and being there with love when the soldier returns. That’s what women do.

But when the soldier is a woman, a man may not do the same for family and country. A man may resent being the one who has to take care of things at home, raise the kids, do what women have done since forever. And a 5 year old son may grow away from his mother completely in 15 months of absence, especially if the parent remaining at home isn’t encouraging him to stay connected to his absent parent.

Fort Bliss is about a female army medic who serves 15 months in Afghanistan. The medic is played by Michelle Monaghan. Also starring in the film are Ron Livingston, Pablo Schreiber, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Dash Mihok and Oakes Fegley as the medic’s son.

As the medic struggles to reconnect with her son, she’s faced with the possibility of redeployment. Take a look at the trailer.

The film was written, directed and produced by Claudia Myers. It opens in September in theaters and will be available on demand at the same time.

Images © 2014 – Voltage Pictures