filmmaven's coffee chat

a morning discussion of film and popular culture over coffee


March 2016

Netflix and how I’ve trained myself to have restraint

As you might know from previous confessions, I am a tv junkie and I did dive into the streaming world by binge watching shows and movies galore. Now I can say with practice I have weaned myself from those days of dry eyeballs, yelling at family not to interrupt, ordering in food and those next day brain strain headaches.  Yes, I set a limit and so far ..have kept my word to myself. Taking them 2 episodes per day and allowing family interruptions, pauses for making dinner and the occasional phone call

DAREDEVIL (Season 2, 13 episodes) – The first season was good and worthy of a second – but, with Season 2 I can say …WOW. Well done. Very Very well done. My only solid critique has to be the length of fight scenes. There are a few where I felt it dragged on unnecessarily. However, the quality of the scenes and the intensity has picked up a new level this season. Jon Berenthal and Elodie Yung offer a next level of emotional strength and character building content that allows our 3 main stars to become more than comic book reflections. Elden Henson gives a humorous and relaxed performance, a more welcoming presence to the terse Daredevil played by Charlie Cox and the twitchy Karen Page as portrayed by Deborah Ann Woll. This season played out incredibly well considering the increased amount of characters, subplots and fight scenes. Pacing is everything in a comic book story, when to show, when to speak, when to tell and when to allow the audience to embrace the content.

Continuum (Canadian, creator Simon Barry, 2012-2015)  – So fitting to watch this now as the American Election Cycle heats up around polarizing issues and misunderstandings about corporate control and grass roots campaigning …In 2077 Keira is a compliant Protector, wanting nothing more than to be a good cop and a good mom. Caught up in a time traveling escapade, will she make it back to her own time? and what will she find there? This is good on so many levels – the acting is terrific, the pacing and story-line are exciting, the sci-fi aspects are believable and while into Season 3 get a little convoluted- it doesn’t go so far as to jump the shark (close, but its okay), the fight scenes are plentiful but well placed and not gratuitous.  The concepts of Corporations, good contentions and altering your destiny are, as I said, well timed for me in this phase of primary voting in the USA. Then ADDED BONUS, actors I adored from DaVinci’s Inquest, Ian Tracey is always a delight (you may have spotted him as a truck driver who gets his comeuppance in SUPERMAN 2013).

Copper (BBC America, 2 seasons) – Not that impressed – Thought I would love the time period and the mystery element, the onset of the police force in action…there were a few moments when subplots could have drawn attention and then too many other things happened but not enough happened.


When Weather plays a character on film….

Winter is coming ……Winter has hit Michigan hard in the last few weeks and after a mild fall, a soft smooth few months of winter and a SLAM it in your face January, February and now Marc…

Source: When Weather plays a character on film….

When Weather plays a character on film….

Winter is coming ……Winter has hit Michigan hard in the last few weeks and after a mild fall, a soft smooth few months of winter and a SLAM it in your face January, February and now March …we are so done. Just over it. Ready for windows open, less layers of clothing and walking with out fear of falling …..I’m thinking about movies that bring weather along as a character…with out the mood and setting of outdoor conditions the film would just not be the same ….


BODY HEAT (1981, Dir: Lawrence Kasdan) — Although the city of Miami sets an interesting backdrop for drama, it really could be any city featured in this story – but the heat…the dripping, smothering, body heat, stifling air that helps guide this torturous lust fest. I admit, it was Kim Zimmer that made me take notice of this film – something about her smile and smirk, but ultimately the desperate sweaty heartfelt thumping of William Hurt’s panting that makes it worth watching.

THE ICE HARVEST (2005, Dir: Harold Ramis) — The weather of Wichita, Kansas is relentless….you feel the trapped desperation of the characters based as much on their nemisis the weather as the creepy criminals (who ? not sure which side you should really be on?) As falls Wichita so falls Wichita Falls, is such a tongue twisting line it stays with you well after the film ends and you get warm once again.

KITCHEN STORIES (2003, Dir: Bent Hamer) (Norway) — The appearance of weather in this film is like the second best friend or the super nice barber/bookseller/bartender that you take note of and admire but its not until the story wraps up that you realize it was one of your favorite parts of the film. A sweet, slow, interesting film enhanced by the natural background.

CORALINE (2009, Dir: Henry Selick) — While it is the location combined with the weather that sets the mood for this beautiful story, it is worth noting because so much of the story is set up for the adventures by its use of outdoor space, lighting and weather. A lovely film, too scary for anyone under 10.

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