This post is filled with action and thrills! From Atomic Blonde to The Sinner to Game of Thrones. Plus, a music recommendation and our take on the latest Netflix movie: The Incredible Jessica James.
1. Atomic Blonde
I’ve anticipated this film for awhile now, and there was a small part of me that felt like there was an opportunity to feel disappointed. I’m glad that wasn’t the case. Atomic Blonde delivers with every punch, kick, and fight scene embedded in this film. Set in Berlin in the 80s, the film does a fantastic job of curating the decade through visuals and a strong companion soundtrack of some notable tracks. Much like other recent films that rely on the soundtrack to drive the film and choreograph the scenes with each note, Atomic Blonde really illustrates the story and keeps you engaged. The film isn’t revolutionary. The scenes feel familiar and the tales of spies and lies is one that seems to always recycle. However, this feels fresh because of the lead being a woman. This feels like the gender reversal Bond film we’ve been waiting for, but with no restraints. Charlize Theron did majority of her own stunts, and we you see this film, that fact will blow your mind.
2. Ben Gibbard’s Bandwagonesque
It’s funny that I follow Atomic Blonde with Ben Gibbard’s cover of Teenage Fanclub’s 1991 album Bandwagonesque because their hit song “The Concept” was featured heavily in another Theron led film, Young Adult (completely unintentional). This is one of my favorite albums from my favorite decade, and Gibbard does a wonderful job of paying respect, preserving the heart of the album, and of course, adding his signature touch to it. Listen to his cover of “The Concept” here and check out both versions of Bandwagonesque for some solid indie/alternative jams that are totally mixtape worthy.
3. USA’s The Sinner
I’m here for Christopher Abbott, but I might leave because of Jessica Biel. USA premiered their new thriller The Sinner this Wednesday, and it was appealing based on the supporting cast alone. Throw filmmaker Antonio Campos (Christine, Afterschool, James White) into the mix, and I’m definitely checking it out. So far, I can’t formulate a strong enough opinion to either remain invested or walk away. The show centers on a woman (Biel) who commits a public murder with no recollection or motive, no indication of threat, and unprovoked. It centers on the unraveling of her history, past abuse and events, and her lifelong battle with her personal demons that were hidden from those around her. USA is taking a strong and risky approach by moving in the direction of it’s television peers HBO, Netflix, Hulu, and more by applying cinematic touch, “unfiltered” and realistic moments, and darker tones. It hasn’t necessarily “thrilled” me yet, however I am curious to see it borrow from some of its contemporaries in Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, and more. I hope this show doesn’t let me down, but it’ll be hard to stay strong when your lead is a weak as Jessica Biel.
Disclaimer: I didn’t watch a lot this week so here are the two (non-binge) things I watched.
1. Game of Thrones
Last Sunday marked the third episode of Game of Thrones season 7: “The Queen’s Justice.” I’m loving the pace of this season, so far. It’s moving fast and it’s very gratifying.
When Daenerys and Jon meet, I freaked out. They are my two favorite characters and I immediately wanted them to be best friends or make out. BUT I love the way this show is realistically showing the politics, allegiances, and maneuvers of these highly developed characters.
My Game of Thrones routine involves watching the show, rewatching the preview for the following week (over and over), and reading the incredible Game of Thrones subreddit the following day. Highly recommend for laughs and for basic explanations.
2. The Incredible Jessica James
I was stranded at the Orlando International Airport (AKA hell on Earth) for 6 hours on Sunday. Luckily, I was able to download Netflix’s new film The Incredible Jessica James to watch instead of slowly going insane. This was the perfect airplane/girls night movie. It’s funny, sweet, light, and short. Jessica Williams (The Daily Show, 2 Dope Queens co-host) stars as the charismatic Jessica James. She’s a Brooklyn-based playwright struggling with her love life. It’s fine. Totally watchable. I laughed and really got to love her character. But, I think we’re all so spoiled with fantastic tv shows that I really wish The Incredible Jessica James was allowed more time to breathe, explore her character – I wish it was a Netflix original series.
Regardless, it’s a great watch with a fantastic supporting cast: Chris O’Dowd (I know him from Girls), Noel Wells (Master of None), and Lakeith Stanfield (Atlanta). Plus, the opening scene reminded both Michelle and me of Baby Driver – which is a total win.