Foreign movie – French (2012).
L’Immortel (22 Bullets is the English title) begins with Charly Mattei (Jean Reno) with one of his children and after letting his son off to view a street vendor, Charly, a former French crime boss enters the underground garage. It is here that his childhood friend, Tony Zakia, has ordered a hit on him.
After taking 22 bullets, Charly is on the mend and has revenge on his mind for those that started this. The movie is entertaining in it’s own right but the reason I chose this was because I’m a fan of Jean Reno. Although it is not his best performance, it is good nonetheless. This does have a pretty good supporting cast and the actors play their respective roles well.
I realized after three-fourths of the way through that I had seen this before. Even with this I still enjoyed the movie – need I say more? Go ahead and have butter on the popcorn…
Foreign film- Hindi (2011).
Based on the true story of Jessica Lall who was murdered in 1999.
Jessica, an aspiring model, refuses to serve her eventual killer a drink after hours in a local nightclub. Manish, the son of a intimidating, prominent, and wealthy politician succeeds in buying off the witnesses with his father’s help believes he has beaten the charges in the senseless, deadly crime.
After several years of attempting to prevail in justice, Jessica’s sister Sabrina finally gives up as all seems to favor the politician’s son even though all believe Manish is guilty.
Enter stage right, Meera, a well-known reporter takes on the challenge of righting the wrong for Jessica. Utilizing unorthodox means, Meera sets in motion the will of power of the people. What transpires is a national protest against those individuals who believe they are above the law.
A very compelling film, skip the wine for this one but do butter the popcorn.
Foreign TV series – Canada (2005-2007).
Jimmy Reardon, a Canadian gangster hanging out in the city of Vancouver, BC is the main character in this Canadian TV crime drama. Unlike most crime dramas where you can’t wait for the “bad” guy to get caught in the end, this one you can’t help but rooting for the bad guys and you immediately like Jimmy. He’s a likable guy played to a “T” by Ian Tracey.
Jimmy has a strange connection to Mary Spalding, head of the Organized Crime Unit stationed in Vancouver in a nemesis-colleague type relationship. You’ll find you are wishing them both well.
Jimmy has a lot of people on his side and the characters are well played by the cast. Chris Haddock, the TV series creator did an excellent job casting the crew for this series.
Throughout the series, it was tough to tell if certain characters were good guys or bad guys on both sides of the law. The bad guys had some good qualities, they also had some bad qualities. The good guys had some good qualities, they also had some bad qualities.
Storytelling was top notch beginning with the first episode till the last one. It kept me spellbound at the end of each episode wanting the next episode to start right away. I’ll have to warn you, watching this is like reading a good book – it’s tough to put down.
Have butter on the popcorn, but make sure you get the refillable box of popcorn as you’re going to need it for all these episodes. You may want to get a few boxes of Goobers, Dots, Jujubes, Sno-Caps, Juicy Fruits, Junior Mints, Milk Duds, Raisinets, and Good & Plenty – yeah, the whole candy case. Oh, did I forget the licorice?
In this 2011 thriller, a member of a black ops mission is set up and she’s on a quest to seek revenge on those responsible for setting her up. She has to use all her skills to stay alive. It took me awhile to figure out who the good guys were and who the bad guys were.
After a covert operation in Barcelona, Mallory Kane is sent on another mission to Ireland where she is earmarked for elimination. Realizing she has been double crossed, she embarks on a mission to uncover the culprits. There’s a lot of intrigue in this movie with good performances by Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Ewan McGregor, and Bill Paxton among others.
British TV Series – 2003.
A plant pathologist Rosemary Boxer teams up with a former constable Laura Thyme as two gardeners with a penchant for being around when dead bodies are found.
The season opens with Laura being dumped by her husband for a younger women and meeting Rosemary in a bed & breakfast where the two are staying. The two ladies hit it off and they uncover the culprits in each episode where dead bodies are uncovered.
Each episode has a new dead body and a new set of clues as to the culprit. Rosemary & Thyme have some far-fetched theories of the ultimate whodunnit but they do seem to stumble upon them in British fashion.
This is a Netflix original series and season one began in 2011. This started off as an ugly duckling but you warmed up to it and the characters.
Mob boss Frank Tagliano rats out another mob boss after an attempt to snuff him out in his own bar goes awry. So, as a result of Frank giving up the Mafia boss he enters the witness protection program. He chooses Lilyhammer, Norway and he becomes Giovanni Henriksen.
Once here, Giovanni learns that Norway has a very bureaucratic culture and frustration after frustration, Giovanni reverts to his old ways and molds his new surroundings to fit his lifestyle.
This mini-series starts off slow but in the second or third episode you get hooked on the characters and I ended up watching all eight episodes. Season one did end kind of flat and wasn’t the ending I might have expected, but then again that’s what surprise endings are for.
I debated on the popcorn box rating but decided to give this a generous 3 PB mainly due to the likable characters. Oh, and you’ll love the theme song!
Foreign TV Series – Canadian.
In Sherlock Holmes-ian style, amidst Murder, She Wrote and Ellery Queen whodunnit deductions make this Canadian TV series a fun one to watch.
Set in the 1890s where the horse and buggy is the preferred choice of transportation, Detective William Murdoch opts to ride his two-wheeler from the station to the murder scene. He utilizes radical forensic techniques to solve crimes much to the disbelief of his commanding officer, Inspector Brackenreid who doubts many of the contraptions Detective Murdoch employs.
I like the way Murdoch places himself in the murder scene via reviewing them in his head where he appears as an apparition whilst the murder is taking place. Of course once Detective Murdoch finds evidence, he relies on the beautiful Dr. Julia Ogden, the coroner, for proof positive he has the correct suspect. You can tell there are sparks between them but in season one nothing has developed. We shall see in subsequent seasons where this goes.
The glue that keeps this series tied together is the amiable Constable George Crabtree who assists Detective Murdoch in solving the crimes. You can’t help but like the character and he’s more than the proverbial Dr. Watson is to Sherlock Holmes. Detective Murdoch and Constable Crabtree complement each other while maintaining their own identities. If you like whodunnits, then this is a perfect match. I will be looking forward to watching seasons 2-4 when they eventually come to streaming.
Absolutely put butter on the popcorn and gather as many candy bars as you can muster as season one has a lot of episodes to watch. Each episode is around 45 minutes and you can easily take in 2 or 3 at a time. I really liked this series.
Foreign film – French (2009).
Gerard Depardieu plays Inspector Paul Bellamy in this Claud Chabrol film and it focuses more on the character than it does the murder, or should I say, alleged murder. Francoise (Marie Bunel) does an incredible job as Paul’s sounding board as she helps him along trying to solve the alleged murder.
The movie opens with Paul attempting to watch TV while doing a crossword puzzle but the opposite happens as the crossword puzzle and the TV end up watching Paul. Then his sleep is interrupted by Noel Gentil (Jacques Gamblin) who’s itching to reveal a secret.
This isn’t your typical whodunnit as it is more of a character study than a murder mystery. I don’t know why I enjoyed this as much as I did, maybe it was Chabrol’s directing style, or the acting between Paul and Francoise and Noel but nonetheless I did enjoy this even in the dry moments. And Jacques Gamblin does a great job playing Noel Gentil/Emile Luellet/Denis Leprince.
Go ahead, put some butter on the popcorn and gather up your favorite candies, sit back with a glass of wine and just take it all in.
Another British TV series that holds your interest from the first episode to the last which is set in Manchester, England. In season one, Joe Donovan (Tom Conti) battles wits with a serial killer and realizes the killer might be after his wife. He finally outwits the killer but later finds out his wife has been cheating on him.
His wife eventually leaves him and he’s much better off without out her as she is quite self-centered. Oh, and she really gets upset when she finds out he had an affair after she left him. And did I mention Joe tends to blackout with no memory of the time span?
Okay, let’s get back to the TV series season two. More redrum – excuse me for the flashback – more murder mayhem continues with a new team of forensic scientists. Women begin showing up dead and the local down and outer seems to be the likely suspect. Me thinks we find out differently.
The last episode takes place on a military base and everything is kept hush-hush in the interests of national security. Without giving too much away remember the blindfold. Have butter on the popcorn with whatever chocolate morsels suit your fancy, I think I’m going with the Goobers and the Sno-Caps.