James Patterson’s Zoo: Third & Last Season

Zoo: Third Season from CBS is the last season for the drama series based on the novel written by James Patterson and Michael Ledwige.  The story takes a jump forward and is set 10 years after the animals were cured and humanity was left sterile.

The season follows Abraham, played by Nonso Anozie, who is now a doctor and is helping Clementine, played by Gracie Dzienny, find her father Mitch, played by Billy Burke. The huge plot point is Mitch is being held in suspended animation in a secretive location.

The year is now 2027 and the world has reached a tipping point. The human population continues to dwindle due to a sterility problem and devastating threat rises in the form of the hybrids. These hybrids are an army of unstoppable lab-made creatures who are hell-bent on destroying mankind. Although the team has become estranged over the past decade, they are forced to overcome their differences and reunite when they learn that Mitch is alive. As the planet’s future hangs in the balance, the team must race to stop the hybrids and their creator – a shadowy figure with a startling connection to the team’s past.

Another change of events is Jamie, played by Kristen Connolly, is now a successful author trying to find “The Falco” and what is left of the Shepherds. Still, there is Jackson, played by James Wolk, and Logan, played by Josh Salatin. Both are trying to hold the hybrids at bay. As I went through the DVS I discovered that all the characters work super hard to overpower and wipe out the hybrids. At the same time, they are an urgency to find a cure for sterility.

The third season DVD arrives with deleted scenes and a gag reel that complements the whole package as the final season of a series that started off like a rocket ride and slowly fizzled as the storyline became scattered.

Person to Person

Directed by Dustin Guy Defa, Person to Person follows several New Yorkers while we are haphazardly introduced to them with strings of delicious scenes any acting student would cherish as a scene study project.

I offer accolades to the actors in this movie because they drive the well-scripted movie. Whether the audience will get the overall storyline is iffy. The eclectic scenes bespoke a record collector who hustles for a big score while his heartbroken roommate tries to erase a terrible mistake, a teenager, played by Tavi Gevinson, bears witness to her best friend’s, played by Olivia Luccardi, new relationship, and a rookie reporter, played by Abbi Jacobson, alongside her ultra-demanding supervisor, played by Michael Cera, chases the clues of a murder case involving a life-weary clock shop owner.

The movie was shot entirely in 16mm, which adds a nostalgic look to New York City, but I am sure it was bumped up for presentation purposes but haven’t verified it yet.

Seeing Cera as a metal-head boss working the beat is unique because I have only seen him in more passive roles. Check out this clip and you will see what I mean.

The soundtrack is just as much a part of the movie as the characters and city. I heard some indistinct R&B and familiar songs with Shirley Ann Lee’s “Time,” Greenflow’s “I Got’cha,” and the Volumes’ “I’m Gonna Miss You.”

Another way to describe this film is that it reminds me of Woody Allen’s work because of the defined scenes that naturally edifies its characters, summoning a heartfelt truth in each performance.

The Beguiled

Directed by Oscar-winner Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation), The Beguiled is billed as a seductive thriller. Winner of the Best Director award for Coppola at the 2017 Cannes International Film Festival, the movie is based on the novel and 1971 movie of the same title starring Clint Eastwood and Geraldine Page.

The dark lighting, intense undercurrents, authentic costumes, and scenery set the story as a historical thriller. The exceptional performances include Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning.

The story progresses slowly during the Civil War at a Southern girls’ boarding school. One of the 12-year old girls out picking mushrooms discovers an injured enemy soldier, played by Farrell. While he is nursed back to health, the boarding school provides refuge as well. Kirsten Dunst the teacher, Nicole Kidman the headmistress, and Elle Fanning one of the girls, portray southern women who struggle with decorum and visceral desires with the soldier. The soldier slowly becomes intimate with each of the three women, and a sexual tension escalates bringing about an overwhelming rivalry that becomes very dangerous for the soldier.

As mentioned, the story is slow, and some viewers may walk away wondering how a group of women can lose their senses with only one man in their circle.

The soldier’s outcome is not surprising and seems fitting for the circumstances.

Coppola created an authentic setting with costumes, art design, production sets, and music.

The Blu-ray comes with exclusive featurettes taking viewers behind the scenes and exploring Sofia Coppola’s unique vision.

Some of the Features:

A Shift in Perspective -Filmmakers and cast discuss how this version of The Beguiled is a departure from the novel of the same name and its earlier film adaptation. Screenwriter/director Sofia Coppola describes how the talented cast helped bring her vision to life.

A Southern Style – Discover how costumes, hair, and many other elements came together to create an immersive experience not only for the audience but also for the actors.

2:22

Directed by Paul Currie and starring Michiel Huisman, Teresa Palmer, and Sam Reid, the movie follows air traffic controller Dylan Branson, played by Huisman, where two planes almost collide after a blinding flash of light paralyzes him for a few seconds.

As a result, Branson is suspended from his job, and he becomes cognitive of repetition of sounds and events in his life at exactly the same time every day. Guess what time that is? The title of the movie, 2:22.

The underlying pattern soon builds and draws him New York’s Grand Central Station daily at 2:22 p.m. He meets up with a woman who works in an art gallery, Sarah, played by Palmer, disturbingly complicated by her ex-boyfriend Jonas, played by Reid. Still, Dylan must break the power of the past, and take control of time itself.

Every day, on the main concourse of Grand Central Terminal, Branson sees a businessman at the ticket counter reading a newspaper, a couple kissing, six school children, and a pregnant woman standing under the famous clock. It’s not always the same businessman, but it’s always the same pattern.

Earlier in the day – other patterns play out and haunt Dylan – a plane flies overhead, glass shatters, car screeches. It becomes clear to Dylan, and to Dylan alone, that these supposed random series of events, in this busy, noisy city, are not so random.

This is the enigma of 2:22.

How this movie plays out is crucial to whether or not the movie will be enjoyed, and Currie describes it best, “2:22 is about the fear of love. It’s also about the past that can secretly haunt us all. It’s a story about a guy who is trying to protect his girl at all costs, against time itself. Time is both Dylan’s ally and his enemy.”

The movie isn’t perfect and some may find it hard to enjoy, but it is a good attempt at a complex topic about taking control of time both the past and the future.

XX Anthology

Directed by Jeff Garlin, I know that horror films are very popular because the ones that I get my hands one sell like hot cakes. XX is a collection of short horror films that are unfamiliar for a lot of horror fans, they will catch your interest. You should give them a shot because like most horror movies you have a 50/50 chance of ending up with something which is overall worth your time and money.

This collection is produced well and acted will, but it’s nothing to get super excited about because, honestly the first short film The Box was really the only one worth watching that I enjoyed, the rest, well, were not that great. Still, you might the other because horror movies are so diverse.

Being a horror fan it intrigues you. There is a good chance you will more than I did. I am not saying it is a bad collection, but I do feel the horror experience should have been better. Either way, if you are a horror fan let me know what you think.

Overall, it is an anthology that shows a variety of styles. Each filmmaker’s expression is distinctive and contemporary, and it makes for an awfully good horror viewing.

Like I said The Box is a deep story and Only Living Son is a second best with a more thematically deep, straight horror and dark comedy. You crave horror, then you won’t be disappointed.

A Kind of Murder

Directed by Andy Goddard, who spent quality time directing Downton Abby episodes, A Kind of Murder follows an obsessed crime novelist, played by Patrick Wilson, who is married to a suicidal wife, played by Jessica Biel. The movie is suspenseful, fascinating along with a captivating storyline that includes twists and turns like an old-fashion movie.

With such a talented cast, I was surprised that the movie’s tempo was slow and not as engaging as it could have been like the novel the movie is based. The novel by Patricia Highsmith, who also wrote other popular psychological thrillers such as Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley.

The movie follows a crime novelist obsessed with an unsolved murder case begins to fantasize about committing a crime of his own. His marriage is an unhappy one, and his desire to be free from his beautiful but damaged wife becomes an obsession. But when his wife is found dead the lines blur between innocence and intent, forcing the question who, in fact, is the real killer?

The movie is a thriller and has a story that should be engaging, but somehow it fell flat in the third act.

Office Downe

Directed by Shawn Crahan, Officer Downe is based on the graphic novel of the same name. The movie is a blood-soaked tale of resurrection, revenge, and justice as the story follows an immortal, crime-fighting police officer, played by Kim Coates, and his rookie sidekick, played by Tyler Ross, who learns that being stuck between doing what he thinks is right and what he thinks is best is not an easy task.

The best way to described this movie is Sin City meets dark science technology. The L.A. policeman is repeatedly resurrected and returned to active duty through a mysterious technology. When a rookie officer named Gable arrives on the scene as backup, we get to see Downe in a different way because Gable discovers there’s much more to the super-cop than a mindless law enforcement super-cop warring against twisted over-the-top super-villains.

The way the movie is told with over the top acting and action might be enjoyable for those you are looking for mindless entertainment. There is no thinking involved with this movie but, like I said, you will be entertained. You might even laugh because it is so over-the-top and unreal.

Sure, there will be those who felt they wasted their time watching the movie because there really isn’t much to it besides mindless fun.

Danny Says

Directed by Brendan Toller, Danny Says is a documentary that will send you into the world of Danny Fields.  Fields was a groundbreaking publicist and manager who worked with countless legends such as The Doors, Lou Reed, Judy Collins and The Ramones.

The film is guided by Fields’ voice and with tons of interviews, photographs, and audiocassettes. Just an amazing body of work if you are familiar with the legends he promoted in Rock n’ Roll history.

The guy is viewed as weird, twirling, frenzied waves of the late 60’s to the Bowery punk scene. Here are some names in the documentary that most people will recognize from the Lizard King, Iggy, and the Stooges, to Patti Smith.

The point is Fields dominated the scene with his eye for the art of the rhythmically irreverent. Since 1966, Danny Fields has played a pivotal role in music and culture of the late 20th century. The movie follows Fields from Harvard Law dropout, to the Warhol Silver Factory, to Director of Publicity at Elektra Records, to “punk pioneer” and beyond. Danny’s taste and opinion once deemed defiant and radical have turned out to have knowledge of events before they take place. It’s unreal in so many ways.  The guy knew the trends.

Danny Says is a story of marginal turning mainstream, Avant Garde turning prophetic, as the movie showed Fields looking to the next generation I was in awe watching this documentary. The amazing stories are literally whimsical. I found myself in wonderment of the way his life and career influenced so much of the kind of freak culture that became popular. The line-drawing animations enchantingly illustrate some of the stories in a rapid pace worthy of so much information to be viewed.

If you are a lover of the scene behind the rock n’ roll, then you must see this documentary.

Don’t Think Twice

Directed Mike Birbiglia, Don’t Think Twice follows a member of a popular New York City improv troupe catches the big break forcing the group to reevaluate their success and confront their fears in the hilariously honest movie.

This is a bittersweet movie about the behind-the-scenes look into the lives of six best friend comedians. If you have ever been with an improv group, like I have, you will find this to be one of your favorite films to watch with friends of the same persuasion. It is a funny movie about the angst of chasing aspirations.

I recommend taking a look at the behind the scenes featurettes. They add to the hilarity of the movie with a concept of what it takes to bring this whole movie to life. A movie about a six-person comedy team known as The Commune, working together for 11 years, has killed it onstage while waiting for their big break. Without warning, the team finds itself at a crossroads when one of the members becomes a solo success and the rest of the group realizes they may not make it big after all.

The featurette selection also includes Don’t Think Twice: The Art of Improv. It is a brilliant and enlightening piece about the love of improv, which is the heart of the movie. In this featurette, you will be able to explore the philosophy that inspired the world and comedy found within the movie.

My first thought, that is an entertainer’s nightmare. Success is great, but when other members are left out, it can feel like a long drop into the abyss of being no one.

The movie talented, funny and honest cast includes Keegan-Michael, Gillian Jacobs, Mike Birbiglia, Kate Micucci, Chris Gethard, and Tami Sagher.

 

 

 

In Order of Disappearance

Directed by Hans Petter Moland and The New York Times critics’ pick, In Order of Disappearance stars Stellan Skarsgard, Pal Sverre Hagen and Bruno Ganz. The movie is filled with action and is constantly moving as a diehard thriller. The movie follows an honorable citizen, Nils, played by Skarsgard. He uncovers evidence that his son was murdered and a victim in a turf war between the local crime boss and his Serbian rivals. Following his discovery, Nils embarks on a quest for revenge.

The movie is very good because Nil is a fish out of the water. Introverted and hard-working snowplow driver Nils has just been named “Citizen of the Year.” When he receives news that his son has died of a heroin overdose, nothing seems to make sense.

Disbelieving the official report, Nils quickly uncovers evidence of the young man’s murder – a victim in a turf war between the local crime boss, known as “The Count”, and his Serbian rivals.

Armed with heavy machinery and a good amount of beginner’s godsend, Nils embarks upon a quest for revenge that soon escalates into a full-blown underworld gang war, with the body count spiraling ever higher and higher.

The movie is a rocket ride and hilarious in a very dark way. Skarsgard makes the movie great, and I have a fun time watching it.