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Homeland: Season 1 (Review)

In many respects, Homeland feels like a more character-oriented version of 24. The comparison makes sense, beyond the spy games and the paranoia and the espionage, if only because of massive overlap between the production staff on both shows – with Howard Gordon, Sean Callery and Chip Johannessen working on both projects. I don’t think 24 gets enough respect as an exploration of the post-9/11 zeitgeist, probably due to its admittedly pulpy nature. Homeland feels a little bit more restrained, and more firmly grounded. The show is anchored in two fantastic lead performances from Claire Danes and Damien Lewis, and the series works best when it’s centred around the two main characters, driven by their issues and their demons.

Nicholas Brody and his “great big bushy beard!”

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Non-Review Review: Romeo + Juliet

I’m baaaaack!

Is it a spoiler to say that Romeo + Juliet is a tragedy? You never know these days (I’m reminded of that great Simpsons’ quote, “It started out like Romeo & Juliet, but it ended up in tragedy” – I remember a few people being surprised when I laughed at that, leading me to explain the joke). Still, the opening monologue lays it all out on the table, as does the fact that Shakespeare only ever wrote comedies or tragedies – and this ain’t a comedy. Anyway, I must confess I hate the play, as I hate hell, all Montagues and thee. Okay, not really, but it was drilled into my head for my Junior Certificate exam (as Macbeth would be drilled into my head for the Leaving Certificate). I remember my English teacher – a very nice old lady, by all accounts – steadfastly refusing to show us the Baz Luhrmann ‘reimagining’ of the play. To this day I’m not sure if she made the right call. 

Get used to those wings...

Get used to those wings...

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Non-Review Review: Teminator 3 – Rise of the Machines

Network 2 reaired the whole Terminator trilogy to celebrate Salvation‘s release on Friday. My luck being my luck, I caught the tail end of the franchise, the weak link if you will. As I write this, I face the question that I face when I review any given sequel or part of a franchise: should I judge it independently or alongside its predecessors (and – if I’m a latecomer to the party – its successors)? If I adopt the former approach, is Terminator 3 a reasonably solid sci-fi/action movie? If I look at it as the third installment in the franchise, is it fit to be considered alongside two of the greatest action movies ever made?

Spot the one non-classically trained actor in this shot...

Spot the one non-classically trained actor in this shot...

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