TV Review: Breaking Bad (2008-2013)

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Breaking Bad is a crime drama about Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with cancer who starts cooking crystal meth, and I regard it as the closest to perfection any filmmaker has ever gotten, especially on TV. The acting and characterization are outstanding and the writing is beyond phenomenal. The cinematography as well as the music, original and otherwise, are extremely favorable. Breaking Bad is unparalleled as the best Television series I’ve ever watched so I strongly urge you to start binge-watching right away if you haven’t already seen it.

I wouldn’t advise kids younger than 13, maybe 12, watch Breaking Bad.

Available on iTunes, Netflix, and Amazon.

Baby Driver (2017)

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Baby Driver is Edgar Wright’s highly entertaining “action musical” about a young getaway driver that loves music who gets wrapped up in a heist doomed to fail. This movie has a great cast including Ansel Elgort, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, and Kevin Spacey, so the acting is obviously pretty solid. Visually this movie is impressive, but where it really shines is the music that is magnificently intertwined into the film, Baby Driver really is part musical, so much is in time with the music that by the time the credits roll you might even be thinking on beat. I highly recommend Baby Driver especially if you’re an Edgar Wright fan.

Most kids younger than 12 probably shouldn’t watch Baby Driver.

Currently in Theaters

The Book of Henry (2017)

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The Book of Henry is a drama/thriller focused around a family made up of Henry, a genius 11 year old that takes care of everything for his family, sometimes self-doubting single mother Susan, and Peter, the younger brother that looks up to Henry. The film is about their discovery of a dangerous secret relating to Henry’s classmate that lives next door, and their plan to help. This is a very intelligently made, superbly shot, and well written (the script supposedly took 20 years to write) film that deals with some pretty dark subjects. The Book of Henry has a sudden intentionally jarring shift in tone but I believe it was executed quite well, the acting here is excellent, especially from the child actors, Michael Giacchino also delivers yet another great score for this movie. I would recommend going to see The Book of Henry if you’re looking for a well-crafted drama, but just remember it’s a tearjerker.

I wouldn’t particularly recommend bringing kids younger than 12 to this movie, most of the darker content is off-screen but I don’t think younger kids would enjoy it anyway.

Currently in Theaters

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

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John Wick: Chapter 2 is the action/crime/thriller followup to 2014’s John Wick, I’m not going to reveal the plot because I went in knowing practically nothing and I loved it. The action is just as well if not better choreographed than in the first film and it’s all shot with very few quick cuts, shaky cam, or even stunt doubles, Keanu Reaves does 95% of his own stunts in this film, and that definitely shows. John Wick: Chapter 2 feels a lot more like part of a trilogy or the middle 3 episodes of a Netflix series than the pretty self-contained John Wick, this is definitely not a bad thing though because it makes the story feel broader and richer while setting up the third movie. This movie shows that the organization of assassins shown in John Wick is just the tip of the iceberg by expanding this new universe of impressive action films. I highly recommend seeing this if you’re a fan of the first one but if you haven’t seen it than you MUST watch it before seeing the equally if not more excellent sequel.

There is lots and lots of violence shown without cutaways unlike most action films as well as some brief nudity so I’d say 14 and up can watch John Wick: Chapter 2.

TV Review: Stranger Things (2016-)

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Stranger Things is a supernatural sci-fi thriller in which a young boy mysteriously disappears and his friends, mother, and brother, as well as the local police chief attempt to get him back. The whole show takes place in 1983 so there is a lot of 80s memorabilia, the characters are well-written, the child-actors did an amazing job, and I love the awesome soundtrack. Stranger Things is like a delicious 8-hour goodie bag full of the best parts of sci-fi in the 80s and it is definitely unmissable!

Kids 12 and up shouldn’t have any trouble watching this unless they get nightmares easily.

Available only on Netflix.

 

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

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Just like the original Cloverfield, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a must-see Thriller/Sci-Fi. The film is about a woman named Michelle who is in a car crash then wakes up in an underground bunker seemingly held captive by a man trying to convince her the world has ended. You definately don’t want to have this movie spoiled. It is not a direct sequel to the original, however it has quite a few hidden easter eggs connecting the two movies. The characters, the acting, the suspenseful atmosphere, the score, it’s all wonderfully crafted into a genius contained thriller that I highly recommend to all sci-fi fans. Most reviews I’ve read seem to treat this as a terrifying horror film never to show to kids, but I don’t even consider it horror, and I believe kids 12+ can totally watch this.

Available on iTunes and Amazon.

The Hateful Eight (2015)

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The Hateful Eight is about a group of travelers in post-Civil War Wyoming who for various reasons end up stuck in a cabin during a snowstorm. The cast of this film is great and so are the characters, it is however very slow-paced, but in a good way. Overall The Hateful Eight is a solid addition to Tarantino’s array of films and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys his movies! This movie deserves it’s R rating so I don’t think kids under 15 could handle The Hateful Eight unless they have seen the other Tarantino films.

Available on iTunes and Amazon.