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The Damien Riley Podcast
From the high desert sands of Victorville a blogger, teacher, & songwriter shares valuable information for your life.
Category: Personal Journals
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I'm a blogger, film reviewer, & podcaster with an MA in English from California State University, Fullerton. My views are usual...


by damienriley
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April 28, 2017 09:27 PM PDT
Now streaming on Netflix! Listen to my 5 minute review, watch it on Netflix, leave me a comment! Thanks! I fell into the Breaking Bad pool years ago and got hooked completely. Maybe it was because I’m a teacher and the main character is easy to identify with. Whatever the reason, I loved the show and watched it faithfully through all seasons. In contrast, I wasn’t very take in by Better Call Saul, the spinoff about a crooked lawyer. But that was season one, now I’m in s2 and it is really amazing. “The trials and tribulations of criminal lawyer, Jimmy McGill, in the time leading up to establishing his strip-mall law office in Albuquerque, New Mexico.” -IMDB Cast Patrick Fabian Howard Hamlin (30 episodes, 2015-2017) Michael McKean Chuck McGill (30 episodes, 2015-2017) Rhea Seehorn Kim Wexler (30 episodes, 2015-2017) Bob Odenkirk Jimmy McGill (30 episodes, 2015-2017) Directed by Written by Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould Other Info Crime, Drama TV-14 2015 46min IMDB Rating: 8.7 Vince Gilligan is once again at the helm. He does a great job in s2 showing how Saul becomes the lawyer he is. He was like an ADHD kid who used crime as his Ritalin. His brother knows him well and shares a lot of back story that explains Saul. Like Breaking Bad, we are led hither and yon to decide if he is a good guy or not. I am still not sure myself but I like the character! To summarize, Saul is a lawyer who just can’t fit in any law practice. He rents a space in the back of a laundromat and starts practicing law his way. He finds loopholes but they never seem to hurt anyone, except big fat rich people, the likes that pilfer funds from old folks’ homes. I guess he’s a Robin Hood figure that way. S1 was dull in my opinion but S2 is so good, I have that same feeling when I would watch Breaking Bad. Looks like Vince Gilligan has still got it. FINAL THOUGHTS This is a great, engaging show that is worth your time. It raises issues of the legal system similar to many legal drama shows. I recently wrote the same thing about Billy Bob Thornton’s series Goliath. You won’t find Saul in court much but when you hear him offer legal reasoning it’s refreshing and “everyman” in style. I highly recommend (require) fans of Breaking Bad to see this. For those who like morality play in legal dramas, this is also for you. Because it lagged a lot in S1 and I’m not yet done, this is a preliminary rating. I could see this show getting to a 8 or 9/10. For now however: 7/10
April 28, 2017 06:11 PM PDT
Hush is now streaming on Netflix. This simple horror film is a must see for genre fans. Hush was made for under $75,000 usd but leaves us with the Hush product which is as scary as any high budget horror film. It’s a “thinking person’s scary” which some may prefer to the pure slice and dice variety, though there is certainly some of that here. This film was directed by Mike Flannigan (Oculus). He co-write the film with Kate Siegel (plays the main character Maddie) who in real life shares a house with Flanagan. In fact, several sources indicate they wrote the screenplay with their home layout as a blueprint. She starred in Oculus. “Hush” is a thriller and horror movie that features a deaf writer at her laptop being broken in on and attacked by a masked man. There are few casualties, few actors, and definitely a few gallons of blood spilled on scene. One original component that builds suspense is that the main character/victim is deaf. This is an ingenious idea as it allows for a few really spine tingling scenes requiring no cgi or music for that matter. The killer’s mask looks different from the standard ones we’ve seen in break-and-enter thrillers, for example presidents and Star Trek masks. In this case, it’s very carefully crafted. In some scenes it appears to be part of the attacker’s own face. This serves for another original, simple, scary element that probably didn’t cost much to create. Another film that comes to mind that created massive scares on a low budget is Insidious. It’s being proven again and again we don’t need million dollar movies to be scared and thereby entertained. Through a series of slashings and “intruder” scenes, the deaf Maddie learns she doesn’t have to be a victim. She fights back. Everything is filmed in a dark setting outside and inside the house. This accentuates the revenge element that weaves throughout and leads us to an ending that is pleasing horror critics all over the internet. The film screened at SXSW for a panel of industry “buyers.” It did very well there but somehow ended up on Netflix where I was fortunate enough to see it. Netflix needs more quality horror and suspense films like Hush. Frankly the category is small on the service and appears to be shrinking. Final Thoughts I had a lot of fun watching this film and highly recommend it if you can catch it on Netflix or elsewhere. Imagine you have earplugs in and can’t hear a thing and you can’t hear anyone sneaking in the window either. This film makes the most of the simple scares. I think it would be great to see it on the big screen. 9/10
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