Two Worth Watching
Our binging has had us plowing through four seasons of American History with “Turn – Washington’s Spies.”
“Turn” follows actual historical characters through the ups and downs of the American Revolution from the American and British viewpoints.
Like any story about a war there are plenty of battle scenes, but the real action takes place when spies, both men and women, struggle to gather and transmit information right under the noses of the enemies.
There are heroes and villains and, at times, it can be hard to tell the difference. Historical icons are shown without the patina of 240 years of glorified history books. We see the demi-gods torn by doubt, suspicion, paranoia, and jealousy. The Revolution, like any war, brought out the best and the worst in people. Bravery comes out of torment and agony while savagery is often born from a surety of cause.
There are no big names in the cast, just a lot of excellent actors from both sides of the Atlantic. The story is told in a series of hour long episodes along with short “behind the scenes” trailers with interviews with actors and creators of the series.
I’m a tough audience. I can be very critical, but with “Turn” I really got into it and even though we all know the historical outcome of the story the writers and actors have produced a tension filled and exciting story.
Get the popcorn going and get ready for a ride through some rough American history.
After we finished our romp through history we began to scout around for a good movie. Dawn discovered a film from 2016 that had a great cast, but was one we had never heard of before – “Collateral Beauty.”
The cast included Will Smith, Helen Mirren, Edward Norton, Keira Knightley, and Kate Winslet. Those are some real heavy hitters.
We watched the movie and we had to agree that it was one of the best things we’d seen in some time. It received very mixed reviews when it was released. It’s not perfect, but what film is?
My main comment is that Will Smith has finally grown into a very good actor.
The story – not to give away any “Spoilers” – is about a man (Smith) who has lost his young daughter to cancer. This tragedy has overwhelmed him and threatens to destroy him. Helen Mirren and the rest of the cast are there trying to save him. That’s all I’m going to say. It’s not a lot of laughs, but it is a fine example of ensemble acting.
If your idea of a good grown-up movie is something with a guy wearing a mask and a cape this film isn’t for you. However, if you can understand the destructive depths of Sorrow in people – then look for “Collateral Beauty.”