Netflix Review – The Umbrella Academy

‘The Umbrella Academy’ is the newest Netflix adaptation of the comic book series with the same name. Not being familiar with the comics, I was interested to see what the show was about, and upon watching the trailer I was immediately intrigued.

So to try and put the plot simply, a man named Sir Reginald Hargreaves seeks to adopt as many children with ‘special abilities’ as he can. He ends up adopting seven: Luther, Diego, Allison, Klaus, Five, Ben and Vanya. They are implemented into an organisation named (you guessed it) The Umbrella Academy – which is basically like a fight club for kids. Years later, upon hearing of their fathers death, the team (who have since gone their separate ways) return to the academy. Needless to say, some crazy things happen.

Now if you’re going to watch this series a few things are important to take into account:

  1. It’s really best to know very little about the premise. Other than what’s in the trailer I would seriously suggest avoiding other sources of information that spoil details.
  2. Go in without expectations. Believe me, anything can happen in this show. It’s ridiculously strange, makes no sense and is very bizarre. A few things threw me off because I was expecting a clear cut sci-fi action show; Instead it was a sci-fi, fantasy, dystopian, romance, mystery, drama, comedy……. I could go on.
  3. Try and stick with it. You may not get hooked right away. It took me a while to really enjoy the show, maybe that was because I was so surprised by the strangeness of the content.
  4. If you can’t deal with multiple timelines, storylines and information, maybe this isn’t the show for you. I think the creators of the show were actually really clever with the different threads and plots going on, but I can see how this may be confusing to people at times.

I’ve come to realise that this show is definitely not for everyone. I would suggest giving it a go, the premise is certainly interesting and the acting is decent too, but maybe don’t put too much hope on loving it. Now I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy it, but it did take me a long long time to get into it. I think the best shows have the ability to hook you instantly, and this show just didn’t do that.

I really wanted to enjoy this show. Some elements really did engage me and peaked my interest. The overarching themes and characters were certainly interesting, but there was a lack in clarity and at times I just wasn’t that bothered. The show was pretty slow for a while, and maybe that’s what put me off. But the last few episodes really did improve, and come to say that, if a second season is in the future i’ll probably give it a go.

Conclusion: This show has a lot of potential to be your next sci-fi obsession, but if your anything like me, it may take a while to enjoy. Just don’t judge it too quickly and be prepared to embrace all the weirdness that it brings.

3/5 stars

Film Review – I Feel Pretty

Amy Schumer’s new role in the comedy ‘I Feel Pretty’ places her as a self-conscious, overly anxious woman with severe self esteem issues. It’s not surprising that Schumer decided to be a part of this role, with her previous films also highlighting her position as an unconventionally ‘beautiful’ woman.

When Schumers’ character Renee hits her head during a spin class, she suddenly believes she is stunningly gorgeous. It is an amusing premise, and I do admit it was funny to see the other characters reactions of her new outlook on life.

The whole film is a look at body image, issues with confidence, and even touches upon femininity and masculinity as a concept. Although the film still falls into some Hollywood tropes (enter the boyfriend), it does highlight some very important issues. Of course this is a comedy, so you shouldn’t expect an extremely insightful film, but I do feel that a young girl who is struggling with body image may appreciate the overriding message.

Similarly to other films of Schumer’s that I’ve seen, this one didn’t have me laughing out loud. Although I did enjoy it, I’m not sure if its the type of film you’d watch over and over again. For a chill night in I would definitely recommend, it’s easy to watch and at moments it was reasonably predictable which adds to it’s charm. But maybe don’t pick it for a night where you want a film that you can fall in love with.

Final thoughts – I’d say its worth the watch, it was certainly a pick me up, but don’t expect it to be your next film crush.

3/5 stars

Netflix Review – The Haunting of Hill House

One of the most recent in a chain of Netflix shows, The Haunting of Hill House, does not disappoint.¬†Filled with gruesome imagery, dark plot lines and disturbing sequences, this show is one you don’t want to watch before bedtime.

Based on the 1959 Shirley Jackson novel of the same name, the show follows the Crain family as they move into their new (and haunted) house. Switching between past and present day events, we see how the family is still reeling from what they experienced during their stay.

The acting has to be applauded. Elizabeth Reaser in particular does a brilliant job at conveying her characters emotions and inner thoughts. Even the children, who play younger versions of the main characters, do a great job.

It has to be said that the overall look and feel of the show has clearly been thought about.  The dark mood of the show has been fully enhanced by the lighting and colour choices made throughout the shooting and editing of the show. The drabness of blacks and blues really create a dismal atmosphere and completely absorb the audience into the world of Hill House. Not only this, but sequences which employ the use of a long shot (a really long take with no cuts) make the audience feel discomfort and unease. The perfect choice for a creepy show like this one.

There is so much more I could say, but i’ll let you dive into the strangeness of Hill House on your own. It’s honestly best to know as little as possible, the twists and turns make the show what it is. So, if you haven’t seen it yet, this delightfully gritty and spooky show is a must watch.

What are you waiting for? – Queue the Netflix binge.

5 out of 5 stars