Jean-Claude Van Johnson Rocks Hard

I did a quick review of Jean-Claude Van Johnson series on Amazon, and the review below is a copy of that.  Anyhow, I hope you don’t fault me for grammatical error and such as I was writing it in a haste.  Enjoy!

(By clicking on this image you are going to visit Amazon for this product.  I have an Amazon Associate account and so if you purchase this product I will get a commission.  Just want to clarify this for you.)

Two episodes in and I love it.  I saw this series on Amazon a few times when I browsed for other movies and shows, but I always skipped this one as I thought oh come on J.C.?  I watched Bloodsport so long ago I hardly remember any detail of this movie, but because of Bloodsport, I have always known who J.C. is.  Nonetheless, I couldn’t remember why I stopped watching his other movies, and he is definitely much older now.  I guess I skipped Jean-Claude Van Johnson series because I thought J.C. was just being the old J.C., but I was so wrong.  After watching Jean-Claude Van Johnson, I don’t care if J.C. is being old or new J.C. because this series rocks hard.  J.C. also makes fun of himself in the series and that is making the series a lot more fun than it could have been.  His acting is pretty good in this series, and now I still don’t know why I watched so few of his older movies.  I recommend this series to anyone who wants to reminisce the past a bit but I assure you that J.C. is rocking hard in this new series and you may love it a lot.

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TV Show Review: Outlander

If you’ve gotten Amazon Prime and considered to subscribe to Starz, then you should watch Outlander.  I’m in the process of canceling my Showtime add-on subscription, because I signed up with Starz add-on subscription in Amazon Prime.  It’s Outlander TV show/series which attracted me to Starz in the first place.  I’ve to say I’m not regretting this decision at all.  I think Outlander is an amazing TV show.

Personally, I’m falling in love with Caitriona Balfe’s Outlander character known as Claire Randall.  This is my first time seeing Caitriona Balfe on screen, because I don’t think I have seen her in a show before.  Basically, Caitriona Balfe brings Claire Randall alive as a World War II nurse in 1945 and as Claire Fraser in 1700s.

World War II has just ended, and Claire’s future is uncertain.  Well, she thinks with the war is behind her, things should be picking up for her and Frank Randall (her husband).  During the war, Frank and Claire got separated so often that they rarely had time to nurture a relationship.  After all, a nurse and an officer/spy would definitely be quite intense in their respectable World War II roles, and so it’s quite reasonable for them to be separated during wartime.

Things speed up when Claire and Frank decide to have a second honeymoon in Scottish Highlands.  Claire isn’t completely falling in love with archaeology, but she has sympathy for the profession since she has had an archaeologist as an uncle.  Frank though, is deeply in love with the history of his own genealogy, and so a second honeymoon in Scottish Highlands is a well planned honeymoon.  So they thought!

After the trip to Craigh na Dun (similar to Stonehenge site), Claire decides to go back to Craigh na Dun on her own to take a second look on the herbs there.  After all, Claire is very interested in herbs and medicines.  Unfortunately, this is one trip which turns her future, or shall we say her past upside down.  A fairytale ensues.

Outlander’s main plot exaggerates real Scottish history with fictional characters such as Jamie Fraser (and so on).  Thanks to wonderful actors such as Caitriona Balfe (as Claire Randall), Sam Heughan (as Jamie Fraser), and Tobias Menzies (as Johnathan “Black Jack” Randall and Frank Randall), Outlander pulls me into a wonderful historical/fairytale timeline of Scotland.  The show gets really intense in the second season, because Black Jack Randall’s perverse grows evermore intense.  Jamie Fraser’s heroic character takes a big turn when Black Jack Randall exercises his perverseness on Jamie.

In summary, Outlander is a very good TV show, but children should stay away from this show since nudity occurs quite frequently.  The actors in the show are great in their roles.  I think Tobias Menzies does wonder with his double role as Frank Randall and Johnathan “Black Jack” Randall.  It’s great that Caitriona Balfe pulls off as a modern woman who learns how to live among the Scottish people of two centuries earlier in Scottish Highlands.  In my opinion, Sam Heughan is so believable as a warrior of Scottish Highlands, and he brings amazing chemistry onto the screen whenever his role and Caitriona Balfe’s role collide.  With these wonderful actors and amazing storyline, I won’t be surprised if you, yourself, are going to be fully immersed in this fairytale.

Television Show Review: Humans

Humans is a show which plays with the idea of artificial intelligences known as synths.  These synths are being programmed to go one step beyond simulation, because they got consciousness.  Thus the synths act like they’re humans.  Basically, the show is trying to ask a question in which we humans are naturally wanting to know.  The question is, what our future, as a humanity, will be if there are real artificial intelligence beings?

I’m surprised to see that I’m enjoying Humans, because I didn’t expect to like it in the first place.  Nonetheless, I’m already on episode eight of season one.  In my opinion, the actors in the show are great, because their acting convinces me to feel as if artificial intelligence with consciousness can really be achieved.

I like Gemma Chan in her role as Mia, because she acts really well in her role as a synth.  She moves between being a simulated synth to a synth with consciousness rather well.  Her role is quite hard too I think, because I like how one moment she is totally human and another she transforms back into a robotic, slave-like synth.

Watching Humans, I can see myself in the future easily, because the only thing that is radically different is the synth technology.  Everything else seems to be rather normal.  For an example, cars are still being driven by an operator behind a steering wheel.  Nonetheless, I think the director could have allowed self-driven car to be the norm for transportation in the show, because self-driven car is already a real technology in real life.  A good example of this would be some buses in China are already being self-driven.

Humans’ overall plot may not be your cup of tea, but the show is addressing a very interesting fiction which may come true in the future.  As we all know it, machine learning and deep learning technologies are already available, but we as humans may be able to one day become the father and mother of artificial intelligence that is one step beyond the sorts of simulations we have today.  By then, what will become of humanity?  Anyhow, you can check out Humans on Amazon’s Prime Video service.  I checked Netflix, but I didn’t see Humans was available for streaming.

The Man In The High Castle (TV Series – Season One) Review

I was so hesitated to watch “The Man in the High Castle” TV series, but boy I’m glad that I did a binge watch of it.  I got through the whole first season without missing a single minute of it.  I have to say the series is very enjoyable.  How come?  Even though the series is flipping history on its head, I must say the series is awesome in a way in which you may want to hang onto every minute of the series.

Spoiler is ahead, and so you should not read on if you think you want to watch this series for yourself.

I must admit, Juliana Crain is very pretty, but her prettiness doesn’t affect her character as if she is a weak flower that needs to be protected from the elements.  She is headstrong with a golden heart in which doesn’t destroy her feminine side as if a female wanna be male sort of things.  In the first episode, she shows that even though she is a woman, she can handle a man in a combat.  If I’m not wrong on the martial art style she has been practicing, Akido allows her to defend herself against stronger men.  Don’t let her macho side put you off if you’re one of those guys who hates to see how a female can easily beat up a male character in movies, because this side of her isn’t telling her whole story.  Besides of wanting to be loved by Frank and possibly by Joe, she is a strong woman who wants to seek out other possibilities that may present to her by chances and luck.  The world she lives in, her people are being treated as second class, because the area — she lives in — is being controlled by the imperialistic Japan; imperialistic Japan empire fought on the Nazi side and won WWII.  She reluctantly joins the resistance when she witnesses her sister got shot by the imperialistic Japanese.  Although Alexa Davalos’s performance as Juliana Crain is not Oscar worthy, but I think in season one she executes her role as Juliana Crain quite brilliantly.  Basically, she is believable in her role.

Frank Frink is Juliana Crain’s boyfriend.  The series’ trademark is about flipping history on its head, but a closer look would probably have you think that Frank Frink is rather a feminine character.  So, the series got Frank Frink as a male character who wants to live under the imperialistic regimes peacefully, because life is precious.  As the Japanese authorities seek out Juliana, they have Frank Frink in custody.  During the confinement, they torture Frank Frink.  When Frank Frink refuses to give up Juliana’s whereabout, the imperialistic Japanese authorities kill his sister and nephews.  When the Japanese authorities finally think that Juliana Crain hasn’t got what they are after anymore, they release Frank Frink.  By the time Frank Frink got his release, his sister and nephews were already being killed.  No longer a mister nice guy, Frank Frink feels the rage that he has never ever felt before from within him.  Frank Frink decides that he needs to kill the crown prince of the imperialistic Japanese empire for a payback.  Nonetheless, things don’t always go as plan for him.

Joe Blake is one handsome Nazi, but he got a heart of gold.  Although he is a Nazi who goes undercover as a resistance member, he loves Juliana Crain.  Meeting Juliana Crain helps Joe Blake changes his mind about many things.  From being devoted Nazi, Joe Blake wants to protect Juliana Crain, but his boss isn’t going to let him do anything like that.  He tries hard to protect Juliana Crain, but things can only get more insane from here.  As the story unfolds, Joe Blake is sort of a double agent, but in the end he wants to help Juliana Crain, himself, and possibly the world.  He has a heart of gold, but can he really help everyone in the end?  Season one isn’t revealing how Joe Blake will be able to save Juliana Crain, himself, and the world just yet.  It seems that he may still have to be working for both sides (i.e., Nazi and resistance) in season two.

Besides the main characters, the supporting characters are believable in their roles.  Basically, the actors and actresses in the series are believable, thus pulling you into this alternate world of theirs.  The costumes and sceneries are all very believable and nicely done.  I don’t know how much money they had poured into making the season one of this series, but the series got all these excellent qualities that make you want to watch every episode of the season one.  I’m not sure how awesome the season two will be, but I know I like the season one a lot.  As I’m writing this review/spoiler now, the season two isn’t yet available on Amazon.

In summary, I think the show is awesome, because it turns a well known, decades old historic moment into an alternate version without being dull and boring.  The show has excellent cast members, interesting storyline, great stage setups, and so on and so on.  I’ve a feeling that if you watch this series you might not be able to skip a single minute of it.

Good Doctor (Korean Drama) Review

This is a poster for the Promotional poster Good Doctor. The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the television drama, Korean Broadcasting System, the publisher of the television drama or the graphic artist. Further details: Promotional image for television drama series Good Doctor

This is a poster for the Promotional poster Good Doctor. The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the television drama, Korean Broadcasting System, the publisher of the television drama or the graphic artist. Further details: Promotional image for television drama series Good Doctor

Lately, I’ve gotten a fever for Korean drama shows.  It’s even better that I can watch many of these shows on Netflix.  Just recently, I’ve finished watching Good Doctor.  Although there are 20 episodes for this long show, and yet I feel this show needs a second season.  It’s that good, and it touches my heart.

Good Doctor is about a savant doctor who can picture objects and ideas in three dimensional planes.  Through perseverance and bravery, Park Shi On endures his personal struggles as a savant just so he can become a good surgeon.  By struggling to function as a normal person, Shi On touches the people around him wherever he goes.

Although I can definitely go way deeper in revealing everything about this show on this blog post, but doing this will spoil the show for whoever has yet to watch the show.  Anyhow, I think besides well written, coherent storyline, Good Doctor’s surgeon moments are realistic, thus making the show even more believable and enjoying.  Basically, the surgeries take places in the show are not overly dramatic but realistic.

Good Doctor’s main cast:

  • Won Joo
  • Chae-won Moon
  • Sang-wook Joo
  • Min Seo Kim
  • Ho-jin Chun
  • Do Won Kwak
  • Young-kwang Kim
  • Yoon Park
  • Bong-gil Yoon

Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Doctor_(TV_series)#/media/File:Good_Doctor_TV_series-poster.jpg

Netflix’s Marco Polo Is Good, Film Critics Are Wrong About It

I get it, some people hate nudity and bloodshed in films, but how the so called experts in film criticism — that the Internet mentioned — got so wrong about the quality of Netflix’s new Internet series known as Marco Polo.  I’d seen some of the commenters on Netflix typed that the so called film critics compared Marco Polo with Game of Thrones.  I totally disagree with such comparison.  How could that be?  Marco Polo was part fiction and part historic, and such it has no similarity to Game of Thrones in which is all fictional.  Furthermore, even if Marco Polo isn’t a real historic figure, but Marco Polo has been a part of human recalled  history for hundreds of centuries; it does make one wonders the credibility of the argument of how Netflix’s Marco Polo was inspired by Game of Thrones.

If I’m not wrong and if Wikipedia isn’t wrong, Marco Polo was a real person and he had been in Kublai Khan’s domain when Kublai Khan controlled both North and South China as a unified China.  According to Wikipedia, some people had doubted Marco Polo had been in China, because he forgot to mention of China’s Great Wall, foot binding, chopsticks, and so on in his time.  Nonetheless, others had argued that Marco Polo was dwelling among the Mongol elites, thus some of the Chinese cultural practices might not yet be commonly adopted among the Mongol elites.  Some people argued that China’s Great Wall failed to prevent the Northern invaders such as Mongols themselves from invading China, thus the Mongols felt that they didn’t need to maintain China’s Great Wall.

Perhaps the reasons I just mentioned in the previous paragraph had kept Marco Polo from mentioning about such things (e.g., Great Wall, foot binding, chopsticks, etc…).  Regardless, Netflix’s Marco Polo Internet series incorporates the foot binding and chopsticks.  Nonetheless, Netflix’s Marco Polo Internet series isn’t making a big deal on the foot binding and chopsticks when Marco Polo is around, thus in a way Netflix’s Marco Polo Internet series is trying to stay neutral in the story of the real Marco Polo historic figure.  Of course, a lot of things cannot be accounted for as real history in Netflix’s Marco Polo Internet series, because the series itself is an exaggeration to please the audience such as you and I, and the entertainment industry.  I’m still scratching my head how those film critics think Netflix’s Marco Polo Internet series has any similarity to Game of Thrones.

For the very first episode, I wasn’t impress since it started out slow.  Nonetheless, I kept watching since I got nothing else to watch.  As I invested deeper into Netflix’s Marco Polo story, I got even more intrigued by how the show began to creep into my film spirit.  Although Marco Polo is the main character of the show, surprisingly the supporting characters are just as interesting as Marco Polo himself.  Of course, one of the most interesting characters is Kublai Khan.  I have to say the actor who filmed in the role of Kublai Khan did a very good job in making Kublai Khan figure a powerful, mean yet kind, selfish, sexual decadent, and wise.  Marco Polo himself is being portrayed as timid at first, but he is something else as he lives longer among the Mongols.

I can’t go too deep without spoiling the details for you, because you might watch this series later on if you haven’t done so already.  Regardless, the series is well filmed.  The sceneries are gorgeous, and the characters are well sculpted.  The actors themselves are believable in their roles.  Basically, the entire Netflix’s Marco Polo Internet series is well made in my opinion.  The ending is very special too.  The ending is a big spoiler for what may come next in the Season 2 if there will be one, and I do hope there will be a Season 2 for Netflix’s Marco Polo Internet series.

In summary, I think Netflix’s Marco Polo Internet series has done well in blending the history and fiction together.  Others may think Netflix’s Marco Polo is inspired by Game of Thrones (as in an imitation), I think not since the series is extrapolating from history first then weaving in the fiction after.  Even if it’s true that the creator of Netflix’s Marco Polo Internet series was inspired by Game of Thrones, I still think the creator didn’t stray too far from Kublai Khan’s empire.  Since Kublai Khan’s empire was real, and so it gives more credence to Netflix’s Marco Polo Internet series than something just plain fiction.  Of course, plain fiction is wild and fun and unique, but as a human being I like to think of a glorious past is definitely more glorious than something isn’t even real.  Of course, something isn’t real may come true in the future, but that is for the future.

Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Game_of_Thrones