Whiplash

Netflix DVD – they rated it at 4.7 stars for me, and 3.9 stars for the general audience. This is another movie where Netflix finds something for me that I might not normally be interested in from reading the description. A jazz drummer determined to succeed and driven by a demanding music teacher? Not interested, normally … but wow, did they ever do a good job of making this movie engaging and suspenseful, and they even got a twist or two in there.

Whiplash movie poster

I really liked the acting in this movie, and it was a lot of fun to watch. It’s not only about music, though people interested in music would probably like it, but more about personality and achievement. It makes you wonder if the “demanding” music teacher was right in some way. I thought my high school band teacher was a real jerk, but this guy (played wonderfully by J.K. Simmons) was WAY worse! I’m going to give it 5 stars.

Avengers Age Of Ultron

Just saw this in the theatre with the family, for Mother’s Day, and we loved it! Close to being as good as the first one, and just as much fun. I liked the new characters of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. While you don’t want to think too much about his creation, the new character The Vision also shows up. Like the first one, it was a ton of fun to watch and I’d like to see it again. We’ll probably buy them both at some point.

Avengers Age of Ultron movie posterThe dialog between the characters was as great as ever, and quite a few funny lines are delivered along the way – “the elevator is not worthy” being a favorite. You’ll know it when you hear it …

The graphics are spectacular and I’m glad to see that they’re making money on it – these things cost so much to make, we don’t need any failures jeopardizing our chances of getting more superhero movies in the future. Speaking of which, where’s the Legion of Super-Heroes movie, and how badly are they going to do it? I fear that it’s going to suck … I hope I’m wrong.

Sons of Anarchy

Netflix streaming – I just finished watching the series finale, from the seventh and final season. They predicted it at 4.3 stars for me, and 4.3 for the huge general audience – over 4 million viewers have rated it so far. This is a fascinating series, one of several that I have been turned off by originally, because of what seem like distasteful people. The Soprano’s and Breaking Bad were both like this as well, I watched an episode and decided I didn’t want to watch such horrible people. However, coming back to them because of glowing reviews everywhere, I got hooked on all of these and wanted to see what would happen to these people. Sons of Anarchy is a fascinating study of people on the wrong path in life, but who seem to be, at least sometimes, doing the right thing for themselves and their families.

Sons of Anarchy poster

This long-running show is a fascinating character study and a vivid demonstration of how bad choices can pile up on each other and send people down a path of destruction. At times, perhaps many times, it is overly convoluted as the plot twists around a huge number of motorcycle gangs and their members, as they cold-heartedly┬ákill each other for a piece of their lucrative and illegal pies, partially fueled by retaliation and disrespect. One good person is caught up, by love, in this mess, and she gradually turns to be more and more like them. It is interesting watching, but I think I had to see the whole thing in order to give it 5 stars. Individual episodes would probably only receive 4 stars from me. From what I’ve read, it seems like they had the entire series planned out, since things in the last episode carry on and reflect back to things in the pilot episode.