Movies and Tea #54 – Jackie Brown

Its time for the next episode of Movies and Tea as we continue on with the Quentin Tarantino season as we take a look at Jackie Brown, a first time watch for myself. Head on over to Movies and Tea to give it a listen!

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Our Quentin Tarantino season continues with Jackie Brown which to date is the only adaptation that Tarantino has made while over one of the most overlooked films in his filmography making it perfect for a re-evaluation to see if it’s deserves more recognition.

Music on this episode

Strawberry Letter 23 – The Brothers Johnson
Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time – The Delfonics

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Movies and Tea #53 – Pulp Fiction

Continuing with the Quentin Tarantino season for Movies and Tea, we head into our discussion of Pulp Fiction! Head on over to Movies and Tea to give it a listen!

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Elwood and Kim continue thier re-evaluation of Quentin Tarantino’s filmography with “Pulp Fiction” in which four interweaved stories play out as a mysterious briefcase, a dinner date, a gold watch and the etiquette of the stick up all come together to create a film still ingrained in pop culture as when it was released.

Music on this episode

Misirlou – Dick Dale and his Del-Tones
Surf Rider – The Lively Ones

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TV Binge: Resident Evil (Season 1, 2022)

Resident Evil (Season 1, 2022)

Cast: Ella Balinska, Tamara Smart, Siena Agudong, Adeline Rudolph, Paola Nunez, Lance Reddick, Anthony Oseyemi, Connor Gosatti, Pedro De Tavira

Nearly three decades after the discovery of the T-virus, an outbreak reveals the Umbrella Corporation’s dark secrets. Based on the horror franchise. – IMDB

Its hard to not know what Resident Evil is at this point, whether you are a gamer or not. Of course, if you are a gamer, then you are much more familiar with the source material depending how thorough you were with the entire game franchise. After Paul W. S. Anderson’s Resident Evil film franchise (franchise overview) which really went off into its own tangent and basically only retaining the world itself and into his own writing and production (depending on the film), a handful of animated films, the reboot of the game once again with Welcome to Raccoon City (review) and last year’s Netflix animated series (review) (which honestly was more like a film split up in 4 episodes), Netflix’s Resident Evil series finally released and it takes the story into the future, decades after the outbreak at Raccoon City and writing up its own story. While I’m not sure its something that Resident Evil fans have been looking forward to, considering some of my friends would like a legit decent survivors escaping Raccoon City story which we’ve seen too many times in my opinion, regardless of whether its good or bad, for myself, the direction was a good one which if successful, will breathe some needed new life into Resident Evil to at least give it a boost into the alternate future. It all leaves the question of whether it was able to achieve that or at least, is Resident Evil still what it is if it takes out the 1998 outbreak setting.

Resident Evil series delivers a parallel storyline. This first is set in the past and an alternate present in our terms in 2022 when 14 year old fraternal twins Billie (Siena Agudong) and Jade Wesker (Tamara Smart) move to New Raccoon City, an Umbrella planned community as Albert Wesker (Lance Reddick) works on finalizing a drug called Joy for Umbrella corporation to hit the markets. Umbrella is now under new leadership under the daughter of Dr. Marcus, Evelyn (Paola Nunez) who reclaimed her father’s company. However, when the twins break into the lab, they learn some dark secrets there which ends up putting their lives in danger. The second plot runs in the series present in 2036 as it follows a grown-up Jade Wesker (Ella Balinska) who is studying the “zero”-filled world to track their evolution and mutation of the T-virus. Zeroes are what “zombies” are called in this world. As Jade tries to evade Umbrella who is hunting her down, she is helping do research for a hidden organization The University who tries to present the old world artifacts.

Looking at the story premise, the series takes a decent step forward. Its pretty ambitious considering its bound to disappoint a lot of franchise fans seeing as it revamps the entire story and only uses the Raccoon City event everyone is familiar with as a backdrop. However, pushing it to the future is a good idea and with what they have, the parallel being there retains both elements of still keeping the T-virus and its existence along with Umbrella still having dark secrets and they things they are trying to hide from their past while adding in a central character which never has been the center with Albert Wesker in the future, even if he still is top bill but more supporting than the twins. At the same time, the 2036 events is proof that whatever Umbrella was trying to do under new management wasn’t contained as the world is in its apocalyptic state with zeroes running rampant and in its own way, introducing this new world’s monsters whether the “zombies” or other mutations. In that sense, the story does try to maintain a balance. The two sides of the story do work well to complement each other and each has their redeeming qualities and tension. Of course, the 2022 events with the teen twins in their school environment adds the teen element as they try to blend in, get bullied and try to make friends. Some of that feels a little mundane in the spectrum of things but luckily, the casting for the young Jade and Billie are decent, even if their teen characters are a little frustrating a times.

Taking a quick glance at the cast, its some rather fresh faces. Adult Jade Wesker is played by Ella Balinska who was previously in the reboot of Charlie’s Angels (review) as one of the Angels. Jade is the focus of the series and she takes the role pretty well. The action sequences involving her are done pretty good and as she does get caught up a few dicey situations. Her younger self portrayed by Tamara Smart is a little more frustrating to watch as mentioned above. Billie on the other hand portrayed by Siena Agudong is done pretty well. Her character goes through a lot more in the younger sequence and puts her in constant inner struggles. The older self is portrayed by Adeline Rudolph (plays Agatha in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) which was a pretty short presence in this season. Lance Reddick’s Albert Wesker is probably not the expected choice however, the character itself is built pretty well to fit in this world. Honestly, I haven’t seen Lance Reddick other than as the hotel manager in John Wick films and his role there is fairly small but so good. Seeing as Wesker’s side of the story is rarely dived into thoroughly, there is a lot of space to build it up. Focusing on his daughters makes it all the more good as he is there but it adds a new generation to the new Raccoon City and the future of Resident Evil’s setting. Its a pretty nice touch (perhaps I’m just overthinking it as usual).

What’s Resident Evil without its villains and here, the villainous character here is Evelyn Marcus which is played relatively well by Paola Nunez. Sometimes, Evelyn is fairly annoying as most villains are but she has a dangerous edge to her that carries well enough, some parts a little overdone but there is some development. Of course, the other villains are the zeroes and the mutated creatures. In that sense, the mutated creature designs here are probably the element that I’ve always loved about the franchise and in this case, this new future brings in some giant versions of animals which are quite fun to see. If only there was more then the 3 or so types shown. This does tie in to the world building which honestly gets showcased much more in the 2036 side of the story as there’s so much more to discover in the wastelands.

In the end, your enjoyment of this series will hang heavily on asking the the initial question as to what makes Resident Evil, well, Resident Evil. While this series pushes it to the future and uses Umbrella and the T-virus as its foundation, it still doesn’t feel too different from being another zombie series, but then that is what Resident Evil is, right? Its another type of zombie franchise, except in this case, its set with a younger cast, has a bit of teen and family drama and a few other tangents. Or perhaps the 1998 events of the outbreak is what makes Resident Evil what it is or perhaps its the main cast of Chris and Claire, Jill and Leon, who obviously is not in this series so this will definitely not fit. If we look at this from solely an action horror series, then its actually not too bad as it does have a lot of action and a good bit of horror.

Movies and Tea #52 – Reservoir Dogs

Next season of Movies and Tea starts as we jump into a season-long evaluation of Quentin Tarantino’s directorial work. The first to kick off is Reservoir Dogs! Head on over to Movies and Tea to give it a listen!

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We kick off Season #7 and the start of our season long re-evaluation of the Quentin Tarantino’s filmography starting with Reservoir Dogs as a failed a group of crooks try to figure out who the rat is in their group when a jewellery store heist gets astray.

Further Viewing

Takers
The Town
Oceans 8
Taking of Pelham 123
City On Fire
The Killing
Kansas City Confidential

Music on this episode

Little Green Bag – George Baker Selection
Hooked On A Feeling – Blue Swede

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After Hours – To All The Boys Trilogy

Its time for the next episode of Movies and Tea as we wrap up the After Hours of this season. This time is a dive into the To All The Boys Trilogy on Netflix which of course is my own pick since I’m a big fan of the book series and the films. Head on over and give it a listen!

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Kim introduces Elwood to the “To All The Boys” trilogy staring Lana Condor as the shy high school junior Lara Jean Covey whose letters she wrote to her crushes accidently get mailed to her crushes sparking a series of romantic misadventure

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After Hours – Dumplin’

Continuing in the After Hours! We enter the world of beauty pageants as we look at Netflix exclusive Dumplin’ with a Dolly Parton soundtrack, Jennifer Aniston and Danielle Macdonald as mother and daughter and a group of unlikely beauty pageant participants who join to break the norm.

Head on over to Movies and Tea to give it a listen!

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Elwood and Kim look at the world of beauty pagents with the Netflix exclusive Dumplin’ in which the plus-size, teenage daughter of a former beauty queen signs up for her mom’s pageant as a protest that escalates when other contestants follow in her footsteps,

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After Hours – The Reef

Season 6 heads into After Hours as we kick off with our Shark Week film choice. This time its Australian thriller The Reef. Head on over to Movies and Tea and give it a listen!

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Shark Week returns as this time Kim and Elwood check out the minimalist take on the genre with The Reef in which a group of friends find themselves being stalked by a great white shark when thier boat capsizes

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Movies and Tea #51 – The Farewell

The final episode for this season’s Female Directors ends with Lulu Wang’s The Farewell. Head on over to Movies and Tea to give it a listen and let us know whether you’ve seen it and your thoughts on the film.

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Our celebration of female directors comes to a close with Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell” based in part on an event in Wang’s life as Billi (Awkwafina) finds herself drawn into a speedy wedding organised as a cover to bring the family together when her grandmother is diagnosed with terminal cancer. 

Music on this episode

Arrival – Alex Weston
Come Healing – Elayna Boynton

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Movies and Tea #50 – XX

Time for the next episode of Movies and Tea as we continue our dive into the female directors season with a female directed horror anthology XX. Head on over to Movies and Tea to give it a listen!

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The season long celebration of female directors this time doesn’t look at just one but instead the work of five diffrent directors as Roxanne Benjamin, Sofìa Carrillo, Karyn Kusama, St. Vincent, Jovanka Vuckovic come together for an anthology of horror stories.

Join us as we break down the tales of mysterious boxes, demonic possession, problem children and possibly the worst birthday ever!

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Movies and Tea #49 – The Edge of Seventeen

The next Movies and Tea episode is here as we continue the Female Directors season. This time, we are talking about 2016’s coming of age The Edge of Seventeen. Head on over to give it a listen!

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Our season long celebration of female directors this time moves onto Kelly Fremon Craig and her directorial debut The Edge of Seventeen in which high school junior Nadine sets out to redisover who she is when her best friend starts dating her popular brother throwing her life into turmoil.

Music on this episode

Sky On Fire (Eo17 Remix) – Handsome Poets
When I’m Small – Phantogram

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