The Man In The High Castle: Season 1, Episode 1

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Happy Monday all! I hope this post finds you in a good mood, and if today was the opposite of cheerful I hope it brightens your day.

Tonight’s post is exclusively focusing on the first episode of the first season of The Man In The High Castle, which is titled “The New World”. This episode basically introduces you to a majority of the characters that you’ll be seeing throughout the rest of the other episodes, and also to the Japanese Pacific States and Greater Nazi Reich.

Now, if you have not seen the episode yet, I am warning you in advance that there are spoilers in this review. If you want to stop reading right here and view it that’s fine, and if you want to continue reading that’s okay as well. However, though, consider yourself warned. So with that being said…

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Let’s get started.

“The New World” starts off in New York City, where we see one of the main characters, Joe Blake, sitting in a movie theater on Broadway watching propaganda films, and accepting a piece of paper (with an address on it) from someone whose identity isn’t exactly made clear. I would say, though, that this person is possibly from the resistance.

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Joe does go to this address, and it is revealed to be a sort of factory. Now, this is where you get the vibe that he is possibly working for the Resistance, because he talks about wanting to bring back the America his father knew and talked about, before it was split between the Japanese  and Nazis after they won the war. At that point the Nazis themselves decide to bust into the factory, COPS-style (if you have watched that show at any point then you’ll know what I mean), and Joe Blake is lucky to get into the cab of a semi and drive away before getting caught. The factory manager unfortunately isn’t so lucky as he gets bitten in the neck by a German Shepherd and hauled away by Nazis.

Then the scene shifts to San Francisco, where we get acquainted with Juliana Crain, as well as her mother, stepfather, half sister, and boyfriend, Frank Frink. Juliana does appear to be content with the way things are in the Japanese Pacific States, as she is big into taking classes at the local Dojo and buying herbs which make her mother wince as she drinks them. That is, until she is hurriedly handed a film (along with a bus ticket to Canon City, Colorado, which is in the Neutral Zone) from her half sister, Trudy, who as it turns out is indeed part of the Resistance–and who ends up getting shot by the Japanese right in front of Juliana. This prompts her to view the film, which shows the United States, not the Nazis or Japanese, winning the war. Once she views it, she basically makes up her mind to go to Canon City in Trudy’s place and not to turn the film in to the police, which Frank advises to no avail.

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To fast forward, we see Juliana leaving for Canon City, Joe going in that direction himself, and Frank getting arrested along with Trudy’s Resistance boyfriend Randall because the authorities feel that something is up with Juliana disappearing from San Francisco.

As stated originally in my previous post, this episode alone got me into the series. One thing that got my interest right away were the visuals–New York really did look like it was completely taken over by the Nazis, and San Francisco looked, I had to admit it, amazing with the Japanese signage.

As far as content went I feel it was a fitting way to start off the series and season. For this type of show, honestly, it could only begin a certain way, and it worked. For characters, Joe Blake really stood out, due to him being portrayed primarily as working for the Resistance, but then being very ambiguous as a person. Juliana was far more easier to read, due to her character being good hearted and transparent, and in this episode you could tell there was going to be a lot more of her in the episodes to come.

Overall, I give this episode a 5/5.

Hooe you enjoyed the review, Episode 2 will be coming up this weekend!

First image: http://www.history.com

Second image: http://www.westelm.com (Art print is from Rifle Paper Co)

Third image: http://www.pastelshop.fr (Art print also from Rifle Paper Co! In fact, I bought it last week.)

 

 

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Daily Prompt: Recite

I’m marching to the beat of the rifleman’s arms,

Thinking about everyone who’d do me harm,

I am a Tamlin and we have no fear,

The sanctuary’s tolling sounds all too near,

Reciting the prayers I’ve grown to love,

Soon I’ll be soaring, with the doves,

Silas catches my gaze and before he could speak,

I warn him off, the price is too steep,

My piercing stare has broken his heart,

Mouthing “I Love You” from the spectators, please, don’t start,

The flood gates are opening, holding back the storm,

Chanting “Down with the traitor” a reception so warm,

My next step is wobbly, old noodles for legs,

Straighten your posture and hold up your head,

This crowd’s not behind me, they wish me dead,

I’ve taken their freedom with 1 single piece of lead,

Their ruler was a monster and had to be stopped,

“Do you wish to repent?” Sadly Father, I do not,

In truth I’ve saved them from hunger and strife,

Paid the piper my ferry; my mother’s life.

I Recite my final words and then don’t hear a sound,

The executioner beheads the talk of the town.

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via Daily Prompt: Recite

Credits:

tumblr.com

A Very Gilded Drama

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Good day all! It’s Maria again, and as promised, I’m here to review the Hulu series Versailles. I figured that since my review of Split was on the dark end, I would bounce back with something a bit more cheerful and pleasant.

I understand that some of you may have watched this before, and a girl I know actually recommended this series to me a while ago. However though, I did not get around to watching it until fairly recently. Versailles can be found on Hulu, and originally aired on Canal+ in France before going to Canada, Britain, and ultimately here in the States. Currently, there are two seasons of the show, and a third one in the works.

In a nutshell, Versailles is pretty self explanatory–it is, of course, about the historic structure in Versailles, France, which was built by King Louis XIV during his reign from 1643 to 1715. But the series is far more complex than that; it actually goes into more than the obvious construction of the famous Palace. You will see yourself looking into the lives of Louis XIV, his family, and the nobles who have found themselves living there despite their feelings of rebellion against the monarchy. There is definitely a lot of drama, secrecy, and political maneuvers going on underneath the gilded and lofty outer facade of Versailles.

I will admit, I like watching shows whose premise is drama and secrets: Gossip GirlRiverdale, etc. But a show with genuine historical background makes it much more gripping and interesting. And that is what Versailles is. As you continue to watch the show you’re basically trapped into the inner workings of what the Palace really was: a place of glory, brutality, politics, and most of all, intrigue. And that is why it’s definitely enjoyable. And you will not want to stop watching it.

I give it a 4.5/5.

Credits:

Daily Express (top image)

YouTube (trailer)

 

A War and Peace That Delivers

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Hello all! It’s Maria, and I hope you’ve had an excellent week so far. Mine has been interesting to date…

Anyway, I’m here to bring you another Netflix/series review–actually it’s more along the lines of a miniseries review, since it’s not quite a full series. And that miniseries is humbly called War and Peace, based on the famous novel by Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy. Now, I got interested in this particular miniseries not because I have read the book–because I really haven’t, the closest I have gotten to existential Russian literature is the first half of Anna KareninaThe Cherry Orchard, and Doctor Zhivago–but because I am a huge history fan, and underneath the fictional veil of the plot, there is a strong historical basis, especially that of the French invasion of Russia.

But even if you’re like me and have never read the book, once you watch the miniseries, you will want to check out the original source of its inspiration. (I haven’t done so yet, because I’ve been re-reading Harper Lee’s supposed sequel to To Kill A MockingbirdGo Set A Watchman. But it’s still on my list of books to read, don’t worry.) Now, War and Peace cannot be found on Netflix, and I am not sure if it will ever come to Netflix, but it you have Hulu, then it is available on there.

Originally airing on BBC One in the UK (then A&E, Lifetime, and History Channel in the States) before coming to Hulu, War and Peace follows five aristocratic families before and during the French invasion of Russia. The miniseries, like the novel, starts in 1805 and ends in 1812, at the end of Napoleon’s failed efforts to conquer Russia. Though the aristocratic families and how they’re changed is the chief focus of the miniseries, particular individuals from these families are given special attention, as their personal development is of huge focus as well: Prince Pierre Bezukov (who is the most favorite illegitimate son of  Russia’s most wealthiest man), Natasha Rostova (the daughter of Count Ilya Rostov and his wife Countess Natalya Rostova), Prince Andrei Bolkonsky (the son of Prince Nikolai Bolkonsky and brother of pious Marya Bolkonskaya), and Nikolai Rostov (Natasha’s older brother). Though to be fair, Nikolai is more like a secondary character, so I would safely say that Pierre, Natasha, and Andrei are the three people you want to pay attention to while watching this.

In the beginning, these three are privileged, but want their lives to have meaning, in somewhat different ways. Pierre, who is highly intelligent and idealistic, wants to change the world for the better; Natasha wants to find true love; and as for Andrei, he is continously fed up with the superficiality of society and opts to seek a higher purpose. Which he does, of course, by joining the army. (To the dismay of his wife.) Once these three are introduced to us, the viewers, their lives change in such ways that it is far from impossible to turn away.

War and Peace is eight episodes long, and basically emulates the novel from front to back cover. (The actual novel is four volumes long not including the epilogue at the end.) After finishing the miniseries in two days–yes, it is that kind of series/miniseries that you binge watch–I can safely say that it is highly engaging, will grasp your interest, and you will not want to stop watching until it’s done.

My rating: 5/5

Credits:

BBC One-YouTube

Psarips.com (image)

 

 

Hidden Treasures 5: Reign

Happy Monday friends! Thank you for tuning in to another Hidden Treasures segment where I try and shine the spotlight on a show, movie, book, game or any other item in our gaming and geek world that I feel is being “Overlooked.” Have you ever stopped and wondered, hey why isn’t this show or game getting more hype? It could be because of poor marketing, or just because in today’s world we have ENDLESS means of entertainment that some things are bound to fall through the cracks. Let’s jump into this week’s gem the TV Series Reign.

What would you do if the fate of a country was dependent on your choices and actions? As I have mentioned a few times before I have a great affinity and fascination with historical dramas at the moment. My spiral into this world of Queens, Kings, Vikings and Mercenaries actually began right her with Reign (Thank you Netflix!). Reign is the retelling of the journey of Mary, Queen of Scots as she fights for survival, freedom and her country of Scotland. Mary was crowned Queen of reign-3 Scotland a few days after her birth due to her father James’ untimely death. Even though her mother Marie De Guise was still alive and kicking, in that time the rightful heir would have been the child born to the king, Mary. Because of Scotland’s ongoing battle with their too close for comfort rivals, England, Mary was sent to live out her developmental days with the nuns.

This is where the story gets interesting. Mary is now of age to marry and assume rule of her country. Due to the despairing events at the convent, Mary is sent to her betrothed in France, Francis. Reign is a loose retelling of actual events as documented between Mary and Francis, however, for dramatic effect I doubt the Queen’s Seer Nostradamus had a hand in most of the events that occurred. reign-4 Mary is joined in France by her childhood maidens and friends from Scotland as they begin to get a taste of French Court. With obstacles abound such as assassins, politics and Catherine De Medici, can Mary really hope to solidify her marriage to Francis

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“You won’t love me, you won’t let yourself.” – Mary

and save her deteriorating country of Scotland? Watch and find out! the first 3 seasons of Reign is on Netflix and the new season premiered February 10th, 2017 on The CW. Did I mention that Mary is the cousin to Elizabeth I, that should prove interesting with the England/Scotland debacle :).

Watch the Trailer for Season 1 here! Reign Trailer

Quotes:

  • “Let him talk like a King, you won’t be married until I say so.” – Catherine

Play:

  • A fairly accurate retelling of Mary Queen of Scots’ teenage years
  • Excellent dramatic and fantasy added elements to keep the viewer entertained
  • A Strong heroine figure
  • Game of Thrones meets The Tudors!

Skip:

  • You are not particularly fond of historical period pieces
  • You can’t get past the first few episodes (In my opinion starts slow but you need to have the backstory right?)

All in all I really enjoy this series and writing about it makes me want to watch some more! What are some of your favorite historical drama series? What decisions would you make as Queen/King? Let’s talk hidden treasures!

Have a great week!

-Luna 🙂

 

I do not own these images

 

Netflix Series of the Week: Frontier

Hiya Gamers, Geeks & Netflix Connoisseurs! Welcome to week 3 of my Netflix Series of Week where I will locate, binge watch and complete a short review on the series. This week I have watched Frontier, check out my thoughts below!

Frontier is  an 18th century historical drama that follows the story of the Hudson Bay Trading company’s dominance of the fur trade industry. The series will travel between several locations including London, North America, Fort James and Montreal. If you are a Game of Thrones fan, then you will recognize one of the lead actors Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo from GOT) as he play’s Declan Harp the former Hudson Bay Company worker who is now a rogue and working against the corporation.

You’re immediately hit in the face with action from the beginning scenes of the show. Frontier is the story of the Hudson Bay Company and other businesses who are trying to make the most money out of the fur business. Declan Harp (Jason Momoa) is one of the main characters in the series who is off the grid and throwing a wrench at every turn in the plans of the HBC. The story line is pretty well lain with multiple threads to follow.The main story line follows Declan Harp and a prominent businessman frontier-chesterfield-michael-benton-838x559 at the HBC, Lord Benton. You can tell that there’s more to story between these 2 polarizing individuals and I have found myself trying to piece together the puzzle of their sorted history. Why is Declan rebelling? Who is the protagonist and who is the antagonist? What does this all have to do with furs? Another story line follows that of Michael Smith, an Irish beggar from London.

The supporting characters in the series will be Captain Chesterfield, Lord Benton’s right hand man in the British Army, Michael Smith, an Irish beggar caught up in the main story line and Grace Umberly, zoe-and-chesterfield-jpg-size-custom-crop-1086x724 an ambitious woman who owns the local bar in the new world. What I have really enjoyed about the series is that everyone plays a role and can stand independently with the story. With a mix of characters and a cutthroat trade, there’s no shortage of adventure, drama and a hint of romance.

The ending was of course one that leaves your wondering what will happen next. I figured the series ended that way so at they can have flexibility in case they were not picked up for another season (which they were, yay!). Below you will find what I believe are the top reasons to watch the series (Play) or reasons you may not enjoy it (Skip).

Play:

  • A great story line with multiple threads to keep you interested in the series
  • Action packed and dramatic scenes that will keep you entertained the whole way through.
  • The acting from Jason Momoa and other characters is fantastic and believable.

Skip:

  • The length of the pilot season spans about 42 minutes an episode for a total of 6 episodes.
  • If you are not into period pieces, this series takes place in the 18th century and does not feature modern items.

I have really enjoyed watching Frontier and cannot wait until Season 2 is released (Yes, Netflix has renewed the series for Season 2 🙂 ). 8 out of 10 would recommend!

Enjoy your weekend!

-Luna 🙂