Benedict Cumberbatch

Ep 217: Sherlock- The Final Problem and La La Land Review

The guys, joined by Sujoy aka @9e3k , get stuck into the season finale of the BBC’s Sherlock and there is much afoot!
Firstly a quick intro talking about Ben Affleck and his new film, Live by Night.  And then a battle between La La Land and all of Bollywood.

Sherlock, the final problem.  Upod travels down these roads:

– Are the writers taking the piss at the viewers’ expense?
– Why is Moriarty so prominent, after his death?
– Eurus…generally speaking, wtf?
– Concerns with believability

– A slight excursion sideways into Art Malik and his appearance in Mirzya, a recent Bollywood movie!

– And then the “The tasks of Sherlock”
– Horror themes throughout the episode
– The confusing, convoluted ending
– Where next for our intrepid detectives, Holmes & Watson

Check out more of Sujoy‘s work at OneKnighStand and Bollypop!

You can listen/download/stream the episode below.

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Ep 215: Sherlock – The Lying Detective Upodcast Review

The game is well and truly afoot!  As Sherlock dives further into series 4, so Upodcasting dives further into Sherlock.  Coming up in this latest episode, we continue our own investigations, talking through all of the key issues and talking points of episode 2 – The Lying Detective.  In many ways, this could be considered the sexy episode and Asim and Martin will reveal why.  The stage is well and truly set for a grandstand finish in episode 3 and we shall return next week to conclude matters!

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Sherlock – The Six Thatchers Review Upodcast

Hot on the trail of the BBC’s series (no seasons please, we’re British) four opener, Upodcast takes a deep dive into the first episode.  Will Watson and Holmes get it on?  What the hell happened during the one-off Christmas special and how will Holmes talk his way out of murdering someone in cold blood?  Three small questions, among the many others that we’ve pondered since the last episode and they all get answered thankfully.  For this and more, plus our looking forward to the next two episodes, take a listen; we’ll see you again after episodes 2 and 3!

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Doctor Strange Review Upodcast

This week we review Marvel’s Doctor Strange starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams and Tilda Swinton directed by Scott Derickson.

From IMDB: A former neurosurgeon embarks on a journey of healing only to be drawn into the world of the mystic arts.

Is the movie able to bring our hosts out of their superhero fatigue? Does Doctor Strange try something different to the origin story template?

You can listen/download/stream the episode and find out below:

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The Imitation Game Review and London Film Festival Preview

As the London Film Festival rolls onwards, we are joined by writer, producer, DJ Shai Hussain and talk about the movies we are most looking forward to as well as give short thoughts on the ones we have already caught like Jason Reitman’s Men, Women and Children and Justin Simien’s Dear White People.

Our main review is the opening night’s The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley and Matthey Goode based on the life of mathemetican Alan Turing and how he worked on cracking the Enigma machine and helping the allies defeat the Nazi regime during WWII.

Here are some of trailers of the movies we covered during our chat if you haven’t seen them yet:

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You can find more of Shai’s work on http://about.me/ShaiHussain

Sherlock Season 3 and American Hustle Review Upodcast

The game is on..!  Upodcast returns for 2014 with a TV and movie doubleheader.  First up we celebrate the return of Sherlock to our screens.  The long overdue (in our opinion) resolution of the “how did he die but live?” question was so tantalising, more than 9 million Brits tuned-in to the first episode of the 3rd series.  To be fair, both the leads have been off being hobits and Julian Assange so we can excuse the wait, but what of the rest?  We’ll talk you through the last 3 episodes, highs and lows alike and give a little glimpse into the future for those who couldn’t watch the final episode.

Moviewise and making its way to an awards ceremony near you, right now, we have American Hustle.  On the face of it, this has winner written all over it.  Late 70s aesthetic – check, brilliant extended cast – check, based on real-life events – check, story of corruption, betrayal & redemption – check.  So does it deliver?  It does indeed, although not without its flaws.  Let us guide you through one of the most eagerly anticipated films of 2014.  Upod sort of doesn’t do the Oscars if we’re honest, but we can see American Hustle in a 1-on-1 fight with 12 Years a Slave for the Best Film award this year.  And if you’ve ever wondered what Batman with a beer-belly and a very creative comb-over looks like, then the opening scene won’t disappoint.

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The Shadow Line: released on DVD

Thrilly chiller

With the current glut of American TV shows that continue to dominate the comedy / drama landscape, both in the US and here in the UK, it is sometimes easy to forget that there are high quality alternatives out there.  As Upodcasting has mentioned, nay fawned over, in the past, the possible highlight of this last year was the BBC re-working / re-boot of Sherlock Holmes, with Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch. One of the few occasions when I genuinely decried the shorter TV seasons that we enjoy in the UK.  New to the BBC this spring, was The Shadow Line.  Not something that could ever spill over into multiple seasons like for example The Sopranos or as “light” as Sherlock Holmes, The Shadow Line is a self-contained one-off series, albeit with more than three episodes.

The Shadow Line written by Hugo Blick, tells the story of a murdered drug-lord investigated by from the side of the criminal underworld and the police.  The show caught my attention initially due to Christopher Ecclestone’s presence.  Here he plays Joseph Bede, a reluctant drug-lord-cum-straight businessman, forced into the drug dealing driving seat following the death of his previous “employer” Harvey Wratten.  With a lot of angst we see Bede plan his strategy of one big deal and then exit, in order to pay for the care for his wife who is suffering from Alzheimer’s.  Second in the list of notable performances goes to Chiwetel Ejiofor, as DI Jonah Gabriel.  Rather than simply give the audience a cliched “copper with questionable morals” the writers create a character who is “copper with a bullet in his head and amnesia”.  I found this twist hugely interesting and gave a lot of freedom to question the character’s motivations and potentially his morals. 

The highlight in terms of charcaters for me however, is Gatehouse, peerlessly played by Stephen Rae.  I shan’t reveal too much about Gatehouse for fear of spoiling things, but there is more than sufficient menace and threat to sustain you over the 7 episodes.  Also watch out for a superb scene in the clock shop, where he and Glickman come face to face; top notch stuff from Rae and Anthony Sher

If you enjoy police dramas but want a break from the tried and tested proceedural formula, you can do far far worse than give this a look.  There is a high quality feel throughout, coming from the strong writing and acting.  I felt the atmosphere, created by washed-out colours and bleak, empty spaces (be they urban or otherwise) was very effective: although following a trend from the Swedish Wallander shows (both UK and Swedish versions) it complemented both the writing and storyline. 

The show seemed to divide both critics and viewers when broadcast.  The watching public started at 3m viewers becoming 2m after 1 episode and then to a hardcore of 1.3m thereafter.  And critically there seemed to be much division, derision and worship in equal measure.  Some hailing the fact the Beeb had wanted to show something as complex, stylish and occasionally baffling; and some who wanted to bash the script, the “extended metaphors” and the attempt to break from the usual in-house, comfy feel of BBC drama.  Frankly I’m pleased it was made and glad I loyally watched each episode, even if the ending pissed me off slightly.  That still doesn’t detract from seeing a fine performance from an ensemble cast and having to actually think about a plot for 7 weeks.  It may be that the British public have lost their taste for adventurous, thought provoking TV drama and perhaps I am in that 1.3 million minority; but I’m better off for being so and so should you be too.

Out this week via BBC/2entertain for £15 and I would personally give this 3 1/2 stars as opposed to the 3 stars that a freebie daily newspaper in London gave it.

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