Gloomy Crime Drama Showdown!! UK vs Scandinavia

March 18th, 2014 by Barak

A new gloomy crime show starring Chloe Sevigny called Those Who Kill is premiering in the U.S. It’s yet another remake of a Scandinavian series titled likewise (after The Killing, The Bridge and Wallander). Is Scandinavia stealing England‘s status as the masters of quality gloomy crime dramas? We’ll take the best 5 British ones and the 5 best Scandinavian ones and try to decide – Who’s got the best gloomy crime shows in Europe?

Those Who Kill VS. Prime Suspect

those who kill-prime suspect
Those Who Kill (Den som dræber) is a suspenseful edge of your seat show that has some very intense and difficult to watch scenes. It’s about a female police detective and a male legal psychiatrist who together try to track down and take down serial killers. Prime Suspect starred Helen Mirren as a tough law enforcer who has to deal with a sexist police environment along with a murder investigation. These two titles actually prove that blondes have less fun.

Winner: Prime Suspect, probably Helen Mirren’s best role ever.

The Killing VS. Broadchurch

killing-broadchurch
The Killing (Forbrydelsen) is a slow burn series that demands patience. It’s about a murder investigation that uncovers secrets, power struggles and cover ups. It’s quite unique in the sense that it focuses on the story of the victim’s family who needs to cope with the tragic event almost as much as it focuses on the police investigation.

Broadchurch is another slow burn series that uses the beautiful landscapes in which the series was shot to create a haunting atmosphere. It’s about a small town murder that shocks the community. Everyone’s a suspect among the many characters of the series.

Winner: A draw. Both shows are quite similar – the plot, the mood and the quality.

Wallander VS. Cracker

wallander-cracker
Wallander is a grumpy and slightly depressed middle aged Swedish detective who tries to apprehend psychopathic killers. Skillful cinematography add to the chilling atmosphere of the series.

Cracker’s main character was called Fitz – an obese, chain smoking, gambling addicted alcoholic who’s also an excellent criminal psychologist. This clever and suspenseful series had an American remake that failed miserably.

Winner: Cracker. One of the best crime shows ever made.

Beck VS. Luther

beck-luther
Beck is a long running Swedish detective series about the detective Martin Beck and his colleagues. Beck is not especially heroic or courageous, but what motivates him and makes him a good detective is probably a strong sense of responsibility for human beings.

Luther, played by Idris Elba, is a police detective on the edge, with a strong tendency toward vigilantism. It’s a gritty and gripping show with strong performances all around.

Winner: Luther. Especially because of Idris Elba’s charismatic performance.

The Bridge VS. The Shadow Line

bridge-shadow line
The Bridge (Bron/Broen) is a mesmerizing show, the lead female detective is one of the most fascinating/weird/funny characters ever seen on TV screens. The plot has many twists and turns and the 2 main characters are flawed in a way that makes it easy to relate to them. The show has its own atmosphere and style (right from the opening theme) that distinguishes it from any other similarly themed shows.

The Shadow Line stars three excellent actors who all give fantastic performances: Chiwetel Ejiofor as a detective suffering from memory loss, Christopher Eccleston as the nicest drug lord you ever saw and Stephen Rea as an ultra-professional hitman. It’s an amazingly stylized, tense and complex Neo Noir Crime series.

Winner: A draw between these two masterpieces.

3-0 to the British series! The queen must be happy (although if she’ll watch an episode of one of these shows she might get sad). All these shows are dark and gloomy and go hand in hand with the weather in Scandinavia and in the UK. No wonder the suicide rate is considered high in those regions. If you are a British or Scandinavian resident and you are considering to end your life you’re not thinking clearly… Aren’t you just dying to know what will happen next in all of those intriguing murder mysteries?!

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Love Around The World

February 13th, 2014 by Asaf & May

“All you need is love”. Almost 50 years after that coin phrase came to life, we now know we also need money, career, car(s), smartphone, Ipad (preferably with the Jinni App) and a vacation twice a year. But still, love is an important ingredient of our lives so for Valentine’s day (guys, don’t forget) here’s a list of 10 romantic titles about love as it’s represented all around the world. Some are suggestions to watch on a date night, some are suggestions that might help you understand your partner better, and some will just make you feel good, as love should. We’ll begin our worldwide journey in the most romantic place on earth, Paris.

Amelie (2001)

Correction: the most romantic place on earth is the mind of a romantic French woman. Amelie is a daydreamer with a very active imagination. She sees the world through very offbeat and sentimental glasses. When destiny summons Amelie with new love, a modern fairytale unfolds. If you’re looking for a feel good film this valentine that’s perfect for a date night, pay a visit to Amelie’s mind. And as long as we’re in Paris, let’s meet…

Chico & Rita (2010)

Chico & Rita met in Cuba. He was a young musician; she was a beautiful young singer. But as they fell in love, they faced many obstacles. So we’re introduced to a bittersweet-up-and-down-relationship across several countries through the 40′s and 50′s. With an Oscar nomination for best animation film and a great Latin-jazz soundtrack, Chico & Rita is a love story you’d love to look & listen to.

We’ll stay in Latin America for now and take a road trip.

Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001)

Before Alfonso Cuaron went to space in “Gravity” he traveled the roads of Mexico. In “Y Tu Mama Tambien” he follows two teenage best friends, Tenoch and Julio, and a hot sexy woman – Luisa, that joins them for a ride to find a legendary beach. Although there’s a significant age difference between them, the two guys bond with the older woman immediately and a sexy-touching love triangle forms, filled with humorous moments and a voice over voice you’ll never forget… But, as we all know, a relationship involving “just” two people is usually complicated so imagine what it’s like for three people.. maybe Tenoch, Julio and Luisa should sign up for…

Love Lockup (2010)

We’ll travel from the great outdoors of Mexico to the tiny indoors of India. In India they have a wonderful system to deal with couples crumbling relationships, they just lock ‘em up for 8 days and throw away the key. Oh and of course they’re taping the whole thing. At least that’s what they do in this reality show. The show follows several couples facing difficulties, doubts and hesitations. The couple gets isolated from the world, confined in a villa, and deal with their problems till the bitter/sweet end. A sincere battle of the sexes that shows love and it’s side effects are the same wherever you are…

…And whenever you are…

2046 (2004)

2046 is a semi fantastic mind bending drama from Honk-Kong which takes place in several time periods and shows the influence love can have on our lives. A story about the road not taken and the past which haunts a romantic soul. Award winner atmospheric experience that’s sure to make you ponder about the future and think about the past and as long as we’re dealing with the past…

Gran Hotel (2011 – )

If you want to see different type of love, from another time and another place, here’s another suggestion: A periodic stylized drama from Spain with all the necessary plot elements to make a good TV show – Love affair, dishonesty, power relations, intrigues and one big hotel where it all happens. The show was referred as the Spanish version of “Downton Abby“, and won viewers and critics affection alike so if you want to see what young lovers in 1900 Spain did in order to fulfill their love, give this show a shot.

Now our love compass takes us to Turkey -

Leyla ile Mencun (2011 – )

A hit TV series in it’s homeland, this comedy series follows the love story of a young couple which was destined to be together. Though social differences come between them, Leyla and Mencun know something bigger is drawing them closer (though their parents draw them apart). Love doesn’t make sense so why should it makes sense on TV? a surreal offbeat and humorous look at true love that overcomes the biggest (and funniest) obstacles.

And if we’re talking about obstacles, imagine what gay Israeli guy and gay Palestinian guy have to go through…

The Bubble (2006)

Till new times arrive, this tragic love story from Israel is the definition of forbidden love. Two guys with very distinctive social differences meet by chance and as sparks start sparkling, they realize the political unrest surrounding them is too dominant. Optimism combined with tragedy, friendship destroyed by terrorism, a movie that shows the Israel-Palestine conflict from a different perspective. And if there’s one thing we know from the conflict is that humans are complicated, so let’s see what animals do.

March of the Penguins (2005)

What’s more romantic then love against the odds? Such is the (unbelievable) story of the penguins in the most deserted area in Antarctica. A dangerous journey those magnificent creatures must go through each year, facing countless dangers and the full wrath of the forces of nature, they must find their way to safe ground where they’ll divide into couples and mate. Love in it’s most pure (and uplifting) form. A surprising blockbuster that made viewers relate to, and admire, it’s heroes as if they were human.

And as long as we’re dealing with love in it’s purest form, what’s more pure then children’s first love?

Flipped (2010)

Sometime pearls slip by unnoticed. Such is Flipped – a wonderful coming of age dramedy from Rob Reiner, a man that has his way with young heroes (Stand By Me). Based on an equally fantastic book, the film describes teenage love in any town USA from the perspective of it’s two heroes. A humorous and clever way that shows us how men and women think differently from the very beginning… But in the end, it’s these differences that maintain the invisible glue connecting us all.

We started with a qoute from The Beatles and we’ll finish with a song from their unofficial successors – Oasis – Let There be Love. Happy Valentine!!

 

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10 Shows Below Zero

January 13th, 2014 by Barak

No matter the season, it’s always nice to stay indoors and watch a good TV show, but during winter you also have an excuse to do so! To empathize with the American people who are suffering from the terrible cold weather we’ll rank the new shows with below zero temperatures. So, turn on every available heating device you have in your home and check out these 10 new promising TV shows:

-1°. The Spoils of Babylon

It’s Like: A funnier Casa De Mi Padre

Executive produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay and starring Kristen Wiig and Tobey Maguire, IFC’s The Spoils of Babylon is a very silly humored spoof of soap operas. The amazingly impressive cast also includes Jessica Alba, Michael Sheen, Tim Robbins, Val Kilmer and Will Ferrell himself.

-2°. True Detective

It’s Like: A high quality Scandinavian crime show… only American.

Big movie stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson make a transition to Television for HBO’s True Detective. This stylized and tense crime drama just might be America’s answer to the acclaimed Scandinavian shows The Bridge and The Killing.

-3°. Fleming

It’s Like: James Bond without all the made up stuff…

Fleming is a mini-series about the life of James Bond creator Ian Fleming who lived a life that were pretty similar to the life of the fictional spy he wrote about. Fleming himself was also a spy and quite a womanizer. He also drank martini and wore slick suits.

-4°. Intelligence

It’s Like: Person of Interest with more special effects.

Hi-tech espionage helped by top-notch special effects – you don’t have to be very intelligent to see this series has a lot of potential. Josh Holloway (Sawyer from Lost) is the protagonist of this show that looks a lot like another CBS action show – Person of Interest.

-5°The Moaning of Life

It’s LikeAn Idiot Abroad with the same amount of complaining and a bit more contemplating.

After An Idiot Abroad, Karl Pilkington continues to travel around the world and feel like a fish out of water wherever he goes. This time he doesn’t have to deal with the challenges\obstacles that his good friend Ricky Gervais sets up for him, but his task here isn’t much simpler – he tries to understand what does it all mean, life that is.

-6°. Black Sails

It’s Like: An extremely violent Treasure Island.

Executive produced by Michael Bay, Black Sails is a sort of prequel to Treasure Island, and takes place in 1715, 20 years prior to the events of the book, during the golden age of piracy. With another high profile piracy show coming up later this year (Crossbones) this might be the golden age of TV shows about piracy.

-7°. Brody Stevens: Enjoy It!

It’s LikeJoaquin Phoenix‘s I’m Still Here, only crazier

If you thought I’m Still Here was insane wait till you see HBO’s new docu\reality\comedy. The humor here is pretty dark, and Stevens seems like an obsessed individual who is very unhappy in life. It’s definitely not the funniest thing I’ve seen, but it’s quite a fascinating character study.

-8°Rake

It’s LikeCalifornication meets Boston Legal with cannibals.

A remake of an Australian show titled likewise, Rake stars Greg Kinnear and tells the story of a morally dubious lawyer who has no problem defending the very worse (cannibals for example).

-9°. Killer Women

It’s Like: The female version of Walker Texas Ranger.

Killer Women = Walker Texas Ranger – the beard + the breasts. Judging from the trailer, it looks like and exciting and sexy action series that will give us a good measure of weekly escapism. Tricia Helfer plays the lead here, a female law enforcer surrounded by chauvinist male colleagues who want to see her fail, but she won’t because she’s a badass!

-10°. The Assets

It’s Like: The Americans, only slower.

Cold war tensions arise in ABC’s slow burning espionage thriller. The Assets is based on a true story and it seems it might give The Americans a fair fight for the title of best cold war TV thriller around today (and yes, the fact that there are only two in existence at the moment helps).

If you’re afraid to discover new things (like new shows), you can just welcome back your old favorite shows which are returning from a long hiatus. I recommend:

Person of Interest, The Walking Dead, House of Cards, Banshee, Sherlock, Justified, Community, Parks and Recreation, Downton Abbey and The Big Bang Theory.

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The Best of 2013

December 30th, 2013 by Barak

During 2013, we at Jinni tried our best at doing the most important thing there is to do – watching movies and TV shows; as much as possible. So after we did such a good job and completed all of our viewing assignments (well, not really, it’s an ongoing assignment that only ends when you die) all that’s left to do is choose the best titles of the passing year (with the help of our entertainment genome, because we can’t really do anything without it).

here are our best titles of 2013:

Moving unfulfilled loveMud

Mud is a touching and heartwarming drama about love, or unrequited love to be more precise. It’s a bit slow paced, but never boring. I consider it to be the best movie of the year.

Gory fist fighting: Banshee

Banshee offers some of the best fight scenes ever seen on TV. The fight scenes are extremely violent, sometimes gory, maybe a bit over the top and they are the reason Banshee is one of the coolest, and most fun shows on TV.

Aging Tough heroes in prison: Escape Plan

Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger trying to escape from prison together and trying to survive in the mean time. I can’t ask much more from a movie. These two aren’t too old for this s**t yet. They each still have a few more good action movies in them.

Captivating talk showTalking Bad

Breaking Bad – one of the best shows of the 2000′s deserved such an admiring talk show. They discussed and analyzed each one of the last 8 episodes of the series with the help of the show’s writers and actors. It helped better understand the series and helped to properly say goodbye.

Bittersweet middle aged romance: Enough Said

The wonderful performance by James Gandolfini here just emphasizes how tragic his death was. Thinking on all the great film roles we could’ve gotten from him in the future adds a lot of bitterness to this sweet movie.

Confined, strong female presenceOrange is the New Black

Another hit series from Netflix offers a compelling ensemble cast of characters, dark and cynical humor, touching moments. It is a well done mix of humor and drama; HBO is already feeling Netflix breathing down its neck.

Sentimental coming of age: The Way, Way Back

Sam Rockwell gives one of the best performances of his career in what I believe to be one of the best coming of age movies ever made. It offers a near perfect combination of comedy and drama with a lot of heart.

Offbeat docu/mocku/reality:  Nathan for You

The funniest TV show of 2013. It’s hilarious, brilliant and offbeat, and offers a combination of silly, dry and irreverent humor. It’s sort of a parody on business marketing TV shows, but you really need to watch it to know what it’s all about. The show’s creator – Nathan Fielder, is a comic genius.

Feel good time travel: About Time

About Time is a very funny, charming, romantic and life affirming movie. If this movie won’t make you feel good I don’t know what will…Maybe sugar, lots of chocolates and ice cream.

Atmospheric and tense, orchestral scoreThe Fall

The Fall is one of the best crime series to come out of Britain in recent years. The acting here is top notch, as is the writing and the camera work, but the real secret weapon of the series is its haunting score.

Irreverent love and romance: I Give It a Year

This is a movie that asks you to forget everything you know about romantic comedies. It hilariously reinvents the genre. It was written and directed by Dan Mazer, Sacha Baron Cohen‘s writing partner in both Ali G and Borat, so it’s no wonder it’s so good.

Gloomy crimes and family relations: Ray Donovan

Sophisticated, rough and heart breaking crime drama with top notch performances all around. I think it deserves a place alongside TV’s A-list crime dramas like The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire.

Silly humored all-star cast: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

The 1st Anchorman movie was the funniest movie ever made as far as I’m concerned, a masterpiece of silly and absurd humor. Anchorman 2 lives up to its predecessor. Kristen Wiig, Jim Carrey, Liam Neeson, Kirsten Dunst, Harrison FordSacha Baron Cohen, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and John C. Reilly joined the already impressive cast from the 1st movie for this non-stop laughs sequel.

Suspenseful espionage: The Americans

Fans of Homeland who found themselves harshly disappointed from the season finale can find comfort with another superb espionage thriller – The Americans. All they have to do is replace Carrie with Kerri (Carrie Mathison with Keri Russell).

Futuristic young heroes: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The Hunger Games is a rarity – a clever and thought provoking movie…for teens. Not many of those around. Good thing there’s another movie in the series coming out next year.

Stylized criminal heroes: Peaky Blinders

A gangster saga that takes place around 1919 and deals with an Irish gang and the tough law enforcer out to get them. It’s an extremely good looking show and I think it’s Britain’s answer to Boardwalk Empire, and a good one at that.

Exciting ego clashRush

A well-made sports drama (if you’re not sure what well-made means watch this movie). Exciting race scenes and powerful performances by the two leads make Rush a rush.

Clever master criminal: The Blacklist

Mind games, manipulations, intrigue and unexpected plot twists, seasoned with a great performance by James Spader makes The Blacklist into a clever treat-ller (a thriller which is a treat to watch). To me, it’s like a combination between Person of Interest and Silence of the Lambs.

Thought provoking documentaryBlackfish

A fascinating documentary about a fascinating creature. It will make you think twice before you decide to visit Seaworld, and it definitely won’t make you want to work there.

Contemplative sexual relations: Masters of Sex

Talking and contemplating about sex might be enough for a network series, but this is Showtime (cable), so of course there are also a lot of explicit sex scenes here! But seriously now, it’s a high quality show about human nature, determination/obsession and… well, sex.

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The Most Likeable Unlikely Relationships

December 17th, 2013 by Asaf & May

These days everything is done with computers. They’re all around us all the time. You can love them or hate them, but you HAVE to live with them. There are some people who like their computers a bit more than the average Joe. They’re looking at them fondly, touching them in a delicate way and deep in their hearts they wish their computers would come to life. This sort of unlikely relationship is the center of one of the most Oscar-buzzed films of the season – “Her“, an offbeat sci-fi romantic comedy about a lonely writer who falls in love with his new operating system designed to meet his every need (which is kind of how Jinni is, and if you love us, the feeling is mutual).

So due to Her’s (limited) release this weekend, here is our take on unlikely couples including a few tips for seducing and building a healthy relationship with your computer. Let the romantic algorithm shine on…

Her (2013)

So let’s begin. In order to form a successful relationship one must understand the person/artifact in front of him/her. So for you to understand your computer better, we recommend watching Start-Ups: Silicon Valley (2012)

silicon-valley-season-1-episode-101

This reality show follows prodigies in the computers and web world as they try to rise to the top and fulfill their ambitions. With a captivating and sincere approach, the show combines the big brother with science and technology. It’s a great opportunity for you to learn how to communicate with computers from the people who do It best.

After communicating with the computer, it’s time to seduce it and what’s better than a feel good sitcom?

My Hero (2000 – 2006)

my_hero2

The plus side of watching a TV show with your computer is that it’s long term, so your computer can see your intentions are real, not a one-time thing. My Hero describes another fantastic romance between a superhero and a young nurse. An imaginary show that shows love can conquer evil aliens and villains as long as you have some superhuman powers.

Your computer should know love transcends everything, so maybe you should show it an example of a supernatural romance.

Spirited (2010 – 2011)

328140-spirited

In this semi-fantastic comedy series from Australia, we see what happens when a divorced dentist moves to an old apartment where the ghost of 80s rock n roll star resides. Of course, she’s the only one who can see him (kind of romantic in it’s own supernatural way…).  This humorous fantasy presents some rock tunes, along with paranormal activities and an offbeat love story that’s sure could convince your computer love transcends human limits…

Now, if you’re living alone with your computer and until someone comes up with some app for producing babies, maybe you could bring home a pet, like a dog.

Wilfred (2011 – )

An unlikely relationship such as this, deserves an unusual dog. Wilfred is a comedy series about a dog who thinks he’s human. Elijah wood plays an ordinary guy, about to kill himself, who gets to know this human-dog and as time goes by they become one of the most odd couples in TV history (Not a couple – couple, more buddies-like couple). From dark jokes, through grossout humor to plain old silly humor, Wilfred can help you form a healthier relationship with your computer.

The everyday life can make your relationship a bit dull, so why not surprise your computer with a romantic evening? let’s start with a date-night movie…

Splash (1984)

Splash is a good choice ’cause it’s another example of impossible love, and in that case, true love. Tom Hanks, 29 years younger, and Daryl Hanna, approximately 29 bad movies earlier, starred in this critically acclaimed Cinderella story. A young man falls in love with a fish (actually, a mermaid) out of water. Both sentimental and humorous, Splash should set the mood for the rest of the evening. And now, why not take your computer out for a nice dinner? Just be ready to get some odd looks like Ryan Gosling got in…

Lars and The Real Girl (2007)

Lars’s new girlfriend is the extremely shy and quiet Bianca. actually, Bianca is quiet because Bianca is a doll but no one wants to tell  Lars and risk making his already unstable personality even more fragile.  In every relationship there comes the point you introduce your spouse to your family and friends, so in this movie you can prepare yourself for the moment they’ll see your dating a computer. One can only hope they’ll be supportive and sentimental as the characters in this wonderful dramedy.

Now after dinner, grab a cup of coffee, and invite over…

Coffee Samurai (2011)

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Many people like coffee. Many people buy coffee machines. But just a few fall in love with their coffee machine. Not that we’re judging anyone. Coffee Samurai is an anime short about a college student who falls in love with coffee vending machine named Jin. Jin was a Samurai who experienced a reincarnation and got back as a vending machine due to a miss interpreted wish come true… Jin could probably make you and your computer some miraculous coffee . Which may lead to a magical event such as the one in…

Ruby Sparks (2012)

a young writer’s wish comes true when the protagonist of his novel, and the girl of his dreams, comes to life. But when he finds out he can write her actions and characteristics he starts losing his mind and his relationship. A clever and bittersweet tale about what we want from love and what we think we want.

Ruby Sparks shows the ups and downs of love, and if after a while you realize your computer and you have more downs then ups maybe you should erase it’s memory like they did in…

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Now remember, this is just in case things went horribly bad and you and your computer decide there’s no turning back and breakup. In that case use the services of doctor Mierzwiak (Tom Wilkinson) in order to erase yours and your computer’s memory like he did in this original and essential film. A couple (Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet) decides to breakup and erase their memory in order to forget each other. As we go inside their minds we see a non linear presentation of their relationship in a captivating and mind bending way. We hope you wouldn’t have to take such extreme measure but sometimes love can make you do things you’d have never believed you’d do before.

And just a clarification before we breakup, though we only mentioned your relationship with your computer, it doesn’t mean Jinni is prejudice about other relationships such as with your smart phone, your car or your Ipad. in fact we encourage it, have you downloaded out new app? It’s here to provide your every entertainment need, feel free to fall in love….

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