Ozark Review – Spoiler Free
Ozark is a series available to watch on the Netflix and is one of this year’s original series’ to be released exclusive to Netflix subscribers. The show was created by Bill Dubuque (writer of the Accountant) and Mark Williams. Ozark stars Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Sofia Hublitz, Skylar Gaertner, Julia Garner, Jason Butler Harner and Esai Morales.
At first I was a little unsure if I wanted to check out Ozark on Netflix, because after watching a couple of trailers, I wasn’t sure Jason Bateman would be great in a show that looks to have such a serious and dark tone to it. The actor is well known to be good with comedy roles and while I did see him do well in The Gift, I wasn’t so sure how he’d be in Ozark. But I can tell you that after watching all of the show, that Jason Bateman was actually perfect for the role and was very impressive in each and every episode of Ozark. After this. I am now a fully converted Jason Bateman fan.
What was even more impressive about Jason Bateman in Ozark, was that he actually did direct 4 out of the 10 episodes for the first season. These included episode 1 “Sugarwood”, episode 2 “Blue Cat”, episode 9 “Coffee Black” and episode 10 “The Toll”. I want to mention this because although he has done some directing work in the past with things like The Family Fang (2015), Ozark was something so much bigger than much of his previous works. The dark tone of the show that was set in the first episode was well maintained throughout the show and defined much of the Ozark experience.
Ozark’s dark tone is well suited to its narrative about a dodgy financial adviser who works as a financial manager for a Mexican drug cartel, who have him laundering money for them. Things early on go bad for our main character Martin, who has a falling out with his boss and as a last effort to save himself and his family, he suggests relocating from the city to the Ozarks in Missouri. It’s far away from the prying eyes of investigators where he can do his job well and in peace as it’s sort of quiet place no one knows about. Unknown to Martin though, is that the Ozark region isn’t such a nice and quiet place and the people are much tougher and even more cunning than those in the city. Along the way, the narrative frequently throws in complications created by various characters who live in the Ozark region, which keeps things interesting. Will Martin be able to save his family and complete his job at the new location?
The acting in Ozark is excellent. While I thought that Jason Bateman was great and have mentioned him enough, I was most impressed with Julia Garner who plays Ruth, a resident of Ozark. Ruth is a character that I thought embodies what you would call “street smarts” in a way that she’s able to take advantage of most situations easily, but she’s also almost like a villain in the show. Julia Garner was able to do a lot with this character and played her perfectly. There was a lot of character development for Ruth over the course of the show and she certainly was an interesting one to watch.
Another actor I thought was quite good was Esai Morales who some may know for his work on Caprica (2009). In Ozark, Esai Morales plays Del, who is from the Mexican cartel and is sort of the boss of Martin. Del really is generally the villain of the show and spends much of his time antagonising Martin (Jason Bateman). In the scenes with both Jason Bateman and Esai Morales the two worked well opposite each other and there was always a sense of tension when the two characters met.
Other actors such as Laura Linney, Sofia Hublitz, Skylar Gaertner, Jason Butler Harner and everyone else in the show were all good too and no one was really bad or anything.
Over the course of the series, you get this very intense story about a family trying to survive in a suburb filled with some pretty bad people who are always looking to take advantage of situations. Martin’s family aren’t really angels themselves and are working for some very bad people who are putting pressure on them to deliver on their word and it makes for an interesting tale. Ozark is a story with heavy themes of survival at all costs and puts into question at times the ethics of certain things, but when you gotta survive, you gotta survive right?
Overall Ozark is a very impressive series. I highly recommend taking a look at it on Netflix when you have time or a spare weekend. I spent much of the last few days watching them all on a marathon stream and enjoyed every moment of it. It’s a well written show, with well written characters who all do get quite well developed as things go on. Jason Bateman was impressive, both as an actor and as director and did fine job with his work on Ozark. Julia Garner was also one of the standouts and was phenomenal with her role as Ruth as was Esai Morales. It’s a survival story, with some interesting characters and nice location. It’s worth taking some time to watch it this weekend or when you have free time on Netflix. It’s a great show!
Sea Of Solitude Review
Sea Of Solitude is a game which was developed by Jo-Mei Games and was published by Electronic Arts. It is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC via Origin. It is a single player third person adventure game. The game has the player control a character named Kay who explores an abandoned and flooded city.
This was a game which caught my eye only very recently when I first heard about its release. After watching the trailer, I thought the art style, strong colours and animations looked very interesting. Also as a person who went mad one day and subscribed to EA’s Origin Premiere late last year so that I could play some games I had missed out on over the years, I was pleased to see something new added to the store that wasn’t a typical Electronic Arts style major franchise game. Knowing I could get this one for free was enough to give it a go. But if you’re not part of that program to get it for free, I’d say that the $26.95 asking price for this digital title is certainly worth it.
The game isn’t too long, most hardened gamers will probably be able to finish this one in a single session, which I actually managed to do yesterday morning. I didn’t time myself, but I’d say to expect about 3 or so hours out of it, a bit more if you look around for collectables.
On the surface, Sea Of Solitude is about a young girl named Kay, who is searching through a city, which is for some reason flooded. You start the game all alone on a tiny boat, way out at sea on the water. You make your way to the city, where you find a monster clad in darkness is blocking your path. Through exploration and activating certain things, Kay brings light to an otherwise dark city.
Underneath the main plot though, is a game with strong messages and themes related to loneliness and relationships. Kay as a character is someone who has become lonely, isolated and quite depressed after issues with her family and her boyfriend. The game sends the player on a journey to free Kay and other characters from suffering from the effects of loneliness and related themes. What I didn’t expect this weekend, was to play a game which seemed to have the objective of tackling these mental health issues in this way and I never expected to play something this weekend from the gaming genre with such deep meaning to it.
In many ways, Sea Of Solitude reminded me of my experience with Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice which was also a game that focused on mental health issues and is still a game I hold in very high regard. Both of these games were experiences that I could not put down once I started playing as I just had to find out what was going to happen with my character. Games tackling these mental health themes and the issues involved are quite rare in this medium, so when an experience like this does come along, it’s very unique and interesting. The difference between Sea Of Solitude and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is that Sea of Solitude is a little lighter in tone and not the intense gruelling experience that Senua’s was. This makes a player’s time with Sea Of Solitude one that is peaceful to experience.
The art style in Sea Of Solitude is something I enjoyed looking at. The animations are very rounded, colours stand out on the screen and the use of blacks in contrast with visibly bright blues, whites and orange was what I loved the most. The music and also the voice acting, was soft and did fit in well with the tone of the game’s themes and art style. All together, visuals and audios seemed to be just right.
The gameplay in Sea Of Solitude is something I’d say is probably a little simple. It’s essentially a platforming game where you will jump, swim, drive a boat and shoot flares onto enemies. There aren’t any button combinations to learn or any level up systems. The game is accessible to people of most ages and even to people new to gaming could easily pick this one up and get through it.
Overall coming out of playing Sea Of Solitude, I was filled with positivity and happiness. The story is quite heavy when playing through it, but very warm in the end. The art style and animations are nice to see and the sound and voice acting was just right. I do like to see that the games industry can use the medium to tackle such heavy topics and release games like this which show how well this medium can tell a story and provide its audience with something of great meaning. I’m happy to recommend Sea Of Solitude for your gaming collection.
Stuber is a film which comes directed by Michael Dowse and stars Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani and Betty Gilpin. The film is an action comedy adventure about an Uber driver and a policeman who go on a wild ride together.
Going in to see Stuber I didn’t really know where to set my expectations. Knowing only that the film was a comedy, meant I went in for the lols and didn’t expect all that much from the story. But coming out of the film, I’m sorry to say, but it’s not really that great.
The film starts off okay and the opening scene features both Vic (Dave Bautista) and Sara (Karen Gillan) engaged in a dangerous shootout with some bad guys. Both are seriously injured and Vic loses his eyesight, which means he gets some urgent surgery. His eyes need time go recover, but as soon he’s able to walk he calls for an Uber and continues on with his police business, which is catching the bad guys who got away in the opening scene. This is where Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) comes in and the journey between this awkward duo begins.
I wish I could say that it was all good once the Uber ride began but it wasn’t. The film is only really mildly funny. Dave Bautista who I do really like in action films really isn’t great at comedy. Kumail Nanjiani basically was just screaming and yelling the whole time and talking about his Uber rating and reviews. I admit I did find some of the bad reviews he got from his previous customers in the film funny when they were shown, but that’s about it. Some of the jokes were also drawn out way too long. Dave Bautista’s character being blind was kind of funny in the first minute when you saw him trying to walk around without being able to see. But it’s only funny once and they did this joke over and over again almost all the way until the end!
In addition to this, for quite a bit of the film, I wondered if this was some sort of product placement or advertisement for Uber. There were so many mentions of Uber, Uber reviews and the difference between Uber products and services. What are we paying to watch here? Who cares about Uber!?
In the end I would suggest avoiding Stuber at the cinema this week and choosing literally any other film currently showing. After leaving this I instantly thought that Stuber needs to be on my list of worst movies of 2019 which I created just after seeing this and that says a lot because I was not compelled to make one after seeing X:Men Dark Phoenix.
The Biggest Album Debuts of 2019: Updated Chart
The Biggest Album Debuts of 2019 – Billboard has been publishing a list of the most popular albums in America every week since March 1956. They include the “equivalent album units” for the albums in the top ten. What’s not included is a way to view the biggest debuts for each year.
For anyone else who is curious, here is a chart that ranks the biggest album debuts of 2019.
- This only covers first-week album sales in America that debuted in the top ten on the Billboard 200 chart
- EPs are included in this list
- “Equivalent album units” factor in traditional album sales, concert ticket/merch bundles and streaming numbers
|Artist||Album||First Week “Units”|
|Jonas Brothers||Happiness Begins||414,000|
|Ariana Grande||Thank U, Next||360,000|
|Billie Eilish||When We All Fall Asleep||313,000|
|BTS||Map of the Soul: Persona||230,000|
Tyler, the Creator
|Death Race for Love|
|165,000 (1) (2)|
|Vampire Weekend||Father of the Bride||138,000|
|DJ Khaled||Father of Asahd||137,000|
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