2019 best movies so far

What a sparkling half year of viewing, with 6 movies/shows rating 8/10, all of them fine, but even more impressive, 5 TV/streaming series and 1 film rating 9/10 (or higher!). Don’t hesitate to binge on any of them!

Berlin Station Season 3,” set in Estonia, with a setup fresh out of our present day, is furiously paced and captivating. Espionage has never been so sharp.

Russian Doll” is a tour de force for Natasha Lyonne but she’s not the main attraction, which is the stunning Groundhog-Day-in-the-modern-era plotline.

Julien Faraut’s “John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection” is as quirky as all-get-up but as a study of the genius and rage of McEnroe is riveting.

No series does dread and relentless detecting as well as “Cardinal” and Season 3 is the best yet.

Sometime genius Ricky Gervais hits the mother lode with the sentimental, yet sharp comedy “After Life.”

A perfect score of 10/10 for Craig Mazin’s pitch-perfect game changer of a disaster doco, “Chernobyl.”

2 Replies to “2019 best movies so far”

  1. Some commentators have said Chernobyl’s casualty count is a gross over estimation. What’s your understanding?

    1. I remain as confused about the issue as when I first started collecting data about it. The UN agency dealing with radiation says less than three dozen died immediately, a few tens of thousands of kids got non-fatal thyroid cancer (no iodine tablets issued), and a few tens of thousands of additional cancer deaths will result over the lifetimes of those exposed to greater than normal radioactivity in the short-to-medium term aftermath. The radiation experts involved with this work argue strongly for their case and they’re a respectable bunch of professionals/scientists. A Greenpeace-funded alternative report a while back suggested a far higher eventual Chernobyl-caused death toll, and the radiation experts involved in this are also well respected and argue well. The topic is highly politicised between the extremes of this pro-nuclear people who say “only 31 died” and Helen Caldicott’s alarmism (I admire her but not her most general views on radiation effects). For a long time, I sided with the UN story but recently it’s become clearer that, whereas after Hiroshima the US and Japanese governments set up pretty good monitoring and databases, the Soviet response did muddy the data as much as possible. For example, the three quarters of a million “liquidators” brought in to clean up and bury came from remote parts of the USSR and weren’t kept tabs of at all afterwards, and scary tales are now coming out. When I do dig into my data and the numbers, I suspect I’ll conclude that there was and will be a real death toll to Chernobyl beyond the official forecast but at this point my mind is open. That said, there’s no denying the calamity that occurred. If an area of Australia larger than the Australian Capital Territory was suddenly rendered unfit to live in, we’d certainly call it just that, a calamity.

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