What’s Been Watched This Month – February 2020

Whats Been Watched 44

Here’s what the ole Wolfman been watching throughout February 2020.

The TV. I’ll keep it brief as there’s tons of films. I’m watching Stephen King’s The Outsider. That’s really very good. People seem to be complaining about the pace but no, it’s perfect. Like the first season of True Detective. Just let things bubble away and let the narrative develop. No one’s got any patience nowadays lol. It’s brooding menace gets under your skin. A real feeling of dread. It says it’s a mini series, so there had better be an end of sorts!

Curb Your Enthusiasm is back and even on it’s tenth season it’s still hilarious. So good to have the gang back doing what they do best. I do miss Marty Funkhouser, resp in peace Super Dave aka Bob Einstein

Altered Carbon returned for a second series. I’m two episodes in. I haven’t a clue whats going on but I’m enjoying it nonetheless.

Now the films.

26 films this month and a total of 56 this year
771 since the start of the blog in January 2017.

The Lighthouse (2019) – Wolfman Rating 8.5 – IMDB Rating 7.7
Haha me not reading into anything before I went in classic. There I was thinking this was gonna be more Wes Anderson in nature. My daughter knew it wasn’t. Lol how we laughed after it finished. Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe and the madness of men! I really liked it but man it wasn’t quite what I was expecting!

Die Hard 2 (1990) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 7.2
Family action movie fun with Bruce Willis back again doing another Die Hard mission but not quite living up to the first movie’s greatness. Still I loved watching it again.

Children of Men (2006) – Wolfman Rating 10 – IMDB Rating 7.9
Introduction to my daughter and I believe my forth time seeing it. Alfonso Cuarón’s sci-fi thriller is a masterpiece imho. Each time I watched it over the years it just get’s better and better. The realness is scary, the one shot camera takes are superbly done. Stoner Michael Caine is brilliant. And Clive Owen in my eyes has never been better. The sadness he portrays as the reluctant hero as he comes to terms with grief and the end of the humanity is expertly played out on his face. A film I just can’t wait to watch again in the next few years.

Ad Astra (2019) – Wolfman Rating 5.5 – IMDB Rating 6.6
My god what a wasted opportunity. This film is really bad. It looks great but makes no sense whats so ever. Some of the scenes just make you want to scream out WTF! Come on! Climbing onto a rocket ship as it takes off!  Brad Pitt was ok. I sat waiting for some beautiful twist that was gonna make up for all the ridiculousness that had unfolded. NOPE! It never came.

1917 (2019) – Wolfman Rating 9 – IMDB Rating 8.5
Took my two children and nephew to see this on the big screen. WOW it’s incredible. Sam Mendes first world war film is amazing. This could be a film where the documentary on how they made it is as good as the main feature itself. Stanley Kubrick’s incredible one shot camera scene in Paths Of Glory (1957) is taken to the next level with today’s technology. Still unbelievable how Kubrick managed it back then with a camera the size of a small tank but now with drones’s and gyro cameras you’ll find yourself looking for the joins. Which I highly recommend you don’t, just sit back and let it unfold and think about it after. Can’t wait to see the making off.

Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) – Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 6.3
I’ve got myself to a happy place where I can go into these films with beyond zero expectations and come out thinking that was actually better than I could of ever envisioned. Of course it’s pretty darn bad and not a patch on the 1 or 2 but it’s certainly better than Genisys (2015) and on par with the other two efforts! I liked seeing kick-ass granny Linda Hamilton back. Good family film entertainment.

The Queen (1968) – Wolfman Rating 8 – IMDB Rating 7.3
A warts and all documentary about a national drag queen contest in New York City. I watched it with my daughter. From turning up as the most unlikely “ladies”, to going through rehearsals, to the dressing room dramas and finishing with the contest and the controversies that come from the winning vote. A fascinating look at NYC in the late sixties. I love stuff like that. It’s on Netflix.

Darkest Hour (2017) – Wolfman Rating 8 – IMDB Rating 7.4
Had always put this off due to the fact that I had very wrongly thought I can’t see Winston Churchill in Gary Oldman. That I wouldn’t be able to absorb myself into the film seeing Oldman’s face. Man was I wrong. The make-up is insanity. Churchill was all I saw! If I didn’t know Oldman had played the part I’d have thought they had actually found a Churchill lookalike! It’s a great film, would fit in well with a double bill with Dunkirk (2017). It has a few problems, mainly the tube scene felt off and everyone would of loved to have seen much more of Clemmie Winston’s wife played by Kristin Scott Thomas. Historians would no doubt pick it apart but it’s really rather good if you let a few things slide.

High Fidelity (2000) – Wolfman Rating 8.5 – IMDB Rating 7.5
I’ve always loved Nick Hornby’s book and being a record collector of such myself, it hit’s the right spot. The film is perfect for the John Cusack monologue and the scenes in the record shops really run true. They are always run by a weirdo or two. Nyah told me a series was coming starring Zoe Kravitz the daughter of Lisa Bonet who’s in the original. So we watched the film together and she watched the series, which she said was very good but not as good as the film.

Lockout (2012) – Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 6.1
Check my review here if you like to find out what I thought sci-fi action film —– Wolfie write up

Bait (2019) – Wolfman Rating 8.5 – IMDB Rating 7.2
This is not for everyone however it is an outstanding film. Made on a vintage wind up bolex camera on black and white 16mm film without sound. The sound was overdubbed in post production. Also the old film creates blasts of high contrast and little imperfections on the finished produced. Along with amateur actors and the editing between shots you get a wonderful surreal feel. It’s really just about an out of work fisherman trying to get scrap a living together along with a feud with his brother. Also the effect of out-of-towners with big money buying local cheap houses and not realising the traditions of the locals. It’s a beautiful film.

His Kind of Woman (1951) – Wolfman Rating 8.5 – IMDB Rating 7.1
Check my review here if you like to find out what I thought —– Wolfie write up 

Cone of Silence (1960) – Wolfman Rating 6.5 – IMDB Rating 6.5
You gotta love a film called Cone of Silence! After a new jet airliner starts having a series of crashes the aircraft manufacturers refuse to take responsibility and try to blame it on pilot error. It’s a really good film which I imagine was fact based?. It’s also known as Trouble In The Sky. It’s on Youtube here on the channel Flick Vault.

The Break (1962) – Wolfman Rating 6.5 – IMDB Rating 5.9
Another British film you can watch on Youtube here. A prisoner has a daring escape from a train and makes his way to an secluded hotel on the moors. With only a few guests staying at the retreat. Will his whereabouts be found out? As a short little film it’s quite effective.

Von Ryan’s Express (1965) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 7.1
Never seen this Frank Sinatra World War Two escape film before. It made for a perfect weekend matinee film. Shout to Glen over at his Scenic Writer’s Shack for the nudge on seeing it. Thank you.

McVicar (1980) – Wolfman Rating 8.5 – IMDB Rating 6.8
This prison film was what we grew up on as teenagers. To find out all about it and see the wolf locked up himself click here! McVicar review and write up here

Midway (2019) – Wolfman Rating 6.5 – IMDB Rating 6.7
What another wasted opportunity! Why can’t they make these films any good! Was looking forward to this. It’s only just passable and I knew it was a Roland Emmerich film but with the big cast and money being spent you had of hoped they could of made something so much better. The GCI is really wonky in places too! MEH!

Hunter Killer (2018) – Wolfman Rating 6.5 – IMDB Rating 6.6
It was on Netflix I knew what I was gonna be watching. Gerard Butler in a Cold War submarine saga. To help pay your subscription fee’s it’s not half bad. A good shut off and let stuff happen film. It’s one of the last films by the great Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist who unfortunately died too young a few years ago.

Fragment of Fear (1970) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 6.1
David Hemmings goes freaky for some flute in this surreal thriller. Check out what the Wolfman thought in my review here.

Where Danger Lives (1950) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 6.8
Fantastic recommendation from Todd over at Cinema Monolith. Doofus doctor Robert Mitchum falls in love with danger, Faith Domergue. It’s a film noir thriller and a road movie in one.

The Arrival (1996) – Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 6.3
Check my review here if you like to find out what Charlie Sheen was up to —– Wolfie write up

X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) – Wolfman Rating 5.5 – IMDB Rating 5.8
What the hell happened here!? OK I know Apocalypse (2016) was a pretty bad-bad but Days of Future Past (2014) was superb and First Class (2011) was great also. This though, was just a total mess. You just didn’t care for anyone and after having four films to build characters they just seemed to chuck it all out the window. A real shame to go out on that!.

This Land Is Mine (1943) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 7.6
A great bit of WW2 propaganda. Here’s my review if you wish to have a read. My write up here

Macao (1952) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 6.7
After I had watched the pairing of Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell in His Kind Of Woman Mike over at Mikes take on the movies informed me they had teamed up before. He has a review here if you fancy a read.

Pursuit to Algiers (1945) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 6.9
I think this might be the best Sherlock Holmes for Dr Watson, well it was for me. Nigel Bruce gets much more screen time here I think and he’s just a bumbling delight. He made me smile from ear to ear. What joy he is.

The Woman in Green (1945) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 8.3
I’m getting near the end of the Basil Rathbone era Sherlock Holmes. This one popped up on my YouTube feed in colour! It was strange if I’m honest. Funny thing is the woman in green never wears green! Obviously it doesn’t matter in B&W hehe.

———————————————————————————————————————————

Any goodies in there you have seen and liked? Thoughts, recommends etc always welcome if you fancy too.

Keep watching the screens. Thanks for having a look to see what’s been watched. All the best……… The howling one, Mikey

23 thoughts on “What’s Been Watched This Month – February 2020

  1. Quite the round up! Some definite classics of yesteryear and even some Basil Rathbone. Love those films. And how about the list of recent titles. Lighthouse I couldn’t recommend despite it’s fine performances and look. Just figure for the masses it’s not gonna work and I’m still scratching my head as to what it was all about. Too bad about the Brad Pitt film, was thinking of watching that one. I also wanna see that sub flick with Butler. 1917 and Darkest Hour still on my to do list. And hey the Cone of Silence got me thinking. Wayy back when I was staring out and didn’t have to much to say I featured it under it’s alias…. https://mikestakeonthemovies.com/2014/08/26/trouble-in-the-sky-1960/
    Keep those Mitchum titles coming.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Don’t take my words for Ad Astra, definitely worth seeing. Looks awesome. We all see some thing different. The joy of film. But don’t go in thinking it’s a 2001 like it thinks it is!
      If you got Netflix then defo take a trip deep in the seas with Mr Butler. Go in with low-ish expectations and I think you will come away thinking that wasn’t too shabby 🙂
      Will be on two more Mitchum’s this month. Right off to see what you wrote on the Cone

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Mikey for including the link to SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK. Very much appreciated.
    However we are on a collision course of sorts. Yesterday I went to see THE LIGHTHOUSE and have just completed penning my none-too-complimentary thoughts on it, set to appear on THE SHACK next post.

    I fully realize whenever one dares throw dirt at what many others are currently calling a modern day masterpiece the dirt thrower (me) had either better run for cover or at the very least prepare for battle. I’m currently preparing for battle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “The Lighthouse” was one of the most beautifully shot so awful, it becomes fantastic films I have ever seen. Robert Pattinson sliding between accents while Willem Dafoe did the heavy lifting, the mixed bag of arthouse takes on horror and myth tropes…….I found it to be a glorious mess. So if you need a second in any upcoming battles, let me know.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Haha I’m not really a film brinkmanship kind of guy. I’ll let you know the bits I really liked about the yarn when you post it up. Very much looking forward to having a read. Sure we will come to some kind of treaty before we have to draw up a 38th parallel like line between blogs. LOL
      PS A pleasure on the linkage. It was a top film buddy.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Skirmishers of all persuasions will be invited to enter the gladiatorial arena of opinion-giving on the blog SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK on Friday March 13th. Until then the Wolf’s lair is open (with Mikey’s blessing) I’m guessing for anyone that wants to take a pre-match swing at this alleged ‘masterpiece’ of surreal film-making.

    Probably the wisest quote I’ve read from any reviewer on the film is Leigh Paatsch from the Australian newspaper The Herald Sun. He described THE LIGHTHOUSE as a film “Best appreciated by those who relish a cinematic challenge”.

    Unfortunately I am not one of those people. My first and foremost priority when I am seeing a movie is to be entertained, and that is usually assisted by engaging with one or more characters in the film. Regrettably THE LIGHTHOUSE never did that or even came close to doing that for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. On the same page with a lot–also didn’t see a lot of these!
    Children of Men (Fantastic! the book’s really good too)
    Ed Astra (yes! wasted opportunity)
    1917 (Thought I’d be bored–another war movie–but greatness!)
    The Lighthouse (yes/no. Was what I was expecting, acting was great, but wanted to dive off the top of a lighthouse afterwards!)
    Midway (yes! wasted chances again! It was what I thought 1917 would be, but 1917 ended up not being)
    X-Men (WTAF?!)
    The Arrival (Yes, fun, fun, fun–all before (or was it during?) tiger’s blood became his go-to?)
    The actual site for your Arrival blog wouldn’t let me leave a comment (comment boxes didn’t seem to be there) but I just wanted to say nice review AND…I was so upset when *you know what happened* with Kiki and his legs…later in the movie…not specifying due to spoilers….
    but….was I the only one blindsided by that? Noooo! Kiki !!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds like I should get myself P D James Children Of Men book. From what I gather she’s doesn’t normally write stuff like that! Did she? Also did I hear it takes a slightly different approach/angle? I’m not a big reader tbh (I fall asleep almost instantly) but I do fancy getting it. At least stick it on the shelve with good intentions to read it soon along with the others I’ve picked up over the years.
      I sat there eager to love Ad Astra. Lots of good scenes. But it had no logic…. One thing I thought they were going for was that he was in some way cursed. Did you noticed that everyone he met on his journey, something happened to them so they couldn’t continue. It could of been a good story but nah they just brushed it off. Strange.
      Looks like Glen’s gonna be having a blast on his Lighthouse post day. We can all meet back for that one. hehe.
      Thanks for pointing out the problem with The Arrival post. I had thought a few people might of enjoyed that LOL. But it was radio silent unlike Sheen’s space satellite receiver. You know what Stacey, Kiki got me a second time. I’d forgot LOL…. I explain my findings and what happened to The Arrival below in Todd’s reply.

      Thanks as always for the great comments.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Not sure about PD James’ usual, but you may be right. A friend turned me on to the book. It does have a slightly different take, but the movie version is still excellent.
        Yeah, let’s all meet back at Glen’s after the top of his head comes off for The Lighthouse!
        LOL

        Liked by 2 people

          • The dazzling light of Glen’s mercilessness, brighter than a full moon, will turn Mikey into the wolfman–unexpectedly and completely off schedule ! ! !

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yeah right! What happened to Friday The 13th as stated above! How am I gonna write my counter-strike essay in two days! Of course I jest. hehe… Haha yes I wondered why I’d suddenly and unexpectedly transformed into wolf mode down the cheese section at the supermarket. Pandemonium I tell you!!

              Liked by 1 person

        • I believe PD James usually went for a crime and detective style mostly. Children Of Men dystopian world is something I never expected from her. Funny, it’s not the same one but she’s wrote a novel called The Lighthouse! It all comes back round. Spooky.

          Liked by 2 people

  5. Man oh man, you were a movie-watching fool in February! I’ve seen nine of the ones you list…and I’ll be watching my first Rathbone-era Sherlock Holmes tonight! As far as I know, I’ve never seen ANY of them, and I found them all on-line in HD, so I’m excited to get going…’Hound of the Baskervilles’ will kick it off!

    And I wanted to comment on ‘The Arrival’, but no such luck…I think the comments section was hijacked! But I did see it when it was first released…my friend and I went, not expecting much, and we both thought it was a whole lot of fun. And that guy who recommended ‘Where Danger Lives’…he sounds like a real cinematic genius! It’s too bad he can’t post anything on his movie blog with any consistency, though…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha a movie watching February fool I was LOL… Don’t tell anyone but some of them were actually seen during January but didn’t want to muck up the action month selections.

      The Sherlock’s are perfect entertainment Todd. I’m making it a mission to finish them this month. “Baskervilles” and “The Adventures of” are rated the best and both are longer. But the rest are brilliant to and perfect for a work night. Coming in at just over an hour long. Once you’ve enjoyed the delights of the Dr Watson and his affection for Basil’s Sherlock I think you will be more than happy to work your way through the collection too.
      I pretty much followed this list. https://www.imdb.com/list/ls022910889/

      The Arrival!! You know what I was a little baffled that it didn’t get any comments. I even thought that I might of been shadowed banned or something for having “aliens” and Mexican’s in the title LOL.. So glad you and Stacey above mentioned it as I’d never of known. It was the first time I’d done a post half on the PC and half on the App. When I looked on the App this morning there was a warning sign saying there was a conflict between two saved options. I deleted the app one and lost the whole post! DOH! Luckily I salvaged it on the PC this evening. Then noticed it had somehow disabled the comments. It’s fixed now and I’m very pleased I got it back. I really enjoyed writing that one 🙂

      Yes indeed, that brave guy gallops straight into “Where Dangers Lives” without a care for his own well-being. Just like his pseudonym, monolith, he is a strong pillar of the community. The film world awaits, one day he will rise like a cinematic phoenix and bring forth his critical quill again for the good of movie loving land!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. BTW: My “LOL” up above was in response to Glen’s less than enthusiastic response to The Lighthouse. Thought if I hit the “reply” right beneath his comment it would show up under his comment. But just saying I wasn’t LOLing you, Wolfman…. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Great post 🙂 Quite a roster there 🙂 Nevertheless, I did love Ad Astra. I have become a huge fan of it’s director (James Gray) ever since he helmed The Immigrant from 2013. I love The Lighthouse and Children of Men as well. BTW, did you get to watch HBO’s take on Watchmen yet? 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    Like

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