What’s Been Watched This Month – April 2020

Here’s what square eyed Mikey Wolfman been watching throughout April 2020.

You know what I thought I was going to be smashing films out all over the place during lock down! The truth. Well it ended up about the same as usual. Around the 20 mark. 5 a week.

The TV

Devs was really excellent. A mini series by Alex Garland who gave us that fantastic piece of AI brilliance, Ex Machina (2014). I had a few little tiny issues but all in all I really loved it. Plus so nice having a series begin and then end it’s story arc.

Apart from that I still have the amazing Westworld on the go. I’m slowly savoring Curb Your Enthusiasm. So funny, still after all these years. And I’m still to start the latest season of Better Call Saul. Not been in the right place to start that yet. One of my favorite series so I want to enjoy every second and not be distracted with weird world events!

Now the films.

22 films this month and a total of 96 this year
811 since the start of the blog in January 2017.

Experiment in Terror (1962) – Wolfman Rating 8.5 – IMDB Rating 7.2
A most excellent thriller with the gorgeous Lee Remick and the dependable Glenn Ford. Check out what I thought on my review here if you wanna.

War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) – Wolfman Rating 8 – IMDB Rating 7.4
Planet of the Apes is my jam, I love the whole series. Right from seeing the original Charlton Heston and working my way through all the films and the great TV series too. OK Tim Burton’s one is a strange one and pretty carp tbh. So when it was announced a new trilogy was coming I was hesitated but excited. They pulled it off. Rise was awesome, Dawn was pretty great and War was decent enough. OK the whole Woody Harrelson bit was rubbish and when you actually think about it, you realise how weak the story is this film. However, they wrapped it up well so that’s why I’ve given it a higher mark. I was very happy. Some nice nods to the original too.

Tango and Cash (1989) – Wolfman Rating 6.5 – IMDB Rating 6.4
Ok the Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell caper hasn’t aged too well? But I used to love it. I had a nostalgic look back on my review here

Code 8 (2019) – Wolfman Rating 6.5 – IMDB Rating 6.1
I do like me some science fiction. This is mash up of all the usual suspects of superpowers, future tech and the social divide and standing of mutants and humans. Yep it’s all been done before however this is really decent. A crowdfunded project that came of the back of a short 10 minute film. The police guardians are awesome and the way they are dispatched into action is very cool. The film feels like a double episode pilot for a series. I enjoyed it.

Contagion (2011) – Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 6.7
I know we are living it! Well luckily not as bad! I’d always thought I’d seen it. I hadn’t. Like most of the world I pressed play on this one when it got put on Netflix. The science is really spot on in a lot of places. Surprisingly so at times. Then Jude Law’s character brings everything down. The story is all over the place. However I thought it was maybe better than I had expected it to be.

The Warriors (1979) – Wolfman Rating 10 – IMDB Rating 7.6
Ok Ok I understand it’s not on the same level top marks as Casablanca (below) but The Warriors and me have had an excellent journey together. In reality I’d give it 8.5/10. But it has to get the full mark wolfy treatment. I’ve seen it so many times. I introduced it last year to my son and this month to my daughter. I was still excited watching it for the 20th plus time. I did a review of my video store memories of it along with my action hero film buddies over here on The Warriors Review.

Casablanca (1942) – Wolfman Rating 10 – IMDB Rating 8.5
Can you believe it! I popped my Casablanca cherry! I’d thought I’d seen it. You know what, I think I seen so much of it on pop culture and especially the parody Red Dwarf episode Camille. Watching it, nope, I hadn’t seen it. Wow what a film. From beginning to end. Bogie is amazing always. But best by far was Claude Rains as Captain Louis Renault. What a fantastic character. Each time I think about him I smile. Can’t believe it took me so long but so worth the wait.

Alligator (1980) – Wolfman Rating 6 – IMDB Rating 6.0
Robert Forster takes on a giant sewer dwelling human munching Alligator! Wanna know more? Then you are in luck. Check my review here.

Red Heat (1988) – Wolfman Rating 6 – IMDB Rating 6.1
I revisited this one as part of our Video Store Action Heroes Walter Hill group review. I hadn’t seen this one since it was released. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jim Belushi meet up for some mix-matched antics. Not as good as I recalled but still great fun to revisit. Wanna good review? Check Mikes Take On The Movies here.

Streets Of Fire (1984) – Wolfman Rating 6 – IMDB Rating 6.7
This was part of our Video Store Action Heroes Walter Hill group review. This was one I was very excited about, I’d never seen it. A chance to tick it off the Walter Hill movie list. It has a cult following too. I was in the right place for it but it just didn’t grab me I’m afraid! So glad I’ve seen it though. Wanna good review? Check Destroy All Fanboys here.

The Lodger (1944) – Wolfman Rating 8.5 – IMDB Rating 7.1
Well worth checking this horror adaption of a Jack The Ripper tale. You can read my review here.

Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) – Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 6.4
Hungover. Couldn’t be arsed to roll off the sofa. I’d seen this Dreamworks animation before. Not as good as Megamind (2010) but still very enjoyable. I love the nod to all the B-Movie 50s science fiction monsters.

The Apartment (1960) – Wolfman Rating 10 – IMDB Rating 8.3
I’d never seen it! Lock down tick off some classics. Had grand thoughts of ticking loads off. Only got to a few. So glad I got to this Billy Wilder comedy drama. Both Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine are sure fire brilliant. I feel in love with Shirley once again.

Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 7
Wanting to see more Shirley I went for my childhood fav. With Clint Eastwood and the Nun on a run Shirley MacLaine. It was great to revisit but maybe I didn’t love it as much as I used to.

Happy Gilmore (1996) – Wolfman Rating 8 – IMDB Rating 7
The time had come to introduce Adam Sandler’s Happy Gilmore and Carl Weathers coach Chubbs to my son Kofi. He enjoyed it. Well he had to really. It’s Sandler’s best comedy by far?

The Manchurian Candidate (2004) – Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 6.6
Remember it better the first time round but not a too bad remake with a different slant. Not a patch on the ole blue eyes 1962 film. Though the sinister, incestuous Meryl Streep doing her best Hilary Clinton impression did make me laugh. Denzel Washington was his usual good self and Kimberly Elise was cute.

Galaxy Quest (1999) – Wolfman Rating 8.5 – IMDB Rating 7.3
Introduction to the kids along with our family roast dinner. “By Grabthar’s hammer this is such a funny film“. Everyone plays their part pitch perfect. Even having seen it many times I was still laughing away. Love it. Sigourney Weaver at her hottest?

Batteries Not Included (1987) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 6.7
Another hangover film! I’ve always adored this little film. So sweet. Jessica Tandy is amazing. Frank McRae so cute. And I was in love with Elizabeth Pena. With tenants of an apartment block being evicted from their homes it takes the arrival of some strange little invaders to help them out.

Extraction (2020) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 6.8
New Netflix arrival. Gotta get my subs worth. This is a better film from Netflix which always struggles with it’s homegrown movies. It’s certainly action packed. Chris Hemsworth plays the tough guy role well. The location shots give the film a different look. Rudhraksh Jaiswal does a good job as the kidnapped kid. And Randeep Hooda story was one of the better aspects of the film. All in all the body count was ridiculous and got silly but it is based on a comic book.

Jeremiah Johnson (1972) – Wolfman Rating 8.5 – IMDB Rating 7.6
Recommended western film of the month goes to Robert Redford’s epic journey as a mountain man in the wilderness. Thanks to Cinema Monolith. You can read all about here on my wolfy review. Just excuse my nonsense at the beginning of the article.

The Gentlemen (2019) – Wolfman Rating 8.5 – IMDB Rating 7.9
It took me about 20 minutes to get into this. Something felt off. Just couldn’t get my head around it. Was it set in the 70s? No they got mobiles. 60s jukebox! 80s custom tracksuits! What era are we in? I stuck with it. Then bang on the 20 minute mark it started to fall into place. It’s filled with the classic Guy Ritchie-isms but there’s some real good twists and turns. I didn’t like Hugh Grant at first but then in the blink of an eye you love him. Colin Farrell is really great as coach. Once it’s all up and running it hard not to really enjoy this gangster action comedy romp.

Jojo Rabbit (2019) – Wolfman Rating 9 – IMDB Rating 7.9
Nazi obsessed weird kid Jojo and his imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler talk about about killing Jews during World War Two! Yep it’s a comedy and a fantastic one too. The amazing Taika Waititi (Hunt For The Wilderpeople) smashes out another piece of brilliance. It’s funny, heartwarming and heartbreaking all at the same time. It’s wonderful film. One I will be returning to like all his films.

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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

13 thoughts on “What’s Been Watched This Month – April 2020

  1. I reckon the highlight here, among many highlights, was, as you so aptly put it, ‘popping your Casablanca cherry’.

    This scene contains the immortal lines –

    “Where were you last night?”
    “That was so long ago I don’t remember.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cool that you finally watched ‘Casablanca’ and ‘The Apartment’…and of course, ‘Jeremiah Johnson’! (Thanks for the nod!). And I reckon it’s about time I watch ‘Alligator’…I think you need more cheesy films in your diet!

    Liked by 1 person

    • As I say, it took me to the 20 minute mark for some reason to get into The Gentlemen but after that I was well on board. It’s really fun….. Extraction, if you got Netflix then you gotta get your subs worth in. Definitely one of their better film efforts.
      Not sure if remake Manchurian is on Canada Netflix (if you have it that is) but it’s worth the watch. It try’s something modern, it kind of works but as always these remakes fall on their faces when held up against the classic they try to recreate. Would be interested to see what you think of it if you see it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great list! You have a wonderfully eclectic taste in movies! We agree on almost everything… Jojo, Apartment, etc. However… LOVE Streets Of Fire (1984), but it is an acquired taste! Sorry, I found The Manchurian Candidate (2004) nearly unwatchable! 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah I could agree on The Manchurian Candidate (2004) but for fact that I didn’t take it seriously and was in the mood for something I didn’t have to think about or give two hoots about. Like I say, the sinister, incestuous Meryl Streep doing her best Hilary Clinton impression did make me laugh. I was more entertained watching what crazy they were gonna add in next. One thing I did learn is that Jeffrey Wright looks younger now rather than 16 years ago! Stupid fun. And it really made me wanna watch Angela Lansbury again so very soon 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve been busy Mickey. Some great films you’ve watched. About two years ago I finally watched Casablanca. I thought it was very good but I’m not as enthusiastic about it as everyone else. I prefer Key Largo. Of course it’s a noir and Casablanca is more love story so that figures, for me anyway.
    I recently watched Galaxy Quest. I loved it. I’d give it a solid 9. It’s so funny and gentle spirited. Much like Guardians of the Galaxy. Films like that touch the soft spot in my cold noir heart. Ha!
    The Apartment…Wow! Fantastic movie…Only bone I have to pick is–believe it or not–Red Heat. I give that one at least a 7.5. It’s so re-dick-u-loes that it works. But I can see where you are coming from on that one. A lot of those 80s action films haven’t aged that well. The hair. The fashion. The man crush thing gone wild…It’s kind of like a really bad hangover with too much memory attached.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh ace! I’m in for a treat as I still haven’t seen Key Largo. Result.
      My next post I hope to be They Live By Night. Really liked it. Only one thing I was a little disappointed with. You will find out in the “Verdict” section. Soon come. 🙂
      Thanks again for the nudge on that one. Really great film.

      Guardians of the Galaxy, especially the first one, is one of my favs. I love a misfits having to reluctantly band together film.

      Line of the month award goes to Pam from All Things Thriller with “”It’s kind of like a really bad hangover with too much memory attached.”” (round of applause)

      PS will be on your Sam Fuller conclusion soon. Like to find the proper time when I sit and read your posts. No flying visits.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know you will love Key Largo. It’s right up your alley.
        Can’t wait to read your They Live By Night post. Glad you liked it.
        I’ve only seen the 1st Guardians. I need to give the second one a look
        Yeah…I liked that line about the hangover too…Ha!
        At your leisure, Mickey. I don’t one my post to be like homework–Ugh…
        –Pam

        Like

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