Here’s what square eyed Mikey Wolfman been watching throughout November 2020.
No excuses this month just slack on reviews. Though I hope my post Dark British TV Thrillers Opening Themes That Were Freaky As F… made up for it and it turned out to be quite popular.
The Good Lord Bird. This 7 part mini series is really good if it crosses your path. Bit “Django“, bit “O Brother,Where Art Thou“. It’s about abolitionist John Brown (Ethan Hawke) who by all accounts was a complete lunatic. Totally bonkers but his heart was in the right place, kind of!! Reading about him after it finished sounds like it runs pretty true to real historic event’s which join up to the Civil War. Features Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman and most of the cast play real documented characters. Its a mad mix of historic tale, darkness and comedy. The recurring joke about the one fictional character and narrator “Onion” (Joshua Caleb Johnson) is pretty funny. Worth a look if it’s of interest and pops up on the tv schedule.
The Mandalorian is back with it’s second season of short but spot on vintage vibed Star Wars adventures. The old school western series feel, it lovingly goes for, as our lone bounty hunter travels through the galaxy is pitch perfect. The way it threads itself through connections to SW history is a fan boys dream. Plus “Baby Yoda” will melt your beskar heart for sure.
His Dark Materials. 3 episodes into the second series of Philip Pullman’s trilogy. The books are amazing. That could be the problem? Not sure, as I really enjoyed the film, the first books take, The Golden Compass (2007). Yeah it got panned and changed many things but we liked it as a family. The series me and Mrs Wolf struggle with. The casting feels odd, the pacing is off and some of the acting isn’t that great. Where as we watch it and kind of enjoy it, you feel something is missing. Plus I can’t help seeing Ruth Wilson’s who plays Mrs Coulter as a real life Marge Simpson! It’s safe to say we are staying with it but it’s kind of frustrating.
Edge Of Darkness was a dark thriller about a cop investigating his daughter murder. It’s filled with politics, Cold War shenanigans and dodgy characters. Hey it’s got the wild game hunter from Jurassic Park “Clever girl” (Bob Peck). Buffoon Lord Percy (Tim McInnerny) from Blackadder. Sexy Sorsha from Willow, (Joanne Whalley) and baseball bat swinging big American Joe Don Baker. That’s one interesting cast and the twisting story is extremely well written. I’d never heard of it before but thankfully was given the great heads up. Really enjoyed it, it’s a fascinating watch.
12 films this month and a total of 206 this year
921 since the start of the blog in January 2017.
Nora Prentiss (1947) – Wolfman Rating 8 – IMDB Rating 7.2
Ann Sheridan is saucy and seductive whilst Kent Smith is a total doofus. A superb film noir with a great tagline “Loving her once is once too often!“
Reach for the Sky (1956) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 7.2
Saw this biopic of WW2 hero fighter pilot Captain Douglas Bader as a kid. Was only thinking that I’d love to see it again when it turned up on the BBC. Kenneth More is most excellent as the stubborn, never give up Bader. Really good film.
Hopscotch (1980) – Wolfman Rating 8.5 – IMDB Rating 7.1
A big favourite of mine this one. Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson star as a CIA agent and a retired spy. Kind of coming in from the cold comedy drama. I watch this every time it’s on. As he starts to write his “tell all memoirs” it causes a right ruckus. Matthau is perfect as the disgruntled agent. Would love to do a review on this one. Too many great films and not enough time. Oh well, one day maybe..
Love and Monsters (2020) – Wolfman Rating 6.5 – IMDB Rating 7
I think I liked this more than the family. It stars Dylan O’Brien from the Maze Runner trilogy. He’s a bit annoying in this but as a family film munching takeaway food it did it’s thing. Lots of monsters and a side order of love. The effects were good, lots of action. Jessica Henwick I knew from the Marvel series Iron Fist and her character Collen Wing was the best thing in that series. She’s pretty good here too.
Hannie Caulder (1971) – Wolfman Rating 6 – IMDB Rating 6.4
Of course I liked the film it has Raquel Welch showing off her sweet hips and a bunch of character actors being bad to the bone. It’s also got Christopher Lee popping up as a gunsmith. What did I think of the film? You can read my Hannie Caulder review here.
Edge of Darkness (2010) – Wolfman Rating 5.5 – IMDB Rating 6.6
Ok I made a boo boo! So after I had just finished the amazing 1985 TV series of the same name, see above, I noticed the Mel Gibson remake film was on Amazon. I had to watch it. So of course it wasn’t going to live up to it. I gave it a low bar to hit but still WOW it was so crap. Mel’s Boston accent was terrible! Actually everything was terrible. Ray Winstone didn’t do anything! But the worst thing of all was reading that director Martin Campbell had made the whole TV series!!! WTF was he thinking! Even with them, I guess having to, cutting out all the best bits there should of been a good film there but hell no LOL… If I’d never seen the series would it of fared better? I don’t know it was pretty bad.
Inherit the Wind (1960) – Wolfman Rating 8.5 – IMDB Rating 8.1
I stumbled across this one by accident. I know right! How had I missed this one? Two great elderly lawyers, Spencer Tracy and Fredric March, both with differing views battle it out in a court room to argue the case of a teacher accused of warping young minds teaching evolution in the classroom. The courtroom scenes are brilliantly done. In the hot court the sweat drips and the tempers rise. Turning in a fantastic performance is also, Gene Kelly who I don’t believe I’d seen him in such a role. He plays a reporter who sees the farcical side of things. Wise and like a provocateur. It almost felt like he was there in spirit to watch over the proceedings. Top quality acting. Excellent film.
The Ladykillers (1955) – Wolfman Rating 9 – IMDB Rating 7.7
This is one of the big classics of the Ealing studio comedy’s. It’s so good and the cast is spot on. It’s so silly and completely hysterical.. Alec Guinness has the perfect master-plan. With the quintet of thugs and robbers they set about a bank robbery. The genius part is to dump the loot at a train station and have a sweet old lady go pick it up unaware. Living in the old ladies house as classical musicians they go about their devious and brilliant plan. Seriously what could go wrong. It’s a perfect little film and Alec does his best Alistair Sims impression. Legend has it that when he read the script he said this is surely for Mr Sims?
Lovers Rock (2020) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 7.5
Lovers Rock is a TV movie part of a mini series called Small Axe which features real-life experiences of London’s West Indian community. All filmed by Oscar wining director Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave). This, the 2nd episode, shines a spotlight on an early 80s house party from beginning to end. It’s beautifully filmed and feels completely authentic in it’s look. The fashions and the interior look of the house were spot on. The closeness and danger of things erupting as the night goes on gave the film a stressful element at times. You are always made aware something is gonna kick off. The interactions between the lead two, first time actress Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn and Michael Ward (Top Boy) were very well done. The two key music moments were a house full of guest having an acapella singalong to Janet Kay’s Silly Games. It was a tremendous scene but dare I say went on a tad too long, just saying. Also it was brilliantly surreal in a crazy moment when the BBC dropped Kunta Kinte by The Revolutionaries in fullness. The skanking was great but I’m not sure about the man stripping and freaking on the floor. It went well tribal! Plus if I was to be pure geek pedantic and I know a proper party pooper too. (That’s the moment the bouncer grabs me and throws me right out the door). I think I’m right in saying that the single was never released until 2007? And the dubplate going around at the time would of been a 10″. Yep I’ll get my coat! Ducks head and runs off to hide in the hills. hehe.. Me and lady really enjoyed watching it. It felt like an event. It was excellent but it did have issues.
Rambo Last Blood (2019) – Wolfman Rating 5.5 – IMDB Rating 6.1
I had to do it. Rambo like Rocky has been apart of my and many lads lives.. Right back at the beginning. I’ve seen them all. I knew this one was bad and had been putting it off to be honest. However I knew I had to see it. It’s certainly the most hardcore and graphic of the bunch and that’s saying something after Rambo (2008). Last Blood is insanely depressing and hyper-violent. The end scene is unashamed bonkers. Actually the whole last half is Home Alone on roids from Satan’s ass crack. It goes wild with gore and head explosions and that jeez that final scene! I won’t spoil it with does he or doesn’t he but I will say you get a whole Rambo montage and if you are a regular reader here you know I like a good montage. Should of left the series with Rambo (2008)? Some might say it should of been left after First Blood (1982) because that could never be beaten in tone and message. The rest went wild but hey it was the 80s. I loved them.
I did see about 5 more films but I wanna do posts. Fingers crossed. Should get some free time over Christmas. Man o man roll on Christmas.
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