Here’s what square eyed Mikey Wolfman been watching throughout December 2020.
What a crazy ass year! I’ve been lucky. We are all well and I’ve still got work. Missing my local boozer and having to negotiate around stupid humans in supermarkets are the worse of my troubles. The best bit by far was 5 weeks off in March. Spending the time with my family was amazing. Well after the realisation we weren’t all gonna die with some super plague and rushing up the local shops each day to get food and find poo paper. We walked lots, ate breakfast, dinner and lunch together. My other daily activity was carrying heavy booze bags back from the shops. Which hopefully the exercise counteracted the amount of booze I was drinking. Come recycle day you could hear the booze hounds on the street by the ruckus the bin made as it emptied into the truck. Made me feel not so bad.
Then like many, I was back at work, depressed and no holiday insight. A few days off here and there. Lucky to have a job. Ok another excuse to keep on drinking. Thing was, in my head I thought I’d watch hundreds of films and have reviews flying out all over the place. The reality was I couldn’t really get into anything too deep. I just wanted shut-off stuff. A good thing was I’ve been delving deep in to my record collection. Revisiting albums I haven’t heard for many years. Also, and I hadn’t expected this, during lockdown I started watching podcasts. Ones I’d normally listen to the audio at work. Found it a good way to unwind but it ate into my filming schedule routine of the last few years. And I started binge watching series more, so yet another reason the films took a hit. Reflecting on my reviews I also noticed my word count had tripled. In retrospect I’ve naturally fallen into this as I’ve become more confident with writing. The downside? It flips reviews that once took a few hours to be more like 6 hrs or even more. I can’t even imagine how I did 31 posts in January 2019 and 2020! It seems completely unfathomable. So on reflection I’ve set myself the easier task of a review a week and not beat myself up about it. If I manage a few in between I’ll be happy with that. I do so love doing this movie blog…………… “Anyway stop blabbing on like a fool Mikey and get to the list stuff!“
The Expanse. Love’s me some science fiction. This series reminds me in scope of Babylon 5. The epic vastness of space. The wonder of space travel and the science behind it. The Expanse has many fantastic ideas and however far fetched they are, it always seems kind of grounded. It had a bumpy ride. I’d watched the first two season on the SciFi Channel when it first aired. Then they cancelled it! The fans revolted. Thousands signed petitions. Netflix showed the two seasons gaining even more support for more until Amazon picked it up and dropped season 3 which might be one of the best! I raced through season 4 and am poised to start season 5 soon. Amazon have said they will make a six and final season next year. So well done Amazon, thank you.
The Mandalorian second season was such a freaking geek-out-geek-trip. So good we watched it twice. The ending was an emotional ride. “It’s a puppet! ffs Mikey!“. Yeah I know but it was amazing how much love you could see on Mando’s face even through an emotionless helmet. The pay-off is so sweet and be sure to stay after the last credits roll on the last episode for a tasty little surprise.
Ghosts. Had the second series of this wonderful little British comedy recorded on the Tivo box. Waiting for when my daughter was back for xmas. The kind of humour we so love. This is from the original Horrible Histories crew. A brilliant children’s television show we watched together as the kids were growing up. The HH crew made the jump into more adult TV with the hilarious surreal show called Yonderland. Ghosts is about a collection of spirits that have died in or around an old country house throughout the ages and now inherited by young couple. The first series was good but only a couple episodes were really good, like the scout leaders and the caveman stories. This series the writing team have really come into their game. Such a fun six episodes and a Christmas special too.
Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing. I’ve still to see series 3 but it was a lovely surprise to see this hour long Christmas special up on the iplayer. It’s such a chilled show and I’m not even into fishing. Two old friends, Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse tolerate each other as they go fishing together. Paul picks the fishing spots and Bob sorts the food and somewhere to stay. Both are comedians I’ve grown up with and in a funny way shaped our generation’s humour. Along the way they share personal and comic experiences of life as they travel around different picturesque landscapes the country.
13 films this month and a total of 219 this year
934 since the start of the blog in January 2017.
Mean Machine (2001) – Wolfman Rating 6 – IMDB Rating 6.5
My local pub opened after the silly second little mini lockdown so it meant me sozzled and time for a crappy film on Netflix when I got home. This was indeed crap and 6/10 might be way over generous but hey it did the job. Vinnie Jones is holed up in prison with a load of lunatics including the guards. It’s a Brit football version of the excellent Burt Reynolds American football in prison movie The Longest Yard (1974)
Ninja Assassin (2009) – Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 6.3
Not a great story lost in the mayhem but who the hell cares when you got non-stop ninja battles. My birthday curry and a film with my son.
Citizen Kane (1941) – Wolfman Rating 10 – IMDB Rating 8.3
I know right! How did it take so long to tick this one of the list? Probably expectations? I get that with films I know I’m gonna really love. It’s like a weird fear of it being a let down and I can’t quite bring myself to see it. So I feel I have to be in the perfect place, to have everything just right. For the stars to align for me to sit down in the perfect zone. The time was right. I insanely loved it. It was pure perfection. Appreciated every single second, every single frame. Was Orson Welles from the future? The camera angles and the narration starting at the end. So many techniques used today. Also the balls on Orson! Have you seen the trailer? Oh my days. Maybe humble is not the word but he’s not even in it, just narrates, where he shows all the love for his cast and uses no real footage from the film. What a debut film! Yeah I know all old news but I’m still buzzing from it. Maybe I’ll add a post, one day, to the millions already written.
The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 7.7
Well after Citizen Kane I had to go tick off another Orson Welles film I hadn’t seen before. The next day courtesy of the BBC. It’s a wonderful acted movie with great actors that we get to journey with through their emotions. I liked it a lot but didn’t love it as much as I’d hoped. Shame to hear it got cut to pieces. I wonder how Orson’s original would of held up if the studio didn’t get their grubby hands on it? Still this film has many great set pieces and the emotional end is well done. Would be interested in peoples thoughts on this film?
Goldie: The Art That Made Me (2020) – Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating —
A Sky Arts documentary about the influences of street art and graffiti told through the life story of artist and musician Goldie. He started his love of graffiti and music around the same time as myself and my friends did in 84/85. It was very enjoyable.
Uncle Buck (1989) – Wolfman Rating 9 – IMDB Rating 7
Such a sweet film from the two John legends. Director, writer John Hughes and the larger than life John Candy with that amazing beaming smile. I have course have seen it many times but it was time to introduce it to the kids at Christmas. Maizy and Miles are two of the cutest kids together. Tia the ultimate moody teenager and Marcie’s and Buck’s dance scene always cracks me up so much. A perfect little film with redemption.
The Sweeney (2012) – Wolfman Rating 6 – IMDB Rating 6.1
Hey it was Friday night again and the boys were down the pub. Cue stagger home, cook some food, watch some crap and fall asleep in the chair. All after saying “Yowu slaaaaaaaaaags” in a cockney accent. Ok they did try but it’s not that great. Especially the ending. Just ridiculous. But yeah it did it’s job. The Sweeney was a hugely popular gritty series from the seventies about detectives in the Flying Squad of London’s Metropolitan Police. Where Ray Winstone steps into the John Thaw role as Jack Regan and Plan B steps into the Dennis Waterman role of George Carter.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) – Wolfman Rating 9 – IMDB Rating 7.7
Goodness how many times have I watched this one! at least 20 times I would imagine. Christmas wouldn’t be the same without it. A pure classic and Michael Caine is perfect.
Serenity (2005) – Wolfman Rating 8 – IMDB Rating 7.8
Introduced Serenity to my son with a plate of pork chops. It’s the perfect love letter/swan song from Joss Whedon to his superb Firefly series. A series so loved by the fans that guess what? Yep they cancelled it. So like The Expanse mentioned at the top of the page, the fans campaigned to get their beloved show back. Unfortunately it didn’t work for the series but they did get this film. I’m sure it also spawned a comic book series as well. The fantastic thing about Serenity is they managed to make the film accessible to first time viewers and also please the original Firefly fans. It’s great fun, the crew are awesome and they had the perfect baddie in Chiwetel Ejiofor, who would play that kind of role many times.
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) – Wolfman Rating 8.5 – IMDB Rating 7.6
I do loves some Cold War thrillers. John le Carre might have written the quintessential book with Richard Burton starring. I did a review. Ok the first half is a bit bonkers in the review I pre-warn you. However you will feel my love for the subject. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold review here.
Soul (2020) – Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 8.2
SOUL is well worth a look for the jazz heads. Jon Batiste composes original jazz jams along with a rendition of Cristo Redentor. The jazz club scenes are truly great, as is the spotting all the little music “easter eggs”. Like the Tribe Called Quest lp on the wall at the barbers etc. Even the non jazz music score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is superb. The films a bit hectic but it’s pretty good but well worth it for the music. They could of played the story a little more straight and gotta deeper groove to it. Not sure why they didn’t go for the ending you imagine. Maybe I’m an old soul and you can’t teach me new tricks.
As usual I did see a few more. To be honest my “to do review” list of films I’ve held back from the monthly round up is getting out of hand. Around 40 odd films I’d love to get the time to review! Maybe one day I’ll just do a few sentence review of them all and get caught up. But where’s the fun in that I say!!
Wishing you all a fantastic 2021. Lets hope and pray that this year will be much better. The roaring twenties part two? Who knows. Thanks for popping on by my humble little movie site. Please stay safe.
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