What’s Been Watched This Month – December 2020

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 TV

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.

The Films

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.

No Escape (1994) – Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 6.1
90s action science fiction prison mash up with Ray Liotta. What did I think? You can read my review here if you wish.

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.

Dead Heat (1988) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 6.1
I had a lot of fun with this zombie buddy cop action film. So much so I did a 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

11 thoughts on “What’s Been Watched This Month – December 2020

  1. Hey after all those pub stories mixed in here glad to see you are still standing. Or at least sitting as you type away. Citizen Kane jumped out at me because just yesterday I watched Mank. Gary Oldman solid as writer Herman Mankiewicz. Charles Dance a great Hearst. Give it a look. Also if you can find it watch RKO 281. Another fine making of movie on the Kane topic. Cheers and don’t be pulling no Oliver Reed pranks down at the local booze halls. Meaning no streaking from one pub to the next and back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • haha yes I’m still standing… Just.. Hic Hic lol
      Mank was what gave me that sharp kick up the bum to get on with Citizen Kane.
      I still haven’t seen it yet but really looking forward to it now I should get the references.
      Big thanks for the knowledge on the RKO 281 movie. Never heard of it and what a big cast. Added to the list. Hope to see it soon.
      HAHA no Oli pranks of yet, I guess I have covid to thank for that LOL
      Sorry for late reply and I will be catching up with MTOTM posts soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This scene from THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS (1942) seems so… I guess ‘historical’ is the best word to use considering it’s about something that there are now 1.4 billion of in operation around the world today and it’s debating the worth of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. O, Howling One…
    thank you for that hilarious open. “Stupid people in stores”? Do you guys have stores that offer free food samples? Like we do here in CostCo? Do people then stop and park their carts IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AISLE while they stand there gobbling down the sample? Clogging the pathway and causing freeway-level logjams in the foot traffic?! Arrrgggghhhhh!

    And, of course, carrying heavy booze bags DOES substitute for exercise and counteracts any future effects of alcohol. Everybody knows that! LOL

    And one review a week is a fantastic schedule, in my opinion, in my world. I used to do one a week before I cut down to every two weeks and now I TRY to do one a month. In fact, this blog made me go check mine, and I have apparently skipped December entirely! Forgot to post! I need to get some guest bloggers on there. Need to do something!

    Hey, The Expanse has grown on me immensely! I’ve really come to like many of the characters, especially the core protagonists. We caption that show at my job, so it’s always a pleasure when I see it in my line-up once in a while.

    Mandalorian turned out to be good fun! Some rumors supplied to me by hubby: since the Mandalorians aren’t allowed to ever take their helmets off, when they had some other Mandalorian characters (or maybe just one? I already forgot, sorry!) remove their helmets during the show, the star of the show, Pedral Pascal, started showing up late, blowing his lines, etc….in revolt until they finally let HIM take off HIS helmet.
    He’s also apparently REALLY pissed that the puppet baby is evidently more popular than he is, LOL

    Serenity: I kinda got pulled into it and liked it back in the day, but whenever hubby saw me watching he’d howl, “WHY ARE THERE HORSES IN SPACE? THERE ARE NO HORSES IN SPACE.”

    Muppet Christmas movie. I WISH we had watched that one instead of A Christmas Carol with Guy Pearce. I think I could have done without the headmaster that regularly rapes young Ebenezer when he’s a boy away at school or later older Ebenezer emotionally abusing a woman by making her strip before he gives her money to help her sick child (Tiny Tim, in fact). Not Christmas fodder, ya know?! But it WAS artfully done and beautifully acted. Oh, well. Can’t UNSEE it, can I?
    Just like this past year. Can’t UNLIVE 2020.
    Like you say, let’s hope the new one’s better. Hope lives, after all!
    Looking forward to what you got lined up. Take care, Mikey!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh my days 9 days late. Sorry.
      Now if it wasn’t for Covid my award show would of gone ahead and Leo Dicaprio and Jennifer Lawrence were booked to present you your very own golden wolf Oscar for best commenter ever. It has instead been posted. Unfortunately I didn’t know your address so it’s marked Laughter Over Tears USA. Hopefully it will turn up sometime this year.

      Yep stupid people in stores LOL… We do have a few free samples place but not very often. But yes PARKING carts in the MIDDLE of an aisle! Yep Stupid people are everywhere.

      Great to have clarification on the my exercise method gets the seal of approval. lol

      Hope to be back on track with posting and once a week I will be happy with and anything else will be a bonus for me. I just spied you have a new one up. I will be there soon for a read over at LOT.

      WOW that is SO F_ING COOL you captioning The Expanse. I love that series. Esp the Mars marine bad ass Bobbie Drapper. I’d be a happy man being thrown around (gently) by her. They got a superb crew and you really care for them. Like with Firefly, Babylon 5 and Battlestar Galactica. There was another sci-fi series I like a lot but got cancelled called Dark Matter that had a great crew dynamic.

      Mando tries his best to never take it off and it’s a big deal on the few times he does. The last time he does is a heart breaker too. The other Mandalorian’s like Bo-Katan all take there’s off as they are different order to the more religious Mandalorian’s. Something like that I think. Every body loves “Baby Yoda” lol…. Pissed at the puppet baby LOL.

      Haha yes horses in space. Well they do play on the space western theme. Oh my days if he saw 2019’s Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker. Your hubby would give birth to a giant egg of WTF! Space horses running down the wing of star destroyer. I’ve been nursing my WTF egg ever since I saw it. Oh damn it I think I’m pregnant again just thinking aback to it. Feels like WTF twins!

      Dear god! What on earth were they thinking with that Christmas Carol!!! That sounds insane. Dark as F! Might steer well clear of that one. Keep to happy times of my Gonzo and Rizzo.

      Thank you Stacey. I hope to have a few fun reviews in the pipe line.
      All the best
      Mikey

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think that’s fine! It’ll get here fine! My Golden Wolf Oscar, addressed to Laughter Over Tears, USA. The only thing you left out was: “Place with Tree on Corner”. That would have helped a little…but how would you know there was a tree on the corner? You wouldn’t. But it’s fine. I’ll be waiting by the mailbox for the next two weeks for my Golden Wolf to arrive. I’ll put in for time off from work right now !!!
        Seriously tho, thank you. I appreciate it, even in the midst of my guilt, in hindsight, looking back at what I said, for having diarrhea of the mouth. SHUT UP, STACEY. I never listen to myself, lol! One thing I know for sure: I will NOT tell hubby about 2019’s Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker. Because he WILL have an egg, and I will NOT help him nurse it !!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

        Like

    • Good to hear you are a fellow fan of Firefly. Another of those cancelled before there time, what were they thinking of, series.
      You hit the nail on the head with your description of Ambersons. That is exactly how I felt and you put it into better words.

      Liked by 2 people

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