What’s Been Watched This Month – March 2021

Here’s what square eyed Mikey Wolfman been watching throughout March 2021.

The TV

Disney+ Marvel series WandaVision got under way. We waited until it got near the end and raced through the episodes. I struggled with it to start with, then really liked it. But then, I wasn’t over keen on the last episode, which I thought was meh! When you look back, Jimmy Woo and Darcy Lewis were pointless characters. They should of ditched them and used their air time to build up the “main” character Monica Rambeau who after a promising start effectively did nothing much at all!

Inside Chernobyl With Ben Fogle. I’ve always been fascinated with the Chernobyl disaster. Remember it happening well. Sat there eating my dinner and the weather man proceeds to says that winds are bringing radioactive clouds our way! LOL… Being into abandoned landscapes photography I had one day hoped, with my friend Spreads, to have gone there. It sounded a crazy idea 15 odd years ago. Now you can get holiday trips there. I’d seen all the best docs and watched that incredible series starring Jared Harris. So I was excited to see this. Ok it was never gonna be great coming from Channel 5 but to get inside the control rooms after all this time was incredible to see. Also seeing inside the sarcophagus and the work they were doing. Unfortunately Ben Fogle, imho, wasn’t the best person to send on this trip. He and the program didn’t have any real bite to it. However, there was one really wonderful scene with the old lady and her freaky singing dog giving out large shots of moonshine vodka with danger stickers on the bottle. That did make me smile.

The Films

20 films this month and a total of 51 this year
985 since the start of the blog in January 2017.

The Window (1949) – Wolfman Rating 9 – IMDB Rating 7.4
Thanks to Todd and Cinema Monolith for his recommend of this exceptional film. Inspired my review here.

The Squeeze (1977) – Wolfman Rating 8.5 – IMDB Rating 6.5
British kidnapping, boozing and beatings in this gritty London film. Wanna read my review? It’s here if you do.

Without Warning! (1952) – Wolfman Rating 8 – IMDB Rating 6.7
This is some dark ass shit from the 50s about a serial killer who likes to murder look-a-likey blonds with garden shears. Another police recruitment style movie. This one really goes through how police and detective work is done to solve a crime and catch their guy. Even has the forensic guy boiling away some special liquid to pour into his beaker for an experiment? But wait it’s coffee and they all laugh. Without Warning is so much more than that. There’s a neat action scene under a bridge and Adam Williams is very creepy as the murderer. Well worth digging out. Would love to do a review one day. Another great recommend from Cinema Monolith.

Code Two (1952) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 6.4
The adventures of a bunch of motorcycle cops as they go through training academy, to chasing down crooked truckers. The end 10 minutes are off the charts bonkers I thought. It starts really rather cheesy but stick with it. They chuck some curve balls in there which go to making it a top piece of 50’s police recruitment fun. And at just over an hour, what more could you ask for? “Oh more Elaine Stewart time?” Yes I agree.

The Bank Job (2008) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 7.2
I wasn’t expecting this Jason Statham film to be, well, pretty darn good. It’s actually a really good crime thriller based on a true story. Ok they throw a few wild expectations in the mix but generally speaking a lot of it is reported to have happened. Set in the 70s with a good cast and its well written. I was sat there awaiting my brain freeze action weekend beer and film fest so it was a nice surprise when it wasn’t that.

Homefront (2013) – Wolfman Rating 6.5 – IMDB Rating 6.5
You might see a theme of Jason Statham films again within the monthly watch list. I always enjoy the good action fodder fun for the weekend. Also they on Netflix and Amazon so I hit my monthly subs. To be fair his films are mainly just above average for this kind of shut the brain off action entertainment so I’m more than happy to work my way through. Clancy Brown not being bad for a change was a nice touch and my god! Winona Ryder playing a bit part as a heroin junkie hoe must of been thanking her lucky stars she got the Stranger Things gig!

The Locket (1946) – Wolfman Rating 8 – IMDB Rating 7.2
A neat little noir drama starring Laraine Day. Before the sweet bride is about to marry a psychiatrist arrives and takes the bridegroom to one side for a little chat. What comes is a complex series of flashbacks to the brides earlier lives. There’s even a flash back within a flashback! Robert Mitchum also stars as a love sick tormented artist.

Constantine (2005) – Wolfman Rating 8 – IMDB Rating 7
Yet another first time re-watch since it came out and found myself again liking it more this time round. Maybe your expectations are set lower? But whatever it was, this comic book adaptation holds up really well esp the CGI which usually doesn’t. There was a lot of these movies at the time in the similar realm, horror Satan, demons. End of Days (1999) with Arnie and the better Stigmata (1999) with Patrica Arquette. Maybe with them coming before and struggling to get past Keanu Reeves just being a chain-smoking Neo but this second time round, I really enjoyed it.

Stalag 17 (1953) – Wolfman Rating 8 – IMDB Rating 8
Been wanting to get to this Billy Wilder film for many years. It’s really very good BUT did it really need the comedy light relief? Dare I say the Robert Strauss and Harvey Lembeck double act started to wear thin and became annoying. Though I did like the comedy side of Otto Preminger, he did make me laugh. Otherwise the film was superb. Especially liked the tough Neville Brand who I’ve enjoyed in many films.

Killer Elite (2011) – Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 6.4
Another Jason Statham film ticked off. Weekend action shut off fodder. As action films go, this really goes for it. Actually much better than I had expected. Plot seemed a bit stupid and of course over the top however, in someway it’s meant to based on real events? Robert De Niro plays Jason’s assassin’s friend. While Clive Owen plays a psycho ex SAS soldier.

Suddenly (1954) – Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 6.8
A neat short drama with booming voice Sterling Hayden as a small town Sheriff and Frank Sinatra playing it bad with shooting the President on his mind. Frank is really great in it. It’s on Amazon if you fancy it.

Killer’s Kiss (1955) – Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 6.6
Part film noir part art project. You can see lots of creative touches, moody imagines. The panning camera shot over the street following, the negative film dream images, the ballerina dancing back story etc. Lots of ideas, not sure it worked to be honest. However the whole end sequence ending with the mannequins fight scene is amazing. Lead Jamie Smith was like a cheap mans Burt Lancaster. Stanley Kubrick second film has many fine moments but doesn’t quite get off the ground. It’s incredible to think he got everything spot on and perfect for his next one, The Killing (1956) a year later. The rest they say…. is history.

Surrogates (2009) – Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 6.3
Not seen it since it first came out. Another film I enjoyed this month so much more this time round. OK yes I laughed most the way through it but I had so much fun. Bruce Willis surrogate robot with a wig, light makeup and soft focus is hilarious. A perfect weekend food, beers, science fiction and heap full of belly laughs. Actually wanted to do a movie post as it fits more in line with a 90s action. It’s hard to believe it only 2009!!

13 (2010) – Wolfman Rating 6 – IMDB Rating 6.1
Bizarre film. Ok I should start reading the plot and the cast before I venture into a film but I do like it random. Ticking another Jason Statham film off the list, I just pressed play. Find out after it finished that it was an English speaking remake of the director Géla Babluani own original film 13 Tzameti (2005) which I wished I’d seen first. As that sounds so much better. Sam Riley is the star but check the cast in this!! Mickey Rourke, Ray Winstone, David Zayas, 50 Cent, Michael Shannon (wtf was he doing here in a truly horrible part). The film wasn’t what I expected. It was thrilling to watch but it kind of left you cold and wondering if it was really any good? I need to watch the original but feel the end has been given away?

The Innocents (1961) – Wolfman Rating 9 – IMDB Rating 7.8
Took my time getting to this classic bit of British horror!! Was well worth it though. Just brilliant and yeah, really creepy in a not too scary way. Kids whispering and looking weird. There was also some day scares, that’s something you don’t often see in horror films. The two kids are blooming fantastic. Martin Stephens plays Miles and Pamela Franklin plays Flora. Both there to keep Deborah Kerr on her toes.. Pamela Franklin was amazing in The Third Secret (1964) and Our Mother’s House (1967) as well.

RocknRolla (2008) – Wolfman Rating 8 – IMDB Rating 7.3
I had forgot much of this Guy Ritchie film but then certain scene came back to me. The Handsome Bob (Tom Hardy) and One Two (Gerard Butler) scene lol and how did I forget the two terminator Chechnyan’s. Oh my days that was bonkers. I can’t remember liking it so much the first time but this viewing really hit the spot. What a brilliant funny film. Plus Tom Wilkinson was dastardly as the wrong-en Lenny Cole and Mark Strong is always superb and one of my favourite British actors.

21 Bridges (2019) – Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 6.2
God damn it! So sad to see Chadwick Boseman so thin and unwell. He still managed to put in a fantastic performance in this, one of his last films, before he sadly departed. He plays a NYPD detective, with a past, on drug case that ended with cops being killed. The 21 Bridges reference is to the locking down of Manhattan and closing off all the bridges. Chadwick was superb and the camera work is most excellent. There’s some superbly filmed action chase scenes that had a real exciting different feel to them. The standout star of the show has to go to Stephan James who plays Michael. Unfortunately the plot isn’t anything new and you see all of the cliche twists coming a mile off. Still got my dues on Amazon.

Tracker (2010) – Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 6.5
Another Amazon film. This was a pleasant surprise. Ray Winstone plays an Afrikaner veteran of the Boer War who immigrates to New Zealand and is hired to track a man accused of killing a soldier. The wonderful Temuera Morrison plays the hunted Maori. Maybe the hunted and the hunter have more in common than they imagine? Tracker is an excellent drama and well worth your time.

Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) – Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 7.5
The new one from Disney hits all the usual morals. The animation is beautiful, the lead character Raya is tough and wise. Still, you feel you’ve seen it all before. It’s funny on a family watch with a takeaway, it’s often me that likes the films more. Big softy? Or just happy to be round my family? Yeah both. Star of the show? Tuk Tuk.

Bad Trip (2020) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 6.6
If you love Eric Andre’s style of manic comedy, like I do very much, then you are sure you find some big laughs here. A buddy road trip from LA to NY with Eric and his best friend Lil Rel Howery. Add in hidden camera set pieces to spice it up. I watched it with my kids (young adults before you spit out your tea) and I probably laughed more than them lol. It was stupid fun. Tiffany Haddish as the jailbird total psycho is as terrifying as she is hilarious.

——————————————————————————————————————–

Wacko on the reviews this month I’m afraid. Hope to do better in April.

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

7 thoughts on “What’s Been Watched This Month – March 2021

  1. STALAG 17 (1953) is one of my all-time favorite films but totally agree with you on the grating so-called comedy elements. I was exactly the same as well with THE KILLER ELITE (2011). I had low expectations for it but I now rate that as actually one of my favourite DeNiro films. Thanks for the tip on WITHOUT WARNING (1952). That looks of interest.

    And this is a trailer for a Jack Palance movie, which apart from having an identical title, is completely unrelated –

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Glen, massive giggles on the Jack Palance picking up the whatever pay check he could get his hands on regardless of what crazy he was being offered. That looks truly awful and heaps of fun hehe.
      The 1952 is well worth seeing if it appears on your cable tv viewing travels.
      Good to hear I’m not going too crazy thinking The Killer Elite was much better than expected 🙂
      Stalag 17 was brilliant. Such a shame they added all the silly bits. It did remind me of King Rat (1965) which was fantastic too.

      King Rat (1965) Kentucky Fried Rat In Mi Prison What Am I Gonna Do?

      Like

  2. Funny, I thought you were referring to that Jack Palance flick as well. I see you went on a Statham run. My wife would approve. I liked Homefront and if I recall Stallone wrote it either for himself or as a possibly Rambo? I’ve seen 10 of the 20 listed and there’s little doubt the comedy routines of Stalag 1t don’t fit in today’s crowds for first time viewers. And damn was Neville Brand a force on camera when given a role worthy of his talent. Suddenly a neat little gem with a Sinatra who was on the cusp of his big comeback after falling out of favor. An Oscar can do that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Looks like I need to be adding this Jack Palance B-movie fodder to the watch-o-rama 🙂
      Amazon “x-ray” thing did drop the Sly Rambo fact at the beginning. When you know, it’s really does play like a Rambo film, even has the horses like in the new one.
      Wasn’t a fan of the “x-ray” thing when it first came but now every time I hit a “damn it I know that face!” it’s just a tap of the mouse and you back in the film again rather than brutalizing brain cells lol.
      I first saw Neville Brand in “Riot in Cell Block 11” and wow did he make an impression.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Strauss character in Stalag 17 really jars, but presumably people didn’t think that then – didn’t he get an Oscar nom? Good film otherwise.

    I didn’t really get on with Constantine or Killer Elite. Killer Elite is based on The Feathermen by Ranulph Fiennes. He claimed it was true, but I think he later admitted that was BS. The problem with the film (apart from phoney “British” settings) is that it’s the wrong way around. Statham should have the Clive Owen role and he should be the main character. Owen should be the bad guy trying to kill the SAS guys off. Statham is the bad guy but the film doesn’t seem to be aware of it.

    I did notice RocknRolla was on TV recently, but was put off Ritchie crime flicks by Revolver. Maybe I should give this one a go after all.

    I watched the Chernobyl doc as well. It was interesting, I didn’t realise the exclusion area was so massive, or that people were actually living in it. Fogle wasn’t the ideal presenter but they had good access. It did leave some questions unanswered. It made me interested in going to Chernobyl, but then, when I think about it, maybe not …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah I can see at the time everyone was slapping their knees when Strauss did his spill. I didn’t hate it but it sure takes a chunk of the suspense out of a superb film.

      I read into the Fiennes story as was a little fascinated with the Ralph connection. Ranulph did/does sound a bit of a lad. That’s quite the Guinness Book of World Records title to be given in 1984 “the world’s greatest living explorer.”. However it does sound underhanded to then read that the book on the SAS killings not being “true” would of been a kick in the teeth to the families, I can only imagine. Though it is said that the book had “Fact or fiction?” on them. Which kind of covers himself.
      Can total see your point about the character swap round. Could of worked really well. Don’t worry I don’t think they are masterpieces I’m just enjoying shutting the brain off for a few hours. 🙂

      RocknRolla is on Netflix at moment if you have it. It’s great fun imho. Yes very different to Revolver. Which to be fair to Ritchie was a go at something different. It could of hit and became iconic instead of a mess. I could see what he was trying to do, I think!! RNR is a good comeback after that but also meant he’s had to stay in that same lane he was used to. The Gentleman is good fun too if you haven’t seen that. Both have loads of action, silly characters and don’t take themselves seriously. Very enjoyable if you in the mood for it.
      Talking of Revolver, Ritchie and the Stath are back with the soon to be released The Wrath of Man.

      The Battle Of Chernobyl from 2006 is the best doc on the subject I think. I’ve seen lots. The HBO series is 100 percent recommended if you didn’t watch it already.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Saw nine of your films…one of them, of course, being ‘Code Two’, a fun recommendation by the Wolf Man himself! I really liked ‘The Bank Job’ as well, and am a ‘Saturday night hang out with popcorn’ fan of Statham as well. I’ve always been curious about ‘The Locket’, so I’ll have to move that one up a few notches on my impossibly long list of films to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

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