What’s Been Watched This Month – June 2021

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

This has been the first month, I’m sad to realise, that I hadn’t made a single movie review! I got five kinda half done and in the pipeline but I’ve just not managed to get them finished. My daughter is back from Uni for a few months, which I’m over the moon with. Plus I’m doing some much needed job’s around the house and what with the Euro football on too, well, unfortunately, my film site has taken a hit. I did watch a few series and tended to watch films that I knew I won’t need to review. I foresee next month running similar I fear but then, hopefully, I’ll be back on it. Anyway here’s this months watched goodies.

The TV

Sweet Tooth. OOOoooops I may of accidentally watched the whole series of Sweet Tooth in one sitting! The comic is one of my favourite stories and a comic book series close to my heart. The TV adaptation looked OK on the short trailer but you could see there were many changes. I went in with low expectations. 7 hours later, hehe, I was pleased to say they had achieved a job well done. OK it’s nothing compared to the comic. How the writer, artist Jeff Lemire gets so much raw emotion from a drawing with just a sad look or a heartbreaking few word sentence I have no idea. But he does, always, effortlessly. The TV show has dumbed things down. It’s not as dark, mainly the kid is too cute, the music choices at times really cheese it up and the narration makes it twee. However the fundamental source material is there! They tip toe around the darkness, the brutal dread and despair, to make it more accessible. It’s core story is still dark and they might struggle moving through that in a second series? TBH it just makes the comic even more impressive. To be able to create such a heart-wrenching and bittersweet story through a series of drawings. The TV take on the story is good and I thoroughly enjoyed it, forgiving it for the changes that it made. It’s more fairy tale, fantasy than the epic comic book odyssey about fatherhood, humanity and devastating heartfelt, love and death and hope. Yet those themes are there, just muted. So I raced through the series, got my Netflix subs paid for this month, and now I’m very eager to revisit the comic book series and the new 2nd book off-shoot I haven’t read yet.

Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. I watched the whole of season 1. Not sure I loved it but it was pretty good. I have to admit to not being that keen on John Krasinski as our CIA analyst, Jack Ryan. The main reason is I find it difficult to separate him from Jim from the American version of The Office. He still has that gormless bored face. I also couldn’t stand the way Jack would work things out. It be like, “The reflection of the picture frame in the mirror is blue, the sky is blue? He’s in Jordan!!!” Of course I’ve made that up but there’s a few times like that. Plus do we really need to see John Krasinski naked in the shower thinking gormlessly as the water runs off his butt cheeks? … I did like seeing Wendell Pierce aka Bunk from The Wire as his superior. I don’t think I will watch the second season?

War Of The Worlds. OK! I was never going to watch this! After being so excited about the BBC adaption that was setting H G Wells story in it’s native Victorian timeline. That was all I ever needed to see. I don’t know how the messed it up but good God man! that was the most incredible piece of TV bile waste I’d seen for some time. To add my woes I then heard there was another War Of The Worlds coming out around the same time. A French and British co-production. I sneaked a small look at the trailer and spied the reviews. It didn’t sound or look very convincing. A friend gave me a little nod saying he thought I’d like it. Strangely it went up on Disney Plus! I’ll watch the first episode with ZERO expectations… 3 days later I had finished the series. Hehe. I really enjoyed it. I loved the pacing of it. Just people wandering around two empty nations. It had some very interesting set pieces. I got a feeling with the darkness and tone of the show to the old 70s/80s UK disaster series like The Day of the Triffids and Survivors. The acting isn’t amazing, the aliens are not very convincing but I really enjoyed their effort. TBH the worst thing going for it is the title, they really shouldn’t have called it War of the Worlds. Yes say it’s an inspiration to H G Wells but by using the title it opened itself up to be “scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.“…

The Films

11 films this month and a total of 91 this year
1025 since the start of the blog in January 2017.

Wrath of Man (2021) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 7.2
A remake of a French thriller called Cash Truck (2004) given the Guy Richie treatment teaming up with his leading man Jason Statham back in the action. Mysterious “H” starts work at a cash truck company which appears to be filled with dodgy geezers. The money trucks keep getting robbed as the story of deceit and violence reveals it’s story. A great weekend film.

Sullivan’s Travels (1941) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 7.9
Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake star in this comedy drama. It’s a weird one at that. Half slap stick comedy that slowly filters into the dark realms of chain gangs, prison beatings and punishment. Film director Sullivan wishes to try living as a hobo during the great depression to get a real feel for his next big film. The fictitious novel “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” which the Coen Brothers would satire their comedy film on. Veronica is her usual long hair beautiful self. Apparently she was heavily pregnant during filming. You would never know. Two of the best scenes I thought was the flirty older lady with her deceased husbands portrait changing expressions. And the completely nuts car chase with the occupants of a luxury mobile home getting thrown around and trashed in the most high octane slapstick set piece. Thanks to Mike’s Take On The Movies for the nudge on this one that I’ve been trying to watch for some years.

The Outpost (2019) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 6.8
This is a great Amazon movie to go towards your subscription fees. Based on a true story. A small team of U.S soldiers are station in the most stupidest positioned camp ever. Whoever made the decision to set up base at the bottom of hill surrounded by cliffs and mountains must of surely been off their rocker? Set in Afghanistan as hundreds of Taliban fighters begin to attack. Scott Eastwood stars alongside a few familiar faces. He’s also happens to be called Clint!. To be honest it really freaks me out how much he looks like his dad. To the point your brain gets that uncanny valley feeling! It can’t workout if spaghetti western era Clint has made a new film or has this guy been CGI’d. He’s really good in the film but man it’s distracting. Same goes for the above mentioned Wrath of Man which he also stars however it feels more so here. Good weekend popcorn carnage film.

Perfume The Story of a Murderer (2006) – Wolfman Rating 8 – IMDB Rating 7.5
I was recommended this one by a good friend. I’d heard of it but just never got around to watching it. The runtime did put me off a little. He gave me a few nudges. I’m so glad he did as this is a superior film. Like an epic fairy tale of such. Be warned, it’s dark. The opening scene of pure rancid filth is so wretched and sets the origin story of our star, Ben Whislaw, who’s “blessed” with an unusual nose. To be able to visually picture things with the power of scent. This leads him obsessively trying to create the worlds finest perfume. If you do watch it, try and go in not knowing much and let the dark tale present itself to you. Dustin Hoffman and Alan Rickman both have small but key roles within the story.

Berlin Express (1948) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 6.8
Nice recommend by that man Todd over at Cinema Monolith. Very interesting story, especially made so soon after the war. An international team of commuters are all “secretly” aboard the Berlin Express which is carrying a special envoy to help bridge calmness in the recently fallen Germany. Robert Ryan is the American, alongside a Russian, a Frenchman, a Brit and Merle Oberon who appears to filter each nationality when she desires. Someone might not be what they say they are? Two stand out moments include the Frankfurt bombed-out film set they run through and Robert Ryan trapped in a giant beer fermentation barrel for 10 minutes. Hehe.

Body Of Lies (2008) – Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 7.1
I’d seen this when it came out. Ridley Scott’s drama thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe is very well filmed and well played out. But for some reason it all seems pretty forgettable. I couldn’t remember much of it tbh. Well apart from Mark Strong as the prince of Jordan.

42 to 1 (2018) – Wolfman Rating 8.5 – IMDB Rating 7.5
Been wanting to watch this documentary on the Buster Douglas VS Mike Tyson fight since I heard it was made. Strangely it appeared on Disney Plus. It packs quite the emotional punch…

The Ice Road (2021) – Wolfman Rating 5 – IMDB Rating 5.6
Jeez Liam Neeson I know you are grabbing the money but you are surely so much better than the flurry of recent films? The Ice Road actually makes the wack Honest Thief (2020) some how a masterpiece!! Come on scriptwriters, directors, get together and get this man the decent film he so deserves. It was on Amazon, Friday after pub film, get my subs kinda of paid for but man it’s rubbish.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) – Wolfman Rating 8.5 – IMDB Rating 8.1
I didn’t hate the Joss Whedon/Synder original take. It was filled with cheese and rather flat however I had a good memory of it as I’d taken my son to see it and he loved it so that was all good for me. Of course I knew it was quite a mess but sometimes the going to the movie experience overrides the film quality. Then the word came of Zack Snyder’s 4 hour cut!!! To bring his stamp back to the franchise. 4 hrs man! Didn’t think I would watch it. Then I heard it was in chapters. Ok I’ll watch the first part! Four hours later I’d seen the lot!. Zack and his team really pulled off a fantastic job. The mood and feel completely changed yet still keeping the same film. It’s weird you start thinking what was added. Like 2 hrs worth! It flows in so well. Cyborg gets to be the heart of the story, The Flash comic interactions are cut right down. Lois mopping about cut down. Steppenwolf is revamped and given a deep role as the bad guy. Effects are fixed, colour changes throughout are made darker and the soundtrack is changed. It’s a massive project. I was very impressed.

The Mitchells vs the Machines (2021) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 7.7
Really fun family action packed animation that might well be a little too in your face in many places but it’s of no doubt full on, pure entertainment. Can a dysfunctional family come back together and use their combined forces of quirkiness to defeat the robot apocalypse? Of course that’s a silly question but it’s very fun to see how they do it. Cue dog, pig!!!

Assault on Precinct 13 (2005) – Wolfman Rating 6 – IMDB Rating 6.3
It really shouldn’t be too hard to remake John Carpenter’s classic, almost “zombie” attack movie? Of course you wouldn’t be able to achieve the same mood and certainly not the soundtrack. However, surely you could of got the essence of the natural heroism of Austin StokerBishop” and Darwin JostonWilson” that they brought to the original? But no they throw all that out the window. Ethan Hawke and Laurence Fishburne flip the race position from police office to convict. Which quite frankly imho would of worked better the other way round? The attacking police force lead by Gabriel Byrne was ridiculous. Gained a point for having the crazy sexy Adriana from The Sopranos Drea de Matteo wandering around for the whole film in suspenders. Oh and having Brian Dennehy in the cast.

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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

2 thoughts on “What’s Been Watched This Month – June 2021

  1. I’m so excited! I’ve seen a couple of the series you mentioned!
    We stumbled into Sweet Tooth and binged it too! We also thought the kid was way too cute and lots of corny stuff was always happening. But it was different–at least it wasn’t zombies, right?
    Also saw War of the Worlds and liked season 1 better. But it does have some pretty good moments, and since I hate the psycho French kid as much as I do, I guess he’s done his job pretty well, huh?
    Not seen Liam N. in anything recently, but we were ALSO musing about his choices in movies the last decade or so. It “seems” like it started after his wife died tragically, doesn’t it? I don’t know, may be coincidental, but… maybe he’s just trying to keep himself busy.
    As for John K. as Jack Ryan…we’ve never seen one episode, haha. But we have seen both “A Quiet Place” movies. Hubby doesn’t like John K’s face either! We captioned most if not all of The Office and I thought he was pretty good in that but, yeah, good for THE OFFICE. Never thought of him as an action guy in my wildest dreams (or nightmares).
    The funny thing about A Quiet Place: we saw a movie called The Silence with Stanley Tucci this past weekend. IT’S based on a book that came out in 2015. Guess what it’s about? Violent, aggressive creatures with AMAZING hearing that tear anything apart that makes noise. COMPLETE WITH DEAF GIRL.
    It was released a year after A Quiet Place, but…. I’m thinking SOMEBODY read THe Silence (not saying it was John, but who knows?) and quickly wrote a screenplay and they made theirs first before The Silence could be released.
    It’s so disgusting how they rape and pillage ideas out here and it’s like a cardinal sin, the end of the world as we know it, to even THINK about compensating the writer!!! How do they get away with it, I wonder?! The lady that wrote Gravity as a novel saw it up on the big screen one day, her story made into a huge Hollywood movie. She took ’em to court. The judge was like, “I see no similarities here,” and they threw the case out!!! It’s like all the law’s in Hollywood’s wretched, debauched, predatory pocket or something. If someone rips you off, even blatantly, you…just…. can….not……….win !

    Like

  2. I loved Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006). It’s a fascinating movie. Stanley Kubrick briefly considered directing it, but later concluded that the story was “unfilmable.” Anyhow, I liked it a lot.

    Assault on Precinct 13 (2005) was just okay, but this was a fool’s errand — as you said, it’s impossible to duplicate the original’s wonderfully creepy, B-movie atmosphere.

    Like

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