What’s Been Watched This Month – September 2021

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

The TV

* For All Mankind. Haha someone was ill and took a day off work sick. I signed up to AppleTV and managed to watch all of season one! 10 hours worth under the duvet in one sitting. Yep nuts I know! The story is an alternative vision of the space race where Russian cosmonauts land on the Moon first and how it effects NASA. I love all things NASA and space related so, of course, this was great. However, I do wish they wouldn’t, I hate to say the word, feel the need to be so w.o.k.e! They are so heavy handed with certain subjects that it feels like they inserted then with a hammer and sickle. It would of been nice to have devolved the story creatively without the need to preach so much. We are not imbeciles and I’m sure many of the viewers, who have taken the time to watch this series, are also intelligent. I totally understand it has to be done but surely it can be done organically without the high “ick” factor. Saying that the series is a melodrama and I’m out of the loop of watching that style of show. However the Moon, rockets and space effects are amazing. Another really clever part is the slight changes in history. The use of old footage with changes to President speeches and historical timelines. It had me hooked and I ploughed straight through season 2 which had a truly incredible final few episodes. Recommended.

* Coming soon! Netflix live action Cowboy Bebop! It’s gotta be awesome hasn’t it? Neo Noir Japanese Jazz Anime! Fingers crossed they don’t mess it up. I’ve gone back and started re-watching the OG series. The animated series is about bounty hunter Spike and his small crew of friends. It’s filled with cool style and music blended into a Blade Runner futurist world. It’s fantastic watching it in order as before I’d missed episodes and a few were out of context. The spin off film is amazing too and worth watching if you don’t have time for the series. Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2001)

* First episode of Foundation in my eyes was beautifully superb. Felt like a film. The visuals and effects are absolutely stunning. Be warned if you don’t like sci-fi mumbo jumbo talk, ie mathematical psychohistory hehe, I’m sure you won’t like it. However it does feel plucked straight from the pages of Isaac Asimov’s source material even if they have re-imagined and molded different elements. (I haven’t read the Foundation series so I wouldn’t know what they have changed). David S Goyer has a good track record and he’s also the showrunner on the up and coming The Sandman series. Very excited for that and to see how Foundation pans out. I’m now up-to-date on the 3 episodes that have been aired. It has issues, some I agree with but honestly they aren’t effecting my enjoyment of the show. However I can see why people don’t like the slow pace. Something that is a bonus to me, to lose myself in the visuals and to see a story grow, rather than rush through action. I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops.

The Films

12 films this month and a total of 129 this year
1063 since the start of the blog in January 2017.

The Dark Man (1951) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 6.3
A killer hunts down a witness to his identity. Will she be able to evade his murderous way. My review is here The Dark Man.

Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed (2021) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 7
Wow with that title I was really rather scared going into this. We’ve all grown up to the mellow tones of Bob’s beautiful tranquil voice and lush landscapes paintings. No one wants to hear bad things about this guy. Thankfully, rest assured, the good man Bob Ross name is still able to bring big smiles and his back catalogue isn’t being scrubbed from the internet as I write. Now we can wipe the sweat from our brow, this story is more about manipulating people around him. It’s sad to hear but also wonderful to see all the old footage of Bob and learn a little about his origins.

Rush (2013) – Wolfman Rating 8.5 – IMDB Rating 8.1
OK, yep I know! Why did it take so long to get to Ron Howard’s amazing Formula One drama about James Hunt and Niki Lauda? To be honest I knew the story well from past documentaries and even remember chatting about it in the school yard as a kid. Plus true be told I wasn’t bought on Chris Hemsworth being James Hunt. Ha, how wrong was I? Chris was superb and Daniel Bruhl completely smashed it out of the park as Niki Lauda. (Daniel should of got an Oscar I’d say). Anyhow I got there eventually and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was worth the wait. Brilliantly acted and filmed.

The BFG (2016) – Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 6.4
Bit tired I sat heavy on the sofa and flicked the channels to see a weirdly strange image of Mark Rylance as giant CGI, well giant! A Big Friendly Giant in fact. This is the animated Steven Spielberg adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl story. I was happy sitting there and letting the family tale unfold. The animation of of Mark Rylance is wonderful and being that he’s a giant you don’t get that weird uncanny valley feeling, even though he looks just like him. The story does suffer from some overlong sequences but I’m sure every kid/adult is gonna laugh out loud waiting to see if the Queen is gonna blow-off and seeing her corgi’s fart like rockets around Buckingham Palace.

The Wolf of Snow Hollow (2020) – Wolfman Rating 5 – IMDB Rating 6.2
Went into this knowing it was one of the great Robert Forster’s last films. It looked a little like Fargo from the promo shots and hey, it’s got a Wolf! A few minutes in you could tell this wasn’t very good but it was short and I pressed ahead. To be fair actor, writer and director Jim Cummings has a lot on his plate. Some of the acting is rather bad but I remind myself this is a B-movie and if it was the 80/90s I’m sure it would of became a cult classic. I did struggle with it but the end last 5 minutes were very good.

Passengers (2016) – Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 7
Had heard a few mediocre reviews for this and what what with the big pretty star actors of Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt I ended up giving it a miss. In mood for a sci-fi I noticed it on Netflix and bite the bullet. I actually enjoyed it. The difficult “dilemma” was well done I thought. Besides I did imagine it was gonna get a whole lot darker. All in all, very enjoyable. Loved the ship concept art and set design.

Hot Fuzz (2007) – Wolfman Rating 8.5 – IMDB Rating 7.8
The dream team of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost teamed up for this hilarious and at times dark and twisted small town cop drama. It’s fantastic and filled with way too many famous British actors. From Billie Whitelaw to Edward Woodward to Timothy Dalton to Olivia Colman to mention just a few. This was an introduction with my daughter which we’d been meaning to see together for some time. It had also been a while since I’d seen it too. Many laughs and giggles were had.

Black and Blue (2019) – Wolfman Rating 6.5 – IMDB Rating 6.4
Popped up on Netflix and sounded like a good flick. It’s alright. Naomie Harris is excellent as the lead, a New Orleans police officer caught up with corrupt cops and being looked down on by black neighborhood for her choice of job. Tyrese Gibson does well in his part. However it just starts getting ridiculous and way OTT!.

Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary (2019) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 7.6
Everyone loves Galaxy Quest don’t they? It’s a perfect movie that really hits all the tick boxes. Action, comedy, emotion, friendship etc but it’s also filled to the brim with a pure heart. This documentary goes about reminding us how brilliant and much loved the film is. Lots of great insights and stories from all involved and other lovers of the film. It’s on Amazon.

Stallone: Frank, That Is (2021) – Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 6.5
The first 5 minutes of this intimate doc on Sly Stallone’s brother Frank looked like it was gonna be just a love fest of famous people saying how fantastic he is. Then Sly comes on and had me howling when he described literally almost killing him every few minutes as his older brother. I enjoyed it whilst eating my dinner.

The Square Ring (1953) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 6.3
A boxing drama from director Basil Dearden has to be good? Yeah course it is but do you want to know more? Here’s my review of The Square Ring.

Revolver (1973) – Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 7
This was great. Was in the mood for a gritty 70s flick and Oliver Reed in a gritty drama from Italy popped up on Amazon. It’s all dubbed into English, even Ollie! Even though I kept thinking it does sound a little like Ollie? I find out after Ollie dubbed his own voice with an American accent. Revolver is about a prison warden who’s wife is kidnapped and finds himself getting caught up with gangsters and a pretty boy criminal, Fabio Testi. I haven’t seen enough of these Italian produced 70s dramas. Recommend away please.

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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

What’s Been Watched This Month – August 2021

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

Anyone who’s followed this here movie blog of mine may of noticed I had, some what, disappeared. It had been nice having a break with the family and doing home stuff but I did really missed it. However, it proved difficult to return. Like I said in last month’s watched list, “I’m determined to be back in September but, hehe, watch this space!!!” Well I did it with Brighton Rock and have a few more back in the running’s. It’s good to be back scribbling nonsense and learning little factoids along the way. Anyway, less of that and more of this, very late, monthly round-up…

The TV

What If?... This new Marvel series on DisneyPlus is so much fun. Based on the old comic book series it features Uatu, The Watcher (Jeffrey Wright) looking down from the skies and describing certain events in time that could of taken a whole different path. How one small change could completely flip the story on it’s head. They rarely go well! Mostly all voiced by the original actors including Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa and What If? he was Star Lord from Guardian of the Galaxy. It’s a emotional watch as it would be Chadwick’s last performance. Other episodes so far that have been intense are the Doctor Strange tale that is extremely deep. And the latest one, ZOMBIES which is full-on frantic and so needs to be made into a film.

The Films

15 films this month and a total of 117 this year
1051 since the start of the blog in January 2017.

We Are The Millers (2013) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 7
A fun comedy. I really didn’t think I was gonna like it to be honest. Then it managed to get me chuckling along right from the get-go. A middle aged pot dealer (Jason Sudeikis) has to create a fake family as cover for a drug smuggling trip across the Mexican border. Of course everything goes from easy mission to impossible to death dodging within no time. It’s silly but good-natured and fun. The Luis Guzman bit is so wrong and hilarious.

Blitz (2011) – Wolfman Rating 6 – IMDB Rating 6.2
Anyone who’s followed my monthly watch list posts over the last 4 plus years might of noticed I usually slot in a Jason Statham movie on a boozy Friday night for some action fun. Can’t be many left to see!! However I managed to find another. This one is a Brit production. It’s starts very well but increasingly starts to lose the plot. In the end it seemed a bit pointless. Aiden Gillen goes overboard loony, Paddy Considine isn’t too bad and the Stath keeps it Stathy. He plays a damaged cop tracking down a deranged cop-killer. A sub-plot with Zane Ashton was kind of silly and there’s a heap of actors like David Morrissey, Ned Dennehy and Mark Rylance to booster it up but unfortunately its all over the place imho.

The Castle (1997) – Wolfman Rating 8 – IMDB Rating 7.7
I’d been trying to watch this Australian film for over two decades! At the time I could not find it anywhere. Then, shamefully, I forgot about it. It then appeared on a list I had written, I dropped everything. It’s so good. Ok it might of dated a bit but for me it still held up and had me laughing all the way through. Darryl Kerrigan (Michael Caton) loves nothing more than his family, his home and his small community. His house is his Castle. He’s put everything into it. Ok it might be at the end of a airport runway but it’s his home. When the airport decides to expand, Darryl’s and his neighbours homes are in the way. Darryl tries everything to stay and takes on the courts.

Robot and Frank (2012) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 7
Second watch for me. It’s a nice sweet tale of an ex-jewel living alone and slowly losing his mind to dementia. His son believes a robot can look after him. Frank (Frank Langella) isn’t happy at all with this “helping hand” until he discovers his new robot friend might have other uses, like maybe a lookout? I really enjoy this film again.

The Island (2005) – Wolfman Rating 6.5 – IMDB Rating 6.8
Starts really good. Felt sure I’d seen this? Sure I had? Watching again! I soon notice I hadn’t. First off I’m thinking this has to be Michael Bay’s “best” film? The sci-fi set-up was great, I liked the world and it was really quite restraint for Mr Bay! Then halfway through all hell breaks loose and we back in familiar Bay country. And man-O-man does it go stupid! Real shame. Plus the product placement was insane. Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson do their best Logan’s Run impressions.

Black Widow (2021) – Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 6.8
Scarlett Johansson is back on my watch list and back in sexy kick-out assassin superhero Natasha Romanoff mode. A movie filled with a whole project of Black Widows. We all enjoyed it as a family action flick. Unfortunately it feels a tad forgettable even though there’s a heap of cool action scenes and mega fights. David Harbour was good for the comic relief part. I’m sure to be watching it again sometime.

The Lobster (2015) – Wolfman Rating 8 – IMDB Rating 7.2
This is not for everyone. It’s bonkers. My 2nd viewing as I introduced to my daughter. She loved it too. From Greek director and writer Yorgos Lanthimos. Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz star next to lots of familiar names. Right, what’s it about you ask? Well, it’s against the law to be single you see. If you are, you’ll find yourself in the “hotel”. You have 45 days to find a partner or you will be transformed into an animal of your choice and set free in The Woods? It’s quirky and I love it.

Suggs – My Life Story (2018) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 6.8
The Lobster finished and this started on the telly. We couldn’t be arsed to move so we watched it. It’s really very good. It set up as a stage show and a kind of a comedy stand-up performance with musical interludes. What makes it even better is there’s animation, archive footage and reenactments. Suggs, the lead singer from the band Madness tells his life story in a very unique way. Very recommended.

The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf (2021) – Wolfman Rating 7 – IMDB Rating 7.4
I loved the Netflix series The Witcher with Henry Cavill and am eagerly awaiting the new season. As a little back story to Witcher’s they dropped in this animated tale in a standalone story. I wasn’t that sure I liked it at first but as the story developed it sure goes bonkers. I haven’t read the book series, so can’t comment too much but I enjoyed it. Now bring forth the series now please.

The Suicide Squad (2021) – Wolfman Rating 8 – IMDB Rating 7.4
James Gunn smashes this DC film little excursion away from Marvel. It’s so much fun and ridiculous entertainment. This second outing for another bunch of misfits wipes the floor with the first film, which was unfortunately a dud. They didn’t feel the need to add a number “2” in the title, they just added a “The” and probably swept the the first film under the dusty mat. There’s so many funny and outrageous scenes. Sweet to have the crazy and sexy Margot Robbie doing her loony Harley Quinn again. So many silly moments and nutty characters like Peacemaker (John Cena) and killer cute King Shark amazingly voiced by Sylvester Stallone. Both need their own films. Sit back, flick the shoes off, crack open a brew and get ready for the ride.

Fargo (1996) – Wolfman Rating 10 – IMDB Rating 8.1
Another Coen Brothers masterpiece. 5th time seeing it, this time with my daughter as it’s on her study list for Uni. It’s perfection, absolute perfection. Nuff said!

Brighton Rock (1948) – Wolfman Rating 9 – IMDB Rating 7.3
Haha I did it, at last! Blow the party whistles and the kazoo’s. At last I got around to watching this British noir classic which I’ve been meaning to for decades and finally got to write a new review after a long pause. Check it out here if you wish… Brighton Rock (1948) Psychotic Pocket Rocket Slashes And Intimidates

Life After Flash (2017) – Wolfman Rating 7.5 – IMDB Rating 6.6
Director, writer Lisa Downs does so well to get so many heads involved in the ace project. So great to watch as I’ve always been a massive fan of Flash Gordon (1980). Sam J Jones was a great sport for doing this. I loved the way he sets himself up. It’s kind of angled being about him however at the same time it’s just a love letter homage to the cult campy sci-fi classic. A few highlights, Melody Anderson looks amazing and came across so natural, funny and friendly. Peter Wyngarde was brilliantly campy deadpan funny, not knowing if he was joking or not. lol.. Then of course Brian Blessed bellowed his trademark booming voice and was his usual hilarious fantastic self. Would of liked to have seen Timothy Dalton and the ultimate naughty girl, Ornella Muti, I mean Princess Aura. If you love Flash, you have big fun with this doc and it’s on Prime if you got it.

Elysium (2013) – Wolfman Rating 6.5 – IMDB Rating 6.6
I went back for a re-watch of Neill Blomkamp’s follow up from District 9. I wasn’t that fussed with it the first time and to be honest, where I enjoyed watching it again there’s just something missing. Not sure what. Cool ideas and visuals as usual. I wish Sharlto Copley bad guy was toned down. What was fun, was spotting Pablo Escobar in the cast. The actor Wagner Moura would go on to play the Colombian drug lord to perfection in the series Narcos a few years later.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) – Wolfman Rating 8.5 – IMDB Rating 7.8
Rogue One is by far my favourite Star Wars film since the end of the original trilogy. It got the mood right, the landscapes look incredible. A very worthy prequel for A New Hope and the way it all connects up gives this middle age man goosebumps. It seamlessly joins the opening beginning of the film that still blows my mind now as it did, 40 plus years ago. By the way Disney if you are reading this comment please make standalone films for K-2SO (Alan Tudyk), the reprogrammed Imperial security droid, and a film for the friendship of Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen) and Baze Malbus (Wen Jiang). Thank you Walt and the gang… hehe…

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Thanks for popping on by my humble little movie site.

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