Friday, 13 October 2017

SEPTEMBER 2017 - FILMS AND TV

A cracking month's viewing, with some decent TV films and not one, not two, but three trips to the cinema in the month....

Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams (2017)
More my son's thing than mine, so I only stuck with this for one episode and stuck my head in my book when the rest of the family watched a few of these. I never was a massive fan of Sci-Fi either in book or film to be honest.

From Wikipedia....

Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams, or simply Electric Dreams, is a British-American science fiction television anthology series based on the works of Philip K. Dick. The series premiered on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom on 17 September 2017. It consists of ten standalone episodes based on Dick's work, written by British and American writers. In the United States, the series will be broadcast on Amazon Video. In Canada, it will be broadcast on Bravo.


Criminal Activities (2015)
Enjoyable small screen viewing of a recent crime film. John Travolta is a Mafia don and four hapless school friends have made the mistake of borrowing some money from him. Or have they? When they can't pay him back, they are forced into a kidnapping plot to clear the debt. A few twists and turns, tense, violent, a few scenes of torture and my kind of film.

From IMDB....

Four young men make a risky investment together that puts them in trouble with the mob.


Good People (2014)
Kate Hudson and James Franco cone into some ill-gotten gains when their lodger dies and they discover a stash of cash amongst his possessions. Deciding to keep it may cost them dear in the end. Another enjoyable film, pacey and with a fair bit of action-cum-violence. I quite like Franco as an actor. This was the grittiest role I've seen Hudson in and she was pretty good as well. Tom Wilkinson is always good to watch. I may have the Marcus Sakey book from which this was drawn somewhere in the book stash.

From Wikipedia....

Good People (released in some countries as Getaway 2) is a 2013 American thriller action film directed by Henrik Ruben Genz and written by Kelly Masterson, based on Marcus Sakey's 2008 novel of same name. The film stars James Franco, Kate Hudson, Omar Sy, Tom Wilkinson, and Sam Spruell and tells the story of an American couple, Tom and Anna Wright, living in London who fall into severe debt while renovating their family’s home. The film was released in select theaters and on demand on 26 September 2014.


The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1965)
Based on one of John LeCarre's early Smiley novels and starring Richard Burton, this showed up on my TCM channel a month or two ago. My wife found it very slow, but I quite liked it. I'm minded to dig out some of my LeCarre books for a read. Richard Burton was a good looking bugger.

From IMDB....

British agent Alec Leamas refuses to come in from the Cold War during the 1960s, choosing to face another mission, which may prove to be his final one.


Pride (2014)
Recommended to me by a couple of people - Alis Hawkins and Paul D. Brazill - thank you both. It aired on TV recently. I watched with my better half and we both found it amazing...funny, sad, memorable, touching and ultimately uplifting. Based on fact and actual events surrounding the 80s Miner's Strike and a group of unlikely supporters from the LGBT community in London. Quality cast and some tremendous acting.

From Wikipedia....

Pride is a 2014 British LGBT-related historical comedy-drama film written by Stephen Beresford and directed by Matthew Warchus. It was screened as part of the Directors' Fortnight section of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Queer Palm award. Writer Stephen Beresford said a stage musical adaptation involving director Matthew Warchus is being planned.

The film was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and for the BAFTA for Best British Film, Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Imelda Staunton and for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer.


It (2017)
Cinema trip number one with the wife and two daughter's and one of the boyfriends. I really liked it. More about growing up and loyalty and friendship than a scary movie in my opinion. Reminded me a bit of Stand By Me - another film with Stephen King's prose as the source material. Not tempted to re-read the book, though I did think it was well worth the admission fee. The clown was pretty disgusting, but no nightmares ensued!

From Google....

Seven young outcasts in Derry, Maine, are about to face their worst nightmare -- an ancient, shape-shifting evil that emerges from the sewer every 27 years to prey on the town's children. Banding together over the course of one horrifying summer, the friends must overcome their own personal fears to battle the murderous, bloodthirsty clown known as Pennywise.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
Cinema trip number two, just me and the wife and some popcorn on a Saturday morning. I missed the first Kingsman film and while I enjoyed this, it didn't have me rushing to correct that state of affairs. There's a lot of comedy on display amidst the spy games and antics. Some bits funny, some a bit cringey, but it beat doing anything else on a Saturday am (shopping, chores, cutting the grass). Channing Tatum, Colin Firth and one of the Bridges brothers feature, but I thought Julianne Moore was the pick of the bunch.

From Wikipedia....

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a 2017 action spy comedy film produced and directed by Matthew Vaughn and written by Vaughn and Jane Goldman. It is a sequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014), which is based on the comic book series Kingsman, created by Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar. The film features Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Edward Holcroft, Sophie Cookson, and Hanna Alström reprising their roles from the first film, with Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Pedro Pascal, Elton John, Channing Tatum, and Jeff Bridges joining the cast. The plot follows the members of Kingsman needing to team up with their American counterpart, Statesman, after the world is held hostage by a new threat.

The Hitman's Bodyguard (2017)

Now I've heard of Ryan Reynolds but couldn't put a face to the name until this one opened. Samuel L. Jackson is instantly recognisable. Another comedy-action thriller about a hitman......wait for it..........who needs a bodyguard. I did like this one and wasn't asking for my money back, though Jackson's OTT laugh can grate after a while. 

From Google...........

The world's top protection agent is called upon to guard the life of his mortal enemy, one of the world's most notorious hit men. The relentless bodyguard and manipulative assassin have been on the opposite end of the bullet for years and are thrown together for a wildly outrageous 24 hours. During their journey from England to the Hague, they encounter high-speed car chases, outlandish boat escapades and a merciless Eastern European dictator who is out for blood.

12 comments:

  1. It sounds as though you really did have some quality viewing this month, Col. I thought The Spy... was very good, too, and I hope you'll get the chance to read some le Carré soon; it's well worth the time. Oh, and if my view is anything to go by, you missed nothing with the original Kingsmen film. It wasn't at all worth rushing out to see...

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    1. Hopefully I'll put LeCarre on my 2018 reading list and stick to it. I think you are right regarding Kingsmen. Middling entertainment at best.

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  2. Col – Of your list, the Burton film is the only one I’ve seen - yes, slow moving, B&W, bitter - great stuff. Lots of good suggestions here, but I will skip IT. I remember my daughter had one of her sleepovers at our house and the girls scared the bejabbers out of themselves watching the original IT.

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    1. Elgin, I thought TSWCIFTC was quite atmospheric, particularly the second half of the film. I don't think I'll be re-watching the original IT either.

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  3. I really liked the film adaptation of The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. I only saw it for the first time about a year ago. But I had recently read the book which probably affected my enjoyment. We enjoyed the first Kingsman movie and will watch the second one as soon as it is available here on disc or streaming.

    Sounds like you had a nice month of viewing.

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    1. Tracy thanks. I hope you enjoy Kingsmen when its available to you. If the first pops up on the TV I'll probably watch it, but I won't be upset if it doesn't. I'm not sure Colin Firth is cut out for comedy.

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  4. Col, I haven't seen any of these films or television series, though I'd be most interested in Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams.

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  5. I read the Spy Who many years ago & the theme/tone of the book has stayed with me - so it's my idea of a memorable book (altho' I haven't dared read it again in case I feel differently about it now I'm a fair bit older). Not sure whether to watch the film, but will seek out some of your other suggestions.

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    1. I'm hoping to read it and more by LeCarre sometime next year, but no doubt my plans will change many times before I get there. It'll be interesting to compare the two. I've enjoyed more recent adaptations of his work...... The Tailor of Panama, The Constant Gardener, A Most Wanted Man and the excellent Tinker, Tailor

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  6. Oh I LOVED Pride, I had avoided it for ages, thinking it would be predictable and saccharine. So glad I finally saw it, and I confidently expect to watch it again every so often...I think it will be a great comfort film.

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    1. Pride is definitely one we would watch again in the future.

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