Sunday 1 December 2019


Another decent month of film with seven outings to the local cinema...... war, the gig economy and austerity life, motor racing, New York crime, scientific adventure, payback and some Christmas scmaltz...

I enjoyed everything and didn't feel like I'd wasted an evening on any of them.

The Good Liar (2019)

Mixed reviews for this one apparently but I bloody loved it. I really enjoyed the book by Nicholas Searle a few years ago - thoughts here. It was read far enough in the past that some of the plot twists and details had faded which kind of kept the story fresh for me, even if I knew the gist of it. And you never actually know if a film adaptation with be faithful to the original source or if it will meander away and find its own path. Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen are excellent. The support cast comprising several familiar faces were pretty good as well. When's the DVD out?

From Wikipedia....

The Good Liar is a 2019 American crime thriller film directed and produced by Bill Condon and written by Jeffrey Hatcher, based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Searle. It stars Ian McKellen as a career con artist who meets a wealthy widow (Helen Mirren) online, and then discovers that his plan to steal her fortune has unexpected roadblocks.

Midway (2019)

A bit of a WW2 blockbuster. Pretty intense, edge of the seat stuff, one which made you appreciate the sacrifice and the bravery of countless people on all sides in the conflict. Some war films have a tendency to act as gung-ho US propaganda, but not here, with some of the Japanese characters in the conflict shown to have a human side. A few actors I knew, a few I didn't. Woody Harrelson turns in a decent performance. Nice wig - props to the make up department. He's come a long way since portraying the buffoon in Cheers. Patrick Wilson, I like though I always forget his name. Nick Jonas was pretty good, though his minor character comes to a sticky end. One of the saddest moments of the film and one which was cruel and barbaric. We do get another reminder of that side of the Japanese war effort with the massacre of 250,000 Chinese, in retaliation for helping US servicemen.

From Google....

On Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese forces launch a devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. naval base in Hawaii. Six months later, the Battle of Midway commences on June 4, 1942, as the Japanese navy once again plans a strike against American ships in the Pacific. For the next three days, the U.S. Navy and a squad of brave fighter pilots engage the enemy in one of the most important and decisive battles of World War II.

The Aeronauts (2019)

Not one that was on my must see list, but I enjoyed it once I'd watched it. I'm not really a massive Eddie Redmayne fan for some reason - I don't know why. Maybe it's just the premise of his films that doesn't really appeal to me. A bit more intense and exciting that I imagined, but not one I'd want to see a second time.

From Google.......

In 1862 headstrong scientist James Glaisher and wealthy young widow Amelia Wren mount a balloon expedition to fly higher than anyone in history. As their perilous ascent reduces their chances of survival, the unlikely duo soon discover things about themselves -- and each other -- that help both of them find their place in the world.

Sorry We Missed You (2019)

Plenty of laughs had here - not. Brutal, harsh, heart-breaking, grim and utterly devoid of hope. Britain in the 21st century with the gig economy and austerity. In a very similar vein to I, Daniel Blake. I think it should be compulsorily aired at the next Tory party conference, but I doubt it would make much of a difference. Boris and his mates would probably just chuckle. 

From Google....

Ricky and his family have been fighting an uphill struggle against debt since the 2008 financial crash. An opportunity to wrestle back some independence appears with a shiny new van and the chance to run a franchise as a self-employed delivery driver. It's hard work, and his wife's job as a carer is no easier. The family unit is strong but when both are pulled in different directions everything comes to breaking point.

Last Christmas (2019)

Watched this one the night after Sorry We Missed You and boy I needed cheering up TBH. The back drop to the film and its inspiration is George Michael and his songbook. I love a bit of Emma Thompson. Our story had more than a few ups and downs, but we know where we are heading in the end. Family unity restored and we're all better people after the incredible journey we have been on, learning life lessons as we go and how to treat and understand people better etc etc. I enjoyed it - honest.

From Wikipedia.....

Last Christmas is a 2019 romantic comedy film directed by Paul Feig and written by Bryony Kimmings and Emma Thompson, who co-wrote the story with her husband, Greg Wise. Based on the song of the same name, the film stars Emilia Clarke as a cynical Christmas store worker who forms a relationship with a mysterious man (Henry Golding) and begins to fall for him; Thompson and Michelle Yeoh also star.

Last Christmas was theatrically released in the United States on 8 November 2019 and in the United Kingdom on 15 November 2019 by Universal Pictures. It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the performances and chemistry of Clarke and Golding but criticized the screenplay, clichés, and plot twist, and has grossed $55 million worldwide.

Le Mans '66 (2019)
I saw plenty of trailers for this prior to actually going to see it and each time I managed to subsequently resist the temptation to google Le Mans '66, Ford vs Ferrari or Ken Miles. Most unlike me. I really enjoyed this one thoroughly. I do like a bit of Matt Damon and Christian Bale and neither of them disappointed. I wasn't sure how things ended up and there's a real sense of sadness how it ends for one of the characters and I'm not referring to the race result. Definitely one I'd be happy watching again. Two and hours hours which seemed like an hour. 

From Google...

American automotive designer Carroll Shelby and fearless British race car driver Ken Miles battle corporate interference, the laws of physics and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary vehicle for the Ford Motor Co. Together, they plan to compete against the race cars of Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966.
21 Bridges (2019)

I don't think I've seen the main character in anything before, or the other lead - Chadwick Boseman and Stephan James. Both were excellent. Sienna Miller features strongly and is very good. I also enjoyed seeing Taylor Kitsch (starred in mini series Waco). Drug rip-off, corrupt cops and a manhunt - my kind of film.

From Google...

After uncovering a massive conspiracy, an embattled NYPD detective joins a citywide manhunt for two young cop killers. As the night unfolds, he soon becomes unsure of who to pursue -- and who's in pursuit of him. When the search intensifies, authorities decide to take extreme measures by closing all of Manhattan's 21 bridges to prevent the suspects from escaping.

1 Midway
2 21 Bridges
3 Le Mans '66
4 The Good Liar
5 Sorry We Missed You
6 Last Christmas
7 The Aeronauts


  1. Sounds like some good viewing, Col, and I'm glad to hear it. I keep hearing that The Good Liar and Sorry We Missed You are done quite well. And a film doesn't have to be warm, uplifting, or funny at all to be well worth a view. I can think of several politicians on this side of the pond who need to see Sorry..., too...

    1. Thanks Margot. I think you might enjoy The Good Liar. I don't think enjoy would necessarily apply to Sorry We Missed You, but it's an important film.

  2. I expected THE GOOD LIAR to be good and it really delivered. MIDWAY is one I might catch on video. I found too many recent WWII movies disappointing. The others I have not seen. FORD v FERRARI is one I want to catch, but my wife has no interest. I’ll have to go on my own because it looks like a flick to see on the big screen.

    1. I saw you had posted on THE GOOD LIAR. Nice to be in agreement. I'll be keen to see what you think of MIDWAY when you get to it. Ditto FORD vs FERRARI.