Sunday 15 March 2020


Another cracking month on the cinema front.......

Eight films seen, more enjoyed than not, though there was one than nearly put me into a coma.

Richard Jewell (2019)

The best film I watched all month. Gripping and absorbing throughout with fantastic performances from Kathy Bates (Jewell's mum), Sam Rockwell (his lawyer) and Paul Walter Hauser (Richard). Jon Hamm is excellent as the lead FBI agent desperately convinced of Jewell's guilt. I really wanted to reach through the screen at points and gag Jewell as he very often presented as his own worst enemy. I really wanted to strangle Hamm - anything to get the smug, arrogant, I'm right - look off his face. 

Both my girls sobbed throughout. So much so, my wife asked one of them if she wanted to leave the screening and get some air.

Disturbing. Thank God Rockwell saves the day. One to watch again in the future.

From Google.....

During the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, security guard Richard Jewell discovers a suspicious backpack under a bench in Centennial Park. With little time to spare, he helps to evacuate the area until the incendiary device inside the bag explodes. Hailed as a hero who saved lives, Jewell's own life starts to unravel when the FBI names him the prime suspect in the bombing.

Queen & Slim (2019)
I've seen this film referenced as a black Bonnie and Clyde and I'd probably go along with that.
You can't help but sympathise with the two young kids on the run and lament the way things escalated and turned to shit at a routine traffic stop. Was I rooting for them to get away? Of course.

Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith were excellent as the two leads. I've enjoyed Kaluuya on screen before in Get Out. I think it was the first time I've seen Turner-Smith on screen. Interesting sidenote - I didin't know they were both British.

From Google......

Slim and Queen's first date takes an unexpected turn when a policeman pulls them over for a minor traffic violation. When the situation escalates, Slim takes the officer's gun and shoots him in self-defence. Now labelled cop killers in the media, Slim and Queen feel that they have no choice but to go on the run and evade the law. When a video of the incident goes viral, the unwitting outlaws soon become a symbol of trauma, terror, grief and pain for people all across the country.

Motherless Brooklyn (2019)

One I've been wanting to see for a while and which we had tickets for last year. Unfortunately a pet bereavement - losing our Scottie dog, Jim after 14 years, kind of killed the mood for a bit of cinematic entertainment. It aired at our local library theatre and boom we were there.

It's based on the Jonathan Lethem book of the same title - a book which I have but haven't read yet.

I loved pretty much everything about it........ New York in the 50s, a detective agency, a murder and an investigation, corruption, secrets, power, gentrification, urban renewal, race, history, politics and the personal story of two individuals who find love. Edward Norton is superb as the Tourette's suffering protege of murdered boss Bruce Willis. Willis is excellent as are Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin.

Another one I would happily rewatch.

From Google......

Lionel Essrog is a lonely private detective who doesn't let Tourette's syndrome stand in the way of his job. Gifted with a few clues and an obsessive mind, Lionel sets out to solve the murder of Frank Minna -- his mentor and only friend. Scouring the jazz clubs and slums of Brooklyn and Harlem, Essrog soon uncovers a web of secrets while contending with thugs, corruption and the most dangerous man in the city.

Birds of Prey (2020)
Another action flick with a female bent - a Superhero film no less. All the major characters are ladies. Margot Robbie seems to be in a lot these days. I do like her. Ewan McGregor plays the baddie. I like him, though my affection for him has waned of late. 

From the trailers, I kind of thought it looked a bit rubbish, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was a lot better than expected. Not one I would necessarily hurry to see again, but one day in the future when it pops up on the small screen and there's not much else on. 

From Google.....

It's open season on Harley Quinn when her explosive breakup with the Joker puts a big fat target on her back. Unprotected and on the run, Quinn faces the wrath of narcissistic crime boss Black Mask, his right-hand man, Victor Zsasz, and every other thug in the city. But things soon even out for Harley when she becomes unexpected allies with three deadly women -- Huntress, Black Canary and Renee Montoya.

Like a Boss (2020)

Another comedy chick-flick and one I enjoyed. I do like Rose Byrne. Friends, business, money, a temporary schism in a relationship before balance is restored and the despicable Salma Hayek is taken down a peg or two. Tiffany Haddish is very good as well.

From Google...

Best friends Mia and Mel run their own cosmetics company -- a business they built from the ground up. But they're also in over their heads financially, and the prospect of a buyout offer from an industry titan proves too tempting to pass up. The beauty business is now about to get ugly as the proposal puts Mia and Mel's lifelong friendship to the ultimate test.

The Personal History of David Copperfield (2019)

One of those films where they cram all the best bits into the trailer and the rest is absolute shite.
Was it my fault I had a dead arm covered in bruises, because my wife kept punching me to wake me up? No, it was the fault of this abomination masquerading as entertainment. 

Shocking, dire, awful. Not my cup of tea, which was disappointing because I quite like a lot of the actors who featured in it - Dev Patel, Hugh Laurie, Tilda Swinton

From Google....

The life of David Copperfield from childhood to maturity, with his own adventures and the web of friends and enemies he meets along his way.

Parasite (2019)

Won the Oscar for Best Picture. Deservedly so? I couldn't say. I did enjoy it, though it's one where I wasn't quite sure where my sympathies laid. I liked the closeness of our main family in the film. I didn't object to the subtle chicanery they employed to get positions for the son and daughter. I was less enamoured by the way they got jobs for the father and mother. I didn't like the way they took liberties as soon as they got the opportunity, as I did like the rich family that employed them all. I didn't see the twist coming.

Gripping, tense, funny in places. I'd definitely want to see it again in the future.
It was interesting seeing the disparity between the haves and the have nots.

From Wikipedia .....

Parasite (Korean: 기생충; RR: Gisaengchung) is a 2019 South Korean black comedy thriller film directed by Bong Joon-ho, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Han Jin-won. It stars Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, Jang Hye-jin, and Lee Jung-eun and follows the members of a poor family who scheme to become employed by a wealthy family by infiltrating their household and posing as unrelated, highly qualified individuals.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood (2019)

A heart-warming feel good film with Tom Hanks. Any other month I'd have this sitting a lot higher in my ranking chart. 

Humanity, warmth, kindness, compassion, respect, understanding, love - all on display in spades. All commodities we could do with a lot more of these days.

From Google......

Lloyd Vogel is an investigative journalist who receives an assignment to profile Fred Rogers, aka Mr. Rogers. He approaches the interview with skepticism, as he finds it hard to believe that anyone can have such a good nature. But Roger's empathy, kindness and decency soon chips away at Vogel's jaded outlook on life, forcing the reporter to reconcile with his own painful past.

Ranking top to bottom
1 Richard Jewell
2 Motherless Brooklynn
3 Parasite
4 Queen & Slim
5 A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood
6 Like a Boss
7 Birds of Prey
8 The Personal History of David Copperfield


  1. I'm glad most of your viewing was good, Col. You've listed a few films, too, that are on my list (We've already planned to see A Beautiful Day....). I definitely want to see both Richard Jewell and Motherless Brooklyn. I've heard great things about both of them.

    1. Margot, I think you would enjoy all three of those. I hope so.