Friday 13 March 2020


Some cracking films were enjoyed in January.

Seven trips to the cinema in all...... criminals, war, Nazis, injustice in several forms, horror and cops

The Gentlemen (2019)
First film of the year and probably one of the best I shall see in 2020. Great cast. Cracking story and plenty of laughs, action, tension that made it a brilliant couple of hours entertainment. I like Matthew McConaughey and Colin Farrell anyway. I've always enjoyed seeing Eddie Marsan on screen. Charlie Hunnam and Michelle Dockery are less well known to me, but were very good. 

Hugh Grant had me laughing like a drain, as his character, a slimy journalist tries to play all the angles to get a big pay off. I bet Grant had a lot of fun playing the role, particularly considering his battles with newspapers over phone tapping. All that was missing was Piers Morgan getting locked in the big freezer.

From Google.....

Mickey Pearson is an American expatriate who became rich by building a highly profitable marijuana empire in London. When word gets out that he's looking to cash out of the business, it soon triggers an array of plots and schemes -- including bribery and blackmail -- from shady characters who want to steal his domain.

1917 (2019)

Tense and exciting with the horrors of war brought closely into focus as we follow two soldiers on a mission. Definitely keeps you gripped throughout. Very good. I'd watch it again in a few years when it pops up on the small screen. I wouldn't rush to buy a copy of it though.

From Google.....

During World War I, two British soldiers -- Lance Cpl. Schofield and Lance Cpl. Blake -- receive seemingly impossible orders. In a race against time, they must cross over into enemy territory to deliver a message that could potentially save 1,600 of their fellow comrades -- including Blake's own brother.

Jojo Rabbit (2019)
I quite liked the trailers I saw for this. My wife was less taken, so off I popped on my own after work one evening. Hmm.... it was okay, but ultimately it felt a bit off. Nazis, Hitler, nationalism, pride and a young boy, with his single mother hiding a Jewish girl.

Horrible things happen and because the film is a comedy of sorts - not that I find Hitler particularly amusing anyway - they kind of lose their impact. I think the film would have worked better for me if it had been played more seriously. Can't blame them for trying something a bit different, but it didn't really work for me.

From Google.....

Jojo is a lonely German boy who discovers that his single mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic. Aided only by his imaginary friend -- Adolf Hitler -- Jojo must confront his blind nationalism as World War II continues to rage on.

Just Mercy (2019)

Another disturbing and powerful film...... a true story about racism and injustice and a man who has been battling it all his working life - Bryan Stevenson - a fucking hero. Great performances from Michael B. Jordan as Stevenson and Jamie Foxx as Walter McMillian. I was interested to see Anthony Ray Hinton pop up in the story. I bought his book - The Sun Does Shine, a year or so back. Not read it yet. Hinton was incarcerated for many years for crimes he did not commit.

It's a film and a story that stays with you long after the credits roll. I wouldn't say I'm a massive fan of the American legal system. There does seem to be a worringly high proportion of miscarriages of justice, if Stevenson's work of the past 30 years is anything to go by. 

From Google.......

After graduating from Harvard, Bryan Stevenson heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or those not afforded proper representation. One of his first cases is that of Walter McMillian, who is sentenced to die in 1987 for the murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite evidence proving his innocence. In the years that follow, Stevenson encounters racism and legal and political maneuverings as he tirelessly fights for McMillian's life.

Bombshell (2019)

Very powerful and very uncomfortable viewing in places - think Margot Robbie alone in Ailes' office. Sexual harrassment, power, office politics, career, ambition, abuse of position and more. 

It's creepy, disturbing, upsetting and you can't help but relate to your own daughters and wife in the workplace, one of whom has encountered similar treatment in the past. All three leads - Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie are superb. As is John Lithgow as Ailes. You do cheer when he gets his comeuppance. 

From Wikipedia....

Bombshell is a 2019 American biographical drama film directed by Jay Roach and written by Charles Randolph. The film stars Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, and Margot Robbie, and is based upon the accounts of the women at Fox News who set out to expose CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment.

The Turning (2020)

An adaptation or interpretation of the Henry James' story The Turn of the Screw. Not especially scary or memorable in any aspect. An okay film, that got us out of the house for an evening, or an afternoon whichever it was. I quite liked to see one of the kids from Stranger Things on the big screen.

From Google.....

Kate Mandell takes a job as a nanny for two young orphans at an isolated Gothic mansion in the Maine countryside. She soon learns that the children -- Miles and Flora -- are emotionally distant and unstable. When strange events start to plague Kate and the siblings, she begins to suspect that the estate's dark corridors are home to a malevolent entity.

Bad Boys For Life (2020)

Does what it says on the tin ...... action, violence, banter, comedy, a plot that is a bit of a stretch. I do like Martin Lawrence. I loved him as Big Momma. Will Smith - I think I've got a bit bored with.

From Google.....

The wife and son of a Mexican drug lord embark on a vengeful quest to kill all those involved in his trial and imprisonment -- including Miami Detective Mike Lowrey. When Mike gets wounded, he teams up with partner Marcus Burnett and AMMO -- a special tactical squad -- to bring the culprits to justice. But the old-school, wisecracking cops must soon learn to get along with their new elite counterparts if they are to take down the vicious cartel that threatens their lives.

Ranking top to bottom
1. The Gentlemen
2. Just Mercy
3. 1917
4. Bombshell
5. Bad Boys For Life
6. The Turning
7. Jojo Rabbit


  1. I keep hearing such great things about The Gentlemen, Col. I'm annoyed with myself I've not seen it yet, but I'm very glad it lived up to the promise for you. It's also good to hear you had some other good 'uns, too.

    1. Margot, it will be worth it when you eventually do. I hope so at least.

  2. I haven't seen any of these movies and the one I probably would like the best would be The Gentlemen. I had not heard of it so now I will be on the lookout for it. It has been ages since we watched a movie in the theater.

    1. Tracy, I think I've been to the cinema more times in the past 6 months than the previous 10 years. I'm glad my wife and I took out a monthly subscription. I think The Gentlemen would appeal to all crime fiction fans.