Sunday 20 March 2022


 A busy month with seven outings to the flicks in total and no stinkers among them...

Nightmare Alley (2021)

Really good, really enjoyable. Loved Bradley Cooper and Toni Collette. I liked the moodiness of the film, the setting and the real noir vibe to the story. You know something is going to go badly wrong (and it does), you just don't know what. The final outcome is a wee bit predictable, but it couldn't really end any other way. It gives a symmetry to the film. I'll have to dig out my copy of the book for a read sometime.

From Wikipedia....

Nightmare Alley is a 2021 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Guillermo del Toro from a screenplay by del Toro and Kim Morgan, based on the 1946 novel of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham, being the second feature film adaptation of Gresham's novel, following the 1947 version. A co-production between Searchlight Pictures, TSG Entertainment, and Double Dare You Productions, the film stars Bradley Cooper as a charming and ambitious carnival worker with a mysterious past who takes big risks to boost his career. Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Rooney Mara, Ron Perlman, Mary Steenburgen, and David Strathairn also star.

The King's Man (2021)

Another film that didn't get great reviews, but which me and the wife enjoyed. Probably my favourite of the three in the King's Man franchise. Some great comedy moments, particularly with the goat.

From Wikipedia...

The King's Man is a 2021 spy action film directed by Matthew Vaughn from a screenplay by Vaughn and Karl Gajdusek and a story by Vaughn. The third installment in the British Kingsman film series, which is based on the comic book The Secret Service (later retitled to Kingsman) by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, it is a prequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014) and Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017). Its ensemble cast includes Ralph Fiennes (also one of its executive producers), Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans, Matthew Goode, Tom Hollander, Harris Dickinson, Daniel Brühl, Djimon Hounsou, and Charles Dance. It focuses on several events during World War I and the birth of the Kingsman organization.

Sing 2 (2021)

I was in two minds as to whether to join my wife and one of our daughter's for a Sunday morning matinee, but was glad I did. 

From Wikipedia...

Sing 2 is a 2021 American computer-animated jukebox musical comedy film produced by Illumination, and distributed by Universal Pictures. It is the sequel to Sing. It was written and directed by Garth Jennings and co-directed by Christophe Lourdelet. The film stars an ensemble cast consisting of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton, Tori Kelly, Nick Kroll, Jennings, Peter Serafinowicz, Jennifer Saunders, and Nick Offerman, reprising their roles from the first film. The sequel also features new characters voiced by Bobby Cannavale, Spike Jonze, Pharrell Williams, Halsey, Chelsea Peretti, Letitia Wright, Eric André, Adam Buxton, and Bono. Like the previous film, Sing 2 features songs from many artists, most of which are performed diegetically. The story is set after the events of the previous film, where Buster Moon and his group put on a show in Redshore City while working to impress an entertainment mogul and enlist a reclusive rock star to perform.

The Matrix Resurrections (2021)

I do like Keanu Reeves and I admire him as a good person, maybe a bit more than for his acting skills. Pretty sure I've seen and enjoyed all the previous Matrix films but a long long time ago. This was ok and I would have been wondering what I'd missed if I hadn't seen it. Too long IMO, but I enjoyed it overall.

From Wikipedia...

The Matrix Resurrections is a 2021 American science fiction action film produced, co-written, and directed by Lana Wachowski. It is the sequel to The Matrix Revolutions (2003) and the fourth installment in The Matrix film franchise. Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Lambert Wilson reprise their roles from the previous films, and they are joined by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas. The film is set sixty years after Revolutions and follows Neo, who lives a seemingly ordinary life as a video game developer having trouble with distinguishing fantasy from reality. A group of rebels, with the help of a programmed version of Morpheus, free Neo from a new version of the Matrix and fight a new enemy that holds Trinity captive.

Licorice Pizza (2021)

I had heard great things about this one beforehand and while I really liked it, I don't think it quite lived up to the hype. It was hilarious in places and I loved the 70s vibe. I could relate to the awkwardness of young love, and attraction and raging hormones.

From Wikipedia...

Licorice Pizza is a 2021 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It stars Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman in their film debuts, alongside an ensemble supporting cast including Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Bradley Cooper, and Benny Safdie.

Licorice Pizza was released in the United States in select theaters on November 26, 2021, and had wider release on December 25, 2021. The film received acclaim from critics and received three nominations at the 94th Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. It also received three awards from the National Board of Review, including Best Film, was named one of the best films of 2021 by the American Film Institute, and received four nominations at the 79th Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, along with eight nominations at the 27th Critics' Choice Awards, including Best Picture, where it won Best Comedy. It also received five nominations at the 75th British Academy Film Awards, where it won Best Original Screenplay. It is also MGM's first fully produced, marketed and distributed film to be nominated for Best Picture in 33 years, after 1988's Best Picture winner Rain Man.

Belfast (2021)

I really liked this. My wife was bored to tears. A bit slow in places, actually all places and boring to boot, she felt. Me, I found the story being told interesting. A prelude to the troubles, agitation, unrest and a stirring up of sectarianism with Catholics being forced out of their homes in a form of non-lethal ethnic cleansing. Neighbours forced to turn on neighbours. Also about the lack of opportunity in Belfast at the time and the need to emigrate for opportunity. I had family flee the city in the late 60s/early 70s so could relate.

From Wikipedia...

Belfast is a 2021 British/Irish coming-of-age drama film written and directed by Kenneth Branagh. The film stars Caitríona Balfe, Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds, Colin Morgan, and newcomer Jude Hill. The film, which Branagh has described as his "most personal film", follows a young boy's childhood in Belfast, Northern Ireland at the beginning of The Troubles in 1969.

The 355 (2022)

An ok movie. One for the PC brigade maybe. I don't need a film to tell me how strong women can be. I see it every day with my wife and two daughters. 

From Wikipedia...

The 355 is a 2022 American spy film directed by Simon Kinberg from a screenplay by Theresa Rebeck and Kinberg, and a story by Rebeck. The film stars Jessica Chastain, Penélope Cruz, Fan Bingbing, Diane Kruger, and Lupita Nyong'o as a group of international spies who must work together to stop a terrorist organization from starting World War III. Édgar Ramírez and Sebastian Stan also star. The title is derived from Agent 355, the codename of a female spy for the Patriots during the American Revolution.


1. Nightmare Alley

2. Licorice Pizza

3. Belfast

4. The King's Man

5. Sing 2

6. The 355

7. The Matrix Resurrections


  1. I like Keanu Reeves, too, Col, as a person as much as anything else. I have to say I'm not the biggest fan of the Matrix series, but still... And I can see how you'd like Nightmare Alley; it does sound like a suspenseful film, and I've heard from other people, too, that it's quite good. Glad you had some good viewing this time round.

    1. Margot, I like him because he is so respectful towards his co-stars and female fans. He hasn't used his fame or position to take advantage of people. I prefer his John Wick films to the Matrix series. I do like a good shoot, beat 'em action flick I'm afraid! You may well enjoy Nightmare Alley.