Thursday 7 April 2022


Another decent month's outings....

A couple of comedies, both based on actual events; an exciting action thriller albeit with a weak plot; a horror/slasher film and a Batman film.

The Duke (2020)

This one was a Saturday morning film outing, a bit of a time filler and one I had low expectations for and was one I enjoyed a lot more than I expected to.

Based on real events, the theft of a famous painting back in the early 60s. Family, social activism and a healthy disrespect for authority. Loved Jim Broadbent, but then I have in pretty much everything I've seen him in. Helen Mirren is excellent as well. She never comes across as warm or cuddly or especially domesticated in anything. Here she's a wife and mother, but still seems slightly disconnected from her family. I suppose in times of economic uncertainty and with a feckless husband, a marriage can't afford for both participants to be idealists or dreamers.   

From Google...

In 1961, a 60-year-old taxi driver steals Goya's portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London. He sends ransom notes saying that he will return the painting if the government invests more in care for the elderly.

The Batman (2022)

Another kind of SuperHero film though with no real superpowers on display. I like seeing Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine) on screen and Robert Pattinson is very good. I still find these films over-long and a bit self indulgent. I'm sure it could have been half an hour shorter without affecting the film in any appreciable way. Too much enigmatic, naval gazing IMO. If it had been a film I was watching at home it wouldn't be a problem as you can hit pause and get up stretch your legs, put the kettle on and have a comfort break. In the cinema any of the above means you miss some of the tale. 

About par for the course. I enjoyed it, I didn't love it. I won't be buying the DVD when it drops.

From Google...

Batman ventures into Gotham City's underworld when a sadistic killer leaves behind a trail of cryptic clues. As the evidence begins to lead closer to home and the scale of the perpetrator's plans become clear, he must forge new relationships, unmask the culprit and bring justice to the abuse of power and corruption that has long plagued the metropolis.

The Phantom of the Open (2021)

Another comedy film based on real live events as amateur golfer, Maurice Flitcroft makes absolute mugs of the R&A back in the 70s. I do like a film with a sporting backdrop.

You can go far to achieving your dreams with the a supportive family.

From Wikipedia and Google...

The Phantom of the Open is a 2021 British biographical comedy-drama film directed by Craig Roberts, about the exploits of Maurice Flitcroft. The screenplay by Simon Farnaby was based upon the biography The Phantom of the Open: Maurice Flitcroft, The World's Worst Golfer by Farnaby and Scott Murray. The film stars Mark Rylance, Sally Hawkins, Rhys Ifans, Jake Davies, Christian Lees, Jonah Lees, Mark Lewis Jones and Johann Myers. (Wikipedia)

Amateur golfer Maurice Flitcroft achieves his late-in-life goal of participating in the British Open Golf Championship, much to the ire of the staid golfing community. (Google)

X (2022)

I loved this one. My daughter thought it was poor, my wife hated it - absolute rubbish I think she said. Why am I the only one with any taste in our household?

A few scares, plenty of tension and an enjoyable story. If it was a book I'd definitely read it.

Liked the story, the setting, the characters, the backdrop of the 70s and the recurrent evangelism which gives a real contect to the plot. 

From Wikipedia...

X is a 2022 American slasher film written, directed, produced, and edited by Ti West. It stars Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, Martin Henderson, Brittany Snow, Owen Campbell, Stephen Ure, and Scott Mescudi. The film's plot follows a cast and crew who gather to make a pornographic film on an elderly couple's rural Texas property, but find themselves threatened by a killer.

X was filmed in New Zealand, with production primarily taking place in Fordell. Its score was composed by Tyler Bates and Chelsea Wolfe. The film had its world premiere at South by Southwest (SXSW) on March 13, 2022, and was theatrically released in the United States on March 18, 2022, by A24. It received generally positive reviews, with critics noting its homages to 20th-century slasher films, in particular 1974's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

Ambulance (2022)

I do like an action thriller and one with a heist at its heart puts a lot of ticks in the boxes for me. 

Plenty of action here, a decent story, but a few plotholes which I struggled to get past.

We have a wounded cop hostage in the back of the ambulance and the fleeing robbers with the help of an emotionally disconnected paramedic struggle manfully for most of the film it seems to keep this particular cop alive, while apparently indifferent to inflicting pain, injury and death on all the pursuing cops that are chasing after them. How does that make any sense?

Our paramedic separates herself emotionally from her patients, which I understand, but maybe an hour and forty minutes later ie the duration of the film has managed to rediscover some sense of self and feels the urge to visit and comfort the first casualty - a child and car accident victim - we encountered at the start of the film. Cue poignant and emotional hand squeeze through tear-filled eyes and painful grimace. It's been an incredible healing journey. Yeah right.

I liked the two main leads/robbers - Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. The paramedic - Eiza González - is pretty good as well.

From Google...

Needing money to cover his wife's medical bills, a decorated veteran teams up with his adoptive brother to steal $32 million from a Los Angeles bank. However, when their getaway goes spectacularly wrong, the desperate thieves hijack an ambulance that's carrying a severely wounded cop and an EMT worker. Caught in a high-speed chase, the two siblings must figure out a way to outrun the law while keeping their hostages alive.


1. X

2. The Duke

3, The Phantom of the Open

4. Ambulance

5. The Batman


  1. The Duke sounds really good. Do you know when it is coming to DVD or to a streaming service?

    1. Kate thanks for stopping by and commenting. Sadly, no I can't help on a date. The DVD is listed on Amazon, but without a release date I'm afraid!

  2. I'll admit, I'm not much of a one for slasher films, Col, so X would not appeal, even if it's really well done. Perhaps I'm too closed-minded.... The Duke looks great, though, and I do like Helen Mirren a lot, so that in itself would be a draw for me. I'm hoping it comes this way at some point!

    1. I can understand how that type of film isn't your vibe, Margot and TBH I don't watch many of them myself. I felt there was a bit more too it than just a slash/maim/mutilate type of flick.

      I hope The Duke comes your way at some point as I do think you would like it. The fact that it's based on real events adds another layer of enjoyment to the thing.