Thursday 6 October 2016


A cracking month's viewing - only one film a DNF - well I kind of finished it as I let it play, but wasn't watching it.

Not a massive fan of the original films though they were enjoyable enough in their day. Watched with my wife and son. I quite like Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, though I would struggle to name a film I've seen her in off the top of my head. Plenty of chasing around, plenty of action and brutality and a bit less story. Nothing wrong with that - an okay film for an evening in front of the telly.

I'm a self-confessed Jason Statham fan and here he is an adaptation of one of Ken Bruen's Inspector Brant books. Another high energy film with action and a bit of bother to the fore, as he tries to nail a killer. It's funny, I'm quite forgiving of the police bending the rules in books and films. It abhors me when I read about it in real-life! A much better film in my opinion than Mad Max, or at least a much more enjoyable film - Statham 1 Hardy 0

A 1972 Clint Eastwood film and a Western to boot. Clint's the town drunk and a tracker who gets hired by a big shot to track down some troublesome agitating Mexican rebels. A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do....or is that John Wayne? Nevertheless - a really enjoyable watch. Robert Duvall's our big-shot.

Robert Duvall also stars in this 1981 film. I've always been fascinated by the D. B. Cooper story - did he survive or did he perish?  

Believe this and there's no Robin Hood fairytale ending - Has-the-mystery-of-DB-Cooper-been-solved?
An enjoyable romp with a dogged cop tracking down and losing and tracking down and losing and tracking......etc, etc our man.

From IMDB......
Jessica Barden stars in Ellen, a new feature length single drama from Channel 4, developed as part of Channel 4’s commitment to new talent, and marking the debut of breakthrough UK female talent: writer Sarah Quintrell and director Mahalia Belo.

23 year old Jessica (represented by Curtis Brown), one of Screenterrier's original teenage rising stars, was most recently seen in BBC Two's one-hour drama Murder, as well as award-winning feature The Lobster.

The new 90-minute film is a powerful, prescient story of a tough teenager, 14 year old Ellen, trying to take control of her chaotic life, but forced to grow up too quickly.

Newcomer Yasmin Monet Prince stars as Kayla, who is befriended by Ellen and becomes a form of escape. The pair form a deep friendship with the kind of unshakable intensity forged by teenage girls. But just as she’s discovered a sense of fun and freedom with Kayla. »

My take..... extremely hard-hitting, gritty, haunting, disturbing, depressing - highly recommended and one you can't shake off lightly. Topical also - I'll say no more........excellent stuff!

OK film but not a patch on the book. Some books should perhaps be left alone - easy to say with hindsight I suppose! Enjoyable but it was no LA Confidential.

From Wikipedia....The Black Dahlia is a 2006 French neo noir crime thriller film directed by Brian De Palma. It is drawn from a novel of the same name by James Ellroy, the author of L.A. Confidential, and stars Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Eckhart and Hilary Swank. The widely sensationalized murder of Elizabeth Short inspired both the novel and the film. The film's placement as the opening entry at the 63rd Venice International Film Festival on August 30, 2006, was its world premiere. Wide release was on September 15, 2006. Despite its failure — both critically and financially — the film was nominated for Best Cinematography at the 79th Academy Awards, losing to Pan's Labyrinth. Mia Kirshner's performance as the tragic Elizabeth Short was widely praised.

The obligatory horror film in the month and it wasn't too bad all in all. A little bit disturbing and unsettling, but I've seen a lot worse in my time.
A troubled widow (Essie Davis) discovers that her son is telling the truth about a monster that entered their home through the pages of a children's book.

I enjoy watching Philip Seymour Hoffman on screen and Christopher Walken always seems to have a manic,slightly off-kilter persona on screen. (He's the calm one here.) I watched it for these two alone and wasn't disappointed. Not my usual bag - a celebrated string quartet beset by illness and affairs and troubled inter-relationships and lots of friction.

Last in a gripping 4 part drama. 
A horrific double murder rocks the lives of two families living side-by-side in isolated rural Scotland. But instead of focusing on the investigation, One Of Us explores the fallout for the grieving relatives, and the dark consequences that threaten to shatter their lives.

All gets resolved and there are not too many happy ever after stories.

New Blood - BBC or was it ITV crime drama with a couple of cops. I've been limping through this one as a few family members are viewing and we're having trouble getting our stars aligned. 1 episode of a 2 parter watched - 1 to go and we're done. Enjoyable and hopefully it'll be back with a second series. 

Film of the month - Garage!
Synopsis.....Due to a learning disability, Josie's (Pat Shortt) life in a tiny town revolves around a menial job taking care of a garage that could close at any day. Things start to change, however, when David (Conor Ryan), the son of his boss' girlfriend, comes to work with him. Josie hangs out with David and his teenage friends, bringing them beer, and despite being a grown man himself, finds that the new company lifts his spirits. But his simple-mindedness blinds him to some potential legal dangers.

A 2007 film from Ireland - funny, sad, heart-warming, heart-breaking, thought provoking, entertaining - and one that stayed with me long after the closing credits. Utterly brilliant.  

Up There - looked better than it actually was. My wife stuck it for 20 mins, I said I'll watch it later. Put it on a fortnight afterwards and was overcome by CBA syndrome. It was on but I wasn't watching. My dogs might have raised an eyebrow, but I doubt it. DNF! Maybe another time with have caught me in the mood, but not going back.
Here's the plot.........
Martin welcomes the newly dead into the afterlife and he dreams of moving up. His plans of ascension are almost ruined when he and his chirpy teammate lose a soul in a seaside town.

The Third Man. I have the Graham Greene book  which I haven't read yet. Apparently the book-cum-novella was written after Greene had done the screenplay. This was either a Film 4 or TCM film during the month.  Enjoyable but I wouldn't consider it one of the greatest films ever made, which it has sometimes been tagged as. It's not even - the greatest film I ever watched during September, 2016. Trevor Howard's character was irritating.


  1. Nice variety in your viewing, Col. One of Us sounds very well done; I hope it comes this way at some point. And I agree; The Black Dahlia is a good enough film, but the book is a lot better.

    1. Margot - you would definitely enjoy ONE OF US - hopefully it comes your way at some point. Re THE BLACK DAHLIA - I don't imagine anyone sets out to make a bad film and this one wasn't bad. It just didn't hit the heights like the novel in my honest opinion.

  2. We liked Fury Road. A bit brutal and bloody for me, but Glen and Doug liked it a lot, so I will be watching it again. Many of the films you listed here sound good. I agree, I would watch a movie just for Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christopher Walken. Especially Walken. Will have to find A Late Quartet. I would like to watch Blitz after I read the book. I am also a Jason Statham fan.

    1. I hope you like A LATE QUARTET when you catch up with it Tracy. Glad to find another Jason Statham fan also.

  3. I enjoyed Fury Road. I thought Blitz was a mess. Bruen made a cameo. --K.

    1. We'll agree to disagree. I probably had lower expectations for BLITZ because not many films stack up to books I've read. It probably helped that its been years since I read it also. Never caught Bruen when watching it, maybe I'll have a sharper eye if I view it again. I also picked up a copy of LONDON BOULEVARD from the same shop, which I might watch this month. Can't remember what that book was about!

    2. Enjoyed the story and the romance in London Boulevard. Never read the book, not sure if I'm gonna. The ending is typical Bruen.

      In BLITZ, Bruen was the priest, if I remember right. Towards the end of the movie. -K.

    3. I just read the blurb for LONDON BOULEVARD and still can't remember it! (Which isn't that unusual - and which was my reason for the blog - trying to recall stuff from books I've read.)
      Jesus wept, I can barely remember the priest in the film - and that was only a fortnight ago!

    4. It wasn't a speaking role. Just a cameo. I missed him as well till someone else showed me a pic of him. Sure you can Google it and then later go: oh yeah him. --Keishon

    5. Haha - just did......"Oh yeah, him!" Cheers mate!

  4. Col – Thanks for the list. Lots to look for – GARAGE, ELLEN, and ONE OF US. As for this MAD MAX, I got 10 minutes into it and turned it off. But THE THIRD MAN is one of my favorite films.

    1. I think you'd definitely enjoy ONE OF US and ELLEN. British dramas are something we seem to be quite good at. I hope you can catch up with GARAGE also. FURY ROAD seems to divide opinion. I wonder if it did well or bombed at the box office, and whether we will or won't see another one made?
      THE THIRD MAN wouldn't be one I'd rush to watch again to be honest.

  5. Col, "Joe Kidd" and "The Black Dahlia" go on my list. I didn't care for "Mad Max; Fury Road" although it was a well-made film. I'm still under the influence of Mel Gibson's character. As for television, I don't watch serious drama.

    1. Prashant - I thought JOE KIDD might interest you. I'd be keen to hear what you think of THE BLACK DAHLIA.

      I enjoyed the MAD MAX film without being bowled over by it and have similar feelings towards the Mel Gibson ones. They were ok, but I'd sooner rewatch something like Arnie and TERMINATOR.