Saturday 2 December 2017


A few more films and a TV series enjoyed last month......

Daddy's Home (2015)
Daughter number one had insisted we watch this one ahead of the recent release of the second one. I do like Mark Wahlberg - a bit more than Will Ferrell, though to be fair I liked him in Blades of Glory a few years back. The pair made a comedy cop film - The Other Guys - a few years ago which I enjoyed and the formula here is kind of the same. Wahlberg - cool and relaxed, Ferrell - an uptight nerd. Enjoyable and worse ways of spending an hour or two.

From Google….

Brad Taggart (Will Ferrell) is a kindhearted radio executive who wants to be the best possible stepfather to his wife's (Linda Cardellini) two children. When her freewheeling ex-husband Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) breezes back into town, Brad's feeling of insecurity quickly develops into an inferiority complex. As Dusty demonstrates his flair for athletics, home repair and bad-boy charisma, Taggart finds himself in a no-holds-barred battle to one-up his rival and win the approval of his family.

Daddy's Home 2 (2017)
My one and only cinema trip in the month and whilst not the best film ever, I was laughing like a drain at various intervals - I do like this double act. On a par with the first in the series in my opinion. I wasn't expecting to take to Mel Gibson, but I enjoyed his role as one of the Granddads in this. John Lithgow was the other. Good but not as funny as Gibson.

From Wikipedia…..

Daddy's Home 2 is a 2017 American Christmas comedy film directed by Sean Anders and written by Anders and John Morris. It stars Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini, John Cena, John Lithgow, and Mel Gibson. It is a sequel to Daddy's Home (2015). Unlike its predecessor, Red Granite Pictures was not involved in the film's production. The plot follows Brad and Dusty (Ferrell and Wahlberg), now co-parenting Dusty's kids, who have to deal with their own fathers (Lithgow and Gibson) visiting for the holidays.

Stranger Things Season 2 (2017)
A family binge watch in 3 shifts, 10 episodes, the last stint involving 5 in a row - I had forgotten there were two 11 o'clocks in the one day. Uber-tired the next day, as I'm usually tucked up before 10! Monsters in the world upside down. Loved the friendships between the kids and enjoyed David Harbour and Winona Ryder in their roles. It was pretty cool seeing Sean Astin, better known in our family as Doug from 50 First Dates - a firm Keane family favourite.

From Wikipedia…

Stranger Things is an American science fiction-horror web television series created, written, directed and co-executive produced by the Duffer Brothers, as well as co-executive produced by Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen. The first season, released in July 2016, stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Cara Buono and Matthew Modine, with Noah Schnapp and Joe Keery in recurring roles. For the second season, Schnapp and Keery were promoted to series regulars, along with the additions of Sadie Sink, Dacre Montgomery, Sean Astin and Paul Reiser.

Set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana in the 1980s, the first season focuses on the investigation into the disappearance of a young boy amid supernatural events occurring around the town including the appearance of a girl with psychokinetic abilities who helps the missing boy's friends in their own search. The second season, titled Stranger Things 2, is set a year after the first, and deals with attempts of the characters to return to normal and consequences that linger from the first season.

The Lookout (2007)
Recorded off the small screen a month or two ago and finally watched. I was enjoying it, but had to pause as my wife wasn't happy seeing our damaged main lead taken advantage of - uncomfortable viewing. I convinced her that it would be all right in the end. I can't recall seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt in anything previously, but he's pretty damn good here. Ditto Jeff Daniels and the menacing Matthew Goode. My best film in the month.

From IMDB…

Chris is a once promising high school athlete whose life is turned upside down following a tragic accident. As he tries to maintain a normal life, he takes a job as a janitor at a bank, where he ultimately finds himself caught up in a planned heist.

On The Waterfront (1954)
Another one recorded and watched a month or two afterwards. Iconic film and the first time I can ever recall seeing Marlon Brando on screen. Well worth a watch. It's a powerful film though a bit dated now. Karl Malden seems to look the same age - about 50 in everything I've ever seen him in.

From Wikipedia….

On the Waterfront is a 1954 American crime drama film directed by Elia Kazan and written by Budd Schulberg. It stars Marlon Brando and features Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, Pat Henning, and, in her film debut, Eva Marie Saint. The soundtrack score was composed by Leonard Bernstein. The film was suggested by "Crime on the Waterfront" by Malcolm Johnson, a series of articles published in November–December 1948 in the New York Sun which won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting, but the screenplay by Budd Schulberg is directly based on his own original story. The film focuses on union violence and corruption amongst longshoremen while detailing widespread corruption, extortion, and racketeering on the waterfronts of Hoboken, New Jersey.

On the Waterfront was a critical and commercial success and received twelve Academy Award nominations, winning eight, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Brando, Best Supporting Actress for Saint, and Best Director for Kazan. In 1997 it was ranked by the American Film Institute as the eighth-greatest American movie of all time and in AFI's 2007 list it was ranked 19th. It is Bernstein's only original film score not adapted from a stage production with songs.

21 (2008)
Another one recorded well before a certain Hollywood A-star's fall from grace. I may have seen it before as the last few scenes seemed familiar. I do like Jim Sturgess - my heart broke alongside his in One Day. I like Lawrence Fishburne also. Kevin Spacey... I'm so disappointed in you. His character is a dick in this one. Art imitating life surely. Based on a book and apparently a true story, sort of - Ben Mezrich's Bringing Down the House. Its on the pile somewhere.

From Google……

Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess), a brilliant student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, needs some quick cash to pay his tuition bills. He joins a group of students who, under the leadership of unorthodox professor Mickey Rosa (Kevin Spacey), use their math skills to win big in Las Vegas. Seduced by a beautiful teammate (Kate Bosworth) and loads of money, Ben learns that the stakes are higher than he ever imagined when he crosses paths with casino enforcer Cole Williams (Laurence Fishburne).


  1. Dated or not, Col, I agree that On the Waterfront is a powerful film, and well worth the view. I like Mark Wahlberg, too, although I've not seen the Daddy's Home films. I think he's done a lot of solid evolution from his days as a rapper!

    1. I'm really glad I watched it Margot and I may have been a little harsh in my comment. I expect the plot point would be valid for a few decades more at least in respect of some of the powerful labour unions in the States.
      Walhberg has definitely come a long way since the Marky Mark days. I think he has matured as a person as well as an actor. He made a few mistakes as a young man.

  2. Blades Of Glory is one of my favourite films- as camp as a row of tents! I haven't seen Will F in much else but this one looks worth a gander.

    1. Blades of Glory is a great one. My son is a big fan of Anchorman, but I'm a bit indifferent to those two. Elf is good fun.

  3. I have never seen On the Waterfront and I would like to someday. I have not seen any of your movies or episodes watched in November. I might like Daddy's Home and maybe the 2nd one even more, but I am not sure I can get anyone in my household to watch them.

    1. The Daddy's Home films are just played for laughs and we could all do with some of them I think. I reckon On the Waterfront might be more up your street though.