Monday 1 October 2018


Probably the most viewing in a month for quite some considerable time.....a few films mostly very good, a couple of TV series completed and another four started and no trips to the cinema.....  

Eric and Ernie (2011)
I must have missed this first time around but was happy to catch it 7 years after the event. I do think these two along with The Two Ronnies were some of the funniest guys on TV. I always had a soft spot for Eric Morecambe in particular - his love of Luton Town cementing his place in my affections. Never really thought Ernie Wise was his equal, but this film showed me I was wrong. Both really talented guys, Wise probably more so. Excellent performances from Victoria Wood and Vic Reeves as Eric's parents and the others, though I didn't know recognise either of the gents playing our leads.

Bring Me Sunshine..... 

From IMDB....

A telling of the fledging careers and early days of the comedy duo that was Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise, from their dance-hall performances of northern England to cult status.

The Handmaid's Tale - Season 2 (2018)

Amazing, once I heard there was a Season 3 coming, in truth it couldn't really have ended any other way. Superb acting throughout, very tense, and fairly topical IMO. Highly recommended. Just need to read the book by Margaret Atwood while I'm waiting for it.

From Radio Times....

Hulu has said that season two – which takes us beyond the endpoint of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel – will be shaped by Offred’s pregnancy and her ongoing fight to free her stolen child from the dystopian horrors of Gilead. It will consist of 13 episodes.

‘Gilead is within you’ is a favorite saying of Aunt Lydia. In season two, Offred and all our characters will fight against – or succumb to – this dark truth,” reads the synopsis.

We will also be visiting Alexis Bledel’s character Ofglen who has been exiled to the dreaded colonies.

As fans will remember, Ofglen (aka Emily) was banished to the colonies, where rebellious or “useless” women (known as “unwomen”) are sent to clean up radioactive waste.

The Sinner Season 1 (2017)
Another TV series completed and well worth the time invested in it. Loved Bill Pullman and Jessica Biel. All questions adequately answered and I guess I'll be on the lookout for Season 2 in the UK whenever that is. Oh and I'll probably have to look up the book.

From Wikipedia....

The Sinner is an American crime drama mystery television series, based on the novel of the same name by German crime writer Petra Hammesfahr. Eight episodes of the program, originally conceived of as a "close-ended series", were ordered in January 2017 and premiered on USA Network on August 2, 2017. In March 2018, the series was renewed for a second season, also of eight episodes, which premiered on August 1, 2018 and concluded on September 19, 2018.

The first season of The Sinner received two nominations at the 75th Golden Globe Awards: Best Miniseries or Television Film and Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film for Jessica Biel. Biel was also nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie.

In the first season, Detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) delves into the past of a troubled young mother (Jessica Biel), in order to determine why she stabbed a man during a beach outing but has no memory of why she committed the crime.

In the second season, Ambrose returns to his hometown, after a 13-year-old boy confesses to poisoning his parents, and learns secrets that the town's inhabitants are determined to keep buried.

Rock of Ages (2012)

Another one that passed me by first time around. Daft, stupid and very very funny. I even managed to overlook the fact that Russell Brand - the biggest bell-end ever to stroll the planet was in it. Loved a glammed up Tom Cruise.

From Google....

The songs of Journey, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and other artists underscore a tale of big dreams in Hollywood. Soon after hopping off a bus from the Midwest, aspiring singer Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough) immediately finds herself in trouble. Coming to her rescue is Drew (Diego Boneta), a bar-back at the legendary club the Bourbon Room. With stars in their eyes, the young lovers chase their dreams, but a misunderstanding involving rock god Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) threatens to tear them apart.

Tag (2018)
Actually watched at a retro cinema in Berkhamsted in August, something I managed to forget a month ago. Apparently based on a true life story - adults playing tag way past their playground years. An enjoyable night out. A bit of a middling film - not shit and not shit-hot either. I like the dude from New Girl - Jake Johnson and I like Isla Fisher. Jeremy Renner is a bit of a dick or at least his character is. I think I preferred him in Mission Impossible.

From Google....

One month every year, five highly competitive friends hit the ground running for a no-holds-barred game of tag -- risking their necks, their jobs and their relationships to take one another down. This time, the game coincides with the wedding of the only undefeated player. What should be an easy target soon becomes an all-out war as he knows they're coming to get him.

Ozark Season 1 (2017)
Four episodes out of 20 across two seasons watched so far and I'm enjoying it. I do like Jason Bateman. I loved him in Identity Thief. I've heard of his wife in this, Laura Linney but can't recall what I might have seen her in. I'm a fan of Peter Mullan as well.

From Google....

Created by Bill Dubuque ("The Accountant," "The Judge"), this drama series stars Jason Bateman as Marty Byrde, a financial planner who relocates his family from Chicago to a summer resort community in the Ozarks. With wife Wendy and their two kids in tow, Marty is on the move after a money-laundering scheme goes wrong, forcing him to pay off a substantial debt to a Mexican drug lord in order to keep his family safe. While the Byrdes' fate hangs in the balance, the dire circumstances force the fractured family to reconnect.

We're The Millers (2013)
One I've been meaning to watch for a while now and glad I did. Very, very funny. Very, very rude. We started watching it, but my mother-in-law stayed for a few days so we were unable to complete for a week. Not her cup of tea at all. Happy to watch this one again sometime soon. Jason Sudeikis is hilarious. I quite enjoy watching Jennifer Aniston. The "kids" - Emma Roberts and Will Poulter are very good.

From Google....

Small-time pot dealer David (Jason Sudeikis) learns the hard way that no good deed goes unpunished; trying to help some teens, he is jumped by thugs and loses his cash and stash. Now, David's in big debt to his supplier and -- to wipe the slate clean -- he must go to Mexico to pick up the guy's latest shipment. To accomplish his mission, Dave devises a foolproof plan: He packs a fake family into a huge RV and heads south of the border for a wild weekend that is sure to end with a bang.

Ronin (1998)
My kind of film. A bunch of thieves put together for a job. Everything not quite as it seems. Loved De Niro, loved Jean Reno. Deidre's harsh Irish accent is a bit dodgy at times. Not sure why I haven't seen this one before. I've have 20 years to get to it and failed.

From Google....

Deirdre (Natascha McElhone) puts together a team of experts that she tasks with stealing a valuable briefcase, the contents of which are a mystery. The international team includes Sam (Robert De Niro), an ex-intelligence officer, along with Vincent (Jean Reno), Gregor (Stellan Skarsgard) and others. As their operation gets underway, several team members are found to be untrustworthy, and everyone must complete the mission with a watchful eye on everyone else.

Bodyguard (2018)

Apparently this six part BBC drama was the one that recently gripped the whole nation and had everyone excitedly chatting about it the next day at work. Apparently. I'm an episode and a half into it and not really feeling it I'm afraid. I don't like Keeley Hawes' character - a controversial politician. I guess I'm not supposed to. I don't like Richard Madden the ex-service PTSD suffering bodyguard. So why bother watching it? My wife is of the same opinion. Maybe we'll give it another episode and a half before either getting hooked or irritated beyond belief. I think it was trailed as from the makers of Line of Duty. I'd rather be re-watching that if I'm honest.

From Wikipedia.....

Bodyguard is a British television drama series, created and written by Jed Mercurio and produced by World Productions for the BBC. The six-part series stars Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes. The series began broadcasting on BBC One on 26 August 2018, achieving the highest viewing figures for a new BBC drama in the multichannel era and the highest BBC viewing figures since 2008.

The BBC commissioned the series from the then independent World Productions in 2016. After ITV Studios Global Entertainment bought the company in 2017, they handle international distribution for the series. In 2018 Netflix agreed a distribution deal to broadcast the show outside the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The series is set around the fictional character of Police Sergeant David Budd, a heroic British Army war-veteran suffering from PTSD, who is now working as a specialist protection officer for the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch of London's Metropolitan Police Service. He is assigned to protect the ambitious Home Secretary Julia Montague, whose politics stand for everything he despises.

Killing Eve (2018)
One my son recommended it after he binge watched it. Two episodes in and I'm gripped. Dark, funny, gripping. Well worth giving this a go in my opinion. Sandra Oh - Eve and Jody Comer - our assassin are amazing and look hell-bent on a collision further down the line.

From Google.....

Eve's life as a spy is not adding up to what she had hoped it would be when she started. She is a bored, very smart, MI5 security officer who is very desk-bound. Villanelle is a very talented killer, mercurial in mood, who clings to the luxuries of her job. Eve and Villanelle go head to head in a fierce game of cat and mouse, each woman equally obsessed with the other as Eve is tasked with hunting down the psychopathic assassin. Sarah Barnett, BBCA president, says, " `Killing Eve' stands out in a sea of scripted stories as refreshingly entertaining and great fun."

Whiteout (2009)

Well they can't all be great can they? A more suitable title might have been Dogshit. I really struggled to actually get anything positive out of this one. Kate Beckinsale - I'm sure I've seen her before. Hopefully there will never ever be a sequel. Paid about £1 for this in either a charity shop or on a car boot sale, which was about 90p too much. A murder thriller, chiller in Antarctica without the thrills.

From IMDB....

U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko tracks a killer in Antarctica, as the sun is about to set for six months.

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair (2018)

I've had the book by Joel Dicker on my shelf untouched for about three years now and the airing of a ten part adaptation has finally spurred me on to reading the 600 plus page door stopper. I'm trying to read in sync with some weekly viewing, but am lagging behind a bit at the minute. Nearly four episodes watched so far and I'm enjoying both. I do like Patrick Dempsey - very easy on the eye as well as a decent actor.

From Wikipedia......

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair is an upcoming American mystery drama television miniseries, based on the novel of the same name by Joël Dicker, that is set to premiere on Epix. The series was directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud and stars Patrick Dempsey, Ben Schnetzer, Damon Wayans Jr., and Virginia Madsen.


The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair follows "a young writer who heads to Harry Quebert’s home for some inspiration. Instead, he finds that Harry’s been accused of murdering 15-year-old Nola Kellergan, who went missing years prior."

The Next Three Days (2010)
One I had seen before but long enough ago that I could only really recall fragments of the plot. Very very good and my kind of film. I used to be a big fan of Russell Crowe around the days of Gladiator and LA Confidential before he turned into a massive tool obsessed by his own importance. I did like him in 3:10 to Yuma and this is probably the best thing I've since him in since. There's a fleeting appearance by Liam Neeson in this. He's a big hit in our household.

From Google.....

Life for John and Lara Brennan (Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks) is miserable after she is convicted of a murder she says she did not commit. Three years later while struggling with the demands of work and raising his son alone, John is still trying to establish her innocence. When her final appeal is rejected, Lara becomes suicidal, forcing John to exercise the only option he has left: Break her out of prison.


  1. You did watch some good stuff, Col. We're the Millers turned out to be a lot more clever than I thought it would be, so I'm glad you enjoyed it. And you've reminded me of a few TV series I ought to look up. Good to hear you enjoyed what you watched.

    1. Margot thanks. Agreed on the Millers - it has a lot to recommend it. I do think you would really enjoy Harry Quebert on the small screen. I don't know if you ever read the book. And Also Killing Eve which is also based on a series of books by Luke Jennings.

  2. Col, I liked THE NEXT THREE DAYS in spite of the incongruous plot. WHITEOUT was decent and Tom Skerritt makes a good character actor. I was in two minds about OZARK but now I think I'll watch it on Netflix.

    1. TNTD - agreed the plot was a little bit of a stretch maybe, but I was happy to go along with it. WHITEOUT - we really didn't enjoy, my wife and daughter would have bailed, but I kept hoping it might improve. It didn't. OZARK - I would heartily recommend.

  3. I loved We're the Millers, it was clever and hilarious. Also enjoyed The Bodyguard (though trailed off at the end) - did it get any better for you? And well ensconced in Killing Eve too. A good season for TV round here.

    1. Loved the "Millers" all the family had already seen it apart from me - don't know how that happened. We haven't yet got back to the Bodyguard. My son watched the first the other night and thought it was very cliched. Still undecided on watching more or not. Killing Eve is ten times better.

  4. Col – Thanks for the post. ERIC & ERNIE – I’ve got to see it. Love British comedy. RONIN – saw it in the movies, own it on DVD, great film

    1. Elgin, I think you would enjoy it then. I found it fascinating getting a glimpse of their lives before they became famous. I'd happily re-watch RONIN.

  5. I too enjoyed Ronin, and actually I quite enjoyed Whiteout too, even though no one else did. Must check out The Next Three Days.

    1. I suppose it would be a dull old world if we all liked the same thing. At least we agreed on something.

  6. We haven't watched much in this list. We did watch Ronin shortly after it came out and liked it a lot, but haven't watched it recently. We liked Whiteout, but I have seen other bad reviews, so guess it wasn't for everyone. I definitely want to watch Killing Eve... someday.

    1. What a relief to learn that someone else in the world enjoyed Whiteout, Tracy! It's been almost universally panned, yet I thought it was a perfectly good way to spend 90 minutes, or whatever.

    2. Tracy, that's you John and Prashant with a thumbs up for WHITEOUT, it must be me then! I would recommend KILLING EVE.