Thursday, 1 November 2018

OCTOBER 2018 - FILMS + TV

A trip to the cinema, a BBC 4-part drama, a continuation of a couple of other TV series, the commencement of another two, two films with some hard-hitting social commentary and difficult issues and content, an iconic film from the early 70s and the film of one of the most hyped crime fiction thrillers of recent years.......

The Cry (2018) - BBC Drama series
Took over on Sunday nights where the disappointing Bodyguard left off. We watched this four part drama with the pretty amazing Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who) as the young mother with a controlling fiancee and a missing baby. Based on the Helen Fitzgerald book of the same name. I'd heard of the book but didn't know the story so it was all fresh. Very tense, very watchable, decent pay-off at the end. Not especially minded to try the book now.

From IMDB....

The disappearance of a baby from a small coastal town in Australia is the catalyst for a journey into the disintegrating psychology of a young couple as they deal with an unthinkable tragedy under both the white light of public scrutiny and behind closed doors.



The Girl on the Train (2016) - film
An at home movie night with this one that caused a bit of a buzz book-wise a few years ago. Paula Hawkins book was hot stuff in 2015. I have a copy somewhere but haven't rushed to read it. My two girls saw this at the cinema when it came out, but the wife and I hadn't. I was slightly puzzled at the start of the film and it was one where I made them pause it a few times to ask some questions, before being told - shut up and watch. We did enjoy it without it being the best film ever. I'm a bit of an Emily Blunt fan and she is very good as the main character. I think I'll have to re-watch Sunshine Cleaning soon, as that's still my favourite film of hers, not that I've seen too much of her otherwise - Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and The Devil Wears Prada is about all I can remember.

From Wikipedia...

The Girl on the Train is a 2016 American mystery thriller drama film directed by Tate Taylor and written by Erin Cressida Wilson, based on Paula Hawkins' 2015 debut novel of the same name. The film stars Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Allison Janney, Édgar Ramírez and Lisa Kudrow. The film follows an alcoholic divorcée who becomes involved in a missing persons investigation.



Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) - film
An early birthday treat from one of my daughter - a double date with her, her boyfriend and my wife. Dinner at Nando's and this at the cinema on a Friday night. My kind of film, I could quite happily have sat through it again when it finished, unfortunately it was the last viewing of the evening and I don't think you can do that anymore. Probably my favourite film of 2018 so far, I'm adding the DVD to my Christmas list! Jeff Bridges is stand-out as the dodgy priest. Chris Hemsworth is amazing as a hypnotic, cult leader and a thoroughly bad egg, but honestly all the cast are brilliant. Reminded me a bit of Tarantino in the way things unfolded. If there's a book I need to read it!


From Google....

The El Royale is run-down hotel that sits on the border between California and Nevada. It soon becomes a seedy battleground when seven strangers -- a cleric, a soul singer, a traveling salesman, two sisters, the manager and the mysterious Billy Lee -- converge on a fateful night for one last shot at redemption before everything goes wrong.


American Horror Story Season 8 - Apocalypse - TV series

My family have watched the first seven series and I've kind sat on the settee dipping in and out and with my head stuck in a book. Maybe I'll pay attention this time around. I do like the theme of the returning cast. Sarah Paulson and Kathy Bates are superb, as is Evan Peters. I'm not a massive fan of post-Apocalyptic, dystopian future books, maybe a TV series is the way to get involved then. Not much detail in the online info available about this series other than analysis of individual episodes. Anyway the nuclear bomb or several have dropped and our focus is on some of the survivors. One episode down so far, let's hope I stay tuned!

From Wikipedia.....

American Horror Story: Apocalypse is the eighth season of the FX horror anthology television series American Horror Story. It was announced on January 12, 2017, and premiered on September 12, 2018.

Returning cast members from previous seasons include Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Evan Peters, Adina Porter, Emma Roberts, Cheyenne Jackson, Billy Eichner, Leslie Grossman, Billie Lourd, Jessica Lange, Taissa Farmiga, Gabourey Sidibe, Lily Rabe, Frances Conroy, Stevie Nicks, Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Erika Ervin, Wayne Pére, Naomi Grossman, Mena Suvari, Sam Kinsey, and Celia Finkelstein, along with new cast member Cody Fern.



The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair (2018) - TV series
I'm trying not to read too far ahead of my viewing, though I've reached a point in the book where I just want to read the bloody thing - 512 pages out of a 640 page book, the last 25 or so which are interviews and all round guff. Who is responsible for Nola's death? I have a few theories, which I've played out on my daughter. She actually looked up who did what to whom on her phone, but she's keeping schtum for now. By the time I post this, I will probably have watched 9 of the 10 episodes with the finale airing first week of November, so I still won't know. I'm liking Patrick Dempsey's portrayal of Harry Quebert, but not particularly his character. What intelligent thirty something year old man involves himself with a fifteen year old girl? I'm familar with a few of the cast Ron Perlman and Damon Wayans Jr. Loving both book and the adaptation, hard to choose a favourite.

*Newsflash - I've finished reading the novel, one of my possible scenarios was correct, though there was another twist of less related to the murder that I didn't see coming. Still keen to watch the TV finale and I don't think I've spoiled things for myself.

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.

Premise


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."



Ozark Season 1 (2017) - TV series
Gone slightly off the boil with this one - only one episode watched in the month. My wife thinks it's a bit slow. I think I maybe ought to watch it on my own. I'm happy with slow, I like slow. Slow is sometimes good. Jason Bateman and Laura Linney are very watchable.


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.





Deliverance (1972)





I've read the book by James Dickey once and this was probably my third time watching the film, though it's been at least a decade since I last watched it. I enjoyed it again and couldn't recall all the finer details of the second half of the film. I loved Burt Reynolds, I loved Jon Voight and Ned Beatty. It was my first time watching this with my children (adults), it was uncomfortable for them. A lot less easy watching a scene of violence and intimidation and male rape than a horror film with a vampire. Real life can be a hundred times more frightening.

From Google....

Four city-dwelling friends (Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox) decide to get away from their jobs, wives and kids for a week of canoeing in rural Georgia. When the men arrive, they are not welcomed by the backwoods locals, who stalk the vacationers and savagely attack them in the woods. Reeling from the ambush, the friends attempt to return home but are surrounded by dangerous rapids and pursued by a madman. Soon, their canoe trip turns into a fight for survival.



I, Daniel Blake (2016)
Director Ken Loach has a reputation for being a tad to the left of centre to put it mildly. I suppose you can appreciate a film more if you have a similar political outlook, or at worst a shred of humanity about you. Preachy if you like, but very powerful and thought provoking. You would hope it might melt the hardest of hearts, but you'd probably be hoping in vain.

From Google.....

Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) is a 59-year-old widowed carpenter who must rely on welfare after a recent heart attack leaves him unable to work. Despite his doctor's diagnosis, British authorities deny Blake's benefits and tell him to return to his job. As Daniel navigates his way through an agonizing appeal process, he begins to develop a strong bond with a destitute, single mother (Hayley Squires) who's struggling to take care of her two children.



Manchester by the Sea (2016)
Another tough watch, but compelling. Grief, guilt and how you learn to live with them both. Pass the tissues...

From Wikipedia...

Manchester by the Sea is a 2016 American drama film written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan with a story by Matt Damon and John Krasinski, and starring Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, and Lucas Hedges. The plot follows a man after his brother dies and he is entrusted with caring for his teenage nephew. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2016, and was soon picked up by Amazon Studios for distribution. Manchester by the Sea was filmed during March and April of 2015 in the Massachusetts town of the same name as well as Beverly, Essex, Gloucester, Swampscott, Lynn, Middleton, Tewksbury, and Salem, Massachusetts. It began a limited release on November 18, 2016, before a wide release on December 16, 2016. It grossed $79 million worldwide against an $8.5 million budget.

The picture received critical praise and was widely counted among the best films of 2016. Critics particularly complimented the performances of Affleck, Williams, and Hedges, as well as Lonergan's screenplay and direction. At the 89th Academy Awards, the film won awards for Best Actor (Affleck) and Best Original Screenplay with additional nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Hedges), and Best Supporting Actress (Williams). Affleck also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor and the film itself was nominated in four other categories at the Golden Globes. The British Academy Film Awards nominated the picture six times, with Affleck winning Best Actor in a Leading Role and Lonergan winning Best Original Screenplay.




Dark Heart (2018) - ITV 6 part drama
First episode watched last night and an okay start so I'll be tuning in next week. Not too familiar with any of the actors on display, but that's not a problem for me. A detective series and several cases, one a murder, another GBH on a couple of people who were previously accused of sex offences against minors but walked free. Undoubtedly our detective has his own dark past - in this case the unsolved murder of his parents over 15 years ago. Based on a book (or a series of books) by Adam Creed - books I'm not familiar with.

From Google....

Whilst devoting his life to his work, DI Will Wagstaffe is a man haunted by his past. With his team in the City of London police force, the investigate a series of horrifying attacks and murders.

14 comments:

  1. Col, I'm on to the third episode of OZARK and for some reason, probably other distractions, I have left it there. I like both the actors, Bateman and Linney, and I also kind of found S1 rather disturbing, maybe because it involves a family. I hope to watch "THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HARRY QUEBERT AFFAIR" either on cable or Netflix. It sounds promising and I have read some good takes on the series.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you get back to OZARK Prashant. I'm looking to finish S1 this month. I'd recommend HARRY QUEBERT to anyone who'll listen.

      Delete
  2. Col – EL ROYALE is on my list and playing here. Maybe this weekend. Someone was just telling us about OZARK. Got to try it. But I will pass on APOCALYPSE. Over the years, I have seen several Ken Loach pictures and enjoyed them because they are the view of one filmmaker, not a studio committee, which is how so many Hollywood movies feel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elgin, I really liked the story telling in EL ROYALE, I hope you can catch it. There's a lot more to Loach's films than just putting bums on seats. I don't think American Horror is everyone's cup of tea, but I do like the cast in it.

      Delete
  3. I've been hearing about ...El Royale, Col. That's one I might like to see, myself. And I've got The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair< on my radar, too - well, the book, anyway. Glad you had a good viewing month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margot, I hope you enjoy it if you do, and ditto Harry Quebert in whatever format you try it!

      Delete
  4. I did not realize The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair has been adapted. Interesting.

    Glen and I are both big fans of Emily Blunt. And like Sunshine Cleaning a lot. We have liked several of her films. But have passed on Girl on a Train so far.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have enjoyed the Harry Quebert adaptation as a family. We still have episodes 9 and 10 to view. Number 10 airs over here just after the weekend.

      I think you would enjoy the film of Girl on a Train, Tracy. Slightly confusing at the start, which I guess is the intention. Not the best film ever, but quite good.

      Delete
  5. Bad Times at the El Royale and I, Daniel Blake look like the ones here for me! Off to check if the library has the latter yet . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, joy: they indeed have it. I see that (a) Jeremy Corbyn likes the movie and has recommended to Theresa May that she should watch it, and (b) it's gone straight into the Criterion Collection, which is a bit of an accolade.

      Delete
    2. Good news. I would say enjoy it, but that's probably not the most appropriate choice of words. I very much doubt May would take any suggestions from Corbyn, more's the pity.

      Delete
  6. I'm hoping to see royale - saw a trailer and am looking forward to it, even more so with your recommendation!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd happily go and see it again. I hope you get to it.

      Delete