Thursday, 4 April 2019


Numbers-wise February's viewing was a bit of a disappointment really - two films at the local library theatre, one crime drama on TV watched, another one started and a smidge of Les Mis consumed.

The Mule (2018)
Absolutely loved this one. I'm a bit of a fan of Eastwood anyway and I think he gets better with age. Based on a true story apparently. Bradley Cooper and Lawrence Fishburne have small parts here. I could quite happily have sat through it again once it ended. I hadn't read too much up on it beforehand and was keen to see what unfolded. Sad, funny, gripping - 9/10.

From Wikipedia....

The Mule is a 2018 American crime drama film produced and directed by Clint Eastwood, who also plays the lead role. The screenplay, by Nick Schenk, is based on The New York Times article "The Sinaloa Cartel's 90-Year-Old Drug Mule" by Sam Dolnick, which recounts the story of Leo Sharp, a World War II veteran who became a drug courier for the Sinaloa Cartel in his 80s.

Along with Eastwood, the film stars Bradley Cooper, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Peña, Dianne Wiest, and Andy García. It is Eastwood's first acting project since 2012's Trouble with the Curve, and his first starring role in a film directed by him since 2008's Gran Torino. Filming began in June 2018, taking place in Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia, with other film locations in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

The Mule was released in the United States on December 14, 2018, by Warner Bros. Pictures. It has grossed over $166 million and received mixed reviews from critics, who called it "poignant and charming" and praised Eastwood's performance, but also noted the lack of true dramatic heft.

Destroyer (2018)
When watching The Mule we saw the trailer for this one, which floated my boat. Nicole Kidman is pretty amazing as an cop revisiting her undercover days and an operation that went badly wrong. I was scratching my head a bit afterwards trying to work out the timelines for all the events that occurred . I did enjoy it, though it got a bit slow in places. Maybe a 7/10. Not enough about it to have me checking for the release date of the DVD.

From Wikipedia......

Destroyer is a 2018 American crime film directed by Karyn Kusama and written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi. It stars Nicole Kidman, Toby Kebbell, Tatiana Maslany, Scoot McNairy, Bradley Whitford, and Sebastian Stan, and follows an undercover LAPD officer who must take out members of a gang, years after her case was blown.

The film had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival on August 31, 2018 and was released in the United States on December 25, 2018, by Annapurna Pictures. At the 76th Golden Globe Awards, Kidman was nominated for Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama.

Line of Duty Series 5 (2019) - BBC DRAMA
BOOM! That's my Sunday nights sorted for the next month or so. Episode one watched on the last day of March. I'm happy to see the old gang back in action and pleased to see Stephen Graham involved here. I loved him in This is England. Roll on next Sunday!

From the Radio Times ........

Adrian Dunbar, Vicky McClure and Martin Compston are confirmed to be reprising their roles as the officers of AC-12, returning to the job as Supt. Ted Hastings, DI Kate Fleming, and DS Steve Arnott.

The new series will also see the return of Maya Sondhi as PC Maneet Bindra, Polly Walker as public relations expert Gill Biggeloe, and Aiysha Hart as Murder Squad cop (and Steve’s ex girlfriend) DS Sam Railston.

Tony Pitts will return as Detective Chief Superintendent Les Hargreaves, while Andrea Irvine plays Ted’s estranged wife Roisin Hastings.

A first-look image has also been released, revealing “Balaclava Man” John Corbett (Stephen Graham) and Lisa McQueen (Rochenda Sandall). These two guest leads are pivotal figures in a deadly organised crime group which is known to have links with corrupt police officers.

Stephen Graham’s character is the “most dangerous” Line of Duty villain yet
Other newcomers joining the cast include Taj Atwal as PC Tatleen Sohota, Richard Pepple as PS Kyle Ferringham, and actors Susan Vidler, Sian Reese-Williams, Ace Bhatti, and Elizabeth Rider.

Take a look at the trailer and you get a few clues as to what he’s hinting at – including an ominous shot that appears to show Ted Hastings standing in a prison cell. The pressure is clearly on as we see not just one balaclava man but a whole gang, headed up by Stephen Graham’s John Corbett, with three police officers murdered in a hijacking.

And over it all hangs the big unanswered question: who is “H” – the shadowy police insider with direct command of a network of balaclava-clad criminals? (And no, Adrian Dunbar is NOT happy about those Line of Duty hints that Hastings could be H.)

Les Miserables (2018/19)  - BBC DRAMA
A bit of episode one watched before life interfered with what I was trying to do. Probably a good job it's going to be up on BBC iPlayer for 10 months. It might be a close run thing getting it watched in time!

From Wikipedia.....

An adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic novel: an extraordinary cast of characters struggle to survive in war-torn France. A story of love, injustice, redemption and hope.
First episode date: 30 December 2018
Final episode date: 3 February 2019
Number of episodes: 6

Shetland Series 5 (2019) - BBC DRAMA
Enjoyed the whole series in March, though not as much as the previous one. I do like the setting and the main characters. Sandy, the cop comes across as a drip at times, and I did feel the urge to reach through the screen and give him a bit of a slap. Love Tosh. Jimmy with the shall we shan't we love angle was annoyingly indecisive. Well he used to be, but now he's not so sure. People trafficking and kidnap. Tough storyline, which I wasn't totally convinced about, though who am I to say it's not credible. There were a couple of irritating bits which just annoyed.
For example - Perez pays a visit on a big businesswomen in Glasgow and two minutes after his departure, she exits the building on a busy street and lo and behold, her car just happens to be parked right outside the building. Fuck off, I'm not having that. It would have been towed 10 minutes after she parked there. Once I find one bit which irritates the shit out of me, I then find myself trying to spot other lazy, convenient and implausible set plays instead of enjoying what the whole programme is about. 

I'll have to read one of the books from Ann Cleeves sometime.

From the Radio Times.....

Douglas Henshall is back as DI Jimmy Perez – and he's joined by some familiar faces as well as exciting newcomers

Tuesday, 19th March 2019 at 8:30 pm
DI Jimmy Perez returns for series five of Shetland with his team of dedicated detectives and police officers, ready to take on a brand-new murder case.

A severed hand has washed up on the beach, while a young man’s head has been discovered badly mutilated inside a holdall. Who killed him, and why?


  1. I hope you'll get the chance to read some of the Cleeves series, Col. I think she does that very well. I've been wanting to see the BBC production of Les Mis; I like the show itself quite a lot. Hopefully that version will come this way at some point.

    1. I think I could stand to go one from Vera and one from Shetland, Margot. Fingers crossed Les Mis makes an appearance your way at some point.

  2. I really liked the Shetland books, but lost track of the TV series: I should pick it up again. Your film choices sounded very Col-friendly!

    1. I haven't read any of them yet and have only got involved in the last two TV series. Missed the first three, I'm sad to say. We've just got cinema cards, so I'm guessing my films going forward might be more of a mix. I'm hoping my reading doesn't suffer too much!

  3. We watched Season 3 of Shetland recently, and we would like to watch more, but would have to add a streaming service that has it or buy the DVD.

    1. Maybe they will be available in the future when they've aged a bit, fingers crossed!

  4. We are Eastwood fans and enjoyed THE MULE. Old Clint has still got it (the man is 88 years old!) Great news that a new LINE OF DUTY series is out. I’ll be looking for the DVDs for a weekend binge.

    1. Elgin, my wife really enjoyed The Mule as well which was great as sometimes our tastes diverge. Clint's not doing too bad for an old boy is he! Might be a while before LoD5 is available. I think we have another 4 episodes to air yet.

    2. Like you two, we disagree on movies. She won’t watch old flicks, and I don’t like Lifetime movies (although, I’ll admit to sitting through one or two that were not too bad). We go to the theater when we are sure we’ll both like the film. Luckily, she’s got a group of girlfriends who will go to the movies I have no interest in seeing.

    3. I think I'm more judgemental ahead of a film, making my mind up based on what I know and have heard before time. My wife is a bit more open. That said she can decide a film is crap after 10 minutes, whereas I'm more likely to persist. She goes to the cinema a bit with my daughter, but we've both just bought monthly unlimited cards, so I think we'll be watching a lot more flicks in the future.