Sunday 9 June 2019


A flurry of cinema trips in the month; seven in all as the better half and I took advantage of the recent sign-up to the Odeon's Unlimited Pass scheme.

A couple of absolute belters, a few enjoyed and one that I'm fairly sure will be played to me continuously on a loop in hell when I eventually get there.......

Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Not a fan of the Superhero genre TBH. I'll enjoy a Batman or Spiderman film but that's my limit. Big hitters in the cast, but nah not for me. If it ever pops up on TV, I'm going out. 180 plus minutes, but it seemed longer.....

From Google...

Adrift in space with no food or water, Tony Stark sends a message to Pepper Potts as his oxygen supply starts to dwindle. Meanwhile, the remaining Avengers -- Thor, Black Widow, Captain America and Bruce Banner -- must figure out a way to bring back their vanquished allies for an epic showdown with Thanos -- the evil demigod who decimated the planet and the universe.

John Wick 3: Parabellum (2019)
I've enjoyed the first two John Wick films and the third didn't disappoint. There are some pretty incredible fight scenes and it's a couple of hours of high intensity, action packed nonsense - I mean that in a good way.  I do enjoy watching Keanu Reeves. Ian McShane and Halle Berry also feature.

From Google.....

After gunning down a member of the High Table -- the shadowy international assassin's guild -- legendary hit man John Wick finds himself stripped of the organization's protective services. Now stuck with a $14 million bounty on his head, Wick must fight his way through the streets of New York as he becomes the target of the world's most ruthless killers.

Greta (2019)
Unable to see this in April due to a cinema glitch, we managed to catch it eventually and it's a decent thriller. Worth a look and I'll watch it again if it pops up on TV. There are several moments where I was watching through my fingers.

From Google...

Frances finds a handbag on the New York subway and promptly returns it to Greta, an eccentric French piano teacher who loves tea and classical music. Having recently lost her mother, young Frances strikes up a seemingly harmless friendship with the lonely and kindly widow who enjoys her company. But when Greta's behavior becomes increasingly erratic and obsessive, Frances does whatever it takes to end the toxic relationship before things spirals out of control.

Red Joan (2018/19)
I remember seeing the book Red Joan on the bookstore shelves a few years ago, but managed to resist the temptation to buy it, despite the incredible story it told. Wait for the film, I must have said to myself. An enjoyable watch. I'm a fan of Dame Judi Dench and she never fails to deliver. No need to hunt down the book now.

From Wikipedia....

Red Joan is a 2018 British spy drama film, directed by Trevor Nunn, from a screenplay by Lindsay Shapero. The film stars Stephen Campbell Moore, Sophie Cookson, Tom Hughes, Ben Miles, Nina Sosanya, Tereza Srbova and Judi Dench.

Red Joan had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on 7 September 2018 and was released on 19 April 2019, by Lionsgate in the United Kingdom.

Red Joan is based on a novel of the same name written by Jennie Rooney, which was itself inspired by the life of Melita Norwood. Norwood worked at the British Non-Ferrous Metals Research Association as a secretary and supplied the Soviet Union with nuclear secrets. The materials that Norwood betrayed to the USSR hastened the pace at which the Soviets developed nuclear bomb technology.

Rocketman (2019) 
I can't claim to be a massive Elton John fan, but the trailer for this looked good and I do like most of the hits - there's probably a best of CD stuck at the back of a cupboard somewhere. Taron Egerton (never heard of him before) is amazing as Elton. Jamie Bell as Bernie Taupin similarly shines. Their enduring friendship is one of the high points of the film.

I found the portrayal of his family relationships incredibly sad. I'm kind of surprised he lived to tell the tale considering the amount of drugs and alcohol he was consuming during the 70s and 80s. The flip-flopping backwards and forwards to childhood and the difficult period when John started to face up to his addictions and problems worked for me. The music was amazing. I could happily have watched it again as soon as it had finished.

From Wikipedia.....

Rocketman is a 2019 biographical musical film based on the life of musician Elton John. Directed by Dexter Fletcher and written by Lee Hall, it stars Taron Egerton as John, with Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, and Bryce Dallas Howard. The film follows John's early days as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music to his musical partnership with Bernie Taupin. The film is titled after John's 1972 song "Rocket Man".

An Elton John biopic had been in development for almost two decades, with the project going through studios including Walt Disney Studios and Focus Features, directors including Michael Gracey, and actors including Tom Hardy and Justin Timberlake. After creative differences with Focus halted an initial production start in 2014, John took the project to Paramount Pictures, with Egerton and Fletcher signing on in April 2018. Principal photography began in August 2018 and was completed later that year.

Rocketman premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on 16 May 2019, and was released in the United Kingdom on 22 May 2019 and in the United States on 31 May 2019. The film received positive reviews from critics, with Egerton's performance and the musical numbers receiving general praise. It is the first major Hollywood production to show a gay male sex scene on-screen.

The Hustle (2019)

Hmm, I kind of thought I would enjoy this a bit more than I did, as I'm a fan of the con in my reading. It had its moments, but where Rebel Wilson is quite naturally funny, you can't really say the same about Anne Hathaway. Her posh woman act was unconvincing and I don't think she has a funny bone in her body. My wife enjoyed it more than me, but it got us out of the house and I'd rather watch this three times than Avengers twice. Not the worst film ever, not the best. 

From Wikipedia.....

Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson star as female scam artists, one low rent and the other high class, who team up to take down the men who have wronged them.

Long Shot (2019)

A bit of arm-twisting was required to get me along to this one and I'm glad I succumbed. I do find Seth Rogen quite funny. Charlize Theron is very good as well. A few laughs were had, so it did it's job.

From Wikipedia.....

Long Shot is a 2019 American romantic comedy film directed by Jonathan Levine and written by Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah. The plot follows a journalist (Seth Rogen) who reunites with his former babysitter (Charlize Theron), now the United States Secretary of State. O'Shea Jackson Jr., Andy Serkis, June Diane Raphael, Bob Odenkirk, and Alexander Skarsgård also star.

The film had its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 9, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States and Canada on May 3, 2019, by Lionsgate. It received generally positive reviews from critics, with praise for the performances and chemistry of Rogen and Theron


  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed Rocket Man, Col. I've been wanting to see that very much, and I keep hearing how good it is. It's good to hear you enjoyed most of the others, too. I'm with you on the superhero films, by the way...

    1. I think you'll love Rocketman, Margot. I hope you catch it soon. Hmm, superheroes.....hopefully I've seen them off for a while!

  2. I assume it's the Avengers movie that was the one you thought was a stinker. (They should bring back Diana Rigg, that's what I say!)

    Have promptly ordered Greta from the library. Thanks.

    1. It certainly was. Surprised? I thought not. I think I remember Joanna Lumley more than Diana Rigg.

      Hopefully you enjoy Greta. Fingers are crossed.

  3. Col – The only film we’ve seen in the theaters recently was ROCKETMAN. Like you, I am not an Elton John fan. But my wife is. There were some good things in the picture – the fantasy-style rock videos of his songs to give current audiences an idea of what his early concerts mush have felt like, and the way his spirit and talent survived the childhood he had with those emotionally brutal parents.

    1. I think ROCKETMAN was my pick of the month, but I suppose you have to bear in mind that the story is told with his blessing and cooperation. Maybe the reality was a little less harsh. I wouldn't swap places with him though.

  4. I definitely want to see Rocketman. Taron Egerton was in Kingsman, and I liked him in that. Red Joan sounds interesting, but I have not heard of the book or the movie.

    1. I think RED JOAN either format would be up your street Tracy. I hadn't realised it was the same guy from KINGSMAN. I've seen a couple of those films. ROCKETMAN's a major step up for him performance wise in my opinion.

  5. Some good ones there - I'm much more DVD/Netflix than cinema trips these days, which saddens me, I always liked a proper cinema. But the good ones keep slipping from the screen before I get to them. Will catch these ones when I can. (though not Avengers, of course!)

    1. We have a retro cinema near us - the Rex in Berkhamsted which I've only been to once. You can sit at tables and eat and drink while the film plays. It's not always easy to get tickets for. We're enjoying the cinema pass sub though. Probably getting to see a lot more so-so films, but you do enjoy some more than you think you might, and if we go six times in the month it basically three quid a pop.