Thursday 6 June 2019


A decent month's home viewing with a few films and some TV enjoyed in the month....
(I'll do a separate post on the Cinema trips in the month)

The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018) - Netflix film 

Not a film I would have picked to be truthful, but my youngest daughter was in control of the remote. Not too bad, a few scary moments, though I did find myself frustrated at the passivity of the family when initially getting terrorised - fight back FFS. An okay watch, but not one to live too long in the memory.

From Google....

Mike and his wife Cindy take their son and daughter on a road trip that becomes their worst nightmare. The family members soon find themselves in a desperate fight for survival when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park that's mysteriously deserted -- until three masked psychopaths show up to satisfy their thirst for blood.

The Virtues (2019) - TV drama

Only one episode of it watched so far - we need all five of us together at the same time - and its harrowing. I'm a big fan of Stephen Graham. Not going to be a barrel of laughs here.

From Google....

Written and directed by Stephen Meadows, `The Virtues' is an emotionally charged drama that teeters on the edge of total self-destruction. Joseph is already in a precarious situation battling an alcohol addiction and memories from a dark childhood, but his life is thrown into further disarray when his ex-partner moves to Australia and takes their son with her. With no one to turn to but a bottle of liquor, an all-night bender prompts Joseph to confront his haunting past and he heads to Ireland. There he finds compassion from a sister who thought he was dead but also a familiar face that strikes feelings of fear within him.

The OA (Season 2) (2019) - TV drama

I was press-ganged by my son into watching the first series, which was okay. Not sure that I totally got what was going on, and maybe that's the point. The internet seems to be full of conflicting opinions about both series as to what it all means. Not a discussion that interests me. I'll just do what I'm told and watch. One episode down, seven to go I think. I do hope Jason Isaacs dies horribly.

From Google...

Part I
The series centers around Prairie Johnson, an adopted young woman who resurfaces after having been missing for seven years. Upon her return, Prairie calls herself "The OA" (for "Original Angel"), exhibits scars on her back, and can see, despite having been blind when she disappeared. The OA refuses to tell the FBI and her adoptive parents where she has been and how her eyesight was restored, and instead quickly assembles a team of five locals (four high school students and a teacher) to whom she reveals that information, also explaining her life story. Finally, she asks for their help to save the other missing people whom she claims she can rescue by opening a portal to another dimension.

Part II
The second season follows the OA as she traverses to another dimension and ends up in San Francisco to continue her search for her former captor Hap and her fellow captives, as Prairie crosses paths with private eye Karim Washington to assist in his investigation of the surreal disappearance of a missing girl that involves an abandoned house with a supernatural history and an online puzzle game. Meanwhile, in the original dimension, a series of unfortunate events propels the OA's five companions to embark on a road trip across America to assist the OA on her journey.

Once Upon a Time in the Midlands (2002) - film

A few Shane Meadows films rocked up on TV as a warm up for The Virtues. I hadn't seen this one previously. Funny in places without being laugh out loud. Sad in others. I like Robert Carlyle and Kathy Burke. Not amazing, but an okay watch.

From Wikipedia....

Once Upon a Time in the Midlands is a 2002 British romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Shane Meadows, starring Robert Carlyle, Rhys Ifans, Kathy Burke, Ricky Tomlinson and Shirley Henderson. It is set in Nottingham, in the East Midlands region of England.

Set in Nottinghamshire, Dek (Rhys Ifans) proposes to his girlfriend Shirley (Shirley Henderson) on TV. When Jimmy (Robert Carlyle), "the great love of her life" and father of her daughter Marlene (Finn Atkins), sees this, he returns in an attempt to win back her heart. However, after deserting his friends in Scotland during an unsuccessful robbery of some clowns, his friends turn against him and come to the Midlands to try to track him down. In the end, Shirley refuses to go with Jimmy and professes her love for Dek; likewise, Marlene refuses to have anything to do with Jimmy, and accepts Dek as her father figure.

Death Wish (2018) - film

I enjoyed the original with Charles Bronson and didn't even know there had been a remake. I like a bit of Bruce. And Billy Bonus - Vincent D'Onofrio (Full Metal Jacket, Law and Order) also stars as his brother. I don't think it's that different to the original version. A decent hour and a half's watch. I doubt they will do a 2, 3 and a 4 remakes, but you never know. I probably still prefer the book from Brian Garfield and by a spooky coincidence have another of the author's books sitting on my bedside table. It's been a while since I read him.

From Google....

Dr. Paul Kersey is a surgeon who often sees the consequences of the city's violence in the emergency room. When home intruders brutally attack his wife and young daughter, Kersey becomes obsessed with delivering vigilante justice to the perpetrators. As the anonymous slayings grab the media's attention, the public begins to wonder if the deadly avenger is a guardian angel -- or the Grim Reaper itself.

The Shield (Season 1) (2002) - TV drama

One of those series I never watched in the day and always kind of regretted not getting involved in. Channel 4 have all 7 seasons (or is it 8, available on their box set doodah). Four episodes in and I'm liking it, maybe a bit more than my wife. Not sure if we will both have the stamina to get through all 80 plus episodes. I hope so.

From Google.....

Vic Mackey is a rogue cop in an experimental division of the Los Angeles Police Department, willing to sink to the criminals' level in order to take them on -- but his misdeeds eventually come home to roost. He breaks the law to, in his mind, bring some semblance of order to a chaotic world.

The Bucket List (2007)
Enjoyable. I like seeing the two main actors doing their stuff. Best film ever? No, but well worth the time invested in watching it.

From Google...

Billionaire Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) and car mechanic Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman) are complete strangers, until fate lands them in the same hospital room. The men find they have two things in common: a need to come to terms with who they are and what they have done with their lives, and a desire to complete a list of things they want to see and do before they die. Against their doctor's advice, the men leave the hospital and set out on the adventure of a lifetime.

Welcome Home (2018) - film

Another Netflix punt and a decent film, not without it's creepy moments. I don't think I knew any of the cast, but they were okay - not amazing, not wooden either. It was quite tense and uncomfortable in places with a decent sting in the tale.

From Wikipedia.....

Welcome Home is a drama/thriller film starring Aaron Paul and Emily Ratajkowski as Bryan and Cassie, a couple that tries to solve their personal problems with a romantic trip to Italy. Italian actor Riccardo Scamarcio plays the supporting role of Federico.

Lead casting of Paul and Ratajkowski was announced in April 2017.[1] The film was written by David Levinson, produced by Allan Mandelbaum and Tim and Trevor White and directed by George Ratliff for Voltage Pictures. On September 7, 2018 the film was set for a video on demand release on November 12, 2018. The first trailer for the film was released on October 4, 2018.

The Green Mile (1999) - film
A re-watch of a long long film over a couple of nights and it's still bloody amazing.

From Wikipedia....

The Green Mile is a 1999 American fantasy crime drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont and adapted from Stephen King’s 1996 novel of the same name.

The film stars Tom Hanks as Paul Edgecomb and Michael Clarke Duncan as John Coffey, with supporting roles by David Morse, Bonnie Hunt, and James Cromwell. The film also features Dabbs Greer in his final film, as the older Paul Edgecomb. The film, told in a flashback format, tells the story of Paul's life as a death row corrections officer during the U.S. Great Depression, and the supernatural events he witnessed there.

The film received positive reviews from critics, and was nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor for Michael Clarke Duncan, Best Sound, and Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published.

Line of Duty (Series 5) - TV drama
Last couple of episodes watched at the beginning of May and it got a bit better after nearly losing me earlier on. I think my favourites scenes always take place in the interview room. Great cast as always, but this one was my least favourite series of the 5. Maybe time to call it a day guys. Dot's magic fingers was a bit of a stretch.

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.)


  1. Oh, I think The Green Mile is fantastic, too, Col. And I enjoyed The Bucket List as well. But, then, I think Morgan Freeman is a fine actor; I always like his stuff.

    1. Margot, I think I could happily watch The Green Mile again in a few years time. I suppose of the two stars in The Bucket List, I'd prefer Jack to Morgan, though both are very accomplished.

  2. Col - One summer, I binged the whole series of THE SHIELD and thought it was great, modern noir.

    1. Elgin, I'm liking it so far. I'm not sure we'll get to the end, my wife isn't feeling it quite so much.

    2. Hang in for Season 4 when Glenn Close joins the cast.

  3. The only one here that I've seen is The Green Mile; thanks for the reminder that I should try to make time for a rewatch. I guess I ought to try to see the Death Wish remake for the sake of completeness, but . . .

    1. The Green Mile is the definite stand-out of this bunch. I enjoyed Bruce and Death Wish, but I think I would favour the original with Charles Bronson.