Sunday 19 July 2020


A decent month's home viewing even if every film watched wasn't quite a hit......

Dangerous Lies (2020) - Film

An okay thriller. Nothing memorable though. It didn't stay in the memory banks long as a month or two on I couldn't remember what it was about.

From Google.....

A caregiver is drawn into a web of lies and murder after a wealthy elderly man dies and leaves his estate to her.

The Extraction (2020) - Film

A bit more enjoyable than the first film of the month. One I could happily watch again. I quite liked the main lead - Chris Hemsworth and it also features David Harbour who I enjoy seeing in Stranger Things.

From Google...

A black-market mercenary who has nothing to lose is hired to rescue the kidnapped son of an imprisoned international crime lord. But in the murky underworld of weapons dealers and drug traffickers, an already deadly mission approaches the impossible.

Ocean's 8 (2018) - Film
I like robberies, heists and cons in books and also on film. Strong, feisty women in action - I've three of them at home - what's not to like? I do enjoy seeing Sarah Paulson and Sandra Bullock doing their thing. The rest of the cast were pretty good also, but these two were my favourites.

From Google...

Debbie Ocean is released from jail after serving a prison sentence. She assembles a special crew of seven women to steal a diamond necklace, worth 150 million dollars, from the Met Gala.

Prime Suspect 7 (2006) - ITV Drama - DVD Boxset
Curtain down on this gripping series and Jane Tennison - the amazing Helen Mirren - rides off into the sunset to either drink herself into oblivion or stay on the wagon, while trying to find something to fill the massive gaping void in her life, now the career is over. Not sure what my money would be on TBH.

A brilliant series from start to finish. Good for a re-watch in another 10 year's time.

From Wikipedia......

Series 7 (2006)

"The Final Act: Part 1"

While dealing with her alcoholism and the death of her father, Tennison decides to solve one last case - the disappearance of Tony and Ruth Sturdy's 14-year-old daughter, Sallie - before finally retiring from the force. When the disappearance becomes a murder investigation, Tennison is forced to confront her own demons.

"The Final Act: Part 2"

Curtis Flynn flees the scene of his brutal encounter with Tennison. As the end draws near, the truth surrounding the death of Sallie finally emerges, and the hunt for the killer ends in a shattering confrontation.

Cracker - The Mad Woman in the Attic (1993) - ITV Drama - DVD Boxset

As one iconic TV crime drama finishes, another one begins. A Jimmy McGovern creation which automatically makes me feel it's gonna be good. I've seen a lot of these before, but hey I could enjoy watching them again and there's bound to be some I missed.

Robbie Coltrane, Christopher Ecclestone, Geraldine Somerville, Lorcan Cranitch, Adrian Dunbar ..... all very, very good. Hard to watch Robbie Coltrane as a car crash in motion with the drinking and gambling.

From Google.....

The second of two beautiful women is murdered on a train, and the primary suspect is an amnesiac man. A psychologist, Dr. Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald, an old friend of the second victim, is brought in to help.

Time Trap (2017) - Film

Not the worst film I've ever seen and I did like elements of the story and some of the characters, but to be truthful, it was a bit crap and the ending was a stretch too far.

From Wikipedia.....

Time Trap is a 2017 American science fiction action adventure film directed by Ben Foster and Mark Dennis. Starring Brianne Howey, Cassidy Gifford, Olivia Draguicevich, Reiley McClendon and Andrew Wilson, it tells the story of group of students in a remote area of Texas searching for their missing professor. They then discover a mysterious cave by accident. While exploring the cave, the group experience a series of bizarre and dangerous events related to time and space distortion.

Into the Night (2020) - Netflix Drama series

All six episodes watched over a couple of nights and I quite liked this one. At the beginning you're struggling to know what is going on and rather than finding that frustrating I liked trying to second guess what was happening. I quite like the way the series unfolds and you are forced to continually re-evaluate what you think about each character as you get bits of their back stories and you witness their behaviour and actions in the midst of the drama. I pretty much flip-flopped from .... You're a dick .... to .... I like you..... several times for pretty much all of the cast throughout the six episodes.

I'll definitely tune in to a promised second series.

From Wikipedia.....

Into the Night is a Belgian apocalyptic sci-fi drama thriller web television series created by Jason George, inspired by the 2015 Polish science fiction novel The Old Axolotl by Jacek Dukaj. The series premiered on Netflix on May 1, 2020. It is Netflix's first Belgian original series. On July 1, 2020, the series was renewed by Netflix for a second season.

The series follows a group of people who are hijacked while on board a red-eye flight from Brussels. Terenzio (Stefano Cassetti), the hijacker, was an Italian NATO soldier. He forces his way onto the commercial aircraft and demands an early take-off. The handful of people in the aircraft becomes some of the survivors from a deadly global event that results from exposure to sunlight. The plane heads west in an attempt to survive this catastrophe that kills all living organisms during daylight hours. The group - led by Mathieu (Laurent Capelluto), the pilot, and Sylvie (Pauline Etienne), a passenger - must work together to keep the sun behind them. The group must deal with fuel shortage, irradiated food, hidden agenda, and other problems in their race to reach an underground military bunker.

Justine (2019) - Film

A thought-provoking film about a care-giver for a child with a disability. Who knows what is best for the child? The parents - always? Is an outsider view welcome, refreshing, helpful? What if she forges a closer bond to the girl than you have? What if the family are racist and you were married to a black man and have a mixed-race child?

Tension, conflict, love, bereavement, trying to move on and heal.

From Netflix.....

A widowed, single mom takes a job caring for a young girl with spina bifida, and the two discover they have more in common than they realized.

Dragged Across Concrete (2018) - Film

I've been wanting to watch this one for a while now and eventually tracked down a DVD. I have enjoyed films with both Vince Vaughn and Mel Gibson before and was happy to watch them on screen together, even though I don't think I particularly like what I see of them as reported in the media. That said who knows if even half of what you read is true? Gibson's allegedly voiced a lot of anti-semetic opinions and Vaughn's a Trump supporter.

I enjoyed the film, it's gripping and dark, but if I'm honest I would have enjoyed it more if it had been about a half an hour shorter. It just seemed a bit slow and draggy in places.

I've a few books from the director - S. Craig Zahler on my TBR pile which I'm looking forward to reading at some point.

From Wikipedia........

Dragged Across Concrete is a 2018 American neo-noir action thriller film written and directed by S. Craig Zahler. The film features an ensemble cast including Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn, Tory Kittles, Michael Jai White, Jennifer Carpenter, Laurie Holden, Fred Melamed, Udo Kier, Thomas Kretschmann, and Don Johnson. It premiered at the 75th Venice International Film Festival on September 3, 2018, and received a limited theatrical and video-on-demand simultaneous release from Summit Entertainment on March 22, 2019.


In the city of Bulwark, recent parolee Henry returns home, interrupting his mother with a customer. Chastising her for turning to prostitution, Henry reunites with his younger brother Ethan.

Three weeks later, police detectives Brett Ridgeman and Anthony Lurasetti raid the home of Vasquez, a known drug dealer. Ridgeman is unnecessarily rough with the suspect, and coerces Vasquez's girlfriend into revealing a duffel bag of money and narcotics. The bust is a success, but the detectives are called before their superior, Chief Lt. Calvert. Explaining that a video of Ridgeman subduing Vasquez has been released to the media, Calvert is forced to suspend both detectives for six weeks without pay.

Ridgeman's daughter Sara is continually harassed, and his wife Melanie, a former cop with multiple sclerosis, pleads with him to move them to a safer neighborhood. Lurasetti is similarly desperate for money, with plans to propose to his girlfriend Denise. On a tip from Friedrich, a wealthy businessman with criminal connections, Ridgeman recruits Lurasetti to help him surveil and rob the mysterious Lorentz Vogelmann. Having bought an engagement ring, Lurasetti stalls in proposing to Denise, unsure if he can continue with Ridgeman's plan.

Henry and his childhood friend Biscuit are hired by Vogelmann, whose masked associates – one wearing black gloves, one with grey – have committed a series of robberies to buy a customized bulletproof van with airless tires. Bank employee Kelly Summer struggles to leave her newborn son, but returns to work for the first time after her maternity leave. Vogelmann, Black Gloves, and Grey Gloves take the bank hostage, with Biscuit and Henry disguised as security guards in the van. Using methodical, tape-recorded instructions, Vogelmann demands the bank's supply of gold bullion. Kelly, fearing for her life, tries to prevent a colleague from notifying the police, and is executed.

Tailing the van, Ridgeman and Lurasetti realize Vogelmann is robbing the bank. The thieves escape with the bullion and a hostage, Cheryl, having castrated the bank manager. Unsettled by Vogelmann and his henchmen's brutality, Biscuit and Henry are forced to surrender their weapons. Realizing they may be killed, Henry distracts Biscuit with memories of their childhood, and chooses not to reveal they are being followed by the detectives.

Lurasetti learns five people were killed in the robbery and the thieves have taken a hostage. He berates Ridgeman for not intervening sooner or notifying the authorities, but Ridgeman asserts that law enforcement would be too late, and only the two of them can deal with the thieves. Lurasetti leaves Denise a voicemail, leading her to the engagement ring.

Arriving at a garage in the countryside, Biscuit leaps out of the van and is shot, as Henry wounds Grey Gloves with a hidden gun. Mortally wounded, Biscuit swallows the van's key; imploring Henry to take care of his mother, he is shot dead. Ridgeman and Lurasetti arrive, donning body armor and ballistic masks. Cheryl is sent to pull Biscuit's body into the van, while Lusaretti, an Army marksman, is unable to disable the van with his sniper rifle. Black Gloves cuts the key out of Biscuit's stomach, but Ridgeman rams the van, knocking it over.

Threatened by Vogelmann, the half-naked Cheryl crawls to the detectives and shoots Lurasetti, and is shot dead by Ridgeman, who kills Black Gloves as he exits the van. Lurasetti listens to a voicemail from Denise declining his proposal, and dies. Ridgeman fills the van with tear gas, and kills Gray Gloves as he surrenders. He is ambushed by Henry, who has recorded the entire incident on his cellphone, and kills Vogelmann. Disarming Henry, Ridgeman proposes they split the score, and together they load the bodies and the bullion in the getaway car.

Towing Lurasetti's car from the scene, Henry finds another hidden gun. Ridgeman holds Henry at gunpoint, demanding he erase the cellphone video, and Henry shoots him. After promising the dying Ridgeman that his family will be taken care of, Henry buries all the bodies.

Eleven months later, Henry lives in a lavish mansion with his mother and brother. He sends Melanie and Sara a package, addressed to them from Ridgeman, containing a share of the gold bullion.

Van Der Valk (2020) - ITV Drama series

A few Facebook friends didn't like this and felt it should never have been made or maybe if it had it ought to have been called something else. Me? I loved it.

I can dimly recall the original TV drama from the 70s with Barry Powell and I have read one of the books by Nicolas Freeling back in 2013 - The King of the Rainy Country without feeling the urge to read anything more.

3 episodes - not too long - a plus
Amsterdam setting - my son lives there - a plus
Cop drama - a plus
Marc Warren starring - a plus

From IMDB.....

A Dutch detective takes on criminal cases in Amsterdam using insightful human observation and his natural street smarts.

The Platform (2019) - Film
A Spanish film which reminded me a bit of High-Rise. I didn't like that one too much either. A bit pointless really, maybe there's some deeper meaning attached to it which I'm obviously too stupid to cotton to. The rich and the poor, the haves and the have nots, the contempt those at the top feel for those beneath them, the aspirations of some of those at the bottom to climb up and better themselves. A bit depressing really.

From Google....

In the future, prisoners housed in vertical cells watch as inmates in the upper cells are fed while those below starve.

The Wrong Missy (2020) - Film

A quirky rom-com..... love, romance, embarassment, feelings and beauty only being skin-deep. I quite liked it .... a few laughs were had and the family was entertained.

From Wikipedia....

The Wrong Missy is a 2020 American romantic comedy film directed by Tyler Spindel, with a screenplay by Chris Pappas and Kevin Barnett. It stars David Spade and Lauren Lapkus, and was released on Netflix on May 13, 2020.

The Cobbler (2014) - Film
I usually enjoy Adam Sandler's films, but they can be a bit hit or miss and he might be the definition of Marmite - you either love him or loathe him. This one was a bit of a miss for me TBH. Dustin Hoffman and Steve Buscemi feature. I do like both, especially Buscemi who I haven't seen in anything for a while.

From Google...

A frustrated shoemaker (Adam Sandler) finds a magical sewing machine that allows him to see the world in a new way by stepping into the lives of his customers.

A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) - Tennessee Williams Play - National Theatre You Tube Channel (2014) 
Not a play I was familiar with before watching this performanace. Yeah I have heard of it and its author, but it wasn't something I read, or studied or even seen one of the film adaptations.

Powerful performances, especially from Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster. If I have a criticism, it would be trite and insignificant. I have trouble sitting still for so long - 2 hrs 39 mins with a small interval. At least I could hit the pause button.

From National Theatre website.....

I don’t want realism. I want magic!

Gillian Anderson (All About Eve, The X-Files, The Fall, Sex Education) plays Blanche DuBois with Ben Foster (Lone Survivor, Kill Your Darlings) as Stanley and Vanessa Kirby (Julie, The Crown, Mission Impossible) as Stella.

As Blanche’s fragile world crumbles, she turns to her sister Stella for solace – but her downward spiral brings her face to face with the brutal, unforgiving Stanley Kowalski. 

This critically acclaimed production was filmed live on stage at the Young Vic in 2014 by National Theatre Live. 

BBFC rating 15 when released in cinema. Contains scenes featuring sexual violence and domestic abuse.

The Leisure Seeker (2017) - Film DVD

A second viewing after catching the film on its release a couple of years ago. I absolutely loved the book of the same name by Michael Zadoorian when I read it a fair few years ago.

Old age, cancer, dementia, dying, a road trip, family, love, memories, history, secrets, forgiveness and death, with a few laughs and giggles along the way.

Great acting and chemistry between Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland. Powerful, but I'd be forced to pick the book over the film. I think the book is warmer, deeper and definitely more emotional.

From Wikipedia

The Leisure Seeker is a 2017 comedy-drama film directed by Paolo Virzì, in his first full English-language feature. The film is based on the 2009 novel of the same name by Michael Zadoorian. It stars Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland, acting together for the first time since the 1990 film Bethune: The Making of a Hero. It was screened in the main competition section of the 74th Venice International Film Festival. Mirren received a Golden Globe nomination for her work in the film.


Traveling in a vintage Winnebago recreational vehicle, John and Ella Spencer take one last road trip from Wellesley, Massachusetts to the Ernest Hemingway House in the Florida Keys before his dementia and her cancer can catch up with them.


  1. You have had a busy viewing month, Col! I'm so glad you enjoyed Van der Valk. I think the book series is a good one, and I've been wondering what the adaptation would be like. I'm also glad you liked Ocean's Eight. I like it when a film with some slickness and style also has a solid plot and interesting characters.

    1. Margot, I don't think the adaptation has been loved universally by people. I'll be keen to hear what you think if it comes your way. Ocean's Eight was great wasn't it?

  2. I missed this when you posted it. I am dying to see Marc Warren in Van der Valk. Liked him in Hustle.

    1. Ha we can swap. I want to work through Hustle from start to finish, as I mostly missed it when it aired.