Saturday 3 October 2020


A decent month's viewing with 6 and a half films watched. I'll get back to the other half at some point and some TV dramas - new and old watched.

Films - 3 war related, 1 a Western, 1 a heist, 1 a comedy, 1 a tense con and fit up

TV - police, police, and police. I do like reading and watching crime related stuff.

                                                            Henry's Crime (2010) - Film (DVD)

Half watched before tiredness took over. I wasn't totally gripped by it, but am interested enough to see how things work themselves out. I'm partial to a bank robbery on the screen and in my reading. I do like Keanu Reeves and James Caan is always entertaining. Vera Farmiga, I know better as Norma Bates in Bates Motel

From Wikipedia.......

Henry's Crime is a 2010 American romantic comedy film directed by Malcolm Venville and starring Keanu Reeves, Vera Farmiga, and James Caan. The film follows Henry (Reeves), who goes to jail for a bank robbery he did not commit. Once released, he plans to rob the same bank with his former cellmate Max (Caan). The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 14, 2010, and was given a limited release in the United States on April 8, 2011.

                                             Sinner Season 3 (2020) - TV Drama - Netflix

Eight episodes in all and smashed out in the month. I do like Bill Pullman and I've enjoyed the first couple of series which features him as the lead detective. This series bored me. Too slow and I didn't quite buy Pullman's behaviour towards the protagonist. I'm hoping there isn't a 4th one in the offing as I'd be ambivalent about seeing it.

From Rotten Tomatoes....

The Sinner's third installment follows Detective Harry Ambrose (Pullman) as he begins a routine investigation of a tragic car accident on the outskirts of Dorchester, in upstate New York. Ambrose uncovers a hidden crime that pulls him into the most dangerous and disturbing case of his career.

                                                          Whisky Galore (2016) - Film (TV)
An enjoyable re-make of a 40s film. One I've heard of but never seen in full. Eddy Izzard is the main character and is the authority figure getting the run-around. Good fun.

From Wikipedia....

Whisky Galore! is a 2016 British film, a remake of the 1949 Ealing Comedy of the same name, itself based on the novel by Compton MacKenzie. It was directed by Gillies MacKinnon and stars Gregor Fisher, Eddie Izzard, Sean Biggerstaff and Naomi Battrick. The film premiered at the 2016 Edinburgh Film Festival and went on general release in Scotland from 5 May 2017 and the rest of the UK, Ireland and the US from 19 May 2017. The principal film location was Portsoy, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Set in the Second World War when whisky rationing is in effect, Scottish islanders on the fictional Isle of Todday try to plunder cases of whisky from a ship that is stranded on rocks just offshore. The SS Cabinet Minister was carrying 50,000 cases of Scotch whisky to the United States when she ran aground, affording the islanders the opportunity to get their hands on the "water of life". There are problems, though; the local minister (a strict Sabbatarian who will not allow work to take place on a Sunday); Captain Waggett, the Home Guard officer who wants to stop any looting; and Farquharson the customs officer who also searches for the whisky in the islanders' homes afterwards.

                                                         American Sniper (2014) - Film (TV)

Another one which I saw was airing on TV and recorded it for a watch with the wife. I probably enjoyed it a bit more than her. Bradley Cooper is pretty intense as Chris Kyle. Based on the true story of a legendary US military sniper, it's quite uncomfortable viewing....... war, service, duty, sacrifice, the effect on self and family.

From Wikipedia....

American Sniper is a 2014 American biographical war drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Jason Hall. It is loosely based on the memoir American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History (2012) by Chris Kyle, with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice. The film follows the life of Kyle, who became the deadliest marksman in U.S. military history with 255 kills from four tours in the Iraq War, 160 of which were officially confirmed by the Department of Defense. While Kyle was celebrated for his military successes, his tours of duty took a heavy toll on his personal and family life. The film was produced by Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper, and Peter Morgan. It stars Cooper as Kyle and Sienna Miller as his wife Taya, with Luke Grimes, Jake McDorman, Cory Hardrict, Kevin Lacz, Navid Negahban, and Keir O'Donnell in supporting roles.

                                 Cracker - To Be a Somebody (2003) - ITV Drama (DVD Boxset)

Slowly trundling through this series with the wife while other family members are elsewhere. Most of the cast are very familiar and they all seem so very young. Not easy viewing. Fitz, the psychologist is a clever bollocks except when it comes to his own behaviour. Addiction - gambling and alcohol - makes for some car crash television, let alone without the introduction of a young man seriously affected by bereavement and massive trauma leading to PTSD.

From Amazon.....

Another case for hard-drinking criminal psychologist Fitz (Robbie Coltrane). Albie (Robert Carlyle) is a young man who, psychologically disturbed by the events of Hillsborough and the death of his father, attacks and kills an Asian newsagent. The police believe it to be a racist attack but draw a blank in their investigations into right-wing groups, and so call in Fitz to help with their enquiries.

                                                      Tigerland (2000) - Film (DVD)

Years ago when Colin Farrell rocked up in Ballykissangel I quite liked him. He went to Hollywood, turned into a bit of a dick and I avoided his films. Now he's done some growing up, I quite like him again. He's impressive here in this US army tale concerning young recruits in training, prior to being shipped to Vietnam. Funny enough this would have been during his dick-phase.
From Wikipedia....

Tigerland is a 2000 American war drama film directed by Joel Schumacher and starring Colin Farrell as Private Roland Bozz. It takes place in a training camp for soldiers to be sent to the Vietnam War.

Tigerland was the name of a U.S. Army training camp during the mid-1960s to early 1970s located at Fort Polk, Louisiana as part of the U.S. Army Advanced Infantry Training Center. As often the last stop for new infantrymen on their way to Vietnam, Tigerland was established in humid and muggy Fort Polk in order to closely mimic the environmental conditions of South Vietnam. While the film's setting is loosely based on Fort Polk, the film was actually filmed at Camp Blanding in Florida.[citation needed] The film premiered at the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival. 

Plot - WITH SPOILERS!!!!!!

In September 1971, the US is losing the Vietnam War. Roland Bozz, a draftee opposed to the war, is an unruly soldier with no respect for authority. He befriends another Army recruit, Jim Paxton, an aspiring writer who records his experiences in a journal. Unlike Bozz, Paxton volunteered. Upon reaching their post, company commanding officer Captain Saunders makes clear that every soldier who passes through Fort Polk will be sent to Vietnam. He also states that any political views on the war are irrelevant.

Having "X-ray vision for loopholes", Bozz finds ways for soldiers to get out of the army — one because he not only has children but also a handicapped wife; another, Miter, had joined to prove his manhood but finds himself in over his head. Eventually Bozz's natural leadership and ability earn him the title of squad leader. Another private, Wilson, a racial bigot and instigator, continuously demeans Miter and Bozz. Bozz fights Wilson, earning Wilson's hatred.

Later, while doing live fire exercises, Wilson threatens Bozz with a pistol. Bozz tries to disarm Wilson, and the two wrestle each other to the ground, Wilson getting the upper hand and putting the gun to the back of Bozz's head and pulling the trigger. Miraculously, the gun misfires, saving Bozz's life. Saunders lets Bozz choose the punishment: have Wilson court-martialed or "let me deal with him", strongly suggesting the latter. Bozz says he wants Wilson "out of the Army", because he recognizes Wilson has taken an emotional beating ever since his inability to command became obvious.

The platoon is sent to "Tigerland", a forested training area designed as a replica of Vietnam. During an exercise, Bozz's squad acts as villagers in a mock Vietnamese village, with one squad member designated as a Viet Cong sympathizer. They compete with another squad charged with rooting out the sympathizer. This other squad is led by Wilson, who was not kicked out after all. As the exercise ends with Bozz's squad "winning", Wilson tells Bozz he will kill him no matter what it takes. Soon thereafter, Bozz plans to escape to Mexico with the aid of some civilians he has paid. Platoon member Johnson tells him if he runs away, Wilson will kill Paxton instead. Bozz remains.

During the last training exercise, the two squads are pitted against each other on patrolling missions. As Wilson's squad prepares for an attack, he replaces his blank cartridges with live ammunition and removes his blank-firing adaptor. As Bozz's squad nears, he opens fire. Though he does not hit anyone, it is obvious he is using live ammunition, and the trainer for the exercise tries to intervene. As he does, Bozz is standing above Paxton and deliberately fires a blank round with his rifle muzzle near Paxton's face, the flash wounding Paxton's eye. The trainer aims a pistol at Wilson's head to get him to hold his weapon up and surrender, telling him he will be court-martialed.

The platoon gets ready to head to Vietnam, except for Paxton, whose eye injury, though not permanent, has earned him a medical discharge. Bozz and Paxton exchange farewells. Paxton tells Bozz he is going to write about him, but Bozz says he will not. He has stolen Paxton's journal and rips out pages as the platoon's bus drives off, leaving Paxton scrambling to recover them. Bozz tosses the journal as the bus speeds away.

In the closing narration, Paxton says he never saw Bozz again. Over time, he heard from various sources that Bozz either died in Vietnam or disappeared over there. One acquaintance told Paxton he thought he'd seen Bozz, years after the war, in Mexico with a beautiful woman.

                                                 Behind Enemy Lines (2001) - Film (DVD)

A second viewing of a film I watched and enjoyed years ago. Troubling back-drop, the Bosnian War, with the fall out still reverberating today....... genocide and war crime trials in The Hague. Owen Wilson, gets serious here as a US pilot shot down and trying to make his way back to safety. Usually I see him in comedies, but he does serious quite well. Gene Hackman is solid as ever. 

From Wikipedia.....

Behind Enemy Lines is a 2001 American war film directed by John Moore in his directorial debut, and starring Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman. The film tells the story of Lieutenant Chris Burnett, an American naval flight officer who is shot down over Bosnia and uncovers genocide during the Bosnian War. Meanwhile, his commanding officer is struggling to gain approval to launch a combat search and rescue mission to save Burnett. The plot is loosely based on the 1995 Mrkonjić Grad incident that occurred during the war.

Released on November 30, 2001, Behind Enemy Lines received generally negative reviews from critics. However, it was a considerable box office success, taking in nearly $92 million worldwide against a $40 million budget. The film was followed by three direct-to-video sequels, Behind Enemy Lines II: Axis of Evil, Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia, and SEAL Team 8: Behind Enemy Lines, with the third film being co-produced by WWE Studios. None of these sequels feature the cast and crew of the original.

                                     Law and Order UK Season 1 (2009) - ITV Drama (TV)

I was a big fan of the US Law and Order when it was on TV over here. I missed out on the UK version when it ran from 2009 - 2014 because I think my son disliked the main character actor - Bradley Walsh. Walsh is a presenter, actor, comedian, he probably sings as well for all I know and I quite like him.

One of the more obscure TV channels in our package decided to recently air the show on week nights. I've set the series record button and we're working our way through. All the episodes I think are derived from an equivalent which showed in the US. I like the set-up and the premise of the show, though on occasions the story can feel a little rushed.

From Google......

In a rare switch for programming usually adapted from one side of the Atlantic to the other, the U.K. is the recipient this time around. Dick Wolf's long-running U.S. police procedural drama gets a British tweak, as the action shifts from New York to London. Despite the change of scenery, the show's fundamental setup remains comfortably the same: the police investigate a crime in the first half, and the prosecutors go after the offenders in the second half. The only major differences are the accents and white wigs.

From Radio Times....

Episode 1 - Care

The evacuation of a central London hospital leads to the discovery of a tragic death. When Brooks and Devlin investigate, a suspect is arrested but the prosecutors (Ben Daniels and Freema Agyeman) face an uphill struggle building a case - so they team up with the detectives in a bid to gather more evidence. Patrick Malahide and Bill Paterson co-star.

Episode 2 - Unloved

Brooks and Devlin fail to find a lead when a 13-year-old is kicked to death at Euston Station, so they turn to Chandler, who holds a press conference. As the detectives are led through a tangled web of family loyalties, the suspect's barrister, an old flame of Steel's, gathers evidence for an audacious defence strategy that could change the nature of the British legal system. Dervla Kirwan guest stars, with Bradley Walsh, Jamie Bamber and Ben Daniels.

Episode 3 - Vice

A former vice cop is found beaten to death, setting Brooks and Devlin off on an investigation through London's seedy underbelly. The victim's widow and his former boss both seem to know more about the murder than they are letting on - but the trail eventually leads to a respectable children's clothes shop. Crime drama, with guest appearances by Sean Pertwee (Cold Feet), Lesley Manville (Cranford) and Juliet Aubrey (Primeval).

Episode 4 - Unsafe

The discovery of a body in a shallow grave by the Thames prompts Brooks and Devlin to reopen an eight-year-old murder case, casting doubt on a conviction made by Steel at the time. When the imprisoned man, Luke Slade, is given leave to appeal, he represents himself in court - but what starts as a legal battle soon develops into a personal vendetta. Crime drama, guest starring Iain Glen.

Episode 5 - Buried

Brooks and Devlin reopen a 25-year-old case when the bones of a young boy are found buried inside the wall of a communal basement. The victim's former best friend takes part in therapy to revisit her memory of the night he disappeared and reveals a shocking secret, but Phillips and Steel worry her claims will not convince a jury. Guest starring Keith Barron and Colin Salmon, with Bradley Walsh, Jamie Bamber, Freema Agyeman and Ben Daniels.

Episode 6 - Paradise

An arson attack on a Turkish social club leaves 17 people dead and Brooks, Devlin and Chandler fearing the crime was racially motivated. They uncover a trail of false identities, but face opposition from a respected barrister when they need to remove a key piece of evidence from a suspect's leg. Meanwhile, Steel is forced to confront one of his oldest friends. Guest starring Charles Kay, with Bradley Walsh and Jamie Bamber.

Episode 7 - Alesha

A respected gynaecologist is accused of sexually assaulting a patient during a routine examination, but Brooks, Devlin and Chandler struggle to find any firm evidence and the team becomes divided. Crown Prosecutor Alesha Phillips refuses to accept defeat and takes on formidable defence barrister Phyllis Gladstone. Crime drama, guest starring Derek Riddell and Lesley Manville, with Bradley Walsh, Jamie Bamber, Harriet Walter and Freema Agyeman.

                                              The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) - Film (TV)

A Clint Eastwood film I've heard of but never seen before. I really enjoyed it.

From Wikipedia....

The Outlaw Josey Wales is a 1976 American revisionist Western DeLuxe Color and Panavision film set during and after the American Civil War. It was directed by and starred Clint Eastwood (as the eponymous Josey Wales), with Chief Dan George, Sondra Locke, Sam Bottoms, and Geraldine Keams. The film tells the story of Josey Wales, a Missouri farmer whose family is murdered by Union militants during the Civil War. Driven to revenge, Wales joins a Confederate guerrilla band and makes a name for himself as a feared gunfighter. After the war, all the fighters in Wales' group except for him surrender to Union officers, but they end up being massacred. Wales becomes an outlaw and is pursued by bounty hunters and Union soldiers as he tries to make a new life for himself.

The film was adapted by Sonia Chernus and Philip Kaufman from author Forrest Carter's 1972 novel The Rebel Outlaw: Josey Wales (republished, as shown in the movie's opening credits, as Gone to Texas). The film was a commercial success, earning $31.8 million against a $3.7 million budget. In 1996, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress for being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

                                          A Fall From Grace (2020) - Film (Netflix)

One my daughter watched and enjoyed and then recommended to the rest of the family. Very good, very tense, maybe a bit predictable, but I've seen a helluva lot worse.

From IMDB.....

Disheartened since her ex-husband's affair, Grace Waters feels restored by a new romance. But when secrets erode her short-lived joy, Grace's vulnerable side turns violent.


  1. I'd like to watch Law and Order UK, Col. I've enjoyed the different iterations of the US version (L/O SVU, etc...). I hope the UK version comes this way. I've been trying to decide whether I want to watch Cracker. I'm glad you think there's some good in it, and I might try it - haven't taken the plunge yet.

    1. Margot, I hope you get the chance to see both Law and Order UK and Cracker. I think you would enjoy them both.

  2. I had not heard of The Sinner, but I do like Bill Pullman. We have watched some episodes of Crackers and liked them a few years back, but at the time we could not get access to any more of them. I haven't seen The Outlaw Josey Wales, but I would like to see it some day.

    1. I think Sinner was ok, but not amazing. I do like Bill Pullman though. I'm hoping to wathc more Clint Eastwood films this year, mainly older ones.

  3. SNIPER is a good film, but I don’t think I want to watch it again. Now CRACKER is a series we watched years ago and I would like to see again. Not a Farrell fan, so I’ll skip that one. My wife and I enjoy LAW & ORDER, but we have not seen any of the UK series.

    1. Elgin, I think you ought to keep an eye out for Law and Order UK in case it comes your way. We're really enjoying it.

  4. I'm in for the oldies here: I recently read the book of Whiskey Galore, and have seen the first film. And, The Outlaw Josey Wales - many years since I saw that. Don't remember much about it, but I know I liked it.

    1. Older is good, Moira. I come to agree with that sentiment more and more as I approach my dotage!