Thursday, 4 January 2018

DECEMBER 2017 - FILMS + TV

A bit of enjoyable viewing in December, but in truth Christmas telly was a bit crap! No change there then.

Child 44 (2015)
From Google...

In 1950s Soviet Russia, secret police agent Leo Demidov (Tom Hardy) loses everything when he refuses to denounce his wife, Raisa (Noomi Rapace) as a traitor. Finding themselves exiled to a grim provincial outpost, Leo and Raisa join forces with Gen. Mikhail Nesterov (Gary Oldman) to capture a serial killer who preys on young boys. They soon find that their investigation threatens a system-wide cover-up enforced by Vasili (Joel Kinnaman), Leo's psychopathic rival.

An okay film recorded off the TV. A bit slow and I didn't really get into it, so kind of watched with one eye only. I like Tom Hardy and his Russian accent which was the most memorable bit of the film. I have the book which my sister highly recommended to me - Tom Rob Smith. Wrong choice maybe I would have been better reading than viewing.


Maigret in Montmarte (2017)
From IMDB.....

Crime · Maigret investigates the random murders of a Countess and a showgirl and discovers a dark secret that links their past lives at the Grand Hotel in Nice.

Festive viewing and surprisingly I quite enjoyed it. I think reading one of the books a year or so ago has softened me to the Parisian detective. I've avoided Rowan Atkinson for a few years now, ever since Blackadder and The Thin Blue Line, preferring to stick pins in my eyes whenever Mr Bean or Johnny English threatens to appear on telly and assault me. He's not bad as a serious actor.

Girls Trip (2017)
From Wikipedia....

Girls Trip is a 2017 American comedy film starring Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish, and Jada Pinkett Smith. The film is directed by Malcolm D. Lee and written by Kenya Barris and Tracy Oliver, from a story by the pair and Erica Rivinoja, who based the script off their own experiences with their female friends.

One my daughters insisted we watch after requesting the DVD for Christmas. A bit like a female version of Hangover. Women on tour behaving badly. I wonder if Jada Pinkett Smith will be attending this year's Oscars as she's a definite shoe-in for Best Female Actor. Perhaps we can celebrate together, right after I scoop the Nobel Prize for Literature. Okay, a few laughs, but not as funny as my daughter led me to believe.


The Red Turtle (2016)
From Google....

A massive sea turtle destroys a stranded man's raft every time he tries to sail away from a tropical island.

Another Christmas DVD, an animated Studio Ghibli film, and one which you spent as much time afterwards puzzling over WTF that was all about, as you did watching the film itself. Proper strange and I've kind of decided it's open to whatever interpretation or meaning you want to attribute to it. My verdict - can I have my time back?

Sightseers (2012)



From Google.....

A couple's (Alice Lowe, Steve Oram) cross-country road trip takes a deadly turn when they decide to start killing everyone who annoys them.

Second time of watching and it never gets old. My kind of film - deadpan black comedy horror.


John Wick (2014)

From Google....

Legendary assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) retired from his violent career after marrying the love of his life. Her sudden death leaves John in deep mourning. When sadistic mobster Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen) and his thugs steal John's prized car and kill the puppy that was a last gift from his wife, John unleashes the remorseless killing machine within and seeks vengeance. Meanwhile, Iosef's father (Michael Nyqvist) -- John's former colleague -- puts a huge bounty on John's head.

Another enjoyable film. Keanu Reeves who I haven't seen for a few years kills a mightily impressive number of people when his character an assassin is unwisely provoked. Not everyone's thing but I enjoyed it. Looking forward to watching the cunningly titled sequel - John Wick 2.


The Impossible (2012)
From Google....

In December 2004, close-knit family Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three sons begin their winter vacation in Thailand. But the day after Christmas, the idyllic holiday turns into an incomprehensible nightmare when a terrifying roar rises from the depths of the sea, followed by a wall of black water that devours everything in its path. Though Maria and her family face their darkest hour, unexpected displays of kindness and courage ameliorate their terror.

Based on the horrific Tsunami which struck in the Indian Ocean and wiped out over a quarter of a million people. Compelling viewing and the story of one British families experience.


R.I.P.D. (2013)

From Wikipedia...

R.I.P.D. is a 2013 American fantasy action comedy film starring Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds. Robert Schwentke directed the film based on a screenplay adapted from the comic book Rest in Peace Department by Peter M. Lenkov. The film also stars Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker, St├ęphanie Szostak, and Marisa Miller.

One word summary - awful. I think Kevin Bacon's 30 second EE adverts offer more in the way of laughs and overall entertainment. Apparently there might be a sequel to this, surely not.


47 Metres Down (2017)
From Google...

Young sisters Kate and Lisa and travel to Mexico for a vacation filled with sun, fun and adventure. Lisa needs some extra persuasion when Kate suggests that they go diving in shark-infested waters. Safe in their protective cage, the thrill-seeking siblings come face to face with a group of majestic great whites. Their worst fears soon become a reality when the cage breaks away from their boat, sending them plummeting to the ocean floor with a dwindling supply of oxygen.

An enjoyable movie night in with a DVD some popcorn. Predatory sharks and trapped in a cage on the bottom of the sea, fueling my twin fears of claustrophobia and being under water. Really enjoyable and yes I jumped out of my skin and sat on my hands a few times. Matthew Modine has a small role. Don't know who anyone else was.


Bancroft (2017)
A four part ITV drama during December. Sarah Parrish is a high ranking police detective seeking a promotion with the spectre of a cold case murder from 27 years ago, when she was a patrolling uniformed officer threatening her status. Kind of absorbing mostly, I did feel let down by the ending and by all accounts I wasn't the only one.

16 comments:

  1. I didn't realise they've made a movie of Child 44 - I thought the book absolutely brilliant (though its two sequels were very average and the same author's subsequent standalone novel was plain awful). Don't think I'll seek that movie out.

    I'm with you on Atkinson as Maigret...he's pretty decent. Who knew?

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    1. My sister absolutely raved over the book, as did all her family. She passed her copy onto me so I should be polite and read it soon. Shame to hear the follow ups haven't been quite so good.

      Yeah, I would never have pegged Atkinson as a serious actor. Fair play to him.

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  2. Col, I liked JOHN WICK though I haven't CHAPTER 2. I'd also like to see R.I.P.D as I quite like Jeff Bridges as an actor, and THE IMPOSSIBLE which I have read about. I believe Rowan Atkinson is good as Maigret. He can carry serious roles too.

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    1. I think Bridges even held his hand up and admitted this one was a turkey. Watcher beware!
      Atkinson certainly surprised me as Maigret. The Impossible - hard to watch in places when you see the aftermath of the catastrophe.

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  3. I do recommend Child 44, Col. I admit I haven't seen the film, but I do think the book is very well done. As to the rest...I'm glad you had some good viewing, even if it wasn't all - erm - stellar.

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    1. Another tick in the box for the book - cheers Margot. I think watching my films much like my reading, I don't expect everything to be fantastic. As long as my overall average is reasonable on the scales of enjoyment, I'm content.

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  4. Col – I’ve avoided the Atkinson Maigret’s because I love the books and have my own mental image of the detective. But SIGHTSEERS sounds like a good one. Thanks.

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    1. Elgin, I think I'd be more drawn to Maigret on the screen than in print going forward. I'm keen to try some of Simenon's Roman Durs works though.

      I think you might enjoy Sightseers, I hope so. The director, Ben Wheatley did High-Rise which I wasn't so keen on plus A Field in England which I only caught half of. He also has some other films I'd be interested in watching.

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    2. Uh-oh! We tried HIGH RISE and did not get very far before bailing on the DVD. But I’ll give SIGHTSEERS a chance.

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    3. Yeah - High-Rise was a difficult watch and in my opinion a bit of a mess of a film. Sightseers is much more straightforward and all the more enjoyable.

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  5. You're right about RIPD: truly godawful. I'm pretty desperate to see the Atkinson Maigret, and Child 44 looks interesting too.

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  6. Agreed re RIPD, an hour and a half of my life I'll never get back. My wife pegged it as crap after about 10 minutes. I would have thought the Atkinson-Maigret will show up on your side of the pond at some point. Child 44 - ok, but maybe I would enjoy it as a book more.

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  7. I may watch Child 44 some day, after I read the book. Glen read it and liked it. I also want to see the Atkinson Maigret.

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    1. I'll have to try and read it this year if I can. You would enjoy the Maigret I think.

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  8. I just mentioned to Tracy that John Wick is supposed to be really good. Would like to try that one plus Child 44.

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    1. I really liked John Wick - a lot more than Child 44, not that I disliked Child 44. There were worse films in the month.

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