Author: thoughtsallsorts

Just someone with thoughts about whatever happens to inspire - generally music, movies and books.

Intermission…

…unknown until when…I’m just not managing to do the blogging thing at the moment. Or the movie watching thing. Or the reading thing.

I’ve let down Gill and Rebecca on their recent Blogathons…so sorry ladies…I’m so out of sync with time…and barely switching my home laptop on. In my mind I was so excited…but I just didn’t make it. No excuse I know, but that’s the truth.

I’ll be back again, just can’t say when.

Gill, the chocolate swap is still on…that I’m still on track with 🙂

Flaming Hot…Five Reasons Why…You’ve Been Tagged

Well…what can I say…Gill (Realweegiemidget Reviews) and I just couldn’t resist to collaborate again. We chit and chat quite often about our favourite (hot, yes) characters…and because fellow bloggers Ruth from Silver Screenings and Maedez at A Small Press Life are taking a break from that wonderful Reel Infatuation Blogathon, we decided to bring a new angle onto our Flaming Hotties Tag we started a few years back. Just so those of you who are totally infatuated can still get it out into the Blogosphere. And, well, sometime we just need some time to be “shallow” and enjoy some good looking characters.
 
Thanks Maedez and Ruth for letting us “fill in” for you this year (although our tag doesn’t come anywhere near your wonderful blogathon). We can’t wait for next year’s Reel Infatuation Blogathon again.
 
So, here goes…please post the rules (copy paste does the trick) and then get swooning:
  1. You must add the name of the blog that tagged you AND those of the Thoughts All Sorts and Realweegiemidget Reviews with links to ALL these sites.. and use the natty cat themed picture promoting this post. This picture is found later in this post… 
  2. List 5 of your all-time swoon-worthy characters from TV or Film i.e crushes/objects of your affection. And also do mention the actor or actress who plays them, as you might like James Bond as played by Timothy Dalton and no one else.. etc etc
  3. Link (Tag) to 5 other bloggers.
  4. Add lovely pictures, gifs or videos of those you selected.
  5. If you don’t have a blog (or don’t have time to write a post) join in with your choices on Twitter with this #5TheFlamingHot5ReasonsWhy Tag and tag @realweegiemidge and @Thoughtsallsort  and the person who tagged you in your tweet.
  6. Oh…and post these rules.
So, in no particular order, here are my hottest characters (some good boys, some bad boys), many of which are probably no surprise to you:
 
Tommy Shelby (Peaky Blinders)
1. He’s all business.
2. Those eyes…no further comment.
3. Family comes first (even though they’re not the perfect one)
4. Who can resist that style? I mean…just look at him…
5. Is played by Cillian Murphy
 
Prince Charming (Cinderella)
1. He’s simply a gentleman. We need more of those.
2. Those eyes aren’t too bad either.
3. He doesn’t appear to be just superficial but has a genuine character.
4. There’s a gentleness about him.
5. Is played by Richard Madden.

Stretch (Yellow Sky) (Spoilers ahead)
1. He cleans up pretty well when told his smells. I mean, in a dusty, water-scarce area…that’s quite a feat.
2. He might be a criminal but he does come clean.
3. Any bank robber who brings back what he’s stolen (every last cent)…what can I say…?
4. He makes sure nothing happens to Mike no matter how hard his gang is to control.
5. Is played by Gregory Peck.
Fritz (Catch and Release)
1. He has his priorities right…about business and life.
2. He is not pushy at all and knows just when to back off.
3. Accepts Grey for who she is – I absolutely love watching his face as she reveals her feelings about natural disasters.
4. Oh that kiss in the fishing store…enough to make anyone swoon.
5. Is played by Timothy Olyphant.
 
Bond…James Bond (Casino Royale and Casino Royale only)
1. Ah man…you want 5 points? Really? Let’s start with the beach scene…
2. Then we’ll move on to the shower scene…
3. Ok, fine, let me calm down. Love the wit and sarcasm in this case (it’s characters we’re on about, not real people where this would be a total put-off)
4. There’s a soft side to him in this movie,
5. Oh…and I don’t need to say which actor plays him…
 
So…now it’s over to you 5 Bloggers…you’ve been tagged! I’ve been out of Blogging touch for ages so this is also a way to say Hi again:
MaedezA Small Press Life (Gill tagged Ruth so I’ll tag you)
RebeccaTaking up Room
DebbieMoon in Gemini (I’m missing your Blogathons Debbie)
 

Odd or Even…that is the question…

…that formed the basis of the Odd or Even Blogathon, hosted by RealWeegieMidget Reviews and Taking Up Room. But, njahahahaha, while I was all game to let them decide (fairly, I might add, by coin toss) if I was to write about my odd-yeared or even-yeared movie, I had come up with my own little twist. You see, I simply gave them “O and 2003” for the movie made in an odd year and “B ” for my choice of movie made in an even year. The coin was tossed…Open Range (2003) it was. Yaaaay! Had been wanting to re-watch that movie for a while.

Boss Spearman (Robert Duvall), together with his three loyal hands Charley Waite (Kevin Costner), Mose (Abraham Benrubi) and Button (Diego Luna), is driving his cattle across the great open plains. Out of necessity, some supplies are required and Mose is sent to the closest town. When Mose doesn’t come back after 2 days, Boss and Charley head on into town to see what’s happened (they know something is wrong because Mose is a gentle soul, just like the group’s loyal dog Tig). Finding Mose in jail brings them their first encounter with disgraceful Sheriff Poole (James Russo, who is always so brilliant as the bad guy in westerns (ok, fine, I’ve only ever seen him in westerns)) and Denton Baxter (Michael Gambon). They had been waiting for Boss to come on through because Baxter, a rich land baron who rules the town with his group of thugs and of course Sheriff Poole, dislikes “free grazers” or, open range cattlemen, a threat to his own stock. This sets the stage for many further encounters which, of course, come to a blasting climax.

Kevin Costner directs this movie and I must admit, I really enjoy his works. Be it in front of or behind the camera. He brings with him a sense of calmness but this is not to be confused with boring as Open Range is nothing like that. It is about men who want to move forwards with their life because the past wasn’t something to be proud of. Of men who just can’t walk away when their friends and lives (and livelihoods) are threatened. And about not simply moving aside for those who feel they are better, more powerful just because of their supposed status and wealth. About dreams and missed opportunities. And living. So, while this western doesn’t start with gun-fight after gun-fight after gun-fight but rather a character study and introduction to these men and why they have such utter respect for each other, the end becomes more powerful because they are pushed back into what they once were (and were trying to forget). Throughout the movie we are left wondering how each situation will develop.

The scenery is stunning and, well, need I mention the acting? Robert Duvall is always a pleasure to watch. I especially like him in these “mentor”* roles where, without trying he earns utter respect from those around him, including me, the viewer. I admire how he handles situations, thinks things through and says it how it is when warranted. Kevin Costner is perfect as Charley with that calm demeanor (most of the time) yet one can see the internal battles going on. In fact, the casting here is absolutely perfect – those actors already mentioned are complemented by Annette Bening, Michael Jeter, Dean McDermott and many more.

*By the way, my “even” year choice for this was Broken Trail (2006) and coincidentally also starts Robert Duvall in a similar role. Another recommended movie to watch if you haven’t done so already.

So glad I picked this as one of my choices and that Gill’s hubby tossed the coin. Watching this was long overdue. Head on over to RealWeegieMidget Reviews or Taking Up Room for more entries to this wonderful Blogathon. Gill, Rebecca, thanks for hosting. It has been great fun!

 

 

Outsiders…

I was recently “tagged” for something a little different by Gill of RealWeegieMidget Reviews. Thanks Gill.

The rules (as taken over from Gill as taken over from Rebecca of Taking up Room) are as follows (and very simple to explain):

  • Nominate one or more people to review the film or films of your choice. Or you can request they review something from a certain year, genre, or star. Everyone can review the same thing, or you can request each person cover something different. As long as it’s something they haven’t written about yet, you’re good.

  • Nominees are allowed to request a different pick for whatever reason no more than five times. Stuff happens. We all know it.

  • Nominees must thank the person who nominated them and provide a link their blog.

  • Nominees may nominate others to keep the tag going. Picking the person who nominated them is allowed, or they can nominate someone else. Maybe both.

  • All participants need to include these rules in their post, whether they’re nominees or picking nominees.

  • All participants should use the “Pick My Movie” banner or something similar in their posts.

  • Have fun!

With that out the way, let me go on. The movie I was tagged for was “A Brat Pack Movie”. Well Gill, I’m so glad this is what I was given because…actually, I’d never seen one of those classified as such (granted, Young Guns and Young Guns II I’ve obviously seen but with it starring only one Brat Pack Member i.e. Emilio Estevez, I don’t see this as truly counting). So, off for some reading I went. And found that the term was first used in a magazine story and ultimately to be a core member of The Brat Pack meant having starred in either St. Elmo’s Fire or The Breakfast Club. The former movie didn’t really appeal (reading the plot outline) and I’m sorry but I recently started watching the latter one but somehow didn’t get very far (maybe I should try again?) so, off I went to find another option. To stumble upon The Outsiders (1983).

So glad I did. Totally not what I expected. Well, to be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect but definitely not such a serious movie.

It deals with the “two sides of the track” i.e. the Greasers and the Socs (Socials). The Greasers come from broken families or those who just struggle to get by/aren’t socialites or spoilt kids. But, that doesn’t mean that the kids from these families don’t have ambitions. Yes, some have ended up with not such a clean track record while others are really acting out in the only way they know. Or, in the way that keeps them liked or feeling as belonging.

Among them are Ponyboy (C. Thomas Howell) and Johnny (Ralph Macchio) who, after various incidents, find themselves in a tumble with the Socs. Having passed out from a near drowning, Ponyboy comes to, finding Johnny holding a knife and a dead Soc. The two boys go into hiding but there another tragic incident, seeing the boys trying to do good, brings more sad consequences. I won’t give away all the details because I’d hate to spoil it – I was so glad I had no idea what I was in for when watching this. All I can add is that each of the other Greasers are trying to get by in their own way, given how they have been brought up or the hand that life has dealt them. This brings up some tender, sad, tragic, anger-inducing and hopeful moments/scenes, each in their own way matching the boy it affects (and I’m not saying “deserving” at all…just that it all makes sense, be it good or bad).

Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze, Matt Dillon, Diane Lane (I barely recognised her) and Tom Cruise all have fantastic roles in this coming of age movie. It is a really good movie, but then what else is to be expected from director Francis Ford Coppola.

So, I know that the pool of bloggers I know is quite small and have already been nominated by Gill or be Rebecca, so, instead of us all pinging back and forth, I’m going to set out the nomination: any “classical, spaghetti or epic style” Western because we watch way too few westerns these days. So, “modern” ones like “No Country for Old Men”, the alien/fantasy ones like “Cowboys & Aliens”, Horror, Space, Sci-Fi etc are all excluded from this Tag.

 

I definitely knew your name…

…before Bond.

For me the choice is simple. Who else but Daniel Craig. For two reasons…the first being that I really enjoy his movies and have done so before he became Bond. Back in the day when not too many people had heard of him (or so I think was the case).

And more fittingly, because he is the only Bond I actually enjoy. Pre-Craig, I couldn’t be bothered with 007 movies, the odd snippets I had seen were just, dare I say, kitsch and cheesy and just not my cup of martini, oops, tea…especially where a dude has silver bits (or was it diamonds in his face?) or some people prance around glass palaces. Anyway…back to the topic at hand…

I had initially noticed Daniel Craig in I Dreamed of Africa but only when he appeared in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (cringe, did I just admit to watching that?) did I consciously register this actor but hey, he still wasn’t in many movies at the time (or it was just pre-IMDB and I was none the wiser). But then came L4yer Cake (2004) and that’s where he was absolutely fantastic. And note-worthy. Re-watching it this last month, I recognised the Bond he was to become.

L4yer Cake (yes, L4yer) is one of those brilliant British movies (think Lock, Stock… or Snatch) where a successful (businessman) drug dealer, ? as we never know his name (Daniel Craig) decides he wants “out” but of course it isn’t that easy. Just as he decides to call it a day he is tasked with one last job: to find the daughter of a seriously influential friend of his boss. This task in itself isn’t easy and to complicate matter more (I mean, why not? We wouldn’t have a story otherwise), the stakes go up with a huge number of Ecstasy pills needing to be moved coming into the mix (no pun intended). layer after layer of back-stabbing, gangs, lies and a pretty lady (Sienna Miller) are stacked upon each other, make for an interesting watch. No longer knowing who to trust our unknown leading character must navigate his way through this dangerous mess.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching L4yer Cake again for the first time in many, many years because it is just such a great movie but because it was so interesting to see Daniel Craig in a role that I felt almost gave hints of what was to come. Obviously, this wasn’t the case but I definitely felt some Bond recognition. Then again, I guess it is the style of the actor that makes the character. In fact this scene just sums it all up:

Oh, and to see Tom Hardy, wow, I couldn’t even remember he was in this one – not the biggest role but still fun to watch. Sir Michael Gambon and Colm Meaney star as the double-crossers yielding the power. All in all, L4yer Cake is well made with the layers (yes, picture a cake made up of different criminal layers) adding to the one already there i.e. our nameless dealer just wants to get out of the business but one job is added to another, one challenge to the one before making for an interesting end.

Well, then we have a total opposite of a role for Daniel Craig. Another one that I saw pre-Bond i.e. pre-Casino Royale. Here I saw what a brilliant actor Mr Craig is, how he delivers such contrasting roles to perfection. Or, at least I think so. The Mother is the movie I’m talking about now.

Here we have Darren (Daniel Craig of course), boyfriend of Paula and repairer of Bobby and wife Helen‘s conservatory. But, that’s the simple part. The complexity is that we have mother of Paula and Bobby, May (Anne Reid). Still all good, right? Well, not for long because while May is staying with Bobby and Helen in London, she is introduced to Darren. The form a connection around art and well, ultimately other things. Darren is also a married man. I think you see this is all one complex family setup but the movie revolves around May and the relationship (let me say that we’re not talking about just “friends”) she has with Darren but also with her children. May fears she will become an “invisible old lady” but also struggles to come to terms with her depression while raising her children and the effects this has had on them.

While this isn’t a feel good movie by any means, it is thought provoking (controversial?) and raises interesting questions around family relationships, growing older and parenting. But, it shows what a versatile actor Daniel Craig was/is. He is able to take on complex characters and portray them perfectly – from the quiet (and destructive) handy-man to passionate lover.

Granted, The Mother is definitely not for everyone but after having seen this and the previously mentioned L4yer Cake, I was totally hooked on an actor I’d never heard of before. And one who, at that time, wasn’t so well known as he is now.

And he’s the only reason I ever watched  Casino Royale. I honestly wouldn’t have bothered otherwise. I’m not sure (and I’m not really interested, sorry 🙂 ) what the previous Bond movies were like, but ever since Casino Royale, I’ve enjoyed them (ok, exclude Quantum of Solace).

For some more reading on non-Bond Bond actor movies, head on over to Real Weegie Midget Reviews or Pale Writer for their You Knew My Name: The Bond not Bond Blogathon.

PS: Gill and Pale Writer, I’m sorry I’m late – I had in my mind that I still had today. Arghhh, the calendar in my brain is a bit out at the moment. Could we use the excuse…ahm…Daniel Craig?

 

In a Nutshell: Knives Out (2019)

It has been a while since I’ve come across a good one like this. Clever, wacky and at times weird, Knives Out is one hell of an off-beat investigation movie. You know it’s going to be a good one from the start…rather, from the point you are introduced to the “last of the gentlemen sleuths” Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig, who I’m enjoying so much in these strange roles – this one and you really should check out Logan Lucky…he’s brilliant there too). Yes, yes, OK, from the very beginning it has you curious, especially the family in question, but that single piano note has you all in. Don’t ask…just watch. Really.

We are introduced to the patriarch on his couch…with a slit throat. Suicide. Clearly. Add a gathering of eccentric family members. And a systematic piecing together of events together with the patriarch’s caregiver who cannot lie without puking. Yes, it’s true. The plot thickens. And the secrets come out.

So, at risk of giving something away, I’m just going to say that this is so worth watching. Hmmm, Daniel Craig’s accent takes some time getting used to but hey, it just fits in with this wacky movie. This whodunit stars a colourful ensemble of Toni Collette, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Christopher Plummer, Michael Shannon, LaKeith Stanfield, Don Johnson Noah Segan and a whole lot more.

It’s One Fine Day…

…for a Meg Ryan movie. You know, those feel-good Meg movies? The Meg from the 90s (and a teeny bit of the start of the 2000s). Gosh, can’t remember when last I’ve watched something with her in. And, it’s a rainy day. Perfect for a screwball romcom. Oh…and even better for cheering up bloggers who found themselves in the Blogathon Blues.

So Paul here’s for you and what else but Addicted to Love (1997).

Back in the day, any Meg Ryan movie that came out, I’d head off to the cinema with my school friends to watch. No discussion. But Addicted to Love managed to fly under my movie radar. No idea why I missed that one. But, somehow it made its into my DVD collection. “Somehow” meaning: it had Meg in it and I was in the mood for a romcom I hadn’t seen before. And it didn’t disappoint back then or now (or the times I’ve seen it in between).

Maggie‘s (Meg Ryan) former fiancé and Sam‘s (Matthew Broderick) girlfriend (well, by this stage “former” too) have fallen in love. What was meant to be a two month teaching trip for Linda (Kelly Preston) to New York turned out to be a falling in love with French restaurateur Anton (Tchéky Karyo). Sam desperately believing he and Linda are soulmates, heads to New York to get her back. And finds himself in an abandoned building opposite the one where Anton has his swish apartment. This to bide out the time until what he believes will be breakup time. Maggie wants revenge. Big time revenge. She wants to bring Anton to his knees. For using her. And so ends up…well, in an abandoned building opposite the one where Anton has his swish apartment. Yep, that one. Sam’s one.

Maggie is tough, no-nonsense and cynical (as only Meg could be). Sam is sweet and naive. They couldn’t be different. And, while tolerating each other, they end up scheming together to reach their respective goals. Not noticing, of course, that they more than just a perfect team. That’s why it is a romcom after all.

This one I find slightly different to the others of the genre. While it starts out in that off-beat and screwball manner (you can see it coming just from the opening tune), I personally find it doesn’t quite follow the typical “formula” of this genre but almost becomes serious in the last third. Not in a bad way but it tends to be more thought provoking. The viewer (and Sam) soon comes to realise that Maggie has lost the plot somewhere along the line and that her revenge has gone far beyond just getting even. But, with this there comes a bittersweet ending. One not so typical of the screwball romcoms (I once again was in tears (poor Lassie)) but just as satisfying.

Perfect rainy day watching with Meg Ryan the best in these roles. I especially love her character in this one especially her biker look (love the glasses). As always, she brings a refreshing quirkiness to the movie.

But now, before you watch this, head on over to Paul of Pfeiffer Pfilms and Meg Movies (here) who is hosting this Addicted to Love on One Fine Day Blogathon and even more importantly, is the biggest Addicted to Love and One Fine Day fan ever!

 

 

Melting Pot of Injustice…The Crucible

How utterly disgusting the misuse of power, the deceit of people and the abuse of innocence.

That is how I found The Crucible (1996). Don’t get me wrong…not the movie being disgusting but what people are capable of. All for their own agenda. How they destroy the lives of good and innocent people. The reasons are numerous….some for revenge, some in the name of higher institutions, others just to save their own lives because they’ve been pulled into this vicious circle.

The story is set during the Salem witch-hunts in the period of 1692 to 1693. What starts as a group of girls dancing around a fire in the forest while “casting love spells” for those they dream of, becomes a hysterical hunt for anyone and everyone even looking in the wrong direction or saying the wrong word at the wrong time. Little do these girls know what their revelry has unleashed as almost every family in the village has some charge of witchcraft against them. Where formerly the community lived in harmony and happiness (with the usual village politics), even those who are know for their goodness suddenly become suspects and scapegoats for other’s problems, greed or misdoings. Anyone who is different is prejudiced. Anyone who was honest now lies to stay alive.

I’d read Arthur Miller’s The Crucible many years ago at high school and remember enjoying it. Although, I barely remembered the story. I’d been meaning to watch this for ages and starring one of my favourite actors, Daniel Day-Lewis, I no longer had an excuse. One seeing the opening credits I was happy to see that Arthur Miller wrote the screenplay. I always appreciate that in movies because it means the story stays close to what the author envisages. Or, at least wants to be shown in the movie. This certainly paid off in this case as Arthur Miller was nominated for both an Academy Award for “Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published” and BAFTA Award for “Best Screenplay – Adapted”. The movie also received Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations in other categories and won a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor.

The play won the 1953 Tony Award for Best Play. So wow, really quite an achievement for both arts in which it has been presented.

The movie is very powerful and, although I’m not a sensitive person, I found it extremely exhausting to watch. I felt frustrated and disgusted by the characters and wished the “authorities” could just come to their senses and see what was really going on. And wished that those who stood up and tried to challenge the system wouldn’t be shut down. And that people can just be accepted for who they are even if they are different. I can’t remember being that upset with society back at school when reading it. Maybe it is because in the movie the atrocities are visual. Or that time has changed my outlook.

As you already know, the story and screenplay were written by Arthur Miller and is brought to life by a stellar cast of Daniel Day-Lewis, Joan Allen, Winona Ryder, Paul Scofield, Rob Campbell, Jeffrey Jones and many more. Well worth a watch but not light fare.

For other movies that are based on Tony Award winning plays, head on over to Taking Up Room for her Tony Edition of The Fourth Broadway Bound Blogathon over here: here.

 

The perfect excuse to watch Hannie Caulder…

Another movie I‘d somehow avoided until Gill of Realweegiemidget Reviews tempted me with a Christopher Lee Blogathon. Gosh…I didn’t want to say no but, aside from Lord of the Rings, Christopher Lee roles are unknown to me. Ok..maybe the few minutes, if that, in Sleepy Hollow. But, I thought I needed something more. So, off to IMDB I went. And found the perfect excuse to finally watch Hannie Caulder.

Now, this is one movie that ‘d avoided mostly because the DVD cover just didn’t quite do it for me. It looked a bit…I don’t know…how should I say…ahem…let’s settle for “dodgy” or, to clarify, a bit too “sultry”. And secondly, the story premise, well, I wasn’t sure I was in the mood for it. But then, on the other hand, how bad can a 1971 western with Ernest Borgnine and Raquel Welch really be? So, I set my preconceived judgments aside, entered the Blogathon, watched the movie and….was really pleasantly surprised.

Yes, the beginning, where Hannie Caulder (Raquel Welch) is raped wasn’t pleasant, and I’m never enjoy watching these type of scenes but, after that, it got better. Because, Hannie Caulder, in nothing but a poncho, what appears to be some tatty sole-less shoes and one huge amount of revenge on the mind, comes across bounty hunter Thomas Price (Robert Culp, who, I admit, I’d never heard of before now). She eventually convinces him to teach her how to shoot and starts the search for the three Clemens brother miscreants, so superbly played by Ernest Borgnine (who I always enjoy watching), Jack Elam and Strother Martin. As much as these brothers were absolutely vile characters, the actors taking on these roles…well, wow, they played them brilliantly.And that’s where Christopher Lee comes in. He’s a renown gunsmith Bailey, living in a relatively remote (or maybe just out-of-the way) spot in Mexico. Price, finally having learnt of Hannie’s experience, brings her to Bailey to commission the ideal weapon for her. As much as Christopher Lee has a small role here, he brings this only Western character he played to life with such compassion and insight. I thoroughly enjoyed his role where he, to me, sees more than just two people coming for a gun. He sees beyond what Hannie later claims, that she doesn’t care about Price, that’s she’s only using him. As much as Hannie needs to go on once she has her fast-draw and light(er) gun, there is almost this feeling that she, together with Price, could build up something together. Have a life together. That they realise this while at Bailey‘s. Maybe I’m reading too much into it. But, ultimately, I really enjoyed Lee as a father and gunsmith. He also brings some calmness to the movie which balances the chaotic Clemens brothers, who, believe it or not, amongst the havoc they cause, also bring some comic relief.

How the rest of the story pans out, well, I’ll leave that for you to see. No point me giving it away. But, let me just say, don’t be put off by the terrible DVD cover (which in my version has Welch in nothing but poncho/blanket and showing lots of leg and in another has her perched in a revealing dress between the Clemens‘). This is a really good revenge western. And nothing as sultry as the covers would have you think.

Price has his words of wisdom, which resonate far beyond the end credits.

Head on over to the wonderful Blogathon hosts, Realweegiemidget Reviews (here) and Cinematic Catharsis (here) for more on Christopher Lee.

6 Films, 6 Decades…6 Difficult Choices…

..but, I guess I need to get it down to 1 per decade. Really difficult, especially for the 1950s. And the 1960s even more so. Even the 70s…oh darn it, all the decades are tough calls. Oh? What it is? Yes, right, I forgot to tell you. I need to list my favourite movie from each decade starting with the 1920s to the 1970s or, we’re allowed to shift it from the 1930s to the 1980s. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do because, and I’m really sorry (I need to rectify this asap), I just haven’t seen more than one or two movies from the 20s. And, well, the 1980s, need I say more about that decade? But, let me stop waffling along and get to the point:The 1930s brings to mind one of my absolute best, and not only of the 30s, but in general. Ask a Policeman. Sergeant Dudfoot (Will Hay) and his two constables, Albert (Graham Moffat) and Harbottle (Moore Marriott) proudly boast that their village has had no crime for 10 years, 5 weeks and 4 days. But, this means that the quaint little police station is no longer required. So, to justify their positions, Dudfoot and Co are so busy trying to stage some fake crime that they are oblivious to the real thing happening right beneath their very eyes…quite literally so too. A great comedy that you should really try to see.

Moving along to the 1940s which brought many gems but, for those of you who know me, it should be no surprise that one of my all time favourites is Yellow Sky. Without even a second thought. It has Gregory Peck as Stretch heading up a gang of bank robbers on the run across the desert. Parched and close on dead, the stumble upon a ghost town. Not so abandoned after all, they are surprised to find Mike (Anne Baxter) and her (yes, “her”) Grandpa prospecting there. The gang slowly unravels when greed, love and priorities come into play. A brilliant western.

Now, the 1950s is where I really struggle as there are a number of excellent movies here and my favourite really does sway from time to time. But, I need to go with nostalgia and the start of my love for movies. The one that brings my earliest classic movie memories to the fore. Therefore, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers just has to feature as my favourite here. Or, rather, as the favourite of the little girl I once was. I’m sure most of you know the story of how the 7 Pontipee brothers found their 7 brides. For me, though, it was about Milly (Jane Powell) and her beautiful dresses, her wonderful personality, her on-screen presence. Yes, of course I loved the singing and dancing but at that point I would have loved nothing more than to be Milly. Thinking back, I think it was because she could hold her own yet be the perfect romantic lead. Childhood memories aside, today, I’d probably say my 1950s favourite is Vera Cruz.

On to the 1960s. I really have a problem here as I have a whole lot of childhood favourites here which I cannot simply ignore…so, I’ll do a quick detour before finally coming to my real favourite. So, The War Wagon was how I fell in love with the Western and made John Wayne my movie star hero (no brat pack guys for this teen back then). I watched this over and over until I discovered The Reivers in my parents’ Super 8 collection. But, Mutiny on the Bounty and the adventure that came with it was also amongst those prized reels. And then I fell in love with Andrew Craig and his Nobel Prize Ceremony antics i.e. Paul Newman in The Prize. To this day, these movies, now on DVD, have a special place in my heart. But, one of my all-time favourites (ever) has got to be The Magnificent Seven. You all know the story so I won’t go into detail but who can resist the Western version of the Seven Samurai with none other than Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen heading a cast of favourite cowboy actors? I never tire of this one.

The 1970s brings on a similar situation as the 1960s. Gut feel, right now, says my favourite is Big Jake, another one I grew up with. To this day I know line for line of this kidnapping/ransom demand Western and give it a watch at least once a year. Need we mention the “you can call me Father, you can call me….but if you ever call me daddy again….” or “…your fault, my fault, nobody’s fault…”? You just need to watch it for these lines (amongst others…maybe “cold camp”). Here John Wayne is joined by real life sons Patrick and Ethan Wayne (playing on-screen sons), ever wonderful Maureen O’Hara, Bruce Cabot and perfect villain Richard Boone. So, hmmm, maybe I should just say it…my 1970s favourite. Although The Sting, The Cowboys, Lolly Madonna XXX and The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing all feature on my list of top movies in this decade.

The 1980s had some wonderful movies but Le Grand Bleu, without a doubt, is absolutely amazing and one of my all-time favourite movies. I started watching it late one night and just couldn’t go to bed….when I finally did I had cried myself silly. To wake up the next morning still dazed (and puffy eyed) and an emotional wreck, all I wanted was to watch it over. And over. Being a diver myself (although not a free diver) I could just “feel” the peace and calm that Jacques experienced. This Luc Besson movie has rivals Enzo (Jean Reno) and Jacques (JeanMarc Barr) diving dangerously deeper and deeper just to outdo each other. An absolutely stunning movie with the perfect tag line: Danger…Like Passion…Runs Deep. Just make sure you watch the Director’s Cut which comes in at 168 minutes.

So, there you have it. My 6 Films across 6 Decades. Thanks to Classic Film & TV Café for hosting this Blogathon. Head on over here for more entries.

What makes you so sure?

That you’d gun down 4 men? You were sure it was them. You were hell-bent on revenge. You just knew it was them. Even though they begged and pleaded. Claimed they were innocent. Yet blinded by revenge, grief, hatred, you did it anyway.

I’d passed over The Bravados (1958) many a time because it just sounded heavy. And so it was. One of those westerns that isn’t purely for escapism but thought provoking. Jim Douglass (Gregory Peck) rides in to a village constructing some gallows for hanging 4 men. The same four men, it turns out, that Jim has been relentlessly pursuing. They murdered his wife. Those bastards. And he intends to see them pay for it. With their lives of course.

(Stop here if you don’t want spoilers)

But, they escape (with a kidnap victim) . And Jim, with the help of his former love, Josefa Velarde (Joan Collins) hunts them down once more. This time, however, he kills them one by one. They are, after all, kidnappers, villains and rapists (some of them). As he gets to his final outlaw the truth is revealed. The four men had never been to Jim‘s ranch. They just happened to be passing there at the wrong time, when Jim was blinded by events and made assumptions. And failed to see the obvious. The real killer who was never on the run. It is at this point that the heaviness of this movie really hits home. How, no matter how much we often think we know events or the truth, no matter how much someone else tells us otherwise, we act based on our opinions, often to realise too late how horribly wrong we were. When things cannot be undone.

Yes, the 4 outlaws might have been guilty of many crimes (hence the pending hanging) which, in this case weren’t for the murder of a young mother and wife, but, does it justify the revenge taken for one crime that never happened to be “transferred” to other crimes that really were committed? Jim killed the men for all the wrong reasons. It was not his justice to have. As much as the villagers thought otherwise. He knows he is now just as guilty as them. How can he live with himself? I don’t think he does but his belief system is definitely changed. And that makes him deserve a second chance at a life with his daughter and Josefa. She is the voice of reason he needs to come to terms with himself and make a new future.

Josefa raises some interesting points to ponder. About love’s chances lost. What would have been had she and Jim made it as a couple. Would everything have been different? No murder to revenge? No beautiful child? I’m always fascinated by these ideas. That life takes you on a path but would circumstances have made it any different or would the same events have happened anyway? Or, was it all how it was meant to be? That ultimately Josefa and Jim were to be together but only with the journey they had to make to get there.

Gregory Peck, as always, is absolutely convincing, and sometimes even a little scary, in this serious role. He is ruthless, cold and hard as nails. And that’s were Joan Collins balances him out perfectly. She brings a lightness along that is never undermining now is she overshadowed by Peck‘s presence. And isn’t afraid to buy him a beer.

Now, I must admit, this was the first role I’d ever seen Joan Collins in. I’d only ever heard of her or seen photos from the last 20 years or so. But never had I encountered the young beautiful actress I found in The Bravados. While her role was relatively small, I thoroughly enjoyed her and will keep an eye out for other roles.

Amazing that even one of my favourite cowboy actors Gregory Peck couldn’t initially entice me to watch this western (and you all know I’m a huge Gregory Peck and western fan). Neither could perfect villain Lee Van Cleef. But along came the Joan Collins Blogathon, hosted by Gill over at RealWeegieMidgetReviews, and I just couldn’t let her (Gill and Joan) down. So glad I finally watched it. For other entries to this wonderful Blogathon, head on over here: here

I don’t usually read celebrity autobiographies…

…but Greenlights caught my attention. And, so confirms, yet again, my belief that I don’t find the book. It finds me.

I’m really not sure why Matthew McConaughey‘s book was recommended to me on an online bookstore as I haven’t browsed any similar books. Or, why I even bothered to look at it. But, somehow I did. Somehow I was meant to. Because it is really great!

And, to be honest, until now I wasn’t one to consciously go find his movies. In general, I’m not really phased about celebrity personal lives either. But Matthew is such a cool dude in this book. He so casually and matter-of-factly tells us about his life, his experiences. Not in an I’m-so-brilliant-I’m-such-a-Hollywood-star way but rather like a down-to-earth guy just dishing out his thoughts. What I enjoyed were his green lights thrown in. This things that are positive about life. His take on things. Not preaching. Not a self-help book. But once again, just really “oh-of-course” thoughts, notes, advice (to himself) and other affirmations that make perfect sense.

I flew through this book within a few evenings. I’ve been a bad reader in the past few years as I’ve just been too tired and too busy…lame excuse I know but it is true. So, when I polish off a book this quickly it’s good. Really good.

But probably it comes down to the fact that Matthew does tell a pretty good story. He’s had some interesting experiences. There are some bits that make me rethink what is important and what not. Like the part where he went to Germany for a motorbike trip with some friends and they totally wrecked one of the bikes. How, the guy from the rental place didn’t rant and rave, losing his cool and demand immediate payment but instead, first asked if they were OK and then drove to Italy with a brand new bike so the guys could finish their journey. Would I react that way?

What has really stuck with me was his chat about “unbelievable”. We use that word way too much and totally wrong. Think of something fantastic. Anything beautiful. Or amazing. Why should we describe it as “unbelievable”? We should acknowledge it. State how spectacular or special it is rather than doubt or downplay it by saying “wow, that’s just unbelievable”. But, that’s me. And the bit that made a difference to me.

Ultimately, this is a story well told and would be so famous author or not (and I mean that as a compliment). It’s never arrogant nor preaching. Just a damn good read.

The Gundown…(not) so bad. It’s good.

Yep, here we have a movie, deemed by many to be bad (4.5/10 on IMDB and scoreless on Rotten Tomatoes). But, I find it good. No great or excellent, but good. It is one of those movies I find myself watching at least once…let me go check (yes, I’m the nerd who keeps a DVD database including watch frequency)…well, every couple of years. And I even own in on DVD. All too often we expect the caliber of the big epic Hollywood movies and forget the “smaller” ones, those with less attention, often deemed as B-movies. The Gundown (2011) is one worth mentioning.

I came across it a few years back after having watched another poorly rated The Mountie (aka Lawman) (now, that’s a Western I only watched once and still am not sure if I enjoyed it or not), but it introduced me to actor Andrew W. Walker whom I thought did a really decent job of being a cowboy. As it goes with my desperate attempts to find unseen Westerns, I looked him up and voila, came across this one. Here he is quiet Cole Brandt, seeking revenge for the murder of his wife and child. Bringing in two wanted men to the town of Dead River, he inadvertently has more on his hands than he bargained for. Travis McCain (William Shockley) the local thug and brothel/hotel owner has found that forcing the townsfolk to pay him for protection (from his own outlaw gang) is easy work. Of course, he doesn’t count on Cole taking a deputy sheriff position or a liking to Cassey (one of the working ladies).

And so you have a very watchable Western with gun-fights, wagon chases and some romance thrown in. While much of it is predictable (come on, so many movies are anyway) and the acting and dialogue sometimes rigid, it really is a decent bit of escapism. I always enjoy Andrew W. Walker (I admit to watching quite a few of his made for TV romance movies) and together with the supporting cast of Peter Coyote (you’ll recognise him from A Walk to Remember), Sheree J. Wilson* (who does a fine job of taking over the saloon here), Allison Gordon, Paul McCarthy-Boyington amongst others, they manage to hold this one together.

Yes, it isn’t The Magnificent Seven, Once Upon a Time in the West, 3:10 to Yuma or put any another big-budget Western here. But who cares? Sometimes the most unexpected and underrated movie, with no prior expectations becomes perfect.

That’s why Taking Up Room‘s annual So Bad It’s Good Blogathon is welcome because for me, we can unashamedly write about movies that are deemed bad even though we think they are good (well, that’s one way of interpreting the Blogathon and I’ll stick with it). Although, movies we enjoy, no matter what the rating should always be allowed to shine, if only for oneself. Thanks Rebecca for your wonderful Blogathon – it always is fun writing about (and reading others) those “dud” movies. You can find more entries (here)

*Oooh, RealWeegieMidget Reviews, she’s been in 127 episodes of Dallas!?

The Pirates are to blame…

…that the Captain ran into the storm and abandoned ship with everyone bar the Swiss Family Robinson.

Run aground, en route from Europe to New Guinea are the members of the Robinson family and some drenched animals. Poor things. The start of one of my favourite movies.

While it may be dated (who cares?), I always sit there with a smile on my face watching this 1960 adventure movie. Before I go on…there might be some spoilers ahead. Just so you know.

Pirate Chief Kuala (Sessue Hayakawa), is not only to blame for the family’s new home on a magnificent island (I did a post on their house (here) a while back) but for introducing us to Fritz‘ (James MacArthur) future love interest (and Ernst‘s (Tommy Kirk) crush too. You see, they’re a bad bunch these pirates and have taken Captain Moreland (Cecil Parker) and his “cabin boy” Roberta (Janet Munro) captive. Fritz and Ernst, meanwhile, have embarked on some brotherly bonding and are exploring their new island home. Coincidentally and conveniently, they come across a pirate fist-fight and in the commotion manage to free Roberta. There flees the leverage for a handsome (or should I say pretty) ransom. That also means that we haven’t seen the last of our pirates.

Our trio have an adventure and discover the island along with the fact that Roberta is a girl (and the daughter of Captain Moreland). Of course we’d be disappointed if there wasn’t some romance and I admit, it really is sweet.

Of course there can’t be an end without another pirate showdown. After all: “The pirates know you took their prisoner. They also know you are someone on this island. Do you think they are likely to forget about that?”. It really is a fun ending with coconut bombs, rolling logs and a single family taking on a whole lot of pirates.

We know what to expect just before those credits roll but we also know that it is a family movie after all. A great one of learning to survive, that plans unexpectedly change and that romance can be found in the most unusual of places. Yes, every now and then you have to look past the absurd, or the things that somehow just don’t fit in properly, but if you remember that this is Walt Disney escapism and 1960s pirate fun, you’ll enjoy it.

John Mills and Dorothy McGuire are Father and Mother, with Kevin Corcoran completing the family as son Francis.

For other pirate related topics, head on over to Hamlette’s Soliloquy (here) for her Pirate Week Blogathon.

 

 

 

Home (not so) Sweet Home from the Hill…

“This is a rotten home”, Wade Hunnicut’s own words. Just after admitting “We’re rotten parents”. Not such a sweet home after all. Not at all. But here, finally the realisation hits home (no pun intended) and plans to change things are hinted at. But all too late…

How did we even get to this point? Well, with Home from the Hill, the 1960 movie based on William Humphrey’s book of the same name and directed by Vincente Minnelli. Captain Wade Hunnicutt (Robert Mitchum), his wife Hannah (Eleanor Parker) and Theron (George Hamilton), the wealthiest family in town also appear to be the perfect family. Well, aside from Wade, who is known as a notorious womaniser (and so by the philosophy of “like father like son”, his teen son is deemed the same). He just doesn’t know it yet.

While his parents are silently fighting each other and over their son, Theron has other problems, the teenage problems like girls and growing up. Over and above that, Wade expects Theron to grow up and become a man. The perfect opportunity being the hunt of a massive wild boar. But the cracks are bound to open wider and once they do, it all comes spilling out. Theron finally understand the complexities of his home where he has been shielded the unpleasantries including the realisation that he has a half-brother his father won’t acknowledge. And that’s exactly what eventually leads to the realisation that something has to change. It is just too late…and I’ll leave it at that without totally spoiling it.

Home from the Hill is one of those movies that has had to grow on me, but I’ve also had to grow up. Back when I first saw it as a teen on Super 8 reels, I don’t think the real issues were noticed. I just wasn’t aware of the deeper meanings. I think I must have been young and naive and really just seen the superficial part of it all, the love story. But now, it is all different. The complexities of families. The complexities of homes. The lengths people go to just to keep things together or, the way they throw it all away.

Wade and Hannah try the best they can, despite their differences, to bring up Theron in the most “normal” possible way. Shielding him from their problems. While they are trying to do this, the underlying tensions are very noticeable. Wade‘s shenanigans are obvious. Theron is just so protected that he doesn’t realise what is going on and in his mind the home is perfect. But once it is all out in the open, his views are of a home he is scared to give his own family one day. He doesn’t even want to try.

But, it isn’t only about Theron here. Rafe (George Peppard), the loyal employee of Wade, knows he is also the illegitimate son. Likewise does he know he wasn’t and isn’t wanted, yet vows to make a home like he never had. To make sure a child has a father. To make a difference. And even opens the doors of his home to Theron’s mother as if she was his own.

This drama looks at values of the older and younger generations, how the home is influenced not only by our experiences and upbringing but what we make of it. How change might be too late, yet for other things at the right time. How we make our homes and how we live them. We see how the man who grew up alone is able to provide what the man who grew up with his family can’t. Perfect for the Home Sweet Home Blogathon, because even though much of it is bitter, there is a sweeter note the movie finishes off on. The start of a happy home, a change, to make up for all the darkness before.

Head on over to Realweegiemidget Reviews (here) and Taking up Room (here) for other entries to this Blogathon. Thanks for hosting ladies! Was good to go down memory lane again.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunshine Blogger Award * 2, Blogger Recognition * 1…what a 2021 start…

Wow…what a start to my 2021 Blogging Year…bam! not one but 2 Sunshine Blogger Awards together with a Blogger Recognition patiently waiting for me. The perfect motivation after my year-long absence in the Blogosphere.

Thank you so much for thinking of me dear Taking Up Room (Rebecca) and Realweegiemidget Reviews (Gill). The awards are appreciated. I’m going to combine my next round of questions into one post (hope you don’t mind).

So…of course, the required rules for the Blogger Recognition:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  2. Post the award banner on your blog.
  3. Share the reason you started your blog.
  4. Share two pieces of advice for new bloggers.
  5. Nominate a maximum of 15 other bloggers.
  6. Tell your nominees about the award post, so they can participate

and Rules for the Sunshine Blogger:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you in the blog post and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Taking up Room’s questions:

What’s your hope for 2021?

Well, this is very cliché but I hope that things will get back to some sort of normality, whatever that may be. And, of course the annual hope that they year will be a good, healthy and happy one for family, friends and the natural world we have around us.

What helped you stay sane in 2020?

Well, to be very honest, I was so busy in 2020 that I didn’t have time to think about staying sane. Although, I must say, 2020 was good in bringing me back down to earth…with forced reduced hours and working off of overtime hours, I could find myself again through hiking, reading, watching movies and just having down time in general. I guess that kept me sane…or at least stopped the “I can’t go further” I was inevitably heading for at work.

Are there any movies you’re looking forward to this year?

I really don’t know what is out there. I’ve totally lost touch with the movies to be expected (and even what’s current). I do vaguely know that there is a last Daniel Craig James Bond due to be released so that’s what I’m looking forward to.

You can visit any five celebrity homes from any era. Which ones would you pick?

Oh my…I’m really bad with these type of questions but I’ll give it a go…hmmm…let me think…whew…gosh…I’ll get back to this one…

.

.

.

…sorry, there really isn’t anyone that comes to mind who’s home I’m interested in seeing.

You’re about to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. What, if anything, would you take that the experts might frown on?

Ooooh…oooh…Rebecca, this looks absolutely awesome. Wow…one day I’d like to tackle just a small portion. Well, I’d obviously take whatever is required and maybe, just maybe, sneak in a hot water bottle…I hate cold toes 🙂

Who are your three favorite film critics and why?

I don’t have any here…sorry. I’ve never found (of the few I’ve seen/read) a critic who’s recommendations fit with me. Besides, I always feel we all have such different opinions and thoughts that I’d just prefer making up my own mind. Film critics (in my opinion) tend to overthink movies and often forget about “movies for the sake of movies” and escapism.

When you’re watching stuff other than movies, do you prefer YouTube and streaming services or traditional broadcast TV?

Absolutely…traditional broadcast TV. I don’t like YouTube at all…find the content very random and (sorry) pointless. The only things I do watch on traditional TV though is the odd show that I choose to watch and even then, I don’t watch much at all.

If you could adapt a TV show into a movie, which one would you pick and why?

I can’t really say because I rarely watch TV shows. And things like Graham Norton Show or Would I Lie to You or Strictly Come Dancing work perfectly just as they are.

Which film prop or costume would you most like to own?

No idea…maybe something from one of the classic westerns but even then…I can’t tell you what. It would sit forgotten in a box anyway…

Who is your favorite movie or TV couple? Your least favorite?

I absolutely love Arianne and Centurion Quintus Dias in Centurion as well as, of course you shouldn’t be surprised, Cora Munro and Hawkeye in The Last of the Mohicans. Really irritating, although, that’s part of the role are Johana and Jacques Mayol in The Big Blue. I guess they’re not really my least favourite but just the couple that don’t fit…that’s the movie though.

What was the last album you listened to?

No album…just a random selection of the music on my “Cat’s Mix” playlist. I haven’t listened to an album in years…although, was probably Human by band A Life Divided.

 

Now for Realweegiemidget’s questions:

Have you ever met a celebrity somewhere random?

Nope. I’ve never met any celebrity. Only seen Gerard Butler from a distance and then some cyclists up close…Jan Ullrich, Peter Sagan, Fabian Cancellara and a few more over the years. None of them I’ve “met”.

Have you ever had a celebrity write to you in response to your fan letter?

I’ve never written a fan letter (I’m not that kind of person) but, I did once write to author Sue Grafton asking her if she knew how I could get hold of her very unheard of book The Lolly Madonna War (turned into a movie I quite like). She answered me with a wonderful letter including wondering why I would want to find a book that she herself doesn’t much like herself. She continued to tell me that she was busy with book S in her alphabet mystery series. I now have that letter tucked into the hard copy of S is for Silence.

What’s your favourite advert with an actor or actress.?

Ahm…I rarely watch TV and don’t noticed adverts.

If you could ghostwrite a celebrity’s autobiography with their permission who would it be?

Once again…I really don’t know. Maybe Daniel Day-Lewis…but I’m really not that phased about celebrity lives.

Have you ever been on telly or in a movie?

Yes…when I was in primary school I was in a Winter Wonderland ballet production that was broadcast on TV. What a long day of takes and retakes and retakes. I also took part two years running in “The 24 Hour Film Project” where I had small role.

Who was your first film or TV love?

John Wayne! John Wayne! John Wayne!

You are allowed to snog, marry or avoid three movie or TV stars.. who are they?

Hahaha…just for fun I’ll go with this one…

Snog…ahm…a young Christian Slater (my film love after John Wayne once I’d discovered newer movies)

Marry…aw…hmmm…ok, Daniel Craig.

Avoid…absolutely wouldn’t go near many stars but for this one…let’s just say Jim Carrey.

If you could give out an Oscar which category would it be for..?

Most historically accurate picture (way too many are so horribly off)

Who would you like to accompany to the Oscars?

I’d rather watch it from home…but I’ll be some fun and say…Daniel Day-Lewis.

Which film would you watch again and again?

Would I? Rather do I…I watch The Last of the Mohicans, Yellow Sky and Catch and Release again and again and again and again and….you get my point 🙂

What’s your favourite TV Movie?

Hmmm…I don’t really know…hang on…let me go check in my collection what was a TV movie…so…The Legend of Butch and Sundance…yes, it doesn’t rate highly but I enjoy it. Actually…that’s an idea of what to watch this evening.

 

As for the questions required for this award…I find it really difficult coming up with questions I haven’t already asked…and nominating blogs that haven’t already been nominated by the person nominating me…so, I’ll park this part for now and make up for it on a rainy day. Promise.

 

Moving on to the Blogger Recognition award from Realweegiemidget:

Why did I start blogging? That was purely because I needed to write, to put my thoughts down. Never did I think of making them available to everyone out there in the blogosphere but only by doing so did I make a bigger effort to write. It was also at a time where I had a consulting drought and desperately needed to keep myself busy.

Advice to other bloggers…I always find this such a personal thing because everyone has their own thoughts and opinions so let me just say…write what you enjoy writing about and because you want to – blogging should be fun. And if you don’t want to or feel like it, leave it and write when it all feels right (no pun intended) again. Take a break if you need to…I’ve learnt that your blogging friends are still there when you get back.

And here too, I’m going to save posting it on to other blogs for now. I’ll save it for that rainy day.

Whew…that was quite a post…but I’ve so enjoyed writing it. Thanks Gill and Rebecca.

In a Nutshell…Den of Thieves (2018)

Gosh, can’t remember when last I watched Gerard Butler in a movie but he still is good. Aged he has (as have we all) but it works perfectly for his role as Nick, the rough and ruthless special cases sheriff. Here he, together with his crew, try to figure out the plans of a gang they’ve been surveilling. You’ll only start piecing it together roughly the same time Nick and the boys do and oh my, is it a clever piece of (reserve) bank robbery movie.

You’ll probably also get that gut feel that it is just not quite what it seems…or that there is something else on the go. You’ll never ever guess how this is all going to go down.

It might not be the most action-filled movie but the suspense and the puzzling is there from the very beginning. These are often the best (and no, it isn’t an “all talk” one either).

The cast is brilliant with Pablo Schreiber (now on my radar of actors…admittedly, I’d never heard of him before and didn’t realise how many movies of his rang a bell). Also part of a perfect cast are O’Shea Jackson Jr., 50 Cent, Maurice Compte, Brian Van Holt, Evan Jones, Mo McRae, Kaiwi Lyman amongst others.

It has been a while since I’ve watched a “gee, that was good” movie. This was it. Give it a go.

“…Don’t you worry…daddy’s home…”

…that’s the moment I knew The Boys was just great! Billy Butcher…I couldn’t imagine anyone else but Karl Urban in that role…here’s that bit:

One of those perfect lines followed by the equally perfect bit of soundtrack. I think the combo just did it. I was grinning from ear to ear. And shaking my head…in disbelief or who knows what…

Oh…The Boys? Yeah, well, that’s a strange one. Rogue superheroes and the shenanigans they get up to while saving (oh yeah? Saving? Right…whatever) the world.

As many of you know, I’m not really one that gets past the first, maybe second, episode of series (bar the few exceptions like Rome and Peaky Blinders), but this one kept me watching. As gruesome or just bizarre as it sometimes is (I mean come on, that dolphin scene is just wrong on so many levels – you’ll know which one when you see it), and as much as I absolutely detest Homelander (and threaten to switch off because I hate him), I’ve kept watching. Because, albeit the blood and gore, it is fun and sometimes just over the top.

The story starts with innocent Hughie (Jack Quaid) looking forward to a future with his girlfriend who become a bloody mess (literally) all over Hughie and the pavement….a casualty of a superhero rescuing someone else. And that’s where it gets going. The corporation behind the superheros (it is business after all) wants to make the incident disappear (with money off course) and through this all, somehow Hughie ends up with a bunch of seedy characters (I’ll avoid the c work from the snippet above) who are out to expose the sex, murder and corruption taking place in the name of saving the world.

Besides Karl Urban being brilliant as Butcher, I thoroughly enjoy the character Frenchie (Tomer Capon). Actually, the dodgy vigilante ensemble are absolutely super…who also include Laz Alonso and Karen Fukuhara (I’ve mentioned Jack Quaid). I must admit, I’m not a fan of the Supes (the Superheroes) at all including their business partners and bosses…but then, I guess that is goal achieved*. The series is there to portray them as shallow and self-centred. And gives me all the more pleasure when things don’t go how they envisage it.

I’ll never look at the likes of Spiderman, Superman and co the same way again…because, thinking about it, there were bound to be casualties along the way…we just never thought about it that way.

The Boys really does deserve that Primetime Emmy nomination for outstanding sound editing. The soundtrack is perfectly selected and timed (once again, the above snippet confirms that).

*Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Chace Crawford, Elisabeth Shue, Dominique McElligott, Jessie T. Usher amongst others form the supposed good guys.

Enjoy it! But please don’t expect a typical superhero series you’ve come to expect from the movies.

Liebster Award…overdue answers…

 

Gosh, Gill (RealWeegieMidget)…I “owe” you a big Thank You for nominating me for a Liebster Award…”Thank You”. And I definitely owe you some answers…rather late than never (and I’m keeping on the lower side of that max 11 of everything)…here goes:

The rules…

  1. Thank the nominator in your award post.
  2. Place the award logo somewhere on your blog.
  3. You must state up to 11 facts about yourself.
  4. Complete the questions that your nominator provided.
  5. Nominate as many bloggers as you’d like (11 is the maximum).
  6. Ask your nominees a series of questions (11 is the maximum).

Some Facts about Me

  1. I have a weakness for Cacti and Succulents. I just recently (yes, at the beginning of winter…how silly) decided I’d give a go at growing them from seed. Of the 14 seeds I’d planted…one appears to be doing ok, the other is hanging on for dear life and the third remaining one…I’m not really sure what’s happening…just too small to see. But…I swore I’d manage to get at least 1 going…let’s see. Otherwise, I have plenty of seed left…will just have to wait for spring like any normal person would do 🙂
  2. I started learning to Snowboard this year. What’s the big deal? Well…a big thing I have you know…I’m not a youngster (in the 40s range) and had never done any snow activities in my life (before moving to Switzerland 3 years ago). So far, so good…and lots of fun. Although, this winter might not happen…
  3. I work as a Business Data Analyst but am actually a music graduate.
  4. My favourite book of all time is Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.
  5. I have never seen the movie Forrest Gump. And somehow, I don’t think I will…as brilliant as everyone says it is, I somehow just don’t feel drawn to it. Sorry 😦

RealWeegieMidget’s Questions

1. Who would you most like to meet from the world of film?

What a difficult question…I’m not really one to want to meet celebrities but hey…just for fun…I’d like to meet…ahm…gosh…any of the nice, down-to-earth actors/actresses that I’ve enjoyed on screen. As long as they aren’t arrogant or rude.

2. If you could go behind the scenes on a movie or TV Show which one would it be?

Without a second thought…Peaky Blinders. I find it such an excellent series that has put a lot of effort into the outcome. It would be really interesting to see how it all works behind the scenes.

3. What’s your favourite genre…?

Do I really need to answer that? Westerns (the classic, traditional type ones) of course!

4. Who do you think deserves an Oscar nomination who hasn’t had one yet.

Well, most of the people I’ve hoped would get nominated have been nominated. But, maybe Cillian Murphy should be recognised.

5. You are the only survivor on earth with one superhero, who is it? Why?

Maybe I should have answered this post before watching The Boys because now I have absolutely no wish to be left alone with any superhero. But, if I really have to…maybe Hawkeye as he is least like a superhero. Or so I think.

6. What’s your feelings about remakes or reboots?

On the whole, I feel that it is best to leave the originals as they are. Especially the good originals. Having said that though, there have been some brilliant remakes recently. So, I think my answer is…it depends.

7. What’s your fave all time find on those streaming packages…

Sorry…what?

8. Who would you most like to see in more movies and in what genre.?

I thoroughly enjoyed Michael Fassbender in Slow West and feel he fits the Western genre well. In fact, I’d like to see more of many actors and actresses in some good Westerns.

9. Favourite cake? with cream or ice cream?

I’m not a big cake eater but I do like a good chocolate cake. No cream! No ice-cream! Just plain.

10. What’s your favourite Hollywood era?

The Classic Era brought out some wonderful movies, however, I really enjoyed the early contemporary or modern period with the rom-coms and gems coming from the 90s.

11. If you could go back in time and warn a star about something that happens to them in the future, who would it be and what would you tell them…

Well, lacking on imagination here but I’d tell Brandon Lee that The Crow would be more realistic than he could ever imagine.

My questions

  1. Which screen character do you most identify with and why?
  2. Your place to escape and think?
  3. Is there a movie that ranks amongst your favourites yet has been deemed a failure or received low ratings? Which movie is it?
  4. What is the last movie you saw? Thoughts on it?
  5. Dog or cat person?
  6. They often say that the book is better than the movie. There are, in my opinion, instances where the opposite is true. Which movie do you think is better than the book? Why?
  7. Sometimes movies would be much better given a different cast. Re-cast such a movie.
  8. Longest movie ever watched (not series)

So, the nominees…always the hard part…as I’m really trying to find my way back into the Blogging world…I’ll leave this open to anyone who wants to participate. Sorry…but I’m so out of touch…I’ll make it up to all of you soon.

I’m back and ready to roll…

…oh yes! Bring on the last few days of 2020 and then boy oh boy…2021 here we come!

Seriously…what a ride 2020 has been…and you know what? Not all bad…believe it or not…

…time to reflect. Time to think. Time to come back down, to realise there is life beyond work…and…strange enough, I’ve built up some really awesome friendships…despite the restrictions and lockdown…you guys know who you are…

…so…I’m ready to pick up again…and just to get me going:

And…Gill @realweegiemidge …thanks for keeping me going with the most unusual (and awesome) Finnish chocolate. Your Ovomaltine is on its way (I’m popping past the Post Office tomorrow – sorry, such a bad blogging friend I am)!

To everyone who’s been around my site…I’ve seen you, just haven’t responded…but I’m back in action…whoohooo!

And my sexy crush post is still going strong (over 3 years later)…ooooooh…swoon… click here: here .Although, I’ve changed in those 3.5 years…I might need to rewrite that post. Anyway, new post coming soon…the above song might give it away…

…see you all this weekend!