Movie Round-Up | Phase One

I had to go way back to find when I had last reviewed a movie (it was HERE if you’re interested), and thought it was high time that I caught up though to be fair its been a fairly slow start on the movie watching front.

So here we go!

1917

April 6th, 1917. As a regiment assembles to wage war deep in enemy territory, two soldiers are assigned to race against time and deliver a message that will stop 1,600 men from walking straight into a deadly trap.

I have been fascinated by WWI for as long as I can remember, mostly because of family stories of my Papa (my Dad’s Dad) lying about his age in 1916 and running off to join the Seaforth Highlanders, and my Great-Uncle John being killed in August 1918 when he was only 20 years old. I have read a great deal about the subject and will always look favourably on related movies, so going to see 1917 was always going to happen.

We saw it at IMAX which was quite an experience – beautifully put together and very moving while not shying away from the horrors of war and full of well known British actors in small but important roles. If any members of my family experienced even a quarter of the stuff we saw on screen then no wonder they never wanted to talk about it.

Directed by Sam Mendes, 1917 is almost 2 hrs long and rated 15 for strong injury detail, language

Weathering With You

A high-school boy who has run away to Tokyo befriends a girl who appears to be able to manipulate the weather.

Another beautiful Japanese animation with magical realism, star-crossed lovers and astonishing art. It’s just a lovely film and strongly recommended.

Directed by Makoto Shinkai, it’s 1h 52 long, rated 12A for moderate violence, threat, sex references. We saw the version dubbed into English

Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

Henceforth to be known as BoP etc.

After splitting with the Joker, HQ joins superheroes Black Canary, Huntress & Renee Montoya to save a young girl from an evil crime lord.

This was an absolute hoot. Bright and loud with very strong female leads. Margo Robbie is an absolute delight and as I said here previously sleazy Ewan McGregor is the best Ewan McGregor. Everyone looked like they were having a ball but not to the detriment of the film. Harley Quinn is one of my favourite DC characters and was the best thing in Suicide Squad by several orders of magnitude. I hope there will be more appearances by her on the big screen.

Directed by Cathy Yan, BoP etc. is a lively 1h 49m long and of course rated 15 for strong violence, injury detail, language, sexual threat

Onward

Set in a suburban fantasy world two teenage elf brothers embark on a quest to discover if there is still magic out there

I try not to miss a Pixar movie and this looked like fun so off we went on our last outing before Coronavirus struck and I’m so glad we did this was such a lovely film. I knew very little about it beforehand so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s about family and love and loss, brothers and sons and dads and very cool Mums. I liked the relationship between the two brothers – it was cool without being super sickly sweet and avoided the standard hating each other until the point that they don’t. All of the quest stuff was great fun.

This is an early but strong contender for this year’s New Year’s Eve feel-good movie.

Directed by Dan Scanlon, it’s 1h 42 long and rated U for mild fantasy threat, very mild bad language

Sunday Salon | 19 April

So here we are at the end of another week of isolation and I have been outside exactly once when I went for some exercise on one of our sunnier days, but please don’t ask me what day it was because I couldn’t tell you off the top of my head.

OK, I checked.

It was Tuesday.

Apart from that, and as Mr B has been managing the grocery shopping, I’ve been puttering around the house doing chores, working on some of my hobbies (sorting out all of my neglected family history research notes for example), and reading, but mostly buying, books.So it seems that it’s time for a round-up.

Books read – in April so far:

  • Pet Sounds by Quinn Cummings
  • The White Road by John Connolly
  • The Mists of the Miskatonic Volume 2 by AL Halsey
  • We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory
  • A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

Reviews will be following in due course so I’ll say no more about them here, for now.

Pre-orders received since my last post

  • The Book of Koli – the first book in the Rampart Trilogy because its MR Carey and no other reasoning is required
  • Creeping Jenny by Jeff Noon because it sounded good
  • The Ratline by – because I’m currently interested in WW2

You can see the books I’m currently reading on the Goodreads shelf in my sidebar

Other Stuff

I am still very sad at the death last week of Tim Brooke-Taylor, one of the Goodies and a key figure in my teenage TV-watching years. I am also sad at the end of Criminal Minds, one of the very few series where I have never missed an episode. I liked the way it ended; its always pleasing when a series gets a proper and in this case positive ending.

We have also started watching DEVS which is extremely interesting, and Killing Eve is back and I had totally forgotten that they filmed some of it in New Malden, where I live. Super cool.

Hope you are all staying safe, sending virtual hugs to you all!

Sunday Salon | 5 April

It’s a beautiful sunny day here in SW London, windows are open and the birds are singing and I’m staying inside because that’s the sensible thing to do. There’s a lot of moralising here about people going to parks and so on and I won’t weigh in on that as we all have to make our own choices but I will say that as someone who really enjoys being a homebody even I’m beginning to get a bit stir crazy, so I understand the desire.

I did go out for a 40-minute walk around the neighbourhood yesterday and I looked like I was off to rob a bank. The selfie is on my Instagram (link above) if you’re interested in what the shabbily chic potential criminal is wearing these days!


I still haven’t got back into the blogging habit and I’m going to cut myself some slack because there’s just so much going on in my brain that sitting and concentrating on being coherent is all a bit much. This doesn’t count because it’s all stream of consciousness anyway.

A couple of commenters last week (waves hello to Bryan and Jenny) asked what I’d been watching, so here’s a quick round-up of the TV stuff we’ve finished in March:

  • The Expanse S2 (we’ve also started S3)
  • Doctor Who S13
  • My Life is Murder S1 (Australian light crime drama with Lucy Lawless)
  • Traces (Scottish murder mystery co-created by the great Val McDermid)
  • Stockholm Requiem (Swedish noir)
  • Star Trek: Picard

I’m still watching Criminal Minds and preparing for it to end, except I’m not prepared at all – what will I do without Spencer Reid and Penelope Garcia? And I am also really enjoying The Mandalorian – any suggestion that I have pre-ordered a Baby Yoda toy would be entirely accurate!

The TV highlight this week was a BBC film by Mark Gatiss on the life and work of Aubrey Beardsley, designed to accompany an exhibition that none of us can visit. Such a thoughtful and intelligent programme, do watch it if you can.

The Peacock Skirt (1893) – Stephen Calloway

And I am reading – finished three books this week and well into a fourth!

Hope you are all keeping well and staying safe. Until next time!