Sunday, 29 March 2020

Lately I've Been Watching

More mini TV and film recommendations (or not, as the case maybe), with trailers to help you make up your mind, for these long weeks at home!  I've made a note of which site I saw it on, when I can remember (mostly Amazon Prime and Netflix).

If you would like to see more, please click here: Lately I've Been Watching.  There are many of these posts; if you want to see them all, click on 'older posts' when you get to the bottom.

Film: Only 

5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Post apocalyptic - a deathly virus that only affects females.  Because most have died, women of childbearing years have become currency.  Freida Pinto and Leslie Odom Jnr play the couple, Will and Eva, trying to escape both the authorities and the bounty hunters looking to earn money by catching themselves a live female.

The story flits back and forth between now and then, showing Will and Eva's life before, and how it gradually unravels as the virus closes its grip.  It's great, one of those films I wanted to carry on watching to see what happens next!

TWD fans will enjoy seeing Jayson Warner Smith (Gavin) and Chandler Riggs (Carl) as a father and son duo tracking Will and Eva - and a brief scene with Joshua Mikel (Jared)!

Six part Series: White House Farm (ITV)

5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

True crime drama about the case of Jeremy Bamber, who murdered his whole family so that he would inherit his parents' estate, and blamed it on his psychologically disturbed sister.  I remember it when it happened; Alexa Davies plays his girlfriend Julie Mugford who eventually spilled the beans, and looks exactly like her.  Freddie Fox is totally believable as the narcissistic Bamber.  Cops played by Mark Addy and Stephen Graham.  Completely absorbing, and you'll love it whether you're familiar with the case or not.

Series: The Crossing (Amazon Prime)

5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A warning from the future...

This is terrific - great story, and Steve Zahn is excellent as the small-town Oregon sheriff who discovers a whole bunch of people washed up on the beach.  Turns out they're from year 2187, when an army of genetically enhanced humans called Apex are intent on ending the human race as we know it.  Those who have come back aim to stop this from happening, by killing those who will bring about the rise of Apex.  It's all totally convincing, with the visitors delighting in 'the long peace', which is what they call the first half of the 21st century. 

For some completely barmy reason, it was cancelled after the first season.  However, it does stand up as a series to watch on its own, albeit with an ominous ending.  I was dying to know what was going to happen; alas I never will.  Maybe Apex is already on the rise.....😱 😱 😱

Documentary: Punk NYC Revolution (link to watch it on trailer)

5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Excellent, this - a three-hour-long documentary about the New York rock and punk music scene of the mid-late 1970s and into the 80s, and the influence of the Velvet Underground and Warhol on other bands and trends; features CBGBs, Patti Smith, Talking Heads, Television, Blondie, the Ramones, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, etc, and gives a great insight into the culture of the time.  Highly recommended.

Series: Meadowlands (Showtime: 2008) 
Known as Cape Wrath in the US, I believe.

4.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Loved this!  David Morrissey stars as the father of a family who enter a witness protection plan.  When they are delivered to their mysterious new home on the Meadowlands estate, something seems a bit odd about it.  They soon discover that it's a secret place for others like them - and they can't leave.  Paranoia and psychological intrigue ensue....  

Apparently there was going to be another season but it was cancelled because of poor ratings.  It doesn't matter, though; the ending is terrific, a real open-mouth moment, and such that this single season stands up on its own.

Film: Official Secrets 

4.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Docu-drama about Katherine Gan, who worked for GCHQ when the 2003 US/UK invasion of Iraq was about to take place.  Keira Knightley manages not to pout too much as the whistleblower who discovered an illegal spying operation by which the US were to blackmail certain UN diplomats into giving the thumbs up for the attack.  Gripping.

Film: The Invisible Man

4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Few female actors do deranged desperation better than Elisabeth Moss, and she was perfect in this remake of the cinema classic, in which fate and Adrian, her evil former lover, conspire to make her look both crazy and criminal.  I'd recommend it, for sure.

Miniseries: The Outsider (HBO)

4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Based on a Stephen King book, Jason Bateman plays a man who is falsely accused of abducting and murdering a small boy.  Ben Mendelsohn (like him a lot, chap who played Danny in Bloodline) plays a cop and his friend.  Soon, other similar murders of supposedly innocent people are discovered, and it emerges that there is some evil entity going about changing himself to look like other people in order to commit deeds most abhorrent.  Also features Cynthia Erivo as an eccentric investigator who unearths the truth.  Her name is Holly Gibney, so I expect she is the same character as the eccentric woman of the same name in Mr Mercedes.

I'm sure S King fans will love this, though I'm not so keen on supernatural stuff.  It's good, though, and satisfyingly horrific and shocking.

Series: Manifest (Season 1) (Netflix)

4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

A plane travelling from Jamaica to the US is over booked, and some passengers volunteer to take a different one.  They hit on turbulence during the flight, and when they get home, discover that, for everyone else, five years have passed.  Main character Michaela (Melissa Roxburg) discovers that her fiancΓ© has married her best friend, and her brother Ben that his wife has a new boyfriend.  

It's pretty good, not one of my favourites, but I've enjoyed it.  A good story and acted well, etc, though it lacks that spark that would make it memorable. Michaela is fairly cool but not many of the characters are particularly likeable; the one I liked most was Ben's wife's boyfriend, who is a lot less irritating than Ben.  And his wife is possibly the most irritating of all.  Season 2 is showing at the moment. 

Series: Kingdom (Netflix)

3 stars ⭐⭐⭐

Chinese zombie film, dubbed into English.  It's quite good, well-filmed, etc, but I've only watched two episodes and wasn't that mad about it.  Might watch some more, though.

Film: Call of the Wild

1 star ⭐

A mockery of one of the best books ever written; Jack London must be turning in his grave.  I hadn't read up about it before watching but was so pleased when I saw that a film had been made, and was looking forward to it.  Alas, what I saw of it (about 45 minutes before turning it off) was ghastly.  Schmaltzy semi-comedic pap, more like a children's film, and the hardy trappers with whom Buck first ran were replaced by Man at Marks & Spencer, complete with natty, very clean jumper that looked like nothing anyone would have worn in the 1890s, and a stylish scarf.  Obviously the animals are all CGI, but for some reason Buck is much bigger than a dog would really be.

The one star is for the animation, which was otherwise well done.


  1. Thank you, Terry. Not all of the titles say where you can find them, though, e.g. the first one I thought would be good, but I don't know where to look for it - ta!

    1. I know, I can't always remember - I just make a note of them on here when I think of a few to add, and by then I've forgotten! Only must be on DVD by now - I will see! We watch on Showtime, HBO and Starz, too, you see.