Lockdown Review

As we are all locked in, a hostage to our streaming services.  I thought I would pop up the odd review. I will stick to films on Netflix ,Amazon Prime, Hulu etc …..They are kind of “also ran” types …NOT the Obvious classics in Movie or TV – thus, no Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Mike Leigh films etc, no  Breaking Bad, Six Feet Under , Curb Your Enthusiasm and so on.

Film-

The Foreigner

It says its new on Netflix here, USA, however the film is from 2017.

The film places Jackie Chan in a role that, in the past, would have been taken up by Harrison Ford and these days , for reasons I can’t divine, is usually filled by Limping Neeson.

That is to say Chan finds himself in the kind of role that has an everyman, who nips out to buy a packet of Hobnobs only to find, he has, unknowingly, picked up the wrong Tesco bag and thus is now forced into combat against corrupt, army trained, killers.

In The Foreigner, Chan takes his daughter into town, only for her to get blown up by a Real IRA bomb. Unfortunate.

Chan, unhappy that the police seem to be getting nowhere slowly, decides to take matters into his own hands.

It helps that Chan, although in his 60s , was once in the Chinese Special Forces (before moving to the UK and opening a Chinese Restaurant) and can,seemingly, make explosives out of discarded items from Debenhams lost and found department.

I quite liked the film.

 

 

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TV show-

Blacklist

If anyone has ever sat at home on a cloudy Wednesday afternoon and thought ” Well, I wonder what happened to that actor who played obnoxious rich teens / 20 somethings in the 80s”

Then simply by turning on Netflix and watching The Black List, you can see that James Spader (like all of us) has aged – his hairline has decreased, as his waist line has increased

He has swapped iZod tennis tops (with the collars turned up) and pastel colours , for dark coloured designer suits and a fedora.

The show , in many ways, is typical of NBC/CBS shows- in the same kind of way that BBC and ITV dramas tend to have a certain look / feel.

Spader, plays one of Americas most wanted fugitives who teams up with the FBI to hunt people on America’s “Black list” – mobsters, terrorists and other assorted types one may not want to spend a bank holiday weekend with .

The agreement being, he will work for the FBI only if he can work with a certain female agent …It’s all a bit Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling….

Spader, also followed Hopkins Lecter lead in regards to acting style… We find he too graduated, with honors, at the University of the louche and the hammy .

Spaders character, it would seem, is more cultured than Brian Sewell and deadlier than Charles Bronson in Death Wish – Handy if you want help with an art history essay and also if your best friend has been kidnapped by gangster Muslim clerics

Enjoy

 

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Hit The North

Thus, we left the lazy hazy LA dream world and headed North. In truth it wasn’t my idea to leave Los Angeles and move to Seattle. In fact, I was dead against it.
I liked the true blue skies, the romance of scenery used in films and the wild west aspect of LA. I liked the “anything goes” architecture- from Jetsons-like Googie designs to Flintstones like Spanish style bungalows. I liked the Americana shop signs and billboards. I liked bumping into people whos films, telly shows and music I, at one time, had used as a means to escape- after all even bad pop culture is often better than “real life”.

In contrast. I had not a slither nor a jot of romance for Seattle- I also thought, as I’m English, if I’m going to live in a climate which was like that of Britain and Ireland, then I may as well live in Britain or Ireland, spiritually I’d definitely be more at home, I miss the poetry of British conversation ….Not to mention the British and Irish dress better, Seattle seems to have a population who wouldn’t look out of place as castmembers in Ironside.

All that said, I can’t drive to Vancouver in 1hr or fly to LA in 2 and a half hours from the UK. Seattle also has some fantastic scenery and, generally speaking, is more civilised than Los Angeles. Its much cleaner, people tend to be more civically minded and most importantly the air quality is better.

You can never really breath in Los Angeles., it could be argued most people never actually live in Los Angeles either… Its a place where large swaths of people merely exist, fighting for every scrap, lots clinging to their pop culture heroes to try to make good of the bad. Obviously, there is intelligent life in LA, just as intelligent as anywhere else in the world, though these are mainly in West Hollywood, Echo Park, Silver Lake kind of areas…Beyond that, well….
For a major city that is home to the entertainment industry, it’s kind of amusing how backward it actually is there

LA is known to be a shallow place and this is true to a degree. It’s not that fakers, scene movers and life’s plastic people are exclusive to Los Angeles, it’s more that the city is Earth’s Mecca for this ilk of person. For these their design for living is simple, those that can do, those that can’t become “Influencers” and those who can’t manage anything become DJ’s or anything else that lets them grab at the slipstream of the popular.

Of course, there is more than one aspect to any city and I found some good friends in LA and still plan to be a frequent visitor, especially if I can get a credit card with frequent flyer miles.
Although my wife didn’t enjoy living in the city as much as me, she still likes the place, however, her family are getting on in years and she wanted to be closer to them..She had lived away from them for over 14 years, so that’s fair enough. Also, she never actually really wanted to move to Los Angeles, not really….Try as I might I can’t blame anyone for wanting, slightly, more out of life than having shopped in the same convenience store than someone who once made a fleeting appearance in St. Elsewhere. Although, that was enough for me, naturally.

On top of that, while I was working from home and Billy Liaring around town, she was the one commuting 4 hours a day and carrying most of the burden.
With all that in mind, it was only fair to give the North West a go, so on 10/12/2019 we boarded United Airlines and flew to a new adventure….

Cruising, The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead, has been dominating the Worlds television schedules for five years now, in that time (like any TV show) there have been peaks and troths from edge of the seat viewing to “This is just boring “ snooze episodes. The show has managed to channel George A. Romero classics , Lord Of The Flies and even at times The Waltons- albeit a version where everyone says “Goodnight John Boy” only to wake up and have to shoot John Boy in the head, because they found him trying to eat their feet in a zombie frenzy.

The world the characters try to survive in, is one that’s seen civilisation shake and crumble, humanity tested and at times abandoned altogether – betrayals, murder, torture and even a spot of cannibalism (hows that for eventful TV, you didn’t get that on The Thorn Birds ) . Often the search for hope seems hopeless – why bother waking up if all the day holds is long monologues about nothing in particular, breaking into abandoned shops to rescue pizzas that went out of date four years before and, of course, the on going threat of being a “Walkers “ mid day snack or murdered by depraved members of other gangs, often times people meet both fates. Making new friends seems utterly pointless as you just know within a month they will be found “Turned” in a field, eating someone’s dis-guarded tattooed arm.
As a viewer, the show still holds interest but I have to say there have been times when at least 7 episodes of two different seasons , seemed completely pointless. Hour after hour of shots of lone human ponderously strolling through fields or forests, while looking into the middle distance.
Scene after scene of avoidable gruesome zombie attacks, that bombard the screen with blood and guts and fill the air with the sound of crunching bone and ripping flesh. All the while an actual story line seems out of reach.
It’s almost as if the screen writers are stuck in loop, often repeating story lines and character types. Rick and the gang stuck in the game of repeat and replay. For instance they seem to keep meeting an arch villain, whom is an merely an up graded version of a nemesis they dealt with a season or two before – Thus, Shane begat The Governor who begat Negan. It’s almost as if the writers have just one idea for a villain and rather than create a whole new one they simply update the last one by making him more disturbed, more twisted, more theatrical and, some what, camp. I’m half expecting the next villain to be a manic, sadistic, evil version of Little Richard, whom breaks into joyful yelps and screams as he wipes out the dead and the living alike with a swish of his pink polished killer sharp nails.
Actually. I would suggest the new Walking Dead has a covert gay strand.
Negan, in his George Michael Faith era stubble, Leather jacket and jeans combo, is the homo supreme, waving his firm big bat around, like a character in Un chant d’amour, in order to gain love and respect.
To drill the point home he used his “Weapon” to helicopter two characters to death, in, the much complained about, ] episode one…
After this he then laid the cuckold on Rick. He belittled him. He humiliated him in front of his home crowd.Rick the leader became Rick subservient
However his real prize, his true desire is Daryl..
Thus, in one the last episodes to win his love , means to make him “Switch teams” ..
How to do this? Well, its obvious, just throw him, naked, in a closet and play a form of show tune on a loop. Negan even offers Daryl a world of soft furnishing and a pair of new shoes should he “come out the closet” anew.
How can any heart resist?

miller