Watching - January 2022

A Life in Ten Pictures: John Lennon (2021)
I like the idea of this series (I've watched the Freddie Mercury episode too), but with the proviso that it can't be a telling of the whole life story of someone, merely an illustration of specific points in time. A picture tells a story, but the interpretation of the story is another thing, and, knowing a little about John Lennon's life, I think some of the interpretations here are not giving the whole, er, picture. Anyway, some of the photographs are new to me and some of the stories told new also, so interesting. I do wish they'd credit the pictures in the programme itself though.
Williams: Formula 1 In The Blood (2017)
A touching and moving documentary about Frank Williams, but also about his wife, Virginia. He comes across as someone who, if he hadn't had the kind of success he did, would be considered a very odd man. Funny how successful people are "driven", while perhaps less success would result in being called "obsessed". In this case, the latter seems much more appropriate. Nevertheless, fascinating.
Christmas at Dollywood (2019)
Possibly the cheesiest Christmas film yet - and the last until next December, I promise! (OK, maybe October ...). Very romance-by-numbers, so if nothing else it proves the resilience of the formula, as I enjoyed it despite it being entirely predictable every step of the way. Having Dolly Parton in it (briefly) raised it a smidge - maybe - although the presence of the "queen of Hallmark movies" herself, Danica McKellar, is more of a draw for me personally.
Living With Yourself (2019)
An amusing (and short, thankfully - I don't have time for seasons with 20-something, one hour episodes!) series on Netflix, based on the simple idea: what would happen if you were cloned, and there were two of you? Some of the ideas aren't particularly well developed, and the ending is unconvincing; there's an uneasy mix of  simple lessons (appreciate what you have, look after yourself etc) and more surreal comedy. It's like it can't quite decide whether to be a morality tale or a darker comedy. But Paul Rudd and Aisling Bea are good, and I enjoyed watching it.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019)
Following our mini-marathon last week, we ordered the third film on DVD (it's about £1 more than "renting" it on Youtube or Prime). It's a bit disconnected but the story keeps moving at a reasonable pace, and it kept the family entertained. Also on the DVD are the short films Bilby and Bird Karma - both mildly entertaining, but not as good as the Pixar shorts and probably won't be watched again.
Isn't It Romantic (2019)
K knows how much I like my romcoms and so she recommended this. It's a funny idea - Rebel Wilson is a woman who hates romcoms, gets hit on the head and wakes up in a romcom - and very similar to a couple of episodes of Scrubs that played on similar ideas ("My Life In Four Cameras" and "My Musical"). And in fact, that's probably about the right length for the material here. There's plenty of fun taking the piss out of romcom clichés (I thought it was funny when any non-PG13 moments get "bleeped" out by passing cars), but it gets a bit repetitive. Amusing, and Rebel Wilson is very good, but overall the story is a bit lacking. (As a side note: I spent the whole film trying to figure out why Chris Hemsworth looked slightly odd, until looking at the credits afterwards and realising it was Liam Hemsworth.)
All The Stations - The Documentary (2018)
I wouldn't normally write about the shit I watch on YouTube, but this is a full-length, albeit obviously home-made, documentary. Now part of a series, the original here was an undertaking  by Geoff Marshall and Vicki Pipe to visit all 2,563 stations on the National Rail network in Great Britain. They published daily updates and videos while doing it, but this is a summary and reflection upon their adventures. Unassuming, sweet and engaging, it makes a gentle point about the state of the railways without lecturing: you can get so many places on the railway, and perhaps we should have more of them because they are an important public service.
Vivo (2021)
Lin-Manuel Miranda seems to have been everywhere recently, and the kids are big fans of Moana and Encanto (Z listens to the latter soundtrack constantly at the moment). However, no-one was bothered by this, and we didn't actually make it more than about half an hour through before, by consensus, we switched off.

No comments:

Post a Comment