Groundhog Day One of the greatest movies ever – and a perfect thing to re-watch as we live some privileged version of Groundhog Day, the same day over and again, time stretched but folding in on itself in a lockdown. We watched this as a family film under lockdown. It was bloody good eh. Just a brilliant effort from Bill Murray – in his first peak. And, yep, there’s even a message in there – but it’s like that doesn’t even matter. Because you can just enjoy it for Bill Murray’s smug and simmering rage. And for the very solid jokes. [Cue joke about watching Groundhog Day every day of lockdown. Cue second joke about how they made a sequel, and it was just the same film played again…etc]
Val Brilliant, fascinating, heart-breaking documentary about Val Kilmer. He can’t speak anymore – due to cancer. His lookalike, soundalike son does much of the narration. Val’s own journey would be interesting enough but he was also an early adopter of the video camera and has documented his Hollywood ascension from the Top Gun days and earlier. Beautiful must-watch film.
Various Friday the 13th films A bunch of horny teenagers in the woods. A guy with a hockey mask and a big-af knife. Some good tension-building music. Complete lapses in logic. They kill him in one, then they go to his grave and bring him back to life to make sure he’s still a thing – so they can, you know, kill him…etc. Absolutely fucking wonderful. Probably my all-time favourite horror franchise, certainly for re-watchability. They’re not all great. The last three are very hard work. And the last one is absolutely bonkers. And terrible. Not bonkers-good. But if I want to watch some no-brainer trash then I usually prefer it to be the kind with Jason Vorhees stalking horny teens in the woods.
Lisey’s Story Just started. Only watched one episode – but loved it. Now trying to work out whether I binge on through. Or whether I stop, read the book, then come back to it. I’ll come back to you…
Mr. Mercedes I watched season one (10 episodes) in two days. Easy. Like water. A very, very good game of cat and mouse. I’m halfway through season two already and there’s a dip – it got very absurd very quickly. But I think I’m still in. Because I like the characters. And the performances. And because it all hurtles along nicely and ultimately means nothing. And sometimes that’s very reassuring.
Nine Perfect Strangers This one is old-fashioned weekly episodes (after an initial burst of three to wet the whistle). I have a feeling it’s not going to be worth it at all. But where else can I be right now? Plus I love the music!
Weekend at Bernie’s I had such fond memories of this. And so – as with Groundhog Day – I thought I should not only re-watch it but introduce it to the whole family. We watched it together. Katy was asleep within 20 minutes. Oscar stuck it out but wondered what I had ever seen in it. Same for me. Let me just say that the band Weekend at Bernie’s is better than the film Weekend At Bernie’s. And you have lived until you’ve heard Weekend at Bernie’s! Perhaps ironically…
Enlightened Mourning the completion of White Lotus? Head back into the writer/director’s recent back-catalogue for this gem. That’s what we did. Started it just ahead of lockdown. Finished it during. Stunningly awkward TV – and yet another brilliant performance from Laura Dern. (She’s amazing!)
Royal Rumble (2021) I don’t watch pro-wrestling a lot these days. But when I do it’s usually the Royal Rumble. It’s wrestling at its most magically absurd. This year’s Royal Rumble is a bumper-edition with two separate 30-person battle royals. Hell yeah!
Wonder Oscar is reading the book. It’s his first ‘big’ book with no pictures. He reads well – and often but usually there are short chapters and big font and loads of pictures. And that’s fine. With the book Wonder he’s really digging the sense of reading achievement. So much so he wanted to show us the film – even though he hasn’t quite finished the book. And so we curled up on the couch as a family and watched it. The room was pretty dusty though. There was dust in my eyes by the end of it. I swear. A good wholesome lockdown family film.
Brain Games We are watching an episode of Brain Games every day – ‘unofficial’ home-schooling. And fun for the whole family. Not just fun but lots of learning. Again, for the whole family. (Recommended).
Various Basketball Documentaries: YouTube is a great source for this. We’re going and shooting hoops as part of our lockdown walks. And it’s great to see Oscar getting a little interested in basketball. I’ve always been pretty average at it – but I like playing it. And love watching it. And that’s all that matters. I’m at a point now where I can enjoy hobbies without any sense of competition whatsoever, I know my limits. Anyway, there’s a folder in my YouTube Premium account filled with basketball docos – everything from vintage Celtics, Lakers matches to The Harlem Globetrotters to modern trick-shots, bitter fights and, well all sorts. One of the best sports there is. And so much quality content available to just dig deep into.
The Shining I’m still chipping away at reading this (for the first time ever). But I’ve watched it so many times. And in lockdown it’s one of my favourites. Watched it twice last lockdown. Watched it once again already. Will probably watch again this weekend. I love everything about this film – including the fact that Stephen King hated it. That just intrigues me. Sometimes the person that wrote the source material is not the best judge of what will make it work on the screen. For proof, there’s King’s TV-mini-series version of The Shining from the 1990s. Which I rewatched last lockdown. And will not be doing again!
Okay, that’s most of what I can remember. A few other horror films are in there. And obviously some 1pm updates which I feel I can mention since there’s an IMDB entry. Though I definitely enjoyed season 1 a lot more. Isn’t that always the way though?