Generally I can’t watch tv when I do layouts or pencils, but I can when I ink, and so, here’s a list of some of the things I’ve been watching this week:
Utterly bonkers crime/comedy/thriller? (little bit of horror) two criminals who are madly in love hold up a petrol station, drive away then run out of petrol and so walk to the nearest home. The go in to try and get some supplies, wander in the the basement to find a little girl chained up. Then her ‘parents’ turn up. Everyone is horrible, and yet everyone is sympathetic, the cast are all great (the young in love couple played by Maika Monroe (and actress I’m not familiar with) and Bill Skarsgård (best known for playing the monster in the recent IT remake). And the parents are played in a fabulously over the top and demented turn by Kyra Sedgewick (and if you’re playing the Kevin Bacon seven degrees of separation game, you’re in luck as she’s married to him) and – slightly disconcertingly for me – Jefferey Donovan, playing it like a southern gentleman. Donavan I’ve recently seen a lot of because I’m currently binging “Burn Notice”.
Villains is an odd film, hard to categorise, and some of it feels almost a direct lift or at least a nod to other films, the young couple’s first hold up plays like the lovers holding up the diner in Pulp Fiction, the tense later moment with the cop plays like the similar scene in Misery. But, absolutely delightful fun. Surprisng and darkly comic. Anyway, recommended.
Available on: NOW Movies
Oh my god, if you haven’t seen this film I absolutely insist you do. If you haven’t seen it in a while, I insist you rewatch it. Come for the story of the immortal Conor McCloud, and his love for the bonny heather, stay for the banging Queen soundtrack (Queen did three movie soundtracks, google tells me – all classics – this, Flash Gordon and Metropolis – when it was rereleased in ’83)
Sean Connery is roguishly charming as the immortal Egyptian swordsman Juan Sánchez-Villalobos Ramírez (with a scottish accent) and frenchman Christopher Lambert’s accent is somewhere in the middle of the atlantic as the slightly more immortal Scotsman Connor MacCloud.
I’ll be honest, I just assume everyone has seen this movie, but I mentioned it on twitter and had a huge response, you ought to watch it, there’s a massive amount of imaginative filmmaking going on in it, too – the opening wrestling match that gives way to the battle cries of the Scottish warriors is unforgettable – and in fact is just the beginning of a whole series of brilliant transitions from one scene to the next.
I’m never not touched by forever young MacCloud watching his Heather dying as an old woman, and, as I say, banging Queen sound track.
Available on: iplayer
As mentioned, I’ve been watching Burn Notice. Donovan plays ex-spy Michael Westen, handed a “burn notice” (essentially “you’re no longer a spy and everything and everyone you touch will be destroyed”) and stuck in superglam Miami (where the camera loves to linger over shots of beautiful people). First episode establishes “Scott” and the people around him, including “Fiona” – an IRA assassin/bomb expert whose accent would’ve landed her in trouble the moment she opened her mouth anywhere in ireland – but it’s ok, accent lasts the first episode and is wisely ditched thereafter.
It’s a bit like baywatch meets the A-team via Gyles Brandreth’s How-To-Be-A-Spy books. Baywatch for setting and episodic nature, even though he’s a glam spy he can NEVER leave Miami, and so he spends his time – if you can find him – helping people in their troubles with gun runners/drug dealers and other assorted low life (you know, A-team style). And while he does all this he helpfully explains the spycraft he’s using, dead letter boxes, encryption, how to create a bomb (if the cia stumble across this website, it’s a tv show!)
Nice easy telly when you’re working!
Available on: Disney+
What We Do In the Shadows
The tv show spin off from the film. Hugely fun faux documentary (office style) about a bunch of vampires living in modern day New York. Nadja, Lazlo and Nandor with his familiar Guillermo (and the inspired energy-vampire Colin Robinson) go about their nightly vampire things, getting into scraps with werewolves, dealing with cursed witches hats and having to take over the entire kingdom of Staten Island (all while Colin Robinson works in an office draining the life energy out of people by boring them *HISS*) Good fun, Matt Berry’s cry of “bat” would wake the dead. Watch it in order though, as there IS a through line on this and I accidentally watched the last episode first, owing to some mild confusion I had with iplayer. It’s great fun and you should, at your earliest convenience, go seek out the original movie too.
Available on: iPlayer