Inspired by the genius comic, Stewart Lee, I’ve decided to keep a record of all of my TV, film and cinema viewing throughout 2022. Plus, I will write a micro review for each one and list where I watched it.
by Darren Caveney
If you’re like me you’re always on the hunt for a quality watch in and amongst some very average fayre.
So, these recs and ratings might be useful to you.
Here goes for January (and yes I do watch a fair bit. I’m really good at TV! 😄)
Don’t look up (Netflix)
Brilliant and scary satire with a star-studded cast 8/10
The lost daughter (Netflix)
Unusual film, really open to interpretation. Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley are excellent but I just didn’t warm to it. In fact I found it unsettling, but maybe that was the point. 6/10
The Nest (Netflix)
Don’t let the official description put you off this is a little gem. Set in the 80s it’s part greed and excess, part family disfunction and break up, and part ghost story. I really liked it and the soundtrack 7/10
Moon Dogs (Amazon)
An indie-feeling Scottish road (and boat) movie about step brothers who fall for the same girl. Fun and quirky with a great soundtrack 6/10
My Son (Amazon)
Wow this was tense. James McAvoy and Claire Foy star as estranged parents of a young boy who has gone missing in the Scottish Highlands. It gets very dark quite quickly and some of tensest scenes seem to go forever. For a film with a short 1 hour 36 minute running time it takes a hold and feels much longer due to the anguish you feel for the leads, especially McAvoy. 7/10.
Dopesick (Disney +)
Outstanding TV which leaves you aghast at what big pharma can and do get away with 8/10
Wolf Hall (iPlayer)
More than late to this. But what a treat. The scheming and conniving is epic – not a lot has changed in England, huh. And Mark Rylance. Wow. 8.75/10
A prequel to the excellent movie, Ferry, Undercover follows Ferry Bouman’s exploits as a big-time drug dealer in the shady underworld of Belgium. Season 3 (the most recent season) sees Ferry and arch nemesis and former cop and capturer, Bob, as they find themselves in a jam which only they can help each other out of, but with very different motivations. Based on true events it’s definitely worth a watch 7/10
Ozark – Season 4 (Netflix)
This Is a quality, cult TV show. You know when some people say “oh American TV is awful” well take a look at this as just one example of why that is plain daft. Admittedly I didn’t think season 4 quite hit the heights of the earlier seasons – although I blitzed it in three days so that speaks for itself. Laura Linney and Jason Bateman are superb as the always arguing, always grifting husband and wife stars of the show. Their ongoing collaboration with a Mexican drug cartel, plus the style and feel of the show, pitches it into Breaking Bad/Fargo-esque territory and it’s not too far away from those two all-time great shows. No spoilers but it turns out that a season four, part two will follow. 8/10
The Responder (iPlayer)
Martin Freeman will always be Tim from The Office for me. Which is very unfair as he’s a very, very good actor. And he’s just blistering in this BBC drama as broken cop, Chris Carson, who is barely surviving at home never mind at work, in Liverpool’s seedier underbelly. I’d be interested to know from Liverpudlians what they made of his accent – it seemed good to me. This might be Freeman’s best role yet 7/10 (8/10 for Freeman)
One take culinary thriller starring the talented Stephen Graham. Boiling Point absolutely captured the feel – and pressure – of life in a hectic restaurant. Multiple stories, angles and issues layered in. Great casting throughout, and especially the trusty side-kick, Carly, and oily TV chef and mentor, Alistair Skye. I loved it 8/10.
The Shark Is Broken (The Ambassadors Theatre, London)
Jaws sits comfortably in my all-time top 20 movies. It literally has everything. So when I saw this one advertised I jumped at the chance of a bit of live theatre. It’s a comedic, behind the scenes drama of the classic Hollywood blockbuster. Written and directed by Ian Shaw (yes, son of Robert who played shark hunter Quint) it’s set on the Orca as they while away the hours out at sea with filming stalled due to bad New England weather and a faulty mechanical shark. With large egos in a contained space it all gets a bit heated. It’s thoroughly entertaining and brilliantly played by the three protagonists. But most of all I love that Ian Shaw wrote it as a tribute to his Dad who he clearly adored. Go see it if you can, it runs until 13 February. 8.5/10 (theatre experience 9/10)
Darren Caveney is creator and owner of comms2point0 and creative communicators ltd
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