2019 Film Year in Review

This year I decided to keep track of my viewing stats a little differently. In the past, I only kept track of the new to me classic films in  my tally. But for 2019 I chose to also include re-watches, newer films and television series. I continued to leave out television films from my total count. All told, I watched about 300 films and series which is quite a lot.

NEW CLASSIC FILMS – 143 Total 

I continued on from last year in watching the films of Marlon Brando, Robert Mitchum and George Brent. I also actively sought out the films of Shirley Temple, Margaret O’Brien, Kay Francis, Greta Garbo, Jane Powell, Marion Davies and John Garfield. 2019 will also go down as the year I watched my first Elvis film.

Kay Francis & George Brent

Some of the more popular classics I finally made time for were Murder My Sweet, The Stranger, I Know Where I’m Going, Angel and the Badman, Ryan’s Daughter and Becket. Cleopatra was as much of a slog as I expected. However, I was happily surprised by great experiences with The Picture of Dorian Gray and Cat People. I had also put off watching the famous silent film The Big Parade but it completely wowed me! Continue reading “2019 Film Year in Review”

December 2019 Quickie Film Reviews

December was a month for indulging myself. Just over a third of my entertainment choices this month were re-watches, mostly of my favorite Christmas films. And still, I didn’t get to see all the holiday films I wanted to.

I also spoiled myself by going to the theater four times this month. I can’t remember the last time there were that many new releases I actually wanted to see. In fact, I think these four may account for a third of my total new release viewings for the whole year.

decemBER 2019 BREAKDOWN
  • 30 Films/Series Total
  • 12 Christmas movies (including While You Were Sleeping)
  • 11 Re-watches
  • 6 New Classics
  • 5 TV Series
  • 4 Theater Releases
  • 1 Documentary

Biggest Disappointment: Stand Up and Cheer – Shirley Temple’s brief presence was not enough to save this one.

Favorite Discovery: Virgin River & Little Women  –  Both of these surprised me in a great way. Continue reading “December 2019 Quickie Film Reviews”

November 2019 Quickie Film Reviews

I had a very busy November, which means I didn’t have as much time as I usually do to sit in front of my TV. But what I did get to watch was an eclectic blend of mostly interesting movies and series.  And there was that weekend I binge-watched seven Hallmark Christmas movies with my family, which is not included in this month’s tally.

novemBER 2019 BREAKDOWN
  • 26 Films/Series Total
  • 8 New Classics
  • 5 Re-watches
  • 3 TV Series
  • 2 Foreign/International
  • 2 Documentaries
  • 2 Christmas movies
  • 3 Bette Davis and 2 John Gilbert films

Biggest DisappointmentJohn Ford: The Man Who Invented America – My expectations were high and it just wasn’t quite what I anticipated

The Big Parade with John Gilbert

Favorite Discovery Mum, The Big Parade & Instant Family. I couldn’t choose just one so I chose one classic, one contemporary and one series. Continue reading “November 2019 Quickie Film Reviews”

Mini Series Review – Charles II: The Power and the Passion (2003)

ABOUT KING CHARLES II

England’s King Charles II occupied the throne during a fascinating time in the nation’s history. During the English Civil War and Oliver Cromwell’s rule his father was beheaded and he was exiled. After Cromwell’s death Charles II returned to England as its’ king. Charles II reversed many of the rules implemented by Cromwell’s government. He also continued his father’s battle with the English Parliament. The years of his reign are known as The Restoration. Charles II: The Power and the Passion presents a portrait of this multi-faceted historical figure.

REVIEW

Charles II: The Power and the Passion is an apt title for this mini-series which splits its focus between Charles personal affairs and political battles. The first half of the series threatens to become mired down with a soap opera style approach to Charles relationships with his many mistresses. Barbara Villers is the most important and depraved of these, a woman who tries to leverage her influence of the king into political power. Helen McCrory gives a deliciously wicked and clever performance of Barbara. But I quickly grew tired of watching the king’s multiple sexual escapades.

Fortunately, the series eventually allows the king’s political battles to take center stage. This makes for a much more compelling and fascinating dramatic narrative.

For my full review of this surprisingly interesting mini-series starring Rufus Sewell, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.

 

October 2019 Quickie Film Reviews

Well, this month was a slow start. It took me a while to find some films/series that were memorable. But I ended the October with a bang, at least when it came to classic titles.

OCTOBER 2019 BREAKDOWN
  • 31 Films/Series Total
  • 18 New Classics
  • 6 TV Series
  • 5 Re-watches
  • 4 Foreign/International
The Picture of Dorian Grey
Photo Source: IMDb

Biggest Disappointment The Talented Mr. Ripley

Favorite Discovery – It’s a toss-up between The Million Pound Note & The Picture of Dorian Gray Continue reading “October 2019 Quickie Film Reviews”

Series Review – The Indian Doctor (2010-2013)

I adore British historical series and am always on the lookout for ones I’ve not yet seen. So, it was by happy accident that I recently discovered The Indian Doctor streaming on Prime and Acorn TV.

SUMMARY

Still recovering from a personal tragedy, Dr. Prem Sharma and wife Kamani decide to leave their home in India. Kamani encourages Prem to apply for a post in London. Instead they find themselves assigned to a small mining village in Wales.

The culture shock is immediate, both for the Sharmas and the villagers who are not expecting a foreign doctor. Nor do they expect the Sharmas to be so cultured and highly educated. Prem is content to stay in his new position. But the wealthy and well-connected Kamani has no desire to stay in a back-water town which has no appreciation for the finer things. Continue reading “Series Review – The Indian Doctor (2010-2013)”

September 2019 Quickie Reviews

Since my recent move, I haven’t had cable television, so I watched fewer classic films. But that’s okay. It just gave me more opportunity to view other movies and series that I might not otherwise have had time for. To be honest, I didn’t really love the few classic films I did see in September. And would you believe, I didn’t have any re-watches this month?

SEPTEMBER 2019 BREAKDOWN
  • 24 films/series total
  • 7 new classic films
  • 7 foreign films/series
  • 5 TV series
  • 1 in theater

Favorite Discovery: Ooh, this month gave me a lot of options to choose from for this honor. Among the contenders were Ladies in Black, Jericho, The Professor and the Madman and of course Downton Abbey. But my choice is Blind Date. It is going on my list of all time favorites, hands down.

Biggest Disappointment: Except for Heartbeat, pretty much every classic film this month left me feeling meh…

Continue reading “September 2019 Quickie Reviews”

August 2019 Quickie Reviews

This month was TCM’s annual Summer Under the Stars when they spend 24 hours each day honoring a different classic film actor. I made it a point to watch films featuring Ava Gardner, Melvyn Douglas, Shirley Temple, Buster Keaton and a couple of hard to find titles starring Irene Dunne. By default  I also saw a few more of Randolph Scott’s and Robert Young’s films.

August  2019 Breakdown
  • 29 films/series total
  • 18 new classic films
  • 5 TV series
  • 3 re-watches
  • 2 documentaries
Photo Source: IMDb

Favorite Discovery: The Indian Doctor and Wee Willie Winkie

Biggest Disappointment: Pandora and the Flying Dutchman Continue reading “August 2019 Quickie Reviews”

July 2019 Quickie Film Reviews

July 2019 Breakdown:
  • 24 films/series total
  • 16 new classic films
  • 4 foreign films
  • 3 mini-series
  • 2 re-watches
  • 1 documentary

Most watched actor/actress: Jane Powell and John Garfield with three films each

Biggest Disappointment: Don’t Make Waves

Favorite Discovery: I watched a lot of great entertainment this month, so it’s hard to pick just one favorite. But it has to be Yesterday. Continue reading “July 2019 Quickie Film Reviews”

Ms. Fisher’s Modern Mysteries Review

Its’ a rare television series that achieves the status of a global phenomenon. But that is exactly what the Australian historical series Miss Fisher’s Mysteries accomplished. In fact, it is so popular that its’ fans demanded and completely crowd-funded a new film after the series ended. It’s success has also led to the production of a follow up series, Ms. Fisher’s Modern Mysteries.

ABOUT MS. FISHER’S MODERN MYSTERIES

The new Ms. Fisher is set several decades later in the 1960’s. It features Phryne Fisher’s niece Peregrine who inherits the Fisher fortune when the aunt she never knew goes missing. This Ms. Fisher also inherits the same curiosity and knack for solving mysteries.

RELATED: TV Review: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Season One

After a string of failed jobs and relationships, Peregrine finally finds her calling. She picks up where her aunt left off; as a private detective. She is assisted in her new endeavor by the members of The Adventuresses’ Club, of which her aunt was a member.

Like her aunt, she also forms a tenuous working relationship with a police detective. Though Detective James Steed doesn’t initially appreciate Peregrine’s interference in his cases, he slowly learns to appreciate her innate talent.

For my full review please follow me over to the Silver Petticoat Review.