The Weekly Summary # 10

rockyfilmasThis week, the Don makes an offer a boxer can’t refuse.

The Godfather Part 2 (1972)  – 4K UHD

35. The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone (2020) – 4K UHD

Rocky II (1979) – 4K UHD

Rocky Balboa (2006) – Amazon Prime

Creed (2015) – 4K UHD

Star Trek: Picard Season Three , Episode Four – Amazon Prime

36. Devil’s Workshop (2022) – Amazon Prime

37. Luther: The Fallen Sun (2023) – Netflix

Aha. I just realised that I progressed from the Italian Westerns and crime dramas that I was watching a week or so back, to films about the Italian mafia, followed by films concerning the Italian Stallion, Rocky Balboa. I call it the Viva Italia encore (perhaps I should go get my coat).

So I managed to complete watching the Godfather films, and then watched more boxing films in a single week than I ever have before. Not that I’m considering myself a boxing movie aficionado or anything, but after watching the noir staples The Set-Up (1956) and The Harder They Fall (1956) prior to all these modern-era testosterone-fests, I’m quickly realising how the sport of boxing enables great drama onscreen. Its life in microcosm- personal aspiration, struggle and sacrifice, the physical challenge, the personal life behind that with its own passions, and yes, the corruption and greed (that’ll be those noir rather than Stallone’s dramas). Yeah, I’m certainly at the very least understanding the appeal of boxing movies. And also that there’s possibly only so much Stallone one can take in a week.

This week was also mostly re-watches. Actually, an aside to that is that I was convinced I hadn’t seen Rocky Balboa before, even though Claire assured me that I had. Turns out she was right, of course. Must confess I sometimes get increasingly alarmed regards my recollection of some films. I used to remember each one so clearly but they tend to blur a bit, now, sometimes, or escape me completely. Fifteen minutes in I realised I had indeed seen Balboa before, and felt both a mug and wee bit concerned. Once you get to my age, you tend to worry about warning signs of dementia when you forget things like that, but I suppose its more a result of just watching so many movies. Even in my teens and twenties, I never watched as much stuff as I do now- there is just so much available these days, either on disc in new releases/ re-releases or in my collection, or up on streaming platforms or the multiple channels on television. That’s a lot of noise.

So regards the best/worst of the week, as that refers to watching ‘new’ (to me) stuff, it narrows it down to just two choices really (I also counted Coda as a ‘new’ film as Coppola assured me in his intro it was a ‘whole-new’ vision of that third Godfather film -patently over-exaggerating any differences- but it sits slap in the middle of the other two new entries). So best of the week is Luther: The Fallen Sun, a movie spin-off from the BBC drama series starring Idris Elba from Netflix, which was pretty good- well, it was pretty daft, too, as such elaborate far-fetched serial killer things are these days (both Silence of the Lambs and Seven raised these things to silly extremes for ever after) which I’ll get into if I manage to get to write a review. It’ll be no surprise then that worst of the week was Devil’s Workshop, a comedy/horror hybrid thingy that was so enlivened by Radha Mitchell I feel a bit guilty marking it as the worst of a week, but there you go.

Next week- well, its time I elaborated upon the new Trek, and I tried watching an Italian zombie film (that’s somehow gotten a 4K UHD release, further adding to the ignominy of The Abyss and Conan the Barbarian still waiting) on YouTube and it was so terrible/unwatchable that I gave up midway; a grim experience that I feel I should complain about here just to get it out of my system. Beyond that, who knows? Although, when I discovered Devil’s Workshop on Amazon Prime,  I also spotted a Peter Cushing horror film I haven’t seen before, adding that to my watchlist, so yeah, Shock Waves looks to be a likely candidate for next week.

Oh, and its the Oscars tonight. The irrelevance of that occasion as I’ve gotten older never ceases to surprise me. Its a pity Billy Wilder isn’t around to make a Sunset Boulevard-like film about an Oscar ceremony, all the politics and back-slapping, the inflated and bruised monster egos, all the money and the greed etc.  Maybe Netflix should approach Ricky Gervais… Anyway, with all the apparent Oscars noise regards Everything  Everywhere All at Once, I’m tempted to rewatch my 4K disc of that film again tonight in a second attempt to discover what all the fuss is about. Well, I say tempted, but do I really deserve to suffer through that again?


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