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All reviews - Movies (48) - TV Shows (48) - Books (5) - Music (2)

Rollerball review

Posted : 2 months, 2 weeks ago on 29 July 2021 08:49 (A review of Rollerball)

Stop me if this seems familiar: The year is 2018 (from a 1970s perspective, of course) and corporations have replaced governments on a global scale. Rollerball is a global spectator sport, part roller derby, part basketball or hockey, and all mayhem. In the movie, stereotypes abound. Houston, the reigning champion, represents "energy" (Enron, anyone?) and their team is populated with bare-fisted, Texas manly-men. The team (and supporters) from Tokyo, display a single-minded, unified front so typical of the Japanese society at-large. And so on. At the center of all of this is Jonathan E - hero and global star of the Houston team. But, as John Houseman's character Bartholomew coldly states, the game is designed to weed out the individual and promote existence for the good of the corporations. Jonathan E. is good at what he does and enjoys the societal perks of his stardom. But he's an individual,...and he has questions. Now, he needs to retire, or be retired. The game's rules will change, and change again, until the corporations succeed. Or will Jonathan E. ?


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Ted review

Posted : 2 months, 2 weeks ago on 29 July 2021 04:37 (A review of Ted)

Note to self: never let a washed-up actor like Sam Jones crash your party. Your life will never be the same!


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The Many Deaths of Saint Christopher review

Posted : 4 months, 1 week ago on 7 June 2021 04:51 (A review of The Many Deaths of Saint Christopher)

An early Mannix episode that features a young, up-and-coming singer by the name of Neil Diamond! Neil sings a few of his songs, including "Solitary Man," and gets a quick verbal jab at Mannix when a fight breaks out during his set!


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Doctor Who-Fury from the Deep (A Target book) review

Posted : 4 months, 2 weeks ago on 2 June 2021 04:57 (A review of Doctor Who-Fury from the Deep (A Target book))

Also made into an animated mini-series [Link removed - login to see]


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Professor T. (2015- ) review

Posted : 4 months, 2 weeks ago on 28 May 2021 06:33 (A review of Professor T. (2015- ))

Je hoeft geen Vlaams te spreken om van deze tv-show te genieten!
Of course, through the courtesy of corporate translation service, the PBS subtitles are in English.
As for the show: imagine a character with the phobic quirks of [Link removed - login to see] but with the arrogance and dysfunctional upbringing of [Link removed - login to see] and you have Professor Jasper Teerlinck. Roped in by former student and current Belgian police Inspector Annelies Donckers to help solve a case tinged with personal guilt on her part, T becomes integral to help solving the various murders in Antwerp. A cookie-cutter police procedural, but nonetheless interesting to watch.


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The Woman in the Window review

Posted : 5 months ago on 19 May 2021 03:24 (A review of The Woman in the Window)

Confusing and confused! Was this a distaff remake of Hitchcock's [Link removed - login to see] Or Sigourney Weaver's [Link removed - login to see] (Edit - scratch that,...however, there are published articles intimating plagiarism between the plot and the book upon which this film is based). In the end, I felt more confused. Maybe I was expecting more from a star like Amy Adams, who could turn scripted pig's ear into a cinematic silk purse?
Maybe I'll come back and watch it again?
Or maybe I won't,...
Confused?


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The Pledge review

Posted : 5 months, 3 weeks ago on 22 April 2021 03:34 (A review of The Pledge)

I saw this when it was first released in the theatres and I've since watched it numerous times on TV but, even though I know it's based on a crime novel (Sight and Sound), the beginning and ending scenes still leave you wondering: did Jerry Black, failing to catch his last killer, retire into the life of a doddering drunk who is fantasizing about the movie's events, or was he numbing the pain of losing his idyllic small-town life by using his girlfriend's daughter as bait to catch the serial killer?


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The Exchange review

Posted : 6 months, 2 weeks ago on 29 March 2021 06:36 (A review of The Exchange)

Another first for Mission: Impossible - an episode that didn't start with it's traditional IMF briefing to Jim Phelps. Instead, we see an operation already in place in an unnamed Eastern Bloc country. Jim, Willy and Cinnamon have installed themselves into the militaristic government to steal vitally important documents. But,...things go awry and Cinnamon is captured!
Normally, under the rules of the Impossible Missions Force, her life is now forfeit and the team should cut their losses and move on.
Instead, Jim pulls of an extraordinary exchange and Cinnamon is returned to the team!
And how did Cinnamon (in real life, Barbara Bain) repay the team? She asked for more money and was gone (along with husband and co-star Martin Landau) by the end of Season 3!
Boy, the nerve of some people!!


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Chernobyl review

Posted : 6 months, 2 weeks ago on 29 March 2021 06:06 (A review of Chernobyl)

The stuff of nightmares! This past week marked the 42nd anniversary of the Three Mile Island disaster (in a quirk of timing, the movie [Link removed - login to see] was released during the same week) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. As with most Philadelphians, I remember watching this disaster play out in real time, so this weekend I spent a few hours re-watching Chernobyl. Comparing the two, TMI was a minor hiccup in the reactor!

For those of a certain age, especially in Western European and North America, the Chernobyl disaster played out in a shroud of typical Iron Curtain secrecy.

Oh, what little we knew, or even suspected back then!!

"Chernobyl" the mini-series encapsulated, in exquisite detail, not only how bad it truly was (and worse, what it could've been), but to what extents the Soviet government went to hide it from the world community at large and how little the Soviets valued human lives.

In the closing credits, Soviet leader Michael Gorbachev cited Chernobyl as "the beginning of the end of the USSR." So many lies, so many deaths unaccounted for, so many nightmares.


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Robin Hood review

Posted : 7 months, 1 week ago on 7 March 2021 08:24 (A review of Robin Hood)

When I saw the previews for this on the SyFy Channel, I was curious: Jamie Foxx as (Little) John suggested another Kevin Costner-like telling of the tale, but without the gleefully-sophomoric Mel Brooks-like parody. Some of the scenery and plot even suggested the anachronisms of A Knight's Tale, without the sly winks and nudges to the audience (dancing to David Bowie's "Golden Years" while keeping a straight face, anyone?)

Instead I got this: A meandering preamble by Friar Tuck suggesting this was a prequel and, quite possibly, a franchise in the making. Well, speaking of anachronisms, the King Richard-era city of Nottingham, when viewed a wide panning and as the setting for the story, looked mighty impressive for the limited engineering skills available at that time.

Well, any hopes of a franchise failed when you decide to toss every woke culture trope into the mix:

- The Crusades as an earlier version of The Gulf Wars? Hell, the English are even wearing desert-camo leather! Notably, Sir Guy of Gisbourne, long the antagonist to Robin's adventures all but disappears after these scenes. Maybe he would've returned in any sequels?
- We knew the Ottomans were an technologically-advanced society, but arrow-launching Gatling guns (or even M-240-Golfs for Gulf-savvy armament fans)?? And scenes all but lifted directly from Saving Private Ryan to boot!
- John as a Muslim Socialist? Oh, boy, that's gonna make some of Sanders' followers "Bern!"
- The Sherriff of Nottingham,....dear Lord, where do we start? An amalgam of every bloviating US neo-con and Britain First politician, whipping the populace to fund his anti-Muslim/anti-immigration war wagering (hey, isn't that the job of the King or Prince John?). The Sheriff as a survivor of the abuses of the Catholic Church AND their lay puppet to carry out whatever machinations they had in mind?

As I mentioned at the beginning, this appeared to be a prequel or the start of a planned franchise, which would explain the absence of some of the more well-known "Merry Men" such as Will Scarlett (Jamie Dornan's Will Tillman has an altogether different fate) and Alan-a-Dale.

In the end, the movie's foul stench would've caused King Richard to name the toilets "Johns" had Prince John even appeared in the plot!

Ah, well, another "what-if" that'll never come to fruition.


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