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All reviews - Movies (66) - TV Shows (53) - Books (5) - Music (3)

Old review

Posted : 11 months, 1 week ago on 27 March 2023 05:13 (A review of Old)

Ask yourself this: what if Shyamalan was the show runner of the late, great series "Lost," but the show's primary funding source was AARP and Shyamalan started channeling the sentiment of the anti-Big Pharma crowd? Congratulations, now you've got where this movie was going!
After Shyamalan's de riguer Hitchcock-like cameo, the plot was pretty much a giveaway - something nefarious was afoot and Shyamalan's character was facilitating it. Too, too much talking and psycho-babble, too little plot twists and red herrings.


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Pixie review

Posted : 1 year, 1 month ago on 21 January 2023 05:11 (A review of Pixie)

Distaff (and Irish) take on the [Link removed - login to see] genre. I'm certain it's getting more airplay here in the US because of Olivia Cooke's high-profile role as Alicent Hightower on [Link removed - login to see]


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Dune review

Posted : 1 year, 1 month ago on 8 January 2023 06:47 (A review of Dune)

Frank Herbert's novel, Dune, is a daunting read by any measure. The "plans within plans," the metaphysical, computer-less future that defines it as sci-fi, and the controversial messianic tones make for a great read, if you're up to it.
In the run-up to [Link removed - login to see][Link removed - login to see], I read through Dune, and several of the sequels, to pass the time at the station's night watch desk.
Imagine my disappointment when that movie came long! Whether the limitations of the 80s SFX abilities forced Lynch to present the story with a steampunk tone (and make the Bene Gesserit's "weirding way" into a tangible weapon!) can be argued, overall, I left the theatre wholly unfulfilled.
(Side note: The SyFy Channel's [Link removed - login to see] and [Link removed - login to see] mini-series were passable, if more soap opera-like, interpretations.)
Now, comes Denis Villeneuve's two-part take. 21st Century SFX clearly helped interpreting Herbert's dense metaphysics, but overall the movie was a much more satisfying experience. The ending, which sets up the 2023 sequel, doesn't feel like the rushed afterthought of the Lynch version.
I honestly can't wait to see Part II later this year!


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The Wrecking Crew (1968) review

Posted : 1 year, 2 months ago on 3 December 2022 12:42 (A review of The Wrecking Crew (1968))

The Wrecking Crew, the final Matt Helm film was, improbably, the best of the bunch. Dean Martin acts like he's finally shed his beaten-to-death Rat Pack schtick (seen more overtly in [Link removed - login to see] and [Link removed - login to see]) and concentrated more on actually spoofing the spy film juggernaut that was the James Bond franchise. There was even a semblance of a plot! Borrowing heavily from Goldfinger, with smatterings of From Russia With Love and You Only Live Twice, it's the reason why it ranks highest for me. Sadly, Sharon Tate, who was really used more for eye candy than acting, was murdered shortly after the film was completed.


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The Sixth Sense review

Posted : 1 year, 3 months ago on 12 November 2022 02:53 (A review of The Sixth Sense)

I always remembered this show as the last season of Night Gallery. Imagine my surprise to recently find out this was a separate series unto itself, edited and reformatted (the Rod Serling intros were added later) to boost Night Gallery's syndication profile! Still a decent series in the macabre genre.


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Peg review

Posted : 1 year, 3 months ago on 11 November 2022 06:18 (A review of Peg)

Shhhh,...listen closely,....those vocals in the background? None other than [Link removed - login to see] of the later Doobie Bros and his own solo career.


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Grantchester review

Posted : 1 year, 6 months ago on 23 August 2022 01:58 (A review of Grantchester)

This is a show that ticks off so many positive boxes for me:
British crime drama, by Brits for a British audience, well-acted chemistry, one crime per episode with an overarching storyline, the unlikely pairing of the sacred and the secular (in this case, two damaged souls trying to make the world better from their own venues) and more.
It's also based in the 50s, when the Brits were still recovering from the ravages of WWII but showing the inklings of Britain with the Beatles, Carnaby Street and the free-wheeling 60s that made London the societal rival to New York City.
And this is where I take issue with shows like this: a 50s show that's written and produced in the 21st Century, with a 21st Century mindset.
And it all centers around the character of Leonard Finch, a/k/a "Gay Leonard." Leonard originally was the "naรฏve" (read "closeted") curate of the local Anglican parish. Over time, his homosexuality became a broader part of his character, including his hush-hush boyfriend. Mind you, I don't have a problem with the LGBTQ society but remember: this was 50's England and LGBTQ may well have been some secret British ministry, but not the acronym for a section of their society. That is, prior to 1967, [Link removed - login to see] in Britain (it wasn't decriminalized in Scotland until 1980).
As a sworn officer of the law, Detective Inspector Geordie Keating should have been duty-bound to arrest Leonard and his boyfriend! And either Vicars Sidney Chambers or Will Davenport, as part of their Anglican duties, should have reported Leonard and had him drummed out of the C of E for his "sins." Now (spoiler alert!) Leonard, as the victim of another act of crime, is ultimately tried and found guilty of being gay. He did time in jail and was defrocked by the Anglican hierarchy. But, by the end of Series 7, he and his boyfriend were still an active couple. The wokeism of the 21st Century,...sigh!


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Search for a Whisper review

Posted : 1 year, 7 months ago on 18 July 2022 08:16 (A review of Search for a Whisper)

Have you ever had a feeling of deja vu? Watch this episode,...does it seem like you recognize the plot? You should! It's a near line-by-line remake of the Season 1 episode [Link removed - login to see] the only real difference is the Season 1 episode takes place during Mannix's days as an employee of the Intertect Agency. Boy, I have half a mind to add this to my [Link removed - login to see] list!


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Duel review

Posted : 1 year, 7 months ago on 4 July 2022 02:52 (A review of Duel)

In any setting, the vast southern California desert alone could pass as a malevolent force. Placed into the hands of an up-and-coming young director named Steven Spielberg, that force morphs into an aging fuel tanker driven by a man Spielberg described as [Link removed - login to see] The movie itself, based on a short story, was the product of a network mandate to churn out weekly movies that basically served as time filler during the broadcasted sport off-seasons and handed over to Spielberg almost as a practice exercise for what excellence would come from him in the future. Dennis Weaver, a seasoned everyman actor, made the exercise all that much easier. Quaint and somewhat dated after 50 years (Santa Clarita has basically grown out into the northernmost portions of LA's San Fernando Valley), it's still a great little watch.


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Men in Black review

Posted : 1 year, 8 months ago on 20 June 2022 12:13 (A review of Men in Black)

Only Stooge film to receive an Oscar nomination. And it's easy to see why! "Doctor Howard, Doctor Fine, Doctor Howard!" is the war cry that starts the medical mayhem! An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but what if that apple has its skin on the inside? And what saves those poor miners? Radium,...because why not? Just sit back and enjoy!


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