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They've taken Kevin James and made him a retired policeman rather than
a driver for a package delivery service. He has a wife (Erinn Hayes)
and two children his older daughter (Mary Charles Jones) is engaged to
an overly sensitive British man (Ryan Cartwright).
I loved King of Dreams and thought James and Leah Remini were hilarious. This is less funny (so far) but the humor has the same source - a teenage boy inside a man's body.
I think the show is still finding its groove. James does some hilarious slapstick - he can't help but make you laugh.
I've decided to stick with it for the time being.
Suzie Colebrook, a talented artist, receives a large box at home. She
opens it to find a roulette wheel from a friend, and a card that says,
"whatever you do, don't spin the wheel." Of course she does...and gets
Suzie was the alleged girlfriend of a writer of thrillers, the late George Summersbee, and she illustrated his books, the Jed Dagger novels.
Meanwhile, there's a crime fiction festival going on, arranged for by Maggie Markham Summersbee, the wife of George's brother Nick, a doctor. He's written George's biography. It turns out that George's daughter Bella is his sole heir, not his estranged wife.
There's a second murder via roulette wheel, and Barnaby realizes (thanks to Nelson) that the murders follow killings in the Dagger books.
Lots of people want the missing manuscript, but some feel it is a fake. It will take Barnaby time away from his beautiful new baby to solve this one.
I thought this was pretty good, and it is nice to see Barnaby and Sarah so in love with the baby. Nelson again shows he is an excellent partner to Barnaby. The denouement is interesting when the whodunit is finally revealed.
Christopher Walken and Alessandro Nivola, along with Amanda Peet and
Sharon Stone, star in "$5 a Day," an independent film from 2008.
In L.A., Flynn Parker's (Nivola) job as a health inspector comes to an end when it's learned he spent some time in prison. At the same time, his girlfriend Maggie (Amanda Peet) moves out on him because he's a liar and doesn't tell her anything.
Meanwhile his father, Nat (Walken) asks Flynn to come to Atlantic City. The two are estranged, but Flynn goes. Nat, a con artist who is responsible for Flynn going to prison, tells his son he's dying. He wants Flynn to take him to New Mexico so he can try an experimental treatment.
Begrudginly, Flynn agrees, until he sees the pink car with a huge packet of Sweet 'n' Low painted on it and then thousands of little Sweet 'n' Lows. Nat gets free gas for a year if he drives this moving advertisement 1,000 miles a month.
The question is, can they find some common ground? Be honest? Flynn calls Maggie along the way and leaves her messages about the trip, in an effort to be truthful and open. he trip is not just about the past, but whether either can tell the truth. Little does he know, he's been lied to about almost everything by his father.
This is a funny, warm film with a lovely performance by Nivola, a relaxed actor who underplays. He is perfect with Walken, who seems to always play eccentric characters. Here he's hilarious with an underlying layer of sadness. My favorite con is his brunch order at the hotel, but my favorite scene takes place when he crashes a business party.
Sharon Stone plays Dolores, a friend of Nat's whom they visit along the way. Stone is tanned, sexy, with legs up to her neck and, at 50, a gorgeous body which she shows off in a bikini. She gives a fun, lively performance. Peter Coyote has a role toward the end of the film as a sort of ex-friend of Nat's.
The last scenes are powerful and poignant.
Directed by Nigel Cole, this beautifully done film, written by Neal and Tippi Dobrofsky and, excluding salaries, costing 3 million, took 23 days to film. Don't miss it.
The last episode of season 16 partially takes place in Copenhagen.
The British head of a biscuit-making company, Eric Calder, eats one of his biscuits while in Copenhagen to close a deal. Since the biscuits were sent from England, a Danish detective, Birgitte Poulsen calls on Barnaby to investigate the murder.
Well, for a biscuit-making company, this place has a lot going on. Eric's son, Harry, had recently fought with his father, and his wife is sleeping with his brother, Julian. Julian is later murdered by being drowned in alcohol. Then there is the very talented and knowledgeable baker, Armand Stone.
Barnaby and Nelson travel to Copenhagen, where they meet two female detectives, one of whom sparks with Charlie. A floral arrangement at Eric's funeral were paid for by a credit card stolen from Pastor Thomas Madsen. They learn that Eric was involved with Ingrid Madsen and they have a daughter, given up for adoption.
As all of this is going on, Barnaby's wife is very close to giving birth. Then there is another death.
Red herrings abound as Barnaby and Nelson dig up past secrets and learn the history of the company.
I thought this was a good episode and particularly sweet at the end. The murderer and the reason for the murders comes late in the episode, and Barnaby has just learned his wife is going to the hospital.
I really like Gwilym Lee as Charlie Nelson; he seems to have less to do than the other assistants did at the moment, but Charlie is an excellent detective.
Can't believe this show is still running; it's definitely the "Law & Order" of the U.S. as far as longevity!
"The Flying Club" is a very good episode from Season 16.
However, before reading this review, read the review that is titled "Competently made bit of hokum" as the person who wrote this knows his planes, and what he had to say was interesting.
A flying instructor, Bernard King, is hit on the head and flown in his own plane over a lake and dropped. DCI Barnaby and DS Nelson are on the case.
The flying club is run by Perry Darnley. He is from a family of fliers; his father flew during WW II, and his mother delivered planes to bases as a member of the Air Transport Auxiliary. Darnley's son flies for the RAF.
They find the murder weapon in an employee's work box. This man carries a very heavy grudge against the elder Mrs. Darnley. He denies having anything to do with the murder.
There are a few possible motives for the murder as well as suspects: the company was being restructured which would cause people to lose their jobs. Then there is a second murder, reminiscent of a famous scene in a Hitchcock film. The victim had a record of landing at night with no lights. Barnaby suspects a smuggling operation.
Good episode, with the usual past secret coming to light, but this time not attached to the murder.
Barnaby's alone with Sykes as his wife is off visiting, and there are some cute scenes with the two of them.
June Whitfield, who plays the ditsy mother on Absolutely Fabulous, is absolutely fabulous here in a dramatic role as a proud, accomplished woman. I read a little about her after seeing this - being American, I didn't realize that she has had an amazing career.
Ricky Gervais and Eric Bana star in "Special Correspondents" a comedy
Bana plays Frank, a narcissistic radio journalist considered excellent, though he's often in trouble with his boss for getting into murder sites by stating he's the police, etc. His technician is Ian Finch (Gervais), whose wife, Eleanor (Vera Farmiga) has just left him after sleeping with Frank, though he didn't know she was Ian's wife, and Ian doesn't know about it. Ian is totally devastated over her leaving him and is writing letters to his wife the size of novels.
When Frank is told to go to Ecuador and cover an uprising, he talks Ian into going with him. Unfortunately, Ian threw out some stuff before leaving, which included the passports and some other important papers. This means they are stuck in New York.
They head to the home of Ian's friends, Brigida and Domingo (America Ferrara and Raul Castillo) where Ian is staying. The pair is well- meaning but not the sharpest knives in the drawer.
Ian decides to pretend they are in Ecuador with sound effects and people yelling in Spanish as Frank broadcasts. It becomes somewhat complicated when they are told to go to the American Embassy. That's impossible, so they decide on something else.
Meanwhile Eleanor is hard at work in the United States.
It is very hard for me to like today's comedies because to me, they're dumbed down with stupid characters, plots, and vulgar jokes.
I loved this comedy, and I think Gervais did a fantastic job writing the script. I had never seen Eric Bana do comedy and he was excellent. Vera Farmiga had the most fun role and she milked it for all it was worth. America Ferrara and Raul Castillo are deliberately exaggerated characters, and they both handled their roles well.
And as the sad sack Ian, Gervais is great and has wonderful chemistry with Bana.
Enjoyable and as the rest of the people who liked it said, don't pay attention to the reviews, just watch it and have a good time.
A wealthy landowner man named Martin Strickland is found tied to a tree
and mauled to death by a wild boar. Yuck. There were shots heard in the
night, but no one thought anything of it due to poachers. The person
who finds him is one Lizzy Thornfield.
Strickland's second wife, Camilla, tells Barnaby that Martin was arguing with tenants of his old family home. It is now a restaurant, and the draw there is Ruth Cameron, a chef like Paula Deen. She's married to Johnny.
Also, Camila says, truffles had been stolen from his land that were worth 10,000 pounds.
Martin last called Angela Linklater, who runs the Stag & Huntsman. She is Johnny's ex-wife (he's now married to the chef) and is the lover of Martin. Camilla tolerated the affair, but then she finds out that Martin left most of his estate to his daughter Amy, who is the commis- chef at Wyvern House.
The autopsy reveals that Martin was covered in truffle oil and eaten by the boar. Yuk again. No one, no women anyway, seem to care that Martin is dead.
Then another murder takes place but the person who is murdered wasn't the real target. Which means the murderer will try again.
Good story with the usual long-ago secret part of the plot, as well as jealousy, blackmail, and murder.
On the home front, we have the dog Sykes refusing to eat out of his new bowl, worrying Barnaby and his pregnant wife.
I suppose people my age in the UK know Freda Kelly. She certainly seems
to have received a lot of publicity as "the luckiest girl in the world"
when she not only headed The Beatles Fan Club but worked for Brian
Why Epstein chose her during the time she was hanging out at the Cavern listening to the group, she has no idea. But given his belief in the talent of the Beatles, I think he just had good intuition. I don't think he could have found anyone as discreet or as loyal as Freda.
Freda not only became friends with John, Paul, George, and Ringo, but also with their families and became a member of the Beatles family herself. They would come in for meetings with Brian Epstein and while they sat talking with him, Freda would come in with photos and autograph books for them to sign. She said none of them ever complained about any of it.
She was young and cute, so the interviewer (who was only heard once or twice) asked her if she had a more than friendly relationship with any of the guys. She wouldn't answer. "That's personal," she said. In fact she has never written a book or sold her story to a tabloid. She made this documentary for her grandson, Niall. For so many years, as a secretary, wife, and mother, she never told anyone about her past life. With her son now passed away, she says she would like little Niall to be proud of her and to know she had done something exciting.
It's not everyday that a girl from Liverpool had Paul McCartney walking her to the bus, George Harrison driving her home, was able to attend formal events, and could refer to Ringo as "Ritchie". Quite a whirlwind - plus the fan club. Friends would come over to visit and she'd give them a pile of fan letters to work on. She once fired a bunch of young women she had helping her with fan mail when one of them put her own hair in an envelope when a fan requested Paul's hair. "I can't trust any of you now," she announced. As a fan herself, she wanted to be honest with anyone who wrote to them.
She stayed with the Beatles until they broke up, working with them for a total of 10 years. At the end of the documentary, Ringo Starr spoke to and about Freda to the camera.
Interspersed with Freda's interview are interviews with her daughter, as well as Angie McCartney, author Tony Barrow, Billy Hatton, and others.
I have had the privilege of working with well-known people. And it is strange. To you, they're just people, and it can be a shock to have someone groveling at your feet because you know them.
Freda had no idea how big the Beatles would be, but she always knew they would be famous. I don't suppose she could have imagined what that experience would bring to her life. It sounds like it was a thrilling time for a teenager. Or anyone else.
"Let Us Prey" follows a typical Midsomer Murders template.
When a female corpse is discovered in a river, it's Barnaby and his new partner investigating.
The woman is Nancy Dewar, who has just left her husband and moved in with an art historian, Philip.
Philip is restoring a frescoes at one of the local churches, and Nancy's death is like one found in a fresco. Philip has an alibi. Meanwhile, Rev. Hillcott decides the church needs money to preserve the frescoes, as the river is rising and they are in danger of being destroyed.
Nancy was supposed to sell her vote to the reverend, but dies before she can.
There are two more murders, both copying death shown in the frescoes. in the frescoes.
The river bursts and the community races to the church for refuge. Barnaby feels the deaths have to do with the sale of land, but it turns out there is a much deeper reason.
This was an okay episode, with some emphasis on Barnaby's pregnant wife. They're trying to recreate the success Tom Barnaby's family had on the show. Neil Dudgeon is pleasant and a smart detective, but the show has lost its pizazz at least with this episode.
Rake is an Australian TV show about an attorney, Cleaver Green, played
by Richard Roxburgh, who is - no other way to say it - a complete mess.
He's in terrible tax trouble and has been for a while, and has come up
with every excuse as to why his records aren't available, so he keeps
delaying. Meanwhile his secretary is stealing from him, which he knows,
and they come to an agreement that she can only steal 10% instead of
the usual 30.
Green is divorced, and his main squeeze is a prostitute who later leaves the profession and winds up married to a politician. As far as his friends, he creates complete chaos in their lives just by showing up. When he finally gets permission to re-enter the home of Tom and Scarlet, he destroys their child's birthday party when he gets into a fight with the clown.
On top of all of this, Green is an excellent attorney and really has some challenging cases - cannibalism is one; in another, a terrorist sets off a bomb and his wife is accused of buying the materials to make it, but she claims they are for her beauty business. "Hydrogen peroxide," the Judge says. "Bleaching hair," she says. "It seems like an awful lot," the Judge says. "Well, I don't want to be vulgar, Judge, but there are other places on a woman's body that have hair," says Green.
At one point, he has to defend his own loan shark (who has had him beaten up several times).
I recently found out that the U.S. did this series with Greg Kinnear. No way. I like Greg Kinnear but he doesn't have Richard Roxburgh's edginess and mercurial delivery or energy. Also I don't think some of the language - so prominent in the dialogue - would be permitted on American TV. Roxburgh is fabulous; the character needs to be not only super-smart but outrageous, and he brings it.
The scripts are very well written, and I love the dialogue.
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