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Truly sad, this dreck of a movie with its all star cast of note just begging for a decent script and lacking, sadly, the real lowdown on the making of that marvellous movie, "Psycho".
Instead we get the puffery of an inflated soap opera with Alfred and Alma at odds with each other in their "love story" of his and hers jealousies.
No mention at all of the child they had together. And Alma's role is a complete distortion of the reality of her superb editing and script approval and his directorial genius. Instead we see her investing her time, chastely, with a losing hack writer. While Hitch impotently googley-eyes his leading ladies.
A bonus: an unbelievably cloying finale to this feast of clichés hammers the "whatever" point home. Dishonouring each of them equally.
A brilliant cast wasted, clumping wetly through this simplistic treatment of one of cinema's greats.
Modern Family (2009)
Great concept but jumping well over the shark by Series 4
The first 3 series were well written, even witty, in spite of the awful shrieking performance of Sofia Vergara, an appalling stereotype of a Latina if ever there was one.
By series 5 it has hit the shark tank and crashed. The young boys (12, 13?) sexualized and misogynistic, rating girls by appearance only aided and abetted by all the adults around them and the young daughter (6?) evaluating young boys in her class through the same lens encouraged by every adult in her circle.
The awards astonish me. I can understand the first few but not the later ones.
I rated it 5 because of my enjoyment of a fresh new series at the beginning but it's well past its sell by date now and calcification has set in, it has lost any originality and wit and veers so far into slapstick and unreality that it can't even engender a tired smile. Offensive to just about everyone.
Making a Murderer (2015)
One of the best documentaries
All of the components of excellent documentary film making come into play. The real life characters, the lawyers, the victims, the police, the investigators take the screen and the viewer by the throat and it is compulsive watching. The directors and producers never intrude, their voices are never heard.
The Avery family compound with its mobile homes, garages and acres of cars, vans and trucks in various stages of disrepair and disintegration is a character in itself. And surprisingly towards the end, the viewer is taken on a ride on a utility vehicle and shown an absolutely beautiful vegetable garden by a stream, all part of a hitherto unseen section of the property.
The conviction, subsequent release and fresh conviction of Steven Avery and his young nephew Brendan Dassey is a fiasco and travesty from beginning to end. Even when the prosecutor, several years later is charged with multiple sexual offences, there is barely an outcry. The incompetence and shoddiness and sloppiness of what passes for justice in Wisconsin is astounding. And disheartening. Everyone in it seems to be covering up for everyone else in the system.
I was incredibly moved by the story. It is addictively presented, filmed and told by its main characters. I was pulled in emotionally to what more could befall these unfortunates. And there is much more.
I am haunted by it. And despairing too.
A rare 10 out of 10 from me. And the Binge Watching Factor? 10/10
Mixed Feelings on This One.
Rave reviews from those I respect and I was prepared to love this and for the most part I did.
I had a few reservations. One being the totally inappropriate relationship between River and Rosa his shrink. He stalks her and she doesn't report him? He behaves violently in group therapy and ditto she doesn't report him? And they share an intimate, flirtations dinner at his apartment? She is a police psychiatrist and he is under orders to attend multiple sessions with her. She is a complete incompetent not to set boundaries with him and should lose her licence in the real world.
I enjoyed Stolan's performance, really believable and also Lesley Manville's as Chrissy, his boss.
The plot had quite a few holes and Episode 6 had me very frustrated at the big "Tell" which didn't seem to hold together at all. A shame.
I gave it an 8 out of 10 for daring to be different. But IRL this detective would and should be locked up.
Prime Suspect (1991)
I let about 4-5 years go by before another session with Prime Suspect 1. And every single time it holds up for its plot, its originality, its underlying domestic upheavals and its politics.
Helen Mirren is brilliant. Frazzled. Stressed. And with genius lurking in those eyes. Dogged in her pursuit. Making it, way back then, in a completely male universe.
I've watched it 4 times now. And it engages me from beginning to end.
The supporting cast are outstanding. Watch for very young Ralph Fiennes cutting his acting teeth on a bit part.
Always a 10/10 from me.
The Imitation Game (2014)
Viewed as a work of fiction
This is thoroughly enjoyable. As an aside, I wonder if I can sort out the truths: Here they are: Turing was gay. And a mathematical, scientific genius.
And he may not have killed himself.
The untruths are legion: Joan Clark was plain and practical and would never have uttered the anachronistic bilge she spews here.
Enigma was invented years before in Poland.
Turing didn't have control over the Nazi plans of bombing sea lanes, etc. In fact he had no access to maps of such detail. Ever.
And much, much more, far too long to list here.
But in watching the brilliant Cumberbatch and his numerous sidekicks there is enormous admiration for great acting, excellent direction, good sets, and brilliant atmospheric cinematography. Score is well done too.
So 8 out of 10 for fact suspension and a ripping good yarn.
Spoiled by a really crappy ending and a miscasting of Barbara Bel Geddes.
I love noirs and made a point of acquiring this one. 1949. A woman marrying for money to a rich psychopath based on Howard Hughes, they say.
Barbara is too goody-two-shoes, too girl-next-door for a woman who finds her strength when she gets a job of worth with a pair of doctors. I don't see what James Mason, playing Larry, saw in her.
Robert Ryan is brilliant as her wealthy husband. And the slimy Franzi, his sycophantic side-kick is brilliant.
And the ending was hugely disappointing, if I got into it I'd give the plot away, but it came across as a complete copout. Rushed, hurried and leaving too many plot holes unfilled.
6 out of 10.
Body of Lies (2008)
Loan to me by a friend who loved it.
Let me count the ways I hated it.
Racist. USA the good guys catching the bad guys forever and ever amen.
Leonard Di Caprio playing Ferris throws the credibility metre on high alert. Why on earth would he think his Iranian gf would not be a target for whatever enemy.
Hard to track all those enemies wearing "towels" as per the CIA running all these operations from a bunker somewhere USA, it must look like a video game.
I skipped a lot of scenes.
The racism was rampant all through it. Crude, rude and hateful.
Russell Crowe as the big cheese mouthed his hate and disconnect while dealing with his small children, kinda priceless watching that.
All in all a waste of time, all the scenes looked like a movie set in the back of beyond, falling down in pieces with poverty everywhere. Except for Dubai.
And script? Was done better in many other movies before it. They're all the same, it depends on the writers. And these failed.
2 out of 10
The Forgotten (2004)
Reaching for the incredible....
And also the incredulous.
Enough plot holes to make a decent colander.
One example being these missing kids had no other relatives, like grandparents, aunts, uncles, pals schoolteachers, to validate their existence?
Enough car chases to fill in for the abysmal lack of dialogue.
How come when movie characters are chased for huge distances involving climbing, jumping and marathoning, they never break a sweat or breathe hard? A great cast in an enormously flawed film.
And the ending.
Didn't make sense. Hollywoodland at its finest.
2 out of 10.
Some great old stars
in a very disappointing effort. The plot just can't stick together and the dream sequences and reality get all mixed up and then the ending- completely unbelievable and too many co-incidences all through it.
I thought the ending was part of his nightmare sequences as it was so outlandish in the basement of the perp's house, that just never made sense.
The script was weak and it seemed like some South American countries got mixed up and Taylor's mother's Alzheimer's seemed like a contrivance to make the plot points fit.
A waste of a decent cast in a film destined for the dustbin.
2 out of 10.