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2954 reviews in total 
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Fun if somewhat far-fetched season finale, 21 October 2014
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This, the final episode of the eleventh series, sees the team investigating the thirty year old murder of a school girl near a school dance. The case was reopened after a school time capsule was unearthed which included a tape recorded by the girl which suggested she was afraid of somebody called Alec and more strangely a reading of a speech that would have been read by the Queen in the event of a nuclear war… a speech who's existence was obviously highly classified at the time. They set about talking to various people who were around at the time including a teacher who was there at the time, friends and her somewhat paranoid father. Before finding the killer they must break an alibi by finding an alternate, longer version of a song by Wham and head to a disused fallout shelter to find the identity of Alec. Away from the case Sasha is getting involved with a man who runs a record shop, Gerry is going to his future brother in law's stag do and Strickland joins the team for a quiet night in the pub.

This was a fairly solid if somewhat far-fetched ending to the latest series. The case had a decent number of suspects and motives although the final resolution was a little bit disappointing. One also had to suspend ones disbelief to believe the scenes involving the disused bunker; the power still worked and documents were quickly found. We also have to accept that somebody involved in such secrets would leave crucial documents at home where his daughter could accidentally find them. That said if you can overcome those details it is rather fun. Away from the case it was refreshing to see a crime drama where a protagonist's romantic interest is neither the killer nor a victim and there were some laughs to be had as Gerry discovers that the stag party won't involve anything unseemly like strippers or throwing the groom in the river!

Oreimo, 20 October 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Protagonist Kyosuke Kosaka is an ordinary seventeen year old school boy who doesn't get on too well with his younger sister, Kirino, or more to the point she doesn't get on well with him. All that changes however when he discovers her deepest secret… she is obsessed with eroge games featuring little sisters obsessing over their brothers! He takes the revelation surprisingly well and agrees to keep her secret. After this they start to grow closer; she encourages him to try the games and he encourages her to try to make friends with other fans… her current friends certainly wouldn't approve. Over the course of the series this leads to some awkward situations; such as when their parents find out and Kyosuke tells his father they are his to protect his sister and when Kirino gets Kyosuke to pretend to be her boyfriend!

This series could very easily have been rather dubious as the siblings get closer but thankfully nothing inappropriate really happens; in fact their relationship is more sweet than perverse. As is often the case in anime our protagonist finds himself amongst a harem of girls but they aren't all throwing themselves at him, just some of them, and he isn't the usual oblivious boy who doesn't notice them or accidentally walks in on them at awkward moments. The characters, both main and secondary, are fun and not so exaggerated that one can't believe in them. Given that the protagonists play eroge games one might expect a fair amount of fan service but there wasn't any to speak of, or if there was it was so innocent I forgot it. Overall this is a charming show with plenty of laugh out loud moments.

These comments are based on watching the series in Japanese with English subtitles, watching both the first and second series but not the OVA episodes which come between the series or those that follow series two.

Carrie comes home, 20 October 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After the events of last week where a drone strike took out a wedding party along with its target and the CIA Station Chief in Islamabad's murder Carrie and Quinn are back in the US. Carrie assumes it is just to be debriefed before she returns to take over in Pakistan; her boss assures her that she is not going anywhere. This means that Carrie will have to start looking after her baby daughter; something it soon becomes clear she is spectacularly ill-equipped to do. Determined to get the decision reversed she gets in contact was a case officer who had worked in Islamabad before being transferred to a dead-end posting after raising questions about how information was being gathered there. Quinn is also having a bad time; he ends up in police custody after beating two oafish restaurant customers who had insulted the woman he was with.

This series got off to a fine start but I feared things might start to turn soapy now Carrie was back in the US dealing with her baby rather than in the danger zone hunting for terrorists… thankfully it looks as though that is what will be happened as she nicely turned the tables on her boss; whether Quinn will be joining her remains a mystery though. The family scenes nicely, if a little disturbingly, showed that Carrie is definitely not a good mother but also that she is well aware of that. There wasn't too much action but that didn't matter too much as it felt like this episode was primarily setting things up for the rest of the series and getting Carrie back to Pakistan. Overall; not as good as the season opener but still worth watching; I look forward to tensions rising when Carrie gets to Islamabad.

8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Two Dimensional but far from Flat, 19 October 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When The Doctor returns Clara to Earth a couple of things aren't quite right; firstly they are in Bristol and secondly the Tardis has shrunk somewhat! While Clara is outside it shrinks again leaving The Doctor trapped inside struggling to find out what could be causing the shrinkage and how it is also sapping the Tardis's energy. Clara has other problems to deal with she learns that locals have being disappearing, strange memorial murals have appeared on a subway wall and nobody knows who is painting them. The Doctor can give her advice and pass her small items from the Tardis but this is a mystery she will have to deal with. She joins up with a group of youths who had been doing community service and their council overseers as they are pursued by strange two dimensional creatures, dubbed 'The Boneless' whose motives are unknown but whose effects are deadly.

I had been a bit unsure about this episode; The Doctor taking a secondary role while Clara and some 'urban youth' dealt with monsters didn't sound too promising… as it turned out this was a pretty good episode. The monsters were some of the creepiest for some time, especially when they became three dimensional; the special effects were pretty good. Writer Jamie Mathieson may be new to Doctor Who but he has now written two fine episodes; I hope he is given the opportunity to right more as on the strength of this and last week's 'Mummy on the Orient Express' he is clearly producing the kind of stories fans want without being too scary for younger viewers. His monsters were truly monsters not just something misunderstood and he had the confidence to let the character most viewers would like to see die survive without a schmaltzy 'seeing of the light'… the character started off unpleasant and ended unpleasant… also the dead stay dead. It wasn't all scares though; there were some laughs to be had; mostly from having a full sized Doctor in a tiny Tardis. Overall a surprisingly good episode; I hope the rest of the series is as good.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A welcome return, 18 October 2014
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

These comments refer to the whole two part story, not just the second episode:

Some time has passed since what was supposed to be the 'final' episode; Lewis is now retired and living with pathologist Laura Hobson and Hathaway has been promoted to Detective Inspector with new character DS Lizzie Maddox working under him. Inevitable Lewis' retirement doesn't last long as DS Innocent invites him to help them with a case… without mentioning it to Hathaway first!

The first investigation of the season involves a neurosurgeon who has been shot. A few suspects soon arise; the parents of a child who suffered serious brain damage after an operation went wrong, animal rights activists who object to hunting taking place on his land and a colleague. It looks as if the last of these is the killer when a bullet from his rifle matches one recovered from the victim. He is taken into custody but is then taken ill and escapes from hospital. He isn't free for long though as he is soon found with a bullet in his head; a bullet from the same rifle which is still in police possession!

Like many viewers I was a little sad when it looked as though the previous story was the last ever so I was rather pleased when I saw it was returning for a new series. I was also a little wary; how would they overcome the fact that the two protagonists had apparently left the police and once it had them back together would the dynamic be changed? Thankfully getting them back was handled quickly and effectively and the inevitable changes in their relationship proved to be fine character development; Hathaway is no longer the junior but he doesn't begrudge his former boss returning. There is also a new dynamic as Hathaway must work with his new sergeant; if he can just learn that being in charge means delegating some tasks to one's junior. The case itself was fairly standard for the series with plenty of disparate suspects to choose from. There was also the secondary puzzle as to how the second victim could have been killed by a bullet which matched a rifle that was in police custody; a mystery that was perhaps more fascinating than the identification of the killer. Overall I'd say this was a welcome return for this long running series; it is just a pity ITV showed it in two hour-long episodes rather than as a single two hour episode.

Once Upon a Time in China and America, 16 October 2014
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As this film opens Wong Fei-Hung and his fiancée 'Aunt Lee' are travelling through the American West in a stage coach, they stop to pick up Billy, a man lost in the wilderness, but they don't really get a chance to get to know him as their group of wagons is attacked by Indians as they stop to eat. They survive the ensuing fight but Wong Fei-Hung hits his head in a river and when he comes to he is with a group of Indians and has no memory. Aunt Lee and friend Seven join up with friends who have settled in America then set about finding Wong Fei-Hung; who has become friends with the Indians after helping them beat a rival tribe… he is now particularly close to one of the women. When his countrymen finally find him he still doesn't know who he is so Seven must fight him till his memory returns! That isn't the end of their worries though; the mayor of the town is making life difficult for the Chinese population and frames them when the bank is robbed; to prove their innocence they will have to survive hanging and fight the real robbers!.

If you are looking for a serious western then this isn't the film for you; however if you want some laughs and over the top kung-fu action then this is a lot of fun. Cliché is piled on cliché as we have marauding Indians, amnesia, corrupt officials and diabolical villains; the leader of whom just happens to know kung-fu! The action scenes are well choreographed for the most part although occasionally they look hilariously fake… the early wagon crash being most notable. When I watched this I had no idea that it was actually the sixth instalment in a series of films but that doesn't really matter; the cast are introduced in a way that means you don't have to have seen earlier instalments; the only real confusion was the title as we never see them in China! The Chinese cast do well; as one would expect Jet Li's action scenes are great as are those of Xin Xin Xiong, who plays Seven, Rosamund Kwan is also likable as Aunt Lee. The western cast aren't so great though; they aren't terrible but it is of no surprise that none of them are well known… or known at all for that matter. Overall this is a lot of fun if you want plenty of action and plenty of laughs… sometime unintended laughs!.

These comments are based on watching the subtitled version of the film; strangely everything is subtitled including the English dialogue… which sometimes doesn't match what is said!

A fine time-travel movie, 15 October 2014
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the not too distant future, in a world that has been decimated by a plague, James Cole's dreams are haunted by a childhood memory. In this memory he is at an airport and he sees a man gunned down while a woman looks on in anguish. Cole is volunteered for a special mission to find the source of the plague; most notably what it has to do with the 'Army of the Twelve Monkeys'. This mission involves being sent back in time to 1996… at least that is the idea; in fact he ends up in 1990 and is promptly certified insane! Here he meets psychiatrist Kathryn Railly and fellow patient Jeffrey Goines and has a profound effect on each of them before he vanishes from a locked room. The next time Kathryn sees him is when he kidnaps her in 1996 and demands that she take him to Philadelphia; he is raving like a madman but eventually she starts to believe him… but if what he says is really true most of humanity will be dead soon.

This is one of the best time travel films; Terry Gilliam's way of showing us the story makes us wonder if the protagonist might be insane even though we've seen that what he claims is true. Bruce Willis does a fine job as Cole; a man on a mission who is also forced to question his own sanity. Madeleine Stowe puts is a solid performance as Railly and Brad Pitt is great as the obviously crazy Goines. There is a good sense of danger and not just to the Protagonists; it is clear that Cole is dangerous to those around him. Some films are best just watched once but this stands up to repeat viewings; indeed knowing the ending will help you see new details when you watch it again. While the ending isn't exactly a surprise it still has an emotional impact. Overall this fine film is well worth watching if you like sci-fi that is a little strange!

Death of a friend, 14 October 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When a woman's body is discovered in her house a photograph on her desk leads the investigating officers to Danny. It turns out that she was a friend of his thanks to her cold case blog. The officer in charge of the case believes it was just a robbery gone wrong but Danny believes she was killed because of a case she was investigating. Danny contacts another amateur cold case investigator who knew his friend and learns that she was looking into a possible miscarriage of justice from a quarter of a century ago. Looking into the case it quickly looks as though there were flaws in the original investigation; digging out the truth will not be easy after all that time and it isn't helped by the fact that one of those involved with the earlier case is now a government minister. Away from the case Gerry is staying at Steve's due to a gas leak in his street and Sasha has some awkward moments with the lead investigator of the current murder who she went to Hendon with.

This was another enjoyable episode with a good mix of mystery and humour. The humour mostly comes from Gerry staying at Steve's… and not for reasons one might expect; almost the opposite in fact. The mystery had a reasonable number of suspects; for both the old and new cases. There were plenty of interesting characters although I was a little unsure about the ex-copper turned cold case obsessive; he seemed too much like a typical TV obsessive… and not a former member of CID. When the revelation came I was genuinely surprised but didn't feel like the ending was forced. The cast, both regulars and guests, put in solid performances and it was nice to see a case that takes them out of London for a change.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
'Homeland' after Brody, 13 October 2014
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Some time has passed since Brody's death; Carrie has had his daughter and is now Station Chief in Kabul. When her counterpart in Islamabad informs her that he has solid intelligence about a high level target she has little time to consider the options but as the undisclosed source has been reliable before she orders a pair of F-15s to cross the border and take out the target. Not long afterwards it becomes apparent that they have struck a wedding party; the target may be dead but so are a lot of innocent people and it isn't long before feelings are running very high in Pakistan. She is ordered to fly there to brief the ambassador. Things go from bad to worse when the identity of the Station Chief in Islamabad is released to the press; Carrie and Quinn head to pick him up but he has been recognised putting them all in danger.

I was a little unsure what to expect as the fourth season opened; on the one hand I thought it would have been better if Brody had been written out at the end of series two and on the other I wondered how the story would progress without him… thankfully this season got off to a great start; indeed if you've never seen 'Homeland' before you could probably jump in here without much difficulty. We are quickly shown Carrie's new situation and then thrown into the drama. The action is both sudden and frenetic; the sense of danger is very real when the car carrying the protagonists is surrounded by an angry mob. Claire Danes continues to impress as the manic Carrie and Rupert Friend makes a welcome return as Quinn. It is hard to judge where the series intends to go with this story but I suspect finding out will be highly entertaining!

8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
The last hurrah?, 12 October 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Having decided to stop travelling with The Doctor, Clara goes on one last trip; rather than monsters and danger they go for a ride on the Orient Express… although this being Doctor Who it is a space-train! Of course the planned lack of danger isn't to be; in the opening scene an elderly woman is killed by a mummy which only she can see. Nobody believed her mad ravings about the mummy but when The Doctor hears about her death he suspects she was a victim of 'The Foretold' a legendary creature which can only be seen by its victim and always kills exactly sixty six seconds after it is first seen. Soon more, apparently unconnected, people start dying; if they are to survive The Doctor will have to work out how the victims are being selected and the true nature of The Foretold.

Having got past the idea of a 'train in space' this turned out to be a rather good episode. The enclosed setting gave an added sense of claustrophobia and the monster was both an original take on the ancient mummy myth and genuinely creepy. The general 'look' was good to; it may have been set on a space train in the far future but the thirties costumes gave it the feel of the Agatha Christie mystery it was clearly inspired by… don't expect a similar story though. The question of whether or not Clara would be leaving was dealt with in a way that didn't seem forced and didn't leave it an ongoing question. Overall this proved to be one of the best episodes since Peter Capaldi took over as The Doctor; well worth watching.


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