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Sorry Midsomer - the magic has gone.
I have been a huge fan of Midsomer Murders and have the DVDs of almost all of the John Nettles episodes. The latest episode of Midsomer BREAKING THE CHAIN was (in my opinion) one of the worst episodes of this wonderful series I have watched. Even worse than the alien episode shown a couple of weeks ago. Last nights episode about cycle racing seemed to be all talk and quite frankly I lost interest. I didn't guess the murderer but that was probably because I wasn't paying the attention I should have. Gone are the quirky characters and the catchy soundtrack. There seems to be long scenes of talk with a complete absence of any soundtrack. What has happened to the theremin? The wonderful sound this instrument made added tension and anticipation to many scenes when a murder was about to happen. Sadly now gone.
John Barnaby and his wife do not have the same chemistry as Tom and Joyce Barnaby. The new DS Nelson is OK but I am not too impressed with the new young lady pathologist who appears to be a bit too full of herself. I thought the previous lady was better. Sorry Midsomer but perhaps your days are numbered.
Joy Division (2006)
Well worth seeing!
I just happened to notice that this film was about to start on "Movies4Men" TV Channel, so I decided to give it a try. I am glad that I did. I really enjoyed this movie about a young German who arrives in London in 1962 as a Russian spy. The film shows in various flashbacks how this young man had ended up in the situation he is now in. The battle scenes of Russian soldiers fighting in the rubble of Berlin against the remnants of German resistance is well handled and the brutality by some of these soldiers against one young girl in particular, is realistic. As an espionage fan I also liked the spy element as well, with some good background 1960's Shadows music. It is well worth seeing should you get the chance to do so.
Killing Them Softly (2012)
This film was described as being a violent thriller. There was some violence but sadly very,very.few thrills. It started off OK with a tense card game robbery, but then it just drifted away. There was a lot of rabbit (UK cockney slang for talk)in this movie, and it became very dull and boring. In fact at one point, I didn't really know what they where talking about. Brad Pitt was OK, but I am not sure what the point of the character played by James Gandolfini was, because all he did was talk and talk and talk. (And drink!) The cast of the film where all male, apart from Linara Washington who was on the screen for a couple of minutes playing a prostitute. A boring movie!
The Double Man (1967)
Worth a look!
Although this is not a memorable film, I found it entertaining. Yul Brynner stars as a CIA man who is told that his son has died in a skiing accident in Austria. He, therefore, heads off to Austria to investigate if it really was an accident or something more sinister. A young Britt Ekland is the female lead who he seeks information from because she was one of the last persons to see his son alive. Various character actors of the time (made in 1967)such as Clive Revill, David Bauer, Ronald Radd and Moira Lister appear and the movie jogs along at a nice pace. There are some lovely location shots of the Austrian Tyrol and Yul does a good job in the lead role. Well worth a look!
Pointless and dull.
The only mildly interesting scene in this film was when being advised how to tell whether a lobster is a male or a female. It is a terribly dull film about an upper middle class English family who go on holiday to the Isles of Scilly where absolutely nothing happens. They invite an artist who paints the scenery whilst spouting twaddle, and a cook who they agonise as to whether she should be allowed to join them at the dinner table. Yes, this is about as interesting as it gets. The father of the family for some reason has decided not to join them on this trip, which was a very wise move indeed, because long before the end of this movie, I had also wished I had kept away. People should watch this film then form their own opinions, mine being that it was a dull and pointless piece of film making. On the other hand, connoisseurs of the awful could revel in it.
It sort of fizzles out
This is a Hitchcock film that "Got Away" as it is one of his films that few people seem to be aware of. It starts off OK with a Russian Official, along with his wife and daughter, attempting to defect to the Americans in Copenhagen. The Russian Defector tells the Americans that there is a French Spy ring codenamed "TOPAZ" who are passing NATO secrets to the Russians. He also states that the Russians are shipping materials into Cuba although he doesn't know what these materials are. John Forsythe who plays a CIA man then tells his friend in the French Secret Service who is played by Frederick Stafford. Stafford agrees to go to Cuba to find out what is going on. After his return he then attempts to track down the French spy ring. All this is taking place in 1962. As previously stated, the film starts off OK then chugs along, briefly coming back to life with a long scene in a New York Hotel which is full of Cubans. Finally, however, the film kinda stalls and by the end has sort of fizzled out. An interesting Hitchcock film, but not a memorable one.
Really Enjoyed this film.
I have recently watched this film twice and really enjoyed it. American Scott Glenn is a CIA operative based in Brussels who is asked to go to Bucharest to arrange the escape of his former friend and mentor, who some years earlier had defected to the Russians. This is not a glossy production and the grainy look of the film I think adds to the atmosphere of Eastern European locations. A sprinkling of British actors appear like Eleanor Bron who helps him with his escape plan in Bucharest, and the lovely Cherie Lunghi who is an old girl friend of Glenn's and runs an art gallery in Venice. Leading the chase for Glenn is good old Martin Shaw playing A KGB Colonel. A far cry from The Professionals. I am fond of espionage films and thought this a good spy yarn.
I watched this film a few nights ago and found it OK, but nothing special. Alexandra Paul plays Stacy a lawyer, who gets a phone call telling her that her sister has been murdered. She then returns to the area where she had been raised and where her sister was killed and keeps meeting various people who she knew in her past. Stacy later finds out that her sister had been advertising herself on Adult Dating sites, therefore, with the help of her friend Lauren, she decides to do the same thing to see if she can find out who the killer is. A dangerous game to play. If you have a couple of hours to spare then give it a look, but do not expect too much.
Dark Storm (2006)
Mr Baldwin's hair!
If this film was going to win an award it would surely be in "The Most Annoying Hairstyle in a Movie" category. An overweight Stephen Baldwin's hair certainly annoyed me from the very start of this film. Anyway, this movie is about some scientists who have discovered something code named "Eruptor", which is a device that supercharges Dark Matter and uses it to change the molecular structure of it's target, thereby eradicating it. Simples! Mr Baldwin sort of ambles through his role as the main man to save the world, helped by his trusted friend and his loyal wife. The special effects are decent and although it is all nonsense, it is worth a watch just to see Mr.Baldwin's hair.
An Entertaining Film
I have watched this film three times and have always found it entertaining. John Wayne was perhaps slightly too old for the part, however, I thought he did a pretty good job as the Dirty Harry type cop who wants to know why is partner was killed. There are shootings and car chases along with warnings by his immediate boss (played by Eddie Albert)to curb his unconventional ways of policing. Of course, The Duke takes no notice and carries on his investigations in his own style. As many reviewers have stated, a stand out scene features Colleen Dewhurst as a somewhat burnt out ex-girlfriend of his partner. For me, it was an enjoyable and entertaining film.