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Blue Heelers: Retribution: Part 2 (2004)
Part 2 of 2 in the Luke Darcy saga.
Luke is found dead, with PJ standing over him. Who killed Luke? PJ has virtually no alibi, and is subsequently arrested by Homicide for murder.
The other Heelers set out to find the answers, and hopefully clear his name. Luke was not a nice person, it seems, since his great grandmother was also beaten and indecently assaulted. They aren't sure who committed that callous act on Luke's Gran at first, but when she dies, they focus on Luke's cousin, Ditch Kenny.
Later, the teenage assault victim regains consciousness, and says who beat him up. His father had gotten involved in some of his own beatings to teach the family a lesson, in particular, Luke's cousin.
The weapon used to kill Luke is analyzed, and the final answer to who killed Luke Darcy is revealed. PJ had said at one point "I felt like killing him", but did he actually do it? Did Ditch kill his cousin? Watch the episode to find out (part 1 and 2 should be viewed one after the other to get the whole story).
I have viewed both parts of this double episode many times, and have rated it highly. A good story.
Blue Heelers: Retribution: Part 1 (2004)
Part 1 of 2 in the Luke Darcy saga.
Luke Darcy is back in Mount Thomas, and PJ, who helped put him away 7 years earlier is clearly not happy about it. Luke maintains he has changed since he was in prison, and has 'found God'. Marissa Craddick (the Salvation Army captain and friend of Ben Stewart) believes Luke, if given a chance to prove it, can be a good person. Ben accepts this, being a Salvo himself, but PJ won't have it. He wants Luke to pay for trying to set his stepfather on fire, and allowing his mother to attack him with a machete (which resulted in PJ shooting her in the line of duty).
A young teenage boy is seriously assaulted, in a coma in hospital, and PJ instantly assumes Luke had something to do with the bashing, then the Salvation Army cash box with some money in it goes missing, Luke is blamed instantly for the theft by PJ.
Luke is brought into the station more than once in the same morning, the Boss is clearly not amused, and proceeds to give PJ a rocketing for 'police harassment', as it looks like a vendetta, rather than an official inquiry.
It's clear PJ hates Luke Darcy's guts, and wants him back in jail, but that won't be easy, with a grandmother quick to alibi him, and a sister, baby and a cousin to back each other up.
Later, Luke is found dead, with PJ standing over him. Who killed Luke? Watch this, and part 2 to find out the truth in this twisted tale.
This one was disturbing at first...
Donald Heinz (as in the baked beans) is a convicted sex offender, who has just finished serving his 6 year sentence, now released. Constable Susie Raynor is new to Mount Thomas, and Acting Sergeant Ben Stewart shows her around town so to speak, describing his colleagues, the workload, and so on. Susie spots Heinz walking past the local primary school with bags of shopping, and mentions to Ben what he was in jail for. When the local townspeople discover what Heinz went inside for, they are quick to want him 'out of town quick smart'; even Chris Riley wants him out of Mount Thomas, and insults Tom about his views on the law regarding released sex offenders. Tom is clearly unimpressed with the situation, but makes it clear that unless Heinz breaks the law, he is a free man, so leave him alone.
Ben, being a father himself, with 3 kids, knows how disgusting monsters like Heinz could be, and sets off on a crusade to have him put back behind bars. Then little Emily Nichols goes missing, naturally her mother worries, and thinks someone has kidnapped her. This turns out to be a false alarm, but Ben isn't taking any chances with someone like Heinz around, and is quick to point the finger squarely at Heinz for the missing girl.
Persecution, hatred, and all-round contempt for Heinz erupts when he calls a public meeting at The Imperial, and almost gets hurt, when Ben intervenes.
Everyone is questioned about their association with Emily; Emily's mother, Tracy, the ex-husband Max (who used to be a cop), her sister, and so on. Tracy believes Max had been abusing Emily, and wanted him charged, but it's when Emily herself talks to Susie in confidence, that Tracy realizes Max was a loving father who would never hurt a kid, much less abuse them. So her suspicion turns once again to Heinz, and this time she might be right when Emily is missing again.
Is Heinz a monster as Ben makes him out to be, or is he really innocent this time? I won't give away the end - watch the episode for yourself and make up your own mind.
Blue Heelers: Deep Water (2002)
Close to the heart.
* May contain a spoiler or two * Mount Thomas swimming trials are on, and Senior Constable Ben Stewart is volunteer coaching some of the members of the local team. One of the female swimmers (Chloe) has a crush on Stewart, using various tactics to get a ride home with him, so she can make a pass at him, when he refuses, and tells her no, she gets out of the car, runs home in tears.
The next day, at the station, the girl in question and her mother arrive, to lay a complaint against him for abuse. Ben protests his innocence, both to the Boss, to Sergeant Tess Gallagher, and PJ, which they accept, but it's not that simple, as Inspector Russell 'Rusty' Falcon-Price is quick to point out. Rusty takes a statement from the girl in the presence of her mother about Stewart's conduct, so naturally Ben goes after the truth himself. Meanwhile, Ben's ex-wife Angela arrives in town, but the real reason for her arrival is masked by her claim of a lost mobile phone, which she conveniently uses as a means to drop into the station (and to see Ben).
PJ and Tess decide to investigate this allegation against their colleague, and parts of the stories given by both Chloe's parents and her friend (Gretel) somehow don't match. Gretel is caught out in a lie by PJ when he asks her a particular question about Ben's car, and eventually the truth about Chloe's ongoing abuse is revealed. Is Ben a molester? is he being set up by an angry parent? or is someone else involved? The Heelers set out to clear their colleague's name, and restore his reputation.
Let's just say this episode is close to everyone's heart - especially if they have teenage daughters. Worth watching over and again.
On the Buses (1971)
1 of 3 movies to spin-off the series
The trials and tribulations of Stan Butler, his family, his best mate and fellow conductor, Jack, and being constantly at odds with his inspector, 'Blakey' (whose character bears a striking resemblance to Adolf Hitler). Blake always has a go at Stan and Jack, usually for being late getting the bus out 'on time', or catching the pair with different women, usually 'clippies', or canteen staff.
The mischief these 2 fellas get up to.
In the Butler household, it is anything but a happy family. Stan's brother-in-law Arthur usually embarks on a verbiage with his wife, Olive, who, while not very bright, tries her best to please him. Stan's mum, whose name does not appear until the third movie (Mabel), tries to keep the family together, especially when Olive becomes pregnant and soon after there is a baby to take care of.
If you liked the TV series, you may like this particular movie. I also recommend the sequel 'Mutiny On The Buses' as it is linked (in part) to this one.
I don't recommend Holiday On The Buses, unless you want a change from the 'depot'.
Classic British comedy at its best for the 1970s. 9/10
gross injustice? or not?
*may also contain some plot elements* I don't usually view films from any country which does not speak English, however, this is one of several exceptions to that rule. After a couple of times watching this one, I began to sympathize with the central character (Sagar Hussain (Rajpal Yadav) - he did an excellent job of portraying a man guilty of everything including being alive!) - after a woman he had met (and married) accused him of raping his 3 daughters repeatedly for years.
He is ultimately arrested and sent to prison (which looks more like a concentration camp than a jail) to serve his sentence as an 'undertrial'. He does not know what fate he will face, but while he is there, he is tortured, beaten, kicked, punched, and left for dead for the crime he is accused of. He is transferred to the 'safe yard' and, despite one person there out to get him too, he meets Nadir, a religious, peaceful type, who guides Sagar and offers friendship as well as protection. Sagar is grateful, but is sad because society has treated him so badly. Sagar is the most obvious character here, because he is the only one who looks scruffy, like he hasn't seen a razor or a shower in months - he stands out like a sore thumb amongst the others.
Meanwhile, Amre - the man who helped put Sagar behind bars, Sabina, the wife of Sagar who in reality despised him, and wanted him to die in jail, and her daughters were involved in something else. It is revealed, later, that Sabina, Amre and the daughters have engaged in prostitution, and Sabina's subsequent greed for wealth eventually brings her undone, when one of her daughters is killed because she threatened to turn her own mother and Amre in so she could get her father (Sagar) released. This angered Sabina, even more so in court, when she testified against him.
Loads of comical one liners (particularly from the 'lawyer' Ravi Vishnoi - who babbled on meaninglessly about irrelevant matters when he was meant to present his case in defense of the client - Sagar. (Hilarious) In this court, though, the Judge said very little, it was the defense lawyer(s) doing the case presentation. One of the witnesses in the court was Sagar's childhood friend (Imdad) who told his side of the story, basically saying Sagar was a good person, and that he would never do a terrible thing as Sabina claimed.
This movie shows gross injustice on all counts - society, the law, the media, the judicial system, and above all, the family Sagar supposedly loved but which did not love him in return. Plus the fact some people can be so callous, and vindictive, when they don't get everything they want their way. The question is ' is he guilty? or is he innocent and society has simply labeled him as guilty without sufficient evidence to support this verdict? '
Bollywood movies are not really my cup of tea, but this one is definitely an exception.
I rate it 8/10 - which is very good for a foreign film. (the DVD contains English subtitles so it helped me understand what was going on)
Something different, and despite being done without big name stars and a huge budget, it is definitely worth a look.
Mother and Son (1984)
one of the best Aussie series ever made.
* timeless classic * Ruth Cracknell is brilliant as Maggie, ageing mother to Arthur (Garry McDonald) who says he is 35 and still living with his mother. Sad? not when his grey haired widowed mother can't look after herself by herself. It's only sad if Arthur does NOT help his mum.
* basic synopsis * Arthur gives up almost everything including a social life since his divorce to take care of his mum, with minimal thanks from her. Meanwhile his selfish, manipulative brother Robert (Henri Szeps), tries to get him offside with his mother, while making himself look stupid in front of his wife Liz (Judy Morris). Liz doesn't believe the stories Robert spins her about his dental nurse and so-called affairs, sparking marital rows between them, as well as implying he's a lousy husband and a bad influence on their kids.
Deep down, Arthur loves his mother, but he soon loses patience with her dementia, mainly because he truly believes there's nothing wrong with her, that she's just putting on an act to gain sympathy. He tries to put her in a nursing home, but she won't go, she won't leave her deceased husband, Leo (his ashes are mentioned being buried under a rose bush in the front garden).
* general opinion * All in all, a classic Aussie series for its time, well written, and I still like it today. It was released as a complete DVD set in 2007 on ABC DVD. It predates widescreen productions, back when studios used high-grade digital videotape on super high grade commercial Beta video decks, and worth keeping in your DVD library. Worth seeing time and time again.
My rating: 8/10 (excellent)