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361 reviews in total 
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psychological warfare, 17 December 2014

The British military brass led by Harry Andrews choose one of their own junior officers played by Bradford Dillman to go on a mission into Nazi-occupied France based on a psychological profile that he will crack under torture and reveal the false information they wish to have the Germans believe about the imminent D-Day invasion. Dillman is chosen for the mission on the recommendation of Suzy Parker, who plays Andrews administrative assistant. As a psychological drama Circle of Deception works fairly well. Parker is especially good at playing both ends, working to implement Andrews plan but also falling for Dillman. Dillman is good once he gets captured by the Germans, who torture him convincingly. After he breaks, Dillman's character has to live with himself, still believing that he let down the war effort by divulging true information.

brutal, 16 December 2014

Only a big name like Ridley Scott could get the financing and the big- name cast together to make such a heavy-going film as The Counselor. But the effort succeeded in illustrating the merciless brutality of the narco trade along the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez metropolitan zone. Fassbender plays the attorney who thought he could make a small fortune off of one good cocaine deal but when his shipment is diverted (shall we say) it sets off a sequence of events in which all of the big cast members meet impressively bad ends. This film has the polar opposite of a happy ending, which is good because the conclusion fits the barbarity of today's narco business.

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
murder-suicide?, 8 December 2014

"Coda", the mid-season finale for this incredible series' fifth (wow) season leaves the question of the bizarre situation in which Beth's character exits the show. What kind of analysis can explain her decision to stab officer Lerner with a little pair of surgical scissors? It seemed like an incident of suicide by cop, but then Daryl, who loved or was in love with Beth, shoots officer Lerner. This action was incredibly well-done. Any Walking Dead episode directed by Ernest Dickerson is superior. He captures the essence of the suspense of the zombie chase with pastor Gabriel limping as fast as he can, as well as the stand-offs between opposing survivor groups. Like other commenters mention, Lerner's was a bad loss for this show. Beth's loss doesn't have much of an impact for those viewers who were waiting for her to get dumped, but Dickerson crafts a totally killer ending when Daryl carries her body out of the hospital and the rest of the group react with great sadness and grief. This show is so good sometimes, even when you know what's coming, it still hits you hard.

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
back to Atlanta, 5 November 2014

This episode answers the question "Where did Beth go"? When last seen she was driven off in a mysterious car with a white cross on its back window. Maybe it was last week's episode or the one before, but Daryl and Carol see another car with a white cross driving off and pursue it. The white-crossed cars pick up survivors and transport them to a downtown Atlanta hospital, the apparent headquarters of another survivor group. There's a couple of police officers who still where their uniforms and act as if they're in control of the situation. Any survivor taken there is checked over by the one doctor in residence, and if they pass inspection are obligated to pay off the debt incurred of rescuing them from the "rotters" (new name for the "walkers"). Anyone who doesn't show sufficient improvement gets a neat incision in the temple, and the body is dumped down the linen shoot to the dark hospital basement, where the rotting walkers (?) devour it. The return of the show to a totally deteriorated Atlanta setting is of itself pretty creepy. It takes the viewer back to the first episodes of season one. The actors playing the police officers are interesting. As Carol is wheeled into the hospital in the final scene with Beth seeing her on the gurney, the stage is set for something.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Low-budget gem from Ulmer, 27 October 2014

This film does no harm to Edgar Ulmer's fame as a great director even if it isn't as great as Detour was.The opening of one detective tracking down the other, and the fistfight that follows leads into an intriguing story told in flashback that begins with a scene of a murdered man face-down on a carpet of an apartment with his face in a fireplace, which turns out to be an important part of the plot. Why was one detective beating up the other? Well, the other had fallen in love with the supposed murderer of the dead man in the apartment, but as he's escorting from her trial to prison on a long train ride, she sees the supposed dead man while looking out the window of the moving train standing on the platform of a station the train had passed by. This has elements of Detour in it, if I remember correctly. In any event, said detective becomes convinced of the possibility of the woman's (Barbara Payton) innocence and they actually jump off the moving train together to get to the bottom of the case. What a brilliant use of the limited funds available to make this movie. But it gets much better as they move closer to the truth, with the owners of a ceramic company (it wasn't Bauer Pottery but it could have been). I couldn't stop watching Murder Is My Beat.

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
a feel-good episode of the Walking Dead, 27 March 2014

Compared to "The Grove", the episode that preceded this one, which had the brilliant idea of a game of tag between the now dead Mica and a female walker, this episode has more of a feel-good hopeful quality to it as significant members of the group that escaped from the prison finally begin to find each other. There are a few tense moments but mostly this is an upbeat show except for the ending when this group makes it to Terminus. Daryl has a terrific part (always this guy is the best in the series) with his new group of "marauders". I'd give this show an 8, which pales to last week's "The Grove" which was off the chart in my book.

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
no easy choices when you're surrounded by walkers all the time, 7 November 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The major thing in this episode is Carol getting kicked out of the group for murdering (or mercy killing) of two infected members, one of whom was Tyreese's main squeeze. It's a great scene watching Rick drive off alone in one car and Carol in another, though her prospects for survival don't look promising. Another aspect is the mission to recover drugs at a veterinary school a long distance from the prison. That angle has been going on for two episodes now and still isn't resolved. Will they all make it back alive? Probably not. Back to Carol, though, because she her actions weren't much different than Carl's when he gunned down an unarmed person at the end of the last season. Being surrounded by hordes of walkers is no easy life and the tension changes everyone's behavior. Overall this was a strong episode IMHO. Especially felt for the two young people who didn't make it. They're reminders of the guy in the last season who was desperately screaming for Rick to stop and he just drove right on by him. What a world.

Quicksand (1950)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
dangerous blonde, 19 August 2013

Mickey Rooney plays an auto mechanic who meets a new cashier at the diner he eats his lunch at. She's a blond, while the girl who's in love with him is a brunette, so, given the state of aesthetics back then, there is no question but to go for the blond, which sets off a fairly overly concocted, but interestingly done, chain of events. Jeanne Cagney, as the blonde, comes with a dark background that's hinted at in the film, and a part of it we see with her connection to Peter Lorre who runs a shady looking arcade. As a later Lorre entry, his part is not at all bad, especially when he rather expertly wields a switchblade in one scene. Cagney has the right look for her part as the woman who first reels Rooney in and then encourages his criminal behavior. The title of this movie is apt though kind of melodramatic, as Rooney sinks deeper into crime in order to try to climb out of it.

hits unexpected heights, 15 August 2013

A familiar story of a cop (Victor Mature) and a criminal (Richard Conte) who grew up in the same tough New York City neighborhood, in the same culture, but chose different paths in life, and end up facing off against each other. Mature's part as the detective could almost put him in the role of the bad cop out to bring down the neighborhood hero, though the story, with some excellent lines for Mature, leads us to the truth, that Conte was playing the part of a fairly ruthless con man, especially with the people closest to him. The essential conflict between the two primary roles gives the film a strong focus, but other characters elevate the movie to unexpected heights. Betty Garde, Barry Kroeger and Hope Emerson each have great parts in this film. Garde's part looks like it's going to be brief, but she reappears later in the film and adds another dimension to the story. The story is already hitting its stride when Hope Emerson makes a memorable appearance as a deadly masseuse who takes Conte into her parlor/apartment. Their lines are some of the best in the movie. Lloyd Ahern, the cinematographer captures the essence of a crime drama in the great night scenes.

Fear (1946)
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
medical student faces his financial disaster, 1 August 2013

Peter Cookson is a medical student who receives the bad news that the medical college he is attending is no longer able to afford to grant scholarships. His future becomes suddenly darker as he's faced with having to drop out with only one year to go. How this bad news affects his psyche is more or less what the film is about in a post-war 1940's era take on psychology and dreams. It seems to revolve around a sense of alienation portrayed through a surprisingly riveting dream sequence that occurs on a dark night on the railroad tracks. In spite of its meager budget this movie succeeds in rating fairly high up on the standards of my film scale.

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