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Definitely worth a viewing
This show was recently shown as a two part mini-series . Some fine performances here from Maxine Peake as Myra Hindley and Mike McNulty as David Smith . Though the truly horrible events of the Moors Murders are dealt with in a manner sympathetic to the victims and victims' families ( no blood gore and detail here ) . You do discover a side to Hindley and Brady that has rarely been shown - both may have been monsters and inherently evil but also both were highly manipulative and believable . Some very daring performances , particularly by Peake as Myra Hindley and Sean Harris as Brady , this together with a haunting soundtrack , rare levels of authenticity and the bleak but beautiful Moors setting make this a reasonable thing to watch .
Great Vehicle for Connolly
This TV movie provided a fine performance by Billy Connolly as "Jo Jo" , no doubt he relished the Glasgow setting and the fact that the main character was a self made man , like himself , although from the criminal fraternity .
Though this is a thriller/crime genre piece there are plenty of comedy moments , the brilliant brass band romp in the bank vault is truly comic genius .
The denouement is completely unexpected also as the police begin to suspect Jo Jo and he finds the forthcoming marriage of his daughter to the police chief's son may offer an opportunity .
Critically this is a fine bit of work and parts of it will have you chewing your nails in suspense and laughing out loud .
Friday Night In (2003)
Quirky but worth a look
Saw this fun little film last night and it was truly a pleasant way to spend eight minutes of your time ( In fact it will probably take longer to write this review! ) . The lovely Claire Goose is one of 4 characters in this seemingly extended sketch . Some fine adult orientated dialogue kicks off proceedings , with Claire Goose acting perfectly lovestruck and drippy . The whole 8 minutes is well worth a look ,and in such a short length of time the attitude of all the pretty young things comes through , pleasant performances from pretty people and an interesting twist . A great interlude and all who took part deserve some credit
Poor addition to the Diagnosis Murder Series
As a fan of the Dick Van Dyke vehicle "Diagnosis Murder" this feature length addition caught my eye . Many of the original characters from the series axed in 2000 return here . Essentially Dr Mark Sloan ( Van Dyke ) is expecting his black sheep daughter to return home with her new husband . On the journey their car breaks down and they stop off in a Smallville-esquire town "Los Rios" . It is here that an incident occurs and Sloan and the usual suspects fear something more sinister is afoot . It would seem that the Van Dyke's ( for many of the family are here ) can't do pathos - a family member disappears and they show all the urgency of a sloth , and the emotion of Charles Bronson . The general story involving blackmail , racism , small town mentality and locals with a lot to lose has been done before and considerably better . Would have liked the jokey air of the original series to continue but this really was an episode too far .
Malden - The Only Star Here
I managed to catch this TV Movie a couple of days ago . In essence it relates to true incident involving the kidnapping of a bus load of children and their driver in the small town of Chowchilla , California in 1976 and the failed bid for a ransom . Karl Malden plays the kind hearted driver of the school bus who eventually becomes the children's saviour : Malden is excellent in this part and portrays it with conviction in what is a pretty lame tele-reproduction of the incident . Little is offered in the way of painting a picture of the background to the kidnappers and their motives . This aside , Malden does a fair job and the general horror of the parents waiting for news of their children's' fate is shown well . There's some fine interaction between Ed Ray (Malden) and his charges ,sadly few of these child actors seem to have featured in much else . This movie is always worth a look , especially when you consider that years on many of the real children involved continue to suffer from post traumatic stress disorder .
A Small Summer Party (2001)
Comedy for the post The Office generation
If you like comedy to make you cringe in your seat then this is for you. Based on a British barbecue/summer party this is a one-off special from the Rob Brydon series "Marion and Geoff" . Here , to celebrate a recent elevation in work status by his wife , Keith (Brydon) throws a bash and all kinds of mayhem ensues . Well written and acted this film will make you slightly uncomfortable and is like watching a train crash - horrible but you can't take your eyes off it . If you like the embarrassing moments from show like "Fawlty Towers" and more recently "Knowing Me Knowing You" , "I'm Alan Partridge" and "The Office" you will not be disappointed with this gem.
On Seventh Avenue (1996)
This movie : Adequate
Nadine Jacobs (Wendy Makkena) is an established fashion designer and following intervention from the Mafia seeks to rebuild her father's troubled fashion house .
This was a movie that promised much as a below Godfather/Sopranos drama but delivers little bite . The story meanders between Mafia , Fashion House and Nadine Jacobs world of high fashion and mega-deals with little or no purpose .
I always rate films with an impressive cast list including Luis Guzman as a Puerto Rican pattern maker with a conscience and a family to support .
Some good actors were wasting their talents here and few scenes were carried to their conclusion .
If you were expecting a hard hitting review of the rag-trade and its connections with fashion models and the underworld this is NOT where to look . All the ingredients were there but the use of quirky slanted camera angles and lack of depth to the characters is off-putting and as such detracts from the little plot that exists .