Reviews written by registered user
jamiecostelo58

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129 reviews in total 
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20 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
Fine Columbo story, 13 February 2007
7/10

William Shatner and Molly Hagan are reunited with Peter Falk for a second Columbo mystery, which is rather entertaining. Radio presenter Fielding Chase is very controlling of his adopted daughter Victoria (who is in the midst of writing a novel) thus killing her close friend Gerry Winters, who simply wanted her to branch out and lead her own life away from Chase. Actress Hagan is great as Victoria, a naive young woman who wants nothing but to please her murderous father. Shatner on the other hand has given better performances in his long career, and seems confused and over the top.

Peter Falk can portray the legendary Lt. with his eyes shut, and he simply (as always) brightens up the whole scenario. Funny gaffes include our Lt being mistaken for a homeless person, and mostly his beat up old (but also lovable) car continually backfiring! The case comes to a satisfying conclusion featuring many cunning tricks from our Lt....As usual Columbo outwits the murderer!

Butterfly In Shades of Grey is another enjoyable Columbo mystery and it's one I've seen many times, but there are stronger films in the Columbo franchise that eclipse this good but slightly weak 1993 edition. It's definitely not the best in the series. 7/10

21 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
The end of an era, 7 March 2007
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After 13 years and 33 episodes, Inspector Morse finally came to an end in November 2000 with The Remorseful Day. It was certainly the end of an era with the legendary Oxford detective meeting his maker, as writer Colin Dexter thought Morse had run his course....

The year long investigation into the death of wealthy business woman Yvonne Harrison is sparked into life with the promise of new evidence.....Morse finds himself back on duty and learns that Lewis is in charge of the case....Will he agree to this situation? There is also the case of Morse's deteriorating health....

The very poignant image of Lewis kissing his mentor's forehead, and uttering the words "Goodbye, Sir" at the end, no doubt struck a chord with the millions of TV viewers who grew fond of this detective drama. Well done to Kevin Whately for that memorable performance.

Sadly, it wouldn't only be the demise of Inspector Morse the public would have to get used to. The untimely death of John Thaw from cancer in February 2002 not only left a big hole in the legacy of British television, but also in the lives of his many long-time fans. Suffice to say he will be fondly remembered for the many roles he played in his long career as an award-winning actor, including the classic Inspector Morse. The Remorseful Day is 10/10.

18 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
I'm definitely Changing Lane!, 6 December 2006
7/10

This movie was surprisingly good, but fans of car chase sequences and the like will be extremely disappointed. The acting and directing is expertly carried out, with special praise to Ben Affleck as Gavin Banek. Changing Lanes actually explores more depth into the main characters, and how their lives will change, either for better or worse, rather than just dealing with pure and simple 'road rage'.

Samuel L. Jackson was well appointed as Doyle Gipson, and portrays his part well. One character's next move to destroy the other makes compelling viewing, and we can actually feel some sympathy for them, as we see both their emotional and compassionate side.

The story flows well as we are drawn into Banek and Gipson's desire to cause pain and hurt, not giving any thought to others who maybe affected by what they are doing. Changing Lanes is not a violent film as such, it simply explores the aspects of revenge in what could be a true-to-life measure. This is what makes it an entertaining and gripping movie that proved a winner for myself, and should do for many other film fans.

18 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Another fine edition in the Frost franchise with a very sad ending...., 2 December 2006
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

D.I. Jack Frost has three cases to solve: two murders, and the disappearance of a young girl.

Jack is re-united with old sidekick D.S. Clive Barnard to try and solve these mysteries, and viewers can see the on-screen chemistry between David Jason and Matt Bardock as Barnard is simply terrific.

The young girl is the victim of something sinister.... This makes Love Me Tender (aka No Other Love) especially compelling viewing, and leads Jack and Clive on a roller-coaster ride in their attempt to catch a suspect.

An immensely tragic conclusion awaits the final confrontation between Frost and the suspect, which is sure to have an emotional impact on viewers never mind the characters. The eerie silence we witness at this point is extremely necessary...

Another intriguing and very believable storyline with a terribly sad ending is sure to be another winner for viewers who have not witnessed this episode.

20 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Brilliant start to a brilliant series, 30 November 2006
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The first ever episode of the now classic TV drama Inspector Morse sees John Thaw's character falling for the beautiful Anne Staveley (Gemma Jones), who attends the same church choir as him. However, it's a love destined not to be....

You don't see much of Morse's classic Jaguar car in this episode, but as I have lived in Oxford my whole life, it's wonderful to see many beautiful images of the historic city in the show. The city's murder rate was certainly on the up (fictionally anyway)!

A strong twist toward the end makes the story even more interesting and should surprise everyone.

The Dead of Jericho was a huge gamble when first broadcast in January 1987, but the sheer strength of the production team, writer Colin Dexter, and, of course, John Thaw himself, secured Inspector Morse as a firm favourite amongst British viewers. And we do get to hear the wonderful, classic music to the show in the closing credits as well.

John Thaw was one of Britain's most well loved and respected actors, and his performance throughout the Morse series showcased his talents. A shame he is no longer with us, but Morse will certainly keep him in our thoughts.

17 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Forget Peter's age, just enjoy the usual Columbo formula!, 10 August 2007
7/10

I suppose the main reaction when watching this particular episode is the fact that it is very hard to ignore Peter Falk's age. He was 75 when this edition was recorded in 2002 (broadcast in January 2003), but he simply threw himself into his legendary role comfortably and easily. This is a fun episode to watch! It's certainly a more 'modernised' interpretation than previous editions, with fast directing and electric-style music in the background during some scenes.

When Vanessa Farrow (played expertly by Jennifer Sky) accidentally kills her ex-husband, it's down to nightclub owner Justin Price (Matthew Rhys) to dispose of the body. But a surprising twist to the story will certainly keep viewers hooked! In steps our favourite Lt and the fun begins! Columbo Likes the Nightlife still contains the legendary trademarks that make the series so popular, including the "just one more thing" phrase, the talk of his wife, as well as his ageless car, but I do fear that it may be ignored by many viewers simply because of Peter's age. He may have been in his mid 70s at the time, but Lt. Columbo doesn't have to be! It's not the best by any means, but is certainly watchable.

This edition marks a satisfactory enough conclusion to a brilliant detective drama that I've had the privilege to watch every single episode of! Peter has kept millions of viewers entertained as Columbo for nearly 40 years, and the shabby Lt will sure be missed! Nevertheless, Columbo will in no doubt be adored by the masses for many many years to come! 7/10

Ordinary Miracles (2005) (TV)
20 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
A fine family movie with great performances, 5 April 2007
6/10

Recently broadcast for the first time on British TV, I was rather pleased with this film which simply details the trials and tribulations of growing up without stability in a family home. When Judge Kay Woodbury takes in troubled 16-year-old Sally Powell, they get off to a bad start, but gradually start to respect one another....

Young actress Lyndsy Fonseca is very convincing as Sally, an understandably angry (and also sad) teenager who finds it difficult to fit in. Jaclyn Smith also makes light of her role as caring Judge Woodbury, who apart for upholding the law, is a woman who leads a solitary existence....

Ordinary Miracles is not a unique story in any way, but the taut direction and beautiful settings make it more than just a typical television film. The attention to detail is immense, and viewers can certainly imagine the emotions of the characters. Great interaction between Jaclyn and C. Thomas Howell too, who portrays a seemingly ordinary man who must face up to his past. It was a pleasure to watch them together, and Jaclyn has certainly kept her beauty - hard to believe she was pushing 60 at the time!

This is a fine film and certainly one of Jaclyn's best TVMs in recent years (indeed, her first tele-movie since 2000's Navigating the Heart), even if the ending is pretty predictable. A good effort from all concerned.

15 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Thrilling blood-fest!, 9 November 2006
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This excellent film tells the viewer one very simple but demanding message: Don't pick up a hitchhiker! A young C. Thomas Howell is Jim Halsey, driving along a deserted stretch of mountainous desert road. After nearly falling asleep at the wheel he stops and picks up what turns out be The Hitcher, John Ryder (brilliantly played by a thoroughly convincing Rutger Hauer). When Ryder threatens to kill Jim, the young man pushes him out of the fast moving car, and thinks the nightmare is over. In fact it's only just begun...

Cue a terrifying series of events where The Hitcher seems indestructible, killing innocent people and not giving a care in the world about them or himself.

The Hitcher as a film flows beautifully (despite its short 93min length), with wonderfully ominous music, and a watchable performance from Jennifer Jason Leigh as Nash, Jim's only friend in the entire film! This was certainly a brave effort from all concerned, and will certainly be far superior to the 2007 remake, as well as the extremely poor sequel in 2003. The Hitcher will go down as one of the most thrilling, scary and psychological films of all time.

15 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
A weak end to the first series, 1 March 2007
6/10

When a church warden is found dead under suspicious circumstances, Morse has a race against time to catch a serial killer....There are a total of six murders to solve, although Morse's prime suspect is one of the victims who meets a rather sticky end....The only connection between the victims was that they all attended the same church service....Could a seemingly innocent woman Morse takes a liking to be involved? Service of all the Dead is a rather ridiculous story that doesn't seem to have the thrill of most of the Morse franchise, even if the conclusion to the case is rather good.

As usual, John Thaw and Kevin Whately put in cherished performances, but it isn't enough to take away from the fact that Service of all the Dead is a slightly weak and over the top edition of this legendary police drama.

This was a rather subdued final episode for the first series. 6/10

11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Heart-warming and funny drama, 30 November 2006
8/10

Michael Caine and TV favourite Julie Walters shine wonderfully in this film, which tells the story of 26-year-old Rita (Walters) wanting to discover herself by attending the Open University, where alcohol dependant Dr. Frank Bryant (Caine) is a teacher.

The movie follows these two main characters change and reevaluate their lives for the better through each other. Caine and Walters' chemistry is simply divine, and Maureen Lipman also makes an appearance as over the top and eccentric Trish, who on the outside, is this confident, bubbly woman, but on the inside is hurting badly because of her fears of being alone.

Both Caine and Walters won Best Actor and Best Actress awards for their performances (at the BAFTAs), and the movie itself won Best Film in 1984, and one look at Educating Rita tells you why. It's a film that's simply full of warmth and charm.

A strong British film and the perfect debut for the now legendary Julie Walters.


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