Reviews written by registered user

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26 reviews in total 
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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
An excellent action thriller, 13 April 2017

The indefatigable Tom Keen from The Blacklist sets off on new adventures as part of a shadowy organization contracted by the US government that may or may not be the good guys. As with The Blacklist, it's hard to tell who's naughty and nice in this exciting TV show that, while derivative at times, benefits immeasurably from breathless pacing and meticulously plotted stories. At its core, this is a story of love and betrayal, with liberal doses of paranoia thrown in. I wouldn't want to live in Tom Keen's world, but I have to admit that it makes for an entertaining hour of television.

Pretty good, all things considered, 12 July 2016

It's chock full of clichés and is a bit stagy at times, but Devil girl from Mars still manages to entertain. The story concerns a group of guests at a remote Scottish inn who witness the landing of a strange unearthly craft and are subsequently held captive by its occupant, the comely Nyah, who is here to take back eligible men to repopulate Mars. Yikes! Needless to say the eligible men want nothing to do with this and plot to prevent her from carrying out her mission. Devil girl from Mars suffers from a number of problems, prime among them the absolutely inept acting of Hugh Mcdermott, who plays the newspaper reporter. He has a key role in the film, which really weakens it dramatically. The other actors can't quite make up for this, although Patricia Laffin is really quite menacing as Nyah. The film has a stagy feel to it, not surprising since it was based, believe it or not on a play. I can just imagine a local theater group trying to mount this! The movie's special effects are the real stars. The spacecraft is really pretty cool, and the robot Chani is a typical 50s conception of an automaton, even if he does resemble a refrigerator. This film belies its bargain basement budget much of the time and can be quite atmospheric with the sound of the wind and the shots of the studio bound Scottish moors. The scene of Nyah entering the drawing room of the inn for the first time still makes me jump.

5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
The milk of human kindness, 7 July 2016

It's hard to believe that anyone could be as compassionate and tender as the midwives in Call the Midwife, compassion and tenderness being rare qualities in the increasingly disconnected world of the 21st century. I suspect those qualities are a real incentive for even the casual viewer of this series, which depicts the lives of midwives toiling in the east London of the late 50s- early 1960s. The world of almost 60 years ago was a very different one from today, both from a social and technological standpoint. I'm impressed by the attention to detail in the series, which allows viewers to immerse themselves in the stories, which touch upon issues such as abortion and incest, as well as the then real threats of polio and tuberculosis. More recent stories have even addressed the thalidomide tragedy. The acting is, without exception, top notch, especially that of Judy Parfitt as Sister Monica Joan. I tend to be especially critical of shows that rely on lachrymose sentimentality to further the story. Call the Midwife is at times tender, sweet tempered and, well, nice, but never false as it displays the panorama of the human condition.

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
No fun anymore, 29 March 2016

Before its resurrection in 2005, I would have given Family Guy eight stars. I loved its gleefully subversive quality and clever situations. The characters were quirky and amusing. These days, Family Guy is more of a gruelling viewing experience. The endearing qualities of virtually all of the characters have been stripped away, and what remains are mean spirited cyphers. Is it simply that the show has been on too long? I don't think it's that simple. The Simpsons, for example, has been on much longer but over the years has managed to remain true to the characters as they were originally envisioned. I give the writers of Family Guy credit for trying to advance the characters, but was was once funny is now just creepy. Take Peter, for example. In the early episodes, even after he had done something stupid, you got the sense that he loved his family. These days, he just seems like a heartless slob. Maybe there's been a paradigm shift in the nature of comedy that I don't know about, or maybe it's just that this show should just go away.

"Pompidou" (2015)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Comedy with a sense of humour, 29 March 2016

There is a wonderfully absurd sensibility in Ponpidou, which stars Matt Lucas as the title character, a boorish aristocrat who's seen better days and finds himself living with his man servant and faithful dog in a run down trailer. The programme is virtually dialogue free, and therefore relies on the actors to communicate the story. For that reason, it may not be for everyone, but those willing to give it a try will be delighted by this charming, imaginative comedy. Pompidou, for example, has a pet fly that he keeps in his mother's false teeth container. His dog, actually a full sized puppet, wears a night cap to bed and reads books like Who's afraid of Virginia Woof. Pompidou, despite behaving like a petulant child much of the time, still manages to be endearing; one can't help feel sorry for the poor fellow. This is laugh out loud giddy fun that never talks down to the audience. A family comedy in the truest sense of the word.

A fondly remembered icon of Canadian TV, 14 December 2011

Premiering as a summer replacement show on the CBC in 1961, Singalong Jubilee originated at CBHT Halifax and featured a talented ensemble of singers and musicians, among them Catherine McKinnon and, later on, Anne Murray. Bill Langstroth was the genial host and the bill of fare consisted mainly of traditional folk songs.Near the end of the show's life, the repertoire shifted toward modern day pop. Production values were typical of a regional CBC production of the period, which is to say not bad at all. The show may have lacked the slickness of similar American productions of the time, but more than made up for this with impeccable musicianship; evident, also, in the the records the singers made during Jubilee's heyday. Like many Canadian shows of the 1960s, Singalong jubilee reflected the "wide open spaces" mindset that defined a generation of TV viewers.

3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Charmless and dated, 25 October 2011

David Niven and Mitzi Gaynor, two talented actors, are miscast in this stagy comedy about a married couple whose past catches up to them just before they celebrate their wedding anniversary. The addition of a new to the household television set is the catalyst for a series of not terribly funny mishaps and lots of arguing. The dialogue is trite and stilted, especially coming from the mouths of the child actors, although all concerned sound as though they're reading their lines directly from cue cards. Had the film been shot in colour, it might have livened things up, but as it stands,the black and white photography just adds to the dreary proceedings.Happy Anniversary bubbles like flat champagne.

Roswell (1994) (TV)
5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Compelling and unnerving, whether or not you believe the story, 16 September 2011

Your enjoyment of this film does not depend largely on your acceptance of the story of a crashed alien spacecraft and a government cover up that just does not seem to want to go away. If you believe the narrative, which is based upon Kevin Randle's book UFO crash at Roswell, you will be amply rewarded by a tale that adheres closely to the story, and which treats the subject matter with respect. Even if you think the whole story is stuff and nonsense, you can still enjoy a well made, well cast film that has plenty of atmosphere and crisp direction. Although made for television, Roswell has above average production values which add greatly to the overall tone of the film. Kyle Mclachlan's performance as the perplexed Marcel is fine and some of the set pieces, especially the discovery of the spacecraft wreckage are truly unnerving.

15 out of 30 people found the following review useful:
Exotic locales can't save this turkey, 10 August 2011

It would be unfair to compare this latest incarnation of Hawaii 5 O to the original as this is, apparently, a "re imagining " of the sixties classic. Presumably that means that, locations and characters notwithstanding, this show is trying to be something the original was not. I agree with that, because, while the Jack Lord classic was never less than entertaining, this show is anything but. For example, the plots are repetitive and the dialogue is laughably bad. To be fair, that could be said of any number of crime dramas on television today, but what makes Hawaii 5 O an especially gruelling viewing experience is the acting, which ranges from indifferent to just plain bad. The writers and, by extension the actors, have made the characters unlikeable. To me, that's the kiss of death for any series.If you can't invest in the characters, what's the point of watching? What's really surprising is that this show comes from the normally reliable producers of "Lost" and "Fringe", two shows that tower above this junk. White silver sands and palm trees swaying in the breeze can't save this very poor show.

6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
A rather conventional melodrama., 29 November 2010

There's nothing out of place in The Feminine Touch, a by the numbers melodrama that tells the story of a group of student nurses as they make their way through school. The acting is fine, the direction competent and the story sufficiently interesting to hold the viewers attention. Add it up and you have a watchable movie, but really, not much more than that. Clichéd characters and situations are a major liability in this film. There's doe eyed Susan (Belinda Lee),the cynical world weary Pat (Adrienne Cory) and the handsome Dr Alcott (George Baker)all delivering flat, colourless dialogue in you've seen it all before situations. The film looks great in Technicolor and the pacing is good, but you get the sense that it could have been much better.

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