Reviews written by registered user
|15 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This episode is so ridiculous there's no avoiding a negative review. For starters the writer, no longer the character's creator, has apparently never heard of Caller ID. Our heroes run around after an armed and dangerous killer, without any themselves, hide the person he's sworn to kill in a hotel never looking to see if anyone's watching them, and don't bother to block an exit so he can just drive off, but always seem to get evidence crucial to keeping the plot moving just in the nick of time. The worst part is that he felt it necessary to make a social statement by hinging the plot on fear of revealing homosexuality. And, of course, there's a lot of remorse. This is a great example of the worst of British TV. Pretty dramatic scenery tho.
Some elements of mystery, but basically a police procedural, or rather, psychodrama. The love interest, Andrea Lowe, is fetching and has a face which would no doubt have allowed a successful career as a magazine model. Moral of the story, presumably in Canadian Peter Robinson's novel from which this is adapted, is that shutting out feelings leads to inhuman acts, suddenly dawning at the last moment on the eponymous protagonist, who, as played by Stephen Tomkinson at least, no one could possibly think devoid of emotion, nor the woman PC, who, in retribution for the lethal attack on her lover/partner, bludgeons the "suspect" to death. If drunk on duty, the author intimates, she would be culpable, but as a victim is only human. For, as victims we cannot be held responsible, and may feel as guilty as we like. That's liberal pap, of course, for it's control of passion, which makes us responsible, not its absence, as Freud and generations of sermons intoned, a conundrum upon which civilization rests. It makes the accessory, nevertheless played astonishingly well by Charlotte Riley, into a victim, as if it were possible for evil to have never arisen at all with loving child-rearing. Tho this is still debated by wings of the "neo-Freudian" object relations school, as much as by the Romantics, babies are not born innocent, nor was humankind. The author would no doubt like living instead in France where such crimes of passion are coupled with repressive government.
A combination of scantily-clad, if not entirely nude, nudie-cutie girls and bad vaudeville humor, this black and white must have appeared as old-fashioned even when it was released. Hard to believe Sarno had anything to do with it. My main objective, however, in writing this review is to point out that the Pandora at the beginning of the film is not the same as that in Theseus' palace, who opens the box. The first may be a Ria Milan as given in the credits, but the latter seems to be Cara or Carol Peters. Although the Something Weird copy is poor, it looks like Cara is the dancer in the center of the group of dancers at the opening of the film, which we learn later are a group of Amazonian spear-carriers, when the section of film from which that scene is taken is viewed in context, and goes after the escaped "old woman."
Besides being entirely implausible and as full of inexplicable expedients and bad police work as red herrings, another in the tiresome line of Midsomer's blasting religious hypocrisy and rural English life while boosting homosexuality. Might have been written by some of the Bloomsbury set. There really isn't much more that can be said for it other than disclosing the plot. As usual the acting, characterization and scenery is flawless. And at least nothing defies the laws of physics. Just credulity. The producers love to hang the crime on the least likely subject, someone who's never seen out of a chair, but who's omniscient and omnipresent.
This episode of the Poirot series featuring Ariadne Oliver begins interestingly enough and serves up an excellent cast of character actors, but utterly fails to live up to its promise, the denouement taking up almost the last quarter of it, during which the protagonists arouse all the empathy of a case of herrings, Vanessa Kirby in particular. Despite its usual Christie Byzaneity whodunnit is apparent almost from the first, and even to a large degree, why, as is almost always the case where an author introduces an inexplicable character. But as usual Poirot keeps all of it to himself. Suchet is, tho, rather remarkable, in other roles looking and acting nothing like he does here.
George Gently is from several perspectives one of the best of the British detectives series, but seeing Warren Clarke immediately arouses suspicions he will be the culprit, first because of his prominence, and second because he appears to enjoy playing villains when he isn't playing detectives himself. The shows are well-plotted and acted, and, since I was in college myself at this time, the '60s atmosphere, while a bit overdone, is nevertheless very well done, except, I noticed, for the Venetian blinds. And although the topics are handled well, their anachronism is still a bit too obvious, if not in something like the Irene Huss class. This episode reflects on the observation that love, like it or not, infrequently breeds war, as much as, on feminism and homosexuality. But what sets this series apart from many others is that not everything which happens is made into a smoking gun or a morality play. Sgt Bacchus' father-in-law is inexplicably replaced, and I think could just as well have been omitted, or retired, etc. Myanna Buring is a great vamp, as small girls often are, and whom I fully expected John to fall for, reminding me she did nude modeling at that age, if I'm not mistaken.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Broadchurch is obviously a rip-off of the first Forbrydelsen, a 20-hour Danish mystery, which aired in 2007, involving the murder of a teenage girl. It has the same episode structure and musical score, and appears to have not only the same plot, but, it would seem, the same conclusion. In that one the culprit turns out to be the family's best friend. As well as following the police, both shows spend an inordinate amount of time on the victims, and the falsely accused. And they similarly drag. They make similar statements about the press, too. And the detective's personal problems and previous shortcomings. It needs English subtitles for those not accustomed to a variety of British working class accents and slang, if it is ever to air in the US.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Spoiled, perhaps, tho not by me. Some of the episodes of Downton Abbey are so gruesomely tedious you want to fast forward through them, but this one is proof, if any really were needed, the thing is genuine trash - a regurgitated Winds of War - if deference duly paid, nevertheless, to newsworthy liberal shibboleths and Tory Democracy. Churchill's father opined that the British upper-crust and the rabble shared a common immorality, and who better than the Churchills exemplify it? The "abbey," itself, incidentally, being a mid-19th century pile reminiscent of "Mad" King Ludwig, erected by the fellow who did the Houses of Parliament, and of little more breeding, its lineage dating only to Henry VIII's mendacity. And little more respect for facticity is evinced here than in the perennial Midsomer Murders, whose writers appear to have all flunked grade school science. Is it really necessary, too, for paranoia to stalk these stories like a special forces detachment behind enemy lines? Fellowes clearly had no more use for Sybil so her demise is understandable, and Matthew appears to have proved so dull and smarmy he obviously would never make a Crawley. Tho, like J.R. we will have to wait until next season to know for sure. Or rather we would had it not already been announced. But will Edith's newspaperman become Chancellor of the Exchequer and pitch the world over the fiscal cliff? Will Branson move to New Zealand and save Rose from the Nips, or become a Nazi sympathizer? And does Matthew's son grow up to marry his daughter and march off to defend Egypt, or, God forbid, pilot a Hurricane in the Battle of Britain? Does Mrs Hughes have cancer or not? Will Elizabeth McGovern EVER acquire an English accent? Stay tuned. Were it possible to give it no stars, I would have, for it doesn't have any bright spots except for the new grocer.
Midsomer Murders has long been known for its lampooning of British mystery writing, such as Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie. I was pleased to see it returning to the formula in 15th season, and Dudgeon IMHO plays it perfectly. Much better than his predecessor, and certainly more audibly. But his inaugural season, of which this is the third episode features some of the worst plotting I've ever come across, and this particular episode is just a politically correct rant on "puritanical" and obsessive males, with gratuitous violence in flashbacks for those with no imagination. The actors should have turned the script down flat, though I suppose, thanks to the previous decade of Labour rule, they couldn't afford to. Liberals believe ppl do bad things, such as murder, because they are repressed. The prescription for such hate thus has to be love, and so they patronize others, which not infrequently turns out to be very remunerative, as Mandeville pointed out some centuries ago.
I understand the Duke of Kent was bisexual, and no doubt many women
were, too, or lesbian, but I see little point in pandering to it,
except to concede that the series is, in fact, slanted towards to a
feminine audience. I think tho that largely underestimates its value,
because, soap opera or not, Upstairs Downstairs is better conceived,
better plotted, better written, better cast, better directed, better
acted, better staged, better filmed, better everything, than Downton
Abbey, the latter's four Emmys and 9.0 IMDb rating IMHO furnishing any
additional proof needed. I see little point, tho, in regurgitating
either world war, except, again, to pander to British pride and liberal
Since the six episodes of "Season 2" have not yet aired in the US, some many not understand what I'm saying, or why, and I won't therefore enlighten them further, except to say I told you so.
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