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This episode was a disgrace. The police got a confession by threatening that if the young man did not confess he would go to a gaol where he would be beaten up every day, but if he did confess they would ensure he was sent to an easier gaol. The young man was forced to strip naked in front of a woman CSI officer. Can you imagine what a row there would have been if a woman was stripped in front of a male officer? Did nobody of the countless people involved in producing this show not realise how bad these two scenes were? Didn't even the actors realise how out of character they were? Perhaps it's time to say good-bye to CSI which has been quite poor since Grissom left.
This wasn't so much a Disaster Movie as a disaster of a movie. It promised much and delivered little. The first 60 minutes was devoted to silly stories of silly people, for whom it was impossible to have any feelings other than boredom and irritation. Most of the characters were obviously stock characters rather than people. Perhaps we were expected to sympathise with them in their daily lives, but in effect I found I couldn't care at all. In fact I was on the side of the tsunami. If they all got wiped out, it really wouldn't have affected me at all. Not build-up to the expected tsunami. No suspense. No excitement. And then we got to the special effects. Except that there weren't any. 100 minutes just to prove that the Koreans cannot make a film. But let's be generous and award it 3 out of 10. And not watch any more Korean movies.
Better than Vertigo
I presume because this is a foreign film it didn't get noticed as much as it deserved. It is a film of "D'entre les Morts" by Boileau and Narcejac, and was also filmed in 1958 by Alfred Hitchcock as "Vertigo" starring James Stewart and Kim Novak. Boileau and Narcejac are the writers of "Les Diaboliques" and the suspense generated by the situation in all their books is extremely good. However Hitchcock made the film depend far too much on the actors and also gave away the twist much too early, and spoiled the plot. This version is superior. It is a moody film and keeps the viewer wondering what is really going on right until the end.
Night Stalker (2005)
Not Night Stalker at all
Calling a program "Night Stalker" and the main character Carl Kolchak, does not mean that this program bears any resemblance at all to the earlier series. The brief appearance of Darren McGavin, star of the original series, in the first episode, seems to have been an unsuccessful attempt to give the new show some kind of official approval. But the light-hearted approach and genuine comedy of the original series is completely lacking. Kolchak is saddle with a side-kick and another hanger-on. Vincenzo does nothing and the actor seems to be completely lost. As I suspect is the older viewer who may have seen Kolchak The Night Stalker and may remember it. The stories are no worse than on many other shows, but then again they are no different from other shows. The on-going problem of who killed Kolchak's wife just gets in the way. And the answer surely is simply that Kolchak had no wife. The result is simply yet another show designed for late-night viewing, which falls into the category of "If you miss it, you won't miss it." My rating of 6 is probably one more than it deserves, and is given in memory of the original and superior series.
The Covenant (2006)
The only scary thing is that they made it.
When I saw on the voting panel that some people had given this film a score of 10 I assumed they were unaware that the score wasn't out of 100. This is a disaster movie in the real meaning of that term. Poorly written and weakly directed with so-called actors unable to act, but able to grimace when ordered to. For the first 60 minutes the story appears to be going in one direction, then it changes tack and gets involved in a power fight, with extremely poor special effects. Unable to work out an intelligent way for the hero with limited powers to beat the villain with super powers, the "writer" cheats. It is obvious that the father was added to the so-called story-line because it was easier than working out an acceptable denouement. Not that the write would even know the word "denouement." Some movies go directly to DVD. This one should have gone directly to the dustbin.
Jekyll + Hyde (2006)
Not even close
The DVD cover actually mentions Robert Louis Stevenson. But that does him no favours. Even the title isn't quite right. And the film is completely wrong. It has nothing to do with the original idea of a man trying to separate his good side from his evil side, and who finds that, even without the potion, his evil side starts to predominate. What we have in this film is students who drink and take drugs and think that sex is just for fun. And poor little J is a wimp or a nerd or just plain shy. So he takes his pills and experiments and finds that he really likes being an animal, with no conscience. And with sudden explosions and flashbacks,the film staggers on for about 85 minutes before coming to an obvious end. And poor RLS thinks: "I didn't write that rubbish, surely." No, sir you didn't. And those who did, shouldn't have.
Different and always entertaining.
"Medium" is consistently good. Whilst all the other TV shows seem to get into a rut, Medium is consistently interesting. We never know how the dreams are going to be integrated into reality. There is no apparent formula. Each episode gives the viewer something to think about. Often we aren't too certain which scene is a dream and which is real. The acting is consistently good. Jake Weber as possibly the most patient of all husbands appears to be not acting because he is so real. The children are perfect, particularly the middle girl. The supporting cast do just that support the main story. Of course, I don't actually believe that the real Alison Dubois had quite such an exciting life, but as entertainment Medium can't be faulted.
The Brits get it wrong
We are often told: The Brits know how to make a good TV series. And it's true. Think of the top British shows: exciting, imaginative, different. And then along comes "Vincent" to prove that when they want to they can make as big a mess of a crime series as anyone else. "Vincent" manages to get it all wrong. Ray Winstone plays the character with all the lack of finesse he can muster. Fat, sleepy, unshaven with an almost incomprehensible accent, he batters his way through a messy and unsatisfactory script. He has staff, who appear to be bemused by him and the story, and all wishing they could get a decent job. There is plenty of violence, and lots of bad language, just to prove we're not in the namby-pamby 1950s. You've just got to have lots of swearing, otherwise nobody would watch. In the second episode of the first series, a rich criminal (the sort who owns night-clubs and a band of thugs) does everything to prevent an investigation into the murder of a man. He tries desperately to persuade Vincent not to carry out any investigation. He sends three thugs armed with base-ball bats to beat Vincent, either to death or just into hospital, nobody says. Vincent escapes. So the criminal wrecks the house of Vincent's ex-wife. Never mind. At the end, all Vincent wants is to be left alone. The criminal is really only a caring father. And what about his ex-wife's house? Is the rich man asked to pay for the damage? Of course not. Somehow nobody cares. Least of all the viewer.
The Cutter (2005)
Poor fight scenes
Here is one of those action films that fall to pieces because of their sheer stupidity. How many times can a person be kicked in the stomach and punched in the face before it puts him out of action? So all the fights are quite ridiculous. But what makes everything even more stupid is that three times our hero (Chuck Norris) has a fight with the villain, and three times he loses. In fact in one case the villain even draws a gun to shoot Chuck and changes his mind. Why? Presumably because he realised it was Chuck's movie and therefore he mustn't kill him. A pity really. Because the plot wasn't all that bad, and a little attention to the fight scenes could have produced a movie that would have been more enjoyable. And let's blame Mr Norris. After all he was, together with his brother, the executive producer.
Patronising and ultimately annoying
I suppose the idea of using a mathematician to help solve crimes using his expertise does sound interesting. And for one series not too bad. But frankly I have had enough of the patronising that goes on. Rubbish masquerading as science eventually gets boring and stupid. Blackboards get filled with meaningless twaddle. It's all designed to make us, the viewers, feel stupid. You can make a series where we don't really understand what is going on. "House" is a good example. I don't comprehend the medical jargon, but the characters are good and the main actors fine, so it works. "Numb3rs" (isn't that a cute name?) is just irritating. All the crimes could be solved by normal police work. In fact the mathematics gets in the way of an occasionally good story. So here's a simple mathematical problem in probability. How much can the average viewer stand before the off switch is found on the TV set?