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The following men have declined the honours. David Bowie declined a CBE and Knighthood. Alan Bennett declined knighthood and CBE. Michael Frayn declined knighthood and CBE. Alan Rickman declined a CBE. Albert Finney declined CBE and knighthood. Ken Loach declined an OBE. Keith Richards declined CBE. John Cleese declined CBE and Life Peerage. Malcolm McDowell declined a CBE. Jim Broadbent declined an OBE. Bill Nighy declined an OBE. Ian McDiarmid declined an OBE. Jonathan Kent declined an OBE. Michael Bogdanov declined an OBE.
Passed Away Keith Michell Warren Mitchell Charles Keating Richard Johnson Roger Rees Brian Bedford Tony Warren MBE Peter Wood Peter Vaughan Roy Dotrice OBE
If you would like to nominate a gentleman here or anybody else, please feel free to do so at https://www.gov.uk/honours
Mapleworth Murders (2020)
Abigail, Think What Would You?
Paula Pell is still underrated and under appreciated to this day. Her performance as Abigail Mapleworth was terrific. She plays her like Dame Angela Lansbury's Jessica Fletcher. She lives in a small town with a high crime rate of murders. The town is full of funeral homes tied with restaurants. You can have a taco and pay your respects. The short twelve episodes is a parody of murder mystery shows. Paula Pell is joined by plenty of Saturday Night Live alums. Abigail is joined by her Australian niece. I love how they don't take themselves too seriously. It's fun to watch them play one dimensional characters though. It's a good laugh though.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
Dude, the Name is Dude
I loved the Coens previous film, Fargo. I can see a lot of similarities between the two films. The Big Lebowski has a lot more humor than Fargo. Jeff Bridges was perfectly cast as Jeff The Dude Lebowski who gets confused with a millionaire of the same name. He gets caught up in a kidnapping and ransom scheme of a trophy wife. The cast is brilliant with John Goodman and Steve Buscemi as the Dude's best friends and bowling buddies. Julianne Moore is particularly memorable as Maude Lebowski. David Huddleston played Jeff Lebowski is also memorable. Phillip Seymour Hoffman played Brandt, his assistant. The film is really a great film for the guys in general. Sam Elliott is memorable as the narrator,
Room 237 (2012)
Some Theories are Just Out There
I found the theories about the film both entertaining and enlightening. The theory about Kubrick faking the moon landing should be omitted from the Final Cut. The other theories are out there too but I won't spoil them else for the viewers. The documentary has people talking over the scenes from the classic film. They also use clips from other Kubrick films. We never see the actual commentators or film theorists. It would have been nice to have a more typical documentary style where they talk about clips. Some of the theories are out there. As much as I love the Shining, the armchair film theorists here take their theories to a whole new level.
The Ghost Town Terror (2022)
It isn't so bad!
I am actually enjoying the series. A Seattle divorced mother of three children, Karen Broussard, bought a small ranching town in Montana. The place is called Gunslinger Gulch in Anaconda, Montana. She lives there with her three children, Colby, Chloe and Cameron. It's an isolated ranch. She contacts paranormal investigators when she needs help in living there. The place has a weird vibe to it. They experience paranormal activity around the place. It's not hard to believe because Montana has a rich troubled history anyway. The scenery is spectacular and you see why it's big sky country. Watching the show, you're getting to see a part of the country that we normally don't see on television.
Mother's Day (1980)
Not for the Squeamish or Faint Hearted
Too bad there wasn't a sequel to explain some unanswered questions about the end of the film. It is about three college roommates who reunite for an annual trip. This year, Diana selects a camping trip to the Deep Barrens. The signs are there about entering at your own risk. Even the general store owner gave a warning. They drive to the Deep Barrens which is in northwest New Jersey. The first night goes without incident. The next day begins the nightmare as the three women are kidnapped by two deranged brothers who bring them home to mother. Beatrice Pons played the mother brilliantly. The disturbing scenes with Diana are not for the squeamish or the faint hearted. But I think they're tame by today's standards. For an independent horror movie, it is not bad. The cast aren't well known except for Pons. There are disturbing scenes in the movie so I would warn anyone that it can be difficult to watch.
They Came Together (2014)
New York City is a character in the movie
Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler play a couple who recounts their turbulent history to another couple at dinner. The movie can be a parody about romantic comedies. Molly plays a small candy store owner and Paul,Rudd plays Joel who works for the big heartless corporation in New York City. They have other partners in their lives. When they finally meet and get together, it is a good partnership. Molly has a son and sister but you forget about them. The cast is first rate with well known and familiar faces. They are not always together but when they do they are magical. It's not my favorite Paul Rudd movie. Amy Poehler is also wonderful.
Our Idiot Brother (2011)
Operation Free Willy
Paul Rudd's character Ned was living in upstate New York with his girlfriend Janet played by the awesome Kathryn Hahn. When Ned goes to jail, she moves on with another boyfriend but keeps his beloved dog, Willie Nelson. Ned returns to his childhood home in Long Island to his mother played by Shirley Knight. His sisters are played by Elizabeth Banks, Emily Mortimer and Zooey Deschanel. His sisters each take turns having him stay at their homes. One sister is married to Dylan, played by Steve Coogan. Ned gets along great with his nephew, River. Unknowingly Ned ends up interfering in his sisters' lives. It ends on an up note. It's believable.
Ideal Home (2018)
You Wonder Why They Call It The Land of Enchantment
The movie is underrated and under appreciated at the time. It must have fallen through the cracks because I never heard about it, Steve Coogan and Paul Rudd play a long term bickering gay couple in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The movie also sells Santa Fe as the land of enchantment with plenty of scenery, sights and locations. The Christmas season is magical. Erasmus is a well known chef and Paul is his producer and partner. When Erasmus' grandson, Bill, arrives at one of their parties, they take him in reluctantly. Erasmus' son, Beau, is in jail. The actor who plays Bill is wonderful in the role. The cast is stellar. The movie has several fine moments. If you want to see Santa Fe onscreen, this film sells it well. It's more realistic and believable.
I Didn't See That Coming
Sid and Freya meet, insult each other, fight each other and then kiss each other in the post apocalyptic world. They move to Boomtown with Scrapps, a human pretending to be a dog and pet of Freya. That part I don't understand. They live together in a shack of a home and try to build a normal stable life. Sid gets a job working for a junkman played by the ever awesome Steve Buscemi. The show has its moments, Daniel Radcliffe does a stellar job in playing Sid. He is quite a great comedic actor. The actress who plays Freya does a believable job as a warlord going normal. The boomtown isn't really desirable. I just wished to understand why Scrapps played the dog.
A Year in the Life (1987)
Sadly it was canceled after a season
I don't know why shows get canceled. This family drama was high quality viewing at the time. Richard Kiley, a stage, film and television veteran, head the family after his lovely wife died. The series was originally a mini series which extended to a weekly drama, it had a great cast and superb writing. The show could have gotten better in succeeding seasons but the network pulled the plug after the first season. I remember Sarah Jessica Parker playing the quirky wife of Sam Gardener. Wendy Phillips trying to get home for a holiday dinner, Jayne Atkinson's character married a Jewish man played by Adam Arkin. It was set in Seattle, Washington. Another season could have done it justice,
Law & Order: Sisters of Mercy (1992)
Nothing Is Whatever It Seems To Be.
The case begins with a young Kelli Williams who accuses Sister Bettina of molesting her. Kate Burton plays the nun who has been called to help the girls at Haven House where young girls from the streets find a home. William H. Macy played Mr. Powell, the director. The original cast with Paul Sorvino was stellar but it was mostly all men. Still I preferred the early seasons of the series with Michael Moriarity as the assistant district attorney. Kate Burton and William H. Macy were experienced stage actors and they still are. I would have loved to have seen more of Kate Burton, Richard's daughter, as a regular character.
Kong: Skull Island (2017)
I was at my gym yesterday with few choices to watch while biking. I didn't get into at first but returned. I love John C. Reilly as Marlowe. The cast is great with Samuel L. Jackson and John Goodman. They are trying to survive on this remote island in the South Pacific. They're indigenous inhabitants too but they remain largely silent. Kong is angry at the monsters who go after the humans. We never really understand why the animals become huge. The special effects are quite Oscar worthy too. The scenery is quite amazing too. I actually don't enjoy movies like this but I did anyway. There were some questions about the island that didn't get answered.
He Played a Minute Waltz in 58 seconds
It was the beginning of disaster movies with an all star cast of characters. The film takes place in Chicago during a blizzard. George Kennedy played Joe Patroni, an airplane mechanic and engineer, who knows all about planes. There is a sweet old lady played by Helen Hayes who sneaks aboard a flight to Rome, Italy. She deserved her academy award for her performance. There is a bomb aboard from a disturbed man. Maureen Stapleton played his wife. There are affairs between a pilot and a flight attendant. There is always plenty of drama. Marion Ross is uncredited for plying a passenger. The film is a perfect combination of everything going like a perfect storm. This film occurred when flying was a luxury and you were well treated like royalty.
Girl Most Likely (2012)
For Imogene, She Doesn't Want To Go Home to New Jersey
Kristen Wiig's plays Imogene Duncan, a failing New York City playwright, whose boyfriend dumps her and she loses her job as a writer. Annette Beninh played her mother who likes to spend her time at the casinos. Her brother Ralph is an oddball of sorts. When Imogene attempts suicide, her mother brings her home to Ocean City, New Jersey. Her mother has a younger boyfriend and rents her room to Lee. Zelda has kept a longtime secret about Ralph and Imogene's father. The mother's boyfriend is played by Matt Dillon with secrets of his own. Annette Bening really gives a breakout performance. Christopher Fitzgerald's performance as Ralph is also memorable. Darren Criss was also excellent as Lee, the Yale graduate renting her room. Natasha Lyonne has a small role here too.
Purple Rain (1984)
I would die for you
This movie makes me miss Prince even more. This movie was groundbreaking in 1984 where I had to tape on the late Saturday night movie after the news. Even after almost forty years, the film was groundbreaking for a lot of reasons. Prince proved to be quite an actor as the kid. The cast and crew did a terrific job.
The cast was pretty much playing themselves. First Avenue in Minneapolis is a landmark music venue with historic performances over five decades and going strong. The music was terrific even the best of Prince's career. His character was very much like himself in the movie. Prince always evaded displaying his true self aside from the concert stage.
The supporting cast of characters like Morris, Billy, Appolonia, Lisa and Wendy added to the film. The music was first rate. I still miss Prince very much.
Minnesota Nice (2003)
Minnesota is Siberia with Family Restaurants
I'll admit that Fargo took me by surprise. The Coen brothers movie even got Chicago film critics, Gene Siskel and Roger both ranked it the best film of their and their choice if they could vote for the Academy Awards. The film won awards for screenplay and the first Academy Award for actress, Frances McDormand, as the lovable Marge Gunderson. This retrospective includes interviews by the cast and crew. I would have liked to know more about their sources or inspiration for the movie. It's a kidnapping gone horribly wrong. They cast twin cities favorites actors, Bain Boehlke and Sally Wingert, in brief roles. William H. Macy credits the film for his breakthrough performance. I remember him doing a medical series at the time.
Day by Day (1988)
A Catchy Theme Song
The eighties brought a plethora of sitcoms. I remember Julia Louis-Dreyfuss before Seinfeld. Linda Kelsey was the heart and soul of the show. It was about a daycare center being run out of the Harper home. It had a delightful cast and mediocre sense of humor. It was a fine sitcom that only lasted two seasons. Linda Kelsey was the star of this show and never got another chance to really shine in her own right. Kelsey brought joy and a world of experience to this sitcom. It should have been a vehicle for Kelsey but Julia Louis-Dreyfus's end up having the last laugh. She played a serious lawyer who wasn't kid friendly.
My Cousin Vinny (1992)
Marisa Tomei Deserved That Oscar!
I have grown fond of Marisa Tomei's acting career. Her Academy Award winning performance as Mona Lisa, Vinny's longtime girlfriend, is just an example. The film has an all star cast with Joe Pesci in the title role. Pesci and Tomei have chemistry onscreen and can hold their own. They play stereotypical Italian American New a Yorkers who go to Alabama to defend Vinny's cousin and friend from a murder charge. The film is actually a comedy with elements of drama mixed into the pot. The supporting cast members included Fred Gwynne as the Yale judge and Austin Pendleton as another defense attorney. Marisa gave a memorable performance and she deserved the Oscar for it.
What's Up, Doc? (1972)
Anybody Can Straighten This Out?
Madeline Kahn made an impressive debut as Eunice Burns in this screwball comedy. Ryan O'Neal and Barbra Streisand play a rock collecting musicologist, Howard Bannister, from Iowa and a con artist, Judy Maxwell. The supporting cast is impressive with Mabel Albertson as a wealthy woman whose jewels get stolen. There is a suitcase with top secret government documents and a suitcase with clothes. They have four identical plaid suitcases. Austin Pendleton is an unsung beloved character actor of all time and he should be better known. The location shots of San Francisco is worth watching repeatedly.
Shock Docs: Michigan Hell House (2023)
Evil can happen anywhere
The shock documentary episode covers the unexplained and terrible events in the seventies. Duane and Terry Pomeraning experienced unexplained horror in the seventies at their home. This episode covers the house in Merrill, Michigan not far from Saginaw. Until we get to the end, we learn or have a theory about the source of the evil. The occurrences were frightening and scarring for the surviving brothers. Even the local police couldn't understand so they contacted paranormal organization in North Carolina to come and investigate. Miss Aida helped provide some theories at the end of the episode and we hope that it is gone forever.
Days and Nights (2014)
Good Intentions but Fails to Deliver
The film is an updated inspired version Anton Chekhov's play, The Seagull. In this version, the seagull is replaced by an American bald eagle, Allison Janney played Elizabeth who reunited with her family in New England. Elizabeth's boyfriend, Peter, accompanied her for Memorial Day weekend in 1984. The all star cast makes it easy to watch. William Hurt played her sick brother. Katie Holmes and Sir Mark Rylance play a married couple with a child. Cherry Jones played Mary. I guess they're siblings but we can't be for sure. Juliet Rylance played Eva. Christian Carmargo played Peter but he also wrote, directed and produced the film. If only his real life mother, Victoria Wyndham, made cameo then I would have added a few more stars. Ben Wishaw played her son. The film is quite flawed but not too terrible though.
Superman III (1983)
Christopher Reeve will always be Superman/Clark Kent to Me
I still can't believe this entry into the Superman film series. To me, Christopher Reeve will always be the definitive superman and Clark Kent. Reeve was quite an actor before and after the role. This third installment in the Reeve film series is perhaps the weakest. Robert Vaughan and Annie Ross play Ross and Vera Webster, brother and sister team set on destroying Superman to rule the world, Annie Ross was terrific as Vera. Richard Pryor plays Gus Gorman who builds a super computer. Pamela Stephenson plays Lorelei Ambrose, Ross' girlfriend and collaborator. Annette O'Toole plays Lana Lang, Clark's high school girlfriend. Clark returns to Smallville for his high school reunion. What surprised me this time was the ending, I had expected Vera to meet her demise but I saw her alive in one of the final cuts. I guess you learn something new every time. This time, Vera lives.
The Night of the Iguana (1964)
Everyone is at The End of Their Rope Here
The film has an all star cast. Richard Burton plays a defrocked Protestant priest who now directs tour groups in Texas. With one group, his character Shannon gets in trouble with Charlotte, a young Lolita. She has an overprotective guardian, Miss Fellowes. Grayson Hall plays her role with such delight. She is a voice teacher at a Bible college in Texas. Deborah Kerr was perfect as the chaste Hannah Jelkes who is traveling with her poet grandfather in Mexico. They all end up at a run down hotel led by Ava Gardner's Maxine Faulks. The cast is first rate. The writing is excellent and I'm even thinking it's one of my favorite of Tennessee Williams plays.
Law & Order: Indifference (1990)
One of the Most Haunting Episodes
It was loosely based on a true story in New York City. The facts and names were changed. Deidre better known as Deedee dies in school. They learn she has been abused at home in one of the most shocking cases of child abuse. Her parents are beautifully played David Groh and Marcia Jean Kurtz. They're a deeply troubled couple with secrets. Michael Moriarty was at his best as the prosecutor in this show. The family defined dysfunction. Groh played a well respected Manhattan psychologist. Kurtz played his indifferent wife and mother. She is more concerned about him than the children. If you understood the actual case, you will understand the wife's absolute devotion and loyalty to him. It was an award winning episode even now thirty years later. It still packs a punch.
The Neighborhood (2018)
It's Gotten Better with Time
The premise is a white midwestern couple relocate to Los Angeles, California. Beth Behrs and Max Greenfield play the couple with a young son named Grover. They move next door to Cedric the Entertainer and Tichina Arnold, an older couple with two grown sons. It's what you expect with Calvin and Dave as husbands and fathers. The two men grow to like each other as their families socialize and get along. There was an episode where a mountain lion was loose in the neighborhood. Beth Behrs is fine as Gemma but she was much better before in another role. I enjoy watching the friendship between the women as well. A sitcom always takes a while to develop a rhythm.