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Into the Dark: A Nasty Piece of Work (2019)
Season 2, Episode 3
#$@% this
9 December 2019
Lame on every level. "Into the Dark" continues to be sub-par. It could have redeemed itself, without the final scene.

Please. Who writes this pablum, Blumhouse?

We did better at USC Film, in 1985.

And Sands, GOD. How FAR you have fallen.
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Garbage
29 November 2019
For those that think this is some kind of "exploitation classic," it is actually a racist, misogynistic piece of garbage. (There is also some animal cruelty going on.)

This "woman-in-jeopardy" is an excuse to show violence against a woman, with about every hillbilly stereotype known. It makes a joke out of rape - repeated rape.

Winters must have really needed that money.

Six weeks to film??!! Why?
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Winchester (2018)
How did they talk Helen Mirren into this?
26 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Ridiculous film. Technically fine, but otherwise a mess.

Stupid jump scares. Australian supporting actors with forced American accents. And, they seem to be over-performing for the stage, as opposed to a camera.

What could have been unique and creepy, is just standard, tame pseudo-horror fare. Very week script and direction.
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Terrible
18 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Poorly constructed documentary on many levels.

1) OK, what's with throwing those Baum books around in the opening credits. 2) Why is an "Oz Fan" a speaking head? Turned the sound off every time. 3) Using shots from unrelated films to "explain" what the narrator is saying, is doc-making at its WORST. 4) One "Historian" makes statements, containing "I think," "If I remember correctly." WHAT??? 5) Long-haired guy is pompous. Listen, I went to USC Critical Studies in Film. I saw this all of the time. 6) NO, 1939 "Oz" was NOT a failure as implied, upon initial release. THAT is a myth. The critics as a whole loved it, and so did the public. The reason that it lost $1 million? It cost $2.8 million (not 2) to produce, plus marketing and distribution. It made $3.1 million. "GWTW" was not released until Jan 1940, with previews in Dec 1939. "Oz" was released in Aug 1939. They were hardly competing, as implied. Yes, films stayed in theaters for a long time then, and perhaps the tail-end take for "Oz" was a bit affected. 7) Was the 1985 "Return to Oz" even mentioned? 8) They should have covered that Disney bought the rights to the other existing books after the success of the 1939 MGM film. 1985's "Return to Oz" was an attempt to make a film before their rights to the material ran out. Now. the "Oz" books enter public domain constantly per book, not as a whole, of course. Additionally, the constant change in copyright laws has always affected the Oz books. The original "Oz" went public domain in 1956, BUT MGM owns the rights to the "images" from the 1939 film (thus, their interpretation of it). "The Land of Oz" went public in 1960 (Disney lost it at that time), thus NBC that year, utilized it in "Shirley Temple's Storybook." Etc. Etc. 9) This film is for the "Oz" novice. I knew this stuff in 1980, when I bought the Aljean Harmetz book, "The Making of the Wizard of Oz: Movie Magic and Studio Power in the Prime of MGM" IN 1977!!!
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Harriet Craig (1950)
Horrible Hoot
12 October 2019
This has to be watched with "Mommie Dearest." The script is awful on so many levels. And, NO WIKIPEDIA, this is NOT a film noir - the most abused term in film history.

Drink when you watch this.
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This is awful.
6 October 2019
One of the most inept films I've seen on Netflix, and they have a lot of garbage. Precious casting, bad direction, self-aware set design, etc. I lasted 15 minutes, and got so irritated - I shut it off.

I am SO tired of encountering this pablum on their site.
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Password Plus (1979–1982)
One question - why did they keep asking Dick Martin back?
15 September 2019
In 2019, you can "binge" this show on Amazon Prime - at least a decent sampling of the Ludden episodes. It's really fun, when the celebrities are good at the game. But when they are AWFUL, it can be a bummer. I just watched Dick Martin derail about four great players. It is infuriating. Yet, they apparently asked him back a few times, as he was a regular on the previous versions of the show.

Linda Henning is an excellent player. So are Elizabeth Montgomery, and Robert Foxworth (married). Vickie Lawrence is terrible. It's similar to watching lousy panels on "Match Game" (especially the new version). But the latter is a silly show, whereas "Password" is intended to be a bit more cerebral.

Again - that first visit by Dick Martin in 1979? You will get really irritated.
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BH90210 (2019– )
Idiotic
9 September 2019
OK, I never watched the original. But yet, I have watched five episodes of this garbage. Oh, SO "meta." So precious.

Will they really go beyond this limited series? The ratings have been a mess. But, I'm watching it. I'll give it the final episode, but not beyond that.

And, please god, stop the minions from bringing us supposed reboots of "Frasier" and "Designing Women." "Murphy Brown" did SO well.

Ugh.
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Pointless
9 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Do we REALLY need a "feel good" version of these awful murders? NO.

And if you're going this route, why not have them RUN OUT OF THE GATE at the end, instead of crawling into an Airstream? And at least paint the word "pig" on the FRONT door, and not the sliding glass.

I fast-forwarded through the final ten minutes.

Hillary Duff vanity project. And she's terrible. Skip it.

This is Sharon Tate 90210.
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The Family (2019– )
Re-enactments - UGH!!
12 August 2019
I lasted ten minutes. Do NOT dumb down your documentary with ridiculous re-enactments. Trust the viewer. If I want to watch that kind of garbage, I'll tune into "Dateline" or "20/20." Just NO.
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You have to be kidding me
11 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
What's with the rave reviews? This is a ridiculous film. Jump scares...people doing stupid things...silly.

Why do people keep sticking their eyes and ears close to holes, with a "creature" running loose?

How are we supposed to believe that house has such a massive basement?

As if we didn't know that Dad was going to chop Emma...

"Ray of sunshine." Good GOD.

That last shot - zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Lame.

I like the actors, but this is no classic horror film.
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AWFUL
7 July 2019
I lasted fifteen minutes. Just about everything is terrible. Direction. Script. Acting. Lighting. Locations. This is a low-rent, filler film.

The supporting actors keep "mugging" in a juvenile, distracting manner.

These " nine star" reviews are bogus.
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Tales of the City (2019– )
Awful - Edited - Spoilers
8 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
OK, I made it through this terrible, horrible series. WHO wrote this Millennial, Facebook update of our beloved characters?

You finally kill off Anna Madrigal, and turn it into an embarrassing mess?

There was already a satisfactory ending to this story, in three novels.

"Mouse" is totally miscast. Once again, Mary Ann is a jerk. Didn't Maupin rectify that in the wonderful bookend novel, "Mary Ann in Autumn"?

I know that Maupin & Linney totally pushed this series into completion, but it feels like a manipulated mound of garbage.

This is a dumbed-down version of Barbary Lane, muted and simplified for Millennials.

DeDe returns, and for absolutely no reason. She's now hit on by a twenty-something, in the most superficial manner possible. Anna deserves a better completion. Not a tedious candle dinner, with people eventually lifting those obnoxious candle "balloons" in the sky.

WHO thought that this was a good idea? Why are professional reviewers not roasting this?

I think we all know who really pushed Maupin into doing this.
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Awful
5 May 2019
Seriously, WHO are all of these people reviewing this? Friends of the director?

This is an inept film, on so many levels. The usual - stupid people doing stupid things.

UGH.
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Into the Dark: Treehouse (2019)
Season 1, Episode 6
Hilariously awful "allegory"
2 March 2019
Warning: Spoilers
A ridiculous script really kills this film. Pointless plot developments galore. Annoying camera work - don't use a drone when it isn't necessary. Stop moving the camera back and forth for no reason.

The location - a contemporary builder home is NOT "old money." The lead actor is, what, 44? We are supposed to believe that he grew up THERE? It looks to be a fairly recent construction. That is a tacky "new money" house, like the millions popping up everywhere.

Plot - why is the "father" even really mentioned? Oh, because he was a "bad" man? Wait, he fathered the totally unnecessary bait shop character. "Ags" - whatever. Her (semi?) blindness "represents" past generations of women? (Yes, I remember her speech.)

The "#metoo" symbolism is just hammered away - ridiculously. As if the sister DA is really gonna help with all of the charade. Perhaps I wasn't listening carefully enough. Beyond the Kara/Becca link - what's the deal with the other women? And DON'T tack on a meaningless last-second shot, that basically renders your major plot point moot, or confusing.

So, including subtle references to Gordon Ramsay makes this any more relevant? HE isn't the famous chef accused of abusing his female workers. ("SVU" dealt with THAT chef in one of their "ripped from the headlines" episodes.)

Also, the constant reference to the cutting of male genitalia is not "feminist" in nature. I know, it's a potential reference to the violence directed at women in older horror films. But, in this case, it kind of messes with the intent.

If this is any indication of what the other episodes of the "Into the Dark" film series is like, I won't be wasting my time.
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Reenactments?
27 February 2019
Nope. That's low-rent documentary filmmaking. Not wasting my time. That's network TV garbage.
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Reenactments...UGH
28 January 2019
I made it through about ten minutes, then stopped. Any documentary that depends on reenactments so extensively, is second rate. It is insulting to the viewer. Just show real people, real pics, real locations. I don't need to be baby fed "explanatory" images. It's garbage TV-style.
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OMG
3 December 2018
This episode was terrible. Who on earth wrote this? I can't believe how AWFUL this was, and I love the show.
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Lazy doc filmmaking
7 November 2018
The "cute" usage of available feature and personal film scenes, often totally out of context, is inexcusable in a documentary. If the director wanted a spoken word by Welles in this thing, it was grabbed from whatever decade is available. In addition, much "general stock footage" is seen for "atmosphere." Sometimes almost randomly. Just awful. I watched this after "The Other Side of the Wind," which makes it really irritating. There are some amazing docs out there.

And Alan Cumming is just too precious.
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Flashpoint (1984)
San Antonio does not look like Arizona
8 October 2018
The filming locations are all in Arizona, but in fact, the area around San Antonio looks nothing like Arizona. It is in the middle of green terrain, just north of farming country, and south of the Hill Country. It can be dry, but is populated heavily by live oaks, etc.
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Garbage documentary
29 September 2018
This thing is full of lame dramatizations. Repetitive usage of "lost tapes," even though there are supposedly 100 HOURS of the stuff. Just show the original footage!
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There's... Johnny! (2017– )
Bizarre mixture of styles
28 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This series wants to be a knee-deep-in-nostalgia network type show, but with cable attitude shoveled on top. Think AMC's old "Remember WENN," with a generous dosage of HBO freedom.

An older generation would have appreciated this, but will likely be turned off by some of the jarring inclusions, such as the TV writer (closeted male) who likes to be punched and raped (offscreen). Or, more writers engaging with a prostitute (offscreen), in a helicopter above one the writer's new home. Plenty of pointless "f bombs." It all just seems awkward.

Allowing a naive kid (19?) to be the center character is a mistake. The writers characters are too cartoonish. Think "30 Rock," but not written well. It has all been done before, with much more substance and humor.

Producer/writer Reiser was a guest 22 times with Carson, and I think 21 with Leno. He obviously saw it all happen, but this early 70s-set series does not feel authentic. Just silly.
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Versions available
23 September 2018
The 2012 DVD version - the only one that I can find - is not of the best quality, with scratches, and no letterbox - just anamorphic widescreen.

However, it beats the first version that TCM showed in 2008, a pan-and-scan, ABC-edited edition from the 70s/80s. Paramount corrected that for another showing on TCM a month later, and the print looked great, but was not letterboxed properly. I kept that version on my DVR until I moved.

Perhaps the studio will eventually restore this film on DVD. If they can at least provide a clean print on TCM (Paramount claims not to have a letterboxed master), the DVD version should be at that level, as well.
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Don't Blink (2014)
Seriously, stop excusing this loser film
7 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I do not demand "closure" with every film that I watch, but this thing is ridiculous.

I don't like sitting through 90 minutes of a tedious flick, then being left with nothing. Yes, the director tossed a tiny "bone." The "government" knows wha's going on. Black car, etc.

Just don't waste my time. And don't populate your entire film with a bunch of stupid white people.

Zack Ward is an annoying actor, and apparently friends with the director, who WROTE the role for him?? Really?

The screenplay is terrible.

One of the streaming sites has a "trailer," which totally ruins the film - if it CAN be ruined.

There is nothing genius, nor coy, about constructing a narrative, that has no conclusion.

NOTE: Unless that outlying cabin has a HUGE boiler, the water would not continue to be "steaming hot," even minutes later. If animals disappear, you'd still hear noise. They show clouds moving - so WIND?? And since when do people drive to a remote destination, with no gas? Did they assume that the "lodge" has a gas pump? (And, OF COURSE, "antiquated" pumps.) . PLEASE.

Seriously, there is no point to this film. It's a total mess.
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Obvious who/what the creatures are
3 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Do you think it's a coincidence that this film is set in the Appalachian Mountains of the US? (Filmed in Britain.)

That section of the country is the inbred/incest capital of the US. (And maybe the civilized world.)

These creatures are the result of decades of hillbillies discarding the unwanted children in a cave - sometime in the past. They continue to breed, and multiply. They evolve into blind, deformed "humans."

The old man at the end of the film, is a member of the "family," who drags the animals to the hole, to feed his "kin."

"Surface humans" have only entered the cave a few times (thus the cave drawings, and old equipment in the first film, found by the women). The cave dwellers simply see invaders as more food.
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