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Black Spot (2017– )
9/10
Forget Stranger Things - Zone Blanche is for us older kids
1 July 2019
I just finished episode 16 of the first French TV series to hit Netflix, Zone Blanche or "The Black Spot", and I am now shamelessly plugging it to Netflix users. I give it a 9 out of 10. (Loses a point because the plot is a little muddy and borderline predictable a couple of times when it shouldn't be.) 9 because Black Spot is dark and mysterious but not a family show like Stranger Things (which comes off likeable but Peanuts meets The Twilight Zone to me so far, without the dog - I haven't seen S3 yet, I admit.) Zone Blanche is for us older kids :0)>

There are several subtle bows to David Lynch in Black Spot and Lynch fans should love the show, but Black Spot is more straightforward than Twin Peaks and doesn't require much decoding to follow: it is about the strange forest town of Villefranche and a series of murders, strange beasts in the woods, ecological threats from greedy local land barons, soapy sex and romance, etc. Some of these we've seen before (the ice-bound Amazon series Fortitude comes to mind) but it is all made new and suspenseful by an excellent cast led by Suliane Brahim as the sheriff and Hubert Delattre as her "Little John"-like deputy.

Netflix has two seasons up and ready to watch. I am really hoping for a third. BTW, it is dubbed but there is something very excellent about recent dubbed shows on Netflix - like 3% (Brazilian), High Seas (Spanish) and Dark (German), the English voices on Black Spot are so precisely cast and dubbed that you will barely notice.
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The X-Files: Improbable (2002)
Season 9, Episode 13
10/10
How Improbable?
23 May 2014
Of all nine seasons of The X-Files, I gotta say this was my favorite episode.

No Mulder, aliens, super soldiers, Lone Gunmen, clones, conspiracies or any of the usual unusual.

This episode is truly a stand-alone.

A delightful Burt Reynolds dominates the cast in a story sort of about luck and a serial killer and an Italian street fair.

Agents Reyes finds a numerical correlation between some unsolved murders using numerology.

No one believes her at first, but then the numbers start adding up for Scully and Doggett and the FBI is on the case.

Songs (in Italian) and a Fellini-like score round out this darkly comic episode.

Written and directed by Chris Carter, it is just plain fun.

If there was ever a single episode of The X-Files deserving of an Emmy or two, this was it.

Not to be missed!
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10/10
Hi-ho!
11 July 2013
I really don't get what happened to Westerns. When I was a tyke, I found them irresistible - Hoppy was my first hero. The Lone Ranger was up there too. Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels riding away into the hills of Burbank while some townsperson asked the inevitable: "Who was that masked man?" When I first learned that Johnny Depp was doing The Lone Ranger as a feature, and playing Tonto no less, I had no doubt Depp would pull it off. Even with the concerns raised by Native Americans - and I have read pros and cons in Indian Country Today and elsewhere - I just couldn't be dissuaded. I figured after all those great pictures, Depp knew what he was doing.

If you like Westerns, especially mixed with nonstop action and comedy, you will love The Lone Ranger. Depp is brilliant, as expected, and so are Armie Hammer (as The Lone Ranger) and William Fichtner (as Butch Cavendish) and everyone else. Gore Verbinski has a real feeling for The Old West of Hollywood Past (Rango was animated, but he gave us the same Western fun in that one) and even though a lot of Indians get killed in The Lone Ranger, so do plenty of them bad guy white people.

Much gunplay and other violence - too much bloodshed for little kids, although the two sitting in front of me didn't seem to mind. Forget the stalled box office and go out and see it on the big screen before it's replaced by the latest end of the world epic.

Oh, and Silver often steals the show. Smartest horse since Comet on Brisco County Junior. I give it a 10.
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Melancholia (2011)
8/10
Beautifully predictable
6 April 2013
A sad film, ultimately about humans living sad lives against a background of impending doom. Great performances from Dunst and Gainsbourg, slightly less from Sutherland (suffering a dour role), and it's always a delight to see Charlotte Rampling in anything.

This is a beautiful film to look at, great score and cinematography, but the overall predictability of the main story thread weighs it down. To his credit, von Trier attempts to avoid this at the start but waiting for the inevitable does drain pace and suspense from Melancholia.

Another film made the same year, Another Earth (directed by Mike Cahill), used a similar main device to better advantage.
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4/10
Oooh-Eeeh-Oooh
20 March 2013
I was a kid in the 1950s, so I remember all the classic sci-fi movies first hand. There were great ones like The Thing from Another World, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Forbidden Planet, War of the Worlds and 20 Million Miles to Earth.

There were less great ones like Red Planet Mars, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, This Island Earth and The Blob. Then there were the turkeys.

Stuff like It Conquered the World (1956), Not of This Earth (1957), The Beast With 1,000,000 Eyes (1955) and, of course, Plan 9 from Outer Space (1958) gave sci-fi a black eye and hurled the genre into the mud for decades. Some of those titles (and there are scores of them) have become cult classics, but they were schlock, let's face it.

Apparently, that's what Steven Fisher and James Swift were going for when they wrote Alien Trespass. That's what they got. Schlock.

The actors in Alien Trespass are the only surprise - this turkey has some excellent actors, led by Eric McCormack - but they can't save a film that has nothing new to offer. Many send-ups of 1950s sci-fi movies have succeeded (Mars Attacks!) This one fails.

Save time and skip it.
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9/10
Back in space where the series belongs
12 February 2013
A very impressive pilot (I hope it's a pilot - but a good SyFy movie in any case) for still another addition to the Battlestar Galactica franchise. Creators Michael Taylor and his co-creator David Eick have picked up the saga post-Caprica and pre the 2004-2009 Battlestar Galactica series with a new tale centering on a young Bill Adama. Pasqualino and Cotton were excellent as Adama and Coker and the action filled plot is thankfully nothing like Caprica, which was sort of boring. This time we are back in space where the series belongs, shooting Cylons.

There is still a hint of the philosophical depth in Ronald D. Moore's re-imaging of Glen A. Larson's original series but the Taylor teleplay keeps the politic and morality questions to a minimum and we get treated to a lot of good old fashioned shoot 'em ups along the way. (Taylor and Moore worked DS9 for the Trek Franchise way back when, BTW, and David Eick worked on all the recent BG series.)

My only complaint was too little time for vet character actor John Pyper-Ferguson as a sort of bad guy (no spoilers here because he usually plays a bad guy, although some of us fondly remember him as a very funny bad guy in Brisco County Jr.) If we really do get a new series, maybe he'll be back.

BG fans should be marching for a reboot based on Blood and Chrome. This universe has plenty of room for more episodes.

****UPDATED 23 March 2017****

I just watched the Blu-ray release of Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome and I've added one star as it was even better than I remembered. There is a lot of material that didn't make this, the extended cut, (included in Deleted Scenes) that is worth watching, even though this didn't become the pilot I'd hoped it would be.
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Coma (2012)
Good actors going to waste and almost nothing new
7 September 2012
Sometimes it is wise just to let a dead dog lay. As I remember, the first version of Coma wasn't very good. This one is about the same. Overblown to distraction by the Scott Brothers, the TV "mini-series" version features good actors going to waste and almost nothing new.

Yeah, there is a big super tech conspiracy tacked on to the original plot, but even that was tame next to 21st century TV series like Dr. Who or Fringe. Lauren Ambrose was excellent in the lead, but deserves better, and it was a joy to see Ellen Burstyn working, even in a sort of Boris Karloff role. James Woods was good. Geena Davis, Joe Morton and Richard Dreyfuss - what were you thinking?

I watched it On Demand and, like another reviewer here, was grateful that Fast Forward was not disabled.
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The Alcoa Hour: The Stingiest Man in Town (1956)
Season 2, Episode 7
8/10
A great trip into the ghosts of TV past
26 December 2011
My daughter found the DVD of this wonderful original version of The Stingiest Man in Town and I watched it Christmas Eve. I was 10 when it was first telecast and, if I saw it then, I was probably nowhere near as impressed as I was to see it revived for the 21st century. The only drawback is the lack of color, and that because it was a rare color telecast back in 1956. It was also done live (videotape was a few years away), so all we have now is a restored black and white kinescope (that means it was shot on film off a TV tube during the live broadcast.) Unlike a lot of kines, this one comes off very well. You can see some scratches and other signs of filmic age, but the production shines through it all, and it is a great version of The Christmas Carol! Mr. Rathbone, who never claimed to be a singer, holds his own against Johnny Desmond, Vic Damone and the (now somewhat forgotten) Patrice Munsel - they were all pop music stars at that time.

Now that I'm an old codger myself, I miss the extravaganza network productions of 50s TV. Junk like American Idle (whoops! did I spell that wrong on purpose?) and Dancing with the Hasbeen Wannabes just don't hold a candle to the true variety and "special" productions that used to grace the tube in its early days.

If you're looking for the real thing, see if you can find this one! (And thanks to my kid for a nice Christmas Eve :o)>
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Tales of the Gold Monkey (1982–1983)
10/10
Jack the Dog
18 February 2011
I watched this show way back when it came out but only saw about a half a dozen episodes. Some of these also appeared as reruns a while later, but never the entire series. So I was delighted when the DVD box was announced at last and even paid the folks at Amazon in advance of its release. Now, don't get me wrong kids: this is a TV series by the guys who did Magnum p.i. and Quantum Leap (and J.A.G and N.C.I.S) and it is really a TV series from that Magnum period all the way. Studio sets, stock shots, very familiar character actors and that horny, brassy Mike Post music (again, like Magnum) screaming inappropriately everywhere. But this series is a gas, man! It's fun! It's silly! It's TV! AND it has Jack - undoubtedly the smartest dog in TV history! And Jack talks! Well, sort of. One bark for "no" and two barks for "yes" and he cracks me up in every episode. Rent it, buy it, I don't care. You'll thank me later. (Arf, arf!)
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The Mickey Rooney Show: The Moon or Bust (1954)
Season 1, Episode 2
10/10
Building a spaceship with Mickey
13 June 2010
I'm giving this episode a 10 for two reasons: it's the only episode of The Mickey Rooney Show that I remember and because it inspired me. (At age 8, I might add.) In 1954, I probably knew as much about outer space as any other kid - we had comic books and Captain Video on TV and rumors of flying saucers in the news - but it was a couple years before the first great sci-fi epic Forbidden Planet arrived in 1956, (complete with free passes for kids hidden in boxes of Quaker Oats.)

It was before all those horrible Corman sci-fi films and a decade before Star Trek. But Mickey Mulligan was a guy any modern kid could like (he even worked for a TV network!) so the day after I watched Mickey and his pal Freddie build their backyard spaceship, I was out there in my back yard with my little sister creating one of my own. We never did finish ours, much less get it off the ground, but the spark was there and a couple of years later I was reading sci-fi books. I started out with Robert Heinlein's Revolt in 2100 and then dropped back to H.G. Wells and Jules Verne before discovering Theodore Sturgeon, Ballard, Bliss, Bradbury, Clarke, Robert Sheckley and hundreds of others. For a while, I read at least one (paperbacks were 25-35 cents) sci-fi book a week, and many of them were collections of short stories.

Maybe I was trying to find Mickey's blueprints?

I continued to read sci-fi (and so does my sister) and of course we're both Trekkers and Firefly fans, but I still remember that night in 1954, watching Mr. Rooney and Joey Forman build Mickey's space ship. Before I ever saw him as Andy Hardy or song and dancing with Judy Garland or any of the wonderful stuff he's done since in his amazing career, Mickey was my TV hero. What I wouldn't give to see this episode again!
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10/10
No Dog
23 June 2009
I've been following Giovanni Ribisi's career since the 80s because I love character actors and this guy has always been a great character actor and I came across The Dog Problem in the cable listings and thought: "Giovanni Ribisi in a lead role?" Now I gotta wonder why no one has cast him in a lead before this? Anyway, see this movie! It's one of those great little films you'll never forget and everybody in it is fantastic and Scott Caan (who wrote and directed and co-stars) made all the right choices here. (Mark Mothersbaugh does the music and Phil Parmet shot it - that didn't hurt either.) Trust me, this movie is no dog!
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Garage Days (2002)
9/10
Been There, Done (Some) of This!
24 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Except for the sappy, everybody wins ending (and that is the only spoiler here), this wonderfully funny and often mildly psychotic film by Alex Proyas made my day. Anyone who has ever started a little band somewhere with dreams of glory, or even roadied, groupied or otherwise participated in such an effort, should see Garage Days because this one is for us, about us and sometimes so right on the mark that it is downright scary.

As a former professional musician who started in garages just like the heroes of Mr. Proyas' film, I can testify that the insanity pictured here does indeed happen - always has and always will - in the rock 'n' roll universe. Garage Days is a gem and though it is basically a comedy, even fans of Proyas' Dark City will not be disappointed.

The production, actors and effects are excellent - Maya Strange stole the film for me as Kate, but the rest of the cast were terrific too.

Garage Days is currently playing on cable channels in the US, so catch it if you can!
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Ghost Whisperer (2005–2010)
8/10
More than just a pretty face
24 September 2005
I liked Ghost Whisperer. I don't know how long it will last, but who can tell nowadays. (I figured Joan of Arcadia for a seven year run.)

At least Jennifer Love Hewitt is back and she's not reprising Party of Five this time. She's chasing ghosts, which allows her to do everything she does well except sing. (She has a great voice. Started out singing in Texas at age 3. Maybe she'll meet a singing ghost somewhere along the way.)

So it's Ghost Whisperer on CBS versus Medium on NBC and that may rankle Medium fans but Medium is on a different night and seems to be slowing down this season. I always tape Medium because it usually puts me to sleep in the last half-hour, despite the admirable talents of Patricia Arquette and Jake Weber and their wonderful TV kids Sofia Vassilieva and Maria Lark.

It isn't Jennifer Love Hewitt versus Patricia Arquette in any case. These two actresses are as different as night and day in look, style and approach. Both total pros and completely capable of leading a series.

I didn't like the Medium rip-off scene where a prophetic nightmare wakes Melinda (Jennifer Love Hewitt) in bed with her husband (David Conrad), but once you get past the obvious similarities GW goes way beyond Medium. Melinda doesn't depend on dreams. She sees ghosts everywhere, all the time. (The bedroom in Medium is that show's main set.)

Ghost Whisperer is no Dead Zone and it's not jumping on the post-X-Files backlash bandwagon like Supernatural either. It's more Touched By An Angel (a similarity that Dead Zone exec producer Michael Piller specifically instructs his writers to avoid.)

The Ghost Whisperer pilot did center entirely on Hewitt, but it's her show, after all. I wondered if they cut stuff out for time. References to what her husband does for a living were rather obviously thrown in as voiceovers until they briefly discussed his day as a paramedic, rather than showing him in action somewhere in the beginning to establish him.

I liked that producer Hewitt pulled in character actors Eddie Jones (ex-Pa Kent from Lois & Clark, the Invisible Man's boss, etc) and Jon Polito and also Wentworth Miller (from Prison Break) as guest stars. (And was that June Lockhart as Melinda's grandma? Sure looked like her.) Wentworth Miller reminds me so much of Steve McQueen that I'm hooked on Prison Break, despite the limited nature of that plot line. And the scene where guest Balthazar Getty (as Michael Adams) told Melinda off was terrific.

Anyway, there's no denying that Hewitt is beautiful and maturing as an actress. She has a great, expressive face. (I admit that the whole show could be shot in close ups and I'd probably still like it.) Modern former child actors like Hewitt and Sarah Michelle Gellar and Seth Green knock me out because they always seem to know exactly what they're doing. They don't just stand around waiting while other actors deliver their lines. They're always "on".

But Hewitt is more than just a pretty face. (She could have been a Charmed One after Shannen Doherty left, but turned down the role.) I say let's see what happens with Ghost Whisperer. It may just be the surprise hit of the season.
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9/10
Unique for its time - an excellent film for Lee Tracy fans
30 April 2005
A unique film of the "if I had it all to do over" variety, Turn Back The Clock gives Lee Tracy a chance to show the full range of his talents as an average Joe who wants a second chance at life and gets it.

Director Edgar Selwyn and screenwriter Ben Hecht delivered a small masterpiece in 1933 that might seem familiar now to later generations. Everyone from Frank Capra to Rod Serling has used the same theme successfully - the lesson to be learned: you can't change the past without consequences, so maybe its better just to be happy with what you have.

TCM has this one in its vault, so see it if you're a Tracy fan. You won't be disappointed. Excellent performances by Mae Clarke and Peggy Shannon as well. Funny and dramatic with some of the delightful over the top stuff you'd expect from an early Thirties film, but fast and insightful at the same time.

Oh, and an uncredited guest bit with The Three Stooges as wedding singers!
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Alien Visitor (1997)
9/10
The Woman Who Fell To Earth
7 September 2003
I'll try, but this is a very unique film with an outstanding cast. It really needs to be seen. Let's just say that had Nick Roeg's The Man Who Fell To Earth worked this well back in 1976 it would be known today for content rather than David Bowie.

A&E is showing Epsilon under the title Alien Visitor late at night with a few little censorship blurs to hide Ullie Birve's brief nudity, but if they put it up in prime time unmasked for all the world to see I'll bet they wouldn't get one nasty letter.

The plot is similar to TMWFTE or Starman or a dozen episodes of a dozen sci-fi TV shows. A woman from the star (or perhaps planet - we never really know) Epsilon drops in on a lad hiking out in the Australian outback unexpectedly and they fall for each other, but that's where comparisons to most alien visitor plots fade away.

The visitor (Birve) is not happy to be stuck on Earth, a planet reviled throughout the universe for its inhabitants' inability to see their inevitable self-destruction. The Earthling (Syd Brisbane) is just an easygoing guy living a simple life and doesn't really register the reason for her distain. Especially after she illustrates her point by jumping him around on his own planet in the wink of an eye and without even the celestial special effect of a Star Trek transporter.

Director Rolf de Heer uses fixed camera positions to record time passing rapidly mixed with gentle cuts into long fluid pans that effortlessly move the viewer with the main characters as they explore the Earth. It is a wondrous device, only possible in a movie, and we immediately share the Earthling's sense of amazement at the visitor's power over nature's physical laws but also learn with him that magic is the least important aspect of their encounter.

The underlying ecological discourse between the two hasn't lost one bit of relevancy since the film was made in 1995. If anything, the message has become more urgent in the 21st century.

Humans are killing the Earth and something must be done about it - by humans.

Epsilon is beautifully edited and shot by Tania Nehme and Tony Clark. Director Rolf de Heer also played with sci-fi in Encounter at Raven's Gate (1988).

Personally, I'm buying the DVD!
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Hotel de Love (1996)
9/10
Hotel de Love is Fair Escape
6 August 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Hotel de Love is an obscure comedy from Australian writer-director Craig Rosenberg that is worth the wait after an initial slow start. What begins like just another teen angst whine fest suddenly becomes positively Shakespearian fun in the tradition of Midsummer Night's Dream, with twin brothers trapped by a lost early love for all the wrong reasons.

When the gal of their dreams shows up ten years later with her fiancée at a bizarre honeymoon hotel, the twins start a mad campaign for her affections and haul the audience along with them. The twin's dysfunctional parents are added to the mixups as guests of the hotel along with one brother's hotel palm reader girlfriend.

The actors probably save what could have been just a remake of half a dozen late fifties or early sixties Hollywood comedies, but the film is written fast and is self-satirical and punctuated with whacky sets and excellent music choices.

Australian actor Simon Bossell stars as the obsessed brother who never gets the girl. American sci-fi audiences might recognize him from a guest shot on Farscape in the 2nd season's "A Clockwork Nebari" episode. His frantic physical comedy steals most of the movie.

Saffron Burrows is the object of obsession. Burrows is a promising British actress who played Dr. Susan McCallister opposite the likes of Thomas Jane, LL Cool J, Michael Rapaport and Samuel L. Jackson in Renny Harlin's flawed underwater thriller Deep Blue Sea (1999) and also co-starred with Freddie Prinze Jr. in the much more unexciting Wing Commander the same year.

She's very good here, however, reminiscent of Paula Prentiss and Geena Davis. Obviously an actress in need of a good script.

Aden Young also does OK as the brother who wins Saffron in the end. He's a Canadian actor who looks like Farscape's Ben Browder, but he's not quite as funny.

The Farscape connections are interesting though, because one reason this film may eventually acquire cult status in the future is a brief bit part topless scene with Australian actress Raelee Hill, who was Farscape's Sikozu (2002-2003). Male Scapers won't be disappointed, believe me.
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The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie (2003 TV Movie)
10/10
The Incredible Gena Rowlands
21 July 2003
I caught this film as part of a Showtime preview this weekend and it knocked me out. It's a hard film to describe. Gena Rowlands plays the title role and all the other leads were new faces to me, except James Caan in a supporting role.

The storyline is about a kid who is having trouble at home and in school and the principal (James Caan) gives him a choice between working after school for an eccentric old lady or expulsion.

It's so full of surprises that I'll say no more, but Miss Rowlands, Kevin Zegers and Leslie Hope were outstanding.

I don't know if it's a rental yet but keep an eye out for it. It's one of those movies you'll never forget.
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Solaris (1972)
10/10
Read the book
13 July 2003
Two notes.

This is a classic sci-fi novel and Lem is a classic writer, It's hard to move a classic from one form to another, but Andrei Tarkovsky did a pretty good job of it, even though you must read the novel to appreciate the film.

Best seen in it's (now) restored widescreen version. The original US release was missing footage.
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9/10
Interactive mystery in 1932!
13 July 2003
Other than the presence of Ricardo Cortez, who is one of those very cool actors nobody remembers, and the beautiful Karen Morley (who died in March 2003, only a couple of months ago), Crestwood is somewhat unique as it is the finale of a popular radio program. But it may also be the first interactive mystery!

According to the opening titles, radio listeners were invited to submit their storyline for the finale in a nationwide contest, with the movie to be based on their plot.

There were disclaimers, of course, and who knows what RKO really did with the winner's script, but the film deserves a place in history for the attempt at least.

Convoluted, yes. Stiff and rather lurid, perhaps. But Crestwood is an archeological clue to the once close bond between the radio and the movie theater.

At the very least, truly an "RKO Radio Picture"!
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1/10
Read the short story
29 September 2002
A very bad adaptation of a wonderful short story by master fantasy and sci-fi writer Roger Zelazny. None of Zelazny's many other novels or shorts were made into features in his lifetime, and this film is probably why. The Sci Fi Channel is currently threatening a TV version of Zelazny's Amber series (Nine Princes in Amber, etc.) Let's pray it is light years away from this turkey.

If Stephen Spielberg is reading this, check out Zelazny's Jack of Shadows or Doorways in the Sand.
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8/10
Both moving and lacking, but I'd recommend it
8 April 2001
As a non-Catholic, I'm not sure if I can truly gage the impact of Agnieszka Holland's The Third Miracle. I found it both moving and lacking, but I'd recommend it to those who are wondering about the mysteries of life and the human spirit. I have no idea how the Catholic Church and its membership would feel about it.

On a purely human level, the movie is about doubt: Ed Harris is Father Frank Shore, an American priest asked by his Bishop (Charles Haid) to investigate Helen (Barbara Sukowa) an American candidate for sainthood. Along the way, Frank uncovers miraculous deeds, encounters his own doubts about his calling, and eventually seems to believe in miracles.

Other main characters have their doubts too: the prospective saint's non-Catholic daughter Roxane (Anne Heche in one of her best performances to date), the stuffy official Vatican investigator Cardinal Werner (Armin Mueller-Stahl), and Maria (Caterina Scorsone), the troubled subject of one of the questionable miracles.

Good prerequisites for this film might be Martin Scorsese's film version of Nikos Kazantzakis' The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) and most of Federico Fellini's films, in particular 8 1/2 (1963) and Juliet of the Spirits (1965).

Holland lets the Church off lightly compared to Fellini, but she does successfully underscore the pomposity of the cardinals and bishops in their big cars and sparkling vestments. This leads to an essential question about her reasoning and the meaning of film's ending, but I won't give that away: I'll leave that for you to judge.
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Angel's Dance (1999)
8/10
A whacky dark comedy about trying to whack this broad...
26 September 2000
I don't know why movies with Jim Belushi don't get more attention when they come out. After I watched Angel's Dance I tried to remember a truly bad Jim Belushi movie, but I couldn't think of anything he's done that I didn't at least enjoy. Well, K-9, maybe, and there was a sort of time travel one where he was a real villain – not like the part he has in Angel's Dance – and I didn't like him playing a bad guy. Otherwise I think its safe to say: if Jim Belushi is in a movie it's probably worth seeing.

Angel's Dance also gives us Sheryl Lee in a quirky, funny role that fits her like her body armor. Belushi is the slickest hit man in the business, living on the beach in LA and engaged to train a new guy for a hit Uncle Vinnie needs done in Chicago on a protected witness. The new guy (Kyle Chandler) has to put up with Belushi's Zen training method, and do a hit on a randomly picked victim named Angelica Chaste, played by Lee. Angelica is a very whacked out mortician who doesn't take kindly to being assassinated and decides to defend herself. From there the plot is lightweight, but intelligent, and there are some good laughs and enough action to keep it moving fast.

Belushi is a very funny guy! (Oh, and there's a small but lovable bit by Jon Polito as Uncle Vinnie in the first reel.)

Writer and director David L. Corley has two other films credited here at IMDb, but I've seen them both and the others don't measure up to Angel's Dance.
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7/10
An interesting cast in a strange little film
17 August 2000
Absolute Quiet seems a strange side assignment for the director of the Andy Hardy series, George B. Seitz and his sometime cinematographer Lester White. The actors were probably B-movie favorites to moviegoers in the 30s, but aside from Atwill and Stu Erwin most are long forgotten now. Familiar faces everywhere, nonetheless, in this odd little MGM picture with Atwill in the lead, supported by Lewis Hayward in a minor and atypical role. One can almost imagine an A-picture cast instead: if MGM had gotten Bette Davis for the Irene Hervey role and Cagney for Wallace Ford.

Atwill is great as always, one of the most underrated actors of the Golden Era, and Bernadene Hayes steals the film half way through as the Vaudeville hoofer turned gun moll.

I'll bet it was fun to make this one.
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7/10
Not William Powell's best, but worth a look if you're a fan.
22 July 2000
An amusing little story that probably worked better on the stage and doesn't appear to have been much of a challenge for any of the cast. Powell fans will enjoy it nonetheless and Anabella is quite stunning, despite her thick accent. More of Nigel Bruce in comedy relief might have helped the film along.

Although 20th Century Fox touted this as a debut film for French star Anabella, her filmography includes two earlier American films for the same studio. A note on the Fox Movie Channel stated that production on The Baroness and the Butler was delayed while Powell mourned for Jean Harlow, who was engaged to him at the time of her death.
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7/10
Not bad. Watch for Hedy in the future..
16 March 2000
The main attraction is the leading lady, who is sort of a Sally Field type (hey, you could do worse!) but younger. But not like Sally when she was younger.. oh, forget it. Don't you hate these mini reviews anyway? Let's just say if you have a mid-day break to kill and this picture is on the box, don't hesitate because overall it's got good performances from unknown young actors (except for Lane Smith and John Shea, who are both good and known) and a few good laughs. Hedy is the one to watch for in the future, though. She's a natural..
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