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Foyle's War: The Russian House (2010)
Season 6, Episode 1
10/10
Quite superb.
15 June 2019
The war may have ended, but murder is still rice in Hastings, and a reluctant Foyle must step up.

This is a particularly wonderful story, the writing is incredibly intelligent, many have the opinion that life was all sunshine and roses for people after the war, when in reality it was a great struggle for many. Not many were aware of the plight of many Russians during the time, this gives a glimpse. We get to see the social change that came to Britain, with Labour replacing Churchill's government, and we also get a glimpse of the new feel of the show, the new espionage episodes.

The acting is flawless, the much missed Tim Piggot Smith is superb, his scenes throughout with Kitchen are marvellous, I also really liked the humour given by Linda Marlowe's thrifty hotel owner.

Plenty of action, some really gripping and exciting scenes, the show really did take on a new feel. Isn't it time Foyle made a long overdue return?

Quite brilliant 10/10
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10/10
Captivating and honest adaptation.
14 June 2019
The Final Problem is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best episodes of Brett's Sherlock Holmes, and arguably one of the finest productions to feature Holmes.

The script is terrific, and hugely faithful to the book. Burke's narration throughout is a real highlight in what would sadly be his last appearance as Watson. The location work is breathtaking, it looks imposing, dramatic and wonderful throughout, overall it feels big budget.

The best aspects of this episode though, without any doubt are the performances of Jeremy Brett and Eric Porter, the pair individually are astonishing, but together they are beyond compare, with some incredible scenes.

Flawless. 10/10
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8/10
Very good overall, funny, intriguing and absorbing.
14 June 2019
Hickory Dickory Dock is a particularly absorbing book, and one I read on a regular basis. This adaptation isn't the best by far, but it's still a great watch. The mystery is great, production values are strong, but there is definitely something a little clunky about the delivery of it, it isn't as slick as the episodes that followed.

If you're a fan of mice, you'll love this one, as the cute little rodent gets more screen time then anyone.

It has a wonderful cast, which of course contains Damien Lewis and Jonathan Firth, although it's Rachel Bell's Mrs Nicoletis that I enjoyed most, she's hilarious in it. It's also a really good episode for Pauline Moran, as Miss Lemon gets lots of screen time.

Very enjoyable, if not one of the very best. 8/10
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5/10
A watchable, if slow film.
14 June 2019
Watching the advert I thought the film was going to be a quite dramatic thriller, focused on a deadly outbreak of smallpox. Instead, the film is 70 percent melodrama, 30 percent thriller, it's actually pretty slow, if you're expecting an energetic thriller, you'll be disappointed.

It was made back in 1963, so gore and terror aren't expected naturally, but the main issue is the pacing, a deadly outbreak and everyone is meandering about.

It is watchable enough, the characters themselves are quite interesting, it's well acted, and looks pretty good.

Richard Johnson, Claire Bloom and Cyril Cusack are all decent, but it's the actress behind Ruth that steals it, Yolande Donlan, she adds some much needed energy and enthusiasm into a pretty slow film.

It's ok. 5/10
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Black Mirror: Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too (2019)
Season 5, Episode 3
3/10
Charlie Brooker what has gone wrong?
14 June 2019
I purposely haven't read a single review, prior to watching it and writing this, I just know that the reviews are going to be less then favourable.

This is the first time the show has managed to truly suck. It's too polished to begin with, the previous one, Smithereens had a much more rugged appeal, I think the Americanisation of the show has really put it on a downward spiral. It's lost its edge, compare this to something from the first few series, it's way off.

Miley Cyrus proved that she unfortunately isn't really the best candidate for a project such as this.

Hanna Montana for a mass audience, I imagine teenage girls might like it, but surely that's not the audience this show is appealing to. Series 5 has been a real disappointment, thank goodness for Andrew Scott who managed to save it with Smithereens.

The story doesn't work, please get this show back to its roots. 3/10
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Hallelujah!: Luncheon Club (1983)
Season 1, Episode 5
9/10
Wonderfully funny episode.
12 June 2019
This is perhaps the most memorable episode for me, it has me in stitches, the randy postman, who turns out to lack the stamina, and the sarcastic couple that get up Dorothy's nose.

This one is a little different to the previous episodes, it doesn't have so much of the story, or the softer edges, it is just out and out laughs. The caustic couple are brilliant, Carmel McSharry and Geoffrey Bayldon are just terrific, she of course would shine as Mrs Hollingberry, nemesis and love of Alf Garnett.

The scenes of the window cleaner being made to get into relationships with all the desperate widows, very funny indeed.

Terrific fun. 9/10
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Hallelujah!: Poor Box (1983)
Season 1, Episode 4
8/10
A modern day Robin Hood story
12 June 2019
Funds are low, and Emily is out and about trying to raise funds, but help comes from the most unlikely of sources.

Patsy Smart and Derek Benfield are great fun as the desperate couple in need of help from the Salvation Army.

Some great one liners, there's definitely a good clash between Emily and Dorothy, there's a great scene between one being sarcastic, and the other responding.

Once again it isn't laugh out loud funny, but it's warm, cosy and entertaining, with Thora Hird shining all the way through. 8/10
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Hallelujah!: Counselling (1983)
Season 1, Episode 3
8/10
Best one yet.
11 June 2019
Emily gets her teeth right in, as her services are offered to all the locals, she meets the randy Mr Sedgwick, and Matthew, a kind and gentle chap, who's suffering from amnesia.

I think this is the best episode so far, it has some great lines, some great guests, including a fine turn from Geoffrey Bayldon, and we finally see Patsy Rowlands given a chance to act, and sing beautifully.

Thora Hird is glorious once again, and we get to see how kind hearted the Captain really is. 8/10
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The Thin Blue Line: Yuletide Spirit (1995)
Season 1, Episode 7
8/10
1995 was a good year.
11 June 2019
Looking back at the schedule for TV over Christmas 1995, it was a good year for comedy, such a shame comedy seems to be so difficult at the present.

It's heart warming, and funny, it makes the everyday bizarre and bonkers, the skinhead carol singers were excellent, such a nice touch.

I liked the appearance of Ben Elton, the jokes about Habib's underwear were funny, but the highlight was the awkward conversation between Goody and Inspector Fowler.

It isn't vintage, but it's very funny.
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The Thin Blue Line: Kids Today (1995)
Season 1, Episode 6
9/10
This one pushes the boundaries.
11 June 2019
The episodes before and episodes after are all very funny. Kids today goes one step further, it's funny, but also shocking. Twenty five years after this was made, and racism is sadly still visible in our society, it's delivered here in quite shocking, realistic fashion, with Habib on the end of it, it's a strong moment.

Some brilliant guest performers in this one, Stephen Fry is awesome, Alexander Armstrong also very funny in a smaller capacity.

It's a terrific mix of funny and serious, with some quite profound messages. One of the best. 9/10
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The Thin Blue Line: Night Shift (1995)
Season 1, Episode 5
8/10
Patricia is at breaking point.
11 June 2019
Raymond's son Bill comes to stay, and arrives with a house guest. Patricia meanwhile is desperate for some physical attention from her practical, but non romantic husband.

Some very funny scenes as you'd expect, Goody's choking scene is very funny, as is the Ivor Bigun reaction.

Grim of Gasforth is very funny after his visit to Scotland Yard, complete with his new overcoat. Sheila Gish is hilarious as the sex worker, as is Raymond's reaction towards her.
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The Thin Blue Line: Rag Week (1995)
Season 1, Episode 4
8/10
Another very funny episode.
11 June 2019
Rag week, those were the days, when students weren't lumbered with huge debts, and sitcoms were genuinely funny. Rag week isn't necessarily the funniest episode of the show, but it does feature the most memo lines. Raymond's caustic comment to the robber, 'that was very Naughty,' and of course Grim's memorable saying, 'my arse is on the line, and I don't want a cock up.'

The delivery, the acting are terrific once again, Ben Elton used Atkinson's comedy capabilities to the max, and he shines through in every scene.

A gem. 8/10
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The Thin Blue Line: Honey Trap (1995)
Season 1, Episode 3
8/10
ER in the Palace.
11 June 2019
Raymond is not exactly subtle, nor is he sensitive to Patricia's feelings, as he conspires with Maggie Habib, to send her undercover in a honey trap.

Some wonderful double entendres throughout, slick one liners throughout. You could argue that Habib is a little out of character in comparison to earlier episodes, she began as somewhat of a feminist.

The crest leads to lots of laughs, Kevin's wonderful line Er in the palace, very funny.
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Hallelujah!: Repentance (1983)
Season 1, Episode 2
7/10
What good is an army without a band.
11 June 2019
You can't have a Salvation Army without a band, so Emily resorts to extreme measures to try and acquire one. The dodgy dealer Harry Beasley is called on.

It's another delightful episode, with Thora Bird shining as the well meaning, but perhaps over zealous Captain Emily. Hird once again shows how physically funny she is, quality. Richard Davies funny as always.

It's very sweet. 7/10
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The Thin Blue Line: Fire and Terror (1995)
Season 1, Episode 2
8/10
More gags, and a dishy fireman.
11 June 2019
The Thin Blue Line was very definitely a big hit when first transmitted, the episodes are so memorable, Fire and Terror is definitely memorable. Standout moments include Raymond's hat full of sick, and Gary's telling Kevin that he was too beautiful to die.

Some brilliant one liners and dialogue throughout, Constable Habib is very funny here, she's gone from being the sassy strong feminist, to a giggly girly in the sight of dishy fireman Gary. Owen Teale is very funny in the role, one that just doesn't seem to suit his character, but he did it very well.

The dialogue between Raymond and Patricia is so clever, we quickly discovered what she wants, and what he has to offer.

Loved it. 8/10
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Hallelujah!: Retirement (1983)
Season 1, Episode 1
8/10
Such a heart warming, sweet comedy.
11 June 2019
This charming, funny sitcom starts off with a fine episode. We get the back story to Emily, Captain in the Salvation Army, but somewhat to set in the old ways, fire and brimstone. Refusing to accept retirement, Emily, and downtrodden Niece Alice are set to Yorkshire, to a small town, for damage limitation.

So much relies on the brilliance of the late Thora Hird, the jokes are decent, but nothing really new, instead it's the delivery of Hird, and the total sincerity of her character that makes this such an engaging watch. Hird's reactions and faces are comical throughout, she's well supported by Patsy Rowlands.

Sweet, innocent viewing, a time gone by. 8/10
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The Goonies (1985)
10/10
The ultimate feel good, fun adventure.
11 June 2019
If ever there was an advert for just how good adventure films were from the 1980's, this is it. Enormously entertaining, funny, moving, and just plain old fashioned adventure. The Goonies stands up even today, superbly made, well acted, and it's one of those films, that never fails to entertain, it stands the test of time, and never disappoints.

I love the effects, and the music is so good. I love the cast, they all deserve a mention, but as was so often the case, Angelina Ramsey, Mama Fratelli, just fabulous.

Definitely there was a social message in it, but it never overtakes the film, they're a group of kids having an adventure.

Awesome. 10/10
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9/10
A wonderful start.
10 June 2019
The Thin Blue line truly was a magical comedy, the first episode is a great reminder of how wonderful a writer Ben Elton is, and just how good the cast are, Atkinson in particular.

It sets the scene really well, and introduces all of the characters very quickly, we learn the dynamics, relationships, and discover the feelings Kevin has for Constable Habib.

Some great jokes and superb one liners, the delivery of both Atkinson and Haig is wonderful, both have amazing timing. A funny joke about plums too.

Quality comedy. 9/10
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Black Mirror: Smithereens (2019)
Season 5, Episode 2
10/10
The wow episode.
9 June 2019
As always, every series has a wow episode, one that you watch, and say Yes! This was that episode, an hour of pure brilliant, engaging, charged and moving drama.

It feels slightly at odds with the usual formula of the show, back in time (albeit only a year,) for the first time, and for once we don't get the usual forms of possible future technology, just a social media platform, similar to one many of us are used to.

I thought the story was awesome, so good that two super talented names, Andrew Scott and Monica Dolan were brought in. Scott has a habit of standing out from his peers, as does Dolan, but here Andrew Scott is incredible, his performance will blow you away.

It's such a relevant story for today's day and age, with a hugely powerful message.

Wonderful. 10/10
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Death in Paradise: A Personal Murder (2016)
Season 5, Episode 4
9/10
One of the very best. Dwayne's finest hour.
9 June 2019
I can say with absolute certainty that A Personal Murder is one of the very best episodes of the show. I've watched it several times, and it still gets me. It's a hugely powerful episode, with a story that goes beyond the usual whimsical whodunit.

It is definitely the best episode for Dwayne, Danny John Jules shows he really can act, Dwayne is so good here, not to fool he would become in later years.

It's sad, moving, gritty, and intense, not a lot of humour here, the tone is very different.

Superb. 9/10
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Black Mirror: Striking Vipers (2019)
Season 5, Episode 1
7/10
It's been a long wait.
7 June 2019
I definitely wouldn't say it's a favourite, but it does have a very profound message, can you fall in love with more then just the physical. It has you confused at times, as you question sexuality, love, romance etc.

Some people do genuinely live in a cyber reality, where life can perhaps seem a little simpler, this episode certainly looks into the divide between real life and cyber reality.

Very well acted, and well produced, I'd argue the most bizarre episode to date, but it's certainly enjoyable.

It's always great to see a new episode of Black Mirror. 7/10.
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Death in Paradise: One for the Road (2016)
Season 5, Episode 2
8/10
It's a smart episode.
3 June 2019
Britain and France at it again, this time over Spinner's Rock, a piece if land with a dubious past, and uncertain future.

The mystery is brilliant, it's so wonderfully contrived, very smart writing. Two minor gripes, the first being Humphrey perhaps being a little too much of the fool, and the second being the rather rapid demise of the gorgeous, wonderful Lucy Cohu, but then the show has a habit of doing that.

Minor quibbles apart, this was excellent, and had me guessing through the end. A good mix of murder, politics and intrigue. 8/10
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4/10
The rather good rating surprises me.
3 June 2019
I'm all for appreciating and enjoying the obscure, but I at least like to have a level of understanding during a movie. This film left me feeling totally underwhelmed. The narrative was such that nothing was explained, therefore nothing understood, and the characters were such that I didn't particularly care what happened to any of them.

The main problem, is that it's very slow, I forgave the first thirty minutes, convinced it would open up, and the action would begin, but it never did somehow, it remained flat throughout.

So disappointed, I really looked forward to this, but was pretty much put to sleep by it. 4/10
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Bedeviled (2016)
4/10
Another horror which should have been so much better.
3 June 2019
I never like starting any sort of a review with a negative, but I can't approach reviewing this in any other way. This is not a very good film, in fact it's actually a pretty poor film.

It has some truly interesting ideas, but the realisation is pretty poor. Evil invasion by app sounds great, but sadly it just doesn't work. There's an effort to make it feel old school, it has a vibe of Nightmare on Elm Street about it, plus it has a few references, It and Truth or dare being two, sadly though Bedeviled is not in the same league as either.

Some good visuals, but we don't get them for long enough. Best scene definitely Cody being chased through the car park, that was great. The acting was also an issue, at times various members of the cast were very wooden.

So many wasted opportunities. 4/10
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8/10
An intense watch.
3 June 2019
Nigel o'Neill is terrific as the farmer, who takes revenge against those responsible for the death of his beloved mother.

It's hugely gritty, intense and of course has moments of violence, but it is laced with several moments of humour, which help to lighten up what could have been an overly grim film.

It's a good old fashioned tale of revenge, but there's a complex backstory, and some aspects which are perhaps very realistic, such as the forced prostitution.

Susan Lynch steals the show for me, Franky is definitely the most intriguing and bold character. Lynch plays the psycho incredibly well, dwarfing those around her.

Very enjoyable. 8/10

That's not even...... Yes it is.
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