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3 June 2019
If you want to watch science, go elsewhere. If you want to watch a bunch of nuts ignore scientific evidence while offering none of their own, this is the show for you. I'm not exactly sure why this was even created. The conspiricists can't answer simple questions like "why"... why would Russia lie? Why would we lie? Why are you offering other conspiracies as proof of this conspiracy?

This should be avoided. It is moronic.
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Person of Interest: Return 0 (2016)
Season 5, Episode 13
Wow! In other words... wow!
25 May 2019
I'd never heard of this show until a few months ago. Since it was in Netflix, I started watching it, expecting to stop when it got trite or stupid. Well, it never got there. The quality was always good and the characters were compelling. I wasn't expecting the ending to live up to the rest of the series and I was wrong.

I'm not saying that the ending wasn't predictable... it was. But, the conversation with Harold Finch and the computer made the last episode something special. His life had gone full circle... from teaching the "machine" at the beginning to his back and forth with the machine at the end.

I'm not saying that the people who cancelled this show will burn in Hell for all eternity, but I am saying that they'd better do a lot of charity work to keep that from happening...
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Trafic (1971)
Kind of Disappointing
16 March 2019
I've been waiting decades to see this movie, having seen the first three Hulot films and his Max Sennett-like mailman short. But, the Hulot character was different... less and explorer and more a background character.

But, the movie stayed with me for a while after I watched it. It occurred to me that the characters became less and less anxious about their destination as the movie progressed; and, as they did, they enjoyed where they were at a lot more.

There were some Tati visuals. Hulot walking with a gas can in one direction espying someone across the highway with a gas can walking in the other direction. The dance of the trunks and hoods of the cars in the show. The advance men stepping gingerly over lengths of string in a giant empty auditorium. And, the scene with the practical joke about the dog was hilarious.

It is definitely a movie worth seeing. Like pizza, when Jacques Tati movie isn't the best, it is still pretty good.
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The Good Place (2016– )
Yeah, I REALLY Like this One
24 January 2019
The writing in this show is so far above average that I would've expected the series to get cancelled in three weeks. The actors are great and Ted Danson hasn't lost a step. His critique of a man's three thousand page life's work cracked me up, utterly.

If you haven't seen this, think an even funnier version of "Defending Your Life"...
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No One Will Ever Believe You
13 January 2019
This was a surprisingly good documentary. I think that the main premise was to try to make philosophical sense out of Bill Murray, the man. It doesn't start out that way. The beginning makes you feel as if the shows premise is the phenomena of Bill Murry stories. There are some heartwarming footage of Murray at various venues having just popped up randomly. Interspersed are some movie clips; and, the theme switches there to philosophy.

If you love Bill Murray, you'll love this movie. If you don't, after watching this movie, you'll love Bill Murry... then, after you've watched the movie a second time, you'll love this movie.
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Angie Tribeca: Irrational Treasures (2018)
Season 4, Episode 9
This is Making Me Mad
2 January 2019
Whose idea was it to remake Angie Tribeca with only cameos by the title character? As far as comedic talent went, Jones and Deon Cole were the pillars of the show and one is completely gone and the other might just as well be. There were some good gags, but I'd really like an explanation of why they are trying to destroy the series...
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Better than the First One
15 December 2018
Way more action in this one. It's hard to believe they got all of the action subplots in. In between all the action, you've got Washington, acting up a storm. It's kind of a fantasy for all of us: A man who rights wrongs kind of randomly. He may have to travel overseas for it or he may have to accept a quarter for a cab fare. But, he's trying to make up for a past that he only hints at.

If you liked the first movie, you'll like this one.
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Came For the Warren William But All I Got Was Dragons
6 December 2018
I've seen two of the Philo Vance movies and I've been disappointed with both. It isn't the actors involved. Warren William will always be the best Perry Mason, in my opinion; and, William Powell is one of my favorite leading men. The acting in this movie was great; it was the writing that failed, however.

Movies were still in their infancy, so I can understand a whodunnit set up like a stage play. But, Philo Vance had literally no personality. It was as if George Lucas had directed it. "Whatever you do, DON'T draw attention to yourself".

On the plus side, the underwater parts were excellent and the insane aunt set a higher bar for movie lunatics, I can tell you.
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Salt Fat Acid Heat (2018– )
Never Read the Book
18 October 2018
Saw this featured on Netflix. Most cooking shows lately have been very disappointing. I was expecting this to be the same. I was all kinds of wrong.

To start with, this show doesn't try to dazzle, it just shows. The narrator doesn't look like an achorwoman or model... just a woman who likes to cook and wants to understand food. The people she visits are cooking Jedis who work through smell and sight... cooks who've made the dishes shown many many times in their lives.

I've only seen the first of the series but, if the rest is even a bit comparable, it should be a great watch.
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The Flash: Tricksters (2015)
Season 1, Episode 17
What the Heart Wants
9 March 2018
I so wanted Mark Hamill to be good in this. Turns out, he WAS. You could even hear a little of the Joker in that demented voice of his. This episode starts explaining the murder of the Flash's mother in earnest; but, still leaves us ignorant of what exactly is going on. Is Wells bad or good? What is his connection to the "Reverse Flash"? Did he kill the reporter or will that turn out to be someone else?

And, if anyone ever does develop super speed like that, I hope it's a nurse because those shots looked like they hurt...
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I Didn't Know That They Still Made Documentaries Like This
2 February 2018
Well, I'm shocked. I was prepared for another documentary that assumed a viewer IQ of about seventy and got someone quite interesting and enjoyable. The host of the show doesn't talk down to the viewer and seems to not only know about the subject but to actually be interested in it. Math is shown... not differential equations or anything that advanced but taking the time to do the arithmetic on red shift was a nice look into how an astrophysicist might scratch something out on a scrap of paper while discussing something with a colleague. They show us the bumps on a spectrograph and spend some time on it. It's an important piece of equipment in so many fields. But, what I liked best was I actually learned a thing or two; and, if piqued my interest.

If you like the older Cosmos series, with Carl Sagan, this is kind of comparable.
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The Punisher (2017–2019)
Punish Me, Baby, Punish Me!
18 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Anyone who keeps up with things like this knows that THIS is the best Frank Castle, so far. Unlike the other Punishers, this one LOOKS like a PTSD war veteran suffering from a deep-seated depression. And, he dreams about his dead wife every night... EVERY NIGHT... and she has the same dopey expression on her face... EVERY NIGHT. We get it: She's dead and you loved her... Why show the same dream every episode? Is there excessive violence in this series? I'll say! If the Punisher isn't actively killing a room full of bad guys, at least once a show, they will flashback to a time in Castle's life when he WAS actively killing a room full of bad guys.

Okay, you've got a real mix of moods in this series. Sometimes it is as patriotic as a Chevy commercial even with country music blasting over the cruise past the Statue of Liberty. Other times, you have corrupt American officers and an Iranian-American good guy... and an alt-right scum-bag who convinces a fellow vet to buy a gun despite his PTSD....

But, the acting is sincere and the action is pretty great, although some of it seems to rely on darkened rooms for effect. If you like the Punisher, this will not disappoint... unless it does.

If so, you are welcome to Dolph Lundgren...
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Ong Bak 2 (2008)
So, They Still Make Decent Martial Arts Movies...
12 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I've been disappointed by sequels, lately. Taken 3 is basically fast-editing with an older actor who just can't do the stunts anymore. Jason Bourne was the same thing. John Wick 2's fight scenes are just sad compared to the original; and, the sequel to Jack Reacher suffers the same thing. So, I turned on Ong Bak 2 expecting to turn it right back off... especially seeing the no-name production companies flit by on the screen.

What I got was a martial arts movie CHOCK FULL of great martial arts. Stunts being done by the star of the film. Imagination, decent acting, a good but non-intrusive story and special effects that didn't seem cheap OR excessive.

This is a good martial arts flick... right up there with the first Ong Bak or The Protector. Definitely worth a watch, then another one...
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The Defenders (2017)
I Liked it
29 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I didn't enjoy Jessica Jones, Iron Fist or Luke Cage... even Daredevil bogged down on me with all the stupid soap opera type misunderstandings and subplots. I wasn't expecting to enjoy this series, either.

But, I did. With four heroes there is very little time for the stupid high school type conflicts and the plot points that could've been resolved if only that guy had been allowed to finish his sentence; moreover, Sigorney Weaver is in this one and I likes me some Sigorney Weaver.

The Stick is back. Elektra is back. It's a nice little reunion. And, watching Luke Cage do what he's best at, clobbering bad guys, instead of wading through emotional b.s. is pretty refreshing.

So, to sum up: The cast is great on both sides of the moral spectrum. The plot moves way more smoothly. The premise is mediocre but most Marvel plots are. I recommend this show...
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Genius of the Modern World: Nietzsche (2016)
Season 1, Episode 2
More Detailed than Your Usual American Documentary
28 October 2017
Most documentaries I see today are simply the same information as in the other documentaries on the same subject but in a different order and with progressively more sophisticated CGI effects. I doubt most of them do any research beyond watching previous television shows on the subject. But, Bettany Hughes is different.

She keeps the subject entertaining without sacrificing content. She may not talk about every book Nietzsche ever produced but she also doesn't make an entire show about Thus Spake Zarathustra, either. Bettany discusses the philosopher, his family, his works and how his works were received at the time; and, she concludes with how the world reacted to Nietzsche's works after his death. And, when you finish watching, you feel as if you've learned something.

There are three in this series, the other two being Marx and Freud. What I've noticed is that Ms. Hughes critiques these great minds and their ideas alternate with discussing their brilliance and the great impact they had. Were these the greatest geniuses of modern times? Hardly; however, they probably ranked among the most influential...
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Space: 1999 (1975–1977)
Idiotic Concept with a Great Cast
21 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I remember this being far more intelligent when I was about thirteen...

It hasn't weathered the rigors of time very well. Most of the scientific concepts in this series were flawed when the show first came out. An explosion that would slowly hurl the moon out of orbit without killing most of the occupants of the moon base is a good start. The occupants of the moon-base being crushed by g-forces while a pilot above the same moon and accelerating just as fast is non-plussed... and the worst: The moon, which is pretty much unsteerable, is headed for a mystery planet? You'd have a better chance of flying into the butt of a giant unicorn...

One the other hand, Baine and Landau are terrific actors. So, as they read these lines that make even those of us with a spattering of education in the sciences wince, they are doing it quite well. I'm of two minds with this one...
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Back? Indeed!
26 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Chappelle took the stage and belted out some great comedy. His stories about OJ Simpson were funny and kind of telling on the changing opinions and emotions as the years went by. His stuff on Cosby was very good... maybe even insightful.

My favorite was the imaginary superhero that only gained superpowers after he raped a woman. So, he rapes women, but he saves lives. And, he saves, more than he rapes. Reminds me of the Japanese, Hanzo the Razor series.

In all, a very nicely constructed set. Some maturity... some bigotry... some confessions of acts that were not particularly nice at the time. I say, see it...
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Not Bad
11 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
A lot of people don't like this film. Even I thought that casting Keanu Reeves as someone from outer space was a little redundant. But, it was on and I was bored so I started watching. And, kept watching; and, at bed time I recorded the rest.

It is not the same movie as the original. That is a good thing. The original movie was great for its time; however, the old plot set in modern times would look uber-dumb. Also, I have to doubt that the authorities would've reacted so cartoonishly militaristic as they are depicted, in this day and age; but, maybe I'm an optimist.

So, instead of turning off the world's power, the aliens bring metal-eating robots that threaten to devour us all. We are on the brink of destruction, as they mention once or twice. The deaths from these creatures gives the film a very different feel than the original.

Bates and Cleese do well in their performances. As always, Reeves plays stunned well. If you don't expect the original and you don't question things very hard, this is not a bad movie.
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A Taut Political Thriller!
9 May 2017
This movie progresses more organically than any of the other Francis movies, i.e. the plot doesn't seem forced.

Francis Goes to the Races starts with the mule talking to a crowd of stunned and indignant people, essentially, ending Peter Sterling's job and putting the two on the road again. It is a dynamic used often in this series: Peter gets himself deeper and deeper into trouble until the only thing that can get him out of it is a long diatribe from his mule. Beginning with it is kind of clever.

It is essential that the viewer understand the science behind the movie: Mules can talk to horses. You wouldn't think so, but apparently, since they look so much alike, they also speak the same language. You also need to remember that Francis' great aunt was a Derby winner. The two stop at a horse farm on the road and Francis meets a relative. He decides to stay at the farm and let Peter take a stab at life without a talking mule to mess things up.

Anyone who watches these movies is aware that Peter Sterling is the piston that isn't firing in that particular dyad; and, it isn't long until he gets himself in trouble. And, it isn't long until Francis bails him out. There's a pretty girl, also. And, gangsters… This movie doesn't surpass Francis Joins the WACS in quality, however, it is a fun movie.
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A Mule for All Seasons
23 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I have a lot of fond memories for the Francis movies, having watched them as a child. I recently purchased all seven of them. This was the first on I watched because it was the most memorable.

To start off, Donald O'Connor is greatly ignored. I think a lot of it has to do with when he performed and what he performed. The fifties were a transition period in movies. Movies started to take themselves serious in the fifties with people like Marlon Brando and James Dean. However, there was still a market for comedies. Physical comedy was less in demand and O'Connor was a pretty physical guy.

This movie is remarkably sexist. More sexist than you can possibly imagine. Much of the sexism is from the General; however, Francis is also very sexist. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that mules can't procreate. Must make them pretty bitter...

But, Francis beats Mr. Ed by a mile. Mr. Ed was a pet, essentially. Francis is kind of a father figure to Peter. The voice is great AND in this movie we get to see the man behind the voice. A General and a mule with the same voice is a recipe for comedy and also a recipe for a nice lentil soup...

Zasu Pitts is reprising her earlier role as a psych nurse. She's a joy to watch. Mamie Van Doren is there, front and center. A lot of pointy breasted fifties beauties with the hots for the little guy who was mistakenly appointed to a WAC unit.

Will he help the WACs to defeat the males in a publicity-stunt war-game? I can only say, "Possibly!"
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Interesting and Somewhat Informative
18 April 2017
In looking for documentaries on Netflix, I came across this series. I've always felt a little light in my knowledge of British castles, so I started watching this series.

This show is not dense with information; however, it also doesn't come across as fluff. There are actors reenacting historical events and people, many of whom are in multiple episodes (because how many kings or queens did Britain have?).

The narrator kind of goes off the rails from time to time trying to make the series more dramatic than it should be. Aside from that, it is a fun watch with some breath-taking views of castles and the surrounding areas.
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An Epic Fantasy of Rape and Penises
7 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I'm not going to lie to you: This is a rapey cartoon. And, I use the word "cartoon" loosely. We all know how much the Japanese like their rape, so it is hardly surprising. Even the penis imagery mostly exhibited by Satan is something we've come to expect from the craziest island in Asia. So, why did I give it a seven? There are a lot of good aspects to this film. The imagery, although barely animated, is very imaginative and at times stunning. The story flows nicely. The voices and narration are well-done.

The animation style reminds me a lot of the movie Wizards.

The ending was weak... really weak...
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Arrow (2012– )
One of the Better Netflix Offerings
24 March 2017
Well, I'm waiting for The Punisher to start up and taking a break from being disappointed in Daredevil to start up a new series. Iron Fist didn't do it for me, neither did several other series of that type. So, I tried Arrow, thinking I'd turn it off pretty quickly.

Now, this isn't high art... although, if you are high enough, you might consider it art. But, it's a fun series with the usual soap opera backdrop that I've come to expect from all the Marvel/DC movies out there. The problems of the characters are more like the problems of teenagers. That's a little distracting. And, the acting of the main character (Oliver Queen) is mediocre; but, it has many positive points.

Foremost is, so far every episode is episodic. I.e. there is a plot and that plot is resolved by the end of each episode. They nearly always stick a teaser in at the end to tempt you to let the next episode run; but, that is to be expected in a series of this sort...

The acting talents of the other characters is good. And, an action series is nothing without decent actors, regardless of how much action there is. So far, none of the bad guys are completely over the top and cartoonish.

I like the parkour moments in the series. They make things a little frenetic and that is good. The flashbacks to his time on the island occur every episode; however, not so long as to distract from the main plot. It IS kind of irritating for Oliver Queen to always allude to "been away five years" and for his partner to always bring up Afghanistan. Sometimes it seems as if they are trying to catch us up in case we didn't see the previous episodes...

Anyway, until The Punisher comes out, I'll stick with Arrow. It hasn't disappointed me, yet...
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Everly (2014)
Not Sure why this is Scored so Low
13 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Maybe this isn't a perfect movie but it is pretty original. Set in one apartment, it mirrors the life of Everly, a woman who's been held there as a sex slave for four years. Certainly, the bad guys are fatally inept, but that is the seed of most action movies, today.

A good action movie not only requires action, but also decent acting. Salma Hayak is definitely a competent actress. There's a nice mix of grief and fatalism in her personality. Yes, you are pretty aware that the bad guys, even when they have her dead in their sights, will make a mistake and she will capitalize on that mistake in the bloodiest way possible.

The "dead man" who spends a good deal of the movie on Everly's couch, is a nice tragicomic addition to the movie. He's a man who knows he will be dead soon and tries to redeem himself in the most low-key way possible.

All in all, a nice tight little action movie.
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I Love Melvin (1953)
Shoot the Lyracist
31 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
There is a lot right about this movie. Great dance numbers, good music, great personalities and a rival played by the Six Million Dollar Man's boss. The plot was pretty inventive for a musical as well.

But, two things make this a mediocre movie. The song lyrics are just... awful. Seriously bad. And, the ending is wrapped up too neatly and with no real explanation...

I have to say, though, that this movie changed my life. I've discovered that I'm actually turned on by women dressing and acting like footballs. The sad thing is, I CAN'T FIND ANY WEB SITES WERE THIS IS A THING. And, it's ALL I CAN THINK ABOUT!!! But, that's my issue, not yours.

My advice is to fast forward through the singing until the dancing kicks in... O'Conner and Reynolds are great to watch and some more modern stuff is peppered in...
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