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Merry Ex-Mas (2014)
Jodi Lyn O' Keefe steals the show!
15 December 2014
OK--it's true, this is one of the worst Christmas TV movies ever-- HOWEVER--you need to watch it because it boasts a hilarious supporting performance by Jodi Lyn O' Keefe. She is crazy good in EVERY scene she is in, playing a self-absorbed lawyer who is so over the top awful we end up loving her despite her deplorable nature. In fact, she is one of the only characters in the story that rings true--she never lets up, doesn't "get all gooey at the end because it's Christmas". I will not even mention the story, because it's incredibly bad, and only Ernie Hudson provides any hint of enthusiasm for his role. It's all Jodi here- you have to see her crummy yet cute character to believe it. The producers should make a sequel of sorts, a better movie using her bad Amanda character here--just don't have her go all good in the end, please.
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The Exorcist (1973)
The best film ever made that will scare the devil out of you
31 October 2014
It is amazing that The Exorcist is still by far the scariest horror film ever released--over 40 years after it's legendary shocking release. The timeless frightful aspects of the film will always stand up, probably because most people on our earth have a fear of the afterlife, the devil and his hell, the power of faith and it's questionable ability to help us in our time of need, and even life itself and what we cannot control in it. The film, as well as the book it is based on taps into every one of these fears quite meticulously, little by little, while developing it's characters fully so that we understand them, give a damn about them--even the deleted role of Lee J Cobb as Lt. Kinderman comes off as a fully developed character with only a few minutes of screen time--the mark of a brilliant writer (William Peter Blatty, who adapted his novel) and director (William Friedkin, his first film after his Oscar-winning work on The French Connection) working with a perfect cast (Ellen Burstyn as Chris McNeil was at her peak and Jason Miller as Father Karris never again demonstrated his power as an actor in film after this role. But it was newcomer Linda Blair as the possessed Regan that was a true "godsend"--like she said in her acceptance speech after winning a Golden Globe award for her amazing performance--"What can I say? The devil made me do it!") Most so-called "horror" films these days are amateurish--you will get more scares at Halloween by visiting your neighborhood spook house. But watching The Exorcist will scare the devil out of you, probably give you nightmares, and stick in your mind as the ultimate horror story for the rest of your life. Do you dare take this ride? You should--because this one will frighten you for sure but leave you with an ultimate appreciation for life and all it's scary parts.
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Person of Interest: Brotherhood (2014)
Season 4, Episode 4
Worst episode ever--may make me trash this series
21 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I could not believe the mediocrity of this episode--it made me so mad I might have to dump the series altogether--it was that bad. They created a new villain with "The Brotherhood"--an all-seeing, all knowing (and apparently all African-American)drug cartel. We are then "entertained" with a childish script about two children who out-smart this super-drug-gang and steal their money--so Reese and the gang try to protect them (and feel sorry because their mom has been sent up the river--apparently for life on a gun charge--to the writer Denise The--what planet do you live on?)The only good thing in this episode is a knockout performance by Rosie Benton as a DEA agent--but they screw that up too (after revealing she was top in her class and served two duties in the Middle East) by having her try to steal the drug money--what an insult to the soldiers that served! Like this "smart government agent and top former soldier" would be dumb enough to try to steal from such a dangerous drug cartel-Denise The'--were you high when you puked this one out? It ends with the kids all safe and learning their lesson and Brotherhood getting back their money and their drugs and shooting the DEA agent in the head--and all of us viewers feeling shot in the head because crap-Director Chris Fisher and crap-writer Denise The and the stupid creators and producers want us to eat this crap every week! ROSIE BENTON--it was good your character died--so you can act in better projects! I am done with People of No Interest...
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One of the best Sherlock and Watson ever!
27 August 2013
Director Billy Wilder and co-writer I.A.L. Diamond fashioned a wild take on the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle characters in 1970. Within the first half an hour, they tackle Holmes addiction to cocaine and his mysterious sexual ambiguity, as well as drop references to "Jamaican cigars" and give us a very funny "turn of events", if you will, with Dr. Watson dancing with several male ballet dancers. The rest of the film concentrates on a pretty good-but not very dangerous mystery. This is a very character driven film, so the casting is everything. They almost got it right! Robert Stephens is perhaps the best Holmes ever on screen (sorry Basil and Robert Downey!)A great British stage actor, this is one of his only starring roles on film, shame, he is darn good. Colin Blakely, usually a supporting character in films, enjoys second billing as Dr. Watson, and he is simply incredible. His Watson is funny, but never a buffoon, a mistake made by Nigel Bruce, Jude Law, and too many others. Everyone's favorite Christopher Lee proves here that Holmes brother Mycroft IS smarter, but suffers from a lack of compassion. The only weak link here is Genevieve Page. She never connects with Stephens-which is a major part of the story. Page is a good actress, but Britt Ekland or Elke Sommer at this time would have provided a little sexual twist to role of Gabrielle Valladon. There has never been a film in which the musical score is so perfect and so haunting--it is almost as if the music is a role itself, quite excellent--should have won an Oscar. This was Wilder's last great film, and you can tell it was a personal project for him, directed with skill and care (and a love of Holmes)--Sir Arthur would have loved it--and you will too.
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It Takes a Thief: Mad in Japan (1969)
Season 2, Episode 26
Serious episode...and ED's back!
24 August 2013
This episode has Mundy sent to Japan to retrieve a laser from Red Chinese agents. Accompanying him, to his dismay, is SIA scientist Dr. Edwina Hopkins, played to the hilt by the talented Sharon Acker. The entire episode is done seriously, with a sense of doom looming over it, as if Mundy has a feeling this might be the mission that does him in--and he might be right. What makes this one so good is Acker and Wagner's chemistry--the third, and best pairing of their characters. Mundy does not want her there, too dangerous--and she has to constantly remind him she is SIA, for better or worse (for 1969, the start of the woman's lib movement, the idea of a smart and capable woman equally risking her life for her country was cutting edge stuff). Ms. Acker STEALS the show here, hands down. I remember seeing this episode when it first aired as a child. Let me just say the lovely Sharon gave a 6 year old some funny feelings! My alternate title: "Well, if your going to get locked in a safe..."
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It Takes a Thief: 38-23-36 (1969)
Season 2, Episode 24
Taut episode--with lots of girls, girls, girls
24 August 2013
This episode has Mundy posing as a magazine photo journalist so he can look for a micro dot and the spy who stole it--one of the girls in a beauty contest. There are several funny scenes with Mundy flirting with the girls-and they flirting back even more. Malachi Throne as Noah Bain is particularly good here--he even has a good little fight scene (though Mundy has a funnier one!). Malachi lifted several episodes up a notch, including this one. Even though the "looking for the micro dot" plot was done before, this one has an intelligent script and tight enough direction to make it one of the better episodes---and all those beautiful 60's gals. My alternate title: "Babe, I'm going to have to let you have it!"
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partial review...SO BAD I WALKED OUT
18 February 2012
I could not believe how awful this film was. Yes--after an hour I just could not take it anymore..I walked out. The director Stephen Daldry has done some good work-especially THE READER..but he is in outer space here. Not all books can be translated well to the screen..this is one of them. But the biggest problem this film suffers from is a lead character that is obnoxious and annoying(as was the case with the 2011 film Hannah)..and, given the important subject matter at hand, the viewer MUST have a narrator they can relate to. This Oscar story will not win an Oscar..and I hope they do not make any more 9-11 themed movies for a while..give it a rest, Hollyweird..that tragic day is evidently beyond your scope of imagination..
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Hanna (2011)
Best Reviewed Worst Film This Year-so far
15 April 2011
Hanna is awful. Not in the usual Hollywierd, "lets puke out an hour and a half of dung and make some money" kind of way...but in the much more horrid category..."we think we made a smart, well written, well directed meaningful film..with a sterling cast..look how great our film is!".......make no mistake---This is one of the best reviewed-Worst films I ever-almost-walked out of. The main problem is the story...we are suppose to have sympathy for the main character of "Hanna"..we don't..almost from the very beginning..whats more she is god-awful annoying with her little Russian girl accent doing away with various "really bad" CIA agents--mostly American--draw your own politically incorrect conclusions about that heap of dung...Sadirse Ronan is all wrong for the role..she fails to get us on her side with her character the way she has done in past roles..most recently-with a stunning performance in the brilliant-lesser seen "The Way Back". But truth is-it is the asinine story that is the main culprit here..the flashy direction just adds to the agony..putting lipstick on a pig is about the only way to sum up this fart-fest as far as the direction--or lack of it--goes . One of the few films in my life I ever =almost-walked out of..the poorly reviewed "Your Highness" was playing in the theater right next to the restroom-for which I took many breaks- to see if I could just puke out my disenchantment with this turkey--I wish I would have just switched to "Your Highness"....bad?maybe...but not as bad as this-and thats really BAAAD!! and at least it has Natalie actress for which Sandirse will half as good as.
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A lost little horror gem
28 September 2007
I saw this film several times on the late night local movie when I was a kid back in the 70's. With a title like 'A Bell From Hell' you would expect the worst, but it is actually a highly entertaining little Spanish horror film. The plot concerns a man returning home from an asylum bent on taking revenge on those that put him there. These revenge scenes are both horrific and comical-sort of in the tradition of "Dr. Phibes" and "Theatre of Blood"-minus the great Vincent Price! Still, the performances are above average and the plot has not one sleepy moment in it...and watch out for the ironic twist of a finale-you won't see this one coming! Not to be missed-if you can find it.
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