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Got to admit wasn't expecting much...
But suddenly we've got this entire alternate history stretching back 2,000 years that includes Orcs, Elves, Fairies and Magic.
Although the fairies look more like the "tooth fairies" from Hellboy II... and the elves here are more like the elves from the same movie.
So it starts out as a basic day for 2 LAPD officers, where one of them is an Orc (Edgerton as Jakoby), who nobody likes, and IA even wants him out, bribes Ward (Will Smith) to make a recording of Jakoby admitting he was involved in a scandal of sorts.
But then suddenly, they take a call which starts off with them being shot at... and from then on, it gets worse, worse, and worse. Until bullets are the least of their worries, they are being pursued by magic, prevented to leave the vicinity due to magic, and they are hunted by gangbangers, Orcs, and finally evil elves led by Noomi Rapace, who is much better here than in Prometheus.
But it is s time of prophecy, a time of hereos, where those who are nobodies can do great things.
There is an entire alternate history, it's as if middle earth has merged with East LA. I want to hear more of that history, and hopefully "Bright 2" will have it.
Adventures in the Mycelial network
I thought we were looking for a magic angel red thing?
A search for Spock and Tilly turned into a search for someone else. But nobody ever knew it. We were told it was "a monster". I was half expecting the Tardigrade, or even Lorca. Cos "Matter cannot be created or destroyed, it merely changes form. - You Must Remember this".
May swiped Tilly with a coccoon. Will a cocoon bring something back?
There is a lot more going on here than merely the discovery halfway in-halfway out into the mycelial network, Or May kidnapping Tilly, or Giorgiou hunting down Spock, or even the reappearance of Ash Tyler who is now the liaison officer between section 31 and discovery.
And just like there appears to be 7 magic red-angel signals, there also appear to be seven subplots in this ongoing story.
Something happens in this episode I was completely not expecting, and it was something good. "Something wonderful".
Listen for the reference to Voyager season four episode one, it crops up in an interesting place.
Band of Brothers meets DooM
It's not as if war isn't a horror story in itself.
There's even a guy named Guarnere (Grunauer).
But after an introduction that's very similar to the scene in Band of Brothers where they drop into Normandie, that's where the similarity ends.
It's a little bit unrealistic, they did not have segregated squads that I remember. A Captain of colour would not have been commanding a whole unit of the Airborne. But, they had soldiers of colour for "The Guns of Navarrone", so I guess we can deal with it.
Everything seems as if it's just another war movie until they get into a village and then weird things start happening... and they start finding weird things. And then "Boyce" (Jovan Adepo) gets sidetracked while making a rendezvous with Tibbets and Chase (Iain De "Fitz" Caestacker), and that's when we realize, this really is a take on the iD software games of the early 90s.
Some of the hallways even look pretty similar.
War movies, to me are great, and some horror movies are palatable. I really loved The Rock and Karl Urban in "DooM", especially when The Rock finds the BFG (Big Effin Gun). It wasn't as destructive as I expected it to be though, the one in the game reduced Imps, Sprites and Goblins into grease spots on a massive scale, but The Rock only uses it on a bathroom stall and blows a hole in the wall.
Hell, I have an even gotten to the end of this yet, is there a BFG in this movie?
Maybe I'll add more later, but this is a hell of a lot of fun. Look for Meg Foster from "They Live", if you can recognize her.
Major Tom visits Discovery
This episode actually explains something that I had been wondering about since the first season of The Next Generation. In the episode "The Last Outpost", Data comes across an historic reference to the T'kon empire.
The question I had back then was "how did Starfleet get a hold of a history that pre-dated them?" We even saw that the database Mr. Data pulled up was in the actual language of that empire. At first I thought, with all of the races that joined the Federation, some of those planets may have had that history.
This episode gives another possible source for that knowledge.
What we've got here is another search for Spock, except that the USS discovery hits what is analogous to interplanetary fly-paper.
Meanwhile Tilly and Stamets have "May" locked up in the spore chamber. "Jett Reno", the clever engineer from the Hiawatha that we met in "Brother" makes another appearance and has an interesting insult-strewn conversation with Stamets. A perfect addition to discoveries eccentric crew. We finally get to see something on discovery that used to happen on the Enterprise D constantly, Captain Pike has a ready room meeting with all of his department heads. We also get to meet a non-Majel Barrett "number one", Pikes first officer from the enterprise, who hasn't been seen since "The Menagerie". And the species for "Linus" is finally revealed: so now we know who makes Saurian Brandy.
But there is something dire-some going on with Saru, a little bit more about his planet and his species is revealed here, some unpleasantries.
And I was wondering if what was affecting the ship had anything to do with "May", but it turns out "May" is a different story altogether, one strictly connected to Tilly for some reason. And we finally learn why Tilly was seeing dead people. But I guess we are going to find out what is going on with that whole side story next week.
There wasn't really any reference to the magic red angel this time, except in that captains' ready room discussion.
Star Trek: Discovery (2017)
This is Star Trek, deal with it.
Let's just cut to the point here: what people are really complaining about is that the people who worked on 25 years of Star Trek shows from next generation to enterprise are no longer working on Star Trek, and those are the people who made everything look the way that we remember it all through the 90s and through all of the Star Trek movies as well, because it was the same crew that created all of the ships all of the affects all of the uniforms.
Therefore there was a continuity between all of the movies and the shows because Paramount was the only company that owned it and they hired the same people over and over again to make the show look good and it did at that
However since UPN was vaporized, CBS now owns the television aspect of Star Trek. Therefore they are making their own production crew which happens to include some of the original people, but not all of them.
Don't you remember that all of the sets and costumes and props from Star Trek were sold off to millionaires in the early 2000's? And that was the one thing about Star Trek, they had warehouses full of ships, phasers, costumes, the Borg Queen's costume, Worf's head make up, Data's emotion chip, even Geordi's visors. The prop for Jupiter station which was actually three trashcan lids. And the thing about Star Trek is that they used those props and sets over and over again. But after that auction, it's all gone now. And the people who created those things? I can name many of those people, and they are no longer working for Paramount. Some of them actually worked on "Star Trek Continues", and that was even a fan film series.
So now, they couldn't even create a 90s style Star Trek show if they wanted to- all of the props are gone all of the costumes are gone and all of the ships are gone. But they are doing the best they can, It's a new production crew for a new owner, just be happy they have some of the original people working in the background to create storyline continuity. And if you really watch these first two episodes, and I just watched them together again a couple of days ago- if you view it as one episode you will see how there is an internal trek continuity to all of it. The only problem with it? It looks different. But all of the techno jargon is Trek-correct, and all of the noises on the bridge, and the transporter sound, the communicator "chirp", are the same noises that they have always used.
And when you think even more about it, it a costs a hell of a lot of money to create episodes for these shows. That's why shows only have 10 episodes per season these days, because it cost a lot of money to do the production. So sometimes they have to sell streaming memberships to cover it because advertising doesn't cover all of the costs. Not like it used to. Because things cost more these days, because studio rents are higher, because services cost more. So I am willing to put back into the networks that I watch.
I would like to say, "don't worry, after a year they will probably start syndicating some of these episodes on channels like Spike", but it hasn't happened yet. But it will.
So it doesn't look like TOS, Next Generation or Deep Space nine anymore, boo-hoo? Well if you go back in time to the 90s in the late 80s you will probably remember that people were complaining how the next generation didn't look to like the original series or that DS9 got into a huge dominion war that lasted about four years. That look that they produced in the late 80s and early 90s, that will never happen again unless they do it as a fan film. In fact, they did. Watch the first episode of Star Trek Renegades. If you want to make a Star Trek that looks like the 90s Star Trek shows, do it yourself, fund it yourself, direct it yourself, and write it yourself. Stranger things have happened. Maybe CBS will even allow you to do it, they certainly allowed "Star Trek Continues" to finish their entire series. When Paramount owned Star Trek they actually encouraged the fan films and that is the sad thing here.
But this is not a fan film, this is a new series which takes elements from the original series, the 90s series, Enterprise even, and even aspects from the Kelvin timeline movies. I personally like it because there isn't anything about Star Trek that I don't like. But that's just me. Try to do something for me will you? Don't jump onto your computer to complain about these episodes, jump onto your computer if you really liked the episodes. Because we have heard every aspect of every negative review for the show and for every episode of the show, we've heard it already before, all of it, about the original series, about TNG, about DS9, and the rest of the shows and all of the movies old and new. It's just the same old complaint, complaints made by people who don't like what Star Trek represents and that says more about them than it says about the shows. Star Trek has always supported progressive ideals, because that's what the future is supposed to be about. The future is not supposed to be about going backwards, it's supposed to be about going forwards. And that's what this show is about, a more hopeful future for not just humanity but every individual member of humanity. That is what it has always been about. And if that sounds too progressive or liberal for you, then you never were a fan of Star Trek in the first place.
Freaks are more Fun
And developing story is not filler. Tilly sees dead people, something that we have seen all the way back in short treks, so that is something that we already knew - Tyler/Voq is having L'Rell issues, again no big spoiler there as that has been going on since season one - Spock is... what? We don't even know what he's doing so can't say much there.
Three (four) interweaving storylines dance around our 7 magic Red Angel signals. I feel that this break in the Red Angel dialogue was a welcome respite, it shows a more alarming backdrop. Things are not normal.
The Red Angel itself is one thing to Spock, another to Michael. Part of that story is told here, maybe the very beginning of it.
But on Qonos, Tyler stumbles onto a secret that could cause L'Rell a lot of problems... especially if an enemy house hears about it.
And Tilly's Invible friend, her persistent, annoying ghost, is not what "she" appears to be.
These vignettes are explanatory sections of a larger picture, far more than mere filler material. I don't understand the massive negative reaction to this episode, it's as if they are not really commenting on a Trek episode, but on the very values Trek is based upon, something which has never changed through all of the various shows and films. I really didn't reveal anything about this episode that gives anything away, other than the "vignette" framework so I am switching it back to no spoilers.
What I find amazing about Mia Kirshner's "Amanda" is that she looks a lot like what a younger Jane Wyatt would have looked like. The only difference is the voice, Jane had that Hollywood voice used by most actresses from the 30's, an almost British accent, but not quite. Mia does not do this.
Star Trek: Discovery: New Eden (2019)
To obey "general order one" or not
This time the magic red angel signal sends Discovery way out to Church in the Beta Quadrant, and Stamets once again into the mycelial network.
But an alert signal coming from the church appears to have been deliberately sent- long ago. An unusual man, a man with the potential answer for Burnham, Pike, and Spock's common conundrum, is the keeper of an artifact that has answers.
Jon Frakes helms another great one.
Meanwhile, the magic rock hovering in the shuttle bay whacks Tilly silly, she keeps seeing a mystery girl. But as we saw in Short Treks, Tilly can see things others can't, maybe they are not really there.
The red things Pike is charged with finding, keep bringing Discovery to places where people need help, this time, they don't even know they are facing Extinction while Stamets jumps Discovery in a dance above their planet.
So Pike trades something useful to the caretaker of the church, for a glimpse of the past.
But what's past is prologue... er, Epilogue in this case.
Star Trek: Discovery: Brother (2019)
"Where is my damn red thing"
Discovery, after surviving a Klingon war, a mirror universe, a captain from the mirror universe, a crazy Klingon woman who chopped up her lover and sewed his bones into a human, Harry Mudd, and an evil twin of Michael's original captain, now comes to the aid of NCC 1701, "no bloody A, B, C, or D (or E)."
After a brief amount of introspection with some of the characters including Tilly and Stamets, who is still pining away for Hugh, it's a collision course with just another brand new conundrum. And this one is a doozy.
We get to see more of that tech that people complain about with this series, which is allegedly a lot more advanced than what they had on the original Enterprise (which was not the original). And they forget that in the first two pilot episodes of the original series, they show Mr. Spock controlling his library computer by using gestures of his hand. So I am just going to go out on a limb here and say, they had the technology even back then, but they just never showed it in the original series. Because after the pilot episodes, Spock went back to accessing his library computer by flipping switches and Voice Commands. But in reality it's as simple as this: that was 1966, this is 2019. And you know what happened between then and now? A lot of the gadgets that they used on Star Trek actually became things that have become commonplace.
It's interesting to revisit these characters from the original series because there is certainly a lot of story that can be told about them especially the 13 years prior to the time Captain Kirk took command of the enterprise.
This was a very enjoyable episode, and when Michael gets into Spock's cabin on the enterprise, well you are in for a little treat. And also maybe a small hint of where this season is going to be going.
There is also a lot more participation from the bridge crew, who participate in a rescue op on a crazy asteroid. Even the people in the shuttle bay seem to be a bit more participatory when kidnapping a magic chunk of rock. A rock that gets Stamets' attention.
I will have to admit I was very apprehensive about watching this but the wait has been worth it.
"The courts would call it collusion, wouldn't they?"
After the incredible episode preceding this, "the case of the velvet claws", this episode appears to be a dénouement. But it is highly enjoyable especially with one of the best character actresses that appears to be in every other episode of this show, Julie Adams, who earlier portrayed a woman facing the gas chamber at "10 o'clock in the morning" (TCOT Deadly Verdict)
But there is one little word in this episode that is important. A word, that if we were to believe certain people who were formally mayors of New York City, he would have us think that it is not a crime. But it is a crime.
Because Perry Mason isn't just a fictional character, and the TV shows and novels and movies that were made about him weren't simply courtroom entertainment. The television series especially dealt with very real crimes and used very real words for crimes. After watching a number of interviews with Barbara Hale, it was apparent that this show was very much the embodiment of Erle Stanley Gardner. Who, before he decided to write about crime with the character of Perry Mason, he actually was a lawyer.
And this TV show isn't just about a character that he created, he was very much involved with every episode of ether show.
So when at 13 minutes and 10 seconds into this episode Della asks about the crime of collusion, that is how we know that collusion is not just a word being used by "mainstream media", or by anybody sitting in the White House claiming that "collusion is not a crime". Collusion is a crime, something that a court can find you guilty of.
That elevates this meager episode up to the point of being very relevant to the issues of January 17, 2019.
The other interesting thing about this episode is another appearance of John Conte, from "thousands cheer" and "the man with the golden arm," who was in this series almost as much as Julie Adams was, so they make the perfect collusional couple.
Also look for another appearance of Richard Jaeckel, from "the dirty dozen". Lieutenant Tragg may have made one of his rare season six appearances, with Hamilton Burger prosecuting it always feels like a full deck of cards with Lieutenant Tragg.
But just remember that collusion is a crime, not because it says so in this episode, and not because Erle Stanley Gardner says so, but because the laws of the United States of America say so.
Dr. Kildare's Strange Case (1940)
Frighteningly accurate depiction of insulin shock therapy
Which is very similar to electro convulsive therapy (ECT), which they still performed in the early 90s when attended certain, ah, institutions. Back then they were run by charter health systems, which I believe went out of business. The last time I was ever there was in 1999 and it reverted back to the control of the local hospital in that area. But that was the year "managed care" came into its full authority, turning the mental hospitals into nothing better than prisons, and they had actually erected a very high fence around the grounds of the campus and put guards on all the entrances. And this was one of those hospitals where the patients have all chosen to be in there, but instead they have turned it into a locked ward. Because of managed care the quality of care has dwindled greatly. Ironically this film shows a hospital where psychiatric patients share the same ward with regular patients.
As far as the hospital where I was treated, I know that they had an ECT room, and I used to have long discussions with a patient there who was undergoing continuous treatment. I had several discussions with my own doctor about it and that was when he explained the difference between the insulin treatment and ECT.
In this film dr. Kildair explains it as a type of regression back into the primitive reptilian brainstem, the root of most animal's "Feed, Fight, and Reproduce" drive for existence. The way Dr. Kildair explains it here, is almost exactly the way it was explained it to me.
Thank goodness that this archaic form of therapy is no longer used as it is both demeaning and humiliating.
But it was surprising to see this treatment accurately described and depicted, every once in a while in these old 1940s comedies that were loosely based on reality, they will come out with something very accurate and hit the nail right on the head.
Along with the medical and psychiatric aspects of this film there are comedic aspects that are examples of "how to get your girl back from a rich suiter who takes her to dinner is where they have two dollar soup", The person giving out this wisdom is of course the host of the café next to the hospital, who is as wise with "street psychiatry" as Dr. Gillespie is with regular psychiatry in his manipulation of Dr. Kildare and his nurse girlfriend, and the way Dr. Gillespie cleverly gets Kildare to turn down a better paying job.
But what I loved about these series is how Dr. Gillespie, even though he was ill and confined to a wheelchair (just like the real Lionel Barrymore), and basically facing mortality in the eye, had a great sense of humor about it.
I love every single one of these, I wish there had been more made.
Perry Mason reams Chachi
Scott Baio appears in this New York Based Perry Mason tale, as does Diana Muldaur aka Doctor Polaski from Star Trek.
This is one of the Better"Malansky" eps, Moses appears without his irritating rich detective-girlfriend. Here, he is forced to make Buds with Gangster Tony Loomis (Robert Clohessy), and it is a perfect match.
Valerie Harper is Dyan Draper, who is making everyone's lives miserable. She's Muckraked up dirt on the whole planet, but it's anyone's guess who she is going to target in her next column. And several people, including Lauren Jeffrys (Polaski/Muldaur) try to get access to Draper to find out if they are to be the subjects of Draper's Muckraking festivities the next day. But Draper cleverly dodges all attempts from 4 people and she does not even tell her Girl Friday Julia Collier (Ally Walker) who is to be the special recipient of her ministrations.
So there are four possible suspects, maybe 5 even.
What is interesting about this episode, is that it talks about using a Modem to transfer a column digitally to the computer at a Magazine Office. At the desk in Dyan's apartment, is a little Macintosh, same design as the 1984 model. Back then such a modem would probably be 300 baud. In fact, I have a one of the modems that would have been used on the floor in front of my PC. It would have been an Appletalk Network.
But of course none of this is talked about in any great detail, this episode plods along while Perry deftly recuses each possible suspect - Until he is left with the last one, and even then it is not who you expect it to be.
Which makes this one of the better Perry Mason Mysterys segment. Of course, is was directed by Original Perry Mason director Christian I. Nyby's son, Christian I. Nyby II.
What I lov ed about therse later Mason TV Movies is that they finally left the confines of "Colorado" (Colorado-in-Canada?) to visit venues like France, and in this episode, New York City.
And as much as I miss William Katt as the Bumbling version of Paul Drake, and I really did like that it was Della's Real Life son, William R Moses was finally hitting his stride with this episode.
I would have liked an explanation of what happened to Paul Drake, Junior, in this series, but I never saw it. My only complaint with the TV Movies of the 80's is the hole left by Paul Drake's absence, who left us WAY too soon at age 54. Where William Hopper exuded "The Competent Man", William R Katt, excuse me, William Katt sometimes overplayed the comedic aspects, always losing his detective-prey, being smashed over the head constantly, having his wallet stolen, being hospitalized, etc. His "Father" never had that happen. But William R. Moses was able to create a Bridge between Paul Drake and Paul Drake, Jr. He does so magnificently here.
I remember watching these when they were Broadcast, I watched them with my parents. But I haven't seen these since they were originally broadcast, and now that I have a huge 50" TV, the only copies I can find are recorded from Low Quality DVR, sometimes with commercials intact. Even my original Perry episodes are on DVD, which suit me fine, except that the one colour season 9 episode "Twice Told Twist" is not in colour.
I am totally pleased however, that Mason socked it to Scott Baio.
June Vincent magnificently gets her just desserts
She portrayed a hateful and hated woman with relish.
Obviously, she sets herself at the head of the table, she is the one who controls everyone in the vicinity. But she can only do so because of the dirt she has muckraked up on each of them. Including 'Roger" (Fredd Wayne), what does she have on him where she can order him to do something vile and destructive? Alan Hewitt's familiar face is also in this, as is a few other noted character actors of the day.
Walter Randall (Jerome Thor) is the hapless husband, trapped in a marriage to a subhuman icebergmonster. We do not blame him for wanting to get loose. I think at one time or other we have had our Significant Other's be as Clingy as this woman is. In Fact, the "Clingy Disabled Wife" is a common character in Perry Mason episodes, there is another Perry episode where the secretary calls the Bosses' house for instructions, and the Klingon Wife answers and scares the pants off her (Er, Dress, rather - Perry Mason rarely had women in pants). But then the Husband enters the frame and it's apology city - Until she does it again. But in the end, the Husband of that woman has accepted it, and chooses to stay with the troubled, disabled wife.
Here, June's character Laura, is not really disabled at all. Just Clingy, and Cold. And Mean: Her husband, an Engineer, has developed an electronic gadget, a sounding device, that can be controlled via Remote over great distances.
This invention is important to Walter's future, and to his happiness, but one thing stands in his way: Laura "In a Lonely Place" Randall. She orders her brother in law Roger to do something unconscionable, and then seems to order her nurse Phyllis Hudson to participate in this heinous act. This is when it all goes sideways, and we find out, it's not as simple as we thought during the teaser of this episode.
So it is all fun and games until someone loses an eye, and a life, and so suddenly Tragg is sniffing about. That's when we find out, as usual, Phyllis didn't tell Perry everything.
The question is not really "Who had motive to commit a murder". it's actually "Who did Tragg arrest". Which is normally "The Wrong Man" (or Woman in this case), so Perry has to figure out who the real murder is, all during the preliminary hearing! Heck, sometimes it even gets to Trial.
This was one of the episodes sans Hamilton Burger, the Assistant DA is pretty Shakespearean.
This episode has a clever technological twist including tech that is still in use today, For the Late 50's early 60's, Perry Mason was pretty much on the edge of Tech, there were Gadgets and Gizmos, Car Phones, and even one episode had Bugs Galore. The Modus Operandi of this case was VERY clever. And it would have worked but for one thing: Perry Mason was defending.
But this episode would never have caused anyone to blink except for one thing: June Vincent's great performance.
First Man (2018)
Turtles all the way Down vs Green Cheese
It's not about planting a flag waving in phony "wind" on the moon. It's about the man who left that first footprint up there. And about what he personally lost to make it up there and back. And what he personally left up there. Which from that point of view, is much more important to Neil than planting a flag and then spouting Jingoisms. This focuses on just one of the men that made this happen, and he actually contributed to the program, he was one of the men who figured out how to do it.
And although there are other astronauts in this film, It's his story, and how he fit into the program that put him up there. And it's personal.
This is not "The Right Stuff", and it's not "Apollo 13" even, although there are depictions of a few tragedies in this, but it's about how they related to Neil, and how he dealt with them.
There were also a few near tragedies shown that I never knew about, I had not realized how treacherous the Gemini program was. And although I made models of Gemini capsules when I was a child, I never realized how small they actually were.
One thing that angers me are people who actually believe we faked this whole thing, usually those people also believe the earth is flat, or it's "turtles all the way down".
Or the complaints about this movie that it doesn't show the flag non-sequitur. Really, who cares? We know it was done, this movie was so far from being about that than is utterly possible.
I found this film far from slow or boring, it's intimate. And it shows Neil coming full circle to the person he was at the point where this movie begins. And that explained a lot to me.
It IS rather like a Batman episode, or Star Trek even.
It's a shame that there were not more colour episodes or there was never a tenth season.
I really don't see the basis of any complaints for this, this was 1960s television, mid 1966 as a matter of fact. It actually looks a lot like Star Trek as well as Batman. And as such, it shows a remarkable teaser for something that should have been that CBS neglected to give us: a full 10th season of color Perry Mason episodes. This could've also been the precise focal point where Perry Mason transitioned from 1950s film noir television to mid 60s psychedelic color TV.
I finally found a good color print of this and the Soundtrack had been enhanced for surroundsound, so it's actually pretty wonderful. The DVD set I had only had this episode in black-and-white which was completely disappointing as I have always seen this particular episode in my daily Perry Mason binges in absolute full color. They used to show two solid hours of Perry Mason on San Diego XETV channel 6 in the early 90s and while I was recovering from an illness for a few months Perry Mason was my only solace. Even my father liked it and he would sit with me and watch it and we both enjoyed this particular episode very much we would point out things about it laugh about it etc. The appearance of "King Tut" (Victor Bono) gives it a connection to Batman, but the parent company CBS is more strictly connected to Star Trek today than 20th Century Fox was back in the 60s- which used to use all of the sets from Irwin Allen shows for all of their science fiction shows including Time Tunnel, Batman, Voyage to the bottom of the Sea, and Lost in Space.
But the very production crew for Perry Mason is more related to Star Trek in the fact that several people who worked on Perry Mason ended up working for the Star Trek franchise either during the original run or later during the Next Generation and Voyager, which included the script supervisor Cosmo Genovese, who they even named a character for in a second season voyager episode, "Non-Sequitur": "Cosimo". Who was a very Perry Mason-ish alien who was looking after Harry Kim, he had the same kind mannerisms that Perry Mason showed to his clients.
The story is not an Erle Stanley Gardner episode and as such doesn't match up to some of the classics, but it does however have a modern upbeat look and feel including the background music, and the vehicles being used are very upbeat for the year that this was made. Especially the Ford van being used which was the Ford version of the Dodge A100 compact cab that used to be seen delivering and retrieving all of Batman's accessories during that show. In this Perry Mason episode, it is used as a mobile Chop Shop.
I very much would have loved to see more color episodes but alas, this is the only one. Perhaps somebody who is creative with computer video can colourise some other episodes, for personal use, of course.
"I just want a Holiday inna Sun..."
"I wanna go over the wall, I just don't understand this thing at all! Please don't be waiting for me..."
As I watched this highly unusual Perry Mason episode, I had to keep asking "Where was this location?" It really did look like a European Village, and with clever use of establishing stock footage, the producers of Perry Mason make us believe it. There are even Volksvagens and Citreons, instead of Fords or GM cars.
You have to remember there was still an Iron Curtain back in these days, and a Berlin Wall too. This ep appears to have happened in Switzerland, but the shade of Nazi Germany and WW II is all too present.
It appears that some secret Nazi treasure had been found, and that our guest-defendant (who actually never came to trial) had been set up as part of a fictional US Navy team to find it. Meanwhile, crooks are also looking for it.
Mason is on a plane with one of the crooks, on his way to meet the defendant.
But our guest defendant was only interested in a girl, really. The only question then, is "what is really going on"
This Mason ep is like watching a mid 50's Noir spy thriller, they did a good job of making us believe Perry was not actually in Big Bear Lake.
Another Mason ep with "Animal"
From Stalag 17.
I love these "Guest Lawyer" episodes, i had hoped that Bette Davis would do another one. But this time it's Barry Sullivan.
This episode had been playing while I was asleep, as I woke up it looked interesting so I "rewound" my PLEX.
Kathie Browne, who was the only Star Trek character "Deela" who Captain Kirk ever blatantly got lucky with, returns to another Perry Mason episode as the guest-defendant.
There is also another baggage that had been let out of prison or reform school, who upon promising to never break the law ever again, instantly does so as she steals Deela's purse.
One thing leads to another, which usually means "Blackmail" and then eventual murder.
Paul Drake helps Barry Sullivan tie Berger up in knots, very cleverly- using blown up clips from a film "Animal" had put together from pieces of film from the "last day of Kathy Browne's sisters husband", before he sailed out to Catalina into an apparent "Accident".
Patricia Barry plays one piece of work!
And she does it perfectly!
I think we've all known women who were in real life exactly how Eve Belter is here. I've know many. Which was why I could almost predict what was happening in this episode, this crazy woman was trying to cover all of her escape routes, in doing so, traps herself into a corner. But worse yet, she abuses Perry's trust.
This is one of the Erle Stalney Gardner ones.
You can always tell when an episode has his stamp on it, because it is generally about 50 times crazier than a regular Perry Mason episode.
It's not that Perry is a simmering, boiling pressure cooker that will eventually explode, it's that when he does explode, he knows exactly how to do it.
But the difference between a TV ESG Episode and the original book is this: The book would have used phrases and linguistics not allowed by the overly religious TV censors of the time. But this particular episode manages to bypass these restrictions with great direction and writing and, of course, script supervision probably by Cosmo Genevese (who was also the script supervisor for Star Trek: The Next Generation 29 years later, and then even 8 years after that, he worked for Voyager and even had a character "Cosimo" named after him on that show).
I'm not even done with this episode but this woman's performance was so great I had to write this all down while it was fresh. This episode fools you, you think Perry has reached a solution and that all that is left is the denouement, but in fact there is a nice surprise twist at the ending, and it's just one of those Erle Stanley Gardner things that explains everything.
Wesley Lau has pretty much taken over for Ray Collins at this point, don't know if Ray is in any more episodes this season.
These episodes also serve as a time capsule of the year and month when they were broadcast, Perry is driving a wonderful Lincoln Continental with the rear doors that swing opposite of the front doors.
Beautiful Historic Episode made during the "Space Race"
Filmed probably at Vandenberg, this episode shows actual Atlas booster rockets being assembled and tested, even fail with massive explosions. The story that this episode tells is of the mad dash by private corporations to obtain the best and most lucrative missile-building contracts, snagging the best technicians, and snubbing out any competition. But even with the unfortunate shark eat shark method of capitalism used to make our rockets, we in fact beat the Russians to the Moon and put a Man there - Several Men. And this episode was made right at the start of our venture to recreate that one thing Nazi Germany was able to accomplish that the Allied countries failed to produce: Rockets that could be made on assembly-line that flew reliably over and over. And our Atlas Booster highlighted in this show was out second major booster, after the Redstone which propelled John Glenn into Orbit, unless he rode on an Atlas and I remember incorrectly.
How does Perry Mason and Paul Drake fit into this? Well, Perry has a friend at the base which he stops off to see... And that is how it always starts.
Our mystery would-be murderers are veteran actors Bruce Bennett of The Treasure of Sierra Madre, Jeannie Bal of Star Trek Salt Monster Fame, William Schallert who was in Star Trek and Star Trek Deep Space Nine, and James B Sikking who would go on to Captain of the ship named after Stan Lee: the Excelsior, The Transwarp Experiment and Bucket of Bolts as Scotty called it while handing Bones two pieces from the main energizer, causing the NX-2000 to flounder and grind to a jaggedy halt in Star Trek: The Search for Spock. So, without knowing the Future, CBS populated a prophetic Perry Mason episode about space with actors who would eventually go on to be familiar faces in our country's most popular Space show.
And the Madness of Bruce Bennett's character Dan Morgan, designer of the rocket of this episode, gives us a look into the minds of the common scientist who worked on rockets during the Space Race: Not altogether there, but they did in fact produce results, regardless of how they got them.
But we have here two rival companies, one using corporate sabotage to ruin a test, with an ironically placed act of sabotage, a method used in the early 1980's to bring down a jet flying tom Chicago to San Diego: Use a hacksaw on a crucial bolt.
Perry has to find the real Saboteur, of course. Simon Oakland of Black Sheep Squadron and a few great movie parts is the hard nose, not to be sidetracked Inspector General who discovers the Sabotage method, but is tricked into placing blame at the wrong man, but he is not given a chance to correct his mistake, as he is this week's "High Profile Perry Mason Corpse-of-the-Week".
All in all, one of the best Location episodes of Perry Mason, utilizing many of our Military to show Life at a Rocket Base. Wonderful, just Wonderful.
Note that the Military Court set is the exact same set as a previous episode that involved a court-martial.
Notes: Other reviewers have made issues out of apparent lack of security, drinking on base, etc. This is probably 1961, not the Paranoid, Lock down everything 2010's. People in the 1960s actually left home without locking doors. Our standards of 2018 are to be overly paranoid of things like caravans coming to our San Ysidro Border, yet give our OrangePresident a Pass for using unsecured cell phones to call other heads of state. In the late 50's and early 60's, security was where it was needed, not everywhere. And, it appeared to have been more effective than 2018's method of using Bio-security for our cars and houses and iPhones, passwords for every app we use and all of our 200 Fake twitter accounts, and having to have a damn CHIP stuck into our Bank Cards. The 1960's were easier, and had less people stealing stuff, seems like there is more crime in 2018 than what happened in Perry's time.
Perry Mason (1957)
The Erle Stanley Gardner ones are the Best.
Season 1 is rife with them, there are less in season 2, a few in Season 3.
I could never figure out the logic of Perry Mason's car, which at times is a Ford, then a Cadillac. and in one episode, his reward for winning a case is a down payment on a magnificent Ford Thunderbird.
Also confusing is the parade of great Hollywood character actors and even some heavies, who sometimes play multiple roles. including Robert Strauss, "Animal" from Stalag 17, in "The Case of the Dangerous Dowager ". I did not even recognize Robert by his looks, but by his (AT EASE, AT EASE!) voice and his very funny poo-eating grin. Barry Atwater was seen several times, George Takei, and then there are dozens of Hollywood character actors who could be seen in at least 3 episodes per season. Fay Wray was in at least 2 episodes, one as an older Blonde woman, another as a younger dark haired woman.
You never know who is gonna show up in a Perry Mason episode, including the occasional guest Lawyers, "Dr Morbius", Bette Davis, Michael Rennie.
And sometimes we would be surprised when an episode would be partially filmed in a location like Tijuana, Mexico. I knew what it looked like in the early 60's and late 50's, after going back and forth dozens of times to see our family jeweler. Sometimes, the "location" would be stock footage, but sometimes they had to film Perry there.
I never knew about Raymond Burr's proclivities, which of course he kept hidden for most of the golden era of Hollywood, but now that I know, the character of Perry Mason just makes a lot of sense. He was a genius, but even he had secrets that he was vulnerable to. But I never saw him go on a Date with other than Della and Paul, usually both at once.
You know Perry has figured it out when he shows that little smile. All you need do is then sit back and wait for him to drop a ton of Bricks onto DA "HAM" Berger. I never knew that the actor playing Berger had been blacklisted, that is another sad thing that used to happen in the 50's and 60's. Because I thought he was brilliant.
I never realized Dennis... excuse me, I mean William Hopper was Hedda Hopper's offspring, but he was born to play Paul Drake. He left us way too soon. The Trivia states that his hair went all white due to a WWII incident. I thought he was Blonde, but that is just Black and White for you.
Really, watch all of the ESG stories, I had the opportunity to read some of these "Cases" in book form, they are a lot different, but if you do, you will see why Ray was the perfect actor to play Perry, the same with "The Skipper's Sister" Barbara Hale and Paul Drake. (my bad, for some reason I thought Barbara Hale was the sister of Alan Hale, maybe because they were both in "the giant spider invasion")
Another interesting thing to do is look at the Ads in the end credits, for products that we barely remember.
Millennium: Antipas (1999)
Make room for Daddy!
In this episode, Lucy Butler is on the verge of obtaining that which she so greatly desires from Frank. And her path to that goal is a very convoluted one.
Art Hindle plays John Saxom, a politician with designs on a governorship. His wife "Una", played by Susan Hogan, is very tired looking woman, mother to a sickly child named "Divina-" A little girl who's health seems to improve after a strange encounter with Lucy Butler.
In the middle of a conference at the FBI, Frank Black is suddenly inundated with photographs that appear to be jumbles of the word "Antipas"- which eventually brings Frank to the politician's mansion and another encounter with Lucy Butler.
And it is a very strange encounter indeed, what we believed to be a fever dream of Frank's were actually real time events, but events that only Frank could see.
Enter the great character actor Jay Brazeau as Lucy Butler's interestingly demented lawyer "Selwyn Wassenaar", who has some improper things to say to Agent Hollis that are on the very edge of racism, as well as his famous line to Frank which is the title of my review. It is worth sitting through this entire episode just to watch this very realistic Performance. Jay was also the guy in Stargate SG-1 who turns them all into robots, "KamTrai-ah"! Plus at least one X-Files episode.
We learn a few things about Lucy butler in this episode, but the most important thing that happens here is the set up to the eventual showdown between Lucy and Jordan Black, which will happen in "Saturn dreaming of Mercury"- see my review for that episode.
And I have to agree with the other reviewer in here, that this is the best "spiritual" episode of Millennium, although I would say it is a tie between this one and "Saturn dreaming of Mercury", but as you know the lines between pure spirituality are blurred between Franks' gift and his perception of things that happen on a different plane that other people do not see, but he does. For example, refer to the season one episode "Lamentations", where Frank witnesses a confrontation between the Al Pepper a.k.a. "Legion" and the other entity posing as a kid named "Sammael"- who claims that being in this plane causes him great pain, and that his helping Frank wasn't really about helping Frank. But where everyone else saw Sammael shooting Al Pepper, Frank "didn't see it that way"- and something very similar happens here between him and Lucy Butler.
KISS does MillenniuM and goes all Psycho Circus
I remember watching this episode when it happened and I also had the KISS album "Psycho Circus" that came out at the same time this episode was shown.
I had to go out and buy an Ibanez Iceman guitar after that.
Jeff Yagher plays Mark Bianco, and after that gets too close to his character when he plays a version of Frank Black.
What is funny about Jeff being in this episode is that he was also Meagan Gallagher's husband at the time, maybe still is, who knows.
KISS portrays themselves as the band as well as several different people within this episode, starting off with Paul Stanley has a director named Lew Carroll, and he does a great job especially while being murdered. Kate Luyben who was in the pilot episode of this show is a hapless actress who was concerned about a body feature of hers in the shot. Kate was also "Nurse Nanci" in the X-Files episode "Kill Switch". Gene Simmons is himself as well as a guy named Hector Leachman who claims "I did it", while Ace Frehley and Peter Kriss are a couple of cops, Ace Frehley wanted to wear a fat suit for his part but they couldn't really do that, so they just kind of padded his stomach a little bit.
After the season two finale and the pretty dire season three introduction which reveals that the millennium group has gone evil and Frank has to fight against his former friend Peter Watts and a sinister looking guy named Mabius/Homer J Pettey (Bob Wilde) who is also one of the incarnations of the demon Frank meets in The Judge, "Legion", which is also Lucy Butler, this episode is a welcome respite from the very heavy episodes that surround it.
Basically agent Hollis has to give Frank Black a crash and burn course in 1980's Horror 101, and Frank Black is an apt pupil, learning all about Friday the 13th, Halloween, and A Nightmare on Elm Street.
All through this episode it appears that Frank Black, or somebody, is lecturing a group of FBI agents as well as other people.
This is another piece of misdirection which you will have to wait until the very end of the episode to figure out. Jeff Yagher has a very funny way of imitating Frank's voice. Also, look for The Shining reference.
This is the parody episode which beats even "The Curse of Frank Black".
Not what you think it is.
By all rights, Barnelli appears to be an average child molester. But nothing is as it seems. A child was abducted and he was convicted for it.
His lawyer is not really a lawyer and his crimes are... well, he's out on probation. But the instant he is out, another little girl is abducted.
This is a well done, sensitive episode that makes everyone have to reconsider what they have seen and their initial feelings about it.
Even Frank Black has trouble "Forgiving" Barneli, as does the man's father, and definitely the membership of the town where he lives.
In all of our eyes, this man never should have been released from prison. But the law says he must be released. Frank then indicates, he will not be part of a witch hunt.
But is our popular opinion about this man the correct opinion? That's what this is all about.
In the end, Barnelli asks Frank Black if he forgives him: But Frank Black also asks for Barnelli's forgiveness.
Really needed a 5th Season
Every show I like starts off with what could be termed "MOTW"- Monster of the week episodes, and Farscape is no different than The X Files in that regard. In fact, my favorite seasons of both X Files and Farscape are its 1st seasons.
They also both have very similar Mythos arcs: so that by Season 2 of both shows, there were several Mythos stores peppered into the storyline. By the final seasons of the shows, it was all one story being told in every episode.
Farscape had revealed a direction for it's Mythos when John Criton meets "Ersatz Jack", who plants secret wormhole formulas into John's brain.
John Criton: any other human would have been carted away to the alien funny farm shouting "They Jiggle! They Jiggle!", but Criton takes the alien translator microbes and rolls with the punches.
With great sadness I just binged this show, there was more story here than what we were given.
When I first watched the series finale and it said "To be continued" and I understood that Syfi had just cancelled the show, it was a blow too much for me to bear.
But then we got "The Peacekeeper Wars", which joined the temple of Arnessk to the Alien whose face came apart in Bad Timing, the "Eidelons", and explained a few more things while not explaining others.
In fact, as well as TPW had been done, the story did not translate well from episodic TV to movie/Mini Series. Just like the X-Files, and just like Star Trek: TNG. All 3 shows did not work well in the longer timeframe format.
Why? Because all 3 shows had ensemble casts of some sort, story was always dependent on many people being highlighted, not just John and Aeryn, Picard and Data, Mulder and Skully.
By the time season 3 came out, introducing Jool, and then splitting up the cast for most of the season with some really horrific events happening, it was all one story, not much room for many MOTW episodes. And not that I did not really like the Farscape Mythos, it was crazy! I always thought the MOTW's were the meat of these shows.
So with TPW, we had no more MOTWs left, it was all Mythos, and the solution to the series, which should have been much more, was only what we got in TPW and no more.
Oh, what a 5th season could have given us!
But season 1 starts building the story, from one madman chasing Criton to someone even worse: and so it goes until John and Aeryn's only valid escape was to jump down a wormhole and end up in... Stargate SG-1!?
Long Live Ka D'Argo, Za'an and Jonathon Hardy.
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Now this is the Ant-Man/Giant-Man and The Wasp that I read about in Marvel comics
Especially on the flipside of special avengers issues, four issues that if you turned them upside down and lined them up, they created a big picture of giant man.
Part of that story is in this film and there are elements from many other ant-man stories. The writer brings classic Ant-man into the same storyline as new Ant-man stories
And then you have more of the "that's not a keychain" happening, except now, Hank Pym has a full hot wheels collectors box of fun things.
What irritates me, not about the movie but about walking through the landmine of dog Poodoo in the review section of identical verbatim reviews of this film about how feminist it is and how liberal it is. Go get stuffed, the stories were written before you were born and the writer of the stories wasn't writing a political story, they were writing a comic book.
Go back to watching your YouTube so called fan edit of Star Wars the last Jedi that has all of the scenes with Princess Leia removed, you can show it at your Bund meeting.
The state of the technology has gotten so good that you can't decipher what is the physical effect in this film and what is CGI. Any good film uses lots of practical special effects, and when you can't tell between the CGI and the practical, that is where success is made. And besides, Game of Thrones does this too, but you rant and rave about how good that show is, right?
Unfortunately the ending of this film corresponds to the ending of avengers infinity war. So now the fate of ant man lies with the resolution of that story.
Seven Days (1998)
One of my favorite shows
I was under the impression this was shown on UPN but it might have been ABC or even CBS. Actually it must have been UPN because CBS owns the rights now.
I watched this every week, mostly because of Norman Lloyd's involvement in the first one and a half seasons.
They kept Norman's name in the credits for most of the second season even though he was only involved in a few of the episodes. But he was in a few of the episodes of the third season.
Jon Lapaglia (Tony's brother) is a Chrononaught, there is a secret program called Backstep, based on technology left over from the 1947 Roswell crash that allows them to send one person back in time seven days.
There's always a question of whether or not they have to send the person back exactly seven days, there was one episode where they only sent him back a day.
But usually hilarious things ensue because of Frank Parker's (Lapaglia) limited foresight.
Many of the episodes parody TV shows and movies that were popular during the time the show was on, i've located charmed, three kings, maybe even 2001 where an artificial intelligence goes haywire and has to be shut off the same way Hal was, by regressing it back to infancy.
I never noticed these homages when I initially watched the series, but now that I'm able to watch it again, they become apparent.
Some of the stories are kind of cheesy but the series as a whole was very well done, and, well it makes this series a kind of a collectors item because they only released it on DVD and those are very hard to find. CBS all access may have it for streaming.