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3-Headed Shark Attack (2015)
Jaws x 3
A giant mutated three headed shark is roaming the ocean and eating people. Porn star Jazy Berlin is the first vicitm and the shark got angry after chewing on her silicone breasts.
However despite the size of the shark and its three heads, people just keep going into the water especially now the shark is after a cruise ship to devour.
Asylum have managed to produce a decent CGI shark. The story is drab.
The Office Roadshow
Obviously I am aware of David Brent (Ricky Gervais) from The Office but I never paid much attention to the series, so I can approach this film without any previous baggage.
Many years after the original The Office documentary, a film crew is following David Brent again. This time he is just another sales rep selling sanitary products but dreams of being a rock star.
With his pension money Brent gets a band together and goes on the road touring where no one shows up to watch them.
It is a foregone conclusion that the tour is a flop and his songs are rubbish lacking any irony. The backing band and roadie are talented. The rapper Dom Johnson who accompanies Brent can actually draw a crowd and is worthy of a record deal.
The film starts with th cringe inducing humour of The Office, but Brent is just so difficult to like and it is so hard to root for him. Brent as some politically uncorrect dinosaur with a heart is just not that funny.
Project Almanac (2015)
Going back in time
Project Almanac name checks some of its influences. Back to the Future, Doctor Who and Bill & Ted. Yet its superficial charms never amounts to much.
Geeky teenager David Raskin (Jonny Weston) wants to go to MIT but cannot afford to do so. When he finds some designs to build a time machine in his late father's attic, he and his friends (Quinn and Adam) build it from available parts they can get from the local Home Depot store. David watches a video tape of his birthday party when he was a kid and noticed a glimpse of him as an adult in there. David is convinced that the project will be a success.
David's sister Christina films everything regarding the project and lo and behold they travel back in time. They take revenge on a school bully, one of them takes frequent attempts to pass a chemistry test, attend Lollapalooza, win the lottery and David goes out with the high school hottie.
However all the going back in time causes a ripple effect. Each time David tries to fix the problem he makes it worse.
I found it hard to believe that one of David's even more geekier friend could not pass the chemistry test first time. Even more difficult to believe that they mess up with the lottery numbers so they do not win the top jackpot prize. If you are going to win lots of money why do you care about passing a high school test or getting some revenge on the local bully?
Also these were clever people, before they time travelled they should had checked up on some do's and don'ts about time travel.
The first part of the movie was frivolous and fun. When the film steps up from its premise it loses its way as the characters become selfish and superficial.
12 Men of Christmas (2009)
EJ (Kristin Chenoweth) is a New York publicist whose life spirals downwards when she catches her fiancé cheating with her boss.
Unable to get another job in New York she moves down to a small town in Montana doing publicity for the Mayor's office. The town is next to the Glacier National Park.
When the local rescue team who are all volunteers need to fundraise, EJ persuades them to pose for a calendar while finding romance with one of the locals.
As this is a Lifetime Christmas film. EJ is a fish out of water in a homely small town where rents are low, everyone is nice to each other unlike the rat race of New York where everyone stabs each other in the back.
The director knows enough to keep the men interested by having several cleavage shots of Chenoweth. Frankly two good reasons to watch a Kristin Chenoweth movie!
For others there are several beefcakes who pose for the calendar and it is done in the best possible taste.
Episodes: Episode Six (2017)
Can you credit it, Sean and Beverly have created a show for Matt and now he wants a co-creator credit. His agent, his agent's partner who no one has seen all want a piece of the pie.
At this stage all Sean and Beverly hav is an idea for a pitch. They have not even a written the script yet and things are getting abrasive between all three of them.
Matt is also pitching a range of waistcoats on a shopping channel that he claims he designed.
Matt explains to Sean how people get hooked if he claims he part created a show or designed a waistcoat.
It really is an episode that explores the darker side of Hollywood when your so called friends are prepared to stab you in the back.
Informer: November Has Come (2018)
November Has Come
Episode 5 really did step up a gear in pacing and action. It is the best episode so far.
We get more details of the Cafe 66 shooting and particularly about one of the dead victims which came as a shock.
Holly goes up north to find out more about Gabriel's activities with the far right. A woman in the pub recorded footage of Gabriel who did not actually end up beating the Asian pizza delivery guy but the fascists thugs in the pub.
The woman a pub singer who also works behind the bar was close to Gabriel or Charlie as she knew him as when he was undercover. She does her own digging and finds out where Gabriel lives and introduces herself to his family.
Raza has to introduce Faisal the undercover cop to a boxing gym, the person running it called Big Shot is a terrorist suspect. However Faisal puts a foot wrong leading to devastating consequences with Raza being locked up.
It is setting up nicely for the finale especially as younger brother Nasir is getting radicalised.
The Narrowing Circle (1956)
The Narrowing Circle is a routine and anodyne crime thriller. A quickly knocked off low budget B film.
Dave Nelson (Paul Carpenter) is a crime reporter hoping for a promotion. He finds out that his colleague Bill Strayte gets the job and later discovers that his girlfriend has been carrying on with Bill behind his back. Dave rather rashly punches Bill and tells him that he will sort him out later before drowning his sorrows and meeting a floozy in a bar.
Dave later finds Bill's dead body in his flat and Inspector Crambo (Trevor Reid) suspects him as no one else could confirm his alibi.
At every turn as Dave tries to clear his name, he finds himself with more dead bodies.
The denouement is rather convoluted, silly and far fetched. Only wily Inspector Crambo makes an impression with some laconic wit.
The Chase (1966)
I came across The Chase in the mid 1980s, late night on BBC1. All the family wondered why had we never heard of this film given its amazing cast. After all it had Marlon Brando and Robert Duvall who did The Godfather. It had Robert Redford and Jane Fonda who had made several films together.
There was also Angie Dickinson, Richard Bradford, James Fox and Clifton James. It really is a star studded cast and director Arthur Penn assembled them before a lot of them hit the stratosphere.
The Chase is a decadent, gothic southern potboiler. A lot of the characters are just venal underneath. Adultery is the nicest thing they do to each other in their little town which is run by wealthy Val Rogers whose birthday party it is. His unhappily married son Jake (Fox) has been carrying on with Anna Reeves (Fonda.) Her husband Bubber Reeves (Redford) has escaped from prison and wants to get to Mexico but instead ends up in his hometown.
As the townsfolk get jittery thinking Bubber might be coming after them for past sins. Sheriff Calder (Marlon Brando) wants to keep order in the town. However some of them think the sheriff is on the payroll of Val Rogers and a mob begins to form ready to shoot down Bubber if they spot him.
This is really Brando's film. He is his own man and is prepared to stand up to Val Rogers who seems to shower Calder's wife with an expensive dress and treats the Sheriff as a favourite. There is a scene where Calder gets one hell of a beating by a trio of would be vigilantes led by Bradford who earlier came close to shooting a black man dead before the sheriff intervened.
The film stews slowly as it paints a picture of a small town that is a cesspit. It all comes to a climax as the chaotic drunken people of the town descend to smoke out Bubber but tragedy ensues.
A Knight in Shining Armor
Thomas F Wilson does not have a great time with chasing after fast cars does he? He plays Chip the hapless waiter who finds KITT is not some piece of junk.
Wilson who found fame in the Back to the Future film as Biff is a better spot than Daphne Ashbrook who is better known as the assistant to the eighth Doctor in Doctor Who: The Movie.
Ashbrook plays brattish Katherine whose adventurer father has been found murdered. Katherine may hold an important clue to long buried treasure that her father might had given her. Someone else is after the clue and Katherine's life is in danger but she does not want Michael Knight near him.
This is a pretty routine episode, KITT jumps through a freight train. Lance LeGault guest stars and by this time he seemed to be on every american action series.
Quantico: Bullet Train (2018)
I have to give it to Quantico, it can be ridiculously entertaining even if it makes no sense with plot holes as large as the Grand Canyon.
They go for a concept and ride with it for all its worth as they do in Bullet Train.
The team have had little time to mourn the death of Celine which is bothering Deep.
They are off to their next mission, protecting a team of scientists working on a top secret defence project in the middle of nowhere.
One of the scientist who has misgivings about his work is killed. Apparently the project is so secret they are allowed to call anyone on a mobile phone! With stormy weather, the rest of the scientists hop on a train to the next stop and then fly to safety.
It is like the movie Narrow Margin. It seems to be a long train ride and the weather is actually rather good. Maybe the computers at HQ were faulty, showing a storm where none existed.
However the team do battle with European assassins for hire, who want to get a smart targeting system which locks onto mobile phones.
It is all a bit mad and a guilty pleasure.
Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
Rich in love
They were rich and asian but they certainly were not crazy and this film is really not a comedy.
Guy (Henry Golding) comes from an extremely wealthy Singaporean family, they are old money. He brings over his Asian-American girlfriend Rachel (Constance Wu) an economics professor to Singapore for his best friends wedding. It is only in Singapore when Rachel realises just how wealthy Guy is.
Guy plans to propose to Rachel and he introduces her to his mother Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh) who dislikes Rachel and does not think she is good enough for her son.
Despite some quirkiness, this is really a well worn drama of a woman not quite good enough for a wealthy family, Rachel is viewed as a golddigger.
The film is too long and it just sags in the middle. Having travelled to the far east many times, it was nice to see some familiar locations. The film was shot in various parts of Singapore and Malaysia.
Baby Face (1933)
Let's make lots of money
There was censorship in US cinema. The Hays code which was enforced from 1934 just added another layer and stifled American cinema.
This is starkly displayed in Baby Face which was a pre code film and it is more frank in its use of sex as a means of getting what you want.
Lily Powers (Barbara Stanwyck) has been pimped out by her father since she was 14 year of age. Her father runs an illegal drinking den in Pittsburgh. Most of the patrons want to get an eyeful and feel of Lily.
When her father is killed, an elderly friend tells Lily to take a leaf out of the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche and go for greater things even if she has to use men. Lily and her afro american friend Chico (Theresa Haris) hop on a freight train for New York.
When they arrive in the big metropolis, Lily uses her feminine charms to get a job in a bank and go up the corporate ladder by sleeping her way to the top. This leads to tragedy when one of her suitors commits a murder and then kills himself.
The film with its frankness feels like a breath of fresh air. It actually looks modern. Stanwyck is alluring, there is a small early role for John Wayne, one of Lily's amorous victims. The film is unusual with Lily being close to a black character. Watching the restored version was like viewing a lost classic.
Moby Dick: Part 2 (2011)
Moby Dick Part 2
Captain Ahab is gripped with madness. He is after the great white rather than just go whaling.
Ahab pays no heed to the concerns of his crew and morale is low.
Finally there is a showdown between Ahab and Moby Dick.
An appalling mini series. Hammy acting from Hurt, to think he was once nominated for best actor Oscars three years running. The rest of the actors were too bland and really only the CGI whale made a lasting impression as he headed towards the ship.
A poor script and poor direction did not help matters,
Outlaw King (2018)
To play the king
This is a muddy, grungy and semi fictionalised follow up from the William Wallace story who is now dead in this film as the focus moves on to Robert the Bruce.
Robert Bruce (Chris Pine) pledges loyalty to King Edward I (Stephen Dillane) and the king provides him with his new bride Elizabeth (Florence Pugh.)
However the peace is short lived as Robert leads a rebellion and the king sends his son Edward (Billy Howle) to brutally repress it.
It is a muddled and soggy film. It starts off with a good opening shot that ends with a firebolt thrown at a castle. It shows that for a Netflix feature a lot of money has been spent on it. The final blood soaked battle shots are again well staged demonstrating that this is a lavish production.
Chris Pine is a bit restrained and even sensitive as the Scots warrior. The Highlands look wonderful but the movie is a bit of a slog.
Athens City Academy of the Performing Bards
Gabrielle fakes her way to audition for the Athens City Academy of the Performing Bards at their annual storytelling competition. This means leaving Xena and being admitted to the Academy if she is one of the top contestants.
Gabrielle really can spin a good yarn which impresses the other contestants.
There is little of Xena in this episode especially as it is a clip show. So we get footage from previous episodes of Xena and even from Hercules.
It really is light fluff and not a very good one. You really are stretching it when Kirk Douglas and Laurence Olivier turn up from clips of Spartacus.
The Music Box (1932)
A Steinway to heaven
This Oscar winning short is a classic from Laurel & Hardy.
They become deliverymen and have to deliver a large crate containing a piano. Unfortunately they have to take it to a house on top of a large flight of steps.
With Laurel & Hardy this is not an easy task. They have to deal with rude woman with a baby who could not push a pram around them. A professor with plenty of letters after his name who certainly objects to go around them. A cop who makes them come down the steps and gives Oliver a poke.
The crate with the piano has a mind of its own which is to go down the steps. You should look at Oliver's face when he sees the postman who tells them both that there was no need for them to go up the stairs in the first place.
It is silly and hilarious. Top notch stuff from Laurel & Hardy.
Steele Sweet on You
A pretty ridiculous episode which gets more nonsensical as it goes on. At least we get to meet more of Laura's family.
Donald Piper is Laura's brother in law and a dentist. He has been acting suspiciously. His wife Frances thinks he is having an affair, she is also fighting a chocolate addiction.
It is Donald's business partner who is having an affair and Donald has been helping him cover it up. In a dental conference, the business partner is found dead. Donald's life is in danger, it seems a man has faked his death and wants to have his dental records erased. The killer is now after Donald and even though we see him shoot a cop, run into people in a busy public area, he is still determined to prove he is dead!
This is a knockabout episode but an absurd one.
Moby Dick: Part 1 (2011)
Moby Dick Part 1
This first episode was dull, flat and boring.
Captain Ahab is shown as a stable family man at the beginning of this two parter. However once the ship Pequod is at sea, William Hurt hams it up as Captain Ahab. Mad as a box of frogs. Ethan Hawke does not even bother to keep up. In fact I was wondering what he was doing in this television series.
The Pequod is such as small ship I actually wondered if it could hold an ordinary sized dead whale nevermind the Great Whale Moby Dick that Ahab has been hunting since he lost his leg.
The CGI was rubbish, the production bordered on amateurish. At least the CGI Moby Dick at the end was made to look like a beast.
They Shall Not Grow Old (2018)
The voices of war
For the centenary of the ending of The Great War. I expected a solemn documentary from Peter Jackson who is paying tribute to his own grandfather who fought in the war.
The film starts with black and white historical footage from the imperial war Museum. This is accompanied with actual interviews of soldiers who fought which was made for a BBC documentary in 1964. The initial footage is of men who were too young to join up, it is a little bit jingoistic as these lads had no idea what awaited them.
Suddenly some minutes into the film, the screen expands and the footage turns to colour. I actually paused and scratched my head. The picture looked so good I thought Jackson shot new footage to accompany the interviews.
What Jackson had done was to utilise digital technology to improve the frame rate and colourise the black and white footage. When the soldiers talks about the horror of wars you see the flies, rice , rats, limbs and the blood.
This is not a light documentary and it sure gave me a good idea of what life in the trenches was like. The men talk about their toilet habits, how they just slept on the floor and made sure they did not get wet. More importantly trying to stay alive and keep their sanity as the bombs exploded and bullets were fired in their direction by the Germans.
You hear an interview where a dead soldier just laid there in a stoop in the trenches, slowly turning black until someone got round to bury him.
In some ways you had to have a strong stomach to watch this. Peter Jackson must be commended to bringing the war back to life in all its horrors.
Jail Bait (1937)
Buster goes to jail
This is a rather silly Buster Keaton short and he talks!
Buster plays a rather old office boy for a newspaper. A reporter in order to share the ransom with Buster, asks Buster to confess to a crime of murder and get himself jailed.
The reporter who has a good idea of who the actual murderer is will go and find the culprit. While Buster is in jail, he finds out that the reporter died in a plane crash. Now Buster needs to escape from jail before he gets hanged.
The story is nonsense and unfortunately Buster is portrayed as a simpleton. There is still enough slapstick for Buster to show his comedy skills.
The Remains of the Day (1993)
To be of service
Kazuo Ishiguro Booker Prize winning novel gets the Merchant Ivory treatment. It is a sumptuous and subtle character piece of a butler Mr Stevens (Anthony Hopkins) who devoted his life to duty and service. Mr Stevens ended up never having a life of his own and he did not recognise the warm feelings for him from the head housekeeper Sally Kenton (Emma Thompson.)
The movie starts in the late 1950s when a former American politician Trent Lewis (Christopher Reeve) becomes the new owner of Darlington Hall, a place he visited in the 1930s for a conference and instantly fell in love with.
Lord Darlington (James Fox) the former owner is portrayed as a well meaning but naive man who got taken in by Nazi sympathizers. His life ended up in disgrace when he lost a libel action.
Mr Stevens drives to the west country to meet Miss Kenton and hopefully persuade her to return to service. During the journey he recalls the time when Miss Kenton started at Darlington Hall and the events that took place there in the 1930s. Mr Stevens hopes to put right the mistake he made many years earlier, letting Miss Kenton go.
This is not a slow movie but it is a thoughtful one. It looks at the upstairs downstairs life of a grand house in the 1930s, the run up to world war 2 and the Nazi sympathies of some of the British upper classes.
Mr Stevens was a man who had no views or he kept them tightly to himself. There is a scene where a toff asks Mr Stevens three difficult questions which he could not answer. Mr Stevens should had given the slimy toff a brush and told him to sweep the chimney and we could had seen how well he could manage to do that.
I am not a fan of some of the Merchant & Ivory stuff. This is a well acted film. It was hard to believe that Anthony Hopkins won an Oscar two years earlier for playing a cannibal serial killer. He is matched by Emma Thompson. James Fox and Christopher Reeves.
Columbo: Now You See Him (1976)
Now You See Him
Jack Cassidy dazzles as The Great Santini, a magician with a hatful of tricks but not enough to pull the wool over Columbo's eyes.
The Great Santini has had enough with sharing half his earnings with club owner Jesse Jerome (Nehemiah Persoff.) Jerome found out that Santini was a Nazi and a member of the SS and has been blackmailing him.
Santini conjures up an elaborate plan to have Jerome killed while he is supposedly performing a death defying escape act.
Columbo hooks up again with Sergeant Wilson who is always finding the new raincoat that Columbo wants to lose. Thayer David who was memorable in Rocky turns up as a magic shop clerk who gives Columbo an important clue.
This is Cassidy's episode, he died a few months after this was broadcast. He leaves a performance that shows just what a talent he was. There is some really nifty tricks on show here and Cassidy pulls it off with great aplomb.
People Just Do Nothing: Bosses (2017)
Kurupt FM continues its rivalry with Kold FM as Steves kidnaps their dog and holds it hostage.
Grindah gets engaged with Miche again as he thinks he is going to get battered by the boys from Kold FM. Miche accepts even though she was previously frustrated that Grindah had never set a date to get married.
They have a showdown at a cafe over an espresso. Well things go peacefully as Kold FM are surprised with the television cameras following Kurupt FM and decide to go for a negotiated truce and the return of the ir dog. They just seem to be as hopeless as Grindah and co. Beats turned up for the meeting with a stab proof vest.
Chabuddy who is in dire straits financially gets a job with a local electrical retailer. However he is put out that his salesmanship genius has not been recognised as he works in the back room with the stock.
This was a better episode in what has been an uneven series so far. Chabuddy's incompetence in trying to be a salesman was fun.
You Rang, M'Lord?: Money Talks (1990)
Alf still has designs on Lady Lavender's money. When she hears the organ grinder she chucks it out of the window which leads to chaos as all and sundry rush round to pick up the money.
The rest of the household fight to get the money back.
Alf has taken some of the notes and hidden in in some vases but then cannot find the right vase. He needs to get the money out of the vase before Lord George gives them to the bishop to raise money.
It is a bit of a farce this one, the mayhem caused by everyone picking up the money was fun. However as I thought during its initial broadcast, the second series was just not as strong as the first series and the whole thing just run out of steam.
Doctor Who: Demons of the Punjab (2018)
Demons of the Punjab
This episode went all PC as it focuses on Yaz who is a police constable. She wants to know more about her grandmother's life and ends up in India around the time of partition.
Partition was something instigated by that nice chap Mountbatten who in the 1970s had designs to be some kind of Lord Protector of Great Britain by mixing with right wing lunatics who were planning to overthrow a democratically elected Labour government.
I have already seen a review of this episode where one person is fed up of history lessons and another person calls this episode SJW Who.
Well Doctor Who is a show that has been about time travel since William Hartnell's days. It has gone back to the past such as the end of the first ever episode. As for being SJW, the Doctor leaves one character to die so Yaz's history can be preserved.
This episode had gorgeously designed aliens but the demons were the humans who would go on a rampage as the Indian nation is divided into three parts by the British before they flee.
Writer Vinay Patel uses the symbolism of a marriage between a Hindu and a Muslim to chart this personal story of Yaz's grandmother. It is a long way from the historicals of Nu Who we previously had where a famous person such as Dickens or Shakespeare goes on a romp with the Doctor.
This is grimy, dirty and edgy just as it was with Rosa. A little bit near the knuckle. My wife who is not a Doctor Who fan watched it again almost immediately.