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Out of Blue (2018)
3/10
The black holes of your mind
16 September 2019
Adapted from a not very good novel, Night Train by Martin Amis.

This existential noir mystery would had been better in the capable hands of someone like David Lynch.

Patricia Clarkson plays hard boiled detective Mike Hoolihan. A man's name for a detective operating in a man's world of New Orleans.

Mike is investigating the death of Jennifer Rockwell (Mamie Gummer) an astrophysicist shot in the head in the observatory she worked at.

Rockwell was the daughter of a decorated Vietnam war veteran and businessman, Tom Rockwell (James Caan.)

The suspects range from her colleagues, boyfriend, her father to a one time notorious serial killer. It could also just be suicide.

With all the mumbo jumbo of time and space, we see that Mike is losing her sense of self. The death of Jennifer has had a pronounced effect on her.

The film loses all coherent sense as it goes along and it just gets more uninteresting. A shame as somewhere there was a good film trying to break out if only it had a better livelier script.
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Shattered (2007)
4/10
Shattered
15 September 2019
Neil Randall (Gerard Butler) is an advertising executive climbing the corporate ladder. One day while Neil and his wife Abby (Maria Bello) are heading to spend time with his boss over a possible promotion leaving their daughter with a babysitter. A gunman (Pierce Brosnan) pops up from the backseat of the car telling the couple that their daughter has been kidnapped.

First the man wants the Randall's to empty their bank account only to set the money on fire and throw it away in the river. The man knows a lot about Neil, his business practices and seems to be testing him as to how far he would go to save his child.

The man is a sociopath who cares little about money. He is playing games with Neil, taunting him to reveal more of his character. The couple argue as try to do the tasks required of them knowing their daughter is in danger.

It looks like Neil is no random victim but Butterfly on a Wheel needed to make the situation regarding the Randall's perverse and bizarre. I just found some of it hard to believe and trite. The film has a double twist which explains why the couple are in such a predicament but it is a flawed thriller.
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The Host (2013)
2/10
Bodysnatchers in love
15 September 2019
You would think The Host would had been a Bodysnatchers film. Instead it is a Young Adult alien invasion romance. It is a slog to watch as it is too long and sloppy.

Earth has been taken over by a parasitic alien race who have entered the bodies of human beings and taken over their personalities. These people have shiny eyes and they have managed to eradicate violence, war and healed the environment.

Only a few real humans survive as rebel groups. One of them Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan) is captured by a 'Seeker' (Diane Kruger) and becomes the host for an alien called Wanderer (Wanda.) However Melanie and Wanda bicker over the control of the host body. When the Seeker wants to move Wanda to another host, they escape to a rebel area where Melanie gravistates towards her boyfriend as Wanda fancies another boy.

Saoirse Ronan goes through the film talking to herself. A concept that becomes irritating. The rest of the characters are flat and have little to so. Even William Hurt is wasted as Uncle Jeb. The film has little plot, no tension. It angles to be a syruppy romance but becomes a drab film instead.
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6/10
The Bye-Bye Sky High I.Q. Murder Case
15 September 2019
A rather different performance from Sorrell Booke who would go on to play the loud, obnoxious Boss Hogg in The Dukes of Hazzard.

Booke plays the meek, put upon Bertie Hastings, an accountant with a high IQ. He knows his business partner Oliver Brandt (Theodore Bikel) is embezzling funds from clients to maintain a lifestyle to impress his wife. Brandt also has a high IQ.

Both belong to a society for geniuses. Brandt realises he needs to get rid of Hastings as he knows too much and expose him.

At the regular meeting of the genius society. Brandt shoots Hastings and then sets it up that an intruder shot him while Brandt was downstairs with other people.

Columbo quickly dismisses the intruder theory. The crime scene does not look right to him. Brandt looks very nervy and shifty from the get go. He had a soot marks on his face, he had an umbrella but it was not raining, there were marks on the stylus of the record player.

The set up of the murder was elaborate. There is a game of intellectual puzzles between Brandt and Columbo. This is a case where the intellectual suspect starts to fall apart rather than be aloof and arrogant. I am not sure the way the murderer gave himself away worked for me.
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Hart to Hart: Hit Jennifer Hart (1979)
Season 1, Episode 1
5/10
Hit Jennifer Hart
14 September 2019
Jonathan Hart what a guy! He goes undercover in his own shipping line as some workers are made to work all hours and other corporations are up to no good using his ships.

It leads to one bad guy wanting to send Jonathan Hart a message, kill Jeniffer off in an accident.

To do this Jennifer Hart meets a long lost cousin, who is a promising writer but down on his luck. The cousin is actually a hitman and he is going to set the gas oven to explode.

Jonathan has suspicions about him based on some question he asked him about San Francisco. The hitman has a conscious because he found Jennifer to be nice.

It is all rather preposterous. If Jonathan suspected his shipping company is being used for illicit purposes then he should had called the cops. How did the people who sent the human knew of Jennifer's uncle that Jonathan has never me? Or a cousin that Jennifer would not recognise?

Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers made this updated The Thin Man to be a lot of fun but the stories themselves verge on hare brained going by this first proper regular episode.
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Porters: Ham & Cheese (2019)
Season 2, Episode 4
6/10
Ham & Cheese
14 September 2019
Frankie has started an underground female fight club. Lucy wants in and goes for the champ, Dr Bartholomew who keeps talking down on her.

The female staff of the hospital are covered in bruises.

Not the best time as Ham & Cheese, talentless internet influencers have arrived. One of them needs life saving heart valve surgery which is going to be done by a state of the art robot.

That is until Simon spills coffee all over it and then throws rice all over it to soak in the moisture.

The fight club cliche is old hat although it is well done. The shallowness of new age online celebrities had more merit as the duo are inspired by Jedward. Enjoyably daft and Rutger Hauer makes an appearance in a fantasy sequence as a judge.
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6/10
The Eternal Quadrangle
13 September 2019
Victor seems to be embarrassed when drawing a nude model in his art classes. His painting attracts criticism from the art teacher and Victor ends up cutting his hand while sharpening his pencil. When he gives the model a lift home, Margaret seems upset that he drew a nude model, then gave her a lift and also took an opportunity of a part time job from her as a cleaner.

Margaret in order to make Victor jealous seeming leads on Mr Wharton, a neighbour who has taken a shine to Margaret. Mr Wharton ends up naked in the bed.

All this on top of a carpet fitter who keeps falling asleep on the job. Victor's cleaning job leads to a war of the vacuum cleaners with the nude model's aged father. Then there's the matter of waiting for the telephone line fixed.

There was just a hint that Margaret and Victor might have a romantic kiss but a rant is never far away.

I did think Margaret was rather conniving with Mr Wharton in order to get her own back with Victor. David Renwick likes to pile on the misery on Victor, he even had him pose in an inverted crucifix position. It was hell on his back.
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The Professionals: Blood Sports (1980)
Season 4, Episode 8
5/10
Blood Sports
13 September 2019
Apparently Lewis Collins auditioned to play James Bond and was turned down. He should have got advice from the young man in the buggy booth in this episode, Pierce Brosnan. He knew how to impress Cubby Broccoli.

While Bodie is playing cricket and about to score a century. The son of a South American dictator is assassinated as he takes part in a polo match.

The dead man's step sister is studying in London and soon becomes a suspect to the killing. She seems to be indifferent to his death and her father was seen to be a pest by her stepfather.

Bodie and Doyle also follow some leads as to who might had helped the hitman. It leads them to some dodgy garage owners and car mechanics.

A decent enough episode but not enough tension. I think the viewing audience would suspect the stepsister and Doyle is tasked to bug her flat. At least the episode offers alternative suspects.

To me it remains memorable for Pierce Brosnan's appearance.
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4/10
The Trial of a Time Lord: Part Twelve
12 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
The bridge of the Hyperion III is taken over by Bruchner who is heading for the nearby black hole. The Vervoids have released a poisonous gas on the bridge that kills Bruchner but the ship is still going towards the black hole.

Head of Security Rudge sends the two Mogarians to regain control of the ship, they can breath in the gas. However there was a treacherous plan by Rudge to take over the ship in league with the Mogarians who are after some precious minerals taken from their homeworld.

The Vervoids themselves knowing that they have been bred to be slave labour are killing humans on the ship and piling them high like they were bound for the compost heap.

Somewhere among all these killings, mayhem, hostage taking, dangerous experiments, unethical conduct, is a murder mystery of an undercover investigator.

The Doctor is still playing detective and flushes out Doland, one of the assistant's to Professor Lasky. He planned to sell the Vervoids as a slave race to the highest bidder.

To be honest there was so much going on, It had slipped my mind about the murder mystery. I cared little for who the murderer might be, especially as the Vervoids are rampaging and slaughtering humans. Although the Pip & Jane Baker tried their utmost to make Lasky the likeliest suspect.

Then there is the matter in dealing with the Vervoids. The Doctor decided Vervoids and animal life are not compatible. This is something that gives the Valeyard to add an extra charge of genocide. Confusing when this adventure is from the Doctor's future and has not happened yet.

I never took to this story. It always looked a bit cheap simply because it was so studio bound. Even the special effects looked a bit naff. It had a very 1980s feel to it will all those scenes set in the gym and of people exercising. The murder mystery element never grabbed me. The Bakers just lashed so much on to it and it had lines such as the spaceship being hijack proof when just about everyone had a malevolent intention.
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Last of the Summer Wine: Happy Camping (2010)
Season 31, Episode 2
5/10
The healthy outdoor life
12 September 2019
The episode starts with Clegg and Truly in the outdoor countryside. An increasing rare thing in the last years of the show. The actors could not get insured for outdoors filming and it is obvious the scenes are green screened. It also looks like Peter Sallis might be reading from cue cards. Itself not an easy thing for him to do as he was also losing his vision.

Howard thinks Marina is looking elsewhere and he also feels underappreciated at home. Howard wants to leave home and head for Albania. At the very least spend a night camping.

Hobo persuades Howard to make it look that he and Marina are departing as friends and make sure Pearl sees it. She will then know it is all over between those two. Saying goodbye with a friendly handshake is easier said than done.

Of course Hobo has problems of his own with the amorous attentions of Miss Davenport.

The best part of the episode is Toby is disappointed in Morton over the attention he has been paying to his wife in the previous episode. Toby goes round to the library and requests the most boring book for Morton to read.

A theme is developing that would take it to the final episode. A wedding is going to take place and Glenda wants to lose weight. She and Barry start jogging and go for healthy eating much to Barry's disgust.
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Shelley: Fully Furnished (1980)
Season 2, Episode 8
7/10
Fully Furnished
12 September 2019
While complaining about his cheese roll in the pub, someone steals it. The thief turns out so be Paul 'Bunter' England (Warren Clarke) an old school friend of Shelley's who has been looking for him.

Bunter wants a bed for the night and Shelley is looking for a best man for his wedding. Ned has hopped it to Australia.

Shelley spends most of the episode bantering with the assistant in the second hand junk shop. None of the books Shelley is interested in has prices on them, the owner has nipped out and the assistant thinks Shelley might be a trader wanting to buy valuable books on the cheap. Shelley points out they were in a box stacked in the outside. They are unlikely to be valuable.

When Fran goes out to look for furniture in the junk shop, to Shelley's surprise she ends up buying almost the whole contents of the shop.

It is a reunion of a sorts. Both Hywel Bennett and Warren Clarke were in the landmark television series; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

They really got the junk shop look right. There used to several like those in my town, the bored assistant who was a bit clueless.
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6/10
Whither Canada?
11 September 2019
The first episode is not the best of Monty Python and frankly not a lot of it was hilarious. However it does indicate that we will get something completely different and it will all get very silly.

There is a pig motif in the episode as we have pompous arts shows that feature Picasso riding a bike while painting an abstract. An Italian for beginners lesson in a class full of Italians.

The standout was the world's funniest joke that won the war against the Germans.

Then there was Terry Gilliam's weird animation which I found a bit dull all those years ago but now comes across a lot better. Unfortunately one quip by John Cleese to Arthur 'Two Sheds' Jackson has not stood the test of time.

There was better sketches to come in future shows that would become Monty Python classics. It was all a bit bizarre and nothing to do with a circus.
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Neighbors (1920)
7/10
Neighbors
11 September 2019
This Buster Keaton short has some outstanding and breathtaking stunts. You have to see it to believe it.

Buster is in love with his neighbour. They send notes through a hole in the fence. Their respective fathers disapprove of the romance.

Buster is determined to marry his girl even though he goes through a series of mishaps involving both families and the police.

The plot itself is frothy and silly. Buster constantly gets detained by a policeman and then escapes. At one point he is blacked up when escorted by a policeman and then runs away for the policeman to arrest a black man who walks past.

Given that this short was made in 1920. This is still the early days of cinema. Some of the physical acrobatic stuff Buster does is impressive, including three men standing on top of each other which happens at the end. A few times I had to rewind it and watch it again.
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Gone: Pilot (I) (2017)
Season 1, Episode 1
6/10
Pilot
11 September 2019
There was plenty of plot in the pilot of Gone and several twists. In fact it was a thoughtful opener which tried hard to defy expectations.

Kit 'Kick' Lannigan (Leven Rambin) is a survivor of a childhood abduction. After almost 6 years she was rescued by FBI agent Frank Booth (Chris Noth.)

Now 15 years later, Kick is a skilled martial arts expert and she is recruited by Booth who is setting up an elite task force to trace missing persons. Kick can use her first hand knowledge of growing up in a 'wolf's den.'

The first case is a young girl who has gone missing. Kick senses something is wrong regarding the missing girl's upbringing. Her family always seemed to be moving around which raises questions.

Kick is aided by an IT whizz James (Andy Mientus) another abduction survivor, who can seemingly hack into anything. The opening episode was fast paced and some hints that the adult Kick has never got over her trauma. This can be glimpsed in the scenes with her mother, who has become a media star after being reunited with Kick.

A show like this could easily become exploitative, at worse cheesy. I am not sure it can work as a story of the week series with the taskforce trying to trace a missing person in each episode. In the pilot the audience has been told that after 36 hours the chances of finding an abducted child alive drastically goes down.
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Waco: The Strangers Across the Street (2018)
Season 1, Episode 2
5/10
The Strangers Across the Street
11 September 2019
ATF Agent Robert Rodriguez (John Leguizamo) is one of the agents placed at a nearby house to keep watch of David Koresh.

Rodriguez pretends to be a rancher when Koresh comes knocking and he invites Rodriguez to visit his church. Koresh knows he is a government agent of some kind and it is an opportunity for Rodriguez to snoop around the compound.

The more Rodriguez talks to Koresh, the more conflicted he becomes. Rodriguez sees the group as less of a threat.

However this series is showing in both Koresh and Special Agent Gary Noesner, how belief in institutions can easily be rocked.

Noesner is seeing the FBI becoming a militarized force. Negotiations are seen a way to lure people out in the open so they can be shot dead. Complaining about erratic colleagues is taboo.

Koresh needs to cover up his wrongdoing. He had a sex with a minor and fathered a child with her. Koresh has arranged for Michelle to be married off to newcomer Thibodeau in a sham wedding.

However Michelle tells one of Koresh's other wives she never had a choice as to who she slept with and whom she married. As a minor she was paired off to Koresh and no one raised an objection that she legally could not make an informed choice.

This episode wants to present a human face of David Koresh. He wants to turn Agent Rodriguez, he chides a child in a humorous way for eating ice cream on the sly. He even brushes aside child sex abuse with the inner circle of the Branch Davidians figuring a way out for him.

Even though he has a smaller role, I still think Michael Shannon is the stand out in the second episode. Leguizamo showed more nuance as someone who was out to get Koresh at all costs but is now unsure. However I find that Waco lacks grittiness. There is something unrealistic about this episode, at times I thought I was watching a Lifetime movie.
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The Capture: Toy Soldier (2019)
Season 1, Episode 2
6/10
Toy Soldier
10 September 2019
It starts off as a police procedural. DI Rachel Carey has problems adhering to the rules of interrogation. She denies Emery a phone call, questions him in a police cell and not the interrogation room. She only has 24 hours to hold him and then Emery has to be charged or be released.

It does look like that Emery has psychological issues as he gets easily provoked.

The problem for Carey is the CCTV evidence is withdrawn due to pressure by security services. Emery has already been in custody for 19 hours hence the urgency. That is until Carey realises Emery could be released on police bail, pending further enquiries and so the clock is stopped. Therefore no urgency at all!

The appearance of a mysterious woman from the security service cranks this up by a gear. Emery wants answers and goes looking for Hannah Roberts by breaking into her flat. There is another intruder already there.

Carey knows there is something more going on in all this. She tracks Emery's movements through a police surveillance room and discovers you cannot believe everything you see.

Ron Perlman is credited in this episode and I had a fair idea when he would turn up. This episode really had a change of pace and a few surprises. I really did not expect it to happen so soon.
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Not Going Out: Aussie (2006)
Season 1, Episode 3
6/10
Aussie
10 September 2019
Lee has to pretend to be Tim. All so Kate can make out she is still with Tim and has a great love life when her successful Australian friend Ruth arrives to stay with them for a few days.

Lee now has to demonstrate that he is a successful accountant. His current job is being dressed as a big bird handing out leaflets and getting upset by cheeky kids.

When Lee tells Tim about the plan, he is not best pleased with the ruse, especially over the sleeping arrangements with him and Kate.

Tim later gatecrashes the apartment pretending to be Lee, a northerner and starts to charm Ruth.

Another episode where Lee comes out with his snappy one liners. He also gets into trouble when he is wearing a silly bird or rabbit costume. Tim Vine looks to be doing a Bernard Impression when doing his northern accent.
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Spooks: Episode #3.6 (2004)
Season 3, Episode 6
5/10
Episode 3.6
10 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Spooks has to make another seismic shift. With Keeley Hawes heading for new pastures, Zoe has to be written out of the show. However I could not help feeling this was clumsily done.

Zoe is on trial for involuntary manslaughter of an undercover police officer who had infiltrated a Turkish mafia group in Britain. The officer's widow has made a lot of noise regarding justice for her late husband through the media.

Zoe is also tasked to get inside as this particular Turkish mafia group. It is gaining power and bringing in something more than just drugs. Zoe becomes the girlfriend of Sevilin Ozal, a vile drug addicted gangster but she needs to get close to his boss Emre Celenk. When she does, Zoe finds out that Celenk is an abhorrent man with Al Qaeda connections.

Although Zoe was just there to gather information, it looks like she goaded Ozal to kill Celenk and the other deaths were collateral damage as Ozal had lost it.

Harry realises that the this is a showpiece trial but he has received assurances from the Attorney General that Zoe will get a slapped wrist. This turns out to be far from it.

Well you really have to suspend disbelief that a MI5 officer will stand trial for operational activities. Especially relating to the killing of a possible Al Qaeda fundraiser. At least Zoe and Danny have some emotional moments in the end.

No wonder after the departure of Tom and Zoe, Spooks thought it would be better to kill off the regulars once they decided to leave the series.
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7/10
They bring you up to do like your daddy done
10 September 2019
Based on the semi autobiographical by journalist Sarfraz Manzoor. Blinded by the Light is about Javed (Viveik Kalra) a teenager who has started college in 1987 in the town of Luton which is facing industrial decline and the rise in racism.

Javed grew up in a traditional Pakistani family, his dad works in a car factory and is soon to be made redundant. His dad would like Javed to have a professional job where he can earn good money, Javed wants to write instead but he thinks no one would be interested. When a college friend introduces him to the music of Bruce Springsteen, Javed finds the Boss's music talks to him directly and it enables Javed to find his own voice.

My parents used to talk about living in Luton. They must have hated it as they only stayed there for a few months and soon returned up north. Life in Luton during Mrs Thatcher's 1980s was not too different from many other towns. No jobs, no money and fascists wanting to blame immigrants. It is notable that this film is set in 1987 but the yuppies have yet to get to places like Luton. They only seemed to have existed in London at that time.

Blinded by the Light is a feel good movie with undercurrents of the political and economics circumstances of the 1980s. It is a fertile ground to incorporate Bruce Springsteen songs, particularly from albums such as The River and Darkness in the Edge of Town. These albums had songs which resonated with blue collar workers in the USA that were facing job insecurity and young people heading towards a life of uncertainty.

The film also shows that Springsteen's songs cuts across class, nationality, race and religion. It is this which elevates the movie. Javed, a young lad of Pakistani origin and his friend Roops, a sikh are inspired by the Boss's music and find meaning in their lives.

What lets the movie down is the well worn cliche of the Asian son and father having differences when it comes to growing up.

The film contains twelve Springsteen songs including an unreleased song that he originally wrote for the first Harry Potter film but was unused. Given that the Boss can be notorious in allowing clearance for his music to be used in movies, in effect this film had his blessing and I was surprised he did not end up with a Producer credit.
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Shelley: Hearth and Home (1980)
Season 2, Episode 7
6/10
Hearth and Home
9 September 2019
An educational episode. I certainly learned a lot about the human body and so did Mrs Hawkins.

Fran is to busy reading a book by George Orwell and Shelley wants to talk to her.

Eventually Shelley picks up a book on the human body to pass the time away and amazed by what he reads.

Only to be joined by Mrs Hawkins who is astonished by the facts that Shelley tells her. In fact she ends up reading the book herself.

An unusual episode, a three hander in the same room and the laughs keep on coming.
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Keeping Faith: Episode #2.4 (2019)
Season 2, Episode 4
5/10
Episode 2.4
9 September 2019
DI Breeze tells Evan that Faith could had been a red hot lawyer in London.

Well at least she managed to get Madlen Vaughan's sentence reduced to 15 years. Just imagine Madlen could had got off if she had an actual criminal barrister.

Evan and DI Breeze are conspiring to reel in Gael Reardon, probably why he has been released early. Breeze knows Faith is entwined with Gael and Faith knows she is in deep when someone who recently contacted Faith turns up dead.

Gael might also been behind a hit and run accident on Steve Baldini's daughter. It gives Baldini another opportunity to damage his hands.

As Evan returns home he realises that life is not going to be easy.

Keeping Faith can be intense, funny and emotional. So far I still think the second series lacks a dramatic arc and we are more than halfway through the series.
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6/10
Always use a VPN
9 September 2019
A twisted modern interpretation of Arthur Miller's The Crucible with The Purge thrown in.

The town of Salem, Massachusetts is in uproar as a data hacker has exposed the private life of the Mayor as a gay crossdresser. Then the high school principal who refuses to resign from his job when he is wrongly labelled as a peadophile. The citizens are angry but then there is a mass data leak regarding many inhabitants of the town whose dirty secrets are exposed. They then form a vigilante group to find the anonymous hacker.

Lily Colson (Odessa Young) is a high school student who is slut shamed when incriminating pictures and texts are released. It turns out she has been sexting the father whose family she has been babysitting for.

An angry mob gather for revenge when Lily is blamed to be the hacker, even though she has been publicly humiliated as well. Her other friends Sarah (Suki Waterhouse) Bex (Hari Nef) and Em (Abra) become victims of the witch hunt. As mob violence erupts, the young women arm themselves and fight back.

The film wants to expose the hypocrisies of the rule makers that then go on to break the rules they set. The Mayor who was anti gay & lesbian for example. It was obviously aimed at the evangelist churches in America who take into their arms a serial liar, groper and womaniser as president of the USA as long as he keeps appointing Judges that will overturn Roe v Wade.

The film is sloppy to get going with oversexualised high school teenagers heavily into social media. The latter part of the film becomes an effective exploitation revenge thriller.

I could not help thinking that their was misogyny in the heart of the film. Why were the baying crowd all men who craved violence on women?
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4D Man (1959)
4/10
The Evil Force
9 September 2019
4D Man is really Jekyll & Hyde meets the Invisible Man with an awful bombastic jazz musical score.

Dr Scott Nelson (Robert Lansing) is a dour scientist working to develop an impregnable metal called cargonite. He has developed some side effects from his experiments and his boss does not appreciate the work he has done.

Tony Nelson (James Congdon) his younger brother also a scientist has lost another job trying to conduct experiments with an electronic amplifier that allows one solid object go through another.

When Tony goes to see his brother, Scott's girlfriend Linda (Lee Meriwether) ends up falling for the more playful and energetic brother. The trouble is, Scott's last girlfriend ended up running off with Tony as well.

Knowing that Linda and Tony are having an affair, in a fit of anger, Scott uses the amplifier and finds that he can pass his hands through solid metal. However the more he uses this power, he finds that he prematurely ages. Only by sucking the life force form another person can Scott get back his youth.

Tony know finds himself trying to stop his older brother as the bodies pile up.

4D Man would had been an enjoyable hokum if the musical score was not so darn irritating. This is a B movie that takes time to build up, yet it does not take long for Linda to fall in love with Tony. Merriweather is sultry but Congdon is a poor actor, their romance is hackneyed.

Lansing does better as the hard working scientist who does not get the recognition he deserves or the love from Linda he desires. This twists his mind as he goes increasingly deranged.

The special effects range from poor to passable, this is a mildly entertaining guff.
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Hold the Sunset: The Lemming Family (2019)
Season 2, Episode 4
3/10
The Lemming Family
8 September 2019
The Head of Social Services, Mrs Pool catches Roger doing his atrocious busking act. She remembers him applying to be a carer for his mother. The assigned caseworker thought the family being really weird and left her job.

Mrs Pool finds his file and makes further enquiries. This time Edith does talk to social services while Phil decides to inexplicably put his head in a paper bag. To his surprise Roger is accepted as a carer for his Aunty Joan.

There is a shock in store for Edith and Phil. Wendy's published children's book is a big hit but it is a thinly disguised story about them all as the Lemming family.

Another mirth free episode. The only bit I liked was Phil and Mr Dugdale having a tender chat about the souls of animals. I like to think that somehow Phil and Edith are getting closer to walk away to the sunset.
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Quincy M.E.: A Star Is Dead (1976)
Season 1, Episode 3
7/10
A Star Is Dead
8 September 2019
This would be the first episode where Quincy gets on his soapbox and takes aim at US tabloids that are more interested in chasing celebrities for kiss and tell stories.

It is also a nice mystery that sees Quincy turn investigator.

A famous actress Roberta Rhodes (Donna Mills) is found dead at her home, her mother was drunk at the time but she did call the police. The death looks like a drug overdose, but Roberta's mother later accuses Congressman Charles Sinclair (Robert Foxworth) of killing her daughter. The editor of a tabloid scandal sheet Paul Reardon (William Daniels) had already tipped Quincy about the congressman who is also a friend of Quincy.

The congressman admits to Quincy he was in a relationship with Roberta. He does not aid his case by lying to him that he did not see her on the night she died.

At the inquest Quincy cross examines Paul Reardon over his hounding of Roberta Rhodes. Quincy also found out that Reardon got a staff member from the Coroner's department to feed information to him.

The episode looks at unreliable witnesses who might have their own agendas for blaming the congressman. So we see Roberta's death from different viewpoints.

Although Quincy wants to clear the congressman's name, it is not a case of who killed Roberta but why she died.
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