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Reviews

Girl in Room 13
(2022)

Anne Heche's Last Performance
It's a typical lifetime movie, Anne Heche played Grace's mother, a recovering addict, avid swimmer and diver. It is supposed to be set in New Jersey but filmed in Canada. She is trying to restart her life, grace has a job at a restaurant. She gets lured into a false trap. Grace ends up getting kidnapped, raped and tortured in a motel room by an ex boyfriend. Her mother is out there trying to convince the police or her husband. I still can't find or stomach how she pleads for help only to be ignored, even when she finally escapes into the linen van, the hotel manager calls her captor. I hope it's not a true story.

Toxic Skies
(2008)

Anne, we're gonna miss you
Anne Heche and James Tupper star in this independent film about a possible pandemic. Heche played a doctor who discovered metal in her patients. There is a government and corporate involvement. It's a fine film free on streaming, Anne Heche was believable and good in this role. She had so much promise and potential in acting onscreen. She took this role and made it her own. The film is watchable though. Barclay Hope Is also a wonderful actor as well. James Tupper had a key role in this film too. The film is set in Spokane, Washington but filmed in Canada. Tupper and Heche had worked together before.

Peggy Sue Got Married
(1986)

Back to Her Future. Would Peggy Sue do the same?
Kathleen turner played Peggy Sue in this Francis Ford Coppola film. At her 25th high school reunion, she passes out and wakes up in 1960. The supporting cast included Joan Allen, Catherine Hicks, Jim Carrey, Don Stark and Lisa Jane Persky.

The film came after Back to the Future success. Barbara Harris played her mother and a young Sofia Coppola played her younger sister. Young Helen Hunt played her daughter, Nicolas cage played her high school boyfriend and husband. The film is fine for the most part, Kathleen turner earned an Academy Award nomination for her performance.

Flowers in the Attic: The Origin: Part Four: The Martyr
(2022)
Episode 4, Season 1

The Prequel to Another Nightmare in the Attic
Olivia Winfield Foxworth evolves and devolves into the darkness of the Foxworth Manor. The actress did an exceptional role as the character throughout the series. We learn of what she's been through and her motivations. We shouldn't be surprised by the ending as it leads to another story. Olivia has succumbed to the Foxworth Manor. The house holds many secrets and it has taken over the lives of its inhabitants.. Half siblings and half uncle and half niece Christopher Corrinne fled Foxworth Manor to have a dream family life. We know what will happen in the ending as Corrinne and their four children arrive at Foxworth Manor in early morning with their grandmother to welcome them but not warmly. We learn about Olivia and how religion has turned her into a zealot capable of anything. Olivia's backstory helps us understand how she became. You feel some sympathy for her too. She wasn't always brutal or monstrous.

[Cargo]
(2018)

Ron Thompson is a scene stealer
This film is an independent low budget production. Ron Thompson is an experienced veteran actor who did a terrific job in the role. He played anthony Peterson, a California businessman. The only other characters are on the phone with him as he pleads to get the ransom. He doesn't come across as a sympathetic character. He is not a good man. We learn about him from his conversations with his son, colleague, kidnapper and best friend. For a low budget film, it's satisfactory.

Mr. Mayor
(2021)

It could have been better
I had high hopes for this sitcom. While it had some laughs along the two short seasons, it had promising potential with its cast. Ted Danson, Holly Hunter and Bobby Moynihan are skilled comedic performers. I would have like to have seen the mayor hook up with his deputy mayor but that's not going to happen. This network doesn't seem to care about producing new sitcoms like it once did especially on Thursday nights. I enjoyed the episodes without any grand expectations. It's a fine sitcom not the greatest but not the worst.

Young Rock
(2021)

How Come This Isn't Hugely Popular
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson recalls his life and his lessons as he runs for the 2032 United States Presidency. A far fetched premise but it works well here. Dwayne has had a colorful full life filled with drama and comedy. He was a third generation fighter or wrestler. His grandmother was a promoter. His mother would take over when she went to prison. The grandmother and mother aren't caricatures but more developed enough. Dwayne's life has been through many states and Canada. Andre the Giant taught young rock about life's lessons too.

How We Roll
(2022)

Give it a chance. Julie White is a treasure
Tony award winner Julie White played Helen, Tom Smallwood's mother. The sitcom is mediocre at the moment. The premise is strange about aspiring professional bowler based on a true story. The sitcom is set in Saginaw, Michigan. The rest of the cast is fine. Another Tony winner Rondi Reed also appeared in three episodes as salon owner, Ruth. If the sitcom doesn't make it, they should build a sitcom around Julie White. The show is still new and there are things to work out, give it a chance.

The UnXplained: Deadly Cults
(2020)
Episode 12, Season 1

Butoh Dancing Doesn't Belong Here
I felt that the butoh segment about the life and tragic suicide of Sharon Stern was wrong placed in this episode. Butoh dancing is an acceptable dance form from Japan. It's grotesque and unattractive but it's supposed to be. From what I have read and seen, Butoh dancing is practiced worldwide. Sadly Sharon Stern fell hard for Katsura Kan, her dance teacher. She was an adult who made poor decisions and needed professional help. While I can't imagine her parents pain and grief, Butoh was born out of Japanese suffering in World War Two. As for the other stories here, they are quickly done without much in depth.

Knives Out
(2019)

My House, My Coffee, My Rules
It really is a masterpiece comedy and drama. I enjoyed it immensely and it has become one of my favorites. A great cast and superb writing makes it a great and classic film. I love it and can watch it a hundred times. I will notice something different, It should've won a lot of awards especially at the Academy Awards. Jamie Lee Curtis was brilliant as the daughter. The great late Christopher Plummer gave a great performance as the patriarch of a largely dysfunctional family, Daniel Craig was great as a legendary detective. Michael Shannon, Toni Collette and Don Johnson were great in their roles as well. K Callan was great as the grandmother. It is a must see film. I wished all films were like this film.

Ghosts
(2021)

One Guy Looks Like Hamilton. Wait how do you know about him?
Ghosts is an ensemble company adapted from a British original version. I haven't seen that version. I do enjoy the North American version though. A young couple inherit an estate in upstate New York. They plan to turn it into a bed and breakfast. The ghosts appear only to the wife after an accident. The ghosts come from different periods in American history, the cast is great and the writing is sharp. It's a well done show.

The ghosts all have different stories about how they ended up dead and earthbound. I love Issac and Hetty. They have great chemistry. There is a Native American male, a Viking, a hippy female, a Boy Scout leader with an arrow in his neck, an early jazz singer and a Wall Street guy, Trevor, with pants and underwear. These are the core ghosts in the cast. There are ghosts downstairs who died from cholera.

I enjoy a good comedy and there is plenty of it here, The writers come up with creative storylines that work for the cast.

The Odd Couple
(1968)

I still prefer the television show!
Academy Award winners Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon played sloppy Oscar Madison and neat Felix Unger in this film adaptation. I still prefer the television series. Matthau and Lemmon have their own definitive performances as Oscar and Felix here too. I loved seeing Carole Shelley and Monica Peters as the British Pidgeon sisters. The film has some light moments. The relationship between the men are realistic even in the late sixties. I can see how it was performed on stage much like Neil Simon's other plays.

Plaza Suite
(1971)

Triple Walter Matthau Performance
Walter Matthau must have been one of Neil Simon's favorite actors. In this filmed production, plaza suite 719 is used as the setting for three acts. The first act is him as a married man. He and his wife played by the divine Maureen Stapleton are staying there while their suburban home is being painted for a few days. The second act is Matthau as a Hollywood producer who returns home and reunited with a married mother and housewife from New Jersey. She is played by the legendary Barbara Harris. The final act is Matthau and Lee Grant as parents of the bride. Their daughter locks herself in the bathroom and won't come out for the ceremony. I think the first and third acts were the strongest pieces. The second act was fine. Lee Grant was terrific as the wife and mother in the final act though.

Thriller: File It Under Fear
(1973)
Episode 8, Season 1

You Must Always Suspect Everyone!
A serial killer is on the loose. Young women leaving the British library are killed in the dark. There are quite a few red herrings which make it worth watching. I love the cast including Maureen Lipman as a librarian; Rose Hill as her mother and John Le Mesurier as a lonely old man. The episode is well paced and well done. Maureen Lipman is fine in the role.

Alfie Darling
(1975)

Entertaining but Sad Ending
Alan Price takes the title role in this sequel. Anyway the cast included a young Joan Collins; Rula Lenska; Vicki Michelle and Annie Ross as well. He falls for a magazine journalist while traveling to France. He doesn't give up on this conquest. I love the film location sequences between France and England. Scottish American actress and singer, Annie Ross, has some memorable scenes as well. I didn't care for the ending.

The Last Seduction
(1994)

Linda should have gotten an Academy Award nomination for this performance
Linda Fiorentino was robbed of an Academy Award nomination over a minor technicality. She played the uptime femme fatale, Bridget Gregory, in this independent film. Her character is generally in likable but Fiorentino makes her sympathetic. There must be more to her life than what viewers see. She is a cutthroat woman who shouldn't be messed with at all. Still well meaning men like Mike Swale (Peter Berg) are enticed and manipulated by her to do the unthinkable. Her husband, Clay Gregory, played by Bill Pullman is her equal to some degree. He owes a loan shark and sells drugs even providing illegal prescriptions to drug addicts. The film is disturbing at times. There is some light humor. Bridget Gregory is a sociopath overall. The cast was great in the film with J. T. Walsh and Bill Nunn in supporting roles. It's still a good film with a groundbreaking performance by Fiorentino. I wished Fiorentino would come back to acting.

With This Ring
(1978)

Dated but a Treat to Watch
I would watch Joyce Dewitt read the telephone book. In this movie, she played a bride, Jilly Weston, whose upcoming wedding at the Bonaventura Hotel in Los Angeles, California could be interrupted by an ex boyfriend of hers. She plays a school teacher. The television movie has an all star television cast. The movie is dated but worth watching to see familiar faces all around from television prime time at the time.

La casa 4 (Witchcraft)
(1988)

What was the chair made of?
Annie Ross played greedy Rose Brooks in this low budget thriller. German Hildegard's Kneff played the grand witch on a Massachusetts island who terrorizes everyone. The film also stars Linda Blair and David Hasselhoff. The latter and his virgin girlfriend stay illegally to get photographs of the paranormal on the island. The Brooks family arrive to see the property for development. Nothing goes as planned nor is explained to the audience. The film is poorly done.

Spring Fling!
(1995)

Joyce Dewitt's Comeback
The television film has Joyce Dewitt who returned to television after 11 years in this movie. She played Linda Hayden, a divorced chaperone of a bus filled with excited high school teenage students on their spring break. She reunited with an old high school classmate who also is planning to sell their beachfront motel that his two children call home. It's a forgettable film overall. Joyce deserved better though. Danny Gans, James Eckhouse and Pat Harrington also do well here.

Blue Sky
(1994)

Blue Sky Isn't About Hawaii!
Jessica Lange won her second Academy Award as lead actress for her performance. She played a Tennessee Williams type female character who longs for romance and excitement. She was happy in Hawaii where her husband was stationed for two years. Her character of Carly uses her sexuality and free spirit nature leads to a breakdown upon her husband's new assignment in Alabama. Carly doesn't take it well upon arrival. They have two daughters. Amy Locane was a promising young actress at the time. Chris O'Donnell had an early performance as the captain's son. Powers Booths and Carrie Snodgress were perfectly cast as the captain and his wife. Boothe was an underrated brilliant character actor. Tommy Lee Jones played Carly's long suffering husband. When the situation puts him in the mental hospital against his will, Carly must become strong to redeem him. Annie Ross had a small supporting role as one of the other army wives.

The Track
(2015)

Okay Independent Film
I wanted to see it because Michael Muhney (Tony) is in it. He played a sleazy abusive pimp to his girls or prostitutes on the track outside Las Vegas, Nevada. It's a low budget film about grief stricken mother who lost her daughter in a tragic accident and a hooker on the track. The acting could be better. I don't buy the relationship between Caren, the mother, and Barbie, the streetwise prostitute. It just seemed far fetched plot. Again independent films don't have the financing to build a better movie. It's watchable at times.

Alfresco
(1983)

Ahead of its time and before they were famous
The cast or ensemble players included Dame Emma Thompson, Hugh Laurie CBE OBE, Siobhan Redmond MBE, Rob Coltrane OBE, Ben Elton and Stephen Fry early In their careers. The two seasons are enjoyable and entertaining at times. I preferred this show to fry and Laurie sketch series. The show is for fans of the cast. You can see their talent and creativity early on in the eighties.

Are You Being Served?
(1972)

Are You Free? I'm unanimous in that.
The classic British comedy is set at a fictional posh London department store names Grace Brothers. The ladies department joins the gentlemen department on the same floor. It is brilliantly casted with Wendy Richard MBE, John Inman, Trevor Bannister, Frank Thornton, Mollie Sugden and Roger Brough. This series was brilliant and one of the top British comedies to air around the world especially in the United States when it aired in the nineties. I enjoyed the camaraderie among the cast. They seemed to have as much as the audience.

A Bit of Fry and Laurie
(1987)

A Bit of Dry and Laurie
It is truly a British sketch comedy and variety show starring Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie CBE OBE. There are plenty of familiar British actors and actresses who appear in the series. It was okay but very dry humor for me. Maybe I need to watch it again to really appreciate it. I was glad to see it on BritBox as a Christmas present. The sketches sometimes ran along too at times. Some sketches were too short. Laurie played music too.

United States of Al
(2021)

Give the Show A Chance to Grow and flourish
It's rare and about time that network comedies take a chance on a new challenging premise. Al is an Afghanistan legal immigrant who worked as a translator for the United States military. He comes to Columbus, Ohio where the American soldier and his family welcome him into their home. The sitcom needs time. The cast is fine but the show is stilling trying to find itself. The actor who played Al I'd not Afghani but he is talented an experienced. He was David spade's assistant in rules of engagement and played a Muslim foreign exchange student in another sitcom. I'm glad to see chs exploring other cultures and religions. I only wished they did it sooner.

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