I shouldn't post a review as I'm only on Episode 2, but I'm pretty disgusted and probably won't continue to watch this.
I want to say up front that I like Amanda Burton. I just have trouble understanding the characters she's played, from Silent Witness and as Clare here. For some reason, whenever she's in a series, she plays a man magnet and seems to have a new beau in every episode.
In this series, however, this man magnet business is unforgivable. She's playing the head of the Crimes Division at New Scotland Yard, and she sleeps with a recently-released man she put in jail 12 years earlier . There's more - the police under her are trying to discredit her, and have made this guy a suspect in a murder that has occurred since his release.
Now I ask you, how professional is this? And the actor who plays the ex-con, Hugh Bonneville, is considered by the women in the TV show to be hot stuff. I guess I'm just used to the old classic film stars because a man who served 12 years for killing his girlfriend should be pretty easy to resist.
How can anyone believe a woman in her situation would do such a thing? It's ridiculous.
James Purefoy plays William Travers, an attorney who is very disturbed by "Injustice" in this 2011 miniseries.
Travers is so disturbed by injustice that when one of clients, Spaull, is found not guilty and laughingly informs Travers that he is, Travers has a complete breakdown. We don't see it; it is alluded to during the show. The Spaull's act was responsible for the death of a small boy, who appears to Travers from time to time. So one has to wonder if he's truly back to normal.
In the meantime, Spraull is found murdered, and an evil detective D.I. Wenborn (Charlie Creed-Miles) is investigating. I have to say that Creed-Miles is either a fabulous actor or the worst human being on earth because I can't remember hating a character as much as I hated this character.
Travers is approached by an old college friend (Nathaniel Parker) who is charged with the murder of a young woman who worked in his office. Travers takes the case, which becomes very complicated.
That's all I'll say. The acting is wonderful from the entire cast, Purefoy and Creed-Miles being standouts.
"Glow Up" is a show about makeup artists competing for a grand prize.
I read one review that said the judges were shallow. Uh, it's about makeup. You really can't get any more shallow than that.
I love makeup and fashion, and I admit to watching competitions that feature them. Having said that, I'm not sure I would have let any of these artists, with the exception of Nikki, Belinda, and Leigh, that I would have let touch me. It was a pretty bizarre-looking group.
I also have to say they were probably the most likable group of contestants I've seen. And they really seemed to care about one another.
For me this wasn't really a makeup competition, except for the episode where they did red carpet makeup for celebrities (it's a British show, so I didn't know who any of them were).
The rest of it really was about face art, and much of that was interesting and effective.
The big complaint from reviews I've read is about the judges and how cruel they were. I didn't find them cruel. Blunt maybe, but it's a tough business. I have to admit I too wondered how the heck Nikki could make the finals after being in the bottom four times. The judges claimed they were judging a body of work, which again begs the question, if that's the case, what was she doing there? She is a talented makeup artist probably for red carpet and glamour makeup, and she's beautiful to boot, but maybe not quite right for this type of competition.
If Netflix brings this back, there's room for improvement in the structure. They added a time penalty for the two bottom people each week, so obviously they hadn't thought the structure of the show through. As a p.s. I could really see Meryl Streep playing the main judge, Val. She would have knocked it out of the park.
I was happy to see Miss Fisher again as well as members of the series cast, though several of them weren't in it for long, since the major setting is London. Additionally, Rupert Penry-Jones was in it, and you can't go wrong with him.
The story concerns Phryne being dispatched to Jerusalem to rescue a young girl from imprisonment and return her to her father in London. But the mystery starts there. Curses, emeralds, and a lost tribe make up the elements of this exotic story. Very Indiana Jones.
Essie Davis, as usual, is great as Phryne and looks fabulous. She gets to do a lot of stunts, including going in and out of windows, jumping onto trains, that sort of thing. I loved the scenery and the clothes.
After the death of Sidney Toler, Monogram kept going with the Charlie Chan series, and Roland Winters became the third Chan, Warner Oland being the first.
The Charlie I am most familiar with is Toler, with his dry delivery and his annoyance with Jimmy. Oland was much more energetic and cheerful. Both brought something to the role.
"The Chinese Ring" is actually a do-over of a Mr. Wong script, and here, Sen Yung is not Jimmy Chan but Tommy for some reason. Mantan Moreland is on hand as Birmingham.
The story concerns a Chinese princess who comes to the US to purchase planes for her brother's army. She has a one million dollar check to deliver to a ban. Unfortunately, she is murdered by a poison dart that comes through the open window of Charlie Chan's home as she waits for him. She is able to write a partial message before she dies. Amazing that this Chinese woman, in the throes of death, writes in English.
This is an okay entry into the series. Winters is a serious but charming Charlie. Since this is a Wong story, "Tommy" and Birmingham, usually good for some humor, don't have much to do.
Winters made six Chan films in all. The Charlie Chan films are the absolute opposite of politically correct, but they were made in a different time and enjoyable for what they are.
I can't help loving Charlie Chan movies, despite the fact that they're as politically incorrect as all get out. People were just not sensitive to certain things then, so for me, it's important to watch a film not with modern eyes, but with the eyes of the time.
This was Sidney Toler's last foray as Charlie Chan, and the last film of the series. Toler was suffering from cancer when he made this movie, and he's to be admired for continuing to work.
Warner Oland, the previous Chan, was more cheerful and energetic, but I love Toler's dry delivery and exasperation with Jimmy.
This is a pretty routine plot - Charlie investigates the deaths of two showgirls in Malibu. Jimmy Chan (Sen Young) and Birmingham (Mantan Moreland) are on the scene. I think Mantan Moreland was supremely talented, and I love him as Birmingham. And I love seeing Sen Yung as Jimmy, since I remember him as an older actor in Bonanza.
There's nothing like the B serials: Chan, Mr. Moto, The Falcon, Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew, The Saint, The Lone Wolf, Boston Blackie, The Lone Wolf, Boston Blackie, etc. - all wonderful.
Kathryn Harrold - who hadn't changed since she was on the show 15+ years previously - is back again as the blind psychiatrist Megan with whom Jim was involved at one time. She later married - someone else. When Jim sees her while he's out, he calls her. She's now divorced with two children. She's having a party for her dad (Richard Kiley) and invites him.
The big attraction here is a wonderful performance by Bryan Cranston as Megan's loser cousin. He is a talent agent who has taken on a Russian actress, failed with her career, and is now sought after by Russian mobsters. Megan is devoted to her cousin, and she at last finds out the reason.
A review I read complained bitterly about the presence of Megan, whom the reviewer felt led Jim on when she appeared on the show before. She did.
Megan is back to her old back and forth with Jim, having sex with him in a cabin and then talking about reconciling with her ex in Atlanta. At the end, we believe she's going to Atlanta and breaks up with Jim. Later, she calls and leaves a message that she's not going to Atlanta after all.
We don't know what happens, but he probably had learned his lesson. Like a lot of psychiatrists, she has issues.
When I interviewed Bobby Diamond, one of the stars of Fury, I started to say that line, faltered, and he said, "Come on, you can get it." I finally got it out.
I remember the horse, Bobby Diamond, Peter Graves - I'm sure I never missed this show.
Diamond told me that Fury worked free - meaning that to get him to go this way or that, they didn't have to pull him with wires. Not only that, he would walk into the owner's house. What a horse.
He also told me that they filmed at a ranch where a lot of shows were done, and that Peter Graves once let him take his car and drive it around. I assume this was in the later years of the series. Diamond himself got a law degree and began practicing in 1971. He did in 2019.
How I love thinking back on these fun memories. Our TV lives were filled with RIn Tin Tin, Fury, Flicka, Lassie, Roy Rogers, Sgt. Preston of the Yukons, and tons of westerns. Wonderful times.
I'll take my Rockford any way I can get him, so I was thrilled when these TV movies came out. This one, however, is not in the usual lighthearted Rockford style. It's pretty heavy.
Rita (Rita Moreno) is back with her husband (Hal Linden) who is a teacher. When he's accused of child molestation because of his resemblance to a police sketch, he is put on suspension. This devastates him completely. Rita appeals to both Rockford and Beth (Gretchen Corbett) to help him.
A serious story about how the media can destroy a man - similar to the Richard Jewell case. Apparently it was filmed in 1997, probably i response to that, but wasn't released until 1999.
James Garner by this time had some trouble walking at times, due to the fact that he always did his own stunts and the series nearly killed him. And good for him, it doesn't look like he had plastic surgery. He's always good, always watchable, always adorable.
Angel was particularly bad news in this episode. All the performances were marvelous. Rita Moreno looked gorgeous and what fun earrings she wore.
All in all, well worth seeing, but don't expect a lot of humor. The '70s were over.
There really aren't enough adjectives to describe Babylon Berlin, an incredible German television series. And I have to echo what the other reviewers say, watch it in German with English subtitles.
This is 1920s Berlin, and the show immediately pulls you into that world, that atmosphere of the Weimar era.
This was a time of great upheaval in Germany - there is poverty, no work, and yet Berlin is a city of great art and hedonistic pleasure. The story focuses on a police inspector, Gereon Rath, who comes to Berlin to break a pornography ring. Along the way he meets a part-time prostitute, Charlotte Ritter, who also works as a stenographer, and he teams up with another officer, Bruno Wolter, as his partner.
This is Berlin during a time of political unrest, the rise of National Socialism (Nazis) and other far-right groups.
Some of the scenes in this series are so stunning they demand repeated viewings - most notably the nightclub scene in season 1, one of the most thrilling things I've ever seen. That's the only one I'll mention so I won't give anything away. But you can't beat Babylon Berlin for edge of your seat excitement and tension.
Impeccably filmed, impeccably directed, impeccably written, impeccably acted, featuring some amazing characters, Babylon Berlin is a must see.
I've had a heck of a time with this Beiderbecke series. I received the second disk of the Biederbecke Affair before the first, watched it without realizing it, and then received the first disk. Reading what I thought was the synopsis later, it didn't sound like the same story. That's when I found out about "The Biederbecke Tapes" which I guess I'll have to see.
I love James Bolam - this is probably 20 years before New Tricks. Here he plays Trevor Chaplin, a Bix Biederbecke jazz fanatic who teaches woodwork. He lives with a fellow teacher, Jill (Barbara Flynn) - she teaches English and is an eco-activist.
Trevor finds himself mixing with the lower end of society when he attempts to purchase some of his beloved Biederbecke records from a "dazzlingly beautiful platinum blond" who is selling mail order items.
He eventually meets Big Al and Little Norm and some people running a junior football team. Meanwhile, Jill decides to stand for office as a local councillor.
Meanwhile, there is a police detective following them around and suspecting them of all sorts of crime, keeping taped records. Meanwhile his supervisor thinks he's nuts.
I wish I could explain the story better, but I can't. It's a gentle show with some delightful and funny moments and it's about as odd as it gets. All to the soundtrack of Bix Beiderbecke. It's two somewhat ordinary people falling into weird situations. Inexplicably, I liked it.
"The Good Liar" from 2019 stars Helen Mirren and Ian McKellan. Stop right there. You really can't go wrong with these two. The film also stars Russell Tovey, Jim Carter, and John Lewis Jones.
The story is derivative: a con man (McKellan) romances his mark (Mirren) in the hopes of getting her money, despite interference from her suspicious grandson (Tovey).
There are two twists, one expected, and one unexpected. I like this kind of film, so I'm not going to go into what's believable and what isn't. The performances sold me, and I found the movie very entertaining. Having seen a lot of "out there" Spanish mysteries and suspense films, this one was mild in comparison in terms of a realistic plot.
Not the most exciting film I've ever seen, but certainly a good one.
Daniel Craig does his best imitation of Foghorn Leghorn as a detective in "Knives Out," from 2020. Craig plays Benoit Blanc, brought it by an anonymous client to investigate the death of author-millionaire Harlan Thrombey. It's been called a suicide, but slitting one's throat is an odd way of ending your life.
Blanc finds himself dealing with the dysfunctional family; Harlan's daughter (Curtis), her husband (Johnson), Greatnana Wanetta (K Callan), and assorted other Thrombeys, plus Harlan's assistant (de Armas).
When Harlan's will is read, all hell breaks loose.
There's not too much more to say - you'll have to see this delightful Agatha Christie-like confection through to the twists and final end. Very enjoyable.
I won't write too much because it doesn't seem to me that anyone is reviewing this film. If you're right wing, you don't like it and will condemn any review that compliments it, and vice versa.
I thought the acting was terrific but I have to agree with one reviewer here, the real story was about Gretchen Carlson, and there was less emphasis on her and more on Megyn Kelly. Carlson is the one who really put herself out there.
I haven't seen the film others are comparing this to, "The Loudest Voice," but I would be interested in seeing it.
"A Woman's Face" starred Ingrid Bergman in Sweden; in the U.S. MGM gave the lead role to Joan Crawford when Greta Garbo turned it down.
It's the story of Anna Holm, a scarred woman, both physically and emotionally, who is in league with crooks and blackmailers. During a botched blackmail/robbery of a cheating wife, Anna falls, hurts her ankle, and comes under the care of the woman's husband, who reconstructed faces injured in World War I.
Well, it's Ingrid Bergman, and as rotten as she looks as the brittle, bitter disfigured woman, at 23 she was a goddess once her face was repaired. She takes a job as a governess to a little boy in a wealthy family, a position originally arranged by her team - and the orders she is given by them are nefarious.
"A Woman's Face" is the story of a woman changed by being able to love and accept love. The MGM version and the Swedish version are both dramatic, exciting, and hold one's interest.
Both films are very good, with the supporting cast at MGM superior to the Swedish one. After all, you can't beat Conrad Veidt when he's evil. Bergman and Crawford have different takes on the role, as you can imagine. Bergman is more pathetic - she is made to look dreadful, and she's more subtle and vulnerable in the role. Crawford has the MGM treatment so her deformity is less; she has the bitterness and strength of the character down in a more overt performance. I enjoyed both actresses.
The sound was off in the Swedish version, which gave me a headache. I couldn't figure out if the dialogue was five minutes behind the action, or if there were sections with no sound and lips moving. A little of both, I think. Nevertheless, it was well worth watching.
hot-shot military men, a huge heist, and a lot of trouble
Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, and Pedro Pascal star in a Netflix movie, "Triple Frontier" from 2019. This film started out with people like Johnny Depp, Leonardo diCaprio, Tom Hardy -- I could go on, but you get the point. They all dropped out for various reasons. One reason might have been the script.
The first part of the film was very exciting. In South America, military men get together to wipe out a drug lord and steal all of his money - put it this way, as they put it, the house is the safe. And they weren't kidding - every inch of the walls was top to bottom with money packs. It was a decent plan, but their greed causes problems when they try to flee the country. You can guess most of it.
I found the end stupid, and I had to ask myself, why did they go through all that they did? And then I asked, why did I?
Tense, suspenseful film about how the Dutch networked to save Dutch Jews once the Germans started rounding them up. In order to occupy Holland, the Germans had to agree not to prosecute the Jews. In 1943, they broke that promise. It was then that the Dutch began rescue operations. At its narrowest point, Holland is only 8 miles from Sweden - but it seemed like thousands.
The Jews were very well integrated into Dutch society, so it wasn't a simple matter for Nazis to locate them. And the Dutch rallied to protect them. They were hidden in quarantine wards in hospitals and other places while transport was arranged. At one point, when people are getting into a taxi to get out of town, a horse-drawn wagon, by pre-arrangement, blocks the Nazis view of the cab.
This is a small film, so we only see a microcosm of the work of the Dutch, focusing on one Jewish family, the Steins. The Stein daughter is 19-year-old Jane Seymour in what is I believe her debut, and she's lovely.
Very inspiring. The bravery and tenacity of the people in this country is remarkable.
A pizza delivery man is murdered, and all hell breaks loose in "Collateral" from 2018, starring Cary Mulligan, Jeanie Spark, Nicola Walker, Billie Piper, and written by David Hare.
Turns out that the young man, an immigrant, took another delivery man's place on that particular run. So was it random, was the original delivery man the target, and what's going on at that pizza place?
The story draws in a variety of characters and maybe a few too many situations: the sisters of the murdered man who are illegal immigrants and in hiding, a lesbian priest whose partner is an illegal Asian immigrant, the ex-wife of a Labour MP, sexual harassment, a soldier with a mission - though in one way or another, these tied together, it was a little too much for the story.
You can't go wrong with people like Nicola Walker and Carey Mulligan, who are excellent - overall it's a great cast - but I feel the writing let them down. Too many subjects, too many messages.
Fun film starring Melvyn Douglas and Florence Rice as Joel and Garda Sloane, rare bookdealers. There were three of these films and they were intended to cash in on the success of the Thin Man. However, Fast Company stands on its own very nicely.
Unlike Nick and Nora, Joel and Garda have visible means of support. In this story, the couple works to clear a young man (Shepperd Strudwick) of murder after he leaves prison for a burglary - for which he was framed.
The dialogue is fast and witty, and Joel and Garda are very affectionate and enjoy teasing one another. Douglas and Rice have great chemistry.
Franchot Tone and Ann Sothern started as the couple in another film, Fast and Furious, and Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell starred in a third. Sorry there weren't more. Douglas and Rice were the best, in my opinion.
"Official Secrets" is a true story about a woman, Katherine Gun, working for the British government. One day she sees a memo from the US and realizes that Bush and Blair want to go after Saddam Hussein and not the person behind 9/11, Osama bin Laden, and that they need to somehow get 9 votes from the UN. By hook or by crook. And since it's the government, it's by crook.
Very upset, Katherine shows the memo to a friend who knows journalists. She hopes there will be an investigation. The next thing she knows, the memo is plastered all over the front page of a newspaper. As her colleagues are suspected and questioned, Katherine admits she is the leak and is arrested. And she refuses to plead guilty.
This is an amazing film about a woman who is angered by the idea that thousands of people will be killed in an illegal and unnecessary war. Keira Knightley does a tremendous job of capturing the fear, the misery, and the bravery of Katherine Gun, with pressure coming at her to plead not guilty, attempts to deport her husband, and making her wait months to find out whether or not she will be charged.
Knightley has wonderful support from Ralph Fiennes, Matthew Goode, Matthew Smith, Adam Bakri, and others.
In today's world, it's great to see a true story of someone with integrity, since there is so little of it today. Highly recommended.
There have been several takes on what happened to Agatha Christie when she disappeared for 11 days after her husband asked her for a divorce. All have been interesting. The most factual was the film Agatha starring Vanessa Redgrave. In that film, Christie, using the name of her husband's girlfriend, goes to a spa. With her vivid imagination it's likely she enjoyed being incognito, or it could have been the result of a psychotic break.
This particular film makes a fun supposition. Agatha (Rut h Bradley) is having problems because her mysteries have become too predictable. A woman named Mabel (Pippa Haywood) approaches Agatha and asks her to solve a real murder, that of her lover, Florence, six years earlier. At first Agatha doesn't accept; later, she decides to disguise herself, make a plan with Mabel to lure suspects to Florence's house, changes her name to Mary Westmacott, and leaves her home.
This is an entertaining and light story, beautifully costumed and photographed, with good performances. Ruth Bradley is a delightful Christie, who doesn't want to give her husband a divorce, but the fact is, he's in love with someone else.
The fun part is that Agatha Christie is in a slump with her stories, all right - she becomes convinced one person, then another, then another, is responsible for Florence's death. She soon realizes real-life mysteries are a little different.
Lily Rabe and Sam Worthington star in "Fractured" from 2019, directed by Brad Anderson. When his daughter has an accident at a construction site, Ray Monroe (Worthington) and his wife Joanne (Rabe) take their little girl to a hospital. The doctor suggests a CT scan. Ray waits and waits - but his daughter and wife never return from the CT lab. He becomes convinced something nefarious is going on at the hospital.
This is a film in the vein of "Coma," that heads more into thriller territory as the story heats up. Rabe, who resembles her mother, Jill Clayburgh, and Worthington both excellent performances. Worthington has the workhorse role and acquits himself well.
This is a very well done film, with the director giving us a great atmosphere , camera angles, and fish eye lenses, making everyone look suspicious. Don't pay any attention to the IMDb rating - as per usual.
brilliant film with a gimmick not ready for prime time
I won't go through the plot. I will say it was a joy to see Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino. Joe Pesci, Bobby Cannavale and others in "The Irishman." There are many reasons to praise Scorsese's work but I think for a film to last nearly 3-1/2 hours and move so quickly is amazing and a tribute to his artistry.
The acting is superb. The three stars manage to create characters that are completely fleshed out. In many ways it's a sad story, with DeNiro's character, Sheeran's, last scenes heartbreaking.
In actuality, according to a Hoffa expert of 40 years. the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa didn't quite go down as portrayed. Like "JFK" the source is one person, and there are conflicting stories. Nevertheless it's compelling.
Now I'll go into why I gave this film a 9. I'm sorry and I don't care what anyone else thinks, CGI isn't there yet. Both DeNiro and Pacino looked as if they had scoliosis and no necks, wearing clothes too big for them. I found it very distracting. In one of the first scenes, DeNiro is a young man driving a truck. I didn't recognize him. Too gimmicky. The aging - and I think they made these guys look older than they are - was much better than the deaging.
If it didn't take away from anyone's experiences, I'm glad. You can do so much with actual makeup and lighting -- it was at least worth a try.
Mike Donovan (Barry Sullivan) is a teller with a problem - a $49,900 shortage (the equivalent of $466,000 in today's money) in his cash for one day. Gus Slavin (Charles McGraw) from the bonding company is sent to investigate. Slavin is sure Mike stole the money, so he's arrested. The cops believe he had a female accomplice.
Everyone believes Mike except Slavin, so the bond company revokes his bond, and he is fired. Slavin also keeps him from keeping other jobs by telling the bosses they've hired a thief.
Slavin figures if he can keep Mike broke, he'll go for the money. Meanwhile Mike and his wife (Dorothy Malone) sell their house and move into a cheaper place.
Mike meanwhile gets a job as a cab driver, and the boss tells Slavin that until Mike is in prison, he's working there. It's in his cab that Mike hears a familiar voice and the wheels start turning. He and his wife devise a plan.
Charles McGraw is fantastic as a relentless investigator who doesn't have a nice bone in his body. He has the strongest role. The revelation is sweet '30s and '40s ingenue as a hardboiled blonde - she was terrific! Sullivan and Malone are sympathetic characters and play their parts well.
A nightclub singer , Ilona Vance (Vera Hruba Ralston) is "Accused of Murder" in this 1956 Republic movie filmed in "Naturama." A shadt lawyer (Sidney Blackmer) is in love with Ilona. After she rejects him, he winds up murdered in his car.
Police Lt. Hargis (David Brian) doubts that Ilona is the killer - he's a little smitten with her. A hostess at the club (Virginia Grey) sees a man near the murder scene and tries to blackmail him (Warren Stevens). He gives her a good punch in the face and warns her not to tell anyone.
Though Ilona says she does not recognize the murder gun, a man sees the gun in the paper and identifies it as a gun an associate of his gave to Ilona. She insists that she is being framed.
This is a short film (76 minutes) and it goes nowhere. With the exception of Elisha Cook Jr., Virginia Grey, and Lee Van Cleef in supporting roles, the acting is flat.
Ralston's singing is dubbed, and the singer does not have a Czech accent.
Naturama was a wide-screen technique used by Republic Pictures. It evidently didn't catch on.