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Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon
(1942)

One of the more memorable ones
Sherlock Holmes vs DR Moriarty. There is a good story of a new weapon England is developing, and the Nazi's attempts to kidnap the inventor. What works is Holmes has a smart rival the evil Dr Moriarty. There is secret escapes, Nazi agents, and a plot hatched where Holmes uses cunning, mixed with risky scheme to draw out Moriarty. The usual all the plots twists tie up. The ending works so well. 7 stars.

Smiley's People
(1982)

Solid series
Smiley's People is one solid series: What works: Alex Genius was a great actor. Alex stands out as a methodical, serious, blends in spy maters! The supporting actors are excellent. Sleazy, political, two faced characters some loyal, others questionable keeps Smiley always hiding thoughts motives etc; Even with Smiley's own agents George Smiley is a mystery. Locations are great mix of hiding places, board rooms, sex clubs etc. The locations mix with the characters Smiley's people gives a feel of government agents who want to cover up and throw Smiley under the bus. And contacts who are sleaze but appear so affable. George Smiley always plays by Moscow rules of assume anything is possible and trust no one. The story starts with a dead old source in England, and a women in France getting her daughter from the Soviet Union. The viewer know's nothing, but using spy trade craft as the story unravels like a onion. Layer by layer, which makes the viewer wanting you more. I will write no more as not to ruin the viewing experience. 9 stars.

The Disappearance
(1977)

The Disappearance the film just disappears
The Disappearance the film just disappears. There is an interesting concept of a hit man who looks for his missing wife which becomes part of the assignment . Sutherland, Plumber and supporting cast all play solid roles and there is interesting locations, and filming shots, music.! Regrettable there is so many layers to the story The Disappearance just disappears for the viewer. Spoiler!!! I believe Sutherland's wife was involved like the Siren legend in the whole film and for the tragic ending. 5 stars. The ending needed an explanation.

The Hound of the Baskervilles
(1939)

Not the best of the series!
Not the best of the series! Well the budget was a bit on the cheap. The mystery was interesting but too long to unravel. However, the howl of the beast I did like! A few characters were too predictable and gave up the story conclusion. The plot twist I saw a mile coming. Maybe I was in a bad mood because my wife saw love this episode. Not the worse, but not the best of the series. 5 out of 10

The Scarlet Claw
(1944)

Not bad!
Not bad there is better and worse. There is a series of murders and like Jason of Friday the 13th the killer uses a Claw. Holmes goes to Canada and must put together the motive and connections for the murders. A character driven episode. Holmes uses deduction and trickery to solve the case. Worth watching if you a fan. 6 stars.

Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror
(1942)

Not bad!
Not bad I remember watching the old Sherlock Holmes movies back in the 70's with my sister and friends on W D A Z late night from Fargo on the weekends. I loved the shows/movies as a child. Set during the second world war in black and white. I watched a few Sherlock Holmes series recently to see if my attitudes changed. The Voice of Terror sound like a good one and I watched vigorously. A good story of the voice of Berlin pre announce strikes on England and Holmes off to the rescues. I will not give away the story. I like the Uniforms and drama at the ending. 7 stars.

Cross of Iron
(1977)

Run of the mill 70's war movie but gritter.
What works: Cross of Iron has a budget T 34 tanks all over the place with artillery, explosions and big sets. Strong cast James Coburn, Max Schell, and James Mason. A likable lead character Steiner a Sargent who hates his job, because of the evil Nazis do, which is why Steiner hates officers and refuses to be one. Steiner is a great soldier, and is good at war wanting to protect the unit. One sees the true Steiner saving a boy which Schell the officer wants executed. A human side to a harden man is Steiner. The conflict over the boy creates the story of a working man vs the the cold upper class officer. What does not work: The set and cast is lost in translation with the story and characters. Coburn's Steiner and Scheel officer character Stransky get across flat, while Mason Col Brant goes threw the motions. I do not know if casting, directer or story, but something is lacking with the translation of character to story. Either the movie should be darker or lighters, but the tragic to the human transformation is not there. There some gross memorable scenes, a double cross, and the ending which stands out in average war movie. 6 stars. Would make a good Quiten remake.

All Quiet on the Western Front
(1979)

Better when I was younger!
All Quiet on the Western Front is a long movie, and I remember being sent to bed by my dad and I never saw the ending. I remember watching All Quiet on the Western Front, when I was 10 believing it was a great movie. Well All Quiet on the Western Front is a long movie, and even longer book. Watching it many years later the movie is just okay. Richard Thomas (John Boy) Ernest Borgnine, and Donald Pleasent are a great cast. Budget is great and the script keeps the viewer watching. Regrettably long movies are hard to keep the viewers attention and this one is no exception. War is awful on friends, family, and the human conditions which makes All Quiet on the Western Front hard to watch. The ending hits the viewer hard. Memorable movie and ending. Great literature, but a hard to watch movie. 6 stars.

The Day After
(1983)

Downer but effective!
The Day After gives a slice of 80 Americana of Missouri, and Kansas, with families, doctors, workers, and military. During the everyday life the viewer is given the en pending attacks in Europe by news alerts of the Warsaw pack armies attacking West Germany. West Germany is falling and World War Three is escalating. The viewer develops a character rapport with The Day After characters as the Third World War un folds. The nuclear attack and after effects are quite bleak, but a made for T V version tone down the gore for T V audiences. What bothers me the most is not the nuclear attack but the after effects of the bomb for The Day After. The church scene, the roch scene, radiation poisonings of the characters, and the ending of the doctor coming home is depressing, nihilism of nuclear war make one feel no one would past 3 years from the fall out! Effective movie, but hard to stomach! 7 stars.

Terror on Track 9
(1992)

Typical made for tv movie!
Typical made for t v movie from back in the day! Before AMC and HBO the old big three ABC, NBC and CBS made t v movies on the cheap! Today, Breaking Bad, the Walking dead etc have movie budgets, but the old movie of the week was made fast and cheap. Terror on Track 9 is watchable once but nothing memorable. What works there is mystery which keeps the viewer watching. A love interest etc. What does not work. Cliche, and formulated scrips makes Terror on Track 9 another cheap a fast t v movie. 4 stars.

Southern Comfort
(1981)

Meh a lower ball version of Deliverance.
Meh a lower ball version of Deliverance. We got lost National Guardsmen in the Bayou Cajuns country with a prank gone wrong. Some angry Cajuns shoot, dog attack, trap etc the Guardsmen. Guardsmen have a knife fight between themselves etc. Acted well, and directed well ,but the script is ooo so too much. Interesting, to see who survives but the character/story is too much to digest. The coach who burns down the hut, Fred Ward as the psycho knife fighter, and the guy who panics all the time is too much for the story. One does not relate or resonates with the characters the story dies. If one has no empathy for the character like in Deliverance we get a stale version called Southern Comfort. Worth watching once. 6 stars.

The Deadliest Season
(1977)

6 out of 10 is about right!
6 out of 10 is about right! Not bad, not great, but a made for t v movie. The players actually looked, and skated like hockey players. A player get's cut to the minors, and turns into a violent player to get back into the majors. There is some W H A footage of Whalers, and Jets spliced into the film. If your a hockey purest like me you will appreciate it! We see the hockey politics and the relationship between players which mixes well. Players back then where the hard asses of the non P C 1970's. Where my attitudes has changed over the years with the movie is when the defense man from the minors kills his best friend with a scum bag spear. The Deadliest Season turns into a court room drama with the player negligence for the death of his best friend with the excuse of playing hard in order to make a living. Me if I had a best friend like the guy who died and did that let's just say I would be a lousy jury. Whaler fans will notice the old H C C and the decal at the ending. 6 stars.

Evel Knievel
(1971)

Before safe spaces and P C!
Before safe spaces and P C cancel culture Evel Knievel was made. Today one would never make Evel Knievel with an outlaw anti hero. Knievel was a town trouble maker with dynamite who was in trouble with the law with a 50's greaser style biker bravado. As a kid Knievel was my hero. A guy who spent time in jail who decide to channel the restlessness into stunt shows. We see a time of town pranks/ stunts which would end one up with 5 years jail time now; along with people riding broncos drunk and wondering why the guy died. Knievel was right many people wanted to see the him splatter with each jump. But Knievel had to be Knievel. Not a great movies, probably with over exaggerations but don't let the truth get in the way of a good story. 6 stars.

The Town That Dreaded Sundown
(1976)

The temp plate for modern horror!
The Town That Dreaded Sundown is the temp plate for modern horror. Loosely based on a true story! Funny how with out internet, porn etc and all the other modern culture problems there still was deranged minds out there in the good old days. Maybe 24 7 cable news and the internet has something to do with today's inflaming the public into sensory over load. I digress, The Town That Dreaded Sundown strong points is the story of a deranged mask man man terrorizing a community in the 40's. Seem's the police work was solid for what the police had to work with. The story grabs the viewers curiosity. There is some Don Knots humor with the goofy sheriff deputy for levity. The humor falls a bit flat. Like most of the movie The Town That Dreaded Sundown was shot on the cheep and quick, which hurts the movie. Considering the budget the acting and editing is pretty good for this hidden movie. 6 Stars.

The Greatest American Hero
(1981)

First I liked the show as a kid then I hated it!
First I liked the show as a kid then I hated it! When I was 12 I found a clumsy Super hero was cool. There was the straight man agent and clumsy blond silly guy team up with his love interest to fight crime. There was bad guys who stolen the super suit and broke his arm. A crooked sheriff who could not hit the clumsy super hero and visits from the strange aliens with bizarre messages. The Aliens where good guys trying to save the planet as the Aliens could not solve their problems as kill there planet. There was also great theme song! What more could on ask! Regrettably after a season and a half the humor part got stale. With out humor The Greatest American Hero just kind of fizzled! 8 first season 4 last season. Give this one a 6.

Better Call Saul: JMM
(2020)
Episode 7, Season 5

This episode kind of just dragged!
JMM episode just kind of dragged! JMM is a filler episode which builds up character development. We find out Nacho has problems and works for Mike now. Gus has backing problems. Sal's marriage is a façade for legal reasons. A cold and empty marriage ceremony. There is the same feel in court when Sal represents a murder and Sal's empathizes for the victims family. I wonder if the cold, distant and detached feel of the J M M episode is deliberate? The ending has Howard Hamlin who is a decent man, with a mix of understanding, character, and real empathy confronts Sal over the job offer. Jimmy can not understand the motives, or decency of Howard and the real Sal/Jimmy comes out. JMM is either a great episode for the acting directing has a cold, disjointed feel or made to well? For myself I found JMM labor some to watch; I found JMM is just too good at being harsh. 6 stars.

Better Call Saul: Wexler v. Goodman
(2020)
Episode 6, Season 5

Not the best or worst!
Wexler v. Goodman is the episode where we see Kim's youth and mistrust, and a cross roads for Kim and Jimmy. There is Jimmy becoming Sal with a twist in a settlement, which means in a twisted way Jimmy slimes a win and stabs Kim. Sort Jimmy win's a case but the split with Kim is starting. More threw the motions for Mike as Mike become the strong arm for gus. A setup for Nacho's boss come into play. The script is getting a little old. But the beginning let's us see why Kim feel's sorry for hard cases, but has trust issues. 6 stars.

Band of Brothers: Bastogne
(2001)
Episode 6, Season 1

War at it's worst men at their best!
War at it's worst men at their best! Bastongne has Easy Company as the tip of the sphere. Easy Company recovery from a recent battle is stationed at Bastogne; Always forward in a tough and hard way is Easy Comapys experience! Missing men, supplies, and quiet moments mixed with shelling terror is the prelude to the battle of Bastonge; E Company is given the job of Bastonge defense as the German offensive wants the town which is connected to 8 roads. In the quiet there is battle fatigue, an accidental shooting, and a relationship and human side of a medic and nurse. The troops are worried about a new C O who folds under pressure and a hero arrive Spheers who gallantly leads. Spheers running threw enemy fire not once but twice to lead the troops is a high point. The end has a German sniper which show the German will fight in a nasty and there in a gut wrenching chapter for Easy Company. 10 stars.

Better Call Saul: Namaste
(2020)
Episode 4, Season 5

Solid character development episode.
Solid character development episode. Namaste has Kim getting Jimmy to help a defendant which Kim's firm is running out of the old guys home. We see Kim has a soft spot for the under dog which is why Kim love Jimmy! Jimmy is on the case creatively creating delays for the house demolition crew. The viewer learns Jimmy loves his job of the con, which is humorous side of Namaste. Mike is stranded for medical help, and the viewer learns that Mike needs to be kept busy and needs a reason to be. The rest of the minor characters has minor development; the billionaire is a good ol boy, and Gus is a methodical men bent on revenge. Churning the character development builds up the characters and what the characters create. Meaning the character push the story instead of the other way around. 8 stars.

Band of Brothers: Crossroads
(2001)
Episode 5, Season 1

Solid episode!
Cross roads has a recount of Winter leading the way on a counter assault after Market Garden. Winter's lives with the cruelty of war with the memory of killing the young SS officer. Re- grouping and taking it easy with a loll in the war is the mid part of Crossroads. Hours of peace is suddenly broken by the German winter attack as the Battle of the Buldge begins. Of course Easy Company will be the tip of the spear again. Crossroads unfolds like reading a book, which create and image in the viewers minds. We see, feel and experience the Crossroads chapter more as in written form then visual, which is original for a T V series. 8 stars

Band of Brothers: Replacements
(2001)
Episode 4, Season 1

Good episode!
Replacements is a good installment. We see you move on and make do with what we got! The Market Garden mission hits heavy German resistance. The public is over joyed, in liberation, while heads shaved of female collaborators. The replacements are treated not to well; a mix of not putting their time in and not wanting to get emotionally attached to anyone. Harshness of battle is mixed in with fear, panic and the need for leadership which Nixon and Winkler provide. Well written, directed, and acted episode. 8 stars.

Band of Brothers: Carentan
(2001)
Episode 3, Season 1

Solid episode.
We see what was called German revenge! Every time the German's retreated the chasing army payed a heavy price. After being hit hard of D Day Easy Company has too regroup fight threw hedge row country and take the town of Carentan. Well the division works to help a shell shock troops, injuries and losses, but E company regroups. The viewer sees in a gritty film style with sounds and actions rapped violent combat, which is a sensory over load. The narration mixed into film creates the novel experience. Easy Company is the tip of the spear, and is rewarded with another tough job. The viewers see a company come together and has to movie on. I give Carentan 8 stars.

Band of Brothers: Day of Days
(2001)
Episode 2, Season 1

Day of Days
We seen why Sobel can not lead, and why the men protest and getting Sobel moved is good when Day of Days shows the fog of war. The commanding officer is killed, and new leader is born as Winkler takes command during the D day landing. The mistakes, lost troops and a man who is too afraid is with Winkler draws in the viewer watching Easy Company getting back on track is a great ture story as it un folds. There is a mission to take out big German guns which has a memorable conclusion which stands out for the series. The fighting, mixed with the big budgets of tons of troops tanks and the gritty combat ending is fantastic. Great directing on big sets makes Day of Days a trend setter for modern t v. 9 stars. But the show gets better.

Band of Brothers: Currahee
(2001)
Episode 1, Season 1

A good intro episode!
Currahee is one harsh episode! Captain Sobel is harsh, relentless, and un likeable. Currahee displays training of Easy Company which is pushed harder, longer and tougher. The introduction of the troops, Winkler and the rest of the men creates the feel of the Airborne as the start of a lean machine. The training is seen as harsh, but latter on in the series the viewer see why the training is so tough. Captain Sobel is a great trainer, but Sobel's in securities and personal flaws causes problems with unit. The viewer sees new potential leaders, characters and the cohesion of a group of men into Easy Company, which is pitted against Sobel. The acting, sets, directing is on a big budget level movie level. 9 stars.

Better Call Saul: The Guy for This
(2020)
Episode 3, Season 5

Turning point episode!
Turning point episode! The Guy for This slowly, but steadily trugs along season five of the series. Mike's hitting bottom with the baggage of the life Mike chose, but still has the skill set. We know something is happen but what? Kim is finding out the hard ships of being a lawyer. The gritty, ugly part of dealing with people goes with being a lawyer is evident! The real main story is Sal. Sal is called by Nacho to do some work! Nacho is doing deeper work for his boss/Gus and wants his father to leave New Mexico. Sal is now in house messenger for the cartel. There is no choice. Sal tries everything to get out. Money passes and the cartel now owns Sal. Introduction of Hank is entertaining. Memorable episode. The minor characters make The Guy for This! The old disgruntled home owner., the bartender, Hank in interrogation, Sal's car ride and the guy who attacked Mike all look and feel real. The minor details mixed into the main story creates on e fine gritty story. 9 stars.

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