kalibeans

IMDb member since July 2011
    Lifetime Total
    50+
    IMDb Member
    9 years

Reviews

Walks with My Dog
(2017)

Dogs and beautiful countryside-no stress here!
The only downside to this series is that there was only one season. I know there are other series about rambling about England, Scotland and Wales but there is so much to see it never fails to entertain. A good walk is always a great walk with a dog. The combination of countryside, doggie personalities and their owners narration make for a thoroughly wonderful hour. I would love to see another year of this series made. Very family friendly.

Father Brown: The Celestial Choir
(2020)
Episode 1, Season 8

Father Brown is Back!!!
Being in the US I just saw this first episode of Season 8. Father Brown has always been one of my top 5 "go to" shows. It's beautiful, entertaining, soothing, just all around excellent. I was so happy to see that there was going to be a Season 8 (and according to this site Season 9), but I was a bit worried the storyline may have begun to be played out. Wow was I in for a wonderful surprise with this dynamic first episode of Season 8. I'm sorry I did not catch the writer's name to give him/her a mention here, but Job Well Done! Very excited to watch the remainder of the season. Good to have you back Father Brown cast and crew!

Naked City: Daughter Am I in My Father's House
(1962)
Episode 3, Season 4

Very dark Naked City episode
"Daughter Am I in My Father's House" is a dark and deeply disturbing episode of Naked City aired in 1962 that I believe would be hard put to air today. A young woman, appears to be late teens, is cat called in a movie by four teen boys. After the movie they follow her and tease her implying they want to harm her, yet not doing any physical harm. So far this episode seems like an ordinary Naked City episode. Enter Ken Duryea, the young woman's father, retired or ex military living in the past surrounded by the accoutremonts of war in their home. It is obvious from his opening lines this man is disturbed. This is where this episode turns very dark. This man, appearing to both want to defend the honor of his daughter (who was not physically harmed and does not appear to even hold a grudge against the young men after one of them talks to her and apologizes for their stupidity), and re-live his military days by hunting these young men down actually forces his daughter to "tart herself up" as bait to lure them out so he can attack them. You will have to watch to see how it concludes. This was a very well written and well acted episode that will stay with you. I was surprised this passed the censors of the time. Very good psychological thriller episode.

I'll Be Gone in the Dark
(2020)

Cannot wait to watch this series unfold
I will put a warning for spoilers, although I'm not quite sure I am really giving any. At this writing there are only 2 other reviews, both of which I have a differing opinion to. We have a diligent researcher, McNamara in the 21st century, researching and pulling together; along with many, many other researchers, the pieces that will help to finally catch a murderer/rapist who began decades earlier. It seems the other reviewers expect the entire storyline in one episode. Just as it took many years of hard work to finally tell the full horror of this monster and catch the monster, it will take the whole series to tell the story of how this came to be. I found Michelle McNamara instantly relatable and unpretentious, which is, I imagine, what helped make her such a good researcher and why people trusted her. i'm so impressed with her tenacity. It may have been as she herself said "an addiction", but for the best of causes. She helped play a huge role in finally giving so many victims a measure of peace again. It was a bit here and there, but so is research in the the early stages. I will absolutely stick with it. I only wish it was all released at once.

Laurel Canyon
(2020)

Beautiful trip to the nostalgic history of the time and place
I was very pleasantly surprised at the the amount of original footage and narration by the singers and songwriters themselves, thinking that there could not possibly be anything left that had not been shown elsewhere before. The show does a very creative job of joining that particular place - Laurel Canyon Road - with stories about the people and music that came out of that one location. Not to be missed if you love the music of that period in time. Thank you for a wonderful evening.

The Sinner
(2017)

This review is for Season 1 - excellent
I am not very familiar with Jessica Biel's body of work, the first season of this show makes me think I should find out. She was incredible. So troubled, so disturbed, so ill treated, it was all in her face and movements, not histrionics. Bill Pullman's soft spoken, broken, tenacious detective was riveting. All of the supporting characters were top notch as well, especially the actress who played Biel's little sister and the highly disturbed mother. This series pulled off what few bother to do now, be incredibly dark and terrifying without the use of explicit gore or over the top sex. While the sexual aspects of the story are disturbing, they are not shown, and the telling, the innuendo, leaves a far greater punch than if it had been shown as full on nudity. Extremely well written. It kept me on the edge of my seat every episode, which I watched in all in one go. I'm looking forward to season 2. I noticed Jessica Biel has a Producer credit for this series. Well done and many thanks for excellent entertainment.

Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind
(2020)

Beautiful tribute to her mother
Natasha Gregson Wagner has given the world a truly beautiful tribute to her mother, wife, mom, actress, friend Natalie Wood. We are simply strangers who enjoyed and appreciated Natalie Wood's work.I feel we have been allowed to see an honest look into the person through the words and memories of the beautiful daughter she raised. It was open and very forthright, making no attempt to gloss over the difficult parts of any life. Heartwarming to see the close knit, fun, home life Natalie and Robert Wagner worked so hard to give their children, who were so obviously such a central and important part of their lives. It's very much past time the tabloids leave this family in peace. It is obvious Robert Wagner has put his heart and soul into doing the difficult job of raising these girls after Natalie's death. I always enjoyed seeing him interviewed by Robert Osbourne on TCM. Thank you for allowing us to see your memories of your mother Natasha. Very well done indeed.

Crooked House
(2008)

Wonderful old fashioned ghost story!
Mark Gatiss has written us a beautifully scary ghost story. One you could easily envision the telling of round a campfire in the middle of a deep, dark wood. I love the way he ties the beginning, which starts in today's time, back through time, of 3 separate stories all revolving around a grotesque door knocker which binds them all together. Mark Gatiss with his wonderful narrative voice is the teller of the tale, to a young history teacher who has just purchased a home in which he finds the unusual aforementioned object in his garden. Thus begins his nightmare. A classic ghost story, not dependent on buckets of gore, endless foul language, or gratuitous sex scenes. Just a well written tale. I was enthralled from beginning to end. Kudos for a job very well done Mr. Gatiss!

Stranger Things: Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt
(2019)
Episode 8, Season 3

A Fantastic Season!
Thank you Duffer Brothers for creating this unique world to let us lose ourselves in for a time. There are so many reasons I am impressed with Stranger Things. It is the perfect balance of innocence (great job of progressing the main characters into their teen years), strength, comedy and drama. It absolutely was not the same ol/same ol science fiction story. From the initial decision to place Hawkins in the early to mid 80's (with plenty of memory lane quick references for older audience), combined with some brilliant kids, yet with the ordinary issues of growing up. A terrifying monster, world power conflicts and the always fascinating problems Eleven lives with daily learning to live with her special powers, yet try to have as much of a normal life as possible. Some have dissed what I considered a tender moment between Dustin and his really real Suzie duet. These are young teens in love and that totally was a situation that was within the realm of "this could happen". The tiny door left open during the credits both in the bad world (the wall was not totally closed) and emotionally (did Hopper really die?) are great cliffhangers. Overall I was very pleased with Season 3, as I have been with Season 1 and 2. Please don't make us wait 2 whole years for season 4!! Kudos for a job Very Well Done to all involved!!

Stranger Things: Chapter Four: The Sauna Test
(2019)
Episode 4, Season 3

And Stranger Things is Back!!!
This reviewer was concerned after episodes 1-3. Very concerned. Then "The Sauna Test" brings the full fun of watching Stranger Things back Full Force!!

Stranger Things: Chapter Three: The Case of the Missing Lifeguard
(2019)
Episode 3, Season 3

Slowly headed downhill
I gave episode 1 a 9, episode 2 an 8 and this 3rd episode a 7, based on the course the show sadly seems to be taking. I'll keep on watching, but Stranger Things seems to be losing it's innocence/sci-fi/other worldliness for just plain dark and gory. The primary characters are just scattered. It's hard to describe without spoilers. I'm hoping for a turn soon that puts the essence of Stranger Things back into it. It's far too good a show to go downhill in just it's 3rd season.

God Friended Me
(2018)

Astonished
Two episodes in and God Friended Me remains astonishing good. No violence, foul language or politicizing. Just upliftingly fun to watch. I had long since passed the time of expecting anything this happy to watch from one of the grandfather three networks. Keep it up. Thank you CBS.

Patrick Melrose
(2018)

What a confusing mess
Benedict Cumberbatch is an excellent actor. I'd like to know he chose this particular very poorly conceived and written project. I'm on episode 1, about 50 minutes in and have seen nothing to convince me this has a chance of getting any better. In the real world he would have died several times over by now. It appears as if a very wealthy English man abused by his father (whether sexually, emotionally or both is not yet clear) has grown into a highly drug and alcohol addicted adult. With the vast consumption shown the fact that he made it to adulthood is too far a stretch of the imagination. I added Showtime specifically for this series solely out of respect for Mr. Cumberbatch's abilities as an actor. This program could best be defined as a self-indulgent waste of time.

Westworld: Virtù e Fortuna
(2018)
Episode 3, Season 2

What happened to the writers of season 1?
One reviewer wrote "This show is going south so fast". That is a perfect description. Season 1 was far more cerebral, which could have been continued into Season 2 - even if Anthony Hopkins didn't come back. He was the shows focal point. It has become a bloody hot mess with no direction. I am hoping for a turning point.

Lost in Space
(2018)

A perfect balance of old and new
It seems many of the reviews with somewhat negative comments come from folks who were not a tween when the original Lost in Space tv showed was airing. The original was about 20% science and 80% camp. This remake leans far heavier on the science fiction aspect and still retains a dose of the comedy/camp. This robot is light years ahead of the original, while Dr. Smith is far more menacing. I'm only finished with the first five episodes so far, but it seems like Netflix has hit another one out of the ballpark. Not as great as Stranger Things, but far better than tv fiction. I think we are watching the last few years of tv fade away and soon will be completely transitioned to internet movies. Bravo Netflix for another great dose of quality entertainment.

One Strange Rock
(2018)

Magnificent
Oh if only more TV was this quality! Well shot, well produced, execellent narrative, meaningful. Every bit as good as Blue Planet. For every age 3-103. Thank you to all who labored to bring us this incredible program. I hope it is long lived.

Secrets of the Underground
(2017)

Was really hoping for more original science
Sadly, there is not much new content in this series that has not been covered in numerous other documentaries or science or history series. A lot of teasing at the commercial breaks, with little to reveal after. I have no issue with exploring to find newer science on a previously explored site and coming up empty. That's the nature of exploration. But please don't belittle your viewers intelligence with the false hope of a new reveal "after a few words from our sponsor". The sites are interesting as is. Trying new technology on these places is interesting. Just don't try to hype it up. The approach kind of reminds me of a ghost hunting show format. Interesting sites with interesting science and history - poorly delivered. UPDATE: Season 2: Season 2 adds a new tech adviser Stefan and greatly improved scripts, locations and best of all - the childish teasers prior to a commercial break leading you to believe a major discovery would follow an ad for whatever are 95% gone. This is more what we have come to expect from The Science Channel. I have revised my rating from a "5" for Season 1 to a "7" for Season 2. Well worth your time now. The episode in Israel was especially well done.

Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath
(2016)

Each episode continues to impress
Each episode my opinion of Leah Remini continues to grow. She is taking a very personal aspect of a part of her life and opening it up to public knowledge and possible ridicule in an attempt to get information to the public on what really goes on behind the secretive doors of the so-called "church" of scientology. It is heartbreaking to see how this organization is tearing families apart. There have now been, in the last decade, several documentaries and books released in an attempt to educate the public on scientology. The one common factor seems to be the fact that this "church" refuses to sit down and answer questions or debate - anyone. They continue to refuse cameras inside all these properties. Anyone who is walking in truth is never afraid to stand in the light. The series is very well produced. The interviews with the folks who have had to make the heartbreaking decision to leave, knowing their family members will be put under horrific pressure to not have anything to do with them any longer are so hard to hear. I hope that enough is brought forward so that law enforcement can research into the physical abuse end at least. The series is much like hearing about the poor women and children in some of the FLDS situations. They seem trapped. I admire what Leah Remini is trying to accomplish and hope her show can help some of these families.

Cosmic Front
(2011)

Excellent Documentary Series
I found this absolute gem of documentary series via the Curiosity channel available on Amazon. I have spent the entire day just getting from Episode 1-7 of Season 1. Made thru NHK in Japan (don't worry it's in English) and interviewing scientists from every field in Cosmic exploration from around the globe it is complex enough (I think, I'm not a scientist) for scientists, yet so well explained that non science folks like me still learn vast amounts. I found myself rewinding constantly to hear the more technical aspects over and over until I got most of it. The photography is stunning as is the incorporation of CG to give visualization to the concepts explained. For me the most fascinating episode so far is a year in the life of the Curiosity rover on Mars. Fascinating!! As an 11 year old glued to close enough to the TV to get a "scoot back you'll ruin your eyes" from mom as Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon, the fact that we have what is essentially the coolest remote control toy ever tooling about on Mars is mind blowing. This is absolutely one documentary series not to be missed if you have any curiosity about what lies beyond the thin blue line. Thank you Japan!

Art of the Heist
(2007)

Excellent documentary series on worlds greatest art heists
I was amazed to see that there was no rating on IMDb yet for this excellent documentary series. Each episode tells the tale of a major art heist around the world. Docudrama where needed, actual individuals and footage from the time included where available. Told in a captivating pace, I binge watched the entire series in two days time. It popped up as an available option on my Amazon Acorn subscription. It also listed as available to purchase in DVD form. Some of the theft stories are well known from the news or from bits of other shows, but this series goes into greater depth about each incident. Terrifying to think that some of these treasures may never again be seen. A very high quality, well made documentary series. Absolutely worth a watch if you love documentaries, art or just a good crime thriller.

Vera
(2011)

Another excellent crime series from across the pond.
Just think of all the extremely well written, well made crime series from the UK and add this one to the list! Brenda Blethyln brings to life the whip smart, eccentric, disheveled inspector Vera. A bit like a female Columbo. Filmed in the desolate, spooky, dreary NE part of England that itself makes for the perfect backdrop for murder mysteries. A well rounded team of supporting actors bring it home. I only wish I'd found it earlier, but stumbling upon it in its sixth season makes for some wonderful evenings of binge watching! Not too many strong female DI leads are out there. Brenda Blethyln carries her part seemingly effortlessly. She's absolutely in the same class as Joan Hickson. One series not to be missed.

Don't Come Knocking
(2005)

A Wonderful Gem of a Find
Another brilliant story, beautifully shot, wonderfully acted, fantastic soundtrack of a film that totally escaped my radar out here in the suburbs until tonight, thanks to some meandering on IMDb, I came across it. Thank you Sam Shepard for a wonderfully told story driven film. Thank you Wim Wenders for making it. And thanks to all the rest of the cast and crew who were a part of it. When I look at the gross for this movie, and the gross for this summers biggest "blockbuster", it saddens me. Don't be afraid to expand your horizons a bit American movie going public. You will be amazed at what all you have missed if you stick merely to the current big movie. Last but never, ever least thanks to T Bone Burnett for another amazing soundtrack. A wonderful evening for this movie lover.

Gas Food Lodging
(1992)

Exquisite film
I know IMDb requires 10 lines, but I wish I could simply put "exquisite". Thank you yet again TCM for expanding my film horizons. October, 2015, TCM has a weekly segment on women directors. I had never seen any of Allison Anders films; but from the interviews I looked them up. This was the first one I picked to watch. Story, cinematography, music - this movie has the whole package. Each of the actors played their roles to perfection, especially Fairuza Balk, who gave us a brilliantly nuanced performance. I was entranced throughout. Thank you Allison Anders for this beautiful gift of a film. It will absolutely be one I will be purchasing for my collection and I cannot wait to see the rest of your body of work. Exquisite.

The Visit
(2015)

The Night of Signs shines in The Visit
What a truly enjoyable movie-going experience (except for the teenage girl behind me who kicked my seat every time she screamed). I have not experienced an audience laugh out loud so much or scream out loud so much in a long, long time. The Visit had the potential to be a truly horrifying experience. Night expertly takes the audiences hand (grips it with a vice like strength) and drags you through each twist and turn. He gives you time to laugh and then scares the laugh right out of you. The Visit incorporates what I love best about Night's excellent storytelling - an element of redemption, reminding the audience of some of life's more important lessons. Thus relieving you of having to have it be unbearably terrifying. A huge nod to the two young actors who were magnificent in this film. Thank you! You both did an incredible job!! We are returned once again to the confines of one family, one house, one memorable week, one marvelous Night experience. I loved it. Well done Night! Well done!!!

The Signal
(2014)

It's Science Fiction
This was an excellent showing for a fairly new director with a low budget and a hard core science fiction story. I think many of the lower reviews come from folks who cannot accept the "you don't get to find out all the answers" nature of true science fiction. Which is rarely tied up with a nice ribbon and an "oh, now I get it" conclusion. The 3 primary actors were excellent, especially in the emotion packed last 20 minutes. Lawrence Fishburne was deliciously creepy. Did it flow perfectly - no. If you hated Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odessey, you probably won't like this. Not that I'm comparing, except that they are both true science fiction. Signals absolutely had heavier human emotion. Signals is well worth a watch, get past the first 20 minutes and you have a nice ride.

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