Ed-Shullivan

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Reviews

Tulips in Spring
(2016)

As Judy Garland's persona Dorothy Gale would say "There's no place like home!"
Light viewing, simple story, with a family comes first theme, and a new romance to boot. Tugs at your heart strings if you are the type that believes in your own family and you remember both the good times and the bad times. It's an inspirational film with a warm and romantic tone to it. Both Mrs. Shullivan and I quite enjoyed it.

I give it a 7 out of 10 IMDB rating,

Wicked Stepmother
(1989)

Well this is a first ... Bette Davis must have risen from the dead to play in this campy dark comedy
Of course this film will never be a classic film, but it does have some catchy and campy scenes and lines and it will keep you wondering "what's next?" Bette Davis looks like she has just risen from the dead both figuratively and literally speaking. In 1981, Kim Carnes sang the hit song Bette Davis Eyes but in this film the then 81 year old Bette Davis could be better associated with the 1980 song Welcome to THE MONSTER CLUB - theme by The Pretty Things.

The film is very fractured with scenes jumping all over the place as the witch Priscilla, (Barbara Carrera) places magical spells on anyone she seems to come in contact with, but eh, that's camp comedy for you.

I wouldn't call it a memorable camp film, but I wouldn't call it one of the worse in the camp/horror genre that I have seen in the past either.

I give it a bare passable 5 out of 10 IMDB rating. It will not be on my purchase list either.

Overlook
(2020)

Whose your daddy now?
Mrs. Shullivan and I must have changed our minds several times each trying to determine who the mysterious assassin was. Similar to a good Agatha Christie mystery, this made for TV thriller did not disappoint. At one point or another almost every main character became a suspect so the plot was thicker than Dolly Parton's hairdo, and heavier than her two main assets.

There is a wealthy family whose patriarch died a few years ago so mom and daughter own the ranch equally. That is, until mom comes home unexpectedly re-married with her boy toy so suspicions arise as to what happens to the estate when accidents start occurring almost every second day.

This made for TV film is a cut above the normal ho hum whodunits so I am rewarding it with a 6 out of 10 IMDB rating.

The Killer Downstairs
(2019)

This made for TV film did not arouse my Spidey senses in the least
The futile attempt at a suspenseful and non-stop music score degraded the otherwise decent acting of the lead character the unemployed lawyer Alison (Cindy Busby) who rents out her furnished basement apartment to the hunky and handsome recently divorced James (Marcus Rosner).

As people who Alison Peters has had previous conflicts with start disappearing, her basement tenant always seems to be around to lift Alison's spirits. I wouldn't even call this a half decent timewaster, rather just an attractive landlord with a macho basement tenant who we discover rather quickly has a hidden agenda and the blah suspenseful music score is simply just irritating.

There is a cute GEICO insurance TV commercial where there is a bunch of scared loser ladies and men who say to the camera in the middle of the night "Let's Hide Behind the Chainsaws" that appear in the garage while the serial killer is shaking his head how stupid this group must be. If you don't want to feel like these TV commercial losers, I would suggest you pass on this non suspenseful waste of time.

I give it a less than stellar 4 out of 10 IMDB rating.

Three Strangers
(1946)

Confucius say ... man who crosses ocean twice without washing first is a dirty double crosser
Three strangers who have had a recent run of very bad luck get together on the Chinese New Years eve and agree to make the same wish to a Chinese statue/idol that their wish to win a lottery and split their winnings three ways does not go according to each of their plans.

The woman Crystal Shackleford (Geraldine Fitzgerald) collects two complete strangers to meet with her in front of the Chinese idol. The two men are played by Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet and the three strangers agree to wish that their sweepstakes ticket wins them an opportunity to gain a winning share of the horse that their sweepstake ticket provides to them.

It may be somewhat mysterious, and Peter Lorre provides some dark comedy, but the film lacks any real suspense and/or mystery. I have never been a fan of the overweight Sydney Greenstreet and his role in this film seems out of place. He is dull and boring as well as he lacks any emotion with his role as a desperate man.

I love a good black and white mystery film-noir film, unfortunately these three strangers reflect mistrust and greed and we all know that Karma is ones just reward.

I give the film a lacklustre 4 out of 10 IMDB rating even with the late great John Huston being responsible for the original screenplay.

Along Came a Nanny
(2014)

Who would have thought the criminal would have been the ?????
No spoiler alert here is necessary as I am not about to give away any clues as to who is committing multiple burglaries in this Tony neighborhood or how the break-ins are occurring. Suffice to say that Detective Mike Logan (Cameron Mathison) agrees to go undercover as a nanny for a family of four which includes a young boy and girl who both need some guidance to achieve their extra curricular goals which their new nanny Detective Mike Logan is only too happy to provide.

While investigating the neighborhood burglaries, Detective Mike Logan is also getting to know the neighborhood nannies and he develops a special liking for neighborhood nanny Jessica White (Sarah Lancaster).

There are sufficient suspects to consider, and Detective Mike Logan's experience as a housekeeper/nanny remain questionable but the kids develop a love/hate/love relationship with him.

This is a very easy watching Lifetime TV film with some comedy and romance interspersed and no violence to speak of with a decent yet somewhat predictable ending for a Lifetime film.

I give it a passing grade 6 out of 10 IMDB rating.

The Rain People
(1969)

A waste of a lot of good young acting talent
Writer/Director Francis Ford Coppola has an extensive resume, and I know everyone has to start somewhere. Thank goodness Coppola's next two films as a Director were (1972) The Godfather and (1974) The Conversation so he definitely redeemed himself from this low brow family tragedy drama film.

I liked the acting of the three key actors, namely Shirley Knight, James Caan, and Robert Duvall, but the story line was a very weak one. A woman named Natalie (Shirley Knight) who has discovered she is pregnant suddenly develops a seven (7) year itch and she is unsure if she wants to stay married, and/or carry her baby for the full term of her pregnancy. So she decides to take a road trip with the intention of having an extra-marital affair with a stranger she picks up hitchhiking. Natalie asks her hitchhiker his name and he responds "my name is Killer (bad writing eh?) Jimmy Kilgannon (James Caan) so people just call me Killer."

Very quickly Natalie finds the good looking, young and well built Jimmy has been tackled far too many times on the football field and has had his brain jarred loose. He's nice to her, but he is a bit too simple minded to be sharing her bed with. So she continues on her road trip and gets caught for speeding by a police officer named Gordon (James Caan) and as they flirt with one another she agrees to go on a date with Officer Gordon.

Natalie's road trip has opened her eyes to other peoples problems such as Jimmy's brain damage and Officer Gordon's being a recent widower raising a young daughter in a trailer home as his late wife and son died in a house fire, the house they owned was destroyed.

Natalie begins to realize that although her past life and her current marriage may have been boring and uneventful, the lives she has recently been interacting with are much worse off than her own sorry life.

Without wanting to spoil the ending for anyone this is a ho hum road trip film with an expected outcome.

I give it a 4 out of 10 IMDB rating which should take nothing away from the stellar acting of Knight, Caan and Duvall. It is just the story line is dull.

Mayor of Kingstown: The Mayor of Kingstown
(2021)
Episode 1, Season 1

Gritty series, corruption permeates the air in Kingstown as destitute men live only long enough to await their imminent demise as street justice is meted out
Based on this pilot episode

This series has already shown its potential as a top notch crime/drama TV series after just this first episode. Jeremy Renner is a bona fide A-lister film star who signed on to this TV series knowing just how well written it was. It includes a stellar supporting cast of TV and film stars that will allow the series to keep its audience glued to the series episodes each week which I am sure will continue for a few seasons more.

Co-creator and TV and film star in his own right, Hugh Dillon, is quite familiar with the physical location the series was shot which is in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, as he was born in this small town that is best known for housing the Kingston Penitentiary for hard core long term serving criminals.

The series has a real life feel, corruption exists as we all know it exists, but in Kingstown we get to see who is managing the scales of justice. Justice as only street justice exists in Kingstown, and Jeremy Renner who plays Mike McLusky confronts it head first and then dictates how justice will be meted out.

This is going to be the most highly acclaimed crime/drama TV series since the 1999 Sopranos.

Prediction: Multiple Emmy awards over multiple seasons. I can't wait for more episodes to be aired.

Mayor of Kingstown
(2021)

Gritty series, corruption permeates the air in Kingstown as destitute men live only long enough to await their imminent demise as street justice is meted out
This series has already shown its potential as a top notch crime/drama TV series just based on the first episode. Jeremy Renner is a bona fide A-lister film star who signed on to this TV series knowing just how well written it was and which includes a stellar supporting cast of TV and film stars that will allow the series to keep its audience glued to the series episodes each week which I am sure will continue for a few seasons more.

Co-creator and TV and film star in his own right, Hugh Dillon, is quite familiar with the physical location the series was shot which is in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, as he was born in this small town that is best known for housing the Kingston Penitentiary for hard core long term serving criminals.

The series has a real life feel, corruption exists as we all know it exists, but in Kingstown we get to see who is managing the scales of justice. Justice as only street justice exists in Kingstown, and Jeremy Renner who plays Mike McLusky confronts it head on and then dictates how justice will be meted out.

This is going to be the most highly acclaimed crime/drama TV series since the 1999 Sopranos.

Prediction: Multiple Emmy awards over multiple seasons. I can't wait for more episodes to be aired.

I give the series a perfect 10 out of 10 IMDB rating.

The Harder They Fall
(2021)

I just love a good vindictive action filled western - It's now on my purchase list
I was in the process of just putting our grandsons down to bed for the night when the film "The Harder They Fall" came on and I needed a good film to relax for the night and have a few cold beers. I have yet to see actor Idris Elba in a bad role ever, and this one is one of his finest. The film shows Idris's versatility and his machoism is in the forefront. When the townsfolk are out in the main street venting their frustration that their land may be taken from them out walks the slick ex convict Rufus Buck (Idris Elba) and you can just see the fear in the townsfolks eyes.

The film has a very strong supporting cast and playing second to no one is Regina King as the tough talking and hard hitting Trudy Smith. Hers was not just a talky role as she provided some great action scenes including a catfight with another tough female hombre Mary Fields played by the up and coming actress Zazie Beetz.

There is a story behind the lead characters that is easy to follow and I just kept poring the beers as the story unfolded and the action accelerated. This is a must see for any true western fan and its about time that the wild west had presented some people of color in the lead roles other than pasty white guys. (I'm a pasty white guy)

The cinematography was wonderful. I really enjoy a good western with a great color screen for the background whether it is a full daylight scene or dusk scene. I knocked the movie down a notch for some of the unorthodox choices in music that was choreographed alongside some of the action scenes.

I have rated The Harder They Fall a highly recommended 8 out of 10 IMDB rating and the film is now on my Christmas purchase list as I will want to watch it a few more times.

Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: How to Con A Con
(2021)
Episode 15, Season 1

Like a scrumptious buffet table, there was a smorgasbord of many prospective suspects in this episode to choose from
Mrs. Shullivan and I enjoy guessing who is the guilty suspect(s) in any good murder/mystery movie and this episode did not disappoint by providing us with a smorgasbord of potential villains/suspects. Aurora Teagarden (Candace Cameron Bure) is at her best as the inquisitive librarian/mystery sleuth supported by her newspaper reporter friend Sally Allison (Lexa Doig) as they sift through oodles and oodles of potential suspects even as their friends and/or family members are placed in dangerous situations at the hands of the villains.

There appears to be some similarities between murders that were committed three years apart with a cord for strangling the victims still present around their necks. Similar to a scrumptious buffet table, you could almost see Aurora Teagarden salivating to get involved and get to the bottom of this mystery.

It's light and fun entertainment. Don't consider this series to be thrillers but more like romantic adventures and you won't be disappointed. I give it a decent 7 out of 10 IMDB rating.

Waiter, we would like another serving of another episode of Aurora Teagarden please. Coming right up! Hopefully before year end 2021)

Girl in the Bunker
(2018)

This film did not sensationalize the abduction, rape and kidnapping but I still think these types of films spur copycats
Great jobs by the lead actress Julia Lalonde who played Elizabeth Shaof the victim and by the lead actor Henry Thomas, who played perpetrator Vinson Filyaw. The film packed quite a bit of the true life crime events in the 88 minute film without ever over sensationalizing some of the more horrific moments this young teenager experienced while in captivity.

The stranger danger rule was ignored by Elizabeth Shoaf as she let her guard down when Vinson Filyaw introduced himself and pretended to be a police officer.

This should be a warning for all young girls/women and boys/men to pay attention to your surroundings and ask yourself the "what if" questions before allowing yourself to become thee next victim.

These types of abductions and rapes happen far too often and to some extent the producers have to share the blame for airing shows like these that give that very small percentage of whackadoodles ideas to copycat these heinous crimes.

I give the film a better than average 7 out of 10 IMDB rating.

Salem Falls
(2011)

Three teenage wannabe witches turn out to be real sinister little (Rhymes with witches and starts with a "B")
This made for TV Lifetime film is a notch or two above their typical standard fare and AJ Michalka puts on a performance that would make any police department believe she was raped. The film has a great cast and I do believe that privileged teenagers raised with a silver spoon find weird ways to entertain themselves. In this case the three teenage girls form a coven and they are practising witchcraft. Gillian puts what she thinks is a spell on the newcomer to town named Jack McBradden (James Van Der Beek) so that Gillian (AJ Michalka) can fulfill her current fantasy and have the man who she thinks she is in love with. When Jack rejects Gillian's sexual advances well you have heard the cryptic line "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" and so Jack ends up temporarily in jail.

This film has an undertone of a teenager acting out due to her being the victim of an unwanted incestual relationship, and how very wealthy people believe they are above the law. It does have a happy romantic ending for Jack and Addie Peabody who owns the local diner and the right person ends up behind bars regardless of his wealth and influence.

There are lessons to be learned. I give the film a decent 6 out of 10 IMDB rating.

Identity Theft of a Cheerleader
(2019)

I expected the lead character to wake up from her bad dream ... which would have made for a much better ending
I must say that this story line was somewhat different from the typical Lifetime movie melodramas but how far this thirty year old wannabe cheerleader would go by impersonating a teenage high schooler to fulfill her (mothers) dreams and expectations was way over the top.

I watched it while recuperating from a bad cold laying on the couch, and I am not sure what gave me the bigger headache, my cold or the silly plot line of this made for TV movie. I just felt that the movie title "Identity Theft of a Cheerleader" warranted a curious watch and see attitude. So I watched, and I sneezed throughout the film, and I ended up with a bigger headache then before I watched the film.

I give this LifeTime film a paltry 3 out of 10 IMDB rating. And that's an atchoooooo!

Flamingo Road
(1949)

I find it hard to believe that the then 43 year old Crawford could have two younger men fawning over her
This style of movie was the typical cookie cutter approach of a three way love triangle popular during the 1940s and 1950s. What is difficult for me to believe is how an unattractive (in my personal opinion) 43 year old actress Joan Crawford could possibly have not one but two younger gentlemen/actors both 35 years old at the time this film was released falling head over heels from the moment they both lock eyes on the plain looking Joan Crawford?

Its a simple plot with the bad guy being the small town sheriff Titus Semple played by the smarmy Sydney Greenstreet. I really think if I was provided 72 hours I could have come up with a better script than what we get to see on the silver screen.

I give it a near passing 5 out of 10 IMDB rating.

Thirteen Women
(1932)

The "Eyes" have it, its a flop.
There were an abundance of great films released in the 1930's but I don't think this film passes the mustard. Myrna Loy plays a vindictive half breed (her words, not mine) who seeks vengeance against the former high school mean girls who rejected her, and benefitted from being raised as white American women of privilege. All Myrna Loy had to do was give any man or woman a certain look and with the assistance of forging a Swami's name in a personalized letter outlining how they would meet their untimely death(s) the power of suggestion would take over and they would die or be murdered.

Much like a runaway train that couldn't be stopped Myrna Loy was out of control and she took the last train to her own untimely death.

I give the film a blah 4 out of 10 IMDB rating.

Bells Are Ringing
(1960)

It's unfortunate this had to be Judy Holliday's last film - she upstages Dean Martin in every scene
Colorful cinematography, excellent story line along the lines of a modern day Cinderella in which Judy Holliday plays a telephone operator for an answering service while she gets to know some of her clients, especially Dean Martin who is a struggling playwright that Judy falls in love with.

It has a great supporting cast too but no one can hold a candle to Judy Holliday, including Dean Martin.

It was very unfortunate that we lost Judy to her battle with cancer far too long. She would have been making more entertaining films well into her 80's otherwise. She was one of a kind.

I give the film a 7 out of 10 IMDB rating. I would have rated it higher if some of the songs in this musical were more memorable.

Catalina Caper
(1967)

The only thieves in this film are the lousy producers who generated this dull film
You have an animated opening musical score which is decent, and then when the film starts to roll the film put me to sleep. A cat burglar steals a scroll, places it in a tube and tries to sell a fake copy by doing a last minute switcheroo. A bunch of so-called teens that are definitely more looking like they are in their mid to late twenties age group are suckered into skin diving to try and locate the original scroll.

You have a bunch of hot girls singing and dancing on the beach with child actor Tommy Kirk now all grown up leading the band of horny guys swinging to the music and chasing after the scroll.

The only thing that kept me watching to the very end of the film was to see if Little Richard would make a second appearance, as he sang a number in the first twenty minutes of the film, but much to my disappointment that was all Little Richard would sing.

I give the film a mediocre 5 out of 10 IMDB rating.

The Cool Ones
(1967)

If you want "cool" then try sucking on an ice cube, because this film will burn you
Another out dated 1960's period film that lacks a good title song rendition, any decent acting, and while I am at it, I have to comment on the terrible choreography. If you want to watch how a good film is produced, feast your eyes on the 1957 (ten years earlier than this crap) Elvis Presley film Jailhouse Rock.

I give it an over rated 4 out of 10 IMDB rating for the only redeeming feature which are the attractive dancers.

Catch Us If You Can
(1965)

An out dated 1960s period movie that is difficult to watch to the boring end
I must say some of the Dave Clark Five songs are decent, but other than that being the one single redeeming feature of this boring film I would recommend ignoring this film all together, The alternate film title was "Having a Wild Weekend" but trust me, the dialogue is as wild as watching a snail crawl across a wet road. It's very slow, and not wild at all.

I give the film a less than worth watching 3 out of 10 IMDB rating.

Legends of Tomorrow
(2016)

For Vegetarians only, Why you ask?
Because this TV series is so "corny". The background music is reminiscent of a Sunday afternoon children's program. The time travel is interesting, and the period costumes are first class. But the story lines are so corny only a vegetarian can stomach them each week.

I tried a few episodes and just couldn't digest anymore bland stories. I am more a meat and potatoes guy so Ihave to ask "where's the meat?"

I give it a bland 5 out of 10 IMDB rating. Vegetarians are not everyone's taste.

Your Cheatin' Heart
(1964)

No one should take this Biography seriously with George Hamilton playing the lead role
The music of Hank Williams presented was great and if you can get over the fact that the producers made a mockery of Hank Williams legacy by having the wimpy George Hamilton play the lead role then maybe, just maybe you will be able to watch the entire film. Unfortunately the film bares little resemblance.to the hardships that the real Hank Williams lived through and the demons he carried until his unexpected death at the young age of only 29. Years of back pain, alcoholism, and prescription drug abuse severely compromised Williams's health. With his stardom rising and falling like a yo-yo due to his demons and his inability to stay sober and meet his contractual obligations one of his greatest pains and embarrassments was when the Grand 'Old Opry dismissed him from appearing any more, He was on his second wife and the producers couldn't even stick to the correct timelines upon his death notification and cause of death.

I enjoyed the music, but I take offense when producers attempt to "create" their own story and timelines when filming a biography of an iconic entertainer whose music is historical and his written style will certainly be coped for future centuries of musicians.

I can only give the film a 5 out of 10 IMDB rating due to their poor choice of signing the anemic and.musically inept George Hamilton.to the lead role. In my view it was as if the same producers would have used a house mouse to play King Kong.

The Greatest
(1977)

Ali is the ORIGINAL rapper and the greatest boxer from his early days through his entire life
I have read some of the other reviews and their negative criticism of Ali's acting talents but the reality is Ali invented "hype" and "rapping" which both were reflected in this autobiographical film from his teenage years as the 1960 Boxing heavyweight Gold Medal winner through to his 1974 upset win of the heavy hitting George Foreman in Zaire, Africa.

Just like in all his incredible boxing matches this film packs a lot of punch in its.101 minutes of film run time. I wish people would look at what the film includes rather than what the film is lacking. Muhummad Ali was the greatest fighter and influential person of the 21st century. How can anyone say he is a bad actor when he is playing himself?

Ghosts
(2021)

Before and Laughter
Okay, okay, everyone knows this series was based on an earlier British version. But did you know that criticizing this eclectic cast of ghosts could lead one self to being haunted for the rest of your petty lives?

The first episode reminded me of a stage play but then Mrs. Shullivan and I continued watching episodes 2 and 3 and as the cast of ghosts became more familiar to us, it grew on us and we are starting to enjoy the storylines. In some regards it also reminded us of the much earlier (1968-1970) TV series The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.

The two stars are a young married couple Samantha (Rose McIver) who inherited the haunted castle and her husband Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar) and decide to renovate it and try and turn it into a bed and breakfast. The ghosts who have inhabited the castle for centuries are not too thrilled with their home being turned into a Bed and Breakfast but a compromise is achieved.

Samantha has acquired the ability to see and speak to her castle full of ghosts as well as a basement filled with zombies and her husband Jay has no choice but to believe Samantha's ability to speak to the dead as she proves through her actions that only a ghost could have known.

I say to the naysayers, give it time, and maybe, just maybe the ghosts will not haunt your dreams. It is an eclectic cast of characters, funny, innovative and quirky. They will grow on you just as they have on Mrs. Shullivan and I after only the first three (3) episodes.

Chucky
(2021)

HORROR-ible
The only redeeming feature of this series is the doll CHUCKY, whose puppeteer deserves an Emmy for stealing the show from all the other dummies attached to this low brow entertainment.

If you are looking for any semblance of a thriller, killer and/or a horror feature then look elsewhere. This series will put anyone to sleep as it is so boring.

I give the series a low 4 out of 10 IMDB rating.

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