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Sister of the Groom

More Potential Than Accomplishment
There is a good angle for this plot. The Grooms sister brings her husband to her brother's wedding and has a whole lot of issues. She is failing in her own life, her husband is having problems too. Then when she meets the young chick marrying her brother, things just do not fit. Her strange relatives really put a strange surreal quality on the proceedings.

It does not help that she is turning 40 (must be nice for Silverstone who is actually older than that). Plus she has twins who because the Wedding was rescheduled she does not bring. The quality writing is in the sister and brother's characters who are fully developed. The fault is in the Bride and her family who seem to have been duct taped into the script. At least the bride is a you chick who has some issues that come out.

There are mature issues of sex, lies, and dead relatives that come into play. What gets me is the dead relatives seem to be more alive than the brides family which seems to hang around like deadwood through out the movie.

I suppose it is correct that all the deadwood is having a party at a table during the closing credits of the movie. It would have been better to put some major bloopers here. Why that did not happen is strange, because the movie is not good enough that there were not some good bloopers for the closing.

At least the plot can be followed though the end of the movie is just a ending.


Action Might Keep You Awake
This is a fictional action tale about a rescue. Of a kidnapped government officials daughter in Africa that falls apart. It is a fictional story with the stated purpose of trying to trying to help preserve the disappearing animals in the wilds of Africa. While the cause is noble, the script kinds of lets it down.

There are many sequences which get choppy. While the plot can b e followed, a lot of things that happen are not logical. Megan always looks great and is a rock throughout, which also makes little sense. For a while, I kept hoping things would tie together better. Unfortunately besides a predictable climax, the film kind of lets you down in more ways than one.

For a while, it looks like everyone is going to die, but then somehow things get solved. There is plenty of action and more bites than a Vampire movie. The trouble is when this gets overs, it's the viewer who gets bit.


Eye Candy Lite
When you put together 2 really hot actresses as partners in crime robbing banks to save their country, the plot and jokes become an alternate attraction. Young men dream of 2 women like these. We get some pretty good looks at them here.

As far as the plot, well there is one, but in reality the jokes are better and more important than letting a plot get in the way. Set in Mexico, the film is a short 90 minutes which has always been a formula for comedy films. When they get longer, they usually have dramatic moments. Any Western Drama here gets played for laughs.

There are some of those silly slow motion special effects that films in 2006 were doing a lot of them back then. All we really need to entertain here are these 2 women in slow motion taking a shower, but this isn't x rated. Darn though, these women sure look good.

A Man Alone

Enjoyable Formula Western
This is a Republic production so because of that it is pretty much a standard western. Ray Milland is the a infamous gun man whose horse gives out in desert. He has to shoot it humanely rather than have the horse suffer. Then he walks into a stage massacre. He takes one of the stage horses and rides it into town.

This is where the plot thickens as he has to shoot a Deputy (Alan Hale0 who shoots him first. Wounding Hale is not the best way into town. Then it gets worse as the chase leads him into the bank where he learns who killed all the stage people. Raymond Burr is a despicable bad guy who hired the people who were the killers, and has bribed the town sheriff into going along.

The rest of the movie is Milland's bad guy trying to get away and to pin these crime on them instead of on him. It gets a little more fun when he falls for Mary Murphy, the sheriffs daughter. The sheriff is ill so he is bedridden until late in the film. Then he and his daughter square off. In the finale one of Burr's Henchmen rats him out for the while town to hear. Then we have the required happy ending of this era of westerns. The way it ends is typical but the trip to get there is one less traveled, by a man alone.


Top Notch Cast & Director Fall Just Short
When you have James Stewart in a cast, you get entertainment. He is easily the biggest asset here. George Kennedy is fine as a second banana. Dean Martin is okay too. To me one of the bigger assets is the Goldsmith composed sound track.

Welsh definitely grabs some attention. So where does it fall short? First is some of the sequencing as some scenes do not make sense. Second is the motivation, with a distant reference to Quantrill's raiders who actually did exist in history during the Civil War. While the reference here is just that, it seems that every time a movie references these raiders, it falls short.

The plot with Stewart as the brother of Martin coming in as a hangman to save his brother from certain death was used several times in other movies in the 1960's. So while it is entertaining, it is hardly original here. If there had been an extra twist somehow, it might have elevated the film, but the way the sequence at the hanging is staged seems to be a little contrived.

I listed the 2 reasons to watch this, strong cast and Goldsmith's music. As far as Quantrill's raiders, the best film about them is quite fictional but Raoul Walsh's Dark Command is the most entertaining film using the Quantrill story. It is uneven, but entertaining and while Stewart here is robbing a bank because it is easy to do, Dark Command's bank sequence is much more interesting.

I only wish the plot had some better scripting here, as this story is what lets down a stellar cast. It could have been better.


Very Disappointing
Why did Pierce give up playing Bond? This film makes Bond films into artwork for a lot of reasons. The errors are so blatant and the script so out there that I am not sure what to make of it. List of problems -

Relationships do not make sense. Why would someone give away the keys to their entire personal life to a stranger they do not even like? The script gives them a chance to be friends but they shut them out for no logical reason other than to make the plot work.

Plot too predictable - I can see the ending coming almost at the beginning credits. In fact, the ending is just horribly written and grafted on like a hand being grafted onto a leg to replace the foot. Even Dr House would do that better than this story.

Undeveloped characters - other than the husband and wife eventually saying they love each other, there is almost no character development. Of course the daughter is developed by having an erotic shower scene and sympathy for the bad guy, and makes the most sense in that she does not understand the initial dislike of him. Then what does not make sense is after she friends them on Social Media why she gets away with making the parents think she does not like the guy. I suppose the ending makes up for this, but the story makes little sense here.

The IT guy himself makes no sense. He basically bounces off the walls hacking systems, yet he really has no available goal as to what he is doing or why. It does not help that the technology in the story is so poorly presented that any legitimate Hacker would consider this a Comedy movie. If the Internet is ever presented poorly, and wrong, this movie does that well.

With those in mind, if you want to see Pierce you might want to look at this one. If you like to have your mind hacked by incorrect ransomware, I suggest you avoid this one. This is a movie where even putting your brain away does not help it get any better.

A Hologram for the King

Loction Shots are the Best Feature
Sometimes, even Tom Hanks can not save a movie. This is one of those times. It's not his fault. If only the script matched up to the location shooting, this would be a great picture. Unfortunately, that is where this film falls woefully short.

The story is about a presentation of a hologram product by a Boston company to the king of Saudi Arabia. It is really strangely void of any plot or drama until the latter part of the film where a romance between Hanks and a Saudi woman doctor is kind of thrown in to put some movement into the film.

There are some hints of information about cultural differences that exist in Saudi Arabia, but those references are few and not enough. It made me ask why they could not have made the script better by finding more of these. A Tom Hanks fan who watched the movie with me said "Yes, even Tom Hanks can make boring films." In this case, that sums this movie up accurately.

In Old California

Plenty of Action From Republic
For a Republic Film this one has a large cast headed by the Duke. Then a lot of the support from Edgar Kennedy to Patsy Kelly are darned good character actors. Several silent film actors have bit roles. There is one thing that puts this B Feature above the average one- good Direction. The director of Key Largo keeps this movie well paced and handles the cast well.

Wayne plays a druggist/pharmacist from Boston who is coming to California to marry his girl friend in San Francisco. Because of some bad guys he winds up in Sacramento opening a drug store. Kennedy becomes his side kick when the druggist heals his bad tooth.

From here, there's sub-plots from murder to poisoning, to typhoid panic, to the gold rush to keep things hopping as things get rolling. Formula holds here as the bad guy is trying to get rid of the druggist as he is afraid of losing his girl. In the end, he drives her into Wayne's arms. Meanwhile the girl he came to marry suddenly is not so attractive due to her own selfish desires.

I have given too much away, but this film is an enjoyable one, a better than average Republic Western.

The Ghost and the Guest

Talent a Bit Wasted On This One
This is a movie that could be so much better. It is obvious that this one was done on a very thin shoestring budget. Might be because it was during the war but then it also has to do with an unknown independent company in the big studio era.

The cast is pretty much the folks who are characters actors in bigger films. The company was too small to get stars. In fact, the script writer is more famous than the cast. Morey Amsterdam would write about 6 movie films in his career, none of which would be as well known as his role writing for the Alan Brady show on TV's Dick Van Dyke. He gets much better punch lines than the ones he writes here.

It is a pleasant short hour "B" picture which was certainly used to try to take peoples minds off the war newsreels in the theater. We have an old run down house that belongs to a crook who has the nerve to have himself delivered to the new owners - supposedly dead, but very much alive and willing to haun his way through.

The entertainment is enjoyable, though the copy I saw has an awful lot of very dark scenes that are difficult to see. At least this one stays into the haunts and a house with unlimited passages and a hidden treasure too boot. The police are on hand and the ghosts have more company than they want.

Ally McBeal

Binge on Quirks and Laugh and Cry All At Once
After binge watching this entire series, I note that this series won very few awards for writing, but tons of awards for casting, costumes, and other things. The writing awards are in the early years and that makes sense too. This series had a lot of things happen to it as it went along, and unfortunately when the last season comes up, the writing is plain awful. Like Game of Thrones the last year leaves things with weak scripts and a sentimental ending that proves this series just isn't in Kansas anymore.

The show faced a lot of major hurdles. Let's start with casting - it was done well, with a huge amount of good talent. The show centers around a younger law firm and the series and cast fit the bill. This is also a very strong music series. Vonda Shepard is great throughout and there's lots of musical guests from Barry White to Sting and Bon Jovi tries very hard to learn to act the last season, not always successfully. Bon Jovi has had some musical challenges later in his career here, but he does not perform much of any music on this show. The show music is from the 1960's and through the 1980's and beyond so as the 21st Century starts, this series pays homage to a lot of that great music.

Ally McBeal (Flockhart) is a lost soul who is trying to find herself after losing the love of her life. She suffers from emotional trauma and goes through many analysts who make little progress with her. Even at the end of the series, she is still trying to find her way. With some of the scripts at the end, she is not only leaving her firm, but her reason is pretty much not under her control.

Ally's love lifelong love is Billy. He leaves her midway through college for Georgia (Courtney Thorne--Smith) and Ally finds this out the hard way. After graduating college, she goes to Boston and gets a job at Fish and Cage law firm, and surprise she finds Billy there, and then eventually finds out why Billy left her when he introduces Georgia to her who also works at the firm. Then, rather than trying to leave the firm, she befriends Georgia and tries to woo Billy away from her.

Now Ally is not just quirky, but she is a bit obsessed with her life too. The casting here is perfect. Billy and Georgia are the perfect foils to write a lot of plots about. Then we add John Cage and Richard Fish, both odd balls of their own making to the mix and the punchlines and comedy are sharp and crisp. Meanwhile Vonda and the bar are hopping a lot after work so folks can wind down. Early on Elaine (Jane Krakowski) is a seriously nosy assistant to Ally. As the series goes along, she helps take the singing load off Vonda. So does Renee (Lisa Nicole Carson) too, along with lots of musical guests.

Cage (Peter MacNicol) is presented as the strongest lawyer throughout the series. Frankly, the legal scripting in this show is not very good. Many of the cases are rather simple and when there is a tough situation the script usually finds a way to duck around any serious issues. Ally spends little time arguing cases in the court after the early seasons, and really most of the time she is in court or in a hearing, she is not involved in the actual questions and testimony.

In the last parts of the series she becomes the office manager more than doing any court work when she makes partner. The spoiler highlight is that the top of the series scripting is when Billy dies in court due to a brain tumor. He is quirky too but he has a tumor to blame it on. Ally only behaves like she might have one too. Granted the series gets some life when Robert Downey Jr. Is brought in to replace Ally's love with a new one. Unfortunately he then exits due to his real life drug addiction and the show spins into a void. They try to fill that void with Jovi but it just does not work.

Cage leaves the show for a while later on too (with his own real life struggles) and they do bring him back late but that takes a lot of zip out of the scripts when he is gone. Fish (Greg Germann) is presented as an inept lawyer who isn't even a good office manager who eventually makes Ally a partner to try to cover for his onw flaws.

This show is a babe review. Ling, Georgia, Elaine, Nelle, and Renee among others are all better looking women than Ally. They also are not as quirky as Ally. So with all the babes and the men in the cast why is everything centered around her? Just a strange thing because the center plot starts as Ally and up until Downey Jr. Leaves stays there. During the last year or so, there are some episodes where Ally is almost totally absent. This should have happened sooner because it would have made the show stronger.

There is the drama queen in Ally and then a quirky daughter gets thrown into the mix the last season. The scripts then forget about her just when she was getting a chance to take root which killed any real sequel for the show. The last season introduced a totally new cast but then the last episode, Bygones, only has 1 of the new cast featured because she marries Fish, and then has a bitter sweet reunion with the original cast members there. Then Ally leaves, and so does a show struggling after losing it's identity, much to the relief of everybody.

Ally McBeal: Boy Next Door
Episode 16, Season 3

Emotional Moments
When this series started, Ally the child has her life long love, Billy. Then as things unfold early on, he leaves her. Ally finishes law school, goes to Boston, and somehow winds up joining the Fish and Cage law firm. Then -presto, the love of her life- Billy is working there too. Then the dream gets interrupted like a scratched record. Billy married the beautiful Georgia when he left her. Presto, she is working there too.

Ally, always a little on edge and the ultimate self-centered woman. Meanwhile, she makes friends with Billy's wife. This triangle has given us a lot of entertainment. Shocks have been building though as Billy suddenly seems to be going off the end even deeper than Ally. He loses Georgia and starts seeing even more things than his soul mate Ally.

Now the triangle is totally destroyed. Ally and Georgia have both gotten to where they are not really into Billy because he has become so strange. Turns out in his case, Billy has a brain tumor. Realistically, like in real life, the tumor is getting worse and worse. Something needs to be done.

Unfortunately, the climax is here. While the Doctor is supposed to operate soon, it's too late. The tumor takes Billy away. Ally reacts predictably really. She embellishes the memory of Billy before he had the tumor after his tragic death, in court. His last lines are even an emotional stab at Ally's heart with him saying in court they are married 12 years with children.

Partly because of his last behavior, she regresses backward to remember the good things. Ally and the series will miss Billy, and in fact it makes the Cage and Fish firm weaker. Still this is a climax which is going to make the series evolve from here in new directions. It is like Henry Blake leaving MASH. Billy will remain in Ally's heart and try to kick her into a harsh reality, that she desperately needs to move on now.

Ally McBeal: Civil War
Episode 17, Season 2

Fish Versus Cage Loses Issue In Contrast
While the first season of this series did not have a lot of court room trial time, there is getting to be more as the focus shifts here. This episode manages to skirt the issue of date rape and then ignore it in the trial result. This creates a happy ending for the firm in the process.

The strength of this script is the boiling of the inner feelings of the firm as they face off with each other in court. The emotions run so high there is even a free for all brawl in the unisex bathroom. Luckily the jury never has to come in on the case itself as the courtroom crackles with all kinds of antics.

This was done during the era of date rape which was a serious issue. In this case, it appears that it is at best a weak case, and at most outrageously lost in the brawls. This does really allow more character development because up until this point, the show is too Ally centered. In this one, she is not quite as far out there as in some episodes as she has to take a stand on some of her issues in court.

Ally McBeal: Silver Bells
Episode 11, Season 1

Emotional Tragic Christmas
Ally McBeal set the standard for being quirky and this David. E. Kelley written episode goes from the heights of Yule Tide Celebrations to the depths of death. It is not a traditional take on the season, and shows off how unique this adult themed legal drama would become.

McBeal gets assigned a case with a Transvestite Hooker is the central one here. Surprisingly though, at the same time Ally is getting asked for a date by her boss.(Peter MacNicol /Cage) Meanwhile Fish is losing a dear relative who had some quirks of their own. Between that and Ally tackling a Christmas Tree, a lively rendition in a church Funeral Service of "Short People", and a sudden death shaking up everything, this is a bittersweet holiday.

Vonda Shepard gets in some Christmas vocalizing early on and at the end of the show we wind up in a grave yard and a morgue. Meanwhile, some of the folks in the cast are just having a Christmas where while the events do not touch them directly, they do get touched by others.

Anyone would sympathise with Ally at the end. This first season to this point is really more focused on Ally than anyone else. However, at this point I am starting to fall in love with. Lisa Nicole Carson (Renee Raddick), a really hot DA she is, and. Courtney. Thorne-Smith (Georgia Thomas), the woman who married Ally's former love. Billy (Gil Bellows). Sure. The story is wrapped around Ally, but she is not the most attractive here. She is very on edge with the boss asking her out and her try at saving someone she cares from a cruel fate derailed totally.

I would not sanction this episode for the kids after the very opening minutes.

Yancy Derringer

Well Written And Produced Plus Acted
This is a one season series, which is sad because it is so well done. Corporate greed is the reason this show was canceled as it had good ratings on CBS when it ran. What happened? Desilu which produced this series and the creative folks who did this series wanted to own it. CBS which had been stung by allowing Desi and Lucy to own I Love Lucy, a decision that turned out to be a Billion Dollar blunder did not want that to happen again. This is a shame as the show is so well cast.

Jock Mahoney and X Brand actually sort of co-star in this series. The stories take place in the few years just after the Civil War. While X Brand does not speak, his authentic use of Indian sign language on this series led to a letter from a Native American Chief being sent to the network complimenting how authentic the series sign language was. Kevin Hagen who appeared in 31 episodes.of the 34 made is excellent as Colton.

I highly recommend this series. I started watching it on Amazon Prime and all but one episode is on there. That is because that episode- The Gun That Murdered Lincoln - does not have a really good master print, it was lost for some reason. You can see the rough version of that one on You Tube and all the episodes are on You Tube too. For a 30 minute series, this one packs a lot of action and some good plots and writing into the shows.

A couple of things of interest - one episode guest stars Charles Bronson and gives an interesting outline of the levee system in New Orleans which made national news when Katrina flooded the city. A couple of episodes take place in Virginia City which is the historic city of the Comstock Silver load. The last episode ends at the historic place where the golden spike is being driven to connect the cross country railroad. Desilu productions was in their prime when this show was produced.

Interesting to note- Jock Mahoney was 6 feet 4 inches tall and also a step father of Sally Field. X Brand amd Kevin Hagen were both 6 feet 2 inches tall. Like the cast, this show stood tall when it was made. Too bad a greedy corporation cut it's run so short.

Yancy Derringer: The Louisiana Dude
Episode 21, Season 1

Not one of the series better efforts
This series often takes pains to be good in writing and acting. This episode it just does not happen. In fact Yancy just seems out of place in Virginia City.

Seems Yancy has won a silver mine in a poker game and goes to Virginia City to collect on his win. What he finds instead of Ben, Hoss, and Little Joe, is a group of rough tough hombres intent on sending him packing. He seems as out of place and naive in this one.

While he does eventually find out why the rude reception, his walk into an old mine seems to be just a bit more easy than a walk in the park. He uses his time underground to nearly tray himself for good. The script nearly does that as well.

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Essential PBS Series Viewing
This series is about researching a family history. It does so with well known people, but the diversity being found using well known people can apply to anyone or everyone. Family Skeletons are often found in well known people.

There is a thing about skeletons. Think about your own family, why have relatives you grew up with kept secrets from you? Often families do not expose their children to family issues because they are too young. Sometimes they did not want to reveal family shame. Some things they will not talk about.

Over time, values change as society evolves. How often do we still shield our minor children from adult issues? It happens all the time. I have known people who suddenly find out that their parent was born from an illicit relationship years after they grew up. I have known others who suddenly found out their wife had a child before they even met them. When it comes to ancestors, well this series found that Glen Close and Princess Diane were actually distant cousins. And so much more...

I can not say enough accolades for this series. They do a lot of hard research, go as far as they can and often reveal what past generations have hidden. Is it important work? Yes, and the host is brilliant presenting it. Even though the main guests are always celebrities, their histories illustrate all the issues that everyone has. This show proves often that some of the legends have pasts that are haunted. Just imagine what else could be proved because celebrities are just the tip of the issue.

Suppose many of the people who should watch this are the Slavery Reparations people? Before any Slavery Reparations are paid to anyone, their lineage should be thoroughly examine like this series does to be sure they should really be getting a payment. Not every black man was a slave in the past. This series has shown this many times over. In fact, some blacks in history were actually "slave owners". Now should we be paying slave owners Reparations? Absolutely not. Should we be paying for a past that is proven only by word of mouth, or even be paying someone for past happenings they are using for their own gain?

There is also another side to paying Reparations, some white people and some Native Americans were slaves. Where do we draw the line on this issue? The only way to do this fairly is to make everyone who receives a payment prove their ancestors were slaves. This program illustrates that is not as easy as it seems, and takes a lot of work. Of course even paying current people whose ancestors were slaves should include all races and colors.

This series has surprised people many times about who their relatives really were. Suppose many of the activists who are requesting these payments are opportunists who have no proof any of their ancestors were slaves at all? Suppose everyone even involved with these reparations should be required to watch this pbs series? Suppose slavery is proven to be much more diverse than " activists think"(oxymoron alert)?

Watch this series and learn about this issue through others eyes, often they are much more complex than is ever presented, at least until these issues are revealed here. This series is about understanding the our past.

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: From the Manor Born
Episode 1, Season 7

More Surprises Forom Families
John Waters and Glen Close are given some unknown information from their family trees, Both have different diverse stories which are carefully researched by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and his staff. This series is very well produced and proves that any history of any family often provides surprises.

Tonight's guests are no exception. Mt. Waters finds out many things from the past that leaves him in awe of the background that made him. It is Close family who provides the major surprise.

When Glen Close once met Princess Diana before her fateful accident, he had no idea that she is a cousin to the Royal Princess. Even though the family resemblance looks obvious in their photo together, it takes Gates and his crew to prove the relationship and provide the knowledge to her.

This is one of many stunning moments for these 2 people.

Never Too Late

Appealing Cast Gets B Script
The cast here is talented. There is some cute humor though some of the laughs come cheap from stereo type characters being given lines which make things seem stretched. While I liked the film, it was a trite too predictable.

For example, when a gun shows up, it is so easy to predict that it would soon be fired by accident and that happened in less than a minute after the gun appears, I do like the Aussie flavor this one gets from the filming locations.

The chemistry between the cast members is the strongest part of this film. The plot is sort of a sentimental reunion between 4 guys who have not seen each other in years since being prisoners of the Viet Cong. This reunion is bitter sweet. Sweet is the reunion of a man and woman who missed each other many years before when he left to serve his country.

It's focus on happy endings is trite and predictable. Still, if you want a sort of happy ending, it is here for you. Sadly the journey there needs some script tuning. A better script might have arrived from the men's room, but did not arrive on time.

Perry Mason: The Case of the Sardonic Sergeant
Episode 4, Season 2

Newman Creates A Whole Cloth Plot
Sam Newman wrote 6 episodes of Mason. This one is pretty good. With John Dehner as Major Lewis prosecuting Mason's client, there is plenty of things going on here. Dehner is a very good actor and often plays the bad guy in a lot of television programs. He does okay here.

The plot is Frank Lessing is accused of murder and passing World War 2 money from Corregidor in a barracks poker game. The game is not shown which is a shame since the last time Paul Drake got a chance to get involved in a poker game was in episode 1.

The twist here is a crude identity theft. Mason twists and turns through facts to finally check on this. It's not easy to prove though Perry does prove it in court. A solid episode.

One Night in Miami...

Important Film Especially Now
Imagine Kingsley Ben-Adir... Malcolm X Eli Goree Cassius Clay Aldis Hodge ... Jim Brown and Leslie Odom Jr. ... Sam Cooke meeting the night after Clay became Heavyweight Champion in 1964.? This film depicts the power and dynamics each man was in this era. It also goes into their ideas. Only one of them is alive today, Jim Brown. Kemp Powers Play and Screenplay are powerful stuff.

This idealistic conversation of how these 4 could have interacted while showing each other their inside emotions about where they were and how they were treated. The important thing to mention here is that if you watch PBS and the series POV episode about Black Lives Matter you can understand this film addresses the same issue only in the 1960's. This Malcom X does not state this but the POV shows that todays movement uses a term Malcom X preached before his death - "Radical Activism." This great script does show this side of Malcom X. It also shows the rise of Muslim Religion with Malcom X and Muhammed Ali (Clay) symbolizing this.

The important difference is that Ali believed the religion should bring peace between the races. Malcom X has a different view. Cooke who died too soon himself has his music where he delivers messages and sells songs so that he can make money from his unknowing "white slaves." Brown realizes that NFL football is ripping up his body and has decided he can go a different route. Being the only one still alive, it appears he made a good decision.

I wonder if Jim Brown was consulted on this film? Now this movie shows the issue was more complex in the 1960's as it is much more then just police treatment. I believe this film shows that race relations have come a long way from 1964 in America. Whether or not we can end it depends on us. Police reform is a start, but it is destructive to push "radical activism" as a way to fix race relations. Violence is not the way to go. There is a huge difference between the peaceful change preached by Martin Luther King versus Malcom X ideas. This film on Amazon now is an important reminder of that.


A Story That Too Often Hits Home
Spoiler - This is the story of the son of an abusive father and how his life gets warped by the abuse until he totally loses his mind. Nick Nolte owns this role so well that his great performance is disturbing. As the center of the film, no actor could have brought this off any better.

It is sad how father's (or mothers) can destroy their children. In this case, the story is told in short flash backs and current events very well. This is a very good drama and gets along just fine in the era before CGI Computer effects really started destroying film dramas to sell theater tickets. James Coburn in the latter part of his career wins a well deserved supporting role Oscar as the elder father.

As a small town tale, it is given an air of some reality and the filming locales in the American Northeast are really just background to the dramatic story. This tale of how to scar your children for life as a parent is sad and sadder. The ending of it is sort of an relief from the torture of a life time. It's not easy to fix destruction, and in this case the only cure is to destroy it all.


British Series Not For PBS
If you know the meaning of Harlot, it is no surprise this is not really family viewing content. Set in 1763 London, England we have the wealthy and the poor working women trying to work their way up into nobility. Of course the work is physical and calls for much foreplay. We have the feud between Quigley and Welles. Even though they are battling, they are also connected by strong life long ties, bound together with love and hate for one another.

There's lots of evil things happening with the feud and then when you add to it the corruption of the judges and the corruption of the rich, it makes for quite a pot boiling brew. Many characters have things going on much beyond the sexual business moments which actually a relief from the plotting, murder and mayhem. The cast is all powerful in their roles almost everyone gets to shine here.

This show really is good at drawing the stark lines between the classes in London in this era. The period costumes and sets are amazing. The plots draw you in at once and as for humor, while there is some broad strokes at it,, there really is very little. Times and circumstances are so serious. Deaths are running rampant and murders are often heinous. Times this era is set in also show the mysteries of life which do not have solutions.

This is an era of piss pots, harlots, kinky governors, lords, and the poor. The Madams of both Wells and Quigley are powerful, but their power is shaky and often threatened by circumstance. Dead people get lost in a maze of misplaced ineffective government bureaucrats when their bodies are found at all. One top dog basically tries to procure young virgin women in order to kill them.

If you start to binge this be sure your ready for an adult experience but not exactly the one you'd expect. There is flesh here and kinky relationships but all of them take the back seat to scandals which pile on on top of another until there are so many people involved there is danger when they encounter each other. Good stuff for sure and each season finale is quite good at closing some doors and opening other ones.

The tradition of the English being more accepting of race is shown here. There is also the noble who is kidnapping blacks to send them to slavery in America. The sex trade has it's own legs spread for all to see. Cheeky

Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions

For The Sanity of an Insane World Turned Upside Down In Many Ways
The cast here is Directed by- Taylor Swift While Taylor has directed Videos before this is her first long documentary style effort. The casual pacing, intimate chats, and the uses of the exteriors of Long Pond, West Point, New York are very camera friendly for this special studio session in a home studio owned by one of her collaborators. They are in this cast along with these other talented musicians. The full cast is quite short- Cast Jack Antonoff Jack Antonoff ... Self Aaron Dessner Aaron Dessner ... Self Taylor Swift Taylor Swift ... Self Justin Vernon Justin Vernon ... Self

This 17 songs were all originally recorded in social isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic. This film represents the first time everyone got together to do so. The plot here is really simple, it is to give fans of Taylor Swifts music a view of the inside inspiration and inter-workings of the folks who put this together.

It does reveal that the 31 year old Swift's main gift of songwriting is her inner feelings. Now at this age, her inner feelings are different than most songwriters. That is because her work was so good at such a young age, she has never had to pay the price of a slow rise in the world that many songwriters pay through the hard knocks that life can deal. Her inner feelings are still of the innocent quality of a person looking at feelings from the outside of others are expressing them beautifully.

While she reveals some of her inner feelings which are the most beautiful part of her being, she often looks at others superficially. She sees their outside, but really cannot imagine what is going on inside. This puts Swift into a unique realm. Swift often expresses a feeling that she expresses of being lonely. That is because in a way she truly is. Granted it is now rumored she has a relationship and children. Those 2 things should make her future music go in new direction because much of what she expresses here is an idealist view of everything.

Swifts fans and co-musicians have put her up on a pedestal because she has a great way of expressing feelings musically. That is her most intrinsic value. She does represent success and good, and loving feelings. I sense though that as she explores even more directions, there will be more excitement in her music.

One thing she will really benefit from is when those kids she has start showing her different views of reality through their eyes. It will be an amazing wakening. As good as Swift has already been, the beauty and soul inside is about to grow. The only question will be when will the post-pandemic world be ready to grow with her?

Perry Mason: The Case of the Witless Witness
Episode 28, Season 6

Outstanding Mason Loses One and Wins the Big One
There is a ton of things to like about this episode. First it starts with Perry losing a case in court. Then we have one of the strongest of over 20 scripts written by Newman in this series with a co-writer who only worked on this one script. They do a double headed plot and create a character (Lobbyist) here who is very much like a basic James Spader Blacklist kind of person, very shady and indirect. This character is a bit of a challenge for Mason when he takes the stand.

Then there is the David White Journalist who is a strong threat to the Judge whose character is very well played by Middleton. Mason loses his case in the judges court but even though he does, he takes on the judge as a client. It's not easy as the Judge is accused of Corruption, taking a bribe and murder. There is a lot to find out from the start and I am not sure of the Judges legal fee, but considering the amount of information Paul Drake's men have to dig up it is safe to say everybody earns their money.

This episode has some of the stronger Burger-Mason face offs of any trial in the series. Burger has a strong case and motive that Mason has to rip apart. When he has done it, his last sentence is right on. "Your Honor, the Defense rests." there is no rest for Mason after as he is arguing law with his judge client even after the trail. This one in many ways is a Legal Cat Fight.

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Coming to America
Episode 16, Season 6

Another Revealing Look At Reactions To Family Roots
This series uses research to find out the real background behind people. If you watch this one, you should consider it essential to watch the previous episode. There is an important lesson in watching both episodes.

Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell worked together on CBS This Morning for several years. In the previous episode, King's reactions to her family history were quite expressive. With this in mind, Norah's reactions to the surprises in her family history do not mirror Gayle's. One of these reactions to their family was almost dismay while the other one celebrates their surprise. These different reactions are a great lesson for everyone about how you should view yourself, and not how you try to reshape your own image.

This one has the bonus of Nancy Pelosi finding out about her Italian heritage. While she is amazed too, her reaction is yet in another direction. That is the important thing about every episode I have seen so far. People's different reactions tell you many things about them.

There is an old saying "Do as I say, not as I do." The surprises here in these back to back episodes are shock to these folks. Often but not always the reaction is "What my family told me I was is not actually what they previously did." Often families hide history, often beyond their deaths. This series brings these facts out. Are families always justified in hiding what they did? Not always, but sometimes the emotional reaction to the truth tells more than we can ever imagine about a person.

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