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Wild Mountain Thyme

A little bit of Blarney....
I warmed to this film more as it went on, it's certainly not fast moving, but does slowly draw you in, the non Irish leads like Emily Blunt and Christopher Walken handled their Irish characters well I thought, the supporting cast were good, although I did keep looking out for Barry Fitzgerald, sadly to no avail. Definitely not in the same class as 'The Quiet Man', but a lot better than some of the lesser reviews indicate!

Penguin Bloom

And the Oscar goes to-The Magpie........
An enjoyable little film based on a true story, don't know what the bad reviewers were expecting? It's not an action film, just a heartwarming little story of how a rescued magpie helps a family come to terms with the devastating accident suffered by the Mother, and in turn helps her to begin enjoying life again. If nothing else does, the magpies will entertain you, Naomi Watts is her usual reliable self, with a perfectly competent supporting cast. Goes along at a casual pace which puts you in there with the family. I liked it, as has everyone I know who's seen it!

Voodoo Tiger

Who do the Voodo?
First of all you must remember that Jungle Jim movies were made for kids, so they don't need to make sense! Having said that, I can still enjoy them over 60 years later, they're fun, they take me back to happier times at the old Saturday Arvo matinees. Johnny Weissmuller always looked impressive and delivered his lines competently enough, there was usually a pretty girl or two in the cast, a fair share of action and the monkey for laughs! What more could a kid of any age want? No real voodo in this one , but a menacing looking tiger make up for that! I enjoyed it, and I don't care who knows it!

Thank Your Lucky Stars

Stars Shine Brightly
During the war years most of the studios made at least one 'All Star' film, showcasing their biggest stars, usually playing themselves and doing things against type. Warner Bothers 'Thank Your Lucky Stars' was one of the best of these. Eddie Cantor and Dennis Morgan are the main stars, Cantor can be a bit over the top at times, but it suits here, and he performs one of the several stand out numbers in the film, Dennis Morgan does another. Most of the big stars on the Warner's lot at that time make an appearance, there are many wonderful cameos, and particularly interesting are Errol Flynn and Bette Davis, not normally known for their musical abilities, but both surprise here and show a lot of class. Just for an all out fun time from old Hollywood, this film delivers in spades!

Wonder Woman 1984

A wonder it wasn't better
Nothing wrong with Gal Gadot or Chris Pine, but the script and plot were sadly lacking, way overlong, and would have made a bad episode of the TV series, incidentally, for me the highlight was seeing the amazingly well preserved Lynda Carter cameo after the credits rolled!

Sinister Journey

Working on the railroad.
An odd title as there's no real journey involved, but pretty decent production values, and a not too shabby plot, would have been even better had Boyd wore his traditional black 'Hoppy' outfit, or at least worn his guns, seems almost as if Boyd was trying to give Hoppy a different image, which of course was completely unnecessary. Sadly, the Hoppy movies were nearing the end of the trail!


Awesome Audrey
A near perfect documentary of this much beloved movie icon, my only real complaint would be the over use of a not so look alike ballerina that keeps popping up and swirling around, that aside, it's a pretty comprehensive over view of a life, although relatively short lived, packed with a lot of highs and lows, a seemingly fragile in appearance, yet surprisingly strong woman. Haunted by the desertion of a Father she loved, plus many insecurities, she somehow overcame them and in the end gave back selflessly to the World that had given her so much. May her Star continue to shine brightly

The War with Grandpa

De Niro a good vintage
Robert De Niro is like a fine wine, he gets better with age. To tell you the truth I was never a big fan of his more celebrated dramatic films, but I've become a big fan of his later comedy films, like this one. He handles the genre well, isn't afraid to play his age, and OK, they may not ever garner him another academy award, but they are fun, this movie is a good laugh, nothing tacky in it like most modern day 'comedies', just some good old fashioned slap stick laugh out loud humour, Christopher Walken was terrific, as was the entire cast. Don't analyse it, just sit back and enjoy, if you have a sense of humour you will!


Silly Behaviour
A dull and rather silly film, and trying to denigrate the great Bob Hope put me right off it. Silly women taking everything out of context just adding to this 'politically correct' agenda that has no basis and ruined life as we used to know it, and people swallow it hook line & sinker!

Silent Conflict

A Lucky Spell......
Seems they either love or hate this entry in the Hoppy franchise? I didn't mind it, a bit different, no punch ups or gun fights, but an intriguing, if improbable little plot, don't forget these were primarily made for kids, of all ages I might add, and kids don't analyse things too much, they just sit back and enjoy. Rand Brooks, I thought, made a good Lucky Jenkins, and hey, it's Hoppy, nothing much else matters!

The Marauders

Holy Hoppy!
The main thing wrong with this entry is the title, or both titles to be exact, the original 'The Maraurders', and the re title 'King of the Range', neither reflects anything about the film, why they didn't just call it 'Ghost Church' I'll never know? We know that the William Boyd produced final 12 films were of a much lower budget than what had gone before, but Boyd put all he had into it in order to prolong the series, it's a shame no other studio took up the franchise because Hoppy was still more popular than most! But, any Hoppy is better than none, so I give it an 8.

Discovering Britain

Off the Beaten track...........
A refreshing look at some aspects of British life with a light-hearted feel to it, Michael Beurk has an excellent voice for this sort of thing, and actor Larry Lamb proves to be a very good presenter for this sort of thing. I bought the DVD but sadly it appears there were only 6 episodes? Wish it had gone on longer!

Father Brown: The Fall of the House of St Gardner
Episode 9, Season 8

Bring on Bunty
A lot to cram into the 45 minute formula, yes, far fetched for sure, but hey, it's just a fun show folks, don't take it too seriously, just enjoy! Love Emer Kenny as 'Bunty', a good actress and always a treat for the eyes, far as I'm concerned the more screen time she gets, the better! Good old reliable Mark Williams as usual holds the whole thing together, and with Mrs McCarthy and the Inspector how can you go wrong? Do miss Sid though. Hope the series goes on for a few more seasons!

Midsomer Murders: With Baited Breath
Episode 4, Season 21

The Sea Monster's innocent..........
Quite an enjoyable episode of this long running series, but the so called sea or river monster? Never really amounted to anything, as usual the culprit was a two legged monster committing the murders. The new pathologist is very good, but I must admit my favourite was Tamzin Malleson who played Kate Wilding a few seasons back, simply because she was so gorgeous to look at, and if that's being sexist then I don't care! Apart from that I think Neil Dudgeon does an excellent job in the lead role considering he had such large shoes to fill, and if this turns out to be the final episode, it's a decent one to go out on, but I for one hope there's more to come!

Unexpected Guest

Hoppy meets the Old Dark Ranch House
With an eventual total of 56 Hopalong Cassidy features, it was only normal to expect that now and again they'd try something a little different to the norm, sometimes it worked, others not so. To me this one was OK a bit of a mystery with elements of 'Then There Were None', all on the pretext of California showing up for a will reading of his late Uncle's estate, naturally his pals Hoppy & Lucky come along to keep him out of trouble. Not a lot of gun fighting involved it's true, but a couple of decent punch ups with Hoppy and the bad guy toward the end. The buckskin jacket didn't really suit William Boyd who usually looks good in most things, but Hoppy was always at his best in black! But as I say, at least they tried for a bit of variety, and I accept that!

Sing, You Sinners

Sing Bing, Sing
One of the great early Bing Crosby films, and probably the one that first displayed Bing's real acting ability that would lead to more dramatic roles in the future. But first and foremost it has Bing singing at his best, before Sinatra, before Presley, Bing had already done it all. It also featured a very young Donald O'Connor in a breakthrough role and the always delightful Fred MacMurray, and the 'Pocket Full of Dreams' number they all perform is one of the best musical numbers every put on film in my opinion. There's a lot more to the film as others have mentioned, but do yourself a favour, check it out if you haven't seen it, and see what real Hollywood entertainment was all about!

Longmire: Goodbye Is Always Implied
Episode 10, Season 6

Off into the Sunset..............
Seems that people either love or hate this final episode of the best every modern western series I've ever seen! All things considered, I thought it was a decent ending, I think the main disappointment for most people is that it had to end at all? I could easily have taken another 6 seasons. The only thing that really irked me about the ending was that after finally getting together with Vic, he rides off into the sunset and leaves her? Didn't have a problem about his daughter running for Sheriff, would have preferred Henry staying at the Red Pony, but hey, you can't please everyone! Just hope someone offers Robert Taylor another great role like this, even a Big Screen version of Longmire would be great? A classic show that hopefully can be revisited over and over for decades! Everyone involved can hold their heads up high!

Here Is My Heart

Bing was King
Someone once said that every singer who came after him either learnt, borrowed, or stole something from Bing Crosby. Here he is at his vocal peak, the man who virtually invented 'Pop' singing, in one of the many wonderful little musicals he churned out in the 1930's, all of which are a sheer pleasure to watch, several have still to make it onto DVD, we can only hope and pray they do! Here is My Heart take you back to another time, a time when life was simpler, and Hollywood was entering it's Golden Era, no messages, just enjoyment, pity it didn't stay that way!


The Modern West is better than none..........
A big budget modern western, and a good one. Not as good as 'Longmire', but that did set the bar pretty high. Still Kevin Costner obviously enjoys the western genre and lends his experience to this show. If all else fails, there's always the scenery which in itself is a star of any good western themed show. Any western these days is a breath of fresh air, and this one is no exception!

The Marshal of Madrid

B grade 'Longmire'
Two episodes of the short lived TV series spliced together, a bit disjointed when viewed, the first notable mainly for an interesting performance by Bobby Darin as a fruitcake who imagines he's 'Billy the Kid', ends abruptly then goes into the second unrelated story with versatile character actor James Gregory as the bad guy. Glenn Ford plays Marshal Sam Cade with Edgar Buchanan as his number one deputy, Edgar was getting on by now, but good to see him in a more serious role than normal! Ford is his usual laid back self as an early 'Longmire' type modern day cowboy! The series was popular but didn't last long probably because of Ford's movie commitments?

The Devil's Playground

Hoppy's Back
After a couple of years break the Hopalong Cassidy series resumes with the William Boyd produced films, this is the first of the dozen and a great start, nice moody night scenes set the stage for an interesting plot, and newcomer to the series Rand Brooks is the best 'Lucky' since Russell Hayden left. I'm sure in the immediate post war years, for the kids of America, young and old, it was just wonderful to have Hoppy back!


A cut above some........
A solid entry in the series with some nice scenery, a decent, if often used plot, and one of the prettier heroines for a Hoppy movie. William Boyd is always in good form, Andy Clyde, who was a;ways my favourite of the 'comic relief' third of the trio, actually pulls his weight in this one. There's some rousing fight scenes and plenty of action to keep the customers happy! The bad guys get what's coming to them, and the good guys ride off into the sunset! Love 'B' westerns!

The Rifleman

Hits the Bulls Eye............
At 6'5" with his chiselled features and snake eyes Chuck Connors was born to play menacing bad guys, as he did so well in both comedies like Designing Woman, and drama like The Big Country. However, an inspired piece of casting put him in the lead role in The Rifleman as a righteous noble hero, and it became his greatest role, and the one he's best remembered for. A young Johnny Crawford was outstanding playing his son, and the obvious affection between these two was a big reason for the shows success, I enjoyed it on Australian TV when I was young, and now at 76, I'm enjoying it all over again on DVD thanks to Levy-Gardner-Laven releasing the whole series in such wonderful quality! A lasting tribute to the great Chuck Connors, and one of the best western series ever produced!

Texas Masquerade

Out of the black.......
An enjoyable entry in the series, however I never quite enjoy Hoppy as much when he sheds the black outfit, although I admit he does look good in the checked shirt in the later scene in this film. I agree totally with an earlier reviewer in that the youth of the world could do with a role model like Hoppy these days more than ever, he was mine, and I think Hopalong Cassidy probably was responsible for turning more kids into decent law abiding citizens that any other screen character, and for that alone America owes William Boyd a debt of gratitude! I'm 76 now, and still get more enjoyment out of watching a Hopalong Cassidy movie than most of the clap trap that's on screen today, no matter how expensive and spectacular it's said to be!

Death in Paradise: Pirates of the Murder Scene
Episode 4, Season 9

Sorry tp see him go!
When Ardal O'Hanlon made his first appearance I had no idea who he was, and thought the poor guy was up against it following the brilliant portrayals from Ben Miller and Kris Marshall, my cousin told me about 'Father Ted', so I went out and bought the DVD's, it wasn't long before I was won over by Ardal's gentle Irish humour and charm, and he soon became my favourite of the 3 leads, and now, all of a sudden he's leaving, wish he'd hung in there for another season or two then he'd have notched up the most episodes of the three leads. This is a fitting send off however, and Ardal proves he is an excellent actor with some quite moving scenes with his lady friend and the Commissioner. Farewell D.I. Moody, you wont be soon forgotten, with re-runs and DVD's for years to come!

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