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Endeavour: Oracle
Episode 1, Season 7

Convoluted and boring
No spoilers here - there is nothing to spoil.

I enjoy the original series with John Thaw. Even if some of the earlier episodes are so slow, I fall asleep if I watch them too late in the evening, I also enjoy Lewis, and until now, Morse. But this episode, which just premiered on Danish TV, no. It's not even sleep-inducingly boring. It is infuriatingly boring! It is somehow overstylized, overdressed, self-important. The acting is unusually stiff. Whatever little incoherent plot there may be is totally obscured by overdone dillettante theatricals. The episode is trying too hard to be clever, intelligent and "artsy", and fails because of it. Also, in these times, we do not need more "serious" detective stories flirting with silly supernatural ideas. Frankly I don't know how this episode deals with it, and worse, I don't care.

Doctor Who: Spyfall: Part Two
Episode 2, Season 12

Watchable, but barely so
Possible spoiler: this is a badly executed James Bond spoof. Compared to the first season of Chibnall/Whittaker, this season is off to a good start. This however isn't saying much.

The story is rather ridiculous, but there have been ridiculous stories in the past, nothing wrong with that. For a change, all companions get to do a little.

I give it four stars, like I did for the second episode of series 11. It is mediocre, but not entirely cringeworthy, and at least it managed to make me watch it without falling asleep. It is a forgettable two-parter, but that's still a lot better than being an unforgettably bad episode like "It takes you away". (I sure would like to forget that frog.)

The real historic characters from the past could have been good, but they are badly used. I would have expected Ada Lovelace to be used to do something computer-related, instead she felt like just another token "strong woman from history".

As for the plot as a whole, I didn't really notice any. Plot as a hole, on the other hand, plenty. Much incoherence, much redundance, a bit of haven't-we-seen-this-before?, and big guest stars, again wasted on redundant and uninteresting roles.

All in all, sufficient to keep me from dropping the show completely. An extra star for a view of the Doctor with an evil glint in her eyes, near the end of the episode. Perhaps there is still hope for Jodie to become the doctor.

Doctor Who: The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos
Episode 10, Season 11

This is a review of about the first half or so of this episode...
...because, despite really trying twice, I could not watch the whole thing.

This season gives a whole new and interesting meaning to "hiding behind the sofa".

If given the choice between a lobotomy and watching this episode, or rewatching any other episode of this season I would choose the lobotomy without blinking.

Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders

The criminal minds are the minds of the writers and producers
I have episode 2 running on the TV as I am writing this; it is the first episode I have "watched", and it will certainly be the last.

As I usually do, when a new movie or TV series blatantly fails to capture my attention, I turned to IMDb, reading user reviews. And I must say I am not surprised by what I read here. At one point in the episode, Sinises character says to a "bad guy" something like: "The last thing you want is for me to bring the full force of the US government down on you." What the ? Who made you rulers of the planet? I suppose this worldview forms the base of the popularity of Donald Trump. Makes one almost hope that Putin will launch a few nukes at you just to set you straight. I do know that lots of Americans are intelligent and have traveled the world, but you guys really need to do something about the rest.

This is not a TV show, it is an insult.

Waking the Dead

Hit and miss but mostly misses...
I have seen episodes of this series where I have felt entertained in a good way. But most often I feel annoyed, even insulted.

The (lack of) realism makes Midsomer Murders look like a documentary. Add to this the complete disrespect for proper procedures, Boyd's occasional beating up witnesses and suspects - outrageous but apparently with no consequences - and so many other ridiculous things, it's hard to keep score.

Alas, the acting of the abysmal plots is quite good, and the cast always seem to entice me to watch another episode in the hope that it will not disappoint. Looking back, I just can't really remember any episode where this has not been the case in some way.

All in all, a terrible waste of great talent.

Lewis: Counter Culture Blues
Episode 4, Season 3

Terrific comedy
Oh, yes. There may be a plot hole or two, as other reviews mention. When I saw it for the first time a couple of years ago, the plot probably bothered me, and I forgot about the whole experience.

I just watched the episode again, and I could really not keep up with the jokes, puns and hilarious exchanges, because I was laughing so hard. I wonder how I could have missed them the first time - maybe I was too tired and had enough problems following the plot.

The entire script is probably worthy of being added to the "Memorable Quotes" section, you have to pay attention (and not laugh too hard) to get them all. "Frolicking bloody baa-lambs", indeed.

Never mind the plot, just enjoy the fantastic chemistry between Lewis, Hathaway, Dr. Hobson and the Chief Superintendent. This is an outstanding series, and I consider getting it on DVD just for this episode, to see it again and finally get all the jokes and odd references.


OK family entertainment, if you don't expect much
With two kids (8 and 11) of my own, and 1 (age 9) of my girlfriend's, I get to see (fragments of) quite a lot of kid entertainment/movies/cartoons, and I must say that what the last 40 years has lost in quality, it has more than made up for in quantity. The tsunami of manure that cascades out of the screen (TV or cinema) is overwhelming.

Well, nothing new: commercial interest means that production has to grow and grow - never mind any artistic value. Disney is probably just the most notable example of this tendency.

However, there are still a few nuggets (also gold, though sometimes chicken) to be found once in a while.

G-Force is not one of them. G-Force is a sort-of remake of Mission Impossible, with guinea pigs in the role of agents, and a mole in the role of - well, it's not hard to guess. The technology is what saves the grace of this movie, both the technology used in making it, and the imagined miniature technology used to equip the G-Force and their opponents. Alas, the use of nanotechnology was also applied to the plot, its thickness needing decimals when measured in nm. The visual impressiveness and the action speed means that it *is* possible to avoid noticing the non-plot komplot until near the end.

Having been subjected to the torture of Alvin on DVD recently, I went to see it with very low expectations. Also I hadn't seen any trailer, meaning I probably had the luck of not having seen the less-low points of it before. This was obviously the reason I actually felt entertained quite well.

The movie is not a comedy, but action with some comic relief. I find it worked OK for our personal target group, this being kids age 8-11 and their parents. There are sufficient obvious spoofs and quotes of other movies to make it a little interesting for adults, and the romantic triangle motif parody also works nice for me, whereas it probably went right over the heads of the youngest, together with the rest of the plot. The cute critters and "wow" visuals together with the occasional slapstick comedy ensured the attention of the kids. The in-your-head moralistic value messages were as annoying as usual and as expected (in that regard, Disney still has to come out of the forties and fifties, it seems, but that applies to half of the world anyway).

There were some more subtle themes (consumerism, extinction and, metaphorically, genocide) that were touched. However, messages about consumerism seem rather ridiculous when coming from Disney. I need a second viewing to find out if there were any other subtleties that I may have missed, partly because they may have been drowned in the noise of the visual action, and partly because I was not paying too much attention at all times. (Note to self for next time we go to the cinema: get one smaller container of popcorn for each, instead of sharing a large one.)

Nevertheless, I will not buy an automatic espresso machine, and try to find a mechanical coffee grinder at a junk sale instead. Some of the money I save I will use to buy the DVD of G-Force. When I can find it at a cheap price second-hand in a couple of years, that is.

In Enemy Hands

Doesn't hold water
This movie is running on Danish television as I write this. I watched about half of it, then I decided to abandon ship. Obvious factual errors (and I'm not even a sub-buff, although I have a general interest in military, warfare, and WW II), silly "dramatic" effects, like when Macy has a "vision" (?) of his wife aboard the German sub, the ridiculous concept of prisoners being kept chained and standing for three days, a chained prisoner with a breathing device which he spits out, etc, etc.

I haven't seen much of Macy; he seems to be a competent actor, but what a waste...

This movie s(t)inks. It really makes me regret I didn't buy the director's cut of Das Boot when I saw it at a fairly bargain price in a store just today. The comments here on IMDb were far more entertaining than the movie.

Doomwatch: Winter Angel

The biggest black hole here is the plot
Why can't I put in a 0 vote? This movie sucks worse than any imaginable black hole. I mean, you have a nuclear material container stuck and on fire, the obvious thing to *not* do is use another similar container to knock it loose? A company called *Pandora Corporation*? Hail Eris, I say!

And all the time wasted on chasing a guy on a bike, then drop him from a helicopter. And the loving couple of students who seem only to be in the movie in order for them to 1) get killed in full visual goryness, 2) nearly get killed in the same way, despite being warned. And they are supposed to depict super-intelligent university graduate students?

And a computer interface "inspired" by William Blake? Disgusting, admittedly in an intriguing manner. The intriguing thing about it is: how on Earth would anyone come up with something _so_ stupid?

Oh, and with all the blue light emanating from the plant, which I suppose was supposed to be Cerenkov radiation, everybody around would have been fried.

I agree completely with Thomas' review. I'd just like to add a suggestion: If you want to see a *good* British eco-thriller, watch _Edge of Darkness_ instead. If you can't get that, find a picture of Chernobyl somewhere on the net and look at it for the duration of this movie, and you will have spent the time better. Avoid this movie!


Krasnaya palatka

Lasting impression
I reckon I must have seen this as a young boy, probably around the age of 11, in the late 70'es. I saw it on TV at that time. The images of this movie to this day are very vivid in my memory, the ice, and the desperation it depicts. Although I don't recall much of the plot, and perhaps didn't even grasp it completely at the time, a few scenes are simply as etched in my brain: The scene where they struggle to repair the radio with graphite from a pencil. And of course Nobile's talks with the ghosts. I also seem to recall that Amundsen as portrayed by Connery came across as a rather self-righteous and arrogant person.

A movie that can make such a lasting impression must possess some significant qualities.

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