June 29, 2014
Survivors is a thrilling post apocalyptic BBC series with fascinating characters, some bizarre scripted motivations (Samantha and Greg - really?) and dramatic, action scenes that are nail-biting. The United Kingdom setting thoughtfully affords us a relatively gun free source of violence - which is an absolute pleasure! Only two seasons ran before the show was cancelled with (from what I read) many loose ends so I stopped watching after Season 2, Episode 4 which has a satisfying-enough series finale.
June 28, 2014
The Conjuring is an intriguing and (somewhat) engrossing take on demons and exorcism. The film makers did their home work in one respect because there are bits and pieces of every demonic possession movie I've ever seen integrated into this story. In another respect no homework was done: being a pastiche, the threads in the story should be invisible, not black.
June 24, 2014
There was no reason to remake the 1978 movie of the 1977 book Coma because, though a groundbreaking theme in the 70s, torture porn has pretty much made organ theft a mundane topic. This mundanity, a pedestrian script and some (less than ground-breaking) CGI leave you nothing but Ellen Burstyn claiming These are mah babies. This one's Chinese. And this one is a mulatto. And although her part is a supporting role, it is ALWAYS a pleasure to watch Ellen Burstyn.
June 20, 2014
In the darkness of the first scenes of Bonnie and Clyde: Dead And Alive, the 2013 uninvolving and long television tale, I thought Clyde's mom was played by Mare Winningham. In the later, brighter scenes I saw it was Dale Dickey whom I had never seen before. After almost four hours, that's all I got.
June 15, 2014
Thirteen Women (showing on WatchTCM this week) at its heart is a film about bullying in a girl's school and Irene Dunne is the bully! Myrna Loy and Peg Entwistle (who infamously jumped to her death from the Hollywood sign shortly after filming this, her only film) are some of the women in the cast (which never quite reaches 13). It's an interesting artifact to watch (and somewhat prescient) although it felt much longer than it's 59 minutes.
June 14, 2014
Flickers is one of those quirky BBC dramas they made back in the day; this one takes on the fledgling film industry with Bob Hoskins and Frances de la Tour as a couple of quirky producers running a silent picture studio. There's not much history although writer Roy Clarke has definitely used factual events to fashion his story. The ensemble cast is wickedly good despite the broad characters but thankfully the action centers around the perfectly bearish Hoskins and the marvelously adroit De La Tour, both endearing actors playing great together.