Money Pit (1986) Reviewed by Anita ****

Have you ever lived with/through a remodel.  One at any level.  Be is as simple as installing a new bathroom vanity all the way up redoing the whole house?  Stressful is putting it mildly.  Nothing is on time, never comes in under budget, workers make a holy mess out of your home and you begin to  hate the family you live with.  Well, that is Money Pit all the way.

Directed by richard Benjamin this is a really funny family film.  Staring Tom Hanks as the attorney Walter Fielding and Shelly Long his live in girlfriend Anna Crowley who is a classical musician find themselves in on humdinger of a remodel.

Basically the story goes like this: Fielding and Crowley find themselves suddenly evicted from their apartment.  The apartment is being sublet from Crowley’s ex-husband, a self-absorbed orchestra conductor.  He returns early from Europe forcing Fielding and Crowley to find a place to live ASAP. Fielding learns from a really rotten realtor friend about a million dollar distress sale of a mansion for a mear $200,000.  The owner must make a quick sale to help her recently arrested husband.  She shows the house by candle-light and carries on with her sob story keeping Fielding and Crowley from seeing all the really bad bad problems.  The couple find the house romantic and decide to make they can make the repairs and buy the house.

Through a convoluted chain of connections Walter and Anna come up with the money and become first time home owners.  From the second Walter gets the key the house begins to show its true nature.  I mean problems such as the stair case collapsing, or the disgusting plumbing.  The bathtub crashing though the floor, the chimney falling completely down.  I mean PROBLEMS.

They live in the house all 4 months of this construction nightmare.  By the end all being said and done this rat trap is transformed into a beautiful mansion.  As the construction has its ups and downs so does the couple.  Their relationship parallels the woes and gains of the construction, And trust me it is funny.  Hanks and Long are untouchable in their roles.  As well as supporting cast.

Money Pit is almost a docudrama of what is going to go wrong when you are rebuilding a house,  while being filled from start to finish with comedic charm.

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Riverdale (2017) Reviewed by Anita **.5

Are you a comic book fan?  Do you remember  Archie and his gang at Riverdale High School?  No worries if you are not into the comic book fan the series Riverdale is a fresh face to an old fun comic strip.  While currently on season 2 you won’t miss a beat if you started watching it now.  Riverdale is a TV drama centered around a group of teens living in Riverdale.  Episodes deal with the struggles of growing up and becoming adult.  Falling in love, and the best part uncovering mysteries about the town Archie and his gang live in.  Themes such as loyalty, and old family feuds are fun old fashion motives.  Each show builds nicely on the one before.  Currently the show is in season 2 and I’m behind but you can still catch season 1 on Netflix.

The cast includes KJ Apa as the handsome, all American ginger Archie Andrews.  His all American blond counter-part is the lovely Betty Cooper played by Lili Reinhart.  Her new best friend is the dark vixen Veronica Lodge acted by the  sexy Camila Mendes.  Cole Sprouse is the talented Jughead Jones and football king Reggie Mantle is the athletic actor Ross Butler.   This updated crew brings lots of sexy romance to the day-to-day challenges of high school mystery solving.

Season 1 story lines explore all the woes of being stuck in a small town, surrounded by crimes usually only Scooby Do handles.  I wouldn’t say the acting is Oscar-winning but as the characters develop I see the acting improve.  Chemistry is becoming more natural.  Hardcore followers of the comic book might not be so happy with the creative connections the show is taking.  I like it, it’s fresh.  According to BuzzFeed (2015) the crew in print went through a major make over.  I checked it out and the cast look very much like the updated comic.  I must confess I haven’t read the comic since childhood but that hasn’t stopped me from watching the show.

Looking for something that doesn’t take a lot of brain power but can be a fun  watch I say give Riverdale a try.

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The Ghost Walks (1934) – reviewed by George

This movie is so much like something else I’ve seen, but I can’t figure out what, and I could find no evidence that this film was ever remade. Please, if you know something “leave a comment” (at the bottom of the review).
In a terrible rainstorm with lots of lightning a car is trying to get from New York to somewhere around Cragdale, which is about an 80 mile trip.  The passengers are Herman Wood (Richard Carle), the greatest producer of psychic drama in America, and his secretary Homer Erskine (Johnny Arthur). They are on their way to a private residence to discuss a new play by Prescott Ames (John Miljan), which obviously will be a psychic drama. It is called “The Ghost Walks Again”. The car becomes stuck in mud and they have to leave it, hoping they can find shelter. As they walk they run into Ames himself, also on his way to the home and also stuck in the mud.
The three men find a mansion, are invited in, and meet an assorted group of people in evening wear. They have accidentally come to the right place, and everyone is looking forward to reading Ames’s new play – they are all prepared to read the different parts. The “cast” includes Gloria Shaw (June Collyer), Terry Gray (Donald Kirke), and Beatrice (Eve Southern). There is also a butler, Jarvis (Wilson Benge). They go in to dinner and Beatrice is already seated and acting crazy. In an aside Wood and Erskine are told that this is the anniversary of her husband’s murder – in this house. A bit later Erskine says he really doesn’t care what is served, “Just give me anything but a tomato surprise. I’ve had shocks enough this evening.” Later Wood says he is cold, and Erskine pipes up, “I wish my cousin was here. She’s had a temperature of 106 for two years. They keep her in the cellar and she heats the whole place.”
They never seem to get around to reading the play, but they do tell tales of the house and its unfortunate past, a past filled with murder and accidental death. Finally they have scared Wood and Erskine so much that Wood excuses himself to go to bed and Erskine is right behind him. While Jarvis is showing them to their rooms, the others laugh and laugh: they have just performed Act One of Ames’s new play, and are confident that, when told the truth, Wood will snap it up for his next production.
Then they miss Beatrice, and find her dead. A security guard from the asylum not all that far away shows up and says he is looking for a patient who has escaped: a murderer who always comes here to this house and uses its hidden passages to avoid recapture, often for weeks. Ames admits that this is his first time to actually stay in the house; he only bought it a week or so ago, after a none-too-careful tour.
As the night wears on a portrait’s eyes slide away and a real pair of eyes scans the guests, Terry visits Gloria in her room and is kidnapped from the closet, more security guards show up, and Wood practically has a heart attack. If anyone is more frightened than Wood it is Erskine, and after all the mysteries are solved, and the nut has been recaptured, Wood leaves with Erskine scurrying after him. He refuses to produce the play, and never wants to see any of these people again. It may seem that I have told too much, but there’s a lot more in the nature of a descending bed canopy designed to suffocate the person sleeping there, hidden rooms, including a large room with creepy equipment, and so on.
Clearly the B-est of B movies, there is still some worthy material here. I saw a really bad print and so missed some dialogue, but Richard Carle and Johnny Arthur are funny enough together that it is surprising they were never paired again (as far as I can tell – they had over 100 credits each).
And speaking of B movies: “The Ghost Walks” was a production of Invincible Pictures Corporation. Ever heard of them?
Screen Play by Charles S. Belden, directed by Frank R. Strayer.

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Douglas Wilmer is Sherlock Holmes in “Sherlock Holmes” (1964-1965): Episodes 9-11 – reviewed by George

9. Charles Augustus Milverton
A tale of blackmail with a particularly unappealing little blackmailer, snide, disgustingly confident, unfeeling, and prissy. That is C. A. Milverton (Barry Jones).
He blackmails the wife of a government official, Lady Farningham (Stephanie Bidmead – I think Bidmead is a wonderful name), over letters she has written to a lover. The letters were stolen from that lover by one of his servants at Milverton’s urging and tempting with money. Actually Milverton has paid pennies, but enough to be a motivation for someone from the servant class, and he is demanding 7000 pounds of Lady Farningham, which she cannot possibly pay. She begs him to take 2000 pounds, which she can manage without any questions from her husband, but he refuses – nothing but the value he himself has placed on the letters will do. She does not pay, and tragedy is the result.
His next victim, Lady Eva Brackwell (Penelope Horner), is put in the same position of being told to pay more than she can successfully hide in the household money plus her allowance, but instead of arguing with Milverton, she goes to Holmes. Holmes hates blackmailers, whom he likens to murderers. He takes on the task of representing Lady Brackwell, thinking that Milverton can be reasoned with, but Milverton is too smart for that. He knows well that he holds all the cards and that nothing can be done (legally). I was all for shooting him, but Holmes’s solution is to rob him. So he and Watson dress for the theater as a disguise and then sneak onto Milverton’s grounds, break in to his office, and open the safe. At this point they are almost caught by the under-gardener (Edward Brooks), but they get away with the Brackwell letters.
While this is going on, other events are taking place, and the next day Lestrade (Peter Madden) comes to Holmes for his thoughts about the mysterious robbery by two men dressed for the theater.
This episode also introduces (without fanfare) Billy (Jimmy Ashton), who I believe is some young relative of Mrs. Hudson, running errands and escorting visitors.
This is an excellent version of the story, with a standout performance by Barry Jones, excellent British character actor, remembered for “Seven Days to Noon”, “Brigadoon”, “Demetrius and the Gladiators”, “The Glass Slipper”, and “The 39 Steps”: 1959 version.
“Charles Augustus Milverton” script by Clifford Witting, directed by Philip Dudley.

10. The Retired Colourman
Well, this is the first episode on Disc 2, Side B of this 2 DVD set, and you can understand my surprise at a menu containing only two episodes, not the four I expected. It seems there are two descriptions of this set: one inaccurate which says the set contains the original 13 episodes, and one accurate that says regrettably no source material exists for “The Abbey Grange” and “The Bruce-Partington Plans”. These two stories, which can still be seen (and reviewed) in the Jeremy Brett collection of the ’80s and ’90s, must be considered lost.
A colourman is a mixer and preparer of colors in various mediums for artists to buy and use. The retired man of the title owned his own business, Brickfall and Amberley, making and selling colors, and Holmes at one point says he has seen these products with the man’s name on them – Amberley Colours. Josiah Amberley (Maurice Denham) has a younger wife and she has a male friend. Not a recipe for a happy retirement. Josiah has become convinced that his wife Ellen (Lesley Saweard) and her friend Dr. Ray Ernest (William Wilde) are plotting against him, either to kill him and inherit everything, or simply to steal the wealth hidden in the house and disappear, which seems the likelier notion since the wife, the doctor, and the hidden goods and money have all disappeared.
Holmes tells Watson that Amberley is expected at 221B very soon and cheerfully adds that “He was sent on to me by Scotland Yard, just as medical men occasionally send their incurables to a quack.” Josiah is not an easy client; he is disagreeable and distrusting, and has a strong aura of negativity. Nevertheless Holmes solves the case.
This is the only episode in the set that I didn’t like very much. The story is good, but is too short for a 1-hour program, which results in interminable fill-in shots of transport (mainly Watson driving Amberley through empty countryside), and of Holmes wandering about Amberley’s home, The Haven, both inside and out, after having used Watson to get Amberley out of the way. And Holmes does encounter a strange man, Barker (Peter Henchie), spying on the house and grounds.
I did like the ending though – very dramatic.
Script by Jan Read, directed by Michael Hayes. Also introduces a new Mrs. Hudson after many episodes without the character. She is played by Enid Lindsey.

11. The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax
Lady Frances Carfax (Sheila Shand Gibbs) is vacationing alone, as is her wont, and is in Lausanne where the hotel has selected a maid for her, Marie (Karin MacCarthy). Marie has a boyfriend, also one of the staff, Jules (Neil Stacy), who has a keen interest in Lady Frances’s jewelry. Marie, against her better judgement, shows him some of the pieces. Also figuring as possible suspects, even before Lady Frances disappears, are a strange man who follows her on her walks, and Dr. and Mrs. Schlessinger (Ronald Radd and Diana King), who have a questionable reputation for obtaining large donations for their charity from wealthy single women.
Back in London, Holmes is waxing importantly, “You know, Watson, one of the most dangerous things in the world is the drifting and friendless woman. She may be perfectly harmless in herself, but all too often she is a temptation to crime in others. She is a stray chicken in a world of foxes, and when she is gobbled up, she is hardly missed. I very much believe that some evil has befallen the Lady Frances Carfax.”
Watson observes that she is the only surviving daughter of the Earl of Rufton, and that when he died only last year, he left her a considerable fortune.
And Holmes adds that unfortunately since that time she has been in the habit of wandering around Europe alone and carrying a considerable part of the family jewelry with her, so is she alive or dead?
Watson is startled that “Dead” is a choice, but Holmes says that Miss Dobney, Lady Frances’s old governess, now retired and quite recently in contact with Holmes, has been the recipient of a weekly letter for years, but at present has not heard from the Lady for five weeks. And, in corroboration, her bankers have interviewed some of the staff at her last known stop, the Hotel Nacional in Lausanne, and a young man named Jules said that she met an Englishman out walking one day and came back to the hotel in tears. “I think she was frightened of that man.” At any rate she departed the next day.
Later the Honorable Philip Green (Joss Ackland) gets in touch with Holmes and tells his story of why he is so concerned for Lady Frances’s safety. Years ago when young, he loved her, but forbidden by her father to see her, he did some foolish things and had to leave England. He succeeded in becoming wealthy and came back to England for Frances, only to discover that she had left for Switzerland the day before. Now he is asking Holmes to find her, since he has been unable to do so.
Holmes tells Watson that he, Watson, must go to Lausanne, since “I cannot possibly leave the country at the moment. Besides Scotland Yard always feels lonely without me, and it causes a certain unhealthy excitement among the criminal classes.”
Eventually everyone ends up back in England, and Holmes solves the case, but not before berating Watson in a quite unfriendly manner over his failure in Europe. I did not like this at all, and it lowered my rating of Douglas Wilmer as Holmes. I was thinking of a first place tie for Rathbone and Wilmer, but now I think:
Number 1 = Basil Rathbone
Number 2 = Dougles Wilmer
Number 3 = Spot the Dog
I will never stop loving “A Canine Sherlock”, one of the very best short subjects I have ever seen. Spot is incredible! I urge you to seek this out; you too will love it.
“Lady Frances” script by Vincent Tilsley, directed by Shaun Sutton.

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Kill Me Three Times (2014) – reviewed by George

This is a really good movie, with some clever ideas of story telling. The movie actually starts three times (hence the title) and tells the same basic story in different ways, such that you get more information with each telling.
First I should say that a scene near the beginning is repeated near the end, and puts a different spin on the outcome for one character. The beginning of the first version has Charlie Wolfe (Simon Pegg), a jack-of-all-criminal-trades if you can afford him (he’s so good that he can set a high price and get it), fulfilling a contract on a hapless dude named Sam (Steve Le Marquand). His cell rings and he answers it, then spies Sam crawling away. He excuses himself, kills Sam, and goes back to the phone. Taking the new job, he utters his catchphrase, “I’ll be there in an hour.”
Poor Alice Taylor (Alice Braga) is the intended victim and it is her husband Jack (Callan Mulvey) who has called Charlie, since she is cheating on him with Dylan Smith (Luke Hemsworth). Unbeknownst to Jack or Charlie, Alice’s dentist Nathan Webb (Sullivan Stapleton) and his receptionist/wife Lucy (Teresa Palmer) also want to kill Alice because she is about the same size as Lucy, and Nathan has both their dental charts. He can switch charts in his records, kill Alice, and claim it is Lucy for the insurance, in order to pay off gambling debts. Some people are just unlucky and should never, ever gamble. Every bet they make, even (especially) if it is a sure thing will turn to manure in some way. So when Nathan finds out his sure-thing bet on a horse lost while he is driving, you don’t feel for him, you just laugh at him.
Jack wants Charlie, in his role as fixer, first to follow Alice and confirm his suspicions. If Jack is right he wants her dead. No word on an additional contract on Dylan – hardly seems fair, does it?
Also in the first version Alice calls the dental office and makes an appointment for that afternoon. She says she has a chipped tooth. How it got chipped is in the second version. Charlie is following her, so from his vantage point in the plantings around the dentist’s office he sees Nathan carry Alice out unconscious and put her in the trunk of his car. Nathan and Lucy stage a kind of brilliant car wreck in which Alice is burned and exploded to death. Hope her teeth are still in her jawbone!
The film is a lot of fun, partly because you have to pay such close attention. I found it to be just confusing enough that I wanted to see it again, right away. Actually, so far I’ve seen it 4 times. Twice to get the story straight and 2 more times trying to figure out who “Sam” is. He’s listed second in the credits at the end of the picture (under Simon) and on in the same position. Once I finally noticed “In order of appearance” at the top of the film credits, I realized I didn’t have to rescan the whole picture, just the first few moments, and the only person between Charlie and Alice was the murderee whose only line was “Arggh!” BUT I did get his name in the review.
And maybe Lucy has an additional reason for choosing Alice, other than her size. Lucy is Jack’s sister. Bryan Brown is also aboard as a crooked lawman, and yes, all the acting is excellent and the Australian locations are gorgeous. Written by James McFarland and directed by Kriv Stenders.

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The Farmer’s Wife (1928) – reviewed by George

A;fred Hitchcock’s sixth film is a domestic comedy, at least once you get past the set-up. The stars are Jameson Thomas as Farmer Sweetland, Lilian Hall-Davis as his housekeeper Araminta Dench, and Gordon Harker as his handyman Churdles Ash.
Mrs. Sweetland is dying, and while farm work goes on, her spaniels are sad. In s series of short shots they come in from outdoors and move up the stairs toward her bedroom. They stop, however, on the top step and lie down with their chins on the landing. Well-imagined and very effective.
Mrs. Sweetland dies, with her last words to Araminta, “Don’t forget to air your master’s pants, ‘Minta.” Next: a montage of waist-down long johns being aired in every possible place: at the fireplace, on a line, etc.
Cut to a happy time: the daughter of the house is getting married. The farmer cannot hide how much he misses his wife, but as he looks around at the single women of the right age who are there, the idea of remarrying begins to form. And Churdles contributes some wisdom words, “To see an old man in love is worse than seeing him with the whooping cough.” And also, “Holy Matrimony be a proper steamroller for flattening the hope out of a man and the joy out of a woman.”
After the wedding guests have left, Sweetland has ‘Minta help him make a list of the eligible women in the district. And ASAP he dudes up and goes courting. He is so sure that all the women (but especially the one he has decided to ask) are crazy for him that his self-confidence is laugh-out-loud funny. When the confused woman, Widow Louisa Windeatt (Louie Pounds), finally sees where he is headed she quickly turns him down. Since he can’t believe or understand what has just happened, he becomes worse-mannered and insulting. Then he goes home and takes it out on Churdles and ‘Minta.
So he moves on down the list to Thirza Tapper (Maud Gill), where he pretty much destroys a party she is throwing, to the postmistress Mary Hearn (Olga Slade), and he is contemplating Mercy Bassett (Ruth Maitland) when he decides he is unwanted and must stop this foolishness.
We know where all this is going; indeed, we have known from the beginning. But there’s more fun to be had in getting there.
This is not the funniest comedy you’ve ever seen, but it has a strong element of charm, and Hitchcock has done a good job of laying out the sequences. And Thirza’s party is the highpoint of the film.
Screenplay by Eliot Stannard, from the play by Eden Phillpots, directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

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Douglas Wilmer is Sherlock Holmes in “Sherlock Holmes” (1964-1965): Episodes 5-8 – reviewed by George

5. The Red-Headed League
Jabez Wilson (Toke Townley) has fiery red hair. He also has a new assistant, Vincent Spaulding (David Andrews) in his shop. Vincent tells him about the Red-Headed League and how he would be foolish not to at least find out about the benefits available to red-headed men. Jabez is finally convinced and goes to the offices to check it out. He is offered a scut job copying out the Encyclopedia Britannica at a rate of pay that is truly phenomenal, AND he only has to work a few hours a day.
We’ve seen this before with Ronald Howard, and it is a genuine opportunity for humor, which is not wasted here. Toke Townley is really funny, but does not push it farther than it can go, which is a gift. Good job by all.
Script by Anthony Read, directed by Peter Duguid.

6. The Six Napoleons
At the beginning Sherlock has been working for some time on a case, and declares himself “Baffled!” I liked that because the first, the earliest, Sherlock film I reviewed was called “Sherlock Holmes Baffled”. I also like that in this episode at last Lestrade appears, played by Peter Madden. Lestrade tells Holmes and Watson a tale of plaster busts (of little worth – a few shillings each) of Napoleon Bonaparte being smashed in a shop, and in two separate places belonging to Doctor Barnicot (James Bree), who bought his two busts from that shop, one for his home and one for his surgery.
When the threesome interviews Barnicot he tells them that at least the busts are replaceable. They are from a cast made from the original, which was created by the French sculptor Devine, and is now in the Louvre. Dr. Barnicot is a short man who seems to identify with the Little Corporal a bit too much.
As Holmes et al track the remaining busts Holmes develops a theory of what the smasher is really doing. This is a good episode, but not as good as a version I’ve seen and cannot now find. Is it something with a different name? At any rate the one I really like is one in which each of several porcelain collectors is found beaten to death lying in the wreckage of their collection – everything has been smashed. This way it takes some time to figure out that each large collection had in common a cheap bust of Napoleon.
Script by Giles Cooper, directed by Gareth Davies.

7. The Man with the Twisted Lip
We’ve seen one other version of this story: Eille Norwood (1921), review posted October 27, 2016. This is the better version, due to a better adaptation by Jan Read, and also to the fact that it’s about twice as long, so has more content.
A man is arrested and charged with public begging: interesting because he doesn’t ask for money, but just says “Good morning” or “Thank you. God bless you” to passersby. Perhaps he is a regular sight at this location in London. Or perhaps they just react to his manner or to the scar on his face, which reaches from the corner of his mouth halfway up his right cheek. One man, however, one fat, ugly man (Norman Pitt), reacts to a tentative “God bless you” with a rough “What the devil do you mean?”
“What I said, sir. God bless you, sir.”
“Damned insolence! Has it occurred to you that there are police regulations about begging?”
“Beggin’, sir? Oh no, sir. I’m an honest tradesman.” He says he is selling vestas and produces  a few cigars to substantiate the claim. “Half pence each.”
But the man yells, “Constable!”
At the jail a police Sergeant (Manning Wilson) tells Hugh Boone (Anton Rodgers), for that is his name, that he is about to prefer a charge against him. Part of the charge is that he “did shout, bawl, curse, and swear…”. Hugh says “It was the toff who used the bad language. Not me, Sergeant.” A copper present says, “There are ways and ways of saying God bless you”. As they are about to lock him up Boone says he wants bail. The Sergeant says, “Ten..”, and Boone interrupts, “I know, I know.Ten shillings.” The Sergeant smiles and says, “In respect of each charge.” And Boone indulges in a mild swear: “Stone the crows!” and pays the 240 pence.
Cut to a Mrs. St. Clair (Anna Cropper), who is picking up a package her husband was to get, but he is busy in the city. The package contains diamonds from her uncle in Johannesburg. She accepts and signs for the package, and then asks how to get back to London, since she came by cab. The clerk (Robin Parkinson) tells her that Swandam Lane will take her right to the city, but it is not a salubrious neighborhood. She decides to chance it and leaves. As Swandam Lane becomes more threatening, she begins to run and stops at a corner to catch her breath. She looks up and sees her husband Neville looking out a second story window. She calls, but he withdraws as if pulled. She stumbles in at the door and finds herself in an opium den.
Seven minutes and forty seconds has passed in an episode of approximately 49 minutes. The story has been exceptionally well set up in a very short time.
Mrs. St. Clair goes to Holmes after the police can find nothing of her husband except the clothes he was wearing and some building blocks he had promised their son that morning. AND they have charged Hugh Boone with St. Clair’s disappearance since apparently he lives near or in the opium den. The lascar (Olaf Pooley) who runs the den (first floor only) claims to know neither man. Holmes tells Mrs. St. Clair that he has seen Boone, who is crippled, but adds that a crippled limb frequently results in much greater strength in the other three. Holmes then proceeds to examine the land around the opium den and the river behind it, and soon solves the case.
Script by Jan Read, directed by Eric Tayler.
NOTE: Anton Rodgers played the young debtor who sings “Thank You Very Much” to reformed Scrooge (Albert Finney) in the 1970 version of A Christmas Carol: “Scrooge”. Anton also established himself as a strong presence in British sitcoms, especially with “Fresh Fields” and “French Fields”, both with Julia McKenzie,

8. The Beryl Coronet
Holder (Leonard Sachs) is a trustworthy man. So much so that he is trusted to conceal a very valuable piece for a person of high regard until it is needed. The piece? A coronet decorated with large and beautiful beryls. But as we see so often in the Bible, a good father has a bad son and vice versa. Arthur Holder (Richard Carpenter), I suppose is not bad, just very foolish. He plays poker, considering it a game of chance rather than of mathematics, and he allows the game to go on after the bet has exceeded the limits of the cash on his person. He is played for a chump very professionally by Sir George Burnwell (David Burke), and now owes Burnwell 200 pounds he doesn’t have. And none of his friends will lend him money to cover the loss. He faces social ruin, and while his father could pay the debt, Arthur fears his father a little more than disgrace, so will not ask.
When he arrives home his cousin Mary (Suzan Farmer), who has been taken in by Mr. Holder, wants very much to see the coronet, so Holder shows both Mary and Arthur the piece, unfortunately revealing the location of the key. The housemaid Lucy (Sandra Hampton), who has been acting suspiciously, also learns the secret.
Trust is a funny thing. If you are trustworthy, you tend to trust that others are worthy of your trust.
The next morning the coronet has been stolen and Holder is facing the loss of his reputation. Arthur is immediately blamed, but Holmes is brought in by Mr. Holder and finds the real thief. Satisfactory ending, except that one does hope that Gamblers Anonymous has already been chartered.
Script by Nicholas Palmer, directed by Max Varnel.

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Cool Runnings (1993) – reviewed by George

Disney has a long history of producing sports pictures that are both inspirational and openly emotional. And they sure got me with this one. Toward the end I had tears running down my cheeks. If you watch the film, you will know what caused the tears – it is good, not bad.
This film is based on the true story of the 1988 Jamaican Olympic Bobsled Team, but a slide toward the end says that names may have been changed, so bear with.
Jamaica has, for long years, been the birthplace of world class sprinters, and the film begins with races for an Olympic berth. Derice Bannock (Leon) is the son of an Olympic sprinter and dearly wants to represent Jamaica in the same way his father did. Yul Brenner (Malik Yoba) has the same ambition, and the two of them are expected to take the top two slots. Junior Bevil (Rawle D. Lewis) is expected to win slot 3 or 4. But Junior trips and in falling takes both Derice and Yul out with him. So much for Olympic hopes.
But then Derice hears that bobsledding registrations are still being accepted, AND that Irv Blitzer (John Candy), who is a bookie on the island, was first a bobsledder and then a coach. To at least be in the Olympics, Derice will do what it takes.
So the next section of the film is devoted to convincing Irv to take on coaching the team, finding a team, asking for monetary help from the local Olympic Committee, and getting first a sled and then donations from local businessmen. This takes a lot of moxie. The team is made up of (predictably) Yul and Junior, plus Derice’s best friend Sanka Coffie (Doug E. Doug), who is a pushcart driver. A pushcart is a competition vehicle pushed by most of the team and driven (or steered) by one member. And for a fourth member they break down and take Junior Bevil, since his dad is rich.
The hoops that must be jumped through to get the bobsledders supplied and trained are entertaining, yet frustrating for the team (and a little bit for the audience).
When they get to Calgary, Alberta, Canada they run into rudeness and almost hate. How dare these guys make a mockery of our sport! The Jamaicans show a lot of class (after being talked to by Irv), while other teams, especially the Swiss, show a total lack of same. Peter Outerbridge is good as the worst Swiss of all.
I knew the bare bones of the story, because I always watch the Olympics on TV, but I guess NBC didn’t dwell much on the prejudice the guys encountered.
This is a really good movie, and I will definitely watch it again. Incidentally, Cool Runnings was the name they gave their sled.
Screenplay by Lynn Siefert and Tommy Swerdlow & Michael Goldberg, directed by Jon Turteltaub.

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The World’s End (2013) – reviewed by George

At 19 years of age five graduating seniors in Newton Haven decide to conquer The Golden Mile – a pub crawl of Newton Haven’s 12 pubs, drinking a pint in each. They are Gary King, the leader, who uses the self-created moniker King Gary (Simon Pegg), Oliver or Ollie (Martin Freeman), Peter (Eddie Marsan), Steve (Paddy Considine), and Andy (Nick Frost).   Needless to say at 19 they do not make it – 12 pints is a lot.
Now, pushing 40 and not terribly successful at life or relationships, Gary wants to try again, and he wants his mates with him. He starts wrangling and he rounds them all up, by cajoling, coaxing, conning, and revealing that he is a master manipulator. Andy flatly refuses to go, after Gary has used the line, “Andy is coming” to seal the deal with the first three guys. So Andy is the hardest to con, but eventually, by telling an emotional lie, Gary gets him. To show his sincerity Gary also pays Andy the 600 pounds he has owed him forever. Later we learn where he got the money.
They travel to their old hometown in Gary’s car The Beast. One remarks that this car looks just like The Beast, and Gary replies that it is the Beast. He even has the same old mix tape.
As they travel, the guys get into the mood, and by the time they arrive they are all convinced this is a good idea – all but Andy, who still has major reservations. But the fact that they are there reduces the effectiveness of whatever he says.
The 12 pubs are: The First Post, The Old Familiar, The Famous Cock, The Cross Hands, The Good Companions, The Trusty Servant, The Two-Headed Dog, The Mermaid, The Beehive, The King’s Head, The Hole in the Wall, and The World’s End. As they move through the first four, drinking and occasionally seeing someone they recognize, like old Basil (David Bradley, currently on “The Strain”), or their favorite teacher, Guy Shepherd (Pierce Brosnan), and actually coming across Ollie’s sister Sam (Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”) who does not live there, we and they realize that something is seriously wrong in Newton Haven. The boys have come to town to do their pub crawl during an alien invasion.
They have to get out, but Gary insists that they leave on the path of the crawl. Not everyone agrees but they all go along – Gary has the keys to the car. Of course in fleeing they get separated and Gary and Sam are stuck on the flat roof of one of the pubs looking down at Sam’s car. Sam says, “Let’s climb down the drainpipe.” Gary says, ‘I’ve got a better idea.” And he jumps onto the roof of the car, landing flat on his back and breaking all the windows. He looks up at Sam and gasps, “Climb down the drainpipe.”
This is a fun film, made funnier if you watch a lot of British comedies and recognize some of the townsfolk.  Mark Heap is very funny as the barman (or “publican”) at The Two-Headed Dog, and Darren Boyd, of “Spy” and Julia Louis Dreyfus’s wonderful old NBC sitcom “Watching Ellie”, turns up too (but is more sinister).
Written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg and directed by Edgar Wright, this is the third movie in a trilogy consisting of “Shaun of the Dead”, “Hot Fuzz”, and “The World’s End”.  I thought the trilogy was Shaun, Fuzz, and “Paul”, but on reflection I see that “Paul” was not written by Wright and Pegg and took place in the US. However, I don’t really understand how themes introduced in the first two films are resolved in the third, as stated in the Special Features part of “The World’s End” DVD. The only similarity I see is that in “Shaun” Pegg’s friends are slowly, one by one, turning into zombies and in “World’s” they are slowly, one by one, turning into aliens. So the resolution is ….?
Anyway, taken alone or in sequence this is an excellent movie. And it has more fence-jumping!

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‘Will’ TV series (2017) Reviewed by Anita ***

Do you like Shakespeare?  Do you get what he is saying?  I do, and I do again.  A new series is airing Monday nights on TNT called ‘Will’ .  There are 10 episodes and it just started July 10 so you have time to catch up and  be current by next Monday.

The series is a fictional drama about the life of William Shakespeare when he was in his early 20’s trying to make a name for himself as a playwright.  He leaves his wife and three children to go to London to make this dream come true.  Shakespeare (Laurie Davidson) ends up selling a play to the theater owner James Burbage (Colm Meaney) and befriending the rest of the company.  Will is so good he pushes out the previous playwright and falls in love with the lovely Alice (Olivia DeJonge) who just happens to be Burbage’s daughter.

While seeking his fame and fortune he has a hard time making it in London.  He must keep his Catholicism a secret, come to terms with the fact he is in love with Alice, and keep his family going.  Not to mention living with the guilt he feels for the death of a playwright, the adultery he has committed, and that he will do it all again.    All the while he is fulfilling his heart’s desire and that is to be a famous playwright.  As he goes along trying to keep a roof over his head and paper to write on he finds himself saddled with the dying theater company to boot.

It has a very modern feel to it.  The sets are very well done, authentic.  I also give a two thumbs up to wardrobe.  As for character developement I’m in process of developing that opinion.  So far I like them all.  Even the bad guys.

Episode three is airing Monday July 24 th.  Hope you get a chance to check it out.  To watch or not to watch…. Now that is the question.

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