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Holmes & Watson. Madrid Days (2012)
Director: José Luis Garci
Drama
Mystery
Thriller
Crime

Film based on the characters of the English writer Arthur Conan Doyle. It tells a hypothetical meeting in Madrid between the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper.

Fight Clubs Holmes, the literary creation, is important in the development of film, yet films that use his character do so without mining the cinematic possibilities. Now here is a film that does just that. It is by a famous Spanish literary figure, who has also...


Published December 12, 2022
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Holmes & Watson (2018)
Holmies
Director: Etan Cohen
Mystery
Adventure
Comedy
Crime

Detective Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson join forces to investigate a murder at Buckingham Palace. They soon learn that they have only four days to solve the case, or the queen will become the next victim.

Deductions This did not make me laugh. Apparently it had the same effect on almost everyone. But I credit these folks with taking risks. Humour is an evolving quality, and some brands of humour demand being on an edge between the unexpectedly awkward and the emotionally...


Published December 12, 2022
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The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)
The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. Anything But Elementary.
Director: Billy Wilder
Adventure
Comedy
Crime
Mystery
History

Holmes and Dr. Watson take on the case of a beautiful woman whose husband has vanished. The investigation proves strange indeed, involving six missing midgets, villainous monks, a Scottish castle, the Loch Ness monster, and covert naval experiments.

Tamer Wilder I like the fantasy of a superartist, someone who knows what they are doing, someone who knows where the levers to my soul are. But I know that's extremely rare, that most art that I see as art is the result of someone just following...


Published December 12, 2022
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The Inspector Lynley Mysteries (2001-2007)
Crime
Drama

DS Barbara Havers is assigned to work with the upper-crust DI Thomas Lynley to solve murders.

Navel Gazing I have now rewatched several of these, and have refined my appreciation. The usual models for these sorts of projects is to distribute the episodes among different directors and screenwriters, assuming that the continuing characters are what matters. This series is different. The producers...


Published December 12, 2022
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The African Queen (1951)
The greatest adventure a man ever lived… with a woman!
Director: John Huston
Romance
Adventure

At the start of the First World War, in the middle of Africa’s nowhere, a gin soaked riverboat captain is persuaded by a strong-willed missionary to go down river and face-off a German warship.

Leeches Tom Cruise played an exaggerated version of himself in “Magnolia,” following a tradition set long ago. We liked to believe that the sex sirens we saw in movies the 30’s were really that way in life and probably they were. John Wayne followed, never playing anything...


Published December 12, 2022
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Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple: 4:50 from Paddington (1987)
Director: Martyn Friend
Crime
Mystery
TV Movie

Travelling on the 4.50 from Paddington, Mrs McGillicuddy witnesses a murder on a passing train - but where is the body?

Missed Train The Marple stories — many of them — are lessons in narrative placement. We start with the basic notion of the mystery narrator shuffling through multiple created realities looking for what makes sense. Marple turns that into the clever notion of detection as gossip:...


Published December 12, 2022
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The 400 Blows (1959)
Angel faces hell-bent for violence.
Director: François Truffaut
Drama

For young Parisian boy Antoine Doinel, life is one difficult situation after another. Surrounded by inconsiderate adults, including his neglectful parents, Antoine spends his days with his best friend, Rene, trying to plan for a better life. When one of their schemes goes awry, Antoine ends up in trouble with the law, leading to even more conflicts with unsympathetic authority figures.

Real Fiction With this film began an experiment that was to ultimately fail after dozens of notable films. It was much like the experiment in art nouveau in architecture seventy years earlier. I suppose that every art has cycles which begin with a collapse of the...


Published December 11, 2022
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Space Battleship Yamato (2010)
The legendary sci-fi animation, a live-action film at last.
Director: Takashi Yamazaki
Science Fiction
Action
Adventure
Drama

In 2199, five years after the Gamilons began an invasion of Earth, the planet has been ravaged by the aliens' bombs. The remnants of humanity have fled underground to escape the irradiated surface. One day, former pilot Susumu Kodai discovers a capsule sent from the planet Iscandar that tells of a device that can remove the radiation from the Earth's surface. The Earth Defense Force rebuilds the battleship Yamato with a new type of propulsion system to make the 148,000 light year trip to Iscandar in hopes of saving the Earth. Within one year, the radiation will drive the rest of humanity to extinction.

Teen Explosions I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about what the necessary ingredients may be for a successful space travel-centric sci-fi movie. ‘Interstellar’ used a device to place the images in the past, leveraging established movie notions. That was a movie that referenced and...


Published December 10, 2022
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100 Years of Horror (1996)
Director: K. S. Ravikumar

A multi-volume documentary on the history of horror movies. Hosted by veteran horror star Christopher Lee, this video series brings together footage from many notable (and some less notable) films from the silent era up to the 90's. Also included are interviews with many of the leading horror actors and filmmakers, in which they share their stories, opinions, and techniques on how to make the world scream.

Horrible I only watched a third of these before giving up, so I will do a blanket comment. This is many hours of stuff stretched out possibly three times as long as it deserved. Interviews are reused in multiple weeks. There is lots of footage from the...


Published December 8, 2022
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Seven-Up! (1964)
Director: Paul Almond
Documentary
TV Movie

A group of British children aged 7 from widely ranging backgrounds are interviewed about a range of subjects. The filmmakers plan to re-interview them at 7 year intervals to track how their lives and attitudes change as they age.

This did not start as a folded adventure. It is a quite ordinary TV documentary. But it became so in later installments by Apted, where the interviews are largely about how the films affected their lives....


Published December 8, 2022
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