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Sherlock Holmes (1954-1955)

The first American television series of Sherlock Holmes adventures aired in syndication in the fall of 1954. The 39 half-hour mostly original stories were produced by Sheldon Reynolds and filmed in France by Guild Films, starring Ronald Howard as Holmes and Howard Marion Crawford as Watson. Archie Duncan appeared in many episodes as Inspector Lestrade. Richard Larke, billed as Kenneth Richards, played Sgt. Wilkins in about fifteen episodes. The series' associate producer, Nicole Milinaire, was one of the first women to attain a senior production role in a television series.

Sluggo Yet another appropriation of the Holmes character. In this case, they had 23 minutes to fill with enough attractiveness to sell stuff. The form demands light banter, very simple plots and secondary characters, and lots of slugging. Slugging is required. Like other appropriations of the Holmes...


Published March 4, 2023
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Kingdom Come (2001)
They're not perfect, but they are family.
Filmmaker(s): Doug McHenry

When her husband keels over from a stroke, Raynelle Slocumb calls the entire clan together to remember their dearly departed. Family tensions reach a comedic boil as the wildly dysfunctional Slocumbs squabble and fight their way to the funeral.

<strong>The Pulpit It must be quite a challenge to create films to feed a distinct audience of any kind. You can only go so far with stories about gangstas, earnest kid transcends the ghetto, black dating plots, Eddie Murphy farts, and Denzel “pride” movies. This...


Published March 4, 2023
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Kite (2014)
Never underestimate a girl with nothing to lose.
Filmmaker(s): Ralph Ziman

When Sawa's mother and policeman father are found victims of a grisly double homicide, she begins a ruthless pursuit for the man who murdered them. With the help of her father's ex-partner, Karl Aker, and a mysterious friend from her past, she becomes a merciless teen assassin, blasting her way through the dark world of human trafficking only to uncover a devastating truth

Raped This could have been a good movie. I’m particularly sensitive to the cinematic power of sexual exploitation — after all, that’s pretty close to much of the cinematic experience. And child molesting adds great power to the experience. Also, I like Manga’s sometimes honest approach to...


Published March 4, 2023
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Maladolescenza (1977)
Filmmaker(s): Pier Giuseppe Murgia

Laura and Fabrizio have been meeting every summer in the forest by her parent's summer home. Fabrizio is a solitary boy with only his dog for company; Laura a sweet but unconfident child. This summer new aspects enter into their story as both are growing up. Laura is falling in love with Fabrizio, while he displays a new sexual awareness of her masked by his malice. Things develop further when they meet Sylvia who, unlike the innocent Laura, is confident and assertive. Fabrizio develops a fascination with her, eventually bribing Laura to fetch her to the forest to join them in play.

Tame Stuff I think I saw this when it was new. Hard to remember, because I don’t think it had much effect on me. If it did, it has far less now. The idea here is that we see creeping malevolence made crisp by showing it among...


Published February 28, 2023
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Last Man Standing (1996)
In a town with no justice, there is only one law... Every man for himself.
Filmmaker(s): Walter Hill

John Smith is a mysterious stranger who is drawn into a vicious war between two Prohibition-era gangs. In a dangerous game, he switches allegiances from one to another, offering his services to the highest bidder. As the death toll mounts, Smith takes the law into his own hands in a deadly race to stay alive.

Kurosawa on Kurosawa Students of film have great fun with situations like this. Here we have three films (‘Yojimbo,' 'Fistful,' and ‘Last Man') with the same script but entirely different cinematic philosophies. All do well at what they attempt. Kurosawa is one of the great innovators of...


Published February 27, 2023
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Killer Fish (1979)
The adventure that drags you in, pulls you under and tears you apart!
Filmmaker(s): Antonio Margheriti

Jewel thieves attempt to recover treasure from piranha infested waters. Mistrust and betrayals happen amongst the gang in the quest for gold.

The Show It is a real experience for me when a film’s being is inadvertently echoed in its story. That makes the film a good experience in some respect even though it stinks on all other grounds. In this case, you have a lovely woman (Hemingway) who...


Published February 27, 2023
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Killing Zoe (1993)
We go in. We get what we want. We come out.
Filmmaker(s): Roger Avary

Zed is an American vault-cracker who travels to Paris to meet up with his old friend Eric. Eric and his gang have planned to raid the only bank in the city which is open on Bastille day. After offering his services, Zed soon finds himself trapped in a situation beyond his control when heroin abuse, poor planning and a call-girl named Zoe all conspire to turn the robbery into a very bloody siege.

Soulless For a film to matter to me, it has to exist. It has to have been born and to the extent and in the way that you believe things have purpose and effect, it has to have that. I don’t care if the beingness is accidental...


Published February 27, 2023
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Star Trek Beyond (2016)
The final frontier...and beyond.
Filmmaker(s): Justin Lin

The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a mysterious new enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.

Rubber Bands Break Star Trek in any incarnation confounds me; I cannot understand the appeal without getting depressed about the low level of cinematic and narrative challenge some audiences require. But these days I am interested in smoke, water and the special effects that have devolved...


Published February 25, 2023
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Murder Ahoy (1964)
New mischief amidst the mizzen-masts!
Filmmaker(s): George Pollock

During an annual board of trustees meeting, one of the trustees dies. Miss Marple thinks he’s been poisoned after finding a chemical on him. She sets off to investigate at the ship where he had just come from. The fourth and final film from the Miss Marple series starring Margaret Rutherford as the quirky amateur detective.

Jerry Lewis’ Mutiny The good: well it has a jaunty theme song. At least it honors the original form in that the order we see things in is roughly the order of discovery by the detective. By this entry in the series, they had seriously lost their...


Published February 22, 2023
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Oceans Eight (2018)
Every con has its pros
Filmmaker(s): Gary Ross

Debbie Ocean, a criminal mastermind, gathers a crew of female thieves to pull off the heist of the century at New York's annual Met Gala.

Poor Planning So the overarching narrative here is that our scam artist planned this to the last detail while in the slammer. With the main trilogy, we never know, but the impression is that Danny and co agily adjust as difficulties and exceptions appear. The fun...


Published February 22, 2023
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