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Truly Miss Marple: The Curious Case of Margaret Rutherford (2012)

The true life story of Margaret Rutherford (1892-1972) is in fact much more eccentric than the most famous fictional role she ever played: Miss Jane Marple, Agatha Christie's amateur sleuth. Rutherford's version was the very first appearance of Miss Marple on the big screen and it was far removed though from the petite, upper middle-class lady in the detective novels.

Unembellishments If you just come to this without the Christie context, you will be appalled. If you come understanding Christie, you will be doubly appalled. Here we have a quirky actress who plays a single quirky character. The character has some appeal in most of the...


Published February 22, 2023
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Sherlock Holmes and the Shadow Watchers (2021)
Filmmaker(s): Anthony D.P. Mann

The sensational details of a gruesome murder in The Daily Gazette have London in a panic, as a blood-thirsty madman - more vicious than Jack the Ripper - preys upon the city. Of greater concern to Scotland Yard, however, is that the account of the murder was published nearly two hours prior to the crime having been committed! Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson - the Great Detective and his faithful assistant and chronicler - find themselves challenged with one of their most baffling cases - "The Case of the Woman Who Was Murdered Tomorrow"! Will an innocent man be sent to the gallows? How much blood will be shed before a scarred fiend is brought to justice? ...And who are the mysterious Shadow Watchers, a coven of ominous figures who orchestrate terror from within the darkness? Starring Anthony D.P. Mann as Holmes and Terry Wade as Dr. Watson, "Sherlock Holmes and the Shadow Watchers" is a horrifying new adventure, produced with the kind permission of the Conan Doyle Estate*.

Fiddling Around When you get something like this, you have to give allowances. No money was spent; friends did the acting. Production is brusque. What you have to look for is the intent of the writer/director/main actor. If he could have, would he have delivered a...


Published February 18, 2023
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Flightplan (2005)
If someone took everything you live for... how far would you go to get it back?
Filmmaker(s): Robert Schwentke

Flying at 40,000 feet in a state-of-the art aircraft that she helped design, Kyle Pratt's 6-year-old daughter Julia vanishes without a trace. Or did she? No one on the plane believes Julia was ever onboard. And now Kyle, desperate and alone, can only count on her own wits to unravel the mystery and save her daughter.

Oceans 2 Well, I suppose we all have to decide what it means to be a powerful or effective actress. And whether Jody is capable of delivering this. In this case, the project, at least the first half, depends on us believing her panic and resulting...


Published February 18, 2023
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Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century (1999-2001)
Filmmaker(s): Edward Zwick

Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century is an animated television series, in which Sherlock Holmes is brought back to life in the 22nd century. The series is a co–production by DiC and Scottish Television and was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Special Class Animated Program.

Plot Mines For the sake of completeness of my Holmes project, I watched a couple episodes of this. The fancy is that Holmes is placed 200 years in his future. The future setting allows the animators to use all sorts of visual shorthand for sets...


Published February 12, 2023
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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)
The struggle of super-minds in the crime of the century!
Filmmaker(s): Alfred L. Werker

Having once again avoided criminal conviction, Professor Moriarity develops a murderous plan to “finish off” his last major nemesis, Sherlock Holmes, by making him fail to prevent the perfect crime. Does it involve a family curse, the crown jewels of England, or something else…

illogical The invention of the logical detective in Sherlock Holmes was profoundly important, directly leading to the great invention of noir, the descendants of which dominate our viewing vocabulary. The notion that people were deeply logical and that a human mind was capable of mastering this...


Published February 12, 2023
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The Abominable Snowman (1957)
See It With Someone Brave! -- A Timeless Terror to Freeze You to Your Seats!
Filmmaker(s): Val Guest

A kindly English botanist and a gruff American promoter lead an expedition to the Himalayas in search of the legendary Yeti.

High Praise Before Hammer became possessed by demons from the grave, they experimented with other supernatural horror. This is a particularly good one for the period, employing lots of location shots in the mountains. Those mountains provide two key elements of the story: isolation and Tibetan mystics....


Published February 12, 2023
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Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Dead over Heels (2017)
Filmmaker(s): Terry Ingram

Librarian and real crime buff Aurora “Roe” Teagarden never liked Detective Sergeant Jack Burns, but she also never wanted to see him dead. When his body is found outside of Aurora’s home, she then becomes the main suspect. Determined to find the killer and clear her name, Aurora can't help but to get involved once again.

Manipulating Evidence I came to this as a mystery that would be safe to watch with my 10 year old. He had done well with some others like Poirot, Holmes. I’ve taught him to be alert in narrative engagement, so he was primed to be challenged...


Published February 12, 2023
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Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
Debonair. Defiant. Defrosted.
Filmmaker(s): Jay Roach

As a swinging fashion photographer by day and a groovy British superagent by night, Austin Powers is the '60s' most shagadelic spy. But can he stop megalomaniac Dr. Evil after the bald villain freezes himself and unthaws in the '90s? With the help of sexy sidekick Vanessa Kensington, he just might.

The Pamela Urge I saw this with ‘Borat’. It didn't work for me. Neither comedy did; the reasons seem related. If you put distance between something and it's source, then you have opportunity for low humour. The closer you get to the original or the reference, the...


Published February 12, 2023
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King Richard (2021)
Venus, Serena and a plan for greatness.
Filmmaker(s): Reinaldo Marcus Green

The story of how Richard Williams served as a coach to his daughters Venus and Serena, who will soon become two of the most legendary tennis players in history.

The Cosby Curse One of the effects of a rich society is the luxury of spending time watching sports, engaging with the intricacies of statistical pockets, and the supposed drama of its celebrities. Only film and its media feeders can similarly create such icons, so it...


Published January 9, 2023
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