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Cover ArtThe enraged : a Jonathan Quinn novel
by Battles, Brett.
I have been a fan of Brett Battles but this latest one, ’The Enraged" was just too much for me to stay with it. I was bored, uninspired by too much detail without action.   posted Apr 22, 2014 at 7:01PM

Cover ArtThe boys from Brazil [videorecording]
The "Boys from Brazil", written by Ira Levin is quite a good film and maybe even more ominous for our future when looked at from 2014 instead of 1978. James Mason ws 69, Lilli Palmer was 64, Lawrence Olivier was 72, and Gregory Peck was 62. Only Lilli Palmer retained any semblance of youth. All are now dead. Jeremy Black played the young Adolf Hitler and thankfully today is not trying to act. In 1978 the world had not yet heard about Al Qaeda but they knew about the Nazis. Both are haters of anyone who wants to live a life of personal choice.   posted Apr 21, 2014 at 4:45PM

Cover ArtA rare bird [videorecording]
by Laughland, Nicholas.
In "A rare bird" we certainly see an episode that literally is meant for people doing more than just watching the birds. I have bad mouthed the performances of Neil Dudgeon but maybe the real problem is the producer, the director, and the writers of some of these episodes? But no matter who is playing Barnaby the murders get more ridiculously violent episode by episode. I am probably just bored with the same weekly dribble of American television murders and have turned to the British for relief. I am still waiting.   posted Apr 20, 2014 at 5:21PM

Cover ArtThe sleeper under the hill [videorecording]
by Laughland, Nicholas.
In "The sleeper under the hill" we see the continued erosion of Midsomer Murders after the exit of Tom Nettles as Tom Barnaby, Jane Wymark as his wife, and Laura Howard as his daughter. The replacement Barnaby needs his own replacement for this series to regain any real interest for the viewing public. It was the unique interaction between Tom Barnaby and the various murders that I enjoyed. Now I wonder why didn’t the producers pick someonelse than Neil Dudgeon for the title character.   posted Apr 19, 2014 at 6:25AM

Cover ArtStone cold
by C. J. Box
I waited nearly 4 1/2 months for Stone Cold to arrive. I will say this story is little like the old Saturday matinee with a thrill a minute, every scene promising an end to the hero unless something miraculous saves him. Of course, in those matinees the bad guys were evil beyond redemption and each of them was fatally flawed for choosing the evil path in the first place. That is unfortunately how Stone Cold left me. There is just too much for me to swallow here. Having the tragic shooting death of the boy on a rooftop by the police made me grimace at how patently absurd C.J. Box went for the jugular in every way possible. And the family dialog and family spirit of previous novels just was given lip service in Stone Cold.   posted Apr 16, 2014 at 6:34PM

Cover ArtFavorites [DVD] ; The halls of Ivy ; Mr. District Attorney ; The third man.
These three television programs from the early 1950s demonstrate how marvelously entertaining television could be and was. Michael Rennie was such a smooth and competent actor. His portrayal of Harry Lyme is markedly different than Orson Welles but that is to be expected. I was so positive that Orson was giving his all to the role. But Michael Rennie just might have had much more talent that television allowed him to demonstrate. Ronald Coleman playing Doctor Hall with his marvelous wife, played by Benita Hume, showed that you can appreciate the ordinary days of people. David Brian was a giant of a man but he convincingly played the District Attorney that truly played it on the level. Today’s so called reality television is more interested in tearing down people by making them barely resist temptation instead of purposely choosing good behavior becuse it is the right thing to do.   posted Apr 14, 2014 at 11:58AM

Cover ArtJack Reacher [videorecording]
by McQuarrie, Christopher.
All Tom Cruise needs to make a successful Jack Reacher is to grow about another 10 inches in height and gain about 70 some pounds. Oh, and get the right personality for the role. I have read some of the Reacher novels and I came away with the impression that this character definitely would not be an advocate of Scientology. But Cruise has money and apparently can buy just about any role he wants. What will you be, Tommy, when you grow up? I also want to say that the Lee Child creation fits with people who get their kicks out of seeing the hero beat people up, when he is not killing them. American men are bored with their lives and no longer know how to deal with life unless it is car chases, blowing up buildings, beating people up, shooting others. Time to learn how to face life with some sense of maturity. Too much testosterone ruins a good man.   posted Apr 13, 2014 at 2:51PM

Cover ArtDead letters [videorecording]
In "Dead Letters" we have another incredible mash of wonderful actors willing to portray the most ridiculous characters you can come up with. There is the doctor who smokes constantly, drinks like a fish, fornicates with every woman available, and moves to a new village, city, town when he has run out of new female conquests. There is the murderer who spares no one associated to his long lost girlfriend. He even murders the girl’s mother for the most absurd reason: because she can never produce another daughter for him. But the worst decision is to open the program by having young girls find the first murdered woman lying in clear but deep water. How can you involve children in these murders like it is not much more than seeing a deceased rabbit?   posted Apr 12, 2014 at 11:17AM

Cover ArtBeyond the grave [videorecording]
by Armstrong, Moira.
In "Beyond the grave" we have such a shotgun of clues and plot twists that you can get lost trying to keep up. Too much of a spread pattern for anyone one mind to have to connect the dots. In each of the Midsomer Murders there are always such vicious crimes committed by people whom you don’t suspect: bashing someone’s brains over the tiles of a church, burying two bodies in a single grave site, a psychiatrist with a drug habit using drugs to drive insane someone who came to her for help Criminals always seem to justify themselves. I really like watching Tom Nettles portray the ever vigilant and honest DCI Barnaby.   posted Apr 10, 2014 at 10:02PM

Cover ArtThe axeman cometh [videorecording]
In "The Axeman Cometh" we see a former famous band thirty years after they were a hit. No one looks good now: wrinkled faces, deafness from loud music, ravaged minds from drugs, alcohol riddled organs, and a lifetime of revenge for someone who can only kill to satisfy a debt no else even knows about. The acting is good but again the likelihood of anyone getting away with murder is minimal. I guess you have to keep it simple enough for even a policeman to solve. You can’t keep a good copper forever in the dark.   posted Apr 6, 2014 at 8:55PM

Cover ArtSapphire [videorecording]
by Dearden, Basil
If your chosen cause in life is to hunt out racism wherever you can find it then you will probably miss out on being able to enjoy this wonderfully made and acted film. I do not promote racism but neither am I going to start shrieking when I hear the "n" word. "Sapphire" is a top notch film directed by the incomparable Basil Dearden. Maybe it was made not to promote any particular social cause but maybe it was. Who knows for sure and what difference would it make if you are on of the poster carrying people? But it got the British people out of their homes and into the theatres. American theater owners were waiting for their copies. The acting is wonderful. The story line is plausible. Try not to criticize it too much. They were just as human in 1959 as they are in 2014.   posted Apr 5, 2014 at 12:41PM

Cover ArtBlue herrings [videorecording]
by Cregeen, Peter
In Blue Herrings we have John Nettles aged 57 and Jane Wymark aged 48 at the crest of their acting careers. Of course they are so popular with audiences that I would not be surprised to see either of them doing some kind of cameo appearances. This episode features senior citizens in a home with the promise of a tomorrow rather shakey due to the ravages of time. But I too am getting older and when I look into the faces and at the bodies of them I see what someday I too will be. Always try to remember we are creatures of time and not just batteries running down with a final soft pffft. Each of us a walking living, breathing history and deserves some respect.   posted Apr 3, 2014 at 9:39PM

Cover ArtParanoia
The jacket says this is a thriller but I found it so trite and boring that I could only jump from one dull scene to another. The girl , Amber Heard, should never be heard from again. The so called star, Liam Hemsworth, is just another young kid who probably thinks of himself as irresistible. I can resist him. Harrison Ford looks like a recluse who wears pajamas to formal functions. Gary Oldman is his usual self-aggrandizing nature.   posted Apr 3, 2014 at 11:37AM

Cover ArtPushover [videorecording]
At the beginning of Pushover, after the bank robbery, the police are all asking the same question: just who is the accomplice. We never found out. How is it that the one known bank robber has been allowed to retain possession of all the money? Were I the accomplice I would get my share and then hit the road asap. But not in Pushover. So was Fred the only pushover or are there at least three candidates for that role? No one really won here unless you count the policeman and the nurse who might start dating as soon as the screen credits get done rolling.   posted Apr 2, 2014 at 9:25PM

Cover ArtDeath’s shadow [videorecording]
by Silberston, Jeremy.
In Death’s Shadow you don’t see even the shadow of plausibility. An unhappy reverand after 30 plus years in a town confronts his miserable and unhappy marriage to a woman who only seemed to care when his dead body lies before her after his suicide. His suicide shows he is a coward for having murdered three men who as boys were responsible for the reverand’s illegimate son. There is no winner here. And Tom and Joyce supposedly renew their wedding vows and shakily head off on a honeymoon that Joyce believes will most likely end in some kind of police lineup. But the acting was good as it almost always is with Tom Barnaby as a the protagonist.   posted Apr 1, 2014 at 7:56PM

Cover ArtDark secrets [videorecording]
by Langton, Simon.
I actually enjoyed very much the acting of Edward Fox and his aged wife as the secret to what happened so many years ago. While I am probably never going to sign off on Neil Dudgeon as a worthy replacement for Tom Barnaby there is now much more opportunity for DS Ben Jones to exhibit his humanity as a frustrated policeman; being a copper and a human being at the same time must have its frustrations, contradictions. The plot here is ridiculous with an older woman demanding sex from her step daughter’s boyfriend. A pair of old recluses living semi-incommunicado in a house where the newspapers piple up to fatal heights, pizza boxes to fill up a semi’s trailer, but a woman having tea on an clearly immaculate table setting. You can’t beat the English gentry for crass behavior.   posted Mar 31, 2014 at 7:21AM

Cover ArtThe night of the stag [videorecording]
by Langton, Simon.
Killing a man by putting him into the tongs of a mechanical tree shaker? Upholding a centuries old tradition of putting antlers on your head and then going over to the neighboring village to ravage women who have been waiting a whole year for the rituation? I can see people making moonshine and hating the local revenuers but the Brits have outdone the hillfolk of America. And last but not least, Neil Dudgeon is no replacement for Tom Barnaby. Where did he get such a pretty wife? Of course, the answer is obvious. Someone wrote her into the script.   posted Mar 30, 2014 at 11:16AM

Cover ArtVixen’s run [videorecording]
No one who ever watching a performance by Joss Ackland walks away unaffected. As for the plot of Midsomer Murder it is ridiculous. Pick a aged, wrinkly woman are make her a marksman with a deadly bent? A younger man who is willing to endure years of being with an older and fat thighs woman just to get some rumored jewels and then running off when they turn out to be cheap glass? The real joys of Midsomer Murders to DC Jones, Jane Wymark, and the youth of Callie.   posted Mar 28, 2014 at 3:33PM

Cover ArtSmall mercies [videorecording]
by Smith, Peter (Film director)
Again the acting is wonderful. How do they keep up the good performances when the plot is beyond ridiculous? Here the murderess is a gentle soul trying to make others feel good and yet she kills without regret although not indiscriminately. After all, you just don’t kill someone for no good reason. Do you? Unless it is someone in the Midsomer area.   posted Mar 27, 2014 at 12:26PM

Cover ArtTainted fruit [videorecording]
I just rewatched the episode and I must say the murderer is preposterous in their actions. Who dreams up such silliness? A woman going to seed with alcohol as a regular intake going around killing people and then saying it is "nothing personal" in it?   posted Mar 26, 2014 at 4:46PM

Cover ArtTalking to the dead [videorecording]
by True-May, Brian
This quite an entertaining episode of Midsomer Murders. The British love to dabble in witchcraft and fantasize about possession beyond death, visitations from people from previous generations upon those of the current generation. This time Barnaby and Jones have hit the nail on the head. The police may not believe in ghosts but they still can not explain in modern terms what happens when the sun sets and the shadows move upon people.   posted Mar 26, 2014 at 4:43PM

Cover ArtA sacred trust [videorecording]
by Rye, Renny
Neil Dudgeon should be called Neil Drudgery because that it what I feel when watching him ineptly portray the title role in the Midsomer Murders series. Also on my list of to be condemned is the horrible need for British people in their entertainment industry to criticize anyone who has a sense of belief in God. Where do these British get the idea that it is open season on people who have a belief in a high power?   posted Mar 24, 2014 at 12:34PM

Cover ArtThe rivals of Sherlock Holmes. Set 1. Vol. one [videorecording]
In London around the turn of the century the conditions common people lived in were horrific, stench, disease, crime, and a less than honest police force were the daily fare unless you had a recognized position in British society. In these 4 episodes of Holme’s rivals we find a ridiculous assortment: a private detective alternating between wearing a false hump on his back, using a makeup kit to switch to the guise of an aged private detective who actually is instead a thief of the very people who have hired him? There is the blind man who does everything short of using a microscope, outwitting and out maneuvering people with no disabilities? Preposterous. A medical doctor who is a walking case of scorn of his fellow human beings?   posted Mar 23, 2014 at 3:48PM

Cover ArtThe rivals of Sherlock Holmes. Set 1. Vol. one [videorecording]
There are four episodes of rivalry to Sherlock Holmes. The blind detective is insurrferable. There is one who professes to be a detective but in actuality is a thief of those who hire him. Really now, wearing the guise of a hunchback and expecting people to accept you because you have some acquaintance with people who own things? London was famous throughout the world as a great metropolis but there was such squalor and degrading people I wonder why anyone would travel there except to say they had walked amongst the lower forms of civilization and somehow escaped their own debasements.   posted Mar 23, 2014 at 3:19PM

Cover ArtThe rivals of Sherlock Holmes. Set 1. Vol. four [videorecording]
Three delightful stories that belong to the Victorian era of entertainment through the printed media. The heroes here are not handsome nor are they dashing in any way whatsoever but they do posses a common characteristic is retaining poise when threatened by failure to perform.   posted Mar 16, 2014 at 12:09PM

Cover ArtBest boys [videorecording] ; True romance
Another egregious example of disrespect by Fitz for anything and anything other than alcohol and gambling. He shows up at a funeral without even bothering to knot his tie into place and then makes a pass at a woman who really would gag in real life at the prospect of having sexual relations with a grossly obese man who cheats on everyone, including her.   posted Mar 9, 2014 at 1:58PM

Cover ArtThe rivals of Sherlock Holmes. Set 1. Vol. two [videorecording]
I did not enjoy the episode starring the long-time character actor Peter Vaughn. Vaughn makes me think he just might break an arm for exercise.   posted Mar 8, 2014 at 2:07PM

Cover ArtThe rivals of Sherlock Holmes. Set 1. Vol. three [videorecording]
These Victorian era sleuths are entertaining more than they are rivaling Sherlock Holmes. What I most like about them is the attempts to bring to light the customs people lived under those times. How are we in the age of the internet and free-love and do your own thing going to identify with what they lived lived?   posted Mar 7, 2014 at 1:51PM

Cover ArtThings that go bump in the night [videorecording]
I love this Barnaby because he is married to Joyce. What a babe. As far as the plots of murder-most-foul these Midsomer Murders are ridiculous. In ’Things that go bump in the night’ you have two cheating people with more sag lines on their bodies not only clawing away at each other but acting together as a murder team, actually laughing after spilling out the brains of their victims. Laughing all the way to the mortician?   posted Mar 4, 2014 at 3:35PM

Cover ArtA touch of Frost. Seasons 11 & 12 [DVD]
by Bamford, Roger.
I love the Frost episodes more than the Morse. Jack Frost is a kindred spirit of mine: he is hopelessly disdaining of spending a moment on the paperwork but he sure is dedicated to solving the crime. Here! Here! I also share his brand of humor. People like Jack know what it means to be an individual amongst sheep.   posted Mar 4, 2014 at 3:31PM

Cover ArtTo be a somebody [videorecording]
The acting performance of a young Robert Carlyle as a young man driven over the edge into the arena of relief of stress by murder is terrific. The ongoing mental exploits of Cracker are just another day on the stage of egotism.   posted Mar 1, 2014 at 11:50AM

Cover ArtTo say I love you [videorecording]
I noticed that on the front of all the jackets housing Cracker episodes there is the declaration that this is Robby Coltrane’s great role. I certainly think it is literally his biggest role. Cracker is the kind of person who treats everyone as his silly pawn. Cracker thinks of himself as better than you are and is compelled to tackle his betters for proof of superiority. Huh? His betters are women, alcohol, gambling against the house, and tobacco products. What a loser!   posted Feb 27, 2014 at 1:09PM

Cover ArtThey seek him here [videorecording]
Another fine acting performance especially so since the plot is so ridiculous. The murderer has a terminal cancer, is aged, and yet able to physically lug around bodies of people he has decided to murder after many years of separation between himself and the victims? I ain’t buying it.   posted Feb 27, 2014 at 1:04PM

Cover ArtThe mad woman in the attic [videorecording]
Everyone loves watching "Cracker" but the overall premise is ridiculous: an obese forensic psychologist with a severe gambling problem aggravated by to much alcohol and smoking whenever and wherever he sees the signs prohibiting smoking does not get good marks from me. In this episode a missing amnesiac from an institution gets arrested and blamed for murdering young girls he can not have sex with just does not get past the smell test. Are you telling me the institution does not report missing patients to the police? That little fact-game would undo bad police investigation.   posted Feb 26, 2014 at 12:27PM

Cover ArtThe big crunch [videorecording]
Samantha Morton plays the real lead in this popular series called ’Cracker’. The 22 year old actress gives what I consider quite a good performance and is the only real standout no holds barred.   posted Feb 25, 2014 at 1:02PM

Cover ArtGhosts of Christmas past [videorecording]
Bruce Alexander plays Jack Frost's boss but here he plays the role of a murderer. Say what? Bruce is too kindly to be anything other than boring and pedantic.   posted Feb 23, 2014 at 2:05PM

Cover ArtPerfume [videorecording] : the story of a murderer
by Tykwer, Tom
The beginning of this film was so blatantly disgusting that I could not watch a moment more of it. The so called hero is too skinny to be any kind of hero. Projecting the stench of a fish market with a woman giving birth to a baby to left to die amongst the bones of rotting fish is too much to be called ENTERTAINMENT.   posted Feb 22, 2014 at 12:29PM

Cover ArtPanic in the streets [videorecording]
by Kazan, Elia
This 1950 cinematic production tries to deal with the almost insurmountable problem of public infection from bubonic plague carried by people who do not think they need to live their lives under the law but in spite of the law. A young Richard Widmark faces off against the ever dangerous animal in "Blackie", played by a young Jack Palance. The are a few criticisms this movie deserves: not one person exhibits a New Orleans accent, and Widmark’s cavalier handling of what he knows to be potentially deadly items exposed to bubonic plague would not pass a seventh grade science class. Director Elias Kazan did a good job directing but his later films were much, much better researched than this one. Still the movie is powerful and a good one.   posted Feb 21, 2014 at 2:42PM

Cover ArtA touch of Frost. Seasons 9 & 10 [videorecording]
by Knights, Robert.
This is overall my favorite British drama series of all time. Even Morse and Lewis must take a bow to Jack Frost, George, and Mullet. When Jack appears to be taking his final steps out of police headquarters there is definitely a tugging of my heart strings.   posted Feb 20, 2014 at 2:02PM

Cover ArtThe Oblong murders [videorecording]
by Rye, Renny
I just don’t see the murderess in this case actually able to pull off the three separate incidents. In one case she actually goes to another city, walks into a multi-flat building with a knife clearly displayed in her hand and sticks her victim. No cct in these buildings?   posted Feb 18, 2014 at 5:21PM

Cover ArtThe Great Trace : a novel
This has to be one of the greatest unsung novels ever written of the American pioneer spirit. I loved every word of it. Vingie Roe is my kindof writer.   posted Feb 18, 2014 at 11:33AM

Cover ArtThe Russian house [videorecording]
by Kitchen, Michael
Michael Kitchen definitely owns this series of police dramas situation in England. I always enjoy the British acting performances but I don’t know why I should enjoy them so much. Could it be that the foreign accents sound so refreshing from those I hear everyday?   posted Feb 16, 2014 at 12:17PM

Cover ArtThe wrong box [videorecording]
This 1966 British comedy is absolutely delightful. A young and vibrant Michael Caine does not head the cast of actors but complements the great performances of the others. Only the country that gave rise to the Victorian era could do justice to a movie about it. It’s a winner of a film. Enjoy it.   posted Feb 13, 2014 at 2:31PM

Cover ArtUnder western stars [videorecording]
Unfortunately the young generations of America do not have a single hero who could equal the wholesome qualities that oozed out every pore of Roy Rogers body. America loved this guy. He was good looking, could sing well, ride a horse like he was a part of the animal, had clear eyes and never did anything you could disapprove of. The only missing part of this movie was his later life-long wife and partner, Dale Evans. What the names of the people kids look up today? Surely you can come up with some of them. Just one name?   posted Jan 9, 2014 at 3:28PM

Cover ArtThe dead of Jericho [DVD]
by Troughton, Patrick.
"The dead of Jericho" again shows Morse unlucky in love but never say die. This early episode shows the teaming up of Morse and Lewis but Kevin Whately does not receive separate billing along with John Thaw. The acting here is wonderful and so is the direction.   posted Dec 26, 2013 at 12:13PM

Cover ArtBig trail [videorecording]
A very young John Wayne was given the title role to this early epic picture directed by Raoul Walsh. The film costs about $1.3 million but you have to see it to appreciate the magnitude of this picture: the was real snow, real rain storms, a real river where I am sure animals lost their lives to make the picture. John Wayne was so damn strong looking and had great personal confidence that stands out in every scene! You could not make this picture today because the settings required would just too costly. A real wagon train that stretched about a mile would cost how much?   posted Dec 21, 2013 at 1:16PM

Cover ArtLady Eleanor: lawbreaker
"Lady Eleanor: lawbreaker" was written in 1911, a mere year before the death of the author Robert Barr. This is a delightful tale that I thought was going to be on the fringe of ’ladies who commit crimes’ but it is anything but a crime. I loved this love story and wish everyone today had the vocabulary it took then to read it through without resorting to the dictionary. The descriptions of people in London and outer England are wonderfully entertaining and elucidating to those of us who can not imagine an internet-free world. Today’s school youth have no idea of what it means to have a good vocabulary.   posted Dec 20, 2013 at 1:24PM

Cover ArtSure Shot Shapiro
"Sure shot Shapiro" is one of the quirkiest novels I ever read. I loved this story and take my hat off to the story telling ability of John Henry Reese. Reese can take the driest of environments and the drop-offs of the old west and turn them into bastions of interest.   posted Dec 18, 2013 at 1:09PM

Cover ArtCorridors of blood [videorecording]
by Rogers, Jean Scott.
Playing a character known as Resurrection Joe, Christopher Lee, comes across as the kind of man who dedicates himself equally to minor as well as lead roles. Watch the film and then by all means watch the extras to get the best and fullest impact of "Corridors of Blood".   posted Dec 15, 2013 at 12:58PM

Cover ArtBad Little Falls
by Paul Doiron
"Bad Little Falls" is another winner from Paul Doiron but somehow the title does not appear to mean anything for the story itself. I enjoyed having Doiron precede the actual chapters of the story with snatches from a mind of an unknown mystery figure.   posted Dec 14, 2013 at 1:15PM

Cover ArtThe mystery of Orcival
This mystery is wonderfully not just written but crafted by a real pro from the 18th century, Emile Gaboriau. The paragraphs a much longer than our popular prose of today. One of the sidebars of reading the works of Gaboriau is seeing France through the eyes of a man who lived during the latter half of the 18th century. He is the real deal.   posted Dec 11, 2013 at 12:42PM

Cover ArtILL: Charlie Chan in London
Charlie Chan in London does not have hardly any connection with the city itself but the famous, if not infamous, British snobbery should be given its own billing. A very young Ray Milland gets 3rd billing but he went on to win several Academy Awards for his performances. Warner Oland was meant to play Charlie Chan like Sean Connery was for James Bond, Jay Silverheels to play Tonto, and Clark Gable to play Rhett Butler.   posted Dec 9, 2013 at 12:06PM

Cover ArtShoot the works
"Shoot the works" by Davis Dresser (aka Bret Halliday) is good clean fun reading of the Mike Shayne series. I enjoyed the twists and turns of his writing and especially appreciate not having to undergo needless plot twists to stay ahead of the reader.   posted Dec 5, 2013 at 12:16PM

Cover ArtMassacre pond
by Doiron, Paul
’Massacre pond" is a terrific thriller that explores lives and emotions on multiple levels. There is always the element of unpredictability to all crime: you know a crime has been committed but what is the sense to it? Paul Doiron is the C.J. Box of Maine but I believe Doiron is going to be a big name in his own write (like the pun?).   posted Dec 4, 2013 at 1:53PM

Cover ArtThe highway : a novel
by C. J. Box
This is beneath the talents of C.J. Box. He Box not had the phenomenal success of the Joe Pickett series and started out with "The Highway" I would tell him to hit the highway and not read another work by him.   posted Dec 2, 2013 at 12:17PM

Cover ArtThe highway
by Box, C. J.
Like millions of you I love the Joe Pickett novels by C.J. Box. But "The Highway" is just plain predictable and such claptrap that I have to put a thumbs down for overall review. Why does such a revered writer have to resort to another rendition of "girl kidnapped by sexual predator and has moments to live"? I do not want to read gore, sadism, and sickness of the human condition.   posted Dec 2, 2013 at 12:14PM

Cover ArtGorky Park [videorecording]
by Apted, Michael.
Gorky Park the novel was quite good when I first read it. Gorky Park the movie was also entertaining when I first saw it. But 30 years later the film has only one highlight and that is the performance by Lee Marvin. Would be star William Hurt was just a pretty boy trying to fill shoes way too big for himself. Perhaps it was poor screen writing but the film itself just can not add a single dab of pizzazz to the drudgery of Russian life.   posted Nov 29, 2013 at 12:10PM

Cover ArtDeath of the self [DVD]
by Dexter, Colin.
"Death of the self" gives Morse a chance to show his tears of joy at hearing a true diva sing. Morse is a not a man who sees himself being fooled by powerful personalities acting as camouflage for the underlying deadly criminal. Lewis is one step behind but trying to catch up to his more worldly boss.   posted Nov 29, 2013 at 12:06PM

Cover ArtDalziel & Pascoe. Season 3 [videorecording]
by Buchanan, Colin.
I want to personally say I find either Reginald Hill or the director of the Dalziel & Pascoe series the most insultingly irreligious attack on my personal beliefs. Given a chance I would throttle the author and maybe some of the actors too. Anyone can be an atheist but that does not give license to attack people who do have beliefs. What good is an atheist in a world searching for meaning and purpose?   posted Nov 27, 2013 at 12:02PM

Cover ArtPocket full of rye [videorecording]
A "pocket full of rye" is dismally weak in performance by everyone involved. The one enduring factor of all Agatha Christie stories is that all murders are so organized and scrubbed of their innate characteristics of blood, smell, violence, and ugliness. The actress playing Jane Marple should always appear to be innately inquisitive and generally more intelligent that those around her but with the one exception in the marvelous Margaret Rutherford they are not ahead of the pack. The police do the leg work while Marple crochets a sweater? I think not.   posted Nov 23, 2013 at 12:36PM

Cover ArtDalziel & Pascoe. Season 5 [videorecording].
by Buchanan, Colin.
"Season 5" shows how Dalziel has not emotionally matured enough to realize his true place in life.   posted Nov 21, 2013 at 3:40PM

Cover ArtThe poacher’s son
by Paul Doiron
This first in a series about Main game warden Mike Bowditch is quite stirring and well worth reading. I can see why Paul Doiron won an award for the inaugural book. I also read book number two (Trespasser) and was very impressed by it too. C.J. Box has a definite rival in Paul Doiron.   posted Nov 20, 2013 at 6:12PM

Cover ArtTrespasser
by Paul Doiron
In "Trespasser" I have found a potential rival to C.J. Box. This is quite a good novel with enough twists to keep anyone interested. If you consider how Americans differ from the British you will see that only an American should be considered fit to describe Americans. Give me a feedback on that statement.   posted Nov 18, 2013 at 10:46AM

Cover ArtDalziel & Pascoe. Season four [videorecording]
by Clarke, Warren
"Season 4" is quite a range of acting from Warren Clarke and his crew of detectives. I do not believe Americans would tolerate an overweight smoking detective to be their kind of policeman: the British may have different tolerances. But I still enjoy the acting range of Warren Clarke.   posted Nov 18, 2013 at 10:42AM

Cover ArtDalziel & Pascoe. Season 5 [videorecording].
by Buchanan, Colin.
In general I have noticed a distinct bias against religion in the works of Reginald Hill. I would personally like to throttle him for making his characters go out of their way to denigrate anyone who has spiritual beliefs. Shame on you Reginald Hill for your personal slant and unfair bias.   posted Nov 16, 2013 at 3:17PM

Cover ArtDalziel & Pascoe. Season 6 [videorecording]
by Clarke, Warren
"Season 6" shows how ridiculous the character played by Warren Clarke can become. Dalziel can behave like such a spoiled brat and cry foul than his more sane and mature underlings. The series carefully crafts the episodes where no one can either out think Dalziel. But Dalziel openenly scratches his privates and hits the bottle whenever he so chooses, which is often. His underlings are not permitted to escape the shallow end of the pool of human behavior.   posted Nov 14, 2013 at 1:09PM

Cover ArtDalziel & Pascoe. Season 8 [videorecording]
by Clarke, Warren
I do not need Season 8 to let me know that Colin Buchanan is not fit to lead any series of any television production. He is drag, unimaginative, and badly in need of Dalziel to lead him to his assigned place at the dinner table. But you would not want anyone else besides Warren Clarke to vie for series leadership.   posted Nov 13, 2013 at 2:40PM

Cover ArtThe crime trade
by Kernick, Simon.
Halfway through "The crime trade" and it is so humdrum and predictable that I am not sure if finishing it is worth the effort.   posted Nov 10, 2013 at 2:39PM

Cover ArtDalziel & Pascoe. Season 7 [videorecording]
by Hill, Reginald.
In Season 7 you can see Warren Clarke at a social function actually scratching his private parts. Isn’t character revealing. One trait that seems to belong to the male stars of pictures and television shows is that the lead physically get madder than the other men. Brando, Nicholson, George C Scott all had that the ability to outrage people. You don’t want to cross them.   posted Nov 7, 2013 at 3:51PM

Cover ArtDalziel & Pascoe. Season 7 [videorecording]
by Hill, Reginald.
Overall you can clearly see that actor Warren Clarke is anything but "Dim" as knew him from the 1971 masterpiece "A clockwork orange". But Warren Clarke is a bit of the bull crashing through the china shop: only the strongest can retain their posture when he is done with them.   posted Nov 7, 2013 at 12:19PM

Cover ArtSiege
by Kernick, Simon.
"Siege" starts out with a lot of pieces that are not so easy to fit together and then the mosaic of adventure starts to appear. I was quite excited to see how Simon Kernick gets it all to fit together. My regret is that for him to make his novel work he must rely on key people in power to either be criminals themselves or so pigheaded that we want to see anyone but them in charge.   posted Nov 4, 2013 at 1:41PM

Cover ArtThe noble art [videorecording]
by True-May, Brian
"The noble art" refers here to the aura surrounding man’s love of watching boxing without gloves. This particular episode asks to mix the manly art of fighting with man and women ogling the bloodied fighters and then throw in homosexuality into the pot of human interaction. Tedious and absurd writing here but someone who believes we will watching anything and accept any premise in the name of entertainment. Bah!   posted Nov 3, 2013 at 12:14PM

Cover ArtThe day of the devil [DVD]
by Thaw, John
"The day of the devil" features a wonderfully wicked portrayal of criminality of mind and purpose. It seems as though the police force will always be fighting an uphill battle to bring down one let alone multiple criminals whose very existence is predicated upon man’s desire to hurt his fellow human beings. As far as the British go they are rather silly to follow any form of devil worship.   posted Nov 3, 2013 at 12:10PM

Cover ArtInfernal serpent [DVD]
by Dexter, Colin.
in "Infernal serpent" we see the double standards that Morse lives by and unfortunately wants others to follow: we owe the first step to our betters, the landed class, the dons and masters of the universities. In "Infernal serpent" there is child molestation spanning generations yet Morse cedes everything to the scum he calls "head master".   posted Nov 2, 2013 at 1:04PM

Cover ArtMasonic mysteries [DVD]
by Thaw, John
In ’Masonic mysteries" actor Ian McDiarmid (from the StarWars) wonderfully plays a revenge minded person from Morse’s past and painful present. This actor comes across as not only psychotic but oh so intelligent, even more so than Morse. But evil has to keep on being evil and there is the rub my friends. Someone good is always taking out the rub.   posted Oct 31, 2013 at 6:57PM

Cover ArtCherubim & seraphim [DVD]
by Boyle, Danny.
In the established order of Medieval Christianity angelology the first and most important is Seraphim and the second is Cherubim. How strange that the title gets it so wrong. Morse is shown to be quite mundane and naive at understanding his own young relative just might be doing drugs in one room while her parents and uncle are denying it in another room.   posted Oct 30, 2013 at 4:13PM

Cover ArtThe secret of Bay 5B [DVD]
by Dexter, Colin.
"The secret of Bay 5B" has a rather interesting ending that will probably escape the attention of most people. As Morse and Lewis are driving while discussing the end of the mystery they are in Morse’s classic maroon Jaguar being followed by another latest model maroon Jaguar. How many other small concurrences escape our attention?   posted Oct 28, 2013 at 1:14PM

Cover ArtService of all the dead [DVD]
by Thaw, John
In "Service of all the dead" is given to us in does rather than one big easy time saving dollop. Almost needless to say this is a convoluted mystery that some may say is the key to knowing if you are truly one of the real mystery lovers or just a fair-weather sailor. Kevin Whately was only 31 years old and just a episode or two away from being given co-star status withe incomparable John Thaw. Thaw himself was probably at beginning of the lung cancer that took his life.   posted Oct 27, 2013 at 12:25PM

Cover ArtBlood on the saddle [videorecording]
by Holthouse, Richard.
"Blood on the saddle" is a visit to the Old West British style: entertaining but silly given they haven’t a clue as to how to mimic America’s wild past. Watching Tom Barnaby dressed as Wyatt Earp with a long droopy mustache is hilarious. He looks old and wizened.   posted Oct 25, 2013 at 4:39PM

Cover ArtSecond time around [DVD]
by Thaw, John
This Morse episode is very, very well done. I would like to add that in the credits there is one for "Incontinent Policeman". I wonder if he, the man who could not hold it, felt any pride at being listed with dubious distinction.   posted Oct 24, 2013 at 5:51PM

Cover ArtJohn le Carre’s Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy [videorecording]
by Irvin, John.
This superior television production of the novel by the same name from John le Carre is marvelous. Today’s audiences may be far too young and naive to understand the conflicts between Communism and the Free World but that is the very theme of this production. I will say that the settings are always dismal and depressing. Even when the good guy seems to have caught the bad guy no one goes home smiling and laughing. Enjoy the hours it will take you to watch all three discs.   posted Oct 22, 2013 at 6:00PM

Cover ArtDestroying angel [videorecording]
by Nettles, John
"Destroying angel" shows that the most unlikely people are going to prove to be the murder most foul. But the acting is good, the setting rustic, the reasons behind the murder never excuse the act.   posted Oct 20, 2013 at 12:56PM

Cover ArtThe daughters of Cain [DVD]
by Burt, Chris
The acting performance by the woman dying in a hospital is marvelous. I defy anyone to better demonstrate the frustration felt by Sergeant Lewis at seeing the murder(s) of people go not just unpunished by untried. My hat is off to Kevin Whately.   posted Oct 18, 2013 at 4:49PM

Cover ArtThe sheriff of Fractured Jaw [videorecording]
Kenneth More was a delightful actor that was a favorite of audiences across the world. I remember watching him and thinking this is how a British actor ought to sound and act. The ravishing Jane Mansfield was only 24 years old when she did this film and let me tell you she really filled out every outfit she ever wore. Bazookas galore! The movie itself is a lighthearted romp and compilation of spoofs on the American western. in today’s internet dead-brained world you could not find an audience able to appreciate it as it was meant to be.   posted Oct 18, 2013 at 12:33PM

Cover ArtSleeping murder [videorecording]
by Hall, Ed.
Convoluted to beat the band but nevertheless interesting. I can say I picked the murderer just about from the moment he(she?0 made the first appearance. The necessity of Jane Marple was very loose.   posted Oct 16, 2013 at 12:11PM

Cover ArtThe settling of the sun [DVD]
by Thaw, John
Viciousness of murder is not wanting here. How unfitting that Inspector Morse can not stand the sight of blood and yet this always the one scene present in all us cases.   posted Oct 14, 2013 at 4:36PM

Cover ArtThe Phenix City story [videorecording] ; Dial 1119.
by Karlson, Phil
The Phenix City Story is undoubtedly the most nakedly brutal story of an Alabama town in the clutches of criminals who think nothing of beating someone into a coma, throwing a bomb through a window of a home, or murdering anyone who might get in their way. The use of the "N" word is not something spared in this movie nor was it spared in any Alabama city during the 1950s. I think every American should watch this film to see just how bad can some places be in this great country called America. If you think I am fooling then be ready for a rude surprise. The movie ends on a high note but that is only because the producers wrote it in.   posted Oct 11, 2013 at 3:21PM

Cover ArtHappy families [videorecording]
by Dexter, Colin.
"Happy Families" is anything but happy. The marvelous actress Anna Massey is the matriarch who can not grieve a single moment for the murders of her husband and her two worthless children yet she gives herself wholeheartedly to her own murderess, a girl she is led to believe is her own daughter thought to have died during child birth but held away from her in secret.   posted Oct 10, 2013 at 1:50PM

Cover ArtSecrets and spies [videorecording]
by True-May, Brian
This is one of the more interesting episodes tht ties events from the Berlin Wall to the lives of people 30 some years later. Again, the most unlikely of the murderers is the one most likely to be at fault. But the team of Barnaby and Jones is wonderfully entertaining. Jane Wymark is a real babe!   posted Oct 8, 2013 at 5:33PM

Cover ArtThe guards [videorecording]
by Orme, Stuart.
This Irish production where the protagonist is a ex-cop all-drunk is just plain depressing. Maybe it is just that writer Ken Bruen is the problem but I encourage you not to watch any of the episodes other than going straight to the final scene to save yourself from wasting time and get depressed. Am I stressing depression enough to get the point across?   posted Oct 7, 2013 at 4:43PM

Cover ArtThe last enemy [DVD]
by Thaw, John
There is no snobbery like British snobbery. Inspector Morse is educated, a "learned" man who does crossword puzzles, listens to classical music, and knows how to pronounce the names of all the composers. Yet he can not ever find a any woman who will marry him, let alone date him on any semblance to regularity. But as his faithful and competent understudy Lewis says: He is the best.   posted Oct 5, 2013 at 11:56AM

Cover ArtCharlie Chan’s secret [videorecording]
The year is 1936 and the film audience in America probably could not get enough entertainment to suit them. Interestingly enough the picture that Warner Oland always presents of the ’honorable family’ does not include Keye Luke. The one mark dealing with almost all mystery series where you have a host of possible culprits has the final meeting where you get the solution. Charlie Chan movies just about patented the scene. All other series owe a debt of gratitude to the beginning played by Warner Oland.   posted Oct 2, 2013 at 4:56PM

Cover ArtRamrod [videorecording]
No one who ever saw a Joel McCrea movie would believe he could portray an alcholic cowpoke. But that is what we are expected to gulp down in this story.   posted Oct 2, 2013 at 12:38PM

Cover ArtRude earth, a novel,
Rearden Conner is a fine writer. This novel is about a life in Ireland that is not possible for modern people in America to envision as he writes of but that does not mean we can not appreciate it. Unfortunately I got through the first 150 pages and realized this is a soap opera of a tale. I could not accept the premise that a man could murder the father who disapproved of is intentions towards his daughter and then marry that same daughter without missing a night’s sleep is too much for me to bear.   posted Oct 2, 2013 at 10:23AM

Cover ArtTainted fruit [videorecording]
Once again the acting is good and the murders are multiple in number. Whoever expects plausability will be disappointed.   posted Oct 1, 2013 at 4:26PM

Cover ArtAbsolute conviction [videorecording]
by Dexter, Colin.
Actor Jim Broadbent makes his presence known and it is meaningful.   posted Sep 30, 2013 at 4:52PM

Cover ArtThe house in the woods [videorecording]
What do you do when twins are your suspects? One is too good and the other almost unspeakably bad. Interestingly the twins are played by actor George Baker who had his own detective series. Again, Midsomer Murders are interesting but oh so preposterous when you get to the culprit(s). But I will still enjoy watching the series.   posted Sep 30, 2013 at 10:43AM

Cover ArtMurder over New York [videorecording]
The best part of this film is long time character actor Marc Lawrence playing the revenge minded criminal seeking the demise of Charlie Chan but never achieving it (that would have prematurely ended the series). A coherent plot was apparently not needed to keep audiences attending the Sydney Toler renditions.   posted Sep 29, 2013 at 12:39PM

Cover ArtMurder over New York [videorecording]
Although I enjoyed this film there are some really glaring gaps. First gap is the dinner party were the three women are among the list of possible criminals. Yet the credits only list two of their names. Also, there is the mysterious figure that is needed to complete a crime scene yet his identity is never really revealed. One time box office star Ricardo Cortex is is given almost top billing in the credits but he is killed off almost immediately.   posted Sep 29, 2013 at 12:36PM

Cover ArtThank you, Mr. Moto [videorecording]
Peter Lorre was foreign born but what a screen talent. People imitate his voice rather than he imitating someone else. Peter was only 33 years old when he did this film and it is a gem! If you have not seen Peter Lorre playing Joe Cairo in the film the Maltese Falcon then do so at your first opportunity. Unfortunately Lorre did at the age of 60 looking dumpy and saddened to do mere character roles.   posted Sep 29, 2013 at 12:32PM

Cover ArtJesse Stone. Thin ice [videorecording]
by Brandman, Steven
Tom Selleck is popular with American television audiences for 30 years now. His portrayal as the alcoholic sheriff of a small town does nothing for me. I encourage you to read comments about the videos before renting them and having to watch in agony as nothing peaks your interest.   posted Sep 29, 2013 at 12:28PM

Cover ArtMurder is easy [videorecording]
There has not been a single Jane Marple that could hold a candle to the marvelous Margaret Rutherford from the early 1960s. Audiences loved Agatha Christie characters but I am afraid the Ted Bundys and Jeffrey Dahmers and the Hannibal Lecters have ruined the ability of modern viewers to watching with delight as the murder is committed and then is solved in step-by-step processes.   posted Sep 28, 2013 at 11:11AM

Cover ArtLast seen wearing [DVD]
by Thaw, John
You can not do better than the best of Thaw and Whately for crime drama. I love the Midsomer murders but the Morse series always seems to have believable murderers who do not jump out of the woodwork at the end of the program. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson will always be the most famous due in crime solving but that takes nothing away from the Morse series.   posted Sep 27, 2013 at 4:38PM

Cover ArtAgatha Christie’s Poirot. Set 12 [videorecording]
by Bennett, Edward
Interesting but not very entertaining Hercule Poirot episodes.   posted Sep 27, 2013 at 12:23PM

Cover ArtCharlie Chan at the Olympics [videorecording]
A very catching title but it has very little to do with the film. The real interest here is the technology that allows planes and ships to be mechanically operated thereby eliminating the chance of losing human life. Sounds like our current obsession with drones. Again Charlie Chan is masterfully played by Warner Oland. What is missing here is any Nazi presence even though the 1936 Olympics were held in Berlin, Germany and the Nazis headed by Adolf did win the Olympics.   posted Sep 25, 2013 at 2:56PM

Cover ArtCharlie Chan in Shanghai [videorecording]
Entertaining feature with a young and future superstar, John Hall, playing under another name. Warner Oland made for a great Charlie Chan. Sydney Toler also did his own Charlie Chan move in Shanghai.   posted Sep 23, 2013 at 6:00PM

Cover ArtYoung and innocent [videorecording]
This early Hitchcock film is kind of a masterpiece on several levels. First off, Hitchcock is able to film a classic barroom fight in an English pub that rivals that of any American film. Second masterpiece is his ability to take the naivity of English people and somehow make it seem allright to suspend rational judgment. No one in the their right mind would accept the premises of almost all his films yet he pulls it off. Third place is his ability to find the right person to play the villain. Often his villains are the ones remember for their deeds rather than the innocent ones fighting for their lives.   posted Sep 23, 2013 at 2:43PM

Cover ArtDeath rides the Pecos
Davis Dresser also used the pseudonym Brett Halliday (also used by writer Bill Ponzini). This western is very, very enjoyable. I certainly intend to read other books by the author, no which name he pens under.   posted Sep 23, 2013 at 10:54AM

Cover ArtInspector Lewis. Series 2. Disc 4 [videorecording]
by Burt, Chris
Kevin Whately made and proved himself as the underling to Morse (wonderfully portrayed by actor John Thaw). Now Sergeant Lewis is promoted to Inspector Lewis and he is everyman’s rendition. Whenever I watch Whately I think this is how I myself might ’have done it’. You can spend all day counting the lines on the face of Lewis. Perhaps each line represents a case solved, a point made (and taken)? Hopefully he will continue to entertain world audiences.   posted Sep 22, 2013 at 12:31PM

Cover ArtCharlie Chan in Paris [videorecording]
The year is 1935 and Warner Oland is wonderful as Charlie Chan. The whole world loved his rendition of the famous detective from Honolulu. One interesting note about Charlie Chan movies is that each of the two lead actors, Warner Oland and Sydney Toler not only carried a cast from movie to movie but also used some of the same locations for the movie: Paris and Shanghai each spotted two movies. There is a a definite character setting for each actor that set each apart from the other with audiences accepting each. Hollywood, of course, used horrible racial stereotyping that would not be tolerated in today’s world. Actually Hollywood is the ultimate stereotype machine.   posted Sep 22, 2013 at 12:26PM

Cover ArtCharlie Chan in Egypt [videorecording]
Charlie Chan but not detective Charlie here. The year is 1935 and speaking pictures are just a few years in the making but this film is actually quite good. Warner Oland was Swedish but he did very well in the role of the Chinese detective that the whole world came to love and admire.   posted Sep 19, 2013 at 7:25PM

Cover ArtAppointment with death [videorecording]
by Suchet, David
Zoe Wanamaker is certainly up the the task of making everyone hate her. I would have been willing to stand in line just for a chance to ’shut her up’ after giving her a piece of my mind. But the Syrian desert puts a strain on everyone’s character and body in this murder mystery. Overall it is enjoyable if you can enjoy murder.   posted Sep 18, 2013 at 4:20PM

Cover ArtThey do it with mirrors [videorecording]
by Christie, Agatha
Jean Simmons is still a beautiful woman. The plot is laborius and the overall ating is atrocious.   posted Sep 18, 2013 at 11:51AM

Cover ArtThey do it with mirrors [videorecording]
by Christie, Agatha
Jean Simmons is still a beautiful woman. The plot is laborius and the overall ating is atrocious.   posted Sep 18, 2013 at 11:51AM

Cover ArtThree act tragedy [videorecording]
by Pearce, Ashley
Martin Shaw is the most depressing screen personality and yet he seems to dominate every scene he is in. I should like not to see him in any other productions. Fortunately he is aging and will be relegated to fewer and fewer appearances.   posted Sep 17, 2013 at 7:48PM

Cover ArtAfter the funeral [videorecording]
by Phillips, Maurice
Fine acting and an interesting murder mystery with the usual ’I can not believe that is the guilty person’. Agatha Christie is starting to become a little predictable: just look for the one person who just seems to be the least logical choice. David Suchet is wonderful as Poirot but he looks so old and has such poor posture. He is no longer so much fun as he used to be when accompanied by Hastings, Japp, and Miss Lemmon.   posted Sep 17, 2013 at 7:45PM

Cover ArtCharlie Chan in Reno [videorecording]
An enjoyable, light-hearted viewing that has lasted for the American people since 1939. This film is only 71 minutes long so it probably was part of a double billing, maybe even a triple billing. The stars of the Sydney Toler Charlie Chan series often show up in more than one of these films and usually their roles are reprisals. Again I want to remind everyone that today’s politically correct world would not allow a white man to undergo the transformation necessary to play an Asian detective. Alas we are too serious to enjoy ourselves.   posted Sep 17, 2013 at 12:34PM

Cover ArtAgatha Christie’s Poirot. Set 5 [videorecording]
by Piddington, Andrew
David Suchet owns the role of Hercule Poirot just as Sean Connery owns James Bond. The similarities stop at this point. Suchet truly is a joy to watch mincing his way between clues and accustions of murder. His little gray cells never sleep. Hastings, Japp, and Miss Lemon(spelling?) are also wonderful to watch. You could not have their characters in today’s cellphone world.   posted Sep 16, 2013 at 7:04PM

Cover ArtThe pikemen [videorecording]
by Bruen, Ken.
Another depressingly brutal British(?) detective series where the violence is ’rub your face into the dirt’ is seemingly an everyday event.   posted Sep 15, 2013 at 2:02PM

Cover ArtThe green man [videorecording]
by Graham, Caroline
The Green Man is one of the better Midsomer Murders because the murderer does not come out from behind the scenes but is actually up front. English mannerisms are enchanting and they are no doubt frustrating to even the English themselves. But will it play in Peoria?   posted Sep 14, 2013 at 4:23PM

Cover ArtCharlie Chan in city in darkness [videorecording]
The setting is the eve of WWII where Paris supposedly has a lights-out policy at night time. Did Paris have such a policy? There is no numbered son for Charlie Chan to explain life to but the audiences still loved the white Sydney Toler dressing up as a Chinese complete with his face being pulled into ridiculously accents. No modern audience would tolerate such a farce.   posted Sep 14, 2013 at 11:35AM

Cover ArtThe picture of Dorian Gray [videorecording]
by Berman, Pandro S.
This is one of the best acted films from any generation. Today’s gay leaning entertainment media would never allow the production of Dorian Gray as it was originally written, and that was written by one of the most flaming homosexuals of British heritage. George Sanders should have received an Academy Award for this role. Sadly the man portraying Dorian Gray, Hurd Hatfield, was just a one performance notable and never ever succeeded in any other role to a anyone’s applause. But in the film Hatfield seems to perfect. Angela Landsbury is also wonderful as the tragic suicide victim who first falls victim to the lusts and depravity of Dorian Gray.   posted Sep 13, 2013 at 4:56PM

Cover ArtThe Shanghai cobra [videorecording]
by Karlson, Phil
This particular Charlie Chan movie is the worst one I have ever seen! The plot is so ridiculously concocted I cringed at all of the scenes, each one seemingly more stupid than the previous one to no end! Clearly the demise of Charlie Chan will be to stupid studio choices and not to the revenge of any arch-villain.   posted Sep 13, 2013 at 4:51PM

Cover ArtPainted in blood [DVD]
by Graham, Caroline
This is one of the more interesting and less far fetched of the Misomer Murders. The British have a wonderful knack for presenting the unapologetic dirty old men scenario. The plot is very interesting all the way through.   posted Aug 28, 2013 at 5:53PM

Cover ArtDance with the dead [videorecording]
This just has to be one of the most ridiculous murder mysteries I have ever seen. The British are such good actors but the plot line’s intersection with the solution just is almost too stupid for words.   posted Aug 26, 2013 at 3:30PM

Cover ArtBlood wedding [videorecording]
by True-May, Brian
"Blood Wedding" is over-the-top when it comes to British class entitlements. To see Cully being married is a disappointment to me. She is better than the men she picks.   posted Aug 3, 2013 at 11:54AM

Cover ArtDeath in a chocolate box [videorecording]
"Death in a chocolate box" is another well acted and mighty silly murder mystery. Where do they come up with such ridiculous solutions to the plots?   posted Jul 31, 2013 at 11:02AM

Cover ArtMaster class [videorecording]
by True-May, Brian
Look at the photos on the jacket for Midsomer Murders. It shows two men, Tom Barnaby and his replacement, who happens to be a relative. But in the video itself the replacement does not appear one time. Talk about pre-advertising technique. I saw one of the "new" Barnaby’s episode and it was lame!   posted Jul 28, 2013 at 6:08AM

Cover ArtNot in my back yard [videorecording]
by True-May, Brian
I love all the characters in this oh so British police drama. So I am willing to accept the outlandishness of the murders and the murderers. You can not make this stuff up no matter what continent, or lsland, you are living on.   posted Jul 27, 2013 at 10:54AM

Cover ArtThe Creeper [videorecording]
by Rye, Renny
"The Creeper" is good entertainment with all the usual British strata battling the rights of Tom Barnaby to investigate them and the inability to prove themselves innocent. Jane Wymark is my kind of woman.   posted Jul 25, 2013 at 3:18PM

Cover ArtThe Adjustment Bureau [videorecording]
This movie is a hodge-podge of fantasy thinking but still has visual surprises to delight me when the story line starts to fall apart. The old guy playing "the hammer’ once would probably have been the better choice for Matt Damon’s role. Time waits for no man.   posted Jul 23, 2013 at 10:06AM

Cover ArtSamson and Delilah [videorecording]
by DeMille, Cecil B. 1881-1959.
Cecil B. DeMille really knew how to make an epic. 64 Years ago Hedy Lamarr was perhaps the most beautiful star of all time; and she was quite brainy too. The coloring of Samson and Delilah is staggeringly beautiful. All the actors in this film were top flight and would be so were they to be seen by modern audiences. Too bad current liberal thinking has divorced itself from the words of the Lord and the Holy Bible.   posted Jul 21, 2013 at 11:45AM

Cover ArtYou don’t know Jack [videorecording]
by Levinson, Barry.
A top flight crew of actors led by Al Pacino. Pacino may have given his best role of his career by playing the character Jack Kevorkian by keeping his own pathos out of the way of the role. I defy anyone to watch this "movie" without feeling their minds questioning whether Jack is right or is he questionable in his fight to help the sick and dying get over a hurdle that no one else can.   posted Jul 20, 2013 at 3:49PM

Cover ArtPage eight [videorecording]
by Nighy, Bill
I give this production a "D": dismal, depressing, disappointing. Sadly, someone went to a lot of bother writing the damn piece, hiring good actors to waste their talents while they await real roles that the public will care about. I fell asleep while waiting for the real story to present itself.   posted Jul 18, 2013 at 3:53PM

Cover ArtSins of the fathers [videorecording]
by Thaw, John
John Thaw owned the role of Morse and Keven Whately owned the role of Lewis. What a pair of actors. The strata British society is never better presented than in the Morse series.   posted Jul 17, 2013 at 4:50PM

Cover ArtHaywire [videorecording]
I first saw this movie in the theatre and thought the protagonist too much to believe in. Now in the privacy of my home, watching in my underwear and pausing the film it is still too much to believe a female Chuck Norris takes the punches and kicks of bigger and stronger men only to overpower them all.   posted Jul 16, 2013 at 8:23PM

Cover ArtA taste for death [videorecording]
by Marsden, Roy
This was one of the more complete renditions of P.D. James novel set to film, albeit television. The pathos of the characters is gripping and unrelenting. England is a class-conscious society and we should always remember there are oceans between the haves and have-nots. But murder is murder no matter how large the bank account, or the titles bestowed upon those born to position and wealth.   posted Jul 15, 2013 at 7:56PM

Cover ArtAgatha Christie’s Miss Marple. [videorecording] Nemesis
Over-all this Agatha Christie murder mystery is like soggy pasta: inedible and unpalatable. The actress Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple has no life in her performance. Not since Margaret Rutherford did her wonderful series in the 1960’s as Marple has any actress filled the shoes of the spinster detective.   posted Jul 12, 2013 at 9:12AM

Cover ArtMinistry of fear [videorecording]
by Miller, Seton I.
This Graham Greene story is wonderful to read and the movie is also pretty good. The film is a conglomeration of British and American actors in a WWII setting. If you are unfamiliar with this giant of writing talent in Graham Greene I envy you soon to be admiration of him. Read his books. See the movies based on those books.   posted Jul 9, 2013 at 11:23AM

Cover ArtComplex 90 : a Mike Hammer novel
by Spillane, Mickey
Mickey Spillane was very, very popular when it came to pulp fiction. Mike Hammer is a name most mature Americans know. This novel co-wrote by another popular writer, Max Allan Collins, is just the biggest drag. By page 50 the only action was sex in a Moscow hotel room. I quit reading it.   posted Jul 8, 2013 at 10:57AM

Cover ArtIt came from beneath the sea [DVD]
by Gordon, Robert
In 1956 radiation was a new and all-encompassing worry to people in the world. When a giant squid or octopus with suckers big enough to suck up an adult without needing to use a napkin the audience was mesmerized. Spaces aliens had nothing on the home-grown monsters. Maybe this film for modern day audience is campy but "It Came From Beneath The Sea" was the kind of winner Hollywood used to produce but seemingly no longer can.   posted Jul 7, 2013 at 4:01PM

Cover ArtGreen for danger [videorecording]
by Gilliat, Sidney.
This movie has been one of my all-time favorites. You can not get a better cast or production number. The British used to make some very wonderful pictures. WWII was just a year over when this film came out but the war is the backdrop for the story. I hope you enjoy watching Green For Danger. Trevor Howard was a leading man before he acquired a too gravelly voice and lined face to win the girl but he was one damn fine actor.   posted Jul 6, 2013 at 9:30AM

Cover ArtThe way through the woods [DVD]
by Madden, John
John Thaw was the most wonderful choice to play "Morse" and Kevin Whately was the perfect person to play "Lewis". This combination equals Holmes and Watson.   posted Jul 4, 2013 at 3:35PM

Cover ArtMidsomer life [videorecording]
by True-May, Brian
I have noticed my comment on a particular Midsomer Murders episode gets transferred to all of the episodes. That means when I want to particular to a specific episode it is impossible.   posted Jun 29, 2013 at 11:49AM

Cover ArtSins of commission [videorecording]
by True-May, Brian
Once again I complain that I do not see enough of Jane Wymark; a classy and beautiful woman. The story itself is quite entertaining, a murder being committed surrounding a literary prize which includes mystery writers. Unfortunately the real murderer seems to be improbable.   posted Jun 27, 2013 at 8:34PM

Cover ArtThe thirty-nine steps
by Buchan, John
John Buchan created the character Richard Hanney and kept him going for 5 novels. The 39 Steps has been the inspiration of movies and copy-cat writings. No one preceded Buchan but others follow him. But Buchan himself is probably more storied than his fictional creations. Maybe you would like to check the John Buchan Society? This man died in 1940 but the Society seems to be very current.   posted Jun 19, 2013 at 7:32PM

Cover ArtNightfall.
by Goodis, David
David Goodis hit the nation’s magazines and bookstores the way Marlon Brando hit the motion picture screen. He was dead at the age of 49 but not before establishing himself as a maverick writer among maverick writers. Wikipedia says Goodis was "churning out 10,000 words a day". Can you call yourself a writer? I love this man’s writings. I’ve read Nightfall a handful of times and each time I find myself mentally and emotionally transported beside the the two heroes of the story, Jim Vanning and the detective following him. If you have not read Goodis then I think you are ready for a real treat. Turn off the sound systems, get rid of the company, get in the chair and read Nightfall! Comment me back.   posted Jun 19, 2013 at 7:19PM

Cover ArtBob, son of Battle
by Ollivant, Alfred
This is a wonderful story not only for the telling of two dogs that seemed to battle (no pun intended) each other from the very first meeting. Their owners also battled each other. It said that good shall defeat evil but somehow Ollivant presents a test case of of a "damn irritating little man and his equally damn irritating dog" that we normally would relish being driven out of our lives. Maybe both the man and his loyal dog were not as bad as I first thought. Grudgingly we often must give the Devil his due for not giving in when he knows the cause is lost yet wants to keep up appearances by not giving in. We get assigned roles in life that don’t always reveal how much we would change our fates if only that were possible. Life is often like a card game where only one hand is dealt to us: a busted flush instead of trip-aces, no chance to redeal, looking up at the man on top of the ladder while he looks down below where you are. Ollivant’s story touched my heart and mind, showing me that there just be something in each man and dog worth saving. Walk a mile in my shoes and maybe you won’t think my path is so such a poor choice.   posted Jun 19, 2013 at 7:00PM

Cover ArtThe Maltese falcon
by Hammett, Dashiell
Arguably the unbeatable aura of the American private-detective in fiction belongs to one man and one work of fiction. The man is Dashiell Hammet and the work is "The Maltese Falcon". He was a man who just seemed to know things about life and knew how to captivate us when others failed. Where did Hammet get these wonderful ideas? Millions have seen the movie starring Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade but reading the book is a treat. When the author is as good as Hammet his reputation makes the careers for the actors rather than actors making the career for the author. Hammet was alcoholic and suffered from tuberculosis contracted when only 24 years old and just probably wore out before his time was due. He died at the age of 66.   posted Jun 19, 2013 at 6:34PM

Cover ArtThe big sleep
by Chandler, Raymond
Phoebe calls Chandler the father of the "hard-boiled, noir detective". Maybe so but no one should forget a equally famous American writer, Dashiell Hammet. Although Chandler was born before Hammet I have always looked upon Hammet as the more interesting writer of the two. Hammet gave us Sam Spade and Chandler gave us Philip Marlowe. Tough to choose between them so it is best to read both writers. Each writer eventually ran out of steam, ideas, health or some combination of what gets us all in the end.   posted Jun 19, 2013 at 6:14PM

Cover ArtThe Quiller memorandum
by Hall, Adam.
This is Cold War espionage at its starkest. Author Elleston Trevor writing under the name Adam Hall gives us the thinking man’s James Bond. I urge you to read all the Quiller books in chronological order. You won’t be disappointed. Trevor and Hall give you good stuff. Some of their books made to the big screen. Ever saw "Flight of the Phonenix"? Elleston Trevor wrote it.   posted Jun 19, 2013 at 6:03PM

Cover ArtThe ginger man
by Donleavy, J. P. 1926-
I first read this book nearly 45 years ago. I thought J.P. Donleavy was an author like no other. Maybe he still is. The protagonist is an Irishman like all Irishman would like to think themselves to be but probably fall pitifully short, but not short for lack of trying. I hope you not only read this book but also some of Donleavy’s other works.   posted Jun 19, 2013 at 5:57PM

Cover ArtThe haunted strangler [videorecording]
by Read, Jan.
Boris Karloff has wowed audiences for many decades. His portraying the Frankenstein monster will live forever as the best of the lot. The Haunted Strangler will not be remembered except as campy, campy, campy. But I still love the voice of Karloff. Lugosi was another voice to be remembered.   posted Jun 19, 2013 at 12:22PM

Cover ArtThe thief of Bagdad [videorecording]
by Thomas, Elton
Douglas Fairbanks is terrific in this film of wonders in the Arabian world of yesteryear. Fairbanks was not tall but his physique is marvelous! This film shows just how actors without much dialog can put out great entertainment. The sets of this story are fabulous! This film today would too expensive to produce.   posted Jun 18, 2013 at 4:36PM

Cover ArtCollision [videorecording]
by Horowitz, Anthony
3.5 Hours developing a very lame story about people involved in a pile-up of cars being investigated by police with their own lame lives. I hope you read my comment before watching this crap.   posted Jun 15, 2013 at 9:50PM

Cover ArtThe black tower [videorecording]
by Rosenberg, John
Has anyone been suffering from insomnia? This dvd will help cure that problem.   posted Jun 10, 2013 at 5:35PM

Cover ArtMurder on St. Malley’s Day [videorecording]
The mansion featured is fantastic! This truly must be what distinguishes the owners from the cottage deeders. Jane Wymark is not seen enough for my taste.   posted Jun 6, 2013 at 11:27AM

Cover ArtThe hitch-hiker [videorecording]
True life criminal and murderer Bill Cook is the subject of this movie. Cook was executed in California in 1952 at the age of 23. Billy’s life seemed doomed from birth. William Talman was 38 years old when he played Billy but Talman’s performance is excellent.   posted Jun 5, 2013 at 2:56PM

Cover ArtAnd then there were none [videorecording]
This wonderfully entertaining film produced and directed brilliantly by Rene Clair should become one of your favorite mysteries that used to be made for audiences that appreciated nuances. A first rate cast earns their keep. Agatha Christie wrote the story but she never brought it to the screen. Other renditions have been made but this remains the best. The house where the action takes places is fantastic!   posted Jun 4, 2013 at 9:34AM

Cover ArtDevices and desires [videorecording]
by Ellice, Thomas
The P.D. James series starring Roy Marsden gives quite good acting but almost invariably the plots are plodding, too much time between real actions does little to keep my interest.   posted Jun 3, 2013 at 7:17PM

Cover ArtThe hitch-hiker [videorecording]
Ida Lupino not only made her mark on the big screen and television as an actress but also as a very respected director. The movie has great tension throughout and should give today’s audience a gritty look at how black and white films present a unique film that you don’t get from color and the over-use of special effects. When you take out the special-effects then you must have actors. Although this film is over 50 years old you should be able to enjoy it. If you can’t then the fault lies within yourself.   posted Jun 3, 2013 at 2:15PM

Cover ArtThe South and three sectional crises
by Fehrenbacher, Don E. 1920-1997
This should be on every Civil War buff’s reading list. Fehrenbacher assumes the reader already is aware of certain history acquaintances but he does not wait for you to catch up; he charges ahead with heavy writing. I will want to reread this book and maybe even put out my own money to get a home copy.   posted May 28, 2013 at 5:32PM

Cover ArtSmall town murder songs [videorecording]
by Gass-Donnelly, Ed
Horrible film. The jacket says it grips you from the opening credits. Huh? I have been to a small town where accents were the norm. There is nothing good in a single scene to make me want to see more. Thank God we have FF. To suggest there are ’murder songs’ is ridiculous.   posted May 25, 2013 at 9:24AM

Cover ArtThe war of the worlds [videorecording]
This film from 1953 thankfully sans Tom Cruise is a gem. Not only are there much special effects than present day film making it is also a view of 1950s American values. People then stood with each other in common values instead of being segmented in warring factions. No one had to proclaim their political views or sexual orientation.   posted May 25, 2013 at 9:20AM

Cover ArtBreaking point
by Box, C. J.
Joe Pickett and the host of characters surrounding him is enjoyable reading. I could actually feel the heat of the forest fire closing in on Joe and the others. C.J. Box is one hell of a story writer and I am lucky to have discovered him. Read the Pickett books in order to maximize your enjoyment.   posted May 20, 2013 at 10:25AM

Cover ArtThe Judas Gate
by Higgins, Jack
Nitetrain and I seem to read a lot of the same books. I was very disappointment in this lackluster effort by Higgins. I used to so enjoy Sean Dillon devilry but that has possibly ended here. Higgins has run out of ideas or at least how to present them.   posted May 2, 2013 at 7:17PM

Cover ArtNight and the city [videorecording]
by Dassin, Jules
I read the book today and it puts the movie to shame, like comparing a fatally flawed old man to the fine dreams he once had but let fall through the cracks of a sieve like life. You have to get the book through ILL but it is worth reading. Kersh is a writer that shows you what writing can and should be.   posted Apr 27, 2013 at 5:17PM

Cover ArtThe silent land [videorecording]
by Smith, Peter
I am only one of millions who have enjoyed watching the MidSomer Murders series. I have a crush on Jane Wymark. This particular episode has the most ridiculous, unlikely, lame plot I have ever seen. But the last two minutes are wonderful.   posted Apr 17, 2013 at 10:44AM

Cover ArtNight and the city [videorecording]
by Dassin, Jules
I looked up this actor who plays the Great Gregorius and got a shock. He is not Greek but Polish. Real name Stanislaus Zbysko, a true world class wrestler who thrilled audiences for decades in the early 20’s. But the screen character who protests against the fake and orchestrated wrestling we see on television today was in real life not so honest a competitor himself. Look him up and read some fascinating history.   posted Apr 14, 2013 at 5:54PM

Cover ArtNight and the city [videorecording]
by Dassin, Jules
London, 1950, the war is ended but not for people struggling to make a living. Some people survive because they just won a bet, but only for today, tomorrow has yet to be earned. Harry Fabian is hustler who will make others pay the price for his latest scheme but now he will have to pay up with his own life. His woman loves him. She has made so many painful sacrifices to prop him up, but now her love won’t be able to purchase him even a third class ticket on the train leading to dawn tomorrow. What makes her stick around for more pain from Harry? Tragically Harry is not the kind of man who thinks of anyone but himself; all will be let down. I first saw this film when I was just a boy. It is terrific.   posted Apr 14, 2013 at 5:04PM

Cover ArtThe French connection [videorecording]
This movie from 1971 won Best Picture and Best Actor awards. It is terrifically exciting with the real Eddie Eagan portraying his screen character. Talk about improbables. When you have finished watching the movie then go read the book. You are in for a double-rich treat.   posted Apr 13, 2013 at 11:23AM

Cover ArtShock corridor [videorecording]
by Fuller, Samuel
Lead actor Peter Breck does not appear to be the kind of man who you can picture screaming like a terrified woman but he does in so in Shock Corridor. As improbable as this picture seems to be it is very moving. Harry Rhodes gives a marvelous portrait of a black man stuck in a white mental institution. The girl friend of Peter Breck sure looks sexy to me. Enjoy the movie and hope you never have to penetrate behind locked doors to get a news story. The time is 1963, 50 years ago in a different America.   posted Apr 13, 2013 at 11:18AM

Cover ArtThe first rule : a Joe Pike novel
by Crais, Robert
The book started out well enough but then it just started begging the question. Joe Pike takes too long to get to the point. Anyone can see where this story is going and it just is not worth my continued reading. Lee Child’s Jack Reacher is more interesting than Robert Crais’ Joe Pike.   posted Apr 10, 2013 at 10:28AM

Cover ArtA wanted man : a Jack Reacher novel
by Child, Lee.
I agree with "nitetrain" but would give this novel 4 out of 10 stars. Lee Child just may be running out of steam and ideas. What am I saying?   posted Mar 22, 2013 at 6:13PM

Cover ArtA wanted man : a Jack Reacher novel
by Child, Lee.
This is novel is predictable, boring, and hardly worth reading. Lee Child’s Jack Reacher is shown to be just another thrill happy thug masking as the good guy. Why do I say? He sees one of his female partners brains spilled out by a assassin’s bullet and his response is check for heart beat and then move on without a backward glance. The story also is full of often repeated tripe.   posted Mar 22, 2013 at 6:10PM

Cover ArtJudgment and wrath
by Hilton, Matt
If you want to read a really good series about criminals pick up the Parker books by Richard Stark. Parker is very satisfying without getting too ridiculous. Oh, as far as Matt Hilton being competition to Lee Child: HA!   posted Mar 19, 2013 at 5:51PM

Cover ArtFoolish wives [videorecording]
No one who ever saw Erich Von Stroheim in action can not remember the bull necked somewhat diminutive man. Both director and actor, star and supporting star, his screen presence spanned silent and talking films. I believe almost all living stars would not fill his shows were it not for the gimmicks of talking films, special effects, and time. He could strut standing still!This movie Foolish Wives is a delight to watch. Good acting, marvelous pacing, and a rousing if not satisfying ending. Silent film means the actors really do the work. Enjoy it my fellow film lover.   posted Mar 18, 2013 at 6:17PM

Cover ArtJudgment and wrath
by Hilton, Matt
I read two of the other Joe Hunter novels but maybe that is my limit. Judgment and Wrath can not hold my interest and I am stopping my read of it at the half-way point. Also, I do not like the font and printing of this hardback. Hilton works very hard to develop the most improbable of weird bad guys. Too bad he does not give the same attention to his heroes.   posted Mar 17, 2013 at 9:38AM

Cover ArtKilling floor
by Child, Lee.
This is the introduction of Jack Reacher and it belongs right up there with the most ridiculous characters you could ever come up with. What I liked about it was that no real thinking is required to appreciate Jack Reacher. Lee Child knows his television audiences well. We will put with anything just so long as it does require thinking.   posted Mar 10, 2013 at 1:41PM

Cover ArtNothing to lose : a Jack Reacher novel
by Child, Lee.
Lee Child’s Jack Reacher is certainly a solitary man going it alone against all probability of his winning and yet he does win. I don’t expect Lee Child to come up with a protagonist that I will ever identify with: the character is ridiculous. But that is what you get from a tv personality like Child. 7 out of 10 stars.   posted Mar 10, 2013 at 1:37PM

Cover ArtCut and run
by Hilton, Matt
This is the first Matt Hilton/Joe Hunter novel I read. The parallels with Lee Child’s writing are many and exciting. Unlike Child’s Jack Reacher going it alone in a dangerous world Hilton’s Joe Hunter has some help and variety of personalities. I thought the bad guy was well described in ’Cut and run’ and look forward to reading the series.   posted Mar 3, 2013 at 8:51AM

Cover ArtKill shot : an American assassin thriller
by Flynn, Vince.
Kill Shot was the first Mitch Rapp book I read. It certainly is much, much better than American Assassin. But I do not need another rehash of someone whose only aim in life is to kill someone he does not like even if the bad guy is an enemy to America. Keep trying Flynn. Your reputation is high and you should deliver your very, very best to the reader.   posted Mar 3, 2013 at 8:45AM

Cover ArtAmerican assassin : a thriller
by Flynn, Vince.
American Assassin failed to deliver any crunch time drama. Vince Flynn does not know how to deliver coordinated characters. Usually his bad guys are more believable than his good guys. This book is like puffed popcorn, looking big but gone in a New York second without must aftertaste. Maybe Vince Flynn will learn to consistently write stuff I really want to read. A big maybe.   posted Mar 3, 2013 at 8:40AM

Cover ArtSpecial branch. Set 1 [videorecording]
This 1973 production of British detective television is a real gem. Starring George Sewell, who is no physical beauty, you can see his acting talents as well as the more than just intrigue of British drama but actual cases that might occur in real life. Give it a shot. You won’t be sorry for watching.   posted Jan 13, 2013 at 11:25AM

Cover ArtRififi [videorecording]
by Dassin, Jules
Rififi is a great tribute to the French gangster film. Made in 1955 this black and white film shows the great direction of Jules Dassin. I have seen it at least 5 times over the past few years and can truly say it retains a mystical quality that will not disappoint you. Enjoy yourself my friend. Rififi!   posted Jan 13, 2013 at 11:20AM

Cover ArtPines : a novel
by Crouch, Blake.
Let me tell you not to read this book if you want it to make sense or even have the remotest plausibility of occurrence. I started with great interest to read about a man who seemed to be up against insurmountable odds: everyone a mystery and seemingly against him with his physical life in the balance. I read on until it just got to be way too much crap to digest or even contemplate.   posted Jan 10, 2013 at 11:37AM

Cover ArtContraband [videorecording]
Silent film star Conrad Veidt shows he can act with the best of them on the sound stage. I doubt many of today’s so called Hollywood stars can equal the range Veidt displays. Enjoy this 1940 film made just after the advent of WWII.   posted Jan 2, 2013 at 11:04AM

Cover ArtNo easy day : the autobiography of a Navy SEAL
by Owen, Mark
A pretty straight forward accounting of the mission that took out UBL. Most of the book deals with this particular Navy SEAL talking about his life as a SEAL. No true insights about the life and final days of UBL are revealed. The SEALS seem to be continually training to remain the premiere tool of military precision in the whole world. GOD BLESS AMERICA!   posted Nov 4, 2012 at 8:25AM

Cover ArtThe night of the hunter [videorecording]
by Laughton, Charles
Robert Mitchum turns in the performance of his life as the serial killer of women. Many actors have tried and failed to realistically portray murderers but Mitchum seems to hit all the marks. The modern world knows a great deal about the profiles of actual serial killers and they are not much like Hannibal Lecter but are very much like Robert Mitchum in this movie produced in 1955. Watch it and then comment.   posted Oct 27, 2012 at 11:58AM

Cover ArtDark passage [DVD]
by Goods, David.
I first saw this film at the age of 11. Watching Lauren Bacall walking across the restaurant with every step showing she and Bogart were as one as two people could ever be thrilled me then and even more so now. The book and the movie are actually very good and unique. I hope you enjoy both of them.   posted Oct 27, 2012 at 11:52AM

Cover ArtClassic British thrillers [videorecording].
by Powell, Michael
These three classically British thrillers are excellent. I do not know how anyone can view them without a nostalgia for the eras of human experiences no longer available to the world we live in today. The British have a deserved reputation for showing the inevitable and constant twists and turns to real life. Enjoy you viewing. The absence of the British film from today’s entertainment has harmed us all.   posted Oct 21, 2012 at 11:53AM

Cover ArtScarface [videorecording]
Paul Muni was a top actor in all his years in Hollywood and would be one today. He was not very tall but his performances are exceptionally poignant. Scarface 1932 is much better than Scarface 1983. Pacino lacks the range of Paul Muni. I urge you to watch the alternative ending.   posted Oct 15, 2012 at 8:40PM

Cover ArtFalling down [videorecording]
by Schumacher, Joel
The performance of Michael Douglas just might be his best ever. Given the numerous example from real of life of people with anger management problems this strikes me as very realistic. Robert Duvall plays himself but he is unnecessary for the entire picture. Tuesday Weld gives the acting performance of her career. I had no idea that she could act.   posted Sep 23, 2012 at 11:58AM

Cover ArtKeyhole [videorecording]
by Maddin, Guy.
Pretty freaking weird movie if you want my opinion. I watched it but there is not much point to these 94 minutes of viewing. Maybe I keep trying to make sense of it all. You have been warned.   posted Sep 23, 2012 at 11:53AM

Cover ArtRogue male
by Household, Geoffrey
This 1939 novel torques your emotions with an ever increasing intensity. Overall the plot seems to be little too naive but as I kept reading I was able to identify with the main character, the rogue male. I envy your enjoyment when you too read it.   posted Sep 19, 2012 at 5:09PM

Cover ArtI walked by night, being the life & history of the king of the Norfolk poachers,
The daughter of H. Rider Haggard has presented the reported diary of the Norfolk poacher, who remains unnamed. Miss Haggard has amazed me with the narrative that she claims to be the editor. Maybe it is fiction but no one can read this book and not have the feeling they are looking into the past of British life in the 1800s. Enjoy reading it, folks.   posted Aug 21, 2012 at 12:24PM

Cover ArtMemoirs of a Bow Street runner.
This is one of those one of a kind books that lays out real history told by a real Bow Street detective. It covers the years 1824 to 1859. The diary is revealing and fascinating. No one reading it will be anything but enlightened. I envy the new reader their enjoyment.   posted Aug 2, 2012 at 3:54PM

Cover ArtThe silver goblet.
This fourth and last novel starring Thieftaker Harry Adkins is an absolute delight to read. I recommend you read the series in order because the characters become real book by book and you should not backwards go your journey.   posted Jul 31, 2012 at 12:20PM

Cover ArtBrandy for the parson.
There are 4 books in the Raymond Foxall series with the thieftaker Harry Adkins as the real life British detective. Sherlock Holmes was fake but Harry Adkins is not. You will like this series which gives real 19th century British dialect and idiom.   posted Jul 23, 2012 at 12:38PM

Cover ArtThe little ferret.
Raymond Foxall writes a delightful series of books on the real life thieftaker named Harry Adkins. If you want to know something about how the British police force was formed at the turn of the 19th century this will fill the bill. There are 4 books in the series about Harry Adkins.   posted Jul 23, 2012 at 12:35PM

Cover ArtThe dark forest.
This the third installment of the series dealing with the real life character Harry Adkins, thieftaker extraordinaire. Well worth reading. Raymond Foxall is in the class of John Buchan for writing.   posted Jul 23, 2012 at 12:32PM

Cover ArtThe woman who couldn’t die,
I enjoyed this tale of romance and adventure very much. Stringer has a lot in common with H. Ryder Haggard. This author makes sentence structure and content a marvelous joy to read. Written in 1929 the reader in 2012 does not know how abrupt and tasteless modern day writers have become.   posted Jun 28, 2012 at 12:08PM

Cover ArtWolf of Badenoch; dog of the Grampian Hills.
This is a wonderful story of Scottish sheepherders and their dogs. No internet, no Kim Kardashian, no Facebook. Chipperfield tenderly shows how to enjoy and grieve for the fallen dog Laddie and his master John MacKenzie. No one who reads this story will go away without having glimpsed the birth of the great spirits of man and dog.   posted Jun 9, 2012 at 11:39AM

Cover ArtForce of nature
by Box, C. J.
Force of Nature is delicious, even though it takes a few liberties for probabilities. I take it very personally when someone tries to hurt anyone in the Pickett family, and, of course, Nate Romanowski. I would not have put this book down for a $100 cash payment.   posted Apr 26, 2012 at 10:49AM

Cover ArtForce of nature
by Box, C. J.
C.J. Box continues to find new ways to captivate his audience. Reading his Joe Pickett novels in order assures you will become an honorary part of the family and, of course, Nate Romanowski. I thought this latest book took a few too many liberties but I would not have put it down for a $100 cash payment.   posted Apr 26, 2012 at 10:36AM

Cover ArtTinker, tailor, soldier, spy
by Le Carre, John
Not only is this a great read it is also a great BBC production that is available through the library. The reader is advised that knowing about the importance of winning in the Cold War against the Soviet Union was a life and death struggle for many of us.   posted Apr 23, 2012 at 5:17PM

Cover ArtOur kind of traitor
by Le Carre, John
This is a great read that either catches you in its claws or escapes the grasp of some lesser readers, like nitetrain. Le Carre is a great writer that gives you something in every sentence. The ending is like being kicked in the stomach by a close friend.   posted Apr 23, 2012 at 5:15PM

Cover ArtThe avenging ray.
This 1930 British crime novel is very sill and so far fetched as to be unbelievable. But, it is entertaining and shows underlying attitudes of the British towards women, life, fair play, and technology.   posted Dec 20, 2011 at 12:06PM

Cover ArtA touch of Frost. Season 1 [videorecording]
by Leaver, Don.
The ’Jack Frost’ series is a superior television presentation that has been a joy for many years. Unfortunately stars age and become too old for their parts. I recommend British detective programs to the over-violenced and over-sexed American programs such as CSI.   posted Dec 18, 2011 at 12:37PM

Cover ArtGreenmask,
This mystery published in 1944 is a very enjoyable read. Within its chapters is a view of good British values and character portrayal that I was personally impressed by its relevance to my own life.   posted Dec 11, 2011 at 9:22AM

Cover ArtThe good German [videorecording]
by Soderbergh, Steven
This story of general scheming and murder in Berlin just after the ending of WWII is depressing. George Clooney goes around with the attitude of ’just try to impress me’. He plays that character in every movie. Tony Maguire is a pint sized punk who needs his own bodyguard. Cate Blanchett could only be desirable by the most desperate of men. She’s a good actress badly in need of a matching figure. This movie claims homage to 1940 film making but today’s audience won’t know America used to require some saving grace to their heroes before they deserve to be watched on the screen.   posted Sep 17, 2011 at 9:40AM

Cover ArtThe leopard’s spots; a romance of the white man’s burden--1865-1900,
Dixon writes a much more influential novel than he knew at the time of writing it. Our politically correct world blinds us to alternative views of reality. Publishers today would be afraid of Dixon’s works. I hope you are not be afraid to read them.   posted Sep 17, 2011 at 6:26AM

Cover ArtFree fire
by Box, C. J.
C.J. Box’s Joe Picket novels are like gourmet meals that you can look forward to enjoying. Reading them in order is better than not. You need the history to keep everyone and everything in their proper place. I envy your enjoyment if you are just starting the series.   posted Sep 17, 2011 at 6:19AM

Cover ArtA touch of Frost. Seasons 7 & 8 [videorecording]
by Knights, Robert.
The Frost series has an enduring quality of real entertainment and captivates year after year.   posted Sep 17, 2011 at 6:14AM


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Southside Bookclub
 
 
Mister Shannon
Interests: Mysteries, Scifi, stuff
Ryner
Interests: Historical fiction, fantasy, s...

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