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Everything Happens to Moclans Everything Happens to Moclans

The Orville’s back with another sex issue episode about Moclans who may well be the Issue Species. Written by Star Trek: Enterprise and Family Guy writer David Goodman, “Deflectors” offered some bigotry rearrangement to give us perspective again on how hatred can be just as odious and destructive when it’s…

Education in Pearls and Watches Education in Pearls and Watches

Ginger Rogers escapes from a reform school and finds herself accepted into a secret boarding school for pickpockets in the first part of 1946's Heartbeat. This entertaining first act of the film also stars Basil Rathbone as the headmaster of the school who guides his clutch of thieves with a firm but elegant hand. The…

By March or Train, by Word or Thought By March or Train, by Word or Thought

Choosing a life of unyielding virtue may seem only a matter of choice and dedication, particularly to the young. But as George Eliot demonstrates in her great, 1871 novel Middlemarch, the difficulties involved in such an endeavour entail more than self-denial and resolve. The difficulties consist in shifting goal…

Satan's Junk Mail Satan's Junk Mail

Some Devil worshippers have no personality; some Devil cults are pretty lame. That seems to be the gist of the criticisms cited in the Wikipedia entry for 1961's The Devil’s Hand, and it’s true enough, the characters are strangely lacking in motivation and, aside from voodoo dolls, cult activities don’t seem to amount…

Pink Room Detected Pink Room Detected

We got at least one big revelation in last night’s new episode of True Detective, “Hunters in the Dark”, and we got some hint as to the disagreement that fractured Wayne and Roland’s friendship. But my favourite thing continues to be the relationship between Wayne and Amelia.

When Dalek Meets Cyberman When Dalek Meets Cyberman

I seem to appreciate the Russell T. Davies era of Doctor Who a lot more than I did the first time I watched through it. I always liked it, though I generally disliked the season finales. But last night I watched the end of the Tenth Doctor’s first season, “Army of Ghosts”/”Doomsday” from 2006, and loved it. Ten and…

The Big Cats are Also Watching The Big Cats are Also Watching

The fence is good because it has meat on it. This lioness is one of several lions, tigers, and bears I saw yesterday at Lions, Tigers, and Bears, an exotic rescue animal sanctuary located near my sister’s house in Alpine, California. She and I visited the beautiful sanctuary yesterday.

From Angry Working Class to Artist with
a Thompson From Angry Working Class to Artist with a Thompson

I first saw Albert Finney, who passed away yesterday, in Miller’s Crossing, a 1990 gangster film in which Finney plays a mob boss. It was only years later that I learned he rose to stardom in roles as a young man that emphasised his youth. He was one of the distinguished faces of the “Angry Young Man”, a recurrent…

Cats are Watching Cats are Watching

If you should decide to commit murder, beware that the eyes of a large, ginger cat may be upon you! 1973's Seven Deaths in the Cat’s Eye (La morte negli occhi del gatto) seems like it might have a premise similar to Hammer’s 1961 film The Shadow of the Cat but the titular cat plays a far more passive role in the 1973…

The Difficulty of the Easy Going Man The Difficulty of the Easy Going Man

A mysterious, cocky, handsome young outlaw gets himself in the middle of a touchy hostage situation in 1965's A Pistol for Ringo(Una pistola per Ringo). Featuring a little more comedy than typical for a Spaghetti western, the humour nonetheless functions mainly as an intriguing surface layer for some very effective…

Woman or Beast Woman or Beast

There was a really nice new story by Caitlin R. Kiernan in this month’s new Sirenia Digest; “The Lady and the Tiger Redux”. Its title suggests its relationship to the 1882 story by Frank R. Stockton and a quote at the end also invokes the They Might Be Giants song referencing the story (also called “The Lady and the…

Memories of Detecting Memories of Detecting

Last night brought one of the best episodes of this new season of True Detective. Directed by series creator Nic Pizzolatto, only the second episode of the entire series which he’s directed (the first being last week’s), “If You Have Ghosts” was also solely written by Pizzolatto. Some clues move the mystery along a…

Daleks Another Day Daleks Another Day

Watching Doctor Who on BritBox has been full of surprises for me lately. This time I watched the 1972 Third Doctor serial Day of the Daleks and discovered it was the special DVD version from 2011. Not only were the special effects radically altered but all the voices of the Daleks were changed to feature a performance…

Star Trek: Recovery Star Trek: Recovery

Begun, this back-pedalling has. Thursday’s new episode of Star Trek: Discovery dove into reversing several of the creative changes the first season made to the Star Trek universe, tossing in vague allusions to explain them or to hand wave them away. The show continues to have some nice visuals and a story that’s…

Them There Glowing Blue Eyes Them There Glowing Blue Eyes

Last night delivered the best episode of The Orville yet. “A Happy Refrain” didn’t merely follow the pattern set by Star Trek: The Next Generation but actually improved on one of the older series’ more memorable episodes. Just as I suspected, the show has used Claire and Isaac to create a story like the fourth season …

Doing Time for Cash Doing Time for Cash

Not everyone gets a good job after college as one young couple discover in the 1937 film The Wrong Road. So they decide to turn to crime—”So long as we don’t hurt anyone.” Their plan is fascinatingly weird enough and the morals at play are curious enough to keep the film interesting despite starchy performances and…

Just Another Game with Jewellery Just Another Game with Jewellery

There’s a rash of high profile jewel thefts and around the same time a young man who works nights just happens to rent a room in the home of a wealthy family in 1935's Checkmate. The name suggests a battle of wits and this is a satisfying little puzzle of a film even if doesn’t reach the heights of some of the best…

Detectives in Current Affairs Detectives in Current Affairs

I’ve stopped thinking about how big people’s hair looks in the 80s segments on True Detective and started thinking about how small the haircuts are in the 90s segments. But last night’s decent enough episode, “The Hour and the Day”, was mainly about racism and cross wired sexual chemistry.

From Gangster to Knight From Gangster to Knight

The teenage son of a yakuza boss returns from America when his father dies and inherits the syndicate. But young Matsubara is only disgusted by the family business, preferring instead to become the de facto leader of a school club called the Tokyo Knights (東京騎士隊) in this sweet and slightly campy 1961 Seijun Suzuki…

Squashing Beatles and Lollards Squashing Beatles and Lollards

Still in the mood for Dalek episodes of Doctor Who, I stumbled across something else BritBox lacks in its collection of streaming episodes when I watched the First Doctor 1965 serial The Chase last week—the clip of The Beatles from Top of the Pops. This appears not to be an error like the missing footage from …

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