Special Memorial Day Edition: Randolph Scott in GUNG HO! (Universal 1943)


cracked rear viewer

Duke Wayne wasn’t the only movie cowboy who fought WWII in Hollywood. Randolph Scott battled fascism in quite a few war dramas, and one of his best is 1943’s GUNG HO! (currently streaming on The Film Detective ). The rock-solid Mr. Scott plays tough-as-nails Col. Thorwald, an expert in guerilla warfare thanks to his experience with the Chinese army, who whips a diverse crew of Marines into fighting shape to launch the first American ground offensive against the Japanese on Makin Island.

Scott and his second-in-command, the versatile character actor J. Carrol Naish (playing a Marine of Greek descent this time around), gather up a motley crew of misfits and reprobates ala THE DIRTY DOZEN:  there’s battling stepbrothers Noah Beery Jr. and David Bruce (who’re also rivals for the affections of pretty Grace McDonald in a subplot), hillbilly farmboy Rod Cameron, murderous minister Alan Curtis , “no good kid” Harold…

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Lisa’s Week In Review: 5/20/19 — 5/26/19


Let’s see.  Last week started with my DVR exploding and me slightly burning my thumb while unplugging it.  I lost a total of 267 recorded programs.  That was bad.

However, I got a new DVR on Wednesday and the little burn mark on my thumb that had me so concerned has nearly faded away.  Even more importantly, I no longer have the obligation of watching those 267 recorded programs hanging over my head.  Sometimes, losing something is the only way that you can move forward.  So, that’s good.

This week is ending with me shadowbanned on twitter, which means that my tweets are currently not showing up in twitter searches.  Needless to say, this is very frustrating, especially since Twitter refuses to tell me what I did to upset their precious algorithm.  That’s bad.

However, shadowbans are only temporary and I have enough followers who are generous with their likes and retweets that not showing up in a twitter search isn’t going to massively effect the number of people who come across my reviews.  And, even more importantly, all of the drama over the twitter algorithm has reminded me of just what a first world problem social media truly is.  (I mean, seriously — go tell someone living in a war zone about how getting temporarily shadowbanned is the worst thing that ever happened to you.)  If nothing else, this has helped me to gain some sort of perspective and that’s a good thing.

Finally, I spent today and I’ll be spending most of tomorrow at Lake Texoma with the people who I love.  And you know what?  That’s the most important thing of all.  Above all else, there is love.

Have a good week, everyone.

Films I Watched:

  1. Bend it Like Beckham (2002)
  2. eXistenZ (1999)
  3. Fuzz (1972)
  4. The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid (1972)
  5. Happy Gilmore (1996)
  6. Hope and Glory (1987)
  7. Maria (2019)
  8. Morons From Outer Space (1985)
  9. Paris Blues (1961)
  10. Sins and Seduction (2019)
  11. Tombstone (1993)
  12. Yojimbo (1961)

Television Shows I Watched:

  1. The Amazing Race 31
  2. American Idol
  3. The Bachelorette
  4. Chernobyl
  5. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
  6. Degrassi
  7. A Discovery of Witches
  8. Dynasty
  9. Fosse/Verdon
  10. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
  11. iZombie
  12. King of the Hill
  13. Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD
  14. Paradise Hotel
  15. South Park
  16. The Voice
  17. What We Do In The Shadows

Books I Read:

  1.  The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick (2019) by Mallory O’Meara

Music To Which I Listened

  1. Afrojack
  2. Basement Jaxx
  3. Big Data
  4. Britney Spears
  5. The Chemical Brothers
  6. Dillon Francis
  7. DJ Judaa
  8. Fais
  9. Fitz and the Tantrums
  10. Gwen Stefani
  11. Icona Pop
  12. Jakalope
  13. No Doubt
  14. R.E.M.
  15. Saint Motel
  16. She & Him
  17. Steve Aoki
  18. Swedish House Mafia
  19. Taylor Swift
  20. UPSAHL

Links From Last Week

  1. Over on Horror Critic, I reviewed The Haunting of Helen Walker.
  2. On my music site, I shared music from Fais, Gwen Stefani, Taylor Swift, Fitz and the Tantrums, Big Data, Saint Motel, and She & Him.
  3. On her photography site, Erin shared: Clouds in Black-and-White, Crooked Path, City in Black-and-White, Yard, Alleyway, Flags, and American Flags.
  4. I reviewed the latest two episodes of The Amazing Race.
  5. David Milch’s Third Act
  6. Cancellation Watch Season Roundup: Syfy Appears to Be Fading as a Network, Will It Become a Peak TV Casualty?
  7. A Quiet Place 2 Gets New March 2020 Release Date, Moving Up Two Months

Links From The Site

  1. I shared music videos from Big Data, Big Data, She & Him, and Big Data again.  I shared the trailers for Stranger Things and Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.  I reviewed episodes 7 and 8 of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and I also reviewed the new Netflix film, Maria.  Finally, I told you who won at Cannes and I wrote about being shadowbanned on twitter.
  2. Case reviewed the 2nd season finale of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina!
  3. Ryan shared an interview with Tana Oshima, reviewed Doom Patrol, and shared his weekly reading round-up!
  4. Erin shared the following artwork: Painted Lips, Planet Stories, The Seven Deadly Sisters, Danger Trail, Fantastic Adventures, The Eager Beavers, and Inside Detective!
  5. Gary reviewed Count Yorga, Three Hours To Kill, and She Done Him Wrong!

Want to see what I did last week?  Click here!

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, S2 E9, Dir: Rob Seidenglanz, Review by Case Wright


sabrina

The finale!!! Don’t forget to check out Lisa’s review here!  This season was without a doubt a televised story that Netflix paid to make.  It had its downs and would roll credits.  By the end of this season, I am excited to speak with the show’s fan.

Last season was a triumph and this season was …. just trying.  Why? I didn’t mind that the characters separated and returned together; that’s a critical part of storytelling. I also don’t totally mind what Lisa pointed out: Sabrina sucks at her job.  She’s amazingly incompetent.  That’s kinda refreshing.  Usually, incompetence is just the purview of fat husbands married to pretty wives on sitcoms.  Sabrina blunders through everything she does and manages to survive because everyone cleans up her messes.  This time with Nick’s life, but I’m getting ahead of myself.  This is the finale so let’s get our flashlights out so we can see anything on our screens and try to figure out: Whaaa Happened?!

There was something different about this episode.  It wasn’t directed like it was done by an overtired cashier at The Last Blockbuster Video (Alaska) who couldn’t turn on the lights.  The direction popped and there was actual humor. Why? Am I watching the right show? Rob Seidenglanz directed this episode.  He is known for a number of dramas: The Following, Parenthood, BUT he also directed Party Down- a no kidding great comedy!

This episode and the season can be summed up in one word: burritos….wait, I’m kinda hungry….I meant failure.  Our heroine and her friends can barely tie their shoes correctly.  They should all get chaperones in case they try something challenging like getting their own mail or cutting up their own meat.

Last episode: Our heroine figured out that she was manipulated…oh wait she didn’t.  She unleashed Lucifer by “killing herself” her double.  In this episode, Lucifer gets released and Sabrina challenges him right off. Wait, no she…has dinner with him.  In fact, we learn that Lucifer is her father, but Hilda never thought to mention it. Ok, did the writers’ room just decide to eat bunch of turkey and nyquil sandwiches this season?!!!!!

Sabrina and the aunties try to kill Lucifer, but they bungle that too.  It’s kinda funny.  Sabrina’s friends also fail to keep the gates of hell closed.  Sabrina does a …. song and dance number?????  Huh??? But, Why? Why? Why?  It’s apparently a scheme to trap Lucifer in a puzzle box of her Adoptive Father’s design and it……fails.  Is someone around to bail out Sabrina? Yep, Nick! He makes Lucifer possess him and does a sleep spell.  Luckily, Ms. Wardwell is around to carry them both off to hell.  The shot is reminiscent of The Beyond, but no one goes blind from the revelation.

The episode ends with Sabrina and her friends planning out season 3 by deciding to try to go into Hell and rescue Nick. Poor, poor Nick.  Maybe you should stop doing…you know…things.  See you next season.  Maybe, Lisa will review it again if you beg her as I will!

This season as gif:

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Trash TV Guru : “Doom Patrol” Season One, Episode Fifteen – “Ezekiel Patrol”


Trash Film Guru

Okay, so if you said you just knew the first season of the DC Universe original streaming series Doom Patrol was going to come down to a battle royale between giant mutated versions of the Curtis Armstrong-voiced Ezekiel the cockroach and Robotman’s rat nemesis Admiral Whiskers, you’d be lying — and yet here it is, the fifteenth and final episode of the first season, titled “Ezekiel Patrol,” delivers an ending no one could have predicted after an entire run of episodes loaded with “no one could have predicted.”

There’s more to it, of course : there’s the missing backstory that fleshes out the massive, and ugly, revelation laid on the team at the close of last week by Timothy Dalton’s “Chief” Niles Caulder; the uneasy detente achieved between Joivan Wade’s Vic Stone and his father, Silas (portrayed as ever by veteran hand Phil Morris); the failed attempt at a “normal”…

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TV Review: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 2.8 “The Mandrake” (dir by Kevin Sullivan)


When last we checked in on the adventures of the Greendale’s most boring family of witches, Sabrina had been resurrected as some sort of witch messiah and was planning on revealing the truth of her powers to all of Roz’s church friends when she was suddenly stopped by Harvey.  Harvey cried out, “If you ever loved me, stop!”  That got a look from both Roz and Nick, not to mention Sabrina.

Anyway, it turned out that Harvey found a wall painting of Sabrina in the mines and apparently, the painting indicated that Sabrina was destined to be the herald of Hell and bring about the apocalypse.

“Am I evil!?” Sabrina asked.

The 8th episode of the 2nd season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina attempted to answer this question and, as is typical with this show, the results were mixed.  In order to try to exorcise the evil out of her, Sabrina convinced Ambrose to help her create a duplicate Sabrina, a “mandrake.”  The Mandrake Sabrina would have all of her powers but none of her humanity and the plan was for the real Sabrina to kill the fake Sabrina 24 hours after creating it.  This would not only vanquish whatever evil that Sabrina had inside of her but it would also deprive her of both her powers and her immortality.  In short, Sabrina would become a normal mortal but, at the same time, she also wouldn’t end the world.

Sounds like a good plan, right?

Of course, it didn’t work like that, largely due to the fact that Sabrina is incredibly incompetent.  While Sabrina managed to create the Mandrake, she didn’t do a very good job of keeping track of it.  This led to the Evil Sabrina wandering around Greendale and exploiting all of her friends’s insecurities and weaknesses.  Of course, since Sabrina only has three friends, this means that the Mandrake just tracked down Harvey, Roz, and Theo.  If Harvey, Roz, and Theo were complex characters (as opposed to thinly drawn caricatures), it would be potentially interesting to see how the Mandrake manipulated them and tried to use their weaknesses against them.  But, as I’ve been saying since this season began, there’s not much to say about the members of Sabrina’s supporting cast.  Everyone has one or two traits that are used to define them.  Of course, Roz is going to be insecure about her relationship with Harvey and her eyesight because that’s really the only two things that Roz has going on in her life.  The show’s refusal to dig any deeper into its supporting cast remains one of its most glaring flaws.

On the plus side, the Mandrake’s plan to create duplicates of Harvey, Roz, and Theo did lead to a nice homage to Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Kiernan Shipka did a great job playing both Sabrina and her evil twin.  As is usually the case with this series, Kiernan Shipka’s efforts to hold this uneven episode together were nothing less than heroic.

When the episode wasn’t dealing with Sabrina and her Mandrake, it was focusing on Father Blackwood’s attempts to break away from the Church of Night and join the Church of Judas.  It was …. well, not very interesting.  Meanwhile, Mrs. Wardwell sent a reanimated scarecrow to kill Sabrina.  The scarecrow failed, of course but Sabrina has now finally figured out that Wardwell is her enemy.  Considering that Mrs. Wardwell has never been a subtle antagonist, you have to wonder how dumb Sabrina is to have only now figured this out.

Anyway, I actually liked this episode a little bit more than the previous one.  It had all the usual flaws that we’ve come to expect from this series but Kiernan Shipka’s evil turn as the Mandrake elevated the episode.  As usual, Kiernan Shipka remains the show’s greatest strength.  At times, it’s the show’s only strength.

Up next, Case finished up season 2 by reviewing the finale!