Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 9/13/21 — 9/19/21


 

I’m back from my mini-vacation and I’m helping to get this site ready for October! Just a week and a half left to go until it’s the greatest time of year!

Until then, here’s the damage for this week:

Films I Watched:

  1. The Cars That Are Paris (1974)
  2. The Case of the Bloody Iris (1972)
  3. Cosmic Monsters (1958)
  4. In The Blink of an Eye (2009)
  5. Jennifer’s Body (2009)
  6. The Night Brings Charlie (1990)
  7. Out of Bounds (1986)
  8. Psycho Cop (1989)
  9. Reminiscence (2021)
  10. Short Night of Glass Dolls (1971)
  11. Worth (2021)

Television Shows I Watched:

  1. Allo Allo
  2. Bachelor In Paradise
  3. Big Brother
  4. Hell’s Kitchen
  5. Invisible Monsters: Serial Killers in America
  6. Moone Boy
  7. Open All Hours
  8. The 73rd Emmy Awards
  9. The Ultimate Surfer
  10. The Walking Dead
  11. Yes, Minister

Books I Read:

  1. TRANCE Formation of America: True life story of a mind control slave (1995) by Cathy O’Brien and Mark Phillips
  2. You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, and Their Impact on a Generation (2011) by Susanna Gora

Music To Which I Listened:

  1. Abba
  2. AC/DC
  3. The Beatles
  4. The Black Eyed Peas
  5. Britney Spears
  6. The Chemical Brothers
  7. Dead or Alive
  8. deadmau5
  9. The Gap Band
  10. Garth Brooks
  11. Goblin
  12. Jermaine Jackson
  13. John Lee Hooker
  14. The Killers
  15. Lady Gaga
  16. Muse
  17. The Outhere Brothers
  18. The Runaways
  19. Saint Motel
  20. The Shangri-Las
  21. Staind
  22. Talking Heads
  23. Taylor Swift

Awards

  1. 73rd Annual Emmy Awards

Trailers:

  1. West Side Story
  2. Nightmare Alley
  3. Hawkeye

News From Last Week:

  1. Comedian Norm MacDonald Dies at 61
  2. Only Fools and Horses actor John Challis dies
  3. Legendary Spanish Film Director Mario Camus Dies
  4. Golden Age Actress Jane Powell Dies At 92
  5. Ben Best Dies: ‘Eastbound & Down’ Co-Creator And ‘The Foot Fist Way’ Writer And Co-Star Was 46
  6. Phoebe Waller-Bridge may replace Harrison Ford as lead in ‘Indiana Jones’: Report
  7. Belfast is now the Best Picture frontrunner with major pre-Oscars award
  8. ‘I’m Your Man’ Picked as Germany’s International Oscar Contender
  9. For Best Picture Contenders, Race and Sex Inventory Time Is Here
  10. Lesli Linka Glatter Elected President of Directors Guild of America

Links From Last Week:

  1. The World’s Common Tater’s Week in Books, Movies, and Television

Links From The Site:

  1. Ryan shared his thoughts of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Captain America — Part One, Part Two, and Part Three!
  2. Leonard shared the trailer for Hawkeye!
  3. Jeff paid tribute to Norm MacDonald and shared music videos from Fleetwood Mac, Michael Stanley Band, REO Speedwagon, Rod Stewart, The Pretenders, Rainbow, and Andrew Gold!
  4. Erin shared A Time For Murder, The Technocrats’s Magazine, The Crime Clinic, Untitled, The Strange Brigade, Sugar Doll, and Sword Woman!
  5. I reviewed Silk 1 and Silk 2 and Worth!  I also shared my week in television!  I also took a look at the latest episode of The Walking Dead!

More From Us:

  1. Ryan has a patreon!  You should consider subscribing! 
  2. On her photography site, Erin shared: Clouds In The Sky, Cloud, Above, Living Room Painting, Dining Room Painting, Corner, and Patio!
  3. At Pop Politics, Jeff shared Last Night At The Lake, California Have You Voted Yet?, The Results Are Coming In from California, First Day Back At Work, Vote Conservative Canada, and some thoughts on the potential presidential campaigns of Adam Kinzinger, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Matt Gaetz!  
  4. At my online dream journal, I shared: No Dreams Last Night, Last Night’s Home Invasion Dream, Last Night’s New Job Dream, Last Night’s High School Dream, Last Night’s Falling Tree Dream, Last Night’s Teaching Dream, and Last Night’s Poetry Reading Dream!
  5. I reviewed Big Brother for the Big Brother Blog!
  6. At Reality TV Chat Blog, I shared Week 10 Veto Results, Time To Open Up The Diary Room For the 2nd To Last Time, About Tonight’s Double EvictionWeek 12 HoH and Nominations, and Week 12 Veto Update!
  7. At my music site, I shared songs from Britney Spears, deadmau5, Saint Motel, The Beatles, Taylor Swift, The Chemical Brothers, and Talking Heads!

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

Here’s What Won At The 73rd Emmy Awards


Watching the Emmys tonight, I realized that I really don’t watch as much TV as I think I do. Seriously, I’m running so far behind on the shows that everyone else has already watched that I still need to finish up WandaVision.

So, needless to say, I’m in absolutely no way qualified to pass judgment on whether the Emmys went to the right people and shows this year. So, I’ll just say congrats to winners!

As for the show itself — well, it was advertised as being a return to fun but it just left me feeling depressed. Everyone seemed to be trying way too hard to convince both themselves and the viewers that they were having a great time. The more they tried to act like they were having fun, the less fun it all seemed. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just in a weird mood tonight.

Anyway, ignore me! Here are the winners!

Supporting Actress, Comedy
Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso (Apple TV+) (WINNER)

Rosie Perez, The Flight Attendant (HBO Max)
Hannah Einbinder, Hacks (HBO Max)
Aidy Bryant, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Cecily Strong, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Juno Temple, Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

Supporting Actor, Comedy
Brett Goldstein, Ted Lasso (Apple TV+) (WINNER)

Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Hacks (HBO Max)
Paul Reiser, The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Bowen Yang, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Brendan Hunt, Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
Nick Mohammed, Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
Jeremy Swift, Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

Supporting Actress, Limited Series, Movie or Anthology
Julianne Nicholson, Mare of Easttown (HBO) (WINNER)
Renée Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton (Disney+)
Phillipa Soo, Hamilton (Disney+)
Jean Smart, Mare of Easttown (HBO)
Moses Ingram, The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)
Kathryn Hahn, WandaVision (Disney+)

Supporting Actor, Limited Series, Movie or Anthology
Evan Peters, Mare of Easttown (HBO) (WINNER)
Daveed Diggs, Hamilton (Disney+)
Jonathan Groff, Hamilton (Disney+)
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton (Disney+)
Anthony Ramos, Hamilton (Disney+)
Paapa Essiedu, I May Destroy You (HBO)
Thomas Brodie-Sangster, The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)

Outstanding Writing For a Drama Series
The Crown (Netflix) Peter Morgan (WINNER)
The Boys (Amazon Prime Video), Rebecca Sonnenshine
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu), Yahlin Chang
Lovecraft Country (HBO), Misha Green
The Mandalorian (Disney+), Dave Filoni
The Mandalorian (Disney+), Jon Favreau
Pose (FX), Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Steven Canals, Janet Mock, Our Lady J

Outstanding Directing For a Drama Series
The Crown (Netflix), Jessica Hobbs
Bridgerton (Netflix), Julie Anne Robinson
The Crown (Netflix), Benjamin Caron
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu), Liz Garbus
The Mandalorian (Disney+), Jon Favreau
Pose (FX) Steven Canals

Supporting Actress, Drama
Gillian Anderson, The Crown (Netflix) (WINNER)
Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown (Netflix)
Emerald Fennell, The Crown (Netflix)
Madeline Brewer, The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Aunjanue Ellis, Lovecraft Country (HBO)

Supporting Actor, Drama
Tobias Menzies, The Crown (Netflix) (WINNER)
O-T Fagbenle, The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Max Minghella, The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Michael K. Williams, Lovecraft Country (HBO)
Giancarlo Esposito, The Mandalorian (Disney+)
John Lithgow, Perry Mason (HBO)
Chris Sullivan, This Is Us (NBC)

Outstanding Writing For a Variety Series
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO) (WINNER)
The Amber Ruffin Show (Peacock)
A Black Lady Sketch Show (HBO)
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (CBS)
Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Variety Talk Series
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) (WINNER)
Conan (TBS)
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC)
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)

Variety Sketch Series
Saturday Night Live (NBC) (WINNER)
A Black Lady Sketch Show (HBO)

Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series
Hacks (HBO Max), Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, Jen Statsky (WINNER)
The Flight Attendant (HBO Max), Steve Yockey
Girls5eva (Peacock), Meredith Scardino
Pen15 (Hulu), Maya Erskine
Ted Lasso (Apple TV+), Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly
Ted Lasso (Apple TV+), Jason Sudeikis, Bill Lawrence, Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series
Hacks (HBO Max), Lucia Aniello (WINNER)

B Positive (CBS), James Burrows
The Flight Attendant (HBO Max), Susanna Fogel
Mom (CBS), James Widdoes
Ted Lasso (Apple TV+), Zach Braff
Ted Lasso (Apple TV+), MJ Delaney
Ted Lasso (Apple TV+), Declan Lowney

Lead Actress, Comedy
Jean Smart, Hacks (HBO Max) (WINNER)
Aidy Bryant, Shrill
Kaley Cuoco, The Flight Attendant (HBO Max)
Allison Janney, Mom (CBS)
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish (ABC)

Lead Actor, Comedy
Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso (Apple TV+) (WINNER)
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish (ABC)
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
William H. Macy, Shameless (Showtime)
Kenan Thompson, Kenan (NBC)

Competition Series
RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1) (WINNER)
The Amazing Race (CBS)
Nailed It! (Netflix)
Top Chef (Bravo)
The Voice (NBC)

Outstanding Directing For A Limited Or Anthology Series Or Movie
The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix), Scott Frank (WINNER)
Hamilton (Disney+), Thomas Kail
I May Destroy You (HBO), Michaela Coel
I May Destroy You (HBO), Sam Miller
Mare Of Easttown (HBO), Craig Zobel
The Underground Railroad (Amazon Prime Video), Barry Jenkins
WandaVision (Disney+), Matt Shakman

Outstanding Writing For a Limited Or Anthology Series Or Movie
I May Destroy You (HBO), Michaela Coel (WINNER)
Mare Of Easttown (HBO), Brad Ingelsby
The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix), Scott Frank
WandaVision (Disney+), Chuck Hayward, Peter Cameron
WandaVision (Disney+), Jac Schaeffer
WandaVision (Disney+), Laura Donney

Lead Actress, Limited Series, Movie or Anthology
Kate Winslet (Mare of Easttown) (WINNER)
Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You)
Cynthia Erivo (Genius: Aretha)
Elizabeth Olsen (WandaVision)
Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit)

Lead Actor, Limited Series, Movie or Anthology
Ewan McGregor (Halston) (WINNER)
Paul Bettany (WandaVision)
Hugh Grant (The Undoing)
Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton)
Leslie Odom, Jr. (Hamilton)

Lead Actress, Drama
Olivia Colman, The Crown (Netflix) (WINNER)
Uzo Aduba, In Treatment (HBO)
Emma Corrin, The Crown (Netflix)
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Mj Rodriguez, Pose (FX)
Jurnee Smollett, Lovecraft Country (HBO)

Lead Actor, Drama
Josh O’Connor, The Crown (Netflix) (WINNER)
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us (NBC)
Jonathan Majors, Lovecraft Country (HBO)
Rege-Jean Page, Bridgerton (Netflix)
Billy Porter, Pose (FX)
Matthew Rhys, Perry Mason (HBO)

Variety Special (Live)
Stephen Colbert’s Election Night 2020: Democracy’s Last Stand Building Back America Great Again Better 2020 (Showtime) (WINNER)
Celebrating America — An Inauguration Night Special (Multiple Platforms)
The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards (CBS)
The Oscars (ABC)
The Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show Starring The Weeknd (CBS)

Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)
Hamilton (Disney+) (WINNER)
Bo Burnham: Inside
 (Netflix)
David Byrne’s American Utopia (HBO)
8:46 – Dave Chappelle (Netflix)
Friends: The Reunion (HBO Max)
A West Wing Special To Benefit When We All Vote (HBO Max)

Comedy Series
Ted Lasso (Apple TV+) (WINNER)
Black-ish
 (ABC)
Cobra Kai (Netflix)
Emily in Paris (Netflix)
Hacks (HBO Max)
The Flight Attendant (HBO Max)
The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
Pen15 (Hulu)

Drama Series
The Crown (Netflix) (WINNER)
The Boys (Amazon)
Bridgerton (Netflix)
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Lovecraft Country (HBO)
The Mandalorian (Disney+)
Pose (FX)
This Is Us (NBC)

Limited Series
I May Destroy You (HBO)
Mare of Easttown (HBO)
The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix) (WINNER)
The Underground Railroad (Amazon)
WandaVision (Disney+)

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 9/12/21 — 9/18/21


Again, this was another week where I didn’t watch much.  But I have a good reason.  Number one, I was up at Lake Texoma for the first part of the week and I forgot to set the DVR to record a few shows.  Number two, I accidentally DVRed a reshowing of the first episode of Impeachment and I missed the second episode and, since I didn’t care much for the first episode, I didn’t bother to rewatch.  Number three, I somehow totally forget abut the Brooklyn Nine Nine finale.  That was such a good show but I always had a hard time figuring out when it was actually airing.  Finally, I watched quite a few movies this week as I continued to prepare for October!

So, here’s a few notes on what little television did I watch:

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

Having avoided (through a convoluted set of circumstances) marrying the head of the community resistance, Rene found himself being targeted for death by that same resistance.  Rene was forced to once again fake his own death and then wander around the village disguised as his father, which meant putting on a fake beard.  Rene even resorted to asking Herr Flick to “lock me up in one of your dungeons for a few days,” but Flick refused because they couldn’t just have people wandering in from off the street.  Rene even asked Office Crabtree to arrest him.  “Are you confessing to a cream?” Crabtree responded, in his broken French.  It was all a bit complicated and, in the end, nothing really worked out.  But it made me laugh and that’s the important thing.

Bachelor in Paradise (Tuesday Night, ABC)

Because I forgot to set the DVR, I only saw one of this week’s episodes of Bachelor in Paradise.  Lil Jon was the new host because eventually, every reality show will be hosted by Lil Jon for a week.  I didn’t really pay too much attention to the show, to be honest.  I had just gotten back from the lake and I was tired.

Big Brother (All the Time, CBS and Paramount Plus)

It’s almost over and I’m happy about that.  I like Big Brother but I always get a bit bored with it towards the end.  I’m still writing about the show over at the Big Brother Blog.

Hell’s Kitchen (Monday Night, FOX)

I was happy that Trenton won, even though he did occasionally act like a bit of a jerk.  Still, he obviously earned his victory and I’m sure that Megan will find success as well, even if she didn’t ultimately win Hell’s Kitchen.  I really liked this season.  The kinder, gentler Chef Ramsay was fun to watch and, for once, he really seemed to actually enjoy working with the younger chefs.  Who would have thought that Hell’s Kitchen would end up becoming the most positive and feel-good reality show of 2021?

Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)

Two episodes of Moone Boy aired on Sunday.  I recorded both.  The first featured the Moones trying to fool granddad into giving up his house so that Fidelma, Dessie, and the baby would have some place to live other than with them.  Meanwhile, Martin wandered about with a video camera, hoping to capture something that could be sent to Ireland’s version of America’s Funniest Home Videos.  Fortunately, it turned out that Grandad’s home was full of bats and when they attacked Dessie, Martin had his video!  The second episode featured Martin and Padraic all excited about the idea of aliens having landed in Boyle.  Can you blame them?

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

After overordering, Arkwright desperately tried to get his customers to buy extra apples.  Meanwhile, Granville continued to wonder how his once promising life had descended into the living Hell of being a 40 year-old stockboy.

The Ultimate Surfer (Tuesday Night, ABC)

Though two episodes aired this week, I only watched the 2nd episode.  I still have no idea what’s happening on the show, beyond that it features a lot of attractive people getting wet.  But, sometimes that’s all a show needs.

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I wrote about the latest episode of The Walking Dead here.

Yes, Minister (Sunday Night, PBS)

PBS aired two episodes of Yes, Minister and I recorded both of them, despite having seem both of them before.  That’s just how good this show is!  The first episode featured Jim unsuccessfully trying to reduce the power and size of the civil service.  The second episode featured a lively debate about whether or not the government should allow citizens to have any privacy.  Even though this show is over 40 years old, both episodes continue to feel extremely relevant to our current situation.  That’s the mark of a good show.

TV Review: The Walking Dead 11.4 “Rendition” (dir by Frederick E. O. Toye)


I was up at Lake Texoma this weekend so I missed the latest episode of The Walking Dead when it originally aired.  I did, however, set the DVR for it.  I came back from the lake on Tuesday of this week and while I was eager to watch most of the shows that I had recorded, I really couldn’t summon up much enthusiasm for The Walking Dead.  For the show’s first four or five seasons, The Walking Dead is what I would have immediately watched but, eleven seasons in, the show no longer holds the promise of the unexpected.  Instead, it has settled down into a comfortable pattern.

Earlier today, when I finally did get around to watching Rendition, it all felt very, very familiar.  Once again, Darryl ended up wandering off on his own  Once again, Darryl ended up getting captured and tortured by the latest group of evil humans, The Reapers.  We learned a little about Reaper culture but, despite the whole religion angle, it turns out that the Reapers are just like every other group of evil humans who have shown up in the show.  At this point, even Darryl should be wondering how the exact same thing can keep happing to the exact same guy.

(At first, I was going to say that this episode did change things up a bit by having one of Darryl’s ex-lovers turn out to be a Reaper.  But then I remembered that Darryl’s brother turned up at the Governor’s prison and that was actually a lot more impressive because Darryl’s brother actually had a definable personality of sorts.  He came across as being something more than just a plot point.)

The gimmick with The Reapers is that, before the zombie apocalypse, they served in Afghanistan and they’re now ultra-religious.  That does explain why the Reaper from last week was so happy to see Gabriel and so insistent that Gabriel pray for him.  It also explain why the leader of the Reapers is named Pope, even though that seems more than a bit heavy-handed on the part of the writers.  But who knows?  Maybe this story arc will actually give Gabriel something to do other than glare at everyone with his one good eye.  One can only hope.  Watching this episode, it was hard not to contrast Gabriel’s cry of, “There is no God here!” to Pope’s request (or was it a demand) that Daryl believe in the Reapers’ version of God.

That said, this episode felt way too familiar.  It was well-acted and competently directed and all of that but it still felt a bit too safe for an episode during the final season of a show that, regardless of what it may be now, was once a pop cultural juggernaut.  If you’re like me and you’re hoping things will go out with not just a bang but with a few hundred bangs, it’s impossible not to be disappointed with this season so far.  Let’s hope things pick up and we actually do get the type of finale that The Walking Dead deserves!

Film Review: Worth (dir by Sara Colangelo)


How much is one life worth?

That’s the question that is asked in a film that’s appropriately titled Worth.

Based on a true story, Worth centers around Kenneth D. Feinberg.  Played by Michael Keaton, Fienberg was the Washington lawyer who, in the days after 9/11, was appointed the Special Master of the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund.  In that role, Feinberg was in charge of determining how much money should be given to the families who lost someone in the 9/11 attacks.  At first, Feinberg tries to reduce his job to just numbers.  He resists the efforts of his law partner, Camille Biros (Amy Ryan), to convince him to meet with any of the families one-on-one.  Instead, he tries to make it all about how much the victims would have earned if they had lived.  When Camille tries to get him to listen to a recording of the final phone call of a man trapped in the Pentagon, Feinberg refuses to do it.

Not surprisingly, Feinberg gets a reputation for being insensitive and many of the families signal that, rather than accepting the government’s compensation, they would rather sue the airlines and the city of New York, a move that we’re told could crash the U.S. economy or bankrupt the families or both.  It’s only after the workaholic Feinberg makes the mistake of staying in the office after everyone else has left that he actually meets one of the families.  With the help of activist Charles Wolf (Stanley Tucci), Feinberg finally starts to care about the people behind the numbers.

Worth is a bit of an old-fashioned film, a throw-back to the type of well-meaning, competently produced films that used to come out every December so that they could compete for the Academy Awards.  Even the film’s rather stolid, middle-of-the road liberalism feels like an artifact of another age.  (I had to laugh a little when the film assured us that, despite sometimes coming across like a jackass, Feinberg was a good guy because he had been a senior aide to Ted Kennedy, the senator who left a woman to drown in a car while he went back to his hotel and got some sleep.)  At a time when Adam McKay is being treated as a serious thought leader and Aaron Sorkin has somehow been recast as a sensible moderate, Worth’s fairly even-handed and nonjudgmental approach feels like almost an act of rebellion.  That said, Worth’s approach works for the story that it’s telling.  9/11 was such a huge tragedy that it doesn’t need to be talked to death, as it would be in a Sorkin film.  Nor do we need the heavy hand of Adam McKay to tell us that there’s something inherently disturbing about reducing the value of someone’s life to a mere number.  Unlike the films of McKay, Sorkin, or Jay Roach (Hell, why not throw him in there, too?), Worth trusts the audience to be able to figure out certain truths on its own.  After a decade of heavy-handed political agitprop, Worth’s nonshowy approach is actually a bit refreshing.

As a character, Kenneth Feinberg is not always easy to like.  That’s especially true during the first half of the film, when Feinberg seems to be more interested in the challenge of running the compensation fund as opposed to the people that he’s supposed to be helping.  When the film begins, Feinberg is the epitome of the technocrat who can figure out the numbers but who has no idea how to actually deal with human beings.  Fortunately, Feinberg is also played by Michael Keaton, who is one of the few actors to be capable of projecting the natural authority necessary to make Feinberg compelling without also resorting to begging us to like the character.  Keaton does a good job portraying both Feinberg’s quick mind but also his social awkwardness.  When we first meet him, he’s someone who has been an insider for so long that he can’t even imagine that an outside exists.  Keaton plays him as a man who does not mean to be callous but who is so work-obsessed that he doesn’t understand how his job comes across to other people.  Even more importantly, though, Keaton does a good job of portraying Feinberg’s transformation from being a detached bureaucrat to being someone who actually cares about the people who will effected by his decisions.  A lesser actor would have overplayed these scenes and the film would have felt mawkish.  Keaton underplays and it saves the film.

As I said before, Worth is an old-fashioned film.  Visually, it sometimes resembles the type of movie that HBO used to win Emmys with in the mid-aughts.  Keaton so dominates the film that, only afterwards, do you realize that the talented supporting cast was often underused.  Worth is not a perfect film but it is a good film and a thought-provoking one.  It’s currently showing on Netflix.

Here’s The Latest Trailer for West Side Story!


Here’s the latest trailer for Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story!

I still don’t know how I feel about this. This is either going to be brilliant or it’s going to be an act of extreme hubris. I don’t see it as being a disaster because Spielberg usually does okay the bigger the project is. (It’s usually only when he attempts to do something low-key or personal that he loses his touch.) But is he going to bring anything new to the material, anything that wasn’t present in the first film? Every Spielberg film arrives with high expectations. Will West Side Story live up to them or will this be another film like The Post or Lincoln, two films that were nominated for Best Picture but which no one would consider to be classic Spielberg?

I guess we’ll find out when the film is finally released in December!

Here’s The Teaser for Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley!


Here’s the first teaser for one of the most anticipated movies of the year, Nightmare Alley!

Guillermo del Toro’s previous film, Shape of the Water, won the Oscar for Best Picture. Could Nightmare Alley pull off the same feat? I have no idea but the trailer looks good and I’ll watch Bradley Cooper, Willem DaFoe, and Cate Blanchett in anything. Nightmare Alley is scheduled to be released on December 17th.

Incidentally, Nightmare Alley is based on a novel, which was previously adapted into a film way back in 1947. That version, which is considered to be a noir classic, was directed by Edmund Goulding and starred Tyrone Power, Jr in the lead role.

Two From Cirio H. Santiago: Silk and Silk 2


When is an Andy Sidaris film not an Andy Sidaris film?

When it’s directed by Cirio H. Santiago, of course!

Santiago, the Roger Corman of the Phillippines, is credited with directing 100 films over the course of his 60-year career and the 1986 film Silk is definitely one of them! And the sequel, 1989’s Silk 2, is definitely another one. That may sound like faint phrase and I guess it is. Let’s just face it — not everyone is going to be a Cirio H. Santiago fan. Some people are going to want movies that make sense and maintain some sort of continuity from scene to scene. To those people, I will say that Silk and Silk 2 are probably not for you. However, if you just enjoy watching people fire guns and blow things up, the Silk films might be for you.

In the first film, Cec Verrell plays Jenny Sleighton, also known as Silk. Silk is the toughest cop in what we’re told is Honolulu but which is obviously Manila in real life. Early on Jenny informs us that she’s known as Silk because, “I’m so fucking smooth.” Silk may be smooth but she’s also deadly. The film establishes early on that Silk will basically shoot anyone. Normally, that might be a problem but, fortunately, Silk only seems to meet criminals. Over the course of the film, Silk investigates a smuggling operation. She starts out busting heroin dealers and then eventually comes across an identity theft ring …. at least, I think that’s what happens. Trying to follow the plot isn’t always easy but then again, why would you want to follow the plot of a film like Silk? The plot’s not the point. The action is the point and Cec Verrell is such a convincing action star that I’m surprised that she didn’t have a bigger career. Seriously, Cec Verell kicks ass!

Unfortuantely, Cec Verell did not return for Silk 2. In Silk 2, Monique Gabrielle steps into the lead role. Technically, Gabrielle is better at convincingly delivering her dialogue that Verell was but Gabrielle is never believable as an action star. As opposed to the first Silk, which emphasized action, Silk 2 emphasizes nudity and it even features a strangely blurred sex scene. (It’s like soft focus times twenty.) The plot of Silk 2, however, is a bit more fun than the plot of the first film, as it deals with the search for some ancient scrolls and it features Silk’s partner continually getting captured and tortured by the bad guys. After a while, you start to wonder if maybe Silk should stop rescuing him every time that he kidnaps because, seriously, the guy needs to learn to make more of an effort not to kidnapped every time he leaves his house. Eventually, Silk teams up with an ancient scroll expert, who looks like a reject from the brat pack. He and Silk fall for each other, of course. As with the first film, it’s not always easy to follow what’s going on but it’s a short movie and it’s quickly paced, making it ideal for when you want to watch a movie but you don’t necessarily want to have to pay too much attention to it.

Technically, neither Silk nor Silk 2 are that good but they’re both entertaining when taken on their own admittedly special terms. For all of his flaws as a filmmaker, it’s hard not to appreciate the fact that Cirio H. Santiago, like Andy Sidaris and Roger Corman, never let a lack of budget or ability stand in his way. Between 1955 and 2014, Cirio H, Santiago directed 100 films and every single one of them is uniquely his. There’s something to be said for that.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 9/6/21 — 9/12/21


This week has been all about relaxing and there’s nothing wrong with that, especially when you consider what’s right around the corner.  October’s coming up and with it, 31 days of straight horror.  Rest assured that, at the Shattered Lens Bunker, we’re already getting prepared for the greatest horrorthon ever.

Here’s what I watched, read, and listened to this week!

Films I Watched:

  1. Acapulco Gold (1976)
  2. Sharktopus (2010)
  3. Silk 2 (1989)

Television Shows I Watched:

  1. Allo Allo
  2. Bachelor in Paradise
  3. Big Brother
  4. Dragnet
  5. Impeachment: American Crime Story
  6. Mom
  7. Moone Boy
  8. Open All Hours
  9. Talking Dead
  10. The Ultimate Surfer
  11. Upstart Crow
  12. The Walking Dead
  13. Yes, Minister

Books I Read:

  1. The Big Bad Book of Democrats (2005) by Lawrence Binda
  2. Black Abductor (1972) by Harrison James
  3. Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane (2003) by Jeff Tamarkin
  4. Fright Favorites (2020) by David J. Skal

Music To Which I Listened:

  1. The Beatles
  2. Bob Dylan
  3. Britney Spears
  4. The Chemical Brothers
  5. Coldplay
  6. deadmau5
  7. Elvis Costello
  8. G. Corp
  9. G. Love and Special Sauce
  10. George Harrison
  11. Gorillaz
  12. Jackie DeShannon
  13. The James Gang
  14. Jefferson Airplane
  15. Jefferson Starship
  16. Jungle
  17. Kid Rock
  18. Lisa Stansfield
  19. Lynard Skynard
  20. Marvin Gaye
  21. Muse
  22. Nine Inch Nails
  23. O’Jays
  24. The Prodigy
  25. R.E.M.
  26. The Rolling Stones
  27. Saint Motel
  28. Staind
  29. Sydney Youngblood
  30. Taylor Swift
  31. The Who
  32. XTC
  33. Zoe

Trailers:

  1. Don’t Look Up
  2. The Matrix Revolutions

News From Last Week:

  1. Jean-Paul Belmondo, magnetic star of the French New Wave, dies at 88
  2. ‘The Wire’ actor Michael K. Williams found dead in NYC apartment
  3. Jean-Pierre Adams, ex-soccer player, dies after 39 years in coma
  4. Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan manager dies in freak accident
  5. Entire Time’s Up board to step down amid Andrew Cuomo scandal
  6. Filmmaker Takeshi Kitano Attacked With Pickaxe in Japan
  7. Allison Mack enjoys one of her last meals as a free woman ahead of prison stint
  8. ‘Fuck Joe Biden’ Chants Break Out at College Football Games Across the Country
  9. Box Office: ‘Shang-Chi’ Triumphs Again in Second Weekend, ‘Malignant’ Misfires
  10. Marvel Studios Scores Its First Emmys With ‘WandaVision’
  11. 2021 Creative Arts Emmys: Winners List
  12. Venice Film Festival Awards: Golden Lion Goes to Audrey Diwan’s ‘Happening’
  13. The Venice Film Festival Carried Out 4,500 Covid Tests & Only Got 3 Positive Results
  14. Comedian Kate Quiqley Breaks Silence After Overdose Deaths of Friends

Links From Last Week:

  1. Oscars: Academy To Drop Awards Because of Ratings?
  2. The World’s Common Tater’s Week In Books, Movies, and Television

Links From The Site:

  1. Erin shared Road Work Ahead, The Big Bubble, Scylla, No Mask For Murder, The Adulterers, Man Painting The Twin Towers, and A Sin In Time!
  2. Jeff shared music videos from REO Speedwagon, The Silencers, Juice Newton, Rockpile with Robert Plant, Cliff Richard, Lenny Kravitz, and Lee Ritenour!
  3. I shared my week in TV and I reviewed Acapulco Gold and the latest episode of The Walking Dead!  I also shared a scene from Breathless!
  4. Leonard reviewed Malignant and shared the trailer for Matrix Revolutions!
  5. Ryan returned Back In The Saddle Part One, Part Two, and Part Three!

More From Us:

  1. Ryan has a patreon!  Consider subscribing!
  2. For SOLRAD, Ryan reviewed Blossoms in Autumn!
  3. In my online dream journal, I shared: Last Night’s Romantic Walk Dream, Last Night’s Convenience Store Dream, Last Night’s Dream In Which My Neighbor Lost His Foot, Last Night’s Yacht Dream, Last Night’s Marijuana Farm Dream, Last Night’s Deck Dream, and Last Night’s Weird Airplane Dream.
  4. For my music site, I shared songs from Britney Spears, deadmau5, Saint Motel, The Beatles, Taylor Swift, The Chemical Brothers, and Nine Inch Nails!
  5. For the Big Brother Blog, I reviewed Big Brother!
  6. At Reality TV Chat Blog, I shared: Week 9 Veto Meeting Results, It’s Time To Open Up The Diary Room For Week 9, About The Double Eviction, Week 10 Nominations, and Week 10 Veto Comp Results!
  7. At Pop Politics, Jeff shared: From The New York Times, Happy Labor Day, Vote Yes On The Recall and Larry Elder, Hearing The Water, Lake Texoma: Day 2, Tomorrow, September 11th: Do We Know Where We’re Going?, and Old Man Yells At Cloud!
  8. On her photography site, Erin shared: Possum, Skeleton, Holding On, Table, Rake, Broken Window, and Backyard on a September Day!

Click here to check out last week!

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 9/5/21 — 9/11/21


Jeff and I have been up at Lake Texoma since Wednesday so I haven’t watched much television.  There’s nothing wrong with that, of course.  Sometimes, it’s important to take some time off.

Here’s a few thoughts on what I did watch this week:

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

After being absent for a few weeks, Allo Allo is back on PBS!  Having won his freedom from the Communist Resistance, Rene finds himself still expected to marry the head of the Communists.  Meanwhile, Herr Flick continues to search for the missing painting, Edith somehow does not realize that Rene is cheating on her with literally everyone on the show, and Crabtree continues to speak very bad French.  It was a strange but entertaining episode.

Bachelor in Paradise (Monday and Tuesday Night, ABC)

This week, temporary host Lance Bass was replaced by Tituss Burgess.  Unlike the sarcastic David Spade and the overly earnest Bass, Burgess was just kind of boring, though it was fun to watch the Bachelors and the Bachelorettes all pretend to be huge Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt fans.  Anyway, though I watched them, I didn’t really pay much attention to either one of this week’s episodes.  It’s a show about attractive people hanging out on the beach.  You really don’t have to pay that much attention to what’s actually going on.  Just enjoy the scenery.

Big Brother (All The Time, CBS and Paramount Plus)

It’ll be over by the end of this month!  Until then, I’m writing about it over at the Big Brother Blog.

Dragnet (Weekday Mornings, MeTV)

I finished binging Dragnet this week, watching the final three episodes of the show’s fourth season on Monday and Tuesday.  In a minute, the results of that binge.

Monday got started with an episode in which Joe and Gannon were investigating a string of robberies.  A woman called them and claimed that her ex-husband was responsible.  However, it turned out that he wasn’t responsible and that his ex was just trying to get him in trouble because she was still angry over the end of their marriage!  However, it then turned out that, even though he wasn’t responsible for the crimes his wife accused him of, he was still holding up other stores!  It was actually kind of an interesting story though, Dragnet being Dragnet, all of the action did stop for a lengthy explanation of how fingerprinting works.  This was followed by another episode in which Joe and Gannon tracked down a thief, this time a safecracker.  The safecracker was well-played by G.D. Spradlin, who later played Sen. Pat Geary in The Godfather Part II and Col. Corman in Apocalypse Now.  This episode was also memorable for featuring a crime victim named Mr. Letterman.  Needless to say, whenever his name was mentioned, I immediately pictured David Letterman looking annoyed.

On Tuesday, I set the DVR to record the final episode of the 60s revival of Dragnet.  This episode, called “The Victims,” followed Joe and Gannon over the course of one night, as they investigated a series of crimes.  They investigated a few robberies and yet another murder at a boarding house.  Throughout it all, the emphasis was placed less on the detectives and more on the traumatized victims of the crimes that they were investigating.  Throughout the show’s run, even during the campy third season, Dragnet centered around the idea that that the job of the police was to protect and serve the public and this episode emphasized that point.  With the exception of a scene where Joe (rightly) reprimanded a patrolman who didn’t show enough compassion for a robbery victim, there was no moralizing.  Instead, Joe and Gannon did their jobs as best they could and tried to help out the innocent victims of terrible crimes.  It was the perfect final episode for this series.

Now that my binge of Dragnet is over, I can say that it wasn’t a bad show at all.  Yes, it’s dated, as any show that ran from 1967 to 1970 would be.  And yes, the drug-and-hippie shows were frequently campy.  But there really weren’t as many episodes about drugs and hippies as I imagined.  Instead, for the most part, this was just a show about two men trying to do the right thing and protect their community.  Some of the episodes were undeniably silly and it’s easy to laugh at any episode in which Friday and Gannon went undercover but quite a few of the episodes hold up well as police procedurals.  If nothing else, the show is an interesting time capsule of when it was made.  As a history nerd, I enjoyed it.

Hell’s Kitchen (Monday Night, FOX)

On Monday night, there were two episodes of Hell’s Kitchen, meaning that two chefs were eliminated ahead of next week’s finale.  Steve was the first to go, with Chef Ramsay saying that Steve had talent and a good attitude but that he wasn’t vocal enough in the kitchen.  Second to go was Brynn, who Rasmsay said had the makings of a great chef but who still needed to learn how to control her emotions.  I don’t think anyone who has watched this season was surprised to see those two chefs eliminated but I did appreciate that Ramsay emphasized their positive traits and encouraged them, even as he sent them out the door.  I like the kinder, gentler Ramsay.

Three chefs remain and the finale is next week!  Personally, I’m rooting for Trenton.

Impeachment: American Crime Story (Monday Night, FX)

This is the third installment of Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story series and it deals with the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

The first installment of American Crime Story dealt with the O.J. Simpson trial and it worked largely because the involvement of Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski worked as a buffer against producer Ryan Murphy’s worst instincts.  The second installment, about Andrew Cunanan and Gianni Versace, started out strong but ended up getting so bogged down in its reverse chronology gimmick that it lost whatever narrative momentum it had going.  It’s too early to pass judgment on the third installment but I’ve had my doubts about it from the beginning.  In what world, I wondered, could an Arkansas hillbilly like Bill Clinton, a living caricature of everything that is wrong with American politics, somehow be played by the handsome and charming Clive Owen?  Even with Monica Lewinsky reportedly signing on as a co-producer, it was hard to imagine Ryan Murphy ever producing a show that would truly be critical of a Democrat, even one as terrible as Bill Clinton.

The first episode was uneven.  It dragged a bit, lacking a dramatic set piece like O.J. Simpson getting arrested or Versace getting shot, in broad daylight, outside of his mansion.  Instead, this episode built up to Bill Clinton calling Monica Lewisnky for phone sex but the effect was ruined by the sight of Clive Owen wearing a prosthetic nose.  The majority of the episode was taken up with Sarah Paulson, acting up a storm as yet another obnoxious character with no social skills and while Paulson did her usual good job, it all felt rather familiar.  The episode worked best during the few scenes that focused on Paula Jones, well-played by Annaleigh Ashford.  Jones was the first woman to accuse Clinton of sexual harassment and, in the days before Me Too, she was ridiculed and caricatured as being “trailer trash” by the rabidly pro-Clinton national media.  In the scenes in which Jones faced a barrage of ridicule and outrageously sexist questions from the press, Impeachment showed why this decades-old political scandal matters.

Mom (Weekday Afternoons, Paramount Plus)

On Tuesday afternoon, as I was packing to go up to the lake for the week, I had Mom playing in the background.  I think I went through about four episodes.  I didn’t pay much attention but, from what I saw, each one seemed to be more depressing than the last.  This show always reminds me of why I could never be an alcoholic because there’s no way I’d ever be able to bring myself to sit through those AA meeting with all of their rules.

Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)

After being gone for a few weeks, Moone Boy is once again airing on PBS on Sunday Night.  This week’s episode featured Padraic running away from home and Debra trying to launch a new career as a marriage counselor.  Needless to say, things didn’t go as planned for either one of them.  It was a funny episode, as they tend to be.  I especially enjoyed it when Martin and Padraic attempted to take up shoplifting.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

Open All Hours is back on PBS.  This week, Arkwright went to a funeral and left Granville alone at the store.  Though Granville seemed to enjoy having some time to himself, I’m going to guess that he probably spent most of the time wondering how he had ever ended up trapped in a go-nowhere existence, living in a run-down shop as an indentured servant to a greedy old man who cared not whether his employee lived or died.  It was a pretty dark episode.

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

It was fairly dull Talking Dead this week.  Sometimes, Talking Dead is the perfect way to recover from an intense viewing experience.  Other times, it just reminds you that it’s essentially a one-hour infomercial for The Walking Dead.  This week was a case of the latter.

The Ultimate Surfer (Monday and Tuesday Night, ABC)

Much as with Bachelor in Paradise, I have no idea what’s actually happening on this show.  I just know that it features attractive people surfing and that’s really all that matters.

Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)

On Sunday, I rewatched the first episode of Upstart Crow, with Will working on Romeo and Juliet, Kate lobbying for a chance to play the lead role despite the law against allowing women on stage, and Will’s family wondering why his poems don’t make much sense.  I had seen it before but it all held up very well.

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I (finally) reviewed this week’s episode earlier today.  You can read my thoughts by clicking here.

Yes, Minister (Monday Morning, PBS)

Yay!  Yes, Minister is back on PBS!  They’re reshowing the show from the beginning so I rewatched the first two episodes on Monday morning.  The first dealt with Jim Hacker learning about his new ministry and getting expertly manipulated by Sir Humphrey for the first time.  This was followed by the episode in which Jim discovered that the world’s newest dictator was an old college classmate.  Both episodes held up well to repeat viewing.  In fact, having to deal with the daily reality of a Biden presidency has led me to have a greater appreciation for this show’s satirical portrayal of shallow politicians and devious civil servants.