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DeepHour
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12 Dec 2023, 1:52 am

Lady Cocoa (1975)


A film from the 'Blaxploitation' genre of the early 1970s. Stars an actress called Lola Falana, of whom I'd never heard, but it seems she started out as a pop singer in the 1960s, then branched out into movies. Later on her career was cut short by multiple sclerosis.

Anyway, this film is almost irredeemably dreadful. Falana's character is released from jail to testify against her former boyfriend, a violent gangster, which involves her spending time at a hotel on Lake Tahoe under police protection. Nothing really happens in the first hour, and although there are a couple of fairly clever plot twists towards the end, it's far too late to save the day.

To make things worse, the version on my dvd was clearly unrestored, with faded picture quality and very poor sound, which often made it impossible to follow the dialogue.


EDIT: Lol, I've since discovered this YouTube version, which clearly has restored images and soundtrack, and would almost certainly have made viewing this film a more rewarding experience!




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Kraichgauer
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12 Dec 2023, 3:07 am

The Ghoul (or Night Of The Ghoul).

British 1920's jet setters get stranded at an isolated manor after a car race, where the owner (Peter Cushing) is hiding a terrible secret. It's even worse than his homicidal, psycho gardner (John Hurt).
Not great camera work, and a bit dated, but still a fun horror movie.


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13 Dec 2023, 10:00 pm

Killer Klowns from Outer Space



pcgoblin
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14 Dec 2023, 10:39 am

Mr. Monk's Last Case: A Monk Movie (2023)

It opens with the first scene from Monk's first episode where he is fretting about possibly leaving his oven on. His nurse/assistant Sharona Flemming is reassuring him that she checked the stove before they left. Monks voice then describes the stove and it's history of being a best seller and two recalls, ending with the day "everyone" remembers where they were when the news broke that the stove was discontinued.

Monk is in the office of a publisher who is reading from his book (an eight inch stack of paper) who tells him it has been 10 years and he still has not produced a book that can be published. She sites one of his one hundred and forty cases where he devotes maybe two paragraphs on the suspect and then nine pages on his vacuum cleaner. It was the same model that Monk owned. Monk then explains he needs the money for the wedding of a daughter that Trudy (deceased wife from a car bomb) that he only found out about twelve years prior. She means the world to him. The publishing deal is terminated.

In the hallway of the publisher, he unlocks a window. It is apparent he is going to jump. Then Trudy appears to him, as she sometimes did in the series. She talks him out of it. The elevator door opens and a man sees Monk standing with his hands outstretched holding the imaginary Trudy's hands. Monk gets in the elevator. The sole occupant, a roundish man, does not seem to think twice about Monk's behavior. As the doors start to close, Monk turns to the stranger and tells him the wedding is canceled.

This is the first ten minutes and it is full of "Monk-isms" both verbal and behavioral. The publisher is portrayed by his real life wife Brooke Adams. Trudy is portrayed by Melora Harden, who played Trudy Monk through most of the series after the first couple seasons. Some may recognize her as Jan from The Office. I appreciated them bringing her back. Here's the thing. EVERYONE is older than the last time we saw them fourteen years ago. It's as if the fans of Frasier got their wish and all the original actors returned. Honestly, it is never quite the same because everyone is different from when we last saw them. Monk makes it work. So why would Trudy be older? She's dead, unchanging (more or less). My rational is she exists only in Monk's mind, and they are growing old together. It's actually touching and sweet. Natalie Teeger, Randy Disher, Dr. Neven Bell, Leland Stottlemeyer all return.

That case: there is a murder (actually two) and there does not appear to be any way to tie them to the killer, a rich Bezosillionaire (trust me, it is appropriate). The second murder is personal for Monk, and he comes out of retirement to solve this one last case. It is obvious what happened, but it is not obvious how it was done.

By the way, and not really a spoiler, Adrian Monk plans to join Trudy on the other side. That is apparent after he unlocks and opens the window in the office building.

Like the series, it is funny. Heads up, can you believe two security guards recognized Randy from The Randy Disher Project (Randy's rock band)? I'm watching it again because the first time has a certain new, but familiar, quality after fourteen years. Monk is not as "crippled" as he use to me, but he is still very ... different and funny.

Sorry for the length. This show was always one of my favorites. I've been looking forward to the movie since I found out about it.



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14 Dec 2023, 11:14 am

Last night we watched:

A Tuna Christmas [1996]

Originally written as a stage play (one of a series of four) set in a small, rural Texas town, Tuna. The DVD indicates Tuna has a population of 24; by our count, 21 of them appeared in the movie...quite a trick because all characters, male or female, were played by two actors.

My bride and I have seen the play live and so I'll add that the two actors are quick-change artists. The various citizens of Tuna wander in and out and the only apparent concession to the small cast is that there are never more than two characters on the screen or stage at the same time.

It is a good play and therefore a good movie.


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14 Dec 2023, 7:47 pm

The World's Most Wanted Animal

An excellent documentary released in 2018 about the pangolin,
an endangered animal, but also many may not have heard of.


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15 Dec 2023, 6:19 pm

I saw the hunger games. It was good and kind of meh.



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15 Dec 2023, 7:41 pm

The Phantom of the Opera (Joel Schumacher's version)

I actually liked it. It reminded me of Tim Burton's version of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. I have a weird thing for flamboyantly gothic musicals based on classic horror characters. :nerdy:


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16 Dec 2023, 8:44 am

"Warlock". A horror fantasy movie about an evil satan-worshipping warlock and a witchhunter who fall into a portal and wind in the US in modern times (1980's).

It wasn't as good as I remembered. A lot of it was actually kind of stupid in my honest opinion...


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16 Dec 2023, 2:32 pm

Last night we watched:

What do you get when you mix Halloween and Christmas?
The Nightmare Before Christmas [1993]
<=>"A ghoulish tale with wicked humour & stunning animation."



<=>FUN!<=>V E R Y R E C O M M E N D E DV E R Y


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16 Dec 2023, 4:37 pm

In The Mouth Of Madness.

An insurance investigator is hired to find missing horror author, Sutter Kane (half Stephen King, Half H.P. Lovecraft), only to discover that he's the lead character in Kane's latest book about how demonic beings are returning to reclaim the earth.
Great cosmic horror movie!


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Honey69
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16 Dec 2023, 5:50 pm

I finally watched What's Eating Gilbert Grape - a classic


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16 Dec 2023, 6:21 pm

I went to see Wonka yesterday.



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16 Dec 2023, 8:05 pm

Aprilviolets wrote:
I went to see Wonka yesterday.


How was it?


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17 Dec 2023, 1:42 am

Kraichgauer wrote:
Aprilviolets wrote:
I went to see Wonka yesterday.


How was it?


It was great I really enjoyed it.



Honey69
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17 Dec 2023, 9:24 am

I watched a couple of Carry On movies.

Carry On Up the Jungle is hilarious!

Carry On Up the Khyber is okay, although people who are either British or Indian might find the humor about British manners more appealing.


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