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Author Topic: Amazon Prime Video
Brad-
Nelson
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Amazon Prime Video
on: October 6, 2018, 17:05
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Yeah, while going through the movies of Billy Wilder, I noticed he had directed The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. I believe I caught maybe 15 minutes of it on TV one time. I don’t remember much about it.

Brad-
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Amazon Prime Video
on: October 7, 2018, 09:12
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I watched the first two episodes of Case Histories. At least in the first of the two seasons, each story is comprised of two episodes.

Jason Isaacs plays Jackson Brodie, a slightly Bosch-like private detective who, although clearly a nice guy, has very little girly-man in him (and, like Bosch, can take a good beating as well). He's a former cop who was either fired or forced out of the department for uncovering corruption. The cops still hold a grudge against him.

This is an above-average series (at least gauging by the two episodes). Good, but not great. But it certainly rises above one of the most important thresholds: It's not stupid. It's not made for the eternal 13-year-old juvenile mindset. It might not be as riveting as you like but it's certainly not insulting (so far).

The plot is a bit unusual in the first two-parter in that Brodie has one investigation going and then is approached by a person about his murdered daughter. Brodie says he has no time but eventually succumbs to the father's persistence. Later in the episode he is approached by yet another person looking for a lost sister. He declines at first but then gets roped into that as well. The cases come and go, resolved somewhat in the order he takes them on, but not all at once.

There are no recurring character in this (yet) of any note. He has a friend (a woman) who is still in the force who helps him out once in a while. She's actually not a bad character. But the other recurring character is a poor character. His secretary is stuffed with every stereotyped and hackneyed dialogue they can think of. It's just awful. Thankfully, she's the only token character as of yet.

I may watch another two-part story and report back.

Timothy-
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Post Re: Amazon Prime Video
on: October 7, 2018, 09:35
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I think F. Paul Wilson used that approach -- multiple cases (which sometimes become linked) in his Repairman Jack novels. Of course, after a certain point most of what he dealt with involved threats from the Otherness, until he finally was forced to confront it to prevent a monstrous Armageddon. (I discussed this in a previous article here, titled "Lessons from the Otherness" as I recall.)

Brad-
Nelson
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Amazon Prime Video
on: October 7, 2018, 09:58
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The shtick operating in the series thus far is that chicks will tell things to Private Eye Brodie that they will not say to the cops. He clears up two cold cases and beats the cops to the answer on a current one. Perhaps the shtick is already getting a bit old because basically they say “I didn’t think to tell the cops this because I didn’t think it was important.”

The vague implication (reading between the lines) is that the cops simply were slack in trying to elicit these details.

And this could be a series where again every single villain is a white male. (And if not a white male, a Christian female.) This is what makes the CSI shows so laughably stupid. Almost every single perp is a white male. And if there is a “person of color” who is guilty of a crime, it’s almost always a smaller, peripheral one, and not the main crime. I can’t wait to see if this holds true for Case Histories.

Timothy-
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Post Re: Amazon Prime Video
on: October 7, 2018, 10:09
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Well, wikipedia only lists 6 total episodes, and the second series episodes aren't two-parters. They give no indication of who (and especially what identity-politics group) anyone is (other male-female, I guess).

Brad-
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Amazon Prime Video
on: October 7, 2018, 11:18
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Yes, it looks like season two is split into single 90 minute (or so) episodes.

Brad-
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Amazon Prime Video
on: October 8, 2018, 09:15
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Following a circuitous path, I watched Howard Hughes’ 1943 The Outlaw with Jane Russell. I had always heard how buxom a picture this was. Well, the Decency Board must have cut it down considerably because there’s very little cleavage in this one.

This is a strange movie. Yes, it’s bad. But bad Westerns are hardly rare, having been cranked out for pennies by the studios. This one is bad in a way I hadn’t seen before (or heard before….a really goofy soundtrack). One reviewer calls the movie “a fascinating mess.” Yes. That’s it.

Apparently the only career this wrecked was that of Jack Beutel who played Billy the Kid, although I’m not sure how much of a career there ever could have been. He makes Jane Russell almost appear like an actress. But maybe that’s not fair to him. His performance was certainly dumbed-down by Hughes.

The circuitous route to this movie started with a DVD my brother lent me. Rules Don’t Apply is a 2016 film by Warren Beatty who plays Howard Hughes. It’s a star-studded cast much as flies are studded around a cow pile. Hughes suffered from mental issues, particularly later in his life. But it will occur to you if you watch this (and I could make it only halfway through) that you’d have to have some mental issuea to begin with to want to make this movie, let alone appear in it.

One reviewer wrote “Hey, watch The Aviator instead with Leonardo DiCaprio as a more dashing Hughes.” This was available on Netflix so I switched over to this. It’s better than Rules Don’t Apply but that isn’t saying much. I gave up on this one about halfway through although I might try to finish it later. DiCaprio is totally miscast as Hughs but Cate Blanchett does an interesting impression of Katharine Hepburn.

There are two scenes in the movie so far that are worth watching. Hughes and Hepburn (I hadn’t known this) were a item for a while. I did some back-story reading on Google and this was a passionate and deep relationship for both that nearly came to marriage. In one scene, Hughes takes Hepburn up in his plane and they buzz all over Hollywood. Eventually he lets her takes the controls of the plane. Hughs does eventually teach her how to flaw. A nice moment.

The other good scene (although somewhat painful to watch) is when Hepburn takes Hughs back to her Connecticut home to meet the family. It’s a strange mix which includes her ex-husband who is a regular part of the clan. What a completely screwball libtard family whose Messiah was Roosevelt.

Going by this movie, Hepburn’s mother was a complete kook. Hughs may have had his eccentricities, but he has nothing on this family or this mother. The mother goes on an on about Roosevelt and inserts her politics aggressively into a family meal and corners Hughes on his views. Are you a socialist? Etc. Hughes demurs from confrontation until he’s had enough and says to the old liberal bitch, “The only reason you’re a socialist is because you already have your money. I believe in working for a living and building something.” Or words to that effect.

Anyway, I may get back to this movie. But I moved onto The Outlaw from here just out of curiosity. I had always wanted to see that and now I can say “I wish I had those two hours back.” Oh well.

Thankfully, I did run into a gem of a movie on Amazon Prime Video called The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: The Murder at Road Hill House. Set in the mid 1800’s in England, Paddy Considine plays Detective Whicher. There are three other episodes of this that were made and that are also on Prime: “The Murder in Angel Lane,” “Beyond the Pale,” and “The Ties That Bind.” The first one was good enough I hope to take a look at them all.

The Murder at Road Hill House is supposedly based on a true story. There’s a murder inside a prominent upper-crust family. The local Chief Constable is inept and likely corrupt as well. The Home Office asks that one of London’s best detective be sent down to rural Wiltshire and sort this all out.

This is well-acted by everyone involved and makes you realize (sorry, Agatha) just how noxious many of Agatha Christie’s plots were. In particular, as one reviewer wrote, “the acting is very well done, casting fantastic, costume and set design magnificent, and the storyline is doled out in such a way as to pull you along, unwary to the end, when the fish is landed and the lines tied up.”

Christie’s stories are generally a hair-brained scramble. This one proceeds logically and we can follow the inspector around and get drawn into it as if we his assisting sergeant.

I don’t know how closely this follows real life. The series is based on the books by Kate Summerscale. The books have a very lukewarm rating at Amazon so I wouldn’t expect much from them, nor from the rest of this series. But the first one was quite good.

Timothy-
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Post Re: Amazon Prime Video
on: October 8, 2018, 09:56
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I checked all 3 movies on wikipedia. The Outlaw was produced and directed by Howard Hughes, but also co-directed by Howard Hawks, who probably really directed it. I assume you realize it bears on resemblance to reality even though the main characters were real people. Note that although Holliday may have hoped someone would kill him before the tuberculosis got him, he ultimately died of natural causes.

I note that your digression on Hughes with Katharine Hepburn has nothing to do with that movie. I have no idea if it's any more historically accurate than The Outlaw. An interesting movie featuring Howard Hughes is The Rocketeer, which involves a Nazi effort to invade the US with one-man rockets. The villain (a Nazi agent) is based on Errol Flynn, who was suspected by some of Nazi sympathies. The movie is probably as accurate as The Outlaw, and maybe even Rules Don't Apply, but it's undoubtedly a much more fun adventure.

The Constance Kent case was real, and it looks like they present it accurately enough, though I'm sure there were plenty of incorrect details. Her case has often been compared to Lizzie Borden's, since the latter also got rid of a dress that supposedly had paint on it. This was a day or two after the murders (8/4/1892; Barry Zero was born, appropriately, on the anniversary), so there were suspicions about what really might have stained the dress. But after she burned it, of course, no one could prove it. So, like Constance Kent, she got off.

Brad-
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Amazon Prime Video
on: October 8, 2018, 15:14
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I assume you realize it bears on resemblance to reality even though the main characters were real people.

It also bears no resemblance either to Howard Hawks or good cinema. Yikes, this is amateur hour. Or maybe the presence of skilled and iconic actors/talent made Hawks’ El Dorado and Rio Bravo such classics. His Red River with John Wayne and Montgomery Clift bears no resemblance to this piece of fluff. Maybe Hawks loaned him some cameras or something. Or sent a memo.

Regarding the Whicher series, the books are “based on” and the TV productions are “inspired by.” So I would imagine there has been some creative license taken. But the first Whicher movie surely gains from the idea that it is based on a real story. It’s very gritty. I hope you get a chance to catch it.

The mention of Hughes and Hepburn was from scenes from The Aviator.

I generally liked The Rocketeer although I don’t remember much about it.

Brad-
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Amazon Prime Video
on: October 8, 2018, 17:43
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Episode two of the Whicher series, The Murder in Angel Lane, was a complete bust. Don't bother. Might jump to the 4th TV movie and see if this was just a one-hit wonder. Reviews suggest, at most, two of the four are watchable.

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