The Veldt (read by Leonard Nimoy)

Broadchurch Season One (2013 UK)

broadchurch_ep01_4British crime dramas generally enjoy pacing and depth of characterization more engaging than the American ones, and there is often more emphasis on “mystery”. Whereas the Americans have more innovative plots that seldom have the holes that sometimes mar British crime stories. Unlike most murder dramas, this story isn’t about autopsies and gunfights. It’s about human nature…and what really goes on in those child dungeons under Pizza Hut. Its about Spirit Cooking and what flavour of chianti Hillary Clinton will have with her dead child meal. It’s about a very miserable but addictive British TV show. (Phew! Back on track after a brain malfunction there…I’ll blame it on the fake news raping my hotmail inbox) [Read more…]

The Voice Of The Night (Dean Koontz)

voice-of-the-nightYou cannot rush Dean Koontz. He will take his time. He refuses to be intimidated by the competition. He hasn’t built such a long and successful career by turning out tripe. I know now that he wrote quite a few under different names (take a bow Owen West). As a best selling author would get a bad rep from the critics if he/she published more than one book a year in the 1970s – and an author couldn’t survive on one book a year. Strange but true. [Read more…]

Firestarter (Stephen King)

firestarterOne of King’s most emotionally compelling books. Back in the day (1980) when he had the golden touch, writing immensely visual novels. I rarely experience particularly strong emotional reactions to even very good books. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story with topics such as hallucinogenic drugs, a family on the run or secret government experiments that engaged my feelings deeply. They are such cliches that are over used. But this one did. [Read more…]

The Sopranos (1999 – 2007 USA)

aida t (2)   (“Um ole school Janice…when I tink ah that jaackat de bawss spit awn..”)

You wouldn’t know it from watching this infamous HBO show but Italy brought the fruits of civilization to a vast multi-ethnic empire stretching from Scotland to the Sudan. The heirs to Julius Caesar; they gave the world many treasures from the Pax Romana to the Renaissance so I can understand some Italian people feeling outraged by this TV series. One FBI report in 2002 stated that Italian Americans make up only .00782 per cent of convicted criminals in the US. Considering Italian-Americans are about 5.4 % of the US population (2013) they are remarkably well behaved citizens…but trashy Hollywood never let facts get in the way!
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People Of The Lie: The Hope For Healing Human Evil (M Scott Peck)

People Of The LieOur ultimate personality disorder. This author really did everyone a service by giving us this gift. This is worth 100 ‘self help’ paperbacks by Wayne Dyer and his ilk. This book will question your character. Oh boy, does this describe so much of humanity. Particularly certain parents and the way they cover up their abuse. In this book you will meet a couple who encouraged both their sons to commit suicide. And they refused to admit it when confronted with the facts. The build up to their-hoped-for suicide of the second son is particularly shocking. In fact it is no good even reviewing this classic work. I shall just quote extensively from it. I hope it will give you the flavour even though some of the psychiatric case back stories are missing, so possibly some of the meaning may be out of context but its worth it…. [Read more…]

The Hills Have Eyes (1977 USA)

film 1The plot similarities to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre are extensive. A station wagon full of city folk are driving through the desert to ultimately find themselves struggling for their very lives, at the mercy of a sinister and disturbed ‘family’ living completely apart from civilization. And if that is not enough similarities, they are also cannibals. [Read more…]

Force Majeure (2014 Sweden)

pegasus_LARGE_t_1581_106451741Yet another European tale about the hidden misery of the bored and comfortable. Force Majeure requires some patience, but if you’re immune to the slow, steady, painfully long-take language of auteurs such as Aki Kaurismaki, then you are sure to be in good hands. At least its far more realistic than what Hollywood considers a disaster picture. Thank goodness. [Read more…]

Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)

Angela's Ashes bookA boy growing up in the slums of Limerick, Ireland, starving, freezing and surrounded by the people real families are made of. In a time when memoirs became the finest expressions of high literary art, “Angela’s Ashes” ascended with alacrity to become the most exalted of them. The author paints a watercolour of bleak, smog filled, rainy streets so vivid that I sense the mist rising off the River Shannon and hitting me in the face. [Read more…]

THE SIXTH SENSE (1999 United States)

sixthOne of those rare horror stories that also works as a tear-jerker. A creepy plot that might make you sad. This combination is executed very impressively, with A Turn Of The Screw tragic feel to it that Henry James himself may have recognized. Linking children to the paranormal through loss is a strong method to emotionally engage the audience.
[Read more…]

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