New season of Midsomer Murders now live

Hi everyone,

Midsomer Murders is a long running English murder mystery series. The series is set in fictional Midsomer county, a picturesque, quintessentially rural English place. The one issue with the place seems to be a murder rate approximately similar to Fallujah, Iraq (kidding but barely). Every episode features at least one body as the guest of honor and most have 3 or more, all murdered in amazingly creative ways.

Season 18 just went live on Netflix and I will be reviewing the series after I post my review of Pickup On South Street. I’ve been having a few issues getting screen caps off of my blu-ray copy. Blu-rays can be more than a little problematic in that regard. If everything goes well, expect the review tomorrow.

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100 posts

WordPress just informed me that I’ve hit 100 posts. When I started this blog, it was purely as a hobby and a way to share my love of cinema with the world. I wasn’t even sure it would last 15 posts, let alone 100.

Here’s to another 100 and hopefully more after that.

Robert Odierna 2016

Longmire season 5

Longmire season 5

Longmire season 5 just went live on Netflix.

If you’re already a fan, the season so far is the same quality as previous seasons.

If you haven’t seen the series, Longmire is a hybrid show. A modern police drama set in rural Wyoming, it also incorporates elements from classic westerns. The main character is a walking anachronism, an old west style sheriff trying to navigate a modern world of forensics, drugs and modern technology, while keeping true to his sense of honor.

The previous season ended on a spectacular cliffhanger and the new season hits the ground running immediately. The show’s switch from A&E to Netflix seems to have been fairly seamless and if anything, this season looks to be even better than the last 2.

You can read my review of the series here:

Longmire review: 4 Gavels out of 5

 

 

Curtis Hanson 1945-2016

Director Curtis Hanson passed away today. While not a very prolific director, according to IMDB just 19 films over 40 years, he was involved in some very influential ones. A few of the more recognizable ones would ’90s rafting epic River Wild with Meryl Streep, a film that practically spawned a small cottage industry of rafting TV episodes after it came out. Another was the Eminem vanity project 8 Mile, about an aspiring rapper (imagine that).

More relevant to this site would be the 1992 revenge thriller The Hand That Rocks The Cradle. The most iconic film of his career is also a favorite of mine, LA Confidential, a stylish neo-noir set in 1950s Los Angeles and starring Kevin Spacey, Russel Crowe and Kim Basinger. Loosely based on rampant corruption and mob ties to the LAPD, LA Confidential borrowed heavily from actual events and is a well made hat tip to classic film noir.

RIP Curtis Hanson.

Links: Spymuseum.com

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to point to a non-film site that a friend just showed me: spymuseum.com

If you have an interest in all things espionage, this is a great resource. All of the big time stories are there: classic spy cases like Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs, spy masters such as Soviet Feliks Dzerzhinsky and CIA legend James Jesus Angleton. There are also many more obscure, but no less fascinating stories such as Rudolf Abel, who’s story was a major part of the recent film Bridge of Spies.

Most of the stories involve the cold war Great Game between the Soviets and the West and their various proxies around the world. Fascinating stuff if you like your history with a bit of intrigue.

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Hi everybody, here is a list of reviews I am currently working on. A bit of a mixed bag this time, a US TV miniseries, another Brit-mystery and a film noir classic.

dci-banks-title-robert-odierna-criminal-movie-reviews

First up is DCI Banks, a recent show from ITV in England. DCI Banks is an old school detective trying to navigate the perils of modern life while breaking in a new team and trying to catch a diabolical serial murderer.

harpers-island-title-robert-odierna-criminal-movie-reviews

Next is Harper’s Island, an interesting attempt to blend the drama of an evening soap with the suspense and terror of a slasher film, all while trying to keep it at a network friendly TV-14/PG-13 rating.

pickup-on-south-street-robert-odierna-criminal-movie-reviewajpg

Finally, a personal favorite of mine, Pickup On South Street, a low budget, but feisty blend of film noir and espionage as a pick pocket becomes tangled in the dealings of a dangerous international spy ring after he steals a woman’s purse on a subway.

Gene Wilder 1933-2016

Gene Wilder 1933-2016

The world just lost one of it’s greatest comedians. While not really connected with the kind of films I review here, Gene Wilder has always been a favorite actor of mine.

Whether playing the nearly narcoleptic gunfighter, The Waco Kid in Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles.

gene wilderblazing saddles sheriff bart robert odierna

Or the hilariously demented Dr. Frankenstein (Pronounced Fronk-En-Steen please) in young Dr. Frankenstein, which he co-wrote with Mel Brooks. Gene Wilder had a distinctive and unique presence.

gene wilder frankensteen robert odierna

The wild, curly blond hair, intense blue eyes and a voice that could shift from a quiet almost hypnotic whisper into a manic, shouting fit in seconds, made him a unique and distinctive actor. He was also a talented singer and dancer, who could lampoon a Broadway number and make it look better than the original.

The film that most defines Wilder to many in my generation is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The film really shows his range, from song and dance numbers, pratfalls, manic energy and moments of quiet intensity. Willy Wonka shows the full range of his considerable talents.

gene wilder pure imagination robert odierna

Goodbye Gene Wilder, you’ll be truly missed.