Classic Movie – The In-Laws

As a Comcast subscriber, I just got an email that we have access to Peacock streaming service. Something about some sports no longer on their broadcast packages, but we can get some of those back on Peacock.

But Peacock has a lot of cool content, including some classic TV shows. And one of them is Columbo… I had binged it about 5 years ago, but I still have a fond memory of Peter Falk, and his quirks… And that fired up my memories of a comedy staring him and Alan Arkin. The In-Laws.

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It’s a Wonderful Life

I know that a lot of people watch Christmas movies during this season. I have my favorites, including “A Christmas Story”, “Life of Brian”, and “Die Hard”.

This year, we watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” the classic with James Stewart. I last watched it as a child, probably 45+ years ago, so I really had no fond reminiscences of of this movie.

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Show review: The Alienist

On the advice of a colleague and a few others, I signed up for HBO Max streaming. A bit pricey, but dang, do they have an amazing catalog.

One of the shows that caught my eye is an adaptation of Caleb Carr’s outstanding novel, “The Alienist”. Produced by TNT, it is a period piece, set in New York city circa 1896, and has a cast of characters that reads like a who’s who of the times.

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Terrible Movies

I have been grabbing a bunch of movies off of the TCM channel lately. Just browsing, and having my Tivo record them. Some absolute gems (Casablanca in HD is better than my DVD copy), and – to put it bluntly – turds.

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John Wick

I am going to admit that I had known about the John Wick movies, but haven’t seen them until Thanksgiving day, 2019. Mostly because they aren’t on any of the streaming platforms I subscribe to. But I was visiting my brother in San Diego for the holiday, and he has all three.

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Awful Movies – Death Race 2

The other night, scrolling through Netflix, looking for something to watch, a “recommended” action and adventure movie was “Death Race 2“. The premise was pretty weak, at a prison, a television crew happened to capture a prison riot, and it had the best ratings ever for the TV station.

Parlaying this into an entertainment franchise called “Death Match” where the combatants were plucked from the general population, you can imagine that blood and gore lead to increased ratings, and money for the “well endowed” hostess of the show.

Concurrent to this was a bank robbery gone bad, and the capture of a crime lord’s #2 man, whose loyalty prevented him from rolling on his boss, and finds himself in the Wayland correctional facility.

Then we are treated to the deathmatch, live, and of course, as with all public spectacles, the initial thrill is gone, and the ratings slip, and the buxom hostess is enraged that its viewership share is dropping like a lead balloon.

One presumes that to get back the ratings,  this spectacle is extended to cars, and a race (to the death), but honestly, I wouldn’t know, because the movie was awful. So bad, so poorly written, that after 25 minutes, I turned it off.

The only saving grace was a pretty good chase after the botched bank heist, where the #2 guy does a pretty wicked job of leading a chase by the police in a pretty trick Shelby Mustang.

Otherwise, this was an absolutely forgettable movie.

Movie review – 2Fast and 2Furious

The other night, Barbara was out having dinner with a friend and her mother, so I was thumbing through Netflix looking for some mindless entertainment. In the “Action and Adventure” category I spied “2Fast and 2Furious”, the second installment of the Fast and Furious franchise. Wondering how bad it could be, I thumbed the select button, and started it up.

The opening scenes was a street race with 3 racers, and they needed a 4th to ‘go’, so the organizer calls someone to be the 4th, Paul Walker drives out with his GT-R (oops, Nissan Skyline) to fill the paddock.

The race commences and it is as expected, farcical, reality bending, and breaking all the laws of physics. I was inwardly groaning, especially at the “arcade” like action of bumping and pushing (much like how I race in Forza 6), but it looked completely fake on the big screen.

Of course, Paul Walker wins, and then gets busted for street racing.


Then it gets into the main storyline, the feds enlist Walker to infiltrate a really bad dude in Miami who imports a lot of drugs. The way to infiltrate is, you guessed it, to work their way up by street racing.

I think I made it to the 30 minute mark before I clicked off and went back to watching Archer reruns.

Now I know why I didn’t get into this franchise. It really really sucks. Another review for my “really bad movies” section.