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Cello and Goodbye--I hope so!
Another long boring episode of Ray Langston centered angst as he chases after Nate Haskell, taking Catherine with him to LA, where Nate has kidnapped Ray's ex-wife.
Nick and Sara arrive to help and a cute blonde SID (that's Scientific Investigation Division in LA) provides assistance. Catherine thinks she looks familiar--and wa-la--we learn she is Conrad Ecklie's daughter.
Ray "goes rogue" and disappears from his cop escort and hunts for Nate on his own. He calls Doc Robbins who clues Nick into Ray's plans. Sara, Catherine, and Brody (Conrad's daughter) sift around in blood--of course Brody is smarter than Catherine or Sara and its Brody who figures out the flies are putting blood on the wall. Sara has forgotten more than this kid has learned, but that's another story!!)
Ray manages to buy a gun, the LA cops do not like his disappearance act, but Ray manages to hunt down Nate and the current girlfriend. As if by magic, Nick arrives and figures out where Ray is staying. Nick and Ray chase Nate around and around (maybe the title should be "Here we go again").
Greg uses his history knowledge (and internet skills--is this guy a librarian?) to find a clue to Nate Haskell's background.
By now, everyone is chasing everyone else, Nate's girlfriend ends up dead and now the LA cops are after Ray for this killing! OH NO!! Again, Ray is one step ahead of everyone else but Nate, and he heads back to Vegas and the farm from last week where he finds Nate Haskell! AND it's a fight between the two as amazin' Ray fights for the life of his ex-wife!
This story is so old, confusing, has no logic, that it is a crime to call it CSI! I'm not interested in Ray's angst nor his love for his ex-wife who has moved on, and any case of an escaped serial killer crossing state lines would be all FBI--not CSI from Vegas--that just doesn't happen! Here's hoping Langston makes a permanent exit along with Haskell!
CSI can do better than Nate Haskell
As a long time CSI fan, I can hope this is the beginning of the end of Nate Haskell, and for Ray Langston. Nick's "mooing" at the black and white cow was the only humor of the night, and the best part of this episode. Nick and Greg find a barn filled with body parts (and Farmer Thorpe is vaguely familiar--oh, he was Grissom's old mentor, Dr. Gerard in 2002!!) Sophia returns for all of 3 minutes to tell Ray she's calling in the feds to look for Nate Haskell.
Langston is hurling himself around with his own agenda, telling Chief Detective Sophia (or whatever her new title is) what to do and why she can't call in the feds to look for this horrendous serial killer who escaped eight weeks ago!! Would an escaped serial killer really be walking around, getting plastic surgery, and the feds NOT be after him? Meanwhile, Nate has managed to extract 2 million dollars from the father of one of his 'brides'--what makes a groupie a 'bride'? (Now, we all know banks will not give out 2 million $ to anyone without calling in the feds, but Nate gets his millions!) We see cut up male and female part--a bit overdone, imo--and the group figures out who is who and with his amazing powers, CSI newbie Ray Langston figures out Nate is really sending a message to him and Nate is no longer anywhere near Vegas BUT he's somewhere else where he can "blend in"---OH, as with a magic wand, Dr. Ray decides Nate Haskell has to be in California--Los Angeles, of all places!! Next shot is a pretty woman playing a cello with a small audience and we see Nate and one of his women in the audience. And the cello playing beauty is none other than Langston's former wife!! Another close up of Nate Haskell and them "To Be Continued"...
I am beginning to think someone at CSI is out to close this once fine series down! This episode came across as cut-out and paste-together scenes--no flow, no smooth teamwork as seen for many years, just jumping around from one set to another.
A low point for new season episode
Bombs going off at a cemetery, Nick takes the blast while shouting a warning to others. This comes after we get a replay of Langston getting stabbed by Haskell, who then was beaten by police so both go to the ER. Langston loses a kidney, but quickly recovers.
Everyone is searching for a bomber; a new bomb tech girl shows up and she has a soft accented voice (hard to understand her). Langston, still in the hospital, is able to direct the search using his computer! (Is this for real--I have to ask myself "is this CSI?")
There is a sweet little scene between Nick and Catherine where she admits she has talked the police psychologist (after Warrick died) and perhaps Nick should do the same. After all, he was in the restaurant (last season) when the young cop was killed and is recovering from being shot, as well as the bomb blast.
Sara shows up for a few minutes when the police go to a meeting of anti-government folks--where we see a young boy (Justin Beiber). The crowd goes wild when the police bomb squad arrives, Sara throws a punch.
Greg and Catherine end up on a "trash" run, dead homeless guy. Vartann and Greg stumble upon another bomb, which goes off, but they are not hurt. Ends as Catherine says: this is not over. Closes on the kid sitting in jail.
This is a very odd episode for opening the season. All of the regular cast looked bored to tears (no lab rats) so maybe it is time to close this series. Or rename it The Ray Langston Hour as he seems to know everything.
Hawaii Five-0 (2010)
Hawaii 5-0 or Magum PI??
I thought I was watching NCIS:LA on a new night, but then realized it was the old name (Hawaii 5-0) with a bunch of new characters. And they all look alike--ruffled hair, white teeth, tan bodies, oh, and an Asian guy and a skinny girl doing kick boxing.
Then I tried to figure out the time line: Is the young Steve the son of the old Steve? Young Steve did find the right car in the garage! And now the new, young Steve is working with people who have the same name as the people who worked with his dad? Except one is a girl now. And the young Steve never learned to button his shirt--well, I guess he did while in the Navy.
The first episode jumped around so much that I lost interest before the end came--and the bad guy disappeared so I'd guess we see him again. Not sure the shoot-outs, fist fights, gun battles, and cute gags are enough to get me to return for scenery of Hawaii to show up. Please--Someone needs to feed that skinny girl a biscuit! While it is nice to see beautiful Hawaii anytime, too many of the sets looked like California--or fake! I think a good police/crime drama set in Hawaii would be a great show, but this is a poor remake not of Hawaii 5-0 but of Magum PI.
Country music, CIA, and CSI all on CBS
Rascal Flatts fans probably love this episode and seeing the guys perform, one gets hurt, flirts with Catherine and can't remember being a country music singer. Very light, funny story, and all is well in the end when who you suspect as the bad guy is the bad guy. The obsessive fan is truly comic relief. We learn Nick doesn't have to like country music just because he is from Texas, and Doc Robbins knows his guitars. Second "B" story, Langston and Sara work the death of a retired CIA big shot who is found in Lake Mead, canoe missing. We hear a comment about Grissom and Sara's honeymoon and a canoe. Of course the CIA comes in, as do the bad guy Germans, the story takes more directions than a squid and then they find Sarin, and Langston knows all the answers before anyone else, meets with the CIA guy who seems to know Langston's dad in the past. While this episode wasn't a complete wash,it doesn't hold up to writing from past seasons. Too much of Langston and his vast knowledge of everything. Rascal Flatts was enjoyable,Jorja Fox is lovely, but the CIA-German-son connection was a real stretch. The CIA guy offers Langston a job, let's hope he takes it.
High School drag racers and then some
SPOILER!! SPOILER!! This is an episode that seemed to borrow characters and scenes from previous episodes--a dead teenager with a fast little restored car (except it had an electric motor!)and his missing cheerleader girlfriend, her friend, lots of others who were boarder-line bad guys. And what's a crime isn't really a crime, but a sad tragedy for one and then the missing becomes the murder with all kinds of "what-ifs" flashed around.
The car race sponsored by law enforcement was an interesting scene and lots of cars--restored, kit cars--even an interesting high school automotive shop.
We've seen the girl hit and thrown - Fallen Idols; gathering of souped up cars - Revenge is Best Served Cold, Chop Shop & Anatomy of a Lye; Catherine and Nick racing - Revenge is Best Served Cold. The girl in the tree brought back memories of Scoobie Doobie Do. So the writers are rewriting previous stories with a different cover.
It was great to see Nick and Sara together and LESS of Langston (which actually makes this episode a great one!!) But Greg needs his humor back. On a scale of 1 to 10--this one rates a 5 for original store, but a 7+ for Nick and Sara.
Old Chips are just old Chips
The potential for this episode was great, but every minute following the first five was just depressing. Old chips have no value unless you collect them for some reason. The state of Nevada has no interest in paying out old chips, so there's the ultimate answer to what should not have been a question. This could have been played a dozen ways and been better. By the end--I didn't care. Actually, I was sort of encouraging the bad guy! Maybe this is the end of Ray Langston--could we hope for his departure? I'm willing to send the producers $1 just to get him off screen!!! The best moment was hearing Nancy Sinatra sing! We did get more than 30 seconds of Greg (for the first time this season), did Greg follow Grissom to Costa Rica? And what was up with the 5 seconds of Nick--off to a bug convention! Then it became, AGAIN, the Ray Langston Hour, of how this new, level 1 CSI gets to answer all the questions, knows the answers before the question is even asked, and everyone else disappears. What has this great television series become? Fishburne had great potential, but for me, that's been lost by overkill on screen, and his known-it-all character. Please bring back the original characters--I'd settle for Nick, Greg, Catherine and Brass! Just let Ray and Riley (who appears with as much charisma as a wall!!) disappear over the summer!!
The team is working again, better than the 200th!
Everyone got a little action this week. Nick and Riley get the skydiver, Ray (level 1) is out on his own investigating a dead guy in the desert, and Catherine and Greg get two rich dead guys by a pool. We learn the skydiver and the rich guys are connected. Ray tells an old fable about a religious man dying from an object falling from the sky and solves his case. The skydiver and dead guys by the pool are a little more complicated. Editing and visual mistakes abound in this one--why is the grave shift working days? Why is Ray working alone? Why is Hodges in the morgue working a dead body? And put on your "closed captions" cause you will never understand the accents of a couple of these guys. Brass is letting off his zingers as usual. After 30 minutes, we finally get Catherine and Greg--both seem to have disappeared this season. With this one, maybe there is hope on the horizon that CSI will get back to it's old self. Whoever thought this show needed a big "star" to be good needs to be fired.
What has happened to CSI?
This was a stupid episode--now I know why Petersen left! The story bounced around--a voodoo scene was just plain laughable and played no role in the story of a graduate student found murdered, maybe by Mexican wrestlers or maybe by a Voodoo 'god' or maybe by a serial killer announcer. The actors--I hope they are actual fighters and not actors playing fighters! Catherine and Greg have all but disappeared. Even Brass looked in pain as he went thru the motions of playing beside Fishburne's Langston. As a matter of fact, why don't we just rename CSI "The Ray Langston, CSI, Show"---this episode was nearly as bad as the "Two and a Half" one last year! The famous director, Friedkin, needs to stay retired, go back to living off the 2 or 3 big movies he made 30 years ago!! I hope someone decides to hide this episode and never show it as a rerun.
Plot holes or where are the writers?
I thought I had seen a bad CSI episode last year with the 2 and 1/2 men mess, but this one comes in as a close second. Within 30 seconds of finding the dead FBI guy, my teenager said "he's a fake"--not sure we were supposed to figure that out so fast! When he has no fingerprints,(Surgically removed) I breathed a sigh that maybe we would not have to watch Ray Langston try to take a print. As the story unfolded, we saw more of the CSI level 1 Langston, (against all we learned when Greg was a level 1)running the entire investigation with brief glimpses of Nick and Brass. Then, plot holes of all plot holes, the dead guy is fake FBI and now he has fingerprints?? It got worse--drive by shooting, Brass slinging blood on a guy's face, another dead body, the real FBI shows up, and the fake FBI threesome turns out to be mental patients trying to clean up their neighborhood. They actually were doing better than the local cops from all appearances. CSI's biggest problem is educating its fans to the point of knowing what's been done for 8 years. Get back to well-planned, well developed story lines, or Vegas goes the same way as Miami--watched for T&A and comedy relief!! Where on where are the good writers? How long must Grissom stay in Costa Rica? When will Petersen return from play acting to redirect this great television series?
Sordid Lives (2000)
How did I miss this movie?
This is an excellent, entertaining, laugh out loud movie! Every character is so well played in an over-the-top role. It is difficult to say which character is best--Bonnie Bedalia is so wonderful; she is often overlooked, but in this movie, she is certainly the star. Delta Burke--the woman is a world class comedy act, and when she has a gun in her hand--well, she becomes the show! Brother Boy is absolutely priceless (can't think of the actor's name). If you have a family, you know at least some of these characters (or you are lying about your family!!) If you've ever had an "uncomfortable" funeral, you know the scene in the church. I laughed as hard as I've ever laughed about anything. And when Bonnie Bedalia tells about going to see her son in a play in Los Angeles, tears were rolling out of my eyes. The ending is priceless! If you are southern, if you have a few weird family members, if you love to laugh--watch Sorbid Lives.
Bookends--beginning and ending
A good introduction of Dr. Langston as we lose Gil Grissom, the brain of this excellent series. This episode is a complicated story, following the first part of it and bringing to close murders that happened earlier in the season as well as a serial killer from a decade ago. The real heart of the story is Grissom's leaving. Every main character gets to have a personal conversation with Gil--or as personal as Grissom ever lets anyone get. Even snarly Hodges comes across as sad to see Grissom leave. The conversation between Grissom and Nick speaks volumes to the relationship between the two. Grissom has been depressed and lonely all season, especially after the departure of his one and only woman, Sara. We have not seen Grissom dwell on the absence of Warrick, but that death probably plays a big role in Grissom's decision, but ultimately, its Sara he leaves for. In the beginning of CSI, we saw Grissom (2nd episode) taking photos of flying dummies as Sara walks up behind him, he says her name before he turns around. The ending of this episode is the matching bookend to that first episode. The alpha and omega, the beginning and ending--perfectly written for these two lovers, who made geek-love a possibility! There are no words spoken between the two--no need for words as the camera pans around the couple and fades into the lush green jungle. This ending really illustrates the writing capabilities of Carol Mendelsohn--she did good! Here's hoping the best for Billy Petersen and Jorja Fox--I hope to see them again.
Across the Universe (2007)
Change your world, watch this movie
I am a Beatles fan from their first song (gives my age away). Watching this movie is going back in time to hear the songs and watch a story unfold that parallels what was happening in our world at the time. It truly took my breath away. Watching it with 3 teenagers, my sister and I were glued to the screen, almost unable to breathe, until the last note. The actors are a wonderful group of innocents on a trip that changes their lives (and hopefully how they will live their lives). Too many people have forgotten these years. Watch this movie--you will find yourself watching it again, talking about it the next day, and singing the songs you knew as a teenager! Don't expect "Sound of Music" or "Mama Mia", this one stands on its own as a great musical.
Hard Promises (1991)
We know this guy
I recently re-watched this movie and found the story tends to grow on you with a second viewing. Sissy is always good. William Petersen is such a charmer; even when playing a cad. How many of us have known Joey, unable to move beyond his short-term fame in high school (or college), still wanting the sound and thrill of teenage girls around him. One day, he looks around and realizes his own child is on the threshold of being a teenager and his faithful, sweetheart from high school has grown into an adult and is leaving him behind. That's the story set in a beautiful place with typical neighbors and friends. Watch it for the ending and decide where you fit into this story!
The Hungry Bachelors Club (1999)
Good family movie
Unlike some comments, mine is positive. This movie wraps around the dinner table with a group of friends, some you like, some you don't. A few are related--mother, daughter, son. Their stories are not one smooth, happy with everyone and everything, type of life--much like real life. Some story lines do not evolve, they just happen. But like true families and good friends, they stick together. The wanna-be parents who are buying a baby are such a--holes! You are happy for the ending. Poor Delmar is stuck between a rock and a boulder taking care of herself, her mom, her son, and trying to keep all their lives together. This does not end with a sunset walk or house in the 'burbs and all are living in a dream world, but is a very real life portrayal of people living day to day, month to month. Overall, this is a good story and a great movie!!
Now on DVD!! Best mini-series ever made
I will join the list of saying this is the best mini-series every put on film and, today, any part of it would make an excellent movie! To say every actor plays his/her role to perfection is probably too much, but it comes close. The picture of the American west is absolutely beautiful, so very realistic, so much detail. Robert Conrad and Richard Chamberlain are the ancestors we all wish to have. This book should be required reading for every high school kid in the USA (well, Michener wrote several that should be required reading!!) Gregory Harrison and Stephanie Zimbalist are beyond description in their roles as a young couple going west. While some find fault with the environmental ending, it is very true to what is happening in the west today--remember when this was written and filmed. Also, if you are fast, you can see a very young George Clooney in St Louis! Buy the DVD! This movie will never be made again. Watch it with your kids!
Mamma Mia! (2008)
Mama Mia is out-n-out delightful!
Meryl can act! And has a wonderful role in this movie as a "real" life woman with messy hair and a few wrinkles and a daughter ready to marry. A true writer took songs from ABBA (Sweden)puts together a tale set in Greece with these English speaking actors and makes it a delight to go along with the story! Go see the movie because Meryl should get another Oscar for this one. Pierce Bronson can't sing and that is okay--it just makes it that much more delightful (like my dad singing around the house). If there is a 50-something female in your life (or older), take her to see this movie! And remain for the credits!! To see the men in the last musical number is about the funniest part of the movie.
The Closer (2005)
Watching with a cringe
I have watched every episode of this show. It is a well-written crime show with a little comedy thrown in. However, after all this time, I feel I must complain about this woman's "southern" accent!! Living in the deep south, I can assure every watcher that we do NOT speak like she does. I'm not sure who does!! Certainly no one from Atlanta--which is the true melting pot of the English language. Not sure who her accent coach is, but I'm willing to bet the farm that person has not lived within 500 miles of Atlanta in years. I am almost to the point of watching the show in closed-caption so I will not have to hear how Kyra pronounces certain words! I can not figure out why the show and Kyra/Brenda continue to be nominated for Emmy awards. Maybe because it comes on in the summer when everything else is a rerun? It is good, but certainly not terrific. Some times I think I am watching a modern day version of Simon and Simon! (And one of those guys is from the south!!) A true southern accent can be heard when 'Bobby' speaks on CSI (he's the one who is the gun guy).
Memento in top 30 movies
After finding this movie in IMDb top 30, I had to watch it and watch it and buy it! And watch it again--one of the few movies that multiple generations can watch and everyone talks about when its over. This is a magnificent movie! The story is like a big city covered with so many streets curving around that all end up at the city-center. Poor Lenny tries to solve the mystery/murder surrounding his life until it completely takes over his waking moments, post-it-notes everywhere, tattoos everywhere, and never knowing who's a friend and who is a foe. This is a thinking person's movie--if you do not want to think, watch something else. If Oscars were given out in retrospect, Memento would get one now!
Grissom's two women
In this episode Lady Heather (we know from past episodes) is found wounded in an old western tourist-town and refuses to name her attacker. Sara finally gets to meet Lady H in the hospital. Even tho lots of viewer comments have been made that Sara is "upset" about Grissom/Lady Heather relationship, I see her as being very curious. Catherine has yacked on and on about the chemistry between Gil Grissom and Heather and it makes Sara uncomfortable, but not angry. The scene in the hospital shows Sara as being very kind and polite then Grissom walks in and he's the one who has the "Oh, S**t" look on his face. He gets to work on the case, even spending the night at Heather's house where he is found by Brass and Catherine. There is a curious twist to the outcome and we get to see Joe Penny as a bad guy. Grissom helps Heather see her granddaughter and all ends well. (Off-camera--Except he still has to go home to Sara! And maybe this is the last we will ever see of Lady Heather as she gets to play with her granddaughter.)
I watched this as a television series on A&E, remembered it as good, and just purchased the dvds. Well, it is so much better and truly timeless--I've watched it with friends who never saw it on television and they are all instant fans. Lovejoy and his antiques are as refreshing delightful today as they were in the 1990s. His friends are just as lovable (maybe more so!) and wacky as ever. Set in England, the cars and clothes are not out of place or out of style. The stories--every one of them--gives pleasure, not a poorly written line in any, and many many laughs. Perfect multi-generation viewing, nothing is "R" rated! And you just might learn a little history along the way!! Seeing Ian McShane as Lovejoy lets you appreciate his acting talents in Deadwood! If A&E wants a hit series, just put this show on to compete with some of the awful stuff on the networks now.
Who says goodbye?
First, I have always enjoyed Sara's character better than all the others on this series. Sara is far and above the best "real world" character in this series. And for the last 5 minutes of this episode, Jorja Fox deserves an Emmy! That said for all the hype, this episode was a let-down. Blame it on the writers knowing a strike was coming and they needed to get this one done. To take Sara's character and turn her on her head is almost going beyond unbelievable. She's kidnapped, nearly drowns under a car, wanders in the desert, finds her lover has spilled the beans, goes back to work while she's injured, gets a proposal, moves to another shift. No one notices that the woman needs a few days off for post-traumatic stress? Then she's given a murder involving an unresolved case from her past to deal with on her own? And we as viewers watch her fall apart when no one else does? She has enough reasons to go, just don't think this was written on the level of most episodes of this series. Hopefully, she will return (maybe she got a sabbatical like Grissom did last year) after dealing with ghosts and be stronger for it.
People Will Talk (1951)
People Will Talk
This is an excellent movie about a good man and a story that is meaningful today! The story is somewhat twisted and parts of it fall into place at the very end. You have to pay attention--probably one reason it is seldom shown on television. It's a comedy with a lesson. Cary Grant is a physician with a past and plenty of reasons to be depressed, but that's not a word he knows. A patient comes to him with a problem, and while he does not exactly solve her problem, he does help her work it out in the end. The bad guy is one real jerk--still have them today. While this movie is 50 years old, the story shows lots of courage. It is one of my favorite Cary Grant movies.
The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
Prepare for motion-sickness!
I do not usually comment on movies. However, this one needs a stronger comment on that crazy shoulder-held camera action. If you get any kind of motion sickness, DO NOT see this movie. Seriously, I nearly lost my popcorn, ended up with a severe headache. I can not imagine anyone enjoying this type of camera work. I've seen better home movies when a 6 year old held the camera. And the sad part is, the story is good and Damon does a good job. If you have not read the book, it is a great story and the movie does well at up-dating the story-line. I would have enjoyed it so much better with a steady camera. I have decided that this must be a cost cutting method of film making.