Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Week in Entertainment

Film: Source Code. Exciting and well-done. And what a fantastic ending. Loved it. If you can find it watch it - or get it on On Demand.

TV: Leverage not one of the best, really, but it did have its interesting moments. I watched a lot of the British Open - how nice to see Lefty doing well, though I was pulling for Donald or Sergio (I always pull for Sergio). Royal St George's gave them a hard course with driving winds - links golf as it's meant to be played (unlike Castle Stewart last week). Masterpiece - The Pale Horse. I'm not crazy about this iteration of Marple - Julia McKenzie - but at least it's not the awful Geraldine McEwan ones. However, The Pale Horse is not a Marple novel, and in shoehorning her into the book they had to do some violence to the source material. Easterbrook and Ginger become bit players, and Mrs Dane Calthrop, Ariadne Oliver, and the Despards vanish. (At least some of the changes were probably because the characters of Colonel and Rhoda Despard were reprised from Cards on the Table, which was slashed up quite badly for the Masterpiece (Poirot) version of that novel, including the killing off of Rhoda.) I'm not entirely sure what's going on over at the Masterpiece studios, but the most recent Christies and Poirtos have been really altered - in some cases rendered almost unrecognizable - and often for the worse. This Pale Horse isn't awful, but I have to admit that it nearly put me to sleep...

Read: The Alchemy of Murder, the second of the Nellie Bly books. This one was much, much better than the first, which seemed interminable. Possibly it's because we weren't stuck in the sewers of Paris fighting a mad anarchist who wanted to destroy the world, accompanied by too many people we knew didn't do it - Pasteur, Verne, Wilde...; instead we were racing around the world involved in espionage. It's long, too, but doesn't ever drag or feel padded. Whatever the reason, this one's really enjoyable, without reservations.

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At 2:17 PM, July 18, 2011 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Unlike you, I'm no Christie maven. However, as strictly amateur viewers we've found the latest Marple and Poirot offerings confusing at best -- with your explanation, we now have some notion why -- and not up to the previous standard. No real problem with Julia McKenzie's incarnation, however.

Did you like "Zen," which premiered last night? I'd never heard of it before PBS started promoting the series, but I found it disappointing. OTOH, I'm immensely enjoying the Thursday reruns of Kenneth Branagh in "Wallander." Of course, tastes vary :-)

At 8:27 PM, July 20, 2011 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

I adore Wallander. (I confess it took a little bit to get used to the accents!)

Zen is on my dvr but I haven't watched it yet.


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