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Sounds Like Ireland Sounds Like Ireland

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, everyone. It’s also Sunday, the day I normally write about Doctor Who, but Doctor Who has always been light on Irish characters and actors and the show has perplexingly never gone to Ireland. So I turned to the audio plays and listened again to the bold 2006 story The Settling from Big…

All the Folks from "Ireland" All the Folks from "Ireland"

A man is separated from his wife and young daughter while he makes a career for himself as a singer in 1937's Rose of Tralee. That’s the plot but the star of the film is adorable little Binkie Stuart, the little girl who plays Rose, the man’s daughter. Billed as Ireland’s answer to Shirley Temple, she was in fact…

Two Decades of Farscape Two Decades of Farscape

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the première of Farscape, one of the greatest Science Fiction and Fantasy series of all time. So I thought I’d watch through the series again and write new reviews of each episode. This should take a while because Farscape premièred back in the days when a season of a dramatic…

Circular Paw Prints Circular Paw Prints

In the midst of a terrible winter, alone in the snowy mountains of northern California, a family plays out a drama seemingly representative of human civilisation in 1954's Track of the Cat. Three brothers, each in his own way, trying to live up to an ideal of personal responsibility under the bitter, impotent…

An Unlikely Smell An Unlikely Smell

I was in the mood for a Spaghetti Western last night and didn’t quite get what I wanted with 1975's Cry, Onion! (Cipolla Colt, “Onion Colt”). But that wasn’t such a bad thing. A parody of Spaghetti Westerns that shows an intimate knowledge of the genre it also has a really delightful absurd streak.

The Weight at the Other Side The Weight at the Other Side

The paradox of modern romance is in its contradictory imperatives for responsibility to one’s partner. Love should be about taking care of each other, of belonging to each other, yet people should neither expect others to care for their weakness and also shouldn’t try to nurse them. The conflicts that emerge can seem…

Who Summons the Killer Baby? Who Summons the Killer Baby?

It has a possessed baby, it has distinguished actors taking their roles seriously, but 1975's I Don’t Want to be Born (a.k.a. The Devil Within Her and The Monster) never approaches The Exorcist in quality. Some nice dialogue thoughtfully delivered by Donald Pleasence and Eileen Atkins is undercut a bit by thoroughly…

Only Fur can be Seen in the Jungle Only Fur can be Seen in the Jungle

DOCTOR: “Well, Jo? Do I pass?” JO GRANT: “You’ll do. In a pinch.” Get a room, you two. It’s not clear why the Spiridons, the indigenous inhabitants of the world featured in Planet of the Daleks, must wear these furry purple cloaks. They’re naturally invisible but it seems like they could’ve been forced to wear…

Milton, Milton, and Milton v Milton and
Milton Milton, Milton, and Milton v Milton and Milton

Those interested in canon court matters may be pleased to find my infrequently updated webcomic, Dekpa and Deborah, has its first new chapter since September. Over five months! I’m determined to get the next chapter out much quicker. This one was delayed by a lot of time spent writing a research paper. This particular…

Krill versus Hot Blood Krill versus Hot Blood

There were things I enjoyed about it but last night’s new Orville, “The Blood of Patriots”, was my least favourite episode of the series so far. Maybe it’s inevitable the episode to follow “Identity” would be a let down but this one disappointed me on too many levels.

The Man for a Free Ireland The Man for a Free Ireland

If you’re looking for a slow and rigid political biopic, don’t see 1996's Michael Collins. With its action and pacing, its passionate performances led by an extraordinarily fervent and magnetic Liam Neeson, it’s almost an action film. It’s also beautiful, bearing Neil Jordan’s usual great aesthetic sense, and more…

Mutants Working Together Mutants Working Together

I’ve finally gone back and started reading some classic X-Men comics. I figured I’d read through from the introduction of the “new” X-Men in 1975 through the Dark Phoenix Saga because those are the comics I happened to have had sitting on my shelf for fifteen years. In 2004 I saw Barnes and Noble had released a…

The Gunfighter Lost in the Flowers The Gunfighter Lost in the Flowers

A man returns from war to find himself profoundly displaced from his family, community, and identity in 1965's The Return of Ringo (Il ritorno di Ringo). A great and fascinating film in itself, it takes on still more fascinating qualities when considered as a sequel to A Pistol for Ringo, a film released the same year…

The Road, the Sea, and the Psychiatrist The Road, the Sea, and the Psychiatrist

Lovers of sinister, dreamlike, supernatural tales will enjoy this month’s new Sirenia Digest in which Caitlin R. Kiernan has included some extra scenes from her upcoming novella, The Tindalos Asset. This novella will be the third in her series for Tor, the first two being Agents of Dreamland and Black Helicopters.…

People are Other People in Space People are Other People in Space

Immortal Beloved, the 2007 Eighth Doctor Doctor Who audio play, doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Beethoven or the 1994 movie of that name. In this story, the Doctor (Paul McGann) and Lucie (Sheridan Smith) arrive just in time to prevent a pair of young lovers from committing suicide but unfortunately this…

Hamilton and the Perlman Hamilton and the Perlman

I swear I don’t work for Amazon Prime despite how much I seem to talk about things I watch on their streaming service. I have NetFlix, too, but Amazon just seems to stock more of what I want. NetFlix’s selection of anything older than 2000, for example, seems to be pretty spotty. Last night I watched the first couple…

Space Crowded with Energy Beams Space Crowded with Energy Beams

What a wonderful episode of The Orville last night. Once again patterning itself on 90s era Star Trek—I was particularly reminded of “The Die is Cast”, the 1995 Deep Space Nine episode, but The Orville hits the sweet spot of character and pacing that defies any attempt to explain it by breaking it down to the sum of…

Blind Cat versus the Tattoo Blind Cat versus the Tattoo

A life of a gangster may be fraught with danger but it’s rarely as weird or horrific as the lives of the yakuza portrayed in 1970's Blind Woman’s Curse (怪談昇り竜). A female boss is cursed by the cat who licked the blood from one of her victims in a bloody takeover, a curse that affects everyone who serves under her.…

No Innocent Babes, Ellie and Myra No Innocent Babes, Ellie and Myra

No-one among the ensemble in 1972's Bonnie’s Kids is really innocent but sometimes some of them get worse than they deserve. A fascinating exploitation film, and obvious influence on Quentin Tarantino, it’s a pulpy kaleidoscope of sex, crime, bad acting, and the underbelly of Los Angeles.

Love on the Train from Istanbul Love on the Train from Istanbul

Why is Sean Connery’s delight so appealing? Why is it that when I see he’s happy, I’m happy too? He’s not just handsome—his face is very expressive with the huge eyebrows, huge eyes, big mouth, and the deep lines on his cheek that emphasise every smile. These are the qualities that make his Bond films superior. It’d…

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