Doctor Who: “The Witchfinders” works some practical magic…

Continuing season 11’s tonally mixed bag, the latest Doctor Who has a bit of Halloween-creepiness and also feels very much like a lighter, 1980s-era episode of the classic series (the Peter Davison-era stories “The Visitation” and “The King’s Demons” come to mind).  Not an inordinately important or deep-message story, “Witchfinders” quickly sheds much of its…

A few riffs on “Bohemian Rhapsody”…

Want to begin by saying this isn’t going to be a traditional review; I just wanted to jot down a few thoughts on “Bohemian Rhapsody” (2018), the biopic of the late Freddie Mercury (1946-1991) and the rock group that was a significant part of my own adolescence, Queen.   I’ve seen the film twice to…

Doctor Who S11.7: “Kerblam!” delivers a mixed bag…

As Jodie Whittaker settles quite nicely into the role of The Doctor, the series itself seems to be taking an alternating pattern of light and heavy;  going from serious, deeply topical material one week to lighter, frothier adventures the next.  After last week’s powerful and original  “Demons of the Punjab,”  I was prepared for this…

Retro-Musings: 1966’s “Queen of Blood” shares plenty of hemoglobin with “ALIEN”…

In the 1960s,  legendary guerrilla-filmmaking producer Roger Corman (whose protégés would include Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Jonathan Demme, Gale Ann Hurd and James Cameron) imported several high-end Soviet-era science fiction movies, which he recut using American-shot scenes, actors and English-language dubbing.  This was a practice similar to what was done to Ishiro Honda’s 1954 atomic-bomb allegory…

A few words for Stan Lee (1922-2018)…

The highlighted link from the New York Times does a nice job of summing up Stan Lee’s life:  Stan Lee, dead at 95. Superhero of Marvel Comics/New York Times.  I never really knew Stan Lee, since I only met him once very briefly.  I can offer the following…   My own two cents. I used to…

Doctor Who’s “Demons of the Punjab” is one for the ages…

Following a completely lackluster episode (the instantly forgettable “Tsungara Conundrum”, which felt like a patchwork of Doctor Who cliches), the series rebounds strongly with “Demons of the Punjab”; an episode that is easily on a par with “Rosa” and may even find its future status among the series’ all-time best episodes.  Written by Vinay Patel (take a bow)…

Star Trek Discovery, Short Treks 2: “Calypso”…

CBS-All Access has just released the 2nd of four planned Star Trek: Discovery “Short Trek” vignettes; the first was the Ensign Tilly-as-diplomat offering “Runaway,” and now we have “Calypso”, another two-character piece which uses none of the regular Discovery cast.  “Calypso” runs only 18 minutes, but manages to raise a TON of questions about the future of…