PROFESSOR MARSTON AND THE WONDER WOMEN

I found the story fascinating, and it explained many of the kinks in the early Wonder Woman comics (the author was into bondage, lived in a menage a trois, and released all his fantasies onto the page), but it simply didn’t gel as a film.  (I hate to be one of those annoying anachronism nerds, but they annoy me. In a 1920s scene, Marston says he was in the OSS during WW1, but the OSS wasn’t formed until WW2 was underway. Such a simple fact check.)   FF=1

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LA MANTE

If I had to logline this 6-episode French/Netflix thriller I’d say it’s “Silence of the Lambs” meets “Se7en.” (Keep in mind that loglines are never entirely fair or accurate.) It’s well paced and incorporates pretty much every plot twist imaginable. Def worth a look.
FF=2

DARK

Finished season 1 of this Netflix/German co-production last night. Very “Lost”-ish in theme with “Twin Peaks”-ish characters. This must have been fun to write but a nightmare when it came to keeping the character relationships straight. As with any time-travel story (that’s not a spoiler — you know early on), the plot has holes and paradoxes. One warning: Although deliberately paced (read: “slow” — could have been compressed to 8 episodes instead of 10 with no loss of story or character), you must pay attention. This is not a series to watch while reading a book or playing a game on your phone. I know because I didn’t pay close attention to the early episodes and had a helluva time keeping the characters straight at their varying ages later on. I hope the director gets over his love affair with his rain machine for the next season. Do I recommend it? Depends on your patience and your ability to suspend disbelief. You might love it or your screen might be damaged by the shoes you toss at it.  FF=1

KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS

Finally saw this after a long search (it was on Amazon all the time). I love the deep-focus look of these old (1949) films. Quite enjoyable, with Alec Guinness playing 8 parts. It might be described as a cozy serial killer film, if you can imagine that. Well paced with a couple of nice twists at the end.  FF=0

SIGHTSEERS

If you’re in the mood for a British black comedy about a serial-killer couple (and who isn’t?), this is your dish. It’s wacky and uneven, but offers some laugh-aloud parts. Lots of driving through beautiful countryside and even a little leyline mythology. Def worth the 90 minutes.

GRABBERS

A horror comedy made in Ireland that puts an Irish twist on all the monster movie tropes. You have to hand it to the Irish: They can laugh at themselves. An isolated island village is besieged by tentacled, blood-sucking monsters who are allergic to alcohol in the blood. If you’re Irish, the solution is as natural as it is obvious. If any other ethnic group had been skewered thus, the outrage monkeys would be hopping all over the place. A fun flick.

KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD

Although Snatch and LS&2SB remain two of my fave films, perhaps Guy Richie wasn’t the best choice to direct this. Too many missteps, starting with the eponymous character’s 21st century fade hairstyle. And did I see a direct appropriation of Frazetta’s “Death Dealer?” His trademark camera tricks are jarring in a medieval setting. On the whole I found it watchable but at the end I’m wondering what else I might have done with those 2 hours.