Category: TV

“Poker Face” – The Trailer is Here!

Poker Face has a great premise.  Check out the trailer.  Pull up a seat.  We’ll deal you in.

Poker Face is streaming January 26th on Peacock: https://pck.tv/3Vloyof

Synopsis: Poker Face is a 10-episode “mystery-of-the-week” series following Natasha Lyonne’s Charlie, who has an extraordinary ability to determine when someone is lying. She hits the road with her Plymouth Barracuda and with every stop encounters a new cast of characters and strange crimes she can’t help but solve.

“The English” (2022) starring Emily Blunt & Chaske Spencer / Z-View

The English (2022)

Directors:  Hugo Blick

Teleplay: Hugo Blick

Stars: Emily Blunt, Chaske Spencer, Stephen Rea, Steve Wall, Malcolm Storry, Nicholas Aaron, Tadhg Murphy, Rafe Spall and Julian Bleach

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

Years after the Civil War, an English noble woman, Cornelia Locke (Blunt) has come to the western frontier.  She is hunting the man responsible for her son’s death.  Eli Whipp (Spencer), a Pawnee by birth and a former US Calvary Scout, is riding to Nebraska to claim a plot of land.  Their paths cross.  After overcoming a shared “obstacle” Locke and Whipp decide to travel together.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

The English easily made my best of 2022 list.  It is well written, well directed and well cast.  I had never seen anything by Hugo Blick, the creator, writer and director of The English.  I’ll definitely search out more of his work.  Emily Blunt picks out interesting projects and is always good in them.  She served as an Executive Producer on The English.  I’d seen Chaske Spencer before, but never in a starring role.  Spencer is perfect as Eli Whipp.  I look forward to seeing him as a lead in future productions.  Kudos to The English‘s cinematographer, Arnau Valls Colomer.  There are so many shots that would make beautiful paintings.

The English at it’s core is a love story/tale of revenge.   But it doesn’t take the expected path.  Having an English noble woman on the western frontier coupled with a Pawnee who isn’t accepted by Native Americans or Whites makes for interesting interactions. There are twists in every episode as we learn more about Locke and Whipp’s past.  When The English ended, I found myself wanting to revisit the characters.  Not because the series had an unsatisfying conclusion (far from that!), but because I enjoyed it so much.

The English earns 5 of 5 stars.

Craig’s “The Best of 2022”

As we start 2023, let’s pause for a look at the BEST OF 2022. I hope you you see something that you enjoyed or gets you interested to check it out. Here we go…

Movies and Limited Series

In 2022, I watched 409 movies and limited series. That number is up 37 from last year. None were seen in a theater! My favorite films and limited series released in 2022 included (in alpha order):

  • The Batman
  • Better Call Saul: Final Season
  • The English
  • God Forbid
  • Interceptor
  • Interview with a Vampire: Season 1
  • Ozark: Final Season
  • The Patient
  • Primal: Season 2
  • Reacher: Season 1
  • RRR
  • Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
  • Top Gun: Maverick
  • Werewolf By Night

Tulsa King would have made the list, but since the season hasn’t finished yet, I haven’t added it. It will definitely make next year’s Best Of list.

Books

In 2022, I read 37 books (2 less than last year). My favorites from this year included (in the order I read them):

  • Love & Bullets Megabomb Edition by Nick Kolakowski

  • Boise Longpig Hunting Club by Nick Kolakowski

  • The Devil’s Own Piss… by Whiskey Leavins

  • 61 Hours by Lee Child

  • Ice Station by Matthew Reilly

  • At Their Own Game by Frank Zafiro

  • IQ by Joe Ide

  • Murder in Grease Paint by Whiskey Leavins

  • And Sometimes I Wonder About You by Walter Mosley

  • Righteous by Joe Ide

  • Trouble is What I Do by Walter Mosley

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood by Quentin Tarantino

  • Later by Stephen King

  • Down the River unto the Sea by Walter Mosley

I’m surprised I didn’t read anything by Joe Lansdale this year. How did that even happen??

My Most Popular Posts of the Year

I continue to find some surprises in what became my most popular posts each year. Here are the top ten for 2022 and some thoughts for each…

10. Top 10 Most Iconic Horror Movie VillainsDropped from #7 last year. Second year in a row to drop.

09. Batman & Manbat by Marshall Rogers & John Beatty! New to the list!

08. The Different Covers for David Morrell’s First Blood. New to the list!

07. “Clean” starring Adrian Brody – The Poster and Trailer are Here! New to the list!

06. Gadot & The Rock Strike a Pose – was in the 8th spot last year.

05. Evidence Points to NEW Suspect as the Zodiac Killer. New to the list!

04. Louis Meyers: Evidence He was the Zodiac Killer – came in the #3 spot last year and #2 the year before.

03. Dracula Through the Ages – was in our 4th spot last year. Flipped places with Louis Meyers.

02. The TWILIGHT ZONE New Year’s Eve Marathon is Coming and the Full Schedule is Out!was the most popular post last year but was beat out this year by Schwarzenegger and Williams.

01. Schwarzenegger in “King Lear” & Robin Williams in “Jack and the Beanstalkregains the #1 spot for the year.

My All-Time Most Popular Posts

The top 4 didn’t change and only one new post broke in to the All-Time most popular posts. Let’s see how things shook out…

10. Joel Osteen in Jacksonville – dropped one spot from 7th to 10th. Two years in a row of drops. May not make the list next year.

09. Gadot & The Rock Strike a Pose – was in the 9th spot for the last two years.

08. The TWILIGHT ZONE New Year’s Eve Marathon is Coming and the Full Schedule is Out! New to the list!  I love the love that the TZ is getting!

07. Steve Reeves as Superman – was the #5 all-time most popular post last year.

06. Dracula Through the Ages up from the 10th spot. Vampires are in.

05. TOP 10 MOST ICONIC HORROR MOVIE VILLAINS! – from 6th to 5th. Two years in a row of moving up!

04. New Billy the Kid Photo Discovered – No change!

03. Zodiac Killer Code Cracked? – No change!

02. Louis Meyers: Evidence He Was the Zodiac Killer – No change!

01. Schwarzenegger in “King Lear” & Robin Williams in “Jack and the Beanstalk” – was #1 last year and continues to be our most popular post of all-time.

It’s always interesting to see which topics resonate with fans and continue to be popular long after their initial post.

“The Watcher”: Season 1 (2022) / Z-View

The Watcher: Season 1 (2022)

Directors:  Ryan Murphy (episodes 1, 3); Paris Barclay (episodes 2, 4); Jennifer Lynch (episodes 5, 7); Max Winkler (episode 6)

Teleplay: Ryan Murphy & Ian Brennan (episodes 1 – 5); Ian Brennan & Reilly Smith (episode 6); Ian Brennan & Reilly Smith & Todd Kubrak & Ryan Murphy (episode 7)

Stars: Naomi Watts, Bobby Cannavale, Mia Farrow, Terry Kinney, Henry Hunter Hall, Isabel Gravitt, Luke David Blumm, Jennifer Coolidge, Christopher McDonald, Noma Dumezweni, Margo Martindale, Richard Kind, Seth Gabel, Michael Nouri and Susan Merson

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

Soon after Dean, Nora and their two kids move into their beautiful dream house, anonymous threatening letters begin to arrive.  As the letters become more menacing, it becomes clear that whoever is sending them has access to their house.  The letters contain information about their kids, private conversations and are always signed The Watcher.

The police are unable to help.  Dean and Nora install a new security system. It doesn’t stop the strange events.  The letters keep coming.  As Dean and Nora become more paranoid, every neighbor becomes a suspect.  They cannot sell the house because they mortgaged everything to afford the place.

Who is The Watcher?  What does he/she want?

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

The Watcher is based on real events.  A family purchased their dream home and began receiving threatening letters from a stalker who signed off as The Watcher.  The family ultimately sold the house at almost a $400,000 loss and moved out of town!  The Watcher was originally conceived as a limited one season series.  Thanks to good ratings, a second season was ordered.

I enjoyed The Watcher.  For me the journey was better than the destination.  In all fairness, I thought this was a limited series of one and done.  Therefore I was looking for a definite conclusion.  I’m not sure if the ending was the one planned or if it changed due to a second season order.

The Watcher is extremely well cast. Mia Farrow is perfect as an irritating, crazy neighbor. Jennifer Coolidge is a scene stealer as the unlikeable “friend”.  Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale are excellent as the leads.  Familiar faces show up in supporting roles: Terry (Oz) Kinney, Christopher (Family Law) McDonald, Margo (Justified) Martindale; Richard (Spin City) Kind and Michael (Flashdance) Nouri.  I’d never seen Noma Dumezweni and Henry Hunter Hall before, but will be watching for them in the future.

The story has twists and turns in every episode.  As the tension increases, so do mistakes made by Nick and Nora as far as blaming the wrong (?) people.  As unbelievable as the twists become, because the story is based on a real incident and because the acting is so good, I went with it.  The Watcher was a fun ride.  I just wish the final episode was more satisfying… but then again, that might have negated the need for a season two.

The Watcher earns 4 of 5 stars.

Sly Stallone Interview & “Tulsa King” Midseason Trailer!

There’s a cool profile/mini-interview with Sylvester Stallone at Slate.  It’s well worth a read.  Sly talks about his acting process, Tulsa King, movies vs television and more.  One question and answer stood out…

I know you’ve had an Edgar Allen Poe biopic that you’ve wanted to make for years, but are there any projects like that you’re still really hoping to make one day?

SLY: Yeah, there’s a couple there. There’s one I wanna do, it’s called Hunter, which I’d like to do as a streaming series. There’s another called Levon Cade. A lot of these are harkening back to when men were men [laughs] — when action films were basically men overcoming incredible odds, but terra firma and real, not something that’s CGI-driven. Almost like RamboRockyearly Charles BronsonDirty Harry. That’s the kind of film I’m focusing on.

TULSA KING – Season 1 Midseason Trailer (2022) Paramount+ TULSA KING follows New York mafia capo Dwight “The General” Manfredi just after he is released from prison after 25 years and unceremoniously exiled by his boss to set up shop in Tulsa, Okla. Realizing that his mob family may not have his best interests in mind, Dwight slowly builds a “crew” from a group of unlikely characters, to help him establish a new criminal empire in a place that to him might as well be another planet. CAST: Sylvester Stallone, Martin Starr, Andrea Savage

“Interview with the Vampire” Season 1 (2022) starring Jacob Anderson, Sam Reid, Eric Bogosian, and Bailey Bass / Z-View

Interview with the Vampire Season 1 (2022)

Directors:  Alan Taylor (episodes 1-2); Keith Powell (episodes 3-4); Levan Akin (episodes 5-6); Alexis Ostrander (episode 7)

Teleplay: Rolin Jones (episode 1); Jonathan Ceniceroz & Dave Harris (episode 2); Rolin Jones & Hannah Moscovitch (episode 3); Eleanor Burgess (episode 4); Hannah Moscovitch (episode 5); Coline Abert (episode 6); Rolin Jones & Ben Philippe (episode 7)

Stars: Jacob Anderson, Sam Reid, Eric Bogosian, Assad Zaman, Bailey Bass, Rae Dawn Chong and Dana Gourrier

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

Interview with a Vampire is an adaptation of Anne Rice’s novel, Interview with a Vampire.

In 1910, Louis de Pointe du Lac (Anderson) is a successful black business man.  He owns several brothels and rubs shoulders with many of the city’s civic leaders.  Louis meets and befriends  Lestat de Lioncourt (Reid).  Lestat is handsome, charismatic and somewhat mysterious.  He’s also a vampire! As Louis and Lestat spend time together, their friendship grows.  Ultimately, Lestat turns Louis into a vampire.

Louis is shocked and sickened by what he’s become.  He vows to never see Lestat again… but that doesn’t last.  Lestat teaches Louis how to hunt, the things that will kill a vampire, and how to blend in among humans.  Louis makes Lestat agree to some concessions.  They will prey only on the worst humans.  Lestat agrees, but he’s a remorseless killer.  The promise is a sham. There is more that Lestat keeps secret.

When a fire breaks out in a poor part of town, Louis pulls Claudia (Bass), a young girl, from a burning building.  Claudia is on the verge of death.  Louis saves Claudia by turning her.  Louis and Lestat become her “uncles” and the three vampires live together.

Over time Claudia sees the differences between Louis and Lestat. Louis is compassionate and caring.  Lestat is self-centered and heartless.  A rift forms.  Louis and Lestat are already having issues with their toxic relationship.  Problems increase with Claudia’s need for independence. Plus rumors are growing about strange goings on in Louis and Lestat’s mansion…

All of this is relayed in flashbacks as Louis is interviewed by Daniel Malloy (Bogosian), a cynical writer planning a book on Louis’ life.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Interview with the Vampire Season 1 is a tour de force.  Well written with extremely well cast actors joined by top notch direction results in a wonderful viewing experience.

Jacob Anderson (Louis) and Sam Reid (Lestat) have chemistry.  I knew Anderson from his impressive role on Game of Thrones.  I had seen Reid a decade ago in the mini-series Hatfields & McCoys, but didn’t remember him until looking up his credits.  Reid makes an impact here! Baily Bass as Claudia is an actress to watch.  I’d never seen her before, but imagine she’ll be a household name soon.  She’s that talented.  Eric Bogosian is great as the cynical writer.  I’ve never been a big fan of Bogosian’s but he’s perfect here.

Interview with a Vampire isn’t your typical vampire tale.  These vampires have more desires than just drinking blood. It’s interesting how different aspects of a vampire’s life are explored.  First there’s the loneliness. A vampire is a rare creature that if discovered by humans would be killed.  All of a vampire’s relationships change.  Family and friends know something is different.  Vampires never age.  They are rarely seen during the day.  How  to get rid of the bodies they feed on?  How long before missing people are linked to the vampire?

Interview with a Vampire Season 1, like Anne Rice’s novel, doesn’t shy away from the homosexual aspects of Louis and Lestat’s relationship.  Nothing graphic is shown.  Louis was a closeted homosexual in 1910.  Lestat was uninhibited and took whatever he desired whether it was a woman or a man.  Who’d think that a toxic vampire relationship would make great television.

I loved every episode of Interview with a Vampire Season 1.  There’s a lot of ground to cover between 1910 and 2022.  While many questions were an answered even more were not.  I look forward to Season 2.

Interview with the Vampire Season 1 earns 5 of 5 stars.

“Who Killed Santa? A Murderville Murder Mystery” (2022) starring Will Arnett, Jason Bateman & Maya Rudolph / Z-View

Who Killed Santa? A Murderville Murder Mystery (2022)

Director:  Laura Murphy

Screenplay: Krister Johnson

Stars: Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Pete Davidson, Maya Rudolph, Sean Hayes and Dennice Cisneros

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

Detective Terry Seattle (Arnett) and his new partner in training, Jason Bateman, have an easy shift. They’re providing security for a photo op at city hall with Santa, the mayor and some orphans.  It’s a cakewalk assignment until the lights go out and Santa is killed.  Seattle and Bateman have until sunrise to solve the crime.  Luckily there are two surprise guests coming to help…

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Murderville has a great set-up.  The guests on the show don’t ever see a script.  They don’t even get to see the sets until filming starts.  Then there is a murder. The guest stars try to solve who did it using real clues as they adlib their way through the episode.  At the end, each guest star is given three suspects.  The star then picks the suspect he/she believes is the killer as well as the clues that led to the decision.  It’s fun to play along as a viewer.

Jason Bateman, Maya Rudolph and Pete Davidson are the guest stars.  It’s hilarious that not one of the stars thinks a provided suspect is the killer.  At one point Pete Davidson does something unexpected and Arnett quickly adlibs to keep the bit working.  Oh and Sean Hayes as Santa cannot stop cracking up… even after he’s been murdered!

Who Killed Santa? A Murderville Murder Mystery earns 3 of 5 stars.

SYFY’s 2022/2023 Twilight Zone New Year’s Eve Marathon Schedule is Up!

SYFY’s 2022/2023 Twilight Zone New Year’s Eve Marathon schedule is up!  The Twilight Zone New Year’s Eve Marathon has been one of our family traditions for decades.  Sometimes we binge watch. Other times we just check in on favorite episodes.  Shadow & Substance (an excellent Rod Serling fan site) has this year’s full schedule.  Before you click over to check it out, let me suggest some favorite Twilight Zone episodes…

December 31, 2022
9:00am – Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
11:30am – The Shelter
2:30pm – Eye of the Beholder
6:30pm – To Serve Man
9:30pm – The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street

January 1, 2023
1:30am – Five Characters in Search of an Exit
7:00am – The Obsolete Man
+++++
This year SYFY is mixing in three episodes from the 2019 series.  I’ve never seen ANY of those episodes, so I plan to check these three out.  You may want to as well.

8:00pm – Meet in the Middle (2019 series)
9:00pm – The Wunderkind (2019 series)
9:57pm – The Who of You (2019 series)
+++++

January 2, 2023
12:30am – The Howling Man
4:30am – The Midnight Sun

6:30am – Third From the Sun
10:00am – Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?
5:30pm – Time Enough At Last

January 3, 2023
2:30am – The Invaders
3:00am – The Silence

The Twilight Zone and quite a few other folks will be live-Tweeting during the marathon.   If you watch, please join in!

RIP: Mike Hodges

Mike Hodges, the British writer, director and producer died on December 17, 2022.  Mr. Hodges was 90.

Mike Hodges began his career as a teleprompter operator for British television.  In his down time, Mr. Hodges began writing scripts. His writing was good enough to get him noticed. Mike Hodges directing career began with episodes of British television shows.  He continued writing screenplays.

Suspect (1969) and Rumour (1970) were two scripts that he wrote and directed for Thames Television.  The strength of his work on those two films led to him getting to adapt Ted Lewis’ novel Jack’s Return Home.  Mr. Hodges directed his adaptation which was retitled, Get Carter.  If he never made another film, Mike Hodges would be remembered for this crime classic.

Mike Hodges continued directing, but he also branched out to write stage plays, radio plays and novellas.

Some of Mr. Hodges’ feature films include: Get Carter; The Terminal Man; Damien: The Omen II; Flash Gordon; A Prayer for the Dying; Croupier and I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mike Hodges’ family, friends and fans.

RIP: Stephen “tWitch” Boss

Stephen “tWitch” Boss died yesterday the result of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.  He was 40.

Stephen Boss was a dancer, choreographer, actor, television producer, and dj.  Mr. Boss got the nickname “tWitch” when he was a child and couldn’t sit still.  After graduating high school, “tWitch” studied Dance Performance at Southern Union State Community College in Wadley, Alabama, and Chapman University.

2003 was the year that Stephen Boss began to be noticed.  He was a semifinalist on MTV’s The Wade Robson Project and runner-up on Star Search.  Mr. Boss began to choreograph dance routines for other artists.

“tWitch” was on So You Think You Can Dance in 2007, but was cut before reaching the Top 20.  He returned in 2008 and was the runner up.  A dance choreographed by Mia Michaels that “tWitch” performed with Katee Shean that season was nominated for an Primetime Emmy Award for Choreography.  “tWitch” and Katee Shean were brought back the following season to perform the Emmy nominated dance again.  So You Think You Can Dance invited “tWitch” back in seasons 7 – 9 as an All Star dancer.  In Season 12 he was named as the “Captain” of “Team Street”.  In Season 22, Mr. Boss was named as a permanent judge on So You Think You Can Dance.

Stephen Boss’ dancing ability and charismatic personality brought him to the attention of Hollywood.  His first role was in Blades of Glory.  Mr. Boss would go on to have a career as an actor in both television and feature films.

Some of Mr. Boss’ feature film appearances include: Blades of Glory; Hairspray (2007); Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming; Step Up 3D; Dead in 5 Heartbeats; Step Up All In; Magic Mike XXL and Ghostbusters (2016);

Some of Mr. Boss’ television appearances include: Bones; Touch; Drop Dead Diva (2 episodes); Famous in Love (2 episodes); Modern Family and The Ellen DeGeneres Show (101 episodes; in 2020, Ellen DeGeneres named Twitch a Co-Executive Producer).

I first became aware of Stephen “tWitch” Boss from his appearances on So You Think You Can Dance.  He was the total package: charismatic, talented, humble and always upbeat.  I enjoyed seeing his success as he repeatedly returned to So You Think You Can Dance.  It was even nicer to see “tWitch” getting roles in movies and television.  He was the type of celebrity that I felt would be easy to sit and talk with.  It’s heartbreaking to think that he’s gone.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Stephen “tWitch” Boss’ family, friends and fans.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the network, previously known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.

RIP: Stuart Margolin

Stuart Margolin died yesterday from natural causes.  He was 82. Although best known for his re-occurring role as Angel on The Rockford Files, Stuart Margolin was also a writer, director and singer/songwriter!

Mr. Margolin’s professional acting career began with a re-occurring role in 1961’s The Gertrude Berg Show.  After that role Stuart Margolin continued acting on television and in feature films for the rest of his career.  He earned  two Emmy Awards (1979 and 1980) for playing Angel Martin opposite James Garner on The Rockford Files.

Some of Stuart Margolin’s feature film appearances include: Women of the Prehistoric Planet; Kelly’s Heroes; The Stone Killer; Death Wish; Futureworld; Days of Heaven and SOB.

Some of Stuart Margolin’s television appearances include: The Gertrude Berg Show (3 episodes); Ensign O’Toole (4 episodes); Burkes’ Law; The Fugitive; Ben Casey; The Alfred Hitchcock Hour; Branded; Pistols ‘n’ Petticoats; Ironside; Occasional Wife (3 episodes); The Virginian; The Monkees; Bewitched; The F.B.I.; Judd for the Defense; That Girl (3 episodes), It Takes a Thief (3 episodes); Land of the Giants; My World and Welcome To It (2 episodes); Nichols (24 episodes); The Partridge Family (2 episodes); Love American Style (29 episodes); The Mary Tyler Moore Show; Cannon; Gunsmoke (3 episodes); MASH (2 episodes); Rhoda (2 episodes); The Rockford Files (37 episodes); Bret Maverick (8 episodes); The Fall Guy; Magnum PI; Hill Street Blues (2 episodes); Vendetta: Secrets of a Mafia Bride (3 episodes); Matlock (2 episodes); The Rockford Files: I Still Love L.A.; The Rockford Files: A Blessing in Disguise; The Rockford Files: If the Frame Fits…; The Rockford Files: Godfather Knows Best; The Rockford Files: Friends and Foul Play; The Rockford Files: Punishment and Crime; The Rockford Files: Shoot-Out at the Golden Pagoda; The Rockford Files: If It Bleeds… It Leads; Touched By An Angel (2 episodes); Beggars and Choosers (4 episodes); These Arms of Mine (3 episodes); Tom Stone (26 episodes); Intelligence (3 episodes); Saturday Night Live; 30 Rock; NCIS and The X-Files.

Stuart Margolin was also writer.  Some of his credits include: The Ballad of Andy Crocker; A Man, a Woman and a Bank; an episode of the mini-series Vendetta: Secrets of a Mafia Bride and What the Night Can Do.

Mr. Margolin was also an accomplished director.  Some of his credits include: Love American Style; The Mary Tyler Moore Show; Phyllis; Wonder Woman (2 episodes); The Rockford Files (2 episodes); The Love Boat (7 episodes); Bret Maverick (2 episodes); Hart to Hart; Magnum PI; The Glitter Dome (tv movie); Crazy Like a Fox (3 episodes); Vendetta: Secrets of a Mafia Bride (6 episode mini-series); Quantum Leap; North of 60 (4 episodes); Lonesome Dove: The Series; The Rockford Files: Friends and Foul Play; The Rockford Files: If It Bleeds… It Leads; Promised Land (8 episodes); Beggars and Choosers (5 episodes); These Arms of Mine (3 episodes); Touched by an Angel (11 episodes); Tom Stone (6 episodes) and Intelligence (3 episodes).

Stuart Margolin was also a singer/songwriter.  Mr. Margolin often co-wrote with singer/songwriter Jerry Riopelle.  Songs co-written by Stuart Margolin appeared on albums by Jerry Riopelle, Gary Lewis and the Playboys and R.B. Greaves.

I don’t know when I first saw Stuart Margolin’s acting.  It’s hard to pinpoint because he appeared on so many shows that I watched as a kid.  I knew his face before I knew his name.  Stuart Margolin and James Garner must have loved working together.  I sure enjoyed their interactions which began on the tv series Nichols.  It only lasted one season but paved the way for The Rockford Files.

I knew that Stuart Margolin was a prolific actor, but didn’t realize until today how many wonderful shows/movies he directed.  And who knew he was a singer/songwriter?  What a brilliant career!

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Stuart Margolin’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Pedro Miguel Arce

Pedro Miguel Arce died on December 9, 2022 after a short battle with cancer.  Pedro Arce played football and college.  After graduating college Mr. Arce was working as a bouncer when he was discovered by an agent.  Throughout his career Pedro Arce acted in both television and feature films.

Some of Pedro Arce’s feature film appearances include: Fall: The Price of Silence; Land of the Dead; Step Brothers and Polar.

Some of Pedro Arce’s television appearances include: Street Time (3 episodes); CSI: Miami; How I Met Your Mother; Las Vegas; The Transporter; The Strain (4 episodes); True Detective (2 episodes); Gangland Undercover (2 episodes); The Ballad of Hugo Sánchez (4 episodes); Warigami (2 episodes); Coroner (3 episodes) and Diggstown (3 episodes).

I first saw Pedro Miguel Arce in George Romero’s Land of the Dead.  My favorite role that he appeared in was as Felix on The Strain.  Pedro Arce always made an impression no matter the size of his role.  It’s sad that he was taken at such a young age.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Pedro Miguel Arce’s family, friends and fans.

“Killer Sally” (2022) / Z-View

Killer Sally (2022)

Director:  Nanette Burstein

Stars: Sally McNeil, John McNeil

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

Sally Dempsey was a talented high school athlete. After graduation she became a marine.  While in the service Sally took up competitive bodybuilding.  That’s when she met Ray McNeil,  Ray was already a bodybuilder on his way to the top.  Sally and Ray were married after dating just a couple of months.

At first they had a great marriage.  Ray made it to the Mr. Olympia competition. Sally was becoming a well-known bodybuilder.  Somewhere along the way, the marriage turned sour.  Then on Valentine’s Day, 1995, Sally called 911 to say she had just killed her husband.

Killer Sally provides background on the case over the course of three episodes.  Was Sally a victim of spousal abuse or a cold-blooded killer?

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Killer Sally is an interesting docuseries that could have been told in two episodes.  By stretching it out to three, some of the impact is lost.  The first episode provides background. Even after marriage Ray was a player and abusive.  He’s the bad guy.

In the second episode we learn that Sally was also abusive.  Even worse she had a criminal record for violence!  She had beat up her mailman,  attacked a female bodybuilder at a competition and got into a drunken confrontation with a bouncer (she wouldn’t stop dancing on a table) that led to police intervention.

Making Ray as the total villain in the first episode while holding back all the bad stuff on Sally until the second probably felt like a shocking reveal to the filmmakers.  It just felt a bit cheap to me.

There’s no question that Sally killed Ray.  She claims he was beating her up and she killed him in self-defense.  The facts show Ray was shot twice with a shotgun.  I won’t spoil the verdict, but will say I agreed with the outcome.

Killer Sally earns 3 of 5 stars.