Columbus Circle (2012)

Abigail Clayton (Selma Blair) is a very, very lonely person. She is also very, very rich. This movie is full of twists and turns as we enter the daily life she leads. Abigail suffers from agoraphobia in which she is fearful of wide open spaces and situations where she may come in contact with others in malls, train stations, airports, etc. and she is being treated by the good doctor, Dr. Ray Fontaine played by Beau Bridges.

As the story unfolds I found myself on the edge of my seat in places and wasn’t ready for some of the twists this movie had to offer. It starts with Abigail’s neighbor being murdered and the suspense begins when a detective has some concerns over the circumstances of the murder. Then new neighbors move in even though Abigail has offered a lot of money for the apartment.

Abigail finds out the new couple have marital problems and befriends the new wife by comforting her after she is beaten by her husband. And this is where is really gets interesting. I can’t tell you what happens next, as this would really spoil the ending for you. You’ll have to rent it to see the ending…

 

Intelligence Seasons 1 & 2

Foreign TV series – Canada (2005-2007).

Jimmy Reardon, a Canadian gangster hanging out in the city of Vancouver, BC is the main character in this Canadian TV crime drama. Unlike most crime dramas where you can’t wait for the “bad” guy to get caught in the end, this one you can’t help but rooting for the bad guys and you immediately like Jimmy. He’s a likable guy played to a “T” by Ian Tracey.

Jimmy has a strange connection to Mary Spalding, head of the Organized Crime Unit stationed in Vancouver in a nemesis-colleague type relationship. You’ll find you are wishing them both well.

Jimmy has a lot of people on his side and the characters are well played by the cast. Chris Haddock, the TV series creator did an excellent job casting the crew for this series.

Throughout the series, it was tough to tell if certain characters were good guys or bad guys on both sides of the law. The bad guys had some good qualities, they also had some bad qualities. The good guys had some good qualities, they also had some bad qualities.

Storytelling was top notch beginning with the first episode till the last one. It kept me spellbound at the end of each episode wanting the next episode to start right away. I’ll have to warn you, watching this is like reading a good book – it’s tough to put down.

Have butter on the popcorn, but make sure you get the refillable box of popcorn as you’re going to need it for all these episodes. You may want to get a few boxes of Goobers, Dots, Jujubes, Sno-Caps, Juicy Fruits, Junior Mints, Milk Duds, Raisinets, and Good & Plenty – yeah, the whole candy case. Oh, did I forget the licorice?

Haywire

In this 2011 thriller, a member of a black ops mission is set up and she’s on a quest to seek revenge on those responsible for setting her up. She has to use all her skills to stay alive. It took me awhile to figure out who the good guys were and who the bad guys were.

After a covert operation in Barcelona, Mallory Kane is sent on another mission to Ireland where she is earmarked for elimination. Realizing she has been double crossed, she embarks on a mission to uncover the culprits. There’s a lot of intrigue in this movie with good performances by Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Ewan McGregor, and Bill Paxton among others.

 

The Statement (2003)

Based on the events of a true story in 1944 where Pierre Brossard (Michael Caine), a Milice officer rounds up seven Jews and has a hand in executing them for their religious beliefs.

Now in the early 1990s, Broussard is on the run from the authorities and a group of underground assassins out to right the wrong done in the past.

Anne Marie Livi (Tilda Swinton), a French prosecutor known for her tenacity for solving crimes is teamed up with Colonel Rioux (Jeremy Northam) in their attempt to break through the church monks and Vichy sympathizers who have been protecting him all these years, before the ruthless underground hired guns get to him.

But who really wants Pierre Brossard dead? Ahh, you’ll have to watch this one to find out?

I’m a huge Michael Caine fan but prefer to see him in the “good guy” role but that’s just me, he’s still a great actor! By all means, have popcorn with butter on it for this movie.

Rosemary & Thyme, Season One

British TV Series – 2003.

A plant pathologist Rosemary Boxer teams up with a former constable Laura Thyme as two gardeners with a penchant for being around when dead bodies are found.

The season opens with Laura being dumped by her husband for a younger women and meeting Rosemary in a bed & breakfast where the two are staying. The two ladies hit it off and they uncover the culprits in each episode where dead bodies are uncovered.

Each episode has a new dead body and a new set of clues as to the culprit. Rosemary & Thyme have some far-fetched theories of the ultimate whodunnit but they do seem to stumble upon them in British fashion.

Hollywoodland (2006)

Diane Lane does a great job portraying Toni Mannix who helps the career of George Reeves (Ben Affleck). Seemingly unhappy in his role as Superman and the image he has to keep up, George looks for other roles while having an affair with Toni. Sounds like the tabloids of Hollywood.

A detective that is down on his luck, gets an inside scoop from the police that certain details of the apparent suicide don’t seem to add up and it’s nothing the law wants to uncover. Luis Simo (Adrien Brody) tries to find clues that the Adventures of Superman star’s death was other than suicide. One of his biggest theories is that Reeve’s new girlfriend, Leonore Lemmon (Robin Tunney) accidentally shot him. Or was it someone else that had him murdered?

Murdoch Mysteries – Season One

Foreign TV Series – Canadian.

In Sherlock Holmes-ian style, amidst Murder, She Wrote and Ellery Queen whodunnit deductions make this Canadian TV series a fun one to watch.

Set in the 1890s where the horse and buggy is the preferred choice of transportation, Detective William Murdoch opts to ride his two-wheeler from the station to the murder scene. He utilizes radical forensic techniques to solve crimes much to the disbelief of his commanding officer, Inspector Brackenreid who doubts many of the contraptions Detective Murdoch employs.

I like the way Murdoch places himself in the murder scene via reviewing them in his head where he appears as an apparition whilst the murder is taking place. Of course once Detective Murdoch finds evidence, he relies on the beautiful Dr. Julia Ogden, the coroner, for proof positive he has the correct suspect. You can tell there are sparks between them but in season one nothing has developed. We shall see in subsequent seasons where this goes.

The glue that keeps this series tied together is the amiable Constable George Crabtree who assists Detective Murdoch in solving the crimes. You can’t help but like the character and he’s more than the proverbial Dr. Watson is to Sherlock Holmes. Detective Murdoch and Constable Crabtree complement each other while maintaining their own identities. If you like whodunnits, then this is a perfect match. I will be looking forward to watching seasons 2-4 when they eventually come to streaming.

Absolutely put butter on the popcorn and gather as many candy bars as you can muster as season one has a lot of episodes to watch. Each episode is around 45 minutes and you can easily take in 2 or 3 at a time. I really liked this series.

DNA

Another British TV series that holds your interest from the first episode to the last which is set in Manchester, England. In season one, Joe Donovan (Tom Conti) battles wits with a serial killer and realizes the killer might be after his wife.  He finally outwits the killer but later finds out his wife has been cheating on him.

His wife eventually leaves him and he’s much better off without out her as she is quite self-centered. Oh, and she really gets upset when she finds out he had an affair after she left him. And did I mention Joe tends to blackout with no memory of the time span?

Okay, let’s get back to the TV series season two. More redrum – excuse me for the flashback – more murder mayhem continues with a new team of forensic scientists. Women begin showing up dead and the local down and outer seems to be the likely suspect. Me thinks we find out differently.

The last episode takes place on a military base and everything is kept hush-hush in the interests of national security. Without giving too much away remember the blindfold. Have butter on the popcorn with whatever chocolate morsels suit your fancy, I think I’m going with the Goobers and the Sno-Caps.

In The Electric Mist

Set in post era Katrina the local sheriff , Dave Robicheaux, investigates a series of prostitute killings. Confederate apparitions keep appearing to Dave, a.k.a. Tommy Lee Jones, as he attempts to unravel another corpse’s demise found in the Atchafalaya Swamp in a killing some 35 years earlier.

Watch this if you will when you have nothing better to do as Tommy Lee Jones and John Goodman make this a better film than the story line but with names like Baby Feet (John Goodman), Bootsie (Mary Steenburgen), Twinky (Ned Beatty), Hogman (Buddy Guy), and General John Bell Hood (Levon Helm) I couldn’t resist watching this.

Although it’s as predictable as anything I’ve seen it was still enjoyable to view on a quiet Sunday afternoon. Have the popcorn without the butter (you’ll need dry hands while in the swamp) and stay away from the candies as this is a staple for hungry alligators.

Collision

Collision, a 2009 British TV series, recounts the events of a fateful afternoon on the A12. The multiple car crash reunites a detective and his partner and the two police sleuths begin to piece together unlikely events. The crash scene did not provide many details at first glance but the two detectives begin to build on the facts based on eyewitness accounts from each of the drivers involved. Their investigation unveils some dark secrets, corporate crime, smuggling, and lest we not forget – murder. The surprising ending reveals how a multiple car crash, or any event for that matter, was caused by an unexpected, simple defining moment in time. The director artfully combined the present day investigations with flash backs of the crash in progress.