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Book Review: The Case of the Crimson Kiss by Erle Stanley Gardner (1948)

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Synopsis: Secretly jealous of her soon-to-be-married roommate, Fay, Anita Bonsal is forced to settle for a business-like relationship with the married Carver Clements. When she finds Carter dead on the floor of his apartment with a crimson lipstick mark on his forehead, Anita decides to frame Fay for murder. She is successful, but didn't realize Fay's aunt is friends with Perry Mason 's secretary, Della Street. Review: When I checked out The Case of the Cautious Coqueutte a couple weeks ago, I didn't realize this book was a throw-in under the same cover. After discovering it, I was quick to find time to read it. After doing so, I can understand why it wasn't even listed on the cover of the book. On the surface, I think this has the potential to be a good murder mystery. The problem, however, is Erle Stanley Gardner just reveals too much information right off the bat. The best Perry Mason mysteries, in my opinion at least, are the ones where you don't know if

Movie Review: Scoob! (2020)

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Synopsis: With hundreds of cases solved, Mystery, Inc thinks it's time to solve mysteries professionally. However, the only way they can get financial backing is if the "weakest links," Shaggy and Scooby, are no longer part of the team. Disappointed, the two friends go bowling and, when they are attacked by an army of robots, end up helping the Blue Falcon stop villain Dick Dastardly. Who's in it? The animated movie uses voices from Will Forte , Amanda Seyfried , Mark Wahlberg , Zac Efron and Jason Isaacs . Review: I must confess, I had a lot of doubts about another Scooby Doo reboot. But, since I thought it would be something my kids would enjoy, I wound up adding it to my Netflix DVD queue. We watched it for our family movie night last night, and the film greatly exceeded my expectations. There were a couple things, in particular, I found I liked about this movie. One of the main ones was the fairly decent origin story it offered both for Shaggy (Forte) and Scooby

Movie Review: You Should Have Left (2020)

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Synopsis: Theo, a jealous retired banker, and his much-younger actress wife take their daughter to a vacation house in a remote area of Wales. They are plagued by bad nightmares that add additional strain to their already shaky relationship and Theo begins to suspect something is wrong with the house when he discovers it is larger on the inside than it is on the outside. Who's in it? The movie stars Kevin Bacon , Amanda Seyfried , Avery Essex , Geoff Bell and Lowri-Ann Richards. Review: I don't remember adding this movie to our Netflix queue, but suspect I did it because my wife is a Kevin Bacon fan. Based on the description of the movie, I figured I wouldn't like it. However, it turned out to be better than expected. As far as horror movies go, I did think this one lacked scares, partly because some of the "scarier" moments were a bit predictable. I did, however, like the film as a mystery movie. I think the thing that helps this movie most is Theo (Bacon) hi

Book Review: The Case of the Cautious Coquette by Erle Stanley Gardner (1949)

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Synopsis: While investigating a hit-and-run case for a client, Perry Mason receives an anonymous tip indicating the evidence he was searching for was located in the apartment of Lucille Barton. When the tipster provides him with a key and suggests he enters while Lucille is away, Mason suspects a trap and proceeds with caution. However, that doesn't stop him from getting involved in yet another murder case and, this time, his fingerprint is on the murder weapon. Review: It usually takes me less than a week to get through a Perry Mason mystery. This particular one, however, took quite a bit longer than that. I did finally finish it last night and, while I didn't hate it, I also wouldn't list it as one of my favorites. I think my biggest problem with this mystery was the decision to make Mason one of the primary suspects in the murder case. This resulted in quite a bit of filler, mostly geared toward Mason trying to cast doubt on a witnesses' identification, and caused

I Was Disappointed With the Supernatural Series Finale Last Night

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I gave myself a little bit of time to reflect on it. After all, any finale of a favorite series is going to bring mixed emotions. Now that I've done that, my opinion is still the same, the finale was a big let down. I'm not saying there weren't likable moments. Dean ( Jensen Ackles ) discovering that pie festival, for example, was pretty funny. And, I'm willing to admit, Dean's surprise goodbye did have a bit of an ironic/artistic quality to it. The problem is, I just feel like this episode wasn't needed. Last week's penultimate ended as perfectly as you could end a series, Sam and Dean saved the world and rode off into the sunset in full control of their destiny. Why ruin that by showing us their destiny? I would have much rather have had the series leave that up in the air so we could go on debating what happened to them and maybe, some day, see a made-for-TV reunion movie that answered some of the unanswered questions. My other big issue with this episode

Movie Review: The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

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Synopsis : A teenager battling cancer in her lungs meets a cancer survivor at a support group and bonds with him over a book by her favorite author. Who's in it? The movie stars Shailene Woodley , Ansel Elgort , Nat Wolff , Laura Dern and Willem Dafoe. Review: This is the type of movie my wife usually enjoys more than I do. However, I have been making an effort to expand my movie genres a bit and was the one who added it to our Netflix DVD list. We finally got around to watching it this past weekend and, overall, I didn't hate it. I think the thing that really stood out about this movie, in my opinion, is it is super depressing. Part of this might be because I lost my dad to cancer last year, but a bigger part was Hazel Grace (Woodley) and Augustus (Elgort) just seemed to be the unluckiest teenagers alive. I suspect that was supposed to be the point, they found a moment of happiness with each other despite everything else. However, by the end of this film, I was beginning to

Movie Review: Tremors: Shrieker Island (2020)

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Synopsis: When a wealthy bio tech executive bioengineers four Graboids for one of his exotic big game hunts, things quickly go south and a happily-isolated Burt Gummer is once again forced to come out of retirement to stop them before they become Shriekers and wipe out a nearby wildlife sanctuary and the natives living near it. Who's in it? The movie stars Michael Gross , John Heder , Jackie Cruz , Richard Brake and Caroline Langrishe. Review: When I saw Netflix had yet another Tremors installment, I had a mixed opinion. Part of me was happy to see another chapter in what is easily one of my favorite movie franchises. Yet, at the same time, I did wonder if maybe it was rolling the dice one too many times. My wife and I finally watched this movie this past weekend. While I wouldn't say it was one of the best from the franchise, I also didn't hate it. I think the thing that works best for this movie is it keeps things simple. While there are other supporting characters,