Posts

Book Review: The Case of the Amorous Aunt by Erle Stanley Gardner (1963)

Image
Synopsis: When Linda Calhoun is concerned about her aunt, Lorraine Elmore, being romantically involved with Montrose Dewitt, Perry Mason recommends she talk to Paul Drake. However, he eventually decides to get involved and try to stop the aunt's impending wedding too. However, when Dewitt is murdered, Lorraine becomes the primary suspect and Mason, with the help of a young defense attorney, decides to defend her. Review: I haven't been overly impressed with many of the Perry Mason novels I've read and hoped this one would be one of the exceptions to that. Unfortunately, that didn't turn out to be the case. This book has the same problem as many other Perry Mason books I've read recently. Yes, there is evidence that connects the aunt to the murder but there is no reason why she should have been considered the only suspect. Both her niece's boyfriend (who Mason didn't like) and the aunt's business manager were at the hotel at the same time the body was f

Movie Review: I am Wrath (2016)

Image
Synopsis: Twenty years after he retired as a black ops agent, Staley witnesses his wife's murder. When the police refuse to arrest one of the killers, calling him an unreliable witness, he and his former partner, Dennis, seek to get justice themselves and discover a conspiracy that goes all the way up to the governor. Who's in it? The movie stars John Travolta , Christopher Meloni , Amanda Schull , Sam Trammell and Asante Jones . Review: I came across this film a few weeks ago and added it to my streaming library. I wanted a movie to watch yesterday evening and, since it looked interesting, my wife and I gave it a try. Overall, it was a good choice. I think the thing I liked best about this movie is how it managed to keep things simple. Too many action movies make their plots overly complicated and are forced to spend too much time on exposition instead of actual action. This movie, in comparison, had just enough downtime between the action to fill the viewer in on the basi

Movie Review: The Corpse Vanishes (1942)

Image
Synopsis: Police are baffled when several brides drop dead at the alter and their bodies are later stolen. Society columnist Patricia Hunter notices all the brides were wearing the same orchid with a peculiar odor and, with her editor's reluctant approval, researches the clue. Her investigation brings her to a mad scientist, who is using the (not dead) brides' glandular fluids to maintain his wife's beauty. Who's in it? The movie stars Bela Lugosi , Luana Walters , Tristram Coffin , Elizabeth Russell and Minerva Urecal . Review: I've known about this movie for some time now but never had an opportunity to watch it until this morning. At first, I wasn't sure what to think about it but it ended up being a good film. The movie probably could have used a little more of a mystery, especially when it came to how the brides were "killed" while exchanging vows at the altar. However, even without they mystery, it was an entertaining movie. This is especially

Book Review: Officer Clemmons by Dr. Francois S. Clemmons (2020)

Image
Synopsis: Francois Clemmons played the role of Officer Clemmons on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood for 25 years and became a household name as a result. This autobiography tells the actor's life story, including the abuse he received as a child, his struggles due to racism and having to choose between his homosexuality and his career. Review: Since I, like many people, grew up watching Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood , I have been interested in reading this book ever since it first came out. I was finally able to get a copy of it through our library system and read it over the weekend. It did not disappoint. The thing that surprised me about this book was, even though the author's relationship with Fred Rogers was a big part of it, it ended up being only part of the story. Clemmons also chose to spend a great deal of time talking about his estranged relationship with his family (over his sexuality) and the people who filled in where they didn't, whether it was a family fr

Movie Review: Spider in the Attic (2021)

Image
Synopsis: With her true crime radio program losing ratings due to a new time slot, Linda Buxton seeks to save her job by re-inventing the program. She starts by visiting a remote home owned by a scientist reportedly conducting unethical genetic experiments started by the Nazis. When she and her daughters arrive at the house, they discover the scientist has been killed by deadly alien spiders. Who's in it? The movie stars Nicola Wright , Sarah Alexandra Marks , Danielle Scott , Chelsea Greenwood and Kate Sandison .  Review: My wife borrowed this movie from her brother several days ago and I was hesitant to watch it because it sounded a bit too much like every other killer spider movie we've seen. We finally got around to watching it yesterday evening and it turns out I was wrong, it was considerably worse than every other killer spider movie we've seen. This movie was so terrible, I'm not even sure where to begin. As I mentioned to my wife, it reminded me of a Doctor

Movie Review: Torn Hearts (2022)

Image
Synopsis : A pair of up-and-coming country singers, Jordan and Leigh, hope to take their career to the next level by convincing their idol, Harper Dutch, one half of a popular sister dual from the 1990s, to perform a song with them. Harper seems interested but her erratic behavior concerns Jordan, especially when she finds evidence pointing toward Harper being a murderer. Who's in it? The movie stars Katey Sagal , Abby Quinn , Alexxis Lemire , Joshua Leonard and Shiloh Fernandez. Review: I added this movie to our streaming library a few days ago and, mostly because my wife and I love Katey Sagal, decided to watch it last night. I wasn't really sure if it would be worth our time but it ended up being a halfway decent thriller. I think the thing I liked most about this film was the way Sagal played Harper Dutch. While it was somewhat obvious she was emotionally disturbed, her outbursts were sporadic enough to make her somewhat scary, but not to the point where I couldn't u

Book Review: The Case of the Stepdaughter's Secret by Erle Stanley Gardner (1963)

Image
Synopsis: Harlow Bancroft comes to Perry Mason with a problem. He has received a blackmail letter and, believing someone has found out about his criminal past, is worried the blackmailer will ruin his stepdaughter, Rosena's, upcoming wedding. Mason agrees to help him out, even after learning the blackmailer actually has information about Rosena's fiancé's family. When things escalate and Bancroft's wife, Phyllis, is forced to shoot at one of the blackmailers in self-defense, Mason finds himself defending Phyllis against murder charges. Review: While I am determined to get through the remaining Perry Mason novels, I am finding many of the later mysteries just aren't as good as the others. Unfortunately, this book fell into that category. There are a couple things I found were disappointing about this book. One of the main ones is the title is very misleading. First, the stepdaughter isn't even the person hiding a secret, her future husband's family is and