Crazy Knitter Reviews

The place where this crazy knitter reviews books, TV, movies and recipes

Friday, August 31, 2007

Julie (1956)

This is not your typical Doris Day movie, Day plays Julie Benton, a woman terrorized by her husband, Lyle (Louis Jordan). Lyle is extremely jealous and possessive of Julie and her friends are concerned. her friend Cliff (Barry Sullivan) soon has her thinking that her first husband did not commit suicide but was actually murdered by Lyle. Once this suspicion is concerned Julie decides to go on the run. She heads home to San Francisco and resumes her former job as a stewardess. However, Lyle will not let her go that easily and decides she must die. Soon he finds her and boards one of her flights to finish her off. Now Julie must keep her head because the lives of a plane full of innocent people are in her hands.

This movie was just alright. It was very predictible and the ending was pretty cheesy. The acting by Day was almost over the top but was passable. However, Jordan was chilling as the psychotic Lyle Benton. If you have nothing better to do them this movie is a good time waster.


The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959)

A nice version of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle book. According to legend the Baskerville's are cursed because of the actions of one of their ancestors. It seems he roused a hound of hell and paid with his life. Now it seems that the curse is continuing to take victims. When Sir Henry Baskerville (Christopher Lee), the last of his family, inherits the title from his uncle who was murdered there is much concern. A family friend, Dr. Richard Mortimer (Francis De Wolff), decides to consult with Sherlock Holmes (Peter Cushing). Holmes agrees that there is a problem so he sends his sidekick, Dr John Watson (Andre Morell) to the Baskerville estate to see what is going on. Is the hound of hell after the last of the Baskervilles or is it a less supernatural stalker at work?

This was a very good movie. The entire cast was wonderful. I only wish that Cushing made a bigger appearance in the film. I have read that this version is slightly different from the novel so that maybe a problem with fans of the book. There have been several film versions made, but I think this one is worth checking out.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Honeymoon Killers (1970)

A strange movie based upon true events. Martha Beck (Shirley Stoler) is an overweight nurse. One day her friend, Bunny (Doris Roberts), convinces her to join a lonely hearts pen pal group. Soon Martha is corresponding with a man named Ray (Tony Lo Bianco). After a few moths of correspondence Tony comes down from NYC to meet Martha. What she does not know is that Ray is a con man who takes women for their money. After he returns he does not contact her again. Bunny and Martha decide to tell Tony that Martha committed suicide and will continue trying to kill herself unless he sees her. He agrees and once he sees her he comes clean about what he does. She agrees to help him by posing as his sister. Soon they are conning women out of their life saving but eventually it turns to murder and this is where things begin to come unravelled.

This movie was not the worst I have ever seen but it was not great. The acting, especially by Stoler, was way over the top. It was interesting to see Doris Roberts in her young days and she was pretty good in her small role. I also do not understand how anyone would ever believe that Martha and Ray were brother and sister. If you have time to kill then go ahead and watch this but if not then leave this one alone.


Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor by Stephanie Barron - #9

This book takes an interesting look at one of history's greatest authors. Jane Austen has arrived at Scargrave at the request of her friend, Isabel, the new Countess of Scargrave. The Earl and Countess have been married for three months and have just returned from their honeymoon. The Earl is throwing a ball in his bride's honor and she wants her dearest friend there to celebrate with her. However, tragedy befalls the Earl during the party. He becomes very ill and eventually passes away. Soon it is realized that the Earl's death was not an accident but murder. Now suspicion falls upon Isabel and the new Earl, who she has had an intimate relationship with, and Jane must work to save her friend and the Earl from the gallows.

This is the first book of the series and it is pretty good. It is written in journal form which I really like. Barron gives a lot of footnotes so the reader can learn about the lingo and traditions of the era. It was slighly slow for my taste but I still read it fairly quickly. There are nine books in the series so far and I think I will read the second one as soon as some other books are off my list. If you like Austen and mysteries then you may enjoy this book.


Monday, August 20, 2007

The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)

This was an interesting and somewhat distrubing film. Dorian Gray (Hurd Hatfield) is a young man who is having his picutre painted by Basil Hallward (Lowell Gilmore). One day while the painting is taking place Basil confides to his friend Lord Henry Wotton (George Sanders) that he feels that the painting has an almost supernatural quality. While posing Dorian remarks in front of an ancien Eqyptian statue that he wishes he could stay young forever while the portrait grows old. Amazingly enough the impossible happens and DOrian does not age at all. It is ten years in the future and he looks exactly the same. However, the portrait soon turns ugly. He meets a young woman named Sibyl Vane(Angela Lansbury) who sings in a local club. They soon fall in love and are engaged. However, Lord Henry gives Dorian the idea to test Sibyl's innocence and she fails. He breaks up with her very cruely and the portrait begins to show signs of distress. As the years wear on the portrait continues to deteriorate with all of DOrian's sins while he stays the same. Now he needs to figure out what he is going to do about his immortality before he loses his soul.

I really enjoyed this movie. I love how they filmed the entire thing in black and white except for when they showed Dorian's portrait. Sanders was a bit of comedic relief in this serious film. Lansbury was wonderfuly innocent and so young and Hatfield wlaked the line of sanity and madness very well. There have been several versions of this film made but I think this one is worth checking out.


The Two Coreys

I was so excited when I heard about this show. As a child of the 80's I loved all the Corey movies. I was always a Haim girl myself - he was a tween girl's dream! Now they are all grown up (how we all got to be in our 30's I will never know) and have had some interesting lives. The premise of the show is that Haim moves in with Feldman and his wife so he can get his life back on track. He is hoping that the show will help prove that he is clean, sober and ready to work. Of course having another person move in with you is never wasy but it is especially difficult in this case. The Feldman's are vegan neat freaks and Haim is a meat eating slob. He is also very lonely and resents the fact that Corey and Susie are so happy. Now can the two best friends, plus the wife, live together happily or will it end in disaster?

Now this is not a great show by any means but it is entertaining. It brings back childhood memories so I enjoy watching it. If you are not in my age range or were not a Corey fan than you probably will hate this show. They say it is reality but it seems that a lot of it is scripted. For me this is just a bit of brain candy and I am not ashamed to admit it!


Friday, August 17, 2007


All I can say about this show is wow! This is one of the best shows I have seen in years. It begins with a young woman stumbling down the streets of Manhattan covered in bloods. When she is picked up by the police we learn that she is Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne), a young lawyer at Hewes and Associates. In flashbacks we learn how she came to work for one of New York's toughest litigators, Patty Hewes (Glenn Close). Hewes is working on litigation against businessman Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson). He encouraged his employees to buy stock in the company and sold his before it went belly up. The employees lost their entire life savings and he became a multi-millionaire (think Kenneth Lay). Now Hewes is suing him on behalf of those employees. While Ellen is lead to believe that she was hired simply for his mind we soon learn that Patty had ulterior motives. It seems that Ellen's future sister-in-law, Katie Connor (Anastasia Griffin), catered the party where Frobisher spoke with his stock broker about the situation. Patty needs her to verify that this meeting occured and make Frobisher pay and she will stop at nothing, even murder, to win this case.

I LOVE this show. The first episode was commercial free and it did not seem to last over an hour. Close is wonderful as the single-minded Patty Hewes. Byrne is wonderful as the naive Ellen. She plays the character with just the right amount of sweetness and innocence. I can not reccomend this show enough - it keeps me on the edge of my seat!


Saving Grace

This is another show I was unsure about but I am glad that I gave it a chance. Grace Hanadarko (Holly Hunter) is a rough and tough Oklahoma City police detective. She lives a life of work, drinking and men. Needless to say she is not the most virtuous woman in the world. Currently she is sleeping with her partner, Ham Tipton (Kenny Johnson), who is married. One night as she is leaving a bar, drunk obviously, she hits a man with her car. She begs God to help her and Earl (Leon Rippy) arrives. He is an angel but is not what you picture when you hear that word. He tells her that he can help her but that she needs to believe and have faith. When she wakes up the guy is gone and all traces of the accident have been erased. As she researches what happened, with the help of CSI officer and her best friend Rhetta Rodriguea (Laura San Giacomo) she learns that the man she hit is sitting on death row. When she visits him he tells her that Earl is also his angel and that he is a last chance angel. It seems that this is their last chance to redem theselves before they souls are lost ofrever.

I really enjoy this show. Robyn has refered to this as Touched By a Cranky Angel and it really is. I love that it is not as gritty as most police shows but is not to sappy at the same time. I love how Hunter and Rippy interact with each other. I can not compare this to any other show but if you like an interesting drama with a good premise then you will enjoy this one.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Rock of Love

Another great trashy reality show from our friends at VH1. This time instead of Flava Flav looking for love we have Bret Michaels, former lead singer of Poison. The episode starts out with 25 woman who are hoping to win Bret's heart. Outside the house they are greeted by Bret's security guard, Big John, where in picks out five girls who are not given VIP access and are told to go home. Of course this does not go over well but on woman, Tiffany, is especially peeved. She hangs around and eventually weasles her way into the mansion. Once inside she sees the crazy scene that is going on. Woman are drunk, dancing on the bar and acting crazy. Of course their are the usual dramas that occur in these situations. As the season progresses the woman compete in challanges to win dates with Bret and the chance to be his Rock of Love.

I love these train wreck shows. The cattiness and drama is just so much fun to watch. Some of these women are rough and tough and I would not want to meet them alone in a dark alley. I used to LOVE Bret back in my hair band loving middle school years but he has not aged well. There is something about at 40-seomthing year old man wearing eyeliner that is just not sexy. If you are looking for some mindless brain candy that is pretty entertaining then you will enjoy this show.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

State of Mind

I only recorded this show because it stars one of the most underrated actresses (in my opinion), Lili Taylor. However, I was surprised to enjoy it as much as I did. Ann Bellows (Taylor) is a therapist in New Haven, Connecticut. She shares an office with her husband, Phil (Chris Diamantopoulos), two other therapists, Cordelia Banks (Theresa Randle)and James Lecroix (Derek Riddell), and a doctor, Taj Kalid (Mido Hamada). They share a very quirky office manager, Fred (Kevin Chamberlin). In the pilot episode Ann finds out that her husband is having an affair with their couple's therapist. She starts to realize the irony that a therapist's life is in shambles. However, while meeting with her patients she can not keep from daydreaming about the mess her life has become. She kicks Phil out of the house and office and finds a young lawyer, Barry White (Devon Gummersall). The show is the story of Ann trying to get her life back together as well as the craziness that ensues in the office.

I really enjoyed this program. The cast is wonderful, especially Taylor. It is nice to see her in a role that can be very funny at times. I also enjoyed seeing Gummersall all grown up from the days of playing Brian on My So Called Life. All in all this dramedy is worth checking out.


The Woman in Black by Susan Hill - #8

A creepy little book. Arthur Kipps is a young London lawyer eager to make a name for himself. One day his boss sends him to a town in the English countryside to deal with a case. It seems that a client of the firm, Mrs. Drablow, has died and Arthur needs to take care of the estate. He is to attend the funeral and then go through all the paperwork at Mrs. Drablow's home, Eel Marsh House. While at the funeral he sees an emaciated young woman in black and begins to feel sorry for her. He is sure that she must be a friend or relative of Mrs. Drablow and asks one of his fellow mourners about her. The look on his face is enough to make Arthur's blood run cold. Everyone in town seems to be scared of Eel Marsh House but no one will tell him why. However, as he begins to spend time there he realizes that he is not alone. There are ghostly screams of a child, a rocking chair moving on its own and of course the woman in black. Now Arthur needs to complete the work at Ell Marsh House before he is scared out of his mind.

This was a very creepy book - especially reading it up north in the middle of the woods. The book is ilustrated which is interesting to see in a horror novel. A lot of reviews I have read compare this to The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson and I would agree that it is in the same vein. I was wondering about many things of the book and those questions were not answered until the very end. I love it when a book keeps me guessing. If you like a good story this is a wonderful book for you to read.