Throwback Thursday: Appleby, Embry star in heavy-metal horror thriller ‘The Devil’s Candy’ (2015) (Movie review)

In our Throwback Thursday series, we’re looking back at movies, TV shows, books or comics that are more than a year old and don’t fit with our regular “flashback” features. Maybe we missed it when it was new, or we want to revisit an old favorite. Basically, we’re reviewing old stuff because we feel like it.

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‘The ABC Murders’ reinvents Hercule Poirot with mixed results (TV review)

“The ABC Murders,” a three-part miniseries that aired last year on BBC and is now on Amazon Prime, is a case study in the creativity and/or annoyances that come from reinventing source material in an adaptation. I’m not much of an Agatha Christie historian, but writer Sarah Phelps’ previous adaptation of the mystery author’s work, 2015’s “And Then There Were None,” rates an 8.0 on IMDB compared to a 6.6 for this one. My mom is a big fan of David Suchet’s work in “Agatha Christie’s Poirot” (1989-2013, ITV), and she found the reinventions here to be strange, making John Malkovich’s turn essentially PINO – Poirot in Name Only.

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‘Buffy’ flashback: Season 9, Issues 1-10 (2011-12) (Comic book reviews)

After Season 8, Dark Horse’s canonical “Buffy” comics do what the TV series did more than a decade prior: split into two series. While “Angel & Faith” go off to do their own thing, “Buffy” Season 9 sets up shop in San Francisco and welcomes excellent new lead scribe Andrew Chambliss, who had written for “Dollhouse.” Here are my reviews of Issues 1-10 of the 25-issue Season 9.

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Mamet Monday: ‘House of Games’ (1987) is a meticulously crafted dive into the world of con men (Movie review)

In our Mamet Monday series, we’re looking at the catalog of filmmaker David Mamet.

“House of Games” was Roger Ebert’s No. 1 movie of 1987 and is one of my pal Michael Olinger’s top three movies of all time, and I can see why. Written and directed by David Mamet with Jonathan Katz assisting on the story, this movie about confidence men is as meticulously crafted as one of their long cons. As I thought afterward about how specific plot points held up, I found they did, without exception. “House of Games” was clearly not rushed into production.

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‘Angel’ flashback: ‘Sanctuary’ (2003) (Book review)

Jeff Mariotte recaptures some of the hardboiled style from “Hollywood Noir” in “Sanctuary” (April 2003), which has a straightforward mystery that all takes place in one night. It’s also an excellent character piece for Fred – marking one of her rare early ventures outside the Hyperion Hotel – even though she spends most of the book chained to a radiator as the kidnap victim that Angel and company must retrieve.

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Marvel Cinematic Universe flashback: All 10 episodes of ‘Iron Fist’ Season 2 (2018), ranked (TV review)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is known for valuing fan feedback, and “Iron Fist” Season 2 (September 2018, Netflix) might be the prime example. After a first season that was rushed through production, moved at a snail’s pace, and had fight scenes that were cobbled together in the editing room, Season 2 is a notable improvement. It’s still slow-paced, but the fights are much better, the locations are magnificent, the score boasts a tasty Far East flavor, and several actors give standout performances. Plus, it’s a tidy 10 episodes, rather than the Netflix norm of 13.

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Throwback Thursday: Murder-comedy ‘Clue’ (1985) featured alternate endings before they were cool (Movie review)

In our Throwback Thursday series, we’re looking back at movies, TV shows, books or comics that are more than a year old and don’t fit with our regular “flashback” features. Maybe we missed it when it was new, or we want to revisit an old favorite. Basically, we’re reviewing old stuff because we feel like it.

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First episode impressions: ‘I Am the Night’ (TV review)

TNT found a nice way to ride the success of a series without forcing it beyond the natural end of its storyline. “The Alienist” – my No. 4 show of 2018 — became a critical and popular success a year ago, but it told a complete serial-murder mystery. That series is over, but TNT is continuing its Suspense Collection with “I Am the Night” (9 p.m. Eastern Mondays).

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‘Angel’ flashback: ‘Last Angel in Hell’ (2009), ‘Lorne’ (2010) and ‘Yearbook’ (2011) (Comic book reviews)

IDW produced three “Angel” one-shots in the final three years of its run. All of these double-length issues are finales of sorts, and there’s a touch of comedy or lightness to them – “Last Angel in Hell” puts a bow on the “After the Fall” era, “Lorne: Music of the Spheres” is the final Lorne story and “Yearbook” is the last publication in IDW’s Angelverse.

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