Topaz (1969) – Alfred Hitchcock

Hitchcock takes on Leon Uris’ novel Topaz in this film adaptation of the same name. It’s not quite on the level of a Tom Clancy techno-thriller, but the subject material, centring around the Cuban Missile Crisis and a Russian spy ring within the French intelligence community is pretty engaging stuff. Unfortunately, for me, it ended…

Torn Curtain (1966) – Alfred Hitchcock

Paul Newman and Julie Andrews star in this thriller from director Alfred Hitchcock. And while the Master of Suspense is still a fantastic director, this one isn’t quite as thrill-packed as the poster would suggest. Which is not to say it isn’t enjoyable, the leads are wonderful, and it’s a very enjoyable story, it’s just…

Doctor Who (Matt Smith) – Cold War, and Hide

The Doctor (Smith) and Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) get a Cold War adventure in this tale written by Mark Gatiss. The episode aired on 13 April, 2013. The Time Lord and his Companion find themselves on a Soviet submarine commanded by Captain Zukhov (Liam Cunningham), his lieutenant, Stepashin (Tobias Menzies) and an Ultravox loving scientist, Grisenko…

The Shape of Water (2017) – Guillermo del Toro

del Toro’s latest film, The Shape of Water is very much a fairy tale for adults, as well as sharing a kinship with the horror films of the 1950s, specifically, 1954’s The Creature From the Black Lagoon (as well as to Abe Sapien as seen in del Toro’s own Hellboy series). But in this film,…

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1965) – Martin Ritt

Richard Burton turns in a solid, and believable performance in this adaptation of John le Carre’s classic thriller novel. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold is the next recommendation from the Great Movies – 100 Years of Film book following my screening of Dr. Strangelove. Burton is Alec Leamas, a spy in charge…

Quantum Leap (1991) – Heart of a Champion, and Nuclear Family

Sam is one part of a wrestling team, when he leaps into Terry Sammis in Heart of a Champion. With an airdate of 8 May, 1991, Sam finds himself in all manner of trouble in this script by Tommy Thompson. It’s 23 July, 1955 and Terry and his brother Ronny (Jerry Bossard) are professional wrestlers,…

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) – Nicholas Meyer

  It’s time for one final cruise with the original crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise, as I continue my journeys with the Sci-Fi Chronicles book. This time around the Klingons are in trouble, when one of their moons, Praxis, which was one of their key energy reserves, blows up. Unable to maintain the cost of…

Toronto After Dark: The Machine (2013) – Caradog W. James

  Sci-Fi night at Toronto After Dark, graciously hosted at Scotiabank¬†Theatre this year, continued with a late night screening of the UK science fiction flick, The Machine, starring Toby Stephens, Caity Lotz, and Denis Lawson. Using Blade Runner, Terminator and the re-imagined Battlestar¬†Galactica as its launching point, a number of the festival organizers were chatting…

Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013) – J.J. Abrams

This is a summer blockbuster first and foremost. Since Trek made the leap to the bug screen, they’ve had to eschew some of the material that inherently made Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek what is was when it was a weekly television show. After The Motion Picture, which I still love, the series began to shift…

Doctor Who S07E10 – Cold War

  Mark Gatiss reintroduces the ice warriors of Mars to the world of Doctor Who as The Doctor (Matt Smith) and Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) find themselves aboard a Soviet Sub in 1983. This is probably the strongest of the stories since Clara became The Doctor’s companion, although David Warner seems completely wasted in his ole…