Me

Movie Critique – The Hound of the Baskervilles

For all movies of Sherlock Holmes or related to Sherlock, go here.

Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: A fine example of showing Holmes and Watson on screen to all the fans. A big thumbs up to the amazing stars who bring to life what Mr. Doyle had put into words a four decades ago.

The Hound of the Baskervilles is a 1959 British gothic-mystery film based on the 1902 novel of the same name by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Directed by Terence Fisher; Produced by Anthony Hinds; film was released by United Artists; a Hammer Film Productions. The Screenplay was provided by Peter Bryan.

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Movie Critique – The Night Holds Terror

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: A desperate night of survival for a family; a cruel attempt by the villains to get some fast cash; excellent star cast and phenomenal direction, makes this a very chilling, thrilling and terror filling movie. 

The Night Holds Terror is a 1955 American film noir written, produced and directed by Andrew L. Stone. It stars Vince Edwards, Hildy Parks, John Cassavetes and Jack Kelly among others. The plot is based on a true incident. It is released by Columbia Pictures.

Gene Courtier (portrayed by Jack Kelly) picks up a hitchhiker named Victor Gosset (portrayed by Vince Edwards), a criminal belonging to a robbery group headed by Robert Batsford (portrayed by John Cassavetes). They end up staying overnight at Courtier's home with his family while they collect the money they need. Thus begins the night of terror for Gene and Doris Courtier (portrayed by Hildy Parks) and a time filled with fear for their kids.

The true incident occurred on February 13, 1953 when Eugene M. Courtier, an Edwards Air Force Base Technician is kidnapped by a trip of robbers and held for ransom. The film obviously fictionalizes some portion of the ordeal, but it still stayed true to the original incident. 

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Movie Critique – Arsenic and Old Lace

Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: It is a completely hilarious dark comedy with a sociopathic murderous strain hidden beneath that Frank Capra exploited thoroughly. Brilliant acting by some great actors, marvelous direction; amazing sets, the movie makes for a memorable watch. 

Arsenic and Old Lace is a 1944 American black comedy starring Cary Grant, Josephine Hull, Jean Adair, Peter Lorre and Priscilla Lane in the lead cast. Directed by Frank Capra the film was based on Joseph Kesselring's 1941 play of the same name. Screen adaptation was written by Julius J. Epstein and Philip G. Epstein; a duo of brothers. Capra co-produced the film with Jack L. Warner; and was released by Warner Bros. 

Mortimer Brewster (portrayed by Cary Grant) who has disillusions on marriage, falls in love with Elaine Harper (portrayed by Priscilla Lane) and marries her. However right before he leaves for his honeymoon, when he returns to Abby (portrayed by Josephine Hull) and Martha (portrayed by Jean Adair), his aunts living in his family home, he inadvertently unearths some Brewster family's dark secrets that spin his mind even for a writer that he was.

I don’t remember where I first heard this movie, but it has been on my list for a long time. Finally I could watch it, again courtesy of Turner Classic Movies (TCM) channel. And here is my review.

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Kitchen Fun - Nutella Banana Pancakes

And so in my Obsession with Pancakes series, the next one I present are Nutella Banana Pancakes; a bit soft, a little fruity, a lot more chocolaty; and definitely addictive.

Nutella is very addictive and I try to avoid it as much as I can. Because I cannot just put my spoon down. :P And Bananas are one of my frequent go to fruit, mainly because they are rich in Potassium and I need a lot of it considering my running and jogging obsession. So I thought why not combine two of my addictions with my obsession series. And voila! We have another addictive combo to devour on. :P

And now for my recipe.


Ingredients:

Pancake Mix: Use either of the two recipes I posted for Pancake Mix - Aparna's Pancake Mix Recipe 1 or Aparna's Pancake Mix Recipe 2 for this. I used my Recipe 2 in this case.

Banana - 1 Medium sized

Powdered Sugar - as needed for sprinkling

Nutella - to spread as needed

Butter - for cooking


Preparation Steps:

1) Slice Bananas into mall round circles and keep aside.

2) Prepare the Pancake Batter using Recipe 2 link above. But make the batter a little runny so you get thin pancakes.

3) Heat a skillet, and smear a little butter.

4) Pour a ladle full of the Pancake Batter on to the hot skillet.

5) Cook on both sides till they turn golden brown.

6) Place one pancake on a plate. Spread Nutella on it.

7) Place another pancake on top of the Nutella spread Pancake.

8) Top with sliced Banana and Powdered Sugar. Serve warm for more deep flavor.

Tips:

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Book Critique – To The Nines (Stephanie Plum # 9)

For review of all books in the series: Go here.

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: A doggedly persistent gumshoe even with her ineptness, disorganized and above all having no inclination to use a weapon, it is a miracle that Stephanie has strong instincts to chase the case and bring it to a closure.

To The Nines is the ninth book in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, first published in July of 2003. Stephanie is again in the middle of apprehending one who jumped bail; and a triangle love story to further complicate her personal life.

Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter living in Trenton, New Jersey, working as a fugitive apprehension agent for her cousin, Vinnie's, Bail Bonds company. That begins the series with every book an adventure into Stephanie's trail onto fugitives and recovering them. And in the process she solves mysteries enabling her to hone her skills. There is a triangle love story for readers senses to feast on as well. Readers have been entertained so far with 27 books in the series and more to come, beginning with One for the Money in 1994 leading up to the 27th book Fortune and Glory to be released in November of 2020. The stories are told in first person narration.

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Movie Critique - The Dragon Murder Case

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: A loony grandmother; a mythical curse; a superstition surrounding a pool; and a murder - all spin in a whirlpool of young people and their hormones and romances. It makes a very murky pool of mystery with everyone coming under suspicion for Philo Vance.

The Dragon Murder Case is a 1934 American mystery film directed by H. Bruce Huberstone; based on the 1934 novel of the same name by S. S. Van Dine featuring his star private detective Philo Vance. Warren William portrays the role of Philo Vance in this film along-side Margaret Lindsay, Lyle Talbot, Eugene Pallette and Helen Lowell. This is the 6th of the 15 movies made with Philo Vance as the detective.

Monty Montague dives into a natural pool of water and disappears. Private Detective Philo Vance is called into investigate by the District Attorney Markham (portrayed by Robert McWade). They find Monty's body but with claw marks on his body. Thus begins the superstition of a dragon harboring the pool; and a murder to solve for Vance.

Philo Vance is a fictional private detective who appears in 12 mystery crime novels by S. S. Van Dine; with him being introduced first in the 1926 novel The Benson Murder Case. He first appeared on screen in the 1929 American Pre-Code crime-mystery film The Canary Murder Case in which William Powell starred as Vance.

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Book Critique – "C" is for Corpse (Alphabet Mystery #3)

For review of all books in this series: Go here.

Stars: 3 / 5

My Recommendation: Another successful investigation by Kinsey Millhone rivaling the likes of Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe, but not yet there. Grafton gives us a female gumshoe with her share of flaws and strengths that further more enhances her character. 

"C" is for Corpse is the third mystery novel in the long running Kinsey Millhone "Alphabet Mystery" series by Sue Grafton, first published in 1986. The plot is set three weeks after the incidents from the second book "B" is for Burglar.

The Alphabet Mystery series revolves around the various cases handled by Kinsey Millhone, a former police officer turned private investigator. She is based in Santa Teresa, a fictional town in California, thirty two years old and twice divorced, at the beginning of the series. With this series, Sue Grafton sets a bar for female private investigators in a world when most of them were predominantly male. And if any female private eyes existed, were considered amateur detectives like with Nancy Drew or Jessica Fletcher from Murder, She Wrote or Agatha Christie's Miss Marple. Grafton crosses those bars for Millhone with this series.

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Movie Critique - The Killers

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: Definitely ahead of its time, but gives you a good thriller keeping the viewers on the edge. Gripping neo noir crime film with excellent star cast, powerful plot and thrilling and fearful ending.

The Killers is a 1965 American neo noir crime film directed and produced by Don Siegel, and released by Universal Pictures. It stars Lee Marvin, Clu Gulager, John Cassavetes, Angie Dickinson and Ronald Reagan in the lead among others. It was released in UK as Ernest Hemingway's "The Killers".

Two hit men - Charlie Strom (portrayed by Lee Marvin) and Lee (portrayed by Clu Gulager) - after finishing a job wonder why they were paid so high for such an easy mark. And they start to retrace their steps back in figuring out the person who hired them, Jack Browning (portrayed by Ronald Reagan), and the reason behind it. They get more than they bargained for in the end. 

The plot was based on the 1927 short story of the same name by Ernest Hemingway. Screenplay was written by Gene L. Coon. Originally was intended for Made-for-TV movie as part of Project 120 series, because of the violent content Universal released it in theaters instead. The entire film is shown in several flashbacks.

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Kitchen Fun - Coconut Pancakes

When my dear friend Minnie, shared her memory from a while ago about Coconut Pancakes with caramelized hazelnuts, gianduja spread, maple syrup & a cortado; I had to try to make a version of Coconut Pancakes at my home too, and add it to the series.

And so in my Obsession with Pancakes series, the next one I present are Coconut Pancakes; a bit crunchy, a bit sweet and oh so light!! Now for the recipe.

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