Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) – 7/10 period fantasy detective action comedy movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writer (Screenplay): Jeffrey Price
Writer (Screenplay): Peter S. Seaman
Producer: Robert Watts
Producer: Frank Marshall
Bob Hoskins: Eddie Valient
Christopher Lloyd: Judge Doom
Writer (Original Book) “Who Censored Roger Rabbit?”: Gary K. Wolf
Executive Producer: Steven Spielberg
Director of Animation: Richard Williams
Charles Fleischer: the voice of Roger Rabbit
Stubby Kaye: Maroon
Joanna Cassidy: Dolores

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

Toon town boss R.K. Maroon is found dead after toon star Roger Rabbit discovers that his wife, Jessica, had been playing pat-a-cake with him. Roger turns to alcoholic private detective Eddie Valiant is a bid to clear his name but Valiant’s had enough of toons to last him a lifetime.

7/10

Technically astonishing, yes, but the real surprise is a story and lead characters that work and make you forget the make-believe miracles happening on-screen. An outstanding reference-quality live-action performance from Bob Hoskins that should have earned him at least an Oscar nomination is backed up by unforgettable bad guy work from Christopher Lloyd and great voice acting from Charles Fleischer and Kathleen Turner / Amy Irving (who also get one of the all-time great screen entrances). Tonally, it’s a bit off in places with the climax particularly horrific and not just for a BBFC PG; it’s one of the most graphically and unforgettably horrible villain exits ever filmed and is absolutely not for children.

This movie contains bad language, adult dialogue and extremely graphic and extremely unpleasant scenes and graphic violence.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Blackadder’s Christmas Carol (1988, TV) – 9/10 review

Rowan Atkinson: Blackadders
Tony Robinson: Baldricks
Writer: Richard Curtis
Writer: Ben Elton
Director: Richard Boden
Producer: John Lloyd

Blackadder special.1 Blackadder’s Christmas Carol (1988)

England’s most generous person, Ebenezer Blackadder is visited by the Spirit of Christmas and gets an insight into how his scheming, selfish ancestors lived.

9/10

Wonderfully inventive and extremely funny version of the Dicken’s classic A Christmas Carol which takes the timeless story and turns it on its head. This is probably the finest Christmas television special of any drama or comedy ever not just because it’s clever and funny but also because it feels appropriate for the season. The wordsmithery is delightful once more and Atkinson as the various Blackadders is sublime. His delivery as each is perfect and they all feel like completely distinct characters.

This Blackadder episode contains bad language, mild swear words and comic violence and baldrick in a jockstrap.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Inspector Morse 3.02 The Last Enemy (1988, TV) – 7/10

John Thaw: Chief Inspector Morse
Kevin Whately: Detective Sgt. Lewis
Amanda Hillwood: Dr. Grayling Russell
Barry Foster: Sir Alexander Reece
Michael Aldridge: Arthur Drysdale
Tenniel Evans: Dr. David Kerridge
Writer (Screenplay): Peter Buckman
Writer (Original Story): Colin Dexter
Producer: Chris Burt
Director: James Scott

Inspector Morse 3.02 Last Enemy, The (1988)

Morse finds his job rather harder than usual thanks to the discovery of a body with no arms, legs or head… and his own toothache.

7/10

Though rather flatly directed, a superior script and sparkling work from a grumpier than usual John Thaw (Morse is suffering from toothache) and a cheerier than normal Kevin Whately (as Lewis) make this an solid addition to the series.

This Inspector Morse episode contains gruesome and unpleasant scenes, violence and sexuality.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

Watchman (1988, Book) – 6/10

Writer: Ian Rankin

Watchman (1988)

MI5 Surveillance man Miles Flint, in yet another excuse not to go home after work, joins a watchman team trailing a suspected assassin. When the assassin gives them the slip and fulfils his contract against an Israeli guns supplier, Miles’ experience, and a knowing smile from the assassin, tells him that he and his team were set up to fail.

6/10

Modest and entirely readable spy thriller. The endless parallels drawn with the world of beetles feels like something an English teacher would tell you is a good idea. It’s not. Rankin’s strength clearly lies in dialogue interaction not in pontifications and technicalities. His occasional thriller sequences are not very thrilling and his story is pretty unconvincing. However, as I intimated, when the characters are just talking to each other, especially men with women, things start to come alive and hint at the talent that would bring Ian Rankin major success.

This Ian Rankin book contains mild swear words, mild adult dialogue and brief violence.