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Back To The Secret Garden Review


OK
Moviegoers who fondly remember Agnieszka Holland's lovingly crafted 1993 version of the classic children's story The Secret Garden will be disappointed to learn that Back to the Secret Garden is not the sequel. Rather, it's the sequel to a 1987 version of the same story, only this one was produced as a "Hallmark Hall of Fame" TV movie. (To add to the confusion, this story apparently has nothing to do with the much-maligned book sequel, Return to the Secret Garden, nor is it the same film as another 2000 movie called Return to the Secret Garden.) But putting all the confusion aside, it's a safe bet that you won't want to see or read any of the sequels.

I never saw Hallmark's version, but I doubt it could hold a candle to Holland's. If this sequel is any guide, it was nothing to crow about. Back to the Secret Garden may hold minor interest for Anglophiles and/or children so young they can't comprehend plots, but the magic in the original garden is strikingly lacking in this rehash.

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I, Claudius Review


Excellent
This popular thirteen-episode BBC mini-series makes for compulsive viewing whether or not you have any interest in the early history of the Roman Empire. Based on two novels by historian Robert Graves, I, Claudius delves into conspiracies, ruthless murders and cover-ups, betrayal, seduction and madness. It's Dallas relocated to the years before Christ was born, when scheming men wore togas and struggled for power while the women got married and stayed in the background -- sometimes in the best position of all when it came to moving their chess pieces around.

Our hero is Claudius, gloriously played by D-d-d-d-derek Jacobi, who twitches his head and stammers over every other word. As a young man, he watches his friends and relations die off, one by one, poisoned by the ruthless and destructive Livia (the queen of pure evil, Sian Phillips) as she grooms her son Tiberius (George Baker) to become the second emperor of Rome.

Continue reading: I, Claudius Review

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I, Claudius Movie Review

I, Claudius Movie Review

This popular thirteen-episode BBC mini-series makes for compulsive viewing whether or not you have any...

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