Film/TV Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Ewan McGregor in Perfect Sense

Warning: Spoilers Abound

4 out of 5 stars

Yet another movie that I wouldn’t know existed if it weren’t for the amazing, You see VideoETA is a great resource for finding out both theatrical and home release dates of movies. Often while checking to find the date of a film I know about I discover hidden gems. These are often films that had a limited or direct to DVD release.

That was the case with Perfect Sense, also known as The Last Word. It is a perfect case of this, as the film was released in only 1 theater for 1 week. It was directed by David Mackenzie and written by Kim Fupz Aakeson. It was shot and set in Glasgow.

If you only saw the film’s cover you may just go in thinking that it’s a standard romantic drama but it’s so much more. This 2011 drama is the most disturbing movie that I’ve seen this year.

Ewan McGregor in Perfect Sense, screencap by Mary Miracle
Eva Green in Perfect Sense, screencap by Mary Miracle

The movie is about a horrifying disease that individually steals humans’ senses. As the film progresses, we gradually see and feel the characters lose their senses of smell, taste, sound, and finally sight. It’s implied that they will eventually lose touch as well.

Although the movie shows how this would affect large populations of people in various countries (most likely using stock footage of actual riots, etc, which is also incredibly disturbing) it mainly focuses on how this would affect us as individuals.

The movie focuses on Michael (Ewan McGregor), a chef with intimacy issues, and Susan (Eva Green), a scientist who is sick of men mistreating her.

Eva Green in Perfect Sense, screencap by Mary Miracle

Despite her annoyance at the interruption of a phone call, Susan first meets Michael when he bums a cigarette from her. Their meet-cute takes place easily since he is a chef at a restaurant right across the alley from her apartment.

Ewan McGregor and Eva Green in Perfect Sense, screencap by Mary Miracle

Despite her initial reticence at getting involved with a player, Susan decides to dine one night after hours with Michael. This is during the beginning of their loss of senses. This causes a very close connection between them as they simultaneously lose their sense of smell.

Perfect Sense, screencaps by Mary Miracle

As they lose more and more senses they rely on and fall for each other. This is incredibly romantic and seductive. They let down their defenses and tell each other things they’ve never told another soul because they can feel everything ending and need something honest.

Ewan McGregor and Eva Green in Perfect Sense, screencap by Mary Miracle

Want to go dancing?”
“Get drunk?”
“smoke cigarettes?”

Despite the interspersed footage of riots and the horror of the situation, including the fact that as someone who has been studying this epidemic from the beginning, Susan admits that no one really knows what will happen next, for a while things are going better than normal for the characters. Why? LOVE, of course.

Perfect Sense, screencap by Mary Miracle
Perfect Sense, screencap by Mary Miracle

Unfortunately, before the loss of each sense, humans experience a heightened sense or emotion. So before the loss of hearing they become very angry and violent. This is when Michael scares and drives away Susan after yelling terrible things at her and then wrecking his own home.

This causes them to be apart during the horror of losing their hearing. However, they both try their best to enjoy life as they can. Michael eventually goes back to work and Susan learns to love her sister’s family (instead of just being jealous of them).

Ewan McGregor and Eva Green in Perfect Sense, screencap by Mary Miracle

“…and if there had been anybody left to see them, then they would look like normal lovers, caressing each others’ faces, bodies close together, eyes closed, oblivious to the world around them…”

With the impending loss of sight, our lovers realize how important love and being with those you love is. So they reunite as the darkness closes in.

Ewen Bremner (Spud in Trainspotting!) and Ewan McGregor in Perfect Sense, screencap by Mary Miracle

In addition to love overcoming the worst, we are also repeatedly presented with the idea that life goes on and humans learn to adapt. This is often shown to great effect at the restaurant where Michael works. For instance, when people lose their sense of smell, which is tied to taste, the chefs decide that they must increase the spiciness of the dishes to really give the customers flavor. Later as taste goes dining out is more about texture and feeling special as you spend time with a loved one and are waited on.

Perfect Sense is most definitely not an easy film to watch. In fact, you may cry. However, it’s incredibly touching, interesting, and innovative. It is a must-watch!

Note: I think this is an amazing movie. I just reserve 5 stars for movies with rewatchability. That rarely includes dramas, especially ones this heavy. I can’t see me watching this over and over.

Conventions Film/TV

2012 Wizard World Philly Comic Con: My Favorite Costumes

So we’ve established that yes, the 2012 Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con was awesome. One of my favorite parts of any convention that I’ve ever attended are checking out all of the great costumes or cosplayers, if you will. Since we were press so we had a lot to do I didn’t get as many shots as I otherwise would have. However the pics I did get I am definitely jazzed about.

Excellent Loki Cosplayer with Mary Miracle, photo by Donna Allis

The Loki was attractive and menacing, a perfect combination!

Donna Allis with Harley Quinn Cosplayer by Mary Miracle
Mario and Luigi, Donna Allis (left), Mary Miracle (right), photos by Mary Miracle and Donna Allis

Mario and Luigi were both in attendance? We both had to get in on that.

Cosplayers by Mary Miracle

When I saw these four lovely ladies I jumped in on a photo someone else was taking but they said it was okay.

Poison Ivy and Mary Miracle, by Donna Allis

The next day I asked Poison Ivy for another photo because her costume rocks!

Captain America Cosplayer with Mary Miracle by Donna Allis

This Captain America in the in the original costume before Captain America becomes famous was excellent!

1980’s Joker Cosplayer with Mary Miracle by Donna Allis

This dude was doing Nicholson’s 1989 Joker. Even better was he was in character!

Star Wars Cosplayers and Mary Miracle by Donna Allis

When I find a group of young men with light sabers I can’t help myself.

Donna Allis in the Tardis

For someone who doesn’t watch Doctor Who, Donna was unnaturally attracted to the TARDIS.

Press passes to the convention were provided to both Donna Allis & myself gratis from the awesome PR team at Wizard World.

Film/TV Movie Reviews

Movie Review: ZPG Zero Population Growth

Who needs the radio when you can go outside and listen to this floating speaker in the smog with a gas mask on? (screencap by Mary Miracle)

When I was a child the Sci-Fi Channel played lesser known, older films. “ZPG” stands out in my mind as one of the most intriguing. I remember seeing it and thinking that it was disturbing, campy, and interesting. I finally managed to rewatch it recently and it’s still all of those things.

“ZPG” was filmed in 1971 and released in 1972 so it’s a very 1970’s, jumpsuits and all, version of the future. I recall the now defunct Disney’s Horizons when I visited there in the mid-1990s as totally reminding me of this movie, as that was the early 1980’s vision of the future.

ZPG’s main plot line concerns the title, zero population growth, which is how a country limits the population when it becomes too great to sustain. Though the film is billed as a British science fiction film it was shot in Denmark. There is a very aristocratic British feel to the film but most of the characters do not speak with a British accent.

The exact date of the future depicted in “ZPG” is unclear. The beginning mentions a 30-year ban on having children but they don’t say what year it is and then the film picks up about 8 years after that. You get the feeling that the film is supposed to be set far ahead from the 1970s, but because they were in the 1970s that is what is constantly referenced.

Some parts of the film are most likely because the UK had recently passed the Abortion Act of 1967 and approved contraceptive birth control in 1961..

“ZPG” head tattoo, screencap by Mary Miracle

Babies are marked with this blacklight head tattoo when they are born so there isn’t a way to get away with just having a kid and saying that he or she is a certain age. So what happens if they find out that is exactly what you did? I’m glad you asked because they fucking gas your entire family in this thing.

The film focuses on Russ McNeil and his wife Carol McNeil who work in a museum that displays all of the things that no longer exist in the current smog-filled, baby-scarce present. They are part of the swinging 1970s dinner date display.

“ZPG” museum, screencap by Mary Miracle
screencap by Mary Miracle

Check out this little rebel, that flower is federal property!

Well, what if you still want to bone your husband? Easy, just abort that fetus with the abortion machine that is conveniently located in your bathroom.

“ZPG” abortion machine, screencap by Mary Miracle

If you are feeling a little blue about this state of affairs you can call your psychiatrist on your home video phone. He gives out superb advice that includes watching porn, which reminded me of THX 1138 and buying creepy fake children to satisfy that mothering urge.

Things aren’t all bad though. I mean at least you get an allotted amount of food calories, which come in tubes, and you can visit your parents in the senior museum.

“ZPG” food tubes, screencap by Mary Miracle
ZPG’s Senior City, screencap by Mary Miracle

Plus, they have a personalized Home Shopping Network.

home shopping in “ZPG”, screencap by Mary Miracle

“I thought you wanted a tree, not a tree salesman.” He’s dry but it’s kinda working for him.

As you can imagine, his wife is not satisfied and decides that she will keep her baby. So she hides in the basement for 9 months and they say that she left him. It makes it very hard for him to fight off her friend since they had been swingers before. When he needs to learn how to deliver a baby he just goes to this modern library with video machines that you can learn things on. Of course, learning about childbirth is illegal but he has a great cover and gets to act like this.

video learning in “ZPG”, screencaps by Mary Miracle

Well, when their friends find out about that baby they decide that they should all just share it. I mean they were all sharing each other before that anyway. So, why not?

couple friends in “ZPG”, screencaps by Mary Miracle

How does it end? Well, I don’t want to give that away. I recommend viewing it for yourself.

ZPG’s facsimile baby, screencap by Mary Miracle
Film/TV Lists

Best Episodes of Sex and the City

These are the episodes of Sex and the City that I consider to be the best. I didn’t choose them to gel the storyline together. It’s more about how much I enjoy these episodes. I have chosen less episodes from seasons 1 and 5 because those were shorter. It was very hard to narrow season 2 down. It includes many excellent episodes so you may want to watch it from start to finish if you have time. I, unlike many, was a big fan of the LA episodes.

For full info on all episodes of the series, I recommend visiting the Sex and the City series page on


Season 1: Episode 4 “Valley of the Twenty-Something Guys”

Sarah Jessica Parker and Timothy Olyphant in “Valley of the Twenty-Something Guys”

“Sir, we’re talking up the butt. A cigarette is in order.”

-Carrie Bradshaw

Carrie, Samantha, and Miranda try dating guys in their 20s. Even in this early episode, you can see that Big and Carrie were gonna have some drama. Some highlights of this episode are Timothy Olyphant guest starring as Carrie’s young lover and the classic Charlotte up the butt taxi scene.

Season 1: Episode 6 “Secret Sex”

Sarah Jessica Parker in “Secret Sex”

Carrie wears the “naked dress” which leads her to have sex with Big on their first official date. Carrie then starts to believe that Big is keeping her a secret from his friends.

Season 1: Episode 9 “The Turtle and the Hare”
Samantha inexplicably dates and tries to change a man. It seems very out of character but interesting. Charlotte gets her first sex toy, the Rabbit.


Season 2: Episode 1 “Take me out to the Ballgame”

“Take Me Out to the Ballgame”

“Miranda was a huge fan of the Yankees. I was a huge fan of being anywhere you could smoke and drink at two in the afternoon without judgment.”

-Carrie Bradshaw

“How does it happen that four such smart women have nothing to talk about but boyfriends? It’s like seventh grade with bank accounts!”

-Miranda Hobbes
Sarah Jessica Parker in “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”

Carrie happily rebounds from her breakup with Big by dating “The New Yankee”. All seems well until she cries in his mouth. Miranda is mad at Carrie for obsessing about her breakup until she also runs into her ex.

Season 2: Episode 4 “They Shoot Single People, don’t They?”

Bradley Cooper in “They Shoot Single People Don’t They”

Carrie gets made a fool of at a magazine shoot and is thrown for a loop. Miranda tries to teach an ex how to give her the big O. Both Bradley Cooper and Mark Feuerstein guest star.

Season 2: Episode 12 “La Douleur Exquise!”

Sarah Jessica Parker in “La Douleur Exquise!”

“Have another drink, woman”


Samantha does the publicity for a new S&M place. Big springs the news that he may be moving to Paris on Carrie. At first, she is angry but then tries to be supportive. They break up. Charlotte gets free shoes from a cashier with a shoe fetish. Miranda has sex with a guy who likes to have sex like it’s “Outward Bound”. Stanford has an underwear fetish. He goes out to meet “BigTool4U” at an underwear party. Will Arnett (BoJack Horseman) guest stars.

Season 2: Episode 17 “Twenty-Something Girls vs. Thirty-Something Women”

Sarah Jessica Parker in Twenty-Something Girls vs. Thirty-Something Women

The group head to the Hamptons. Charlotte meets a young guy and pretends that she too is in her 20s. He gives her crabs. Samantha’s young assistant steals her business contacts and invites them to a party. Carrie runs into Big and his new girlfriend who is in her 20s.

Season 2: Episode 18 “Ex and the City”

Sarah Jessica Parker in “Ex and the City”

Carrie tries to be friends with Big, despite his new relationship, until she finds out that he is marrying the girl. Carrie tries to come to terms with this by the end of the episode. This episode references the film “The Way We Were” which caused me to rent and then become a fan of it as well. Samantha finds a guy whose penis is actually too big.


Season 3: Episode 3 “Attack of the Five Foot Ten Woman”

“I’ve talked to her twice. Once I was in a cowboy hat and once I was in my bra. I’m like friggin’ Annie Get Your Clothes On.”

-Carrie Bradshaw

Carrie has to confront her “Natasha Specific Complex”. Samantha tries to get busy with a masseuse with a reputation. Miranda hires Magda.

Season 3: Episode 9 “Easy Come, Easy Go”

Sarah Jessica Parker in “Easy Come, Easy Go”

“Whatever you say, I’m your booth bitch”

-Carrie Bradshaw
Sarah Jessica Parker in “Easy Come, Easy Go”

Carrie cheats on Aiden with Big after running into him at Aiden’s furniture show. Charlotte proposes to herself. Steve starts seeing another girl while he is still living at Miranda’s after their breakup.

Season 3: Episode 10 “All or Nothing”

“Until he says “I love you”, you’re a free agent.”

“What is this? The Rules According to Samantha?”

“See? I’m more old-fashioned than you think.”

Carrie continues to cheat on Aiden while he gets increasingly invested in the relationship. Samantha gets sick and acts like a love-starved woman.

Season 3: Episode 13 “Escape from New York”

Sarah Jessica Parker in “Escape from New York”

Carrie thinks it’s a great way to escape her problems when she goes to LA to find out if her columns will be optioned for a movie. Unfortunately, she writes about her love life and is now subjected to a dissection of it. Samantha dates a dildo model who turns out to be a sappy poet. Miranda wants to be sexually free. Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Michelle Gellar guest star.

Season 3: Episode 14 “Sex and Another City”

“Sex and Another City”
Sarah Jessica Parker in “Sex and Another City”

“One woman’s pornographer is another woman’s spiritual leader.”

-Carrie Bradshaw

Carrie hooks up with a guy who pretends he’s all that but is just a house sitter. Miranda meets up with an ex who seems to have become less angry and more fulfilled but just has an eating disorder. Charlotte joins them in LA because she’s sick of grappling with Trey’s impotence. The ladies attend a party at the Playboy Mansion. Vince Vaughn, Hugh Hefner, and Carrie Fisher are all guest stars.

Season 3: Episode 15 “Hot Child in the City”

Kat Dennis and Sarah Jessica Parker in “Hot Child in the City”

“I’m scootin in heels.”

-Carrie Bradshaw

“You know what I was buying when I was thirteen? Nothing! I couldn’t afford anything, I was serving dilly bars at Dairy Queen.

-Samantha Jones

“I’ve been trying to diagnosis myself on the Internet….Just type in your symptoms, hit enter, and wait for the word cancer to appear on the screen.”-Miranda Hobbes

Carrie starts dating an immature guy (played by Cane Peterson) she meets at a comic book store. Samantha runs the PR for a spoiled rich girl’s bat mitzvah. Kat Dennings guest stars as the privileged teen. Miranda because insecure due to her new braces. It’s a hilarious episode.


Season 4: Episode 1 “The Agony and the Ex-tacy”

Sarah Jessica Parker in “The Agony and the Ex-tacy”

“You don’t even have a name?”

“Well I’m single, I don’t deserve one.”

-Carrie Bradshaw

“Don’t laugh at me, but maybe we could be each others soulmates? And then we could let men be just these great nice guys to have fun with?”

-Charlotte York

“You’re late.”

“Not really, I’m on London time.”

London is five hours ahead.”

“In that case, I’m really fucking late.”

-Carrie and Big

Carrie turns 35 and her birthday dinner is a disaster when everyone else is a no-show. The delectable Costas Mandylor guest stars as a sexy but unattainable priest. This is one of those absolute classic episodes of Sex and the City.

Season 4: Episode 2 “The Real Me”

Sarah Jessica Parker in “The Real Me”

“When I first moved to New York and I was totally broke, sometimes I would buy Vogue instead of dinner. I felt it fed me more.”

-Carrie Bradshaw
Kim Cattrall in “The Real Me”

“Oh, my god, she’s fashion roadkill!”

-Stanford Blatch

Carrie is chosen to be a model for a fashion show. She declines at first but then is swept away into the fantasy. She is perturbed when it turns out the other “real people” models are actually more accomplished writers. She gets nervous and drunk and falls on the catwalk.

Charlotte is diagnosed with a depressed vagina. She says she’s never seen it and thinks it’s ugly which doesn’t match up with an earlier episode where she models her vagina for a huge painting done by an esteemed artist.

Samantha starves herself so she can get a sexy photo taken. She says it’s for herself but is upset when, at first, men don’t fall all over themselves about it.

Miranda is nervous so she overcompensates and a man ends up calling her “full of herself”.Alan Cumming, Margaret Cho, and Heidi Klum guest star.

Season 4: Episode 3 “Defining Moments”

Sarah Jessica Parker in “Defining Moments”

“Carrie likes a jazz man.”


Carrie and Big start hanging out as friends. Big gets jealous when Carrie gives her number to a hot jazz player while they are out together. Trey now wants to have sex with Charlotte everywhere, but their apartment since they are separated. Samantha meets a female artist who has a crush on her. Samantha ends up dating her. While out at dinner with Carrie and her jazz player and Big and his date, Samantha warns Big about hurting her friend again. This episode guest stars Craig Bierko and Jim Gaffigan.

Season 4: Episode 6 “Baby, Talk is Cheap”

“His words said no but his kiss said yes.”

“Ok, that’s a defense invoked by date rapists.”

-Carrie and Miranda

Carrie decides that she still has feelings for Aiden. She tells him and at first, he is very upset but then comes around. This episode features one of my favorite Aiden moments when he screams “YOU BROKE MY HEART!”. Miranda and Samantha experiment with fake nipples. Charlotte and Trey decide to have a baby. Miranda sees a fellow runner who likes analingus.

Season 4: Episode 10 “Belles of the Balls”

“Stop it! Stop it! You’re middle-aged!”

-Carrie Bradshaw

Aiden is upset about Carrie still being friends with Big. Big invites himself out to visit the couple at Aiden’s cabin. He is trashed and lovesick over an actress. The next morning Carrie suggests that Big make nice with Aiden and play basketball. This turns into a muddy fight. Yay! Steve goes to see a doctor for a prosthetic testicle. Samantha meets Richard.


Season 5: Episode 3 “Luck Be and Old Lady”

“Luck Be an Old Lady”

We’re talking about the other kind of pearl necklace. You know, when a guy decorates your neck?”

-Samantha Jones

Charlotte is turning 36 but has decided not to celebrate and to stay 35. Carrie wants to celebrate because she wants all of the girls to hang out together. Samantha is going on a trip to Atlantic City with Richard and invites the girls along. Charlotte wears a sexy dress in Atlantic City to combat her fears of becoming an old maid. Samantha is so suspicious of Richard, due to his previous infidelity, that she drives herself crazy and then dumps him. Carrie decides to give up on love until she sees an elderly couple and wants what they have.

Season 5: Episode 3 “The Big Journey”

Sarah Jessica Parker in “The Big Journey”

Carrie accepts an appearance to do a reading of her book in San Fransisco because she wants to have sex with Big. Samantha is bored and accompanies her on her train ride. They think it will be fun but are disappointed. Charlotte has hot sex with her divorce lawyer Harry. In California, Big doesn’t want to sleep with Carrie because he says while reading the book he realized how badly he’d hurt her and didn’t want to do it again. The next day he changes his mind and they have sex.


Season 6: Episode 2 “Great Sexpectations”

“Great Expectations”

“Hi, I need something that’ll make a guy cum in his pants as soon as he sees me.”

“You talk to salespeople like that?”

-Samantha Jones and Carrie Bradshaw

Carrie and Berger can’t get their act together in the bedroom. Samantha meets Smith. Miranda skips dating in favor of Tivo. Charlotte becomes Jewish.

Season 6: Episode 9 “A Woman’s Right to Shoes” or “No Shoes, No Service”

Blair Underwood and Cynthia Nixon in “A Woman’s Right to Shoes”

Carrie is forced to remove her shoes at a married friend’s house for a party so her children won’t be exposed to germs. When Carrie gets ready to leave her shoes have been stolen. Then she is repeatedly insulted by her friend about both her desire to spend a lot of money on footwear and for actually caring about the state of their friendship. Eventually, Carrie convinces her that they are equal and she is gifted a replacement pair. Miranda meets Robert. Charlotte nitpicks over Harry’s habits at home.

Season 6: Episode 11 “The Domino Effect”

“I love a cute Candy Stripper.”

“It isn’t about stripping, it’s about striping.”

-Big and Carrie

Carrie finds out that Big has a heart problem and needs an angioplasty. This episode makes me cry. Carrie plays nursemaid to him but when he feels better he goes back to being gruff. Miranda is dating the sexy Robert. Steve has a nose bleed that Robert treats with a tampon which embarrasses him.

Season 6: Episode 19 “An American Girl in Paris: Part Une” and Season 6: Episode 20 “An American Girl in Paris: Part Deux”

“An American Girl in Paris”

“You’re the loves of her life and a guy’s just lucky to come in fourth.”


“It took me a really long time to get here, but I’m here. Carrie, you’re the one.”


In part one, Carrie moves to Paris with Petrovsky. Carrie loves wearing gorgeous fashions in Paris but doesn’t love Petrovsky’s neglect.

In part two, Big goes to Paris to bring Carrie back to New York. Charlotte and Harry adopt a baby girl from China. Steve’s mother moves in with Miranda and him due to memory loss.

Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws

I do not watch many children’s films because I am not a parent. When I do, I prefer them to be like this one, without any cursing, double entendres, or a bunch of pop culture references. This film succeeds on all counts. The only thing I would make sure to make clear to children is not to feed dogs candy or cookies. Most importantly it features adorable puppies and a Christmas story.

It’s your basic “We need to save Christmas story” but with a twist, told from the perspective of puppies. The protagonist is Puppy Paws, soon-to-be successor to his father Santa Paws. Santa Paws is Santa’s (George Wendt) right-hand dog. Puppy Paws is bored with North Pole life and decides to see how normal puppies live. 

These “normal puppies” are the infamous Buddies. I’ve only seen one other of these series of films (so far), the not as good but still adorable Space Buddies. However, if you’ve never seen any of them you still get a brief introduction to the characters. They are Budderball (likes to eat), Mudbud (likes to get dirty), B-Dawg (enjoys rap and dancing), and Rosebud (fashionista). Human co-stars include Christopher Lloyd as the evil dog catcher and Danny Woodburn (Seinfeld) as an Elf. 

Puppy Paws tries to fit in and make friends but stirs up trouble. Of course, Puppy Paws learns that the true meaning of Christmas isn’t about toys. I smiled a lot and even laughed out loud at some of the puppies’ antics.

Many movies tend to drag in the middle, including the aforementioned Space Buddies but this one was pretty entertaining all the way through. I could be nitpicky and mention that the film didn’t include enough reindeer screen time and that I’m not sure of Wendt as Santa. Why complain about an awesome holiday movie though? The film clocks in at 88 minutes so if it isn’t your thing, you won’t be bored for too long.

Note: This review originally appeared on the Yahoo Contributor Network on November 5, 2009.