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Super User

Movies And Specials: 'Amityville Horror House'

02 January, 2021

Synopsis: In 1977, "The Amityville Horror" book was published and caused a sensation. The subsequent 1979 film adaptation was a surprise box office hit. It was a film that changed everything. It terrified audiences and became a film and story that people continue to return to. Today, it is the quintessential American horror story based on true events. This is the story of the all-American family that moves into their dream house in the all-American town and experiences the most terrifying demonic haunting imaginable – demon possession, demon attacks, a portal to hell. It was a situation so dire, even the church couldn’t help them. Through archival footage and re-creations, the special, produced by 1895 Films, presents the harrowing true story of Robert Defeo, who murdered his entire family in the Amityville house, and the 28 terror-filled days the Lutz family lived in the house. (Courtesy Discovery+, 2021)

Airdate:
It premiered Monday, January 4th, 2021 on Discovery+.

Movies And Specials: 'Ghost Adventures: Cecil Hotel'

02 January, 2021

Synopsis: Stationed along downtown Los Angeles’ Main Street stands the infamous Cecil Hotel with a checkered past, beset by multiple suicides, murders, devil worshipping and serial killers. Riddled with stories of paranormal activity, the historic building is the epitome of creepy – an inspiration for books, films and even a season of the “American Horror Story” series. Now, for the first time ever, the Cecil Hotel is allowing cameras inside for an investigation of ghostly proportions in this two-hour special.

The Ghost Adventures team – Zak Bagans, Aaron Goodwin, Jay Wasley and Billy Tolley – begin their investigation retracing the steps of the recent mysterious death of a young girl named Elisa Lam, whose body was found in the hotel’s water tower without any explanation as to what may have happened. Her peculiar demise remains unsolved and bizarre elevator surveillance video of Lam has fueled an abundance of theories, including that of supernatural forces. (Courtesy Discovery+, 2021)

Airdate:
It premiered Monday, January 4th, 2021 on Discovery+.

Movies And Specials: 'JonBenet Ramsey: What Really Happened?'

01 January, 2021

Synopsis: Shortly after Christmas in 1996, a six-year old beauty queen is mysteriously killed in her idyllic home while her family slept upstairs. This crime continues to captivate the nation 25 years later, with its myriad of false leads, mountain of mishandled evidence and barrage of shocking accusations.  Now, for the first time ever, exclusive new information comes to light in one of modern history’s most perplexing cold cases.

This feature-length documentary explores the iconic JonBenet Ramsey case with a fresh perspective. For the first time, viewers will be able to hear the previously unreleased audio diaries of Lou Smit, famed Colorado Springs homicide detective who was coaxed from retirement to try and bring some clarity to the chaos surrounding this case.  Lou tests alternate theories often asking the questions that the Boulder police department had not.  Was there an intruder?  Was all the DNA identified?  Could the killer still be at large?  Through these audio tapes, viewers hear how Smit meticulously tested each piece of evidence, debunked erroneous theories and uncovered new information that drove the case in a completely new direction.

The body of the six-year-old was found in the basement of her Colorado home on December 26th, 1996. Police immediately suspected her parents John and Patsy Ramsey of the murder, and the press soon began to follow their lead.   But after reviewing the evidence, Smit thought there could be more to the story than the public was led to believe, and he recorded his investigation from day one. Now, we will hear from Lou Smit’s son and daughter, his investigative team, as well as members of the Ramsey family including John Ramsey and his son John Andrew, as they reflect on what really happened during those early days of the investigation – a case that fascinates a nation more than two decades later. (Courtesy Discovery+, 2021)

Production Credits:
JonBenet Ramsey: What Really Happened? is produced for discovery+ by Arrow Media with series producer John Owens, director Kim Duke, executive producers Lucie Ridout and Alison Turner and creative director Tom Brisley.  Jeanie Vink is the executive producer for discovery+.

Airdate:
It premiered Monday, January 4th, 2021 on Discovery+.

Show Guide: 'Battlebots: The Bounty Hunters'

01 January, 2021

Synopsis: In the BattleBots universe, from the moment you start building a robot, everyone dreams of a chance to fight against the best in the world — the legends that define the sport. Rarely does David get to face Goliath. Until now.

In Battlebots: Bounty Hunters, the sport has some of the top robot legends including Tombstone, Bronco, Witch Doctor, Son of Whyachi, Beta and Icewave. Each of the them have many knockouts and have smashed countless competitors before them.

In each episode, challengers will compete for the right to become the Bounty Hunter and fight a Legend. The prize: a unique place in BattleBots history, and the major share of a $25,000 cash prize payout in every episode.

Like in the regular season of BattleBots, each episode highlights the design and build of the competing robots and profiles the teams behind them. Competitors come from all types of backgrounds – from families to university students and everything in between. Every machine is homemade and constructed from a variety of materials with custom-built weaponry to destroy the competition. (Courtesy Discovery+, 2021)

Production Credits:
It is produced by BattleBots, Inc. and Whalerock Industries. Executive producers are Chris Cowan, Edward P. Roski (Trey), Greg Munson, Tom Gutteridge and Aaron Catling. For Discovery Channel, Scott Lewers, Joseph Boyle and Wyatt Channell are executive producers and Paola Espinosa is associate producer.




Show Guide: 'Mysterious Planet'

01 January, 2021

Synopsis: Combining humor with the awe and beauty of the natural world, Mysterious Planet is an epic journey from producer and creator, Andrew Murray, which ventures to the ends of the earth to unlock the greatest mysteries behind the world’s most incredible species. Narrated by David Schwimmer, the series explores five extraordinary hotspots and five unique mysteries, featuring a new cast of charismatic creatures in each location. 

From the lush forests of Indonesia to the arid Andean deserts, from the Caribbean to the highlands of Ethiopia, each episode takes us on an adventure through time and space to reveal how these animals came to be, and why they exist only in these exceptional places on our planet. They are nature’s greatest wild locations and their secrets reveal a planet more beautiful and more bizarre than we could ever imagine. (Courtesy Discovery+, 2021)

Production Credits:
Mysterious Planet is produced by NHNZ, a Blue Ant Studios company, and NHK in Association with ARTE France and Youku for Discovery Channel. For NHNZ, Andrew Murray is series producer, Kyle Murdoch is executive producer. For discovery+, Howard Swartz and Joseph Schneier are executive producers and Mark Cullen is consulting producer  This series will drop all episodes at once on January 4 on discovery+.

Show Guide: 'A Perfect Planet'

01 January, 2021

Synopsis: A Perfect Planet is a new five-part series from Sir David Attenborough and the award-winning team behind the original Planet Earth and The Hunt. In a unique fusion of blue chip natural history and earth sciences, A Perfect Planet  explains how the living planet operates, showing how the forces of nature - weather, ocean currents, solar energy and volcanoes – drive, shape and support Earth’s great diversity of life. In doing so, it reveals how animals are perfectly adapted to whatever the environment throws at them. 

The series takes audiences on a stunning visual journey, from lands drenched by the Indian Monsoon and the slopes of fiery Hawaiian volcanoes, to the tidal islands of the Bahamas and the frozen wastes of Ellesmere Island. From Arctic wolves prowling moonlit landscapes in winter, to frozen wood frogs magically thawing back to life in spring; from the vampire finches of the Galapagos who drink the blood of seabirds, to the African flamingos who gather in their thousands every year in a vast volcanic lake to breed.

Devised to change the way we see our home, the first four episodes look at the natural forces; volcanoes, the sun, weather and ocean currents, and the last in the series focuses on the human force and our impact on the natural world. Audiences will view time and again how the lives of animals are driven and enabled by our planet’s great natural forces. (Courtesy Discovery+, 2021)

Production Credits:
A Perfect Planet is a Silverback Films Production for BBC and Discovery, co-produced with Tencent Penguin Pictures, ZDF, China Media Group, CMG Film, Drama and Documentary Programming Center, France Televisions and The Open University.  The executive producer is Alastair Fothergill, and the series producer is Huw Cordey. It was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, BBC Director of Content, and Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual. For discovery +, Howard Swartz is executive producer.

The Episodes:
Season One Episode Guide (Discovery+)
1-01 Volcanoes--01/04/2021

1-02 Sun--01/04/2021

1-03 Weather--01/10/2021

1-04 Oceans--01/17/2021

1-05 Humans--01/24/2021


Show Guide: ' Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines'

31 December, 2020

Synopsis:

The Cast:
Joanna Gaines as Herself

Production Credits:

The Episodes:
Season One Episode Guide (Discovery+)
1-01 A Family Tradition
Joanna makes a cherished family favorite -- Grandpa Stevens' classic Lebanese dish, Fatayer, served with a Lebanese salad, Hummus and Baklava for dessert.

1-02 A Friendsgiving Feast
Joanna shares one of her favorite meals to make as the seasons change -- a rich and delicious Friendsgiving casserole, Cranberry sauce, Green Beans Amandine and Cherry Almond Crisp for dessert.

Show Guide: 'Equinox'

30 December, 2020

Synopsis: Haunted by visions after her sister vanished with her classmates 21 years before, Astrid begins an investigation that uncovers the dark, eerie truth.

The Cast:
Danica Curic
Karoline Hamm
Viola Martinsen
Lars Brygmann
Hanne Hedelund
August Isaac Carter
Fanny Leander Bornedal
Asky Mossberg Truelsen
Peder Holm Johansen
Alexandre Willaume
Susanne Storm
Andrea Englesmann Persson
Thomas Chaanhing
Morten Haunch-Fausebell
Eskil Tonnesen

Production Credits:
Created by: Tea Lindeberg

The Episodes:
Season One Episode Guide (Netflix)
1-01 It's Going To Happen Again--12/20/2020
A chilling phone call during Astrid's radio show stirs up memories about her sister's disappearance and spurs her to investigate what really happened.

1-02 The Girl Is Gone--12/20/2020
Astrid returns to her childhood home to look for clues. Ida's relationship with Jakob unfolds and his fascination with a mysterious book takes root.

1-03 What Is It You See When You're Asleep?--12/30/2020
Jakob leads Ida, Amelia and Falke to the island for the equinox. After learning more about the strange symbol, Astrid questions a former teacher.

1-04 Everything In Its Place--12/30/2020
The pieces begin to fail into place for Astrid with help from Ida's old friend, but the visions that plagued her as a child shake her hold on reality.

1-05 I Hear Voices--12/30/2020
A return address yields more clues, but Astrid's relentless search for answers causes concern. Ida feels lost and alone after the events on the island.

1-06 The Blood Runs In The Veins--12/30/2020
Astrid confronts her mother as she closes in the truth. Anger, accusations and revelations mar Ida's long-awaited graduation day.

'The Curse Of Oak Island' Recap: 12/29/2020

29 December, 2020

We are now beginning episode eight of the eight season of The Curse Of Oak Island and even for this show, the season as been spectacularly slow-moving. Granted, some of the problem is due to the delays caused by the pandemic. The search season began late and some of the projects the team wanted to do would have required too much time to complete before winter began.

But as much as I would like these to be some hidden treasure trove, this season has seemed to primarily be filled with episodes where a relatively small "discovery" is turned into a breathless event. "Hey, look, it's a mound of dirt! Just like the Knights Templar used to build!"

Tonight's episode is entitled "High On The Bog" and while I can't claim to be a psychic, I suspect the swamp will be involved in some way.

It's nighttime on Oak Island and the Laginas along with their team have gathered in person and remotely to hear the latest presentation from geographic information systems expert Erin Helton. She has previously examined papers and a 14th-century map collected by the late Oak Island researcher Zena Halpern and used that information to lead the team to several large boulders that she suspects had been used as markers. Now that the location of those boulders have been confirmed by the team, she believes she can use those boulders as a way to lead the team to the location of the so-called "money pit."

Helton tells the team that she doesn't believe they should continue to dig in the money pit. She believes it's a booby-trapped entrance and that the location of the vault is somewhere else. She believes they can use directions she's discovered to lead them to the location of the treasure. She lays out her theory, based in part on other material that had been collected by Zena Halpern: the La Formule Cipher. The paper is a cipher comprised of mysterious symbols, which reportedly match symbols found to have been carved on the legendary 90-foot stone.

Back in 2016, the Laginas had paid a computer science to decode the La Formule Cipher and Helton is using that translation as the jumping-off point for her translation. And by following the directions across the island instead of downward at the money pit, she arrives exactly as the location known as "Cone E" on Nolan's Cross. Even more impressive, if you overlay the corridors drawn on the 14th-century map collected by Zena Halpern, you arrive at the exact same spot. 

The Laginas are impressed enough to bring out a crew the next day to dig some exploratory holes based on Erin Helton's new theory. Rick Lagina and the small team are drilling at a location Erin believes is the site of a hidden underground corridor that might lead to the location of the true money pit. Nicknamed "EJZ-1," is is located at the edge of the clearing where many different people had dug searching for the treasure.

While drilling continues at EJZ-1, at the Oak Island Research Center, Rick Lagina, Charles Barkhouse and Craig Tester are meeting with numismatist Sandy Campbell. While searching on Lot 15 seven weeks ago, near a structure believed to be a 16th-century pine tar kiln, metal detection expert Gary Drayton and Jack Begley found an old coin unlike any they had ever discovered on Oak Island. The coin is thin and flat with a square old punched in the middle. 

After examining the find, Campbell tells the group that it is clearly a Chinese Cash Coin. And while the coin is too worn to identify more specifically, based on the way the edge of the coin was created, Campbell estimates it could be 1,100 or 1,200 years old. In other words, it was manufactured somewhere between 400 and 900 A.D. But how did it get to Oak Island? Campbell tells the group that he is surprised by the find, given that while English, Spanish and French explorers brought their coins with them on their travels, the Chinese typically did not. Campbell's best theory is that it came to the island in someone's pocket. They had likely been to the Far East and collected the coin as a good luck piece.

Following that piece of interesting news, Rick Lagina heads back to the money pit area to check on the progress of the drill holes at EJZ-1. But after a lot of back-and-forth conversation and the examination of some material brought up in the holes, the bottom line is that they haven't found anything yet.

The following day, while the drilling continues at EJZ-1, metal detection expert Gary Drayton and Peter Franetti arrive at the southeastern corner of the swamp. It is currently being drained in preparation for a new excavation and the duo hope to find some items that had previously been buried under the muck. Their first find is an old iron pin, probably used for construction on a ship or wharf and almost certainly dating back to the 1700s or earlier.

Later that day at the money pit, surveyor Steve Guptill, Oak Island historian Charles Barkhouse and geologist Terry Matheson continue to examine the bore hole material from EJZ-1. They haven't found any evidence of Erin's proposed tunnel, but when Rick Lagina arrives Guptill makes a suggestion. Last year, the team dug up woof dated back to the early 1700s at a money pit location known as OC-1, which is located a few meters east of RF-1, which they used as the starting point to determine where to dig. If the team uses OC-1 as the starting point, that might give them the location of the tunnel. But until Erin can examine the new theory to map a new location, the drilling is on hold.

On nearby Lot 15, Marty Lagina's son Alex Lagina joins archeologist Dr. Aaron Taylor and archaeologist Miriam Amirault as they continue to investigate a mysterious, serpent-shaped mound. Dr. Taylor has discovered a bit of a charcoal layer in one portion of the mound and by testing the charcoal, he should be able to determine when the material was burned. 

Meanwhile, back at the swamp, Gary Drayton and Peter Franetti continue their search for more evidence of a possible hidden ship wharf. While digging for metal, the two men discover a layer of hand-hewn boards that Drayton thinks might be the entrance to a tunnel or shaft. They call Rick Lagina and island archeologist Laird Niven to come and examine the find. Niven seems to think it could be a slipway, similar to what was found in Smith's Cove. No one is entirely sure what the feature might be, but there also appear to be sort of iron nails attached, which could help the team date the feature.

While the discovery is noteworthy, it also could potentially force the team to reevaluate their current plan to build a cofferdam in that corner of the swamp similar to the one they build two years ago in Smith's Cove. If there is indeed the remains of a slipway in that location, driving large sheets into the ground to build the cofferdam could destroy unseen wooden features. They ultimately decide to dig in the area in an effort to discover what might be there before the arrival of the metal sheets.

The tease for next week shows the discovery of more wooden features in the swamp, a new discovery by Gary Drayton and Craig Tester announcing the dating of some unseen object to 1320 to 1440.

See you next week.










Movies And Specials: '#Alive'

01 October, 2020

Synopsis: Oh Jun-u wakes up and finds a note from his mom that says his family went on vacation without him. He turns on TV and the news anchor says that an outbreak is spreading nationwide, with the infected showing signs of cannibalism. Suddenly wifi is disconnected and what Jun-u can only hear is his father’s message that he must stay alive. The world goes crazy and everything is destroyed by the zombies. After more than 15 days without any social connection, Jun-u notices a laser beam coming from outside of his balcony window. Kim Yu-bin who lives on the other side of the apartment complex is the one with the laser pointer. They try to communicate using hand signals, determined to find ways to escape from an apartment complex which is now full of zombies. (Courtesy Netflix, 2020)

The Cast:
Yoo Ah In
Park Shin Hye
Lee Hyun Wook
So Hee Jung
Jeon Bae Soo
Kim Hak Seon
Lee Chae Kyung
Joo Bo Bi
Jin So Yeon

Production Credits:
Based on an original script by: Matt Naylor
Directed by: Il Cho
Produced by: Zip Cinema and Perspective Pictures