We had a prowler.

The back gate was open, and a lawn detritus bin was knocked over. Someone was in the backyard. There’s a lot of this around these days. From my Ring doorbell app I get daily video of opportunistic miscreants looking around at 4 AM for something to steal.

The presence of the cameras don’t seem to do anything, but floodlights that snap on? Maybe! I could get a really good picture to give to the cops who will send all available units to arrest the guy and make sure the courts let him go with his 47th consecutive stern warning.

The Ring units seemed like a natural choice, since it plugs into my existing Ring network - but too many reviews said the lights burned out after a year, and the bulbs weren’t replaced. So I did some careful online research (Click on Amazon pages until fatigue sets in) and settled on some nicely-designed things that look like Apple c. 2008, and the Wall-E / Eve aesthetic.

Made me sigh, a bit; I miss that style. I mean, obviously, it’s still around, but there was something about that 2008 iPhone, the smooth curved white plastic aesthetic, that matched whatever I expected the future to look like. Even though Wall-E was a damned depressing movie.

Anyway. Here’s some details from the product page.

All video files can only be played on your App. It is impossible to play any fils exported from an SD card to any other devices.You don’t need to worry about privacy even if the camera is stolen because it will shoot the thief immediately and send you a notification.

Oh, I like that.

Oh, you mean a picture.

I think I’ll use this subject as a column, because it has that convenient course: hope, difficulty, failure, rage, resignation. Let’s just say the devices are crap. One worked. One couldn’t muster the will or the interest to stay connected. The app, by the way, gave the product a different name than the company that sold it. The brand name on the box is Aihows, whatever the hell that is; the app’s branding is Vicoo. Call up that name on the internet and you get a 403 or a holding-place landing page in Chinese.

Aihows “about” page:

Aihows havs own R & D team and strong technical support from America, Korea ,Taiwan and Japan. 

It does havs it? Great

In order to supply high quality guaranteed products, Aihows use the high-tech facilities and test equipments for the production, such as darkroom, vector oscilloscope, high-resolution monitors, high-temperature ovens, vibration test stand and so on.

But they can’t run this stuff through a native English speaker.

Aihows’s vision is to be the world leader in smart security solutions, taking care of people and making every home and business a safe place. Home and business needs, and technology, continue to evolve but Aihows’s commitment is to always deliver security made smarter.

Yeah, no, because the stuff is crap, and the brand is dead to me. But here’s the thing: there is no brand. It’s all made up. They’ll fold, rebrand, trot out the same crap in another form with a website full of stock photos and testimonials



War’s over!

Flying cars for everyone!

All of a sudden, we're leaning into the 50s.




Let’s start with a version of her theme that shamelessly steals from Gershwin as she walks down the street.

She’s looking for a job, like so many others after the war.

She fights off the usual wolves in the first ten minutes, so she adopts a frumpy look to succeed on her brains:

That’s frumpy.

but there’s something notably missing from the opening portions: humor. The sort of broad gaffs we usually get. It feels like it’s trying to be something else: not a B pic, not an A pic, but a B double plus. Southern’s the only reason, really, to watch it - but they knew that.

Anyway, she gets put to work designing helicopters.


No really. The guy who hires her because she’s frumpy learns she worked on the assembly line making aircraft, and that qualifies her to help out with his helicopter project. It seems sensible:


Here we have the George Murphy problem. If he’s the love interest, we’re in trouble. For one thing, he’s dull.

For another thing, she got engaged to marry him in the boxing pic. Were there so few actors around they had to throw him in again? What did he say when they told him “You’re doing another Maisie pic, pal”

Anyway, she starts uncovering bookkeeping irregularities at the helicopter factory, and the bad guys, which includes the usual ice blonde . . .

. . . figure they have to stop her. “Maybe there’s something in her past,” she says. YA THINK

But everyone loves her because of everything in her past, which also gets wiped away and reset when she starts a new movie, except not really.

This caught my eye:

That’s somewhere. I’ve seen it before. But WHERE.



Anyway, there is trickery and peril, and eventually Maisie ends up piloting the helicopter, which means they have to retool her theme for aviation. This is done by adding flutes.

It also makes for some interesting miniature shots, process shots, rear projection, and the other elements that go into a good thrill comedy:

By the way, she lands it at the Rose Bowl, where obviously there’s been a murder and the police are on the scene:

In the end, it’s the least amusing, but it’s also the tightest entry with a boffo finish, and you have to be surprised they found this much energy and ingenuity nine movies into the series.

Are we done with Maisie? My, no. But that's next year.

That'll do; Matches await.



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