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"The Flash: Pilot (#1.0)"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"The Flash" Pilot (1990)

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Cheesy, But Nice Way To Portray A Comic Book Hero

Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
14 March 2007

Even though this film had a B-quality feel to it throughout, I liked it. For a lighthearted story about a cartoon character, maybe this is the way it ought to be done, at least in spirit. All this dark stuff with blood, guts and tons of profanity isn't the way most of us look at cartoon heroes.

I saw this on tape and I'm hoping the DVD, if I ever get it, has improved sound. The Flash, who is here-and-there "in a flash," needs good surround sound to go with the special- effects, and the tape didn't have it. I could more easily put up with the amateurish dialog.

The movie has charm, however, because of the added comedy mixed in with the action, and the likable hero, portrayed by John Wesley Shipp. I liked the female lead, too, played by the pretty Amanda Pays.

This is nothing spectacular, by any means, but a fun, harmless and entertaining hour-and-a- half.

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Great series with terrible luck.

Author: Reel_World from Earth
7 December 2004

The Flash was for its time a terrific show. With a million dollar per episode budget, the creative team didn't try to skimp on things and the production value is outstanding. Using a mix of known and unknown actors to fill the roles, and with some great SFX for the time, the story is well paced, with good action and characters that aren't as 2-dimensional as some in comic films today!

The only failing point for The Flash was its time schedule. When Flash premiered it was up against The Simpsons and other juggernaut "Must see" shows. For this reason, viewer ratings were lower than wanted, which led to the eventual cancellation.

The only two questions now is when will this series be released on DVD? I mean - hell's teeth - if Golden Girls and Diff'rent Strokes can be put to disc, why not this?? Question Two is When (and will) DC aim at a big screen adaption?

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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Great Comic Book Adaptation

Author: KMM from Topeka, KS
23 March 2002

This movie premiered in September of 1990 shortly after the 1989 Batman film. There are definite similarities between the two in mood, art direction, style and music. When I first heard about this show I was really excited because I had been a fan of The Flash and DC Comics for years prior to this show. I felt the creators of the show did a wonderful job in setting the mood for a comic book atmosphere. I thought the stories were entertaining and as I watch them years later they still appeal to me. The special effects for the time were pretty good. John Wesley Shipp made a great Barry Allen, and The Flash costume he wore was one of the better costume efforts I've seen for a superhero. I also felt the show created some real likeable characters. In addition, I felt the Barry Allen and Christina McGee characters had good on-screen chemistry.

Unfortunately, the TV show only lasted one season because CBS never knew where they wanted to put this show from week to week. I watched every episode of the TV show until it was cancelled. I can only ponder what could have been, where the show could have gone if it had been given a real chance to grow and develope into a premiere super hero show. Whenever any of the actors show up in anything else, I always think of The Flash immediately, especially John Wesley Shipp. It was only one season, but his performance as The Flash and his alter ego, Barry Allen, left a lasting impression.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

The BEST Live-Action Superhero Series!

Author: Ben Burgraff (cariart) from Las Vegas, Nevada
21 February 2006

The Flash" is the BEST live-action comic book adaptation ever to appear on television! I speak as a 'baby boomer' who grew up on "The Adventures of Superman" in the fifties, endured "Batman" in the sixties, and found "Wonder Woman" a 'mixed bag' in the seventies. "The Flash" is much, much better, and it has always been a tragedy that poor ratings (due largely to shifting time slots and the Gulf War) killed this series after a single season.

But what a season it was!

Produced by fellow 'baby boomers' Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo, to capitalize on the success of the Tim Burton "Batman" and visual style of the Warren Beatty "Dick Tracy" (with a theme by the composer of both films, Danny Elfman), the series focused on the adventures of the 'Silver Age' Flash, Barry Allen (played with boyish charm by John Wesley Shipp). A police scientist, Allen is struck by a bolt of lightning in his lab, and doused with an array of chemicals that alters his DNA, mutating him into a being of nearly limitless speed, superhuman regenerative powers, and an appetite for food to maintain his stamina that could keep pizza parlors in business for years! The death of his older brother, Jay (named after the forties' comic book Flash, and played by 'B' movie legend, Tim Thomerson) leads Allen to don a mask and costume, and fight crime, with his secret shared by scientist Tina McGee (Amanda Pays). Then it is literally 'off to the races', as the Flash uses his speed to combat street gangs, vicious killers, and the celebrated 'Rogues' Gallery' of costumed villains 'lifted' from the comic book (The Trickster, Captain Cold, etc.) While the series never attempted to be 'real', it avoided campiness, and respected both the audience and it's comic book roots (with references to legendary "Flash" authors and artists cleverly slipped in). The FX were astonishing (and VERY expensive to create), and still 'hold up' extremely well against the CGI effects of today.

Among the memorable actors who appeared in the series were Mark Hamill (just seven years after the original "Star Wars" trilogy concluded, and developing the 'villainous' skills that would make him the ideal 'Joker' in the animated "Batman" series), Bill ("Lost in Space") Mumy, Dick Miller, Robert Shayne ('Inspector Henderson' in "The Adventures of Superman"), David Cassidy, a pre-stardom Angela Bassett, Richard ("Homicide" and "Law and Order") Belzer, M. Emmet Walsh, and Alex Désert, as Allen's dreadlocks-coiffed sidekick, Julio Mendez.

Each episode of the series was vastly entertaining, with Shipp displaying not only a heroic physique, but a finely-tuned comic timing, and a dazzling smile guaranteed to melt your heart, as well. He made a character in a red 'muscle suit' not only believable, but as ingratiating as Christopher Reeve's 'Superman'.

I could go on and on, but don't take MY word for it...Watch an episode or two...You'll get 'hooked'!

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Brought Back Memories

Author: Paul Smith from United Kingdom
19 July 2005

This, for a made for TV movie is excellent. It includes everything that a good comic book adaptation should, and ranks up there with Flash Gordon, Superman: The Movie, Batman & Dick Tracy, it really is that good.

Again, for a made for TV movie, the production values are excellent. The chemistry between the actors really makes you believe this is actually happening. For this type of film in this genre I cannot rate this acting highly enough.

Made in the late 80's - early 90's, the last hay day of comic book adaptations, which included very strong films such as Dick Tracy, Batman & Batman Returns. This film only reflects the quality of films that were produced in this genre at this time, compared to now when in my opinion good comic book movies are few and few between.

Danny elfman has had great success composing in this genre, and it is great to hear his music play through the film, and it is a credit to a small film such as this that they got hold of such a big name composer such as he, and has went on to composer such comic book adaptations such as Hulk & Spider-man. The new flock of comic book adaptations are clearly influenced most notably by this film and Batman, and Spider-Man totally reflects that influence.

Not to be taken totally seriously. If you are a fan of the genre it ranks near the top, and is a fun movie to watch with the family. I know i loved it as a kid, and watching it now, years later the fun has'nt changed, much like Batman & Dick Tracy for me. a movie to be enjoyed and not Criticized.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

file under "brilliant but canceled"

Author: wrolfsmeyer from United States
20 June 2006

I was really psyched about this show when it first aired on TV. I didn't much about the Flash, but I was always into comic book adaptations. This show never disappointed me. It had some really cool action, and the humor was just right for the atmosphere of the show. I honestly believe this show would have lasted longer it if hadn't been that the show seemed to be on a different night every week.

Having picked up the DVD immediately after it was released, I was pleased to see the show has aged well. Despite the fact that this show is sixteen years old, the special effects are still fairly impressive, even compared to what they can do today. The only gripe I have is the consistency of certain scenes. One scene the Flash can cross the city in less than a second, the next scene he's barely running faster than a car, yet he still has the blur effect of running very fast. However, I can overlook this because technology was still very limited when this show aired. But overall, it was a fun show to watch as a kid, and it's still fun today.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Great Comic Hero Film

Author: Gunn from Minnesota
23 July 2003

I agree with most of the comments here. This is one of the best comic book superhero films ever! Especially the pilot film, it ranks right up there with Spider-man, Batman, Darkman and Superman! It has fabulous effects, especially for a TV movie; good acting; a good storyline; funny scenes and action scenes; fine production values and above all an excellent score and theme song by the great Danny Elfman...and I think possibly his best. I also agree that CBS did not give it a chance to develop a following, which I'm sure it would have. If it had a weakness, it was the villains, who could not compare with Dr. Ock, Green Goblin, The Joker, The Penguin or Lex Luthor. The Flash is now available on DVD. Don't miss it!

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

An excellent adaptation

Author: Andrew Furdell from Atlanta, GA
9 February 1999

Although it's true that Flash was a more "obscure" hero, that didn't make this show any less amazing. Million-dollar effects and fun characters made it exciting and interesting, and because of this show, I've been reading comic books for ten years. I don't think it mattered that Barry was dead in the comics, or that Flash is less recognizeable than Batman or Superman; he's still an interesting character with really cool superpowers and a nifty costume, and that's why DC characters translate so well into live-action, unlike Marvel characters. Now if only there was a Green Lantern series...

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Great DC Comic movie!

Author: Movie Nuttball from U.S.A.
12 November 2003

The Flash is a great movie! I liked it very much! John Wesley Shipp was the perfect choice to play the hero that is known as the Flash! He reminded Me a lot of Bruce Campbell! Amanda Pays, Michael Nader, and Alex Désert were good! The additions of Tim Thomerson and M. Emmet Walsh was cool and they acted very well! Richard Belzer had a short part. The movie has tons of action and the film is realistic! The music by Shirley Walker and Danny Elfman was awesome! If you like Super hero movies such as Batman, The X-Men, Spider-Man, and The Hulk then don't miss the Flash!

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:


Author: Big Movie Fan from England
16 February 2002

Whilst The Flash (released in 1990) was not as good as earlier films such as Superman and Batman it was still a decent movie.

The Flash was a a great comic book character who could run really really fast-and he had a cool costume as well. The Flash had always been one character I had wanted to see made into a film.

John Wesley Shipp and Amanda Pays had great chemistry on screen and they played their roles very well. It took what seemed a long while before we actually saw the Scarlet Speedster on the screen but when he did make his debut-WOW!

Whilst I don't think this film was as good as the TV series that followed it was decent enough.One thing I did think was wrong in this film was the lack of a super villain. 1989's Batman film had the Joker and Superman had Lex Luthor but all the Flash really had was some punks on motorcycles. In the comic book the Flash had many great foes such as Captain Boomerang and the Weather Wizard and I think the film would have been much better if it had had a super villain in it.

A good film nevertheless.

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