Reviews written by registered user
Zorro-3

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36 reviews in total 
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
This was Gene Wilder's movie., 3 February 2001
8/10

Like the great Jack Nicholson lent a bit of his soul to that hack Stephen King in the "Shining," the wondrous Gene Wilder made a relatively stupid book a damn fine film. As a child, I read most of Dahl's fare and found most of it pretty lame (PARTICULARLY his really stupid sequel to "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," what was it called, "The Great Glass Elevator," or something like that?) The only thing he ever wrote that even remotely creeped me out was "The Magic Finger." He should have written that and only that and then gotten a day job.

One of the big laughable things about "Willie Wonka" is the Dickensian thing. When not at home Charlie appears to live in the prosperous 1960's USA. But at home, he appears to live the life of Oliver Twist. His ma took in laundry and stirred it in a large cauldron. They hurt for every penny, ate cabbage soup. Where was DFACS? Did they not get food stamps?

And Jack Albertson's character should have been really ashamed of himself. He hadn't been out of bed for twenty years? Once up and about, he seemed quite robust to me.

The only thing that makes this movie worth a damn is Gene Wilder. He is a dark master.

SPOLIER ALERT!

The ending was different also. In the book, Charlie did no wrong. In the movie, he stole Fizzy Lifting Drinks. In the book, Willie Wonka (who had no dark side) suddenly noticed that Charlie was the only one left and declared him the winner. In the movie, he had to pass the final test. (Making the movie superior.)

In the movie, the Oompa-Loopmas were orange. In the book they were black. (Making the book racist, but not the movie.)

The movie improved upon the book. Roald Dahl was a hack. But at least he had the sense to marry Patricia Neal.

As a child, I had a crush on Julie Dawn Cole.

Magic (1978)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Incredible!, 1 February 2001
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I can't understand the low rating this film receives. Certainly, it could have been a little tighter, but this outstanding early performance by one of today's eminent actors surely deserves better. And Ann-Margret added quite a bit herself. And Burgess Meredith was as good as ever.

A better, mess-with-your-head, psychological thriller there never was. (POSSIBLE SPOILER) Right up till the end, I was left wondering whether Fats was a supernatural being (like Chucky) who had a soul of his own.

Don't miss this one. And for goodness sake, give it a good vote!

20 out of 31 people found the following review useful:
Cheesy Fluff, 14 January 2001
4/10

This movie really disgusted me. But let me explain....

It is not that I don't believe in sentimentality. I am a HUGE Frank Capra fan. And I can't watch "Field of Dreams" (which I know isn't Capra) without tears in my eyes at many points in the movie.

So that isn't it. It's just that "E.T." is so phony, so synthetic, so made-up, so ENGINEERED to try to make me feel something, that I have to resent it.

I'll just never understand Spielberg. For so long, I had nothing but contempt for him. Till Schindler's List. (Does anyone (other than Nazis) not like Schindler's List?)

And then, too, he made Saturday-morning worth getting up for. (Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain). I finally (and grudgingly) had to admit that the man is a genius. But he is a genius who has done some bad work. And E.T. was some of his worst work.

Sneakers (1992)
7 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
A Silly Film, 9 January 2001
3/10

I almost didn't write this because I didn't want to dignify this silly, stupid contrived movie by commenting. I hope they paid those (usually) great people a whole lot of money to be in this turkey.

But I won't ramble on, let me use one scene as an example. Mary McDonnell and Robert Redford are trying to fool Ben Kingsley and nearly get away with it. They convince him that they are where they are, when they are there, because they are on a date. Then she says, "Last time I go out on a computer date."

A light bulb goes off in villain Kingsley's brain. He stops them, menacingly, saying, "No computer would have EVER fixed up the two of you!" And they are unmasked.

PUUUUHHHHHLLLLLEEEEEZZZZEEE!!!!!

As we all know, a computer will do any darn thing you tell it to. A computer dating program is only as intelligent as the dummy writing it. If the computer dating company were on the cheap, it could have actually used a randomizer. And that the story actually TURNED on this?

As the professor said in "Frosty," "Silly, silly, silly!"

Parasite (1982)
1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Best 3-D ever!, 30 December 2000
7/10

This film took the 3-D effect to new heights. It REALLY looks 3-D. And the movie was quite all right, in and of itself. Desolate and futuristic, a little like Mad Max, but certainly not THAT good. I predicted great things for Demi Moore, after this film, but not because of her acting.

Don't forget the music!, 26 December 2000
7/10

Basil Poledouris rules! I would rank him second only to Angelo Badalamenti, as soundtrack-makers go. (And John Williams can bite my butt, by the way!)

I am almost sorry to be recommending such a soundtrack to you, twenty years after the fact. I mean it isn't like you can really buy the record anymore. (at least without a big tracking-it-down kind of thing.)

But if you rent the movie, listen!

8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Only a Parent Knows, 25 December 2000
7/10

As I am a daddy, this movie was hard for me to watch.

Shoot! The event was hard to hear about when it happened and I wasn't even a daddy then.

There are many views of this event and many levels on which to examine it. Some of the possibly valid ways would sound mean. (For example if I wanted to, (which I don't!) I COULD say poor children die every day, and I don't know about it and don't suffer for it, the way I did for Jessica McClure, because they die in a common, rather than an unusual way, and they are further away, than she was, and don't get the expedient media attention that Jessica got. But I am not (at least not yet) that cynical.

But the thing that made this movie was the SOUND of the little two-year old girl hooting and hollering up the hole, from twenty feet below. And the look on her dad's face. (There, but for the grace of God, might I be.) I don't know how I could ever endure such a thing. But all one can do is endure it.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Good writing (at first), always low-budget production, 1 December 2000
6/10

This show is like the pop-band Abba: 1) cheesy, 2) I like it, but I am a little ashamed to like it. Or are those the same thing? (Remember when they made that wagon? And put the really big berry in it?)

It had the great sci-fi writers of the age writing an episode apiece. Yet the producers apparently couldn't afford to film the darn thing. It had a very tapey, sound-stagey feel. Yet behind all that, one could detect the lovingkindness of great mind(s) at work.

Thus was the curse of Saturday morning (at least until Spielberg hit the scene). It was the stepchild of TV networks back then, enamored of "Love Boat" and such.

I do think it is time Holly made some sort of cult comeback.

Larry (1974) (TV)
6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Great Story, 9 September 2000
7/10

Uplifting story of a man, who was abandoned by his mother to a mental institution, as a retard. He had assumed the speech patterns and mannerisms of the institutional retarded people that surrounded him. Only by heroic effort and luck did he communicate his intelligence to a professional who was paying attention and who cared. Thus begins his rehabilitation. Superb early performances by Tyne Daly and Fredric Forrest.

9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Above average, 4 September 2000

Above average Saturday morning fare. Part of ABC's "Funshine Saturday." Had a simian named Snubby, in addition to the usual cast. They organized a democracy on the island. Snubby got half a vote. Was similar stories to the old Gilligan, but dumber. Still better than most Saturday morning shows of the time.


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