8 Reviews
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The Real O'Neals (2016–2017)
Welcome Back, Martha
14 April 2016
I have been a long term of Martha Plimpton, from her early dramas to the hilarity of Raising Hope, so I am happy she is back on TV. Fortunately, she again picked a great vehicle to display her talent. I don't understand the negative reviews since aside from writing that is several notches above many sitcoms, it actually displays characters who are warm, affectionate, and compassionate in spite of their flaws. To suggest that the show reflects negatively on all Irish Catholic families is tantamount to suggesting that "Psycho" reflects negatively on all motel owners. And on top of that, the show is often quite funny. Who could ask for more from network TV!

I hope you will ignore the negative reviews and watch it to decide for yourself.
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A Serious Man (2009)
Columbia Record Club
14 February 2010
For those of us who grew up in the 50s and 60s, this is the only movie to ever explore the real terror generated by a membership in the Columbia Record Club.

Other media (e.g. Saturday Night Live) poked gentle fun at the service in the 1970s by suggesting that all new immigrants to the US receive 12 albums for a penny if they agreed to buy only 4 more in the coming three years. "A Serious Man" shows what happened if you actually tore out the postage paid card, chose you 12 items (and a 13th for only 99 cents more - plus shipping and handling) and posted it.

The hits just kept on coming...
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Boy Culture (2006)
A Smart, Funny Movie
14 August 2007
As more or more gay themed movies are released, it seems that the percentage of bad films has risen dramatically. That is why it was such a joy to discover this smart, funny, and wise movie that I can recommend to my straight friends as much as to my gay friends.

"Boy Culture" is not a good gay movie, but a very good movie period. It sports a terrific cast of three-dimensional characters and it is hot and sexy to boot. I have not seen their previous work, but if this is an indication of their output, I look forward to seeing everything they've done.

Kudos to everyone involved!
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12 July 2007
I can still remember the thrill of reading my first Harry Potter book. I was slow starter - the first three books were already out by then. What made the books so enthralling was that the magic was presented matter-of-fact and without fanfare which made it at once seem all the more believable and more exciting. While I haven't disliked any of the films and actually enjoyed parts of all them, this is the first Harry Potter movie that made me feel the magic all over again. Yes, there will be a lot of complaints about what was left out, but what was put in was way more important. For the first time, parts of the film are actually subtle and give you pause for thought. A single glance conveys the information from many pages of text. The cast is as fine as usual, but Imelda Staunton (Delores Umbridge) is brilliant!
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Strange Fruit (2004)
I think I've Finally Seenthe Worst Movie Ever Made
23 September 2006
I think I've finally seen the Worst Movie Ever Made, and it hurts me to say that. As a big fan of indie cinema, gay or otherwise, I had high hopes. Several minutes into the film, however, the sheriff appeared and has my vote for the worst actor of this or any other century. His performance, and the dialog he was forced to perform, caused me the unusual step of stopping the DVD in its track. Hours later when I screwed up enough courage to press the play button again, it was no better.

Aside from the sheriff and his cartoon-racist deputies, the film has an attractive cast for whom I felt genuine sympathy since they had such a miserable script. The idea behind the film is fine - using lynching of gay men in the "New South" the same way it was used on black men in the Old South, leaving "strange fruit" hanging from the trees.

With an accomplished writer and director, we might have had a movie. Instead we get fake detective work, platitudes about homosexuality, and a cliché with a the one good white man trying to save the day.

I have no doubt that racism still flourishes. The FBI is currently investigating a white school bus driver in the back woods of Louisana who forced the black kids to get to the back of the bus. But this town is a cartoon, and it is hard to believe anything you see or hear.

There a few subplots in a weak attempt to try to make the main character more three-dimensional, but for the most part, they also fail miserably.

For the truly masochistic, the DVD contains some deleted scenes that will leave you running for cover.

The is probably the first movie that makes me believe that writer/directors should have to pass a test and get licensed before they can make a film. Although I would look forward to seeing several of the cast members in better films, I would be hard-pressed to witness anything else from this director.
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In the Flesh (1998)
The Horror... The HORROR!
25 August 2000
As bad as the acting is in this film, the full impact of its awfulness doesn't really hit you until you rerun the plot in your mind. (WARNING: the "plot" will be given away.) A detective investigating drug sales at a hustler bar falls in love with a hustler who is turning tricks mainly so that he can buy heroin for his drug-addicted sister. (I think we are supposed to admire him for that.)

As much as I enjoy gay-themed movies, this film is a testament that producers shouldn't be too loose with their funds.
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Very funny and engaging comedy.
7 February 1999
Very funny and engaging comedy involving a large cast of characters who are inter-related, self-absorbed, and totally interesting in spite of their major flaws. As the film meanders, you have no idea about where it is going -- if anywhere -- but it is a thoroughly enjoyable trip.
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The Alarmist (1997)
Quirky, Funny... Enjoy the vignettes
6 February 1999
I was surprised by the number of times I caught myself smiling or laughing quietly during The Alarmist (AKA Life During Wartime), a film where the parts are definitely greater than the whole. Be prepared to all but ignore the plot, which is unnecessary except as a place to loosely hang some wonderful performances by everyone involved.
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