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Lean on Me (1989)
This film is my inspiration. The reason for that is that I am from Arkansas. We have the worst public educational system in all of the United States. There are three reasons for this. 1). Sports dominates and takes attention away from academic activities. 2). Our grading scale ridiculously lax (90% equals an "A"). 3). The people believe the system can't be changed because the students are too dumb and the people running the system are too corrupt. I might have become one of the people who had given up if not for "Lean on Me". Even though I am only 18 I am considering a future school board run in which I will improve the system and hire compentent officials. Everyone I have told this to says one of two things. "You can't win or things can't change." "Lean on Me says that if one has the audacity, the tenacity, and the capacity to change the system for the better they must. Some things you can never give up on. You can't give up on justice, you can't give up on freedom, and you can't give up on education.
Everybody Loves Raymond (1996)
Nimble-Minded (It's a joke. Buy "Everything and a Kite" and you'll get it")
The ONLY comedy CBS has ANY right to tout. The freshest, funniest, and most poignant family comedy to come about since "Home Improvement". Ray Romano is going places. He represents an alternative to the Seinfeldian fussy cynics that got TV shows before him. Comedy cannot be polite. It can be nice but it is hard to pull off. "Everybody Loves Raymond" is the great and lone protector of nice comedy on television.
Authoritative Treatiste Concerning Censorship In Our Troubled Times
THE most brilliant satire of American culture to ever hit the SCREEN. I am going to praise this film highly in this review so I wish to stress that there is one animated show to which it cannot, willl not, and does not hold a candle. I am talking about The Simpsons. The Simpsons is a mass parody of American culture that succeeds independently of media attention and long after the death of Bartmania. That said this is a funny movie. Being from a small town in Arkansas, the song Uncle F***er was a shocker and a great release for me. In fact the heart of the movie is its unmasking of the insane obsession Americans have with cursing. The characters in the film favor inflicting pain on children, starting a war, kidnapping, demagogory, and commiting murder as long as the people who get hurt were using dirty words. That is what is known as embarrassingly and frighteningly misplaced priorities. This film teaches three lessons America must learn. 1). There are NO BAD WORDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There are only bad thoughts and bad intentions. Words themselves are innocent whereas people are not. 2). Violence is worse than anything, including sex and "bad language". 3). The only ones who usually don't get blamed for the corruption of children are their parents and that is insane. The point of this film is not fart jokes but rather that we are offended by them so.
Practical Magic (1998)
A Great Cast but a Script Running Around With Its Head Cut Off
This is NOT so bad as I have been reading. I had to go see this one twice because the first time I saw it a power outage happened and the whole theater went down. Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman ARE charming in their roles and are genuine movie stars. Diane Weist and Stockard Chaning are both genuine movie stars and Actresses as in thespians and they make every moment that they are on screen a joy. Only at the times when they are on screen does the movie become what it was intended to be. Almost all the acting talent in this film is good the scumbag boyfriend, the hateful townspeople, the sympathetic townspeople, and the child actors are all good. This brings me to the unpleasant subject of Aiden Quinn. He seems to me to be about the Ray Liotta caliber romantic lead and spends too much time as a confused Darrinesqe character. On the whole the acting talent is not to be blamed for any major flaws. The writing talent however does not get off so easy. The script has a logical continuancy problem that makes it seem as though ten different screen-writers, in ten different nations, through E-mail, had an illiterate person staple all of their ideas together in a completely random order, and then had the director do ten minutes worth of clean-up. The only reputations that should be hurt by this film are those that rarely receive much notoriety anyway.
Greatest animated adventure series
This is the greatest animated adventure series ever made in the history of the universe. Based on a Mattel toy line originally intended to be Conan the Barbarian toys this series has every element to make a successful hero story. The animation first of all is brilliant and the production studio Filmation was the only cartoon studio in history to do all their animation entirely within the USA. This has an interesting and varied cast of characters. The aloof King Randor from whom He-Man when he is in the form of Prince Adam is always searching for approval. The strong captian of the Royal Gaurd Teela. The wise inventor and military officer Man-at-Arms. The ultimate comic relief character Orko the Trollan court jester. Then Skeletor one of the best villians of all time. Histronic, operatic, and always blaming his lackeys for the defeats he suffers by He-Man. Those lackeys are pretty good too. Beast-Man controller of all animals, Trapjaw cyborgian wizard of weapons, Triclops master of vision, Mer-Man controller of all sea-creatures, and Evil-Lyn witch of night. Watch this series and be swept off into a romantic and fantastic world that no one seems to know how to take you to anymore.
Masters of the Universe (1987)
I will be blunt. This film at the worst is a bad Star Wars ripoff. However at the best this film is a grand missed opportunity. The cartoon series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe had a plot and meaning. He-Man was not always a strong hero most of the time he was the weak Prince Adam and when he was in that form he was a dissapointment to his father King Randor. This film took out one of the best comic devices of all of the history of animation Orko the Trollan court jester. The worst mistake though was the casting of Dolph Lundgren. Nothing against Dolph but He-Man was very literate and sort of a cowboy-type superhero and Dolph has a pretty syrupy Russian accent that he tries to work through but to no avail. I ask you to not prejudge all things He-Man because of a negitive experience with this film. Just remember that this is not a bad idea, merely a poorly executed one.
The Secret of the Sword (1985)
Every now and then a film achieves greatness. An animated movie based on a Mattel toy line might not be a place where you would expect this to happen but it did. Two years before this film came out the television show He-Man and the Masters of the Universe debuted. The show was loved by children but hated by adults who thought this was just a twisted way to get the kids to buy the toy the series was based on. Well it was or at least it was intended to be. However something wonderful happened: the show began to teach children moral values and the power of truth, courage, and honor. This film introduces characters that would begin the series She-Ra Princess of Power. The acting is brilliant, the animation perfectly tuned to fantasy, and the evil ever present and not as cartoonish as one might expect. This cartoon whether some will admit it or not was a shining beacon and a glorious presence for any kid in 1980's. Watch it without prejudice and discover wonder, majic, and heroism like you have never seen.