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235 reviews in total 
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7 out of 28 people found the following review useful:
Unfortunately, quite bad., 22 August 2011

Being a fan of "The Nanny," I really looked forward to this new Drescher series. However, knowing the poor quality of the new TV Land sitcoms, I didn't really expect too much. I wasn't surprised. This series is badly written, routinely directed and clownishly performed.

Like "Hot in Cleveland," it comes across as a second-rate 90s sitcom (or even 80s), employing actors who have done far better work in previous series.

I just watched the 8th episode of the "first season".....Rita Moreno and Robert Walden are totally wasted with idiotic dialogue. Lou Diamond Phillips is a pointless "guest star," although Renee Taylor (of "The Nanny") has some humorous lines, due solely to the fact that she previously played "Fran's" mother.

John Michael Higgins brings "gay" to the table, as he often does, but much less convincingly, in this case. He's boring, and stereotypical. And his lines drop with a "thud".

I will be surprised if this series is given a second season, but if TV Land can continue to sustain the horrid "Retired at 35," then anything is possible.

Jennifer (1953)
7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
This is NOT a "film noir", 29 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First and foremost...this film is not a "noir"! That term is easily the most abused on the IMDb site. Yes, it's black and white. Yes, it's shot on location in the early 50s. NO, it is in NO way a "film noir".

This is a suspense thriller, with more than a bit of the haunted house genre thrown into the mix. It's also a well-made "B" flick, with the surprising services of cinematographer James Wong Howe, as a bonus.

The film is quite moody, with wonderful location filming. (I hope to find out the location of the mansion, and if it still stands.)

Granted, the whole thing falls apart in the final ten minutes...the ambiguity is surprising, for a film of the early 50s. Did Jennfer really die? What's with that weird "college" kid? The opening/closing shot...not sure what to make of it. While I don't mind a film leaving questions unanswered, the ending here is rather pointless.

However, I do recommend it. If for nothing else, the locations, the cinematography and Ms. Lupino.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Horrible on so many levels, 30 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Seriously, this film is cringe-worthy from the outset. Granted, it is the product of its time, but for whom was it intended? With tons of profanity, a constantly yelling father, naked locker room shots of Phoenix Suns players (rear only) and a tendency to have young children in various stages of's certainly not a family film in the traditional sense.

I did enjoy the director's somewhat similar earlier effort, "Yours, Mine and Ours," although it also has some surprising content for a family film, as well (the kids getting their father's date plastered with liquor, and the Lucy character losing an undergarment in a crowded bar). However, that film is relatively tame compared to "Mixed Company," where you have kids saying "goddammit" every other scene. Within the first six minutes alone, you have about twenty examples of adult language, and the statement that abortion has "fortunately" cut down on the number of unwanted children. I am not surprised that my parents didn't allow me to see this one, when I was a kid in the 70s.

Politics and such aside, the film has a badly written script, and incredibly annoying performances - adults and children alike. I do like Lisa Gerritsen (Bess from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show") in her role, however. The youngest "original family" child is a brat - unbearable, and far from cute.

A particularly annoying scene is that of the orphanage picnic in a city park - the location of which which is ridiculously convenient, merely for the sake of a plot development.(Seriously, the mother just HAPPENS to stop their car there while arguing about adoption with the father, after she picks him up at the airport??) During this scene (where two new orphans are introduced), a HELICOPTER with a black Santa lands in the middle of a field - the whole point of which is to set up the Vietnamese-kid-afraid-of-helicopters scenario (saw THAT coming). What kind of idiots would have Santa arrive in a running up to him as he emerges....helicopter blades...dumb.

I almost stopped watching an hour into it, with the closet/crying scene - creepy. Then I held on till the next basketball scene - and even more kid-cursing. Then the Halloween scene - continued kid-cursing. Pot- smoking boyfriend. Extended kid-cursing. More parent-cursing.

At this point, I've heard more "goddamns" than anything since the 80s "Scarface."

All in all, a truly bizarre film.

2 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Hilariously AWFUL, 6 March 2010

I don't care WHAT year this was is BAD. The flashbacks within flashbacks are worthy of a Carol Burnett Show. The acting is over-the-top. Seriously, folks, I can't imagine that the audiences of 1960 were able to keep a straight face. There have been MANY excellent "plane-in-dilemma" dramas since the 30s - "Five Came Back" (and its same-director remake), to name a few - so this incredibly LAME "drama" has no excuses for the ludicrous excesses.

I could not stop laughing.

I'm sure that "Airport 1975" INTENTIONALLY cast the two pilots,as they did, as that film is basically some sort of remake.

Stick with "The High and the Mighty" during this time period (well, six years earlier) - it blows this film out of the water.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Cliché-ridden, cloying and way too "precious", 24 May 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Having read some good reviews for this film, I made a point of recording it from Flix this week. Somehow, over the years, I had missed seeing it, but knew of it.

The movie is a major disappointment. Badly directed, with cartoonish performances, horrible special effects (yes, even for 1988) and an overbearing soundtrack, the whole thing plays like a Lifetime movie as channeled through an 80s Spielberg wanna-be. The presentation of 1962 small town America is apparently intentionally meant to be a cliché to the extreme, but to what end? The style lends a comic, sit-com atmosphere throughout the film, that fights against any horror elements present in the script.

The outcome is telegraphed so blatantly, that it would be impossible to imagine that anyone cannot immediately figure out who the killer is.

If this movie is meant for children in the five-to-ten age range, it is offset by surprising violence and profanity. Of course, in the 80s, it was a trend to throw these elements into the mix of a 'family" film, especially in those related to Amblin, or its copycats.

Overall, a laughable, cringe-inducing viewing experience, not recommended for young children or discerning adults.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Obviously helmed by commercial directors, 7 May 2009

While the film is certainly beautiful to look at, I found it fairly ridiculous from a plot stand-point. I am not familiar with the original Korean film, but I was aware that this is a remake when I viewed it. This is typically Dreamworks in style - too much "style" for my taste.

Frankly, I'm surprised that Ebert raves about the film, giving it three stars.

Of course, the directors (plural) didn't write the new script, but the direction definitely has the feel of an extended, glossy commercial, and I find that to be a distraction impossible to overlook. It's style over substance in almost every frame of the film.

The acting is good, certainly. The location is stunning. So stunning, in fact, that I found myself staring at the surroundings, and paying less attention to the performances.

Ultimately, this film doesn't feel "original" in any way. There obviously is a gimmick lurking in the background, and the "pay-off" is not terribly surprising.

At no time did this movie evoke, in me, uneasiness or fear. It is what it is - a Dreamworks paint-by-number product.

5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Wow, this is REALLY bad!, 22 March 2009

I remember hearing the horrendous reviews when this film was originally released. Thirty-three years later, I finally managed to actually see it on YouTube. My, oh, my. Considering the budget and talent involved, it is indeed one of the worst films ever made. Most often, it comes across as a filmed stage play - one with incredibly bad performances. The technical aspects are well below par. The whole naive "political" background actually makes the film even more annoying...did these people actually think that they were performing some sort of noble gesture, bringing the world's superpowers together? If you haven't seen this, really, I suggest that you skip it. It might play as "good bad," if you've had a few drinks with friends. But watching this sober, is just plain tedious.

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A different perspective, 14 March 2009

Previous posters have covered the back history of this film...some inaccurately, by the way. First of all, the Bracketville set for this film is NOT the same one used by John Wayne five years later. And WHAT a difference a few hundred miles make! Bracketville is about two hours southwest of SA, and looks NOTHING like the actual location. San Antonio is not in the desert - it's green. The SA River is basically a ditch in its natural state, not a "majestic" waterway. SA is at the base of the Hill Country - small rolling hills, covered "lushly" with green live oak trees. Disney's more recent "The Alamo," while pretty bad, at least filmed in the proper terrain (albeit closer to Austin, than San Antonio).

Interesting that the Alamo first appears an hour and fifteen minutes into this film. It plays a secondary role, in some aspects.

(I wonder if the 1800s natives called the city "San Antone" as often as they do in this movie. It's not a phrase used today - it's likely to instigate derision if uttered by a tourista in 2009. It's akin to referring to "San Francisco" with the horrid "Frisco" doesn't play well with the citizens.) Not being an historian, I can't comment on the accuracy of the film - others have covered that aspect. I will say that Hunnicutt's version of Crockett is cartoonish, at best. Most of the "famous" moments play in an overly-dramatic way. I suppose that is inevitable.

As an aside, the reasons that Ron Howard pulled out of directing the recent version of "The Alamo," are quite a story, on their own.

Most historians agree that the novel, 'The Gates of the Alamo," is a great and accurate depiction.

1 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Unintentionally hilarious, 14 February 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

By the end of this "sudser", I was howling. Come on, folks, this is one ridiculous drama. I suppose that the first 30 minutes can be tolerated, but when Stewart keeps writing his mother to send him more money, I couldn't wait to see what item she was going to sacrifice next. The ring....the family horse...the whatever. I could easily picture an SNL sketch going bonkers with the concept.

And the Lincoln interlude....WHAT??!! Let's stop EVERYTHING, and have ABRAHAM LINCOLN give the selfish main character a lecture on how to treat one's mother???? Definitely, a lesser Jimmy Stewart film. Sure, Bondi performs her standard role with the usual flourish, as do the other main stars, but the script is NOT to be believed.

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Idiotic and insulting, 16 November 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My question? WHERE did the $175 million go? I'll assume that the total cost includes the marketing tab, which can often be more than the production costs of a big studio film. Otherwise, this bomb swallowed around $250 million, and I doubt that.

While this flick has a bit of elaborate CGI, it's nothing compared to any number of big-budget sci-fi movies, which have cost considerably less.

There are already a ton of reviews in here, going over the same details, time and again. So, I'll hit one aspect of the plot that REALLY annoys me...the final "flood." So, a few hundred people are saved, in the subdivision of DC, where most of the film is set. They board the ark, and then ride a HUGE tidal wave through the center of DC, ending at The Capitol. Have many hundreds of thousands of people would have died? This feel-good, pandering "religious" film plays stupid, at this point - turning into some cartoonish parable.

It is, what it is. And what it is, is a bloated, idiotic attempt to make a "family-friendly" film, presumably tailored to some undiscerning block of religious viewers.

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