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More Baseball is a Good Thing
Love this series, and was really looking forward to the stuff on the strike and the home run chase/steroid era. One glaring omission, though, was during the long segment on 9/11 why didn't they show the President throwing out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium at the World Series? It would've fit perfectly with that segment. Just makes Ken Burns look petty, and it was a huge thing at the time, even for people who didn't vote for him. (There's another baseball documentary where they interview players and journalists who talk about the importance of that moment). It was also impressive that he threw a strike from the mound while wearing a bulletproof vest.
Would also like to add that Keith David is an excellent narrator. I could listen to him talk all day.
It has moments
I have seen a few of these gamer movies popping up from time to time over the last few years. The Gamers and its sequel Gamers 2: Dorkness Rising set the bar pretty high, however.
I came across THACO on YouTube. I laughed several times. Great gamer in-jokes. It's not as coherent as the Gamers movies (particularly the 2nd one) but I still enjoyed it. Thankfully it didn't run on for too long and was actually edited fairly tightly.
I recognized several of my own friends' quirks in the characters and the gags about the game mechanics and different versions were good. A bit on the esoteric side for some, but funny for the intended audience.
Masters of Horror: Homecoming (2005)
Worst of the series...
I was looking forward to Dante's contribution to this excellent horror anthology series from Showtime, but this was easily the worst of the bunch. It's really too bad. Part of this may be due to the poor, if odd, choice of source materials. Why Joe didn't just write an original, I have no idea. Instead, we get this soapbox episode where the "message" overwhelms the script, the characters, the staging, everything, and by the end I was just wondering whether it could get any worse, and I won't spoil it...but it ended up getting worse. What a stinker by such a talented creative team. Skip this one and buy the John Carpenter one instead. It manages to balance all of the elements: horror, humor, character, vision, and it's fun. Homecoming is about as fun as having a bear take a dump on you while you sleep.
Another canceled gem
It's annoying that programs of this quality are axed (I axed Showtime after this and Beggars and Choosers were canceled). Tim Reid, most famous for being Venus Flytrap on WKRP has turned into a complex and nuanced writer/producer, and Linc's was a joy to watch in terms of character and dialogue every week. Most remarkable about Linc's, was that it managed to create a political dialogue that's almost unheard of in modern TV programming. There were no off-hand cheap-shot remarks, the kind of immature political one-liners that show up on Six Feet Under or Law & Order. The characters came first, and their political beliefs flowed from their characters, and all sides of various issues were discussed with care and complexity.
Three cheers for an excellent program, I wish it had gone on for much longer.
Baby Mozart (1999)
it's not supposed to be college...
I think the naming of this series of videos is a misnomer...a certain kind of parent is made to think that these videos will make their kids smarter or something. I have a 1yr old and a 3yr old who both enjoy watching them, but I don't expect it to make them smarter. That said, they know when certain sequences are coming up and start repeating them before they appear, (both of the kids do this). The DVD also includes the "language lab" where there are flashcards in more than a dozen languages. These *are* educational and also work well. (also good for drilling kids in Spanish or German or whatever).
The video production is on the cheap, for sure...and the DVD mastering is poorly done, in that there are no chapters, the menus have "Dead ends" in them--but they're still good for pre-school children. Don't expect this to make your kids smarter, that's just part of their obviously effective marketing campaign, but on the other hand, the kids *can* enjoy these videos and *can* learn something from the language lab.
The Doodlebops (2004)
it's like a caffeine fit
This cheapo show, with its stock crowd footage (to compete with the Wiggles, who actually draw crows?), hyper songs, fast-cutting, frenetic pace, all it does is make the kids crazy. The songs are incomprehensibly awful. The costumes are awful, and there is almost no educational value to it at all.
What was Disney thinking? The biggest stinker they've ever had on Playhouse Disney by far, as mindless as Barney or Teletubbies. For adults, just about any other show can be tolerated, if not outright enjoyed. The Wiggles et.al. have some cheese in them, but at least they make some attempts to be educational and maintain some standard of production values and professionalism.
Doodlebops looks like it was thrown together with a video camera and a tape of stock footage. The messages are anything BUT educational, and the songs are just plain bad.
Hopefully this stinker doesn't last long.
Battlestar Galactica (2003)
This entry is for the VIDEO GAME!
VG Means VIDEO GAME! this has nothing to do with the sci-fi miniseries and now series that is airing in the UK and will air here in January 05.
Now if you've actually seen this video game, then you'll know that it includes all of the original case, plus they managed to get their hands on Kristina Loken and some other names to be the other voices. I'm glad people pay attention.
VG Means video game in an IMDb entry. The mini series is under something different.
icons become deep and moving characters...
If you have any sort of appreciation for character and dialogue, and any sense of American cultural history, you will find a lot of very absorbing material in this film. It probably was originally a play, and that's why it's dialogue heavy, but I can't stress enough how these icons that we only have a shallow understand of are made into truly complex and wonderful characters.
This film is better than any college course for telling you how to create a character-driven story.
Better than the reviews said
Not sure what was sticking out of the craw of most of the reviewers of LXG. It wasn't nearly as bad as they made out to be. There were certainly some pacing and editing problems in the second act, but for the most part, it lived up to most of the hype. I was certainly entertained, which is more than I can say for a lot of the films I've seen recently. The literary one-liners were fun, and the plot twists were unpredictable, which was nice for a change. A lot of the reviewers complained about the car chase and about Peta Wilson's acting, the latter seems nuts, haven't any of these people actually read Dracula? She pretty much stuck to how I imagined her character to be. Most of the rest of the characters were the same. Another major complaint was American secret service agent Tom Sawyer, which definitely was a bit of a dorky addition to the cast, but on the other hand, it could've been a lot worse. (a spunky annie oakley who falls for quartermain, for example, played by Mandy Moore).
Anyway, don't let the reviews turn you away, it's fun for both the hollywood action film fans and those with a more literary state of mind.
The wedding scene along is worth it...
I've heard this called a "comedy" or a "college buddy" movie, and maybe there's elements of both, but at the same time, Fandango is full of wistfulness and emptiness, and genuine moments that rarely appear in hollywood flicks.
The last part of the movie, where Costner's character bluffs an entire city into staging a wedding for his ex girlfriend and her fiance is worth the price of admission.
Magical is all I can say. Best acting Costner's ever done, in my opinion.