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tommymax

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For those who have also seen Cat Ballou....., 5 April 2015

I just watched this episode on MeTV and although I'd seen it before not all that long ago (certainly not way back in '61 tho' I may have also seen it back then as well) it never before struck me that Lee Marvin is wearing what most likely is the same hat he wore as Tim Strawn in Cat Ballou.

I've submitted that little factoid to both this episode's trivia page and the Cat Ballou trivia page and although I certainly can't swear that it's the same hat since that would have to come from Lee Marvin himself or a close family member, it's either the same hat or an identical one.

Knowing Lee Marvin as the kind of guy that I suspect he was, I'd bet he saved that very distinctive hat from this episode and used it as part of Tim Strawn's attire. Indeed, I wouldn't be surprised if he came up with the metal nose thing as well.

He was a great actor and a joy to watch in any role he played. Here, as Conny Miller, he could very well have been just honing his future part as Tim Strawn.

Wouldn't surprise me at all if it were true. I think he was that kind of actor and that kind of guy.

I note one other reviewer here referenced Cat Ballou but apparently didn't notice the hat! If he did, he didn't mention it.

Not to wander too far off topic, but if you feel as I do, be sure to catch him in Gorky Park, if you haven't already.

Also BTW, I enjoyed seeing Lee Van Cleef in this episode as I also grew up in the Somerville, NJ area and still live in what used to be part of Somerville but is now part of Bridgewater (Township). Not that it matters; I'm just sayin'....

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Pretty darn good -- I think., 25 October 2007
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Well, I just watched this last night (actually ending @ 3AM) so it would be nice if I can edit this comment later, but I think I'm giving this a 9 (or better). I think the main thing I want to say about it is that it's a film that I want to watch again and maybe more than twice. I found the way it was cut in the early part of the film was kinda "preview-like" in that the images shown jumped around like you see in a preview. I frankly was quite confused for a lot of it because I had trouble telling Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio apart during a lot of those scenes. They were dressed a lot alike during much of it, yada yada yada.

Now, admittedly this is largely a function of my own stupidity (or ignorance) but I still found it hard to follow the significance of what was happening. That would have been more annoying if I had been seeing this during its run in the theaters, but it's not a problem now that it's on DVD. In fact, it makes it a good thing because I can go back and catch what I missed the first time thru.

I suspect the effect was intended, but that's just a guess. There seemed to be a general theme of "confusing the viewer" throughout the film. Makes for good repeated viewing. Also, mixing up the two characters enhances the main theme of the movie as it "blends" them to the point of making them somewhat "indistinguishable." As Jack's character points out: when you're facing the business end of a gun, "what's the difference?" Billy and Colin weren't that much different after all, were they? Each was performing the same function for his respective "side." The film reminded me a LOT of Goodfellas, one of my personal favorites. It was most definitely and obviously a Scorsese film as his stamp is all over it. It's a fine film and worthy of praise. Very powerful and had me engaged throughout. And eager for a 2nd viewing. I guess that speaks highly of it.

Leonardo's performance was superb. So was Jack's -- but we've come to expect that, and he was largely just Jack being Jack. Matt Damon was fine but I think I'm not all that much of a fan; and I think Leonardo's performance just overpowered Damon's. Maybe it's just me. I'm not a Leonardo fan but I might be on my way to becoming one. He could be the new Johnny Depp -- if he isn't already.

Excellent film. Highly recommended. But be forewarned, it's violent.

4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Another hit for the Mystery! series, 2 January 2007
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Mystery! has done it again with this series, which is quite different than most of what's gone before. And that helps to make this one another hit.

I'm a long-time fan of the Mystery! series and a particular fan of Inspector Morse. Anyone familiar with that series knows the high quality product that long-running series consistently put out. So I'm not an easy audience, given my perspective.

But Robert Lindsay has made DI Michael Jericho his own. He IS Jericho. In the same way that the late great John Thaw made Morse his own character, Lindsay has grabbed Jericho by the throat and taken his identity from him. I haven't read any of the books, so I don't know how the character comes across there, but Lindsay's interpretation is "spot on" from a television perspective.

I'm currently in the midst of re-watching this first episode on DVD (thanks for that) after having caught at least 2 of the original airings last Fall (this episode and Johnny Swan). I was hooked from the start; and like Morse, Jericho holds up well on repeated re-watchings. So even after you know who done it, you're nevertheless caught up in the drama.

The musical score and overall style of this series do indeed make it unique. It's all a bit "X-Files-esq," but I find both quite enjoyable and fitting, and, in my humble opinion, they help make the series stand out.

Like Morse, Jericho has a solid side-kick who compliments his character perfectly. It seems they have an endless supply of fine "character actors" over there in the UK, and I'm thankful I get to see them when I can. Even the "bit parts" get solid treatment from fine British actors. One of my favs in this episode is Shorty. He's a hoot -- and he's not even around all that long.

Lindsay is currently also on my TV in his "My Family" series, but I refuse to watch him in that. I'm sure he's good (and I have seen some of it) but I don't want to lose that Jericho edge that I'm currently working on with him.

I've given this one a 10, which is not to say it's an equal to Morse. But 10 to me means it's a standout with little or nothing to criticize. Beyond that, it's simply a matter of taste. I only hope they keep this series going for quite a long time.

Thanks Gawd for Mystery! and all the rest of the great Brit shows. And, of course, also PBS. And thanks Gawd also for DVD so's I can have something to watch (and re-watch) when the mood moves me and PBS is into something else less enjoyable to me. Because if I had to live with only American TV, I'd give the medium up completely.

"Jericho" (2005)
5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Another hit for the Mystery! series, 2 January 2007
10/10

Mystery! has done it again with this series, which is quite different than most of what's gone before. And that helps to make this one another hit.

I'm a long-time fan of the Mystery! series and a particular fan of Inspector Morse. Anyone familiar with that series knows the high quality product that long-running series consistently put out. So I'm not an easy audience, given my perspective.

But Robert Lindsay has made DI Michael Jericho his own. He IS Jericho. In the same way that the late great John Thaw made Morse his own character, Lindsay has grabbed Jericho by the throat and taken his identity from him. I haven't read any of the books so I don't know how the character comes across there, but Lindsay's interpretation is "spot on" from a television perspective.

I'm currently in the midst of re-watching the first episode on DVD (thanks for that) after having caught at least 2 of the original airings last Fall (Ragged Claws and Johnny Swan). I was hooked from the start; and like Morse, Jericho holds up well on repeated re-watchings. So even after you know who done it, you're nevertheless caught up in the drama.

The musical score and overall style of this series do indeed make it unique. It's all a bit "X-Files-esq," but I find both quite enjoyable and fitting, and, in my humble opinion, they help make the series stand out.

Like Morse, Jericho has a solid side-kick who compliments his character perfectly. It seems they have an endless supply of fine "character actors" over there in the UK, and I'm thankful I get to see them when I can. Even the "bit parts" get solid treatment from fine British actors. One of my favs in the first episode is Shorty. He's a hoot -- and he's not even around all that long.

Lindsay is currently also on my TV in his "My Family" series, but I refuse to watch him in that. I'm sure he's good (and I have seen some of it) but I don't want to lose that Jericho edge that I'm currently working on with him.

I've given this series a 10, which is not to say it's an equal to Morse. But 10 to me means it's a standout with little or nothing to criticize. Beyond that, it's simply a matter of taste. I only hope they keep this series going for quite a long time.

Thanks Gawd for Mystery! and all the rest of the great Brit shows. And, of course, also PBS. And thanks Gawd also for DVD so's I can have something to watch (and re-watch) when the mood moves me and PBS is into something else less enjoyable to me. Because if I had to live with only American TV, I'd give the medium up completely.

7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Disappointing on re-watching, 21 December 2006
3/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I agree with those critical of this film; and having watched it just the other night (pun?), I really was disappointed with it. When I first saw it years ago -- probably around the time it came out -- I thought it was good, and that recollection stayed with me. But it was disappointing to see it now. Hackman isn't at his best by far in this one and the film itself is weak. One poster (Kanekuni)'s point ("Night Moves is a character study, but still it's part of the detective genre where plotting is important and this is where Night Moves fall down") perhaps says it best for me.

First off, was it my DVD or did Penn cut this thing in a disjointed way? There are at least 2 cuts in my DVD that are just unacceptable. The scene suddenly jumps to an entirely different situation and the viewer is clearly left with "How did we get here?" One I recall is the night boat ride where Delly finds the plane wreck. One minute we're at Tom's place (I think it was) and then "bam," we're on board a boat at night and Delly is asking Harry something about why he followed her, yada yada. It's completely unnecessary to make that kind of sharp sudden shift without any transition whatsoever. When a cut like that makes you wonder if maybe you got a bad copy, you know it's lame. There was another similar cut early in the film that similarly made absolutely no sense. Frankly, I'm in the process of getting the VHS tape to see if maybe my DVD is defective (??). If it's not, then I think Penn was just trying for effect, and probably because the film itself is just so weak overall as a mystery/detective/crime thriller.

Maybe I should have "gotten" the apparent point of the film; i.e., it's "a character study" and the plot's not important, but frankly I think I'm in the vast majority in missing that aspect. It's far to subtle and, frankly, stupid. We see Harry as a high-potential low-achiever right from the start, and nobody need suffer through the entire film simply to make that point. Okay, so he missed all the clues all along. Big freaking deal. They were all so beyond-subtle that it's only via hindsight that ya can see the freaking things at all. The connection to the killer was extremely weak at best. Maybe this film should have had a spoiler notice at the outset advising the viewer that it's not a mystery or crime drama or detective story or thriller, but simply a "character study" and nothing else. Maybe then I would have paid attention to the point Penn was trying to make -- but which I think was well-enough made in the first 20 minutes of the film. Do we really need an entire film that points out at the outset that the main character is a loser and then goes on to batter you with that point over and over again for the next hour plus? Okay, Harry's a loser and not so good at what he does. We get it. But I'm watching this thing from that point on thinking he's gonna show us how brilliant he really is by solving this puzzle. Instead, we get stiffed with a ringer as the bad guy who comes in from outta nowhere at the end. The classic ending for every film that never had any real plot to begin with.

I like Penn a lot and also just recently watched his Little Big Man, which I consider a masterpiece. But he really seems lost here. I hate it when a film like this is so weak in plot that it just plops an incidental character down at the end as the guy who did it. C'mon, will ya? There is no way that anyone could have pegged this guy as the killer. Not unless you're one of those folks who picks the least likely guy as the killer from the git go. This stuff about his art collection is weak because we don't even see what the heck is being smuggled until the virtual end of the film. How is that a connection to him???? He's flying the freaking plane when the smuggled booty first pops into view. I'm supposed to piece all that together then? "Oh, it must be old what's-his-name cuz he collects stuff that looks kinda like whatever that was that just popped up."

Puleeease!

And check out the Tag Line for the film. It's clearly presented as a thriller / mystery / detective story. What's this about Harry finding himself??? He had found himself before the film ever started. What did he find out about himself at the end that he didn't know all along?

Nothing.

I found Hackman's performance weak and stilted. About on a par with his combover. Same with the others. The dialog was also weak and stilted. I found myself pressing on to finish the thing as a kind of mission to accomplish, having completely lost interest in it as a work of art long before it finally ended.

Did Harry die at the end or not? Who the hell cares? Make up your own ending. The bunch responsible for this thing did, so why not you too?

Okay, it's existentialist -- the plot's not important.

I wish somebody had told me that before I sat down to watch this drivel. Because had I known that, I simply would have left halfway thru 'cuz that point was made long before that.

If Chinatown is a 10 -- which it is -- then this thing can't be ranked higher than 3, particularly since it's contemporaneous.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Another fine film by Herzog, 23 June 2006
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The folks who snipe at Timothy for "getting what he deserved," including Sam Egli, no matter how they may phrase it, are just simply wrong. I believe they missed one of the major points of Herzog's film.

Timothy's demise was an aberration. He and Amie died very simply because Timothy broke his own well-established guidelines to a very significant degree, perhaps intentionally. It's certainly possible, and perhaps even likely, that this intention was nothing more than another of his many passing fancies which had set upon him in the heat of the moment. I suggest that anyone who opines that this was his inevitable fate for hanging with wild grizzlies, including Mr. Egli, go back and re-watch the film and, in particular, the last ~15 minutes of the film. And this time, pay a little more attention to Herzog's commentary so that you can have the facts in hand.

Timothy had finished his summer as per usual and thus flown out of the bush and to the airport for a flight back to what we call civilization. He then proceeds to get into a hassle with some airline person who questions the validity of his ticket. And so (surprise surprise) Timothy goes off the deep end and goes BACK into the bush.

I obviously don't know what he was thinking when he went back to The Maze. Maybe he was just going to spend a few days until his ticket situation got straightened out or maybe he was going back to die there because he couldn't bear (hey, I made a pun!) the thought of actually going back to civilization.

Whatever the case, this was an obvious and significant deviation from his prior well-established pattern of behavior. He'd never stayed there this late in the season before and he clearly didn't intend to spend the winter there. Ya can't expect to winter over up there in a tent.

So why did he go back? Well, I dunno and I don't know that anyone else knows. But I think that question is largely why Herzog made this film.

The bottom line is that his death was a proximate result of this deviation from his normal pattern of behavior. He died very simply because he put himself into a very high risk situation that was way outside his normal summer routine living amongst his "own bears." Did you watch the film, people? He clearly says that those bears over there (at The Maze) aren't his own bears! He says he wishes he could take Mr. Chocolate along to help him out with those bears over there.

If Timothy had caught that flight back to civilization, I would expect that he would still be living amongst his bears. I saw absolutely no indication to the contrary. I don't know how he was able to do it, but there ya have it. Thems just the facts, folks. He had clearly been accepted by his bears (or at least tolerated by them) and I'm quite sure that if he had simply stuck to his normal routine, he'd have been fine. There was ALWAYS the risk that even one of his "own bears" might turn on him in the right situation. But I think he pretty much knew his way around and could have avoided that if he really wanted to. Whether he would have continued to WANT to is another question; and, again, I think this is largely why Herzog was interested in him. Timothy says he had no life before the bears and has no life but for them. Is it surprising to think that maybe he'd finally just had enough of civilization and just couldn't hack the thought of another winter with the humans? He did seem to be a tad impetuous, don't ya think?

Note that at one point he's even hanging with The Grinch while she's clearly working on a kill behind him. And he gets away with it! (notwitstanding that she does give him a bit of a signal to "Back off, Jack!"). That's a high-risk situation for sure. My own beloved Golden once growled at me when I tried to take a bone away from him. This is Mother Nature, after all, and there ARE some rules.

So Timothy broke the rules -- his own rules -- and he got what was to be expected. So in THAT sense, he DID "get what he deserved." But not in the way Egli and some commentators here thought. The real question is: "Did he get what he wanted (or expected)?" I think he did -- at least at some level and at that particular moment in his life. And this was clearly a guy who lived in the moment.

Tim was very simply taken out by an old bear who's time had come. He had failed to build up sufficient fat reserves to survive the winter and he knew it. While the rest of the bears were well into hibernation mode, he was still hard at work very late in the season Desperately Seeking Susan or anyone else who might be the answer to his prayers. Did you notice him diving for already-dead salmon at the bottom of the creek? This was a guy in major desperation mode. The salmon run was over and he was too old to hunt effectively anymore. He was definitely in Dire Straits and I'm pretty sure he knew it.

And then along comes Tim and Amie. That old bear must have really thought his prayers had indeed been answered. But for that Simple Twist of Fate with the ticket, we most likely wouldn't even be having this conversation. But I think Tim was fully aware of the risk.

Whatever else you may think of him, and whatever else he may have been, Timothy Treadwell was an amazing guy who did amazing things and had amazing courage.

9+/10

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
no thanks, 20 December 2001

as one who [also] was there, i have to agree with the others who didn't care much for this rather uninspired bit of fluff. as someone said, where's kuntsler?

oh, yea. he WAS there (played by david eisner). but if you were looking for a recognizable kuntsler, you didn't get it. that simple but very basic flaw is indicative of the quality of this low grade effort.

and i don't agree at all that this was a good performance by janeane garofalo. i like her a lot but she was pretty wooden here. she seemed to be trying, but it didn't work at all. she did much more and much better in her little seinfeld appearance than she did in this entire film -- and she got quite a bit of air time here.

i don't think it was her fault.

this film was just poorly conceived and poorly executed.

other than that it wasn't so bad.

i didn't even finish it, but i can't imagine the ending would have saved it. someone here mentioned that "Tripplehorn plays Michelle Pfeiffer," which i took to mean "michelle phillips" (of the mamas and the papas), and i figured i must have missed that in the late part of the film.

but it t'would appear that there's neither a michelle pfeiffer nor a michelle phillips character listed in the film. tripplehorn plays "Johanna Lawrenson," according to this site's cast list.

that reviewer seemed to like the film.

perhaps he had it confused with some other film involving either michelle pfeiffer or michelle phillips, or both.

because this film made the 60's hippie / peace / make-love-not-war / flower power / turn on, tune in, drop out / etc. etc. and so forth and so on movements, and abbie hoffman, look like just so much fluff and silliness.

and that truly is unfair.

i don't know where bruce graham and robert greenwald were in '69, or what they were doing at the time, but it sure looks to me like they weren't paying very close attention.

i, too, would give this one a zero.

thanks, guys, but no thanks.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
surprisingly stupid., 15 December 2001

i'm very surprised by all the good reviews this movie got. this is not just a bad movie, it's a very stupid movie.

i was actually very much looking forward to seeing it because the trailers (when it came out) made it look like a funny movie.

it isn't.

the premise is simple enough. it's the same formula as "animal house" and any number of other such movies: one wacky circumstance after another. a string of funny "schticks."

but whereas "animal house" was indeed funny, this film was notably unfunny. in fact, it was tediously so.

it looks to me like it was put together to take advantage of all the good hype "something about mary" and "analyze this" got. those were also not particularly funny or well-made movies, but certainly not as bad or boring as this one. at least those films gave the impression that somebody cared about them (and the audience watching them).

this film showed its shortcomings early on and completely failed to hold my interest throughout. i'm still waiting for that promised belly laugh.

still, with all the good reviews it got here, there clearly is an audience for films such as this. which is why it got made, i suppose.

i'd rather not think about what that means. .5/10

(that's POINT 5 out of 10)

(a particularly low rating because this film actually insults the intelligence)

note: if you find this review in any way offensive, you will probably enjoy "meet the parents" and should probably rent and enjoy it. if you do not find this review offensive, don't bother with this turkey and rent something like "being john malkovich" instead.

Fight Club (1999)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
call me a moron., 9 September 2000

perhaps i am -- by fanoogle's standards. though i wouldn't call "fight club" trash, it came pretty close.

simply put, this film is a waste of time. apparently the gen-x'rs appreciated it, or at least some of them. perhaps one needs to truly understand multiple body piercings to appreciate this film. not that there's anything wrong with multiple body piercings -- it's still a free country.

but i suspect that like this film, such behavior expresses a certain hopelessness that is probably necessary to truly appreciate "fight club." my generation was pretty counter culture, too. but whereas i thought we were trying to make the world a better place in which to live, many of the kids today seem to simply be rejecting life itself.

they will undoubtedly enjoy this pointless film.

which is to say that anyone with a simple appreciation of good filmmaking need not bother with this one.

i found it moronic, pointless, and mindnumbingly LONGGGG.

i've read all the reviews of this film at this site to date, and i'm quite surprised no one has mentioned how long it was.

it was excruciatingly long. 139 minutes seemed like forever, especially the 2nd half.

all three main characters turned in good performances, though pitt's wasn't nearly as compelling as his early grayce in "kalifornia" in an almost identical role (a bit more sophisticated here, but just as depraved nonetheless).

it's just that the story was so bad. i wonder what these three stars really think of this film. perhaps they took the project because they thought they were making a truly meaningful movie.

they were wrong.

if this film had a message, it could have made it just as convincingly in 45 minutes and saved us the agony.

i generally don't give a number rating, but if i were to do so here i couldn't give this more than 3 out of 10. and that would only be for the acting. put 3 mediocre actors in this film and it wouldn't score a 1.

essentially a waste of time waiting (and hoping) for something meaningful to happen.

it never does.

if you still have a brain and haven't completely given up on life in america, or someplace else in the world for that matter, do yourself a favor and skip this one.

or rent it and watch it just to see for yourself. it's still a free country.

but if you want to see truly good films AND good performances by pitt and norton in somewhat similar roles, rent "kalifornia" and "american history x" instead.

definitely overrated, 30 August 2000

i have to agree with organicprankster's review.

i just saw this film (on video) after wondering and hearing about it all this time. my lady friend also wanted to see it for basically the same reasons and we both enthusiastically settled in.

it's not a bad film and i had a good time watching it, but it certainly isn't worth the attention it got. i'm 53 and the film paralleled my life in many respects, so i could certainly relate. obviously, i'm not the lone ranger in that regard or we wouldn't have this film in the first place.

my lady friend is a bit younger, with considerably less "life experiences," and thus could relate even less. neither of us disliked the film, but we wouldn't rank it higher than a lot of other stuff we've seen either.

for me, i think mitestar's praise of this film might hold the key to understanding all the attention it got.

apparently a lot of americans have lived very boring lives and could thus connect with lester's "rebellion" and the film's other themes of dysfunctional families, empty meaningless jobs and dead marriages. the younger audience may have had their own reasons.

being a child of the 60's, i couldn't connect with either lester's white-bread "rebellion" or whatever it is the kids found in this film. while i can relate to the other themes, i try to avoid them whenever possible and certainly don't care to dwell on them. the last thing i want to do is go to a movie which rubs my face in the essentially meaningless lives most americans apparently live, as perhaps would i had i not been careful to avoid the same pitfalls.

spacey's performance is fine, but not much above ordinary. he did a workman-like job -- i wouldn't have expected or accepted less. the same it true of bening's. frankly i thought wes bentley's portrayl of ricky fitts was heads and shoulders above anyone else's in this film, albeit in a much more minor role, yet surprisingly i never heard a thing about him in all the hype surrounding this movie.

and there certainly was plenty of that.

this film is not one of the 10 best films ever. it's not one of the 10 best films in the past 2 or 3 years. maybe less.

i don't think i missed something -- i've seen a lot of films in my time and i think i know a good one when i see it. same re: performances. this film had nothing particularly noteworthy in either regard. it could have been subtitled "ordinary people."

rent it and watch it and you will probably enjoy it. but lower your expectations several notches before you do.

and if you really feel the need to watch something good AND with "american" in the title, rent "american history x" instead.


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