Reviews written by registered user
MCL1150

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68 reviews in total 
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10 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
What?!?!?, 7 December 2008
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Let's see. In the "St. Elsewhere" finale we found out that there was no hospital and that every thing had been in the mind of an autistic child. "Newhart" ended by telling us that it had all been a dream. And "Roseanne" ended by telling us that it all had taken place in her mind. Very "creative". Annoying was more like it. Yes, it was just a TV show and wasn't at all reality. It's just that when you get caught up in a great movie or TV show you end up at least wanting to believe that it's all "real". At least as far as the reality it portrays on screen. This type of series finale had been done twice before and was old hat, frustrating and simply not fun to watch. Now "Newhart" being all a dream? At least done in a creative way that far exceeded the expectations of anyone who loved the show. The idea itself was not too engaging but it was so brilliantly done that its arguably the Best Series Finale Ever. Roseanne left me feeling cheated after being such a loyal fan.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Finally, After All These Years!, 24 August 2008
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As a fan of the theatrical version of 12 O'Clock High (Best Ever War Film!) I finally had a chance to see the TV series that I've read so much about. I even figured that the Robert Lansing episodes must be better because he was playing the TV version of Gregory Peck's General Savage. Lansing (Savage) was the perfect, no nonsense commander. They had a job to do and they had to get it done! As the channel running the episodes is running them out of order, I've seen a good mix of both Lansing as Savage and Paul Burke as Col. Gallagher. I made the transition just fine. I only wish I hadn't known it was going to happen, but what ya going' ta do?

That said though, I like them both just fine. They're different, yes, but in war there's always a big turnover. In fact, I found it hard to believe that such high ranking officers would fly so many dangerous combat missions and Savage finally getting it made it much more realistic. In fact, they way he was lost was a nice bit of outside the box thinking. I also think that 78 episodes were about as far as they could stretch story lines before recycling used Hogan's Heroes scripts. Heck, they practically did for a few episodes when they wrote in the prison camp and "shuttle raid" story lines. They almost had to. By it's very nature, most of the combat takes place in the air which left no real way for more personal "Us vs. Them" action and more plots involving the 918th working with French ground resistance would have gotten old fast.

Anyway, great show with one of the best ever theme songs and I'm savoring every episode. In fact, I've just completed my "25th mission" and hope to see the remaining 53 episodes before some programming genius takes it off the air. They run only one episode a week which is just fine with me, (except for running them out of order) , because I have about a year's supply left. Programming execs not withstanding.

BTW, how many "Picidilly Lilly's" have there been? I count at least four. Savage was shot down three times and Col. Gallagher continues to fly a B-17E named for Lilly.

"Roseanne" (1988)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Roseanne Stands the Test of Time, 16 July 2008
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For some reason, I completely missed "Roseanne" during its original network run. Only recently have I discovered the show over eleven years after it went off the air. And it's hilarious! I remember reading and hearing so much about what a demon Roseanne was to work with or be married to. Well I don't know if all that tripe was true, but whatever she did worked and worked brilliantly. I was actually shocked at how hard I laughed at some of the episodes. "Roseanne" is plain fall down funny! Roseanne and Darlene's mean one liners almost always zing with a wicked delight and are alone worth the price of admission. Then there's the great John Goodman. I was a fan of his even 'before' the show debuted (See "Raising Arizona" NOW if you haven't!) and he is just fantastic here as Roseanne's hubby Dan Conner. Shows like this are rare. Just compare it to other "family" sitcoms of roughly the same time like "Full House", "Family Matters" and "Home Improvement". Each of the latter were completely predictable and simply not funny. I must have watched five episodes of "Home Improvement". One was enough. They were all the same. All exactly the same! People think that writing for a show like "Roseanne" was easy, but those other lousy shows illustrate perfectly how hard it is. "Roseanne" stayed fresh somehow and each episode makes you look forward to the next. One of "Roseanne's" great trademarks are its gag endings. Surprise appearances by Bob Hope, Luke & Laura, Fabio, a "Graduate" parody and dozens more keep you tuned in literally through the final credits. "Roseanne" could also toss in some great change of pace dramatic episodes such as the one where Dan's mother is committed to a mental asylum. When Dan broke down and cried, I lost it too. "Roseanne" had the talent to pull off an episode like that without embarrassing itself. Yes, "Roseanne" was a comedy centered around a very dysfunctional family, but you knew that they didn't 'actually' hate each other. And that's exactly what made the whole thing work. Anyway, if you haven't yet seen "Roseanne" then you have something wonderful to look forward to. Any show I've never seen that can make me laugh this hard 11 years after leaving the airwaves truly meets with my definition of Standing the Test of Time. Enjoy!

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Steele the One, 16 May 2008
10/10

Remington Steele is back on TV! I must have seen every single episode back in the 1980s, but luckily my memory of the details has faded so I can see it again for the first time. It last aired over 20 years ago so I haven't had the pleasure since. Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist were simply terrific together. Ms. Zimbalist alone, as they say, was worth the price of admission. A simply gorgeous woman who still looks fantastic 25+ years later. Sure, the producers played the then emerging "Sexual Tension" card, but they had more chemistry between them than formula. I can't remember if they ever hooked up and I can hardly wait to see it all again with fresh eyes and fresh expectations. So far, those expectations have been met. It's every bit the great detective show I remember it to be. It runs second only to TV's immortal great "The Rockford Files" as Best Ever Detective TV Series. One comment about the carbon copy "Moonlighting". Good show. Pale imitation. The pilot should have been titled "Steeleing from the Best". Cyble Shepard needed gauss over the lens for close-ups and Pierce didn't have an annoying smirking habit like Bruce Willis! As for Stephanie ... wow! Sharp as a tack visually and mentally all the while delivering the fantastically crafted dialog. Pierce was great too, but I didn't have a crush on him. Catch the re-runs on the American Life TV Network.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Everyone's A Critic, 10 May 2008
3/10

Three Razzies? C'mon! I mean, not one "Porky's" nor even a single "Police Academy" earned a Razzie as worst picture of the year, so just how fixed ARE the Razzies?

IMHO, the Razzies are a Hollywood scam. You know. Even bad publicity is good good publicity?

Every film deserves to be seen at least once by anyone who loves movies. OK, so Hudson rates no more than one viewing, but it didn't deserve WORST FILM OF 1992. Just like Plan 9 shouldn't be tagged as Worst Film Ever.

That honor should at least go to a $75,000,000 budgeted stinker. At least Ed D. Wood tried his best with what he had. Ed Wood also had a passion to make films and certainly wasn't in it for the $$$. And anyone who tried to revive the career of a Hollywood legend like Lugosi at least had his heart in the right place.

My guess is that Hawk received the Bottom, or is that Top, Razzie because Willis ruffled too many feathers and the industry punished him accordingly.

IMHO, Peter Jackson's "King Kong" should have fetched at least a Razzie nod if not the grand whammy itself! Talk about awful!

As for me. I watched it once. Not as bad as some would have you believe, but do make sure to see it on DVD or at least on your TIVO box to avoid having to wait through four minute commercial breaks. And if you like, you can make all of the four minute breaks you see fit too.

King Kong (2005)
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Why?????, 11 April 2008
1/10

OK, the "Why???" really comes down to money, but I ask "Why?????" as in "Why remake perfection . . . again?" All right, this time we didn't get Ron Baker in a monkey suit, but to me it was simply awful. For starters, it's at least an hour too long. I get it already. It's an island full of weird scary creatures that only want to devour whatever they come across! They can't just get along and every creature tries to kill every other creature. Just when you think the story will finally progress, POW! More monsters! By the time they're attacked by giant spiders in the crevasse I was just like STOP, JUST PLEASE STOP and get on with it! Enough showing off. Even "Jurassic Park" wasn't this over the top. I was practically expecting Barney the Purple Dinosaur to show up and take a crack at a pterodactyl. The only redeeming thing was how Jackson showed such restraint in not having the blonde scream her head off every time another dinosaur tried to eat her. The 1933 original on the other hand? It is absolute perfection. It scared me as a ten year old and it still scares me. The special effects were not only great for 1933, they are in no surpassed by the glossy CGI in this version. Yes you knew that the 1933 Kong was fake, but the SFX worked and worked gloriously for ANY film era. The 1933 animators gave Kong a level of emotion that tears my heart out every time I see it, especially at the end. There's a humanity in that picture that can't be done by today's button pushing computer guys. Besides the 1933 original, look out for a Gary Cooper film called "Wreck of the Mary Deare". It was made in 1959, obviously long before CGI. It contains one of the best ship in peril sequences ever put on film by a studio SFX department. You'd swear that the ship and giant waves were real. I'd love to know how they did it. The shipwreck scene in Peter Jackson's "Kong" looks like a cartoon by comparison and twice as fake. One last quibble. If the natives were so afraid of Kong that they built that giant wall to keep him out, then why did they also build a doorway big enough for him to get through? Maybe install a doggy door, but I would have stopped there. BTW, I docked Peter Jackson's "Kong" one star for being so darn glossy and relying way too much on in your face CGI FX.

The Window (1949)
3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Top Ten Film Noir, 17 February 2008
10/10

In film, there's two kinds of 'predictable'. First, there's the "I can't believe they'd do something SO INCREDIBLY OBVIOUS!!" type. Then there's the kind of predictable in which you know exactly what will happen next, but the suspense still literally tears you to pieces! "The Window" is definitely the latter and it's all the better for it.

Featuring a great, if mostly unknown cast, this should be counted among the top film noir's ever made. Starring 12 year old Bobby Driscoll, there's also noir vet Paul Stewart, Ruth Roman, Barbara Hale and Arthur Kennedy who's probably the best actor to ever have been Oscar nominated five times without ever having won. Directed by Ted Tetzlaff, Jr., a seasoned and previously Oscar nominated cinematographer himself, virtually every frame is a beautifully crafted black & white image of substantial texture and depth. Photographed by William O. Steiner & Robert DeGrasse, the camera-work is brilliant. The direction of the actors is just as good. Every character comes across as a real, living breathing human being (even the killers) and every actor turns in nothing less than a terrific performance.

As icing on the cake, the rundown tenement and condemned building sets are so perfect that they count as characters themselves. The climatic scene in the abandoned building is simply incredible. How they filmed such a realistic looking nail bitter of a scene in 1949 is beyond me. Today it would all be done on a computer, but not in 1949. I won't ruin it, but I felt like I was right there teetering on the edge of that failing wooden support beam about to plummet three stories along with the characters. Not a bit overdone, this particular scene is one of the best photographed, executed and outright suspenseful scenes ever put on film. And while there is a musical score, it gives way to the natural sound of the setting at key moments rather than to telegraph what's coming next.

With its terrific combination of acting, directing, writing, photography, art direction and restrained musical score, this "little" film is the complete package. At about 73 minutes in length, it's all story and not a second of fluff or padding. I'd bet the farm that if "The Window" ever gets remade they'll add at least 20-30 minutes for fear that today's audience will feel cheated by such a short running time. "The Window" was produced by RKO Studios. Great Film Noir flicks were a specialty of theirs and this is one of the very best.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Moving Because It's True, 21 January 2008
7/10

"We Are Marshall" is a truly moving and enjoyable film. And as far as the sports movie genre goes, the film is better because it's based on a true story. Think of it as being "Brian's Song" multiplied by the tragic deaths of seventy-five people. You know how sports announcers will say "Boy, if you saw this plot in a movie, you wouldn't believe it!"? A film like "We Are Marshall" is proof. Had this been a completely fictional film, it would rate much, much lower. But reality based it is and that gives it a free pass when it comes to all of the obvious clichés. Clichés with lines like "I know what you have inside. You've shown it to me" when coach Lengyel addresses the team before the first home game, or the standard issue slow motion game scenes that every sports film made over the past 30 years uses to heighten the drama. Mostly, the fact that it's a true story helps how predictable the outcomes of the games will be. You'll know just how much you like this film when you root for the team in spite of the fact you already know how the games will end. I did wonder about the reality of one thing. The portrayal of Coach Lengyel as being so quirky and eccentric. Perhaps it's a dead on depiction, but it got to be almost too much at times. If was a true reflection of the man though, then OK. Overall, a real feel good football movie that is very much worth watching. In fact, while you're at it, rent "We Are Marshall" along with "Brian's Song" and "Rudy". It makes a great trilogy!

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Sadly, "Police Squad!" has company, 29 December 2007
9/10

First, allow me to nominate Arrested Development for the "Police Squade! Memorial Award" which pays homage to hilarious TV comedies canceled well before their time by network Chuckleheads. Somehow I missed "Arrested Development" during most of its original run on FOX. Luckily I've been able to tune in on a Canadian channel and make up for lost viewing. It's maddening that such a terrificly funny show was killed of by such short sighted executives. Even at only 6 episodes "Police Squad!" was hands down the funniest TV show of the 1980s. Arrested Development is clearly the funniest show of the new millennium thus far. Every spoken line has a twisted meaning that always pays off in a way that has me laughing until it hurts! The whole cast is brilliant in their respective roles so I won't single any particular character/actor. Clever, hilarious stuff this is! What really kills me is that "Seinfeld" and "Friends" were mediocre at best but received the kind of accolades in their time that A-D should have gathered in its time. Yes, it won an Emmy, but never garnered the respect it deserved. One of my greatest hopes for network TV is for Arrested Development to make a comeback like "Family Guy" did. A smart network (yes, that IS an oxymoron) would put the show back into production. They could easily pick up where the Bluths left off! BTW, www.saveourbuths.org is still active. "Family Guy" made it back, and on FOX no less, due to the show's building a fan base long after it met with the network wrecking ball. In addition to that, my all-time favorite show, "The Rockford Files", even came back in a series of new TV movies almost 15 years after cancellation. And "Police Squad!"? Even that came back in the form of three theatrical films so it can be done. Give your best shot! Go to www.saveourbluths.org and pile on. If it's worth the effort to post here and complain about how A-D was unjustly canceled, then it's worth the time to try and bring it back! S-O-B Save Our Bluths!

Too Good for Only Christmas Viewing, 24 December 2007
10/10

I've watched this wonderful adaption of the Dickens classic every year for most of my life. It scared me as an eight year old and it still scares me! Alistair Sim is simply magnificent. He's so believable in the role that I always get lost in it as if I were watching a real life event through a window. For a great many years, CFTO and CBLT out of Toronto, Canada, have broadcast this version at 11:30PM every Christmas Eve and I never tire of it. I only tire of the commercial interruptions! I'm 44 now, but it still gives me the shivers like when I was 35 years younger. In fact, I still go to bed with that same eerie feeling! Every time something goes bump in the night, I pull the covers even tighter over my head. The only disappointment is when I recently found that they changed some of the original Dickens story around and added a couple of extra characters. And as good as the faithful George C. Scott version is, no other adaption even comes close to the brilliance of this one. One year they made the unfortunate mistake of running a horrible colorized version. Now THAT was truly horrifying in its own way. Of course I turned off the color, but I just couldn't believe that anyone would have spent the time and money to wreck it like that. Glorious Black & White is the only way to see it. All in all, this is easily the Best All-Time adaption of "A Christmas Carol". One final thought. As miserable as Scrooge is, you really can't blame everything on him. After all, in the first five minutes, he's accosted for money no less than three times. I'm not rich, but I have to sympathize with just how many times a day someone with money has to deal with people approaching them with the purpose of asking for a hand out! That said, this film is truly too good to only be seen during the Christmas season. Watch it in July if you ever get the chance as it'll give you a somewhat different perspective. Merry Christmas and God bless us all, everyone!


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