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Star Trek: Voyager: The Void (2001)
Does a great job of really showing why Star Fleet's philosophy works
I've always found this episode to be one of the best to use as an example of what makes Starfleet's philosophy work, as opposed to the behavior of the Klingons, Romulans, and other more aggressive races.
Voyager is trapped in a dimensional void, where there are no resources of any kind, other than from other star ships who are trapped. Previous to Voyager's appearance, the law of the land was raid any new ship that appears, and fight it out yourself.
Janeway, using Starfleet principles, instead decides to create a mini star fleet, by convincing other ships to band together, share resources, in order to escape their situation.
It shows how the more aggressive species hurt this concept with their behavior, and why the joining of forces works well.
On top of that, it is a pretty exciting episode, with many good scenes, and satisfying from start to finish. One of the very best ST Voyager episodes.
Funniest episode of the show, truly wonderful half hour of television
While there are more good episodes than bad of Big Bang Theory, only a handful are fantastic, and this is the funniest episode of at least the first nine seasons.
The deadpan delivery of the guest actress, and her interactions with all the regular characters we had gotten to know well change the way we think of all of them. Or more precisely, how more precisely we think of each character's particular traits.
It was rather clever to make Leonard's mom more like Sheldon, rather than an obvious extension of Leonard. And this allowed us to squirm with Leonard, instead of going for obvious cheap laughs as the parent struggles to get along with Sheldon, like a lesser writer would have thought to do.
The line "I think I'd like to do the math" is one of the hardest I've laughed out loud at a TV show in the last decade.
21 Jump Street: Swallowed Alive (1989)
Blatant theft of the film "Bad Boys"
This really was one of the best episodes of the series, however it steals so much from the film "Bad Boys" (with Johnny Depp playing the Sean Penn role) that it's impossible to give it any creative credit for all the best parts.
Depp and DeLuise are put into a serious juvenile detention facility (hardcore - as in prison for the very worst kids) to figure out who killed one inmate and how drugs are getting into the prison. What they discover is a lot worse, with guards who let the inmates run the inside in exchange for peace and cash, including running a prostitution ring with the girl's dorm, and turning a blind eye to things like assaults and prison rape.
Watered down for TV, of course. But it's there if you know what to look for.
The Incredible Hulk: The Snare (1979)
Fantastic episode, and not really dependent on the Hulk in any way.
I remember seeing this as a child and never forgetting it. I even incorporated aspects of this show into video games I wrote a decade later. I had been unfamiliar with the original story "The Most Dangerous Game", but loved the idea of trying to survive while being hunted like a game beast.
They could've taken the Hulk out of this episode entirely, and it could've worked even better, showing what a clever and resourceful character David Banner was. And help to explain why it is that he was never caught or found by the reporter and law enforcement pursuing him.
And that extra ending, the way it showed how smart both the hunter and Banner was, without having to 'explain' anything. Just as show us the final move of both. Absolutely brilliant.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
Funny, clever, intelligent, complicated, but most of all... Entertaining!
Funny, clever, intelligent, complicated, but most of all... Entertaining! This is a truly wonderful film, in that while it encompasses so many elements we've seen before, it rises above all of them because of the combination of witty dialog and a plot that keeps moving along so fast that we don't have time to realize we've seen so much of it before. Except of course when the narrator is telling us about the cliché we are witnessing. Or even when the characters in the film are telling us about a series of pulp novels that the story is somewhat following.
This movie didn't get a wide enough release, and I don't want to wait for it to become a cult classic in order for me to find more people to talk to about it with me. If you saw it and loved it as much as me, tell five friends!
Suspect Zero (2004)
While not altogether
As far as psychological thrillers go, there have been a lot worse than "Suspect Zero". But don't let me make you think that this is a bad film, by any means. It has many features worth complimenting, the most obvious one is the work by Sir Ben Kingsley. However, this film does not succeed in all the ways it tries. There is a hint of a previous failed romance that never seems to work (or matter). There are an endless series of clues that are presented in a way to make us, the viewers, believe that maybe we are supposed to be trying to figure out the mystery. However, there is no way we ever could, so it's almost best to just sit back and enjoy the ride.
There are even a few odd logic problems towards the end of the film that really make me wonder why such a creative movie couldn't come up with a better transition.
I give it 3.5 stars out of 5. I might have only given it 3 stars, but it has such a strong visual style, the likes of which I haven't seen since "Seven", so many years ago.
At the bottom of the IMDB page for this film, it says "If you liked this movie, we'd also like to recommend LA Confidential". How exactly was this determined???? This film seems to be Dee Snider's way of promoting this particular form of his lifestyle more than be a piece of entertainment, so I should give him some credit. But I'm not.
Oddly entertaining, mixed action film
This film is certainly uneven, and borrows from obvious Sergio Leone westerns, but you should find it entertaining. Worth seeing, if for no other reason, to see Patrick Stewart playing a crippled south american druglord who buries alive his disloyal wife in his opening scene. Another scene that will have you shaking your head in disbelief is when two main characters shoot each other in the leg in an attempt at humor.
Michael Caine teachers English Drama students how to act for TV & Film
This is a rather fascinating hour long documentary where Michael Caine teaches a small group of students how much different it is to act for the camera, as opposed to a live audience. After you see it, you will look at acting in films in a different way, and notice little details that separate great actors from good ones.
Probably the worst Sequel ever!!!
When people discuss really bad sequels to great films, this one has to be at the top of the list. It was so bad, it actually made the original film worse! By changing the meaning behind the first film, it far exceeds just being a horrible film (which it is). Special note: Watch for the different swords appearing in the character's hands during the final fight.