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15 reviews in total 
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Almost as awful as "Affliction", 6 March 2000

No, I didn't get this movie. I couldn't find any parallels to Proust, James, or even Joyce. I don't even know who doze guys are but I thought mentioning them would make me sound a lot less dumb than I actually am.

Please allow me to quote from a man who is arguably the most insightful thinker of our time, Homer J. Simpson: "BOOOOOOORING!!!"

Want a fun film? Catch "Ronin" or "Payback." Want to pretend you're an intellectual? Experience "Citizen Kane" or "Ugetsu." Or do you just want to escape? Try "Blade Runner" or "Brazil."

Summation: I want my $19 back. Geez, at least my wife get a good nap out of that dreary 112 minutes. Or perhaps it was 112 hours.

Payback (1999/I)
"That's just plain mean!", 2 March 2000

Ya know, I truly hate action films. I also hate movies with violence. So how come I LOVED this film?

Everything was perfect! The musical score set the right mood. Gibson's Porter was utterly convincing. The "Organization" was professionally sinister. The protagonist's noiresque narration conjures up memories of earlier times.

For those who condemn this excellent film I say, "relax." You're taking this way too literally. The whole movie is laced with tongue-in-cheek humor, it's not meant to be taken seriously. It's just a very cool flick. Save your venom for "Natural Born Killers" or that Tarrentino dreck, "Pulp Fiction."

To summarize: "Payback" is great fun. Rent it tonight! (And don't forget to smoke 2 packs of cigarettes while you watch it.)

Salem's Lot (1979) (TV)
1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Embarrassing, 21 January 2000

Okay, I'll grant you that this dreck was produced in the late 70's, but even allowing for the time frame it's just plain God-awful. Check out Frank Langella's version of Dracula. Now that was a debonair bloodsucker.

Titanic (1997)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Stop it, just stop it, or I'll scream!, 14 June 1999

Has the world gone utterly mad? "Titanic" is the best/greatest/most wonderfullest movie of all time? Nooooooooooo!

Come on, people, let's get a few things straight.

First the good news: (1) "Titanic" had lovely (and seemingly accurate) costuming, (2) beautiful sets, (3) first-rate special effects (okay, let's call the F/X spectacular), and (4) a gorgeous musical score. Overall, I was so touched at the end of the movie that my eyes were filled with tears (for some strange reason my wife finds my sentimentality amusing).

Now the bad news: (1) the scripting was awful (some of the dialogue that came out of the characters' mouths made me winch with pain), (2) the characterizations were weak and predictable (there was no doubt as to who were the good guys and who were the bad guys. All the good guys were totally good, all the bad guys were totally bad. If you ever want to see a person who has both good AND evil qualities all you need to do is look in the mirror: it's called human nature), (3) some scenes can only be described as vulgar Disneyesque (who can forget that romantic "I'll jump your bones you in the back of the car number?" Oh, and let's not forget the hand running down the window, now that was touching), (4) blame the script all you want, but the acting was weak, and finally, (5) one of the worst scenes in a motion picture: the infamous "I'll teach you how to spit" scene. That was in such bad taste. With the possible exception of really uncouth adolescents, who could watch that scene and not be repelled?

Okay, now that I've gotten that off my chest I feel so much better.

To conclude, no, "Titanic" was NOT the best movie of all time, nor was it the worst. It's a must-see movie, no doubt about it. It is a great movie if you like black-and-white characters with a color-by-numbers story line. Unfortunately if you demand complex characters, solid acting, and credible plots you will be sorely disappointed.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Okay, okay, everyone, just relax, 2 June 1999

It's depressing to read a comment from one ST fan bashing another. Can we all agree on one thing: that the universe of Star Trek changed (perhaps in a modest way) not only the way people viewed sci-fi but also how they envision the future?

Each of the four series is excellent in their respect ways:

(1) ST-TOS for starting it all and for revealing Roddenbury's creative genius. TOS has influenced American culture in many subtle ways ("beam be up, Scotty"). Sure, some of the old episodes were weak ("brain, what is brain?") but compare those to the many excellent, thought-provoking episodes. TOS stands on its own (much like the original "Star Wars") and all other ST series are compared against it.

(2) ST-TNG resurrected the series with fresh characters and technologies (can you forget the always malfunctioning holodeck?). Patrick Stewart was a bold choice to play the captain and the supporting cast was excellent. While the first two seasons were weak, the series was going full steam by the third year. The story lines overlapped episodes (which many of you deride as soap opera-ish, but I loved it) providing a sense of character development. While I love all the ST's, TNG is my favorite.

(3) ST-DS9 overlapped and continued where TNG left off. A darker vision, it also maintained the continuous story line technique. Like its predecessor, it was weak in the beginning but soon came into its own. While I will miss DS9, I feel that seven seasons is enough; any longer and you will weaken the production values.

(4) ST-V departs from the other three series (where the players start from Earth and move outwards), Voyager has an original twist: start far away and revolve the show around the characters getting home (moving inwards). And while there's a certain "Melrose Place in Outer Space" feel to it, Voyager is a fine show (I can't quite get myself to call it "excellent" yet). Starting in June ST-V has a new, critical mission: it will now carry the ST franchise alone.

In summary, I believe that each show has brought its own unique contribution to creating/continuing the ST phenomenon. They are all great creative efforts and each should be admired.

I say down with "the Force" and up with "live long and prosper." Make it so, Number One. Engage.

Henry V (1989)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Mr. Shakespeare would be satisfied, 1 June 1999

With the wonderful performances of Branagh, Thompson, Jacobi, Scofield, Holm,, could anyone dispute my intuition that William would be delighted to sit in a theater and watch his play as rendered by Branagh?

Along with Olivier's "Hamlet" (I believe that was in 1950), this is one of the finest adaptations I have yet seen.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
The 2nd Best, 28 May 1999

I've seen every episode of all four versions of the Star Trek franchise since the premier of "The Man Trap" in September 1966. Some random comments:

(1) The Original ST cannot be compared with the other three: it was the creator of a cultural phenomenon that no one could have foreseen. Viewed 30 years later, many of the episodes are, quite frankly, god-awful; however, many do stand up to the test of time. The Original ST stands alone and is a monument to Roddenberry's genius.

(2) TNG is the best of the three. After the first two awkward seasons, the cast developed a rapport that endured till the end. While there were MANY weak episodes there were also many outstanding ones as well. TNG should also be admired for its chutzpah: many of the original ST fans thought it sacriligious to even resurrect the series. Oh the shock of seeing a BALD captain who was shy around women! Picard was not the pretty-boy who was always bedding down with voluptuous women every episode (anyone ever try counting the number of women Kirk made love to?). The introduction of Data in place of a Spock-like character was also pretty gutsy. The series double-part finale was the best ST episode of all time.

(3) DS9 is a worthy successor to TNG. This final season as been nothing less than spectacular. Even though I watch this show religiously, I do not mourn its passing. Seven years is just right. If it stays on any longer, the writing and acting might become stale and ruin this show's high production standards.

(4) Voyager, well what can I say? It's Melrose Place in Outer Space. All pretty young boys and girls with the irritating exception of Neelix (a dreadful character from Day 1). I watch this series out of a sense of obligation but I find myself playing video games while it's on. I would recommend this show to anyone who would like to see the citizens of "BH 90210" blasted into space.

(5) As far as movies are concerned: I find most (but not all) very disappointing. Like the "X-Files" movie, true fans become annoyed when time is spent explaining the characters' personalities and their relationships with each other. Fans already know this, but the producer is also thinking about the non-fans in the audience who, let's face it, don't have a clue. So I say no more TNG and no DS9 movies. Let those series live in syndication.


1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
WARNING: MST3K can be hazardous to your health!, 26 May 1999

One Saturday afternoon I was foolish enough to eat a dish of pastina (small pasta) while watching MST3K. I laughed so hard I started to choke on the food and nearly passed out from lack of oxygen. After I cleared my esophagus, I threw out the pastina and continued watching the show.

If I stood in front of a firing squad and the warden asked me what was my final wish, I would request one last episode of MST3K. If you haven't seen this show, you haven't lived.

Pearl Forrester rules!

7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Science Speculation not Science Fiction, 25 May 1999

Others might vehemently disagree, but I believe the "Andromeda Strain" to be probably the most intelligent Sci-Fi film ever made. The stars, portraying scientists, are all very credible. And gasp, can you believe that the one female scientist is not a Victoria's Secret model? What was Robert Wise thinking of? Oh, that's right, he was thinking of making an intelligent film. What a novel idea.

The hunt for the "bug" totally engrossed me and I found the unfolding of the mystery wonderfully done. The slow realization of the true scope and virility of the biological menace was riveting.

"Andromeda Strain" stands mid-way between the "giant reptile/insect/dinosaur devours/crushes/devastates New York/London/Tokyo" sci-fi flicks of the 1950's and the trillion dollar epics of the 1990's where eye candy replaces any cerebral activity.

Rating: 10 of 10. No sweat.

Star Trek: What's to Generate?, 25 May 1999

I have seen every Star Trek episode of all four television series as well as all the movies. Sad to say, on average, the best of the tv shows is generally superior to most of the films (with some notable exceptions). Perhaps this is because, like the X-Files movie, the director has to "explain" to the non-fans who and what the characters are all about.

"Insurrection" was a bitter disappointment coming as it did on the heels of the excellent "First Contact." I rank it below "Generations," another disappointment. You want a great TNG story? Try the two-part series finale. Now that was a show: superb acting, excellent plot, compelling mystery.

As for Insurrection, my rating is 6 out of 10. How very sad...

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