Reviews written by registered user
Ainsley_Jo_Phillips

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20 reviews in total 
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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
The Teacher Becomes The Taught, 20 January 2010
10/10

I just happened to stumble across this movie by being in front of the TV at the right time, and it made a great impression on me.

I'm involved with an organization called Invisible Youth Network (an outreach for homeless and/or otherwise at-risk youth), and C.T. would fall under the category of "otherwise at-risk" in deciding his place in our mission.

This movie came out when I was just a baby, and I'm 57 now, and it goes to show that there have been children who are in danger of falling through the cracks of society even way back then just as there are now--and that the choice is constantly being made re: what choices we have to remedy the situation--or not.

C.T. had been repeating each grade ever since he had started school (meaning that he should have been in seventh grade instead of fourth grade), and the principal and teachers were about to give up hope on his making much of his life.

Not so with the school's brand new teacher. She believed that C.T. had potential that just hadn't been tapped into yet. This came partly from, also, being his Sunday School teacher where she had observed that he could be a deep thinker who wasn't afraid to ask hard questions. I assume that this also came from the fact that she was still new at teaching and had yet to experience any teacher burn-out and was, instead, eager to excite and educate young minds.

The thoughts going through her head as she began to deal with C.T. as a student in her class were expressed in voice-overs--and those voice-overs expressed concerns that, perhaps, she had been expecting too much. Yet, something kept her from completely giving up on him.

Perhaps, it was because that--even though he was doing very poorly in all of his studies and didn't seem to be at all interested in getting with the program--she was won over by his smile, helpfulness, artistic talent, and how he was sweet on one of his classmates even though he didn't really relate that well to any of his other classmates.

His unique views on a children's game and the familiar song that went with it also struck a chord with his teacher.

I'll leave it to the viewer to find out just how, but I'll say this much: In the end, C.T. became the teacher and even the authority figures became the taught! How this one brand new teacher who didn't insist that C.T. would fit perfectly into a mold but, instead, tuned herself into him ended up making the difference between his continuing to be an invisible youth and one who was empowered with vision, visibility, and voice!

6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Martin, You Led A Wonderful Life--In Your Original Time Period!, 15 January 2005
10/10

This may be a "cartoon," but it gets me reaching for the tissue just as much as It's A Wonderful Life does!!! There's a sort of Bedford Falls feel to this mini-movie--especially, when you've seen it before--where you're seeing Miles (a twelve year old boy who would rather be playing baseball than studying) waking up in his "loaded" room.

His business-owner mother tells him that there won't be any baseball practice until he does his homework--which doesn't set well with him.

She reminds him to take his permission slip in for the field trip, and he mumbles something about going to "that dumb museum." And so his day begins--first with running from Kyle, the local bully. Of course, Miles gets away from him when he hops on the bus going to school, and the bus driver won't let Kyle get on, meaning that he'll be showing up for class late, because his disagreeable dad has to drive him there.

In class, Miles is happy to see his very best friend, Randy and is even more glad when Randy becomes part of his team for reporting on the field trip.

Other members of the team will be Kyle and Maria (a gifted young lady who has gotten into this class by being skipped a couple of grades--and who thinks that she's gotten stuck with three immature boys).

Mrs. Clark, their teacher, takes Miles aside and warns him that he's going to have to repeat a grade if he doesn't bring his grades up--starting with a report on the day's field trip, which is going to a museum about some guy who lived in "prehistoric times" who did some nice things "back then" but didn't have much relevancy in his own life (or so he thinks).

That man, as it turns out, is Martin Luther King, and the museum is the home in which he grew up. Because he sees a ball and bat in there, along with a picture of Martin playing baseball, Miles begins to develop a little interest in him. He and Randy decide to explore the room (which has been roped off), but are caught by the museum director.

But she's nice about it and tells them to go ahead and look around, saying that there's something magic about the room, and that she always likes to wind up this old watch in there for some reason.

In short, Miles and Randy go back in time and get to know Martin in different stages of his life--starting back when he was their age.

Eventually, Kyle and Maria will be sharing part of that journey with them.

I won't spoil this for you except to say that it will remind you of It's A Wonderful Life.

Things about his life that Miles took for granted suddenly become very precious to him, and he realizes how important Martin Luther King, Jr. was way back before he was born in shaping his present day world.

Also, that it's important for him to carry on his dream.

Even Kyle, the former bully, changes for the better by the end of the movie, and Maria (who also owes a lot to Dr. King for where she is today) becomes more tolerant of those "immature" boys.

At only a little over an hour long, it isn't too time consuming--and, if you're like me, you'll want to see it again and again!

Scrooged (1988)
3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Sterioded!, 6 December 2004
5/10

Maybe, I should give this one another chance--but I have other things to do right now and might not get around to doing so until hell freezes over or pigs fly!

Let's put it this way:

Scrooged is to A Christmas Carol what PeeWee's Playhouse is to Captain Kangaroo!

My impression upon watching it is that it's your typical movie-on-steroids that comes across so hyper that you'd like to grab a tranquilizer gun and shoot it a few times!

I love remakes of classics, and I love good comedies. I personally find this one to be neither.

Oh yes! People keep asking why this is called "Scrooged" instead of "Scrooge."

One reason could be because the main character isn't actually named Scrooge but is given (or so they try to convince you) a storyline that makes them Scroogelike (or Scrooged).

Then, "Scrooged" sounds like "Screwed" as in the short version of "Screwed-up."

If it's used in this way, they are telling you the truth about this movie in the title: It's a modernized story of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol,"--but, in that role, it's "Screwed-Up." That is, a big mistake.

I guess it's a matter of taste.

If you prefer watching PeeWee's Playhouse to watching Captain Kangaroo, you must might think this movie is great stuff.

However, I cut my teeth on Captain Kangaroo, and, when I happened to tune into PeeWee's Playhouse one Saturday morning several years ago (the 1980s, I think), it left me cold!

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Choose Your Mood When Watching This Movie. . ., 15 June 2004
10/10

Are you interested in comedy?

Focus on a goofily-attired Bette Davis who could have changed the name of this movie to Guess Who's Coming To (Be Eaten For) Dinner--Eat your heart out, Martha Stewart!!!

And her song and dance act in which she becomes fiftysomething going on five.

Are you interested in a character study of how unresolved issues coupled with problem drinking can erode a family relationship?

Or how about what kinds of dysfunction might result when one sibling seems to be favored over another?

Then, there's the guilt that Jane must have felt when she sobered up and realized (though she was actually incorrect in this assumption) that she had crippled her sister.

Her love-hate relationship with her sister left little windows where tenderness and compassion make flickering appearances but there's more instances of resentment--resentment of now being saddled down to care for her now-helpless sister (though guilt making her feel extra obligated to do so) coupled with resentment that Blanche is so popular even after being out-of-the-public-eye for many years.

Then, that scene at the beach where Blanche and Jane realize what they've thrown away of what could have, instead, been a close and loving relationship between the two sisters.

Cult film or not, there are plenty of thoughtful and serious issues that can be thought about while watching this movie.

Then, there's just the plain old eerie parts--the once fine home left to the sisters by their parents (especially, the Daddy who once encouraged, spoiled, and accompanied Baby Jane on his ukelele back in more innocent and carefree vaudeville days and now had that sung-about address in Heaven above).

This home matched the health of the two sisters, because, as they were, it was now deteriorating.

It was a Spanish-style home, and that style has a way of looking especially eerie when deteriorating.

And the inside of the home was kept dark and in a state of being stuck in the past like Dickens' Miss Havisham and her surroundings while the rest of the world moved on ahead.

The home didn't have a basement but a cellar (more spooky sounding)--and one with rats, no less!!!

In this watch-it-again-and-again movie, you get at least three movies in one: a comedy, a character study, and a horror movie!

4 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
A Glimmer Of Hope?, 15 June 2004
10/10

I've seen the original zillions of times but have only seen the remake once all the way through, though I seem to remember getting in on the last part a few years later when I happened to notice that it was on again.

Either it was on again or else something similar to it.

I can only remember seeing it once.

One thing that especially impressed me about this one was that it seemed to me that the beach scene offered a glimmer of hope.

Blanche told the cops that her sister was in need of professional help so to please be sure that she got it--and I also had the feeling that help just might have arrived in time that Blanche's life also was spared.

This would mean that the two sisters would have another chance at a good relationship with each other instead of one being dead and the other either being permanently locked away in a mental institution or else a prison--and seen as "hopeless" either way.

15 out of 31 people found the following review useful:
Much Loved To Have Been So Rarely Seen!, 15 June 2004
10/10

I'm frustrated that they don't show this more on TV!

I've only gotten to see it once--and saw when it was on at another time several years later, but, sadly, not when I would be able to watch it.

Let me tell you about the summer I saw it.

It was 1972 (summer), and I'd just finished my freshman year of college.

One of the powers-that-be at my college would have been perfectly content had this turned out to be my LAST year of college (long story--which I'll be writing about in a book before long. . .that is, currently working on the book now).

My paternal grandma was struggling with widespread cancer. Just when it seemed as if she had beaten it, signs that she still had it lurking in her body disappointed us time and again.

This was a time of unrest in our country--throughout the whole world, in fact.

When the movie was made, the woman who played Mary was two years away from marrying a remarkable man--one who would reach out to the president of the USSR and ask him to tear down that wall.

Sixteen-plus years later, the Cold War would come to an end--but it was now 1972 and still part of our reality.

I saw this movie on my TV schedule and thought it would be an interesting film to watch.

With all of the unrest in the Middle East, there was a lot of speculation that we were, indeed, living in "the last days."

Would this be a movie about The Second Coming, as seen through the eyes of those who created this movie 22 years or so before I would be watching it?

What would be the treatment of the relationship between God and humanity in this movie?

In short, I found a lot of comfort in this movie.

There was cancer in the world, Cold War, war in Vietnam, rumors of war, unrest, campus riots, my own personal campus conflict. . .but, most importantly, there was our loving God who has wanted nothing more throughout the ages than to gain our trust and love.

This tenderhearted and wise movie did a wonderful job in getting across this wonderful news!!!

5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
What More Can I Say!?!, 15 June 2004

I think that the beautiful comments left here already describe this wonderful movie perfectly, so all there is left to do is to tell you about the last time I watched this movie.

It was less then 24 hours ago, and I was reminded of two couples by Julie and Bill.

One couple was Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, because Ozzy is the more fragile of the two, and Sharon hopes to have beaten her cancer completely so that she can stick around and take care of him.

Another couple was a young couple of college age who were very much in love, but the woman was killed in a tragic automobile accident.

Her boyfriend was with her, but he survived.

Two decades, give or take, have passed, and he's never found anyone else who can take the place of this special woman, and he has a lot of emotional conflict going on because of this where he doesn't always respond to people who care about him in the best of ways.

I even thought that Bill resembled him in physical appearance.

Hittie could represent any of us who care about this special guy and want the best for him, because she commits herself to trying to ease Bill's deep-seated pain.

Watching the movie this last time got me to thinking about this precious friend, and I ended up writing him an e-mail just to let him know I was thinking of him.

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Two Different Treatments, 14 June 2004

I think that one should think of these shows (the old-timey Looney Tunes and Baby Looney Tunes) as two different shows.

The latter is a cutesy, gentle kind of cartoon that gives good messages to tots--but, also, to kids of all ages, because we never outgrow our need for learning lessons.

It's what you would call a sweet cartoon--and I would rather have kids exposed to sweet cartoons like this that also happens to have wonderful animation than that same tired stuff that they also show on the Cartoon Network that is woodenly-animated and sparse in meaningful plot.

The Looney Tunes I grew up with (I'm 51 years old) are the traditional ones, and they're full of slapstick, current event comedy that adults can appreciate on their own level (make that historical events for most of us), and amazing animation.

They're very fun and looney as the name implies, but they also exercise your mind as you keep on your toes for getting the double meanings.

Looney Tunes and others of their ilk also were music appreciation mini-courses, as they used a lot of classical, jazz, and other musical genres as background music at times and as part of the actual plot at other times.

Sadly, I see very little of those cartoons in the calibre of Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry, Popeye, Rocky & Bullwinkle, etc. shown on The Cartoon Network.

And Baby Looney Tunes--while given a somewhat bigger piece of the pie--only represents a small portion of what's on there.

There are other really cute and funny cartoons on this network, but it seems as if most of it is made up of those very woodenly-animated, same old plot kind of cartoons.

They're of the animae type--which people tout as being something really special--but it's the most primitive of this type of cartooning to the place that all the different cartoons kinda go together.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Bring On The Sequel!!!, 23 May 2000

The time setting for this movie was some thirty years ago, so we have a thirty-plus year span to work with. I'd like to see a sequel to this showing Harriet and Ricky over the years. Will her mother take her to visit Ricky at the Home? Will Ricky ever come to visit Harriet and Gwen during a leave? Will there be a happier ending re: his mother to where her cancer goes into remission--or even goes away? How will the two characters grow together? Will they stay close but Harriet will go on with her life and marry somebody with an IQ closer to her own, while Ricky will find romance at the Home? Or will they be like Mary and Tim and not let the intelligence difference stand in the way of being each others' true love? You get the picture. This is a movie that makes me really feel for the characters and wonder what their lives will be like "in awhile crocodile." I have digital cable, and this movie has been shown several times. I try to catch it as many times as I can. Now, I'm just waiting on the sequel.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
So Ridiculous It's Hilarious! lololol, 28 June 1999
10/10

There are two main kinds of ridiculous movies, in my opinion:

(1) movies that are ridiculous because they have too many flaws in one or more of the following areas: (a) overly hyperkinetic (b) overly draggy (c) merely vehicles for displaying shock (e.g. violence, gore, profanity, nudity) (d) movies with such an obvious lack of focus and direction as if they're trying to be all things to all people and pleasing nobody (e) Movies that try to appear to be deep and intellectual by presenting a bunch of meaningless mishmash

(2) Movies that are ridiculous, because that's what they're

intended to be (Think: THREE STOOGES)

In my opinion, 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag, falls into this last category of ridiculous movies! It's a scream! Such an interesting and original plot! It's not a message movie (unless it's to tell people to check their luggage more carefully before getting too far from the airport). It's just for laughs--and it certainly made ME laugh! If you just want to have a good laugh, check THIS one out!


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