28 Reviews
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Logan's Run (1976)
Not Perfect, But Entertaining
25 June 2005
I've seen this movie a lot over the years. There are glitches galore: gray-haired extras and stunt men who are clearly over 30, the City of Domes miniature that just screams "model!". Still, it's entertaining, and it is NOT a B-picture(this was a 9 million-dollar production back in 1976, a big budget for a pre-Star Wars sci-fi flick). BTW, one of L.B. Abbott's f/x specialties was blending matte paintings with live-action sequences, hence, the bombed-out Washington, D.C. scenes. Also, regarding the production design and f/x in general: before Star Wars, major studios could get away with a lot of the cheesy stuff in the movie, like those interstellar flare guns, and the shopping mall dressed up with a few mirror and neon sculptures to create a "city of the future". Not to mention the Moog and Arp synthesizer noises in the soundtrack. I watched this film on DVD recently, and the picture quality overall is excellent. Who else, before watching this film on DVD, didn't notice that Jessica 6 throws away Francis 7's "City of Domes" flare gun, causing Francis 7 to dive off the balcony and duke it out with Logan 5 in the Old Man's D.C. lair? So, quick, before the remake comes, watch this, the original movie.
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A Really Cool Movie When I Was A Kid...
8 February 2004
...but, like a couple others here have said, watching it again as an adult, you see all of the flaws: wooden acting, (black)holes in the plot, cheesy-looking robots(especially Maximilian, what's up with that one big glowing red canoe-shaped "eye"?). At least the opticals and miniature effects are quite good. IMHO, the ending was regally lame. They go through the black hole, come out the other side, and then what? I've always felt that if when they emerge from the black hole, and it was the planet Earth that they cruise toward off in the distance, it would've made up for a lot of the flaws already present in the film.
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Did This Really Cost 2.5 Million To Shoot?
9 November 2003
From the looks of this movie, Arthur P. Jacobs & Co. could've shot

it for 1 million less than that. No major special f/x, ape make-up

already paid for, full-scale prop spaceship already built and paid

for(just haul it down to the same Malibu beach where the 1st

movie was shot and smudge it up in black). And how convenient

that the story takes place in Southern California! Some of the

"on-location" shooting involved going two, maybe three miles from

the studio. Oh, well, "Escape..." is my favorite of the Ape movie

sequels, mainly for the comedy relief that the other sequels

could've used.
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Square One Television (1987–1992)
A PBS Educational Show With A Decent Budget!
1 November 2003
And, it was a good show, too. It looked like it had a good-sized budget,anyway. There were no ultra-cheesy sets or grainy 16mm filmed segments(like some other well-known PBS kids shows), from what I remember. Plus, the show seemed truly modern in the realm of PBS educational programs, definitely 1987.
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Square Pegs (1982–1983)
One Size Does Not Fit All
5 October 2003
This show's one season coincided with my freshman year of high school, so I could relate to it big-time. It's a good candidate for resurrection on DVD, in my humble opinion(please, oh please!). I don't remember too much about the actual episodes, just bits and pieces(it's been 21 years since I last saw it). Again, let us all hope that Square Pegs gets released on DVD.
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Powerhouse (1982– )
From The Folks That Brought You The Bloodhound Gang...
2 May 2003
Was this show maybe a spinoff of 3-2-1 Contact's The Bloodhound Gang? I watched this show when it was on PBS back in the day. A bunch of kids, ranging in age from about 18 down to 13, would go around and solve mysteries of sorts, traveling around in a spiffy orange Volkswagen bus. I remember the show had a really low-budget look, like it was shot in 16-millimeter. Man, does anybody else remember this program?
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CHiPs (1977–1983)
Bad '70's Cars
19 April 2002
Um, taking a cue from the last post, it's true that a lot of classic vintage cars show up in CHiPs, but you also get an eyeful of a lot of the (in)famously awful 1970s cars: Vegas, Pintos, Gremlins, Plymouth Volares--yuck! Not to mention the occasional big, boxy, clunky dark-brown American Motors Ambassador, making an appearance as The Bad Guys' Getaway Car(gag!). Heh heh. Oh, yeah, as for the rest of the show, it's kitchy seventies & early-eighties action-adventure. A lot of the above-mentioned '70's rides--along with a healthy dose of humongous gas-hog Chevys and Buicks and other Detroit iron--ended up in absurdly over-the-top 20-car pileups that got even more ridiculous when Dukes of Hazzard came along with its wacky car smash-ups.
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Steven Speilberg & The Sequel Of Noise
9 March 2002
Definitely a good escapist action-adventure picture, but it's still not as good as Raiders Of The Lost Ark. Where that 1st movie was an homage to the 1930s serial cliffhangers, Temple Of Doom is pure "Summer Blockbuster" material. I know. I saw Temple Of Doom back in '84 when it was first released, at age 16. For all its action, gross-out food scenes, and noise(i.e., the mine car chase), Temple lacks Raiders' depth.
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Star Trek (1966–1969)
The writing carried the show....
27 December 2001
....well, the writing and the acting by the principals, but the writing was SO good: marvelous character development, detailed story lines. Gene Rodenberry used to do re-write after re-write of scripts, sometimes delaying the shooting of a scene until he'd re-written it to his satisfaction.

To all Trekkies and non-Trekkies who dis the original series' special effects: get over it!!!! Rodenberry had neither the time or money for fancy f/x. Just the fact that he and his staff ground out such a high quality sci-fi show weekly on a $190,000 per-episode budget is a miracle. During the first season, L.A. f/x houses were barely keeping up supplying much-needed opticals(phaser beam footage, ships-in-outer-space-footage, etc.); episodes were shot, then shelved, waiting for their opticals footage to arrive. It almost reached a point where Rodenberry did not have a completed episode ready to ship to NBC in New York for broadcast. The first, and still the best....
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The Net (1995)
So-so thriller, silly computer graphics
14 July 2001
This movie turned out to be an OK thriller, at least for me. It really moves slowly in places. And, yes, the computer graphics are of the "Only In Hollywood" variety. Macintosh users: our fave computer is used a lot throughout the movie(again, excuse the geeky, gimmicky graphics). Also, look for a couple Photoshop filters to make cameos!
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The Wonder Years (1988–1993)
A Cool Show
21 June 2001
Sometimes I like to call this show The Nervous Years, mainly

because some of the principal actors portrayed their characters

that way. But then, Fred Savage and Co. had to leave openings for

Daniel Stern's "And there you had it..." narration, which at times

made their characters appear to be afraid of what to say next.

Overall, a really good show. It's too bad it didn't run longer, so we

could find out what happens to these characters later on. I do

have some minor nits to pick: the nagging problem of making

everything look truly late-'60's and early-'70's(especially that bright

yellow TV set in the Arnold kitchen, clearly a circa-1977 model).

"Snuffy" Walden's at times overly sentimental acoustic

guitar-as-background-music(remember his Thirtysomething"

work?). And I wish Dan Lauria got more dialogue, poor guy,

instead of just a grunt at the dinner table.
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Space: Above and Beyond (1995–1996)
Pretty good, heavy on the military-ease
10 May 2001
This show had a fairly healthy budget by the looks of it, and also

had detailed writing. The computer-animated images were pretty

impressive for TV back in 1995(Lightwave 3D, anyone?).

The series really leaned heavily on all of the military jargon and

hardware, which reminds me of another good point: the sets,

such as the interiors of the ships, were first-rate. None of the actors who played the "Wild Cards" were really

well-known. I only saw fresh-faced Morgan Weisser in one other

program, an episode of Quantum Leap, in which he played an

aspiring rock guitarist in 1966 in a small town(check him out with

long hair!). I wished the writers had developed the "chigs" more. Those

bad guys didn't get a whole lotta background. Maybe said writers

would have if the show had lasted longer. Oh, well. The best TV

sci-fi show will always be the original Star Trek, in my opinion.
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Total Recall (1990)
Fine Sci Fi Story Drowned In Blood
10 May 2001
Yeah, the plot is fine, but, you know, this Verhoeven person, he just

loves to drench every other scene with blood and guts. Pow, pow

pow pow!!!! Time for another close-up of a bullet going through

somebody's head. Oh, yeah, that's right, there's this story about a

secret gadget on Mars, but will get to that later. Here's another

over-the-top shot of someone buying the farm, via a neck-stabbing.

Mr. Foley person, give us your loudest, sickest sound effect here,

please. Again, good story, lighten up on the violence a bit and focus on

plot, please.
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Frogs (1972)
Whoo-eee, what a stinker!
28 April 2001
From the folks at American International Pictures comes....exploitation, early-'70's style. I just saw this, uh, film on American Movie Classics, who showed a nice clean print of it(don't tell me someone actually was paid money to restore this clinker!). This is a classic drive-in kind of movie. Seeing it in an indoor theatre just wouldn't deliver the same effect. It's really not that scary or violent by today's standards. I really like the fact that, even though the title may be frogs, it seems every known species of reptile makes an appearance in this, uh, movie. Ya got yer snakes, yer alligators, yer turtles, et cetera et cetera. Has anyone figured out exactly how many pieces of hopping, croaking froggie stock footage was used in this, uh, film?
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An "Acquired Taste"
22 April 2001
The humour in this show didn't tickle everyone's funny bone, but

man, was it funny!!!! How can you NOT like a show where all the

characters are college dude-voiced sock puppets, anyway? One

thing I admired about this show is that it didn't depend so much on

gross-out gags for laughs, ala South Park and Beavis And

Butthead. The sets and the costumes were joyfully and

side-splittingly cheesy. How about the "Calls,calls, calls, calls

from the public" sock puppet with the giant phone dial behind him,

being whacked on the noggin with a phone receiver?!!? Again, not

everyone "got" the humour of this show, but for me anyway, it was

out-and-out truly off-the-wall hilarious. I now give a tip o' the hat to

Precious Roy: "Buy my waffles! You guys are SUCKERS!!!!"
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One Scene Not To be Missed
22 April 2001
There's a small scene is in this motion picture that, in a way,

actually speaks volumes about the film's subject matter. It occurs

during the aftermath of the Krakow Ghetto destruction, at night,

when the Nazis are digging out the people hiding in the buildings,

hoping to avoid death. One soldier sits down at an upright piano

and starts playing, surrounded by the sounds of gun fire and

people screaming and crying. Two more soldiers stop in the

doorway and banter lightly about whose music he's playing, Bach

or Mozart. I think Speilberg here is trying to emphasize the fact that, even a

supposedly "civilized" and "educated" group of people like the

Germans could be coerced and driven to cold-blooded murder. In

this case, a young German man who no doubt had classical piano

lessons as a child becomes part of a brutal killing machine. It's

small but chilling scene in a very powerful movie.
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The '60s (1999 TV Movie)
Zooming Through The '60's
1 January 2001
Haven't had a chance to read all of the comments, because I wanted to throw in my two cents' worth: OK, first of all, the movie tries valiantly to compress 10 years' worth of events into a matter of hours, which is impossible to do, of course. Secondly, the sound people must've done some wrangling in Pro Tools to speed up the tempo of the sixties hits played throughout, because they just seem to whiz on by. While were on the subject of sound, if we are in a scene taking place in 1964, then, for crying out loud, play a song that was released in '64, NOT one that came out 2 years later! This makes the production, writing crews, etc. look like they didn't do enough research(or that they didn't give a crap). Finally, my biggest gripe: I really find it hard to believe that any person could somehow, by "being in the right place at the right time",attend so many important events in a given decade. I mean, the family's older(?)brother buses on down to Mississippi for a march, swings back home for a teach-in, goes to Newport to catch Dylan's electric debut,oh, and then it's time to cruise on up to D.C. for an anti-war rally and to stick a flower in a soldier's rifle, etc. etc.. I know, I know, it's a TV movie :-).
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The Electric Company (1971–1977)
Gooey Cheesiness
15 October 2000
Boy, do I remember this show! Heavy on the blue(or green)screen effects! "A Very Short Book"! "Jennifer Of The

Jungle"! Those two sillouhetted faces with the words coming out of their mouths! J. Arthur Crank! "So-And-So

Has Five Seconds To Read The Next Word He Sees. Can You Read It Before He Does?"! Oh no! The Spellbinder

has changed the "s" in "sun" into a "b", turning the sun, into

a bun! Today on the Electric Company, Paul The Gorilla

says(Moog or Arp synth sound)! Tight-budget special f/x!

Tight-budget sets! Morgan Freeman! Yes, Morgan Freeman as Easy Reader, wearing is Levis Jeans Jacket and shades and grooving and looking soooo 1975!!!! Funkeh!!!! The List Goes On!!!!
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Silver Spoons (1982–1987)
Unabashedly Eighties
1 September 2000
This was another show I watched back in the eighties. If you'd like to see some of the pop culture items from that decade, check out this program. Topsider boat shoes, Michael Jackson dance moves, Members Only Jackets--they're all in Silver Spoons in various places. One episode I remember vividly has Shroeder's character hacking into a military computer by mistake and downloading plans for a top-secret fighter jet--I'm serious! Let's see....oh, yes, there was the episode where he and John Houseman drive the family Mercedes through a wall into Higgin's character's office. Egad! I gotta stop. I'm having flashbacks :-).
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Not a bad sequel, with some sharp writing.
26 December 1999
Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes is actually a good movie. One could argue that it's a case of good writing in the face of a pathetically low budget, ala Star Trek. The "future city" in the film was actually a then-new business complex in L.A., on the verge of completion. The producers lucked out and got permission to shoot there. This was good, because the studio had alloted said producers a ridiculously low budget, something like 1.7 million dollars, to make the movie. The tiny budget especially shows through in the special effects and the props: check out the "authenticator", used to make Ricardo Montalban's character tell the truth to the goverment heavies, which looks like a dining room hanging lamp with a blue bulb inside. Money problems aside, Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes is still entertaining, and makes some pointed observations about real-life society in the process. Just overlook the only-in-'72 turtlenecks, afros and push-button phones with the cords removed. :-).
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Hilarious In Places
13 October 1999
This film was perhaps THE big low-budget/cult/parody flick in its time. While it doesn't create belly laughs from start to finish, it does have some truly hilarious moments. My favorite scene has dozens of tomatoes just floating in a lake, attacking some unsuspecting summer-campers(believe me, you'll positively crack up when you see the underwater footage!). Also, watch for the sequence in which grown men blast with shotguns tomatoes that were obviously rolled at them off-camera.
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Doogie Howser, M.D. (1989–1993)
Great Program Wrongly Dismissed As A Kids' Show
9 October 1999
I loved this show! I used to watch it every week. Unfortunately, I think too many people dismissed "Doogie Howser, M.D." as kids' or teens' faire because of the main character(Doogie) and the premise(boy genius becomes m.d. at age 14).

The truth is, the writing was consistently sharp and witty, and pretty mature. Plus, this program was one of Steven Bochco's creations, as in Steven Bochco, the man behind Hill Street Blues(which won something like, I don't know, 2,000 awards). I'm surprised this last fact alone didn't get Doogie Howser more respect. Oh, well. If you get a chance,definitely check out the reruns.
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The A-Team (1983–1987)
Cars Crash, Bullets Fly, And No One Gets Hurt
9 October 1999
Yep, I liked this show, and used to look forward to every episode. Now, I know the plots followed a definite formula due to the fact that most shows began with the bad guys trashing the good guys' restaurant or cab company or fishing boat. And I know that those same bad guys never got killed in all the car and plane crashes and machine gun fire. I still like "The A-Team" for its campy, goofy fun and colorful characters, plus the edge-of-your-seat suspense of waiting to see what weapon the A-Teamers would construct out of an old cot and mattress. Besides, I used to make my high school P.E. teachers crack up by mimicking the opening theme song--including the monologue--note-for-note.
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A Story That Deserves A Better-Made Movie
3 October 1999
The problem here isn't the subject matter. Au contraire, the saga of the Jacksons' journey from Gary, Indiana to mega pop stars is an engrossing and revealing rags-to-riches story. The trouble, as is often the case with made-for-TV movies, is the execution: slipshod art direction, cheesy soundtrack('60s-style songs that sound too '90s), rough editing and script continuity. The Jacksons' story deserves better than this.
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The definitive TV documentary of the personal computer....
23 July 1999
Journalist Robert Cringley's 3-hour saga of the personal computer is a sprawling, gutsy masterpiece that tells it like it is, presenting for viewer approval(or disapproval)the characters, places and anecdotes that are part of the birth, growing pains and refinement of "that damn box", as some folks might call it. It's all there: software, hardware, geeks, nerds, money, power, ambition, hunger, anxiety. Highly recommended viewing, without a doubt.
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