Reviews written by registered user
|409 reviews in total|
No, I dare not say it. This is what I wrote about a year ago: As more of a movie buff, there's only been two television shows I have gone out of my way to watch in the last 30 years - Seinfeld and this one. My first thought on seeing this several months ago was it was a funny show but it was a one-trick-pony that would get old quick. I'm probably 100 shows in and still waiting for it to get old. Kaley Cuoco is semi-starving actress living in apartment across from two of the biggest geeks to ever hit television (Galecki and Parsons), as well as their two frequent, equally-geeky visitors Helberg and Nayyar. Each of the geeks has their own eccentricities, but Parsons is almost from another planet. I know Parsons has the Emmys but in my mind Galecki is the focus of the show, and Cuoco makes it really run. If you like her kind of athletic looks Cuoco is just about as attractive as they come on television (only trumped by Barbara Eden from many years back). UNLIKE Seinfeld, which lost some of its luster down the stretch and had several mediocre episodes, I have yet to see an episode I didn't like. Seeing Wolowitz scream at his mom that he's not a teenager anymore and then ask what's for dinner never gets old. A real gem, a top ten all-timer. This is what I say now: Having hit the wall on this show, I have seen enough. They really made too few shows each year to have a truly Seinfeldian rerun life. And they had a really inappropriate "joke" within the past year that should offend many Christians, they crossed the line big time. For all of Kaley's great charm I think I'm done.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Advertising whiz Hopkins reassesses life after dad's death in Lebanon PA, as James Carville might say a little slice of Alabama within 100 miles of Philadelphia. Hopkins' niece Kitson in her first and only movie plays a high school senior pregnant and weighing her options. The two bond after a fashion and are really the focal point of the flick. Hopkins gets involved with married Mathis (Bibi Besch's daughter) to add just another wrinkle. The story as it plays out was very down to earth. As a pro-lifer I did not at all agree with Kitson's resolution of her pregnancy, but the portrayal of the influences (persons and ideas) on her decision making seemed realistic and the answers to certain questions she had were left open. So I didn't like her choice but the movie wasn't preachy and she feels some of the consequences of her road at the close.
In some other review I listed my top ten TV shows of all time, this is another I missed but is deserving. Monk is former police detective traumatized by the murder of his wife, he struggles on as a private consultant for the force while carrying a load of serious mental issues including some major OCD stuff. His bizarre attention to detail helps him solve the many murders he is asked to investigate; as Monk would say his unique personality is a gift .... and a curse. Earlier on Monk overplays his ability/disability a tad, it is more effectively restrained in later episodes. The other major players are the San Francisco Police Captain and his goofy Lieutenant along with Monk's secretary Howard, they are all very good but Monk drives the car (although he doesn't actually drive). Many of the plots are more cute than entirely believable, but the characters trump the story holes and each episode I've seen is a winner. Brilliant, inspired, touching, often humorous. A real gem, wrapped up with an absolutely outstanding and marvelous final two part episode, the best TV series finale ever.
Funny thing about this movie is the first few times I watched part of it I didn't get it, it just seemed bleak and obscure. It has grown on me a little since then and I try to get at least a piece of it each time it's on. Since I've never seen this from top to bottom in one sitting forgive me for errors in the plot, but it goes something like this: Ford is savvy, gritty future cop with an ability to take a punch and trained to spot replicants (robots who appear to be human), called back to duty when a few replicants turn bad. The replicants are on what turns out to be a deadly mission of their own. Along the way Ford hooks up with Young, together they make the movie. I find most fascinating the relationship between Ford and Young and the bleak look at the future, the plot to me is sort of routine and immaterial except as a backdrop to the good stuff. Hard to understand but rewarding in its own strange way.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Let's start with the good stuff first. The basic Captain America story is a good one and makes for a solid movie. Marvel ALWAYS does well with casting, and it's flawless again here. Evans, Atwell (wow), and Weaving (Elrond) are all spot on, Jackson in a limited role and Jones are also good if not at this point overused. In my opinion Stanley Tucci steals the show in his early appearances as the gentle scientist who prefers the spunky but skinny Rogers for his project. And the CG action scenes which crop up during the movie are a little more realistic than the cut-action/rock video Michael Bay style, where you can't even tell what's going on most of the time. It also does well in projecting the WWII atmosphere. That being said, this movie suffers from two major flaws shared with other Marvel entries - it's TOO DAMN LONG and it is too derivative in its story line. These movies really don't work at over 1:30, it often seems like there's filler thrown in to stretch the time for network resale (or whatever the reason is). There's very little flow from one scene to another. The plot turns are almost formula, this one has elements of Spiderman I & III along with some Star Wars and Lord of the Rings thrown in. Maybe II will be better, I'm not giving up on this yet, but they need to step it up a little. Given an 8 just because this had the potential for a 9 or 10 but didn't hit the spot.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Reaves plays one time star college QB now undercover FBI agent, trying to bust masked bank robbers suspected to be surfers. I really like Reaves in these sort of movies, he has a brash but at the same time modest tone that works for me, and Swayze is spot on as the charismatic leader of the suspected robbers. The macho interplay between Reaves and Swayze is sometimes contrived but usually entertaining. Although she is not a classic Hollywood bombshell I also think Petty is effective as Reaves' surfing instructor and entry to the group (and eventual love interest). There's some unpleasant parts of this movie including a fight that involves a lawn mower (that I usually switch off), and the extent of Reaves' involvement in the group staggers credibility towards the end, but the surfing parts are good. About 20 minutes too long.
Having been a reader of Marvel comics back in their 60's golden age it's nice, as it was with Tolkien's books, to see them finally coming to life on the screen. This is a serviceable entry in the growing Marvel catalog. Casting is always a strong point in Marvel pics, this being no exception with the well-sculptured Thor, Hopkins as Odin and Loki masterfully underplayed, as well as the impressive Heimdall, guardian of the Rainbow Bridge. There is one scene where we get to look from behind Heimdall on his view of the universe that was just SPECTACULAR, they should have found an excuse to drag it out longer even if it won't transfer to the smaller screen. Now for the complaints - when they do these computerized battles, I find it hard to follow what it is they're showing me - can we slow it down a little, or would that expose the magic? I found the plot muddled. Without spoiling anything, it was a little hard to figure out what Loki was doing and why he was doing it, plus the wrap was a little hard to grasp. But I would say a decent start, if it follows Iron Man II doomed to a disappointing sequel. Hey, when do we get Dr. Strange??
I'm not joining the crowd. And I love cars and motoring. A video Car and Driver, this has the feel of a show that was unique, inspired, and somewhat unappreciated a few years back. It appears that somewhere along the line it got fat on its success. In short, this show is just too damn smug. I'm not tuning in and accepting that this is the best thing to ever hit TV. I don't care how long they've been doing it, I'm new and they still have to go through the paces for me. I don't like the big audience and I don't get it, it seems too narcissistic and to me doesn't really fit the concept of the show. I recorded about 10 of these, watched parts of 3 and deleted them all. For some other audience, not me.
Even back in my Republican days (which ran from my birth until 2002 or so) I realized that Fox News had an agenda, back then the agenda wasn't so blatant than it is now and it was excused by the fact that most other major networks had their own quietly liberal agenda. In those days I would even listen to Rush Limbaugh and enjoy Brit Hume and the capital crowd's fresh take on things. But as the Republicans got fat and cocky before their control of Washington imploded (for very good reason), I noticed that just as Fox News reassured me they were unbiased and unafraid they became even more shrill and slanted, pretty much advocates for the right. When I was younger the Democrats always seemed to be deliberately out of touch with reality. With the exception of elements of the stimulus package, it seems to be the Republicans' turn to be out of touch in the new millennium. I tuned in not that long ago, one of their mental midgets had the audacity to suggest that President Obama quiet the leftist extremists taking cheap shots at Sarah Palin (another mental midget). Was that same person suggesting W should quiet Rush Limbaugh say 6 years ago? I think not. How absurd, and everyone there nodded as if it was a point worth considering. As bad as Matthews and Maher and PBS and Maddow and Olberman (good riddance) are on the left, Fox is as bad on the right. What America needs is news without agenda, and that's not Fox News.
On my list as one of the ten best TV series of all time. An all-timer.
Most stories took average persons and added one simple sci-fi or
fantasy element and you're off and running. Featured many of the great
television actors of the time as well as many future stars. In my
opinion, the best episodes were usually written by Rod himself, whose
trademark as narrator was to appear, sometimes cigarette in hand, side
stage at the end of the opening scene.
What really made these shows tops were the human drama, NOT the sci-fi twists and turns. The stories are so good I often get choked up somewhere along the line. I would say not for the modern Wii generation, except my 6 and 9 year olds were fully engaged during the recent New Year marathon. Modern television could learn a lot from these shows in terms of character development and real drama. Great stuff.
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