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The Onion News Network (2007)
Very funny parody of the news
This is a great series of short video news that I first watched as a podcast. I came across it by chance when I was looking for news. What a discovery!
There are many episodes and a website (http://theonion.com) that has been in existence since the 70s. Yeah right!
The episode about Obama lip syncing had me falling over in laughter while the episode of sluts causing a major environmental disaster was a killer. Other episodes include how to put the spark back into your relationship with a cat, the end of the newspaper industry and what will you put on your garage floor when painting, and the abortion procedure episode were priceless.
To top it all, the individuals with upcoming bachelor parties subject to internet attack episode and the latest car that Ford suggest to everyone for 2010, the 1993 Taurus for $680 round up a great list.
And as each episode says, "since 1896, in 811 countries, this the news show everyone depends on!" Great!
Up in the Air (2009)
A very good movie and a parallel universe to me
After getting enough encouragement from facebook friends to go see this movie, I finally made it and was pleased to have done so.
This movie is close to my heart and life. I fly often. Not 350,000 miles as Ryan (played so convincingly by George Clooney), but about 200,000 miles per year. In 2009 I flew 159 times. I was on the road for almost 300 days. I do consider airports my places, have learned how to go through security (and yes I do follow people that have very little hand luggage), have learned how to get miles from everything (although I would never sit down and exchange loyalty cards with anyone because, what's the point) and how to live, an at times, pretty lonely existence.
The fact the Ryan meets a lovely woman with similar life at an airport is interesting, although many women I meet flying certainly do not have kids and if they did, would not fly as much as she does. It is a life choice.
George plays the role very well, although you would think that after getting #7, he would give up his airline seat, instead visiting airports where he can go see his "Ryan" labeled airplane. The film of course finishes in a way that there will be Up In the Air 2 coming soon in a theater near you. Maybe this is the plan.
I don't give this film a 10 because: Would a company really sent a 25 year old to fire people? Would people that have worked at a company all their lives really accept to lose their jobs by such a young person? And is it morally acceptable to use video conferencing to do such a life changing event? Or we just accept this movie as, well a movie.
And finally is there a need for so much endorsements in this movie? Do we need to push Hilton, American Airlines, Hertz and every other company mentioned. Or future movies will become infomercials. Or maybe this movie could not be made without names, any names.
Yes, this is a good movie and recommended to anyone who lives Up in the Air. Just like me.
Bush Tucker Man (1987)
Excellent series about Australia's outback
This is a great series. It started when ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corp) discovered that there was a fellow called Les Hiddins going around the north collecting bush tucker information for the Department of Defense. They sent a production crew with helicopter to follow him around, which became the basis of this series.
Les (who was ill a few years ago but has since recovered), became a natural in front of the camera and recounts his adventures, nature and bush tucker found in Australia's outback. He is one of the most respected 'whites' by the aboriginal Australians that inhabit the places he visits.
There were two series. The first one, eight episodes from 1987 and a second one with another eight episodes following soon after. An additional series called "Stories of Survival" was completed in 1995 where Les talks about eight of the best known explorers of early Australia.
I have taped all episodes of the series when they were shown on the Discovery Channel (Europe) as well as the "Stories of Survival." The ABC shop sells books, interactive CD-ROM based software and DVDs of these series so you can find the DVD for home viewing.
Les lives in Townsville, Queensland, Australia.
All in all a great series, and a great inventive to explore nature wherever you are.
A Fare to Remember (1999)
Easy to watch, kind-of-remake with "6 days 7 nights" touches
This is a light, easy-to-watch film about a lady on her way to her wedding being forced to hire a cab from Seattle to LA. I watched it one morning, as I was just waking up, eating my breakfast. Excellent way to wake up......
We know something will happen between them; we know she is difficult to please; we know she will change before the journey and the film ends.
Along the way, we notice many things:
- Cameo by un-credited Karl Malden as Corporate Vice President
- "The cell-phone can find us" scene from 6 days 7 nights, repeated in a highway setting.
- The highway breakdown scene from Steve Martin's "Planes, Trains, Automobiles" remade.
- Challen Kates, although she has not done many movies so far, is a very energetic player as well as being very cute (we can't say anything else about her real character, can we?). Why doesn't she do more films?
- One would think that to get money, all she needs to do is drive to an ATM so why doesn't she? And do all cabbies give this MUCH credit to clients?
- Although there is plenty of scope to further extend the two main characters, the author doesn't. That's just too bad.
All in all a nice film.....
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)
Interesting example of 1950s B-genre
This is an interesting movie, and up to par with 1950s quick make, quick-releases SF movies (they were plenty in the shadow of the cold war).
The story involves a husband, a rich wife that sees a UFO which noone believes, great looking snappy eyed girlfriend (Playboy playmate) and a flying saucer that makes the rich wife huge taking revenge on her husband.
Special effects are only at the end of the film (they were difficult and expensive) and the acting capabilities pretty mundane. The Sheriff that shouldn't have been is a case in point.
All in all a good example of this type of movies. Many followed and preceeded it; all included some type of monster, filmed from below to indicate greatness; none of these however matches "The day the earth stood still."
Head Office (1985)
Excellent movie for those working in large corporations
As the other reviewer says, this is definitely a gem of a movie! If you work in a 15000+ employee corporation, you will see what we mean.
Danny De Vito is excellent as a manager who has been forced to jump to his early fall from an office window; Don Novello as the car driver with a taste for Julio Iglessias; Judge Rheinhold playing Jack Issel is great as the son of a congressman; Rick Moranis as a PR head is also great especially with the delivery of the line "I love this business" as he is checking his blood pressure; as is Jane Seymour, offering the line, after making love to a colleague: 'I wouldn't be much if a screwed my way to the bottom."
Great movie all round. I specially liked the line "we make everything from toilet paper to nuclear power plants."
You will certainly enjoy this one!
The Key to Rebecca (1985)
Excellent Suspense Thriller
This is pretty good movie if you are willing to accept: the fact that David Soul is German and a Nazi; A lesbian scene in which a heterosexual woman accepts a lesbian with a simple "don't worry" comment after which she gets in the scene; Robertson has an English (Queen's English) speaking son; No-one seems to find anyone, even though they are in-front of them. People die for no reason.
Even with all of that, it is suspensful, sexy, and rather exciting.
Well worth spending a few hours watching on video or on TV (however, only on encrypted channels....)
A great time warp movie about father-son contact, 30 years apart
This is an interesting movie to say the least. It is about a 34 year old son who meets his father via ham (amateur) radio equipment, during days with plenty of Aurora Borealis about (this is the technical item that makes this chat possible).
By saving his dad's life (who was supposed to have died in a fire) the son changes events in the past and has to get his father to alter the outcomes of various events as new events appear. This is an excellent premise, but not easy to portray on the silver screen, as many have tried (and mostly failed) in the past.
Nevertheless I found this film interesting, exciting and full of suspense. Well worth seeing!!
Day the World Ended (1955)
Low budget, one set film on the Nuclear Madness of the 50s
This is a very low budget film, set in one location in a valley shielded by the effects of radiation. The cast, an older man and daughter, a handsome visitor, a couple (a tough buy and gal), a drifter, a donkey and a radiation affected man, interact during the after effects of a nuclear blast. Added to this is an entity watching the women take a bath.
They all have guns, some of them get shot, some of them are told to have children, others are murdered and others just drift away and, well this is the movie. Harvey Cormann's first film, it shows a certain simplicity in movie making. To avoid expensive sets, actors go through curtains to enter and exit the house (ie the studio). The location shots filmed in the hills near Hollywood are the backdrop.
I would not say this is worth going out of your way to see, but interesting to see how movies with human subjects were made in the 50s.
Life Stinks (1991)
Good, easy to watch comedy from Brooks
This is a good film by Mel Brooks. On the easy-to-watch side, it is the story of two very rich men who bet the ownership of a homeless area of LA on whether one of them (Brooks) can stay alive homeless, paperless and pennyless in the slums of LA. The dance number with Brooks and Warren is good as is the scene in Brooks house "my Rodin....my van Gogh...." This is a nice movie, portraying the dirty and awfull side of homelessness in a perhaps un-true manner (for younger audiences). Also shows how bad lawyers are and how easily money changes people.