Reviews written by registered user
gagliano

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43 reviews in total 
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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
West Wing Rocks!, 16 February 2000



First of all....I love it! "West Wing" is a television show like no other. After just a little more than a dozen episodes, it has already received Golden Globe nominations for "Best Drama Series" and two for "Best Actor" . It is considered one of the best shows on television this year as rated by numerous entertainment and news magazines. I am confident you will see it leading the pack for Emmy nominations as well.

Newsman Edward Murrow (1988) said "[Television] can teach, it can illuminate: yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box. There is a great and perhaps decisive battle to be fought against ignorance, intolerance, and indifference. This weapon of television could be useful." Well, it's now 2000 and we have a television show that does inspire and challenge us to make our society better. But I know what you are thinking? Isn't "West Wing" a television show about the White House and the Presidency? If it's based upon reality, shouldn't that be a comedy more so than a drama? Your assumption by comparing the Clinton Presidency and the current political climate to that of a television comedy is probably correct, but then one of our main networks (NBC) could then be accused of making light of a sad situation. Instead, NBC has risen above the bad jokes or rips on our political system, and created a television show that provides us hope and comfort in the belief that those in government service and politics truly do care about the "man or woman on the street" . I believe that every single person in this country hopes that someday we will have a President who can truly identify with each and everyone of us, one who understands our fears, our struggles, and our dreams. A President, who in either 4 or 8 years of service, makes life better for all of us on a daily basis. Someone who knows about grocery store scanners, knows their favorite "Value Meals" by number, and yet has the wisdom and knowledge to put forth and into action ideas that make this country a better place. We don't seek a President who is super-human, but a President who isn't afraid to show that he is human. Someone who demonstrates their leadership with an exceptional amount of courage and has ideals that inspire us to challenge and overcome the struggles we face as individuals and as a society. And that person is a guy named Jed.

"West Wing" has selected former New Hampshire Governor Josiah "Jed" Bartlet (Martin Sheen) to be President of the United States. He holds a Noble Laureate in Economics, has been a former Congressman, and is a descendant of one of the original signers of the Constitution. He is happily married to Abigail "Abby" Bartlet, his First Lady and M.D., for more years than he can remember (played by Academy-Award winning actress Stockard Channing). Abby helps keep his feet firmly on solid ground. In addition, President Bartlett suffers from a form of multiple sclerosis, but has chosen to keep his condition private from the staff and the public.

Surrounding the President, is his staff, located in the West Wing of the White House. Chief of Staff Leo McGarry, a former Labor Secretary and recovering alcoholic/ drug addict (John Spencer) leads the team. Communications Director, Toby Ziegler (Richard Schiff) attempts to challenge the staff to bring forth changes in domestic policy that will make America greater than she is. Toby's not afraid to challenge the President and others to take stronger stands on social issues. You can feel his frustration and anger as worthwhile battles are lost to politics. Deputy Communications Chief, Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe) puts the spin on the White House message and while he is as committed as Toby, he also know which battles are worth fighting for. Press Secretary C.J. Gregg (Allison Chaney) is bar far one of the most personable characters on the show. While she is one of the most visible members of the White House staff, due to her role, she is limited in her ability to influence policy and is sometimes relegated to a simple role of sharing the message with the press. The White House staffers who will either develop a loyal television following or rate a strong dislike are Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford of Wisconsin) and Political Consultant Dr. Mandy Hampton (Moira Kelly) who used to be significant others. They are the ones whose role it is to play politics, but every so often you see a caring and human side of them that politics hasn't yet touched.

Finally you have fantastic supporting West Wing staff such as Presidential Aide Charlie Young (Dule Hill), Vice-President John Hoynes (Tim Matheson), Aide Donna Moss (Janel Moloney), First Daughter Zoey Bartlet (Elizabeth Moss), Journalist Danny Concannon (Timothy Busfield), Presidential Secretary Mrs. Landingham (Kathryn Joosten), and Aide Margaret (Nicole Robinson). In addition, you have repeating roles by Supreme Court Justice Nominees, Cabinet Officers and the Joint Chiefs.

You don't have to watch "West Wing" on a regular basis, for each episode carries it's own weekly issue or storyline with a few overlapping sub stories that are easily picked up on. You see issues of nuclear war, terrorism, religion, hate crimes, gun control, alcoholism and health all taken up in less than 60 minutes. Watching how these White House Staffers go about their daily duties is both encouraging and exciting. You gain a sense of hope that if our current White House staffers even care just a touch of how these people care, then maybe things aren't too bad. The sad part is you sometimes find yourself wishing that Jed Bartlet was running for President, for you know he will spend more time working for solutions to our nation's ills rather than being the source of them. Bottom line...we haven't seen any White House Intern storylines yet, but let's hope that the "West Wing" writers just thought a story of a President and an Intern would read to much like bad fiction. Rating 10 of 10.

38 out of 40 people found the following review useful:
First of all....I loved it., 13 February 2000

First of all....I loved it. Simply put, this film was great. Talk about a story that could have been based upon true life incidents is not what this film is about. This is comedy at its best. Bill Murray's character is a man who manages a Blockbuster-video store someplace in Iowa. Murray decides to take a vacation and visit his brother in London. His brother (Peter Gallagher) is entertaining some important clients that same evening and sends his brother (Murray) out to participate in this audience-interaction play involving spies called the `Theater of Life'. Well, as the play begins, Murray accidentally stumbles into a real-life spy drama and takes everything that happens next as if he is just acting in a play. The result is non-stop humor which leaves the audience busting up outloud. You don't have to love Bill Murray to love this film...he brings to the screen the best parts of his roles in "Scrooged", "Stripes", "Ground Hog Day" and "What About Bob"...you just have to be ready to experience Bill Murray at his best. Bottom line, what might even be funnier than the film, is being part of an uninhibited audience, because once some people begin laughing, they will be at it for the next two hours.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
First of all....I loved it and I'm not afraid to admit it., 13 February 2000

First of all....I loved it and I'm not afraid to admit it. I was actually looking forward to "Toy Story 2" because I thought the 1st one was great.

Remember when "Toy Story 1" first came out and everyone was talking about it and saying how great it was, but you kept thinking "I am not going to go see a children's movie, no matter how great it is." Somehow you ended up seeing it (probably the same way you ended up seeing Titanic)...either all the other movies were sold out or you bought a ticket for a "grown up" film and then snuck into this G-rated movie. You know what I am talking about.

It turns out that "Toy Story 1" took in over 350 million at the box office, 120 million in rentals and sold 22 million videos. Not bad for a G-rated film. Well, guess what..."Toy Story 2" is just as good if not better. All your favorite toys are back and this time they brought a few friends. Story line...Woody (Tom Hanks) is once again having feelings of depression and worthlessness, but while his friends try to encourage him, Woody feels they are just "toying" with him. Before Woody can see a toy shrink (no not actually see a toy get smaller, but see a certified psychotoytherapist), he accidently ends up in a rummage sale. Along comes a toy collector who loves "Woody" toys and takes the real Woody home. Here Woody begins to find himself and begins making various emotional breakthroughs that restore his self-esteem and self-worth.

Now poor Woody is torn between the life he once had with his old toy friends (the enablers) and his new friends (a loving and caring Woody support group). Okay, maybe Walt Disney didn't see the film in exactly the same light that I did, but I think I am pretty darn close. As you watch this film, you forget that you are seeing an animated feature; for you recognize the voices as real, you laugh at their jokes, and feel sadness when they do...and in the end you are caught up into their world as if it is your own.

Bottom line....Disney has another great hit. We live in a world that doesn't always offer us opportunities to escape...but, if you go to "Toy Story 2", you can at least get away for a couple of hours.

First of all...I liked it., 13 February 2000

First of all....I liked it. Three Kings is definitely a unique movie. Lets go with the basic premise...the United States is just completing its role in the Gulf War and Iraq has withdrawn from Kuwait. Four soldiers, with the help of some "behind the scenes" manoeuvering, come across a map to the gold that Iraq has taken from Kuwait. These soldiers, George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, and Spike Jonze, go into Iraq to get the stolen gold. Along the way they face various hurdles, including the unwanted involvement of a nosey reporter, Nora Dunn. This film breaks new ground and this new ground has raised some controversy. In one of the scenes, Clooney describes what a bullet does to a human body, and while he describes it the scene on the screen shows it in detail. Why the controversy? They use a real cadaver. I guess this is a new way to break into the movies for some. The scene while gross, does show what damage a bullet does in a very educational manner. The scenes in this film are as unique as the storyline. You are literally shocked a few times when a specific action scene takes place...so shocked you won't see the scene on a trailer. This is probably the first time all the best movie scenes will never make it into the trailer. Clooney is great as the leader of this group, Ice Cube is as cool as one can be, Mark Wahlberg continues to show the skills of a great actor, but the most surprising performance is put on by Spike Jonze, who you truly can hate as an individual but yet understand why he acts the way he does. One of the most heard comments about this film is that the audience has to make it through the first 20 minutes and after that you are hooked. Three Kings is a film like no other....it has a single small comparison to "Kelly's Heroes" with Clint Eastwood, in the fact that soldiers look for gold, but that's it. Bottom line...while some question how much of a war was the Gulf War...this film shows that even a little is still too much.

66 out of 87 people found the following review useful:
First of all...I liked it...I really did!, 13 February 2000

First of all...I liked it...I really did! It is a film by Kevin Costner, starring Kevin Costner, surrounds Kevin Costner's character, and a movie that is simply...Kevin Costner. But if you liked Kevin Costner in such films as "Dances With Wolves", "Robin Hood", "The Bodyguard", and even slightly in "Waterworld", then you will like this film. I know it is three hours long (I got refills on both the popcorn and super-size soda and still ran out), but I didn't find it as unbearable as those less-than-perfect-movie-critics have claimed. I found the time to go by quite like you would expect three hours to go by and didn't find myself being bored or dozing off. Yes, the story line was a bit predictable and Kevin played the reluctant hero that he is known for...but I liked it. Bottom line...if you want to do something nice for your postman, tell them you are going to go see the film in their honor...because like their motto says...not rain, nor shine, nor sleet, nor nothing...not even the lack of being a country will stop the mail from getting through.

First of all...I really liked it., 13 February 2000

First of all...I really liked it. Now I must tell you that I went in to see this movie with a poor attitude, because I don't like Jack Nicholson movies (except for "A Few Good Men" and "Wolf"). Ever since I saw Jack in the "Shining", I have thought the guy was just too psycho. Well sure enough, I found that I now like a third Jack Nicholson movie and yes...this should be known as a "Jack Nicholson" movie. Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear were great in their respective parts, but Jack carried the day. The movie was funny in a most offensive way, serious in a very sad way, and bizarre in a Jack Nicholson way. Jack plays a guy who is just rude and offensive to everyone he meets, you feel sorry for him every so often, but those brief milliseconds pass and you go back to thinking he is just a jerk....but then even jerks have the potential for changing. Now any one of you who like to rip on others or those of you who all know a person like that, then this film is for you, but if any of you are on the receiving end of a person like this, then you'll even appreciate this film, because guess what...he does begin to change for the better...so maybe there is hope. It is not surprising that Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt both won Golden Globe awards for this film. You will definitely be glad you saw it, even if you are sitting there right now saying no way, well stop talking to yourself and go see it....you will like it. Bottom line...if you are looking for a great movie this month, then this is "As Good As It Gets".

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
First of all...I loved it., 13 February 2000

First of all...I loved it! Talk about a film that anyone will enjoy, this is it. For those close-minded movie-goers who think that this film is just for "women-only" or that you should go see it "just to please your significant other", then you are completely wrong.

You will like, if not love this film. The humor is funny, the acting superb, and story believable. Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney are excellent as "best friends" and Rupert Everett's character will make you laugh out loud.

Anyone who has ever had a member of the opposite sex for a best friend will find that this movie hits a nerve...or should I say "funny bone". It really is like banging your elbow on a chair arm and everyone around you begins to laugh, and then you begin to laugh, but deep down inside you are saying "gosh darn it (or something similar) that really hurt".

If you think the film is going to be predictable...then think again...there are enough twists and turns to keep you guessing on the outcome. One major criticism though, Julia Roberts utters one line that is totally out of place in this film...when you hear it, you'll know it...it doesn't fit, you don't expect it, and you have to wonder if she really said it. With the exception of this one "totally-inappropriate" remark by Julia Roberts, the film would be excellent for all ages.

Bottom line...call up your "ex, old or current, opposite-sex best friend", get together, go see this movie, and throughout it you can jab each other in the side and say "yep, that's something you would do"....and afterwards, you will walk away and know why you could never have married each other...for it could have ruined a "wonderful friendship".

The Mighty (1998)
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
First of all...I really liked it., 13 February 2000

First of all...I really liked it. If there is one film I would highly recommend this year, this is it. Sharon Stone is a mother of a son with a physically disabling and potentially fatal disease. The son doesn't let this disease slow him down and he goes off facing the challenges of everyday life that lay ahead of him. Unfortunately, not everyone understands his disease or shows sensitivity to his physical condition. He is abused by classmates and has no friends until he meets the kid next door. The neighbor kid has a learning disability and through a variety of situations, the two become friends. Together they go out and face the world as if they were knights in King Arthur's court. The film has some great messages of friendship and understanding. While the film shows the difficulties of living with a disability it shows strength and courage in dealing with it. A few scenes were extremely emotional in nature and only the most hardened-heart would not be moved or touched by them. To this end, the Director should be commended. One review (even I read other reviews) describe this film as being "emotionally-manipulative", but I say...who cares? Any time a Driector is successful at causing an emotional response from the audience...I consider that a positive sell-point of the film. Bottom line....while I haven't said much about the actual content of the film...I will leave that for you to experience on your own....go see it...you will be glad you did....this film can touch and inspire you in a world that sometimes doesn't.

First of all...I liked it., 13 February 2000

First of all...I liked it! But I will tell you right off the bat....that you have to really appreciate 60's music and sexual innuendos/jokes to enjoy this film as it is meant to be enjoyed, but if you are easily offended, then stay away.

If you look at this movie as a Michael Myers (no, not the Halloween guy, the Saturday Night Live guy), then you know what you are getting into. Austin Powers is a unique film to say the least...it is going to be one that you either really like or truly find to be waste of your time...personally I found it to be entertaining.

Quick story line... Austin Powers is a Not-so Secret Agent who is frozen in the 60's and is defrosted only when his counter-part Dr. Evil (who I think you will also recognize) defrosts and re-takes control of his underworld crime organization.

Bottom line...Austin Powers is not James Bond, but he is definitely funnier than Bond has ever been.

First of all...I kinda liked it., 13 February 2000

First of all....I kinda sorta liked it. I thought "Deuce Bigalow" was an okay film, not great in any way, but not a total slug either. While I may agree with you that the title of the film alone would be an indication as to whether or not I thought this film had a chance to be nominated for a "Golden Globe", "Academy Award" or even a "People's Choice" award, I still held out hope that this film may have had some redeeming qualities that were not readily visible in the title. You know the old saying, "you can't judge a book by it's cover", just like you can't "judge a movie by it's title".

For all I knew, "Deuce Bigalow" could have been another blockbuster (no not the video store) like "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (example of sarcasm) or "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective". Well, in this film Deuce could have been from Texas. This movie had a few unique moments....but first the storyline....Deuce is a world-class fish tank cleaner. Deuce finally gets a chance to take care of a great fish tank, but somehow screws things up and ends up needing to replace it. Well Deuce is broke, so he stumbles across the idea of becoming a male gigolo. Well, with all ethical, moral, and legal arguments aside...Deuce as a gigolo is like imagining a former Arkansas Governor becoming President of the United States. Somehow Deuce pulls it off and his career is on its way. (I guess dreams do come true sometimes.) Now as all "love/sex/comedy/R-rated" stories go...Deuce falls in love with one of his clients. Okay, you get the picture. Deuce is lacking in credibility, story line, decent actors, and humor.

Bottom line...."Deuce Bigalow" starring Rob Schneider is more like a "Saturday Night Live" skit or "Energizer Bunny" that keeps going and going and going....until the audience begins wondering why don't they.


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