Reviews written by registered user
david.richmond

Send an IMDb private message to this author or view their message board profile.

10 reviews in total 
Index | Alphabetical | Chronological | Useful

"Big!" (2004)
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Short lived for a reason, 11 June 2007
6/10

Big! came along at the height of the popularity of Discovery shows like Monster Garage and Monster House. It followed a similar premise of a team of individuals working to complete a highly ambitious project in five days. In this case, the goal was to build the world's largest motorcycle, popcorn popper, etc.

There were two crucial differences, however, both of which probably doomed the show. The first was that the team was largely a recurring cast of eccentric but only marginally likable characters, with only the occasional change-up or guest builder. The other problematic issue, a direct result of not changing the team each week, was that there were no prizes for completion. Having nothing but pride at stake for an incomplete build made it hard to care if the team failed, as they just moved on to the next project without consequence.

In the end, it may have just come too late to capitalize on the Monster Garage craze, but the concept and the characters also lacked the chemistry that makes for compelling viewing.

"Legend" (1995)
20 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Clever premise, great actors, good writing . . . lousy network, 20 April 2002

If there ever was a show that deserved a fair chance to find its audience, or for its audience to find it, it was Legend. It had everything going for it. Everything except network executives with the discernment to recognize what they had. Anderson and de Lancy were the perfect actors for the roles of Pratt/Legend and Bartok, and the chemistry between them was pure magic. I haven't enjoyed a show with such an outrageous premise and sly humor since The Wild Wild West.

I place Legend in the small and sad category of TV shows that truly died before their time.

Them! (1954)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Haven't I seen that flamethrower somewhere else?, 25 February 2001
8/10



I first saw this film one summer afternoon a long time ago. Not many films from that era of my life look very good upon rewatching. But as I watched this one again recently on AMC, I found myself thinking, "Y'know, for a '50's monster movie this isn't really that bad. The acting, dialogue and plot development were actually reasonably good. And that sound effect used to foreshadow the ant attacks was actually quite effective."

Trivia: According to the AMC host, Them! was originally planned to be shot in color and 3D. A few weeks before filming began, Jack Warner, who didn't believe in the project, slashed the budget. However, the primary ant models had already been built. According to one actor, the models looked so colorful and pretty that no one would have been found them to be very scary if the film had been in color. Hence, the switch to B&W possibly saved the film.

It would be fun to watch this movie back-to-back with James Cameron's Aliens. There are some interesting similarities.

8 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Unredeemable, 12 February 2001
1/10

I think the unintended moral of this film may be, don't blame GOD for making stupid choices based upon erroneous assumptions. Otherwise, The Rapture is so confused in its depiction of Christianity as to render it's "message" irrelevent and greatly overpraised.

Anyone who thinks this movie somehow makes an "important" statement about so-called Christian Fundamentalism has apparently never heard of a straw man argument. These characters are purely fictional creations following the path of a contrived storyline. They espouse a cultish theology that is at best only superficially Christian. I have been a Christian for most of my life and read the Bible completely through several times. What was shown in this film was so far removed from Biblical Christianity that it left me wondering if Tolkin did this intentionally, trying to connect with the average person's hazy familiarity with Biblical prophecy, or was just too lazy to do any research. Regardless, it takes the sting out of any supposed message other than that Mimi Rogers' character needed counseling and should have chosen her spiritual leaders more wisely.

I am tempted to recommend that sincere Christians might think about watching this film just to see how we and our beliefs often look to others. I might even recommend viewing it alongside Robert Duvall's film The Apostle for contrast. I can credit Duvall that I felt like I had actually met some of the characters in his film, which is something I cannot say for The Rapture.

"Crusade" (1999)
69 out of 73 people found the following review useful:
Great potential bungled by Total Nitwit Television (TNT), 1 January 2001

The tribulations associated with the production of this show were a drama in and of themselves, and anyone who doesn't know the history should check it out. The first episodes are not representative of the original vision Mr. JMS had for Crusade. The last episodes were actually the first ones filmed and intended to launch the series.

There are actually some sad parallels to the problems Gene Roddenberry had with NBC in trying to get Star Trek made. The NBC execs thought the Star Trek pilot (The Cage) was too brainy. They wanted the regular series plots dumbed down and more action added. As they say, the one thing we learn from history is that no one seems to learn from history.

Given the success of Babylon 5 and the fact that B5 fans were greatly anticipating Crusade, it was a business fiasco for TNT's execs to presume to tamper with something they didn't understand. Unfortunately, tamper they did, and we have been forced to live with the consequences of an unfulfilled vision. Compare Crusade's "Racing the Night", the intended first episode, with "War Zone" to see the result of TNT's meddling. Notice the utterly unnecessary fight scene in "War Zone". Also, notice that the Rangers disappeared entirely from the TNT-influenced episodes.

TNT's final insult was in trying to foist this off as a "special limited series". Since when do you introduce an audience to a story and a bunch of characters, then deliberately fail to finish what you've started? Curiosity prevented me from not watching. Now I'm stuck wondering about what might have been.

I was especially intrigued by the storyline involving Gideon and the mysterious "apocalypse box". JMS never let characters get away with cheating, as Gideon was clearly doing by consulting the force controlling the box. I'd really like to know what fate was in store for Gideon as recompense for taking shortcuts to success. Unfortunately, it looks like I'll have to make up my own ending to this story.

If allowed to develop unobstructed, Crusade could have been a classic series. In spite of TNT's interference, there were still flashes of brilliance in the few episodes that were produced. Instead, it seems that Crusade is doomed to occupy a place in sci-fi history as a memorial to what might have been.

"Dune" (2000)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Not THAT bad!, 15 December 2000

Anyone disappointed by this film is expecting entirely too much. Dune, the book, was over 800 pages long. Even a six-hour miniseries can't be expected to hit every detail and everyone's favorite scene. I settled down to watch this with carefully guarded expectations. After all, this was done for the SciFi Channel. (As an aside, isn't it remarkable how little science fiction actually is on SciFi?)

For a made for cable, six-hour movie based on a very large book, I thought they did okay. Some scenes were actually quite impressive (such as the first shot of the sand worms).

I've heard for years the criticism about the ornithopters. However, I'd dare anyone to take the scant information provided by Herbert as to what a working, aerodynamically feasible ornithopter would really look like and translate that to the screen. Harrison's "'thopters" at least didn't look as utterly ridiculous as the flying boxes in Mr. Lynch's film.

I thought it was as true to the book as it could be given the time constraints. Where it deviated wasn't as egregious as the Lynch version. What it deleted was unfortunate, but understandable under the circumstances. Overall, it was much more enjoyable than the Lynch movie and didn't try to sicken the audience with disgusting scenes such as a certain one in the Lynch film involving the Baron (that in itself was a major leap forward).

6 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Unconvincing, 22 November 2000
5/10

Although I saw the beginning, end and bits and pieces throughout as I channel-surfed in and out, nothing about this film held my attention long enough to keep me from switching back to the History Channel (their competing piece about Atlanta Federal prison was more interesting). Fortunately, the lack of any real substance made it possible to follow without watching the whole thing. The opening voice-over in which Natalie Wood claims to be fifteen years old (she was 27 when this came out) sets the tone for a film in which everyone involved seems to realize that they are falling well short of credibility. Too much of the acting, dialogue and even the wardrobe is wildly exaggerated to compensate for implausibility and a dearth of substance. For example, having Ms. Wood run about barefoot wearing old clothes and unkempt hair is somehow supposed to convince us that an actress in her middle 20's is really 15. Yeah, right. I also found many of the camera shots and speeches by characters to be annoyingly long, like the director was trying to make far more out of a scene than was really there.

I don't know how this film was received in the 1960's. Perhaps it fit in better with the context of the times. Viewing it from the year 2000, however, it looks like a dreary self-important 60's film attempting to be about the trials of an imaginary wannabee starlet in the 30's, never coming off as believable on any count.

The one thing I found interesting about this film is that the story gave Warner Brothers an excuse to use their own movie studio as the setting for some of the shots. Using a set as a set . . . how novel. It probably helped keep the budget costs down too.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Let's go. It -must- be over., 11 October 2000
4/10

I don't think I can add much more to what has already been said about this film. However, I can offer a small recollection from seeing ST-V in the theater. In the last (dreadful) scene, as the camera is pulling out from the camping shot and it seems likely that the credits will start rolling at any second, the audience seemed to rise in unison. Normally, for a movie like this, at least -some- die-hard fans stay to watch right up until the final disclaimer. As the people filed out, I remember hearing no laughing and cheerful banter, only low murmurs.

I remember reading a movie review in the local paper in which the critic said that it was so bad that only Trek fans would like it. What an idiot. The fans were the ones most apt to tear it apart first!

Favorite worst scene: Target shooting on a Voyager space probe, through a periscope no less! Space must be a much smaller frontier than we thought.

Alien³ (1992)
496 out of 536 people found the following review useful:
I really wish someone would make a sequel to Aliens., 27 September 2000
1/10

This movie definitely wasn't it. There were plot holes you could fly a starship through, starting with a ridiculous initial premise. The characters were uninteresting. I was never sure who just died or why I should care. I've always believed that there was more potential backstory that could have been mined from the original Alien. Primarily, some scriptwriter could have given thought to the original alien spacecraft, where it came from, why were they transporting these creatures, what went wrong, etc. Unfortunately, that would have required intelligent thought and some originality, which is -not- what went into this film. There are two things I remember about the first time I saw this film. One was that I caught myself checking my watch a lot (which didn't happen when I saw Aliens the first time). Second, I remember feeling utterly depressed when it was (finally) over. Over the years, I've largely been successful in purging this film from my mind, but every now and then something happens to remind me of it and of how much I hated it. As I said, I wish someone would make a sequel to Aliens, forgetting that this travesty ever existed.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Great idea, but weakly executed, 31 July 2000
5/10

Being a fan of all things related to space, I wanted this film to be better than it was. Actually, it was better than I thought it would be and it holds up well for a film that is now 20 years old. However, it has some serious flaws. Early on, it is bogged down with so much detail that it crawls. However, it ends up having a number of highly implausible or poorly choreographed action scenes. The car chase seems totally out of place. Also why is it that in conspiracy movies of this kind, the villains are often given near-supernatural powers, making some characters disappear (even erasing their identities) and calling upon all kinds of reserves to destroy others. Yet there's always one guy they can't seem to get it right with. The person ends up surviving all kinds of improbable death traps, dodges a zillion bullets without injury, and always seems to be in the right place at the right time. I hate that! Stuff like that takes Capricorn One down two or three notches, making it only an okay flick if you have nothing better to do, rather than a great suspense film.