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It was ahead of its time, 28 June 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't remember the theater release of this film, however I saw this film first, as well as films like Personal Best, Spetters, the 4th Man and many others on the Los Angeles "Z" Channel. That too was way ahead of its time in showing films that were made to be seen no matter what country they were from or what the subject matter was. And even being a teen to young adult at the time these films were shown, I wasn't sure I could process 100% then what I was looking at, but I was sure I was being exposed to something that was happening, that was important to know.

When I saw the film on Cable TV, it resembled a TV movie to me more than a feature film. I think that was deliberate as the film's female lead was a rising TV executive. Upon reflection, I'm sure her perspective of the recollections of this relationship played out to her like a TV drama. Here she was married to a Doctor, thinking she had everything going great like a good marriage, good communication, getting upwardly mobile as a young couple in the 80s, a great career and now ready for a baby; the days went on day after day -- as she had dreamt her life to be. Except her husband was struggling with all of this with coming to terms with his own sexual identity.

He was secretly going out, cruising gay bars and streets taking himself up to the point of contact, but then running away seemingly at the last minute until he meets a promiscuous, unapologetic gay writer that he falls deeply for. That's when his marriage and his new gay relationship makes him come to terms with each. He needs to come to terms with both, what he really wants and be truthful with who he is.

This theme was not shown in American Cinema in this manner for a major studio with major USA distribution. Today, we can look and question things we know now. But I do want to add something about the 80s AIDS crisis as one of those things. I'm going to assume this film was conceived around 1980/1981 before it's 1982 release and there wasn't that much mass information known about AIDS to the masses. However, there was some information known in the gay community by then as a mysterious spread of a cancer affecting gay men. It seemed like the film really wanted to mention this, but skirted the chance.

What struck me curious in the film, the gay promiscuous writer went to the doctor to "get checked out". His concern was due to a "growth" on his face. Why would he be so medically concerned? He knew he was running through nightly anonymous sexual partners, and he seemed to be "over-regularly" getting checked out at clinics "just to be safe". Sure, there were the known STD's of that time, but he pointed out a "spot" in his neck area; not problems in his groin. I believe that the film seem to consciously dodge that issue. Maybe because another issue the film dodged was not brought up, and that was the health danger to the wife by what her husband was doing -- and whom with. That would have taken the film into more serious territory than the more soapish-melodrama it turned out to be. By the time I first saw this film in 1983, there was more information about AIDS, but I felt an opportunity was there in the film (and probably nixed for final cut?) back then.

And that's the point. This is filmed in a TV-'soapish-melodrama' manner, and for the early 1980s which was featuring TV soap-opera dramas with controversial subjects like 'Dallas' and 'Dynasty' as way to work, not just for the commercial audiences to accept, but all audiences to accept the tale(unlike the grittier movie 'Cruising' which was released by a major studio, just a year or two before showing a more seedy side of the homosexual community). And yes--scare heterosexual women with Cinderella complexes to death about wondering do they really know who they are 'making love' But by no means should it ever be dismissed as it was way ahead of its time with the adult subject-matter. This was happening. And this triangular relationship recalled from each had experiences that woke up/changed/became truth for many. I just saw the film recently on M!,Movies! Channel and thought -- even with the way the story was told, it needed to be...told.

27 out of 31 people found the following review useful:
Bold and a Must See, 30 March 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

HBO Documentaries are coming out of the gate swinging in 2015 and this one is no different. Doing a documentary on Scientology by just letting people who were a part of this, talk and present clippings and facts and even make clarifications of claims, for the viewer to draw their own conclusions -- well, this documentary hits it out of the ballpark. And I can personally attest that there are "two" different Scientologists. I had two different experiences with Scientology, three years apart.

The first scared me half to death, when the church was on Hollywood Blvd. One of their people came up to me as I was checking out the stars on Hollywood Blvd. and asked me to take a "Personality Test". I thought it must've been a touristy thing and so I did. I thought knowing this would also be good for jobs (little did I know it was NOT that kind of personality test!) I scored very high and this blonde haired guy came out and said I "needed" to be a member. He was in my face telling me I had to pay $300 immediately. I said I didn't have that on my, that I had to go get on the bus to go to the bank and get it. I was so scared of the place and him I just wanted to get out. He said he'd get on the bus with me, go to the bank with me and stay with me till I got the $300. He said he had to because as soon as I would pay it, my life would be so much better within the Church and it would help me let 'everything go' and reach the highest level. I convinced him that I had several stops and I would be back. He finally let me out, watched me get on the bus on Hollywood Blvd. I NEVER went back, I was shaking on the bus - I really thought I was going to get violated and end up on the 6 o'clock news. I was so scared of those folks.

The second time was VERY different. It was sorta a trick. A friend invited me to the "Celebrity Center" in "Hollywood Hills" for a theatrical play. I thought what the heck. When I got there, it was the Church of Scientology! I was ready to run until I met so many celebrities and musicians that evening who seemed...sane. A million times different than the guy on Hollywood Blvd. I actually told them about that. They apologized. They gave me a free book, Dianetics, asked me to read it and if I was interested, come back and they'd talk to me further- and was sure I'd be an asset (not member) of the church. I never came back, never read or kept the book, but I couldn't believe how different this was.

One person, two different introductions, two 'different' Scientologies in Hollywood. My thoughts of the Church of Scientology was duel. This is what these folks believed and obviously many are treated differently than others. The documentary really goes deeper into this than even I thought I was was certain about. Never did I get that "church" feeling about the place, or "religion" and the documentary shows me, and the viewers, why. It's "money" for the top, drones for the bottom, brainwash as much and as deep for those with a lot to give to...them. Lot's of figurative "Kool-Aid" drinkers, and some who were so devoted that if offered, they'd blindly follow. Which makes Scientology more cult-like than anything else. And yes, this documentary answers many of questions about that too.

Whatever one thinks, this is a compelling documentary for those who know, those who don't, and those who are still trying to figure out what this is. After this documentary, you'll know.

The Normal Heart (2014) (TV)
18 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
What passion looks like, and what bureaucracy did to stop it., 26 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Make no mistake, what this film is about, is a human being's one man crusade of passion -- Ned Weeks passion. What you'll see throughout this film, is those who care more for politics and bureaucracy than hard, gut-wrenching, passion. What do you do when you know what you're saying is right, and those around you know its right too..but just want you to 'calm it down' to be heard. Ned Weeks friends were dying all around him, even those he didn't know were dying, and he wanted those in power to take action -- the people in his own circle -- but they felt the way he was projecting "the message" was diminishing their strides for acceptance and freedom to "the group". What to do? Ryan Murphy directs a film version of an off-Broadway play of the mid 80s from Larry Kramer who knows of what he speaks (and a Broadway Tony winning revival a few years ago), as he also helped/founded many AIDS groups. His main character Ned seemed to be a voice in a time where this type of voice was not listed to, given a platform, even shunned against to try to bring attention to what was happening to gay men at the beginning of the AIDS crisis. When nobody in your group listens to your valid points to stop death as well as the local, State or Federal government -- imagine the hell you'll face! That's the hell Ned faced.

For me, if the film was more directed on Ned's strong arm advocacy, I might've scored it higher because that was the important point I took away from the film. Mark Ruffalo did fine, but I think he would have been better if he had more of the 'advocacy' to work with. It upset me to see Ned Weeks battle against those he was trying to help. I didn't see him as an egotistical, self-centered, know it all as they claimed, but as someone who was pushy, loud and told the truth to gay men when the truth was hard to take; and he had no problem getting into the face of those who cold spread that message as he felt, it would save lives. Even the one that eventually hit home.

I appreciate Director Murphy's unflinching realness associated with behaviors at that time, from the clandescent gay sexual encounters to the monogamous ones, all under the beginnings of a real impending health crisis. There are a few stories of men who were treated like dirt as the disease consumed them in life and death, and it is heart wrenching to watch that's to Murphy's direction. And by the way, this is not fiction, and you re-live what many did back then. Julia Roberts as Emma was to show the very, very few people in the medical profession who 'tried' at that time only to get ignored (shunned, treated ignorantly, etc.) as well, and she was quite New York 80s in her portrayal which made her performance quite believable.

It's hard not to compare this to the other films about the early days of AIDS, but this is a different tale, and should be seen as such. Some may not because the advocacy focus get's played down at points when it should have been the hard focus. It's an advocacy and bureaucracy tale, and there is where the film falters as it does skew a bit away from that at times. To focus on Ned Weeks struggle really comes when he goes head to head with what he thought was his compatriots, comes in the latter part of the film. New York bureaucracy and politics was hell, even moreso than Washington at that time, but even worse than that, is the in-fighting. Joe Mantello as Micky really sums this up very, very well and is one of the best performances here. Dennis O'Hare brought a chill to my spine as an "Ed Kotch" representative, a small but pivotal part for this story -- and I bring this up because I wanted more seen of this too to drive this story home.

Matt Bonner takes on the part of Ned's lover Felix who becomes infected with AIDS, and goes through one of the most heartbreaking metamorphoses seen in film as the disease progresses. The thing is, after all the other films one may expect this type of part, but it is Director Murphy along with Bonner that makes this one go the distance as it doesn't flinch from every gory detail. There is nothing romantic about this, it is a disease shown that just doesn't affect his life, but the life of those around him -- like any other terminal illness. Again where the film breakdown is in this ending, which I think was more "contemporary" (2014) than taking the hard line of Ned and his 'beating himself up' for not being more of an advocate to 'save' his lover.

Let me also add that Jim Parson's role as Tommy is another great performance as someone caught in the middle. There is a line Tommy says at a funeral that just brings me to tears, and if it doesn't touch anyone out there, then maybe...they don't have a normal heart. I hope everyone gives this a look because it's not over, and we have much to learn from the past.

RoboCop (2014)
7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
The 1980s RoboCop was more bleak and devious, this suffers from too much PC, 9 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I believe this goes into the pile of "not so bad, but could have been great" remakes. Much of this could have been settled in the editing room for me, story second, as the story was there - why move so fr from it? There was too much PC and government, not enough deviousness and big business.

The main problem I had is with the addition of the 'family' story line, as it is an "always used" device in films to "get the women" interested in a film, which tells me this production thinks little of women and their advancement even 26 years later. In the 80s version, I loved seeing women fight right along side of men (Murphy's partner in the 80s version vs. Murphy's partner in this one), equal to men, not dragging their children around sobbing about their husbands, etc. That was a downer for me.

They could have ditched the sappy family line story, and they should have left in the heartbreaking one where his wife and family didn't know, that this took so long that the family was gone when Murphy started recalling his human side. More importantly, that began to show the human side was "still" there for Murphy. Murphy had NO idea what they did to him, did not authorize it, and that made the story even more sad and horrific.

Another storyline in the 80s version that I thought should have stayed, the New Detroit police department was not liking a "Robocop" and had to "warm up" to the idea. They never really did, but the animosity towards this 'machine against the human' police force was an underlying current that helped drive the film back then. RoboCop was a cop and they were cops in a violent society and they knew they were all there for the common good. The problem was not with the police department and never should have been.

This one 'threw in' the family of Murphy and the force knowing and that dragged down all the better updated elements of this film which happened to be in the update of politics vs. humanity. The film was much kinder to the greed and money aspect of why there was a RoboCop. In the 80s version the mash-up of big business-corporation (employees vs board of directors)-money-reed-street hustlers all becoming one is not very apparent in this version. The 80s version mash-up of all of this was the villain(s). This one was all over the place trying to make a villain (A weak attempt with Washington politics, RoboCop technology makers, police department) but never connecting it like the 80s one did.

The 80s RoboCop really focused on greed, senseless violence and had one heck of an ideal of a bleak future of gangs and street gang leaders working with Corporate business America in "New Detroit". RoboCop was no longer in question, but a need.

This, while a good effort in technology and CGI, (and the warehouse scene looking just like a FPS video game) was more milquetoast -- like the studio was "scared" for this to be even more bleak and violent, put women as equals, and underhanded as the original. The elements of change were there, and it should have been presented.

Nebraska (2013)
A movie that's a story, 10 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Nebraska is a story that was wonderfully done and made me wonder -- with all the shoot up, bang up, blow up, young-naked Hollywood films making so much box office, how this ever got done. Alexander Payne is how it did, he directed a wonderful story. It's not for everyone, and I think that some people who watch it now and disliked it, will see it 30 years from now may not dislike it so much as they may see it in a different perspective.

The easiest thing to 'get' about Nebraska was that it is about an older man Woody, played wonderfully by Bruce Dern, who believes he's won a million dollars through a mail marketing program. He's headstrong as he wants to claim his prize and nothing will stop him from doing so, but there may be more going on there such as a degenerative order like Alzheimers or Dementia. His son, played by Will Forte, knows what this program is about, but cannot convince his dad it is not what it seems. So the two sets off on a road trip to claim the prize.

What we get is a road trip mixed with all sorts of people, some quirky, some jealous, and for me, some a few overblown (the cousins, for example) but it did not ruin the film for me. They all worked as some folks that reminded me of real people. The multi-layers come in when it gets out that Woody may be a million dollar winner. Some people are happy about it, some people want to take advantage. While we know the mail marketing company may have taken advantage, people can too especially where any hint of money is concerned. So besides going through Woody's ordeal, the film also goes through his family's, the town, his so-called acquaintances and a father-son bond that by the end of the film becomes heartwarming.

This is filmed in black and white, but a very sharp black and white which I think enhances the film. The supporting performances by Stacy Keach (as Ed Pegram) and June Squibb (as Kate Grant) were stand out as well. It's not a film for everyone, but for those who just want to see a story being told that will make you think after it's over, Nebraska is for you too.

Clear History (2013) (TV)
5 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Clear History, 17 August 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Make no mistake, this is a Larry David film with Larry David being Larry David. The thing about Larry is, it would be hard pressed for him to act into any other character, and that is a great deal of his charm.

Here, he takes on the role of a marketing genius who was hired for his expertise in making a product a part of the consumer idiom. Nathan is apparently excellent at doing just that. However, he gets hired by a boss, played by Jon Hamm, who is very obnoxious and egotistical and names the product, an automobile, after his son, Howard. Nathan's marketing instincts tell him that is a bomb of a name for the automobile, which will make the marketing of it very hard to consumers, and he tells his boss so. His boss takes it personally, so Nathan does what he feels is best, quit. Even though he owns a percentage in the stake of the company, he gives it all up.

Suffice to say, the car actually becomes a success to consumers regardless of the marketing used/needed, and Nathan is branded 'the stupidest person' in the world for giving up his stake which would have made him extremely rich. Years later, Nathan has moved to a small, quiet "island", changes his name and gets a menial job to live the rest of his life out to try to forget his biggest mistake, but his ex-boss and his wife moves to the island and proceeds to build a 'McMansion' Nathan is hell-bent on revenge and precedes to exact it.

Now, that sounds like an entertaining premise, and it is. However for me, the execution at points became uneven and really over worked. Larry brings his humor and pathos to the character of Nathan, but unlike other characters Larry has developed, I didn't want to root for Nathan. I became uninterested and this got grading as it went along.

Also the sub-sub-sub plot of Larry finding out about the goings on of a girlfriend he had ions ago, and her association with the band Chicago could have been excluded. It was over wrought, over used and unneeded. I do appreciate hearing Chicago's music, but not as part of this film as it didn't seem to "flow" to enhance the story in any way as soundtracks can/do. It just seemed like a bunch of their wonderful materials placed in a film haphazardly. Didn't do them justice at all.

Clear History was a 50/50 for me as I like watching Larry David because only he can bring a perspective to a character that you can 'get' every now and then, even if his character makes stupid decisions or makes stupid moves. Larry's characters have an interesting way of overcoming shortcomings. It fell short in Clear History, but surely didn't have to. Larry is also good at producing ensemble pieces that revolve around his character's bad decisions, etc. Here, he had a small ensemble piece, but drifted away, trying to add material not really needed.

3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Sparking memories of childhood..., 18 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Pacific Rim is meant to pay homage to those who grew up around the time of "the other" ToHo films and ToHo type films entering the market like what Del Toro saw while growing up. It's been decades since these movies got the big screen treatment, and this is a nice re-entry piece decades later that I hope gives the green-light to others as well.

What's the story? Well, the story is simpler than most, but this is not a film presented to complicate your mind. It's easy to get, the characters are easy to understand. You'll get the feeling that the filmmakers are give homage to those 'kaiju' films before it, the plot, humorous scientists, those who want to make a buck off of tragedy and monsters. The 'kaiju' were all that one expects them to be: huge, menacing, loud and armed with a few surprises. And so are the man piloted robots.

The robots aren't Power Rangers or even Transformers. These Robots, called Jaegers in this film, do not transform into anything. They cannot hide or blend into the scenery. The Jaegers in this film don't throw karate kicks. The Jaegers do not give any moral messages or speeches. They too are big and loud, piloted by humans and are just battle equipment. They are "fighting machines" against the kaiju coming up from the pacific rim.

This is one of those rare films were it doesn't posses your typical movie tack-ons to lure one in (i.e., a star name, a love story, teens, etc.), and that may be one of the film's major downfalls. Audiences may be so used to this so that when its missing, they may think the film is a failure. Not necessarily. It's monsters vs. robots. The only thing I would have liked to have seen are more of the international robots & pilots and their stories, as some were mentioned but had too little screen time for my tastes.

Pacific Rim is what the old 'popcorn' movie is all about. It's monsters-from-the-deep matinée genre. It is fun, nice action fight scenes with nods to the models and scales of those old 60s films, and man within robots to save the Earth from getting taken over.

Battleship (2012)
3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
It is a movie, though., 13 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As soon as I saw this, I read some reviews and I wonder if folks really watched this film. And the ones who did, I wonder how old they are because if you haven't seen Independence Day, Armageddon, Transformers (I, II, II, this point) and Real Steel, then I can understand the kudos. Ye,s the special effects catch your eye. And yes, you can see similarities to the Battleship game in this film. To me, that was the best part about it. But to pay $15+++ to see it, isn't worth it unless you are really bored.

The acting isn't all that great for a "pre-summer blockbuster". This is a January 5th movie at best and that is being too kind. I don't have anything good to say about any of the actors performances really so I'll just move on. Except this: Why in the heck did the filmmakers feel they had to throw in the stereotypical blonde actress with the ever bouncing chest-line that doesn't do a darn thing type in this? And the ending alien-human fight was just too ridiculous for words (and you wont be too surprised with the looks of the aliens, let me tell you. Very cheaply done). The filmmakers should be ashamed of themselves. The music isn't all that great either. It sounds like it too has been pieced together from several movies. And that screeching-transformers sound to make it more exciting, just got very annoying to me about 47 minutes in.

Sadly, I can see the razzies in this film's future.

Life 2.0 (2010)
11 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
The Next Big Cyber Thing.., 26 August 2011

This is an interesting documentary that could have gone further, but it fell into the trap of featuring the "unique", because the day to day is pretty standard. Standard yields little interest, exciting makes something go from the obscure to mainstream. I bet Second Life wants to go as mainstream as possible and become part of the vernacular like Facebook, etc. And why not? Its had quite the quite giant decade, now its time to let others know it's the "next big cyber thing".

I heard about this documentary on the radio as a promotion for the Oprah (OWN) channel's documentary feature segment. I happened to catch it via DVR. OWN did something that HBO did (and does) and scored a documentary of something that will be curious to many but of huge interest to the rest of us who know nothing about it. I'll say kudos to OWN for acquiring the documentary property. HBO may now have competition in the bidding wars of TV networks to air documentaries like this. Thank goodness, the rest of us can now see more of how the other half lives.

That being said, I never knew about Second Life, and I find it is aptly named. Reading what others have wrote about it where they have run into folks who are vampires, vamps, and the like, that is trendy and will come and go just as in anything - first or second life. I find Second Life like The Sims, but anyone can get on Second Life and not "buy" it per ce, but buy into it.

I gathered that this is what many folks feel that this is what they want their 'second life to be, or what they ARE, without face to face daily interaction with real life judgments - that is unless you WANT to go there. I think many second lifers do not want to go there, they want to become lost in virtual reality and be this new person as their real life is not so three dimensional. Is second life just another virtual escape or another chance for opportunities?

I feel that just like anything introduced into the masses that this can be a hoot, lots of fun, and an escape; your 'second life'. That is as long as you do not lose grasp of your FIRST life. If you have an addictive personality, this can get the best of you. Also as with everything, many folks will take it over the top (such as the adulterous couple profiled in this documentary), some folks will come out of that cocoon and be the butterfly they always wanted to be, and some folks are just negative a-holes because they can be. If you want to be a negative force to disrupt everyone else's fantasies, like in real life, those folks are at second life too - so there IS no way around them.

But what gets me that became clear in this documentary, is that the carpetbaggers that always find a way to buy and sell anything everywhere. It doesn't matter what bare land you discover, in comes the advertisers, commercial goods, money makers, and they are making bucks in virtual reality. You cannot escape them. Such as with Facebook (Friendster is something that didn't gel I think because it DIDN'T advance into the world of advertising/PPC, etc.) when opened to the public, the moneymakers latched on and now we have what we have. (In other words, don't kid yourself, if Facebook was just about exchanging stuff to friends and family, it wouldn't last and Zuckerberg and gang wouldn't make a dime, wouldn't be millionaires and the toast of the world. It's about that 'dime' more than anything else.) Secondlife will be/is no exception and in the next year or two, this will go big. Not because of the wanna-be Vamps, fuzzy folks, etc., but because it will make money. It IS making money, as the balance sheet shown on the documentary indicates year after year.

After watching this documentary I'm now wondering, why am I sitting here writing this? I'm curious and will go on SecondLife to see if it's for me, I mean, isn't that the point? I too am a consumer, and I too want the dream of owning my own business, and being the next Warren Buffett. Because it seems like here is where I can do it, and that may be the real point where my first life and second life will morph into my third life. Documentary or not, this was one big commercial for the site, and one should never lose sight of that.

Aerobicise (1982) (V)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
How to Make Difficult look Sexy in the 80's., 19 November 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Back in the early 1980's, Showtime was a new cable movie pay channel that wanted to be a little different than those already formed. It tired different avenues such as live concerts, hosts between movies and little experimental snippets of original made for Showtime features. This was one of the experiments that worked.

Between movies they showed women and men doing exercises to increase heart rates. The change was in the 'beauty' of doing it, rather than in the sweat of it. Ron Harris assembled a line of dancers, athletes, models/actors and certified instructors to round out this vision. His idea was to place them on a round; slowly rotating platform to perform the heart pumping exercises with one camera catching the detail. Sounds easy? Far from it. But the results were spectacular.

I remember the "making of" segment that was shown mostly on Showtime. It was interesting, as many people did not believe these exercises were all done in one camera take, that these young men and women could DO them at all without falling apart. I will try to break it down in saying that the one camera technique to film this was new and innovative, sexy and cinematic as the Ron Harris has a cinematographer's keen eye for detail and used it here. The rotating platform was an optical illusion and a sensual one as well. And the women and men who choreographed and/or performed these routines on this rotating platform had a difficult task which they made look easy, approachable and dare I

The aerobic routines were choreographed by aerobics instructors to give maximum results for a goal of increased heart rates and circulation in a short period of time. A few of the women featured were those instructors who choreographed routines, a few did not appear and choreographed the routines only. In any case, the women and men chosen to do these were of peak performance levels - whether they were indeed models, actors or dancers. They sold the routines. And therein eventually was the problem: the audience who complained.

It was more than complaints - there were folks trying to follow along and could not. They were dropping like flies because they thought they could just go ahead and 'do it'. Was it fat/obese people doing the complaining? No. It was others who thought because they looked good, they could just go on and do this without warming up, practice or knowing that they could psychically keep up without checking with their doctor FIRST. This is why on the '20 Minute Workout' show/tapes, etc. it came with a warning. The warning is real (because of the complainers) and it's for everyone. These exercises are difficult and because they accelerate your heart rate, it can hurt you no matter how great you look. Sure this helps you to get in and stay in shape, but one should not attempt this until they can work themselves into it. (Actually this was the basis for the 20 Minute Work out series!) On the other hand, there is the alleged sexual content. I believe it was planned to be sensual, not sexual. Many exercise programs before that time were pretty much the same: black and white and jumping jacks for stay at home housewives. The camera was never up close. The instructors were covered from head to toe.

But in came the 1980's, the decade of excess. Ron added color, flair, direct camera angles to accentuate the workout on the muscles, an eye-view of it, beauty (and the makeup NEVER ran!), and instead of some kid playing chopsticks on the piano to accompany the workout, new-age/new-wave/disco combos of sultry accompaniments. This was to make you want to get up and at least try these exercises. And if you did, make you feel as beautiful as the people doing it - instead of feeling like you've just joined basic training in the Army. But even with that for some watching, it because a new method of exploring sexual fantasy. And in came more complainers.

Again, their main complaint was that this was soft-porn and had no redeeming exercise value at all. Was it fat/obese people doing the complaining? Once again, no - they were the ones buying the tapes. The complainers were the ones that had a huge voice in the 80's, the "What about the children!!!" groups.

Their complaint was not all bad, but it was not all correct either. As with any and every exercise program, it will help some achieve their toning or weight loss goals - but definitely not a majority or all. Aerobics helped increase the heart rate and the choreographed routines to it assisted in firming, strength, toning and weight loss. The cameras were right there to show you where, the women and men were selling the program. They were beautiful and handsome. They drew you in. Did you forget to exercise ...and just want to goggle at them? Admire the close up camera work? Therein lies the rub.

Now those who claimed this to be too sexually explicit/soft porn, can do so as beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But it begs to have the question answered, "For what benefit ARE you looking at this series?" Aerobic Exercise or Sexual Stimulation? As an individual, you make the choice. I can say this series was never sexually stimulating as I was in too much pain and sweat over working out with these tapes to become stimulated in that way. Daily exercise for health. Wasn't that the true goal? Too bad many have/are missing the initial point.

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