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Naked and Afraid (2013)
Just Blurry and Boring
I have seen various bits of various episodes when channel surfing, and this show has to win the title of the most totally bullshit reality show. First of all, nobody is seen naked, because there are giant blurry clouds covering most of the body of the women, and some of the bits of the men. So you get to watch to blurry fuzz balls walking around in what is supposedly a jungle.
Even though these people are usually near streams or rivers, they always look filthy and totally disgusting. None of them are very personable either. It is not as if they were putting together interesting people. For the most part, they seem to undertake the challenges in a very mundane and pedantic manner. How many times can you watch people digging for crabs before it gets boring?
Most of the time, the participants are annoyed by the other person, or the nasty and dirty surroundings,or they are hungry and want to get fed. There is a lot of whining, a lot of complaining, and a lot of misery. The show should be called Dumb, Dirty, and Hungry.
Escape Plan (2013)
Back in the 1970s and 1980s, when Sylvester Stallone and Arnold were starting out, the previous generation of action stars was winding down. In those days, it was Charles Bronson, Steve McQueen, Lee Marvin, John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, and others. They were gray-haired, wrinkled, and in some cases really out of shape. You watched their new movies, and you knew it was the end of an era.
Now it is Stallone, Arnold, Chuck Norris, Jet Li, Jackie Chan, and others who are winding down their careers in cinema. The movies are no longer big budget, and the action may be less, but there is still something of the greatness there.
Watching Escape Plan, I expected it might be something really awful, like Deathwish V, when Charles Bronson was close to 80 years old. However, Escape Plan was a nice surprise. The characters had to do some thinking to get out of prison, it was not just fighting and shooting. That gave Stallone and Arnold a chance to have some dialogue, and to see them as people, not just fighting machines. It was good to see that.
Overall, the supporting characters are one-dimensional bad guys. The movie has a pretty good cast, but it looks like they were just doing standard villain parts without much deep thought. In some ways, it was very much a film from the 1980s. Not a great movie, but it was pretty good.
The Cool Ones (1967)
A Slice of 1967
Roddy McDowell could make any movie entertaining. Here he is playing someone like 1960s rock psychopath Phil Spector. For those who have seen the Al Pacino biography movie of Phil Spector, you have to admit that Roddy McDowell really hit the nail on the head as Tony Krum. Unfortunately, back in 1967, nobody knew just how totally insane Spector was.
So if you enjoy the antics of Roddy McDowell, this is an entertaining film. If you enjoy watching Nita Talbot, then she is here too. What is more enjoyable is the slice of life in 1967 that is captured by this movie. In many ways, it is almost a documentary of society in 1967. The lack of good acting is probably one reason why it feels so realistic.
Gil Peterson and Debbie Watson are the main characters. They are put together by Tony Krum in order to form a pop duet team. Gil Peterson acts like a total prima donna, and a stiff during most of this film, and he is not a very good actor, or a likable person. Debbie plays her part of a young Gidget, really well, and the scenes with these two characters are where you hit the fast forward button.
Future stripper and porn actress Angelique Pettyjohn is here, along with Glen Campbell, and a variety of once-popular singers and musicians.
The 100 (2014)
100 Nastiest Kids in Space Terrorize Earth
I have watched several episodes of this series, and it just goes from stupid to moronic. First of all, why would any space arc which only has a limit of two landing ships send one to earth full of criminal juveniles? Especially considering that later in another episode it is revealed that over 1500 of the space arc's productive residents will have to be left behind due to lack of transportation?
Once the kids arrive on earth, they spend the first few episodes killing each other off, and establishing their community bully system. In the meantime, they come across other humans, who they call "grounders" and they attack them too. Considering that this group just arrived from space, you would think that they might try to make some friends, and perhaps create a friendly society that could co-exist with others. Instead, they take prisoners, kill some more people, torture the friendly grounder, Lincoln, and manage to continue fighting and killing among themselves.
Is there anything nice about any of these people? The main character, Bellamy, is the most despicable of all the teenagers. The other main character, Clarke, is a girl who hates her mother, and who routinely lies to her friends, kills people as well as anyone else, and shows no human qualities that I can see.
If this show was about the "grounders" and their efforts to get rid of the 100 juvenile delinquents, the show would be a lot more compelling and entertaining. The few grounders that have been given speaking lines are actually nicer people than the "100 kids."
Overall, this show has nothing positive about it, and every week some nice kid gets killed off, while the nasty kids continue to manipulate others.
Shahs of Sunset (2012)
Wow. I saw a few minutes of this show. It was so bad, it made me want to go Pooh. I went back to the TV, and there were more vicious, annoying, nasty Persians yelling at each other, and being offensive to everyone. No doubt these folks are being coached to act in such a low-class manner, but it seems to come naturally to them.
There is not much to say that can fill up the mandatory amount of a review. There is just one scene after another of Persians throwing tantrums and being verbally abusive to each other and everyone who they are dealing with. These is the nastiest cast of characters that I have ever seen, comparable to the trashy girls of Bad Girls Club.
Where do they find these kind of people? Where did they learn to speak while constantly cursing non-stop? Who can speak like that all day long?
Jobs is the politically correct sanctification of a corporate creep whose only goal in life was to make money. Steve Jobs, the billionaire who refused to pay child support to his daughter, is presented here as an arrogant visionary who bullies and abuses his employees.
History is full of abusive and arrogant visionaries who had little regard for all the people that they crushed under their boots. What makes Steve Jobs so special? He took Apple to the top of the sales charts twice, and he was a billionaire.
Most of that profit and fame came off the backs of his abused employees. We can only wonder how many of Jobs' employees never got any credit for their inventions, and innovations? How many times did Jobs verbally abuse someone, kick them out of the company, and then use their ideas as his own?
Perhaps the greatest irony of Jobs, is that Ashton Kutcher, who became famous by playing tricks on celebrities (Punk'd), is playing the role of the inspirational visionary.
This review had nearly 800 votes, when some volunteer monitor at IMDb decided to remove it. IMDb is constantly censoring the reviews.
From Dusk Till Dawn (2014)
Awful and Boring Rehash
I thought that the Dusk to Dawn TV series would either start where the last movie ended, or at least take a fast pace through the past movies, and jump into a new road of weekly horror stories featuring various vampires and other villains, and the Rangers that were hunting them down.
Instead, the first episode took 44 minutes to get to where the first movie was in the first ten minutes. It was 44 agonizingly boring minutes of Don Johnson still trying to look pretty and be cool, and still failing badly. His sidekick is about four feet tall, and when there should have been a shoot-out, the sidekick gives up his gun so he can play nurse to the injured Johnson. So far, the two good guys are losers.
Then the Gecko brothers are two non-stop chatter-boxes. I would have gladly shot them both myself, just to keep them from talking anymore. They honestly reminded me of the old Valley Girls movie. D.J. Cotrona is trying to prove how smart he is by constantly explaining what he is doing. Zane Holtz is just an annoying presence.
All that Holtz knows how to do is adjust his glasses and lurch forward when he walks. Then he leers at every woman in the show, and that cuts in to the imaginary demons that Holtz always sees when he looks at a woman. Holtz is a major closet case, and he is remembering the same demonic girls, and constantly getting the same flashbacks. Talk about overkill. We get it. He is nuts.
Finally, the constant back and forth between what happened five minutes earlier and the present time is really annoying. It is like watching the same episode three times from three points of view, and each one is more boring than the last. I don't think we need to see the memories of Cotrona and Holtz over and over again. It seems to be intended to pad the time and create a lot of filler material. They are just filming every scene from different angles and then giving the audience the same scene three times.
I was disappointed with the first episode, and then gave it a second chance. The second episode was even dumber than the first. At this pace, they will get to the point at which the first movie ended, some time around the second or third season of the show, if it lasts that long. I certainly won't be watching this awful mess any longer.
Mr. Lucky: The Gladiators (1960)
Excellent cast and story!
I just happened to see this at around 3 a.m., and was surprised. Had never seen this show, and Ross Martin (Wild Wild West) was a cast member. William Smith was playing a boxer, and the very pretty Nita Talbot was his flame.
This was a typical 1950s boxing story, with various goons trying to influence the outcome of the match. Mr. Lucky and Andamo (Martin)have to foil the racketeers, while keeping anyone from getting killed.
This was an entertaining story with a great cast of actors. Watching these 1950s TV shows is like a time capsule into that era. It also shows how much these actors could do with the limitations of that era.
The Road to Brown (1989)
Excellent and Informative
Road to Brown is mostly the biography of Charles Houston, a pioneer attorney for U.S. Civil Rights who laid all the groundwork, and trained all the greatest attorneys of the Civil Rights era. Sadly, Mr. Houston was a victim of heart disease, and he passed away at the young age of 54.
However, for most of his adult life, he was a warrior for Civil Rights, and he created an army of great attorneys, including Thurgood Marshall, who succeeded Houston at the NAACP (and later went on to a distinguished career on the U.S. Supreme Court).
The greatest thing about this documentary, is that it was produced in 1989, and thankfully, many of the original clients of Mr. Houston were still alive to explain their cases, and to discuss the effect that Mr. Houston had on their lives, and on the black community, and the U.S.A.
Rarely are documentaries as compelling and well documented as this one is. It captured the real people so that they could tell their stories in person. It also has a lot of vintage photos and some footage from the 1930s to the 1950s. I really enjoyed watching this documentary, and I learned a lot of good American history.
I used to watch his show, way back when he started out, and he was somewhat funny in his dry obtuse manner. Unfortunately, Conan has Andy Richter as his sidekick, and Richter is about as entertaining as Bud Melman used to be on the David Letterman show. In other words, he is OK, but not every day.
Now that Conan is a refugee from Network TV, his guests are often 2nd tier and 3rd tier celebrities. Everyone knows that Conan's show has awful ratings, and plugging a movie on the Conan show is about as good as being the guest star of the Sham Wow sponge infomercials.
The only thing that is surprising is that Conan is still on the air. His style of dry wit is too boring for late night, and the audience left him for newer talents.