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Fortune Hunter (1994)
Unfair Review of FORTUNE HUNTER!
The prior review of FORTUNE HUNTER sighting SEARCH as a derivative source for FORTUNE HUNTER is correct. However, FORTUNE HUNTER chose unfortunately to have a geek at HQ in contact with the hero instead of blond babe. But in SEARCH, Hugh O'Brian was merely adequate, Doug McClure was personable, and Tony Franciosa was superb. Mark Frankel, with his dead-on SEAN CONNERY as JAMES BOND accent and mannerisms as well as good looks gave a higher level of performance than his predecessors and the action-packed great production value program should be compared favorably in a SEARCH goes 007 vein. THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. which is my all-time favorite, is a teamwork oriented tongue-in-cheek spy show, while FORTUNE HUNTER has drier sense of humor and is a "SOLO" (pardon-the-pun) AFFAIR.
In New York, FOX, Channel 5, showed only 4 or 5 Episodes, out of the 13 listed, BEFORE CANCELLATION! And intentionally SABOTAGED the TV Show's chances of success, by placing it in ever-changing time slots on Sunday around 6 P.M. Eastern Standard, when most audiences were busy eating dinner (NOT watching TV) or could NOT find the show since it always followed Sunday Afternoon FOOTBALL which always ran late; making FORTUNE HUNTER show up anytime after 6:10 P.M., even as late as 7:10!!! It would take a crystal ball to find the show's Start Time each week! And to make things worse, after the FOX execs prematurely and unfairly decided to cancel FORTUNE HUNTER, after only 4 episodes; they admitted that the ONLY reason for this early cancellation despite Critic's loving it; was since the production values were very high on the show and the show was shot on location; FOX was NOT going to shell-out that kind of money to keep an excellent spy/adventure show on the air!!!!!! So the cheapskates at FOX, buried a gem of a show; instead of giving it a primetime time slot and a multi-year run!
At this point I really believed that MARK FRANKEL would be the ideal choice as the new JAMES BOND on the big screen. Instead MGM/UA stuck with that peacock Pierce Brosnan, whom has been the worst BOND ever!
So 2 years later, FOX again hired the superb actor MARK FRANKEL to be in a TV Show called THE KINDRED-THE EMBRACED. Another brilliantly played role by MARK FRANKEL sans Scottish accent. Again FOX had a quality show, but ONLY showed 8 episodes before cancellation! And sadly not too long afterwards, MARK FRANKEL died in a motorcycle accident. FOX and MGM/UA never appreciated the actor they had (in FOX's case) or could have had as JAMES BOND redux (in MGM/UA's case) and a shining star met a premature and disappointing end.
Sledge Hammer! (1986)
Most Hilarious Parody Show Of All Time!
SLEDGEHAMMER! was the most outrageous parody show of all time! It ranks right up there with Family Guy, Married With Children!, and Unhappily Ever After. And it makes Police Squad! seem stupid and slapstick by comparison! It also shares the ranks of best Jazz Score with Police Squad!, for a sitcom. David Rasche was a tongue-in-cheek much tougher over-the-top version of Dirty Harry. His line: Trust Me! I know what I am doing! Will become an immortal quote. His best episode was the one where his partner gets hit on the head and her personality changes. She makes even Sledgehammer, look like a wuss in that one! WOW! And there was the one with Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade, the >From Russia With Love satire, and the Witness satire. And, for a cliffhanger, you can beat the Season Ender, where Sledgehammer! blows up the city with a Nuclear Bomb by mistake! The show was pure genius and should have gone on forever! Originally only 4 episodes were available on Videotape. Finally the DVDS will be out. Buy them. TRUST ME! I KNOW WHAT I AM SAYING!
The Power (1968)
Superb thriller almost complete true to book!
I am NOT giving a SPOILER in my comments, however I have 2 comments about the end of the movie. A major scene in the book was put in different surroundings in the movie and the hero Jim Tanner has a different point-of-view at the end of the movie vs. the book.
However, otherwise, the movie was brought to life with outstanding acting performances, great special effects, and suspenseful music; all of the superb nuances of the sci-fi suspense thriller book! The film has an amazing cast, whether established stars or character actors, whom give OSCAR quality performances! Even GEORGE HAMILTON, whom I have always considered a "lightweight" actor, comes across as a seasoned actor in this film. Acting highlights include Earl Holliman, Michael Rennie, Arthur O'Connel, Nehemia Persoff, and ofcourse Barbara Nichols. This film is an intelligent Sci-Fi Thriller, dealing with a genetic mutant who could be you or me, and a nonstop thrill-ride to find him or her, before he or she, can wipe out everyone via TELEKINETIC MURDER, who might find out about, his or her true identity! The direction of the film is outstanding and tight, the action is fast moving, the chills are real, and the twists and turns are amazing; while NOT confusing to the movie viewer! How many films can say that about themselves, and be truthful? And the genetic mutant premise could happen IN REAL LIFE, anytime in the REAL WORLD. The NASA Research Center backdrop, adds to the suspenseful settings of the picture. And the message: Power Corrupts, But Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely; is as clear as a bell, as the theme to this nightmare chase against time! And as fast-paced the action is; still, the character development of each character in the movie, is a work of art! This film ranks with masterpieces of Sci-Fi, such as The Andromeda Strain and Colossus: The Forbin Project! Watch it! Enjoy it! Remember the message! Who needs Hitchcock?