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Resurrection Blvd. (2000)
First rate, engrossing series
This outstanding series gives PBS's "American Family" a run for its money as the finest series about a typical, all-American family. Superbly acted across the board, from proud, tough-love Patriarch Roberto (the excellent Tony Plana), struggling sister-in-law Bibi (Elizabeth Pena - why isn't this woman a star?) and her loving son Tommy (the underrated Douglas Spain) to always-reliable veterans Rita Moreno and Glynn Turman... this series strikes gold on all counts, from the fine acting and directing to the smart scripts and warm designs. Let's hope Paramount resurrects seasons two and three on DVD in the not-too-distant-future. It's impossible not to fall in love with these characters. Bravo!
But I'm a Cheerleader (1999)
Three cheers for this Cheerleader!
This underrated, highly entertaining satire boasts memorable performances, clever camera angles and a spirited production design. Natasha Lyonne and Clea Duvall's on screen chemistry is spot-on, while Cathy Moriarty's Raging (butch-as-they-come) Bull dike scores just this side of lesbian drill Sergeant. The winning supporting cast sparkles, as well. Look for a red-headed, scene-stealing Douglas Spain (Band of Brothers, Resurrection Blvd) as one of gone-with-the-gays True Directions' "misfits." His climactic tearful speech is both touching and hilarious. Pop the corn, kick back and treat yourself to this delightful romp; a winning commentary about heterosexual ignorance under the clever guise of a smart satire.
The Hindenburg (1975)
Underrated 70's Disaster epic!
While "The Towering Inferno", "The Poseidon Adventure", "Earthquake" and the "Airport" movies tend to reap most of the disaster glory, "The Hindenburg" has its own merits and should rank not as greatness, but certainly for being a lot of fun and very entertaining. Not all the characters are as 3-dimensional as they could be, but the actors have a field day with their roles and hold up nicely against the Oscar-winning effects. Some hilarious lines ("Next time let's take the Titanic!" and "You're going to regret this, Sir! My nephew is very close to Mussolini!!"), authentic sets (a real crew member visited the set and was astounded at the reproductions) and a spectacular finale make for a Robert Wise gem. It's no "Sound of Music" or "West Side Story", but has a lot of style and charm that often goes unrecognized. Concentration camp survivor Robert Clary ("Hogan's Heroes") is marvelous as comedian Joe Spah, who survived the disaster.
The Daydreamer (1966)
Delightful musical feature with thought-provoking lessons for both children and adults alike. A magical opening with Ritchard's "Sandman" sets the tone for an equally magical adventure through the mind of Hans Christhian Anderson. A memorable all-star cast accompanied by a whimsical score (who could resist "Isn't It Cozy Here!!"??). Not as good as Rankin/Bass' classic Christmas specials, but a winner, nonetheless.