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Kevin Can Wait (2016)
Like King of Queens...without the humor.
Pretty bad. Fat slob, adoring sexy wife (not remotely believable), huge luxurious house = disaster. Three kids, oldest daughter living in the garage rent free having sex with her ultra nerd fiancé' while the newly retired cop dad gets a job to support them...add a trio of childlike retired cop friends and a fireman brother and you have...a mess. I can see it now..show tanks, in desperation the hot wife is replaced by somebody funny, ....and it still tanks. King of Queens had it all...great chemistry with husband and wife, a couple of friends who were genuinely funny,and the live in father in law who stole the show. This show will never get off the ground despite the Big Bang lead in. I give it 13 weeks at best.
Powerful, compelling, and realistic take on a classic
The classic 1959 Charlton Heston version is the one I and the rest of the baby boomers grew up on and it remains one of my top 5 favorite movies of all time. But I was very impressed by the 2016 remake. Gone is the stilted dialogue and "holy look" (as Victor Mature described it) of the old time biblical epics. The 2016 version has a bold take on the classic and a fresh approach to the story. It surpasses the 1959 version in originality, imagination, and devotion to detail. The Roman legion is shown in all its scope, strength, and ruthless brutality. The character of Jesus has a prominent role, whereas in the classic version, he never spoke nor did we see his face. With anti Christian sentiment on the rise in the entertainment industry, I wonder if the negative reviews written about this film reflect the agenda driven bias of the critics. The sea battle was spectacular and far surpassed the 1959 version. The epic chariot race was a wonderful homage to the Heston version, complete with the awe inspiring stadium built into living rock and with giant statues in the middle of the track. The race itself rivals the classic one in intensity and imagination. Terrific movie, great acting, and intense realism.
Jennifer on My Mind (1971)
Excellent and interesting film...somehow forgotten
Tippy Walker and Michael Brandon were very convincing as young trust fund loafers who meet and fall in love. Jennifer is irresistible and she knows it, leading Marcus on and always leaving him. But he's attracted to her and keeps coming back. Anyone who was young in 1971 knows that girls like Jennifer really did exist...beautiful and teasing but noncommittal. Secrets .....secrets that forced them to live a clandestine life filled with sadness, wanting to break free, but ultimately chained to addiction.Marcus is so in love and wants everything to work out, but Jennifer is a user. Just a sad and powerful statement of he rampant drug culture that destroyed so many young lives back then.Sadly, Tippy Walker bowed out of acting after this film...a shame, because she turned out a powerful performance here. Actors have won Oscars for less.
Love Story (1970)
I remember when this movie came out when I was in high school in 1970. It was wildly popular. The theme from Love Story played on the radio 24/7. Author Eric Seagal appeared on all TV talk shows all the time, as did Ryan O'Neil and Ally McGraw. Every teenage girl in America copied Ally McGraw's hairdo:long, straight, and parted in the middle. Some blonde girls even dyed their hair brown. Teenage boys carried around the Love Story paperback in school and got all the chicks because they thought he was sensitive. But the truth is, this was an awful movie. The acting was bad and so was the script. Scene after scene was so melodramatic...poor Oliver working in a Christmas tree lot...oh, the indignity! Big deal..like a strong 24 year old man can't carry a Christmas tree to a lady's car? And when the doctor broke the news to Oliver...so unintentionally funny...she has no symptoms at all and he announces she will die soon because they took three blood tests and found...what? Doctors don't announce a patient will die unless all extended treatment is exhausted. He didn't even begin treatment or tell Oliver what was killing her. Later on, they mentioned white blood cells and a lack of platelets, but even a veterinarian would treat your dog before giving up on it. Then, she seemed her usual bright eyed and bushy tailed self n her deathbed before she just croaked. Even if she had lived, I don't see how this marriage could have survived more than a few years.Oliver was passive, and Jenny was aggressive, rude, and teased him constantly while saying "goddamn" to punctuate everything. Best comedy of 1970.
Nathan for You (2013)
Funniest Show ...I'm Hooked
Nathan for You is hilarious. Pure genius...reminds me of early Woody Allen or Sasha Baron Cohen in Borat. Nathan is portrayed as an arrogant loser...you know the type. The guy is completely clueless and the show is so creative in coming up with so many bizarre ideas. The reaction of people to Nathan's personality is half the fun. The formula is simple: Nathan makes a suggestion to a small business owner or manager on how to improve profits. They reluctantly agree and Nathan gets to work...consulting experts, etc. He then follows through on it and it's a disaster and ultimately rejected. Nathan then awkwardly tries befriend the client and he, too is rejected. Too funny!
The Greg Gutfeld Show (2015)
I was actually looking forward to this show, as Greg Gutfeld was hilarious on Redeye. The show sucks since he left. This show,however, is a huge disappointment. All he does is recite editorials from the teleprompter, using way too many adjectives. The result is a wordy and unfunny mess. He talks quickly and volumes pour out of his mouth. Not profound or funny. His observations on life are shared constantly, as if we should care. He uses some tricks that used to work on Redeye, such as YouTube videos and a girl who has the role of TV's Andy Levy.They fall flat here. Even his fake pervert persona comes off as lame. Greg needs to quit this show before his career is ruined and go back to hosting Redeye.
The Mod Squad (1968)
Mod, but a Little Odd
Great show. Back when I was in high school,it was like, "Did you see Mod Squad last night?" Perfect casting. For some reason, I was never really hot for Julie...she always seemed tired...maybe Peggy Lipton was stoned all the time. But she was definitely cool. Lots of girls looked just like her back then...they all had drippy personalities but were total nymphos. Pete was very cool...the way he talked, his attitude...but he ran like a girl. Linc was a bad dude...I heard he did most of his own stunts.I like how he ran down criminals using an angle, like in football. Then, he slammed them against the wall. He had this blank stare with those shades...solid. Back in 1982 when I was teaching special ed., I had a teacher's aide named Ms. Wiley...she looked just like Linc Hayes..huge Afro, blank stare... all the kids were scared of her. Adam Grier...good actor..was the glue that kept the Mod Squad focused...one tough cop. Glad I bought the complete series DVD.
The Sand Pebbles (1966)
A Rare Gem of a Film
The Sand Pebbles is a larger-than-life film. Great acting, great cinematography, great soundtrack. The soundtrack was very moving...the subtle notes work in perfect harmony with the visuals. McQueen's very best acting performance...a simple man with integrity and compassion, tough and low-key. McQueen immersed himself in this character...he probably deserved the Oscar he didn't get. Richard Crenna was very convincing as the self- indulgent, incompetent,stubborn, power-obsessed captain. Reminds me of some bosses I've had to suffer through. The key to this movie is the magical way in which we are transported to a forgotten time and place. Attention to detail, intense acting. One flaw I noticed was in the scene at the bar/ cat house in which it just seemed like a phony, overly lit, cavernous sound stage. It seemed so phony and out of place. A dark, claustrophobic setting would have been much more effective.
The Maya Rudolph Show (2014)
Just an Embarrassment...Awful
Maya Rudolph had a good idea...resurrect the variety show format of the 1960's and 70's. Musical numbers and comedy sketches. It worked for Carol Burnett, Flip Wilson, Dean Martin, Jackie Gleason, Andy Williams,Donnie & Marie, Sonny & Cher, and many others. But Rudolph lacks the charm and the professionalism to pull it off. The musical numbers were pretty lame...an opening number where it was all about Maya was pretty self indulgent and annoying. Then there was a musical number with a Venice Beach theme..dueling vendors...nuts vs. clams...if I heard that woman say "Pam's Clams, Pam's Clams" one more time, I would have vomited. Then there was a duet with Maya and Chris Parnell in honor of Chris's new baby....all it did was mention the baby poohing, peeing, throwing up, and "sucking his mother's nipples raw"...really? How sickening and in poor taste. The comedy sketches seemed amateurish and rushed...like scripts that were rejected by SNL....a hopeless farce of a show.
Excellent film....very well made.
The 3D was very good. It was "on" throughout the film. Very interesting story line...okay..probably a lot of plot holes, but taking it for what it is, solid entertainment. The havoc depicted in Honolulu, Las Vegas, and San Francisco was breathtaking. The pace was very good...the mysterious crisis, the historical revelations, and the horrible ineffectiveness of modern technology to combat these mega monsters was convincingly depicted.The movie's strength lies in its imaginative direction...lots of surprises.This is set apart from other Godzilla movies because it took itself very seriously..no cute asides, nothing played for laughs...just terror...from a tsunami to a wobbling suspension bridge.