Reviews written by registered user
daniel-mcgarry

Send an IMDb private message to this author or view their message board profile.

Page 1 of 2:[1] [2] [Next]
14 reviews in total 
Index | Alphabetical | Chronological | Useful

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Classics are Ageless, 15 December 2010
10/10

Dated, but isn't everything? Ignore the 70s hair and clothes, and take a step back. This is 'The Count of Monte Christo' for the new millennium. The basic plot is the same: honest man is framed for a crime he did not do, is imprisoned and while in prison learns a whole new set of skills. After his eventual escape/release he joins forces with a man he served time with, creates a new identity, and sets out to avenge the wrongs done against him. It has been said that there are no new stories; all plots you can conceive of are contained in the Greek myths, but so what? It is not the underlying story that is important - it is the way it is told, and 'Sword of Justice' does it well. As another reviewer put it, it's a shame it ran only 9 episodes, and worse that it has never been released to video. I'd buy it.

Videodrome (1983)
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
The Medium Is The Massage, 13 December 2010
10/10

Marshall McLuhan's book title was originally a mis-quote (It was supposed to be the Medium is the Message) but after seeing an advance copy he like the typo better. Videodrome explores this concept in a very frightening way "Is it real - or is it memorex?" I had a truly terrifying discussion with a young man who worked for me while I was stationed in Germany. Several of us were talking about taking a tour to Amsterdam and visiting the Anne Frank museum. Seeing his glazed expression I asked him if he knew who Anne Frank was. He made a face and admitted that he knew who she was "My English teacher made us read the book in High School." So I asked him what he thought of it. "Didn't like it." he replied. I granted that the events of the book were disturbing, but what didn't he like about it? "It wasn't real." he replied. I was confused, and pointed out that the book was the daily diary entries of a person who actually lived and died, what could be more real than that? "Well, you know..." he said. "..like Television." I was stunned. The Diary of Anne Frank wasn't real, but Starsky and Hutch was. Since this young man and his generation would be running the world when I grew old I knew we were doomed.

This explains so much, 16 March 2010
1/10

I am a proud owner of Volume 1 of this series (can only two entries be considered a series? - ah well, I digress) and this entry explains why there was no third. Volume one was an excellent retrospective of Makeup man/FX artist Tom Savini. Volume two is... I don't know what it is other than a waste of time. As other reviewers have mentioned, this killed the franchise. Fangoria had a great idea with Volume 1 - present an in depth background of an influential person in the horror/fantasy film making world. I was looking forward to chapters about George Romero, Rick Baker, even Jim Henson! (Black Crystal?) This entry killed it. RIP.

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Doesn't Anyone Have Any Matches?, 17 January 2010
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Not sure if this is a spoiler, but in this remake of John Wyndham's book, the sap of Triffids is a source of energy-rich 'Triff-Oil' which solves the worldwide energy crisis and burns so cleanly it reverses global warming, even though the Triffids are carnivorous mobile plants with deadly stingers. Not a big problem until the world is struck blind and people become easy prey to the triffids. But here's my WTF moment: If Triffid sap is so flammable, why doesn't anybody use a torch on them? Or Napalm from an airplane? There must be at least ONE pilot who wasn't flying when the world went blind. All we ask is a little internal logic.

Sunshine (2007)
6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Why Do They Keep Doing This?, 30 November 2009
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

We don't expect Nobel-Level science from screenwriters, but a little attention paid to basic science would be nice - especially common sense. I'll confess to remaining a sucker for a sci-fi pitch, but when I am forced to keep repeating: "This CAN'T be this stupid - it's GOT to get better..." and it doesn't, I can only be mad at myself. Why can't I just TURN IT OFF! Because I am an eternal optimist who stupidly hopes the plot/acting will take a turn for the better. It never does. Basically a remake of Solar Crisis (1990) except instead of short circuiting a Solar Flare with a big bomb, they want to jump-start the sun with a big bomb. Hmmm - kind of like restarting the Earth's core with a big bomb. I guess Hollywood's answer to any ecological problem is to blow it up with a Big Bomb. Must be a Bush-era thing.

2012 (2009/I)
14 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Why Am I Not Surprised?, 27 November 2009
1/10

Once again, Roland Emmerich has raised an enormous budget and spent it all on CGI special effects. In a way, I'm happy for him and his family that he has found gainful employment, i.e., a paying job, but why must we allow the ENTIRE WORLD to think that Americans as a society are THIS STUPID?! For obvious reasons, we must view the end of the world in the cinema because when it really does come we'll be too busy running and screaming. And for the record - the end of the world is JUST THAT. There ain't no survivors, Ark or no. The levels of volcanism and fire would consume all the available oxygen, so even if you were one of the lucky 14 people to be in an area that wasn't drowned/burned/or broken open and roto-tilled into the depths of the planet, in a very few short hours you'll be asphyxiated. Last year's 'Knowing' was at least realistic. Giant solar flare = End Of Life. But even they just HAD to have a 'happy' ending where benevolent alien visitors save some of the children. A more realistic scenario would be: "End of the world's coming - make your peace with whatever type of God you can be comfortable with."

And there'd be a LOT more looting, rape and pillage... In the final analysis, it's never 'Women and children first' it's 'Every man for himself!'

6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
A Rose by any other name..., 27 November 2009
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

CONTAINS SPOILERS! Just so, a pile of cow manure will smell just as bad if called a Rose. I had high expectations about this show, with Ian McCellan playing '2', but as other posters have observed, this more like 'Lost' than 'The Prisoner'. Even taken on its own merits (?) if one knew nothing of the original series, you would still be left with "Huh?" filling your brain when it's over. Unlike the original, this one strives to answer all the questions, all neatly wrapped up during a 30 minute flashback limo ride between Jim Cavezial and Ian McCellan, ending in a church where 6 meets 313 in the real world. Too bad it doesn't work. They actually come right out and say it's all a dream, and all the people in the Village have been brought into the dreamer's delusion. Having said that, there is no explanation or rationalization as to how this magic is accomplished. Are the Villagers all being held in some hospital, wired up to a mainframe to allow them to share thoughts (Matrix) or is the 'Dreamer' (2s wife and later 313) a kind of benevolent Freddy Kreuger who can enter into and shape the villager's dreams to fit her concept of the perfect world? If the latter - what happens when they wake up? It is clearly stated that no one can escape the Village, so it is implied that once they enter the shared dream they can't wake up - unless they need you to drive a limo. But if they can't wake up, then who's changing the IVs and diapers? Very unsatisfying. The writers clearly said "This is the answer" but the answer makes no sense. The whole "Six is the One" chant (Matrix?) was done in the original with one very short piece of visualization: Number Six tackles number One and tears off his mask - and looks into his own face... Now THAT'S the kind of ambiguity that actually tells a story. From the beginning in the opening credits, the answer was in the voice overs between Six and Two: Six: "Who are you?" Two: "The new Number Two." Six: "Who is Number One?" Two: "You are Number Six." Two answers the question, but Six just doesn't hear it. He asks who number one is and the answer is: "You are."

What made the original Prisoner so enjoyable and thought provoking was that there were no concrete answers, because there were so many.

Overall - they blew it.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A tip of the hat to Raymond Burr, 31 August 2009
9/10

I love it when artists refer to their other work. In the 'Masters of Horror' sequence 'Deer Woman' directed by John Landis one of the characters mentions the "...giant mutant wolf they shot in Piccadilly Circus back in 1980..." an obvious reference to 'American werewolf in London' also directed by Landis.

The best line in the Americanized release of Godzilla 1985 (or Gojira 1984) goes to Raymond Burr, reprising his role of Steve Martin from the original Godzilla movie. After the American general orders planes to attack the monster one of the observers wonders aloud "Do you think it will work?" And Burr deadpans "It didn't last time..."

Now THAT's Theater!

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
OK but unrealistic, 10 June 2009
5/10

I'm only writing a review to share the humorist Erma Bombeck's observation.

In one of her last columns before her passing, she mentioned that she and her husband had gone to see this movie.

As they were driving home, her husband asked "Well? Would you?" "Would I what?" she asked.

"Would you sleep with Robert Redford for a million dollars?" "It depends," she said.

Her husband was shocked. "DEPENDS?" he choked. "Depends on WHAT?" "Depends on whether he'd let me make monthly payments..." she replied.

I passed root beer through my nose when I read that - had to share.

7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
The Sky Is Falling, 24 February 2009
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Low budget but excellently executed suspense film. As others have said, the action begins when Anthony Edwards picks up a ringing pay phone and gets a frantic message from someone in an ICBM silo who has apparently dialed the wrong number saying the missiles are on their way. For the next forty minutes it's a case of chicken little crying the sky is falling, as Edwards single handedly starts a panic in Los Angeles that has the populace rioting and fleeing for the hills. Halfway through the movie he pauses for breath as he views the carnage he's inspired and finally asks himself "Is this real? Have I caused a panic over a prank call?" - in an attempt to verify what's happening he dials the number the serviceman was trying to connect to and is connected to a very puzzled father of an airman stationed at a missile base. Dramatic pause - yes, the sky IS falling...


Page 1 of 2:[1] [2] [Next]