Reviews written by registered user
|5 reviews in total|
I remember the remarkable thing about "Hennesey" was that it was a dry, adult comedy WITH NO LAUGHTRACK. My mother used to love the show for that reason alone. The absence of that psychological prod actually made the absurdities funnier. We the audience were being treated as adults who could laugh when it was funny. This was an innovative and bold move in television of the time. I really notice the idiocy of American TV when it is rebroadcast here in Italy. The use of the laughtrack to manipulate the audience into thinking something is funny is really noticeable here, where it is rarely employed. Also, the use of implausible situations, as mentioned above, was lacking. The show stood or fell on the quality of the characters and writing. Whoever chooses to re-release this show will have an uphill battle to avoid inserting these banal mechanisms to please sponsors.
This show was another that vanished after one season but appealed to the imaginations of kids with unfamiliar concepts as weightlessness and a "hard vacuum". The show featured the McCauley character and crew blasting off on missions in a standardized multistage (?) vehicle, and doing space walks, rendezvous and powered landings. One episode had McCauley rescue a colleague on a very small asteroid doomed for destruction. As they departed the asteroid, the viewer sees petroglyphic markings on the space rock evidently left by an alien civilization (is this the episode titled "Is There Another Civilization?"). Shows of this genre inspired a generation of scientists and science buffs.
I saw this show only a couple of times in its short run, but have the vivid memory of being excited by the ideas of physical and mental challenges posed by the pre- Mercury space race. I was disappointed to not see it more. I recall the intro to the show portrayed the star being propelled in a high-acceleration rocket sled along rails in the desert. This appealed in the same imagination stimulating and quasi-educational vein as Lloyd Bridges' Sea Hunt, and a few other shows of that period of the late 50's-early 60's.
Following the death of his wife in a plane crash, Ford's character detective Dutch Van Den Broek investigates some pieces that don't fit. His wife was ostensibly going to one appointment, was bound toward another very different one. The habitual investigator uncovers links to another passenger on the ill-fated flight. To learn more, he comes into contact with Kay Chandler (Kristen Scott Thomas). The bond he forms with Kay is not overdone--they're both wrecks set adrift in a black sea. Dutch obsessively treads through the clues despite the emotional devastation and wrenching agony that his discoveries only magnify. This is a welcome variation on the Ford type-cast; he plays the cold hearted cop digging through the detritis to get the facts. No jokes. No light-hearted moments, just the facts, ma'am. Yes, it is possible for him to play another character that doesn't require action, heroics or silliness. Though I like his popular image, I'm only a lukewarm fan of Harrison Ford. He has been more of a pop cultural icon than actor. His range has been severely limited, if he ever had a range. But a film like this and "What Lies Beneath" show he has some flexibility. For that, I say Bravo!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you like to pay for advertising, this is the flick for you. A more
blatant bit of marketing has never been created in film. But I'm sure it's
the wave of the future. Think of the possibilities! Here comes the movie
about the nice side about --brand name here-- cigarettes. Another one about
the happy, zany assembly workers at --insert manufacturing company here--
and their misadventures. The heartwarming story of a child worker in
Guatemala who plays as she works making T-shirts in for --high fashion
label-- only to become a major shareholder and savior of her people. Thrill
to high adventure as --multinational global polluter-- delivers babies of
scientists working for them in Antarctica. Now, That's Entertainment! [note:
all rights reserved; film producers must gain permission to use the
proposals above or face legal action by my battery of lawyer]
If you still want to see this far-fetched movie for Tom and Helen in an otherwise nice story, but don't want to pay for advertising, find a chump who bought it and get friendly. You know what to do. Otherwise, wait till it's on TV. Very soon and frequently.