Reviews

20 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Shark (2006–2008)
Great Show, so let's make sure we cancel it. OK?
30 December 2010
Oops! Guess they DID cancel it!

I am so worn out on this treatment of intelligent, enticing, involving TV. Being a tad biased regarding the Great James Woods, I really enjoyed him in a weekly outing with a great cast. Even Jeri Ryan did great, totally shedding the bloat-image "Seven of Nine" boring image. Every time I see people from Shark on other series I still head over to IMDb to see what they went off to since departing one of the more fun and well done series in the past 20 years. ...love to see the TV gods fold Shark's characters into occasional appearances on the new "The Defenders". Yeah that's it- that could be the ticket!

Happy 2011 to all.

BP
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A good solid SAC era piece that is right up there with Jimmy Stewart's "S.A.C."
15 February 2010
What's really cool is that ALL of the footage was real- no substituted DC-7s or some wrong aircraft. Obviously they had SAC's cooperation- even to the point of footage shot through the refueling tech's picture window showing an actual docked probe with a B-47 going askew and almost snapping! I imagine the show's writers customized their story to available film. All of the cabin work (...the main setting for the story) was in a real 47. It's an impressive story accuracy wise- except perhaps the General who gets riled back at Group HQ and basically takes over the mic, barking orders to the 135 crew and to the 47 as long as they can receive. Every once in a while some production has personnel aboard that strive for accuracy in fact basis (another example- an episode of "U.F.O." that backed up a piece of space debris as a S-IVb from a particular Apollo flight that went into solar orbit, that was being "cleaned up" as an effort to rid the space ways of junk. It does end up being blown up by the bad guy aliens; an example of the opposite is just about anything on episodes of "JAG"....).
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Finally, a perfect film
22 November 2009
I did not read the novel, but the trailer showed promise and I was not let down. Bana, whom I immediately took a liking to in "Troy" and "Star Trek" delivers as do all the cast. Great romance, great fun, original, and truly a beautifully executed film. In particular, the casted children do a marvelous job. This is one the type films that had me completely absorbed and involved. I fully empathized with the quandary posed by the biological anomaly of the prime character. It is my fervent hope that no sequel is made, leaving this in the category of unique, special movies, as once was done decades ago. That all movies were so fine....

BP
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Astroboy (1963–1966)
Astro Boy- entertainment for kids but not anyone from Minn
31 October 2009
"Astro Boy" the original series not only broke ground but was a fun and a much loved series for kids at the time, much more so than what passes for "animation" or cartoons now days. It and "Gigantor" apparently just zoom over the heads of people that need to be hand fed all aspects of cartoons, etc. These were entertainment that kept the viewing child's mind involved instead of hypnotized by blatant meaningless tripe like so much on Adult Swim. The new movie, which approximates the overall intent and background story of the series is somewhat fun, with a good look. I do however recommend the series to new viewers. It is something I would introduce my kids to.
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I Spy (1965–1968)
Sad that nothing has touched the originality
4 October 2009
I bought the entire series on DVD recently and have spent many evenings watching two or 3 episodes each. While I grew up during the shows original run, I'd only watched a few then. So for a while, due to the invariable trappings of the times it was filmed during, I was taken back a bit. However I was really involved with the adventures and characters of the two main characters (and the venerable Kenneth Tobey as their most frequent handler). This show being compared to any of the numerous other espionage series is not a serious comparison. The location filming and abilities of cast and crew made this as special a show as another series from the same time period that made such an impact on me. Culp and Cosby will forever be unique for a multitude of reasons, together they made a good entertainment greater. Long live "I, Spy".

BP
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7/10
Hardly a Great film, but possibly the best serious Coen
8 March 2008
Admittedly I am spoiled when it comes to the Coen Brothers films. They reek of professional lensing, production values, etc. The set their own bar for comedy with "Raising Arizona". And ditto for serious, violent films in "Blood Simple". Am I a fan of No Country...? The jury's still out. However those things opined, it was the most captivating of all their films I've viewed (R. Arizona is at least on bar). And it was the most pointed story they've told yet. But, and I should state here I neither read the book upon which it is based, nor have I ever believed reading the original printed matter a film is based on should be done to enjoy or at least digest a movie- but, it just tapers off, with no satisfying resolution. And maybe that's OK. Carpenter did it with his film of the complete "The Thing from another World" movie "The Thing". That story like this could conceivably just go on and on. And in terminating No Country when they did I suppose they showed more of how the real world of violence and crime is then almost any film one could name. Nasty events do go unsolved and unresolved. But as I said I am spoiled- most of their films that are described as "comedies" leave me not laughing. Raising Arizona could never be that way I was convinced new masters of comedy had been unleashed. Nope. After waiting some time to see No Country I was excited- the ads, the talk, the Oscars- I was ready. I went, I saw, I laughed at times and was similarly urged to be repulsed. But. But- No Country as it turns out IS a good tale, with fine performances and the usual fine camera work. I'm just a tad programed to see a film not hang, but conclude. Hey! Maybe in the sequel, huh?
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STTNG - could a supposed Trek series be more overrated?
28 May 2007
Rick Berman just placed a clamp on creativity that went outside his or Jeri Taylor's blinder-framed vision, altered the heck out of established Trek canon, and in the process made space as boring as Moscow under the Soviet reign. Bland, gray, stodgy, uninspiring universes and often characters abound throughout the show- "Q", established from the opening pilot forward is so god- awfully uninteresting; Jordie LaForge is such a dimension-less bore, who's only emotion is a switch stuck on "anger-riddled response"; Dr. Crusher is so unconvincing that she actually makes the galactic-ally morose Counselor Troi interesting. The saving grace(s) on the series have been Riker (a character that should have been promoted to ship's Captain by the second season, discharging miscast Patrick Stewart into some parallel dimension) and Worf and yes- even Wesley Crusher, and the fantastically talented Brent Spiner's interpretation of Data (surely Spiner's take- as Berman would have made him as interesting as a clothes hanger). Under-utilized is Chief O'Brien played by the immensely talented and incapable of being a bad actor, Colm Meaney. Denise Crosby was a hoot and just great as well as Whoopi Goldeberg and Patti Yasutake and the underutilized Michelle "Ensign Ro" Forbes (who became the Commander of the Battlestar Pegasus years later- and who in that role was just fabulous). But to continue a trend of boring characters, casting very boring mean spirited actors like Rosalind Chao and dullness personified Armin Shimerman just proves to me that Berman is clueless about what something as potential as Trek calls for when it comes to talent. Great sets, effects that improved season to season (and pioneered techniques for the whole industry), with a cast half capable and stories that more often than not just blew, coalesced into a series that unfortunately never approached the story quality or ensemble chemistry of the original series. None of the after-original series came close to that until the one where Berman finally did back away from "managing" on a daily basis- "Enterprise".
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Gridiron Gang (2006)
9/10
Enjoyable for hope inspired
18 September 2006
For an L.A. native, disgusted with what has happened to a very influential and potentially great city, knowing that there are attempts to show alternate ways of life to the gang-riddled youth is in itself hopeful. The film may seem formula-like, however it presents a true story in the trappings of such formula without the often seriously candy-coated drippings of maudlin ways. There are good performances here, and including but not limited to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who comes close to but never totally dominates what is an ensemble of future stars. This is not only a youths-gone-bad movie and sports as panacea film but a look at how, on occasion, the right intentions can override the wrong pursuits.
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8/10
A decent restart on the Superdude's film series
3 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I liked it and I didn't like parts. Overall story is good, the homages to all generations of Superman film/TV and even comic book are plenty- Look for framed pix of Pa Kent Glenn Ford on the mantle at the Ma Kent (legendary Eva Marie Saint) house, plus Noel Neill in the opening scenes, and Jack "Jimmy Olsen of TV" Larson as the bartender, the score using John Williams passages from Richard Donner's 1st Christopher Reeve film throughout. When I'd first read about Lois Lane having a kid, I was not so pleased- however it works AND it's an important device- that I actually was rather thrilled with- Kate Bosworth as Lois is just OK- too flat a portrayal, especially when I still have Margot Kidder's Lois stuck in my mind. When I try to come up with a more fitting choice, I think Kate Hudson- she's got the spunkiness a Lois Lane requires (beside, I'd like to see her with dark hair!). Frank Langella (who remains one of the 2 best Draculas ever on the screen, Bela) as Perry White was OK- and even a bit of a hoot. I loved the reuse of Brando's Jor-el in both voice and footage. The script was rather decent, though having reuse of exact lines of Lex Luther from Donner's film bugs. And therein lay the problem with this film- Kevin Spacey's Lex Luthor. He was vicious- beyond nasty- he was vicious and very twisted. I am very biased by Gene Hackman's Lex, however that's not what is going on here- Spacey's portrayal is wife-beater vicious. And after enough of that I had no desire to continue seeing his role- period. They director and writers even confirm he's over the top by having his girlfriend Kitty (portrayed by Parker Posey, stalwart of those gawd awful Christopher Guest movies) realizing she's hooked up with a total madman and wanting out, only too late. She does a good job in the film- taking on a role that is complimentary to Valerie Perrine's Miss Teschmacher. The flying sequences are the most seamless ever, and the nice touches- busting the sound barrier, etc, are just great. In fact all of the FX are rather tremendous in this film. Brandon Routh's Kal-el/Superman/Clark Kent is decent enough and Somewhat reminiscent of Chris Reeve's portrayal. He can hang around for sequels. To be fair- the storyline this time out didn't give much audience exposure to Clark- most was as Superdude. Sequels will hopefully be well written and retaining Bryan Singer as director would be alright. However since production is no longer under the control of the Salkinds, so there wouldn't be the tiff to deal with, I wonder if anyone at Warner has asked Donner to take the reigns again. That would be super, man.
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Star Trek: Turnabout Intruder (1969)
Season 3, Episode 24
Shatner tour de force finishes the 3 season run of the only Star Trek Series
26 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The final aired episode of the still critically attacked third season of the only Star Trek Series ends up being one of the finest displays of William Shatner's acting range, and an episode that meets the definition of what a Star Trek universe set story can be. Trek was meant to be a backdrop to good speculative story telling, but what a bonus for the viewers of the series- we got characters we loved, portrayed by actors with something oh-so-rare in filmed productions, be it television or the silver screen: perfect chemistry. Admittedly I can no recall ever seeing another story portraying male and female characters that swap their internal, natural genders our Captain, er, our Mister Shatner pulls it off with a verisimilitude equal to or surpassing his finest Trek moments (and to be fair and lauding, Sandra Smith as Dr. Janice Lester does a bang up job as Captain Kirk in, er, female clothing....). This final episode is clearly science fiction and reminds one of the initial season of ST- with moments here and there of pure involving meaningful sci-fi, the type that makes the hair on the neck stand up and the mind and heart wrap around the ideas coming from boffo writers of the ilk. As a student of the first school of Star Trek, in other words a person who saw it all first run (and in color!) I recall not so much being impacted that the episode could make one forget some of the "ugh" episodes of the third season ("Spock's Brain" and "And the Children Shall Lead") but that something super extraordinary was ending. But the story stuck with me and over time additional viewings have shown that it (and so many more episodes of that season) maintained the Star Trek patented ability to conjure, entertain and, if I may be so droll as to pay a minor homage- fascinate.
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