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gordon-287

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9 reviews in total 
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19 out of 34 people found the following review useful:
Not very informative -- a waste of time, 28 November 2012
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This series relies on short snippets to describe major parts of history or even events. For example, the Crusades were characterized by the sack of Jerusalem. While not the high point of Christianity by any means, the producer intends the viewer to take one data point and extrapolate it to the whole movement. Its depiction falls way short of the true history of the Crusades and what caused them. "Mankind the Story of All of Us" needn't have gone to this trouble since its series on the Crusades accomplished the purpose of mis-characterization. It relies on the tired narrative of power-hungry popes and a greedy mercenary Christian knighthood. Of course, nothing was said about how expensive it was for the Christian participants to finance their way, nor of jihad that bred the Crusades in the first place.

This series is not very informative and a waste of time.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Not funny sitcom, 30 August 2012
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In late 1971, I was in LA and decided to try to get in to see a TV show being filmed. The studio said there were none, at the time, but they were looking for some folks to watch a preview of a sitcom and give their opinions, so I joined them. Turned out to be the first episode of The Don Rickles Show. There were 18 of us in a long, narrow room with a TV monitor at one end. We were addressed by number; I was "18". When it was over, the studio lady in charge asked each one individually what they thought. Everyone thought it was a good show. When she asked, "Number 18, what did you think?" I told her I didn't like it. She perked up at the thought of a different reaction, and she asked why. I said because it was supposed to be a comedy, but it wasn't funny at all. The plot centered around a 50-year-old man (Rickles) who got a draft notice to report for military service. (Recall the draft had not been abolished yet.) Everywhere he turned for help he could get none. This is not funny. Situations are funny because they contain a small element of truth that has been exaggerated. It went on the air, but was cancelled mid-way through the season. No surprise here.

Bombed because it was not funny, 17 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In late 1971, I was in LA and decided to try to get in to see a TV show being filmed. The studio said there were none at the time, but they were looking for some folks to watch a preview of a sit-com and give their opinions, so I joined them. Turned out to be the first episode of The Don Rickles Show. There were 18 of us in a long, narrow room with a TV monitor at one end. We were addressed by number; I was "18". When it was over, the studio lady in charge asked each one individually what they thought. Everyone thought it was a good show. When she asked, "Number 18, what did you think?" I told her I didn't like it. She perked up at the thought of a different reaction, and she asked why. I said because it was supposed to be a comedy, but it wasn't funny at all.

The plot centered around a 50-year-old man (Rickles) who got a draft notice to report for military service. (Recall the draft had not been abolished yet.) Everywhere he turned for help he could get none. This is not funny. Situations are funny because they contain a small element of truth that has been exaggerated. (E.g., the Don Knots skit in line at a bank.) How many times can you call someone "a hockey puck" and still get laughs?

I waited and watched for this show to air, and when it did, it bombed. If the lady had listened to me instead of the other 17, the studio would have saved itself some money.

5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Poor man's "Twelve O'Clock High", 17 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a poor man's "Twelve O'Clock High". Even some of the characters track: a pushy commanding officer with an idea and a leadership problem, an adjutant (only a woman this time to try to appeal to the female audience). There is even an attitude-changing event (getting wounded) during the last raid that tries to turn him into more of a likable human being. However, there was one statement he made during a briefing that turned out to be very accurate in real life. During one briefing on his idea of a 1,000 plane raid, the British were insisting on a night raid, the American Colonel Brandon said, "If the Germans couldn't bomb the British into submission, what makes us think we can do it to them?"

Kona Coast (1968)
6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Hokey, 25 August 2011

To the other reviewers here, I would add:

Cons: The dialog is contrived, the acting is poor, and the story is sophomoric. This all adds up to "hokey" as an apt description for this movie that must have escaped as opposed to being released. It's a miracle that Boone was even able to get Blondell and Miles to be in it. They must have needed to pay some bills.

There was one scene in which the goons hired by the bad guy beat him up next to a phone booth, and the police arrive not more than five seconds after he hits the ground! How's that for response by our boys in blue? What this adds up to is a hokey film, so save your time (and money if you thought of buying the DVD).

Pros: The scenery is nice. A lot has changed in the 40+ years since the filming of this movie, but those who have been to Kailua-Kona will recognize some of the views along Alii Drive.

0 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Very disappointing, 17 May 2011
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It is absolutely impossible to write a "spoiler" for this movie because it has no plot; it is just a series of unrelated events that happen to the children who are sent out by their mother to scour the countryside for their father who is late coming home from work one Christmas Eve, and that's the extent of it.

Consequently, after about 3/4 of the way through, you begin to wonder, "Where are we going with all this?" What passes for "heartwarming" is that they are struggling poor, and most people feel for poor folk; but you don't need to spend and hour and forty minutes to get that feeling; all one need do is watch the evening news just one night.

When I discussed it with a friend who watched it with me and I said that it has no plot, he said it was a "slice-of-life" story. I guess "slice-of-life" stories don't appeal to me.

A heartwarming family movie, 24 January 2011
10/10

I saw this movie when it showed in the theater. It has been 50 years since seeing it, so I don't remember much about it, but do remember it was a heartwarming family movie, and a DVD is finally available. It's about the adventures of two small kids: a Catholic boy and a Jewish girl who become friends. I do remember one poignant scene (non-spoiler) in which they decided to attend each other's religious services. As close as I can remember, it went something like this: When they walked into the girl's synagogue, the boy was confused about what was happening and didn't know he was supposed to wear a head covering. An old Jewish gentleman in panic grabbed a spare yarmulke and put it on him. The following Sunday, they attended the boy's parish Church. The girl was curious about the statue of the Blessed Virgin and remarked, "She's so beautiful." I highly recommend this film.

Zero Hour! (1957)
8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Not bad considering when it was made, 10 February 2007
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Having seen this on TV when I was a kid in the '50s, I guess I saw this and "Airplane!" in the correct order because I thought it was good even when I saw it later as an adult (allowing for the age of the movie). Dana Andrews' character had flown single-engine fighter aircraft in World War II. When the pilot and co-pilot of the passenger plane both passed out due to the food poisoning, the doctor had the stewardess ask the passengers if there was anyone on board who had flight experience to "help the pilot with the radio because the co-pilot had taken ill also." Of course this was a pretext so as not to panic the passengers because both pilots were out. What followed was the best scene in my opinion were the doctor told Dana Andrews that he had to fly the plane. He objected because he had only single-engine flight experience. The doctor told him he was the only one on board who stood a chance of landing the plane. I can still see the look of terror on Dana Andrews' face as he panned the instrument panel with all its gauges and dials.

Most of the commentaries here agree that "Airplane!" was a spoof of this movie. However, there was one other serious movie with this same plot, "Terror in the Sky" (1971) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067844 with Doug McClure who played an ex-helicopter pilot from the Vietnam War. Having a helicopter pilot (an ex- at that!) attempt to fly a multi-engine fixed-wing aircraft really stretches credibility more than a single-engine rated pilot.

4 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Watch "Rocky XXIII" instead, 17 November 2006
1/10

I was working in a first-run movie theater when we showed this. I thought the plot line was extremely weak then, and I still do. Julie Newmar plays a Swedish beauty in search of a father for her planned child. She wants to find someone with a lot of intelligence so her child will grow up to have both beauty and brains. She finds James Mason's character who is a professor, and not a bad looking one at that. Having settled on him as a potential father, she finds there is only one hitch: he is already married, and his wife, not being into the liberated Swedish lifestyle, will have nothing of her husband's being unfaithful. How they managed to squeeze 98 minutes out of this plot line still mystifies me. Another thing that is puzzling is why two top-rate actors, Mason and Hayward, would have touched this script with a 10-foot pole. Like good coffee grounds won't make good coffee out of bad water, good acting just can't salvage a bad plot. They must have had to pay some bills. If you are desperate for a movie to watch, I recommend "Rocky XXIII" instead.