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The Tempest (1983)
Very Nicely Done
Contrary to one reviewer, I believe Mr. Shakespeare would have enjoyed this rendition of his play. Anyone can do a movie with lots of scenery and over acting. They can enhance it with computer generated imagery and sounds. However, it is a rare find of one who can film a play which is on a stage where Mr. Shakespeare intended it to be performed. William Woodman did a splendid job of making this a professional film as opposed to just putting on a play and video taping it. The staging and direction caused me to be able to sit back and imagine I was sitting with Mr. Shakespeare and, together, watching his play come to life on stage as he meant it to be.
Most Disappointing Americanization Of A Great Tale
Twenty minutes into the movie I knew I was not liking it. Forty minutes in it was assured with the entrance of Christian Slater's Will Scarlett.
I find it fascinating that when the English are cast into American roles in American films they are forced to speak with American accents. However, when an American film is made, set in twelfth century England, the American actors cast into the lead roles speak modern American English.
This is the first time I have watched a Robin Hood movie where I was actually rooting for the Sheriff of Nottingham over Robin Hood.
There was far too much white fabric, especially with regard to the wedding ensembles. White fabric was virtually nonexistent until late 18th century and then it was worn by high royalty as they were the only ones who could afford it.
For me, the only redemption for this movie came in the forms of Alan Rickman, Sean Connery and Geraldine McEwan who played their roles masterfully. Mr.Freeman was also very much his character. And then there were the occasional comedic antics of Michael McShane's Friar Tuck.
As I told the friend who encouraged me to watch this movie, my high opinion for the acting abilities of Mr. Costner and Mr. Slater plummeted drastically in watching Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves.
Stargate SG-1 (1997)
Jumped The Shark And Kept On Trying
In my opinion, Stargate SG1 began to "jump the shark" in season six with all the ascended stuff. Even the loss of a popular character and the incorporation of the more religious spin didn't stop TPTB from trudging on.
I really enjoyed the stories and characters in the first five seasons. Fighting the Goa'uld and helping with the Jaffa rebellion gave many great story lines and situations in which it seemed SG-1 would not survive.
After the mostly unwatchable season six, they regained Dr. Jackson and continued forward. Season Seven brought more of the intertwined character relationships that became the cement in the first five seasons.
Season eight I saw TPTB slip back onto that jet-ski and prepare, once again, to jump the ever present shark. The only thing in season eight that kept me glued was Jack O'Neill and his sense of humor. O'Neill's jocular machinations, especially with regard to his settling in as commander of the SGC, continued to offset the staggering plots.
Beginning in season nine, it appeared that TPTB decided to throw everything into the pot and see how it cooked up. It was the worst dish served at any temperature.
The main enemy from the first five seasons (the Goa'uld) were back with a foothold on Earth in the form of Ba'al taking the head seat in The Trust (new/old enemy). We were also introduced to the Ori, more false gods that Dr. Jackson inadvertently introduced to the galaxy. We also met the Lucian Alliance (new enemy) who decided to fill the gap the downfall of the system lords left behind.
With three enemies to battle and a pointless fifth person added to the lineup, there were just too many ingredients to provide with a good taste. Former allies who had a more major role in many episodes either disappeared altogether or were diminished to walk-on roles at best.
Seasons one through eight I recommend, however, don't waste your time on seasons nine and ten, unless all you want to do is ogle Claudia Black (the only reason I have had people tell me they watched SG-1 at all).
Zero Hour (2013)
Don't Think I Will Waste My Time
To start, I am not a fan of Anthony Edwards. I tried to over look him and focus on the story and the characters. However, Mr. Edwards caused his character to flat-line on me.
The storyline is plausible, but the actors and the manner in which it was deployed left me feeling betrayed by the production staff. There are too many holes to be plugged up and I don't think the show will be able to pull that off.
With the timeline, White Vincent was born, roughly around 1939 which present day would make him 74, however, they have a 52 year old actor playing the part.
The two kids seemed misplaced. In the beginning I believed they were just employees of Anthony Edwards' character. Then at another point I thought perhaps they were kids of the couple, or at least the girl was their daughter and dating the boy. I never did figure this out. Supposedly the four were very close, yet no real tears were shed even though the CC stated that one of them was crying. I thought the girl was and that is why Edwards was comforting her however, her eyes were bone dry.
The FBI agents were laughable. One was just a monkey in the wings. He looked stupid saying nothing while his partner played Lone Ranger. The female agent was a real piece of work. First, acting like she wants to help and then making it seem like the kidnap victim was a terrorist instead. She gets all angry because Edwards won't share information with her, but I wouldn't trust her either with the way she was behaving. My thoughts on her were "Dirty Cop".
The witchy fed has a ticket to sit across the aisle from Edwards who is going to Canada and then on the the Arctic to search for clues regarding his wife's whereabouts. How is it possible for her to be able to drop everything and do this and get that exact seat and be able to carry her weapon across the boarder without questions? The Arctic. Last time I heard it is very cold there and those who do go there for work and what not need to wear much protection from the cold. However, this Arctic isn't even as cold as NYC in the winter. Even the pilot was bare-skinned in the air and no problems. Usually when it is cold, people can "see their breath". Not in this Arctic.
Find actors with some depth and acting ability wouldn't hurt. Do some more research. Refine the story so that it isn't all over the place. Then return with something worth watching.
Men in Black 3 (2012)
Really sorry I spent the money to rent this movie on iTunes. It is fine that they didn't use a lot of the same people/aliens as used in the first two movies, but to alter the characters of the main characters just didn't seem real.
In Men In Black filmed in 1997, Agent K was still hung up on his girlfriend he had to leave behind when he joined MIB in 1962. However, in MIB3 when J jumps back to 1969, Agent K has completely forgotten his girlfriend and is hung up on a fellow agent who later becomes his boss. Also in the first movie, K had a taste for Elvis and the Beatles, in this one he all of a sudden prefers cowboy music.
Another oddity in this film is that J has a photo of Frank the pug hanging over his bed. This seems to be completely out of character for him.
The first two movies seemed to be more about getting rid of the bad element and preserving harmony between humans and aliens on Earth. This movie in past and present elements seemed to be more about kill as many aliens as you possibly can.
Historically speaking, in 1969 a black man would not have been high ranking in the US military with white men answering to him.
This will be one Men In Black I will not be adding to my collection.
Murdoch Mysteries (2008)
Quality Canadian Entertainment
If you are a strict history buff, this program isn't for you. However, if you can turn off that mechanism in your brain that upholds the strictness in history you may see the humor that has been set within the confines of this show set in the Victorian Era.
Detective Murdoch is a bit of Sherlock Holmes and a bit of 21st century crime scene tech melded together in an HG Wells/steampunk manner. The show looks at things and uses techniques that were perhaps in their gestation period during the time setting of the show.
One big issue with history I have with the show is their 21th century mannerisms when it comes to sex and sexuality. In one episode, the detective asked the victims mother if she knew her daughter was pregnant. In that time period it would have been handled more delicately and possibly phrased as "in the family way" or "with child". The mother's reaction was also more 21st century. She just replied that her daughter had no beaus. A mother would have become flustered and averred her daughter was a "good girl".
Another issue I have with the show is that the only intercepting storyline that moves from episode to episode is the sordid affair between the detective and the doctor. One instance, in one episode the detective is rotting liver to hatch larvae and no one knows but him. Everyone (including the pathologist) who comes into his office gasps at the stench and he states he is used to it. The very next episode he walks into the pathology lab where the doctor is working on a rotting corpse and the detective nearly faints from the smell.
I can turn off my history buff mechanism in my brain and prepare to be entertained. I just don't enjoy inconsistencies slipping into the story.
All-in-all the show is what it is, entertainment provided in a superb quality as only Canadian television can. Had this been put out by Hollywood, as was inquired about on the message boards, it would be far worse and not worth the time to watch.
The Green Berets (1968)
A Movie With Guts
To begin with I do not watch this movie because I am a John Wayne fan. I am not a fan of his work. However, I do enjoy some of his movies as they tend to have some guts to them and at times backbone.
This movie was big in the box office because John Wayne was the star. However, I feel that they should have enlisted a more age appropriate actor to play the role since Mr. Wayne was clearly too old for the part.
The Green Berets was made during the time of the Vietnam war not as an after thought to bring it's pain back after the conclusion. The sets were clearly American Hollywood and not location, but made for close-ups with very real resemblance.
The bits of humor added in at the beginning leave me to feel that they were inserted to help soften the blow of what was to come - the very real perils of war. However, like most war movies of the era, it cannot even compare with what actually happened in Vietnam.
It is my opinion that this movie was more to introduce the nation to a relatively new force unit of the United States Army. The Green Berets were established in 1952 and by this time they were well integrated into the Army as a whole and the current war. The Green Berets is much of a formal introduction of these brave men.
The deaths of some key characters (while some may believe them to be pointless) display in a tangible manner the pointless deaths that did occur during this war.
There is no real plot except American soldiers with special training going into the Vietnam war and what ensues. There are several smaller plots embedded such as the end plot of kidnapping the new leader of the Viet Cong. During this they utilized a civilian woman related to the Vietnamese colonel.
If you enjoy war movies, then you will perhaps enjoy this one. If you are a history buff who prefers historical accuracy, you should move on. If you are a fan of John Wayne, well you have already seen this movie many times. Overall, it is a good movie.
The Outer Limits: Stasis (2000)
One Of The Best Episodes
This has got to be one of the best episodes they have produced.
It kept me guessing right up until the end.
The plot and storyline are remarkable and got me to thinking about how things can be if population were to get so bad that we can't sustain all of humanity. The thought of being put into stasis for three days and then to be pretty much in solitude for the three days we are awake is frightening.
In this episode they show you the horrors of what can happen when the government tries to dictate how we live (or not live) and the pleasant surprise ending that occurs when humanity strikes back for their own survival.
The Outer Limits: Down to Earth (2000)
One Of The Worst I've Seen
I watched all episodes of the original program and am in process of watching all episodes of this one. This episode is by far, about the worst in all of them. To me it seems they are attempting (not succeeding) at dramady. Falls short.
The target of the quest seems to be making fun of those who believe in having had an alien encounter. Poorly done, very poorly done.
The plot is a good start and could have really made a great show. The acting was acceptable. This episode seemed to veer from what had been established as good to excellent quality into a try for a different genre altogether. There were too many plot twists and turns to lock the viewer in and allow them to evolve with the story to its climatic end.
When I watch or read something, I want to feel as if it has happened or could happen. This made me want to shut the program off.