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James at 15 (1977)
Another NBC show doomed by ratings....
I was about the same age as "James" when this show started, so I enjoyed seeing someone else have issues like I was at that time.
I guess I always love the underdog, too. I watched a great deal of NBC's prime time shows during this time, as they were dead last in the ratings. I can't even count the number of programs that came and went in a short period of time. And when they tried something original, like "James" it got pulled down by the sinking shows around it. Now, granted, your average teen isn't in the desired demographic a network wants as they are all poor, but it might have gotten some of the older set to watch.
It's a shame that this one seems lost to the ages, and probably won't appear on some network like "TVLand"...but it would make a nice add to Netflix.
9 1/2 Ninjas! (1991)
Well...um...Beats watching Weather Channel, I guess...
Okay, we all know going into this one that it's going to be bad. Shame on anyone who thought they'd be getting a classic motion picture, here. This was what you'd call a "B" movie at it's best...or worst, depending on who you listen to.
Basic plot line? Who cares. We're all here to see what happens when the star, Amee Gray takes off something. This is the early 90's when, along with really awful hair, most of your female leads would lose clothing. And...along with the aforementioned bad hair, she does. She's pretty by 1991 standards, but the looks are lost when she delivers any line. The woman's acting is pretty much like watching a middle school cast do Mamet. It just ain't happening...
Now remember, this movie was done in those days before the internet. Your typical teenage boy had to find movies like this to look at semi-clad women, or pick up a men's magazine. I suspect someone had that idea when coming up with "9 1/2 Ninjas". Make a movie with some skin in it...toss in some action, and find a joke writer to add a laugh. Then, when the movie has it's theatrical run, put Gray on the cover of the VHS clamshell in as little as possible. Put the movie in your local "Lou's Movie Rental" place that's probably a gas station as well, where one can rent a movie like this, and viola! It'll make money.
The acting is pretty wooden and sophomoric. But, I have to admit I laughed at the scene where there's a Ninja attack, and the actors slip on some sort of spilled oil.
Having friends who have had parts in low budget films, I have a warm spot in my heart for a movie like this. They are a "starting point" for talent and production people. And, if you think about it, the B-movie seems to have largely disappeared due to much better technology allowing slicker and better looking productions.
Do I recommend this movie? Sure! It'll give you something to tell your friends the next day.. "Holy crap did I watch a pretty rotten movie...but the girl in it was kinda hot for 1991!" Put this in your Que for "Bad Movies I Will never Own Up to Watching, But it Had Some Redeeming Reasons to Watch"...
4 out of 10, and that's being really generous.
Pan Am (2011)
What ABC always did best....
Good old fashioned "escapist fun". That was ABC's forte back in the day. "Fantasy Island", "Love Boat"...shows like this took you away from your standard drama show. And in some ways "Pan Am" does just that.
No, there's no schlocky comedy or anything along those lines, but you go back to a day and age where flying was glamorous, and there was an air of 'excitement' in faraway places. I'm, just a little too young to recall travel like we see on the show, having been born in 1961... My first flight wasn't until the late 60's and by then jet travel was almost the norm than the exception...and then deregulation came along and flying was more a chore than an event to look forward to.
I agree with another poster who thinks the flight crew is a little young. The "jet boys" tended to be a little older. I recall when the pilots of the planes I flew were all old WWII pilots, all in their late 50's or so when I flew through the 1970's...
Aside from THAT, I have very little to grouse about.
Should this show have really great legs and last a while, it'll be interesting to see where we go as Pan Am's fortunes were at their peak in the 60's, but the decline began as the 70's arrived.
Good show. Good Job, ABC!
Another Excellent Effort.
Yes, it's a "Christian movie"...and yes, there's a "happy ending" and yes, there's a "message". So what?
In the 40 or so years I have been a regular movie goer, I've seen pretty much everything one can put into a film, from explosions to nudity to every possible combination of four letter words. And I am happy to say we didn't get any of it in this movie. So, if you yearn for a Hollywood blockbuster....pass on this one.
No, I'm no Pollyanna. I like some action and adventure. But I've gotten to where a movie with "less" is better to me in many ways. Yes, in full disclosure, I am proud to say I am a Christian. A Christian dad, too. I'm happy to report that this movie is what every father should see, be they "in the Faith" or not. It's nice to see a movie where there's a strong message of family unity. Even Disney movies have taken to trying to tell us that your average family is a broken one. That may be factual, but why can't we have some entertainment that focuses on people trying to be strong fathers? And that leads to strong mothers, and then stronger children. And in the end, a stronger community.
There's just enough humor to keep the movie moving along. It's not a short film by any means, so you do get your ticket price in viewing. There were a few scenes that might cause a jump or two, but they are part of setting the story. The movie is a nice surprise in a season of movies that will probably be forgotten a few weeks after viewing.
If you have a hard time hearing a lot about GOD and such, pass on this at the local Googleplex and wander into another film. I hope it makes you happy. But, I would gently suggest you try this movie out. Be you a man (or woman) of Faith or not. You just might be surprised. And, you just might wish to spend a little more time with your family.
The Best 80's Movie (N)Ever made!
I sat in this movie and from the second it's titles began to appear, I thought I was watching a movie from circa 1985. It reeks of 1980's styles. But not in a bad way.
A very unhurried movie to say the least. It moves at it's own pace.
The music is scored straight out of something like "To Live and Die in LA". It is used as significant parts of the movie. Perfectly, too.
My only small complaint is that the profanity in it seems to just be there for "effect" not as part of the story. Other parts of it earned it's rating and I'm no prude, I just thought Ron Pearlman's "F-bombs" we're not important. Again, I'm not complaining, it just seemed used to 'shock" and not as part of the story.
See it. Period.
Yacht Rock (2005)
Mockumentary At It's Sheer Best...
I stumbled onto this series while watching a Kenny Loggin's video on YouTube. It took just about 30 seconds of episode one before I knew I was hooked.
If you like music of this period (Late 70's to mid-80's) you are going to be in for a treat. This series is a favorite in many radio stations that play Adult Pop music, simply for the inside jokes. You'll never be able to look at Hall and Oates again w/o a smile after watching this series. Plus you see how Michael McDonald didn't like the band Toto, and the feud between The Eagles and Steely Dan. Brilliant writing...
The chronology of some of the songs and events are a little off...probably with good reason, but who cares, right? It all adds up to the hilarious ending with episode 12.
As I mentioned, there are just 12 episodes, and that's all you need. Any more and it might have worn out it's welcome. The production quality improves with every episode, and since it was a quality job from episode 1, it just gets better and better as you watch.
Episode 5 w/Michael Jackson, and 11 w/the "Footloose" storyline are probably the best.
2013 Update: I go back once a year or so and re watch the series. It really gets better with age. I found myself liking a couple of episodes I'd not been too thrilled with, back in 2010 when I wrote the original review.
Nice to see on DVD, but be careful!
I purchased a couple of episodes of the classic B & W version of "Dragnet" in a "Everything for a Buck" sort of store, not long ago. In one collection, the transfer from film to DVD was great. However, the other set, from a different company, left a good deal to be desired. The film quality was low, and to add insult to injury, they had edited music from the score, as well. I would wager that it was the signature, "Dahhh-da-DUM-DUM" that we all know "Dragnet" by.
Still was a great watch, however, and the stories are interesting. Just having the audio quality change, and small bits of dialoge get clipped by inserting a piano playing a couple of notes, is somewhat irritating.
Okay, I was never good with mythology. So you could have told me any version of a story, and I'd listen. My only other exposure to this tale was the Disney animated version, of the late 1990's. And THAT is flawed, too, as I have read.
Watched it with my eight and eleven year old daughters, who are also fans of the animated tale. Both of them seemed very interested in the story. They recognized Dalton, as Daddy is a big Bond fan, and Astin, from "Lord of The Rings". So we know they are paying attention. Neither asked "why is this different from the cartoon", so I'll assume they could follow the plot and it's difference from the Disney flick.
+++++Possible Spoilers+++++ Now, to the show, itself. It dragged in some parts, I admit. The SFX, at times looked really, really cheesy. Now, perhaps that was a desired effect, to "enhance" the mythology side of the story. Lele Sobieski was beautiful, and I can see Paul Telfer going on to bigger and "hunkier" roles. All the actors were well used.
The Hydra scene was a bit much for being shown BEFORE 9 pm Eastern time, and I was surprised at how graphic it was. I figured the networks saved the really heavy duty "death" for after most of the younger crowd is off to bed.
Final score: On a scale of 1 yawn being Excellent, and five yawns being "Glitter" rotten, I give "Hercules" one and a half yawns. I didn't hate myself for watching it, but won't catch it again, if it gets repeated.
And did I say Lele Sobieski is beautiful????
Born and Bred (2002)
A Nice Diversion...
"Born and Bred" will probably pass just under the radar of us American TV viewers, unless you are a regular watcher of your local PBS station. It's light hearted, gentle, and unhurried in it's message.
The Ciffs Notes version of the show: Small mythical English town doctor and his family are the central figures in "B&B". Throw in a large contingent of supporting cast members. Expect some minor trouble that plagues one of the cast to be settled in a happy way by the time the credits roll at the end. It's not "Masterpiece Theater", but then it doesn't pretend to be.
2005 Update: I have now had a chance to watch most, if not ALL of the series, as shown on my local PBS station. I have discovered, that there is ONE episode that does NOT have a happy ending, and that's the two part episode, "The Last Hurrah", that has the elder Dr. Gilder facing some issues with the death of a patient. And let me say, my vote for "Best Episode" would have to go to "A Very Ormston Christmas" Episode: #2.11. I have not laughed harder at any episode of this very happy series.
Perfect show for a rainy/cold/dismal day.
That Buzzing Sound You Hear....
Is the late disaster film director Irwin Allen spinning in his grave at 9000 r.p.m. I would have expected a disaster film of this magnitude (pardon the pun) to be so much more. In this age of great computer graphics and SFX, I was really unamused at some of the images we got.
There is a scene where a train falls into a large trench that an earthquake creates. the train couldn't have looked more like a Tyco toy train if it tried! Sheesh! I actually thought they had reused old footage from that wonderfull 70's TV show, "Super Train" for a moment!
The budget must have been spent on something other than good writing or SFX, as well. The scripting sounds like an 8th grade play. "The bridge has fallen!" Yawn.
Thank God for John Schneider. When he goes 'off roading" in an early scene, we get to hear the classic "Bo Duke" yell from "Dukes of Hazard". Plus, he gets off a great line right after that, "I miss doing that". But don't you just hope that his daughter bites it, soon? Some really good writing there...Fred Ward looks totally embarrassed by the fact he's there, and by the pain in the rear doctor for a son he is also cursed with. Beau Bridges isn't too bad, but then I like Beau Bridges....
Too bad old Mr. Allen isn't alive to do stuff like THIS, the way it was meant to be done.