Reviews written by registered user
|32 reviews in total|
I tread lightly when I anticipated this new series of Upstairs Downstairs. I was delighted that it was a continuation and not a remake. When I saw Rose walking down Belgrave Square towards Eaton Place I didn't tear up like I thought I would, but instead I was swept over by a warm tenderness. The great Jean Marsh (co-creator and whom played Rose in the original) was indeed perfect casting. All in all, it was a warm-hearted quality production. I just thought it could and should have been longer. It was like a cherry on top to the original. It completes a set, so to speak. The whole time I was expecting to hear ghostly voices from the past, but maybe that's just me.
Aquarius is definitely an interesting curio piece. The sixties it is not, hairstyles are too modern. It has the feel of the rebel fervor of the 1960's, but that's about it. The writing is a hodgepodge of the speak of the 2010's. And Gethin Anthony (Game of Thrones) is a bad choice to play Manson. He doesn't sound like him, he doesn't look like him and that dialogue is hackneyed and stilted. David Duchovny puts a pall on the whole production, he ruins it. It could have been so much more. This may fool the kids, but for those of us who were there, no dice. This looks like something that won't be aired past this summer. What a shame for something that could have been so much better than it is.
Cathryn Damon, Loretta Swit and Paula Prentiss stand out in this all
female cast. This was a highly experimental film, had an obvious
feminist bent but stands up to modern day scrutiny. I was a 17 year old
closeted gay male at the time, but I was touched by the performances
then as now. These women are real, perhaps idealized and stereotypical
but they speak for women in general. The none too subtle feminist
narrative supposes that one of these women self aborted a child while
in her college sorority days.
I don't know what Los Angeles suburb this was filmed in, but the license plates on the cars seem to be yellow. The all for one march down Main Street is effective and warm hearted. Tina Louise seems to have drifted in from The Stepford Wives, her role is close to her role in that earlier film. Also Paula Prentiss was the same sort of gadabout free spirit here as she was in The Stepford Wives. I still watch it from time to time with reverence and love.
I never saw this when it came out in 1985, it seemed lame at the time. And now at long last it is every bit as lame as I thought it was. In the years since it's release I've read accounts of how funny this movie is. It is low budget crap that is one lame scene after another. John Cusack was a relatively new actor on the scene when he starred in this turkey. So I can understand how he took any role he could get in his salad years. The demure Diane Franklin was a favorite of mine at the time. She is seriously underused here. David Ogden Stiers and Kim Darby seem brain dead in this outlandish farce. This movie makes a case for why bad screenwriters exist.
I never watched Rich Man, Poor Man until right now, never got a chance to see it back in 1976. But it was worth the wait. And I definitely see why it was so award laden at the time. Especially refreshing was Susan Blakely as Julie Prescott. One thing I can say is that the female characters seemed to be woven from the same neurotic cloth. And everyone seems to have a jaundiced view of life, even Rudy Jordache. As written in the teleplay, it is heavy handed and can seem overly depressing at times. Ed Asner has a repetitively boorish role but is convincing as hardened by life patriarch Axel Jordache. Everyone involved seems to be too old for their roles, but what the heck, it's Peter Strauss, a young neophyte Nick Nolte, Talia Shire, Ed Asner, Robert Reed, Ray Milland, Kim Darby, and the great Dorothy McGuire. And a smarmy Bill Bixby. All in all, not bad.
Upon watching the first few scenes of the young Jennie, I could see that it had the usual flair and production of most BBC biopics. This was a first rate production of Lady Randolph Churchill. Lee Remick glows in the role, if being a bit too old for the role, she plays the young Jennie quite well. Ronald Pickup is just slightly older than his character Lord Randolph at first. But it made up to look far older than he should at the end. It skips over a lot of history, and moves quite rapidly, jumping 15 years from one scene to the other toward the end of Randolph's life. Seemingly, as played by Remick, Jennie was self-important and had few maternal feelings. As shown, she had a sense of duty, that speaks for her greatly. Rachel Kempson adds fine support as Duchess of Marlborough. The drama speeds up and gets infinitely more interesting after episode 4. This is a finely produced drama and holds up to the present day.
I was twelve years old when PLANET OF THE APES premiered on CBS television. And being 1974 it was a decent production, and it had the same flavor as the films, which 3 of them had played out on CBS the season before. So, by this time I was an avid POTA fan, and was happy to see it as a weekly series. I was not disappointed at all. it was a good (maybe not great) series. Roddy McDowall appears as Galen (similar to the films Cornelius.) Too bad it didn't last on TV. I do remember thinking that it was unfortunate that Roddy McDowall didn't play Cornelius, and Kim Hunter would have been great in the series if she had re-prised her role of Zira. And I'm sure Maurice Evans would have made a better Dr. Zaius.
The Children's Television Workshop production of The Electric Company was quite simply a class act. Designed for children aged 7-10, it definitely left an impression on me as a child, and now as an adult. It occurs to me I was indeed lucky to have grown up in the time that I did. I was 9, going on 10 when The Electric Company first aired. I saw it in class and was at once electrified. It was a witty, intelligent show. It also had a stellar cast comprised of Bill Cosby, Rita Moreno, Morgan Freeman, Judy Graubert, Skip Hinnant, Luis Avalos, Lee Chamberlin, Hattie Winston, not to mention the voices of Mel Brooks and Zero Mostel. Highly entertaining as it was, sadly it was cancelled in 1977 due to production costs. A new updated version was made in the 2000's, cute but can't hold a candle to the original.
I saw M*A*S*H with my mom when I was eight years old when it was first released in 1970. It was held over, when movie theaters would hold over films that made a lot of money. It was made for an estimated budget of 3.5 million dollars. It made 81 million in revenue, it was a big hit in those days. It was a milestone for Robert Altman, and put him on the map as a director. I was only eight but enjoyed the humor and the sexuality was more implied than graphic. Two years later when the series premiered on CBS, I readily tuned in to see how it compared to the film. It was a TV standards and practices marvel, in that CBS tried to get across the subversive point across as much as they could on a TV sitcom. Being a series of vignettes rather than a chronological film, it showed a new way to film movies. It was movie making genius then, and still holds up to scrutiny today.
I first saw "Peege" as a junior in high school in 1979 in my English class. It was one of those message film shorts made in the 1970's. But for me it was much more. Filled with the usual TV movie moments, but it also had a spirited performance by the superior Jeanette Nolan. I remember looking around the classroom seeing my classmates tear up quite a bit, guys too! This is a great film short that everybody should see at least once in their lifetime. TV regulars William Schallert (The Patty Duke Show)and Barbara Rush (Magnificent Obsession, Bigger Than Life) aptly play the upper middle class parents. Rounding out the cast is David Alan Bailey (Room 222, The Andy Griffith Show as younger brother Jerry, and (the perennialy overlooked) Bruce Davison as Greg. Davison shines here as the oldest son who fondly remembers the better times with his ebullient grandmother Peege. It is now on DVD!
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