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24 reviews in total 
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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Good Nostalgia Trip, 10 March 2004

There's plenty of truth hidden in the glitz of this CA origin story. Some series pilots can have terrible preview screenings, but then go onto great success as this one did. Other shows, without an influential producer, will be killed by mediocre or bad test screenings. The time was right in'76 for CA, and Spelling knew it. However, the world wasn't ready for reality shows then (with many classic comedy and drama shows still in their primes) and green lighting them then was unthinkable. The underlying theme of this movie is every series, and every idea for a series, has a certain time window when it can be launched successfully. As shown in the movie, one of the CA writers later created Cagney and Lacey. C & L probably could not have existed without CA paving the way for it.

As for the Angels themselves, Jaclyn Smith is portrayed as the shy, conservative young woman she was. She was the most demure of the bunch, but ironically Jaclyn became the biggest television star (of the 3) after CA ended. She was in a huge number of highly rated made-for-tv movies. Kate was the most ambitious, but the key to playing her is capturing that distinctive voice. When I recall the show, her voice is impossible to forget. Kate had no idea this would be a "jiggle" show, and it still broke barriers as an hour of television devoted to the weekly adventures of 3 smart women. That concept, for 1976, was revolutionary. Also, Kate came from the "The Rookies," another series that had pushed the envelope, although from a racial aspect. Farrah was raised as a very conservative Texas girl who always put her man, and his needs, first. She practically polled Lee daily to see if he was tolerating her stardom. As Lee self-righteously pointed out, he was making much more money per episode than his wife. Later, perhaps a year or two after the first season of CA had ended, Farrah realized that her upbringing taught her subservience to men, but life had more to offer than that. She became a successful dramatic actress. This movie is very accurate in its details and is well worth seeing.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Love The Parenting Approach Here, 30 June 2003

I love the parenting approach in Gilmore Girls. Young people, and people in general, respond best when their ideas and intellect are appreciated. This means the parent who listens, truly listens, to his/her child and interacts with him/her in a non-condescending way will not only have a friend, but will sustain the child's self-esteem on a daily basis. Also, this approach enables the child to hear something besides pressure to get good grades or achieve success in athletics. A young person can achieve self-esteem from talking to friends, but friends move on with their own college, job, families and responsibilities. That relationship with the mother/father will always be there and the best ones have plenty of honest and open (and even intellectual) communication. A child feels isolated if the parent treats the son/daughter brain as something much inferior (and less important) to an adult's brain. That sort of contempt is what really does a number on a child. Thankfully, the scriptwriters of Gilmore Girls realize all of this and have incorporated it into each episode of this marvelous show. Thank you again, Gilmore Girls, for being such a great show.

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Witty, Classy and Fun, 19 June 2003

Gilmore Girls celebrates all the agonies and joys of life. Alexis Bledell and Lauren Graham have a winning chemistry as actresses. Rory and Lorelai have great vocabularies that allow them to instantly articulate their reactions and feelings to anything, ranging from petty annoyances to profound love. I really love that this show treats teenagers as very intelligent, sensitive people who have growing pains, but try to rise above them with newfound maturity. One of the best episodes had a sub-plot wherein Rory's girlfriend Suky (an intellectual bookworm like herself) becomes a cheerleader and actually enjoys the experience (at least for awhile). Suky grows from the experience and her friendship with Rory became stronger and deeper. Now they are both more skeptical of labels and stereotypes. This is also one of the few shows on TV where intelligence and scholarly success are considered as facets of a complete personality rather than a personality defect. Three cheers to this excellent show that manages a sense of familial warmth, a pinch of grace and a whimsical sense of humor.

12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Superb Cast, Great Show, 9 June 2003

This is a fantastic show which always makes me laugh and giggle. Probably the best comedy ensemble on TV, and the humor is mostly aimed at adults. Blush, as a setting for the hijinx, is perfect and the office setting seems organic and realistic, as opposed to lumps of furniture. Contrast this with Suddenly Susan, where the office setting is ridiculous because noone seems to belong there. On Just Shoot Me, the characters are fleshed out from the beginning and their motives, personal and professional, are clear. Maya and Jack Gallo, the irrepressible Dennis Finch, Elliot and Nina all supply laughs constantly. There's lots of practical jokes and wicked schemes that sometimes (but not always) backfire. Maya is the most earnest (and an intellectual feminist), but she's also vulnerable and compassionate. She is the heart and soul of Blush, but also the butt of good-natured jokes. The other four (especially Dennis) are more self-centered and mischievous. All in all, this is a wonderful show that resonates, because it echoes (in an exaggerated way) the chemistry of co-workers in real life. In this respect, it resembles Taxi, another great show that relied on well-defined characters to make comical situations seem more natural.

177 out of 362 people found the following review useful:
Trendy, But not Entertaining, 9 June 2003

The concept of this show is that it's a horror/comedy hybrid. That presents a major problem because the show is never funny, and certainly isn't frightening. SMG's Buffy is less believable than Kristy Swanson (from the movie) as a vampire slayer. Swanson's Buffy reluctantly grew into the responsibility, and it was fun watching her progress. One should like the main character of a show, but The TV Buffy is so busy sounding hip and tough that I never care what happens to her.

Enthralling, 9 June 2003

This film starts slowly, but gradually gains momentum and emerges as a riveting docu-drama. Intense acting from the leads, and the entire cast, helps to lend gravity to the story. Claustrophobia is emphasized, perhaps more so than in any other previous submarine film. Kathryn Bigelow (the director) accomplished this by keeping the interior dimensions of the sub as they were in the actual Soviet fleet. By avoiding enlargements of the sets, they had to be resourceful in camera placement, and this leads to interesting camera angles throughout the film.

Overall, this is a wonderful film. Students of history, especially Russian history, should enjoy this immensely. Steer clear if Cold War politics and history bore you.

Dick (1999)
Whimsical Parody, 25 November 2002

This is a delightful film. Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams are charming and adorable as the clueless girls who naively help to topple a presidency. The polka-dot dresses they wear leave no doubt this story takes place in the more innocent, much less jaded decade of the 70's. My favorite scene is when the girls get their hands on a secret oval office tape. There's a new explanation, thanks to the girls, for the missing minutes on the infamous tape. Dan Hedaya as Nixon, and Saul Rubinek as Kissinger, are terrific and certainly evoke memories of that era. The movie also has fun with the Woodward and Bernstein characters to hilarious effect. The perversely funny thing about this movie is it almost seems plausible, and that's what makes the humor especially great. This is a laugh riot at times as it lampoons politicians who were gravely serious (to the point of pomposity) back in the 70's. Self-important people (like the famous journalists) also get taken down several notches. Dick drags in certain sections, but is a joyful and memorable satire of a very distinctive era.

Swordfish (2001)
Glossy, Yet Intense Action Yarn, 13 November 2002

There's a nice air of affluence surrounding Gabriel Shear and his entourage throughout this film. That Euro-chic style is enticing and makes this different than your average action film. Misdirection is the key theme of the picture, and it is Gabriel's modus operandi. The subtext of the film is, in this world plagued by single-minded terrorists, do we want someone as ruthless as Shear on our side? More to the point, is it absolutely vital (though we may deny it to ourselves) to have someone like Shear on our side? Travolta, Jackman and Berry are just fine here and seem comfortable in their roles. There are elements of "The Rock" and "Speed," but Sena has crafted his own unique picture, and it's quite good. Sena's DVD commentary is logical, demonstrates his knowledge of film, and explains precisely how and why scenes were framed and filmed as they were. He explains how a computer consultant spent a good deal of time on the set helping to achieve realism in that department. The worm was made into an image (instead of a set of numbers as it really is) solely to assist in story-telling and add punch to what is, after all, a visual medium.

There were two script-related items that bothered me a bit. Roberts' gullibility in taking a phone call in the middle of questioning Shear's

previous computer expert was one gaffe. The other was 3 or more guys rolled down a steep hillside, and yet none of them sprained ankles, or broke any bones after such a long, fast roll. Also, Sena himself acknowledges their clothes should have been dirtier. Despite these minor complaints, I really enjoyed the film, and give it 7.5 out of 10 stars.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Yada yada, 6 November 2002

I'm not one of those people who believes that if a director made one excellent movie, then all of his future films must also be considered pure genius. Wes Anderson is an example of this phenomenon. This movie, the Royal Tenenbaums, lacks depth and lacks soul. The characters, as others have said on this forum, are mere caricatures of real people. The children of Royal Tenenbaum seem to represent all the worst qualities of young people associated with the "slacker" generation. Selfishness, venality, hedonism, egomania, egocentrism and more are seen here in the younger cast members. By contrast, Royal Tenenbaum (who Anderson inexplicably calls the "villain" in his DVD commentary) comes across as a flawed, but friendly and down-to-earth guy. Gene Hackman makes this movie worth watching, but that's the only reason to watch. I'd watch him read from the phone booth and that might be an improvement over this movie. What could have made this better? Look at Rushmore, which is a true masterpiece of story-telling. There, the whole story is funny and intriguing because we see the Schwartzbaum character displaying his genius throughout his childhood and we believe he is gifted in some way. Sometimes his genius is manipulating people, but in an earnest way. He has a manic energy which is infectious, which contrasts sharply to the droopy slackers in Royal Tenenbaums. Supposedly, the children of Royal Tenenbaum are geniuses also, but that part of the character development (a crucial part) is given the yada yada treatment and I never accepted these children (now adults) as once possessing genius or charm or precocity. They just seem to be ciphers. Now the movie wants to make a statement that divorce takes a toll on children, but that would be a dramatic theme which seems beyond the scope of this comedic film. Also, as drama, it's not very convincing because, once again, we never learned to like Royal's children at any point during the story. Also, much of their suffering seems self-induced and part of a strategy to shift the blame (to their father) for personal failures so as to avoid taking responsibility for themselves. As always, Gene Hackman is excellent to watch as a craftsman, but he deserved a better movie than this. I wanted to love this movie just as I loved Rushmore. However, this one didn't make the grade. For Hackman's performance only, I give the Royal Tenenbaums 5 out of 10 stars.

The Others (2001)
Kidman's Best Work, 18 October 2002

I was very pleased by this movie. The cinematography is wonderful and helps to make the house seem more claustrophobic. The director captures an ethereal quality in the actors. The mysterious sounds and voices that disturb this family, led by Kidman, ultimately come from more than one source. Their deepening confusion, and struggle to maintain sanity, is what propels the plot. Obviously, this is the type of movie that demands to be seen and not spoiled by too many revelations here. I think Kidman is cast perfectly in this role. This is her best performance. In some respects, this is a story about seeking redemption. Can eternal love achieve forgiveness for a heinous sin? There are some interesting questions posed herein by the director. This movie has a wonderful cast, excellent acting and terrific cinematography. It is not a superficial or facile movie, although it might appear to be at first. The Others rewards a perceptive, attentive moviegoer with a great experience. Highly Recommended.

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