Reviews written by registered user

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17 reviews in total 
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14 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
Abrasive people being horrible to each other., 19 June 2007

I must begin by stating that Peter Boyle is brilliant in this show. His acerbic delivery of lines is great, but it's not enough to carry this show. He's the only reason why I gave it 3 stars. Doris Roberts - a very talented actress - doesn't have much to work with here - her character is as unwatchable as the rest. The rest can & probably will - fade into oblivion.

The premise of this show is good, but the execution is painful. The same tired plot is dragged out anew in each episode with little variation. I've come to despise this show over the years & wonder why it's stayed on the air for as long as it has.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Best... show... ever!, 19 June 2007

The Simpson's changed TV for me forever. The amount of stuff they cram into each episode is mind-boggling, the writers must not sleep. Ever. I frequently have trouble remembering what happens in each episode because, beyond the fact that there are so many of them, the plot does tend to take sudden turns.

The guest appearances are good, I appreciate the care with which this honor is bestowed - you won't find any duds in this group. However, the show itself is what I tune in for - no guest yet has improved the quality of the show. That says something.

The frequent homages are brilliantly executed, the actors are amazingly talented, the writers must live on another plane of existence to be so creative & funny so consistently. Or they're insane. Hey, I'm not complaining, whatever it is - I'll take it. This is one of my favorite TV shows.

4 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
A great show that simply fizzled out, 19 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It was assumed that the unsolved mysteries that made the basis for this show would in time be resolved, or at least fully explained by the last season. No such luck.

The show was very entertaining, and legions of people were so hooked, they formed chat groups to discuss possible theories and explanations together. Perhaps Chris Carter should have poked his virtual head into some of these chatrooms - he might have found a viable ending.

But the unanswered questions remained unanswered, for the most part. The few explanations given were weak and unsatisfying. By the end, everyone I knew that liked the show was disillusioned & disgusted. I, myself, didn't even watch the final episode until about a month after its airdate. I just didn't care anymore, and I understood that it would not (& could not) contain the missing pieces of the puzzle I so wanted to see.

It was a good show, worth watching, but know going into it that you will not get any kind of resolution in the last episodes.

Gillian Anderson & David Duchovny had excellent chemistry together, and William B. Davis played an excellent villain, but the story just didn't hold up.

10 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
A looooong demise after a truly brilliant beginning, 19 June 2007

This show was an amazing, fresh & innovative idea in the 70's when it first aired. The first 7 or 8 years were brilliant, but things dropped off after that. By 1990, the show was not really funny anymore, and it's continued its decline further to the complete waste of time it is today.

It's truly disgraceful how far this show has fallen. The writing is painfully bad, the performances are almost as bad - if not for the mildly entertaining respite of the guest-hosts, this show probably wouldn't still be on the air. I find it so hard to believe that the same creator that hand-selected the original cast also chose the band of hacks that followed. How can one recognize such brilliance and then see fit to replace it with such mediocrity? I felt I must give 2 stars out of respect for the original cast that made this show such a huge success. As it is now, the show is just awful. I can't believe it's still on the air.

Charade (1963)
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Just brilliant!, 19 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is just brilliant. The dialog is funny & memorable, the plot twists are incredible, the mounting tension is delicious - just what you'd expect from Alfred Hitchcock, but somehow tempered in the capable hands of Hepburn & Grant so that it isn't a frenzied sort of tension.

You simply cannot go wrong by pairing Audrey Hepburn with Cary Grant. These are perhaps the two most charming, attractive & likable actors this world has EVER seen, or is likely to see again. The chemistry is palpable. The supporting cast was also remarkable. The child actor who played Jean-Louis was excellent (it's the only film he's ever done!), as were the actress who played his mother, and the stamp merchant. The 'gang of four' criminals that are after the stolen loot are fantastic - Walter Matthau, James Coburn, George Kennedy and Ned Glass portray their menacing characters beautifully. If you have not seen this film, you must make it your business to do so. Buy it, don't rent it - it's that good.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Everyone should see this at least once., 19 June 2007

I'm not the biggest fan of Quentin Tarantino, I find his dialog to be a bit tedious at times, but he did VERY well on this film. Some of the dialog & situations are a bit silly, and some of the dialog runs on for a little too long, but it's not so bad that it's distracting, and as I said, it's what one expects from Tarantino. It's still entertaining.

The most remarkable thing about this movie for me is the way the independent story lines converge & diverge effortlessly. THAT was brilliant. Unfortunately he's used this mechanism before, to lesser degrees, but it really worked so well this time.

The cast was nothing short of brilliant, really - I don't say this lightly. There are too many brilliant moments for me to try to isolate the brightest performance - even the supporting cast was brilliant. To remove or alter one performance would diminish the overall experience. It's incredibly rare in film that a cast of this size would be so consistently good.

You may not care for the at-times dark subject matter, you may not care for the fact that it doesn't have a pronounced point of story resolution at the end, you may not care for the excessive cursing, but you will enjoy this movie immensely.

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Delicious, 18 June 2007

OK, this film & story are a bit cheesy, as HP Lovecraft stories tend to be. The dramatic dread his stories are known for has become a very dated storytelling device, but this adaptation was nicely made, and by golly, Dean Stockwell makes it worth seeing.

There are a few predictable plot twists, with a decent performance by Sandra Dee. The nurse is played by Talia Shire - it's only her 2nd film, so it's not her greatest performance, but hey... and this was also notable as one of Ed Begley Sr.'s last films.

But Dean is truly the star. His creepy intensity is at once funny & intriguing, but completely memorable. The location was also memorable, but the sound staged sets were a bit weak.

There are horror films that have been made with MUCH larger budgets that are not even half as entertaining as this. You really must see this film.

Hannibal (2001)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Just awful., 18 June 2007

This book is one of my favorites. Thomas Harris generated palpable tension with his carefully chosen words, and it's so poorly translated to the screen, it made me want to cry. So much detail was left out in the interest of including as many action scenes as possible. Ridley Scott did this story a grave injustice. The very thing that made Silence of the Lambs a huge hit was the tension. This book had even more tension that Silence of the Lambs, which made me look forward to its release with great anticipation. I was SO disappointed. It was a butchered version of the book story without any redeeming qualities. The acting was... I don't want to say poor, but it was insufficient to overcome the terribly butchered script and ridiculous directing. Character development... on pre-existing characters, mind you, as this is a sequel film... was horribly inconsistent with the prior film.

Just read the book. Do NOT waste your time with the movie. I pray that someday it is remade by more competent filmmakers.

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Genius., 18 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was thinking about this film on my way in to work this morning and I realized I couldn't remember if it was made in the 40's or 50's. It's unusual that I can pinpoint these things, but I realized that Orson Welles' cool portrayal of Harry Lime is the reason why. Not cool as in hip, mind you, cool as in unperturbed. Selling placebo medicines on the black market to desperate people in post ww2 Vienna, Harry fakes his own death so that he may operate under the radar. He feels almost total indifference towards his victims, which is the surprise of this story. Most war stories of the day tell you very heavy-handedly who the bad guy is, but Harry Lime is a likable looking guy, who, despite his indifference, bears no malice towards anyone. Do we despise his callousness or succumb to his innate charm & moxie? It's unusual that a movie from this era will let you decide that for yourself, much less make it so that you must.

Beautifully played, fantastically composed & lit, and an amazing score. This film is one of my all-time favorites.

23 out of 41 people found the following review useful:
So horrible., 18 June 2007

Ugh. The other reviews note that this story is based on Noah Baumbach's own story of his parent's divorce. But if it's true, does that make him the plagiarizer or the potty-mouthed serial masturbator? It's hard to imagine anyone wanting to immortalize their family with these sloppily constructed, clichéd caricatures of the sort of people you might have found in Park Slope in the 80's. The parents exhibit a reprehensible lack of concern for their kids as they finally arrive at divorce. The mother character is not expanded much beyond showing that she bore her dissatisfaction with her husband by having numerous affairs times during the course of the marriage. The father character is shown as an insecure blow-hard, affected more by his wife's professional success than by her infidelities. The children are, essentially, little versions of their parents, and are emotionally victimized by each of the parents in their (supposed) struggle to cope with their divorce. They develop disturbing habits, which are ill-addressed by the parents who are too busy wallowing in their own miseries to effectively address their children's' unspoken cries for help.

This poor character development & over-abundance of unseemly airing of personal grievance make this film feel like a student film. A BAD student film.

On the up side, Park Slope was perfectly captured & portrayed, instantly recognizable. I don't know how a big a deal that is considering that it hasn't changed all that much since.

This film was a disappointment.

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