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Warehouse 13: Endless (2014)
I have been around and watching TV from the 1950s "golden age" until now and one thing I have never been able to understand is why a network will take a well liked (or even loved) show and end it. There have been hundreds over the years, "Night Court", "M.A.S.H.", "Eureka", "Carol Burnett", the original "Star Trek" and "Warehouse 13" to name but a few. If the show is losing popularity and ratings I can understand it but they keep other shows on long past their time. It seems that there is often no rhyme or reason for how the run of a show is determined. In the 60s they canceled the original "Mission: Impossible" and "Hogan's Heroes" even though both were still popular and had high ratings. I sometimes get the feeling that some idiot on the board of directors just gets a burr under his saddle and cancels a show because he feels like it and wants to prove he is doing something.
The Muppets. (2015)
I used to love the Muppet Show and even own most of the episodes on DVD. After watching the new show I fully expect to experience an earthquake caused by Jim Henson spinning in his grave. If you want the fun, warmth and entertainment you got fro the original Muppets you won't find it here. Miss Piggy has always been a diva but she overdoes it here. Kermit is as useless as most of the members of Congress and none of the other characters step up to fill in the gaps. I don't mind them going after an adult audience but the characters are abrasive, unlikable and even hateful. I have already decided the new show is not for me.
A Ticket to Tomahawk (1950)
Fun but impossible
The main thrust of the story is that they use mules to drag a locomotive and a tender full of water across the desert. This would be impossible. The loco would weigh in at over 10 tons and the loaded tender at about 8 tons. The wheels would sink into the sand up to the axles and could not be towed. On top of that the front, pilot, wheels of the loco were not steerable nor was the wheels on the tender so they would not be able to pull the things straight, both would tend to veer off even if they could be moved. Still, the overall movie is fun and well worth watching. The musical numbers, and especially Dan Dailey, are very good.
Terror in a Texas Town (1958)
Easily one of the worst westerns I have ever been forced to watch. It starts out with clips from different parts of the movie, including most of the ending, and then settles down to tell the story (such as it is). First of all, though this is a town in Texas NOBODY carries or even seems to own a gun except for the bad guy. Then, this one man terrifies everyone except a Swedish ex-whaler who is basically a pacifist. Not only is the script lame but the acting is poor and unbelievable. Most of the actors seem to be just going through the motions. This is a grade D movie in my opinion. Watch it and make your own decision. I watched it because I had a friend who was an extra in the film.
The writers have never been on a train
As another reviewer noted, there are numerous braking mistakes in the train sequence. As he noted, air pressure is used to hold the brakes OFF, not on. When pressure in the line is lost the brakes set automatically. In addition the loco had dynamic braking built in, when the control is thrown to the brake positions (as it is when coming down long grades) the wheel motors become generators and this power is sent to resistors in the top of the loco. By doing this the generators are loaded and apply braking action. Another thing is---if none of the car brakes were set, then why was there sparks coming from ALL the train wheels? The story was a little far-fetched but the train sequence was a disaster.
The House in the Square (1951)
I saw this as a first run film and was impressed. both by the story (unusual for a teen age boy) and by how beautiful Ann Blyth was (not so unusual). It was, and is, a great film that not many people know about. The only thing that bothered me then, and also now when I watch the DVD, is why a man as brilliant as the professor didn't realize he was getting into trouble? He had plenty of warnings yet he continued doing things that almost anyone else would have realized that people of that time would regard as witchcraft or the work of the devil. Still, even with that defect, I think it is the best time travel film I have ever seen. Maybe not as flashy as some, but it leaves a deeper impression and a nicer memory.
Submarine Raider (1942)
Where to start
In an era when propaganda films were coming out of Hollywood in a rush there were many that were A class, some which were B class, and then there was this one. I won't even comment on the bone-headed decisions the the two ship captains make or the historical accuracy that was missing. Rarely have I seen such obvious special effects such as planes making almost 90 degree turns in flight and clearly light weight model planes landing on the Japanese carrier. This was poorly written and planned and must have been rushed into production with a budget of about $1.38. If you want a good WW2 sub movie watch almost any film but this one.
Disaster Movie (2008)
I have had root canal surgeries that were more fun. This mess makes "Plan 9 From Outer Space" (long considered the worst movie ever made) look like an Academy Award contender. The basic idea is good, make fun of all the disaster movies, but the actual movie is horrible. I get the feeling that the makers got high on something and just threw whatever came to mind into the script, figuring the audience would be too dumb to understand. These people should be banned from ever making another film and kept away from all movie cameras. I managed to sit through a total of 15 minutes and felt like I should wash my eyes and brain out with bleach to get rid of the memory. Terrible doesn't begin to describe it.
The Ghosts of Dickens' Past (1998)
Good but not accurate
As a movie this is highly entertaining. As a biographical account of how Dickens wrote "A Christmas Carol" it is very inaccurate. About the only things that are accurate is that Dickens wrote the story because he needed money, he was always fearful of being poor again and he walked the streets of London at night while he thought about the story. The settings are wonderful and make you feel like you are in the London of the 1840s, the costumes and acting are also very good and the overall story is worthwhile. This is not a "Christmas" story as such but a highly fictionalized look at how Dickens wrote his most famous book. Here he is supposedly led by a young girl whose last name is Crachit (and who might be a ghost) to learn about the hardships of the poor and to see how the drive to make money can be a curse. He also is led to a gravestone where he sees the name "Marley". All in all a good film, but not an accurate portrayal of how Dickens wrote the story.
It's Christmas, Carol! (2012)
Not bad, could be better
Another re-hash of Dickens' classic the has some interesting points but, as Don Adams used to say in the old "Get Smart" TV series, "Missed it by that much". I am a "Carol" lover and I own more than 20 versions so I can comment on this with a clear conscience. The idea of having Eve, Carol's old (and dead) boss take the place of Marley is understandable. The idea of her also taking the place of the three ghosts is less so. As in all the re-tellings of the story the protagonist, Carol, is Scrooge-like and pretty well hated by all the people who work for her. Again she sees the past, present and future but, unlike other tellings she doesn't gradually realize how nasty she is until the last moment and then she suddenly switches and is a nice person. This alone makes her transformation less than believable. Not a really bad movie, but it lacks the heart of several of the other versions. For the best see the Alastair Sim version with the George C. Scott and Patrick Stewart versions running a close second.