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Niko - Lentäjän poika (2008)
Good Animation - Questionable "Christmas" message
First off, the animation is beautiful. Very very well done. Possibly one of the best CG animation jobs on a Christmas Special ever! But I have to agree with some of the other American reviews on this board. Santa's reindeer are a bunch of womanizing pigs. One of them stops by and impregnates the star's (Niko's) mother. She never sees him again. Niko doesn't know which of the reindeer is his father, and when he finally meets up with the team, he asks if any of them met a lady on one of their flights...and they all proudly say yes and pretty much tell us that they all impregnate as many deer as possible.
So, Santa's reindeer like to have sex and not a relationship with a female.
Is that appropriate for a Christmas special? Not in the USA. It might be in other TV shows and movies...but come on...a Christmas special...and reindeer that are on Santa's team? Santa represents family and kids, and magic...all that's good...is this special from the creators of "Bad Santa"? At least that was a comedy.
For you Finns that are saying that Americans like to sugar coat stuff and aren't being realistic to the world...um...not all of us are from the trailer-park and make guest appearances on The Jerry Springer Show. I am a father and actually don't have one night stands and actually married the woman I fell in love with and had kids "after" we were married (novel concept eh?). Plus I actually want to have a relationship with my kids. Maybe men aren't that way in Finland, but there are a good portion of us that are good family men in the USA.
Even though the womanizing reindeer part of the story went over the head of my 4 year old, it's really not a message I want her to see at that age...let alone in a Christmas special.
I'd rather her grow up thinking men are good, and not all dead-beat-dad wanna-bees.
What's next? Showing a new take on the Little Drummer Boy and how he was sexually abused by a religious authority figure? That happens too, but not something I want to celebrate at Christmas time with my kids by having it forced into a story where it didn't need to be. I know...what about showing what really happened to the three "wise men" on their journey to Bethlehem? Maybe they stopped by a brothel? Perfect for the kids! Men do that all the time, so it's okay to show in a children's holiday special!
It's a shame this good animation and the voice talent was wasted on this story. A story that could just as easily been changed so that the father was just a "glory hound" or a "workaholic" or even like it's "his duty" (like a soldier that's off at war and can't visit his kids...which is happening now to kids all over). Something to think about.
Bionic Woman (2007)
I liked it
Apparently I'm one of the few that loved this show. I didn't have high expectations at all. But with each episode I began to love it more and more. And now it looks like it has become a victim of the writer's strike. And I found myself really upset that this show would not return. Then I came here and read all the reviews...mostly negative. I think the ratings were better then average from what I saw, but not a blockbuster. What can you do, but say good-bye. I will miss it.
I thought the "re-invention" of the show was good. I liked that was a little darker, and that we saw some of the struggles of her relationship with her sister and all this new responsibility being thrown on her. I like that there was some back story to her bionic origins that had yet to be discovered. The other characters seemed one-dimensional at first, but we were getting to know them, and they were becoming more likable.
Some of the story lines went a little over the top, but that's okay too. Nowhere near as silly as some of the original shows story lines (Big foot is really a robot guardian from outer space put at a base of a mountain to scare of visitors from finding their alien station on earth).
I like it and thought it was well written, well acted and looked good!
The Homemade Comedy Special (1984)
In the mid '80s, home video cameras were now affordable for most families. And there were a lot of people using them to make funny videos. The producers apparently placed ads around the country asking people to submit their funny homemade videos. They weren't looking for the type of thing you would see on American's Funniest Home Videos, which would be considered Homemade Bloopers. This show was looking for videos were somebody went out and shot something planned and intended to be funny. They ranged from commercial spoofs, music video spoofs, and all types of other goofy things including Attack of the 50 foot Shrunken Apple Headed Woman. Another one of my favorites was a guy who was depressed and decided to become a Brady and wanted to move into the Brady Bunch house with the family and searched for it, but to only find out it was a TV show. The skit was a guys faced superimposed over a series of drawings. Good stuff.
Very Funny And a Great Idea for a show
I believe this was the second and final installment of David Letterman's Film Festivals. Dave would gather up some celebs and give them a small budget to produce a film short, and then present it on this show. In this special, the two best films are from Chris Elliot, and from Michael J. Fox. The one from Johnathon Winters is disappointingly unfunny and looks like he grabbed a camera and headed down to a wax museum without any idea what he was going to do and made it up as he went (and it shows). I know Mr. Winters is known for his improv skills, but they didn't show here.
I just unearthed my old VHS recordings of both this special and the first one, and laughed all over again at the funnier moments. I burned them to DVD so I can keep them forever. After viewing it again, it made me long for the old NBC days of David Letterman & Chris Elliott. But this show was a great idea and fun to watch. I wish Dave would have continued it. But I guess the ratings weren't strong enough to justify it.
Naked Hollywood (1991)
Top notch series about how Hollywood works
This is a very well done television mini-documentary series. I enjoyed it when it was first broadcast on A&E back in the early 90s. I taped them all back then and recently watched the series again. Even though a lot of it holds up, its now a good look back about the movie world from the early 90s point of view. Sort of a time capsule if you will. I would think this series would be required viewing for any film student or film historian. I think it would be great to see an additional installment about the internet and how it's affected the marketing of the movie world.I wish it was officially released on DVD at some point. Maybe it has been, and I just don't know.