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Born, raised and still live in SF Bay Area.
Worked in Electronics Industry, Silicon Valley more than 20 years. Currently on disability. Looking to start internet based business someday when I find the right one.
Perfect Assassins (1998)
I don't think it deserves all the negative comments...
I don't think it deserves all the negative comments it has gotten, but that's just my opinion. If other reviewers didn't like it, they have the right to say so. So be it. It wasn't the best made-for-TV movie I've ever seen but it wasn't the worst either.
I did like it well enough to watch it when it came on CineMAX and I was entertained by it. This same sort of "conditioning" that was depicted in "Telefon" in 1977. I'm sure the concept has been used in a few other films as well. I watched it all the way through to see how they chose to end it and ended up enjoying the experience despite my disappointment.
My favorite part is when Lana shows Leo she can "handle herself" as she puts it. The reaction is subtle but unmistakable. I laughed out loud when I saw it. However, I was a bit disappointed at the ending but based on the time when it was made, I guess I should have expected it.
I wouldn't recommend this movie to younger kids as some of the content is a bit gruesome and I can see how it earned its TVMA rating. But as far as entertainment value goes, I liked it well enough to add it to my collection. I give it 5 out of 10.
Great Film of Dragnet Fans
Every time I see this movie, I find something else about it that makes me like it all the more. Whether its the cars, the attitudes, the clothes or just the story itself. I liked the cast from the very first time and recognized most of them from the TV series. Seeing again, now, was like getting visit from some old friends. It departed from the TV show in that you saw the crime committed up front and there was no epilogue of the outcome. But otherwise, it was classic Joe Friday. Just the facts. Not a lot of superfluous rhetoric or endless scenes of police tailing bad guys. Lots of voice over with details like time of day, location, etc. Simple interrogation from Friday with smart-mouth answers from the bad guys and the snappy, emotional responses from Joe. It kind of gets you, right where you live, you know? Don't miss this one. You won't be sorry.
The Presidio (1988)
Connery, Harmon, Ryan... What's not to like?
This movie has four of my favorite stars in it. Sean Connery, Mark Harmon, Meg Ryan and... San Francisco! At first, there is the obligatory friction between the Connery and Harmon characters. In the end, it takes a murder and Meg Ryan to get them working together.
None of the main characters are really outstanding, but taken together, they make this film work. The whole is better than the sum of it's parts, especially when the direction of Hyams and the score of Broughton are added to the mix.
Insofar as the ending is concerned, I suppose it could have been handled differently, but this was the eighties and having the Jack Warden character end up the way he did is a sign of the times.
The actors perform well without overdoing it, the background is beautiful without stealing the scenes and the music is moving without being overwhelming. Overall, an enjoyable film I watch often.
Received ** in my local ratings. I give it ***
Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)
The Very Best Movie I've Seen in a Very Long Time!
(I'm fairly new at writing reviews on IMDb and I'm not certain exactly what a "spoiler" is by IMDb definition, so their may be one or more spoilers herein. For this I apologize.)
This movie is an accurate and stirring reminder of a turbulent time in the history of America. World War II had been over for less than 10 years, the so-called "truce talks" in Korea were in their second year with no end in sight and a nation America had supported as an ally in WWII turned out to be a sneaky and dastardly enemy. The film is done in black and white to not only take advantage of archival footage of the time, but also to transport the viewer into the world of network news in 1953 America, which it does admirably.
Senator Joseph Raymond McCarthy (Tail-Gunner Joe) began his anti-communist campaign in 1950 with vague and groundless charges that the U.S. State Department was "infested" with communists. Those charges were summarily dismissed, but that didn't stop him. Over the following years, he used accusations (mostly unsupported), innuendo and outright slander to tarnish the reputations of those he considered communist and therefore enemies of America. People were afraid to speak out against him, as he would use their opposition to infer that they were communist sympathizers, or "Pinkos." But not Ed Murrow and his boss, Fred Friendly of the CBS news department.
That's where this movie picks up. Murrow confronting McCarthy, unafraid (or so it seemed to his viewers) and with the full support (apparently) of his network, CBS.
And here also is where this movie excels, picking up on the undertones of the man (Murrow) the whole news team and the network in the person of President William Paley. Murrow's inner conflicts when it came to going to Paley's office or dealing with the death of his friend. We can only imagine what his home life was like.
One of the things that struck me was the way the actors were presented. The makeup was subtle; it took me quite a while to make out that Murrow was portrayed by David Strathairn. I had to hear his voice to make the connection and even then, I found it hard to believe that the man I saw on the screen was NOT the real Ed Murrow. The same holds true for George Clooney. I suppose it was the authenticity of the clothing, harsh reality of the black and white filming and the fact that nearly EVERYONE was smoking... heavily. I could almost smell it.
Performance wise, David Strathairn gave a powerful yet subdued rendition of a historical figure, a man known and respected in most of the free world to this day. The feeling of roiling emotions under his facade of cool control gave the impression that this was not a man to mess with, even though he was slight of build and did not carry himself in any sort of confrontational manner. I cannot think of any actor more suited to the role. Watching him delivering Murrow's broadcast gave me shivers it was so powerful to see.
I won't waste time or space naming the other performers except to say that they helped to make the scenario believable and thereby add to the feeling of being transported to 1953 and watching history unfold. Congratulations to all and especially to George Clooney. It will be a crying shame if this film doesn't win at least 4 Oscars for best actor, best supporting actor, best director and best cinematography.
I strongly recommend this movie to everyone born before 1950 as a reminder of the times we lived through and to those of later generations as a lesson in history, one that can be applied to the world today.
10 out of 10 ("Excellent" is too tame for this film. I think it rates a more powerful adjective like "Outstanding" or "Superior")
Not too bad...
This film, admittedly, is not the best of the genre but it is entertaining if you set aside the obvious parallels to films that came before. In fact, the script intentionally incorporates previous films by references from Dodge and Piper. The one at the end was hilarious!
It could have been better in a few places and it certainly could have been worse. Better: have a little more animated performance from Baldwin, perhaps a little less gore and sadistic behavior by the Cubans and a bit more believability in the fire-fights.
Kudos to Mr. Hooks for keeping it from becoming worse! My wife and I enjoyed watching this film and would recommend it to any free-thinking adults looking for a fairly good film to watch after the kids are in bed. Don't forget the popcorn.
Hollywood Homicide (2003)
Why is it people have to be so critical...
Why do people have to be so critical? Sure, this movie is no academy award candidate and may instead be a prime razzie award choice. But why is that cause for anyone to cut into it just because maybe "they" didn't get the point? It isn't!
The older, big name actors really show their age... Harrison Ford in particular. It really shows when we see him running. And Frank Sinatra Jr.! I hardly recognized him! But they weren't supposed to be their original selves... even big name stars age. I thought the fact of their againg was handled well.
This movie is poignant in places, it has some brief dramatic moments, has some passable action sets and is moderately funny throughout. It will need to toned down language-wise before it can be released for broadcast TV and a few of the steamier scenes will probably be cut, but it should draw a TV-14 rating.
The overall plot is reminiscent of those aimed at younger audiences where there is an obviously malevolent bad guy and unlikely heroes must save the day. The bad guys don't gloat and make threats of world domination, but they do hire killers and carry guns themselves. I did think the interaction between the Internal Affairs guy and his "minions" was a bit hokey though.
Bottom line here is that if you didn't like the movie that much, just write it off. Don't jump all over it like it was some virus or something. Okay? Personally, I would recommend it for anyone who enjoys comedic banter, overdone chase scenes, neat stunts and a fairly simple plot, by today's standards.
Great realism for it's day.
Loosely based on the exploits of Red Adair, Hellfighters is a perfect vehicle for John Wayne. The characterizations are a bit overstated, but this was standard for the era, so I allow for that. And who could have picked a more appropriate love interest for the Duke than Vera Miles as a San Francisco Department Store heiress.
I thought Jim Hutton and Katherine Ross made a good offsetting couple to JW & VM and Bruce Cabot, a long-time associate of Wayne's, an excellent comic element.
I think the thing that sold it for me was the reality of the fire scenes which I just marveled at until I saw that Red Adair was a technical adviser on the film. That and the knowledge that Wayne was all for reality as much as possible really made me a watch it anytime fan of this picture.
If one takes into account the decade in which the picture was made, it can be and is, for me at least, a very enjoyable film. I highly recommend it!
The Enemy Below (1957)
One of the best submarine warfare pictures ever, bar none!
The cast aside, The Enemy Below is just about the best example of film making I've seen. I am not now nor have I ever been in military service so my comments are not first hand. But this picture is from my point of view one of the best ever about submarines and anti-submarine warfare. Add in superb performances by Robert Mitchum, Curd Jurgens, David Hedison and Theodore Bikel as the the Captains and Executive officers of the two ships locked in mortal combat and in my opinion, you have one of the best submarine warfare pictures of all time, bar none.
A number of users have commented about and compared this movie with "Das Boot" a movie I have never seen and probably never will see. I can only compare it with those submarine movies I have seen, most of which have been from the sole point of view of the submarine crew.
"Torpedo Run" with Glen Ford and Ernest Borgnine. This film, to me, was over dramatized but fairly faithful to fact. The maneuvers seemed realistic and the crew's actions felt real, down to the use of the Momsen Lungs to escape the doomed sub. Using "The Enemy Below" as the standard of 10, I give "Torpedo Run" a score of 7.
"Run Silent, Run Deep" was adapted from the novel by retired US Navy Commander Edward L. Beach, a former submarine commander during WWII. The characterizations by Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster were a bit too strong, but were tempered by the realism of the action shots, crew actions and the boat's maneuvers. I give this one a score of 8.
"Destination Tokyo" with Cary Grant and John Garfield is a kind of light-hearted interpretation, but surprisingly realistic for the time it was made; during WWII. Sonar was so new, it was never mentioned by that name. The "Sound Man" was the custodian of the gear and when it was shown, all we saw was a simple oscilloscope. The nature of the mission, to sneak into Tokyo harbor and gather data for the Doolittle raid was a bit far-fetched, and the timing in the film did not match historical facts. The Doolittle raid occurred in 1942, but the submarine was supposedly departing around Christmas after several war patrols, each lasting several months. The acting was good and the rest of the production was exemplary for the time. I give this one a score of 7.
"Operation Pacific" with John Wayne and Patricia Neal. A good old fashioned John Wayne war movie, but with some very good representations of submarine operations and the real problems submarines were experiencing during the early war years with torpedo malfunctions. It seemed a little far-fetched that such a seemingly technical problem would be left to the crew of a submarine to resolve, but some research dispelled this misgiving for me. It was a common practice during WWII to get the actual combat soldiers and sailors involved with solving major problems. I give this one a 7.
Most recently were "The Hunt for Red October" and "Crimson Tide" two excellent action flicks which, to me, were very low on the reality scale. The same holds true for "K-19: The Widowmaker". At best, I can only give these films a score of 5.
Lastly, there is "U-571" a film which has a gritty realism to it, but goes too far afield in trying to accentuate the action. I find it impossible to believe a man could hide on a U-Boat or that un-trained US submariners could effectively operate a U-Boat, especially in the manner represented in this film. I give this film a score of 4.
Submarine pictures are a lot of fun to watch and in my opinion, "The Enemy Below" is the most fun of them all. I already have all these films on VHS or DVD. I will be among the first in line to buy "The Enemy Below" when it is released on DVD in Widescreen format.
A Few Good Men (1992)
Gripping, star-studded courtroom drama. Excellent!
I saw the play at the Curran Theater in San Francisco. Michael O'Keefe was superb as Danny and Paul Winfield was the judge. I remember anxiously awaiting release of the movie and I was NOT disappointed!
At first I thought the idea of Tom Cruise in the lead role was a mistake, but he made it work admirably. Sparks flew between Cruise, Moore and Pollack on the defense and of course, Nicholson was a force to be reckoned with. Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland, J.T. Walsh and J.A. Preston as the judge all served to cement the cast into a cohesive unit that meshed like a well-oiled machine.
Some of the smarmy garbage uttered by Nicholson is quite corny and is part of the comic appeal of the picture. His condescending manner and demand for "some f***ing courtesy" would have been laughable if they hadn't been so regrettably true-to-life. Danny's running exchanges with Luther at the news stand and his flippant exchanges with Jo and his Commanding Officer definitely bring lightness to the seriousness. Best of all the running jokes about Danny's bat, his record as a litigator and his "set of steak knives" were the safety valves that kept the heavy parts from dragging the plot down.
Make no mistake; this was a serious situation handled in a mature manner by the writer, the cast and the entire crew. The bits of humor injected only served to make it all the more entertaining.
In the end, Lt. Daniel Alistair Kaffee won his set steak knives.