19 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Smart People (2008)
Smart movie, nice dialogue
19 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Smart People is the type of movie I enjoy, that is, a small movie with excellent dialogue and interpersonal relationships. Dennis Quaid has one of his best roles in years and Sarah Jessica Parker does her usual excellent job in this type of role.

Ellen Page as Vanessa, the Dennis Quaid character's daughter does a terrific job and is excellent with her cutting remarks on the situations that she and her family get into. Also Thomas Hayden Church does a great job in a role he was made for.

If you want a nice film about dysfunctional relationship I highly recommend this movie.

Just on a different note, the thought occurs that Dennis Quaid's ex-wife Meg Ryan and Sarah Jessica Parker's husband did a movie several years ago call "Addicted to Love."
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Excellent series but no series can capture the real drama that year
30 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I watched "Bronx is Burning" with great interest considering I was a huge fan of the 1977 Yankees. The book was excellent and the way Jonathan Mahler interwove the drama of the 1977 Yankees, politics and the Son of Sam killings was terrific.

Since it was an ESPN production this series focuses mainly on the 1977 Yankees and on the central characters on that team, Reggie Jackson, the egotistical right fielder of the Yankees, Billy Martin, the maniacal and self destructive manager and George Steinbrenner, the owner who also had a huge ego.

I thought John Turturro, Daniel Sunjata and Oliver Platt did excellent jobs as respectively Billy Martin, Reggie Jackson and George Steinbrenner. Turturro does an excellent job of conveying the tortured sole of Billy Martin. Sunjata also does a terrific job of handling the mannerisms of Reggie Jackson and what Reggie was all about.

I enjoy the way the series showed what was going on in New York in 1977 and the way they were able to switch back and forth between sports, politics and the scary atmosphere at that time because of "Son of Sam." Strangely enough while I thought they did a great job I think it is virtually impossible to understand the amazing drama that was the Yankees of the late 1970's. It was a soap opera and a baseball team rolled into one. A group of amazing talents and perhaps even more amazing egos.

In 1977 you wondered if the team would be more exciting on the field or off the field. Sometimes you would get both as shown by the near fight that Reggie Jackson almost had with Billy Martin in Fenway Park during that season. There were the incredible comebacks during the games, comebacks from relatively far behind in the standings, comebacks from trailing in the 9th inning in the last game to the Royals. The drama of the Jackson benching in the final game of that playoff series and Reggie redeeming himself with a clutch hit late that game.

There seemed to be a major controversy every day and you had to check out several newspapers to get the stories of what was going on with that year.

The ending that year of the 1977 Yankees and Reggie Jackson was so stunning that if it was a fictional story I would not have believed it because it was so corny! In possibly the greatest single game performance in baseball history Reggie Jackson hit 3 home runs on only 3 swings to win the World Series for the Yankees for the Yankees first title in 15 years. This was the signature game for Reggie and the game that people always think of when they think of "Mr. October" aka Reggie Jackson.

Strangely enough the following year may have been every bit as exciting if not more so. The 1978 Yankees wouldn't be a bad mini-series either.
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A Twist on the Legendary Tales of Camelot
8 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I have to admit that I've always been a huge fan of the tales of the Knights of Camelot and when I read the television listing about "The Last Defender of Camelot" I was anxiously awaiting watching it on television. To my surprise it exceeded my expectations! Warning-Possible spoilers.

The plot begins with a group of young thugs in London in 1986 attacking an apparently helpless older man. Well to the youth's astonishment, the so called helpless man overpowers all of them and demands that the one unharmed one takes him to the one who ordered the attack.

We soon learn that the old man is the great Sir Lancelot, still alive and well and the one who ordered Lancelot taken to her is none other than the so called "evil" witch Morgan Le Fay. Morgan Le Fay is here to warn Lance, as she calls him that Merlin has summoned Lancelot to Cornwall to revive him from his centuries old sleep.

The major twist here is that Merlin, normally written in books as a hero is revealed to be the villain in this episode and Morgan Le Fay, thought to be normally the villainess is a heroine.

I won't reveal the rest but I will reveal the ending narration: "Once upon a time there was a realm of myth and magic, a high bright dream that shimmered briefly and then was gone, leaving only memories and one ageless, weary, slightly tarnished hero, who proved at last that wisdom and valor go hand in hand - on Earth, in Camelot, and in the Twilight Zone." I have a DVD of this show and I still get chills when I hear that final narration. I believe this show and "Message from Charity" were the best two shows of this incarnation of the "Twilight Zone."
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Blue's Clues (1996–2007)
A Delightful Children's Show
29 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The first time I saw Blue's Clues was in 1997 with my daughter who was two at the time. A friend of mine raved about the show so I decided to tune in. After watching several shows I found it to be delightful and charming. Steve Burns was a great host for the show that was wonderful in the way it taught and entertained children. With the stuffed Blue my daughter had, the games and of course watching the show every day Steve and Blue almost seemed like members of our family! Several years later, on a personal note, on 9/12/01 (everyone knows what happened on 9/11/01)my two daughters had a doctor's check up to go to. Since we lived in the New York Area, we were all on edge, to understate things. As I took my children to the doctor's office, the office had Blue's Clues on, for some reason, watching Blue's Clues actually gave me and my children a sense of calm.

Less than a year later, we met Donovan Patton (aka Joe) at the Toys R Us on Broadway in Manhattan. My daughters always wanted to met Steve but while I couldn't do that I had to take them to at least meet the new host of Blue's Clues. Mr. Patton was charming and it was an experience my children will never forget.

I can truly say I love that show because it will always remind me of the times when my children were young.
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Sandra Bullock's signature role
24 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Warning--Possible spoilers.

The original Miss Congeniality was one of my favorite movies and clearly my favorite Sandra Bullock movie by far. I have been looking forward to a sequel to it for years.

The original was a wonderful film that was a romantic comedy, something that Miss Bullock is great at. I was wondering how they would handle the second film, after all it would be hard to have a romantic comedy with the same character again. The answer is that they switched it to a buddy flick, with Miss Bullock as Gracie Hart and Regina King as Sam Fuller as the mismatched partners.

When I heard about this I was skeptical of how entertaining this film would be. Turns out it is quite an entertaining film with excellent comedic acting by Sandra Bullock, Regina King, Heather Burns (Isn't she in every Sandra Bullock film?), William Shatner and Enrique Murciano as the over the top beauty and style specialist Jeff Foreman.

The core of the film is of course Sandra Bullock as the Gracie Hart character. I believe Gracie Hart is one of the true original characters in movie history. We all can identify with Gracie. She is a wonderful original and likable character that we all can identify with. Is that often the key to liking any movie, i.e. liking the main character and rooting for that character to overcome all and succeed in the end? Don't expect it to be similar to the first movie but expect to have an enjoyable time watching Miss Bullock as Gracie Hart. I for one hope they will have a third Miss Congeniality film.
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The Quality of the Show was Amazing
28 November 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Warning possible spoilers.

In watching "Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars" I was thinking that despite the excellent quality of the miniseries, it wasn't much above the great average level of the regular series. Farscape was a tremendous Sci-Fi series that was overshadowed by some of the Star Trek shows but usually surpassed them in quality.

The Peacekeeper Wars continues the saga of John Crichton, Aeryn Sun, Chiana and the rest of people on the living ship Moya as they go through their incredible adventures. When last we heard Crichton and the love of his life Aeryn Sun seemed to be destroyed by a weapon that turned them to dust. Obviously it did not.

The story tell of the war between the Hynerians and the Peacekeepers and how both sides want John Crichton because he has the knowledge to build the ultimate weapon. It seems like a typical Sci-Fi movie but Farscape is never typical. It always has twists and turns. It has always been a show driven by the characters, not just by the special effect, which are excellent I might add.

Farscape has always been a show that was tough to follow if you were not watching the previous shows but the mini-series explains the basic plot quickly. You don't have to be a fan of the show to enjoy this mini-series. Farscape was one the great television shows, not just a great Sci-Fi show. It was a fitting ending.
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Pipe Dream (2002)
A sweet romantic comedy-Warning-May be some spoilers
16 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I was switching channels late one night when I came around "Pipe Dream" with Mary-Louise Parker and Martin Donovan. The plot, frankly is just a little out of the ordinary. Donovan plays a plumber who poses as a director to meet woman and Parker plays the writer who script he steals to help make the movie. It's an good plot but what puts it into another level is the amazing chemistry between Mary-Louise Parker and Martin Donovan. They work so seamlessly together that I wondered if they had a relationship in real life!

It's a very sweet understated comedy with excellent performances by the leads. If you want to see these two in another comedy, watch the movie "Saved."
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Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Spider-Man 2 is great!
30 June 2004
One of the major reasons Spider-Man has been so beloved with his fans is that he is a regular guy first, a superhero second. He's a regular person with problems like any other human being, except for the fact that he has super powers.

When I used to read comic books when I was a child I could not identify with superheroes like Superman, who even with his supposed mild mannered secret identity of Clark Kent really didn't have any major problems and seemed to come out on top all the time. Enter Spider-Man and his true identity of Peter Parker. Peter was an ordinary guy and had problems we all could identify with. He's first Peter Parker and Spider-Man second. We could look at the depth of the character.

In Spider-Man 2 we understand what makes Peter tick. The development of the characters is first and foremost and the action sequences are secondary to the story, fabulous as they may be. Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and James Franco do an excellent job and Alfred Molina is terrific as Dr. Octopus.
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The Wayne Brady Show (2002–2004)
A terrific show that had a great, great host.
10 June 2004
The Wayne Brady Show was one of the best talk shows to ever appear on television. Wayne is one of those rare hosts that has exceptional talent and ability with the added fact that he actually listens to his guests and was extremely prepared for the show. If memory serves, I believe he won 2 daytime emmys as outstanding daytime talk show host. It was well deserved.

Yet despite the excellence of the show and of the host it was canceled after only a couple of seasons. I will miss the show. It was a pleasure to watch it.

I look forward to any endeavor that Wayne has in the future.
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Groundhog Day (1993)
Bill Murray's greatest movie and one of the greatest comedies, no, one of the great movies of all time.
17 November 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Two clues to tell if a movie is great is how often it is copied and how it has become a part of American slang. Groundhog Day has had both happen to it. Warning: POSSIBLE SPOILERS. Bill Murray played Phil Connors, a egocentric and grumpy weatherman in Pennsylvania who goes to Punxsutawny, Pa every year to see if the groundhog sees his shadow for the local television station with his producer, played by the wonderful Andie MacDowell, and his cameraman, played by a low keyed Chris Elliot.

Everything goes as Phil expects on the first day, except he is caught in a blizzard and has to stay the night. The next morning he awakes and it's Groundhog Day again! This pattern happens over and over again until he realizes he cannot escape Groundhog Day. In time Phil realizes the advantages of knowing what's going to happen before it happens and Murray takes full comic advantage of it.

However if this film was just that, it would be just a normal run of the mill comedy. Murray's character Phil learns and grows and becomes a better person during the course of the film and learns to love the town in which he felt he was trapped in. The chemistry with MacDowell's character of Rita is wonderful. It's a great film and to my mind the best comedy, no perhaps the best movie I have ever seen.
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All special effects, little character developement.
11 April 2003
Before I make a comment on Star Wars: Episode I, I'd like to state I loved the original Star Wars series, especially the first 2 in that series. This prequel is good for the special effects and the action but there is very little character development. It is a waste of some great actors like Samuel L. Jackson, Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman.

One major problem with any prequel is that you know the history of many of the characters and what will happen. There is less excitement. As the technology has improved to make the special effects better and better, George Lucas has come to have less emphasis on what makes a truly great movie, character development. We cannot love the characters in this movie as much as we loved the characters in the original Star Wars series because don't understand them as well. That being said, I will always look forward to a Star Wars movie because the anticipation of a potential great movie experience is always there.
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The Hot Chick (2002)
A guilty pleasure
8 April 2003
I enjoyed "The Hot Chick." What can I say, it is a guilty pleasure. When I went to see it I figure it may be amusing but I found myself laughing quite often during the movie. Rob Schneider was very good in the role of the female who ends up in the body of an older man. Anne Faris and Rachel McAdams are quite good in the supporting roles.
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Foul Play (1978)
Enjoyable Comedy. Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase at their best.
21 March 2003
I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Foul Play. It was Chevy Chase's first movie and in my opinion, to this day, his best. Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase have a wonderful chemistry today. The movie has a wonderful blend of comedy and mystery. Side note, Farrah Fawcett originally was offered the Goldie Hawn role.
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Quantum Leap (1989–1993)
Quantum Leap is one of the best shows in television history
5 March 2003
Quantum Leap is not your typical science fiction show. It is a great dramatic show that is well acted with great thought provoking plots. Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell have a great chemistry.

The show is about a scientist, Sam Beckett (played by Scott Bakula) who is the head of "Project Quantum Leap" which is a time travel experiment. The experiment goes haywire and Dr. Beckett is forced to travel from time to time within his own lifetime. The gimmick is that Dr. Beckett basically becomes the different person in that time, leaping into the body of a person to help either that person he leaps into or another person in that time. To set right what went wrong. Whenever he leaps into a new body, Sam always finds himself with partial amnesia. Stockwell as Al Calavicci is his holographic guide or helper but cannot be seen by anyone but Dr. Beckett.

If this sounds gimmicky, it is really not. It is an excuse to put the stars in shows of great drama and sometimes comedy. There was an episode in which Sam leaps into an African-American in the South during the 1960's I believe which is one the finest television shows I have ever seen. Another 3 part show in which Sam leaps 3 times to help the one woman from childhood to adulthood was magnificent.

The characters are not cartoony like so many shows today. You care about the characters and understand them. I have never seen a bad episode of the show. It is one of the finest shows in television history.
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The Paper Chase (1978–1986)
One of the greatest and most underrated television shows of all time.
7 February 2003
The television show "The Paper Chase" is one of the greatest television shows of all time. That seems like an incredible statement to say about a show that lasted about 2 seconds on commercial television but it was that good. It unfortunately never had a chance to continue because it was placed at the same time spot as one of the hottest shows on television at the time.

Amazingly enough, it got a second chance on the cable network Showtime years after it was cancelled! Because cable allowed the show greater freedom, I actually found the show to be superior to the commercial network version! The show centers around the great actor, John Houseman and James Stephens as the law professor Charles W. Kingsfield and his student James T. Hart but the ensemble cast was also excellent. Tom Fitzsimmons and James Keane were the main supporting characters but it also had major contributions in later years from excellent actors like Jane Kaszmarek, (Malcolm in the Middle) Penny Johnson (24 and The Larry Sanders Show)and Michael Tucci.

The show eventually ran its course on cable and ended with the graduation of the students, 8 years after the show started on commercial television! A show that should be rated with the greatest shows of all time but is largely forgotten today. Just superbly acted with great writing.
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Could have been better.
21 January 2003
"The Competition" stars two of the hot young actors (it was a while ago) at the time in Richard Dreyfuss and Amy Irving. The plot is very promising in that it shows the relationship between two piano virtuosos in a major piano competition. The music is enjoyable and the actors are likeable but you get the impression so much more could have been done. Some of the subplots could have been done away with. Overall the movie is okay if you catch it on television but it is not a great movie by any means.
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Anastasia (1997)
The Greatest Animated Film ever!
21 December 2002
Warning: Spoilers
I truly believe Anastasia is the Greatest Animated Film ever! The main characters have very enjoyable, with wonderful dialogue plus witty banter quite reminiscent of some the finest romantic movie comedies.

Warning: Possible spoilers. Let me start out by writing that Anastasia is a wonderful FILM, not just a wonderful animated film.

Forget about whether the movie is historically accurate. It is after all a fantasy but within this fantasy you can actually believe that it is feasible. This is a movie that I can see being played by a young Meg Ryan, a young John Cusack and of course Kelsey Grammar who does a superb job as Vladimir who is one of the two con artists in the movie along with Cusack's character Dimitri.

The plot is that the young Anastasia survived the attack on the Russian Royal family but was believed to been dead all these years. Her grandmother, the Dowager Empress Marie, played by the wonderful Angela Lansbury offers a huge reward for the return of her beloved granddaughter. Two con artists, Dimitri (voiced by John Cusack) and Vladimir (voiced by Kelsey Grammar) decided to hired a "fake" Anastasia to cheat the Dowager of her money. By coincidence they stumble upon the real Anastasia who is suffering from amnesia. They train her to pretend to be Anastasia not knowing she is the real Anastasia.

Anastasia is a very strong young woman who can fend for herself. Even though the movie is set in the past she is the epitome of the independent modern woman of today.

The strength of the movie in my opinion is the wonderful dialogue and banter between the characters. There are great subtle touches in the movie. The characters expressions during many scenes indicate the emotions of the individual characters at that moment in time. I found the characters to be very real considering the situation they are in. You don't find this very often in many movies, much less animated movies.

It's a beautiful looking movie but the dialogue and music is so good that I don't have to see the movie to enjoy it.

The voice cast is a who's who's of Hollywood with people like Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Kelsey Grammar, Christopher Lloyd, Angela Lansbury, Hank Azaria and even a young Kirsten Dunst. They work together almost flawlessly. You wonder how good a real life feature film would have made if the same cast was used. Obviously I do mean a younger Meg Ryan and John Cusack at the appropriate ages.

The singing talents are excellent with Liz Callaway (the singing voice of Anastasia) doing a superb job as she always does, Jonathan Dokuchitz (singing voice of Dimitri) also doing an excellent job. Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters and Lacey Chabert do a fine job. Kelsey Grammar is also surprisingly good in doing his own singing. The songs are wonderful with my personal favorite "Journey to the Past" but "Once Upon a December" is also superb.

It is not just a film for children but it is a film for all ages.
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A wonderful sweet movie that is great for children and adults.
10 June 2002
A wonderful sweet movie that is great for children and adults. Little Bear and his friends help his new friend "Cub" find his parents. Along the way they go through many adventures. My children and I love this movie.
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Enjoyable film with excellent performances by the leads, Catherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Maroney.
20 May 2002
Very enjoyable film with excellent performances by the leads, Catherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Maroney. At times the film can be downright chilling. The ending is very amusing and enjoyable. Robert Beltran, later of "Star Trek, Voyager" is the "official" star but he actually doesn't have that many lines. Fun film.
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