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The Beach Boys: It's OK (1976)
You can get this on DVD
Though Brian and Dennis' voices were already on the decline, 1976 was the last year the Beach Boys could really be called a fully cohesive band. This captures them on a comeback before their live show really declined. It is well made and plain fun. That Same Song sung with the Double Rock Baptist Church is a highlight, showing how much passion Brian had as a performer. This was also the last chance to see Dennis at his peak. He drums with real power, and his You Are So Beautiful is very heartfelt. He is together here. Anyhow you can get this at amazon.com UK and it will play on US players. It's now called Good Vibrations Tour.
Coward of the County (1981)
Good Kenny movie
Now obviously this is a vehicle for Kenny Rogers popularity at the time, but it is an honest one. As a person who admits to past mistakes, learns from them, and then passes on these lessons ,this comes close to his real personality. That he was able to do this on record, in interviews, and then on film, speaks to his considerable ability to get across his views on life to his audience.While I feel he never quite matched the creative daring on his own that he displayed in the First Edition, through 1983 everything he did was a success. This movie reflects why. The script had old fashioned conservative values that most of his fan base share, and thus could make a connection with. This is a family movie about rape, and that in itself is an accomplishment. There is much to enjoy in the movie, the characters are well developed, the actress playing Becky is a knockout, and there are many in jokes for Kenny's fans to catch. Watch for his mother in an amusing cameo and his brother Lelan is there too. Also notice in the first scene that he is singing the traditional version of "Love Lifted Me". As most fans know it was a modernized version of this track that launched his solo career in 1975, and this scene (and the fact the his characters sermon is based on it) is a nice homage to that. All in all if you like Kenny and or movies for the whole family Coward Of The County is for you.
Diff'rent Strokes: Rashomon II (1983)
The best episode.
I don't know if this is one of the most remembered episodes but for comedy it was best. Like All In The Family had, Diff'rent Strokeds took the serious story of Rashomon and made it into comedy gold. I think the appeal of doing this as a comedy is seeing how comically egotistical everyone's telling of the story is. I think the thing I remember most about this particular episode or the facial expressions. Arnold's blubbering lips, Willis' tears. Very funny stuff. It's sad that the show did so many of those dumb "special episodes" and didn't focus more on their cast's comedic talent and timing which is very much on display here. The show would JTS within a year due to the appearance of that annoying kid Sam, but this episode was a last hurrah before the Arnold character became too serious.
San ging chaat goo si (2004)
Against all Jackie usually stands for
I have a few good things. It is nicely filmed and the side kick got in a few funny lines. The rest of it, the swearing, the bloodshed, the cgi graphics. All of this is against what he always stood for. If this was the only Jackie Chan movie I had seen I would never watch another. I have seen almost all of his films, where are the morals here? Where are the life lessons. This movie left Me in a dark mood. Crime Story shows that Jackie can play a straight role, but why make a Chinese version of a Steven Segal movie. Hope he never tries this type of thing again. This has nothing to do with the other Police Stories, and should not be marketed this way. Every one of the Police Stories were progressively worse but the first three still hold up, and the initial one is near perfect. Yet even the clichéd feel good number four that perhaps went too far in the other direction of being too cuddly has so much more to offer. Jackie can do more roles suited for his age, tired of him using his once forbidden special effects to be who he was 20 years ago.
Sappy Bull Fighters (1959)
Glad some people like Joe
Not the Stooges best, but Joe is always funny. I am tired of ignorance against what he was trying to do. He wasn't trying to be gay, he was just a funny wimp. Such homophobic modern mentality really is horrible. He was a gentleman and person that made me always feel happy. Why does he have to be be dragged through the mud by people who don't really get the comedy of the day. Joe was a good fit in the Stooges and YES got hit, but to compare any third Stooge to each other is fruitless, all were funny in their own way and did their own thing. Glad some of you DO like Joe and the later films, the ones not too obviously aimed at children have a lot to offer. This one does at least put in a decent amount of new footage and Joe's version of the "I Can't See" gag is better suited to his character. Curly could do plenty Joe couldn't but it's just as true the Howard couldn't do everything Joe could either.
The Office (2005)
This is the best scripted show on TV since Seinfeld
First off no laugh track means no stupid cues to chortle. The drama is played with humor. Shows like Friends and Scrubs can be really funny, but they up the drama quotient too much at times making me feel blue after watching. The Office never does this. It stays funny even when saying something. These characters all look like real people. No $400 hairdos, or $3000 dresses for these folks. This makes any sex appeal very natural and real, not plastic in the least. The people are able to pretend to be casual and I am impressed on finding out that it is tightly scripted. Another thing I like is that these people have real feelings. Meaning they are nasty, kind, understanding, petty, and genuinely interesting. I mean they are comically exaggerated to a point, but these feel like real people. The depth these actors give the characters is incredible. Michael is someone we all have in us, thankfully most of us learn how to control ourselves better, at least publicly. NBC do not take this off the air.
Kenny Rogers: The Journey (2006)
Kenny's talent is here.
I think this DVD is good, but not great. First off, too much new stuff. One or two new songs is OK, but four is too many. Kenny's most creative period with the First Edition is here but not enough and Mickey Jones is the only one interviewed from the group. A promised video of Tell It All Brother was yanked for no good reason, the Ruby performance exists in full color and grainy black and white version is used, and half is a later solo performance. There is nothing from the First Edition's Rollin' TV show, and nothing from their classic Calico LP. A lot of people don't know about this seminal Rock group that was among the first to bridge the gap between country and pop well before the Eagles etc so this stuff is important to understanding Kenny's value as an artist. Thankfully the clip of them performing "She Even Woke Me Up" is included and it is superb. My last point of contention is how their aren't many different sources of material and nothing from Kenny's transitional stage in the mid 70's. Now to the good things. The songs are mostly complete and despite their being a few too many from the last 10 years (pun intended) they are overall well chosen. It makes a good point that Rogers was always willing to try new things artistically. This belies his undeserved staid image. It has a great clip of him with his early 60s jazz trio (albiet a 1990s reunion) and also another shows him playing stand-up bass with Willie Nelson. Lots of good things, even a short clip of Rogers pre beard(what is that from and why isn't more of it used?). I like that this is music based instead of another tired biography. All in all good but I wish it had cut out a couple of ballads in order to show off his full creative palate. His fine mid period country rock tunes like "Love Will Turn You Around" and Daytime Friends" deserve to resurface. Other song's such as "Laura", "Lena Lookie", and "That Crazy Feeling" also deserve new appraisal. Still the majority of what was used is good and it will impress those who give Kenny a chance.
This should have stuck to the life and death of George Reeves.
OK I love Superman and George Reeves was a big part of my growing up. I am 30 so I caught Superman on the re-runs. I want more people my age and younger to know who George Reeves was. He was a good actor and a decent human being. This movie basically shows that, but I think the film should have been about him only. Who cares a toss about a fictional detective? It would have been OK had they not gone so deep into Simo's personal life, or had him working an another concurrent case. You can figure out his moral character quite well in all the scenes where he is investigating Reeves. Reeves friendships with the Superman cast, his quiting smoking for kids sake, his charity work, all of this would have helped give the picture more of a well rounded balance. We needed to see a few more scenes of the fine acting and characterization of Kent-Superman, see how he developed the characters that made him famous. Afterall this is some peoples first and only impression of Reeves and the reasons he is beloved should have been further explored. On the plus side Ben does a good job and I am not a fan of him normally. Yes he could have spoken in a more authoritative tone but the mannerisms are perfect. The only scene I object too on Reeves is the one where he is dead drunk before a live show. This seems out of character for someone who took his role model status quite seriously. He has never been said to have let drinking interfere with his work. I must say though that that Reeves charm, kindness, happy go lucky attitude, his love of Spanish guitar, are all present. If Hollywoodland gets one more person to watch Superman than I am happy it was made.
Weekly World News (1996)
This was a great show
I really liked this show because frankly it was so weird. Like the newspaper it is obviously farce, but done with a straight face. Let's see we saw footage of bat boy who obviously was an infant with a rubber mask on em. There were many other things that I don't recall offhand but I will describe a really funny one. On one episode kids return home to visit Ma and Pa and find that they and the whole town are gone. The swings are still swinging on the swing set. The coffee is still being made and all the daughter can do is walk around the house going "maaaaaaa". It was really hysterical though it doesn't sound all the funny unless you had seen it. I was really mad that it was taken off so fast, but since nobody else seems to remember it, I will.
Fist of Fear, Touch of Death (1980)
Everyone's missing the point.
First off the movie is an obvious comedy that knows it is being funny. It IS a funny movie that is a comment on all the fake Bruce Lee movies being done at the time. The violence is comic to start with. Scenes like the eyeballs are played for laughs. Making Lee's voice fem was an obvious joke too, as was his "Samururi" background. The black and white footage IS Bruce as a child actor. Redubbed to be satirically biographical it cuts between the old film and the 70s B Samurai movie in a direct parody of "The Real Bruce Lee". The skits are meant to be funny as are the would be attackers. Their are some real martial arts in the film by excellent practitioners and the point of the whole movie is that you should be yourself. The message is use Bruce to inspire you but be your own self in martial arts and in acting. I liked this very much it's fun cheese that doesn't take itself seriously.