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It was a hard knock life to view this movie
I guess if you are a child and do not know any better then this movie may, for some odd reason, be entertaining. But if you have any wits, above a teenager, then you know this movie will be on DVD at some discount store barrel in the near future.
The story of Annie, which is known to most, is that an orphan that is stuck living with a care-taker that is more interested in money than the welfare of the kids. And soon the girl finds happiness through riches while impressing a well-to-do bachelor. It is a classic fairy tale.
In this 2014 tale, the child (Quvenzhané Wallis) meets a man (Jamie Foxx) that is running for mayor of New York and has a image problem. When Annie shows up on the scene, the ratings of Foxx goes up so he keeps her around his rich lifestyle. And all along the way we have a song and dance show that is revved up with the energy of a 'Red Bull' drink with a side order of espresso. But it was the songs and dance routine that made this show depressing.
Between Jamie Foxx 'spit-takes' and the almost continuous glued-on smile of Quvenzhané Wallis, the staged songs were more of a choreographed induced tantrum that a musical number. And when they did the song while in the helicopter, it just became sad to the ninth degree.
Here is a good way to judge most musicals. When leaving the theater you still have one or two songs that you cannot get out of your head. The message that I had in my head was 'Tomorrow'. But it was not the song, it was that tomorrow I will never have to think of this movie again.
The Rifleman: The Retired Gun (1959)
We learn from any western- a gunfighter can never retire.
In this episode we get a classic western tale of a gunfighter that wants to change his ways and settle down for a life away from guns. But as most all stories with the same theme, there is really no way for the gunfighter to suddenly changes his spots without coming to face with his past.
Wes Carney is the gunfighter that has meet a young beautiful girl named Clair. Wes marries the young girl with the understanding that his gunfighting days are over. It just so happens that Clair use to be the best friend of Lucas's wife and she comes into North Fork to seek advise from Lucas.
They decide to buy a feed and grain store and just melt back into society. That is all very good until an old adversary, Owny Kincaid, finds out that Wes is living in North Fork. In no time, Owny has four other foes of Wes just waiting to take the former fighter down. It will be up to Micah and Lucas to help the town get rid of the killers on the streets.
Since this plot has been played out so many times in nearly all western shows, it was nearly obvious what was going to transpire early in the episode. This left little to the imagination for the viewer as they await the anticipated climax to beginning. Nothing really wrong with the script but it was just to routine.
I will agree with another reviewer that the gunfight scene was poorly fashioned. You have five villains, at close range, shooting at three citizens and the most the citizens received was a mild wound. With bullets flying, they could not even inflict injury on Micah that was standing like a large piece of plywood on the streets and less than ten feet away. Oh well, it is all part of the TV magic we all accept when watching any series. -- Even with little suspense, this was still above average watch.
The Rifleman: The Sheridan Story (1959)
Royal Dano gives a nice acting job in this episode.
In this sentimental Civil War story, a wounded confederate veteran, Frank Blandon (Royal Dano,) arrives at the McCain ranch seeking water. Lucas, having served in the Union army, feels remorse for the wounded man and even gives him a job around the ranch doing some odd jobs. Mark on the other hand is repulsed by Blandon's actions and even is horrified by the wound he has received. Mark wants no where near the injured ex-vet.
It just so happens that General William Sheridan, from the Union army, is making an inspection tour in the area. His party rides near the McCain's ranch and Lucas invited them to stay for the evening. This however, is going to cause trouble for Blandon. With some Union officers right outside the barn, Blandon thinks about revenge for the wound that was inflicted and the pain suffered. But more will come out of this meeting when the General and Blandon have more in common that thought.
Royal Dano, who is a regular in western roles, does a nice job of making the story feel personal for the viewer. His acting only enhanced the episode and made for a much better watch. Even though the story had a rather 'fairy tale' ending, it still made for an entertaining show. There is much the viewer has to take for face value but the moral of the story comes though loud and clear. Another good show.
The Rifleman: The Pet (1959)
Johnny Crawford puts on a excellent acting job in this show.
At the beginning of this episode, a sinister gunman named Ward Haskins guns down a worried drifter in the streets of North Fork. Lucas carries the drifter over to Doc Burrage's office but it was too late to save the small frame man. The only possession the man has is a horse that Mark takes a liking and ask his Pa if he can take care of the horse.
Later Haskins shows up at the Lucas ranch causing trouble. It seems that he was after a piece of paper the drifter was suppose to have on his person. Lucas knows nothing of the paper and sends the man off after a small fight. But before Haskins' leaves the horse, that belong to the drifter, bites Haskins on the hand.
The following day, Lucas goes into town while Mark stays at the ranch to take care of the horse that appears weak. In town, Lucas hears about an anthrax epidemic that is spreading in animals and is deadly if obtained by humans. Lucas knows that the horse may have the disease and rides back to warn Mark. But it is too late, the horse has already scratched Mark and the virus is spreading. But to make matters even worse, Haskins shows up at the ranch wanting the paper.
A well performed show. Johnny Crawford, even though still just a child, does an excellent job of making the viewer feel part of the episode. His acting is top-notch in this production and makes the show better with his performance. Another nice show in this first season.
One needs Cliffnotes to follow this story.
In this episode that needs to come with operating instructions, Geordi has been hooked up to some machine that is known as Interface. It seems that Geordi, due to his hyper-sensitive viewing operation, can see things in the machine that other are unable to see. Geordi can actually visualize things, in real time, all while hooked up to this machine located on the Enterprise.
After Geordi is told that his mother, a Captain on another star ship, is missing, he hooks up to the interface and now can communicate with his MIA mother. And so we have the plot of the story as Geordi will try to communicate with his mother to find out the location of her missing ship.
The story was even made more confusing as when Geordi is hooked up to the interface machine, you have Dr Cusher advising about every four minutes that Gerodi needs to be removed from the interface due to some medical complication. Add the big words and the confusing dialog between Crusher, Data and even Picard- they try their best to make this dismal story interesting.
This episode became weak very early in production. Only in the first few minutes of the show did it stir any excitement that this may become exciting. But after those minutes went past, it became obvious that this was going to be a long confusing story. The episode was more baffling than entertaining.
The Rifleman: Young Englishman (1958)
Nobody messes with the McCain cattle.
In another fine show, a small McCain calf has ventured onto a ranch owned by some British upper class and run by a rough foreman named Norv Waggoner. Mr Waggoner decides to take the McCain's calf and add it to his own herd. It just so happens that one of the British kin, Jeremy Ashford, just happens to be visiting the ranch and knows that Waggoner is rustling cattle but is forced to go along with the ruse. When Lucas comes out to talk with Ashford, he advises that he needs to see Waggoner. Needless to say the visit with Waggoner does not go well.
Lucas is bound to get his calf back and takes the mother cow over to Waggoner's herd. In no time they find the calf but Waggoner and his men are not going to let Lucas leave so easily. And things get even more complicated when Mark rides up right in the middle of a gunfight.
There is nothing that is really remarkable about this show. However, the story is a basic western script that is well written and well performed. The one thing you take away from this episode is the special relationship between father and son which made the series so entertaining. Another fine episode in season one.
The Rifleman: The Sister (1958)
Lucas is having a bad day
At the beginning of this entertaining episode, Mark asks Lucas if he is ever going to get married again. Lucas kind of laughs it off and says something like maybe someday but only if she can ride a horse and cook.
The next day Lucas and Mark ride into town and Mark sees a young woman, Rebecca Snipes, getting off the stage. In no time, Mark drags his Pa over to where Rebecca is waiting and introduces them in hopes of them getting married. It is an awkward moment for all involved, except for Mark.
Later Rebecca's brothers come to pick her up and notice that Lucas has been talking to their sister. They size up Lucas to make sure that he is good enough to marry their sister. The problem is that Lucas is not interested in their young sister. But the boys think he is telling them a lie.
Not only does Lucas have to deal with that problem, three rides are in town to take care of Lucas for some testimony that was given. It appears that Lucas was in court and testified against a man named Roy Thursday and now he is there for revenge. Lucas has the two brothers and also the three men all out against him.
This was actually a very well performed and humorous show. Sherry Jackson, that played Rebecca, was beautiful on the screen as she played the sister of two bigger than life brothers. And even Chuck Connors gave a rather funny performance as it seemed that all his intentions were being taken wrong. Another wonderful episode that was entertaining from beginning to end.
The Rifleman: The Safe Guard (1958)
North Fork finally gets a bank
Here is another well performed episode as North Fork finally gets a bank. John Hamilton, the bank's President, is trying to get the people of the town to finally place their money in a bank rather than bury the currency on their property. He shows off the brand new metal safe and even has hired a guard, Floyd Doniger (Claude Akins), as security guard just in case of any attempts at a bank robbery. Floyd even puts on a little shooting skill demonstration for the citizens of North Fork.
There are three suspicious men that ride into town that even the novice watcher knows is amiss. The three talk the bank guard, Floyd, into going in with them and robbing the bank in the expectation of splitting the loot four ways.
Right after Mark deposits his five dollars for selling a pig (Lucas was not fond of banks from a previous incident) the plan, that the four guys mastermind, is put into place. The three arrive at the bank and force Mr Hamilton to give them the money but things are not going to go as planned.
The entire show was well performed and the script was very entertaining. Claude Akins was nicely cast as the guard as he always does a nice job of bring the character to life. The only problem, or thing I did not understand, was the ending of the show. Even with Lucas losing money after a bank default years ago, right at the end of the show he agrees to place his money in the North Fork bank. And right before the screen fades to black he tells Mark, "Sometimes there's a good reason for a man to change his mind"-- was not sure of the reason. Was it the banker, Mark depositing his money, the Judge or just he wanted to make the town work? Guess that is for the viewer to decide. Good watch.
The Rifleman: Duel of Honor (1958)
Just did not cause the interest that was expected.
Even though this episode was nicely done by the actors involved, the story really did not stir much interest in my opinion. The plot has been played out many times in nearly all western episodes where a 'fancy lad' arrives in town and the next thing you know he has been insulted and challenges another to a duel.
In this show, Cesare Danova plays a Italian Count that just happens to arrive on a stage in North Fork. When a local, Sid Groder (Jack Elam), insults the ways of the Count he is challenged to a duel. And with Lucas McCain being the temporary Marshal of the town, Lucas will make sure that the duel is on the up-and-up. But expect surprises when the duel takes place.
Danova and Elam seemed perfectly cast in this story which only adds interest to the show but it just did not cause much excitement for the viewer. With the high marks for the episode, I felt somewhat disappointed after watching. It was not a bad show but one that needed something other than a routine script.
McHale's Navy: Wally for Congress (1966)
And with the end of the show the screen fades to black.
In this last episode of the series, a Washington insider, Frank Templeton, is making a visit to Italy to see how the war effort is advancing. Mr Templeton is a political big-wig that advances people where they are elected to office in Congress. And Binghamton is thinking about running for Congress if he can get the backing of Mr Templeton.
But Binghamton is going to need more than just a desk job, he needs to get in on some German action. So he becomes part of PT 73 crew and goes out hunting for Germans to advance his portfolio for Templeton.
This was an entertaining episode that makes a person wonder why they cancelled the series. This last season has been better than season three in the production of the shows and the action of the scripts. But like nearly all good programs, about four years and things start to age. But nevertheless, this show was interesting enough and could still produce funny lines. Just sorry that there will be no more episodes as we bid the entire cast a fond adieu. But will still be a part of the family through reruns.