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Never Too Young (1965)
I was 13 when this premiered, but my 17 year old sister watched it all the time. I have to admit, I got sucked in and was more than a little disappointed when it ended and the next Monday, when Dark Shadows premiered in its place it seemed a tremendous loss. Yet, within the year, DS became a super-big hit. Go figure. At the time it seemed special, teen-aged angst-ridden drama. And Tony Dow plus Tommy Rettig to boot! One other thing to note: I remember them playing the hit "Groovy Kind of Love" at the end of the last episode. Can't remember if that was a regular thing or just for that episode. It was obvious that it was the last episode though. Also remember a lot of musical guests, but the one I remember best was Paul Revere and the Raiders because my sister was wild about them.
Who Killed Captain Alex? (2010)
So Bad it is AWESOME
One reviewer laments the fact that it is obvious that these people never went to film school. They didn't, that's the point.
The director, to his credit, has built his film company from the ground up in the slums of Kampala. The film is a product of those slums. It is a film inspired by the best of Hollywood, but it is thoroughly Ugandan. Take the Video Joker ... this is a component of their distribution requirements because of the many languages and dialects they try to sell to. VJ commentary needs to be customized to their different customer's language needs. The English version is just one of the many they have to apply and market.
I encourage viewers to embrace the humor and bask in the raw talent of this incredible filmmaker.
It is wild and crazy and raw and illogical and funny ... so bad it is really good. This guy makes the exact kinds of movies he wants to make and figures out ways to do it within the realities he has to deal with on a daily basis. Kudos to him.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013)
Season 1 so-so and Season 2 has dropped two notches
I'm at the the point of season 2 where I might just give this show maybe two or three more episodes to pull out of its doldrums.
The one bright spot, always, is Terry Crews. He steals every scene he is in. He always does that.
In judging this show, consider the time/change for 2014-15. It has been lumped in amongst the cartoons. Which at first I thought was weird but it basically IS a cartoon. Even at that, they might have just kept the show at about the same level of humor as last year but they didn't. Melissa Fumero was a perfect straight foil to Samberg's character, but now she is just a shadow of her former self, mostly lapping at the captain's boots. So far, anyway. And Peretti's character was a high point of the show last year, borderline psychotic, but funny as heck. She is not the same character at all ... like she found her meds or something. I mean, it's okay, but it's definitely lost a good bit of its appeal. If you like poo-poo and pee-pee jokes, that's fine with me. But I'd be surprised if it makes it the entire year.
Is it Blaxploitation or did it start Blaxploitation
I just watched this film. The last time I saw it was when it came out. The flaws in the movie were the same flaws evident in a lot of late 60s and early 70s movies. Film had undergone a transition to a more gritty look ... by the 80s they seemed really bad. Now they seem almost nostalgic ... probably people felt the same way about film noir at the time and shortly after. One of the most interesting things it has going for it is due to that raw and gritty look, which included quite a lot of location shots in early 1970s NYC. The score matched the cinematography very well. In 1971 I thought it was entertaining. We didn't call it a blaxploitation film back then. I guess its moderate success spawned the genre so in that sense it was either the first or the inspiration. But I think to lump it into that basket is wrong. In reality it is a 1971 detective flick focusing on a black character, set among a lot of black characters, mostly hoods, poised against a bunch of white characters, mostly hoods. It's right there in the movie ... the police detective makes that same observation. Not Black against White ... it is a turf war between black hoods and white hoods. And between them all is John Shaft. Richard Roundtree plays it with a finesse that although almost corny now to the point of being a caricature, at the time it was easy to take it at face value. He was a hard nosed P.I. and he focused on his case. The absolutely smartest scene was when the guy helping Shaft save the girl was sent in to pose as a room service waiter in the dingy hotel where the mafia guys were holding the hostage. He seemed resentful at first but he got a look on his face sort of like, "hey, I KNOW HOW TO DO THIS." Sure, using the degrading stereotype to complete the undercover. Three drinks. Three dudes. He's got the information but he's got to play the role. He stands there waiting for his tip and gets it, generous in mafia fashion too. Anyway, I say throw the blaxploitation label out the window and enjoy the movie for what it was and what it is ... a better than average 1970s detective movie. I wish they showed it on TV more.
Shows you can make a good movie with a low budget
I love low budget films. Or maybe I hate high budget films. I am convinced that some movies evolve out of somebody's idea for a grand and glorious special effect ... and they build a movie around that one scene. There is no such thing here. It is a classic formula ... they build the case for the premise while they are in fact telling the story. Sure it has some flaws ... even big budget spectaculars have flaws. The biggest flaw is the far too long interview with David James but that cemented the storyline together so I let it slide. It just didn't fit the shorter scenes in the rest of the movie. The really oddball thing ... is ever since we watched this movie we have been receiving mysterious phone calls ... like our time-lines are messed up now. Seriously. Hopefully this will sort itself out, with or without the help of the Lunarians.
New Girl (2011)
I've tried to like it, I really have
I've watched most of the first season ... and every episode has a chuckle or two, but almost every show (watching via a recording) I find myself pausing it to see how much time is left and I am always at about the fifty percent point. What's up with that? This is something I NEVER do with a thirty minute sitcom.
I think this boredom is due to the story lines ... they are tired and the pace is slow. So I find myself wondering, do I want to suffer through another episode for a chuckle or two?
She's cute and she's funny, and the rest of the cast seems adequate but there is obviously something amiss. Fox is usually pretty quick to pull the plug so obviously others are seeing something I am not seeing but I'll probably only watch it when there is a story line that strikes my fancy.
White Heat (1949)
I never get tired of this movie
I can watch it any time it is on. At the beginning or in the middle.
Cagney is superb ... almost a caricature of all of his gangster roles combined into this complex and fascinating character.
Cagney brings to life one of the most evil characters to ever be portrayed on film. I get chills every time I see him go nuts in the prison cafeteria.
And when he shoots into that trunk "I'll give you a little air ..." while calmly munching a chicken leg ... we've all seen tons of cold blooded killers on film but this guy must have been born at the south pole.
This is just a great movie with a great story and wonderful characters. Everyone plays off Cagney and he makes them all shine in return. A classic masterpiece of film noir.
one of the classics
This is posted as a tribute to the late Peter Graves. This show was a mainstay in the lives of many baby boomer's' formative years. They would never get away with the format today. Even less than ten years later the Batman series had to bow to societal paranoia and insert an invented "aunt" to temper the all unrelated male household. Three unrelated males on a remote ranch? Ah, but I digress, there was no hidden agenda or meaning here. It was as wholesome as the 1950s. Good clean moral stories. Fury rivaled even Lassie or Rin Tin Tin for animal brilliance.
Peter Graves was memorable as Jim. For years I'd say, "oh -- that guy from Fury" whenever I saw him in something.
It was a great show. I wish they would re-run it.
The Ruling Class (1972)
O'Toole is brilliant
They almost never show this on TV. Sad. It is a remarkable film and Peter O'Toole is simply brilliant as Jack.
The fight scene between the two "gods" is wonderful. Almost makes me wish they made a sequel about the life of the electromagnetic god who has to recharge via an open light socket. Great fun and then downright chilling at the end. The butler is one of the better characters, as is old Alastair Sim as the Bishop. "Why was he wearing a ballet skirt?" Poor old dear.
As good as Brando was in The Godfather, I still think O'Toole should have trumped him for Best Actor that year. I mean, Brando played a great character, but O'Toole ACTED in this, acted up, down, right, left, and sideways. He is not the same character at the end ... oh, no.
More American Graffiti (1979)
yes, flawed, but entertaining
First off, you can not expect a sequel to excel. We get lucky sometimes but usually they are either totally lame or they fall into some sort of formula hellhole. This film, as many many reviewers have pointed out, does have flaws. Most films do. It is not that different in structure from the original either, following different story lines with different characters, albeit in different years rather than in the same night. The Vietnam sequences with Terry the Toad and Little Joe from the Pharohs gang are the best part of the movie. They could almost have made a single full-length sequel following that story line. A lot of reviewers liked the Milner sequences more than the Debbie sequences. I sort of go the other way around. I thought the Milner storyline was weak and there just wasn't much there. Maybe the hippie sequences were more familiar to me, but I related to that and thought most of it was hilarious. They could have dropped the entire other sequence as well ... it just labored to tell their story against a backdrop that was much bigger than they were.
Also liked the cameo by Falfa, Harrison Ford.
Anyway, maybe someone will come back and make the rest of the Terry-the-Toad in Vietnam story. Feel the same way about D-Day "whereabouts unknown" in Animal House. There's a movie there waiting to be told.