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jwpeel-1

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113 reviews in total 
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Going with. a. GRIM.FAIRY TALE, 25 May 2015
4/10

This is the only Quantum Leap episode I absolutely hated. Keep in mind that I'm from Massachusetts, and someone who not only followed the history of the Kennedy family but a part of it. On four different occasions, I met Ted Kennedy, even worked on his presidential campaign and etc members of his family. In addition to that, I have been educating myself for years about the Kennedy assassination, and I know that Mr. Bellasario wrote this in answer to the movie JFK which has more facts than this one does.

The whole cartoonish picture of Lee Harvey Oswald is ridiculous and it is even likely that Oswald wasn't even in the Texas School Book Depository when the shots were fired.

But this is not about a history lesson or even rehashing that horrible day. This is just substandard writing and acting and direction for this series. It's best to pretend it never happened.

I felt that it was a waste of my time as it further backs up the Warren Commission's grim fairy tale of a lone assassin.

And the fact that Oswald was killed before the full truth could be told.says volumes here.

Vig (1998) (TV)
Boston is not New York, but try telling Hollywood that. Falk makes it work., 20 May 2015
8/10

OMG, I love this movie. In the first place, Peter Falk is in it and that makes any movie at least good. Second, there is Tyne Daly... same thing. Two absolutely natural actors who bring up the real estate wherever they are But what really impressed me was Freddie Prinze Jr. He played a character so despicable, I wanted to spit at the screen Anne hope he'd feel it. (I didn't) The only real Boston accent was from Steve Sweeney who after all is a Boston based comic as well as an actor. I lived around those accents so I'm sort of an expert.

The simple story is that Falk is an Irish guy who really is decent but has to make his way in a less than honorable profession. Now he is saddled with a tough punk (Prinze) There's slightly less cursing than a Scorcese flick but not more than a Tarrantino, but this doesn't hurt the story. It makes it just real enough.

Add a couple of Sopranos cast members and it's even more real. Lauren Holly and Timothy Hutton (doing a great Boston accent) as a couple with their own problems. A husband who's a drunk who would steal his wife's check to gamble and a woman who has to deal with him because she loves him, and he's l she's got.

Once again, Frank Vince.t plays his.usual tough guy character who saddled Falk with the punk in the first place.

Not a perfect movie, but a true slice of the underbelly of Boston life and with a "wow" finish.

I can't believe it had problems finding a distributor. There's magic here.

CAgney & Lacey as Lucy and Ethel as cops., 11 May 2015
8/10

Christine is asked by Inspector Knelman (Michael Fairman) to put together a dinner for Lt. Samuels but the Lieutenant is more concerned about paperwork and the 14th Precinct winning an long overdue award. But he us totally in the dark. The highlight of this episode is some great slapstick between the two principals whipping up some cannoli allegedly Samuels' favorite dessert. The punchline is worth the weight and Daly and La Gless make it all believable somehow, a true testament to their talents as first rate actors AND comedians. I loved this one. Can you tell?

There are.some other.highlights as the 14th crew are.lined up for some cheap entertainment as a talent show. A can't miss moment.

When being gay was criminal, 21 April 2015
10/10

I saw this episode whole watching the shows in chronological order and was given a refresher course on the 70s when you could lose your job for being gay especially if you were a cop. While there are other things going on in the episode, the fact that a cop MAY have been outed could get him a "conduct unbecoming" charge and cost him his job. That term is one used regularly in.the military for a variety of reasons to get someone a less than honorable discharge. The main plot concerns a cache of illegal "Saturday night specials" sold around the city. One of my favorite things about watching these types of shows from the period is spotting. All the great character actors and there are no shortage of them here. The acting is as good as you would expect from this cast and they do not disappoint. It's just frustrating that to he characters, being gay was almost a crime in itself. A topic that is still timely.today, and this show is famous for that.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Better.than the Kaplan version., 22 November 2014
9/10

Gabe Kaplan was great at stand-up and a heck of a nice guy, but an actor he wasn't. Frank Ferrante nailed it with his interpretation of Groucho even doing perfect work in the physical aspects of the role so I don't know what is wrong with the reviewer.who said otherwise. While Kaplan knew Groycho in his later years, he wasn't able to pull off the younger or middle aged Groucho as Ferrannte did splendidly. Added.to this were the make-up changes on stage making the stage presentation all the more exciting.

Abrahmson.didn't look like Chico or Harpo, but he more than made up for it with his comic timing. I just wish he worked more on his Italian dialect. He.even played piano like Chico. It was also better to see both characters on stage unlike the Kaplan version.

I loved the work of the actress Marguerite Lowell who played several roles even doing a magnificent job on Margaret Dumont as well as Thelma Todd.

The set design was letter perfect and as much a star of the show as we're.the actors. Much more realistic than the sparse set on the : NO special.

I would recommend this highly... THEN watch the Gabe Kaplan version.

Groucho (1982)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Kaplan vs. Ferrante, 22 November 2014
8/10

I just watched a VHS of this play from HBO after watching Groucho:A Life In Revue starring Frank Ferrante.and BOTH have their pluses and minuses.For one thing, as one reviewer said on target, Gabe Kaplan is not a very.good actor, but in the scenes as the older Groucho, Kaplan is actually better than Ferrante in both voice and manner. Michael Tucci is perfectly cast as Chico. Unfortunately, Harpo is reduced to a horn offstage.and a harp with no harpist. The set on this HBO show is not as well dressed as the Ferrante set either.

Another thing that drove me a little nuts was how Kaplan get going back and forth on the pronunciation of Chico' s name often incorrectly pronouncing it Cheek-oh instead of Chick-oh!

The actress Connie Danese plays several roles and is quite good except as Margaret Dumont. The actress in the Ferrante production does better here.as well.

I like the way Ferrante captured many more of Groucho' s persona in terms of physical actions many times recreating perfectly all the usual trademarks from the classic Marx Brother movies. Kaplan does none of these save for the stooped Groucho walk. Just watching Frank Ferrante make the make-up changes on stage in front of your eyes is a delight as well as a revelation. Plus the actor playing Chico in that production, while not having as much a resemblance as did Michael Gucci,but he did all the business both Chico and Harpo did in character.

Overall, the HBO Kaplan version is somewhat inferior to the Ferrante presentation.

Both are worth viewing, but I recommend seeing the Ferrante DVD first.

Eli Wallach and Joe Mantegna make this worth watching., 25 June 2014
7/10

I was fortunate to have been given a copy of this film before its release so I knew the story beforehand. Like the two films that preceded it, the story is based on real events and people. In this case, the Vatican and the mysterious death of Pope John Paul I. At this point, Michael Corleone is striving for a clean life in business as a philanthropist but it seems that they pull him back in. Eli Wallach is a.competing Godfather who Connie wants to deal with personally, Michael suddenly gas a half brother with his own violent agenda who is the collegiate son of Sonny Corleone and just as hotheaded. On top of this, he has it in for Joey Zaza, played expertly by Joe Montegna. Unfortunately, Sofia Coppola is absolutely amateurish and dull as Michael's daughter.

The problems in this movie really.get in the way towards the end which.seems to go on forever. But, as I have mentioned, Eli Wallach (whom we just lost at 98) and Joe Mantegna make it all worth the price of admission. That, and a stunningly heartbreaking end scene are the high points of this epic.

Al Pacino actually gives a measured performance as well. So to those who say this film "sucked" your less than objective criticism is what sucks.

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Stop, Look, Laugh and enjoy the time capsule!, 17 December 2013
6/10

I remember being very excited as a kid when I saw the promos for this first on. There even was a contest where some lucky boy or girl would be a featured player in the production which immediately made me fantasize about being the living, breathing embodiment of Jerry Mahoney. I was a huge fan of Paul Winchell and his figures (I always hated calling them dummies) Not to mention I ALWAYS LOVED the Stooges with Curly.

I must admit, I was a tad disappointed with seeing just clips of the zany trio but still thrilled to see lots of Winchell, Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff. And the way the editors made it seem as though Winchell and Mahoney became victims of a pie throwing along with the Stooges was an extra cool plus.

One reviewer didn't seem to get that Paul Winchell did a children's show, but that wasn't always the case. In order to survive, he created a children's format and it was a huge success. Still the editing was amazing, not sloppy as one reviewer wrote. Now I DID like the Marquis Chimps in those days, but I could have done without them here. Still, the voice of the great June Foray was a welcome treat.

It is a shame I never got to meet my idol Paul Winchell, but I at least got to know ventriloquist Jerry Layne whom he mentored in the art. Anyway, this is a great time capsule as I see it and while I never lived in New York as a kid, so Officer Joe Bolton was not a big thing for me. Not too many years later, Boston legend Ed McConnell known to kids here in the Boston area as Major Mudd appeared in the Stooge feature The Outlaws Us Coming as a Curly like Bat Masterson.

This was in no way a classic, but a very entertaining walk down memory lane for kids like me.who chose to never completely grow up.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Mad is in the title but MAD is on the screen, 29 June 2013
7/10

Let me start by saying that I am a HUGE Boris Karloff and a cartoonist and animator as well'When I saw.the names of Harvey Kurtzman AS ND Jack Davis I knew I'm was in for a treat and was not disappointed. . You see, Harvey Kurtzman is co-creator of Mad in its comic book days and Jack Davis was one of their best artists. So when you look at the exceptional character design, you are looking at their work It is just as much fun as reading a Mad Magazine with its off-the-wall humor. Great fun and even my teenage son liked it which is AMAZING! My only complaint was the bizarre casting of Phylis Diller'

Fun for kids, classic horror fans and Boris Karloff.

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
a proposed mystery series..., 12 June 2013
4/10

I remember even the TV promo for this turkey. Not only did it feature a white haired Sherlock Holmes, but a boring over the top Dr. Watson.The mystery as handled badly and the most amazing part of it all was that was a pilot to a rotating series of detective characters including Ross Martin as Charlie Chan. I m glad that never happened and I am a hardcore Sherlock Holmes fan. For the record, Peter Crushing and Nigel Stock are the very best of Holmes and Watson ever... even better than Basil and Nigel, or Jeremy Brett and either of his Watsons. Just saying.

Having said all of that, I would Ike to own a DVD of the film just because I am a completist..Maybe even a bit of a glutton for punishment.


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