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Ladder 49 (2004)
One of the best firefighter films ever
Until now "Backdraft" was considered the ultimate firefighter movie. Then along came "Ladder 49." The film profiles one single firefighter (Joaquin Phoenix), from his first day on the job as a probie until he becomes a seasoned, veteran firefighter, with the guide and help of his station captain (John Travolta). But it doesn't just stop there. We see how his career and experience has a real and profound effect on his personal life and his family.
"Ladder 49" doesn't fall into the typical trap of only showing the glorious Hollywood-esque image of the firefighter, surrounded by smoke and flames and always emerges victoriously with a rescued victim, with nary a scratch on him. "Ladder 49" goes all out to show the true nature of the job, showing that the life of a firefighter isn't always glorious. That's why it takes a very select few in the walks of life that have the ability to make the job a very rewarding career. And so far "Ladder 49" comes as close to realism of the job as I have ever seen.
The movie ended today with every person in the theater audience giving it a standing ovation. That itself brought a tear to my eye. Firefighters always have been, and always will be our heroes. We must never, ever forget that.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990)
A sitcom that will be remembered long after others are forgotten
Bar none, this is one of the funniest sitcoms I have seen in my entire life, and even though the show went off the air almost 8 years ago, I still never tire of it, and try to watch it on WGN whenever I get the chance. Between Will's one-liners and shots at Carlton and Uncle Phil, the show can only be summed up in a nine-letter word: WILL SMITH.
Without a doubt the show was the high point of Will's acting career, though he did do a couple decent movies like _Men in Black._
Every single episode in its six-year run has at least one scene that will get you rolling on the floor, and a decent number of episodes that portray a very important message to its viewers. Even now, I still get broken up watching the show's final episode, seeing the family break up into their own personal lives. But on the other hand, it was a good idea for Will to end the show on a good season, rather than make the common mistake of dragging the show out to where people got sick of it.
Will Smith is a "totally fly homie!"
Rescue 77 (1999)
What a joke!
This show was one of the lamest attempts I have ever seen of a show depicting today's Emergency Medical Service. Even "Emergency!" in its 30+ years of existance still shows some type of realism of patient care, even though the service was still in its infancy back then. R77 is one of those shows that could have been, but never should have!
Third Watch (1999)
Very good show
I have been a big fan of Third Watch since day one. Though it has had its ups and downs I will remain loyal to the end, which I hope will not be anytime soon! It's tough to see characters come and go on the show, I enjoyed seeing Alex and Lt. Johnson (both killed off last season), but Sasha Monroe (Nia Long) makes a great partner for Bosco; not many people can match his kind of mentality! Many people will argue that the show does not match the every day realism of the NYPD/FDNY, but then again, what show does?
I give it a 9/10.
Emergency!: Emergency! (1972)
Based my life's ambitions on this show
Emergency! still looks very authentic, even in today's standards of ER, Third Watch and NYPD Blue. It's truly a shame that TV Land no longer airs the show. Though I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to personally meet Randy Mantooth a few years ago in Chicago during his Project 51 tour. He is a real gentleman and was obviously very comfortable around his fans, both young and old!
A very funny film (possible spoilers!)
I think K-9 was a very funny film in its own right, and Jim Belushi does a good acting job in the shadows of his late brother. Many say K-9 is simply trying to copy Turner and Hooch, but I don't see this as the case... both movies have their own merits and shortcomings, but that doesn't make either of them any worse. Jerry Lee's role in the movie was simply outstanding. I love the Jaws Theme as he sneaks up under the covers between Tracy and Dooley in bed!
The Towering Inferno (1974)
The personal irony of this film
I remember seeing this movie many times as a child in the 1970's, though every time it scared me half to death to the point I never wanted to go into a high rise building again, or even leave my house for fear it would catch fire. Now fast forward about 25+ years. I still watch this movie, but with a different perspective. I can now enjoy the film with appreciation to those who produced and starred in it, along with the message behind the epic. Even now part of me wonders if this movie made me pursue my career in firefighting.
Exceptional film, a must-see...
...for entertainment purposes, not specifically as a history lesson. My favorite parts of the film are where Oliver Stone managed to get the cast members to accurately portray their characters in the black-and-white "flashbacks." As far as the accuracy of its history: Unless you were actually physically there to witness history, will we ever really know what actually happened that fateful day? I sincerely doubt it.
Great film, nonetheless!!