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15 reviews in total 
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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
The Dying of Rockford begets the embryo of the Sapranos., 21 February 2014

This episode was the second to last of the magnificent series the Rockford Files. At this time James Garner was in a phenomenal amount of physical pain from the toll that this show took on him. Garner was also deep into a lawsuit against NBC at this time. This probably explains why he makes really only a cursory appearance in this episode.

The real story revolves around two wanna be hoodlums trying to gain credibility and respect from Jersey Mobsters.

What is interesting is that this was written by David Chase who later went on to create the Sopranos. In this episode if you watch you can see the embryo of the Sopranos. Many themes that would become huge for the Sapranos:

• There is an old cranky, self-absorbed mob boss in it. This very similar to uncle Junior.

• With the young crooks trying gain cred you can see the beginnings of the Christopher Moltisanti narrative in the early season of the Spranoes. Do not for get that in season 1 Christopher had a partner named Brendan Filone.

• There is the younger mob boss who is very temperamental ala Tony.

• The Mob boss has a strong wife like Carmela.

• The younger mob boss is vying for leadership and control with the old mob boss. Is this not very like the relationship between Tony and Junior?

• The younger mob and his wife have son who is spoiled brat. This look a lot like AJ to me.

• The older mob boss has daughter who is a good girl who the mob boos wants to keep away from his life. We will see this story later in the Sopranos with Meadow.

• The real star of this episode, is not James Garner but, Greg Antonacci who would later figure prominently in the later season of the Sopranos as Butchie.

It is said of all great TV shows. How long did they last? At least one or two season longer than they should have. Maybe that is the case with the Rockford Files as seen through this episode. But it is it interesting that from the flames of the Rockford Files we can see the birth of and very early development of what would later become the Sopranos?

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Not of one the best episodes., 3 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am a huge fan of this show. I like that the producers and writers expect the audience to learn something and do not insult their intelligence. This is not just an intelligent show the stories are well written and the characters are very well defined and interesting.

No nobody is perfect and this episode proves that. The plot is silly to and ridiculous to say the least. An old currency note ties the squad back into the DB Cooper hijacking. It really stretches creditability that out of all those bills that they could find the proverbial needle in the haystack.

The sideline plot of the two agent is useless, distracts and really serves no propose.

Charlie attempting to analyze a parachute jump with his old war toys is really stupid, silly and lack any creditability. Maybe that is the problem with this episode is the Charlie is really a side character and not featured that much.

Then they try and paint Cooper as a hero and get into a long analysis of Vietnam. The analysis is way to trite and cliché and gets down right dull. The reasons they give for cooper actions are way out there and stretch the fabric of logic and reality almost to the ripping point.

Henry Winkler is a great actor. Here he is cast as a retired tough guy. In order, for a plot to work it requires the audience to suspend disbelief. Henry Winkler simply is not believable as a tough guy. There is a part of the show where is character Judd Hirsch have a debate about Cooper and the 60's. Judd Hirsch is great as the old protester, he does a great acting job. Winkler tries to carry the argument for the other side and just cannot do it. He just cannot carry off the old warrior role.

In summation great show terrible episode. The really season a re solid the later ones maybe not as much.

FM (1978)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A great bit of lost history., 14 November 2011

I was just listening to the radio this morning and found it to be an audio wasteland. Old recycled songs, babbling morning DJ's proving their stupidity to the world, homogenized-musical crustaceans, that were probably run through the marketing department. Basically the same crap as everyday.

So if it is the same crap as always then why would someone keep turning it on all the time? The reason is that when I was young radio was not like that. It was this freewheeling truly rebellious format with DJ's who really cared about the music. Sure many of these DJ's were bought off but not all. There was areal sense of excitement when a new band or artist came out. I remember one station had what was called side Sunday, where they would play one entire side about 4-7 songs from an album, uninterrupted.

This movie catches that spirit of the fight for the soul of radio. One side are there rebels lead by Jeff Dugan who are going to do it there way at all costs. On the other side are the corporate marketing types who just want more money.

It is not a very heavy movie and probably resembles a light Marx brother flick. But, it still has it's moments. I like who Dugan keeps on fighting the battle and finding funny ways to thwart his antagonist while having to deal with the insanity of his staff. Eileen Brennan is especially good as the burnt out and weary mother character.

I guess the real sad ending is that the force of the spirit of radio may win the battle but, in the long run they lose the war, the number crunchers win out and destroy the that goose that lays the golden egg.

Limitless (2011/I)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Really good, 17 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I just caught this as a matinée. Very well done. It has a strong, intelligent plot where not everything is laid out. The plot kept me guessing.

Bradley Cooper did a an excellent job. I really love his character arch and transformation that he brings here. He is strong and vulnerable at the same time. He really holds his own in the scenes he has with Robert Deniro, no mean feat.

Of course their is Bobby D. My God this guy is amazing. I don't know how he does it. Whether he is playing a thug , a boxer, cop, honest bus driver, Taxi driver ready to go over the edge, missionary, fearless leader in Bullwinkle he always believable and stunning. Maybe he could be nicknamed UPS because he always delivers. Here is no exception, he plays the Wallstreet billionaire antagonist with depth and intensity.

The only issue I have with this film is the bit with the Russian gangster. In these scenes the film really goes off the rails and becomes silly and downright hokey. The way that the hero gets his medication from the gangster in the fight scene is pretty ridiculous. They could have cut this character out and focused on the focused more on the story around the Deniro character.

All and all, with the exception of the Russian Gangster, a very cool, intelligent, fun ride.

The '70s (2000) (TV)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Beyond bad, 7 March 2011

I am not in the habit of nasty reviews. I understand that it is very easy for me to sit in the back row and criticize than it is to do any of this. I usually try to find that one gem or aspect that, I can praise. Sometimes there is an actor or a scene, or character or even a song who will rise above mediocrity and show me something. Unfortunately, I cannot find any gold nugget in this one.

Okay, first of all, the 70's are a tough decade to categorize. Many different things were happening in different places. To do an epic on the 60's or 40's or many other time periods is far easier. Suffice it to say this was an extremely ambitious and arduous task to say the least. Whether it could be done in a 4 hour period would a huge labor.

Having said all of the preceding, this mini series failed on almost every level. The plot was pretty lame. The writing was so bad that, it was down right funny. The characters were so shallow and one dimensional that I was laughing and groaning at times.

We could say that the acting was bad but, it would have taken an amazing cast of the best actors in the world to make this dog hunt. This cast just did not have the chops to pull this one out. Even so, the acting was absolutely, plastic and depth-less.

The only recommendation, I would make is for people with film ambitions, acting, writing or directing to watch this and take careful notes so that you know what not to do. This could be worth it just so you could avoid these mistakes.

For anyone else, I would not waste your time.

The Eagle (2011)
16 out of 32 people found the following review useful:
Full of action and intelligence., 12 February 2011

I caught this one yesterday. I really loved it. As a previous reviewer stated it is definitely an ancient story that really is about Amercian history as much as Roman. They delve into the questions of imperialism, and White/ native history. Other reviews cover this better than I do so, I will not go into it.

This film also has the feel of a John Ford western. At times watching it I felt as if I was watching the Searchers with John Wayne.

The basic premise is right out of ancient mythology, the father quest, or saving the father. In this case it is about redeeming the father and family name. The writers must have read their Joseph Campbell.

What I like is that this film as the courage to be ambiguous. Who are the good guys, who are the bad guys? Especially well written is the sidekick character of Esca. Esca is equal to Marcus and and some ways better than he is. It took lots of guts to write him that way.

I also love the unpredictability of the plot. We are never quite sure how things are going resolve themselves. In other words, how will they hero get out of this one? When they do the results are never hooky and are realistic.

I definitely have to give this one 10 out of 10. Adventurous yet realistic. Confronts moral issues without being preachy. Certainly worth it in every way.

Bruce Lee shines through the blandness., 16 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Like almost anyone else, I was drawn to watching this series because of Bruce Lee. I will give you a spoiler, I have more respect for Bruce Lee than I did before, for different reasons.

I am more than willing to overlook some of the low production issues or campiness that any show had in that era. Star Trek and Doctor Who's producers did not spend much on the sets and by todays standards the special effects left quite a bit to be desired, yet these shows were great because of the cast and the fantastic plot lines of the shows. Yeah, Batman was campy as Hell, yet, Adam West and the rest of the cast seemed to be having a great time and the show had such an enthusiasm that it was difficult not to get swept away with it.

I have seen other reviews that have condemned ABC for pulling it. In looking at it I can see why ABC canceled it. The real issue is that Van Williams, the lead, gives performances that are as stiff as a board. He does not put any emotion into his acting. The result is that the stories tend to drag and be kind of flat. There is not energy that there is with other shows.

There are two cool things with this show.

You can really see the evolution on scene fighting. Bruce Lee goes first with his rapid, Kung fu which here more than maybe even his movies has a grace that is almost close to ballet. Elegent and powerful at the same time. Then Williams will fight and his style is closer of the old cowboy movies barroom brawler. The Hornet fights with a slower style based less on speed than force. It is like Ying and Yang and really cool.

The last really cool thing thing is of course Bruce Lee. Unlike, Williams he puts "emotional content" into every scene he is in. One little known fact about Bruce Lee is that he was a former child actor in movies in Hong Kong. But here you really to see that not only was an excellent martial artist he was also very underrated as an actor. He really had acting chops.

I came to this conclusion only because the rest of the show was pretty mediocre. Lee could rise above the mediocrity and really shine. That is why I have more respect for him than I used to.

Let's face it, if anyone other than Lee had been Kato, this show would have trashed and no one would have heard of it.

In summary, Lee was awesome the show left much to be desired.

DeLorean (1981)
The Devil s in the details., 29 December 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I just caught this on the documentary channel. I remember a bit about the story.

Maybe a some notes of context. Back in the late 70's early 80's there was an sense that the US had really lost its' mojo. Nowhere was this feeling deeper felt than the car industry. There also was this feeling of annoyance and bafflement that the heads of the Major US automakers had really screwed up big. I mean they took what looked like a foolproof industry and turned it into crap, with their tone-deafness, and egos.

Along comes Delorean, who was seen as something of a folk hero back then. He seemed to be cut from a different cloth and hearken back to a time in the US when, the wildcatter, with the big idea could shake the foundations.

He produced a car that was nothing like anything that had ever been seen before. The Delorean looked like it was from the future. Build a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to your door as the old saying goes.

What is interesting here that you really get to see a real life example of another cliché "The Devil is in the details." Delorean's revolutionary idea gets bogged down, in over-hyped expectations, safety concerns, labor issues, perception problems, financing issues, partners not keeping their words and the like.

The film ends on an optimistic note. Unfortunately, the company went under a few years later.

What is seen here is not any conspiracy by the major automakers to crush Delorean. What is seen here is that in order to make a vision come true, it really takes lot's of work, patience and ability to handle balls that being thrown at you out of left field.

This is a must see for anyone who is thinking of starting their own business or wants to shake things up. The lessons learned here could be very valuable.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Great Movie yet, I do have some bones to pick., 4 April 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I just came across this at the library. I am a big fan of documentaries and I have to say that this one is excellently made. The pacing is great. I love how they link the huge (Revolution) to the what seems less important ( a water polo match). I love this lack of separation. They really show well the consequences of living under a dictatorship and oppression. Also well shown is how a popular movement of regular people can make a difference. I also learned much about water polo and I much more interested than I ever was before.

It is also a wonderfully paced and well edited piece. Great musical score. I also love that they are very fair and show all perspectives on the uprising. I really learned much that I did not know about this event.

Having said this there are some bones I have to pick with them.

A very minor one is that they make it look like the civil rights movement was inspired by this. That there would have been no civil rights movement without this uprising. Definitely, not true. The civil rights movement was going on long before 1956. I have also read nothing on the subject of civil rights that shows that they were directly inspired by Budapest.

One big thing that was missing was the effect of the match had on a recently crushed people. That was a segment that should have been in there. Maybe some interview questions from the people in prison of what they felt when they found out about the results of the match.

Having made these criticism, I still have to say that this a fantastic film. The positives outweigh the negatives by a huge margin.

Not only, is this worth seeing, it worth seeing again and again. Definitely worth owning.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Amazing piece of work., 14 December 2009

I had never heard of this gem and came across it by accident on TCM. I never knew that Andy G. was that good of an actor. His performance is up there with Marlon Brando's. It is a shame that he went to the middle of the road through most of his career. If this movie is a true show of his talent then, he could have been known as one of the greatest on his generation and turned in some really timeless work.

I guess we need mild, mannered law men in the world too.

It is not at all dated, in fact I think this movie is even more relevant now than it was when it first was made.

Definitely, a must see.

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