Reviews written by registered user
vwolak

Send an IMDb private message to this author or view their message board profile.

Page 1 of 2:[1] [2] [Next]
15 reviews in total 
Index | Alphabetical | Chronological | Useful

21 out of 37 people found the following review useful:
a Disappointment, considering the book series, 26 May 2004

Great concept, fantastic book series, the movie could have been a LOT better.

Now, I realize that when a movie attempts to capture the essence of a book, there have to be some sacrifices as far as details. I have read the book several times, and the movie somehow does not capture much of what the book conveys. Maybe it is time constraints that come with making a movie within, say, 90 minutes to 2 hours. But this movie seems rushed somehow. It did not let certain plotlines develop. In the book, Rayford only lusted after the stewardess, where in the movie, it seemed like it went a bit beyond that. Also, early in the movie, it seemed that Buck Williams already had a relationship with the Steele Family before the Rapture where it did not germinate until towards the end of the Left Behind book.

Maybe it was because of the low budget and time constraints. I remember when Kirk Cameron was fired up about doing the movie after reading the book. The funny thing is that this movie was produced without paying any attention to the details that made this book such a best seller. The basic idea behind the novel held true to the movie, but many key elements in the book were ignored.

My advice: Read the novel series, see the movie if you must for comparison's sake, not as a viable substitute to the novel.

11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Poignant, 24 October 2003

One of those movies that really sticks with you due to the seriousness of the content.

Every parent, or everyone that will be a parent should see this one. It emphasizes the need to tell your children to NOT TALK TO STRANGERS.

This movie was made with a certain amount of class, they did not go for shock value by being more graphic about the sexual abuse going on. It became more apparent during the movie as it played out, yet thankfully the movie makers were more subtle about it in the midst of the movie.

Lifetime Network features a lot of these true to life movies, and kudos to them. I know it is all entertainment, but it is also informative to keep us on the defense of all of the sickos out there.

Steven in real life perished a few years after his escape, and that is tragic. Just as tragic is that Parnell recently tried to buy a child, like a loaf of bread or gallon of milk, for his sick needs. As a free man. Sad.

In closing, any parent or parent to be must see this movie. I know it is somewhat unpleasant, but in this day and age, it is really important to see the elements of a cancer to the innocent American way of life.

Thank you.

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
I like this one, 21 September 2003

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot is a classic to me. It starts out slow where Eastwood's and Bridge's characters first meet and form a rapport.

George Kennedy and Geoffery Lewis join in on the caper, and all 4 actors complement one another nicely in a unique way. Eastwood was the stoic planner. Bridges was the young cocky son of a gun not lacking of a sarcastic crack to air his irreverance. Kennedy was the headstrong, irritable former crony of Eastwood whose short fuse with Lightfoot makes for some entertaining rants. And Geoffery Lewis was the bumbling, harmless lackey who provides some comedy relief.

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot is kind of a feel-good buddy film and action-adventure rolled into one. The addition of Catherine Bach (Daisy Duke of Dukes of Hazard) and some twangy Dukes of Hazard style music in the beginning of the film would definitely make for a good recommendation for Dukes' fans. BTW, nice Trans-Am in the beginning.

If you like Clint movies, keep an open mind, this is a good one.

If you like Jeff Bridges movies, this is one of his best.

Cheers!

Gung Ho (1986)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Good Movie, 26 July 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really liked this, when it first came out, and even to this day. Lots of '80's films depict the essence of the times they were made. They truly don't make them like they used to. It is very enjoyable and identifiable to all of us blue collar workers.

Now, the premise to the film is Hunt Stevenson (Michael Keaton), a former factory worker with a gift for BS goes to Japan to sway the Japanese to buy the defunct auto plant in their community in Pennsylvania. Hunt's verbal proposal is met with silence from the Japanese at Assan Motors, which discourages him. Apparently, the Japanese he met with were stoic and did not let on that they were impressed by his presentation. Assan motors decides to invest in this plant and it's workforce. Unfortunately, the Japanese did not have an understanding on how a union shop works in the USA, and upon their revigorating the plant, they realize that the American workplace is quite different than that of Japan.

Spoilers ahead...

This film is based on the difference between the American and Japanese cultures overall. The Japanese believe that the workers should eat, drink, and sleep for Assan Motors. Hunt acts as the liason between the American workforce and Japanese management. The management struggles with things that are acceptable in the American workplace (reading a newspaper in the restroom, a father taking time off to be with his child during surgery). Hunt is given the unenviable task to reach a compromise between the Japanese and his American co-workers.

Michael Keaton does a terrific job in portraying Hunt, who wants to stick up for the workers, and consequently, the town, yet he wants to save his own position. He has a weasel side to him, yet he wants to do what is right for the community.

Besides, this gem has a flavor to the '80's that all people who grew up during that time adore. The Fabulous Thunderbirds' hit "Tough Enough" just fits in this movie. The guy who plays Kazi did a great job too. "No more MTV, No more Twisted Sister, no more Green Giant Niblets!!!" We find out later on he is more Americanized than he lets on.

One more gem that Michael Keaton says in this movie: "The American Spirit is alive and well, but they got it, and we got to get it back." A sobering statement that makes us all think twice about our position in the manufacturing industry back then.

By the way, George Wendt was perfect for this movie. He had kind of a minor role, but he wasn't too departed from Norm Peterson, our favorite barfly from "Cheers."

You gotta see this movie, it is inspirational. It makes you want to put in 60 hour days in the factory to show that the American Spirit is still alive.

6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
A very informative Documentary to POTA Fans, 20 May 2003

This is a Documentary hosted by Roddy McDowall (Cornelius/Caesar/Galen) giving a history and behind the scenes glimpse of the making of the Planet of the Apes franchise, complete from the first 1968 film up to the cartoon series. There are some interesting little tidbits that may not be common knowledge to some POTA fans. I could list them, but that would spoil some of the surprises this documentary has to offer. It does not include anything about the new POTA movie with Mark Wahlberg, but that may have been made after this documentary. We learn about the adversities the original POTA makers encountered in the beginning. As well as the details of the original production such as budgets, original plot details that were later scrapped, and original casting.

I would not recommend watching this until you have seen all 5 POTA movies, as they give out the endings of each one. Enjoy!

5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Gotta Love This, 20 May 2003

I seen this one a couple of years ago, and it is always fun to watch. Alice Cooper made this as a last ditch attempt to rise his career from the ashes after the classic Alice Cooper Band dissolved. Producer Bob Ezrin was a major ingredient in this production as well, showing how he uses some elements that were not common in the rock and roll vein. He uses these elements later on for future high profile projects such as Pink Floyd's The Wall and Kiss Destroyer. Cooper and Ezrin came up with Welcome To My Nightmare, the album and broadway play. The main theme is Alice portraying a demented individual named Steven, who displays an array of emotions such as amusement, confusion, anger, and mostly fear. Steven encounters trolls, giant spiders, a giant cyclops, and dances like Fred Astaire. This play incorporates the "Nightmare" music as well as some Alice Cooper Classics. I don't know if calling it a "play" is too accurate (I used it for lack of a better term), it is more like several music videos back to back, as there is hardly any dialogue between numbers. "concert" may not be an accurate word either, due to the concept involved. This production was unique for it's day. It has a demented aura from start to almost finish (the last 2 songs were too upbeat to follow through the theme).

Alice does a great job portraying Steven. Alice Cooper was an "alter ego" of sorts to Vincent Furnier (Alice's real name), and Steven appears to be an additional alter ego of his as well in a professional sense. I know this all sounds like mumbo-jumbo, but to an Alice Cooper fan it all makes sense.

Interesting to note:

Alice Cooper met his future wife during the making of "Nightmare."

A lot about "Nightmare" as well as Alice's full career was outlined in a VH1 Behind the Music episode. Definitely worth watching if you liked "Nightmare."

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
The Final Chapter of a Classic Series, 18 May 2003

The Ape uprising has taken place so many years ago, and now in 2003 (by my figuring) Earth has went back to a primitive state in the new era of Apes and Humans living together, yet not equal.

Roddy McDowall reprises his role as Caesar in this one. He is more benevolent than in "Conquest..." in that he is mellowed out and Humans are not as evil as he visioned them in the last film. McDonald is his Human companion and voice of reason when the anti-Human sentiment comes to his mind. As in the end of "Conquest...", McDonald is the Human advocate for mercy for the Human race.

After the Ape uprising an offscrean nuclear war took place, demolishing the big cities of Humanity. Apes are now the superior race, yet rely on them to teach the Apes grammar and such. The Humans are subservient to the Apes, yet under Caesar's rule, they are given latitude when they inadvertently revert to the days of old (when the word "no" is uttered by a Human to an Ape, a grave misdeed in these times). A general by the name of Aldo seems to harbor visions of seizing control of the Ape civilization and directing it in a way much different than Caesar.

Caesar verbalizes his wish to have heard some words of wisdom from his long deceased parents, Cornelius and Zira. McDonald says it is so since the parents were under surveillance upon their coming to 1970's Earth, and that filmed records exist as to the revelations about the future of the Earth. Caesar immediately organizes a party of himself, Virgil, and McDonald to visit the Forbidden City (which is radioactive due to the fallout of the nuclear war) to learn about his parents. They go to the archives and find the records they were seeking. Yet meanwhile, there was a group of survivors that lived in the forbidden city that found out that Caesar was there. These humans were terribly disfigured due to the vast nuclear fallout. They recognize Caesar right away and want to gain vengeance for their fate. Caesar and his entourage flee from the Forbidden City once the Human Mutants go after them.

Anything past this will spoil the ending. This was decidedly the last of the POTA's films, and they left an open ending as to whether Humans and Simians can live together in peace.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Winners want the ball when the game is on the line..., 7 May 2003

Good movie. It is an obvious knock-off of Scott Bakula's "Necessary Roughness" but it has some original elements to distinguish itself. If you are a football fan that is waiting between the Pro Bowl and the Draft, this is good entertainment to fill the time.

The premise to the movie: The NFL is on strike, and replacement players are brought in to finish the season. The names of the real life football franchises were changed to, what I suspect, avoid litigation from the NFL. The Washington Sentinels hire one of their former head coaches (Gene Hackman) to field a team of replacement players and make them winners. Interestingly enough, John Madden and Pat Summerall play the commentators, and they do a pretty good job. The writers had a flair for coming up with their lines to be consistent with how these two usually banter with each other during a game.

Hackman puts together a roster of either NFL has-beens or never was's. His crown jewel is a QB by the name of Shane Falco, played by Keanu Reeves.

Some of these lines are directly ripped off from "Unnecessary Roughness", yet they find their places just the same.

I liked how Falco gained his following during the span over a few games. And gained the respect of his teammates. Definitely a feel-good movie. The romantic plotline is good too, although it is quite obvious from the get go.

The addition of getting replacement cheerleaders using strippers is entertaining too, some hilarious moments here.

Enjoy!

9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Nice Cheesy Film..., 7 May 2003

If you are looking for monstrous special effects (even by 1970's standards), this is not the film for you...

If you are a KISS fan, it is definitely worth a watching. Especially if you are a classic KISS fan.

Brief synopsis: KISS is about to play for an amusement park. The brains behind this park (Abner Deveraux played by Anthony Zerbe) grows resentful that a rock-n-roll band is overshadowing the technical expertise that he created at this park. He vows all-out war against the band using his creations to attack the band members. And their secret talisman which gives them powers.

BTW, Gene Simmons does most of his own stunts, probably preparing himself for a future theatrical career (which he did, in the 1980's). Peter Criss's lines are dubbed in by a voice guy from Hanna Barbera. Strange how Peter Criss sounds the same as Dirk Daring from G-Force.

Anthony Zerbe does a great job in acting as the villain in this one. His best IMHO is in North and South as General Grant.

Ok, this is not an epic adventure that got critical acclaim, yet after a few beers, it is good entertainment.

33 out of 48 people found the following review useful:
Batman meets Raiders of the Lost Ark, 7 May 2003

This is a very enjoyable movie, enough action to keep interest, yet clean enough and without gory violence for the kids.

I used to enjoy following the comic serial in the local paper when I was younger. It was discontinued in my local paper a long time ago, but it was refreshing to see this theatrical adaptation made to possibly renew interest in this ancient hero, especially to the younger crowd.

This is Billy Zane's shining moment in theater because #1, he did not have quite a big role in Titanic, and #2, he was such a dink in that movie anyway.

Treat Williams gives the best effort in this movie IMHO, it is a bit overacted, but he maintains the balance between humor and being dastardly evil.

The basic premise of the movie, to Phantom newcomers, is that The Phantom is a superhero that fights for what is right in the African Jungle. The Phantom is called the Ghost who Walks, because he has survived for 400 years. Little does anyone know that the Phantom lives on because each Phantom grooms his son to take the mantle of the Phantom should the present Phantom faces an untimely death. Unique to most superheroes, he uses guns, yet he makes every effort to not kill anyone he apprehends. He resides in the Skull Cave (Wonder if the makers of the Masters of the Universe owes Lee Falk some chunka chunka for this idea). The Phantom has the loyalty of many of the natives that reside in the jungle and receives much assistance from them.

In this adaptation, a thug from NYC by the name of Xander Drax has his henchmen attempt to procure 3 mystical skulls which gives dark powers to he who possesses them. The Phantom acts to thwart his efforts, as he knows the power these skulls contain.

This film contains action on land, sea, and air. Catherine Zeta Jones plays one of Drax's stooges. Her character has more depth than most of the characters in this movie.

As much as I enjoyed the movie, there are some things that make you go "Hmmmm..."

A horse and a wolf can both keep pace with a biplane speeding across the jungle. The Phantom must have fed them thier Wheaties...

The Phantom's alter ego, aka Kit Walker, takes a cab in New York City. He initally offers Bengala currency to the cabbie, then he offers a mitfull of jewels. Now, when you give a NY cabbie a handfull of what appears to be costume jewelry to the untrained eye, chances are you get screamed at severely at best (taking into consideration this took place in the 1930's, nowadays, the same action could get you brutalized in someway.)

Another is the Phantom chases Xander Drax and jumps into the water and clings onto the plane they take to the Devil's Vortex. Now, if any human being grabs onto a plane soaking wet, hangs on when the airplane is so many thousands of feet above ground where the air is colder and thinner, you would be freezing and getting light headed from the depleted oxygen as you hang on outside during a trip across the Atlantic.

My favorite part of the movie, aside from the great scenery, is how Xander Drax explains his name to Kabai Sengh in spelling bee fashion (Xander Drax! X A N D E R D R A X! Xander Drax!).

Well, this movie has a great ending, which I will not give out. Any fan of movies such as Raiders of the Lost Ark or Jewel of the Nile would really like this one.

Enjoy!


Page 1 of 2:[1] [2] [Next]