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pswanson00

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94 reviews in total 
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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Well done, 25 June 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This show sometimes falls into the Grade B Guilty Pleasure category of television, but this is a superior episode for the way it handled the death of Lee Thompson Young. The main crime story was a good one, but the best—and worst—part for me was the funeral for Frost. It was apparent to me that no tears were made of glycerine, and no Vapo-Rub had been applied to eyelids to induce crying. The eulogy delivered by Jane seemed to me to be genuinely heartfelt, and everything she said could have applied as easily to Mr. Young as to his character. The actors did a much better job controlling their emotions than I could have, then they were both tough and vulnerable enough to share their real feelings with the audience. I'm impressed.

Very good, but not for the crime purist., 3 April 2014
8/10

I enjoy R&T thoroughly, but will admit freely that it requires a certain suspension of disbelief. Rosemary and Laura—especially Rosemary—are incorrigible snoopy-noses; they are always poking into matters which are really none of their business. They often—again, mostly Rosemary—alter crime scenes and steal evidence, and in almost every episode keep something from the authorities which should have been shared. One thing any viewer will figure out after seeing just a few episodes: do NOT hire these women to work on your property if you don't want death and destruction to descend upon you. The characters are intelligent and capable, but the Grim Reaper follows them through the world. By the way, I cannot imagine any two actresses doing a better job with these characters than Felicity Kendal and Pam Ferris. Each is an excellent performer, and they work together wonderfully. My wife and I own the whole series on DVD, and I wish they'd included outtakes, because I suspect that there was considerable laughter on the sets. If you're a fan of true crime TV shows, or gritty, realistic dramas, you may not like Rosemary and Thyme...or you may find that the music, flowers, and glorious filming locations are just the thing to give you a rest from reality. I recommend the show.

Very early-40s, 5 July 2013
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After the first 20 minutes of this film I was wondering why TCM only rated it 2 1/2 stars; after seeing the whole thing I want to know how it got more than 1 1/2. The early part of the film is as-advertised, the story of a Captain and crew trying to get a well-worn destroyer ready to serve in WWII. About 40 minutes into the film the crew picks up a drifting lifeboat, which turns out to contain 2 sailors, 2 pregnant woman, and 20 infants. The story degenerates rapidly into 1940s claptrap, with overlarge doses of idiotic humor, sentiment, and just plain wrong use of Naval terminology and procedures. The most prominent example: when a raft tied to the deck goes adrift in a storm, the Executive Officer -- second in command of the ship -- and the senior Chief are assigned to tie it down. That task would go to the LEAST senior people on board, not the most senior. The last chapter of the story, wherein an ancient tin can out-maneuvers and destroys a Japanese battleship, is unbelievable, but at least contains interesting action. I'm afraid that Stand By For Action was a real waste of a very talented cast.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Bonnie, 6 April 2013
8/10

There's lots of fun stuff in this episode, especially the scenes with Shelley Winters, but the highlight for me was the scene with everyone singing in the back yard. When Bonnie-the- waitress started belting out "I don't like you, but I love you..." I almost peed myself. It's Bonnie Bramlett! I'd wondered for years what had become of one of rock's great female vocalists, and there she was, hiding in plain sight on Roseanne! For viewers/readers who aren't familiar with her work, go to the back of your parents' closet and look for a record (that's a flat black disc about 10" in diameter) entitled Delaney, Bonnie, and Friends on the road with Eric Clapton. It is great.

Avatar (2009)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
computer-generated genocide, 16 May 2012
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The special effects are fascinating, but the characters and plot are as trite as they can be. There's no message here that is not present in many Hollywood westerns, or any film concerning imperialist intrusion into a primitive way of life. To sum it up, If Whitey Wants Your Natural Resources, He'll Tear Up Anything To Get Them. From the 15th to the 19th centuries the world learned this lesson from the Spanish, French, Dutch, Portugese, and English.

I laughed out loud when I realized that Giovanni Ribisi's character wasn't kidding when he referred to the object of his mining project as Unobtainium. That word has been used colloquially by motorheads for at least 35 years as a way of referring to any expensive, high- tech metal, especially titanium and magnesium. I don't know whether James Cameron thought he made it up, or if he heard a couple of bikers talking in a parking lot and absorbed it subliminally. Either way, it turned what was intended to be a significant scene into a big chuckle.

The only reason I gave this overlong cartoon more than 2 stars is the fact that I admire the effort of the actors, as well as the technical expertise of the CG people. The fact that this was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards tells me that either: (A) the choices that year were few; or (B) the members of the academy have lost all taste and perception.

As long as the viewer doesn't expect Avatar to be great cinematic literature. she or he can probably be entertained and not disappointed.

Bridesmaids (2011/I)
4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Not funny, reeeally notttttt, 11 May 2012
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First, I admit that I didn't watch this entire film. Actually, I COULDN'T watch the whole thing; I was giving myself a headache from rolling my eyes. According to the Scene Index, I saw half of the movie before I gave up. My wife gave up after the opening scene, and could watch no more.

I'd read that Melissa McCarthy's performance was the highlight of the film, but even she did not provide enough laughs to keep me watching. In its essence this is a guy movie with a female cast. Actually, it's a "Dude," or maybe "DOOD!" movie. It is one disgusting scene after another, with very, very, very (very, very) few actual laughs interspersed. The opening scene of simulated sex was the first thing to raise my doubts as to the film's value. Not much later there was a protracted scene wherein the bride's old friend and new friend have a verbal duel as to which is the closest friend. The scene might have worked if it had been about 20% as long as it was. This boring, bitchy debate was followed by projectile vomiting and acute diarrhea while the gang of women is shopping for dresses. That was the final straw for me.

I'm beyond astounded at the number of award nominations that this film received. I am appalled and nauseated that it actually won AFI film of the year. I suppose it's possible that the second half of the film evolved into the worthwhile entity that some reviews say it is, but I think it's the worst piece of crap I've endured since Doctor T and the Women.

Stay away. Do not watch this movie.

5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
I love it, 25 March 2012
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First, let me admit my bias: During my teens I lived 2 very short blocks from the Wedge—a place featured in this film—and spent most of that decade dedicated to body surfing. I'm so pleased that there's finally good, professional film of my sport available. Until now there's only been the short sequence of the Wedge in The Endless Summer, and an occasional 10- second clip in a surfing film. Body surfing is the first and most elemental form of wave riding, and deserves to be recognized as a foundation sport. Every inlander who spends one day of his or her life at the beach tries to body surf, whether he's aware of it or not. Watching this film and seeing truly exceptional surfers at work is a transcendent experience. Mark Cunningham is basically a human sea lion, executing maneuvers and making waves which were the stuff of dreams of my youth. The big Hawaiians who turn into porpoises when they enter the water are also great fun to watch. I only refrained from giving this film a 10 because I'd like it to be longer, MUCH longer. Also, although I don't mind it not being edited together as a typical documentary, I would have appreciated having graphics naming the people interviewed when they first appeared on- screen. It took me a few seconds to recognize Fred Simpson, and I know him. This film is essential for lovers of the sea, and can be enjoyed by anyone who has ever had fun in water. I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Good stuff, 16 July 2011
8/10

I'd seen a preview of this film early this year, then heard or read nothing about it until it was about to be released on disc. It either had a limited release or the publicity department really dropped the ball. I found it to be an entertaining, faithful interpretation of the book, and am sorry for everyone involved in its creation that it seems to have dropped out of sight immediately after having been released. Mr. McConaughey does a very serviceable job in the role of the protagonist, and the supporting cast is truly outstanding. Before renting the film it had been a year or so since I'd read the book, so it was nice to see a story which was familiar, but for which I didn't remember every twist. I intend to see it again.

remarkable, 19 December 2010
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a moving picture, in the sense of the audience being moved by the film. I got it from NetFlix without knowing much about it, and was blown away. Steven Robertson and James McAvoy as Michael and Rory turn in performances which can only be called exquisite. and Romola Garai, of whom I'd never even heard, is lovely and empathetic as the men's chosen caregiver. All characters were beautifully written, and the training Robertson and McAvoy went through in order to make their portrayals true was obviously quite comprehensive.

The two main characters endure physical and emotional challenges which most of us can only imagine. As my wife said at the end, "See the problems we don't have?" This film should make everyone who sees it grateful to be able to stand up and talk.

I'm not reviewing the story because others have already done that. I'm just here to say that watching this movie is a touching, and often quite funny, film experience.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Not that bad, 7 November 2010
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I didn't bother to see this in a theater because of the poor reviews, but finally rented it. I think this is actually a pretty funny movie. It is certainly predictable, perhaps trite and derivative, but it's well cast and written, and provided an entertaining evening for my wife and me. Seeing the extra features on the DVD helped, as it's obvious that the cast and director were having a lot of fun making the film. The excellent cast's sense of enjoyment came through to me, and increased my enjoyment.

Definitely watch the extra features. One in particular made me want to go play with a bear.


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