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I was a fan of the original series when it was broadcast in the mid 1980s.
I was a visitor to the robotech.com website and its discussion forums for years. I remember the excitement of The Shadow Chronicles imminent arrival. When it was finally released, the reaction to it seemed mixed. When I saw the final product, I was part of the crowd that wasn't too impressed.
While the visuals and the characters were okay, the story seemed to drag.
I only watched my copy once before I sold it on ebay. When I enjoy a movie or series, I usually keep my DVD or bluRay. Not this time.
As of this writing, it has been eleven years since the release of RTTSC. No follow-on has been released. Besides the politics hindering the green light of new Robotech, the quality of TSC should be an indicator of how well or LACK THEREOF it went: NOT good enough for a follow-on!
"Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles" attempted to continue the story but missed its mark. We waited twenty years for mediocrity.
Strong Start; Weak Second Season; Good Comeback Third Season; Awesome Fourth Season with Excellent Finale
ABC almost squandered this excellent series. I remember all the trailers leading to its September 2011 premiere and was excited about it. That first episode just sucked the viewer in, and you looked forward to the next episode and so on. Revenge finished at the top at the end of its first season. Good job! Renewal was around the corner.
Then when we started Season 2, we found the magic had dissipated. What happened? We got all these other subplots and unnecessary characters who came along and made the show uninteresting. Many people in my opinion tuned out during this season, I was one of them. I kept hoping for the story and plots to pick up again to no avail. I took it off automatic recording on my DVR and moved on most likely to forget it for good.
I don't know how the rest of Season 2 went, but apparently it went well enough for ABC to say, "Sure, let's do it again," and Season 3 kicked off. I didn't continue from the beginning of the season, but I happened upon the show by accident on its new night Sunday; it looked like they (the writers) got their heads out of their collective a**es and put out an excellent show again. There were still too many characters (and some missing since I stopped before mid-season 2), but the story was back on track! I got re-hooked to Revenge as they fixed the show and the eagerness of waiting for more returned. I finished out Season 3 with a "WOW!"
They kept the magic that was re-born for Season 4 and it continued to have an audience. Emily/Amanda continued her mission in life as her friends and family around her continued to get affected by it one way or another. I don't know if the creators wanted the series to end at Season 4 or if the all-knowing authority (sarcasm) of ABC decided to pull the plug, but 1) this season did not disappoint and 2) one of the best finales to a TV series was presented!
I feel bad for the fans who completely wrote off the series during Season 2 as they missed an excellent finale. It wasn't their fault as the writers and/or ABC almost flubbed on this one. I almost completely turned my back on it too! But apparently, someone saw what was wrong and did something about it. The corrections made for an excellent continuation and subsequent conclusion of the series and no one was left hanging.
An excellent show, that nearly crashed and burned, but made a great comeback and ended without disappointment!
Ninja Vengeance (1988)
No effort to make a good film
If you read the premise, it was a Ninja versus the KKK; sounds like an exciting epic.
But as you start the movie and continue along, it seems like there was no effort to make it anything special. You realize how bad it is and fail to see any semblance of a story.
Someone remarked "The techniques are actually Ninjutsu, instead of some flashy movie-friendly dance steps like you would see in a Sho Kosugi movie of the same era." I respect that review of this film and it's no surprise that Ninjutsu has been embellished through the Cannon Group. More power to anyone that actually enjoyed this.
But I'm sorry, even with accuracy, movies "with a lesson" and not too much embellishing does not mean it has to turn out the way this one did. Artistic license (of a real subject) does not hurt if it's not overdone
Seems like no one did their job well to make this a quality movie. "Low budget" does not always equal low quality. And while martial artist, Stephen K. Hayes was the subject matter expert on this film, it don't look like the star, Craig Boyett picked up any of Hayes' training or knowledge.
There are plenty of actors who win martial arts roles, but never had any of that training beforehand (Ralph Macchio and Michael Dudikoff come to mind); but they end up nailing their respective roles. Was Mr. Boyett even an actor? Even if the martial arts wasn't embellished, you can tell one who has been training in it and it seems like our "star" did anything but! Yeah, no preparation for the role!
If this film was supposed to tell another story or lesson of Ninjitsu (or martial arts in general) that doesn't have the Hollywood embellishments, that's fine. But with the way the movie was poorly executed, you only think of the poor acting and poor martial arts moves ("real" or exaggerated) and miss the lesson.
Whether you hear of them or not, there are plenty of QUALITY "low budget" films, because the players, producers, writers and directors made an effort to make it so. This one seems like all involved didn't care for quality.
Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993)
"This didn't happen, he didn't do this, he didn't do that, etc." That's NOT the point of this film!
You see a lot of complaints from people other than Linda Lee Cadwell and Bruce's family complaining about the "accuracy" of "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story." These FANS claim they "know" him through his movies, TV shows, books and numerous documentaries that have been done on the late Bruce Lee. I've seen and read many of the same and I still don't know him better than his widow and the rest of his family!
What this movie is, is a WORK OF ART. Someone said it best on the IMDb discussion of this movie: "The movie is really meant as a celebration of Bruce Lee and what he represented. It isn't necessarily meant to be a complete biographical movie." I couldn't have said it better.
There is no 100% biopic on Bruce Lee or any other figure out there. "Artistic License" or "Liberties" are always taken, period. Many argue that his life was "interesting enough" that embellishments were not necessary, that is far from the truth. People who say that have never written a movie script whether for real or for a writing class. It's not as easy as it seems whether you are writing total fiction or about someone living or dead.
Before I saw Dragon, my first Bruce Lee biopic was "Bruce Lee: The Man, the Myth" from 1976. After viewing that so many times and seeing Dragon, I got confused about who I thought I "knew" and the many things he experienced.
Dragon's 1976 predecessor was just as riddled with "inaccuracies." After I got through my "confusion" about Bruce, I decided to enjoy what was made. I enjoyed the "artistic license" of both movies.
To paraphrase Bruce Lee: a biopic is never a portrayal of total accuracy - it is a guide, a pointer to the actual person and his/her real happenings/events that each viewer must find for him/herself. A good biopic is merely a catalyst.
For the uninitiated to Bruce Lee, that should be the case for this film. Again, there is no 100% biopic in existence about Bruce Lee or any other figure from history. A good biopic (be it 100% "accurate" or otherwise) should motivate one to seek out the subject matter.
For the ones that know of Bruce or think they "know" him (because of the various material---dramatic portrayal or documentary---put out about him before this movie), this movie should give them more appreciation for who Bruce was and what he did. It should also motivate them to seek more.
Again, for me after seeing "Bruce Lee: The Man The Myth" so many times before Dragon, I was confused about Bruce. Watching Dragon motivated me more to read about Bruce Lee!
Take it or leave it. If you get butt hurt about what you uncover about the real Bruce Lee and it wasn't in this or other movies, that's on you. Stick with documentaries.
This movie is a masterpiece in STORY TELLING celebrating Bruce Lee's life and what he represented, period. It is not a History Channel or A&E biography that will (supposedly) tell what "really" happened in his life.
Good Attempt, but Lost and Squandered Opportunity to be the Next Acclaimed Military Drama
Loosely based on the account of the late George C. Wilson in his book of the same name and right on the wake of the popularity of the movie, "Top Gun" this highly anticipated, made-for-TV series attempted to portray the life aboard a modern day U.S. aircraft carrier.
Apparently, the creators had tons of money for this tale as they were able to shoot aboard the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy for the pilot episode; original flight scenes were shot (the production company had to pay for aviation fuel); U.S. Naval Bases on both the U.S. east and west coasts stood in for the fictional "San Miguel Naval Air Station"; and as they were available, other real Navy ships (both aircraft carriers and others) were able to stand in for the fictional "USS Georgetown." In addition, there was a big advertising campaign by ABC touting it as "Top Gun" for T.V. With the United States Navy and Department of Defense giving this program full support and all that money laying around to shoot this (hopefully) next highly acclaimed T.V. military drama, they were ready to set sail.
So what can go wrong? Sad to say,lots.
The plots and stories left little to be desired (for both military and non-military viewers alike). For the real Sailors who were excited to be extras in the production, their excitement turned into dismay as they saw the finished product in the first few episodes that the Navy had so graciously supported. In other words, they saw that they were being portrayed in a less-than-flattering light. When the Navy saw the final product they subsequently dropped their support (it's evident in the latter episodes).
I was sixteen when I saw this and my dad, a Navy carrier veteran watched with me. He kept saying, "That can't happen!" I even saw the mistakes, even without my dad's help! In portrayals of real life people and/or careers (the Navy in this case) I am a believer in "Artistic License" as it makes the story more interesting. It doesn't mean the subject matter is "less interesting," but it will make for more interest especially for the part of the audience who has little to no familiarity with the subject. But when it starts to go off course and portrays the subject in a less-than-flattering light, or embellishes too much, then you lose the respect of the people you are trying to depict and the ones who are on the "outside" will have no interest.
Life aboard an aircraft carrier needs to be told (and not just in documentaries). A Navy ship can be wonderful platform (look at today's successful post-apocalyptic T.V. series, "The Last Ship" series about life aboard a U.S. Navy Destroyer). Even with artistic liberties, this one could have pulled it off if they portrayed the Sailors and Pilots better, and it would have been a highly acclaimed military T.V. drama. "Top Gun's" popularity would have helped it big time. But it seemed like the creators were only intrigued by and invested more in the visuals of the aircraft carrier and its awesome arsenal of fighter and attack planes. As a result, the characters were very forgettable. They didn't invest well in the writers.
I feel bad for the then young 20-30 something members of the cast. This was a chance for them to be a part of something real special that could have been critically acclaimed. They would have been household names. After "Supercarrier" a lot of them just seem to have faded away from the Hollywood scene; after only five other roles (post "Supercarrier,") and what appeared to be a struggling acting career, one of them passed away at the young age of 34; some continued to act mostly on guest TV roles and B movies until they appeared to no longer be able to get roles; and for those who continued acting into the new millennium, their roles are/were mostly guest parts in TV and movies that people forget after the last credit rolls.
"Supercarrier" may or may not have "jinxed" their careers, but one thing is for certain, it did NOT help as the characters were very forgettable.
The veteran actors of the cast like Robert Hooks and the late Richard Jaeckel would have had added another great work to their resume, but to no avail.
The creators of "Supercarrier" had a good idea and apparently, lots of money and the popularity of "Top Gun" to build on to make this a memorable and highly acclaimed military drama. Unfortunately, they squandered that opportunity when they only invested in the visuals and not in the stories and characters.
Li Xiao Long zhuan qi (1976)
Interesting take despite being a "Bruceploitation" flick; my introduction to Bruce Lee
This movie was my introduction to the martial arts icon. When I was a kid, I first saw "Bruce Lee: the Man, the Myth" on San Diego's (then independent) TV station XETV channel 6 when they showed old movies to include imported movies like this one.
This movie got me interested in the martial arts icon. I had never heard of Bruce Lee until I saw this. Bruce Li delivers in the title role in fight sequences blended well with the chronology of his life (which is captured accurately).
While this in my opinion is a good biopic, it does lean heavily on the fight scenes; a product of the "Bruceploitation" era. While not the quick chop-chop scenes of the subject matter (when you watch Bruce Li and Bruce Lee fights, you will see an obvious difference!), I thought the fight scenes were choreographed and put together well.
Years later as an adult, I caught the movie again and while I (now) think of it as pretty cheesy, it still brings enjoyable moments for me even if parts were embellished for artistic license. (I noticed they didn't try to "back date" the sets: they wore 1970's clothes and drove '70's vehicles in the 1960's sequences!)
Even as I have learned more about the real Lee since seeing this, I still have fond memories of this flick and still enjoy it hands down.
Is this accurate? Too fictionalized? Embellished? Maybe all of the above. But in my opinion, it captured Mr. Lee in a good light, not 100% mind you, but a good biopic (be it accurate and/or with embellishments, even a "Bruceploitation one!) should motivate you to look up the person it is based on. "Bruce Lee: the Man, the Myth" definitely does!
Yong chun da xiong (1976)
Weird Take (i.e. Highly Fictionalized) on the Martial Arts Icon
This was Bruce Li's first outing as the martial arts legend Bruce Lee. While it does follow Lee from Hong Kong to America and back again you see that each segment of his life is highly exaggerated with no effort to try to tie in to his real life.
His alleged affair with Betty Ting Pei is also featured briefly.
While the chronology of his life seems followed, it feels as though the producers weren't trying to tell Bruce Lee's story. This film in my opinion was really made to cash in on the late star. Other biopics on Bruce Lee, while artistic license is taken (always), at least they tried to keep it in the spirit of who he was.
Caryn White is lovely as Linda Lee, but her character is merely a FAR background role with very few lines.
Was this a serious film? It tries to be. Were they trying to tell the story of Bruce Lee? It doesn't seem like it as the fights were exaggerated and the events in his life are not really represented well.
If you want a good Bruce Lee biopic from the "Bruceploitation" era, see Bruce Li's follow on in the title role in "Bruce Lee: the Man, the Myth." Artistic license again is taken there as well, but at least that time around, they are trying to tell Mr. Lee's story. "He's a Legend, He's a Hero" is not recommended for the Bruce Lee historian buff.
The Lieutenant (1963)
Accurate portrayal of a young Marine officer; Star Trek fans will find familiar themes
I recently caught this on getTV when they showed it for their April 2016 line up of re-runs.
I was a Marine Officer some thirty-five years after the premiere of this show. While the show may be dated, I thought this was an accurate portrayal of a young Marine officer at his first assignment.
The good, the bad and the ugly of being a fresh new lieutenant were in my opinion captured dead on. All that blended well with the themes of the episodes (which I am about to explain).
Now as (most of) you know, this was created by Gene Roddenberry of "Star Trek" fame. "The Lieutenant" had many players who would go on to star in the latter (whether as a guest or regular cast). In addition to the future Trek players, several episodes seemed like Star Trek in a modern day (albeit 1963 - 64) U.S. Marine Corps setting: stories with (real) social issues and problems.
So, instead of tackling social issues light years away and three hundred years into the future, Roddenberry had us in a modern day Marine Corps Base (Camp Pendleton, CA) and the surrounding towns (San Diego to the south and L.A. to the north).
Artistic license taken in the portrayal of the USMC? Of course! What show or movie doesn't have that?
If you like Marine Corps stories (but not the over-exemplified ones put out by Hollywood at the time), and you enjoyed Star Trek, not just for its technology or "utopia," this pre-Trek, rarely seen or known early work of Roddenberry maybe an enjoyable fare for you.
If you want to be an officer in the military, let alone the Marine Corps, this in my opinion, should be viewed for that future officer as it doesn't show the exaggerated John Wayne and (later on) Tom Cruise (and others') Hollywood portrayals of military officers.
Daniel Boone (1964)
Where have shows like this gone?
I just recently started watching the re-runs on the Retro Television Network. While I know it's mostly fiction, this is family entertainment at its finest. Again, while fiction, this show gets you interested in an American icon. I found myself looking up Daniel Boone on the net. My daughter even got interested and did a little report on Boone (not from material in the show, but she went to her school library and started reading about him)!
A shame I only knew of this show's existence recently, and as I got into the show, I was saddened to hear of Fess Parker's passing just three days ago.
Shows like this are gone as with Mr. Parker. But re-runs and DVD and Blue-ray have made it possible for future generations to appreciate this fine show for family entertainment.
Bloodfist VI: Ground Zero (1995)
Fun, but awful gathering of has beens.
Predictable yarn about bad guys seizing control of a dreadful weapon and threatening to use it. Fun to watch if you can ignore the acting.
I never watched Don the Dragon Wilson's fights so I will take it on good faith that he was/is real good at it. Did he think he would be the next Bruce Lee? Hey, good attempt, but no cigar.
I remember Steve Garvey when he was in the National League as an L.A. Dodger and San Diego Padre. He was real good as a baseball player too! He had political plans after retiring from the NL; did they fall through that he had to resort to this low budget yarn?
Robin Curtis was great as the new Lt. Saavik in Star Trek III and IV, plus numerous guest appearances on popular T.V. shows. Was her career really winding down at this point?
Obviously this was light years from even being close to Academy Award Material. It was fun to watch, but it's just sad to see some players who were good in their previous acting gigs, fighting, or sports careers to star in such a film.