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Not a bad episode
This episode has Rockford investigating the disappearance of a young college student friend and uncovering some evil goings-on behind the scenes at the young man's college campus. Ultimately Rockford ends up working with a female professor, who turns out to have been the young man's lover. The professor is not a bad character, but once the gist of her character is established there are no more surprises from her.
I'll list a couple of things that stood out to me. It was surprising to me that ultimately the title of the episode refers not to the victim of the crime (the student) but actually to the professor's career malaise.
Another scene that jumped out at me: at the funeral service of the student, his mother expresses sorrow that her son probably never knew the love of a good woman. Then the professor speaks up and tells the mother that she was having an affair with the student. Perhaps the boy's mother would ultimately be comforted in some way that at least he knew love, but certainly the funeral was not time for her to have to handle the additional shock of knowing her son had an involvement with a woman 15 years older (and improper in that she was his professor). Okay, so maybe the professor was supposed to be a doofus with no people sense. But Rockford never even scolded her for it, which I would think he would do with his characteristic common sense.
There is some foreign intrigue, and a good twist. Speaking as a fan of the series, I'd say this is a pretty good episode though not one of the strongest. However, there are episodes I would be less likely to enjoy watching again than this one. Plus, even mediocre Rockford Files still beats most of what's on TV in my opinion.
Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
The emporor has no clothes
I have no clue as to why this movie was wildly praised. Well ... I take that back. I do have a clue as to why it was praised, but I just don't agree.
I'll give it some points for being original and different. You don't quite know where it's going to go, and that's a good thing. I did find Sandler's character somewhat interesting. But there seems to be this school of thought nowadays among the critics and the art film crowd that as long as you put something on the screen that defies the standard conventions then you've made a great film.
Well, I'm 100% for defying the predictable conventions. But it just isn't enough. You've also got to have a story. A movie should make some kind of statement; it should say something. It should mean something. That's where Punch Drunk Love fails.
I took some ribbing from friends for giving an Adam Sandler movie a chance. In general a typical Adam Sandler movie would be something I wouldn't be caught dead watching. But this is no typical silly "Adam Sandler movie". In fact I thought Sandler did a rather good acting job. It's a bad movie simply because it's empty of meaningful content.