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VulcanPhil

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10 reviews in total 
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14 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
A great concept gone horribly wrong, 23 February 2007
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm a sci-fi fan and appreciate the hypothetical situation of what could happen if a robot is given feelings of love and attachment to a person or people. Some good actors made the best of it but I can only blame the directing and screenplay adaptation of the original story.

What's so insidious about it is that it had a pretty good start. Slow as Kubrick, but not bad. Then the pathetic Artificial Idiot is introduced (the computer that was not fed certain basic knowledge such as eating will do severe damage to him or people can drown in a pool or the difference between fact and fiction or that a statue is not a sentient being.) Then Scare Bear is introduced (an animatronic teddy bear with an attitude, an unexplained ability to balance on round feet and mysteriously unlimited power source.) Then came Gigilo Joe, a glorified vibrator with onboard MP3 player. Inexplicably women succumb to this robot who has all the charm of Max Headroom. Then came Robin Williams as the ripoff of a Microsoft Office help icon (why Robin? WHY!?)

THEN the movie got silly. As they escape from New Atlantic City and fly to Man-hattan (now a city of the drowned) he makes his way from uptown to midtown to Coney Island in faster-than-fiction time and parks his semi-futuristic vehicle in front of a statue and waits...

and waits... and waits... and waits...

...for 2000 years. By this point it feels like that was filmed in real-time. At this point in history, robots inhabit Earth exclusively and man is extinct {coughMatrix.} Scare Bear produces a locket of hair from (gad! I don't wanna know) and replicates mommy for one more day of fun before mecha-kid shuts up permanently.

I suppose even greats like Spielberg are not perfect and capable of schlock. I mostly laughed at at this one - with a hint of suspense and marvel at the special effects.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Antics in New Jersey, 25 September 2006
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Being originally from New Jersey, I had concerns after seeing Dan Akroyd rip NJ a new one in his movie debacle, Nothing But Trouble. Harold & Kumar... had some fun with NJ's reputation and factual headlines, but it did not seem mean-spirited to me. There were weird characters, crooked cops and middle fingers flying out of car windows, but nice parts of NJ were also shown.

I was pleasantly surprised that White Castle was voluntarily included in this movie. One that clearly depicts a classic motive for going to WC: marijuana-induced munchies. Of course, the nearest WCs are in Newark, but they couldn't get in nearly as much fun trouble on such a short trip.

Anyway, there's not much else to say about this movie. This is no Mel Brooks classic, but it was fun and I also got a taste of my old home, oozing warts and all.

9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Only a shadow of the original, 18 August 2005
6/10

The original Slap Shot movie starred Paul Newman. It was a hilarious look at the seedier side of minor pro Ice Hockey. It has become a huge classic among most Hockey fans. Since I am an Ice Hockey Referee part time, I joke that Slap Shot is mandatory viewing for all referees.

Having seen the original, I was skeptical about a follow-up 24 years later. The Hansen brothers reprised their characters well, but everyone else was new. The roles they were playing didn't seem to come naturally to the other actors. Still it was a pretty good acting job overall. There were some lines lifted directly from the original. This was somewhat clever, but after the 3rd time, it was just hokey.

Even with this sequel's drawbacks, there were still lots of laughs. The Hansens can be counted on for that. There is some nudity and a brief sex scene that won't work for kids except maybe mature teenagers.

So don't go in expecting a clean follow-up to the original classic, just go in for some laughs and a few memories.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Great for Trekkies, maybe not for others, 10 August 2005
9/10

This Star Trek installment was mostly about character development. As is typical with odd-numbered Star Trek movies (this is #9,) a Trekkie would appreciate it far more than most people.

Still, you get some action, some comedy, a little romance, a little conspiracy... it could have been more conspiracy without making the Federation seem corrupt. Something did feel watered-down about the plot. I understand some scene cuts may have undermined significant plot points.

Nonetheless, the performances were wonderful. However, Anthony Zerbe as Admiral Dougherty seemed to be a forced performance. It certainly was a great directing job by Jonathan Frakes. If you enjoy Star Trek at all, I strongly recommend this one.

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
A great send-off with some disappointments, 10 August 2005
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Warning: I am a Trekkie. :-) Therefore, my expectations are quite high for this last movie for the cast of TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation.

That said, this was a very good movie. As with all the previous even-numbered Star Trek films, director Scott Baird made this more appealing to non-Trekkies. There is more violence including a sexual assault. It is likely this movie would've had a similar impact without that.

I am impressed that the sacrifice of Data was a surprise and a well-kept secret. I couldn't help but laugh at Riker's inability to remember "that song Data tried to whistle." I guess if he recalled it was "Pop Goes the Weasel", that would have killed the mood.

There were many inappropriate cuts in this movie. A huge moment in Star Trek history, the wedding of Troi and Riker, was utterly slashed. Lines that Trekkies would consider important were cut. We don't hear from Wesley Crusher at all and we barely hear from Guinan. Among other deleted scenes were some important setup in the relationships with incoming characters such as B4. With extra long movies gaining popularity such as Titanic, there is no need for cuts like those. It's as if they're anticipating this being the last Star Trek movie ever.

Other inconsistencies were surprising. Most glaring to me (pardon the pun) was Picard's academy picture with clean-shaved head. That directly contradicts a TV episode where he had hair at about the same time.

Oh well, it was still a great movie and I expect to watch it again and again.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A good time but not a classic, 10 August 2005
6/10

It took me a little bit to get used to different actors portraying the roles of the TV show I enjoyed as a kid. The extra focus on the bad-boy image was a modernization that I'm not sure is appropriate. Making Roscoe a little more sinister and a little less clueless is interesting. Jessica Simpson was hot, but I prefer brunettes like Catharine Bach. :-) And I am grateful for the villain not being fat as in so many movies and TV shows. They do pokes fun at Southern living, but I think without taking pot-shots.

Nifty twists: roles played by Burt Reynolds, Willie Nelson and MST3K favorite Joe Don Baker; bringing classic story to present-day Georgia and modernized, big-budget car-chase scenes.

This is no cinematic triumph for the ages. Just go into that theater to have a good time and some laughs.

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Hilarious look at the world through the eyes of Judaism, 29 December 2004
8/10

Even though this is somewhat cynical at times and unnecessarily violent at others, this is an absolutely hilarious look at the holidays from a Jewish perspective. From the title sequence through the final scene, there are virtually non-stop gags that make fun of Jews and Gentiles alike. No one is safe - even Santa Claus! This is like an Airplane or Mel Brooks movie where you need to watch like a hawk for sneaky references.

Here is some basic Yiddish to help you through the movie (no promises on Yiddish spelling:) Gentile = non-Jew, Goy = non-Jew, Meshuggedah = crazy, Mensch = Gentleman, Fershnitzing = freaking out, Shalom Shabat = greeting, Shalom Shabat Mother F----- = greetings even though I don't like you. :-)

Frosty (1964)
1 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Lovably stupid, 21 December 2004
3/10

Kinda like a dog that keeps chasing its tail, kinda like a cat that hides its face behind a curtain and thinks it's invisible, this movie is lovably stupid. Maybe I'm applying American standards to a foreign movie, maybe I'm paying too much attention to the flaws that MST3K pointed out. It's okay, it is my favorite MST3K movie. I find myself laughing at (or with) the movie as much as the MST3K wisecracks.

Don't watch this movie for quality cinematography, great music or good acting. Just enjoy it for the silly fairy tale that it is. It's a lot of fun not to be taken seriously. I like to watch it at Christmas time as Jack Frost himself is basically Santa Claus for other cultures.

1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
MST3K saves another abomination, 12 December 2004
2/10

Before MST3K, I saw no purpose for movies this bad. This one had dreary cinematography, terrible pacing, poor scientific speculation, annoying acting, the list goes on. Unless you want to make fun of this one yourself, just get that version.

It gets a great MST3K treatment: they had a lot of fun with the above problems, the silly characterizations and most of all, Tor Johnson. I'm not sure if he really saw himself as an actor or just took whatever work paid the bills. :-) His screen presence is, well, just presence. He's just out there without any refinement whatsoever. Definitely funny to watch.

So don't take this one seriously.

Rollerball (2002)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
I thoroughly enjoyed the action, 8 December 2004
8/10

I must admit to being surprised at the harsh criticism this movie is receiving. Granted, I enjoy Mystery Science Theater 3000, :-) but those are obviously bad movies. Perhaps one factor is that I did not see much of the original Rollerball - but enough to know it was excellent.

The concept was modernized here - given the ESPN treatment. It's depicted like a rough Ice Hockey game gone too far. It also addresses some serious social issues. I like the combination of music with action too.

It's certainly no blockbuster, but if these elements appeal to you, give it a shot. I think I own one of the 65 DVDs that were purchased nationally and it was worth it to me. :-)