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7 reviews in total 
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Take the Money and RUN!!!!, 19 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Or maybe leave the money and run? Seeing that this episode took place back when Las Vegas was mob connected, William Benson might have been better off following the latter. Give him points for wanting to do the right thing, then take'em away for a lack of common sense. Come on, Bill....only gangsters would carry and lose a wad like that! And if they say ten grand is missing, it's their word against yours.

This isn't AHP's best or worst episode, but to me, it's the most thought provoking. Here's why: Money is funny. Unlike other valuable commodities, it can't be traced back to an owner.

Bill, you can't post an ad saying you found a money clip with $92,000 attached and want to return it to its "Rightful Owners". You'll have a million rightful owners showing up at your front door. Get the picture?

Is it immoral and wrong to keep someone else's lost cash? Possibly. But what can you do? I'm afraid Finders Keepers rules in this situation.

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Interesting Series. However...., 28 May 2013

I've watched Rick Steves' Europe for years on PBS. Rick is a friendly, amiable guy who presents each show in a very down to earth manner. Not only does he cover the usual tourist spots, but some shows cover the off-the-beaten-track, if not offbeat, sights that you didn't know existed in these places. And he always includes some of the locals who give their own take on their home countries. I like the show.

Unfortunately, I have to subtract a couple of points because Rick has a tendency to present a slightly upbeat and supportive take on Europe's social welfare system. It's a minor quip, but I don't think he factors in the astronomical taxation and cost of this system and how it's starting to implode on itself. I find it a minor distraction, but most viewers won't give it a second thought.

That's my take. So if you like Europe, you'll enjoy watching.

7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
A two hour misanthropic festival, 5 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've always had a certain fascination with Sci Fi movies containing end of the world scenarios. That's why I tuned into this NatGeo show a while back, thinking I'd like its "what if" scenario. Unfortunately, the more I watched, the more it irritated me. Why? Because of the narrative style.

If National Geographic kept the narration simple, limited to what the planet would become without human upkeep, it would have been more interesting. But as the show progressed, the narration took on a downbeat and condescending tone. Let's cut to the chase: It slams all human beings as the poison of planet earth! They deride every conceivable achievement we've made over the centuries to make our lives more livable, claiming that it's come at the expense of all plant and animal life. Last time I checked, the plants and animals were still there.

Mankind has made mistakes (pollution, deforestation, hunting whales to the brink of extinction, etc.) but we've shown the ability to reverse and correct the mistakes, too. The very last sentence "All we have to do is get out of the way", insinuating that earth is better off without us, were the nails in this coffin. I will give it three stars though, but only for the special effects.

National Geographic, the next time you produce a show like this, could you please keep the misanthropy out of it?

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Cute Disney Fluff. However...., 5 December 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When people watch The Parent Trap, I wonder if they ever notice, like I have, a certain undercurrent of cruelty that even got past Walt Disney's watchful eye.

If you didn't catch it, let me point it out: Mitch and Maggie Evers get divorced and decide to let an entire continent separate them. This is realistic so far. But their breakup is obviously so hostile and nasty that one takes Sharon, the other takes Susan, and mutually decide that neither twin shall ever know of their other sibling's existence.

This is bad enough on its own. But to add icing to this inedible cake, Mitch and Maggie choose to forget about their other child at the other end of the country. Why inflict this on their girls? They didn't ask to be born, let alone cause the split.

Okay, okay, I tend to look a little too close at this stuff today than when I was younger. After all, that is the plot, right? And the twins resolve this parental problem, right? And Disney would never end any movie on a sad note, right? Despite my observation, I enjoyed the rest of the movie. So go pop some popcorn and enjoy.

5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
More Like Kiss Me Bored, 12 April 2010

Having never read a Mickey Spillane novel, I can only hope that Kiss Me Deadly is better in print because this movie is total crap! Film Noir works only when the suspense and intensity are up to par, and neither exists here. The bad guys aren't scary, the characters talk incessantly but say nothing, and each scene is as predictable as tomorrow's sunrise. After awhile I gave up caring about everyone good or bad.

I find it hard to imagine how the Kefauver Commission could possibly think that this celluloid snoozefest could be a menacing and corrupting influence on America's youth. The criminals and the violence were totally cartoonish. And being 1955, they couldn't show any sex scenes. Besides, Mike Hammer looks like he'd fall asleep if he attempted it.

Turner Classic Movies, I'd like those two hours of my life back now.

13 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
It WAS a wonderful life, 3 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There are movies that we like so much we will watch them to the point of redundancy and never get tired of them. It's A Wonderful Life used to be one of mine, but not anymore. In fact, I can't remember the last time I actually watched it in its entirety. I realize the reason why's Frank Capra's populist message. It had finally gotten under my craw.

The message, that having money is EVIL but being altruistic and broke is GOOD, served Capra well during the depression when everyone was broke (ironically, Capra got rich off this message). By 1946, Americans had money again and populism had worn out its welcome, which might explain the movie's dismal box office take.

George Bailey is altruism squared. He willingly becomes a doormat to townfolks who can't spoonfeed themselves, forgoing his goals and dreams of making his own life better. Sorry George, but I eventually lost sympathy for you. Your desires are equally important.

Other characters I got even more fed up with: Uncle Billy...what a drunken bonehead! Cmon, George, I don't care if he is family. Either fire this rumdum or make him into a harmless janitor or something so he won't go losing $8000 at a clip. Harry Bailey, you're next! You have no intention of ever paying back George for your college education, am I right? And finally, Clarence Oddbody,AS2. No wonder you haven't gotten your wings, you doofus. You knew about the $8000, so tell George that Potter stole the money so he, Mary, and the rest of the family could storm the bank and clean his clock like in the Saturday Night Live skit from 1986. Yes, I know that last part was played for laughs, but wouldn't that be your gut response, though?

Maybe my criticism is a bit harsh, but it's towards the populist message and story line. I still like the acting in it, and the special effects were very good for the time...Capra's fake snow all over Bedford Falls still looks realistic to this day. And as goofy and manipulative as it seems, I'm glad George's deadbeat customers finally paid him back in the end.

(P.S.: George, this would be a good time to remind your brother, Harry The War Hero, that he owes you four years of college tuition and the cost of a long distance phone call!)

8 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
A Pathetic Gloomfest From Start To Finish, 3 February 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There are some movies out there that, despite their dark and gloomy content, are still entertaining to see. House of Sand and Fog is by no means one of them.

I had just recently seen this the other night for the first time on HBO. Most of the mainline movie critics had given it very high marks for its story and characters, so I tuned in. WHAT A MISTAKE! Not only does it suffer from idiot plot syndrome, but you can't develop any sympathy for certain characters because their stupidity breaches the borders of reality as we know it.

Kathy (Jennifer Connelly) is a lazy moron. Owning a house and remembering to read her mail are two responsibilities she obviously can't handle. She had plenty of time to correct the tax error but didn't, so she gets evicted, loses her house in a public auction, and blames everyone but herself for her predicament. Enter Lester (Ron Eldard) the cop who takes sympathy on her and becomes her lover. This deputy dawg is a piece of work! One roll in the hay and the idiot leaves his wife, kids, and home for Kathy, a gal who's homeless, unbalanced, and (because she lives in her car), probably lacks a level of hygiene. The best example of tumescence I've seen in a long time. Kathy makes an off the cuff joke of how funny it is that now they're both homeless. Yeah, hilarious.

Now these two geniuses are going to harass and intimidate Col. Behrani (Ben Kingsley), the Iranian immigrant who bought Kathy's house at auction, into "doing the right thing" and giving her the house back. This is where the story shows its liberal leanings, demonizing Behrani, the only character I could halfway sympathize with. He's not perfect (slapping his wife is proof of that), but he legally bought the house and wants to sell it at a profit to achieve his American dream. What's wrong with that? It never happens, thanks to Kathy and Lester's selfishness and stupidity. Innocent people are killed, suicides entail, everybody loses in the end. Get the gloomy picture? The only entertainment I achieved was the ease of picking apart all the plot holes like bugs off the grille of my car.

Some critics called this movie a tearjerker, but the only tears you'll shed are the two hours of your life you wasted watching this gruel.