Reviews written by registered user
|6 reviews in total|
Yes, the acting is horrendously bad. Yes, the dialog is unbelievably cheesy and stale. Yes, the plots are unoriginal and don't make sense. But damn it, when was the last time that we were able to just turn on the television, sit back and enjoy the action without having to deal with some over-the-top action/drama that goes way too fast and shoves some moral lesson on life in our faces? That's what makes Walker Texas Ranger so enjoyable -- it really recreates the feel of those classic Westerns that used to be on all the time back in the '50s. So horrendously bad that it's great to watch when you just need some time to unwind and forget about everything else. And you've gotta admit, it paved way for a great comedy segment on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. I know I'll still be watching this for years to come.
There's something missing from this episode. I'm not sure what it is...
this one just seems to miss the cutting-edge Seinfeld humor most
episodes usually have. One particular detractor from this is the
flamboyantly gay and unbelievably stereotypical wig master who is
staying with George and Susan - whose character seems to destroy every
scene he's in. None of the four main characters have any particularly
great lines in this one - except for Kramer's interaction with the cop
at the end of episode. The whole Kramer-as-a-pimp bit was overplayed.
Coming from Spike Feresten, I'm surprised he couldn't have handled this
Case in point, avoid it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Personally I consider "Good News, Bad News" to be the worst in the
already sub-par first season, as well as the worst in the entire
Seinfeld series. The plot is in the same category as many of the
classic episodes, but too much time is spent on minute details and
doesn't seem like a complete episode. We can see more of Jerry's
stand-up in the pilot than usual, unfortunately this is a detail of the
series that was abolished in the end.
But we do see some of the, Jerry's critical over-analyzing, George's deceiving plans to woo a girl, and Kramer's (now Kessler) unbelievable eccentricity. Noticeably Elaine is absent from this one, but her role begins in the next episode.
Usually pilot episodes aren't much compared to the later episodes. However this episode wasn't all that great as far as pilots go, but thankfully NBC gave it time to develop into one of TV's greatest landmarks.
When you look down at it and really, American Idol is ultimately the
most influential, and one of the finest, reality shows currently on
air. It features a panel of judges who actually know what they're
talking about, picks out fine talent for their competition, and most
importantly, gives everybody an equal chance. But hey, even if you hate
the show, what's better than watching people embarrass themselves on
However critics and other luminaries of the reality show genre constantly put the show down because a good percentage of its fan base is composed of teen-girl fanatics who obsess over the show and somewhat ruin its name. If they would ignore this one aspect of the show and get down to what it is actually made of, they'd discover that this is purely good television.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
William Malone, to me, is one of the most imaginative minds currently
working in the horror genre, who, unfortunately, has not earned the
success of the other extraordinary horror directors out there in
Hollywood. This film may have a considerable cult following, but he is
not at the level of, say, William Castle, the director of the original
House film. This, however, is his magnum opus and he has managed to
create a truly terrifying horror film, paying a great homage to its
Obviously, this remake doesn't quite match up to its predecessor. But regardless, Malone creates a surprisingly creepy horror film that really captivates the atmosphere and feel of William Castle's original film, the atmosphere of the fun houses in amusement parks we all enjoyed as a kid.
Basically, here's the back story: Dr. Richard Benjamin Vannacutt, a sadistic brute of a doctor is the director of the critically celebrated, R.B. Vannacutt Asylum for the Criminally Insane. He performs bizarre experiments on the patients taken into his care, including vivisection and electroshock treatment. In late 1931, the patients grow tired of the tyranny of Vannacutt, so they burn the asylum to the ground, cutting the doctor apart in the midst. All but 5 of the staff's doctors die in the fire (these probably would have been different statistics, but Vannacutt locked the entire place down using the asylum's security system- "if he was gonna die, they were all gonna die"). Enter Stephen Price 60 years later, the owner of Price Amusement Parks. He is a bitter, cynical, sarcastic man - the point of blame for these traits seem to be his unwilling marriage to his wife, Evelyn Stockhard-Price, the kind of bitch you just love to hate. After seeing a documentary on Dr. Vannacutt, Evelyn decides to have her upcoming birthday party in the recently-restored House. Price tries to change her mind, but she's set with it. Price invites a group of money-hungry guests to the party - for some strange reason, the people who arrive are an absolute different group of strangers. Why, why? The reasons, of course, are revealed later on in the film. Things get interesting as the lock-down mechanism (last used when the place burned down) mysteriously activates again.
The acting is superb. Geoffrey Rush has a great time with his role as Steven Price, the bitingly sarcastic Greg House-like billionaire, whose role is an obvious tribute to Vincent Price, the actor of the original millionaire in the 1959 edition. Famke Jannseen delivers a great performance as his equally sarcastic and sadistic wife. Comedian Chris Kattan pulls off the broken-down, tittering, Watson Pritchett, the seemingly cursed owner of the Asylum who's accepted his inevitable death ("I'd love to get laid before I died"). The rest of the supporting cast (Peter Gallagher as Dr. Blackburn, Taye Diggs as Eddie Baker, Ali Larter as Sara Wolfe, and Bridgette Wilson as super-bitch Melissa Marr) delivers decent performances, and, even though their characters are not the most interesting, deliver their fair share of good one-liners. And, Jeffrey Combs, who definitely deserves a mention, plays the demented Dr. Richard Benjamin Vannacutt - the director of the asylum that started all the trouble in the first place. Combs, though having at the most, 5 minutes of screen time, pulls the role of Vannacutt off terrifyingly well. The way that he walks around the house scared the hell out of me, and the look of his character in itself is dominating.
The asylum is excellently designed. The exterior is so bizarre and offbeat, it looks like a lighthouse-turned-prison. Rather normal during the day, but terrifying at night. And the interior itself is beautiful in a very dark sense - I really wouldn't mind living there were it not for it being haunted by Vannacutt and the rest.
So why doesn't this movie work? Well, the ending has to do with most of this. The screenwriter, Dick Beebe, creates a very intense buildup in his story throughout the first hour/half-hour of his film, and I was really expecting a final twist in the plot for the ending. Unfortunately, Mr. Beebe throws away his efforts and concludes the film by throwing in some evil spirit and killing off the remaining characters in a very overplayed fashion. It's a shame, considering what the finale could have been.
To say the least, this is worth a rental. There are some truly entertaining and terrifying scenes in this remake (Price's trip in the Saturation Chamber, to name one). Even if there are some cheesy moments and lines, and some overplayed CGI at the end, you'll have fun watching it.
Robert Benfer, known better as Knox, has established an excellent
reputation for himself online, his trademark blue blobs of "klaymen"
becoming very popular. Personally, I find his 3-4 minute shorts to be
very funny. Reportedly, none of his shorts have scripts, he simply
makes it up as he goes along. I appreciate this fact very much.
However, the lack of script seemed to me a mistake. Making up 94
minutes of dialog and action as you go along does not seem to work, and
it shows. There are a few parts I find in the movie that seem to drag
on (particularly the very beginning). Usually, I skip through these
Regardless, the film on its own is hilarious. The humor as always is delivered excellently. I even noticed an increment in the quality and time put into animating his figures. His classic simplicity and dryness from his shorts stays with the film, and creates a mood which I just find irresistible.
I would love to see another full-length film from Mr. Benfer. However, I think it would work better of there was a script for it. Understandably, he did this to give it the same feel as his online shorts, but this does not work for a 94-minute film. Downsides put aside, he has created an excellent piece of claymation here!