Reviews written by registered user

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16 reviews in total 
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15 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
What the heck???, 29 July 2010

Nazis, House Unamerican Activities Committee, Dachau, man with scar on face, Nazi doctor, floating children, scary lighthouse... Martin, what in the heck??? I'm sure there was a story in there somewhere. A story that has been done a million times over and much, much better.

It is impossible to cite specific instances of guffaw-inducing movie-making in Shutter Island--because it was so darn awful THROUGHOUT! The first clue was that inane pounding, silent-film-organ-like music that introduced every scene you in which you were supposed to scream--and not laugh hysterically. If they had cut out all that flashback nonsense, which of course I am sure Scorcese thought was so wonderfully 'artistic', they could have got the film down to about 90 minutes and could have had, well, certainly not a GOOD movie but one that was definitely not as awful as what was produced. Reminded me a lot of Gangs of New York, which also started out very strong but then went on for 100 hours. At least that was an interesting subject and prompted me to buy the book it was based on and read it. I certainly don't feel that way about Shutter Island. And did I see the same movie as the positive reviewers saw?

There's 2-1/2 hours of my life I'll never get back.

11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
I AM a professional archaeologist and this show is GREAT!, 25 April 2010

Reading the negative reviews of this show, one has to wonder if these folks have a sense of humor and actually enjoy history and archeology presented in as dry and humorless a form as possible. No wonder kids remember nothing about history from school because for the most part, this is the way it is taught: Dry and totally boring.

I LOVE Simcha's take on archeology. Middle Eastern archeology was not my field but he has sure taught me a lot more about it than any dry textbook because I actually WATCH and LISTEN and LEARN from the Naked Archaeologist. I agree that his sense of humor is not for everyone but the ranting of the negative reviews of this show is a bit much. Really, this show presents history in a way that actually makes one want to know more about the subject presented, instead of falling asleep in class or tuning out, which is unfortunately the way history is generally taught in school.

Keep the faith, Simcha!

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Made me go out and buy an all-region DVD player, 12 September 2008

I first saw this on BBC America. I'm not sure if UK fans realize this but it is cut up for commercials here in the US (even though it is BBC America) and whole plot lines are cut out of each episode to fit it into 60 minutes with commercials. You might be shocked at what exactly gets left out of this show (one example is the episode with Warren and the Bent Copper thing where they go to the Warren's Nest--and on BBC America they cut out the whole scene where Sam talks to Marc Bolan from T-Rex to fit in a commercial).

Sigh... American TV. Anyway, because of crap like this, I was actually forced to buy an all-region DVD player so I could see these wonderful episodes uncut. And what an incredible show this is! That last episode: ****SPOILER ALERT***** I can't imagine it is going to end that way here in the US. All the PC anti-suicide groups will be totally up in arms here. Really, it will be interesting to see how they manage to end the US version of the show--if it gets that far. I was disappointed to hear they were going to make a whole new, American version of this great show. From the preview I saw on TV here, it looks EXACTLY like the first episode of the British version. I don't have very high hopes for the American version of LOM. I have encouraged people here (and the in-laws in Australia) to watch the British version but unfortunately it is not available here in the US in our DVD format--so, get that all-region DVD player, that's my recommendation! One of the most unique things I have seen on television ever. A definite 10/10.

9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Made me a Dr Who Fan, 12 September 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Like a few others here, I was never a Dr. Who fan. I saw the old Tom Baker show and frankly thought it was silly. I just happened to catch this episode while channel surfing and was totally hooked in. This was definitely one of the creepiest 60 minutes I think I have ever seen on TV! Those angels, especially at the end with the montage of them moving closer and closer to Sally, her friend and the Tardis, had me literally shrieking! It doesn't get any better than this! Anyway, since I first saw this a few months back, I've managed to catch episodes from all 4 current Dr. Who series as it is shown here in the US on both BBC America and the SciFi Channel. This episode is definitely one of the best. The other episode among those I have seen of the new Dr. Who that I consider the best is the Girl In The Fireplace. Others here have mentioned that one.

Anyway, Blink made me a huge Dr. Who fan and though I really prefer Eccleston's version of Dr. Who, Tennant has grown on me.

Great show, maybe I'll even give the Tom Baker version another chance...

7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Definitely One of the Best Episodes of Tales of the Darkside, 5 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This show haunted me for 20-plus years. I honestly could not remember what series featured this haunting episode warning one to NEVER SIT IN THE LAST CAR!! At the time, I was traveling on Amtrak up and down the Pacific Coast and after viewing this episode, refused to sit in the last car. Very reminiscent of a classic Thomas Disch story with barely a beginning and never an ending.

After 20 years of trying to find this episode, I finally watched it again this morning. Still haunting, frightening, eerie... An episode that answers few questions: Why was the last car almost empty while the rest of the cars on the train were full? Why would the conductor not come back until another passenger entered the last car? Was the girl traveling home for the Thanksgiving holidays dead? Incredible... Definitely one of the best episodes of this actually very interesting series. A true heir to the Twilight Zone.

30 out of 33 people found the following review useful:
Another Masterpiece from Gerd Oswald and Conrad Hall, 20 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One of the penultimate Outer Limits episodes. Frightening as a child but even more frightening as an adult, when one truly understands the underlying theme of this episode: Energy can never be created or destroyed; the consequences of one's actions live on forever. As with most, if not all, of the Outer Limits' episodes, there is the "monster" for the 10-year-olds with a story that they can follow but also with the real, adult story line that everyone involved with the show is trying to convey.

Basically, some sort of entity crawls out of the woodwork and is sucked up by a custodian in a rather black comedic moment (in light of what follows), as the frustrated lady attempts to vacuum up the reluctant apparent dust mouse in the corner which, of course, is not your ordinary dust mouse but some malevolent force which is then unleashed upon the Norco testing facility via the cleaning lady's vacuum cleaner. A funny intro indeed and much better than the Outer Limits' habit of introducing their shows with a teaser shot of the upcoming monster, thus destroying much of the tension of the episode.

Gerd Oswald (Director) and Conrad Hall (Cinematographer) provide an incredible film noir atmosphere with the unusual tilted camera angles and the scenes which are most often half dark with everyone but the main character in silhouette only, except for an occasional effective whiff of cigarette smoke. The episodes that these 2 gentlemen guided were indeed the best of the Outer Limits, one of the best shows ever made for television.

18 out of 26 people found the following review useful:
One of the best from one of the best television series ever, 18 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As a child watching this episode, the lack of a real monster made it one of the least interesting. However, in light of the Bush/Cheney NSA wiretapping and who knows what other invasions of privacy, this episode of Outer Limits becomes incredibly relevant to today's news headlines.

OBIT has the capacity to spy on anyone, anywhere, anytime. As one of the individuals points out, he could not help himself spying on his neighbors and friends; it was an addiction. This is the real theme of this episode--the absolute power corrupts absolutely. Any technology will be used without our vigilance.


Of course, as Outer Limits had to have a monster in each episode, it turned out that the evil behind OBIT was not a corrupt politician as we have today touting the NSA wiretapping but an ALIEN, once again using our fears against us. This is actually rather a let-down of an ending in a way: We were shown who the alien was at the beginning. The real horror is the idea of these OBIT machines moving into everyday life, as was taking place in this episode; it was mentioned that not only was the government using OBIT but businesses and other entities also. A frightening denouement, truly giving one shivers down the back.

Gerd Oswald, the director, does a wonderful job with this episode, as he did with many others, with his odd camera angles and strange entrances and exits by characters from the scenes, as well as Conrad Hall with his amazingly spooky cinematography which seems to have been digitally remastered on the DVD I have reviewed.

An incredible and underrated episode of one of the best TV shows ever.

12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Man Walks Into a Bar..., 5 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the introduction, Serling is seen sitting at a table in a bar, smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer. Yep, he's going to tell you a joke. Which is basically what this episode is. An amusing little tale involving a much-abused Everyman who is suddenly given the strength of 300 men by aliens from Mars conducting experiments, a power which he uses for carnival tricks. Seeing this, and in the camera-lights' glare, his powers are suddenly taken away and he is made to look the fool. As things are returning to normal, more Aliens Walk Into the Bar and give him the intelligence of 500 men, which of course our hero uses to call plays on baseball for a couple of bookies. And there the story ends, with Serling advising us that our hero will probably lose these powers soon too but will probably experience many more because there are countless inhabited planets constantly sending emissaries and, of course, our hero is living in the Twilight Zone. A funny little line from Serling here ending this bar story, not with a huge punchline (as with most bar jokes) but with a little snicker and laugh. And, of course, what makes this episode so amusing is Burgess Meredith's performance, with the help of special guest star Don Rickles. An amusing, different TZ and a relief from some of the more somber episodes (which we all need from time to time!).

9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Best Laid Plans..., 5 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's hard to add anything new to the previous posts about this episode. Definitely one of the best half hours ever produced for television. A gut-wrenching ending, even if you have seen it time after time. Burgess Meredith's performance, in what is essentially a one-man show, is so incredibly memorable and affecting--an Everyman we can all identify with, experiencing some of our darkest fears.

An interesting quote from Meredith's mini-biography on IMDb:

"Like the seasons of the year, life changes frequently and drastically. You enjoy it or endure it as it comes and goes, as it ebbs and flows."

The best laid plans, in other words. Funny how in 1939 he starred in another movie involving the best laid plans: Of Mice and Men.

This is the 25th most memorable moment on television?? I'll have to check out what the other 24 are because it is hard to imagine another moment on TV more striking than the ending of this episode of Twilight Zone.

8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Done many times before but still an entertaining TZ, 4 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Astronaut crash-lands on a planet with friendly aliens who it turns out have an ulterior motive in creating a nice place for him to live--it's a cage in a zoo! OK, this has been done many, many times before in both visual and written SF but it is a fun TZ episode, especially for the time-capsule effect of the 1960 house and the ideas of what we might find on Mars.

Another poster mentions this episode as being just like the Star Trek episode "The Cage". Not really. However, the use of the same actress in both episodes is kind of strange... The only similarity in the theme of this TZ episode to the ST episode is that the protagonist is lured into a cage. Roddenberry wrote the ST episode and a writer named Paul Fairman wrote the original TZ story with the teleplay being written by Serling. There is no evidence that these are connected. You can find this theme of aliens with ulterior motives everywhere: Remember, "To Serve Man"? A fun TZ with MacDowell giving an eccentric performance and a Mars that no one would believe. Not the best episode but definitely not the worst.

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