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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Chasing Phantoms, 8 July 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Right off the bat, the male audience is titillated with the guarantee of "brief nudity" viewer discretion advised. Was it Beth in her bra and panties? Close but no cigar. Later, Megan slips into the bathroom to take a bath before dinner—big letdown. Finally, at the end, literally a rear-end: Roger's. The gotcha joke's on us—the promise was seemingly a slick ploy to keep our attention, anticipation. Was the "warning' really necessary for an after prime-time cable show geared to an adult audience? I mean, sex has not been an insignificant theme for this show. We recently saw Marie's head in Roger's lap doing you know what. Anyway, there's also mouth references for this episode: Don's tooth, Harry's "scurvy," Pete's Lifesavers, Ginsberg's outburst (mouthing off), Roger's "conversation," Peggy's smoking, Beth's electro shock therapy. Don's seething toothache—emblematic of his past (hallucinations of Adam) and also his future, as Adam puts it, more than the tooth is rotten. Will Don keep on with Megan? He wants her to stay home. Will there be a baby in the future? But, as his mother-in-law advises him, he doesn't understand the artistic type. (Of course Don is artistic—creativity is the coin of his realm.) As for Harry's scurvy—he's stuck in small windowless office with a column running through it. Like sailors of old deprived of fruits and vegetables, he's been pigeonholed in a dead end position, starved of what he needs to do his job. He's supposed to be in charge of placing ads on TV but can't even get TV reception in his office. Will his life improve when the office space is expanded? Then, Pete wants "fresh" Lifesavers from the lobby. He's bored, despite being a rain maker and partner in a profitable agency, and with a beautiful wife and baby daughter and a house in the country. Yet, he's pathetic— acting like a spoiled brat--he wants a new woman to run off to L.A. where's there's sunshine. A ranch house with a pool is out of place in New York but would be perfect in the San Fernando Valley. Better learn to drive if he's going to California. His weakness is impulsiveness. In the hospital with Beth, Pete covertly decries his family as if they're causing him some great harm and holding him back from obtaining his true destiny. Will Pete foolishly throw it all away? (or perhaps start SCDP west coast foreshadowed in season 2 episode "Meditations in an Emergency") As for Beth, she's gone from feeling blue to living temporarily in a cloud of gray—a metaphor for Pete's life, as well as other characters--products of the 60s, living a philosophy of moral relativism—there is no black or white—only "grey." Pete ridding himself of his family; it's easy erasing a bad memory—painful but not all that shocking. Now back to Ginsberg. He's had it; tired of being under appreciated. He mouths off to Don who just shrugged off a racial slur aimed at the black secretary. Is Ginsberg going to jump ship like Peggy? Next, there's Roger; still a mischievous schoolboy playing antics (breathing on the phone) looking for an adventure—a lot more than just "conversation." He wants another LSD trip. He's living dangerously on the edge—boozing, sex addict, burned through two expensive marriages; had one heart attack already. Will he learn his lesson or is he about to leave for a better place like Lane? We check in with Peggy at her new job—been ordered to take up smoking to try out the new ladies cig. Will it work out? Yeah, sure she gets to ride in a plane for the first time from New York all the way to Virginia and stay in some nondescript motel. But, did she quit SCDP prematurely, just when SCDP is about to expand? The episode culminates with carefully choreographed character snippets to song "You Only Live Twice" (1967, Nancy Sinatra; James Bond movie). This episode taking place about Easter 1967—film was released shortly thereafter. Immediately before song starts, we hear "rehearsal in five" as Megan's in the Beauty and the Beast Butler shoe commercial. She's the beauty. Where the beast? We're left to speculate as Don walks off the set, into darkness, and into the bar (decorated mid 60s Chinese American, a nod to the Asian setting of the Bond flick.) Subliminally, with the music in the background, Don appears like Bond. We're now "rehearsing" foreseeing the future. Lyrics, perfectly symmetrical with the character's lives: "one life for yourself, and one for your dreams." We're taken to Peggy's motel room; she looks out the window--two dogs screwing. We hear "you drift through the years as life seems tame." There's the "tame" dogs humping, perhaps predicting Peggy's screwed the pooch by leaving SCDP. Peggy hops into bed; "till one dream appears and love is its name." Will Peggy find love? Then, to Pete—eyes closed, headphones on, "love is a stranger who'll beckon you on." Will Pete leave? Next, Roger standing nude on the chair, outstretched arms ready to fly out that window, high on LSD, "don't think of the danger." Will he get a grip on reality? Finally, Don. Will he "pay the price" for the exotic girl resembling Japanese actress, Bond girl, Mie Hama who posed nude in Playboy June 1967. So, were there any phantoms in the episode as the title suggests? Yes—Joan spots Lane's empty chair (his life is over in a snap leaving meaningless money for Mrs. Pryce while answers to her questions remain elusive), Megan's career, a "phantom" per her French speaking mother, and seeing her projected on screen in black in white, silent, ethereal, and also the ghost of Adam still "hanging" around (rope burns on the neck) (the show killed off two characters by suicide); and all the characters chasing some intangible dream. My Phantom—to be a writer for Mad Men.

The Mist (2007)
1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Most Shocking Ending Ever???, 24 June 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I bought a DVD of this film because it was hyped as the having the most shocking ending ever. But, I got sucker-punched. The ending is shocking but only because you're so shocked at how the ending is so lame and cowardly. The movie is basically boring. The crazy Christian thing was completely ridiculous. Questions: How is it that the people in the jeep never see or hear anything (for miles) such as the army fighting the monsters but the army is right behind them just moments before they commit suicide? Project Arrowhead?? How do the characters know the name of a top secret army research project? Why do the people in the store not hear the monster banging against the back door and then think it is joke especially after the "earthquake"? Is the mist poisonous? Why are the soldiers wearing gas masks but the citizens in the trucks are not and seem fine? How was the mist dissipated? Is the army killing the monsters? If so, how?

8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Fascinating Movie History--Must See, 9 March 2009

This is one of the best behind the scenes documentaries a movie history buff is going to see of early motion picture production. It is MGM 1925. It covers every department at MGM at that time. You are not viewing a documentary made today but one made in 1925. Excellent quality. I discovered it was aired on TCM in December 2007. I had "The Smart Set" on my DVR (a silent MGM picture from 1928 with William Haines). I recently watched it and discovered this gem at the end--in between films. It is amazing "living" history from 84 years ago. Every film history class should view this. I liked seeing the people in the film who all seem very much alive, enjoying life and their profession.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A lot of bang for the buck but where's the Bond?, 18 November 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Yes, there's a spectacular opening car chase sequence. And, if you're into chases, this is a film for you. Every type of chase is here. But, there's nothing new. If you've been to only a few of the numerous spy thriller, mystery-suspense, superhero, race car, action adventure movies in the last decade, then you've seen this movie--over and over. Yawn. What's missing is that special James Bond element you get with Sean and Roger. There's nothing too memorable about Quantum. I saw the movie a few hours ago and the title still doesn't make much sense. The two villains are forgettable--a wimp and supposedly mean general straight out of central casting. Did I get that right that the general is from Russia but is now dictator of Bolivia? I've already forgotten their names. That's probably due to a confusing plot. Minor characters come and go for no good reason. Why is the CIA and that Italian guy in this thing at all? Where is the lovable psycho scientist vying for world domination? Where are the new gadgets? OK, I did like the eye popping touch screen computer but sensuality and laughs are out. OK, one of the girls looked cute--shrug--and I slightly chuckled once, maybe twice.