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23 reviews in total 
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The Betsy (1978)
Interesting.....and Kathy Beller....yes, 31 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Other writers have well summarized the plot, so I will only comment that the writers give us plenty of plot complications but the storyline is refreshingly easy to follow. This is more than just soap opera sex, as the corporate infighting is related well to issues of the founding family, with the corporate developments very well set forth.

I'm a car freak, so I find the silly looking cars in the film a good example of the challenge faced by the Olivier character (Loren Hardeman) in designing and building a sensible car that will actually appeal to a great number of buyers. Hey, were this an easy task, GM would never have gone bankrupt a few years ago. And, this storyline reminds us how huge auto companies have become--rather than being run by family such as the Hardemans here or even the Fords (Ford actually hired an airplane guy from Boeing to run the company). My fellow car freaks might also want to view the "Wheels" from the Arthur Hailey novel....but then that film lacks Kathy Beller so why bother????

Speaking of whom....I would watch Kathy Beller read the phone book for two hours (she is that gorgeous, love her long hair for starters) I think I am being objective when I say her performance is topflight, and I am amused that some other writers feel the same way (she was also great in an eighth (?) season "Hawaii Five-0" episode, Beller fans). This film also gives us other great performances from Duvall and Down ......but oh you reviewers are soooo right about Olivier. I've always found his work overdone and hammy, but, here, ham is served with every word from him.

Fortunately, Olivier does not ruin the pleasure of this enjoy a ripping tale of corporate intrigue with plenty of sex to "complete" the story.....

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
What A Stinker....., 18 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As the previous reviewer asks, please don't judge this wonderful series by this terrible episode. This episode is a preachy, schmaltzy, heavy handed propagandistic sermon in favor of gun control. It is reminiscent of those film strips schools used to run in grade schools, with all the sublety of a sledge hammer. I am open to gun control laws, but I really hate an entertainment series becoming self-righteous as this episode does.

The summary in the prior review does not need to be repeated, but let me add that the script makes Five O and the cops look plain stupid when they apprehend the apparent shooter perhaps 200 feet from a mailbox, see that they guy has no gun, but do not think to check the mailbox for the gun....amazing....

Yep, it's a stinker....

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
It's funny....simple as that, 3 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Come on, people, the film is funny. Too many reviewers are focusing on the bit that Ben Stiller's character is, well, a louse. I have news --there are a lot of louses out there, just as there are a lot of hot looking young women with a history of cocaine abuse. The script isn't afraid to get laughs from these issues, and it does. I laughed hard at the insistence of the Mariachi Band invariably showing up at the most inopportune times, and I loved the sunburn bit cuz I have actually have experiences with young women who would not put on sunscreen for the same reason as the Lila character.

And, I suggest that the ending is not only funny, but is absolutely consistent with Ben Stiller's character....

If anything, this film should be less offensive than the original 1972 version, which is hilarious but does focus on the Jewish man's infatuation with the "dream WASP blonde". Here, both beautiful women seem WASP-y, so no such issue.

So, stop making value judgments and you will probably laugh...

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Terrible, terrible, 27 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Oh, no....this episode is to bad it's a miracle that CBS actually bought the series made from this Pilot. Leonard Freeman, writer and producer, has obviously seen too many James Bond films, with this silly storyline setting up McGarrett as a Super tough guy involved in international intrigue. Steve's job as head of the Hawaii State Police is almost ignored, as he plays Superspy.

One reason why people love this series is the authentic and beautiful filming in America's most beautiful state (Ok, I'm biased, I live in Hawaii). But, this pilot cost about $9--yes, nine dollars== to film, as much of it takes place on a dark set with Wo Fat and Andrew Duggan's character waiting for something to happen, rather than having Steve and the Cast running around actual locations in Hawaii on a police investigation.

Honest, the episodes get way better....ignore this one and watch the rest....

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Great late episode, 19 August 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A fine episode with most of the factors that made Five-0 such a great success for so many years.....this episode is highlighted by a stunning guest performance by Thayer David (perhaps best known for stage work, along with a few memorable film roles) as a crippled mobster.

There is also a great performance by Hawaii born actor Seth Sakai as the rival mobster. Sakai appeared in a number of FIVE0 episodes over the years, but this is one of his best guest shots.

The episode has a car chase with a Lincoln Mark IV racing through sugar cane fields, Steve McGarrett barking orders but displaying rare bits of humor, the makings of a romance involving Dano, and great as usual location filming including the Hyatt Waikiki Hotel (just down the block from Waikiki Park Heights condohotel), the entrance of which hasn't changed much in the last 30 years (I recently walked by this hotel).

The script has double crosses and plenty of suspense....all in all, top flight....

33 out of 46 people found the following review useful:
Original and reasonably interesting...spoilers, 27 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This story of a crazed killer using hits on a website to "assist" him in his killings is a refreshing high tech twist on the what I call the "killer-thriller" type of film. Not all the computer gibberish is comprehensible to those of us--such as myself--who aren't computer geniuses, but the major or breakthrough plot points--the eye blinks for one, the early use of what is actually the GM Onstar system in her SUV for another--are carefully planted and credible.

It's irrelevant to whom Diane Lane is married in real life, or who her mother in law is....what matters is that her performance here is top flight. She lets the makeup department avoid glamorizing her, and she comes across very convincingly as a 40 something woman professional highly competent in her job. I'm not a huge fan of hers (I recall her miscast role in the stinker "Must Like Dogs", but now I'm digressing, sorry) but her performance here is nuanced and top flight.

Refreshingly, the filmic style is even vaguely evocative of those wonderful 1940's Film Noirs, with rainy nights and a generally dark patina. I hear Portland is a cold, rainy city, so setting the story there was a wise move for atmosphere.

Some other writers have already made the point that is a bit amazing how the "bad guy" is sooo competent, and even hacks into her Saab's engine computer....but, hey, maybe its possible and even if it's not it still gives the film an exciting sequence.

Not a masterpiece, but very much worth seeing....

1 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
The scripts improve, I hope....., 12 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I should be a sucker for any of these episodes....I live in and love the state of Hawaii, I know the islands so well I can often pick out where the actual location is in this series or in my favorite, "Hawaii Five-0", I love film noir/forties private eye films, and so on.....but this episode is just ghastly.

The danger/plot revolves around the question of who's a Nazi & who's Jewish.....why it matters soooo much more than 30 years after Nuremberg is given short shrift, and why there are Jews and Nazis chasing each other around Hawaii, of all places, (a state that is about 3% Jewish)adds to the oddity. The acting is laughable, with the Saul character played sooo broadly that it is difficult not to laugh at times. There are attempts at humor, with a sushi delivery--"your wish for fish", but the episode has very little humor or credible drama.

Others will comment on the oddity of the premise....why Robin Masters needs BOTH Magnum and Higgins to "secure" a house to which he almost never comes, how the Magnum character survives since he rarely gets paid for his "cases", why Magnum is allowed to run up all sorts of miles on the boss's Ferrari, and more. This series hit the air just as "Hawaii Five-0" was dying, so the market was probably hot for another Hawaii based series.

The series has enough fans more enthusiastic than I to inspire me to advise skipping this episode and watching later ones....they will be better. The narration is a venerable and sonderful film noir device, and it gives better episodes than this a nice feel...

Too, the location filming is beautiful, especially to those of us, probably almost all of us, who love Hawaii, its perfect climate & its unrivaled natural beauty of beaches and mountains. But later/other episodes will display the breathtaking scenery along with a strong storyline....skip this one and watch those.

6 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Great Mid-Century house, but awful casting...., 1 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am a huge fan of "Hawaii 5-0", but thank heaven the episodes started to improve as this silly episode could have cancelled the series all by itself.

Mainly, we have laughable casting. I challenge you to watch this episode without laughing at the figure of Mexican born Actor Ricardo Montalban playing a Japanese character. Even with the Charlie Chan ---style makeup attempting to give him sorta Asian eyes, he's still a major joke. Personally, I even think it's an insult to Asians, as we were long past the 1930's thing of hiring WASP actors to portray Asian characters (Chan, for example).

But, insult or not, the casting is laughable indeed and makes it impossible to take the script seriously. I suspect Ricardo did the role for a free vacation in Hawaii, and the producers only had this script ready for shooting.....I mean, I can't imagine Mr. Freeman reading the script and saying, "Wow, what a great part for Ricardo Montalban!"

The one really wonderful part of the episode is the use of Henry Kaiser's Estate Home in the beautiful Portlock area of the island of Oahu (East/past Waikiki). Thank you, Hank, for letting them use your house, as the house is an absolute masterpiece of Mid- Century Modern Design. This house is thankfully still standing, and remains one of the most special--and most valuable--homes on the entire Island. (Mr. Kaiser has since died and I believe the house is now owned by a local Asian-American billionaire).

If you cant remember Montalban--unlikely.....yes, he is the guy who went on to make "Corinthian Leather" famous in his commercials for the Chrysler Cordoba. Of course, he didn't use the Asian makeup in those ads.....thankfully.

Tony Rome (1967)
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Sure it's dated....and fun, 4 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Some of the negative posts keep snarling that the film is dated..... sure it is--lots has changed since 1967. For one thing, Jill St. John nee Jill Oppenheim is a classic Rat Pack hottie, with the elaborate hair that never seems out of place and apparently has enough shellac in it to varnish a kitchen. The hippie movement brought us the natural look in "hottie" women, with long, straight flowing hair and little makeup, but Frank's Rat Pack women were still into a gaudy Vegas look. And, I'm no expert on 1967 fashions, but I sure don't think men ran around in a warm climate (I was raised in So Cal) wearing hats with their suits.....but enjoy this look back at 1967, when fashions and what was "cool" were changing dramatically (today's starts don't even change their names, chuckle).

The film is beautifully filmed on actual Miami locations, by a renowned cinematographer Joseph Biroc (check him out here on IMDb). And, of course Richard Conte's house is no mansion, with its chain link fence along the waterway---he's an honest cop, not a multi- zillionaire....but the house looks real cuz it is real!

I submit that Richard Breen's script if full of truly great "hard boiled" lines.....even the one where Jill dumps Frank, telling him, "you'd probably just lose me in a poker game anyway" and Frank agrees. Check out Sue Lyon, who looks great to me--if Jill fails to excite you (she does nothing for me), I think you'll like Sue, as she is even convincing in the part (beside being hot looking).

So, stop being grouchy and enjoy!

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:, 29 December 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The movie is just plain fun....maybe more fun for those of us who were kids and fans of "The Ramones" around the time the film was made. I've watched the film over and over, by myself and with friends, and it is still fresh and funny. At the risk of being too serious, the concept of being a big fan of a certain band is timeless, and high school students boredom with drudgery of some classes is just as timeless.

And, the film has some gem lines/scenes.....references to how our "permanent record" in high school will follow us through life. (Let me assure you I've been out of high school for, uhhh, some years and it's not following me).....the famous "static" line ("I'm getting some static"....."Not as much as you're going to get", as Principal Togar approaches).....the school board member who is so decrepit he's attended by nurses....the Nazi Hall Monitors love for a "body search" ......Principal Togar announcing, "I give you the final solution", and burning the Ramones records (note: records were what came before CD's) ....and of course Joey Ramone noting, "Things sure have changed since we got kicked out of high school", followed by Togar asking "Do your parents know you're Ramones?"

Just one piece of advice.....don't look up where the stars are now.....Joey Ramone sadly died young. Dey Young, who was a major hottie in the film, today reminds us we all age....PJ Soles career never advanced as we might have expected......... Marla Rosenfield, as one the other students, apparently appeared only in this film (one of my male friends dies over her every time we watch the film), though I submit her performance was more than adequate and should have brought her more teen film roles. And, does anyone know what happened to DJ Don Steele?

So, watch and enjoy.....don't think....just have FUN!

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