Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
The District (2000)
Show started with potential but quickly sank into the muck and maudlin
I really liked this show in the beginning, and wanted to keep liking it as it went on, but was forced to finally give up on it as the creators gave its characters more bizarre responses to situations they found themselves placed in. For example, most likely not being Christians themselves, the writers of the show stupidly decided to make two of the main characters, Temple Page and Ella Fitzgerald, professed Christians, during home life and work. But these guys have no idea how to show the way true Christians, respond in times of crisis. Suddenly, when a drugged-up jerk accidentally kills Temple's fiancé, he blames the guy who killed her until he gets caught, and after that, for the rest of the series, blames it all on God! Jeez, whatever happened to suggesting that the Devil might have had a hand in it, or just being at the wrong place at the wrong time - after all, she worked at a trauma center in the worst part of the city. Sure, have a Christian, the first time something goes wrong, lose his faith. Smart! It really would have been better to have made these people highly moral souls, like we had on The Waltons. It's easier to accept a moral person falling from grace then someone who for 30 shows has claimed to be a Christian and suddenly and for the rest of the series quits and becomes this disgusting empty shell of a man. A moral person might find his morality once again, in time. A Christian will stumble, but when counseled, will most likely see the truth in things, and because of his years of study, that foundation will keep him firm and steady enough to find his way back. These writers just couldn't see that.
Then there's Ella - nice, kind Christian Ella - who can't stand the idea that her nephew won't get that little toy for Christmas that the store was supposed to have on hand and got so mad she called the cops on him! Great Christian humility - did she care about the other patrons in the store who didn't get their toys? No, it was all about her, and it always was in many other scenes, despite her being a Christian - even when it came to her boyfriend/fiancé/husband, and even nephew. Her job and loyalty to Mannion and the force always came before her loyalty to her family which was greatly supported by Mannion because his life was is such great shape from working that way - yeah, right! And after awhile, I just found it so hard to suspend disbelief at the acts Mannion was able to accomplish that most ordinary police chiefs would not have accomplished in the same situations because of all the bureaucratic red tape needed to cut through and palms needed to grease and every other compromise he refused to accept, in order to get half the things he got. He also burned so many bridges and made too many enemies to be as effective as he was that I finally could only accept that it was through the blessings of Hollywood chicanery that Mannion got all the bills and acts passed that he did.
Finally, those other cops, Nancy Parris and Phil Brander - god, I never heard such whiners in my life. They were more like cop-wannabes, and the day that Brander made Lt., I knew the world came to an end.
The Outcasts (1968)
Still a good western series even after all these years
I was a sophomore in high school when I first saw The Outcasts on television. At the time I really thought it was a great show, especially significant for the times we were going through. I lived just outside Newark at the time, and only the year before we had just been through the riots there, so the atmosphere was still very tense, just a year later. I thought this show was an interesting attempt to unite black and white during a time when, even earlier in our country's history there was an almost or perhaps even greater tumultuous era when man was treating man to his detriment and would do so for decades to come, despite his race or creed.
Watching the show again as I've been doing, I am happy to find that, unlike many shows made during the late '60's and '70's, this one has not shown any real signs of being dated from having been made during that time. The black/white issues were constrained to and dealt entirely within the confines of the post-Civil War era, showing no sign of attempting to influence the program with 1960's civil rights movement bias or agenda by writers or creators.
The only thing I have occasionally wondered about is that both men seem to freely walk into bars and saloons without a care in the world when I would think that, this soon after the end of the war, people might be quite reluctant or even downright angry about having these kind of people in their establishment. Otis Young's character, as a newly freed slave, and a black man, and Don Murray's character, as a young, proud Southerner, whose pride and arrogance might have helped lead to the death of some of the sons and brothers of the men who these two anti-heroes were to run into, was bound to be on the mind of some of those people they met. I think if the writers had had them show some reticence in going into each of these new places, or at least show they were keeping a closer eye on their backs by having someone attack it and show them protecting it successfully, that way we would see just how well they were watching their backs.
Also, luckily, westerns made during that period, unlike comedies and dramas, except on those certain occasions, were pretty much devoid of the bell-bottom pants, afro-style hair cuts, and slang, hip language that was born of that period. These fads, along with lava lamps and flashing psychedelic spotlights against mirrored balls, now having long since gone out of style, have further dated and aged many of those others television shows and movies from that time period, all of which make us wonder, while watching them today, what these people were thinking back then. Either that the 70's would last forever or that their films were not meant to be watched beyond a period of 5 years or more.
A good show, just had some aggravating moments
Jag was a favorite show of mine from the time of it's inception to well after it's demise. From the late 1990's until somewhere around 2007, I caught both the latest seasons' runs on NBC and CBS and any reruns I could watch on syndication. It was almost by mutual choice that I stopped watching the reruns as their offering grew more and more scarce, and I was growing a bit weary of them.
But during that period of time, Jag had been for me one of the most stabilizing shows on television ever offered in quite some time, the only other like it back then being "The District", starring Craig T. Nelson as Officer Jack Mannion. I liked the strength of Harmon Rabb's character's moral fiber, coming as it did during and after the seeming moral breakdown of President Clinton's I did not have sex with that girl! - four years in office.
Even as they at first seemed to try so hard to make his character into some type of playboy swinger gigolo personality, much along the lines of Richard Gere and David Kieth in "Officer and a Gentleman", or like Anthony Dinozzo, from "NCIS", it was finally so refreshingly nice to see a guy who had standards he upheld, who didn't have one night stands with every girl he met, just to prove he could, or just because they might ask.
I did have problems with certain seasons, or at least with certain portions of some seasons. I really had trouble with Brumby, and his preference to settle his cases, rather than to go the extra mile to seek out justice for his client, and to differentiate justice from the letter of the law. I liked how Rabb looked for that in the cases he tried, and would have shivered had I ever been defended by Brumby.
I also could not see what Mac found attractive and/or alluring in him. I mean, I guess I could, but just because Brumby was a muscle-bound he-man hunk, how did Mac really think she could have made a marriage out of that kind of attraction alone. Because of this skimpy plot line, and my inability to get to like the Brumby character in the first place, I was really hard pressed to follow that part of the series.
And then Tiner becomes a lawyer! Ach! What next, I thought! Suddenly, a Wikkan crystal putting a curse on the entire Jag offices! OMG! Things sometimes really got silly on this show.
The saving grace was that there were ten years of shows and only these few glitches to sit through. However, it was these few glitches that only allow me to give this show a 7 out of a 10 star rating.
A Tricky Movie to Review
This is a very hard film to review. It is a very good film, I think I can say that, a film about depression and despair, but I will not give it any stars. Again, not because I don't like it, because at one time, I really did. I first saw this film back in 1987 and loved it so much I went out and bought the VHS and, after that point, probably watched it over six or seven times in the span of a two year period. Not so much because it was such a great film, but rather because it confounded me so much. I can't tell you how many times I tried to make sense of it, especially the ending, and just wanted to see if I couldn't understand just exactly what happened there. It starts with the overlapping of the faces of the nurse, Alma and the actress, Elizabeth, as though they were actually trading places or exchanging identities, both mentally and physically. Then, at the end, when the bus comes to pick Alma up, the camera angle of the shot was taken from so far away, I wondered if Elizabeth had taken the nurse's uniform and that it was she, not Alma, leaving the cottage, now cured, chipper and unconcerned, while inside, Alma now lay there, broken in spirit and body.
The reason I say I liked this film about mental illness and depression was because at the time of my first viewing I was going through a period of my own dark despair and I found a kindred spirit in this film, a sort of empathy with the characters. I think many others going through similar situations today will like this film as well and for them I highly recommend this film, feeling they will enjoy the nuances of shadow and light, substance and air, life and death. At that time I would have given it 4 stars out of 5.
However, long since out of my depression, I tried to watch this same film about a month ago and said to myself, "Jeez, What did I ever see in this thing?", and had to stop watching after twenty minutes. So to those not so afflicted, not so connected to their inner demons, I would warn to avoid this film (unless you are a film buff and just enjoy foreign films because they're there), because it offers nothing you can't see better examples of in other films, such as "Seventh Seal" and "Wild Strawberries." At this time I give it 1 star out of 5.
The Widow's Might (2009)
I hate to be the odd-man out here, but...
I really was disappointed in the overall development and acting in this film. Mostly, though, my disfavor was in the acting. It just seemed too hokey, as if the actors were mostly plodding along here, not really caring about what they were doing, as if they really had nothing vested in the saving of the Widow's homestead. And the dialog - it seemed like they were concentrating really hard to keep from saying "um," after each line they spoke, so the speeches came out choppy and disjointed, and really insincere. Also the expressions on their faces at times did not match the lines that were spoken, so again things just seemed awkward.
Don't get me wrong. I really liked the idea, the concept that the film was attempting to convey, and being a Jehovah Witness myself, it is a rare experience to see a modern day film where a character refers to God using his given name, Jehovah, instead of merely God or Father. I haven't seen or rather heard that since DeMille's later epics, and it was a breath of fresh air. Still, for me, it only improved the film somewhat.
However, for children and youngsters alike, for the non-critical viewer, I can see how this could be an entertaining time spent, as it does convey a somewhat uplifting and praiseworthy message that should endear the young at heart. So if you don't examine it too closely for the flaws that are there, and apparently other reviewers were able to do just that, then you might be able to find for you and your young ones that this is a movie you will all enjoy.
Also, let me apologize to anyone who might be reading this review for IMDb's oversight in slipping it into the "loved it" filter even though I only gave the movie 5 stars and have not written many endearing remarks about the film. If they had a "contact us" link here I would definitely use it to see if I could straighten out the situation, but it seems they do not. Again, I apologize in advance for their abuse of my review.
Lone Rider (2008)
Uninspired and unnoteworthy western
I purchased this film primarily because it was a Hallmark film and because of the well known actors starring in it. However, after watching it, I can't help but note how stilted the performances and dialogue were, as well as how disjointed the direction and editing was. Nothing about the film flowed smoothly nor did it move from one scene to the next with any sense of rhythm or style.
However, what really threw me and kept me from being able to immerse myself into the fantasy of it all, was that in the beginning of the film, Phillips said, during a narration, that he had just retired from the Army after having spent 25 years serving in it, just getting out after the Civil War ended. That would mean he was somewhere in his mid-40's. Yet by golly if he didn't look as if he was still 33 or 34 and fresh as a daisy. If he had just spent 25 years in the Army, and especially the last 5 in battle, he would at least look something more like Russell Crowe from "Gladiator", finally come home from his last victory for Rome. He should have been more down-trodden, weary, and old. Keach, his father, was at least 65 now, and should have looked much older than he appeared as well. So saying, in addition to everything else I mentioned, nothing seemed to be as it should have been in this film.