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Lightning Strikes (2009)
Sizzling Lightning Monster Flick
I respect the opinions of other reviewers on IMDb, but sadly, from time to time, you spot a tendency for the writers of these movie reviews to follow the leader. If the first guy says a movie is lousy, the rest play copy cat. I'm going to play Devil's Advocate for this film. It is not a bad movie. It is an entertaining movie. The plot is a little predictable (small town setting; pumpkin festival bringing in the tourists; rugged Sheriff trying to protect the citizens; stupid Mayor squashing Sheriff's effort to warn the citizens; professional monster hunter in town to deal with the menace) and it is not much of a stretch to surmise the script's inspiration was Jaws. It is obviously a low budget film and most of the actors have thin resumes. But if you are looking for a Saturday afternoon fun session sitting around with the guys knocking back a few beers, and this flick comes on the SyFy Channel, ignore the naysayers who wrote such negative reviews, and give this film a try. It will reward you with a couple of hours of solid entertainment.
Impressing Greeks in Limos
Hyacinth's desire to impress other people is clearly evident in this episode. Rose has a new boyfriend, a Greek named Mr. Marianopolis, and when Rose tells Hyacinth that she will be picked up in a Limo owned by Mr. Marianopolis, Hyacinth goes into high gear making assumptions about Mr. Marianopolis and how she can look good in his eyes. Until the Limo invitation, Hyacinth had not been keen about Onslow's proposed surprise birthday party. With Rose apparently dating someone wealthy for a change, Hyacinth decides Onslow's gift must be gold cuff links. She also begins preparation for an elaborate luncheon at her home with the Vicar, Elizabeth and Emmet, the Major, and many neighbors attending. Unfortunately, the Greek's Limo is in for repairs and he picks up Rose in a hearse! Hyacinth has a houseful of guests when the hearse arrives. Hyacinth goes into panic mode, urging Rose and the Greek to keep circling the block while she tries to keep her guests from learning how badly her plans have gone awry. She practically collapses from exhaustion at the episode's end, vowing that Onslow's engraved cuff links will be returned to the jeweler the next morning. This is a hilarious episode, one of the series best.
Dorothy encounters an author with pretensions of grandeur
Sophia is cooking lasagna when Blanche comes into the kitchen. Rose comes in with her new costume for the masquerade ball, a zebra. She cannot decide whether or not she wants to be the front end or the rear end. Dorothy comes in and announces her life is totally boring. Blanche tells Dorothy she cannot help being boring, God did this to her to provide variety on the earth. Dorothy says there is a lecture at the school that evening. Novelist Barbara Thorndyke is speaking and she may attend. Later that evening, Dorothy reveals that she had a good time at the lecture and she introduced herself to the author. She has invited Mrs. Thorndyke over to their home. Barbara arrives and she gives Dorothy an autographed copy of her latest book. Dorothy is thrilled. Barbara seems to be upset at some of Rose's remarks. Rose has said a few things which reveal she is not as sophisticated as perhaps Barbara expected from Dorothy's roommates. So she unexpectedly leaves their home, and Dorothy asks to accompany her to her car. Next day, Barbara asks Dorothy to go to the experimental theater downtown, and Dorothy agrees to go. Rose and Blanche decide to invite Barbara over for dinner. Blanche reveals she has read Barbara's book, and she has had problems with some of the metaphors, particularly the waves. Sophia leaves on a date, and Barbara leaves right behind her. Barbara invites Dorothy for an event on the coming Friday night, but Rose is upset because that is the night she planned on Dorothy being the "behind" in her zebra costume at the masquerade ball. Dorothy replies that there is finally a choice in her life: she can either mingle with literary idols or be the rear end of a horse staring at Rose's ass. She says she intends to go to Barbara's soirée. On Friday night, Blanche and Rose are teasing Dorothy about Barbara, and then they admit that they do not like the woman. Rose tells Dorothy she is making a mistake about Barbara. At the restaurant, Dorothy and Barbara are dining and looking over the menu which is much like a book. Dorothy reveals there has been some tension in their home since Barbara came into her life. Barbara suggests that she invite everyone to a grand dinner at the Mortimer Club. Barbara shows up at their home with a date, Norman, who looks like a long-haired teenager. Sophia's date, Murray Guttmann, arrives as well. Barbara asks Dorothy to meet her in the kitchen. She reveals that the Mortimer Club restricts their guests, and they do not allow Jews into the club. Dorothy reacts with horror that Barbara is anti-Semitic. Dorothy tells Barbara that she cannot be friends with someone who is prejudiced. Barbara storms out of the house. Rose and Blanche ask Dorothy if she will go to the masquerade ball after all, and she replies that, after her performance the last few days, she will be honored to be the horse's behind.
The Golden Girls: Charlie's Buddy (1987)
Rose dodges a bullet.
The girls are gathered in the living room discussing Dorothy's new dress. When Rose expresses a liking for the dress, Dorothy decides to take it back to the store. She wants Sophia to go with her when she takes the dress back to the store. As Sophia walks out the door, a man is there with his hand raised to knock. His name is Buddy Hawk and he is an old wartime buddy of Charlie, Rose's former husband. He says he got Rose's address from Charlie's pension records, and he stopped by to pay her his respects. He invites Rose to have lunch with him the next day. At lunch the next day, Buddy tells Rose that Charlie used to read Rose's letters to her during the war. Buddy says he has been searching for someone like Rose all his life, but never found her. He said that he thinks he fell in love with Rose after hearing Charlie's letters. Then, he tenderly kisses Rose in the restaurant. Next day, Dorothy is showing off her new gown to Sophia. Suddenly, Blanche comes into the room wearing the exact same dress. Dorothy insists that Blanche return the duplicate. Rose comes in with the news that Buddy is going back to Boston, and he wants Rose to go with him and they plan on living together. Rose says that she might do it. Dorothy and Blanche become suspicious of Buddy when he asks Rose to give him all her money before they leave for Boston. Dorothy looks into Buddy's background and discovers he has spent 45 years in the Army pensions department. That is where he obtained all the information he has about Charlie. Dorothy and Blanche want to warn Rose about Buddy, but she has gone to the bank and they do not know how to get in touch with her. Then we learn that Rose has met Buddy. Even though Rose does not know he is a con man, she tells him that she does not love him and cannot go to Boston with him. She does reveal that she has a gift for him that she obtained from her safety deposit box. It is Charlie's old pocket watch. She offers it to him. Buddy, apparently is touched by the simple faith that Rose has shown in her memories of Charlie, and he tells her he cannot accept the gift, and he bids her adieu. That night, in her king size bed, Rose offers up a little prayer to Charlie. Her simple good memories of him when he was in her life have saved her from becoming involved in a bad situation.
Judith's Mother, Lenore, is a lush
Jake really wants to drive Charlie's car. Meanwhile, Judith and her husband want to have a weekend away in Laguna Beach, so they get Judith's mother, Lenore, (played by Annie Potts) to babysit the newborn baby girl. Alan goes over to be with the baby and Lenore. Lenore comes on to Alan in a major way, making suggestive remarks and licking his fingers. We learn that Lenore was kicked out of the Betty Ford Clinic because of drug dependency. She claims she can handle alcohol with no problems, but Alan is not so sure when she begins making sexual comments and suggestions to him. Charlie manages to kill Chelsea's cat, Sir Lancelot, and Jake takes a picture of Charlie and the dead cat so he can use it to blackmail Charlie and drive Charlie's car anytime that he wants to do so. Judith's mother wants Alan to go into the Jacuzzi nude. Judith calls Alan and asks him to go over to her house and check on the baby, but she is not aware that Alan is already there. Chelsea comes into Charlie's house unexpectedly while Charlie and Jake are trying to bury the cat. Alan and Judith's mother are taking the baby somewhere when she gets upset and leaps out of the car. Meanwhile, Jake has finally gotten to drive Charlie's car, and by coincidence, Judith's mother passes across the street in front of them. Chelsea comes home and she has Sir Lancelot, the cat, in her arms. Apparently, the cat Charlie killed was not Sir Lancelot. Suddenly, there is a knock on the door and a huge bald man is standing there, asking Chelsea if she might have seen his lost cat, Puss Puss, who is black and white and identical to Sir Lancelot.
As Time Goes By: The Bypass (1998)
Meddling in local civic affairs
The country estate of Lionel and Jean is located near a rural village, and in this episode, we learn that the village is in an uproar. A bypass around the village has been proposed by the highway authorities. Protesters have gathered like vultures to oppose the proposition. Meaning well, but totally misunderstanding the situation, Jean assumes the villagers are opposed to the new bypass. She agrees to take a leadership role at the Action Committee which is attempting to deal with the situation. Meanwhile, Lionel has learned that the villagers are actually in favor of the bypass. In the middle of her presentation to the village elders, Lionel interrupts Jean and saves her from an embarrassing faux pas. The moral of the story is that married couples should encourage mutual communication and not leap to conclusions without knowing all the facts.
Onslow and Daisy take Daddy for a ride in his wheelchair. En route, Onslow stops off at a betting shop to place a wager on the ponies. When Daisy thinks he is taking too long, she comes inside the shop to tell him Daddy is getting restless. When they come back outside, they find Daddy has disappeared. Meanwhile, Hyacinth's sister, Violet, is having problems with Bruce, who is cross-dressing and climbing trees on their property. Daisy enlists Hyacinth's help in finding Daddy and he is finally located at the Registry Office. Hyacinth decides Daddy should be taken to Violet's home, but when they arrive, they find the Bruce problem has not been resolved and Hyacinth abandons her plan and they speed away. Highly entertaining episode with good performances by all the actors.
Rose is becoming a nun?
In this episode, Richard gets word from his superiors that they would like for him to consider early retirement. He is devastated by this concept because he would then be at home full-time with Hyacinth. But he cannot get Hyacinth to listen so he can tell her about the proposal. She is too busy with a scheme to entertain the old people at the church hall by singing to them with Emmet as her accompanist on the piano. Meanwhile, Rose is having trouble with one of her lovers and she decides to give up men and become a nun. Dressed in a black mini-skirt and sporting a veil, Rose shows up at the church hall, but she is an apparent state of inebriation. Emmet becomes furious with Hyacinth and her pushy ways and storms out of the hall. The Vicar becomes entangled with Rose in a closet as the Vicar's wife bursts in on them. Filled with frenetic energy, this is one of the more entertaining episodes of the series.
Ten Days to Tulara (1958)
Entertaining Sterling Hayden Vehicle
If you are a Sterling Hayden fan, you've got to see this movie just to watch the big guy in action. Made in 1958 and obviously targeted at the drive-in movie crowd, this B&W thriller still delivers solid entertainment half a century later. Robust 6'5" Hayden plays the role of a pilot whose son is kidnapped and held hostage. But, it is not your usual kidnapping flick because the son has been grabbed in order to force Hayden to fly some bandits across country (it was filmed in Mexico) to a place called Tulara. The bandits have stolen some gold bars and flying an old WWII Dakota must have been perceived as a nice quick getaway. Their plan goes awry when the Mexican police attack them at the airport and riddle the old plane with bullets and kill the co-pilot. Sterling is able get airborne and has enough fuel for an hour's flight, so the getaway is partially successful. The lack of fuel forces Sterling to dig out the parachutes so everyone can bail out. Even though his role as pilot is finished, Sterling tags along with the bandits to help out in any way he can because, of course, he still has to save his young son. Along the way, Sterling meets the daughter of the leader of the gang and he learns she does not approve of her bandit father's profession, so as the journey progresses, we see them fall in love. The film ends fairly predictably on the coast as Sterling wades through the surf to welcome his son, and his new girlfriend waits submissively in the sand dunes, and the bandits, at least the ones who are still alive, are handcuffed. Okay, it's not a great film, but it is entertaining. There are worse things you could do with your time.
Famous Boners (1942)
Little Mistakes Can Mean A Lot
This ten-minute-short narrated by John Nesbitt is one of the "Passing Parade" series. It opens with an apparent explanation of the "absent-minded professor" tag which we often associate with men of intellect, and the example given is that of Galileo Galilei who apparently loved a soft-boiled egg for his breakfast, and who meticulously timed the exact three-minutes required with his pocket watch. One morning, Galileo mistakenly boiled his watch for three minutes while holding the egg in his hand as he usually held the watch. In another example, the case of Thomas Carlyle is cited. Carlyle devoted seven years of his life to write his masterpiece entitled "The French Revolution." When completed, he took the manuscript, roughly wrapped in butcher's paper, to the home of a professor friend so he could be the first to see the completed project. His friend was not home when he arrived, so Carlyle fell asleep in front of the fireplace with the manuscript in his lap. During his sleep, the manuscript fell out of his lap onto the floor. The maid came along, tidying the room, and she mistakenly thought the crudely wrapped bundle was trash, so she heaved the whole thing into the fireplace, thus destroying seven years of work for Carlyle. Upon awakening and discovering the loss, over the next few months, working entirely from memory, he rewrote the entire book, and it went on to become the noted work of the author. In a third example, a prison inmate steals a guard's uniform and escapes from captivity. Since his sentences totaled 230 years, one would think he would be motivated to place as much distance as he possibly could between himself and the prison. Yet, the first passing car is tempting to him and he thumbs a ride only to find himself riding between two armed police officers who are not yet aware of the prison break, but who find out and nab the escapee before he is able to escape their company, and he is returned to prison to serve the remainder of his sentences. The last episode cited concerns wartime examination of mail by government censors who spot a letter from a foreign country which leads to capture of a ring of Nazi spies. The one little mistake which led to the investigation of the letter was the fact that the envelope was addressed to a certain "Mr.", but yet the salutation on the letter inside was marked as "Mrs.", and this minor omission of the "s" led to the suspicion of the inspector to flag the letter for followup by government agents.