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Growing up as a child I had fond memories of Saturday mornings on CBS watching Paul Reubens in the excellent and new creation "Pee- Wee's Playhouse". His show was certainly different and it entertained and made children laugh in creative ways with creations, characters, and sketches, that only Pee Wee himself could have thought of. As everyone who watched remembered it was hugely successful running from 1986 thru 1991. Reubens himself was the character of Pee Wee a name he chose years earlier from being on a comedy stage. And he always on the show would have a magic word that when was said everyone would scream real loud! And his friends and characters were unmatched with the animated penny clips and visits from the king of cartoons. Plus stop by visits were common from Cowboy Curtis, Ms. Yvonne, and Reba the mail lady. Now for the different and wacky friends that Pee Wee had first you had Globey who would always spin around and alert Pee Wee of places to go, then magic screen was a digital delight and always on a fly by was the mean green bird Pterri and last but not least the most loved character was the plush and comfortable sitting talking couch named Chairry as it would love and squeeze on Pee Wee so much! It just brings back so many memories it was an excellent childhood show for kids that was different and unique with just so much wacky things and wacky happenings the "Playhouse" of Pee Wee's is a classic gem that's unforgettable!
This summer I've been watching the new TNT series "Murder in the 1st" and I must say that creator Steven Bochco has this series keeping viewers on the edge of their seat. A single murder case starts it off only the case leads to a world of sex, drugs, and cover up beat it all it happens to be tied to a young rich computer business genius young boy! The setting of the series is in the city by the bay the scenes and images of the golden gate bridge and San Francisco are beautiful. Those images treat the viewer to a good sight after the eyes are salted with blood and murder scenes. Leading the way are two S.F. detectives Terry English(Taye Diggs)and divorced mother Hildy(the sexy Kathleen Robertson it's nice to see her getting work again I remember her Beverly Hills 90210 days). Thru it all the case takes twist with new characters and new leads and a pilot named Bill Wilkerson(the terrific Steven Weber)seems to play a supporting connection to it all. Overall the series is a pretty good suspense and drama thriller one that changes week to week with new things as hidden secrets are uncovered this all makes for an interesting watch!
This Amazing Stories episode from season one titled "Vanessa in the Garden" was directed by the legend himself Clint Eastwood and it has a magical and fairy tale theme despite of it's tragic occurrence. The tale is set back many years ago it involves a young artist Byron Sullivan(Harvey Keitel)who works for a rich guy named Teddy Shearing(Beau Bridges). And Teddy wants to enter Byron in a famous New York City art contest only a tragic occurrence happens on the way to the event as it's a tragic horse ride that over turns and kills Byron's wife Vanessa(former ex lover and flame of Clint's Sondra Locke). Soon thru his paintings Byron starts to see images of Vanessa and memories are brought back to life it's like magic paint makes Vanessa reappear! Okay episode despite the tragic tone it's filled with a little bit of fairy tale magic.
Just watched over the weekend the film "Gore Vidal: USA of Amnesia" and I must say that I was highly impressed. The film was informative and educational and thought provoking. Though Gore Vidal was mostly before my generation I knew and heard all about his writings and works even the great essays of our time his views on life, culture, politics and the state of democracy pushed the limits. One thing I can say about Gore was he was no yes man! Vidal always would challenge and question the powerful and the establishment, he would always challenge those running the show. I was lucky enough to have saw some interviews with him in his later years before his passing and it was a treat to hear him speak his words were a world of knowledge and advice. This film tells the history of Gore's life as he grew up went to college, served in service and was educated and became an author writing great stories and essay type works on our moral state of society and culture. This was displayed in interviews and clips and it was a treat to see his debates with the right wing author William Buckley Jr. as Gore always spoke for the left more. Still he was often fighting the left as evidenced when he ran and opposed democrat Jerry Brown in 1982 for California's U.S. Senate seat. And plus during the film Gore states in interviews about the blunders of Clinton, and Barrack as he tells the truth politics is a money game it's bought and paid for thru the banks! And I like the way that Vidal stated that sex was good the feel good pleasure was a must he said it right love affairs and marriages are overrated. He was even outspoken for gay rights and he hated religion, and he was so right when he said companionship and friendship is important and critical as evidenced by him living many years with a male friend! True this film is opinionated, and you may not like or agree with Gore Vidal, but one thing is for sure he was a firestorm of truth, honesty, and down right blunt and brash for the way he saw American life as more should be like him and challenge the political and rich and powerful with more thought provoking ideas and different approaches to society and culture. As Gore was a truth seeker for all he really challenged people and democracy to wake up and live with more freedom and rights. It's clear Gore Vidal was a legend and clearly no yes man!
This "Amazing Stories" episode from season one titled "Mirror, Mirror" is one little clever and neat one that haunts and it's one to remember as it teaches the lesson of not needing to mix work and home life as one's creations can become them! Well anyway directed by legendary Martin Scorsese the tale involves a horror author Jordan Manmouth("Law and Order's Sam Waterston)who's popular yet he's uptight and one little arrogant rich lonely guy who loves his works and creations as evidenced by the posters up of his monster characters in his mansion home. Yet Jordan claims nothing bothers him all of a sudden he's haunted time after time by a monstrous creation as this hooded figure shows up in the mirror. This is one chilling episode that shows some can't break away from their work no matter how hard they try as their own creations even become them!
Just finished watching the independent film "Cold in July" and I must say it's one that was a surprise and interesting taking twist and turns to a dark secret that shocks and hurts. Set in rural Texas in 1989 it involves a murder case with Richard Dane(Michael C. Hall)who after being at home with the wife and young son shoots a house intruder who's a supposed ex con. Well the local police says it was the son of a man named Russel(Sam Shepard)only it's soon discovered that this is not Russel's son as his son is still at loose and on the run. How did the local police cover it up did they have their reasons? Perhaps they didn't want the father to know the dark secret about to come. The film develops into a world of violence and twist after turn. Then enter an old and wise sharp Jim Bob(the old classic "Miami Vice" man Don Johnson and it was nice to see him again))this guy is a Texas private eye type who's cool and one to find out things thru investigation and research. So the three head out on an underworld Texas journey of thugs, drugs, and torture sex as they even see a world of snuff stuff. And thru it all a dark secret that's painful and hurtful is found. Overall a well done film that shows life is painful and tough and sometimes secrets are dark and the most hurtful when involving the ones we love.
1977's "House" is one of those fun little film's that when one watches the mind just becomes entertained and it follows a path of wild imagery and unlimited imagination. When you watch it you like me will be impressed with the highly style like images of mind alerting images that the film tries to showcase to the viewer, aside from that the picture from Nobuhiko Obayashi does have a story. It centers around a Japanese girl named Gorgeous who after finding that her father is gonna marry a new lady after her mother death's decides to get together with her 6 girlfriends from school and take a summer vacation to her aunt's rural country home in the Japan wilderness. Upon arrival to the creepy home the signs are clear that her aunt just might be a ghostly image, and this house is full of evil spirits, and a demon like house cat and an eating piano and all kinds of crazy visions. Overall this is one little treat to view it's a delight in the form of animation and bizarre special effects, as it's a real tribute to Japanese cinema.
"God's Pocket" is an offbeat independent film that's dark and it shows that for many people and in many places life is tough and complex never being what it seems or is meant to be. The now late great Philip Seymour Hoffman is Mickey a tough wise guy on the mean streets of Philadelphia who earns his living with loans and collecting debts. His wife Jeanie(Christina Hendricks)is wise in top size even though she has a wandering eye! To make matters more complex Mickey's stepson Leon is killed one day at work they say an apparent accident that went wrong!? Then to make matters worse this film shows it's dark humor as to bury Leon has became a problem! Overall this film is dark, different and offbeat proving that life is tough and hard and tragic and it shows that many streets and towns are like "God's Pocket" as many people find themselves trapped in a closed up pocket.
Oddly enough I didn't know "The Railway Man" is based on a true story and after seeing this flashback type World War II drama and with it's themes of pain, sorrow, and in the end forgiveness and redemption it's a movie that's a joy and one that most should see. Colin Firth is Eric an ex World War II POW who has flashbacks of the brutal beatings that he took at a Japanese labor camp, now in his post days as a British army officer Eric spends a lot of time riding trains, something that's been in his blood since his days of helping construct the Thai railway. It's on one of these train rides he meets a beautiful lady named Patti(Nicole Kidman)and this treatment makes Eric feel alive again. Only this film takes a redemption twist despite the fact that revenge is on Eric's mind it's only fitting that he meets up with the ex Japanese solider that gave him harsh treatment as in the end thru love, life, and time wounds have healed and Eric accepts forgiveness. Overall really a great film that teaches compassion and redemption as it proves people grow and forget as humanity and life conquer all.
Just watched the HBO original movie the "Normal Heart" which is based on a Tony award winning play from real life AIDS activist Larry Kramer, and I must say that director Ryan Murphy took this film to life's edge showing that love and life ends in the tragic and sad deaths of gay men. Set in New York city during the early to mid 80's at the very early stages of HIV/AIDS in fact the film shows the first deaths and early cases of gay men getting an unknown disease some called even a gay men's cancer plague. In these very early years the disease was still searching for a name and it was known only as a gay disease. After death after death a newspaper reporter Ned Weeks(in a super performance from Mark Ruffalo)starts to become an activist and fight for the rights of gay men and he faces a big climb from the political and medical community who both seem in denial of gay men's rights and they have no clue on how to treat the disease. Ned sees the pain and toll that it takes as his lover Felix(Matt Bomer)falls to defeat in the end from this new mysterious killer of gay men. In an outstanding performance veteran Julia Roberts is high strong and determined as a polio stricken doctor Brookner who was one of the first in the country to treat gay men for this disease. She has hope and fights for change. Overall this film is a painful watch about life, love, and in the end death still it's message is it's okay to fight for life and equal justice even if your different and love one of your own gender. Overall a must watch film that shows the early harsh days of the AIDS birth.
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