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Scarecrow-88

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3619 reviews in total 
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Magnum PI - Don't Eat the Snow in Hawaii 2, 24 June 2016
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Follow up closes Magnum's investigation into his Navy buddy's death, has him confront his attraction to the dead officer's sis (Shoop), find nemesis Coolly (Fritz Weaver) dead at the hands of smuggler La Bull (Robert Loggia), and finally encountering the man responsible for his friend's demise. Judge Reinhold has a very funny bit part as a nervous security guard who Magnum convinces he's Navy (Magnum got out his old uniform) so that he could gain access to Coolly's records. WK Stratton is an ensign for the NIA who helps Magnum to a point. Rick takes care of a hired Hawaiian thug that nearly kills Higgins (Magnum had to give the Ferrari over to him, and the thug got mixed up), and had attempted to shoot Magnum but a car crash halted that kill mission. Loggia was a soldier fighting alongside Magnum and others in Nam. Shoop and Selleck have good chemistry, Magnum and Higgins' rivalry is always entertaining, and Magnum's pals, TC and Rick (actual name, Orville!) complement Selleck well. It's no surprise this show took off. Selleck oozes charisma and confidence in this role, at home in the character. Lots of lush Hawaiian scenery and lovely women only enhances the show.

Magnum P.I. - Don't Eat the Snow in Hawaii, 24 June 2016
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Pilot double header has Thomas Magnum (the incomparable Tom Selleck), mustache, "borrowed" Ferrari, privileged pad, and PI job, a former Vietnam Navy Seal finding the mother lode in a novelist named Robin Masters who allows him to live comfortably in a lavish estate much to the chagrin of "security specialist" Higgins (John Hillerman, in the role of his career). Higgins is seemingly an uptight and snobbish English gent, always annoyed at Magnum, due to his "leeching off the wealth of Masters" (although Higgins does the same, really). When Magnum's Navy Nam comrade is beaten after returning from Japan, with cocaine baggies in his belly disrupted, and the drug absorbed into his system, he dies. Magnum's old nemesis, Coolly (Fritz Weaver), a commanding officer who had it out for the dead Naval Intelligence officer, considers him unworthy of military honors. Magnum is out to make damn sure his buddy's rep is vindicated. The dead officer's sis (Pamela Shoop, who was in a little bit of everything at this time) also wants vindication for her brother. Sparks fly between her and Magnum while they investigate. Flashbacks to Vietnam are interspersed with Magnum's investigation which includes his trip in a chopper with fellow Nam pilot, TC (Roger Mosely) to an island which might lead him to a smuggler known as La Bull and gaining insight about where he might be from a teenage "Queenpin" thanks to a meet orchestrated by another Nam pal, "Rick" (Larry Manetti). Rick ran a posh night club in the style of Casablanca. Will Magnum uncover who implicated his friend, restore his name, and see him get justice?

CHiPs - Baby Food, 24 June 2016
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Ponch has really gotten on the nerves of Getraer to the point that he wants him to just go away! In a scary development, Ponch and Jon are nearly killed by a baby food truck when the back door opens with the cargo (boxes carrying baby food poisoned by botulism) spilling into the freeway! Another frightening incident involves an elderly grouch trying to enter the freeway on an off-ramp! Ponch wants so badly to cite her but Jon sympathizes, getting her turned around the right direction. Ponch has eyes on a blond beauty who had recently moved into the trailer park where his camper stays...but she eyes for Jon! Scavengers, a married gypsy couple with a baby, have a school bus converted into a travel vehicle and pick the highways of anything that might be valuable to them. Botulism baby food is taken by them, and soon, when it is realized that two boxes were unaccounted for, patrols will be on the look out for them. Of course Ponch and Jon will remember meeting the scavengers who were pulled over (pretending to be fixing a flat), and pursue their whereabouts. Contrived as the conclusion might be--Jon and Ponch realizing the couple were scavengers and actually finding them is a bit hard to swallow--botulism poisoning is a terrifying idea for parents, particularly. Ponch mocking Getraer while in a briefing, flirting with the dispatch girls, and watching a soap opera has the boss questioning why he's such a nice guy! Ponch is always a good foil, and Jon inadvertently receiving the interest of the hot new neighbor provides an amusing end credits. Ponch's trailer is a chaotic mess! Baby rescue is the chief concern of this episode, though.

CHiPs - Career Day, 24 June 2016
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Fascinating decision to give a husband and wife team of "freeway thieves" no audio dialogue, a frat boy hearse chase, the search for a missing kid, Ponch asked by his once disapproving principal at Polytech to speak on "career day" in an auditorium, and Jon having to throw around the word jail in order to convince models and their on- a-deadline photographer to leave because they are causing traffic to build up on the freeway all make up a busy plot in this lively episode of CHiPs. So the thieves move in two vehicles, the wife in a car and the husband in a van. The van is left on the side of the freeway as the husband sneaks down to an unoccupied home in a suburb, cutting a fence and crowbar-opening the back door. After wrecking his bike because he didn't park it properly, Ponch avoids desk duty by joining a chopper cop to patrol from the sky! He helps to find a child who embarked on an odyssey from home, winding up a great deal distant. Jon's talk with the kid is endearing. The hearse chase, as a coffin slides out causing a near traffic pileup containing a frat goof, is one of those surreal scenes that comment on just how unpredictable the bike patrol can be on the highways of California. The wonderful character actor, Richard Deacon, has quite the amusing part as Ponch's former principal. Deacon causing Ponch to get all nervous and uncomfortable is hilarious. As is often the case, Getraer must scold Ponch once again, this time regarding the wrecked bike debacle. Despite being a subplot that is established as the chief crime the patrol will have to undermine, the freeway thieves get just enough emphasis for the nifty freeway chase at the very end. Ponch's speech at the end, which initially is accosted by his inability to speak (stage fright!), receives an assist as Jon gets him going, only for blather and exaggeration to take over, with him boring the audience! Once again, the show's setting of action is a star in itself: getting away from being cooped up in buildings where the cast work on studio sets, the highways of California and all the stops along LA among other places is refreshing. Ponch the butt of jokes and Jon often either embarrassed by him or taking him is stride never grows old. Neither does Getraer having to endure another day of Ponch's messing up as only he can.

Ultimate Spiderman: The Howling Commandos, 4 June 2016
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Here's a cool episode of Ultimate Spiderman for monster movie fans. Nick Fury has managed to recruit The Mummy, Frankenstein's Monster, The Werewolf, Blade, and Man-Thing for S.H.I.E.L.D. Their threat / enemy is Dracula and he wants to get his hands on the Ankh, a powerful Sumerian symbol, in two pieces. If the two pieces are put together as the sun converges with their center eye, it grants the holder significant strength. In the case of Dracula, if he gets it he can walk in the day and raise an undead army! Spidey joins the monster squad (going by The Howling Commandos) to try and stop Dracula from acquiring the Ankh. But a curve ball: Dracula puts Spidey's own team under a spell, forcing them to engage the heroes in combat! Dracula gets the Ankh and kidnaps Spidey's team, heading off to Transylvania. So Spidey heads to Dracula's castle to try and save his team, with the monsters at his side to take out Dracula. Swerve of The Mummy turning against his undead team so he can gain possession of the Ankh and entering Dracula's"travel portal" back to NYC adds an exciting dual threat to Spidey and his teammates of heroes. Dracula has these vampires which spectre into form, and when killed simply vanish into formless clouds that dissipate. The Invisible Man makes an appearance, having watched Aunt May's house in protection, actually pulling Peter's pants down for amusement! Cool seeing vampire hunter, Blade, aligning reluctantly with Wolfman despite animosity due to disagreement in the past. Frankenstein's Monster firing off a bazooka is rather bizarre. Man-Thing is entertaining with its toxic sludge arms, more like tendrils that can reach out and do serious damage, at one point doing battle with The Mummy; their battle of Titans duel in NYC is a highlight. But the novelty of Spidey with the monsters on a Marvel animated superhero show is what truly makes this a special episode.

Knight Rider: Voo Doo Knight, 28 May 2016
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Final episode of Knight Rider shows the wear of a four season 80s series in terms of content. Rosalind Cash is a career con artist, taking the persona of a type of voodoo priestess, supposedly putting those under her spell with knowledge of a special crown found during the archaeological mission of John Vernon, with Henry Gibson his associate, and Charles Davis a jeweler holding it in safekeeping for a certain exhibit. When Michael Knight stumbles upon a scene in progress where Davis is "guided" by the hypnotic device of an earring, commanded by an amulet diamond necklace around Cash's neck, he watches the jeweler leap from the window to his death without conscious understanding of what he was doing. Cash has two security guards under the spell as well, provided significant strength which is put to use when throwing Knight around! The jeweler's daughter comes from St Louis to investigate his suspicious suicide. Gibson lays on a sleazy Southern accent and when he is shown to be in cahoots with Cash it is no surprise. Still no honor among thieves, and the crown's value comes between Cash and Gibson. Vernon is a jerk as always, himself put under the spell and forced to put a bullet in his skull. Knight obviously gets the earring and is told to go to a building set for demolition! But never fear, Edward Mulhare will discover how to disable the spell's frequency and give Knight a chance to stop Cash. KITT doesn't get a lot to do and Patricia McPherson wasn't even on the final episode. Christie Houser is the cute, bubbly jeweler's daughter that Michael takes a shine to. Peter Parros rides his bike to the demolition site and loses his motorcycle when hopping into KITT at Knight's urging, but that's about all the plot has for him. The corny plot has some decent suspense but Knight dealing with voodoo is kind of an unfortunate closing episode for what had been a nice ride for The Hoff.

Knight Rider: Knight of the Phoenix part 2, 28 May 2016
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Exciting car scenes highlight this second episode of the Knight Rider series as former undercover cop Michael Long is now Michael Knight (The Hoff), hoping to intervene in the plans of Tanya Walker and William Benjamin (Phyllis Davis and Noel Conlin), who were responsible for his shooting which resulted in cosmetic surgery to his face. Tanya and William hope to seize microfilm containing industry secrets of a company called Comtron. Demolition derby, KITT breaking Knight out of prison by driving through a cell wall (!), KITT ejecting Knight from the car to a bridge, and KITT driving through a hauler truck trailer (!) are among the coolest moments. Hilarious bar fight never shows Michael land a punch but it is edited to feature a bunch of barflies going through tables or being thrown to the floor! KITT wanting Knight's respect and genuinely concerned for his safety when he is shot in the shoulder are endearing. Lance LeGault is a hired goon for William but he proves ineffective while flying a chopper tailing Knight, bleeding from the gunshot wound, trying to help his cohorts steal the microfilm. KITT even clips a private plane wing to stop them from carrying off! Amazing car for sure. Charlie Napier guest stars as a derby opponent and barfight participant. Edward Mulhare does his supporting turn as Knight Foundation operations manager. Pamela Stoop and Barret Oliver guest star as mother and son respectively. Oliver is the kid with powers in Twilight Zone the Movie.

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The Mole People, 22 May 2016
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Silly B-movie has a kitchen sink plot and fun mole monster masks and gloves for the performers, with the highlight being fine matte painting work of the lost civilization village deep underground. Archaeologist John Agar (Tarantula) and his team (Hugh Beaumont (Leave it to Beaver), Nestor Paiva (Creature from the Black Lagoon), and Phil Chambers) discover Sumerian albino civilization who worship Ashtar and are tormented by light. They enslave creatures who work labor, offering them mushrooms and the whip in return. The women are also subservient, often whipped for clumsiness or not adhering completely to the men as expected. Cynthia Patrick is a beautiful blonde named Adad, considered particularly notorious for "having the mark" (she doesn't have their pale flesh or pain of light), Agar's love interest. Alan Napier, hardly recognizable, is the high priest who connives behind the people's selected king (Rodd Redwing) and wishes to destroy the intruders. Napier is entertaining as the scheming priest, just looking to seize total power over the people, looking at the intruders as his path to doing so. The mole people look campy in suits with bulging humps on their backs. There's an inexplicable opening from a Southern Cal English Professor positing theories from others of note regarding the earth's core which introduces the film. A flashlight is considered a power (light) of Ishtar which Agar uses to influence the people from attacking them! The ending is rather uncalled-for...why would Adad run around confused when an earthquake emerges, heading towards (!) where she just escaped from??? The reason of the studio for this-- interracial coupling is a no-no--says a lot about that point in time. The mole people being heroic was a nice change in the formula. Hard for the film to be taken too seriously but the earnestness of the participants makes this all the more a treat.

The Transporter, 25 April 2016
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Incredible fight choreography and Statham athleticism (along with his usual cool and charisma), along with cars and buildings that go Kaboom!, offer plenty for action fans to embrace in this custom made star vehicle that follows a highly paid ex-military mercenary who performs tasks for customers with particular "packages" they want delivered to specific locations under certain conditions. He has rules to abide by so that the transport goes without a hitch. Well, he "opens a package" and what stares from within his trunk is a very pretty Asian woman (Qui Shu). She tells him of slaves being transported by those who hired him to bring her to them. If he doesn't help her they will die or be sold. What ultimately triggers his war with these dirtbags who initially hired him to bring them Shu is their attempt to blow him up in his car, a bomb disguised as another package for him to deliver. When they fire missiles at his château, it is game-on! With Matt Schulz as a lead heavy in cahoots with Shu's rotten pops (Ric Young), making Statham's life most difficult. The use of oil and the shirt off his back and the ability to fight himself out of cramped confines against a litany of men (inside a greyhound or sandwiched between carrier crates in a transport yard are such examples) are just some of the amazing stunts and fight scenes that make up this hotly paced actioner. The finale has Statham trying to avoid gunfire and Schulz' interference as he attempts to commandeer a truck hauling the human slaves in an exhilarating chase sequence. The fighting in the cab of the truck gets intense. Statham's use of his quick legs and how he orchestrates speedy kicks and sharp reflexes produce breathtaking results. The film opens with a humdinger of a car chase highlighting Statham's talents also behind the wheel. The whole point is to signify that Statham has arrived and no matter the firepower or manpower, he seems more than capable to avoid harm while others aren't so lucky.

Two Night Stand, 24 April 2016
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A rarity these days, "Two Night Stand" decides to spend its running time with two "young romantics" who meet for a one-night stand, not anticipating a snowstorm holding them hostage together in the male's apartment while the female attempts to endure their time together. It seems, at first, to be a doomed bit of sexual spontaneity that would end and result in the two never seeing each other again. Instead, the two young adults "talk it out", learning "tips" about their sexual hang-ups and relationship issues, sharing dialogue about where they are in life regarding a career, school, and the past that brought them to where they are. But he's concealing an important secret that could be a game changer…particularly when it seems the two are on the verge of becoming serious about one another.

The two leads do what they can with a ton of foul-mouthed banter and clichéd relationship dialogue which desperately longs to be deeper than it really is. I really liked Analeigh Tipton in the film, and she gives you all the emotional details in her face, with reaction and expression speaking volumes about where she is currently stuck and wishes to be. There's that vulnerability and reluctant willingness to open up to Miles Teller (the Divergent movies) who encourages her to speak from the heart. The time spent together affords them to let down their guards and honestly talk about a bit of everything. I personally wish the film had more to say, but basically the dialogue treads the familiar and traditional routes: just accompanied by course words mixed in with shared exchanges of two "lonely-hearts" looking to connect. As you might expect, the two talk about fakes orgasms and how "the little things" (proper foreplay and slight alterations on lovemaking) are important during sex. There's focus on Tipton's decision to follow a guy to NYU to study Pre-med, eventually graduating but having no intention on working in the medical field. There's emphasis on the dregs of being single and how communication is important. Is this a sleeper for fans of young romance? I guess it could be seen that way. If anything, it dares to keep you right there with these two for almost 90 minutes before she frees herself after discovering Teller hasn't been altogether truthful with her regarding his own relationship status. Considering the two almost split firing harsh barbs at each other after a shared dialogue regarding their one night stand where sex was used as a negative weapon (and words are taken out of context) only to be trapped together by the snowfall outside the door, where the two wind up does give hope to even the toughest starts to potential romance.

What I liked most about this was ultimately Tipton's charm and appeal. She's cute and has this introspective, contemplative expressiveness that feels natural and not manufactured. I think you see a character who thinks about ideas presented to her and makes observations based on serious consideration. When Teller wants to discuss a particular topic, her character gives it thought and you see that done in a way that feels so sincere. Teller, for his part, seems to have the kind of character who sees her as such an opportunity for the contender of a girlfriend. He earns her trust through "time well spent" willing to reveal his own insecurities (although he does seem a bit full of himself sometimes) and encourages her to critique him (mostly about sex). I'm not really all that high on Teller because this "cocky fratboy" emerges a bit too much for my liking. Still, Tipton has that kind of winsome appeal and personality: she should be a star if cast in the right part.


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