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M*A*S*H: Baby, It's Cold Outside (1978)
One of the worst episodes
This episode is bad. It's supposed to be cold and windy outside. There's the sound of the wind, but the leaves on the trees aren't moving an inch. They couldn't afford a fan? Their breath isn't seen. I guess I get that-Southern California is rarely cold. But those aren't the biggest problems. The biggest problems are that there's no flow to the writing, the jokes aren't funny, and the stories aren't interesting. Ugh!
An hour an a half rant
This special simply isn't as good as his first two. It's like listening to your crazy uncle rant about everything under the sun for an hour and and a half. He occasionally hits the mark, but more often swings and misses.
Love Actually (2003)
Objectification of women
If you like movies that completely objectify women, this is THE movie for you. There is only one strong and confident woman in the entire movie (Emmma Thompson) and she's is punished harshly for it. All the other women are subservient to the men who treat them as objects and they get their men. (I suppose arguably Laura Linney's character doesn't let the new man in her life control her, but actually she allows an existing man in her life do so. I appreciate her love and loyalty to family, but, once again, a woman subservient to a fault.) If you watch this movie with the artificial world view that women are merely objects for men, then it is 10 stars. Watching it with the reality that they are much more valuable than that leaves me giving it 3 stars. I cannot recommend this movie. And it saddens me that people think of this as a Christmas movie. Open your eyes, people! (Written by a man.)
Quiz Show (1994)
A fictional account that I cannot abide
What is the problem with Redford? Is he trying to ruin the lives of people or sully their memories at the expense of their surviving family memories families. Like JFK before it, I can only hope that those who watch this movie will seek the truth. It is not in this movie. Charles Van Doren was not getting back at his father. His father was a wonderful, not boring, professor at Columbia. The Geritol marketing director played by Scorsesee (sp?) was not aware of the fraud. And neither Van Doren nor Stemple lived the lives stated at the end of the movie--apparently to give it a dour ending. Redford commits the atrocities of money and capitalism that he said he was targeting. Redford, the fake mountain man, grew up in Santa Monica and is just another Hollywood virtue monger who should examine his own virtues before speaking about (er, fabricating) the lives and virtues of others.
I will admit that when I first saw this movie, I thought it very good, but after seeking the truth, I cannot in good faith give it more than one star. I will not recommend movies that criminalize innocent men and besmirch admired professionals without evidence.
If you are interested, there is a Hollywood history of such Constitutionally protected atrocities. You should also search out the truth about the wife of William Randolph Hearst portrayed as a worthless woman in Citizen Kane. She wasn't a worthless woman and she was living and crushed by the movie. Hollywood blames Hearst for killing this great movie, but if he did it to protect this woman, he is to be admired.
Just because it is protected by the constitution doesn't make it right.
Facing the Giants (2006)
It's Great to See People Openly Talking About Jesus in Movies, but...
Vague Spoilers in this review I just watched Facing the Giants and was really impressed by this movie made on a shoestring budget by a cast and crew of amateurs. The dialog was a little stilted sometimes and the acting was a little stiff at times, but it was certainly much better than I'd expect from amateurs. That's my assessment as a moviegoer. As a Christian, I do have a couple of issues with the movie. Was this a movie for Christians, non-Christians or both? If it was a movie for non-Christians, why didn't it present the gospel message. It talked about turning your life over to Jesus, but it never explained what that means. The movie never explained about Christ's life, death, resurrection, and what that means to us (on the DVD, they easily could have done this in the "extras" but maybe Samuel Goldwyn, Inc. would not allow it). Another issue I had that would cause a problem for non-Christians and Christians alike is that the movie made it look like if you'll just turn your life over to Christ, he'll take away all your problems: you'll go from lackadaisical to the leader of the team, your team will go from also-rans to champions overnight, you'll go from being in danger of being fired to an institution at your job, your wishy-washy subordinates will suddenly become your biggest supporters, you'll go from hating your father to being best friends with him, out-of-the-blue people will give you extravagant gifts, you'll go from being barren to being a baby-making machine, AND God will show you what is making your house stink and get rid of it.
Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed the movie. I just think that these are near fatal flaws. God is not about removing our problems or causing us to triumph over all of them. God is about giving us peace in the midst of the storm. With God's help, we surely will triumph over many problems, but at the same time, he will also give us a peace while enduring them. (I suppose the wife did find peace in the midst of a storm before the nurse came to talk to her in the parking lot of the doctor's office at the end of the movie.) I did enjoy the movie, but just once I'd love to see a movie about the lives of Christians where what changes is the hearts of the characters in the movie--not so much the situations around the characters. There were hearts changed in this movie, but the movied showed everything becoming rosy by turning to God. God did not promise us that. I do agree that the coach's new, godly approach with the team would likely lead to greater success over time and a movie does not have time to show that happening over a number of years (and audiences don't have the patience to watch a movie about triumph that comes over a number of years. However, the coach and his wife's issues with children were not something that could be overcome by faith. I was really hopeful when I thought that the movie makers were going to have the guts to show them having to endure this thorn. It would have been a much greater message to Christians and non-Christians alike that God gives us strength to live strong through our trials. I find many Christians and non-Christians alike who think of God as a great big bubble gum machine. This movie does little to dispel that notion.
I do have to say that I was very pleasantly surprise to see a movie that was actually in my local theater that openly talked about Jesus and showed people of faith as average neighbors and in a positive light.
I give it 7 stars. It gets an extra star from me just because it showed Jesus and Christians as real people instead of the hypocrites as Hollywood usually does.
Wonderful, wonderful family movie
In this day and age of noisy family/children movies starring flatulent Ogres and whatnot, comes this quiet little family film about love, loyalty, honest, and family. It is a wonderful movie with wonderful performances by all. Not hokie and over the top like many other animal movies. This movie has all the elegance and grace of the best British pastoral movies of our time. Lassie and her boy are from a poor family living in a town in the English country-side. Sarah is from a rich, royal family. The families rarely intermingle and the glaring differences in their surroundings startle and add to the movie. Neither the poor nor the rich are stereotyped, but instead, treated like the multifaceted real people that these kinds of people truly are. Peter O'Toole is nominated this year for an academy award for his role in Venus, but just as well could have been nominated for his excellent portrayal of the Duke in this movie. I cannot say enough about this children's movie that has real emotions and real people instead of CGI characters and little heart. Now, don't get me wrong, I love a good CGI movie (Toy Story, Finding Nemo, etc...), but a children's movie with a heart and soul is hard to find. Go rent it. Make your kids watch it and talk to them about what they learned. If they don't learn anything from this movie, then it may be time to slow them down, ween them off the mindless drivel, and start filling their hearts and souls rather than their merely their funny bones.
Annoying Movie by Cameron Crowe, whom I usually like
This movie was a mess. I was thoroughly annoyed. Maybe it was true to life, with boring moments and all, but I don't want to watch life, boring moments and all. I am a man, so maybe it is just a chick flick. I can usually tolerate "chick flicks," but not this one I just do not get the appeal of this movie. This movie almost completely ignores the deep poignant relationships--that I'd be interested in further exploring-AND focuses on the relationship of two people who've just met. We are supposed to care if these two people love each other and stay together when they don't even know each other. If Cameron Crowe should make this movie again, but leave out the role of the heroine and make it a movie about the male lead character trying to understand his family and his father. Many people love this movie, so, I won't say, "don't rent it," but if you do rent it, rent a backup just in case you dislike it as much as I did half way into it.
My kids love this movie/Adults beware
I gave this movie a 4, but my kids, who are 3 and 5, love this movie. So, I really should score it higher because the movie is obviously aimed at kids. I really do not have anything more to say about the movie, but IMDb requires ten lines of text for comments. Bill Murray is not funny repeating lines that were not funny. The plot is nothing like the comic strip--which could be a good thing, but it is not. I think they were trying for a Stuart Little type movie, but they failed. If you are older than 5, avoid this movie. It is not entertaining.
OK, I typed 10 lines in this little box, but apparently that is not good enough. I can't think of anything else to say about this movie. Why didn't they make this entire movie CGI, then they could have done things that are more like the comic strip?
I am there yet? Oh, yes, I am there. I have my ten lines. Bottom line: If you are 5 years old or younger rush to this movie. If you are older than that, avoid it.
A Simple Plan (1998)
A biblical lesson on what happens when greed consumes you. I get tired of movies that show greedy, evil persons, but do not show the fruits of their evil That cannot be said of this movie. Their greed causes them much pain just like it does in real life.