Danny, Kathy and Angela were probably the only fictional characters to mix wits with both Lucy Ricardo and Lucy Carter. For that reason alone, this episode needs to be released to DVD as a companion piece to the classic LUCY-DESI COMEDY HOUR segment, LUCY MAKES ROOM FOR DANNY.
Interestingly enough, there was a mere twelve year gap between the two episodes. That's nothing if you consider that a program like LAW & ORDER is going into it's twentieth season. For Lucy and Danny, entire worlds seemed to have changed.
Actually, with Marlo and Tony still so active in the business, it's surprising that so much of Danny Thomas' rather brilliant television work isn't out there for all to see.
Now what is anyone's motivation here? Can someone help me figure it out?
Gangster Michael Clarke Duncan betrays his co-workers and his organization for his long term friend and colleague, Bruce Willis. He stands by Bruce when everyone else is against him, he puts everything he has on the line to help him, and he proves that he's willing to kill and die, without a second thought, for him.
Annoying dentist Matthew Perry, on the other hand, knows Willis for one day and is already willing to sell him out to the people who want to kill him. He has sex with Bruce's wife, which of course is considered an immediate death penalty offense to anyone in that world. He also proves, beyond a doubt that, if a minimal amount of pressure is applied, he'd be willing to tell all he knows to anyone who would listen. Whether it would be the FBI, other gangsters or a jury of his peers, if they intimidate him, Matthew will doubtlessly betray Bruce.
So, of the long term true and loyal friend and fellow contract killer, or the whiny dentist who he just met and who immediately proves himself to be a multi-level rat, which one do you think Bruce Willis shoots, in order to save the other?
This film is worthwhile for Roseanne Arquette's over the top, barely recognizable performance. I didn't even realize she was in the movie until the closing credits, and then I had to think for a minute before I figured out which character she played. Amanda Peet as the topless, gun wielding hit-woman wanna be also shouldn't be missed. However, you might wish that Kevin Pollack had gone to dental school, instead of taking up acting and torturing us with that grating, excruciating pseudo-lisp. Could a character like this ever actually rise to a position of power in a criminal organization? Wouldn't the other wiseguys laugh hysterically, or lose their lunches, the first time he opened his mouth, and eventually whack him just to shut him up?
Could it have been the great director, Michael Curtiz, who came up with the idea of casting Ronald Reagan, complete with an immaculate shave, his basic staid, conservative personae and his signature greased black hair, as the wild haired, bearded mad man, George Armstrong Custer? Has there ever been a better example of truly inspirational casting, in the history of American cinema? And did people actually have greased, flat top hairstyles, in 1864? I'm sure Keir Dullea, Richard Mulligan and Robert Shaw all spent many long hours studying the Bonzo interpretation, before attempting to portray the Custer character.
The one thing I don't quite grasp is, when Johnny Carson was making nightly jokes about President Reagan's age, why didn't he ever show the clip from this film, of young Ronny at a White House party, shaking hands with the older statesman, Abraham Lincoln?
A nice, polite man violently rapes his girlfriend's sister, but charges can't be filed because everyone automatically takes the perpetrator's word for the fact that he was asleep when he committed the crime. On the same evening, the victim's sister and sleeping rapist's girlfriend is kidnapped from her bed by a stalker who was obsessed with a virtual S & M hooker that the woman created, in a fantasy, cyber world. In the meantime, said internet stalker and virtual obsessee has been keeping another woman captive for twenty five years, even though he hasn't visited her or checked on her in that long. Said captured woman has been keeping herself alive by going to work in a local store, then returning to her place of captivity, even though her captor, who she's hopelessly in love with, hasn't been by in twenty five years. And yes, it gets even worse than this.
For credibility, you're better off watching an Ed Wood film, or a segment of THE AMBIGUOUSLY GAY DUO. If this is the season we have to look forward to, it might be time to pack it in.
We have the most charming and endearing non-human character in the history of cinema. Lassie, Benji or even Toto couldn't hold a burning piece of blue wax to the impossible not to love Virgil. We have two lead actors with enough charisma to hold their own, while maintaining the quiet humility necessary not to upstage the simian lead. We have many genuine laughs and just as many heartfelt tears. We have characters, human and non, that we love and care about. We have genuine and sincere passion and emotion. We have a powerful political statement and a film that's actually about something.
My affection and personal attachment for the musical, THE PRODUCERS is well known by everyone who knows me well. However, this not so well known gem is truly Matthew's shining masterpiece!
Godzilla shows up in Tokyo, sends thousands of Japanese people into frantic motion, and then travels across the world to New York without anyone noticing him en route. No wait, that happened in a different, far more realistic and believable relatively recent remake of a film classic.
There isn't one scene or one plot line in this ridiculous film that makes as much sense as Godzilla's casual, unobtrusive cross continental journey. Nothing makes sense, nothing is explained, and nothing makes you care, one way or another. When even the soulful and adorable Dakota Fanning can't get you to root for her family, I'd say that something is seriously wrong. This is NOT the story that H. G. Wells wrote! A writer friend and I were recently talking about the fact that once brilliant actors like Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino have turned into parodies of themselves. Of course, other major talents, like William Shatner and Charlton Heston have defined the term "self parody." Tom Cruise has rarely played anything but a parody of himself. However, an eleven year old shouldn't already be playing parodies of herself. Though Dakota is certainly the only redeeming thing about this movie, even she can't transcend the material.
I could spend the next six pages going over each and every unexplained and unbelievable point in this film, but then I would give the plot away to those who would prefer to spend two hours watching it to doing something more educational and intrigung, like having a belching contest.
The first rule I learned in basic scriptwriting classes was, people believe the impossible but not the improbable. I can't imagine that Spielberg has gotten as far as he has without being made privy to this. The alien attack would be easy to believe, if anything else about the plot was remotely probable.
If you want a more credible, passionate and compelling film about space invasions, find a copy of the Ed Wood masterpiece, PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE. Nothing more needs to be said.
The entire police forces from two separate states come out to fire thousands of gun shots at a dimwitted, but well intentioned cop and a college educated, hyperactive hooker because said hooker is going to testify in court that she saw the new police commissioner masturbating. And it gets better.
What do you do when every gangster and peace officer in Arizona and Las Vegas have orders to shoot you on site? First, of course, you increase your list of enemies by unnecessarily agitating a gang of fifty large bikers, then you hijack a bus in broad daylight and spend a half hour unloading luggage, at gunpoint, in full view of hundreds of people, then you provide the people who want to kill you with a written trip syllabus so they know when and where to expect you, and then you drive your bus right into the six hundred cops who are firing non-stop machine guns at you.
And it still gets better. After spending ten minutes firing thousands of shots at a fellow officer and his courtesan friend, on the orders of the new, clearly psychotic commissioner, six hundred heavily armed cops stand and watch, without blinking, as said commissioner is gunned down in the middle of the street by said hooker. And of course, after having more shots fired at them than the population of Iraq, our hapless hero and his hardy harlot humbly hobble away, relatively unscathed.
When Joel Mcrea and Veronica Lake chased a freight train, it defined movie magic. When Charles Grodin and Bobby De Niro chased a freight train, it was a moment to treasure. When Sandra Locke and Clint Eastwood chased a freight train, you might as well have been watching a bad Heckle and Jeckle cartoon. Comparing THE GAUNTLET to past and future Eastwood directorial efforts, like PLAY MISTY FOR ME, MYSTIC RIVER, and UNFORGIVEN is like saying THE GODFATHER in the same breath as GIGLI.
Yes, it's a bit too long, but it never gets boring or tedious. Though the film doesn't take us anywhere that we haven't been, or introduce us to anyone we haven't met before, it remains on target and interesting. We've seen the characters before because they're real. We know where the story is going because it follows a direction that might be followed, if this was actually happening to people we know.
Nobody's too strong a presence, for better or worse. Even the most positive characters are thoroughly flawed, and even those who represent the antagonists are likable and sympathetic. You understand everyone's side of every situation, and you feel like, no matter who comes out on top in any given scenario, everyone will ultimately be as alright as they could be. There are no real heroes, no villains, no one tugging at your heartstrings or making you furious, and besides one major traumatic incident that is subtly well underplayed, no serious heavy drama. There's just a real story about real people that you'll genuinely like and want to know more about. So, overall, this is a rather good film.
One thing I missed was director Garry Marshall's cameo. A well crafted single scene like his classically brilliant bit in LOST IN America might have added quite a bit of humor, and ultimately made this enjoyable little film a touch more memorable.
I don't remember that many specific details about this program. It's been a while since I've seen it, and to the best of my knowledge, it's been a while since it's been available to be seen. However, I do remember that this was a funny, meaningful and intriguing program, right up there with the best intelligent classic television comedies of the seventies.
Certain actors were meant to play gruff old men, and absolutely thrived when they did. Danny Thomas was one of them. Walter Matthau, of course, was another. Even when these performers were young, their successful characters generally had the personalities of jaded, sardonic, crotchety seniors. Walter, of course, peaked as old geezers like KOTCH and as Willy Clark of THE SUNSHINE BOYS, twenty years before he ever became a genuine GRUMPY OLD MAN. And as the old grumpy doctor in THE PRACTICE, genuine senior citizen Danny Thomas was at his best. Showbiz folklore is that Danny also felt that this was a masterpiece of a program, and that he never forgave NBC for canceling it.
What's most significant about THE PRACTICE, and what's not even mentioned here in IMDb, is that a good amount of the episodes were written by the absolutely brilliant Steve Gordon. Steve, of course, made his mark by writing and directing one of the truly great comedies of the last quarter century, ARTHUR. Unfortunately, Steve died shortly after that, and never had the chance to leave us with more of his true genius. If Steve had lived another few years, his name might be in the film history books, next to Preston Sturgess. For that reason alone, this small bit of his creativity needs to be shared with the world. I can't imagine why this program has not been released on DVD. Maybe it's because Steve and Danny aren't around to make it happen.
There might be one or two spoilers on the way, so be warned.
Gripping until the near end, with intelligent dialogue and engaging characters. However, for this film to end up on what has become a standard movie finale subway, trying to break the record for most broken panes of glass in a three minute period, seemed totally contrived and ridiculous.
The initial dynamic between Jada and Jamie is beautifully done, as is the early character interaction between Jamie and Tom. However, once you start following the action, it's hard to forget that there was a federal prosecutor in the cab, and hard not to figure out exactly what the climax is going to be. It's also pretty hard not to surmise that Tom didn't decide to take a break in the middle of his work day because he has a compulsion to listen to jazz. When the musician sits down at the table, it's a pretty clear that he's not getting up.
However, predictability and contrivances aside, the film still captures your attention, and keeps it until the last twenty minutes.
Oh and the caliber of acting in Tom Cruise's death scene is unlike anything seen on celluloid since the villains fell in the Batman two reel serials from the forties, or since the Indians went down in the pre-stardom John Wayne Grad B-Westerns. Why does you're your enchanting Ex-Wife win Oscars Tom, when you don't? Another great mystery for better minds than mine.
Besides characters played by Moe Howard or Stan Laurel, it's hard to remember a leading man who was as amazingly stupid as Kevin Kline's Richard Parker. The thing is, neither Kevin the actor or Richard the character seem to know that Richard is stupid, and the people around him, including the film's director, don't know it either. You want to pull for Richard because of what's happening to him, but he just keeps reacting in such an inane way, and digging his hole so much deeper that it's hard to care.
As far as Kevin Spacey goes, didn't his SEVEN character present himself as less of a psycho, at least on the surface? Apparently, Priscilla isn't much smarter than her husband, and the local police don't have much more going on than either of them.
This climax tries hard to create the mood of suspense in PLAY MISTY FOR ME or FATAL ATTRACTION, but by that point, after ninety minutes of watching these annoying people create their own hellish situations, why would it matter? Of course, the villain is even more annoying than the would be heroes, so you probably won't want to root for him, either.
It's difficult to remember when any of the three leads played less charismatic characters. If this film had been made in 1945, I might have cast Lou Costello, Bela Lugosi and and a leading lady more inept and annoying than any that I can think of, off the top (Jean Stapleton wasn't working yet at that point, was she?). Better casting choices today might be George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Theresa Heinz Kerry. You can figure out who would play which character, based on everything I said.
For years, I put off watching this film, and when I finally did turn it on, the title and everything I'd read about it led me to think that I was going to be seeing a classic late sixties type comedy on the general level of THE TIGER MAKES OUT, THE HEARTBREAK KID and GOODBYE COLUMBUS. Instead, I was treated to a moving, somber, slow paced but intriguing story of two very ordinary and very real people. There are few genuine laughs, but even fewer false notes in this obscure little gem that probably would have been totally forgotten, if not for Liza Minelli.
In recent years, Liza's talents seem to have gotten all but lost in all the hype and scandal around her. People remember that she's her mother's daughter, they remember that she was in rehab, they remember her reputation for marrying gay men and beating them up, and they remember cartoon like portrayals of her in places like the recent Broadway show, THE BOY FROM OZ. What they don't remember is that, besides being a great singer, Liza is truly a sensational actress.
Film work is far more eternal than any other kind, in entertainment, especially these days when everything is on video, and there are hundreds of premium movie stations available. But while Judy Garland might have done more movies before she was twenty than her daughter did, in her entire life up to this point, I'm not sure if Judy ever gave a performance that was as real, as sensitive and as genuine as Liza's performance here.
If you ever think that Liza's success was due to her mother, remember that Judy had two other children who tried, but didn't quite succeed in the forever fickle entertainment industry. Then watch this film, that a relatively inexperienced Liza did when she was in her early twenties, and ask yourself if she deserves her success.
I guess, upon close scrutiny, small town good girls of classic films of the past weren't quite so good, either. Didn't all the trouble start when Dorothy brought her wacky dog to Miss Gulch's yard? Even in backwoods farm country, a woman shouldn't have to worry about being bitten by a stray animal, in her own home. Thinking about it, I don't know why the intriguing new Broadway musical, WICKED doesn't touch on this point.
In any case, the GOOD GIRL in this rather interesting little film (and don't read the rest of this if you haven't seen it) cheats on her loyal husband, lies and tries to have her lover put away when she no longer wants him, has sex with her husband's best friend, abandons her own best friend at the hospital, allows her bible studying co-worker to get beaten up for something he had nothing to do with, sets her poor, distraught and confused young boyfriend up to do serious prison time, virtually causes her lover's suicide, and then lives happily ever after by convincing her husband that he's the father of her dead lover's baby. And yet, how could Jennifer Aniston portray anyone who isn't, at heart, a good girl? Her acting's great, by the way. You'll see a side that you didn't know she was capable of showing. I just wish I was given a better understanding of what, besides monotony, made this character so cold and callous. A three minute scene with her parents, or one or two comments about them, might have added quite a bit of insight.
Honestly, this is a good film, but is this really a "good girl?"
Besides being warm, moving, and genuinely believable, this is the funniest contemporary film that I remember seeing, since ARTHUR.
What made the film truly real for me is the fact that, a few months ago, I was actually stuck in bumper to bumper traffic for over an hour on the approach to the Tri-Borough Bridge, with a woman who claimed that she couldn't hold it in. There were no mobile homes in site, as there usually aren't on bridges connecting Manhattan and Queens, but I did knock on the door of a tour bus, to ask the driver if my friend could use his facilities.
In any case, comparing this film to ARTHUR made me realize that both movies have the same ever so slight discrepancy, that most people probably don't notice, or choose to overlook because the actors are so charming and otherwise perfectly cast: According to ARTHUR, the title character was born and raised in Long Island, New York. Until Donald Trump actually shook Hugh Grant's hand, in this one, a lot of people probably thought that Hugh's George Wade character was modeled on the New York bred Trump. Why is it that both George and Arthur have British accents?
That aside, this is truly a good film. ARTHUR is rather good, too, as is the overlooked and misunderstood ARTHUR 2.
Elliot Gould, of course, created the role of Trapper John, in the film, M*A*S*H. Wayne Rogers played a slightly different Trapper John on the television series, M*A*S*H. Why neither actor was offered the title role on TRAPPER JOHN MD will forever remain one of the great mysteries of semi-contemporary television. Supposedly, it was because the latter series took place thirty years after M*A*S*H, but then, Pernell Roberts, who played a completely different, mature and tranquil TRAPPER JOHN MD wasn't that much older than Wayne or Elliot.
In any case, as soon as TRAPPER JOHN MD became a hit, the television series HOUSE CALLS debuted. This, of course, featured Wayne Rogers as a doctor character who was exactly like his interpretation of Trapper John. Then came this series, E/R, in which Elliot Gould played a doctor character who was exactly like his interpretation of Trapper John. Like I said, too many Trappers!
Did the transformation from video store clerk to A-List Hollywood writer and director cause too much trauma for Quentin? I truly think the man has lost his mind.
You can't say that he got lucky with PULP FICTION or that it was just a fluke. I think that PULP was one of the twenty five best films of all time, and it took an immense amount of unique brilliance and talent to put it together, especially with the limited experience that Quentin had, at the time. However, this one gives credibility to the second half of FROM DUST TILL DAWN, when the employees of the Mexican bar all suddenly become vampires.
After being shot in the head and left for dead, and after sitting in a car for six months and nursing her leg by herself despite the fact that doctors didn't think she'd ever walk again, little Uma Thurman single handedly takes on the two hundred best swordsmen in Japan. Yes, that would be my one sentence summary of KILL BILL.
If you want a reality based film with a cohesive, believable plot, then go see FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH PART SIX, REVENGE OF THE NERDS PART EIGHT or LAST ACTION HERO PART TWELVE. If your thing is watching people get their heads and limbs cut off, then this film should make you happier than Michael Jackson at a LITTLE RASCALS festival.
RESERVOIR DOGS and JACKIE BROWN weren't bad, but comparing KILL BILL to PULP FICTION is seriously like putting KINDERGARTEN COP up against GONE WITH THE WIND. Quentin, what the hell happened to you? Nobody is going to be anxiously awaiting the second part; nobody is going to care!
I've been curious about this film since it came out, when I was nine, and since I got lost in Harlem alone, when I was eleven. After finally seeing it, at age forty two, I think my perspectives are just slightly different than they would have been, had I watched it when it was first released. For one thing, when I was a pre-teen, the film would have validated some of the lines we used to use in games of cops and robbers, like `calling all cars,' or `stop in the name of the law!' As an adult, I instead find myself wondering why the police never heard of phrases like `officers in pursuit in need of backup.' Also, at age nine, I probably wouldn't have questioned whether or not the police were within their rights, when they did things like park themselves in a woman's apartment for days so they could wait for her criminal boyfriend to show up, without any kind of warrant or authorization to do so.
However, if you overlook all the obvious points that the writers obviously overlooked, this is an interesting, entertaining film that was a pioneer in it's time. The scene with the "bag headed" cop was brilliant, hilarious and a genuine classic. And of course, one look at this film and you'll never again ask yourself what inspired Norman Lear to cast the relatively unknown Redd Foxx as an old junk man.
If I remember this program, the first season was acceptable, though kind of boring, but it did improve as it went along. However, what bothered me, as a writer, is that it took the two truly interesting endings from the two hour final episode of MASH and basically trashed them.
For the most part, all of the characters on MASH were leaving Korea on the last episode, and would assume the lives that they left behind, without much deviation. The two exceptions were Klinger, who shocked everyone by remaining in Korea, and Father Mulchachy, who was rapidly losing his hearing after standing on top of an explosion. These were intriguing plot twists, and when MASH ended, the audience was left with the questions of whether or not Klinger would ever leave Korea, and whether Mulchachy would regain his hearing or go completely deaf.
The first episode of After MASH quickly resolved both of these cliffhangers in a schmaltzy, unsatisfying way. Klinger was home, and Mulchacy had an operation that immediately restored his hearing. Two cheap cop outs for strong plotlines. The quality of After MASH was not good enough to justify ruining the ending of one of the best television programs in history.
Starts off fresh and original, keeps your interest throughout, though if you've seen PLAY MISTY FOR ME, FATAL ATTRACTION or any one of a dozen others, you could have written the last half hour. The pure charisma of Annabella Sciorra is what really keeps this one going, especially after you've seen her on THE SOPRANOS, and realize that she could have added just as much spark to the other female lead. Actually, it might be intriguing to see this film remade, with Annabella and Rebecca De Mornay switching roles, Doubtlessly, both would be completely different, but equally effective characters. Adorable little Madeline Zima as Annabella's daughter was quite good and endearing, as well. And why doesn't Ernie Hudson ever look the same, in two films?
This is KING OF COMEDY meets TAXI DRIVER, with a bit of CAPE FEAR, THIS BOY'S LIFE, and BANG THE DRUM SLOWLY thrown in for flavor. I can't imagine why the critics panned this film, because it takes you to unexplored territory, it's filled with rich, complex characters, and the story is gripping and believable from beginning to end. I definitely put THE FAN in the top ten De Niro films, and place it levels above anything else that he's done since the early nineties. If Rupert Pupkin had been obsessed with baseball, rather than Jerry Lewis, and if he'd had Tarvis Bickle's hatred for humanity and Dwight Hanson's anger and hostility, then he would have been Gil Renard. Lot's of surprising twists, and absolutely classic last words from Coup.