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This episode was one of the things that I loved about M*A*S*H. It definitely was ahead of its time by about 20 years due to the fact that gays in the military wouldn't become a hot button issue until the Clinton Administration in the 1990's. The thing I thought was interesting is that they treated the character of George as a regular person and not as the stereotypical effeminate gay man. Also, this helped give a little bit of insight into Frank's character. It reminded me of the furor over Larry Craig who was vehemently anti-gay until it was found out that he was a closeted gay man and this probably was the case with Frank as some episodes would indicate.
All in all this is one of the most thought provoking episodes in the series and it showed why M*A*S*H became a classic.
Hawaii Five-0 (2010)
When I first heard that they were going to reboot Five-O, I was dreading it because most attempts to not only remake, but reboot a series rarely, if ever work. However, this is definitely one that not only works, but in some ways it surpasses the original. This show definitely relies more on the characterization of the four characters. In McGarrett, with Alex O'Laughlin perfectly cast in the role, you have a guy who becomes the leader of Five-O even though he isn't really experienced as a cop. Daniel Dae Kim is great as Chin. He is a lot younger than Kam Fong, but he is great as a mentor to not only McGarrett, but to Kono and Danny as well. Grace Park definitely ups the sex appeal factor, but she definitely shows the vulnerability that Zulu never showed in the role. However, the biggest revelation is Scott Caan as Danny. He not only adds a bit of cynicism to the role that James MacArthur never had, but he adds a lot of the humor that sets this version apart from the original.
As another reviewer said, this is not your parents' Hawaii Five-O.
A Great Slice of Life Drama
This is definitely one of the best shows on HBO. It shows how New Orleans is coping with the disaster of Katrina with not only great scripts but with great characters such as Davis (Steve Zahn), Ladonna (Khandi Alexander), Antoine (Wendell Pierce) and "Big Chief" Albert (Clarke Peters). In fact, the character of Davis is truly a one of a kind character. He is both passionate and manic and you can truly feel his passion as well as his anger over the disaster that destroyed his adopted hometown. Also, this definitely captures the spirit of New Orleans, both good and bad and the true star of the show is the city of New Orleans itself with This definitely has a chance of becoming a true classic and hopefully the audience will continue to grow for this wonderful show.
Let's Make a Deal (2009)
A Worthy Successor
Let me start of the reviews by saying that this version of a television classic is a worthy successor to all the versions that have aired in the past. Wayne Brady definitely brings a younger and hipper feel to the show and he is the perfect successor to Monty Hall. What also makes this version great is the chemistry between Brady and Jonathan Mangum. They pretty much have made this a showcase for their improvisational comedy skills and it shows whenever someone gets "zonked" or when they have to deal with some of the crazier contestants that they will get.
This show is definitely a great compliment to "The Price is Right", which it leads into.
World's Dumbest (2008)
Somehow I Don't Feel So Dumb
This has to be the best show on TruTV. It is probably the only show were you can look at people who are just as dumb as they are criminally minded. What really makes this show so good is the fact that they cast members who are notorious for doing some rather stupid things themselves (Danny Bonaduce, Tonya Harding and Leif Garrett) readily admit to their foibles as they constantly rip on the dumb criminals that constantly show up on the show. Also, the show doesn't just concentrate on criminals. They also show people who do stupid things such as fighting, partying and just general idiotic behavior. TruTV definitely has a winner with this show.
I Spy (1965)
The Anti-Spy Show
This show was very unique when it comes to spy shows that were on television at the same time. Of course, the fact that it was one of the first shows to feature an African-American in a non-demeaning role made it unique as well as the humor, but there were other factors that helped make this show one of the most memorable of the 1960's. First, it was probably the only spy show that didn't rely on any special gadgetry as was the norm on shows like Mission: Impossible, The Man From Uncle and even the Wild Wild West. The two spies had to rely on their wits in order to take on their weekly antagonists. The second thing that was very unique about the show was that it relied on heavily on characterization. The characters of Kelly and Scottie were probably the most fleshed out characters on not just shows dealing with international intrigue, but of any show in that era. However, the most interesting aspect of this show was the fact that the characters actually questioned why they were in the business. Of course, this was in the middle of the Cold War, where loyalty was never an issue on the various spy shows, but this was probably the first one where the characters actually would question why they were being sent on these missions.
Hot Wheels (1969)
A Precursor of Things to Come
A some of the other posters have mentioned, this and "Skyhawks" were probably the earliest examples of cartoon series that had a toy tie in. Of course, this was several years before shows like "Transformers", "He Man" and "GI Joe" would hit the airwaves and would make weekday afternoons into a virtual infomercial for various toys. However, this show was one of the first and probably one of the best. I still fondly remember it and I would look forward to watching it on Saturday morning. At least they had some cool animation to make you keep watching even if you didn't want the toys. Of course, I did get plenty of Hot Wheels cars as well as the tracks, but this cartoon really didn't have an impact on my decision. Besides, I was only three years old at the time.
This definitely is a lost classic.
Uchû daisensô (1959)
Pretty Good Effort From Honda
This is Ishiro Hondas take on the classic space opera featuring alien invaders who have designs on Earth and will do anything to enslave mankind. This is a good, but not great, film. The only problem I have with it is that it tends to slow down during the scenes on Earth, especially the conference scenes. However, it picks up during the scenes on the moon and especially during the dogfight scenes featuring the rocket fighters battling the flying saucers. Also, in terms of acting, the best performance in this film definitely belongs to the great Yoshiyo Tsuchiya. Tsuchiya is excellent as the scientist who becomes possessed by the aliens, but becomes a hero who sacrifices himself after he is released from the alien control. He definitely makes this film more watchable.
Usually, one Ishiro Honda's science fiction films use two distinct themes. The first one is using his films as thinly veiled commentaries on socio-political issues (nuclear war, greed or commercialism) and the second is the world getting together for a common purpose. This film definitely follows the latter to a tee. This is definitely one where Honda uses his skill as a director to convey his wish that man would pull together for a common good instead of waiting until a major crisis to come together.
All in all this was a good film, but not a great one, but I still recommend it.
Ido zero daisakusen (1969)
This is one of the finest of the non-Godzilla epics by Ishiro Honda and Toho. It definitely has all the elements that make for a great film great story, great action and an interesting twist at the end. What really stands out is the fact that Honda pretty much took a near impossible situation in working with several American actors who didn't speak Japanese and was able to do a decent job in directing them. However, the thing that really was interesting about this film was the fact that this film marks what probably is the first and only time that Akira Takarada and the late, great Akihiko Hirata are heard speaking English with their own voices after years of being dubbed. This film is definitely one of the finest to come from Toho.
Crossing Jordan (2001)
Not Just the Female Quincy
When I first heard about this show, I thought it was just an updated version of "Quincy M.E." only with a female lead and a little more gore. However, since I started watching the reruns on A&E I have become a fan. The thing that really sets it apart from the show that it was inspired by are the quirky characters that are an integral part of the show; especially Nigel and Bug. Also, Miguel Ferrer plays Macy with just the right combination of cynicism and grittiness to make this show work.
However, this is definitely Jill Hennesey's show. She has definitely evolved from her days as Clair Kincaid on "Law and Order". She definitely shows a perfect blend of toughness and vulnerability that attracts a lot of men to her.
This show definitely is one of the few quality shows of this era.
This show was what shows like "The Music Scene", "Solid Gold" and "American Idol" wish they could be. I was born the year the show went off the air and even I can appreciate this show for what it was. Imagine a show where every week you would get the top rock and roll acts from America and England and, for the most part, they would perform absolutely live. That was what this show was like. In fact, from what I've seen of most of the clips that I have been shown throughout the years on VH-1 and even now on You Tube, there was hardly any lip synching and that way you could separate the great bands from the not so great ones. Also, let's not forget the dancers. That was what really made the show as well as having the likes of a pre-"Here Come the Brides" Bobby Sherman as well as Donna Loren, a girl with a great voice who should have become a big star. It is too bad that it has never come out on DVD. If it did it would become one of the biggest selling DVD's ever.
Love and Music (1971)
Thanks to Youtube, I have seen various clips of this film and it looks like a pretty interesting look at one of the most famous post-Woodstock festivals. In this film you get a very mixed bag of performers including Woodstock veterans (Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe McDonald, Canned Heat and Santana), great bands who never quite caught on (Its a Beautiful Day and Family) and future superstars (Pink Floyd). The thing I really liked about it were the interviews that gave you a look at how the scene was during that era. Also, it was interesting to see a lot of these artist either at their ascendancy, as was the case with Pink Floyd and Santana, or at their decline, as was the case with Jefferson Airplane who were just about to lose Marty Balin as he was to quit a few months later.
However, the only complaint I have about the film is the fact that it sounded like whoever recorded the sound for the festival messed up when recording the crowd noise and went back into the studio later and recorded various people in a small room to simulate the crowd reactions.
Nevertheless, this is a fairly good rockumentary.
The Big Valley (1965)
When I first began looking at this show seriously, I couldn't help but compare it to "Bonanza", which was far more superior and successful. This is due to the fact that it deals with a powerful family in the Old West as they deal with the various people that cross their paths whether its bank robbers, Indians, desperadoes, Mexican revolutionaries or just the average person. Of course, the big differences are that the lead was not a man, but a woman in the character of Victoria Barkley, played by the incomparable Barbara Stanwyck and the fact that one of her children is a daughter named Audra, played by a young Linda Evans. However, this show is still one of the better character driven western series and has become a classic in its own right.
The End of an Era
This definitely was the end of an era at the Disney studios. This was the last of the so-called "college comedies" that began with the classic "The Absent Minded Professor", continued with the two "Merlin Jones" films ("The Misadventures of Merlin Jones" and "The Monkey's Uncle") and ended with the three "Dexter Riley" films ("The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes", "Now You See Him, Now you Don't" and this film). These films all followed the same formula but still were funny in their own way. However, by the time this film was done the formula had worn thin and this pretty much was the end of the line for this series of films. Kurt Russell was his usual funny self as the perpetually in trouble Dexter getting himself and his buddy Schyler in perpetual trouble. Ceasar Romero was also great as the kids' perpetual foil Arno.
However, it is also a somewhat surreal film due to the fact that Joe Flynn died after this motion picture finished filming. He definitely was great in his role as Dean Higgins and it was definitely an extension of his "Captain Binghamton" character and this capped off his legendary career as on of the all-time great curmudgeons.
AWA Superclash III (1988)
The Beginning of the End
This card could almost have been seen as one of the final nails in the coffin of what was once one of the greatest promotions in the history of professional wrestling. For years the AWA was one of the most famous wrestling promotions in America. The list of their former stars reads like a who's who of professional wrestling. Stars like Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, the Road Warriors, Dusty Rhodes and Curt Hennig all got their first big pushes in the AWA. However, by the mid 1980's all of the big names were either working in the WWF/E or in Jim Crockett Promotions. Also, mismanagement on the part of Gagne, who didn't want to change with the times, led to the end of the promotion and this card could be seen as one last desperate attempt to save it. In fact, the only memorable thing about this card was that it marked the first appearance on pay-per-view of future WWF/E star Mick Foley, who wrestled as his most famous alter ego Cactus Jack. Unfortunately, that was the only memorable thing. This definitely was a sad way for the promotion to end.
Love, Sidney (1981)
A Very Weird Show
The fact that this show the first to feature a gay character as the lead character has been beaten to death that I won't mention it again. Instead, this show was very unusual. It was one of those where the writers didn't know if it was going to be a cute little family drama with a very unusual family group or if it wanted to be a situation comedy. Tony Randall was pretty good in this show, especially since he played a similar character for many years on the Odd Couple. Swoosie Kurtz also did a good job in her role as Laurie. I loved the fact that she was constantly trying to convince people that she was nothing like the nymphomaniac that she played on television and that she was just an ordinary mother trying to raise her daughter. However, as I said earlier, the thing that hurt this show was the fact that the producers never could decide whether it was going to be a situation comedy or a drama. That definitely hurt it in the end.
Another Cartoon of My Youth
I remember getting up early every morning to see reruns of this series on one of the local stations here. This cartoon definitely came out of the era when Hanna-Barbera was producing a lot of adventure/super hero shows featuring teenagers who gained super powers either by holding a club aloft, touching a couple of bracelets together or (in Sinbad Jr.'s case) tightening his belt. The thing that really made this show fun was Sinbad's "buddy", Salty the Parrot. Of course, he was voiced by the legendary Mel Blanc and that's what made this show so memorable for me. Too bad they don't show this on reruns or that it hasn't been released on DVD. This definitely was a wild show.
Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (1976)
A Strange Show
This had to be one of the wildest shows from the mind of Norman Lear. To me this was one of those shows that you either loved or hated and when it first came on I didn't have any opinion of it because I really couldn't understand it, probably because when it debuted I was only ten years old at the time. The show was supposed to be a comedy, but because it didn't have a laugh track or studio audience I never knew what the funny parts were. Also, besides the titular Mary Hartman, the characters were so bizarre that it made it difficult to be a fan of this show.
Also, on interesting fact about this show is that Norman Lear was so enamored with it that it caused him to pay less and less attention to his more successful shows at the time such as "All in the Family" and "Good Times". In fact, when John Amos publicly complained about it it lead to his firing from "Good Times". Maybe if Lear had paid more attention to the shows that made him a success their quality wouldn't have suffered.
Uchû daikaijû Girara (1967)
The Worst Kaiju Ever
This film was released in a year (1967) when seemingly every studio in Japan released a kaiju film. Toho released Kingukongu no gyakushu and Kaijûtô no kessen: Gojira no musuko, Daiei released Gamera tai uchu kaijû Bairasu and even Nikkatsu got into the act with its one and only kaiju film Daikyojû Gappa. However, Japan's oldest studio, Shochiku, finally got into the act with what is probably the worst film in the genre. The monster definitely looks like a combination of a reptile and giant chicken and it definitely looked like one of the worst monsters that was ever created. As for the story, the writers looked as if they couldn't decide to make this film a serious science-fiction film or a spoof. Peggy Neal is the typical damsel in distress and makes it worse by acting like the stereotypical ditsy blonde. The rest of the cast is even worse. At least Toho's kaiju films had not only good stories but great acting as well. This was definitely the genre at its worst.
Lovers and Other Strangers (1970)
Great Wedding Film
This is one of the funniest wedding pictures I have ever seen. The film pretty much accurately portrays a lot of the things that go on around the time of a wedding. Things like the mother of either the bride or groom about to suffer a nervous breakdown, one couple on the verge of a divorce while the brother (or sister) is getting married or one of the groomsmen trying to make it with one of the bridesmaids. The writer must have been to a lot of weddings to really come up with this great slice of life comedy.
As for the cast, Bonnie Bedelia and Michael Brandon are perfectly cast as Susan and Mike, who seem to be the only ones that are happy while everyone else isn't. Cloris Leachman (a few months before taking the role of Mary Richard's annoying and overbearing neighbor Phyllis) is also great as Susan's mother, who is oblivious to her husband's philandering. Also, in a very quiet performance, Dianne Keaton makes a solid debut as Mike's soon to be ex-sister-in-law, who show's up even though she know's she has to face her in-law's as well as her estranged husband. However, Bea Arthur (a couple of years before her career defining role as overbearing liberal Maude) steals the show as Mike's overbearing, devoutly Catholic mother. This film is definitely a sleeper.
Charlie's Angels Meet Bewitched
I recently started watching this show a few months ago (it is shown on the televisions at the gym where I workout). When it first came out I thought it would be more along the lines of "Bewitched" only with more of the single girl on her own slant of "Mary Tyler Moore". However, as I started looking at it, it really was more like another creation by the late Aaron Spelling, "Charlie's Angels". The show pretty much is one of your standard issue action series with a supernatural twist. However, the thing that saves it is the relationship between the three sisters. Also, to me the show seemed to pick up steam once Shannon Doherty quit and was replaced by Rose McGowan. That seemed to put more of a humorous element into the show that it seemed to lack due to her character Paige's lack of experience at being a witch. This definitely is one interesting show.
Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970)
A Preview of Things to Come
This is one of the funniest movies of the early 1970's. The story, the acting as well as the characters helped to make this a great film. In many ways this film was a preview of things to come due to the fact that the very next year with the premier of Shaft, the era of the "blaxploitation" film would begin. Also, you have to wonder if the team who created the Lethal Weapon series were somewhat inspired by this due to the fact that characters of Gravedigger and Coffin are somewhat reminiscent of Briggs and Murtaugh from that series. However, the thing that really made this fun was the brief appearance of Redd Foxx playing a character that was not dissimilar from the character that would earn him his biggest fame, Fred Sanford. This is definitely a lost classic.
Shônen Jakku to Mahô-tsukai (1967)
A Great Fantasy
This is a great little fantasy that I first saw in the mid-1970's. I first saw this on a local station out here and I was captivated by the story. Some of the elements of the film somewhat reminded me of "Scooby Doo", but this film pretty much stands on its own. It is too bad that this film isn't shown on television anymore or that it has never been released on DVD in this country. To me this would not only be popular among people of all ages, but it would be a great way to introduce children to anime due to the fact that it is more of a family story and it isn't as serious as many of the latter day films of the genre. This is definitely a lost classic.
A Great Fairy Tale
I first saw this film in the mid-1970's and I really enjoyed it. It came at the time I was first introduced to such Japanese exports as Speed Racer and Kimba, as well as all the Godzilla films. The thing that really made me enjoy it was the story about the young protagonist's quest to free the village of his birth from the evil wizard and his love for the young girl that turned out to be the wizard's daughter. It is just too bad that this film has never been released on DVD. Not only would I enjoy watching it once again, but I think that this film would be enjoyed by younger kids as well. In fact, this film is probably a good introduction for younger viewers to the world of Japanese anime.
Makes Ed Wood Look Like John Ford
This film has gone down in history as one of the worst films in history and I can see why. To me it looks as if the producers had two different films in mind and decided to combine the two into one horrific mess. First you have the story about the aliens who come to Earth to kidnap our women and use them as "breeding stock to re-populate their planet". Next you have the story about the android whose space capsule crash lands in Puerto Rico and goes on a murderous rampage. Both those plots if done separately would have made rather bad individual movies. However, together, the two stories make this an even bigger bomb. Also, not only is the plot horrendous, but who was the genius that thought about adding a couple of pop tunes to the film. The two songs, "That's the Way Its Got to Be" and "To Have and Hold" were very inappropriate for the scenes they were inserted into. However, the acting was what really stood out like a sore thumb. Even though many of the cast would go on to have workable careers in films and television, I doubt that they would still put this film on their resume.
Also, one thing that I have noticed while viewing the film is the somewhat lesbian subtext. The way Princess Marcuzan looks at the first captive Earth girl almost makes you think you were going to look at a little girl on girl action once she was "purified".
However, even though this is a very bad film, it still can be seen as a guilty pleasure. In fact, this film definitely was geared to the drive in crowd.