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Snobs (2003–2004)
Australian's make great children's' TV
29 May 2006
Australians make great children's TV series and Snobs is one of these.

I can see primary school-13 year olds liking this, but I think older high school kids will find the themes and plots a bit repetitive and simplistic.

I love the dog SNOBS -I assume she is a Blue Heeler.

Aust TV is very good at caricatures-and the adults in this are very good.

They even film the children doing schoolwork in the classroom-which is something you do not often seen Aust TV schoolkids doing.

In Blue Water High they are surfing In Saddle Club they are riding horses.

I think I would like the snobs to win occasionally as they do in real life-if not at school then certainly in real life in the suburbs in which they live.

In the Eastern States it is the Eastern Suburrb beaches-in Perth it is the Western Suburbs. It is unaffordable for young families.

Great series that should export well for the scenery and nice feel about it. No Columbine massacre in these schools-just a little bit of horseplay.
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Number 96 (1972–1977)
Will seem dated but a good escape-forerunner of Soap
29 May 2006
In the 70's there were some good Australian TV soaps made that reflected a changing society especially when it came to relationships. Or perhaps it was just that people were able to show for real what had been happening previously but never shown on conservative 1960's TV.

No 96 will stand the test of time because gave viewers first full frontal (I think) seen by Abigail.

It will seem a bit cheap and nasty but you must remember that they would make at least 1-2 one hour episodes per week over a 40 week season.

I think the late 1970's series-SOAP with Billy Crystal is similar in that it mentions society changes like gays and infidelity-in a campish , funny way.
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The Restless Years (1977–1982)
I loved this especially Olivia
29 May 2006
I loved this series though it did get a bit sidetracked at the end.

My favourite was Olivia (Zoe Bertram) as I was late teenager.

I was saddened to learn about 5 years after he left series Jon Blake was badly injured in car accident whilst making a film in Yorke Peninsula (SA) -I think.

Please I wish they would make more TV soaps and not all the cheap and nasty reality TV. I loath Dancing with Stars, Singing with Stars, Ice Skating with Stars.

Stuff the stars give us some actors with script and storyline.

Now only Neighbours and Home & Away on the networks and they have been around for 20 years.
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Class of '74 (1974–1975)
Engaging series-will make you relive schooldays
29 May 2006
High school classrooms the world over are different, but the characters therein are similar. There's the bully, the quiet one, the popular girl and of course hormones are raging.

So take a trip back to your schooldays watch, compare and generally have a laugh at a probably cheaply made, low plot line series.

Many Australian actors would have had their early beginnings in this series. My favourite was Julianne Newbold.

I also liked Sigrid Thornton and I think Diane Craig was teacher. Best part of 20 years since I saw a re-run in the mid 1980's. Now where is it?

Compare that to a more sophisticated "Blue Water High" made in 2003 with kids at a Surf school by the beach. hat a change-in the 70's you had to wag school to go to the beach, now going to the beach and surfing can be part of the school day.
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Skippy (1967– )
Innocent childhood days-Skippyone of God's creatures
29 May 2006
This series is timeless. It will be watched in 100 years time.

You cannot get back to the innocent 50's 60's of Australian National Park life because there are so many people these days and so few animals.

This was made in the early years of TV when TV's were just becoming accessible to all in Australia. It no doubt helped popularise Australia.

Unfortunately Australia is no longer a quirky low populated part of world-it is modern country with large and complex cities with almost non-stop 24 hour activity.

Give me back my simple childhood days of coming home from school and watching Skippy or re-runs of Skippy.

I was even too young to appreciate Lisa Goddard as the 16-17 yo Englsih girl.

God bless all creatures great and small like Skippy the Bush Kangaroo.
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Funny, quirky Australian film-they could not make this in the USA
29 May 2006
I watched this film yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to find it both funny and engrossing. It is what I call a quirky Australian film because it has an almost absurd premise, or plot, yet it is believable because the characters are real caricatures of the sort of people you would meet in the suburbs of the cities and the small country towns.

For example Danny as a bricklayer has that earthy look on life which appeals to the girl he mets in Clarence and the impact he has on the town.

This is uniquely Australian type film that they could not make in the USA.

It is well worth a watch although the ending was a bit flat.
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Excellent but a little disjointed-was there a sequel?
12 April 2006
I just saw this film on Mid-day TV. It was excellent but I felt it was a little disjointed as several characters and people were not really explained.

For example the long haired young man who took Rachel Leigh Cook for a ride-why did he seemingly have hypnotic power.

Also I was a bit sad that the cat was made possessed. As a lover of cats this was a bit sad.

The main highlight though was Rachel Leigh Cook-I would have liked to have seen more of her both in the film, and in the flesh as there was this implied feeling of lust by the various hooded figures.

Ending I thought that the ending of film left possibility of a sequel-a bit like the Damian trilogy of the 70's.
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A bit slow moving but nice for a date
28 October 2005
I gave this 6/10 because it was quite slow moving. The saving grace was Julia Stiles performance, especially in the audition scene at the end. However if you are 15-25 , and like hip hop, then it would be worth an 8/10.

I am not a hip hop fan, nor particularly like the music. However just as 20 years ago similar theme films-cultural conflict & generation gap films like Flashdance & Dirty Dancing, and before that Saturday Night Fever, would have appealed to late teens early 20's going out on dates, then this is a similar feel good date film.

The dance scenes in the night club were very ordinary. The lead characters were lost, and scarcely highlighted, unlike those other films were the lead characters performed at length on own with lots of floor space.

As I said the saving grace was Julia Stiles and her dance audition performance at the end.

Boston Public The previous evening I watched an episode of Boston Public, and the school scenes, character development, story lines , a lot better than Save The last Dance.

Flashdance I am sure as Flashdance stood out so 20 years later still watchable, so will this film. In 2020 those moviegoers will be in 40's and see it is a trip down memory lane.
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Promises to be something good
16 October 2005
I have seen the trailer, and read the premise, for this film, and in that one and a bit minutes could safely predict what the story is.

It is the deflowering of an 18 yo girl , Agi Puncikova, played by a slim cute and athletic ,presumably also 18, girl with the pseudonym of Marilyn Black. It is intended to be set in Hungary or one of the former Eastern countries. Not much money is spent on the sets and though I thought the actors were amateurs the actress has already played in three films of a similar name.

The plot is simple...a record of a teenager losing her virginity. The plus is the actress, stunning. Simply shot with a hand held camera and amateur actors, it is a must for those who like erotic films.

It is only 50 minutes duration and time will not be wasted on character and plot development.
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Personal Best (1982)
A Personal Favourite
6 October 2005
Although it has been many years since I saw this film it stands out as being an excellent film, both in the content-human relationships & competition, as well as the cinematography.

Mariel Hemingway is simply stunning. Indeed the Women's High Jump is among the best events to watch at any Track & Field meet-as the girls are generally young, long & lean.

If you follow T & F some of the high jumpers are able to compete at the highest level for over a decade. (I think that 5 of the top 8 of the 1988 Seoul Olympics had also made the final of the 1976 Olympics).

There were two good films that I know of that had aim as 80 Olympics-Golden Girl with Susan Anton & this film. So how long did the USSR stay in Afganistan after the 1980 Olympic boycott? 13 years. So if a politician says a sporting team should boycott another country because of civil rights etc-then remind them of this Olympics, which in turn stuffed up the next Olympics as well as a couple of Commonwealth Games especially for African countries.

Irony Idi Amin pulled Uganda out of the 1976 Olympics because New Zealand played rugby in South Africa.

Even in 2004 the Aust govt was sort of trying to stop the Aust Cricket team from touring Zimbabwe.

Enough of politics as I was not really aware of politics when I saw Personal Best in the early 1980's. I was aware of my attraction to girls and in Mariel there is one of the most beautiful as well as the capacity to admire athletic bodies , male & female, both on the track and in the locker room.
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Lipstick (1976)
Another great psychological thriller from the 1970's
6 October 2005
The more I see references to the psychological drama/thriller movies of the 1970's, the more I wish I could see them again.

Lipstick (1976) was made during an era that saw thrillers like Duel, Badham County, Hardcore, The Dirty Harry series and politically incorrect teen movies like Animal House. The scripts and characterisations had to be good because this was pre special effects, they actually shot films outdoors in real life settings, not just studio caverns.

This is a beautifully made film and we can appreciate the freshness of the Hemingway sisters , as well as understand the difficulties a disturbed young man faces when his desires get the better of him.

The revenge aspect would make the viewer feel good as they see justice as being done.

Though in the end no one wins, expect viewers who are treated to almost 2 hours of suspense , escapism and possibly voyeurism as the girls are so attractive.

I am tired of the franchise films of today, the TV remakes, the special effects-making actors and writers redundant when good scripts and real life locations are needed to help us identify with the situation.
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Nice girls, a slow moving plot...a minor gem
6 October 2005
The three girls featured in this are very attractive, but there is little if any nudity. At best a bikini top, maybe one topless shot.

It had the potential to be a better film, but was quite slow moving, and other than hoping to see some teen-aged girls in various stages of undress, nothing to sustain my interest.

In the end it was worth watching because it is nice to see attractive girls at the beach, in the sun with unpolluted waters, and few obvious signs over commercialisation.

I would recommend it, as I would most girls' coming of age films , as they educate at least one-half of the population as to what girls' think, and then , to use Mel Gibson's film, help us understand 'what women want'.

Maybe there is a packaged David Hamilton film set, he only made five films, and it would be good to see all five as they are priceless treasures, as they portray beautiful innocence, in a bygone era.
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Bingles (1992– )
I found it funny too. I miss sitcoms, especially quirky Australian ones.
4 October 2005
I found this to be a great show. With down to earth humour, and characters that are generally very likable.

Shane Bourne was particularly good-and you must see MDA (Medical Deference Attorney) on TV Channel 2 2004 & 5 & hopefully longer).

Tammy McIntosh (as Stacey) was in almost her first TV /Acting role and not only was she super pretty then, she has become a great actor over time.

Australian sitcoms of the early 1990's-All Together Now; Hey Dad; Newlyweds (or something like that with Annie Jones) were beautiful-nice , funny, likable characters.

Now almost all Australian humour based on so called stand-up comedians telling rude jokes or using swear words...or a series of skits.

Sitcom& Drama v Reality TV

The thing about what actors like Shane & Tammy do is that they are part of sitcoms & dramas that are not just consumed for the 30 minutes to hour, but can be replayed time andagain. In 20 years time Bingles (may) but MDA certainly will, beshowing up on TV somewhere in the world-no-one will replay Aust or American Idol, Big Brother 2005. Those shows are like junk food, once you eat it your hungry again, as nothing of substance consumed.

Frontline & The Games I agree about Frontline great series-now that is good satire. I would also recommend The Games, a satire on the organising committee leading up to the 2000 Olympics.

Australia ( & give credit to John Clarke (The Games) a NZer ) are quite gifted and can produce great material.

Please fund our actors & crews to continue to produce great material. What would be a good theme to do a TV comedy series? (The trouble is political correctness means that you almost can't be truly funny without saying a joke at someone else's expense.) Seinfeld's humour was the 'taking the mickey' out of themselves and others. George's self-loathing for example.
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Newlyweds (1993–1994)
Annie Jones -As cute as Jessica Simpson
4 October 2005
I loved this show even though on for only 2 years. I think I also saw it replayed which shows the value of drama & sitcoms as media that can be played again, as against reality TV shows like Big Brother & sport which are instant consumed, never to be repeated.

Annie is actually cuter than Jessica Simpson & that is saying something, and she can act, has great comic timing. Though I think the girls will find Nick Lachley (jessica's husband) as a bit sexier than the bumbling but lovable Peter.

I just noticed that she is back on Neighbours after 16 year break.

Newlyweds There were a few good Aust comedies early 1990'-All Together Now; Newlyweds; Hey Dad; Bingles-& later a few good satires like Frontline & The games.

I do not like Kath & Kim-too contrived & not funny, and then all these skit shows. It must be so hard to be an actor in Australia, especially a comic actor.
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A Mother's Testimony (2001 TV Movie)
Suspense & and great psychological drama
30 September 2005
This film was on mid-day TV in Australia two weeks ago. It is the type of film that only North Americans can do so well-a psychological drama involving the family and the conflicts that arise.

We are introduced to Kenny as the young adult returning from two years imprisonment as he was in the 'wrong place at the wrong time'. His Mum has a new boyfriend with a farm, and gets Kenny a job as a general mechanic servicing boats on the waterfront.

Kenny's younger brother & sister are initially a bit wary of him and have to come to terms that his presence upsets the balance that Mum the boyfriend and the kids have created in Kenny's absence.

Warren an ex-con with Kenny pays a visit and things go downhill from there as Kenny feels some sort of commitment to look after Warren. Whilst Kenny is the clean looking young man Warren is a scruffy mid-30's scratching seemingly unstable person.

A murder is committed and Mum has to decide who she believes.

Kate Jackson is brilliant as are all the main characters, and especially the teen-aged daughter in a minor role.

There are many roles for 40-50 yo's actors in these sorts of films, realistic roles with family drama and they produce good films albeit not necessarily the films that are big release world wide movie features.

These films with twists & turns plot & character development are so much better than the NCIS , CSI franchise series that dominate evening TV. In this film it is shot outdoors with great locations and lighting. So many TV cop & medical shows shot in dark studios it creates such an artificial atmosphere.

Last editorial it is not reality TV programme. Having said that I loved the Biggest Loser and many of The Bachelor series with such cute girls.

America (including Canada) must be the most fascinating place on earth-except the really big cities all the heat and concrete. Maybe small & medium town America and Canada the best places to live.

If USA/Canadian perhaps tell what you think-city v medium town v small town USA. All the great talents ie Britney Spears Jessica Simpson seem to come from small town USA especially the south. Are the cutest girls from the south especially Texas? Give
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Nightmare in Badham County (1976 TV Movie)
Scary at time-but what would I think now?
28 September 2005
I remember seeing this film maybe 15-20 years ago and it scared me. Now I doubt that it would as I would see it as a film and the girls were at least released and by and large treated fairly.

The USA seems to have a great store of anecdotes of real-life sheriffs who see their town as a private fiefdom, more so than here in Australia where the 'sheriff' , is a normal police officer appointed from a central State body as against 'popularly elected by the community.

I think of say prison films like Cool Hand Luke & Brubaker also in the 60-70's.

I imagine that was of a bygone era as now officials well behaved.
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Gran Paradiso (2000)
Triumph of the human spirit
28 September 2005
Sometimes you sit down channel surfing passing the time of day or night and come across a film that is simply awe inspiring.

In Australia we have two non-commercial national TV stations, ABC & SBS. SBS is good because it usually, provided no sport, shows 2-3 foreign (ie non-English speaking films per week), ad-free and with sub titles.

I was intrigued because beginning of film featured a social worker; an injured young man; his depression with becoming paralysed whilst on the way to climb the Gran Paradiso with his father (his father died in the accident) and her attempts to help him by using prisoners from a reform school.

I love films that feature mountains (eg K2, Cliffhanger) and this was more a human drama that action packed as the before mentioned films.

The mountain is a symbol for us all to conquer when we face our fears and inadequacies. I will never conquer 'my mountain'. Both times I watched this film I had tears on my face at the end. I am sure that for many viewers it will have a similar effect.

It is good that the European countries try to maintain their own TV & film industries. This is distinctly European without the overt sentimentality associated with similar American tearjerkers.

Having said that no-one can produce domestic (ie within households)crime & drama and psychological films like the Americans, especially those films set in small-town or suburban USA.
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Species (1995)
Sensual,erotic science-fiction thriller. Great viewing.
17 April 2004
The main attraction of this film is Natasha Henstridge. In parts it reminded me of Aliens, at least the bursting of alien lifeforms out of human bodies and the cocoon.

The main disappointment with the plot was that the scientists tracking her were so knowledgeable about her movements-just a few minutes late. I think more hysteria could have been built up if her whereabouts were unknown.

That aside I loved the mating scenes with at least a topless Henstridge there for all to see. I would like to be the 'victim' of an aggressive sexual female like that with a strong urge to mate.

The ending left the way open for a sequel.
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Walkabout (1971)
Beautiful lead character and a film with a subtle message
17 April 2004
I first remember seeing this film as a late teenager in about 1979. Therefore what most vividly stuck in my mind was the lead character played by a beautiful blonde English girl, Jenny Agutter, Specifically the nude scenes of her swimming and washing.

On a less superficial level it is a film with a point-something along the lines of the graciousness of Aborigines and their ability to live in harsh surrounds, and the destructive nature of suburban life in a flat in a major city.

I think it would be a film, like Jedda, that will always be on reference for the Australian Outback, Aboriginals and the modern society which brought a European civilisation to their land.
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Bilitis (1977)
Beautiful girls and film, but weak male characters and storyline.
8 February 2004
This is an sensuous film with beautiful teenaged girls lovingly filmed undressing, and then playing, in a lake.

In fact an edited version of 30 minutes would make my favourite film of all time. The pity is the other 60 minutes.

My critique can be broken up into great, mediocre and disappointing.

Great

Without a doubt this film has the most erotic and sensous scenes I have ever scene. Specifically:

Full frontal nudity of teenaged girls undressing, and then playing, in the lake;

Dormitory scenes with Bilitis and her bestfriend;

Semi-nude of love scenes between Melissa [Mona Kristensen]and Bilitis [Patti D'Arbanville];

Bilitis having Melissa help undress Bilitis after a sea-side swim; and

Theatrical performance with girls in see-through costumes.

Good

The tension between Melissa and her husband, Pierre [Gilles Kohler];

The scenes of pre-war semi-rural France;

The costume recreations-especially with the teenaged girls' school clothing.

Disappointing

The lead male, Lucas [Bernard Giraudeau], who was a weak male-chauvinist. Maybe as this was a girls' boarding school there was a shortage of attractive boys/men around, and so they would have fantasised about any youngish new man who appeared on the scene.

It would have been better if Bilitis and Pierre were attracted to one another as that that would have created sexual tension. He was the only male character that I liked, yet he only appeared in a few scenes.

If not tension between Bilitis and Pierre , then between Pierre and the girl he was taking to the equestrian event in Monaco.

Patti D'urbanville at 26-27 playing a 16-17 year old. Although the use of a substitute teenaged figure for the sensuous scenes were used.

Overall

I loved it.
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My observations and interests in this film have changed over time.
6 January 2004
First viewed-Aged 10-13 early 1970's

The first time I saw this film it would probably have been the early 1970's when aged around 10-13. At that time its miniturisation and other special effects would have been amzing.

The clean scientific lab, the miniturising of the submarine and lead characters, set the scene for a fanastic voyage.

At that time I did not appreciate the talents of Raquel Welch, nor the requirement to have a resident bad character played by Donald Pleasance. The suspense was created by the time constraints and the growing bacteria.

The scenes showing the scuba-diving in the blood, or lympathetic, system was very impressionable.

Aged about mid 30's in mid 1990's

During the next twenty odd years I would have seen the film 4-5 times. As I better knew the storylines I tended to focus on the characters. Obviously Raquel Welch became the main point of interest wearing a skintight swimsuit. [As an aside Angelina Jolie in the Lara Croft role would have a similar effect].

Although nowadays there are more sophiscated special effects, it nonetheless remains a very good film, with suspense, drama played out by a great cast.

It was very good technically in that it referred to the use of laser techology, something we now take for granted.

Recommendation

If it comes up on TV suggest watch it, especially if you have not seen it for 15-20 years. If like me you first saw it as a young boy I am sure that your focus from that time would have changed.

Good viewing
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