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Bones: The Ghost in the Machine (2012)
Season 8, Episode 9
Probably the only thumbs up
1 August 2015
I am one of the people who have never actually watched an episode of Bones. I was asleep in front of the television and woke up as the show was starting. Groggy, I just sat there and continue watching… was interested to see Cyndi Lauper show up on screen.

I thought the storyline was well written, despite the cinéma vérité or whatever you call that style of shooting. Also, I picked up right away that the spiritual aspect was someone out of scope for a normal episode of this program. Still, I like the way that the mystery is played out, the twist at the end, and even the metaphysical appearance of the kid with the skateboard as the young girl realize that the boy had a crush on her.

Then, I come to IMDb and see everybody trashing the episode, LOL! Well… If I were a long term fan of the show, who knows? However, as someone who's never actually watched a single episode… I thought it was well done. I did get the MASH connection, but ideas are always recycled here in Hollywood, are they not?
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Local Children's Television
21 February 2011
I watched this show with great interest... having grown up in Philadelphia where we enjoyed local shows on three network affiliates and three independent UHF stations (plus PBS affiliates in Philly and South Jersey). Imagine my surprise to find Philadelphia completely ignored in this episode of the miniseries.

From New York to Los Angeles... Miami to Chicago to Green Bay... even Phoenix Arizona. But why oh why did they completely skip the home of such local television programs such as:

Gene London, Sally Starr, Lorenzo the Clown, Pixanne, Sergeant Sacto, Wee Willy Weber, Captain Noah, Chief Halftown, and the Uncle Floyd Show starring Floyd Vivino and his brother, band leader for the Conan Show.

Of course, there are many others... plus the nationally syndicated programs (such as Soupy Sales and Romper Room) and programming imported from Japan, poorly dubbed into English.

I would like to know why, of all the cities in America, this show completely dissed Philadelphia.
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TV One Brings Back Memories
5 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I was a young tyke when this show came on the air. The local NBC affiliate preempted it from the 8:00 time slot until 11:00 p.m. Because it was so rare for African Americans to be on television, the phone rang late at night telling my Mom it was on. Even though it was a school night, Mom dragged me out of bed to watch the show.

After Richard said the first word "ass" Mom gasped and ordered me back to bed. I only got a couple steps before she recanted and allowed me to complete the show. We were sad that it went off the airwaves after such a short run, but it was the talk of my classroom for a few weeks.

In retrospect, the controversy seems non-existent. I felt the same way seeing an episode of the old CBS Smothers Brothers show. I also remember Mom telling me to turn that show off because of its content, yet today it seems tame enough for Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel.

I agree with the other reviewers that Pryor paved the way for a lot of great shows, including the Wayans and Jamie Foxx. He will be missed.
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Shatner's Raw Nerve (2008– )
To Boldly Go Where No Talk Show Has Ever Gone Before
8 January 2010
My only complaint about Shatner's Raw Nerve is that it only lasts for a half hour. With commercial breaks built in -- it often feels like you are losing precious time that you want to spend watching Bill and his guests in the innovative "love seat." I have enjoyed every single episode that I have seen without exception, but what he pulled out of Gene Simmons was not only a touching interview, but something that taught me a lot about success. Not a "how to make it" per se, but what I heard from the man transcended anything in any other interview given by the man as advice I will walk away with and follow.

This is a crown jewel in William Shatner's impressive portfolio and I hope it continues.
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Men of a Certain Age (2009–2011)
As Arte Johnson Would Say... Verrry Interesting...
9 December 2009
When I saw the promo, I thought... what an odd combination of actors. Ray Romano... deadpan comedian. Scott Bakula... the Quantum Leap guy. And Andre Braugher... heir apparent to the gravitas of James Earl Jones. What the... ??? Then, I saw that this was put together by part of the "Everybody Loves Raymond" team. Hmm... interesting.

Certainly not a comedy on the same level as ELR, but there were a few laugh out loud moments. Maybe the absence of a laugh track made it feel like a revival of the "dramedy" genre? The pilot was rated TV-MA mostly for a few S-bombs, not the nudity that "Saving Grace" has brought to the network.

The pilot certainly establishes the three leads. The question is, where will the show go? I am thinking wish fulfillment for men of that certain age. That could be enough to keep me tuning in.
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Heavy Metal Jr. (2005 TV Movie)
Hetfield and Uhlrich Ain't Losing Any Sleep...
30 May 2008
These kids have some talent... but not enough life experience to be able to write a fully conceived metal song.

Then again... the same could be said for some of the heavy metal greats. I mean... Metallica wrote classics like Unforgiven, One, and Outlaw Torn, then later do Saint Anger? But this isn't about them... really. It is about a bunch of kids from across the pond with a desire to rock and to do so in the heaviest of ways.

I think in a few years they have the potential to do something great. But, meanwhile, they got all the girls fluttering around them... and I believe that is the true point of picking up a guitar and going on stage, isn't it?
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Marci X (2003)
$20-Million for this Movie?
27 November 2007
I was looking on the business tab and it was weird. This film cost $20-million?

Where did the money go?

Was it for the crack that the writers smoked when putting this script together?

That makes sense... given Chris Rock saying that he would just have soon had received an envelope full of crack than this script (on the fun facts tab).

Looking at the business, it seems the film made under $5-million. That means it lost $15-million. Yikes!

From the entertainment perspective, it took a lot of suspension of disbelief and ignoring blatant stereotypes and lapses in logic in order to try and extract the few drops of humor out of this film.
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Family Matters (1989–1998)
In the 70's, it was Fonzie. In the 80's, it was Urkel.
16 September 2007
It is an interesting paradigm.

Garry Marshall made Happy Days, a nostalgic look at the 1950's. It plodded along until a background character, Fonzie, became the focus of the show. And, Fonzie went from being a motorcycle riding tough guy to a cartoon character.

The same happened with Family Matters. What was originally a Cosby-esquire warm family drama became a surrealistic cartoon starring none other than original one-off character Steve Urkel.

Jaleel White made quite a career for himself in those days. He even had a special that showed off his other talents. However, like Gary Coleman, the joke ran dry and his post Family Matters show failed.

I'm still waiting for Jaleel to return to acting in some type of bad-ass role. He has the talent and the range. He just needs a chance.
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The Brave One (2007)
A better looking version of Charles Bronson
14 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Looking at Jodie on the big screen, I noticed a few things. First, you look into her eyes and you see that precocious little girl who tormented Brandon Cruz on "The Courtship of Eddie's Father." Second, the close-ups on the 40-foot screen emphasizes the lines and crows feet that let you know that Jodie is no longer the little girl many of us grew up with. Third, you see the brief nudity that lets you know that Jodie is still as amazing as ever. Finally, you see her unique talent as she takes the material to higher levels than any other actor might have.

I looked at the similarities between this film and its predecessor, "Death Wish." Death Wish (and its plenteous sequels) was pure macho... Chuck's wife was dead and his daughter catatonic from the horror of being raped. Chuck had some emotional investment in his character, but Jodie recreates the genre in amazing ways.

In The Brave One, a woman is not only violated but loses her beloved fiancé and her dog.

Yes... loss of the dog was a critical plot point.

The emotional journey that Jodie's character travels, combined by the powerful (but brief) expository provided by Naveen... and of course the awesome support by Terrence Howard... makes this a must-see film.
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Last Holiday (2006)
Made Me Hungry
8 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
One thing about this movie... which was touching and well put together (if not a bit old-fashioned and predictable) was the food.

Watching Latifah and Depardieu in the kitchen made my mouth water. If you are a fan of good food, be sure to eat before watching this film or you will be raiding the kitchen.

Or, given the qualities of this film, I should say the kitschen. For instance, why call Latifah when Kragen goes out on the ledge? Why not the police or anybody?

I appreciate the fact that the Food Channel made the recipes available. Now, if only they would FedEx food to arrive before the next airing on pay cable.
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Teenage Caveman (2002 TV Movie)
My Favorite Line
12 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was so bad... it was good! I love the line where the guy (and all the kids sounded like they were mentally challenged) said...


I rolled on the floor laughing hysterically.

Which leads me to wonder if this wasn't some backhanded attempt at creating soft-core porn.

Granted... it is called a "TV Movie" and such... but what was the point other than to show rape, sex, and nudity for no reason other than to show nudity?

And when I first saw this film... I thought I was looking at Rutger Hauer. Richard Hillman? Okay.

Avoid watching this film sober!
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Thanks, Golf Channel!
25 December 2006
I learned about this series of Vitaphone shorts while channel surfing... I tuned into the Golf channel and was wondering why they were showing an old B&W film.

I continued watching until I slowly came to realize who I was watching... the great Bobby Jones.

I had seen the film biography of Jones... and have visited a lot of the Jones memorials in Augusta GA. But this was the first time I saw and heard the great man.


I plan on getting the DVD version of this series, given the practical instruction (despite the use of archaic terms like "Mashie Niblick" and "Spoon."

This film... and the others in the series, are very highly recommended for all golfers!
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3-Iron (2004)
3-Iron... 5-Stars
21 October 2006
I think I can now understand the current craze in Asia where women in Japan are longing to be swept off their feet by a Korean man. Granted, the only men answering that siren call are pimple-faced computer nerds. But considering the raw passion and sensuality in this film, one has to respect the power of the actors in this picture.

Typically, I shun films with subtitles - I prefer to multitask and read or surf the net while in front of the tube. The cinematic beauty of this piece, however, meant that I had no other option than to remain riveted to the screen.

While some of the Asian philosophy was a bit difficult to follow, I could stretch my frame of reference to the point where I could envelop the wonderful themes in this film.

I found myself both laughing and crying at the end of this film, I would highly recommend it to anyone.
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A wonderful sleeper you must see
5 October 2006
I found this film by accident while programming my TIVO. The official description of the film didn't really relate with the story was all about.

This is fine however, as we don't want to spoil the wonderfully conceived character-based plot. The growth of the characters, and the realizations that they make in the third act, is stellar.

Overall, this film is a wonderful character piece that gives a glimpse of racial attitudes in the 1950's in New York (that don't seem so different from the attitudes in the 2000's).

The acting was superb and the pace of the plot was crisp. I highly recommend adding this to your TIVO play list.

As closing credits rolled, I thought that this is what an award-winning screenplay feels like -- and sadly that doesn't always translate into commercial success.
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Thanks, Ted Turner
5 August 2006
Very glad Turner Classic Movies are bringing these old classics out of the mothballs.

While it will probably not be remade due to the period references (although it could theoretically be done replacing Al-Quaeda for the Nazi references) it should be considered a classic.

Besides the great combination of comedy with action, it is great to see some favorite character actors (including Uncle Charley from "My Three Sons" and the General from "I Dream of Jeannie") along with younger versions of favorites including the creepy Peter Lorre, a comically toupeed Phil Silvers, and a slightly rotund Jackie Gleason.

Central to this story is our hero, Bogie. Humphrey Bogart does his gangster stagger with a bit of a comedic glimmer... and that keeps us on the edge of our sets throughout the swift action of this film.

Despite a few obvious plot holes... like the heroine leaving the safety of the police station to walk into the arms of the Fifth Columnists... it was a great film and highly recommended.
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I Dream of Jeannie (1965–1970)
Sidney Sheldon's Masterpiece
22 July 2006
I had the honor to chat with Sidney Sheldon and one question I had was how did he get this show past the censors during the 1960's? Of course, there was the controversy over whether or not Barbara Eden's navel could be seen on television (which was addressed on another network during her appearance on the Smothers Brothers comedy hour).

As competition against ABC's Bewitched, Jeannie had the advantage of heightened sexual tension as the blonde beauty Barbara Eden ran around half naked begging to serve Larry Hagman. Only the quintessential comic male of the 1960's could exist in a scenario like that and milk it for so many years.

I only wish Barbara's other series (How to Marry a Millionaire) had airtime on TV Land...
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A Surprisingly Great Discovery
21 July 2006
This was one of those films that I wish I had seen earlier. In fact, the only reason I saw it was because it happened to be on when I turned on the television and caught my attention... so I rewound TIVO to the beginning.

I like these quaint old stories... where words like "virgin" have to be danced around. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that Ms. Leed's classroom was integrated (something unusual for period films).

This is a great story -- one that I am sure Hollywood will eventually remake. Granted, rather than a jazz club run by a former rum runner, it would be a hip-hop club run by a former drug dealer.

However, I'm not sure how they would handle the Hussein Mohammed character in the post-9/11 era.
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The Amazing Spider-Man (1977–1979)
I remember this show. I honestly wish I didn't...
20 July 2006
I was excited at the concept of my favorite comic book hero being on television... and sorely disappointed at the end result.

The only "amazing" thing was the wall crawling (despite the visibility of the cable). I didn't think Nick Hammond was Peter Parker... and he was visibly of a different build than the guy who did the stunts in the spider suit. You could tell they were two different actors.

Granted, I can also spot in the modern Spider-Man movies when I am looking at Tobey Macguire and when I am looking at CGI. But that is from a trained eye and experience working with CGI. Still, the 70's version could have been better despite lack of Special FX.

The webs were hokey and looked like ropes that seemed to wrap around things rather than stick to them. And what was up with giving him a spider mobile to ride around in. Hello? He's the web slinger people.

Sorry... didn't mean to get so worked up, but our beloved wall crawler deserved better.
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Glad I didn't reach for the remote...
19 July 2006
I was just settling in to see what I had on TIVO when I picked up some of the wry humor in this film. I looked at the details and since it was less than 1/2 hour in progress, went to the beginning and enjoyed it.

I like the ending (which I will not spoil) and it was certainly not expected, despite the wild character arc that the younger brother's character went through.

I kept thinking about "O Brother Where Art Thou" because of Nelson's familiar hangdog look... but his characterization here was a bit uneven, wavering between the bumpkin to a shrewd and sagacious character.

It was also fun seeing an inside look at the often infamous mail order bride industry. I had seen a documentary that completely trashed that industry... based on some guys' bad experiences. Nice to see a different play on the theme.
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Good Trashy Fun
4 July 2006
I was expecting something like Andy Griffith's "Coweta County" and this film came pretty close... mindless trashy fun that requires suspension of disbelief to get a hold of.

This film starts out like Neil Simon. Not quite up to his stellar quality, mind you. But it is like the "Out of Towners" where things go downhill.

The rape was gratuitous and makes one wonder if all Southern cops are corrupt? I was thinking of the line from "My Cousin Vinny" about them all being corrupt and sleeping with their sisters.

Carradine graduated from this to "Kill Bill" but what happened to Ally Sheedy?
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Schoolhouse Rock! (1973–2009)
The Noun Vignette
1 April 2006
Anyone notice during the ditty about nouns that Chubby Checker was portrayed as Caucasian? Granted, you had the Beatles and Monkees portrayed as generic foursomes and that is fine. But to change Chubby Checker's race was quite the faux pas. That is, of course, assuming that it was not a deliberate oversight.

Overall, however, Multiplication Rock and the subsequent Schoolhouse Rock were very valuable to me as a kid trying to struggle through school. Waiting for a big-screen remake starring Jack Black and the kids of "School of Rock" -- or some other modification that would fill two hours of cineplex time...
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Saved! (2004)
They Walked the Tightrope and Didn't Fall Off
29 January 2006
I thought the cast was brilliant and I admire each of the more known actors. The premise, however, had me a bit nervous -- as there is an ongoing atmosphere of anti-Christianity in the USA and I was hoping this wouldn't go over the top in mocking the faith.

From a Saturday-Night-Live-ish perspective, the film does do that. However, the denouement provides a moderate theme that God wants to include people, not to exclude them. It grates a bit against traditional and mainstream morals, but is well done.

Each actor occupied their role well although I believe that the script might have been a bit tighter, especially as the story unravels toward the end.
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12 September 2005
I remember meeting Bill Yates and Travis Clark after the first season of Hawk wrapped. Clark was also working CBS' "Tour of Duty" and seemed to be a rising star on the horizon. I wonder where he is today?

Perhaps Hawk was ahead of its time. Tour of Duty faded quickly also -- but now we have Steven Bochco's family-made "Over There" series. Perhaps Hawk was ahead of its time but could also come back in some form?

Of course, positioning Hawk against the powerhouse Cosby Show was another bad move. A wonderful news show featuring Linda Ellerbee was also slaughtered by the Huxtables, and Hawk was also no match.

Would be great to see this on DVD -- especially in memory of the late Moses Gunn who was the metaphysical "old man" character (and later joined Avery Brooks as his father in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine).

My favorite part about AMCH was that Hawk got to escape from being Spencer's second banana and gain his own cache. He was Afrocentric without being militant. Strong without being obnoxious. Before his time, perhaps?

With today's emphasis on gangsta rappers, a strong man with the sophistication of Hawk may be lost as a protagonist for future television or film roles. At least, we should have a DVD release for the true fans to enjoy.
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