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Eddie Haskell Strikes Again
After showing some heart in the previous episode, Eddie returns to form, advising Beaver to ignore Ward's fatherly wisdom about the modeling offer. After suitable angst, Beaver shows some brains and straightens things out by consulting his dad's attorney friend. I'm old enough to remember that mail and phone scammers abounded in those days and were just as unscrupulous then as now. The ending is satisfying on several levels, but as fans of the show know, Beaver's gullibility about unwise counsel from Eddie and others will produce many more opportunities to learn his life lessons.
Lewis: The Quality of Mercy (2009)
Excellent Character Driven Mystery Drama
All of the Inspector Lewis mysteries are beautifully produced, well acted, and respectful of the intelligence of the viewer. This episode delves once again into the back structure of Oxford, with numerous and varied views of the institution and its participants. The story this time revolves around the participants in a theatrical group and their associates. There is the requisite quantity of suspects, motives, and opportunities to keep things interesting. There is also the continued development of the relationship between Lewis and Hathaway. Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox are great in their portrayals in this episode, as in the entire series. One can only hope that another series of "Inspector Lewis" is forthcoming. I, for one, am anxious to enjoy many more of these intelligent and well executed presentations.
Tarzan's Greatest Adventure (1959)
Excellent Adventure Movie
This movie is a no nonsense, realistic action film, bolstered by a capable cast, a believable story and colorful location shooting. Gordon Scott showed here that he had some acting talent as well as the good physique. The rest of the actors in general, and Anthony Quayle in particular, are quality professionals whose performances keep things interesting. Unlike earlier films in the Tarzan genre, they actually went to Africa to shoot this one and the difference really shows. These items, along with generally good production values, fairly tight direction, and beautiful color photography move this film well above the norm. Definitely a welcome departure from earlier Tarzan films. Highly recommended.
Good try but misses the mark
Just my two cents about a film that has been variously ravaged in the years since its release. I just watched it again recently to refresh my impressions. The effects are top drawer, especially the pod race sequence, which is genuinely exciting. The acting is generally good from the more experienced actors like Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor and Ian McDiarmid. Jake Lloyd's performance as Anakin is very weak and shows yet again that it is always difficult to find a GOOD child actor. Natalie Portman is wooden in a thankless role that she does a little better with in the subsequent films. The Jar Jar Binks character is annoying, and could have been dispensed with entirely. And Yoda is less believable as a CG effect than he was as a puppet.
All in all, not too bad, if a bit overlong. When compared with the original trilogy, however, it is definitely off target, and lacks the depth of scope and character development required in epic storytelling.
Better than its rating
Scott Glenn does a fine job in his portrayal of a burnt out big city cop who is sent out to the Reservation to bring in a fugitive Navajo Indian for trial. It's supposed to offer him an easy assignment and some time to get himself back together. Instead, it turns out to be a nightmarish trip into the dark world of Navajo witchcraft, with Benjamin Bratt disturbingly menacing as the evil fugitive "Wolf." Viewers who may know a bit about Navajo culture, or who have read the Navajo Tribal Police mysteries by Tony Hillerman will recognize the "Skinwalker" scenario depicted in this film, and will find it easier to follow. In summary, an above average film, with crisp location filming, and good performances all around.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
A must for anyone who ever went to high school
This film is one of director John Hughes' best efforts. It captures some of the ethos of the 1980's, as well as the timeless pathos of the passage to adulthood. Matthew Broderick is superb in the title role, mixing the wise guy with the nice guy in the perfect proportions, so well that he may never truly escape from this role. The supporting cast is equally up to the task, with Alan Ruck, Jennifer Grey and Jeffrey Jones especially noteworthy. Charlie Sheen also makes the most of a small role late in the movie. There are an abundance of laughs from beginning to end, and like all of Hughes' films, it also has a heart, and a serious moment or two. This movie has been a part of my collection for many years, and will continue to provide enjoyment for as long as I am able to watch it.
I strongly agree that Centennial is arguably the best mini-series ever made. The production is top drawer, with wonderful locations, costumes, musical score, cast, and direction. It is at its best from the beginning up through the cattle drive segment, and weakens somewhat thereafter, especially at the end. This is a small criticism, however. The one particular thing that has always stuck in my mind over the years is the incredible, standout performance by Robert Conrad as Pasquinel. For most of his career, his best work was in lighter vehicles such as "The Wild, Wild West," and never distinguished by any particular depth of characterization. In the role of Pasquinel, however, Conrad delivered a performance of which any actor could be justly proud. He gives the character all of the realism and believability one could possibly want, and conveys the qualities, both good and bad, which make Pasquinel such a compelling figure. If only for that performance alone, Centennial is well worth watching.