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Happy Days: The Spirit Is Willing (1984)
Season 11, Episode 14
Oh wow! This episode is amazing!
27 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
"Happy Days" was one of my favorite TV shows but I haven't really watched it that much in syndication over recent years. This evening, by chance, I happened to tune in to this episode and was absolutely mesmerized. Considering that this episode was produced toward the end of this show, when it was on the wane, its high quality is particularly surprising Basically the premise of the episode is this. Fonzie drags Chachi and another friend of his out of the movie theater to show them the wrecked 1955 convertible he is trying to restore. After finding his friends unappreciative of his latest venture, Fonzie reprimands them and expresses his nostalgia for 1955 before dismissing his friends and sitting in the car and soaking up the atmosphere. Then a beautiful young woman named Nancy Hayes walks into the frame and Fonzie is smitten. But all is not what they seem and things start getting very strange indeed...

The writers of this episode, presumably more acclimatized to writing comedy, have ventured into another genre altogether in this episode and they do it very well. The plot unfolds flawlessly, the script (apart from one or two continuity gaffes and errors) is intriguing and engaging and the dialogue and interaction between the characters very well done. Additionally the way in which horror, intrigue, spookiness, comedy, drama and suspense are so effectively combined into one episode is amazing. It's kind of Hitchcock meets 1950s-era sitcom and the ambiance and charm of the whole episode makes for great viewing and makes it a masterpiece The cast play their roles well as usual (although Fonzie seems slightly out of character at one or two points) but Alexa Hamilton is amazing in her role as Nancy Hayes. She gives her character the depth, dimension and mystery that really makes it come to life and greatly enhances the effectiveness of the plot.

A really standout episode from a great series
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Losing Isaiah (1995)
A storyline with great potential and a cast with great actors undermined by poor plot development
13 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
"Losing Isaiah" is one of those movies which should have been a masterpiece. It had a star-studded cast of very talented actors and actresses and a controversial premise that could have proved intriguing and thought provoking. It's such a shame then that this movie is undermined by weak plot development, poor character development and a sloppy script To be fair, this movie isn't terrible but I think that's mostly due to the excellent casting in this movie rather than anything else. Jessica Lange gives great depth and dimension to her role and allows the viewer to feel great sympathy, understanding and compassion for her character and its predicament. Samuel L Jackson also gives quite a lot of depth to his role Mark John Jeffries is amazing in his portrayal of Isaiah -great talent for one so young -and Daisy Eagan's performance as Jessica Lange's daughter is also wonderful. This is not Halle Berry's best performance but in all fairness, I don't think this is totally her fault for reasons I'll mention below The character development is woeful. Both Halle Berry and Samuel L Jackson in particular are essentially reduced to stock characters with the latter in particular reduced to spouting out tired old clichés about race and racial stereotypes that are tedious and almost painful to watch. In the hands of more talented production/script team, these issues could probably have been discussed and explored much more effectively but here they just sound weak and annoying. Halle Berry's character is equally as badly sketched and the writers fail to give it the depth and the substance (or the dialogue or emotion) that would allow the audience to feel greater sympathy or empathy for her and her predicament.

Finally there's the plot development. Although the writers/producers do a good job exploring the circumstances behind the adoption of Isaiah by the Lewin family and illustrating how he has become an integral part of the family, they drop the ball as soon as they introduce the sequence of events where Halle Berry's character wants custody back of her baby. In particular the courtroom drama relating to Halle Berry's desire to have her son back was ultimately weak and deeply flawed -failing to explore the issues properly beyond a bunch of tired of clichés -and this meant that the court's ultimate judgment was unsatisfying and difficult to comprehend by the audience. To be fair, the ending to the movie wasn't totally awful but probably was a too cute effort to try and wrap everything up and tie up the loose ends and forge some attempt at consensus -probably unrealistic in real life.

"Losing Isaiah" is still a watchable movie despite all these flaws but it's just incredibly frustrating to see all the potential of a great cast and a great plot potential squandered. If you read Jessica Lange's comments about this movie in the trivia section, it probably sums up accurately this movie and all that is wrong with it
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Hit and miss
2 September 2011
Creating a modern-day Bollywood version of "Pride and Prejudice" was a novel idea and was always going to be a challenging enterprise and director Gurinda Chandha deserves great credit for attempting to try to do so. What she produces is a worthwhile product with some great flaws The movie is to be credited for seeking to introduce western audiences to Bollywood entertainment and I like that that the film incorporates most of the traditional aspects of Bollywood productions -singing, dancing, guest appearances unrelated to the movie's plot and so on. It also provides us with an interesting and colorful, if I suspect somewhat superficial, overview of some aspects of Indian lifestyle and culture. The singing and dancing is well choreographed and fun even if the lyrics appeared slightly clichéd. I have a feeling Chandha was having a good-natured dig at Bollywood tradition at some parts The plot flows nicely with most of the similarities to the Jane Austen novel plainly evident.

The casting was mostly good. Most of the Bakshi family closely matched their equivalents in the Bennett family and gave excellent performances in their respective roles. Martin Henderson was good as Will Darcy, Naveen Andrews was great as Balraj and the very talented Indira Varma was great as Kiran, the equivalent to Caroline Bingley. Daniel Gillies was good -if slightly forgettable as Johnny Wickham and Nitin Ganatra was hilarious as the irrepressible Mr Kohli.I could think of no better actress to play the Lady Catherine De Bourgh-like character Catherine Darcy than the very talented Marsha Mason.The one disappointment (other than what I'm going to get to in the next paragraph) was Alexis Bledel as Georgiana Darcy. Georgiana Darcy is one of my favorite characters in "Pride and Prejudice" but this version of Georgiana Darcy comes across as flat and unlikeable

But what really spoiled the movie for me was Aishwarya Rai in the main role of Lalita Bakshi, although in all fairness she was given some very sloppy character development and dialogue to work with by Chandha. She's such an irritating, annoying actress and her performance -at least in this movie -was horrible and her being the main character definitely destroyed the charm of this movie was for me. Rai has been quoted in interviews as saying that she didn't read "Pride and Prejudice" before appearing in this movie. Well, perhaps she should have. Lizzie Bennett is definitely opinionated and headstrong but she's also a very sympathetic character and the reader can passionately identify with where she's coming from. Even when we see the flaws in Lizzie's character, they are still portrayed in a sympathetic way in relation to her overall personality. Rai and Chandha make Lalita's character arrogant, rude and pretentious to the point where I was cheering on Darcy when he was being obnoxious to her. That shouldn't be how it is in a "Pride and Prejudice" adaptation

Perhaps this is a reflection of the overall script and character development in this movie, though. Many of the characters could have done with more depth, dimension and substance and there was a huge potential for greater fulfillment of the premise of this movie.The dialogue also fell flat at certain parts.

I think this movie has an interesting premise and the casting, the insights into some aspects of Indian life and the singing and dancing make this worthwhile viewing. However, the sloppy script, dialogue, character development and the casting of Aishwarya Rai in the role of Lalita detract from what otherwise could have been a great movie
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Absolutely magical -a rare gem in a decade of absolutely awful romcoms
2 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Romantic comedies as a genre have floundered over the past decade, largely due to the flaws of overly formulaic and predictable scripts and plots combined with atrocious dialogue and unlikable main characters. "Suddenly 30" may be slightly formulaic and predictable but manages to avoid all the other pitfalls and takes us back to an era when romantic comedies were interesting, intriguing and worthwhile viewing.

1987: A young, impressionable 13-year old Jenna Rink (Christa Allen) is desperately trying to fit in with the cool clique of kids at school and especially with the snobbish, vain and somewhat cruel Lucy Wyman. All this comes at the expense of Matt Flamhoff, her down-to-earth and slightly geeky friend who genuinely cares for her and who can see through the shallow and superficial world that Jenna craves so much. On her 13th birthday, Matt builds her a doll house and gives her some wishing dust but Jenna is much too interested in impressing Lucy and her cool clique. When they accept an invitation to her birthday party and bring along Jenna's crush Kirk Grady, Jenna is over the moon but it turns out that Lucy and her friends are playing a cruel and nasty trick on Jenna (all the while exploiting her by getting her to do their homework). When she finds out, a crushed Jenna makes a wish that she was "thirty, flirty and thriving". Add in Matthew's wishing dust and magic happens All of a sudden Jenna (Jennifer Garner) wakes up as a 30-year old. She takes a while to adjust to her new environment but finds out she has everything she ever wanted. She's popular, successful, has a handsome boyfriend and is best friends with her now co-worker Lucy. But Jenna is horrified to find that her 30-year old self is not a character she likes -she has become vain and ruthless with very dubious morals and ethics. Trying to make sense of everything that is happening, she tracks down Matt Flamhoff and finds that she's hurt him badly in the past as well. But Matt has moved on and found true love and Jenna finds herself alone and confused in a strange new world. Jenna must now learn some very important deep moral truths about life, relationship and true friendship. Can she undo the damage that she has done and can she salvage true love and happiness in this strange new world? One of the things I like about this movie is, in addition to the comedy and entertainment, it also explores many deeper themes such as being careful what you wish for and the danger of sacrificing true friendship while chasing after shallow and superficial dreams. And yet it does this in a way that is funny and entertaining in the way that romantic comedies are supposed to be.

The storyline, although predictable, flows smoothly and keeps the viewer engaged and intrigued. The dialogue is great and the humor very funny -not over the top and reliant on crude jokes or cheap gags like too many other romantic comedies these days. There is a lovely ambiance to this movie and a sweetness and charm that makes it all the more endearing The casting in this movie is second to none. All the young actors and actresses and their adult counterparts are all perfect for their roles and give a great depth and dimension to their characters. Jennifer Garner is especially superb as the adult Jenna Rink -giving a 30-year old character all the naievety and innocence of a 13 year old is no easy task but she does it superbly. Mark Ruffalo is also great as the adult Matthew Flamhoff -sweet, sensitive and charming. Andy Serkis is hilarious as adult Jenna's boss and Judy Greer is great as the adult Lucy Wyman. This is some of the best casting for a movie I have seen For those like me who love 80s nostalgia, this movie is full of it from the songs to the fashions to the whole ambiance throughout the film.

Tragically Gary Winick, the director of this masterpiece, died at too early an age this year. This movie truly shows what a capable and talented director he was and should be regarded as a tribute to his professionalism and his excellence in his role. I truly think this is one of the best rom coms I have seen and I cannot recommend it highly enough
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Strangely addictive and great for entertainment value
7 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
On the rare occasion I watched the "The Jerry Springer Show", I did take notice of Steve Wilkos in his role as a bouncer and took quite a liking to him. Now he's been given his own television show and the results are decidedly mixed Let me make it clear -this program is oddly addictive and great entertainment value (just as Jerry Springer was). The format of the show works reasonably well and Steve certainly plays his desired role to great effect. And let's face it, there is a great karmic satisfaction to seeing the array of losers who appear on his show -wife-beaters, child molesters and the whole undesirable motley crew -get their just desserts. If they've escaped conviction by the courts, they can go in front of Steve and he will humiliate them.

Yet I'm not sure how much substance this show actually has. A few of the cases don't look authentic to me -this may not necessarily be the show's fault as I'm sure, just like Jerry Springer, people will say the darnedest things and make the strangest claims to get on TV. Steve tends to get a bit self-righteous and over the top in terms of both his belligerence and moral high horse at times and one sometimes wonders how much actual good his yelling and intimidation of his guests actually does, even if it makes you feel better that he's doing it. He seems to have an unquestioning faith in the results of the lie detector tests, even though it has been proved that lie detector tests are not flawless and have been known to produce the wrong outcome at times. His audience's incessant droning of "Steeeeve" throughout the episode can be very irritating Still this show is great filler entertainment and is interesting to watch. I think Steve is good at what he does in terms of being a host and presenting a good show for the viewing public. I'm just not sure whether this show amounts to anything of substance or serious value
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Seinfeld (1989–1998)
Clever, well-written, funny, entertaining, delightful, engaging -what more could you want?
5 February 2011
"Seinfeld" was undoubtedly one of the few comedic gems of the 1990s -a decade in which, sadly, the quality of sitcom-type comedy deteriorated to new lows from which it has never recovered. Even at its weakest moments, it was still entertaining enough and entertaining enough to be a great pleasure to watch This show is often characterized as being a "show about nothing". Technically I guess that's true -although there was a basic plot and premise to each episode, "Seinfeld" contrasted from most of the TV sitcoms at least in the early 1990s when there was quite often a moral and a defining theme/resolution to each episode. Part of the show's success was that it not only defied the traditional expectation of the sitcom-type genre but that it actually turned it on its hand and broke the rules completely. And yet it did it in such a way that it was still able to charm its audience and keep viewers as engaged and as entertained as any other sitcom. It also appealed to a new generation of viewers who wanted to explore new horizons in the TV comedic genre Larry David and whoever else worked on the scripts were geniuses. The dialogue was clever, witty, unpredictable and avoided -for the most part with occasional lapses -the old trap of becoming clichéd and laborious even in its later stages. The acting by the main cast was absolutely brilliant and the depth and dimension they gave to their characters was absolutely superb -not an easy feat given all the eccentric traits and neuroses that was quite evident in each of the character portrayals. The guest stars on this show also contributed a unique dimension to it and there were some truly outstanding one or two-time characters on this show -the Soup Nazi and Babu Bhatt come to mind.

The only bad thing I can think of about Seinfeld is that it inspired a whole genre of TV comedy that sought to emulate it and most of it has badly missed the mark. Nevertheless even this is a testament to how entertaining and enjoyable this show was. I wish we had more shows that could match the cleverness and excellence of "Seinfeld" but I suspect, sadly, that this was one of a kind
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Family Guy (1998– )
Terrible doesn't even begin to describe it
31 January 2011
Family Guy is like a poor imitation of the Simpsons except that even the Simpsons at its most extreme worst would be an eternity ahead in quality, substance and entertainment than this drivel The premise of this show mostly comes from over the top, obnoxious, overly crude, insulting and idiotic humor which should not even be entertaining to a two year old. Additionally most of the jokes and popular culture references and parodies aren't even funny -Mr McFarlane and his cohorts really need to take a look at how the Simpsons spoof popular culture to take lessons on how do it right.

The only two characters who are even remotely entertaining on this show are Brian and Lois. Peter is mostly an obnoxious, unfunny buffoon with no entertainment value whatsoever, Meg is absolutely annoying and Stewie has his moments but they are few and far between. The rest of the supporting characters and cast -with the possible exception of the late Diane Simmons -are as equally annoying and irritating. Put together with the unfunny drivel that seems to pass for humor on this show, I can't understand why anyone finds this funny. To each his own I guess.

This is to be avoided like the plague and is a sad indication of what the state of modern television has declined to
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Two and a Half Men (2003–2015)
Usually this wouldn't be my type of sitcom but for some reason I love it
4 January 2011
I approached this sitcom with a great deal of cynicism, expecting what you get from most modern sitcoms -sloppy acting, weak dialogue, poorly-written scripts and a terrible overall product. To my surprise this show has defied the genre and actually makes for light-hearted, entertaining and enjoyable viewing One thing that's unique about this show is that the plot, script and the dialogue does not seem to be particularly focused or concentrated -as other posters here have commented, the producers of this show seem to have allowed all three of these concepts to be somewhat vague and free flowing. Usually I dislike this style of executing a concept and it has dire consequences for the show but, in this show, it seems to work well and is perhaps its greatest strength.

The fact that it does is probably a tribute to the professionalism of the cast. Charlie Sheen is perfectly scripted for the role of Charlie Harper -the character seems to come naturally to him and it's almost like the producers wrote the character especially for him. Jon Cryer plays the uptight Alan to great effect and does a great job. Conchatta Farrell (sp?) is wonderful as the housekeeper Berta -she really brings depth to such a comedic role. The actor who plays Jake is great too -he doesn't take the role too seriously and seems to be having fun playing him and that's probably why it works so effectively. Holland Taylor is priceless as Evelyn, Charlie and Alan's mother.. And Marin Hinkle rounds it all off with a wonderful performance as Alan's ex-wife Yes, a lot of the humor is decidedly lowbrow and sometimes it can be over the top but it actually works well within the context of the show and doesn't detract from its quality. The sitcom has the rare trait of being engaging and yet lighthearted and easygoing at the same time, something very hard to accomplish A fun and entertaining show and way better than what I've come to expect from this genre these days
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She Said No (1990 TV Movie)
An intriguing and chilling movie with excellent acting
10 October 2010
"She Said No" is an intriguing and chilling made-for-TV movie that raises interesting and complex issues but also heartbreakingly and powerfully portrays the ordeal of a rape victim whose suffering and pain at the hands of her tormentor continues long after the actual incident Beth Early accepts a ride home with a seemingly charming lawyer classmate at the French language course she is taking. He turns out to be an abusive and cruel rapist and, after he rapes her, she does the right thing and reports him to the police who subsequently charge him with the offense. But the prosecution's case collapses and the lawyer then uses his knowledge of legal proceedings to sue Ms Early for defamation.

The cast in this movie are fantastic. Judd Hirsch does a great job in portraying all the complex dimensions of his character -sinister, charming, evil and scheming all in one. Lee Grant is also great here in a sympathetic role.

But the real star of the show is Veronica Hamel. Rarely have I seen an actress bring a character to life with the depth and dimension that Veronica Hamel is able to do for the character of Beth Early. She gives the character all qualities, characteristics and emotions that enables the viewer to really empathize with her and what she is going through and she gives the character such believability and substance that you almost feel as though she is a real person. This is one of the best performances I have seen and it is a credit to Ms Hamel's ability as an actress that she is able to do this This movie is very well-made, powerful and intriguing and, despite the uncomfortable subject material, it is worthwhile viewing
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Great Performances: Les Misérables in Concert (1995)
Season 24, Episode 10
Absolutely sublime would be an understatement
18 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This concert version of Les Miserables is literally almost picture perfect. It has a magnificent cast and the music is absolutely enchanting, wonderful and almost magical. It is perhaps the best stage production I have ever had the pleasure of viewing

Because it was a tenth anniversary celebration, this concert had the the advantage of having drawn together a diverse range of talent from around the globe.And they all shine to perfection. Of particular note is Ruthie Henshall's haunting performance of Fantine. She really brings the character to life in a way that I have very rarely seen either on stage or on television. She really made me understand and appreciate Fantine's character in a way that I had never been able to do previously -she just gave her so much heart, character and soul. I wish I could find the adequate words to capture the beauty and essence of how powerful and moving she was but I don't think they exist in language

That having been said, each member of the cast succeeds in giving their character a depth, dimension and substance that can very rarely be seen either in concert or on stage. Colm Wilkinson plays Jean Valjean so well that I have difficulty believing he is not a real character. Phillip Quast is the perfect Javert. Michael Ball is a great embodiment of Marius while Judy Kuhn plays Cosette so well (and the young girl who portrays the young Cosette is equally as brilliant). The couple who play the Thenardiers are really great comic talent and absolutely hilarious in their role. And I could just go on and on

The orchestral music, the costumes and the stage background for this show is second to none. And the last performance -well, I won't spoil it for you -but let's just say it's an absolute treat Please, if you never see another musical in your life, rent the video/DVD of this. I cannot recommend it highly enough
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Friends (1994–2004)
Unbelievably bad
18 March 2010
Throughout this show's tenure and being in the age category that this show was supposed to appeal to, I could never understand why it was so popular. Re-watching one or two episodes in syndication years later, my opinion hasn't changed

Unfunny and forced humor, weak dialogue,awful acting, annoying characters, inane story lines -this show literally had it all. How did this unfunny drivel find an audience? This is probably the worst attempt at comedy I have ever seen and that's saying something Also the suspension of disbelief needed for the premise of this show to work is amazing. These people have jobs that would pay an average salary at best, yet they can afford to live in a plush Manhattan apartment. Give me a break. And notice the lack of African-Americans and other minorities on this show? In a multicultural melting point like New York? You'd think they were living in the segregated South during the 1940s rather than a modern, vibrant, culturally diverse city (To be fair, I'll give David Schwimmer credit where it's due because he seems to have been the sole cast/crew member who actually realized the stupidity of all this and to that extent he actually lobbied for the inclusion of an African-American character, leading to the casting of Aisha Tyler for at least a few episodes. But it's sad to think that he's the only one out of the whole cast and crew who didn't just blindly accept the absurd premise on which this show was based during its whole decade of existence) think this was on for almost a decade. Defies belief
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The Client (1994)
A disappointingly bad adaptation of an excellent novel
31 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The movie adaptations of John Grisham's novels, with the possible exception of the "Rainmaker", have quite frequently proved disappointing and unfulfilling so perhaps I should not have had such high expectations going into this movie. I guess the reality was, however, that I loved the novel and was confident that it could translate well onto the big screen I was sadly disappointed The movie lacks all the charm, depth, humor and warmth of the novel which made the latter so appealing. For reasons that totally elude me, the producers/writers decided to include totally unnecessary scenes and create unnecessary tensions between the major characters that are just annoying and irritating to the extent that they make the movie unpleasant to watch and erode much of its potential quality. The humor and dialog that worked so well in the novel falls flat in the movie Additionally of the characters in the movie seem to have been stripped of the depth and dimension that made them so interesting and engaging in the novel The acting is not much to go by. I can't accurately judge Brad Renfro as an actor because he's not given much to work with. Susan Sarandon is superb in everything she does but even her stellar performance can't add much charm to this film. Mary Louise Parker has given some great acting performances in her time but she is appallingly miscast in this film as Mark's mother. All the other acting is, by and large, forgettable This movie was painful to watch. Avoid it like the plague and read the book instead.
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Evita (1996)
A masterpiece
25 July 2009
Transforming theater productions into movies can often have mixed results depending on factors such as the cast, the script and what they choose to leave in or out. Therefore I was apprehensive about this musical and, when I heard they had cast Madonna, they were taking a great risk as her movie career is not of a high standard to say the least Thankfully for them, the risk paid off.

This is a great movie which oes more than justice to the original musical

The plot and script flows well and is both intriguing and interesting. The songs are well-chosen and wonderful to listen to. Like the theater production, the movie takes some liberties with historical fact and accuracy and there's more than a little bias in the way that Eva Peron is portrayed (it doesn't to mention the fact, for instance, that Eva Peron's brother played a big role in smuggling Nazi war criminals into Argentina and that Eva and Gen Peron probably knew about and allowed it). But, as long as you are prepared not to take the movie at face value as being historically accurate -which you probably shouldn't do anyway for any Hollywood movie based on history -this is a charming and entertaining movie

Madonna really gives the performance of her life as Evita. It is certainly probably her best musical performance to date and she absolutely shines in this role, both in her singing and her acting. Jonathan Pryce makes a very believable and likable Peron and Antonio Banderas portrays Che very well. But, as I indicated previously, it is Madonna who absolutely steals the show with her charm, grace, elegance and musical talent

I highly recommend this. 9/10
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An Australian masterpiece
17 July 2009
"Careful He Might Hear You" showcases the full talent and wonderful potential of the Australian film industry and must rank as one of the best Australian movies ever made. The depth of excellence, talent and acting in this movie is second to none and absolutely superb The plot and background to this movie is intriguing and the script and the way that the plot unfolds keeps the viewer engaged and intrigued until the end. Everything is done to a standard of superb excellence down to the scenery and the portrayal of the two very different lifestyles depicted in this movie. The musical score is absolutely beautiful. Everything about the background and setting of this movie works out perfectly.

But this all pales in comparison to the acting. I have perhaps never seen a movie so perfectly cast where each of the actors and actresses involved -even the supporting cast -gives a wonderful and creative depth and dimension to their portrayal of the characters. Nicholas Gledhill is an excellent child actor and a maturity in conveying emotions beyond his years. Robyn Niven is perfect in her role as PS's aunt and guardian Lila and Peter Whitford is also wonderfully believable in his role as her loving, affable husband. John Hargreaves gives a breathtaking performance (if only briefly) in his heartbreaking role as PS's father, who obviously deeply loves his son but is incapable of caring for him.

But a special mention must go to Wendy Hughes for her portrayal of Vanessa. This character has many complexities to her personality and Wendy Hughes portrays all of the different aspects to her personality flawlessly and with a depth of reality and emotion that really brings the character to life. She is strikingly, breathtakingly beautiful and she is more than perfect for this role. In fact I would perhaps rank this as the best character portrayal I have seen in Australian cinematic history and one of the best character portrayals I have ever seen in any movie.

This movie is seriously underrated and I can't recommend it enough. 10/10 and I'd rate it higher if I could
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Absolutely brilliant
17 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
"The Sixth Sense" is a wonderful, classic movie where many complex themes and interesting issues are explored and while the plot and storyline remains intriguing, engaging and mesmerizing until the end. This is undoubtedly M Night Shymalan's best work and it is certainly a masterpiece The unfolding plot development has to be one of the highlights of this movie. M Night Shymalan does a great job of preserving the depth and level of suspense, mystery intrigue and tension involved in the plot throughout the movie but also succeeds in giving this movie many heartwarming and beautiful moments. The script is flawless and the character development is second to none.

All the actors and actresses perform their role to perfection. Hayley Joel Osment is a wonderful actor and gives his portrayal of Cole Sears a maturity in terms of depth and emotion that many actors years older than him would struggle to match. I am not usually a fan of Bruce Willis but his performance in this role is flawless and wonderfully done. Toni Collette gives perhaps her best performance to date in her role as a deeply loving single mother and the rest of the main and supporting cast portray their roles beautifully as well

A great movie with many intriguing twists and turns that I highly recommend
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That '70s Show (1998–2006)
Unfunny show typical of why modern sitcoms have gone downhill
20 June 2009
I have never understood the appeal of this show. The acting is poor (Debra Jo Rupp and the actor who plays her on-screen husband being two notable exceptions), the plots of most episodes are trite and uninspiring, the dialogue is weak, the jokes unfunny and it is painful to try and sit through even half an episode. Furthermore the link between this show and the '70s' is extremely tenuous beyond the style of dress and the scenery and background used for the show -it seems to be nothing more than a modern sitcom with the same old unfunny, clichéd scripts that modern sitcoms have dressed up as depicting a show from twenty years ago in the hope that it will gain some nostalgic viewers or something like that. Both "Happy Days" and "The Wonder Years" employ the same technique much more effectively and are actually a pleasure to watch in contrast to this horrible, pathetic excuse for a show
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The Wonder Years: Our Miss White (1988)
Season 2, Episode 2
A great episode of a great series
2 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
"The Wonder Years" was one of my favorite shows growing up and, watching this episode in syndication yesterday, it isn't hard to figure out why.

Kevin has a crush on his very beautiful English teacher Miss White. Love makes you do crazy things and in this case it results in Kevin volunteering to participate in a play that Ms White has written about the civil rights movement in the 1960s, despite his strong reservations about his acting abilities. How will he deal with his ever increasing crush on Miss White and how will it affect his performance in the play?

I think this episode succeeds because it very beautifully conveys a lot of what many of us have gone through during our formative years and maybe beyond. Many of us have known the futility of unrequited and impossible love and the heartache and pain it can cause and we can relate to Kevin in that situation. The writers of this episode have captured it succinctly with just the right amount of warmth, humor and empathy to make it work

As usual, everyone plays their part to perfection. Dan Lauria, although not a main player in this episode, is outstanding as Jack Arnold even in the brief scenes that he is in. But the star of this episode, besides Kevin, has to be Wendel Meldrum (also known as the low talker in Seinfeld's "The Puffy Shirt, where she does another excellent job) as Miss White. She very adequately conveys all the beauty, grace, charm and idealism that the character of Miss White is supposed to have and her beauty quite literally took my breath away

Well-worth watching
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Seinfeld: The Puffy Shirt (1993)
Season 5, Episode 2
A classic episode
2 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
"Seinfeld" was perhaps one of the most well-written, intelligent and hysterically hilarious television series that I have seen in my lifetime and, watching this episode in syndication, I must concede that this is one of the episodes which I love.

Jerry and Elaine go out to dinner with Kramer and his new girlfriend. Kramer's new girlfriend has an unusual trait of talking so low and softly that no-one can hear her. This is fine when Kramer is there to "translate" but things take a turn for the worse when Kramer goes to the bathroom and Jerry and Elaine are left alone with his girlfriend. In the awkwardness of the moment, Jerry unwittingly makes a deal with her "the low-talker" that has the potential for acute embarrassment and humiliation in front of a wide audience. When Jerry finds out what he has agreed to, it is seemingly too late to get out of it. Can he salvage the situation?

Meanwhile George, unhappily enduring a dinner with his parents after having moved back in with them, finds that his hands have the potential for both commercial success and a new romance.But will George's newfound luck last?

The episode is a classic example of the quirkiness and originality of the series in coming up with bizarre new concepts. The episode unfolds well, with all actors playing their part to perfection (a particular honorable mention must go to Wendel Meldrum for her role as Leslie the low-talker) and the plot and script is absolutely hilarious. In this episode, I found all the elements that I loved about this series
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Hook (1991)
Not as bad as all that
1 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
When I first came to IMDb to look up this movie, I was very surprised at all the negative criticism and backlash that it had generated. I had watched the movie when it came out and found it very pleasant and enjoyable and, re-watching it again just recently, I still found it a very good movie

The movie's strong points to me are the scenery and design, the storyline, the music and the quality of acting by most of the cast. These factors combined ensure that the movie for the most part lives up to its potential and remains intriguing, gripping and heartwarming throughout. It has all the hallmarks of a successful Spielberg production and the movie is all the more better for it

Robin Williams's performance as Peter Pan/Peter Banning is very good in both his roles as a professional businessman too busy for his children andas the reincarnation of Peter Pan later on in the movie. I do understand where many critics are coming from when they say that he has a propensity to go over the top in his acting during some parts of themovie but he's good at portraying both a serious and funny side and I think that makes him the perfect choice for this role. Dustin Hoffman and Bob Smee are both delightful in their roles as the evil villains and Maggie Smith does a great job as Wendy.

There are some points on which I agree with the critics. Julia Roberts was a horrible choice to play Tinkerbell. I found her annoying from the start and she failed to give the character the charm and depth that it needed to succeed. The Lost Boys were terrible -they came across as bratty, overindulged hoodlums rather than young, innocent, mischievous children and it was quite impossible to feel any empathy with or them -they were good actors but badly written characters

Nevertheless, despite these flaws, this is still a worthwhile and enjoyable movie that I think young children will enjoy.
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Amazing Stories: Dorothy and Ben (1986)
Season 1, Episode 18
An absolutely beautiful, moving and heartwarming episode of a great series
29 May 2009
When I was growing up, "Amazing Stories" was one of my favorite shows that I enjoyed watching on television when it was on. Re-watching it in syndication, it has lost none of its charm or beauty and this episode is remarkable proof of that

Ben Dumfy has been in a coma for around 40 years when he suddenly wakes up, seemingly none the worse for wear other than the fact that he has aged considerably. He has to adjust to the modern times that he now lives in but, more importantly, he finds himself drawn to a young girl in a coma like he once was. Can he help her?

The plot and script are intriguing and unfold flawlessly, as is typically the case with Spielberg productions and the acting is perfect, with all actors performing their roles magnificently and believably. It is a very powerful, moving and beautiful masterpiece of an episode, as you would expect from Spielberg.

They don't make shows like this anymore. And we are the worse off for it
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An absolute all-time classic
28 May 2009
A British survey once rated the novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" as one of the absolute must books you should read while on this earth. I think it would probably not be an exaggeration to say that this is also true of the movie adaptation of this novel -that it is one movie you should definitely see while on this earth The beauty of the plot and script of this movie is that it captures all the heartfelt emotion, passion and depth of the book and conveys it beautifully throughout the film while also exploring the important issues and themes contained in the novel in a way that gets the message across as powerfully as the movie did.

I have very rarely seen such an entire cast do such a wonderful job of accurately portraying the characters that were assigned to them from the novel. Each actor and actress in this movie proves adept at making their characters come to life and giving them the same amount of depth and dimension that they do in the novel. Gregory Peck's portrayal of Atticus Finch is so perfect and flawless that it makes the viewer wonder whether he is really acting at all or whether he is just portraying his true character and persona in the guise of a another name and another occupation. I have rarely ever seen child actors as brilliant as the three children in this film -they portray their respective characters with a much greater depth than I have seen in most grown-up actors. The supporting cast equally does not disappoint -from Brock Peter's portrayal of Tom Robinson to Rosemary Murphy's portrayal of Maudie Atkinson to Estelle Evans's portrayal of Calpurnia. I have never seen a movie adaptation of a novel so perfectly cast

This is a truly moving, powerful and heartfelt movie that is as challenging as it is beautiful. If you haven't watched this, you are really missing out on something very uniquely special
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A horrible movie adaptation of a great book
26 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Having read "My Posse Don't Do Homework" and having thoroughly enjoyed this heartwarming and profoundly moving autobiographical tale from LouAnne Johnson, I had high hopes and expectations for this movie. Sadly, it proved to be a prime example of a wasted opportunity for a really good solid movie.

Having apparently decided that the book isn't interesting enough, the producers of this movie added several twists and turns to this movie that were pointless, unnecessary and irritating. They would have been better off just sticking to the original contents of the book rather than inserting their own Hollywood fiction in -the strength of the book in all its original form was solid enough to provide the foundations for a strong and heartwarming movie Michelle Pfeiffer gives a dull and uninspiring performance but, to be fair, she hasn't got a good script to work with. I really pity the actors and actresses who signed up for this movie -they clearly have so much talent and potential but are given such a bad storyline and script to work with that it is all wasted

If you want to see an excellent movie with the same type of plot and storyline, watch "To Sir With Love" or "Dead Poets Society" They do it so much better. Avoid this one like the plague
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24 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Perhaps it is unrealistic to expect a movie to adequately convey the rich depth, character and texture of a wonderful and highly entertaining novel. If so, perhaps then this review may be judging the movie too harshly. Nevertheless, as someone who thoroughly enjoyed the book and was looking forward to the movie adaptation, this was a big disappointment The movie adaptation came out approximately seven years after the book was published. To make it more palatable to a modern audience, the scriptwriters have therefore been forced to omit many of the contexts and cultural references contained in the book that made it such a success. This, to me, erases some of the magic of the book -it seemed such an appropriate novel for the times in which it was published and it loses some of its relevance and identity being moved forward into a more modern setting Pia Miranda may be a good actress and, from what I've seen from interviews, a very nice person but she isn't able to give Josie the character depth and dimension that I thought she required. Greta Scacchi's performance as Christina Allibrandi is entirely forgettable and fails to deliver the spark and fiery passion that the same character conveys in the book. Anthony LaPaglia gives a reasonable performance in what must be a difficult role and, if I remember, the respective actor and actress who play John Barton and Katia Allibrandi are also quite good The script and dialogue, so successful in the book, falls flat in this movie. It isn't helped by the fact that the scriptwriters insist on changing the sequence of events in the movie so that they don't make sense like they did in the book. Moving John Barton's suicide from close to the end of the novel to the middle of the movie adaptation makes no sense and serves no purpose, whereas it is evident in the novel why the suicide occurs close to the end. Furthermore part of the success of the novel is it left so many questions in the end unresolved. Why do the scriptwriters feel the need to give everything a happy ending in the movie -i.e. have Jacob meet Katia Allibrandi, have Christina Allibrandi find out her true heritage and the like? Why do the scriptwriters feel that everything has to be spelled out and resolved for the movie audience? This is not a terrible movie, it just falls flat too many times and contains too much unfulfilled potential. Personally I had hoped for much better
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Uncle Buck (1989)
Enjoyable and heartwarming
9 August 2007
"Uncle Buck" is a thoroughly enjoyable, entertaining and heartwarming movie which, despite some minor flaws, is nevertheless worthwhile viewing if you are in the mood for some light entertainment Most of the actors and actresses involved in this movie give high quality and excellent performances. John Candy, whose tragic and untimely death deprived us of great comedic talent and of a wonderful actor, gives a great deal of depth and believability to his role and plays his character with a great deal of warmth and humor that is endearing to watch. Jean Louise Kelly should also be given high marks or her excellent portrayal of her character –despite her role as an angry and disillusioned teenager, she comes across as much more genuine, believable and even likable than most actresses I've seen who are cast in this particular role. Gaby Hoffman and Macaulay Culkin are also wonderfully cute and delightful –if somewhat underused –in their roles. Amy Madigan does well as Uncle Buck's love interest and Laurie Metcalfe is hilarious in her role. The only criticism of the casting of characters I have is in the casting of the children's parents –unfortunately I thought they didn't portray the role of parents very well. Nevertheless they were only minor players so it really doesn't detract from the quality of the movie The script is a bit disjointed at parts and I thought the ending was slightly inconclusive and some of the characters weren't used to their full potential. But none of this detracts from the entertainment and enjoyment value of this movie. This movie has a gentle, feel-good and heartwarming feel to it which flows naturally. I enjoyed watching it and recommend it
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Run of the mill thriller
9 August 2007
"The Perfect Tennant" can perhaps best adequately be summarized as a run-of-the mill thriller. While it is not unwatchable, it is not particularly good either and it contributes nothing to the genre

Most of the actors perform their roles well. Maxwell Caulfield does a good job in portraying a psychotic and cold-blooded individual haunted by memories of his childhood and determined to act upon his beliefs. Earl Holliman is also excellent and very convincing as Jessica's father and gives a great deal of depth and dimension to his character –even though it is a relatively minor one in the whole scheme of the movie. Tracey Nelson does a fine job in her role as a mental patient who is being used and manipulated by Caulfield The actress who plays Caulfield's character's sister also improves in her acting toward the end of the movie.

But unfortunately Linda Purl does not perform well in her role as one of the major characters. She appears much too stiff and wooden and lacks the depth and the emotion required to be a success in that particular character role. The same is true of the actress who plays her daughter.

In all fairness to the actors and actresses, however, they are not given a very good script to work from. The dialogue is quite often clichéd and tedious and some of the one-liners are so melodramatic and over the top that they are absolutely hilarious. The whole plot is predictable if you're a fan of the genre and you can more or less guess what will happen long before it unfolds. And the first part of the movie is disjointed and confusing and hard to follow Probably due to the performance of Caulfield and the supporting cast against all the odds, this movie is not as bad as it could be. But there are much better movies in this genre –"The Hand that Rocks the Cradle" comes to mind
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