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Saturday Night Live (1975)
A Political Mouthpiece for the Political Establishment; Horribly Unfunny; Deplorable
I used to like this show when I was a kid back in the 1990s and early 2000s, but circa 2005 SNL went down the toilet. All of their comedy was nothing but potty/bathroom/genital jokes and outright mockery of anyone who is white, Jewish, Christian, and/or conservative. How can TV Guide rate Hogan's Heroes (a good show, by the way) as one of the worst shows ever for "trivializing the Holocaust", while at the same time lionizing Saturday Night Live, a show that has gotten away with far worse? It is a contradiction to say the least, and a potential hypocrisy at the worst. Gone are the days of Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, and Will Ferrel; at least they ranged from tolerable to good. Now, SNL is one of the worst shows currently on television! I have not watched one episode of this dreck since 2005, and I am better off for it!
American Sniper (2014)
Best Movie of 2014, and it should have won more awards!
Why are so many people complaining about this movie? I saw this movie with a friend in the movie theater, and I found it to be an engaging movie. It is about a man who decides to fight for what is right and to help his fellow men in the heat of battle (whether or not the Iraq War is justifiable is a moot point here, and is thus irrelevant, for this is not a movie that is intended to be preachy, but rather one that dissects life from the point-of-view of Chris Kyle). I am personally against the Iraq War, but I still loved this movie, and I still have a very healthy respect for those who fought in that bloody conflict! 'Based on a true story' movies are usually not my cup of tea, either, but I still loved this movie. More movies should be like this.
This is what True Vampire Mythology should be like
The vampire (Nosferatu) depicted in this movie is a truly scary, hideous, nightmarish spectacle to behold: hunched-over posture, pointy ears, crooked nose, sharp fangs, scrawny fingers, spindly limbs, and long fingernails. More vampires should be horrifying like Max Shreck's interpretation of Bram Stoker's Dracula. I am absolutely sick and tired of the trailers and advertisements for generic, pseudo-Gothic, angsty-teenager renditions of vampires - which depict vampires as attractive, romantic men or as cutesy schoolboys. I am glad, in contrast, that movies like this exist. If you are like me and want a vampire that is truly terrifying, please by all means choose "Nosferatu".
Also, "Nosferatu" is a truly good film. I have watched it twice! It has a good plot, and it also has good music.
Jurassic World (2015)
Not quite as good as the original, but still awesome
I watched this in theaters this month with friends and family, and I was endlessly captivated by this movie. Even though it was not quite as "original" as the 1993 classic, "Jurassic World" still has a lot of action and suspense. I especially liked the part at the end where the Velociraptor, the T. Rex, and the Mosasaurus unite against the Indominus Rex, especially since, throughout the movie, one gets the illusion that the Indominus Rex is an unstoppable killing machine. I thought that they would have to go nuclear to kill the Indominus Rex! There are also homages to the original movies throughout the movie as well, like the animated DNA guy used in the original 1993 "Jurassic Park", as well as the 1992 Jeeps that are used in the movie! I highly recommend this movie for the action, suspense, and killer dinosaurs!
A Historically Insightful Documentary!
I first saw this on Netflix, and I am glad that I watched this! I first learned about how the Arabs were connected with the Nazis (i.e., Haj amin al-Husseini of Palestine), and the origins of anti-Semitism in the modern Islamic world. Israel is important in today's world because they are an outpost for democracy, and also because Arabs living in Israel have better lives than their Sharia Islamic counterparts. This documentary illustrates that all too well.
This documentary is narrated by the insightful lawyer Alan Dershowitz. He exposes (quite rightfully) that Jimmy Carter and David Duke are anti-Semites, and Benjamin Netanyahu also makes an appearance in the documentary.
If you support Israel and support democracy, this documentary is a must-watch!
Hauru no ugoku shiro (2004)
One of the Best Movies Ever!
Another great movie from a great director - Hayao Miyazaki. In his usual aesthetically pleasing fashion, he conjures a fantasy realm beyond the viewer's wildest beliefs, and he somehow manages to shoehorn this majesty onto a single DVD! I liked the chemistry between Howl and Sophie, which is one of the central elements to this story; at first, Howl is fussy about his appearance, and he makes Sophie cry when they have the argument. Eventually, though, Howl learns to cope with his altered appearance, and he and Sophie develop a relationship with each other. It is a storyline that is almost like Beauty and the Beast in a sense; in both instances, you have the man in the relationship who has been "dehumanized" or turned into a monster, while you have the woman who wants to bring out the man trapped inside the monster. Some of the other characters, like Calcifer and Turnip Head, provide plenty of comic relief in this film, which further helps to engage the viewer. A must-see for any fan of animation, Hayao Miyazaki, fantasy, steampunk, or anyone who is a fan of great cinema.
Tenkû no shiro Rapyuta (1986)
One of the Best Movies of Any Kind - EVER!
A perfect 10 out of 10! Laputa is such a magical movie that I would have to rank it alongside the Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Blazing Saddles, Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992 version), Beauty and the Beast, and Jurassic Park in terms of the best movies ever made. Hayao Miyazaki is an artistic genius. Laputa has an engaging plot, likable characters, aesthetically pleasing art, and a good balance of adventure and comic relief. Colonel Mushka makes for a great villain to watch on screen. Most importantly, there are also philosophical, ethical, and social messages behind the art, action, and adventure. It shows how militarism can ruin the beauty of the world. It shows how a madman seeking power places everybody in danger. To quote Sheeta in the movie, "No matter how advanced your technology is, no matter how powerful your weapons are, the world cannot live without love."
Gunslinger Girl (2003)
One of the Best Anime Series Ever - Truly a Must-Watch
Gunslinger Girl is, hands down, one of the best anime ever - and, for that matter, one of the best television series of any kind. It has everything: action, drama, character build-up, just the right amount of emotion (without using too much), good music, and a good animation style. I have watched both seasons on DVD, and I loved them both. The characters are all memorable. The action is badass, especially when you consider that the main characters are actually adolescent girls. If you are looking for a good television series, even if you are not a bonafide anime fan, I full heartedly recommend Gunslinger Girl. I also recommend supporting this anime, so buy the DVDs!
This Anime is worth $$60,000,000 of Weight in Gold!
*A plot that sustains your interest from beginning to end. *Likeable, memorable characters (Vash, Nicholas Wolfwood, Merryl, Millie, and even some of the secondary characters.) *Well-placed comic relief *No shortage of suspenseful scenes that keep you guessing until the end. *Action scenes that you will never forget (My favorite of these was when the Nebraska Family deploys the giant spinning fist, and Vash fires shots from his revolver to use the fist's momentum to divert the giant weapon away from the innocent townspeople.) *A wide variety of villains, ranging from mad to pompous to downright dark. *A well-designed setting, based on a space Western not unlike the original "Star Wars" movie.
All of these things combine to make an anime experience one will never forget. If you can get the DVD set of the entire series, please buy it.
No Game, No Life (2014)
Typical, Generic Fanservice Garbage
How can anybody, in the right mind, consider this to be any good? The two main characters, Sora and Shiro, parade Steph around like she is their dehumanized slave. They treat all of the other female main characters like trash. In one episode, they dress Steph like a dog and make her "dog for a day"; if anyone was to do this in real-life, he/she would be condemned as a sadomasochist - or worse! Considering that this anime is plagued with panty-shots, pornographic and perverted bath-tub scenes with the hentai-type tentacle thing that molests the girls while they are bathing (this is shown in a couple of the episodes), and the moe catgirl-type characters in the final battle with the Eastern Federation, I just did not see anything of redeeming value. There is no memorable or likable humor whatsoever in this schlock-fest of an anime. Only fanservice for fanboys to fap to. The only thing that I found even remotely interesting about this anime was that, in one of the episodes, they did a brief parody of "Castle in the Sky" when one of the protagonists made a reference about Laputa. Everything else was just pornographic, fan-service garbage suitable only for a complete loser. Please do yourself a favor and AVOID THIS ANIME LIKE THE PLAGUE!
Best Movie Ever, Bar None
The entire Lord of the Rings saga deserves to be immortalized as such an epic incarnation of great fantasy. This whole trilogy was the reason why I became interested in the fantasy genre as a young adult. I remember seeing The Two Towers and The Return of the King when they were respectively being released in theaters. Both of the movies blew me away. They were unlike anything I had ever seen in my life. This was a driving force to me, because now I wanted to read not only the Lord of the Rings and other Tolkien books, but also the R. A. Salvatore and Dark Sun World books. This was such an influential movie to me, and I hope that it is movies like this that are passed on to the next generation. Good acting, epic battle scenes, convincing dialogue, well-done settings, and an awesome story all comprise the entire LOTR trilogy. I say this as a die-hard fan of the fantasy genre, first baptized by Lord of the Rings!
You'll Never Take the Sky from Firefly!
"You'll never take the sky from me...," and for good reason! I have never liked Star Trek (except perhaps for TNG), but I loved Firefly. A well-balanced mix of Western-style themes, comic relief, back-stories, drama, and suspense holds this show together, even if it is only for only a few episodes. The show should have at least had a second and third season. Why, if I dare ask, isn't this show more popular? We should have more fantasy-type shows like this, instead of boring garbage like Game of Thrones. In "Firefly", the characters are memorable and likable. Sure, they may be blacklisted as criminals by the Federation, but the show is such that one can still sympathize with the characters' motives - especially the motives of their captain, Malcolm Reynolds. These are characters with actual moral values, and they are willing to defend each other to preserve those values.
It is unfortunate, then, that it was only just about a year ago when I finally got to watch this series on Netflix. Well, as they say, it is better late than never! In any case, this show earns a full 10/10 score in my book.
One of the best anime, and one of the best shows of any kind that I have ever watched
If you are reading this, you already know what the anime is about. I like the characters of the anime. The female characters are not depicted as sexualized or dehumanized objects of fanservice, but instead are depicted as strong, heroic protagonists who can weather any assault that comes their way - whether it be Islamic-type terrorists, Il Ittociable and her mafia guys, the Taiwanese Triads, or the Soldats foot soldiers. This is in stark contrast to (and, in fact, a far cry from) the dime-a-dozen fanservice animes like "No Game, No Life", where the female characters are put in humiliating and dehumanizing situations to suit the protagonists' needs. In "Noir", there is none of this fanservice garbage. None whatsoever, and this is a very positive thing for anyone who is either new to anime or for an anime fan who is looking for something that is good. I have to place myself among those who are trying to avoid fanservice like the plague, and this anime is a good place to start if you want to avoid the clichéd moe-type anime. The action, although not as balls-to-the-wall as "Black Lagoon", is nonetheless sufficient to carry the story along. Some of the ingenious ways in which Mireille and Kirika kill some of the bad guys are incredible - those two women can kill anyone with anything! Chloe is also brutally efficient in offing her opponents. When it comes to the end, though, the final confrontation with Altena seems like a little bit of a cop-out (thus preventing me from giving this anime a full 10/10 score, unfortunately). Still, this is a highly respectable show. If you want to get away from the "No Game, No Life" and other fanservice-type garbage, remember that Noir is only a heartbeat away!
Ancient Aliens (2009)
More people should watch this show, because it makes you think
If you are bored with the generic "he-said-she-said" of the over-sexed sitcoms and the increasingly redneck-permeated popular culture of television, "Ancient Aliens" is a show that I would recommend. I like science, and I like history. I especially like the ancient history, like the Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Celts, Vikings, and the Mayans. I have read Erich von Daniken's book "Chariots of the Gods", and I am currently reading Zecharia Sitchin's book "The Twelfth Planet". I recommend both books. Whether or not one is a true believer in the Ancient Astronaut theory is one thing, but there are things in this world that just cannot be explained with our current, established way of thinking. Erich von Daniken and people like him are challenging the archaeological and scientific establishments much like Copernicus challenged the medieval establishment with his heliocentric view of the solar system. We, as a human race, owe von Daniken much more respect as a researcher. With our modern advancements, his theory and his hypotheses are gaining more and more credence each and every day. Who's to say that there aren't aliens out there marveling upon us?
Hogan's Heroes (1965)
This is a fun show to watch!
Hogan's Heroes is the least likely of comedies - being set in a German POW camp at the height of the Second World War, with a clever mix of slapstick humor, witty one-liners, and serious action and suspense. I have to admit, I like this actually better than M*A*S*H*. Contrary to what some people may think, this does NOT trivialize the Holocaust; in fact, the Holocaust is not specifically discussed or parodied (in any manner) in any of the episodes - ever. Any such accusations are thus moot. In fact, there is nothing truly dark, to any extent, about the show. I enjoy seeing the stumbling, bumbling Nazis getting their butts kicked by the least likely of saboteurs - the humble prisoners of Stalag 13! I also like the way that Hogan and the others are playing Klink, Schultz, Hochstetter, and Burkhalter against each other. If you are looking for an old show that still packs a lot of laughs as well as suspense (even though most of the actors and actresses have long since passed away) this is the show for you. This strikes a balance among comedy, sarcasm, action, and drama.
Game of Thrones (2011)
This show is boring to watch
I watched one and one-half episodes of this, and I got bored with it. All that it was was gossip, sex, and conspiring to back-stab each other. There are no heroic quests or epic battles. None. It all hinges, instead, on gossiping about who-had-sex-with-who and who-back-stabbed-who for the throne. There is no real substance to it. I did not really feel any connection to the characters. I did not feel like I was in a fantasy at all. I felt more like I was in a world of boring gossip. If this were to be any other genre, it would be much less popular. People probably only like this because it has a medieval setting. However, when you take away all of the castles, armor, wild boars, and swords, you are just stuck with a bunch of gossips.