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Better Watch Out (II) (2016)
7/10
1002 Uses
15 December 2019
Extremely disturbing story set during the Christmas season. No big spoilers but expect more than a few surprises. Not your run-of-the-mill Christmas movie. Expect nightmares.
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The Moodys (2019– )
8/10
No comparison - REVISED
5 December 2019
It's very disappointing when compared to the Australian original. The actors are good, but there is something missing in the scripts. Hopefully episodes 3-6 will get better. I'll report back. -- Watched the entire series again and changed my rating. It IS disappointing when compared to the original, but on a second viewing the performances and script make for an endearing and enjoyable show. Keep it up.
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Fences (2016)
9/10
Nice!
24 March 2019
I don't understand the comments about the film's dramatic origin. So what? It's a compelling story about a flawed man and his struggle to resolve all "the whips and scorns of time" he's suffered through. The pace is slow and methodical, the man has issues to be sure. That is the point of the story. I streamed the movie expecting to pause it and continue it later, yet, I just couldn't do it. All I can add is the final scene made me cry. Me, a 66 year old man with my own long slate of "whips and scorns of time" to deal with, yes, I admit it, it made me cry. Good job!
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Vacation (I) (2015)
5/10
The Uncredited Star of the Movie ...
5 December 2017
Okay, a remake is almost always going to pale in comparison to the original and this remake is no different. However, the filmmakers created an unofficial star with the vehicle. The Family Truckster of the original was funny, but only as a prop, but the erstwhile Tartan Prancer from Albania is the most awesome piece of fictional automotive film history I've ever seen. It IS the star of the film, hands down. If you are wavering on watching this film, watch it once just for this mini-van, I implore you. I gotta get me that GPS.

Many individual scenes of the movie are not bad, mind you and Ed Helms and Christina Applegate were well-cast. But overall, the movie didn't work. The few high points were offset with many low points. The good jokes are very good but many others don't hit their mark.

Watch it for the mini-van!
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Never Too Young (1965–1966)
6/10
swinging sixties
9 February 2016
I was 13 when this premiered, but my 17 year old sister watched it all the time. I have to admit, I got sucked in and was more than a little disappointed when it ended and the next Monday, when Dark Shadows premiered in its place it seemed a tremendous loss. Yet, within the year, DS became a super-big hit. Go figure. At the time it seemed special, teen-aged angst-ridden drama. And Tony Dow plus Tommy Rettig to boot! One other thing to note: I remember them playing the hit "Groovy Kind of Love" at the end of the last episode. Can't remember if that was a regular thing or just for that episode. It was obvious that it was the last episode though. Also remember a lot of musical guests, but the one I remember best was Paul Revere and the Raiders because my sister was wild about them.
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9/10
So Bad it is AWESOME
15 May 2015
One reviewer laments the fact that it is obvious that these people never went to film school. They didn't, that's the point.

The director, to his credit, has built his film company from the ground up in the slums of Kampala. The film is a product of those slums. It is a film inspired by the best of Hollywood, but it is thoroughly Ugandan. Take the Video Joker ... this is a component of their distribution requirements because of the many languages and dialects they try to sell to. VJ commentary needs to be customized to their different customer's language needs. The English version is just one of the many they have to apply and market.

I encourage viewers to embrace the humor and bask in the raw talent of this incredible filmmaker.

It is wild and crazy and raw and illogical and funny ... so bad it is really good. This guy makes the exact kinds of movies he wants to make and figures out ways to do it within the realities he has to deal with on a daily basis. Kudos to him.
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Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013– )
4/10
Season 1 so-so and Season 2 has dropped two notches
17 October 2014
I'm at the the point of season 2 where I might just give this show maybe two or three more episodes to pull out of its doldrums.

The one bright spot, always, is Terry Crews. He steals every scene he is in. He always does that.

In judging this show, consider the time/change for 2014-15. It has been lumped in amongst the cartoons. Which at first I thought was weird but it basically IS a cartoon. Even at that, they might have just kept the show at about the same level of humor as last year but they didn't. Melissa Fumero was a perfect straight foil to Samberg's character, but now she is just a shadow of her former self, mostly lapping at the captain's boots. So far, anyway. And Peretti's character was a high point of the show last year, borderline psychotic, but funny as heck. She is not the same character at all ... like she found her meds or something. I mean, it's okay, but it's definitely lost a good bit of its appeal. If you like poo-poo and pee-pee jokes, that's fine with me. But I'd be surprised if it makes it the entire year.
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Shaft (1971)
7/10
Is it Blaxploitation or did it start Blaxploitation
27 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I just watched this film. The last time I saw it was when it came out. The flaws in the movie were the same flaws evident in a lot of late 60s and early 70s movies. Film had undergone a transition to a more gritty look ... by the 80s they seemed really bad. Now they seem almost nostalgic ... probably people felt the same way about film noir at the time and shortly after. One of the most interesting things it has going for it is due to that raw and gritty look, which included quite a lot of location shots in early 1970s NYC. The score matched the cinematography very well. In 1971 I thought it was entertaining. We didn't call it a blaxploitation film back then. I guess its moderate success spawned the genre so in that sense it was either the first or the inspiration. But I think to lump it into that basket is wrong. In reality it is a 1971 detective flick focusing on a black character, set among a lot of black characters, mostly hoods, poised against a bunch of white characters, mostly hoods. It's right there in the movie ... the police detective makes that same observation. Not Black against White ... it is a turf war between black hoods and white hoods. And between them all is John Shaft. Richard Roundtree plays it with a finesse that although almost corny now to the point of being a caricature, at the time it was easy to take it at face value. He was a hard nosed P.I. and he focused on his case. The absolutely smartest scene was when the guy helping Shaft save the girl was sent in to pose as a room service waiter in the dingy hotel where the mafia guys were holding the hostage. He seemed resentful at first but he got a look on his face sort of like, "hey, I KNOW HOW TO DO THIS." Sure, using the degrading stereotype to complete the undercover. Three drinks. Three dudes. He's got the information but he's got to play the role. He stands there waiting for his tip and gets it, generous in mafia fashion too. Anyway, I say throw the blaxploitation label out the window and enjoy the movie for what it was and what it is ... a better than average 1970s detective movie. I wish they showed it on TV more.
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Lunopolis (2010 Video)
8/10
Shows you can make a good movie with a low budget
14 August 2012
I love low budget films. Or maybe I hate high budget films. I am convinced that some movies evolve out of somebody's idea for a grand and glorious special effect ... and they build a movie around that one scene. There is no such thing here. It is a classic formula ... they build the case for the premise while they are in fact telling the story. Sure it has some flaws ... even big budget spectaculars have flaws. The biggest flaw is the far too long interview with David James but that cemented the storyline together so I let it slide. It just didn't fit the shorter scenes in the rest of the movie. The really oddball thing ... is ever since we watched this movie we have been receiving mysterious phone calls ... like our time-lines are messed up now. Seriously. Hopefully this will sort itself out, with or without the help of the Lunarians.
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New Girl (2011–2018)
7/10
I've tried to like it, I really have
5 January 2012
I've watched most of the first season ... and every episode has a chuckle or two, but almost every show (watching via a recording) I find myself pausing it to see how much time is left and I am always at about the fifty percent point. What's up with that? This is something I NEVER do with a thirty minute sitcom.

I think this boredom is due to the story lines ... they are tired and the pace is slow. So I find myself wondering, do I want to suffer through another episode for a chuckle or two?

She's cute and she's funny, and the rest of the cast seems adequate but there is obviously something amiss. Fox is usually pretty quick to pull the plug so obviously others are seeing something I am not seeing but I'll probably only watch it when there is a story line that strikes my fancy.
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White Heat (1949)
10/10
I never get tired of this movie
15 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I can watch it any time it is on. At the beginning or in the middle.

Cagney is superb ... almost a caricature of all of his gangster roles combined into this complex and fascinating character.

Cagney brings to life one of the most evil characters to ever be portrayed on film. I get chills every time I see him go nuts in the prison cafeteria.

And when he shoots into that trunk "I'll give you a little air ..." while calmly munching a chicken leg ... we've all seen tons of cold blooded killers on film but this guy must have been born at the south pole.

This is just a great movie with a great story and wonderful characters. Everyone plays off Cagney and he makes them all shine in return. A classic masterpiece of film noir.
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Fury (1955–1960)
9/10
one of the classics
15 March 2010
This is posted as a tribute to the late Peter Graves. This show was a mainstay in the lives of many baby boomer's' formative years. They would never get away with the format today. Even less than ten years later the Batman series had to bow to societal paranoia and insert an invented "aunt" to temper the all unrelated male household. Three unrelated males on a remote ranch? Ah, but I digress, there was no hidden agenda or meaning here. It was as wholesome as the 1950s. Good clean moral stories. Fury rivaled even Lassie or Rin Tin Tin for animal brilliance.

Peter Graves was memorable as Jim. For years I'd say, "oh -- that guy from Fury" whenever I saw him in something.

It was a great show. I wish they would re-run it.
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9/10
O'Toole is brilliant
6 January 2010
They almost never show this on TV. Sad. It is a remarkable film and Peter O'Toole is simply brilliant as Jack.

The fight scene between the two "gods" is wonderful. Almost makes me wish they made a sequel about the life of the electromagnetic god who has to recharge via an open light socket. Great fun and then downright chilling at the end. The butler is one of the better characters, as is old Alastair Sim as the Bishop. "Why was he wearing a ballet skirt?" Poor old dear.

As good as Brando was in The Godfather, I still think O'Toole should have trumped him for Best Actor that year. I mean, Brando played a great character, but O'Toole ACTED in this, acted up, down, right, left, and sideways. He is not the same character at the end ... oh, no.
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7/10
yes, flawed, but entertaining
29 December 2009
First off, you can not expect a sequel to excel. We get lucky sometimes but usually they are either totally lame or they fall into some sort of formula hellhole. This film, as many many reviewers have pointed out, does have flaws. Most films do. It is not that different in structure from the original either, following different story lines with different characters, albeit in different years rather than in the same night. The Vietnam sequences with Terry the Toad and Little Joe from the Pharohs gang are the best part of the movie. They could almost have made a single full-length sequel following that story line. A lot of reviewers liked the Milner sequences more than the Debbie sequences. I sort of go the other way around. I thought the Milner storyline was weak and there just wasn't much there. Maybe the hippie sequences were more familiar to me, but I related to that and thought most of it was hilarious. They could have dropped the entire other sequence as well ... it just labored to tell their story against a backdrop that was much bigger than they were.

Also liked the cameo by Falfa, Harrison Ford.

Anyway, maybe someone will come back and make the rest of the Terry-the-Toad in Vietnam story. Feel the same way about D-Day "whereabouts unknown" in Animal House. There's a movie there waiting to be told.
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5/10
Almost worth it for one scene
6 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This film is an atypical 50's farce, and with that in mind it is mildly entertaining. The best scene, and it is worth watching it to see this one line, is when the upstairs neighbor comes down to the working Tom Ewell, Rita Moreno is wonderfully seductive and reminds Tom that this reminds her of a movie she saw, where the beautiful neighbor comes down to see the man who's wife is away (if you know Tom Ewell, you know what movie she's talking about). Tom looks up from his typewriter and with a wonderful deadpan says "I didn't see that movie." Okay, I love a good inside joke. The rest is just 50's movie silliness ... like I said, it is entertaining.
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7/10
hard to find
22 September 2009
I wish someone would re-release this, or TCM or somebody would show it. It was just another really bizarre offering from the late fifties/early sixties. It used to be a regular on the lat Saturday night TV horror show in my hometown (in Houston the show was called Weird) and this one fit the bill--really weird.

Cinematic excellence? Surely not. But it was offbeat enough to keep your attention. Even had a debunker who explained away a lot of the "magic" for the police (and the viewers).

The plot does have an interesting twist with the hypnotist's girlfriend. Sure it didn't win any academy awards but few movies do.

I give it a seven because it falls within the genre of movies that are so bad they are actually good.
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7/10
Most Bizarre Opening Scene in a Western
17 March 2009
This is a pretty typical early Gene Autry Western. Cowpokes and cattle and horses and cars/trucks/airplanes ... yeehaw.

Anyway, the most unusual scene in this movie, very subtle indeed, is the opening sequence. Gene, ridin' and singin' along, the titles rolling by. Check out behind him and see if you see anything odd.

What's that? Looks like a dummy or something. No, it's Smiley Burnette, riding backwards with a forward facing mask on the back of his head. Even funnier, once the titles and song are finished, Gene and another guy have a long conversation before they even mention the bizarre Smiley and his "disguise" ...

His explanation: It was a disguise so that he could keep an eye out so no one could sneak up on them from behind. Ah, Smiley. Ah, humanity.
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No Arms Needed (2004 TV Movie)
10/10
a really inspiring individual
4 December 2007
This is a Discovery documentary about Marty Ravellette, who lived in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina area.

He was born without arms and did not consider himself disabled.

He just did things his own way and ran a local landscaping business. He saved a woman from a burning car in Durham, NC in 1998 and got some national news coverage at that time.

I used to see him cutting the grass all the time at a business next to where I worked. He was a great guy and was very inspiring.

He unfortunately passed away in November 2007, the victim of an automobile accident.
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8/10
brought back lost memories
13 September 2007
Well, some of the silliness of the animations was a bit over the top but I figure they didn't have enough real footage to fill out an entire movie.

It was imaginative, and to its credit, it was a primer on the tremendous impact of this forgotten artist.

Forgotten? Well, I forgot about him. Wow, my brother was really into hot rods and he had all the magazines and the CARtoon books and such and I read all of the latter and marveled at Big Daddy's creativity, even in my early teens. Everything came rushing back when I saw this movie.

Let's face it, the guy was far out, he was into his thing, and he really did provide an inspiration for the art/media/design/culture that was to come in just a few years.

Wow.
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10/10
One of the Best KID shows of all time
26 April 2007
We used to watch this with our daughter all the time. She loved it. She knew all the songs. It was a fun show and was engaging, entertaining, and educational. I guess you would call that "The three E's?"

We recently found an old unmarked VHS we had recorded to watch later that had one episode on it. We played it for our 2 year old grandson, who really does not watch more than about 2 minutes of TV at a time. He watched the entire show, start to finish. He wanted to watch it again.

WHY THE HECK AREN'T THESE SHOWS ON DVD!!!!!! They are a treasure ... kids today need them because kids entertainment is definitely not nearly as good ... these shows were about as good as you can get for young kids. sigh
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8/10
Consider the context
28 July 2006
Just remember that when you judge a movie like this, you really should do so not by today's standards but by the standards of its own time.

Within the context of its own time, this movie was very entertaining. Yes, today it looks pretty silly, but all in all, for all the plot defects and stilted acting, it is not that bad a movie. I wish they'd show it more often.

I was surprised that only a couple of reviewers noted Russell Johnson of Gilligan's Island fame. But no one mentioned the supreme irony of his appearance in this flick: HE PLAYS A SCIENTIST! It's the Professor playing ... a professor!
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8/10
I've missed this one too
24 April 2006
I'll have to add my voice to the others asking why this movie hasn't been shown in years. It was one of the better made for TV Christmas movies. Put it out on DVD, please.

One thing I'll always remember about this movie is this: the last time I remember seeing it was in 1986 right after the birth of my daughter. She was about two days old. The scene of Mickey Rooney in heaven caught her eye and she couldn't take her eyes off the screen. We wondered if it was just the contrast of the stereotyped view of the overbearingly "white" of heaven or if perhaps she was seeing something comfortably familiar. Whatever the reason, she didn't pay any attention to the TV again for months and months.
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The Personals (1982)
7/10
not fancy, bur a fresh look and feel
20 April 2006
I remember this movie primarily because I responded to a rather interesting advertising gimmick. I noticed a personal ad in the local Austin TX newspaper offering a buck off with the ad. I thought that was weird enough at the time to give it a shot.

What I remember about it was that it definitely was not a slick Hollywood product, which to me was refreshing. It's been 25 years at least since I've seen it though, and it never seems to show up on TV where they show the same ten or fifteen movies all the time, so I can't offer any great details. Just a pleasant cinematic romp; a lighthearted romantic movie. Mostly harmless ...
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Fridays (1980–1982)
Bring out the DVD!
24 May 2005
Given the time-frame of the show, I have a hard time remembering all the bits, but I do remember enjoying it and remember especially that Michael Richards was a standout in the show. One skit that I do remember, that no one else mentioned, was The Transphibians...a group of people who thought they were part fish. They would shuffle into the pet store, zig-zagging across the floor in unison and then splash the top of the water until the store owner made them leave.

Was it a great show? In its time it was good and late night on Fridays, if you were stuck at home doing nothing, it was a great interlude. In the early 1980s there was not the variety of TV, even on cable, that there is today.

Yes, bring out the DVD!
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The Final Cut (2004)
4/10
The story had potential but...
1 May 2005
The basic concept behind this storyline had potential, but it really failed to deliver on that potential. For one thing, it is a really novel concept, but it seemed like a lot of trouble and expense to get, basically, very little in return. Similarly, the wife just pretty much accepts the "lost" implant so easily I found that hard to believe. "oh, well...". There are a number of weaknesses in the story like this.

Privacy issues and ethical issues were implied at by the vicious protest movement, but once again, these were only implied and that was something was never developed.

Still, some aspects of the movie were well done, especially the interspersed "cuts" superimposed on the live action. I thought that was an inventive use of the plot device.
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