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Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (1993)
Undervalued Frontier Series
Dr. Quinn is ridiculed by most people I know, especially men, but it contains a powerful portrait of frontier American life, particularly for a mainstream fictional TV show.
Keith David's narration makes the expanded Ken Burns Baseball installments less enjoyable than the 9 episodes before. David is always the jerk from the Oscar-winning film Crash (2005) to me. His voice as narrator on The War and other Burns films is therefore a mistake.
The West Wing (1999)
Contrived situations. Archaic writing. Overdramatic acting. West Wing is overrated at best.
Highly Irreverent But Humorous
In the vein of something like Amazon's The Man in the High Castle, this alternate-reality document no doubt is offensive yet meant to entertain the idea that our country, the USA, is bad but could have been even worse off than it has been. It is interesting to think about how history, all history, could be different.
Bugsy Malone (1976)
I caught this movie on Movies TV Network and loved it. The all-children cast with cream-pie guns and pedal cars is a nice touch. I want to know where I can get one of those cars! There are lots of faces you'll recognize of future movie and TV stars.
My Cousin Vinny (1992)
One of my favorites!
My Cousin Vinny is such an awesome movie, with a great story, an all-star cast, surprises, comedy, drama and so much American South culture, both factual and fictional.
Vivid, Accurate Portrayal of School Pains
This episode shows the fear that follows around a young grade school student. No matter the age, gender, race or location, bullying is a present danger. I wanted to hug young Earn in this episode. I was fearful he would get laughed at by the whole school or beat up. I was bullied in school, so much it affects me now in my 30s. The trauma from experiences in third grade and beyond formed much of my anxiety and depression that I'm just now starting to fight back from. I talk a lot about that in my memoir, 'Eating Me Alive: How Food, Faith and Family Helped me Fight Fear and Find Hope.' And because of that, this episode was so special for me and for all of us in relating the dangers of youth.
Love Acting, Hate Storytelling
Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon had such an interesting relationship. This Fx telling puts forth great acting and production. Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams are just stellar in their portrayals. The costuming and makeup are spot on. The cinematography is strong. But the choices in writing to make the timeline so dysfunctional and spastic is maddening. You are well-informed throughout but title cards when you're seeing the action take place, but such out-of-order production leaves me wanting more clarity. I'm old fashioned, but I benefit from a linear timeline.
Atlanta: Teddy Perkins (2018)
Get Out Meets Michael Jackson
Like no other episode of Atlanta thus far, Teddy Perkins is like a short standalone horror film. Donald Glover as Teddy is a masterful performance that further upped my praise for him as an artist. The fact that Teddy and Benny are separate people and BOTH die blew my mind. So did Darius making it out alive.
Porn with a little Horror
Eli Roth gets a lot of praise in the horror community. I'm not sure why. This movie is 80 percent dumb porn-like junk and then a little horror at the end.
That '70s Show (1998)
Underrated Period Comedy
I was too young to take in That 70s Show when it originally aired. I recently watched the first season on Netflix and plan to take in more of it. So many stars were either in the cast or guest starred on the show. To be filmed 20-25 years after its setting, it's very well placed in its time. I don't think the show gets enough credit for its quality costuming, set design and writing. All are great in my opinion.
Solid take but not for children
I'm still quite partial to the Disney Jungle Book of the 60s, especially if you're watching it with children. The makers of this take don't hide the fact it's much darker than other versions of the story. But it can't be overstated that this is too fierce and too heart-stopping at times for small children. Not all kids would be frightened, but I would have as a small boy. The CG was actually quite good. The story focusing on Mowgli in the way it did was quite nice. And the names associated with this project were strong. I give it a solid B in most areas. My main beef is still with Rudyard Kipling for giving us something with a python as a character. Does anyone know? Did he include Kaa in his original stories?
Guava Island (2019)
Donald Glover is such a talented artist. This film of just less than an hour reminds me of some of the extended musical films of past artists like Michael Jackson. It also has a certain James Bond movie vibe for me, without the action and gadgetry of 007 and Q. Maybe it's the setting that makes me think that. For those familiar with Childish Gambino tracks, several well-known songs make appearances. I'm not the most perceptive viewer, but I will say that I was quite surprised by the storyline here. I haven't watched a ton of Amazon Prime Video work, but this was a refreshing piece. The beginning is told through Rihanna narration and animation, which I really liked. Again, I really enjoy Donald Glover's work, music and screen.
Great Acting, Storytelling Eh
I think the storytelling technique falls entirely flat with this one. Weird perspective with the narration. I know it's Hollywood, but come on how biased can you get? The character acting is absolutely top notch and the makeup for Christian Bale was incredible.
Fosse/Verdon: Life Is a Cabaret (2019)
Confusing Storytelling Mars Compelling Tale
I love Sam Rockwell and like Michelle Williams. I'd never heard of Fosse or Verdon, but I started watching this Fx series at the suggestion of my mom. The tale is interesting, but the timeline jumps around wildly, and that's so confusing. Whoever wrote the teleplay should've structured it differently IMO.
A Star Is Born (2018)
Full of Beauty and Pain
This film is full of beauty and pain. It showcases the all-around artistic talents of Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. As a man who's struggled himself with anxiety and depression, but has found his star in his super talented wife Molly, I feel the depth and power of this film. It's my favorite movie I've seen in a few years in any genre. And the single 'Shallow' is well worthy of its Grammys and Oscars.
Pawn Stars (2009)
Such a poor show
I can't believe the Harrisons approved the show to begin with-because it paints the family in such a poor light. They come across as just jerks who want to make a big profit. The show is nothing like the actual store, which I've visited in Vegas. The more I watched this show, the less I liked it. What a sham.
Not Great Quality But Had its Moments
Twilight is a weird combo of blockbuster feel and low-budget independent film quality. The story is actually quite compelling. Kristen Stewart doesn't drive me mad like most people, but Robert Pattinson...I don't like him. Bella's new high school friends are so annoying. Songs by Linkin Park and Paramore on the soundtrack are actually my favorite moments. And that's not good.
Appalachian Outlaws (2014)
This is an over-dramatized portrait of life of some people in various states in the Appalachian region. NOT A DOCUMENTARY. Not a 'reality' show. More like a dramedy or a mockumentary. Pretty hilarious though, and I'm a Southerner with deep roots in Appalachia myself.
A Midsummer Night's Dream (2016)
Shakespeare Gets an Upgrade
This is a BBC-imagined modern retelling of Shakespeare's classic, with a diverse and stellar cast, intense presentation, a compelling score, fantastic costume design and energy at every turn. And the 90-minute running time moves the story along quickly! Check it out.
The Graduate (1967)
Biopic of Every Young Single American
Dustin Hoffman and Katharine Ross both bring to the screen the story of all Americans who have been single. It's scary. It's uncomfortable. It's awkward. We make mistakes. We regret the mistakes. Sometimes we recover. Sometimes we don't. We live with everything we've done. We hope we can overcome. The director Mike Nichols gave us a compelling, sometimes downright artsy film in The Graduate that is set to one of the greatest soundtracks in American movie history.
There are so many crime, court and legal dramas! And most all of them are so contrived. The principle characters just move through the story like they already know everything because they've seen the case over and over again. I just can't stand that, so another such show is white noise.
Key and Peele (2012)
Sketch Artist Genius
Key and Peele are like a modern day Abbott and Costello. So. Many. Hilarious. Characters.
Friends from College (2017)
In the End, Unoriginal
Cheating spouses. Philandering Men. Angry women. New York City partying. Adults in their 30s who haven't settled down. There's not much new in this series. There are moments that KMK and Fred Savage are hilarious friends. But that's not enough to save this from being a bland recreation of other series.
Bird Box (2018)
Not Worth the Time
Bird Box is quite fitting of a movie released at this time. It drips with 'viral'-reaction content like blindfolding and walking around trying not to hit things. And it's a poor re-creation of other horror movies where there's some psychological force causing people harm. And worst of all, by the time you reach the end, there's no resolution. You really don't know much of anything. For me, that's an incredibly dissatisfying way to spend a couple hours.