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All reviews - Movies (48) - TV Shows (48) - Books (5) - Music (2)

Action! review

Posted : 7 months, 3 weeks ago on 23 February 2021 05:40 (A review of Action!)

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to believe that this was the ONLY episode where the team's leader (Daniel Briggs or Jim Phelps) didn't accept the assignment briefing. Barbara Bain's character, Cinnamon Carter, accepts the ubiquitous mission briefing instead of Steven Hill's character, Daniel Briggs. Why? Steven Hill was an orthodox Jew and, as such, obliged to leave the set by sunset on Friday in order to observe the Sabbath. Early in the season's production, this was an easy workaround but, as the show's popularity increased, production schedules got tighter and obliging Hill became more difficult. So did Steven Hill, and he was suspended from the show for this episode (his absence was explained by Cinnamon as "being on another assignment.")


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The Circle review

Posted : 7 months, 3 weeks ago on 21 February 2021 03:57 (A review of The Circle)

The was a good movie plot somewhere in here. A searing commentary on social media and a major broadside shot at Google? A look at how Alphabet has manipulated an entire generation of young idealists looking for a quick way to pay off that French Art Appreciation degree college debt? Somewhere along the way, the plot took an eponymous turn and I was left scratching my head.


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The Internship review

Posted : 7 months, 3 weeks ago on 21 February 2021 03:49 (A review of The Internship)

Probably the last hurrah of the "Frat Pack," it tries to recapture the inoffensive buddy-comedy charm of "Wedding Crashers" (including the buzzkill, vibe-destroying presence of Will Farrell). Like Wedding Crashers, it was an easy-to-follow plot about "a coupla-guys" living outside society and having fun while doing it. Ultimately, everyone else comes around to their way of thinking and their lifestyle prevails. The End. Not an unpleasant way to spend the day while a snowstorm rages around you!
Now, about the some of the plot details: here we are, 7 years removed from the film's release and it's amazing how much of the Googleverse, and parent company Alphabet, have changed in such a short time. Another review calls this movie [Link removed - login to see] Maybe in a whitewashed, rose-colored glasses sort of world. For a good Google-related companion piece, watch [Link removed - login to see] featuring Emma Watson.


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Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries review

Posted : 8 months ago on 15 February 2021 06:01 (A review of Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries)

Wow! Dark, ugly and unrelentingly bleak. It jumped on post-9/11 angst, grabbed you by the scruff of your neck and dragged you to those dark places sci-fi TV didn't talk about.


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Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb review

Posted : 8 months, 1 week ago on 11 February 2021 02:48 (A review of Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb)

OK, don't bother to watch Dr. Strangelove until you watch [Link removed - login to see] preferably back-to-back. Why? Well, first, Dr. Strangelove will serve as comic relief after watching the stark, horrifying concepts and paranoia over a nuclear holocaust proffered by Fail-Safe and second, Fail-Safe will give you a proper frame of the reference Strangelove so giddily lampoons.
The movie itself, while dated in it's concepts, is a tour-de-force (or perhaps a tour-de-farce?) From the multiple characters played by Peter Sellers through the stellar acting by some of Hollywood's greatest! And, perhaps with the exception of Slim Pickens' over-the-top B-52 commander, all done with a sublime straight face.


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Out of Exile review

Posted : 8 months, 1 week ago on 5 February 2021 06:36 (A review of Out of Exile)

The collaboration between Chris Cornell and Rage Against The Machine was originally criticized as a one-off vanity project, replacing Zac's politically-charged angst rap with the "grunge" of Chris Cornell's soul-searing, nihilistic howling. Guess what? People liked them! They really liked them and the group spawned two more albums. This one is my personal favorite, probably because, unlike their eponymous CD, which sounded like Chris Cornell was simply replacing Zac for a Rage session, you can hear Cornell's stamp on most of the songs. "Like A Stone," Drown Me Slowly," and "Doesn't Remind Me" are my favorites and the three that have migrated to my streaming playlists. Such a shame Cornell isn't here anymore to create more of this magic.


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Cheap Trick at Budokan review

Posted : 8 months, 2 weeks ago on 2 February 2021 03:44 (A review of Cheap Trick at Budokan)

I was barely aware of them as a kid until radio started playing "I Want You to Want Me" in heavy rotation. Following the success of their Japanese tour, they went from zeroes to heroes overnight. However, none of the songs carry any of the same energy (critics accused them of dubbing the overwhelming audience noise) in their studio format,...ain't that a shame?

To this day, I've owned the 8 track, LP, cassette AND CD!


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Ripper 2: Letter from Within review

Posted : 8 months, 2 weeks ago on 1 February 2021 07:17 (A review of Ripper 2: Letter from Within)

Holy cow! The stuff I'll watch when I'm stuck in a blizzard! Even the presence of Erin Karpluk couldn't salvage this Canadian retread dreck!


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The Man from U.N.C.L.E. review

Posted : 8 months, 4 weeks ago on 21 January 2021 03:05 (A review of The Man from U.N.C.L.E.)

Channeling my inner Rod Serling,...

Imagine, if you will: the year is 1964. The United States is still basking in the afterglow of Kennedy's visionary Camelot society. At the cinemas, the Western World was being introduced to that entertainment juggernaut of a suave, British spy with the three-digit moniker.

Well, this is post-WWII America and anything that Europeans can do, the Americans can do better, right? Well,...

The premise was terrific: take the premise of Bond's role as a righter of wrongs at any cost and serialize it. Give the main characters a numerical ID like Bond! Make the setting what was then arguably the West's center of entertainment, finance and politics, New York City, and nestle it into that center of global politics, the United Netw,...um,....Nations! (Originally, the "U.N." was meant to be ambiguous, but the show's producers feared legal issues with the real UN and fleshed out the name).

The first season, in black and white, as well as the technicolor second season, achieved the show's objectives: despots, dictators and any organization, such as THRUSH (a nod to Bond's SPECTRE) that threatened to disturb the UN's attempt to sow peace and self-reliance throughout the world were usurped by Napoleon Solo, Illya Kuryakin and a who's who of the 60's character actors. And they were done in a cold, dramatic style that made many believe these were real global exploits. And, like SPECTRE, THRUSH was originally meant to have a leader who could easily change identities. Lee Meriwether's character, the ice-cold Dr. Egret, was meant to be the original, but the idea was never fully fleshed out.

The show rapidly became a global, iconic success. But like much of the entertainment industry of the latter 60s, the show because both a victim of its own success. Numerous TV shows and movies, like Dean Martin's Matt Helm and James Coburn's Flint made the concept all-too-ubiquitous. Then there was the acid-dropping silliness that infused Western culture. A poorly-made spinoff, The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., failed to launch. The show devolved away from it's original plan. Now, lunatics with outlandish, camp visions of godhood and global domination often fell victim to their own gimmicky plans, simply with the help of U.N.C.L.E.

Ratings took a nose dive. The 4th season attempt at returning to the more serious, real-world escapades failed to recapture that early glory and the show limped off into the kaleidoscope sunset of 1968.

Sigh,...oh, what it could have been if it maintained the laser-like focus and discipline of similar shows like Mission Impossible!! And that 007 guy? Yeah, he's still around at the movies, isn't he?


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Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Glass Empires review

Posted : 10 months ago on 16 December 2020 05:52 (A review of Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Glass Empires)

Superb! David Mack fleshed out the Season 4 two-part throwaway episodes [Link removed - login to see] into a timeline that spans hundreds of years into the future of an alternate Star Trek universe, featuring some of your favorite ST characters in completely different roles.


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