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Surprisingly Good And I Hope We See A Sequel
I will be entirely honest with you-I wasn't expecting much from this Hulk movie. After viewing the initial trailers, I thought, 'Oh no, this is gonna be rubbish.'
However, I was glad to be proven wrong and actually found this an enjoyable movie out of all the summer movies I had seen and I anxiously await the DVD release and the inevitable sequel.
Firstly, I think there are different types of people who didn't enjoy it. I've read some good comments on here from people who didn't enjoy it and I could see their points. Some people judged it on it's own merits and didn't like it which I think is fine. However, some people-before it had even been released-were comparing it to the 70's TV show and I think this subconsciously affected their judgement. I've heard people saying they didn't enjoy it because the Hulk was not CGI, there was no Lou Ferrigno in it, there was no Jack McGee in it and it was different from the TV show.
The TV show was the finest piece of work ever seen on the small screen. It was directed by Kenneth Johnson who was a real visionary and I still have respect for his vision of The Hulk. But this new Hulk movie wasn't made to imitate the original series. It was more in line with the comic book. In the comic book, The Hulk could jump for miles, throw tanks in the air and was a giant. Obviously, the TV show didn't follow the same path and featured a more tragic story and realistic events. I respect the visions of both Kenneth Johnson and Ang Lee. I just don't think it is constructive to compare a 70's TV show to a 2003 movie. The original TV series was perfect so there was no need for it to be told again. I think this movie needs to be judged for what it is and if people don't like it, that is fine. But not liking it because it is different to the TV show is, in my opinion, wrong.
Eric Bana does a pretty good job as Bruce Banner. Again, I am not going to compare his performance to the late great Bill Bixby. Bana did a good job of making the audience feel sympathy for him and I hope he is given the opportunity to expand on this in any future sequels.
The big guy himself was CGI but early trailers were misleading. He looked great on that screen and I liked the close-ups of his face and the anguish on it. And he looked amazing as he threw tanks into the air and jumped for miles. Fans of the original comic book Hulk will love those scenes.
Jennifer Connelly did a good job as Betty Ross and succeeded in giving here character some depth. Again, a two hour movie cannot really do justice to an interpretation of a comic book character. Perhaps if we can see a Hulk 2 and Hulk 3, then we can see more of Connelly's portrayal.
Sam Elliot did a fantastic job as General Ross. He was quite different to the General Ross from the comic which was a good thing. The comic book General Ross barked orders and acted like a clown at times which would not have been good for a movie. Things do need to change when adapted from comic book to big screen.
Nick Nolte did a superb job as David Banner, who was the father of Bruce Banner. Fans of the comic book will know about the abuse young Bruce suffered at the hands of his father and Nolte does a good job here actually making the audience feel both sympathy and disdain for his actions.
Josh Lucas played the villainous Glen Talbot. To be honest, he did a fair job but I didn't feel too much for the character.
I strongly urge you to see this movie-there are some great scenes such as The Hulk's battle with three mutated dogs and a scene where The Hulk ends up in the troposphere whilst on a USAF jet. And there are several nice references and nods to the original TV series. Plus, Stan Lee is in it and there's a brief cameo by Lou Ferrigno.
There may or may not be a sequel. I certainly hope we see a sequel so we can explore everything in depth. So movie producers, if you're listening, please can we have a sequel? If we don't get one then I may get angry. Don't make me angry, you wouldn't like me when I'm angry.
Knight Rider 2000 (1991)
Fairly Enjoyable And Honours The Original KR Series Well
Knight Rider 2000 was not without a few minor faults; however, these faults were so minor that one could easily forgive them when viewing this enjoyable movie.
I don't really rate most reunion movies as they never match the spirit of the original but to be fair, how can they ever? Can an artist recreate an original painting? No, so you have to let a few things pas by when reviewing a reunion movie.
The story is set in 2000 where police officers are forbidden to carry guns and criminals are cryogenically frozen. The Foundation for Law and Government still exists but K.I.T.T. is just a memory and Michael Knight has been on one long sabbatical. A policwoman is shot in the head and one of K.I.T.T.'s original chips is implanted in her head. This means she will eventually team up with Michael Knight (who comes out of retirement) and K.I.T.T. (whose brain was kept even after the car was scrapped). Eventually, Michael and Shawn (the policewoman) do battle against the evil Thomas Watts (played by Mitch Pileggi), the man who originally shot Shawn.
Firstly, the minor faults. No mention of Bonnie (or April) and RC3 from the original series. This is always a problem with reunion movies; you wonder if it would really be that hard to at least mention characters who don't show up for the film. Secondly, one fault (considered by most fans) is that K.I.T.T. is not a black Trans-Am and that there are no major stunts in this movie. However, I didn't find this a fault as for once, the characters carried the show and whilst K.I.T.T. should always retain an important part in the KR universe, we didn't need to see him Turbo Boost or Ski Mode in order to make the story great. The story was great despite the lack of stunts.
And, it is an interesting story with interesting characters and a very good plot. Some reunion movies can show lazy scripting but I didn't see this in KR 2000. It's hard to find fault with this film even if you look for it (which I didn't). It is a shame we didn't get to see this develop into a TV show (even a short-lived one). The final point I'd like to make is how devastated I was at the death of Devon Miles who was an integral character in the original KR. The actor who played Devon- Edward Mulhare- died of cancer a few years after this show.
If you can appreciate that this will be different in some ways to the original series, then you will enjoy it. KR 2000 does a good job in honouring the spirit of the original series whilst giving KR fans something new.
After Watching This, Roll On X-Men 3
Absolutely happy! That is the only word I can use to describe my feelings after spending my hard-earned money to see X-Men 2. It was worth every penny.
Firstly, the makers of superhero films such as this have an unenviable task. They have to please hardcore comic fans and casual movie fans which is no easy task. And The X-Men-with their forty years of history and continuity-are perhaps the hardest heroes to put on the big screen. Well, I've spoken to many hardcore X-fans and casual movie fans and they all enjoyed it too.
I won't go into great detail about the plot. Let's just say that The X-Men and their enemy Magneto have to join forces to combat an even bigger threat. I enjoyed this movie so much because for the first time in years, I didn't read ANYTHING about the plot or any reviews prior to viewing it. That is why I'm not going to go into great detail about the plot. Just enjoy it.
All the favourites are back including my personal favourite Hugh Jackman as Wolverine (I hope Wolverine gets his own movie franchise one day). The makers of this movie have done a great job in making sure various characters get the right amount of screen time. We'd all love our favourites to get more screentime but with so many X-Men (and women), the producers have to do the best they can; and they do indeed.
There are a few really great special effects in this movie but unlike some special effects laden movies, the plot is more important in this movie. Furthermore, the movie is much deeper and really makes you think. Marvel comics (and movies) have always been deep and many of the issues have reflected real life. This movie is about persecution and intolerance of mutants and reflects many issues from the past and the present such as Hitler's treatment of the Jews and the different ideologies of Martin Luthor King and Malcom X. In fact, many longtime X-fans have compared the X-Men's Professor X to Martin Luthor King and the evil Magneto to Malcom X. Seeing a movie like this cannot only provide a couple of hours of entertainment but make you view society in a totally different way.
This is the best superhero film since the 70's (when we saw gems such as Superman The Movie) and the 80's (when we saw Tim Burton's Batman). It was a fantastic film but it begs one question-how are they ever going to top this?
Ultimate Force (2002)
If you want to see character development and soapy plots, then I'm afraid you've come to the wrong place. If it's action you're after, then Ultimate Force is for you.
Former Eastenders hardman Ross Kemp plays the tough Sergeant in this show about the notorious Special Air Service, one of the most secretive regiments in the British Army. This is a show about one thing only-action and plenty of it!
The SAS are one of the most elite forces in the world, having seen action in places such as Oman and Iraq during the Gulf War. They are a highly trained regiment who go in, do their job with the minimum of fuss and causing as little damage as possible, and then they leave. This show did a great job portraying the S.A.S. Whilst some of what happened in this show may not be what the S.A.S. gets up to in real life, it is still a fantastic show which portrays the S.A.S. how they deserve to be portrayed-as courageous soldiers. This was a very good show which I hope gets a second series.
Who Dares Wins?
Red Cap (2003)
Following on from the late 2001 pilot TV movie, Red Cap continues with it's portrayal of the British Army's elite Detective Squad, the Special Investigation Branch.
With star performances from EVERYONE, this is an unmissable show following the detectives each week investigating crimes committed by and against The British Army.
This show has a lot going for it. Thankfully, there are no soapy sub-plots. No romances (yet). And, the stories are fast-paced. It is a great detective show. Ex-Eastenders star Tamzin Outhwaite stars as Sgt. Jo McDonagh, a female trying to fit into what is a male-dominated arena. Other performances to look out for are James Thornton as Staff Sgt. Roper, a bit of a mystery man, but very good at his job. Also, Douglas Hodge plays the irascible Sgt. Major Burns, a man you wouldn't cross but would love to have on your side.
This is a review of Series 1 of Red Cap, which ended on a high (I won't spoil it). It is one of the best shows produced by the BBC these past few years and I hope it returns for a second series.
WWE Confidential (2002)
Excellent Show...And Don't Let Anyone Tell You Differently
I've been a fan of WWE/WWF wrestling since the 80's. I yearned for a show like this for years and finally, in 2002, I got my wish.
Hosted by the ever dependable Gene Okerlund, WWE Confidential goes behind the scenes of the WWE and examines all the big stories, past and present. But it does much more than that. It goes outside the WWE arena and scrutinizes the wrestler's private lives, other interests and pre-WWE careers. It meets the fans, it discusses wrestlers hobbies. Basically, it gives you everything you wanted to know about the WWE. This is the place to go if you want all the juicy gossip in or out of the ring, past, present and future.
There have been some great episodes over time. My favourite was where William Regal showed us his reptile collection in his home. Another good one went inside Trish Stratus's house (boy, I wish I had a house like that). There have been other memorable episodes.
Any serious WWE fan can not afford to miss this. This is essential viewing for fans of the WWE.
The Yogi Bear Show (1961)
I have been a fan of ALL Hanna-Barbera cartoons for a long long time now. They are all pure fun, very very funny and just totally wacky. What's not to like about them?
Yogi Bear featured, well, Yogi Bear. He was joined by cute sidekick Boo-Boo (a nickname I gave to my baby brother many many years ago). Together, they caused havoc at Jellystone National Park. Much like Hanna-Barbera's other creation Top Cat caused havoc for Officer Dibble, Yogi and Boo-Boo caused havoc for Ranger John Smith.
There was a lot of fun in all the episodes as Yogi and Boo-Boo did what normal bears do-nick food. Of course, in real life, a bear will not only nick food but nick your head as well. Thankfully, Yogi and Boo-Boo were a little more mild-mannered.
All in all, a fantastically funny show. One of my favourite scenes which I still remember now was where Yogi shot an arrow through the window of a cafe and the arrow-in mid-flight-caught a cake, a turkey and something else. The arrow came out another window and hit a tree where Yogi was waiting to collect his food.
See why I liked it?
Plenty Of Fun
I have heard many negative comments about this feature in the years since it aired. However, I quite liked it even if it did have a few faults.
This is an adventure featuring Scooby, Scrappy, Shaggy and Googie (Shaggy's new girlfriend). Shaggy is now a racing car driver. Fred, Velma and Daphne are nowhere to be seen unfortunately but don't let that spoil your enjoyment of the film.
Back in Transylvania, Dracula needs a werewolf to compete in a car race. For some bizzare reason, he sends a disgusting pair of hunchbacked little boys (called The Hunch Bunch) to go to the U.S. and turn Shaggy into a werewolf so he can compete in the race. After a couple of failed attempts, The Hunch Bunch manage to turn Shaggy into a werewolf and bring him to Transylvania to race. The only way Shaggy can turn back to a human is by winning the race.
There's plenty of fun in the film and The Hunch Bunch are a funny pair. One is a moustached little boy with smart hair and a well-spoken accent. The other is a bald, ugly eyed little creep who can not stop spitting when he talks. They get up to plenty of mischief in the film and are probably the best thing about this film.
All the monsters are here-Dracula, Frankestein, The Mummy and a few others (look out for Genghis Kong). And there's plenty of fun throughout.
Tow more points about the characters-Googie is the girlfriend of Shaggy and it's a shame she didn't ever make a comeback to Scooby-Doo. She'd have made a great addition to the team. Secondly, I like Scrappy-Doo and I think it's a shame he has been missing from the recent animated movies. Scrappy was a courageous little puppy and the stories had a great variety when he came on board. The pre-Scrappy years consisted mainly of the gang unmasking a monster/ghost who turned out to be a normal guy. When Scrappy came on board, there were a different variety of stories. Also, Scrappy was a great role model. He spoke clear concise language (unlike some modern day characters with their illiterate ramblings) and acted in a positive manner. Long live Scrappy!
This Show Needs No Introduction
I'm not going to talk about what the rules are for this show. Everyone knows it's about answering fifteen questions correctly to win £1,000,000.
This has been going in the UK since 1998 and it has spread all over the world. It is presented by the charismatic Chris Tarrant who has a great rapport with the contestants and provides plenty of entertainment. There have been some wonderful contestants over time. Some of them have been reckless gamblers, some of them have been cautious and some of them have just been damn strange.
I like the show because it's not easy. People really have to work for their money. The first few questions are easy but after, that, they are really hard.
There's several puzzling things about the show though. Why are the audience so stupid when a contestant 'Asks The Audience?' Why does 50/50 always leave the least obvious answers? And, why when Chris Tarrant phones the contestants friend, is the phone never engaged?
It is now 2003 and the show has been running for nearly five years. And it's set to get bigger thanks to the notorious 'Millionaire Fraud Trial' where British Army Major Charles Ingram, his wife and another contestant were found by a jury to be guilty of cheating to get to the million. Whether they did cheat or not will be debated for years to come? What we can be certain of is that the publicity arising from the trial will ensure Millionaire's continued success for years.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987)
When I first heard about this show, I thought to myself, 'No way am I going to enjoy this. This is purely for very young kids.' Surprisingly, I was wrong.
The Turtles are four ninja's who take their orders from a rat called Splinter. They live in the sewers and they have a friend above called April O' Neill who is a reporter. They battle enemies such as the ninja Shredder, the rhino Bebop and wild boar Rocksteady. Oh, and let's not forget big fat pink Krang who lives in another dimension.
To me, it looked like a show for very young kids. But, I actually enjoyed it. I loved the dialogue ("Cowabunga dude!") and I enjoyed the stories. All the characters-both good and bad-were an integral part of the show and had some great scenes.
Turtles trained as ninja's who love pizza and fight evil. What's not to like about that?
The Running Man (1987)
Great Film And Closer To Reality Now More Than It Was In 1987
In The Running Man, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays Ben Richards, an innocent man accused of mass murder. The film is set in 2019 and Ben is forced to take part in a gameshow called The Running Man, a gameshow where you literally have to fight for your life.
This is a great film full of the usual Arnie action and with an interesting premise. Richard Dawson plays slimy gameshow host Damon Killian who blackmails Ben Richards in the film and Maria Conchita Alonso plays Amber Mendez, also on the run with Ben Richards.
The action in this film is great and there are some interesting villains in the show. Arnie does his usual good job (he says f**k you better than anyone else) with some great dialogue and there's the usual fisticuffs and explosions. The characters in this movie are all characters you can feel some kind of emotion for (whether it be love or hate). This is one of Arnie's underrated gems.
I first watched this movie back in 1987 and to me, it was just entertainment and pure fantasy. That was 1987. I'm writing this in 2003 and this show may be closer to reality than you would think.
All over the world, since the late 90's but more so during this century, there have been a glut of reality TV shows. Big Brother, Survivor, I'm A Celebrity:Get Me Outta Here. More and more shows seem to be reality than fiction. People are literally doing things on live TV that may have seemed unrealistic years ago. This is an interesting point. Back in 1987, The Running Man was fiction. Here, in 2003, a gameshow like The Running Man may be closer to reality than anyone would have ever thought possible. TV producers are continually trying to top their last effort-don't be surprised if something similar to this film appears within the next ten years.
Not Gerry Anderson's Best Show But Still Enjoyable Enough
Compared to classics such as Thunderbirds, Stingray and Captain Scarlet, Terrahawks paled in comparison. However, to be fair, let's judge it on it's own merits. Perhaps comparing an 80's puppet show to a 60's puppet show isn't ethical.
Terrahawks featured a military unit called Terrahawks (led by Dr. Tiger Ninestein) against an evil alien called Zelda (easily the ugliest character in any TV show) and her even uglier son Yung-Star. Zelda is one of these aliens who won't settle down and get a hobby, preferring to conquer the Earth instead (I wonder what these aliens do for fun after they've conquered a whole planet). Anyway, Ninestein and his Terrahawks Unit (which included characters such as ace pilot Hawkeye) battled the evil forces of Zelda each week. Joining the Terrahawks were two annoying but loveable robots Sgt. Major Zero and Space Sgt. 101 who were usually getting on Ninestein's nerves.
The show does seem rather dated now. A new process was used in the TV show-supermacromation where the puppets didn't have strings(unlike Supermarionation which used strings in the 60's shows and paradoxically, looked better). I don't know if I'd enjoy it if I watched it now. And whilst it was largely enjoyable, it was lacking that certain something that seperates a good TV show from a really great TV show.
But, all in all, kids will love it and it did have it's moments. Enjoy!
The Sweeney (1974)
"Get Your Trousers On-Your Nicked!"
"Get Your Trousers On-Your Nicked!", was the quote from this highly popular series which ran from the 70's to the early 80's.
The late great John Thaw played Detective Inspector Jack Regan and was joined by Dennis Waterman as Detective Sergeant George Carter, they were both detectives for New Scotland Yard.
Don't look for too much character development in this show. It's all about car chases, fights, gunshots and the like. It was the perfect show for testosterone driven males like myself who were only interested in action. D.I. Regan and D.S. Carter were two tough sons of guns-they engaged in fistfights routinely and couldn't stop drinking. They took absolutely no notice of the rulebook and did whatever they pleased.
The 70's were a great time for action shows and this a fantastic show, well worth a serious look.
The Twilight Zone (1959)
The Best Anthology Show Ever...Often Imitated, Never Duplicated
The original Twilight Zone is, without a doubt, the best anthology show ever. Far superior to the 1980's version and anthology shows that came after, this is a superior TV series.
Each of the stories had great dialogue, fantastic plots and really creepy endings. I won't go into detail about the stories because it would spoil it-but they were creepy and thought-provoking at the same time. Some of the plots were pure fantasy at the time but now in 2003, some of the plots may be close to reality...and that's the scary thing.
Throughout it's history, the show's guest stars read like a Who's Who of Cult TV. You had William Shatner from Star Trek (in an absolutely fantastic episode) and there were other stars as well such as the late Bill Bixby. It was fantastic.
(ALERT-MAJOR SPOILER AHEAD)
The best story for me ever was a creepy tale featuring Burgess Meredith (The Penguin from the Batman TV show). He is a bookworm in the episode and loves spending all his time reading. He is ridiculed for this. One day, he is in an underground library when there is a nuclear holocaust above. Now, he decides he will stay underground and read as much as he wants. Then, in a horrible accident, his glasses fall to the ground and are shattered. After finally having the opportunity to read to his heart's content, he has now been deprived of his one hobby forever. Creepy or what?
(END OF SPOILER)
All in all, perhaps the creepiest show ever. Definitely cult TV with a capital 'C.'
Big Break (1991)
My Favourite Sport Combined With A General Knowledge Quiz Show-Fantastic!
My favourite sport to play is snooker. I also like general knowledge quiz shows so combine the two and I am one happy chap.
The entertaining comedian Jim Davidson teamed up with former snooker player John Virgo to present this entertaining snooker game show in which three snooker players would team up with three contestants each week.
The first game went like this-the three contestants would answer general knowledge questions in order to win seconds on the clock for the snooker players. The players would then try to pot as many balls as they could. The player who potted the least balls in 60 seconds would be knocked out along with the contestant.
The second game went like this-the players would try to pot as many balls as they could, each ball worth a particular value (such as £20). The player who potted the least money for his contestant would be knocked out. One contestant left (but not before the defeated contestant would attempt one of John Virgo's trick shots).
The last game was the best (obviously). Each ball corresponded to a prize. A red ball for example may have won the contestant a microwave. Higher balls such as the brown ball may have won the contestant a large cash sum. The player would try and pot all the balls; if the black ball was cleared within a particular time, the contestant would win a mystery star prize (either a car or a holiday). Well, that was Big Break for you. Those were the games in between Davidson and Virgo's banter.
If you like snooker and you like game shows, this is the show for you.
It Was Good When Grayson And Forsyth Presented It
The first presenter of The Generation Game was Bruce Forsyth, an entertaining old chap who put on a good show. The second presenter was Larry Grayson, who also did a good job. Forsyth returned to present the show for four years and then Jim Davidson took over in 1995. Davidson is a very good host and did a great job with snooker quiz show Big Break but he wasn't suited to The Generation Game which went downhill when he started presenting it.
Each week, four couples (not necessarily couples, they could be mother/son or father/daughter) would take part in activities ranging from making cakes to making balloon animals to performing sketches. Two of the couples would be knocked out if they had less points than the other. The remaining couples would then engage in a sketch (usually a play). One couple would win and go onto the conveyor belt where dozens of items ranging from teddy bears to bottles of wine would pass. Whatever they could memorize, they took home. That was the format of the show.
It was funny and original and original hosts Bruce Forsyth and Larry Grayson did a great job. As I said earlier, Jim Davidson did his best but quiz shows always suffer when the original host leaves. Also, during it's last years, the Generation Game format became quite boring as the games were usually either singing or dancing and each show just merged into the one previous.
But, it was fun whilst it lasted and did give me some happy memories so long live the Generation Game!
Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)
Exciting Third Installment
What is the first word that comes into most movie fan's heads when they hear there is going to be a third installment of a film? The first word is usually 'Yawn.' But not me, not with Lethal Weapon 3.
Mel Gibson and Danny Glover do the impossible and entertain us all just as much as they did in the first two films. I must have watched each Lethal Weapon film about ten times each and I still find them entertaining. I don't have a particular favourite but this film comes close.
What can you expect from this film? Well, the same things that made part 1 and 2 work. You've got Gibson, Glover and Pesci again all doing their stuff. Plenty of action, intrigue, comedy and general wackiness. And also, the beautiful Rene Russo makes her debut as well. You really cannot go wrong with this film.
If you're a Lethal Weapon fan, then you will love this!
Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
Mel Gibson and Danny Glover returned as Detectives Riggs and Murtagh in this equally entertaining sequel to the fantastic Lethal Weapon.
Yes, the crazy detectives are back, annoying both the bad guys and their superiors. The beautiful Patsy Kensit is also here as Gibson's love interest and we meet the talented Joe Pesci who plays Leo Getz. Yes, all the stars are here.
What can you expect in this movie? The same stuff from the first movie. Car chases, shoot-outs, fights, tragedy and all that other stuff. And some of the best dialogue you'll ever see in any cop movie.
I won't go into detail about any of the scenes because I do not wish to spoil it. There's some classic dialogue in this movie too which I also won't spoil. All I will say is this-put your crazy head on, strap yourself in and go on one wild ride with the two zany detectives.
Despite what I have said, this isn't a comedy. It has it's comedy moments but it is mostly action, and plenty of it.
The Best 'Six Million Dollar Man' Episode
***MAJOR SPOILERS THROUGHOUT***
The Six Million Dollar Man was my favourite TV series at one time and this is without a doubt the best episode of the show (actually a double episode).
Steve Austin and the OSI agency are in the woodlands of California conducting some research into earthquakes. A routine day, one would expect. Wrong! Bigfoot is also on the prowl and he kidnaps two scientists. Austin finds the trail of footprints and soon catches up with Bigfoot. They battle each other and eventually Bigfoot flees. To add to Austin's troubles, an alien race is hiding in the hills and their experiments are about to cause the deaths of countless innocents. Can Austin save the day?
This is the best episode of the series. For starters, the sexy Stefanie Powers is in it. Secondly, late wrestling star Andre the Giant (who was about 6 foot 11 inches) does a good job as Bigfoot. Thirdly, the episode is pure action and fantasy. Having Bigfoot and aliens in one show may seem like stretching credibility but the story is actually very good and very gripping.
The whole show is good but the best bits are when Austin battles the huge Bigfoot. Great scenes.
All in all, the best episode of one of the best TV shows ever. As far as the UK goes, I know it is available as part of a video boxset which also includes an A-Team video and a Knight Rider video. Check it out!
The Six Million Dollar Man (1974)
I Wish I Was Him
The Six Million Dollar Man was one of my favourite TV shows, a show that I enjoyed without fail each week.
Lee Majors played Col. Steve Austin, an astronaut who suffered an accident and was rebuilt by government agency, the OSI (I think it stood for Office of Strategic Intelligence). Austin was the world's first bionic man (well, not really because it later transpired that there was a seven million dollar man but that's another story). He had a bionic eye which could see for miles; he had a bionic arm and two bionic legs to help him run fast.
The show was very entertaining. The sound effects as Austin used his bionic body parts were great. The sound of the bionic eye looking miles ahead-FANTASTIC! The sound of the bionic arm breaking a door down-FANTASTIC! The sound of bionic legs running faster than any normal man-FANTASTIC! Whenever Austin jumped or ran fast, it would be done in slow motion which worked a hell of a lot better than if the scene had been speeded up.
Richard Anderson played a good role as Oscar Goldman, chief of OSI (perhaps not the big chief but some kind of chief). He had good chemistry with Lee Majors on screen and it showed.
There was also Martin E. Brooks who played Dr. Rudy Wells, the man responsible for Steve's bionic body parts. A great character who had his fair share of great storylines.
The episodes were pure 70's fantasy. Austin took on spies, robots, aliens and even Bigfoot himself (my favourite episode). The music was great, the sound effects were great. The whole show was great. Definitely worth checking out on video or DVD.
Family Fortunes (1980)
Fun Show Even If There Were Some Stupid Answers At Times
The first person to comment on this show has very much explained the rules so I won't say any more on that except that this show was extremely entertaining and essential viewing in my household up until about 2002.
It has been hosted by the truly talented Bob Monkhouse, the great Max Bygraves and the entertaining Les Dennis. Some new guy took over in 2002 and it was relegated to an afternoon slot when I would be at work so I haven't watched it since 2002.
Some of the answers given by the contestants over time are truly amazing. I remember one question years ago- "Name something you can break." The first answer the contestant gave was, "a safe." Hmmm! The correct term is usually to crack a safe, not break a safe. More obvious answers would have been your bones or a cup or plate.
Another funny answer was this one. Les Dennis asked the contestant to name a spiked animal. Hedgehog had already been picked so I guess the next logical answer would have been porcupine. Did the contestant pick that? No, his answer was lizard. Hmmm!
But it was all good fun and like I said, essential viewing for a lot of people from '79-'02.
One final point. No-one representing this quiz show has every stopped me in the street asking to survey me. Hmmm!
The Grimleys (1999)
Nostalgia And Comedy Rolled Into One
Watching the first two series of The Grimley's every Sunday night was an absolute pleasure. It featured stories from a time where I grew up and it just brought back some memories for me.
The Grimley's were a strange family. Gordon Grimley was the young schoolboy who was an intellect and had a major crush on the English teacher Geraldine Titley played by Amanda Holden. There was Darren Grimley who was the brother of Gordon and totally the opposite character to his brother. There was the mother Janet Grimley who kept the house in order. And there was Baz Grimley, a lazy scruffy workshy oaf who spent every episode with his bottom firmly embedded in his chair, not moving but doing plenty of slobbering. That was the Grimley family.
The other scenes were set in the school. Comedian Brian Conley played psychotic P.E. teacher Doug "Dynamo" Digby who was dating Geraldine Titley and who took great pleasure in bullying the pupils. There was also the Music Teacher Neville Holder played by ex-Slade singer Noddy Holder who had some great scenes.
The show didn't have one particular theme. It was all about nostalgia for those like us who had grown up in the Black Country. It was funny but nostalgic at the same time. It was just half an hour of fun each week...until the last series.
The last series was very average. Doug Digby was killed off and the show suffered after that. I'm not saying that one particular character was integral to the show's success. But every character is a cog in a big wheel and if one character leaves, the quality of the show suffers. Digby was replaced by a woodwork teacher who didn't have the same rapport with Geraldine Titley. Also, Gordon Grimley had become a teacher (the third series was set a few years after the end of the second one) and we were seeing less of Baz. To be fair though, the last episode was good. Baz finally left his chair which his bottom had been embedded in and there were other great things too.
All in all, it was good whilst it lasted and gave me plenty of pleasure.
The Paul Daniels Magic Show (1979)
Fun-Filled Show Featuring One Of The World's Greatest Magicians
It is no exaggeration to say that Paul Daniels is among the elite when it comes to magicians. The man is an absolute genius on stage and this show which ran from 1979 to sometime in the mid-90's was just fantastic.
Currently, in the UK, Saturday night TV is dire (in my opinion). We usually get boring reality shows featuring talentless no-bodies who are after fifteen minutes of fame. How I long for the return of real entertainers like Paul Daniels.
The Paul Daniels Magic Show was an hour of absolutely everything magic mixed with fun and games. Paul did everything-card tricks, vanishing tricks, role play, the lot. Each week, Paul seemed to top the previous show. At one point, I thought he may actually be using real magic (if such a thing exists) but obviously, it is all sleight of hand. Paul would also do role play where he would play a character whilst committing magic at the same time. Joining him was his wife Debbie McGee who took part in the fun and games.
This was the most entertaining Saturday night show ever in my opinion and it was a sad day when it ended. However, Paul has left the viewers of his former show with enough fun-filled memories to last a lifetime.
Now, that's magic!
The Royle Family (1998)
...was the main quote by Ricky Tomlinson who played Jim Royle, head of the Royle family in this enjoyable comedy about a Liverpool family.
Nothing much happened in each episode. In fact, every episode took place in either the living room or the kitchen of the Royle household. The show consisted mainly of swearing,TV watching, passing wind, making tea, bickering-all those things the average family does. And that is where the show was fun. It was one hundred percent exactly how most families act. We all bicker, and watch TV and swear and this is what the Royle family did.
Ricky Tomlinson was Jim Royle and Sue Johnston was Barbara Royle. Barbara worked in a bakery and kept the house together. Jim was a lazy fat scruffy oaf who spent most of the episode with his bottom firmly embedded in his chair whilst the family did everything for him from making the tea to answering the doorbell. Also featuring were Denise Royle and her boyfriend Dave and the youngest son Anthony. Jim spent the whole episode being crude, sitting on his bum and doing nothing. Also visiting was Nana from time to time.
There were some funny scenes and quotes in the show. I'm not going to quote them here because they won't be as funny. The best thing to do is to buy or rent a video/DVD and watch the show. It won't run forever (how many episodes can you do about a family sitting on a sofa in the living room?) but the episodes that have been made are really funny.
Telly Addicts (1985)
Telly Addicts ran from 1985 to sometime in the late 90's (I'm guessing 1996 or 1997 but I could be wrong) and it was a reasonably entertaining show.
Each week, teams of four would battle it out to find out who were the bona fide telly addicts. There were various games in the show ranging from general TV knowledge to games where the viewer would view a scene from a show and answer questions about it. Everyone on the show had a good time and it was all good fun.
It wasn't the greatest quiz show in history but it was fun whilst it lasted.