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Don't expect me to commend movies with great cinematography but depressing subject matter.
As I was born in Iowa, you should expect a little corn along with your meat and potatoes.
Straight up good vs. evil movie with baddies you'll love to hate
I gave this movie an extra star to up its average, even though it's already well thought of.
There's never much question as to who's good and bad, leaving the movie to spin out the up-and-downs (and subtleties) of their battle throughout the movie.
This is one of those movies with a bit different shape to the plot than you might expect, giving the movie new life as the plot unfolds.
I can't think of a film where I didn't enjoy watching Brian Donlevy. I can see how others might criticize his more understated performance, but while actually watching the movie I didn't have any such thoughts myself.
The rest of the headlining and supporting cast is excellent; you'll be rooting for the good guys and against their opponents from early on. In this day of flawed heroes and sympathetic villains it's nice to see the struggle among characters laid bare, with their internal struggles tied to the plot rather than their own "complexities".
Once Upon a Mattress (1972)
Great story and cast
I watched this in 1972 and I loved the ending, as I didn't know the previous history of the on-stage musical (musicals?) that preceded it. Always better the first time.
And I loved the supporting cast, especially Wally Cox's role. I sense that Wally Cox's star has faded more than others in his class of performers.
Early in the DVD era, I found somebody on eBay offering taped-from-the-air video of pretty poor quality, and I bought it. But I just learned that in 2016, TimeLife came out with UPC 610583525496, "Carol+2", which includes this show, though it's not in the cover art.
I'm only including this here because there doesn't appear to be a way to answer my fellow member's "Q".
So, it's classic, it's good, it's available, you can watch it with your kids (if you pry them away from their tech)... what else do you need to know?
Some artistic license taken, but not a "tabloid" version of events
Without giving away any specifics of the plot per se, I be making some comparisons between the fictionalized account and historical information and the overall scope of the story.
For example, Howard Carter was born in 1874 and was therefore 49 at the time of the opening of King Tutankamun's tomb. He already had a significant career behind him at that time. Carter was cast as a younger man for this series.
As for the story line, the overall flow of events was similar to what many people know about historical events, but with more color than a simple statement of facts. Artistic license was taken, given that this four-part series was meant as entertainment, not documentary.
In fact, this show led me to read up on some of the events, fictional or otherwise, and it seems that the writer did immerse himself in a number of personal journals and diaries and clearly knew much about the story.
I wondered if Evelyn, daughter of Lord Carnarvon, was a real person, and she was indeed quite real and did spent time at the dig site. She was born in 1901 and was therefore 22 at the time of the discovery.
I would have liked to have seen more of Howard Carter's life after the discovery, and more about the journey's of the artifacts themselves. As I've already mentioned Carter's earlier life, you can gather that "Tutankhamum" focuses on the years immediately before and after the great discovery.
In the end, just as Amadeus wasn't a documentary about Mozart, and this is not a documentary about the discovery of King Tutankamun's tomb, both stories were engaging and thought-provoking.
Almost a B+ - some original ideas in a timeworn format
In my opinion this movie is better than it seems from the other reviews here.
The SciFi (which I pronounce "Siffy") Channel has released a whole series of potboilers with a plot I describe as "last man standing". In those movies, a group of initial protagonists gets picked off one-by-one until only one person (or one good-looking young couple) remain alive at the end of the flick.
And you would think that "Stasis" was going to go right down that path, but it really doesn't. Not quite. And while the overall setting is so close to at least one current streaming TV series that it's almost plagiarism, there are some unique ideas that might get your attention (unless I'm overselling this thing, of course).
Personally, I like the ending "okay", but as with many "B" movies, they didn't put it over with as much punch as you might hope for (if you agree with me that some of the Star Wars movies really nail their endings, then you probably get what I mean).
But again, it's clearly a step ABOVE those movies that make you say "What? It's over? Did they just stop filming or something?"
Very well made "B" movie with cliché plot
The spoiler is about the story arc rather than details but stop reading if you don't want to know.
This must be one of the best MADE "B" movies I've ever watched. Though it is NOT a pot-boiler like so many movies on the SciFi Channel, it still ends up devolving into a "last man standing" movie where the only suspense after a certain point is to see which character will be bumped off next.
Iconic themes like the rise of multi-planet giant companies and terra-forming are raised and left by the wayside in the rush to build suspense for... which character will be bumped off next.
With a less clichéd plot this movie could have been "A" material.
I liked Kellan Lutz, who reminds me of Karl Urban.
Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)
Likable but muddled and overly simplistic
I checked the "spoilers" box out of caution but there are no specific plot or character elements described below.
I kind of liked this movie as I watched it.
To tell the truth, I found a few of the "tacked on" international protagonists and scenes to be a little annoying. They were no doubt included to make IDR an "International" movie, but given that the original Independence Day was clearly an American movie, still a little grating. I want to call this tendency in recent movies the International "Bass-O-Matic" Effect.
True, the plot imbues a vast and powerful (i.e. successful) alien intelligence with the tactical abilities of a five-year-old playing war in the front yard, but for me that thought came more on reflection as I mulled things over towards the end of the movie.
One reviewer called the movie "boring", but in contrast I found that there were too many plot lines for the run-time of the movie, creating a busy muddle that prevented any of the plot lines from being fully developed.
But, I still kind of liked watching the movie.
If Independence Day was a juicy sirloin steak, then Independence Day Resurgence is a pretty good hamburger.
Slower moving than I remembered it
This may be (I only did a little research) Danny Kaye's final lead role in the movies, yet comes only a few years after our favorite Danny Kaye movie, Me And The Colonel. I enjoyed The Man From the Diner's Club when I first watched it, which must have been whenever it arrived on television after its release in 1962-63 (when I was nine years old).
Seen today, the movie generally moves too slowly, especially in the beginning, as if most of the movie is a set up for the final climax and resolution. Yet the movie never quite catches fire, perhaps held back by the reliance on the familiar Danny Kaye "schtick", which by this point in his career must have been very familiar to theater goers.
We watched it during the Christmas holiday, 2015, as I wanted to share my decades old fondness for the film with my best friend, who gradually warmed to the movie as it developed.
But for me, a dyed in the wool Danny Kaye fan, the film stayed slow until the end.
Return to Warbow (1958)
So, why would you watch this movie?
I checked the "Spoiler" box out of an abundance of caution. Not much below that you don't learn in the first few minutes of the movie.
The question is: Why would somebody have gone to this movie in 1958? The protagonist is an admitted killer, and for us the overall plot was given away by the GetTV synopsis. Much of the rest were pretty predictable.
The acting and production were generally good, though the Styrofoam boulders showing their white insides and the conspicuously lightweight beams in the mine were silly lapses.
I've been a fan of Jay Silverheels, though I've read he resented playing secondary roles. If that's true, then this was probably one of his least favorite (and minor) roles.
So, back to 1958. Maybe people were going to see Phil Carey. We watched because we were taking it easy at home, but that's about as far as it goes.
Sol Invictus (2012)
I can't believe other people hate this movie!
I was utterly surprised at how poorly this movie was reviewed by some people.
Bottom line, this movie had me in its grips from almost the beginning.
While perhaps there were a few forced moments in the plot, I really didn't know what was going to happen, and yes, I cared about the characters.
I watched this with my 9-year-old son and we both like it.
For me there was an appropriate amount of mystery, and I even liked the spareness of the setting, the dialog and the plot.
This movie is not about space. It's about PEOPLE.
Death in Paradise (2011)
Great ensemble and individual acting, good detective stories
I give Death in Paradise a "10" not because I can't imagine a better show, but simply because I can't think of any specific thing I would change.
Yes, Sara Martins is wonderful as Camille and it was nice to see Ben Miller again (after Primeval) as another stiff, grumpy guy (but considerably more brilliant in this series).
But I am particularly impressed by the whole ensemble, where each character is so thoroughly distinct, much more so than in many other shows.
To somebody who watches a LOT of detective stories there are of course familiar plot devices, but they are few hints of what's coming next in these scripts. (After all, each victim and potential perpetrator either DID or did NOT take part in the deed, so the total "universe" of detective plots probably numbers in the hundreds to thousands in one way of looking at things, but it's the WAY those possibilities are revealed that makes for a good detective yarn).
I'm sorry to read that Ben Miller will be leaving the show during the third season. It's hard for me to imagine that the show will improve, or even maintain its level.
But I'll be there watching, once it reaches the USA.
Superman: Unbound (2013)
Better than I thought
I've been unsystematically going through a lot of these Warner movies and this is one of the better ones for me, if not the best. I'm an old (uh, maybe that's not the best word) Superman - Batman fan, so I keep an eye on the the two series and the Justice League from time to time.
Though others have described this movie as a basic super-people brawl, I found enough character development and interpersonal "stuff" to make it more interesting than a simple super-fistfight.
I would have preferred a bit of the "old" (40 years ago) comic book Braniac, as the current Brainiac doesn't seem very "brainy" in this outing, but I like what's going on with Super Girl.
My favorite Superman characteristic is that in the end he USUALLY outwits his opponents rather than simply pummeling then into the ground, and there is a version of that in this movie as well.
I don't know the numbers, but count me in as as adult fan who likes the stories to be as intelligent and "meaningful" as possible. Keep 'em coming, Warner Bros.
Bonanza: The Jackknife (1962)
Even though they pick the worst people to befriend...
When I was a boy shows like Bonanza and especially Perry Mason were always "in my way" when I wanted to practice music but my parents wanted to watch TV in the same room.
Now I watch every episode of Bonanza I can.
(spoiler coming) The joke around our house is that the Cartwrights have simply the worst choice in friends, and in many episodes those friends go bad in a big way.
But this is one of those where the boys (in this case Adam) make a real difference in somebody's life, helping the "bad friend" to make the right choice in the end. The best kind of Bonanza episode (along with the silly ones).
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
Unwatchable in spite of sometimes creative filmography
We ordered this "in desperation" on DirecTV and struggled to watch only 10 or 15 minutes worth before bailing out.
My friend is a middle school teacher and we certainly sometimes watch non-adult movies, but this effort really scraped the bottom of the barrel.
I was kind of interested to see the words and graphics on screen, which may be some kind of a trend as we also recently saw similar effects on the BBC "Sherlock" series, but in the case of Scott Pilgrim they didn't seem to help.
The action was disjoint "in a bad way", and the only way the characters and plot reminded me of my own youth was in a vaguely remembered feeling of being somewhere I wasn't so sure I wanted to be.
If you still have two brain cells to rub together, you've got one too many for this movie.
Me and the Colonel (1958)
A Danny Kaye movie that more than stands the test of time
This is a wonderful movie, well made and well acted, that gives us the chance to get to know the characters as the story unfolds.
As the movie begins, the setting in Paris as the Nazi army takes power in World War II is a familiar one. We're given a gentle introduction to Danny Kaye's character, one S.L. Jacobowsky, as he copes with the privations of wartime and finds creative ways around them.
The familiar setting also gives this movie more of a timeless feel than some of Danny Kaye's "camp" films such as The Court Jester (which I nonetheless put in my system recently while testing new connections and then sat down to watch to the end.)
I'm a great fan of Danny Kaye the entertainer, including the shtick (usually), but I like this movie precisely because it shows a side of his talents that we saw in only a handful of films, and perhaps on his television show. So sit back and relax and stop worrying the movie will dissolve into one of those camp musicals - it won't.
This is a wonderful role for Curd Jürgens as well, though almost anything I say would be telling too much. Nicole Maurey does a lovely job filling out the list of main characters.