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Monthly Archives: November 2009

Yes-Minister & Yes-Prime Minister Are British Shows That Should Still Be In Production.

The Brits have the full spectrum when it comes to TV series, some clearly belong in the dung heap, some are not crap and a few are even roses.  Yes Minister and its sequel Yes Prime Minister are roses by any other name.  Each series ran for only three seasons (very typical of the BBC) and were immensely popular in England as well as Europe.  Because it is English/European you will have the added benefit of coming off as very cosmopolitan when discussing it with friends.

The show is a satire of the bureaucratic civil service that typifies the workings of government.  The series has been described as a “closely observed portrayal of what goes on in the corridors of power [and] has given me hours of pure joy.”  Rt. Hon. Margaret Thatcher MP.   The three main characters Sir. Humphrey (head of the civil service), Bernhard (the minister’s private secretary) and Jim Hacker (the minister of administrative affairs) are trying to out maneuver each other in formulating and implementing clearly ridiculous government policies.  The supporting cast is equally as humorous as the “big three” in their involvement with the consistent tug-of-war between the civil service and the elected officials.

Both series are worthy of watching and each deserve a rose.

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2009 in Movie Reviews

 

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Whenever a Cuban Revolution Occurs Take Advantage of it and Make a Movie.

I am not a big Woody Allen fan; in fact most of his movies are dung heap material. Allen’s voice is whiny and annoying, and the “I’m eccentric and Jewish” routine gets old fast.  However, there is one particular piece that borders between not crap and a rose: Bananas.  A parody of Castro and the Cuban revolution, most of this movie is actually quite funny and entertaining.  Perhaps the best parts are the cameo appearances by Howard Cosell who applied his trademark “telling it like it is” sports commentary technique outside its typical milieu and into the realm of banana republic assignations and the consummation of the marriage between Allen and Farrow at the end of the movie.  If only Allen could have worked Cosell into his other movies, maybe he would now have a career worth looking back upon. We might even have given him a pass on the Sun Yi episode. As it is, I am left with the impression that Allen has still not fully explored the comic potential of the Cuban Revolution. This movie was good, but in the hands of a Mike Judge (Office Space, Idiocracy) or a Blake Edwards (the Pink Panther collection), it could have been great.

If you want to seem like some quasi intellectual to impress a date or someone from the chardonnay drinking and chicken salad eating crowd you might do well to bring this old dog out of retirement.  The bottom line is that Bananas was not crap but not quite a rose either.

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2009 in Movie Reviews

 

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I Can’t Believe They Put “Miami Vice” On This Movie.

I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but we are not limited here to current movies, we will talk about and rate movies from any and all time periods, genres and national origins.  Today we go back to 2006 and the 1980’s when we look at Miami Vice the movie.

I am shocked that Michael Mann, maker of the great series that defined the 1980’s Miami Vice (Don Johnson and Phillip Michael Thomas) directed the 2006 big screen version of the classic TV show.  How could someone who created the original Manhunter (1986) fall from grace so quickly?

Not only were the performances by Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell so terrible that they should be arrested for bad acting, but I still don’t know what the movie is actually about—and I watched it several times to try and figure it out.

I know movies are a time for a break from reality, but this movie would have you believe Crocket and Tubs are some form of super cop, racing boats in the opening scene, driving Ferraris like Mario Andretti and then flying an Adam A500 twin piston engine plane— a rare plane (a little more than ½ a dozen were made) that is almost considered a light jet.  I mean come on, choose one maybe two out of the three but that is it.

Miami Vice (2006) serves as the foundation of the dung heap, I wanted my two hours back and so will you.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2009 in Movie Reviews

 
 
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