big_bellied_geezer

IMDb member since October 2000
    Lifetime Total
    25+
    Lifetime Filmo
    5+
    Lifetime Trivia
    1+
    Lifetime Title
    1+
    IMDb Member
    20 years

Reviews

Burke's Law
(1994)

It was good to see Gene Barry once again on prime time TV
I liked the show and wished it could of lasted longer than it did, although I suppose it is a miracle that such a high styled campy escapist detective show like this would even have been revived in the mid-Nineties and went for 27 episodes! In the Fifties to the Seventies this sort of entertainment designed for the small screen went over reasonably well, but now I suspect that there are more humorless TV viewers than ever who possess little patience and even less appreciation of anything with a sense of old school style and flair that BURKE'S LAW had in abundance. Such folks enjoy formulamatic fare like the nightly news, Fox News and CSI and a million copycat shows, they don't and won't try to get something like BURKE'S LAW, which is too bad...

Such easy to understand and digest TV shows around at the same time like MURDER SHE WROTE and MATLOCK were designed to appeal to similar tastes, but with BURKE'S LAW you had to have a more fine tuned appreciation of wit, well timed sarcasm and style plus a tongue in cheek sense of humor to fully appreciate the gifts and sheer force of personality and presence that Gene Barry brought to the screen in his role and to enjoy the campy proceedings at hand. Despite being at the helm of other successful series and in many films, Gene Barry IS Amos Burke, he owns that role!

If you are reading this, then chances are you already know about the original BURKE'S LAW and what it is about, and as others have already written about how the storyline was updated for the 1990's. On this 1990's version, Burke was still as sharp as ever, big name guest stars abounded just like in the Sixties, and for a little while CBS looked like it had showcased a nice revival of a classy Sixties favorite to its lineup. Too bad they didn't order another season

Nanny and the Professor
(1970)

a curious view for todays fans of PASSIONS!
Juliet Mills had a early experience playing a supernatural character long before PASSIONS in this 1970-1971 TV series that also starred Big Valley's Richard Long. The show was well cast and the episodes were generally strong in a lighthearted way, a pleasant way to spend thirty minutes. If you are reading this review along with the others, I will dispense with the normal plot synopsis as the facts of this show are already clear to you. As with most shows that only lasted one or two seasons, this series has been seldom seen since it originally departed from the airwaves. I hope that TV Land or some of the other competing networks for this kind of show will decide to run this again in its entirety, as it is a good clean comedy worth viewing again, and should be a hoot to watch for a serious fan of PASSIONS just for a early glimpse of Juliet Mills!

Vicki!
(1992)

The last of the really decent and charming daytime talk shows.
VICKI didn't last because daytime TV was changing for the worst at the time this hit the air in 1992. The network didn't get behind this and promote it the way that other daytime talk shows of far less quality and charm were being promoted at the time, which is a lasting shame. The look and feel of daytime TV talk went spiraling south with such low class, low brow circus fare like Jerry Springer and a hoard of imitators, Sadly, nobody else was attempting to do a show like Vicki Lawrence tried to do in 1992,OPRAH doesn't even come close to matching VICKI in light and enjoyable viewing since Oprah Winfrey always seemed so strident and forced unlike the naturally charming Vicki Lawrence.

Vicki's fine effort toward creating a entertaining daytime talk show went largely unheeded by the general viewing public, even though I think this show was nominated (or won) an Emmy. Vicki Lawrence was a charming, humorous, intelligent and capable host, reminding the viewer of such genteel TV hosts of the past as Dinah Shore, something that increasingly less patient and sophisticated audiences were seeking in a daytime TV wasteland filled with such mental junkfood TV like SPRINGER, MONTEL and OPRAH and all the rest.

If VICKI had been on the air in 1982 as opposed to 1992 I think it would of lasted a whole lot longer than it did. It was a good show, just at the wrong time. I hope that Vicki Lawrence tries her hand once again at another talk show one day, because she's still quite capable, intelligent and charming. There's a whole lot more to Vicki Lawrence than her humorous take on her "Mama" character from her successful syndicated series MAMA's FAMILY and her time with Carol Burnett on THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW and making a hit album and single in 1973!

Here's Lucy
(1968)

Thank you Luci and Desi Jr. for the DVD set!
I highly recommend this set to Lucy fans. I think it is very well produced and I appreciate the voice over's done by Luci and Desi Jr.

However.....If I were to suggest a few things, I would rather have this show released in a complete season by season format instead of selected episodes. For instance, the Mary Tyler Moore shows would be a good example of how to release this as they are being released (although very very slowly) in a season by season packaging format. I'm not sure this will happen with "Here's Lucy" but it would sure be nice.....so here's hoping for some future volumes of this great show on DVD. Highly recommended to all even though I wished they would release ALL the shows instead of selected episodes. I give it 10 stars!

Callie & Son
(1981)

Not bad until....
....This film is really not that bad at all if purchased for a cheap price and if you don't expect too much from it. Lindsay Wagner puts in a fine performance and the story development/pace is fine until around the last quarter of the film when it falls apart into hokey melodrama. I wished they had just left off the whole murder subtext and wrapped it up at some point after her son grows up. The film felt like a mess because of the trial/murder twist and if it were somehow up to me, I would actually edit that whole part right out! Why do this? Because it needs to be tightened up with some good and selective editing. I feel it runs much too long and if somebody cleaned it up and lopped off that silly trial sequence, the whole film would improve considerably. Quite a few leads drop off with no resolution and the whole thing gets harder to believe as the story line goes for cheap camp value. Editing would help this film. Despite all this, it's still worth a look for Lindsay's fans!

The Delta Factor
(1970)

A seldom seen gem in dire need of a remastered re-release to DVD.
I will not give away the plot of the film, but I will say that if you are a fan of any of the major stars in this film and/or Mickey Spillane stories, you will get a kick out of seeing it. After viewing a nice full screen print, I can say that all the ingredients are there for a fine circa 1970 action/adventure flick, and even though it appears to have been made on a limited budget, the director did just fine with what he had in my opinion.

Christoper George and his co-stars including Diane McBain, Yvette Mimieux and Yvonne DeCarlo all put in fine work here, and the humor and sexual tension and pacing of the film make for a fun diversion.

This is highly recommended if you can find a copy.

Who Killed Teddy Bear
(1965)

Beyond Noir!
Read Son of Cathode's review as he has it right about this great piece of film making that has somehow gone mostly unnoticed by those that fancy dark and gritty films. This film delivers in spades and in my final estimation, I can only add to what others have said before me in saying this was way ahead of it's time when one considers technique.

However, if this was attempted to have been made let's say in 1976 as opposed in 1965, it might of lost something in capturing the gritty underbelly which was somewhat different than the gritty style of a decade earlier and the finished product might have been too slick and obvious for 1976. I'm glad that the film makers were bold enough to have taken on such a project when they did it in 1965 and this film stands as a testament to their boldness.

Look online at some of the big online auctions and you can commonly find this title now days for under 20 bucks and well worth it as this is a must see film for those who REALLY like the noir style.

Mrs. Pollifax-Spy
(1971)

Here is another example of a film that is unjustly lost.
Odd but true, I missed seeing this film when it was new as I was a fairly busy man at the time. Little did I know at that time that this was to be the Roz's last major production. ........And because it was her last film, this is a shame that to my knowledge this has never seen the light of day since it first ran in theaters! What a crime, not only for Roz's fans but also to the fans of Mrs.Pollifax stories as well to be denied the pleasure of seeing the Roz in the Role of Mrs. Pollifax. So I am going to ask to whom it may concern: Please rescue the prints from the vault and put this out on DVD!! Heck, you don't even have to spend a ton of money to restore it to digital standards if you don't want to, just release it as a "budget special" for all I care!! I'd like to at least watch ANY VERSION of this before I check off for good!!!

So who cares if it isn't exactly Roz's greatest film? Who cares if this isn't the greatest filmed version of a Mrs. Pollifax story? What matters here is that this is Roz's LAST MOVIE and that alone makes it WORTH RELEASING TO DVD!!!

Breezy
(1973)

Great 70's movie from the Eastwood library of films...
I have to echo some of the other comments here and say that this great film SHOULD BE RE-RELEASED ON VHS AND DVD!! ARE you listening Mr Eastwood??! A wonderful cross generational love story that doesn't ring a false note, I'm glad I was able to find a copy of the unedited for TV version since I've only seen a TV edited version some years ago and it stuck in my head....it's that good a film and I recommend it to all!

McQ
(1974)

Glad Wayne took the role!
I think it took some guts on John Wayne's part to do these kind of roles late in his career, roles like "McQ" and "Brannigan" instead of playing it safe and giving his long term fans more of what they expected of Wayne(The War film or Western) I felt Wayne pulled off the role quite well even at his advanced age! I thought the basic message of this film was that everybody has a price, not at all unusual a theme for a 70's film. It was nice to see John Wayne in such a contemporary themed film. Of course he would of been great as "Dirty Harry" but I'm glad Wayne met the modern times with films like this and "Brannigan". I LOVED the chases and lingo here!! If I had to choose my favorite film between "McQ" and "Brannigan", I would say "Brannigan" by a very very *slim* margin because I feel it has aged a bit better because there's more humor in "Brannigan" than "McQ". However that doesn't make this film any less worthy of a entertaining view by the fan of John Wayne or the casual film viewer. *** out of a possible **** stars!

The Jimmy Stewart Show
(1971)

Have another look and think.....
As of this message, these curious shows are being ran again on TV. It is worth a look for more than just fans of Jimmy Stewart because they are a curious and mostly successful attempt at what I felt was a thinking person's comedy. If taken in the context of the times it was made, the show rightly asked for more attention and engagement from the viewer while watching, something that was mostly unheard of from most TV comedies of the time and perhaps even now. You can't walk off while watching and come back a few minutes later and "catch up with the story" like most comedies, this show doesn't work that way. I think this came mostly from the writing, each 30 minute episode was filled to the brim with details enough to fit in most hour long shows. All actors in their roles gave decent to great performances including Mr. Stewart who did his usual great job of acting while being "Jimmy Stewart"!

So why didn't the show last longer than it did? I'm not really sure myself but I'm willing to guess. Perhaps it's one, none, or a combination of these ideas.......

1. Longtime Jimmy Stewart fans at the time were expecting something different, perhaps a version of a typical classic Jimmy Stewart movie and what they got was a bit too much of a take of modern life forced upon them with too many details to follow for some of these viewers just to see a glimpse of their favorite star. Better to stay with their old memories perhaps?

2. In the early 1970's, a lot of the younger generation of TV watchers had a pre-conceived notion that watching a "Jimmy Stewart" show was a bit "corny" because he was older and these viewers didn't give it a fair chance?

3. The emergence of an exciting new era of radically different popular comedies in the early nineteen seventies like "All In The Family" "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" diverted much needed viewers away. A case of bad timing?

4. As I mentioned earlier, perhaps it was too much show for the average viewer to pay attention to. The show demanded too much of their attention. No matter how decent or good a show is, most TV viewers(then and now) tend to only want TV to lull them and not to think too much.

5. Perhaps Jimmy Stewart got bored with the project after awhile because he secretly didn't enjoy the grind of a weekly TV show. He like many was a very busy man in his career as well as his private life. Jimmy Stewart was and had been in the USAF Reserves as a high ranking Officer by this time. His Military record of service was and is a legend among many! Perhaps after awhile it became a matter of what was more important to the actor?

Watch the show, enjoy it and be patient. It is just one part of a great actor's career and not bad even on it's own. You should be pleased! Feel free to comment on this post directly to my e-mail or here. Thank you.

Sleeping Beauty
(1959)

Help! Is there some missing footage at the start??!
I watched this film as a child in England during the mid 70's in a Theater and upon seeing it again recently I can't help but wonder if there isn't a slightly longer / theatrical version that existed. I seem to recall that there was a part in the beginning where you see the kings invitations for the birth of the Princess get delivered to the fairies house and one of the 4 invitations to the fairies falls under the rug as they fall into the mail slot by the front door. As a result of this mistake, the formerly good Maleficent becomes bitter and vengeful over what she thinks was a deliberate snub by the King. This is really bugging me as I've looked all over IMBD for a clue! Does anyone remember this who might of seen this film years ago in a theater and not the more recently released versions available on DVD and VHS and laserdisc? Please let me know! Thanks!

Boom!
(1968)

You can see the occasional flash of brilliance here if you wait!
"Boom!" is a film that requires a lot of patience, and if you wait it out and can accept the meandering direction, it will give you an idea of where Tennesee Williams head was at during this time! Williams was quoted to have been pleased with this adaptation of his "The Milkman Doesn't Stop here Anymore" play. Does this film work?...Well yes and no! Meandering direction tries your patience but you do get a glimpse into the mind of a self-obsessed woman by Ms. Taylor who's seen it all and done it all and isn't used to hearing the word "NO". A tighter script would of helped. It's KINDA campy but I tend to think the term "Camp" is overused a lot by too many people. I think John Waters described this film best by declaring it "failed art". I feel the acting is ok by the actors involved. You have to pump up the volume in a film like this to draw you in! Remember Ms Taylor's character is supposed to be essentially unlikeable and shrill and there is no such thing as a happy ending in such a picture. A odd and strangely compelling film if you have the patience!

Gosford Park
(2001)

A character study..and that's all!
A film that irritates many upon it's first viewing (and for many the ONLY viewing!) I feel that Gosford Park is only good in the sense that it hints upon thru it's far too many characters the interactive relationships between the servant class and the upper class. I do not consider this a murder mystery or a "comedy"(where the H**L did the promoters of this film get the idea that this was a "COMEDY"??!) There is not enough character development for the important characters and there are far too many distractions! The film is overlong considering the content and the ending is rather abrupt. I do feel despite all of this that it a "OK" film but it's NOT GREAT by any means. However I do find it's still worth a look but it's not for everyone. This film requires a lot of patience to watch and you need to be feeling ALERT, calm and have NO DISTRACTIONS while watching or you will miss something! I feel this sort of film was done better in the past and the sad truth is this may be another example of today's Hollywood and critics losing their way by holding this film up to such high esteem. People have such short memories that they will accept ANYTHING if they are hungry enough. Has everyone in the business forgotten the past??! It's as if all the old masters have died and no one really learned or cared how to follow and grow in their footsteps. The feeling I get once again is that Hollywood can never make rich films again along the lines of "The Sound and The Fury" or "Murder on The Orient Express" because it conviently castrated it's creativity in the name of heavily marketed pretentious "McDonald's" style film "products" geared to "target" audiences. Sadly it's become ALL about the bottom line and even LESS about the ART.

Where's Poppa?
(1970)

A film that takes comedic chances and wins big!
Short of most John Waters films, today's cinema offers little by way of absurd comedy. Generally speaking, cinema has sold out to Nike, Madison avenue and all the rest of the greedy faces behind Hollywood who make sure their "clients" products are wagged in yor face and written into the script.(Think of "What Women Want" or "E.T." for instance) Well, here's a film that takes comedic chances and pays off big! This film is a equal opportunity offender and is in nobody's pocket! Segal and Gordon are in perfect pacing and timing thanks to Carl Riner's direction and no holds barred attack on everything. I can not recommend this film enough to the intelligent viewer who hungers for more than the banal "comedies" of today which are for the most part nothing more than padded 90 minute commercials.

Foreplay
(1975)

Entertaining small film.
This film reminds me in some ways of what the early 70's TV series "Love American Style" might have been like if it was a R rated theatrically released film! Harmless overall, laugh out loud funny and even has it's share of low-brow wit like a John Waters film! This movie is broken into three mini segments that don't directly relate to each other with the exception of the "introduction" by comic "Professor" Irwin Corey! Segment one stars 60's comic and real life protest presidential candidate Pat Paulsen in a tale about a "life size" doll! Segment two stars Jerry Orbach as a writer with writer's block and his relationships with women and my personal favorite Segment Three! Segment Three stars Zero Mostel in a insanely funny double roll as a mobster and the President of the USA and the great Estelle Parsons as the First Lady! To say much more would give too much away! This is not a major classic by any means, but it has it's great moments especially in the third segment! Segment three is especially worth a look if you like absurd political satire from the 70's in a style that might remind you at times of the work of John Waters!

The Trials of O'Brien
(1965)

Anyone out there actually seen this show??
Any show that starred Peter Falk and Elaine Stritch can't be all that bad! I've heard the theme music on a old Ray Martin LP from the mid 60's and the music sounds great. If anyone remembers this show, please share your memories about the show! I'm very suprised that nobody has written about it considering the enduring popularity of it's stars.

Destination Tokyo
(1943)

A film that still floats well!
Here is a great small war movie propelled with the talents of star Cary Grant and a fine supporting cast to boot. Not a major classic by any means but a delight that stands up to repeat viewing. This film was made in the general spirit of great 40's films with it's action/comedy pacing, there's hardly a dull moment. The film feels true to the spirit of the times it was made as well, no false notes struck here. As a footnote, I've noticed a few earlier reviewers noted the presence of "The Skipper from Gilligans Island Alan Hale"...sorry, that's not so. That man is Alan Hale Sr, a very talented actor in his own right who's the FATHER of Alan Hale Jr of Gilligan's Island fame(It's a bit confusing because they both were known as "Alan Hale" and they both looked very similar.) Pick it up for cheap and add it to your collection, you'll be glad you did!

Della
(1969)

Does anyone recall seeing this ground breaking show?
This show was quite a ground breaking event in 1969! As I understand, it was the first prime time talk show in the USA to have a African American host, of course in the form of the incredible lady known as Della Reese! Also as I understand the show was not carried in several TV markets in the south because of bigotry in programming choices. My understanding is that the show may also have been eventually syndicated into the 1970 season as well. As a footnote, Della Reese is far more than the star of a show called "Touched By an Angel", she's also one helluva Grammy nominated singer who has had a remarkable career with a least 20 or more albums to her credit thus far!! You should hear some of these fine albums for yourself to believe! I was not around back when this show was on, so I wonder if any of you remember the show. I heard it was quite good, but what else would you expect from such a survivor like Della Reese?!!

The Courtship of Eddie's Father
(1969)

A wonderful and realistic TV series
This show really worked in large part to the way the late great actor Bill Bixby handled the part with such realistic care and ease. This gave the show the right texture and feeling and was a nice platform for the young Brandon Cruz to work from. The show also worked because of the unique combination of the talents of the whole cast including the great Miyoshi Umeki and of sensitive and intelligent script writing. Like many others, I would like to see these episodes repeated again on one of the classic TV networks.

Mannix
(1967)

Mannix is a show that still grabs your attention!
One of my and many others most favorite TV show of all time! This show has it all, great production and acting, cast, writing, action, great visuals from the beginning credits to the end and awesome Lalo Shiffrin music to boot! This is the kind of TV show that not only showcased the best of the times it was originally done in, but also could serve as a inspiration and lesson to the writers and producers of action TV shows today to at least TRY to match this kind of quality in their productions!

Never Say Never Again
(1983)

NSNA is a bit weak but....
I see it as a film you have to take with all of it's noted flaws intact. It's not all bad, and it's not all great, somehow wavering strangely down the middle. I think that most early to mid eighties films are going to look dated by now, so I don't feel that this is a valid criticism. Also the theme isn't so bad in a crappy soft jazz format/Sade sort of way that was trendy then! I just recall how I felt about it at the time of it's release. I recall hearing about the legal battles it took just to get it made, and I feel like others do that this really hurt the film from the beginning. I was also excited to hear that Sean Connery was going to reprise his role as Bond, and I was curious how he would handle it after a little more than a decade absence from the role. My first impression was he did ok, but with the absence of the other usual character actors and the legal troubles that interfered with the creative process and production, I felt that perhaps it was a film that really didn't need to be made at all. Perhaps Connery and Company jumped too soon and a wait until Roger Moore's exit from the official Bond franchise with the 1985 Bond film "View to a kill" would have been a better time for Connery to have stepped back into the role of Bond. It might even be plausible to have him do another Bond film today, even with him being older and with the right kind of script! I CAN imagine it and I think it would be most cool indeed! Mr. Connery is a fine and enduring actor with a great many awesome films to his credit before and since NSNA. As a longstanding "A" list actor, Sean Connery has always tried to seek out new and different kinds of roles outside of the Bond franchise. Of course, we the public will always see him as the definitive Bond even in a sometimes troubled film such as NSNA.

Goldfinger
(1964)

The Standard by which later Bond films will be judged....
A great piece of escapism that has held up well thru the years as a tightly paced film and a standard by which other Bond films are often judged by. There are so many great scenes in this film that tickle me every time, when Bond outsmarts Goldfinger on the golf course, the Pussy Galore flying circus scenes, the scenes where the Mob bosses are eventually snuffed out, the Lincoln crushing scene because it's so outrageous to have crushed a new car, and the scene where Goldfinger gets pulled thru the plane's broken window to his demise, and many others. The classic theme as sung by the still great Shirley Bassey is a "10"!!(I saw her perform recently in Atlantic City NJ and she is awesome!..only odd thing is she did every Bond theme she recorded except "Goldfinger"..not sure why.) I have always enjoyed this film upon repeat viewings thru the years and always looked forward to it's occasional showing on Sunday night on ABC network in the years before video players were a common household item. I have always wondered about one scene in the movie if it's a mistake or not....when Bond and Goldfinger are fighting in the Plane for the gun and the gun goes off, there is a long shot of Bond grabbing hold of one of the plane's seats as Goldfinger is flying toward the broken window..but I swear there is a person lying in the isle on the floor near Bond!?? If this is so, who is it supposed to be? A person who got knocked out when debris started flying? Is it the Asian hostess that spied on Bond when he was on board the last time? It's such a quick shot I swear my eyes are fooling me! I hope someone can answer my question!

Barnaby Jones
(1973)

A Great Show I wish I could see again!
Another one of Quinn Martin's great 70's TV series, as a previous user said this show did come of as unintentionally funny at times due to the advanced age of the always entertaining Buddy Ebsen! I remember there would always be a scene in almost every episode where Mr Ebsen would stiffly run after someone. I kept thinking as a little kid that Buddy Ebsen looked soooo Skinny and frail that a puff of air could knock him down! Yet despite all of this, the show held our viewing interest for six seasons, perhaps we were drawn to the subliminal message that milk is good for your bones because it was obviously helping Barnaby Jones not to snap like a matchstick!

Cannon
(1971)

A Great Show I wish I could see again!
I agree with the others about the quality and the care that each episode of Cannon had. A memorable TV show that only ended because William Conrad grew tired of doing it and wanted to end it on a high note. There was a "reunion" TV movie called "The return of Frank Cannon" done around 1980 as I recall. Perhaps it will see the light of day again in reruns.

See all reviews