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The Andy Griffith Show

Wholesome Family Fun
They sure don't make shows like this anymore. It was wholesome, the characters were driven and sometimes politically incorrect, but nevertheless, it was a great show for the whole family to enjoy. Andy, Barney and Opie were all great characters we would come to admire over the course of the show. Don Knotts happened to be the breakout actor on the show, playing Barney Fife. He left the show in about the sixth season to pursue feature films.

The only character who never seemed like she'd warm up to anyone is Aunt Bee, but maybe because in real-life she hated the show, working with Andy Griffith and Ron Howard. The show was a starting place for Ron Howard as well, as he eventually became a renowned director/producer in his own right, but he has never forgotten his roots.

The Haunting of Sharon Tate

Quite the Disappointment
I was looking forward to seeing this film for some time, and then I did. The Haunting of Sharon Tate is more fiction than fact. Hilary Duff did an okay job imitating and playing Sharon. The reality of the crime that this movie is based upon veers completely off course to the writer/director's imagination. The first 40 minutes were good, but the second half of the movie was terrible.

Whomever green-lit this film should be held in contempt, because it almost completely disgraces the actual crime and the victims. A lot of what happens in the film is totally made up. The closest thing to the truth of the actual crime was in a dream that Sharon has where everyone was killed the way they were in reality.

The Secret Life of Pets 2

This animated film was actually enjoyable, up until one of the dog characters used the word "pissed." I was seeing this film in theaters with my nine-year old and he looked at me and said, "they just cussed." They sure did, and I was surprised the MPAA let that get by for a PG rated film. They're sure letting a lot of things go nowadays, I guess.

Otherwise, the film was pretty enjoyable and a had a better story than the first Secret Life of Pets. This time around, the pets get out of the apartment and go to a farm. The farm story sort of reminded me of the Garfield Christmas special, and nostalgia kicked in. There is a character in the film with 100s of cats, and they're much like Aunt Sarah's cats, Si and Am!

I'd say there will most likely be a third Secret Life of Pets in a few years.

Toy Story 4

Kind of Letdown
If you're looking forward to happy moments, you won't find many in Toy Story 4. It is the end of an era, and the ending of the Toy Story franchise (for now!). The animation is great, crisp and beautiful. I wouldn't expect less from Pixar. I was however, not happy with how the film ended. It wasn't what I had hoped for at all. I will say no more. It is definitely a must-see.

It was great that they included Bo-Peep in the series after 20 years, but I think that focusing the story solely on her kind of loses the momentum of the first three films. My question is still looming; what happened to RC? He isn't included in Toy Story 3, but is briefly seen in Toy Story 4.

The series is definitely delving into darker toned stories for sure.

Pet Sematary

A Godawful Remake
What were the writers thinking when they sat down to write this travesty? It's not even close to what Stephen King wrote at all, not even!! This version is totally different from the original 1989 version, more cult like. What was Jason Clarke doing when he signed up for this?

The only other actor whose name I recognized was John Lithgow, and he must be hard up for money to have done this cash grab. His acting wasn't too bad really, which is sad, because he's a talented guy. However, with all the make-up and special effects, he wasn't right for this film at all.

So much was missing from this remake, it's not even the same basic story.


Not Impressed
For starters, I don't like seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger in a dramatic role, he is better suited for action and comedy. The entire time, this film reminded me of a film titled, Carriers. The acting in Maggie was bad, especially by Schwarzenegger, and I can't honestly name any other actor in the film without referencing the cast list. This film was nothing but a cash grab for Arnold!!

Other than the terrible acting, the film was reminiscent of romance drama from the Twilight series. Oh boy!! This was not a very good film at all. Schwarzenegger needs to stick to the Terminator franchise, at least then his accent doesn't take away from the film.


WTF?? Kevin Smith Should Stick to the ViewAskewniverse
I don't think Kevin Smith should be writing or directing horror films, it's definitely not his forte. This film is so messed up beyond belief, it was gut-wrenching to watch, not just because of the horrible things going on, but the writing and acting were terrible. Justin Long overplayed his character; he should not be the lead in any production, good or bad!!

It's really hard to believe this film is the start of a Canada trilogy by Smith, produced by his wife and acted in by his daughter, Johnny Depp and Depp's daughter! Oy vey!! This flick is hard to watch, but honestly, I liked Depp in this film, and that's saying a lot. And the ending was so bad, I would rather have seen Justin Long's character dead, and I think he wanted the same. I'm pretty sure his career is dead!!

Avengers: Infinity War

Like a Fine Wine, The Avengers Get Better With Each Film
With every Marvel Cinematic Universe film, the stories get better and they each get deeper. They also are getting longer, this film runs for 2 and 1/2 hours. Well worth the runtime, and you'll get a glimpse of nearly every MCU character to date, which is cool.

Is the end of the MCU coming? Maybe in a few years from now (2019), it'll be epic!! The Disney studio has done a tremendous job with bringing the films from script to screen. I may be a tad biased, but the MCU is much better and higher quality than the DC universe. In twenty years, the MCU films will be remembered much better.

Infinity War is a great comic book film! Watch the entire MCU to understand the story though, or you'll be lost. Happy watching.

The Simpsons: Woo-Hoo Dunnit?
Episode 22, Season 30

Behind the Scenes?
This is the second behind the scenes episode of the series after Behind the Laughter in season 11. This is more of a crime show documentary style of a show. The narration is fairly good, and the story is pretty funny. The police, headed by Clancy Wiggum try to solve the crime. The entire family are suspects, sort of similar to Who Shot Mr. Burns.

It's a very interesting episode, especially if you're into crime shows like The First 48 or CSI. The narration is somewhat like that of Rod Serling on the original Twilight Zone, the narrator even makes an appearance. Who committed the crime, you might ask? Well, you'll have to see the episode. Not bad for a Disney owned show!!

Papa Moll

Interesting Movie...Reminiscent of Willy Wonka (USA title: Adventures at the Chocolate Factory)
This film was one I happened to find by accident at my local retailer, it had been thrown in with some discount movies. The cover of the Blu-Ray was titled Adventures at the Chocolate Factory, and also had a flying car pictured. It reminded me of a cross between Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I never read the info on the back of the box, that this is a Swedish film and had been dubbed into English.

However, the movie wasn't bad, it was actually entertaining. The only downside is that the English dubbing wasn't the best, but children will enjoy it nonetheless. It is also not rated, but no profanities are used or anything obscene, it's a great family film. It also reminds me somewhat of The Cat in the Hat live action feature in the ways of set decoration and costumes. The colors are vivid and bright and will keep a child's attention.

Star Wars

The Space Soap Opera That Started it All
Who knew this film would leave a tremendous mark on film history and make George Lucas as famous as he is? If it hadn't been for the great success of Star Wars (the original title), Indiana Jones probably wouldn't have been made either. Star Wars was one of the greatest films of the 1970s, and created a cult phenomenon larger than that of Star Trek! The marketing and merchandise helped to make the film an even bigger success.

Eventually followed by two sequels in 1980 and 1983, respectively subtitled as Episode V and Episode VI to distinguish them. Star Wars was later retitled as Episode IV. The success of this film on VHS in the 90s was cause for George Lucas to create the prequel trilogy, and an idea for a sequel trilogy.

This film made a major star of Harrison Ford, and to a lesser extent, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill; and icons of R2-D2 and C3PO as sidekicks.

Weekend at Bernie's II

Reality Check
To all the reviewers who gave this film negative reviews and said it wasn't as good as the first, I'm sorry to say that you are wrong. It wasn't supposed to be like the first film at all. This film was meant to be more slapstick funny. I'll admit, it was low-brow humor, but it was still very funny.

Some of the plot devices didn't seem right, but until you watch the film in it's entirety and don't compare it to the original right away, it has it's good parts. The only part that didn't make much sense to me, until later, was the harpoon gun under the ocean. It took a few minutes to figure out why, but it gave a lot of laughs afterward.

Nova: Vaccines - Calling the Shots
Episode 14, Season 41

The Science is In...
When it comes to this documentary from Nova on PBS, the definitive answer is that autism is NOT caused by vaccines. Are there too many vaccines? maybe. Are there too many too young? Possibly. I'd like to think that Franklin Delano Roosevelt would have been happy to see vaccines for diseases, especially polio.

Are there too many vaccines to be taken? The answer is not simple as there are more diseases and strains of diseases now, more than ever before. The fact that people link autism with vaccines however, is just untrue. Get vaccinated!

The Simpsons: Stark Raving Dad
Episode 1, Season 3

Fox is Wrong to Remove This Episode
There is nothing wrong with this episode that it should have been pulled or removed just because Michael Jackson guest starred. It's a very bad road were going down as a culture when history is erased. The Nazis did the same thing in Germany. To eradicate history is showing the ignorance of Matt Groening and Fox. They are dead wrong on this decision.

Plus the fact that Michael Jackson doesn't even play himself should be noted. Plus the character of Leon Kompowsky appears in an episode in season 29. What else will they erase and make like it never existed. Where will the censoring stop?

Bethlehem Ranch

A Great Holiday and Spiritual Film
The acting in the film wasn't the best, but good for a B-film. It was very surprising to see Tara Reid in a Christian film, very out of character for her. Not sure who casted this film, but have they seen her resume? However, she plays a rude, loud mouthed lawyer and is a very unappealing character.

The story was great though, about a rancher who has lost his wife and reunites with his adopted daughter. Eventually, the rancher and the town come together for Christmas. It was sort of a Hallmark-y story, but not hokey. It seemed genuine and very heart felt. A happy ending.

Howdy Doody's Christmas

Horrible "Christmas" Special
Apparently in 1951, children liked scary clowns and Santa Claus being kidnapped and beaten for Christmas!! The sepia tone didn't help at all. And only the last thirty seconds were animated (not sure why it was included in a cartoon DVD). A terrible mess, and I thought Howdy Doody had higher standards.

The clown looks incredibly frightening and would give Pennywise from Stephen King's It a run for his money! This short is just an overall fail. I don't know how children of that era didn't have nightmares after watching this trainwreck!! One of the worst Christmas specials I have ever watched. I do not recommend this for children under 7.

An American Christmas Carol

An Updated Adaptation of A Christmas Carol
An American Christmas Carol is truly a great revisioning of an already classic story, it's an adaptation that's high on the list. Starring Henry Winkler (Happy Days' Fonzie) as Benedict Slade as a Scrooge-like miser and set in a New England town during the great depression of 1930s America, it gives a close to home feeling. Basically, the same story unfolds as it does in the novel from which it's taken, three spirits visit and a look at his (Benedict's) life.

Being a television production from 1979, the film seems dated however. But it's also fitting that it has aged in this way, and it feels more nostalgic being set during the depression. Maybe it was made to feel this way or perhaps it was just a happy accident. Either way, it works well with the films narrative. If it had been filmed with theater quality cameras, it may not be able to evoke the same feeling. It's a great, feel good Christmas movie.

Poochini's Yard

Funny Throwback
Poochini's Yard is a throwback to the old Looney Tunes library when a cartoon was just a cartoon. Not sure why people get their panties in a twist over this show. It is much more harmless than shows that are on now, especially if you want to talk animal abuse. Family Guy has done worse to Brian and people still watch it.

However, Poochini wasn't a show that lasted very long, but those who watched it will remember it. The show produced a single DVD that includes a handful of episodes, including the Christmas short, Poochini's Tree. It was a funny show, and missed. Billy West and Dee Bradley Baker are great voiceover artist who both lent their talents to this wonderful show.

National Lampoon's Vacation

The Original and One of the Best
When you think about the 1980s, it's hard to imagine without Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold. One of the best films to come out in 1983, National Lampoon's Vacation is a cross country, family road trip comedy. The director, Harold Ramis and the writer, John Hughes made for a great combination.

Of course Chevy Chase stars alongside Beverly D'Angelo as Clark and Ellen Griswold as they trek from Chicago to California. Along the way, they visit Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid's first appearance) and Aunt Edna (Imogene Cocoa). Some of the best lines and scenes in the movie involve Aunt Edna. She was a great character, similar to Aunt Bethany in Christmas Vacation.

This is the installment that includes the the theme park Walley World with Marty Moose. Vacation features John Candy in an early role and his first collaboration with John Hughes. Also featured in an early role is Eugene Levy as the car salesman. A fun movie, but rated R (a soft R) for language and some partial nudity.

Super Street Fighter II X: Grand Master Challenge

Great Game for the SNES
Super Street Fighter II Turbo was one of the greatest achievements of the Super Nintendo era. It may have been a two dimensional side scrolling fighting game, but in 1994, it was top of the line. This game even helped spawn the live action film of Street Fighter. Each one of the characters in the game has their own unique levels, with breakables.

There are even bonus levels if you play the arcade version, including smashing barrels or a car. The player difficulty can be changed too, which was a new feature in this version, which means if you have a pro playing an amateur player, the fight will be fair. The arcade play through is fun and can be played by two players until you reach the end when you are up against M. Bison. He's a tough boss, so be ready to fight him a few times.

Have fun and play on!!

Fallout Shelter

Similar to Sims Games
A free to play game on the PS4 and it can be addicting and time consuming. Essentially, you are an overseer in an underground vault and are in charge of taking care of your guests for infinite time. This would be considered a God-like game, similar to Sims. Part of the Fallout series, this game is side scrolling and doesn't really have an end objective.

If you are a PS Plus member, you'll be given exclusive goods if you play on the PS4. The people in your vault have to do different jobs to keep the vault active and themselves alive; like cooking, running electric stations, water plants and even procreation. They must defend the vault against intruders and monsters too and there are even missions you can send people on.

The game is fun, but probably best played by teens and adults.


A Surprising Film
Babe, an entertaining family film with a talking pig. What's so surprising, the film was nominated for numerous Oscars in 1996, winning one for visual effects! Based on the novel "The Sheep Pig" by Dick King-Smith about a pig that helps his owner herd sheep on the farm. James Cromwell stars as Farmer Hoggett, in one of his earlier recognizable roles.

The story is interesting, but sometimes can feel like it's been drug out for dramatic effect for too long. Babe reminds me somewhat of a live action Charlotte's Web meets Animal Farm meets Chicken Run. The movie was filmed in Australia and Cromwell even takes on an Aussie dialect for the film.

Babe is a family film, however, small children may not understand the story very well.

Vegas Vacation

One of the Best Vacations
In the fourth vacation film, we see the Griswolds visiting Las Vegas. This is definitely a better installment than European Vacation, more laughter and more family friendly. The fact that Wayne Newton plays himself in a bit role designed to mock himself is hilarious. And of course Randy Quaid returns as Cousin Eddie in his best vacation role yet.

The sub story about Rusty getting a fake ID and then gambling is the best part of the whole film. The film did receive a PG rating, which was the lowest MPAA rated film in the series. Sid Caesar makes his final big screen performance as the old man at the Keno game. The film is full of a small roles filled by well known actors like Wallace Shawn and Julia Sweeney.

Not sure why National Lampoon didn't attach their name to the film, it's a great installment.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

The Best Vacation
Ironically, the Griswolds don't go on vacation in this installment, but rather stay home for the holidays. Clark's antics still play a major role too, as he clashes with his family and the neighbors. The neighbors, Todd and Margo are played by Nicholas Guest and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Also in Christmas Vacation, we get to meet the parents of both Clark and Ellen.

Again, as in the other Vacation films, the Griswold children are played by different actors, this time Johnny Galecki and Juliette Lewis. They are among the more famous names to play the Griswold kids. Doris Roberts of Everybody Loves Raymond fame plays Ellen's mother. And the holiday wouldn't be more fun without Uncle Lewis and Aunt Bethany. Bethany, played by Mae Questel, the voice of Betty Boop!

The most fun you'll have on vacation I'd staying home!

Shrek 2

Story Flows Better Than the First
The story really does have a flow that's better than that of the first film. This time around, Shrek and Fiona have just returned from their honeymoon after they were married in Shrek. Being that Fiona is a princess, her parents now want to meet her husband. This installment has a great back story to why Fiona was locked away in the first film.

I enjoyed the cast voiceovers more than anything though, with Julie Andrews and John Cleese playing Fiona's parents, the king and queen of Far Far Away. And Far Far Away is supposed to be a kingdom, but looks a lot like Hollywood and Beverly Hills. The ending has a twist that, if you haven't seen the film, will really be unexpected.

Shrek 2 is a fun sequel that's even better than the original, and that's unusual.

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