sonya90028

IMDb member since December 2007
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Reviews

The Birds
(1963)

Classic Hirchcock drama.
This film, is one of Alfred Hitchcock's best, and most intriguing. Tippii Hedren shines, as a wealthy woman, named Melanie Daniels. Melanie, runs into Mitch, a handsome San Francisco attorney.

Mitch wants to get his young sister a pair of lovebirds, for her birthday. Melanie makes it a point to find out where Mitch lives, and she decides to deliver the lovebirds to Mitch's sister, as a surprise.

After finding out the Mitch lives in the tiny village of Bodega Bay, Melanie rents a boat, and then takes the lovebirds to Mitch's place. Melanie is attacked by by a seagull, on the way back in the boat.

This is just the beginning, of strange behavior, by all of the birds in Bodega Bay. They all suddenly go berserk, and start attacking all of the local citizens. And no one has any idea why. And they never know, when the savage birds will launch their next attacks.

The Birds is easily one of the most suspenseful, of Alfred Hitchcock's films. Tippi Hedren and Rod Taylor, carry the movie, as Melanie and Mitch. They have a fine on-screen chemistry between them, that holds the viewer's attention. The special effects in this film are very realistic, and are some of the best that I've seen, in any film.

This movie is a classic, and offer many spine-tingling thrills and chills, they expect in a good horror drama.

Man v. Food
(2008)

Pig-out vicariously.
Food fanatic Adam Richman, is the star of the show. Adam travels the country, in search of eateries, with some of the most mouth-watering cuisine. Adam has a lot of boyish charm, and an engaging sense of fun. Which no-doubt help fuel the amazing popularity, of this show.

The premise of this show, is that Adam accepts 'challenges' to see if he can finish either enormous portions of food, or food that is unbelievably spicy-hot. The catch is, Adam has to finish the food placed before him, within certain time limits-and he does. At least 90% of the time, anyhow.

For example, I've seen Adam put-away some incredibly daunting meals, such as a 72-ounce steak, complete with two side dishes And this was within one hour. Adam has always wolfed-down three dozen oysters, in under 30 minutes, devoured 16 hot dogs in 30 minutes, and blindingly-fiery-hot chicken wings, in 20 minutes.

When Adam says that he's 'just a guy with a serious appetite', he most definitely wasn't kidding! Adam is a big, burly got, but not morbidly obese, as you'd expect of somebody, who eats like Adam does for a living. He also seems to be in surprisingly good physical shape, when he runs around acting exuberant, before each food challenge.

I don't know how Adam can eat so much often greasy, fat-laden food, in one sitting. My guess, is that he starves himself, hours before each challenge. My only beef (no pun intended) with this show, is that the Travel Channnel shows too many re-runs of each episode. It would be nice, if they broadcast new episodes more often.

To me the chief appeal of this program, is that the public can pig-out vicariously, through watching Adam Richman devour so many huge, calorie-laden meals. Once, when he was gorging on a huge hot-fudge Sunday, he said'I know those of you who are watching, are jealous right now'. Most likely, he was right. Especially viewers who have to stick to their boring, taste-less, low-fat diets.

The People's Court
(1997)

Enjoyable program.
This show has it all, for a court TV show. It has audience participation, interesting cases, and Judge Marylin Milian, who's gorgeous, but carries a big Gavel. This show gets my vote. For those of us who are stuck at home on week-days, watching The People's Court, is an enjoyable wait to be entertained.

It's also goo, because Harvey Lrevin, the guy who interviews people outside the courtroom, gives legal advice regarding the court cases. Judge Milian is usually pleasant and even-tempered. But she does go off once in a while, when she's particularly exasperated with a litigant. This court TV show, is definitely wroth your while.

Judge Joe Brown
(1997)

Good, but not great.
Unlike the other court TV judges, Judge Joe Brown seems more like the classic doleful, stalwart personality, that must of us associate with someone who is a judge.

Though he's a bit foreboding, Judge Joe Brown is more Ike a stern, yet concerned father figure. His motto, is that he's 'protecting woman-hood, and promoting man-hood'. Like Judge Judy, he often administers his brand of tough-love to litigants who are on the losing end of his judgments. He often tells losing male litigants, to 'man-up, pay-up, and grow up.'

If you like the fiery courtroom style of Judge Judy, then Judge Joe Brown may not be your cup of tea. Judge Joe Brown exudes a dignified, low-key essence. He wants to get to the truth, and he does so by stealth, shrewd question of the litigants, and his uncanny ability to see through any BS. He seldom loses his temper, no matter how exasperated he gets with his litigants.

Judge Joe Brown, is a good, but not great court TV program. His show can be boring at times. And he should ad more sparkle to his personality to help liven-up this show.

Judge Mathis
(1998)

A n entertaining, and inspiring court show.
Judge Msathis, is one of the court TV shows, broadcast during the afternoon hours, on weekdays. Judge Gregg Mathis is an ex-con, who often got in trouble as a kid, in his native Detroit neighborhood. Seeoing how his law-breaking had distressed his mother, he decided to turn his life around. So he attended college, law school, and eventually became a judge.

Judge Mathis is not a stuffy, uptight judge. His style is leavened with humorous banter, withe litigants in his courtroom. Many of the litigants, appreciate the fact the Judge Mthis has a sense of humor. He's a big guy, with an imposing presence. So his humor puts the litigants at ease.

Judge Mathis also identifies with many of his litigants, who frequently are ex-cons, ex-addicts, or have otherwise been in trouble with the law. His keen street-smarts, are utilized to help him make his judgments that are fair, and just.

Judge Mthis also encourages some his litigants that are troubled, to change their lives for the better, through education, pr drug re-hab, if they need it. The litigants take his advice seriously, since Judge Mathis has been where many of them have been, and so he comes off as being for real.

On the whole, this is one of better court TV programs. Judge Mathis is a caring, credible judge, who is dedicated to 'gibing back' to the community, and encourages wayward litigants to improve their loves. So Judge Mathis is not just entertaining, but he sets a positive example, that others can look up to for guidance.

Hot in Cleveland
(2010)

Not a fan.
I know that this show has been popular among many. But I just can't get behind it. I think that the premise is ridiculous;four women on their way to LA, who get stuck in Cleveland, OH, and decide to stay there. Can't believe that anyone would actually want to stay in Cleveland, if t they could live in LA.

I also thin that the dialog and jokes, are flat and lame. It's tasteless, to say the least, that they keep trying to present Betty White's character, as an elderly foul-mouthed thug of a woman. The producers obviously think that this is humorous. To me, it's just tacky.

I regally resent the fact that TVLand, has stooped to broadcasting lame sitcoms like Hot In Cleveland. The other sitcoms that come to mind, are Retired At 365, and Happily Divorced, aren't any better. TVLand is obviously trying to be 'trendy', by adding these new sitcoms to its line-up. But they're way off the mark.

TVLand specializes in the old sitcoms, from the 60s and 70s. They broadcast quality shows, like MASH, All In The Family, Sanford & Son, The Jeffersons, The Andy Griffith Shiw, and many others. Their new, silly sitcoms like Hot In Cleveland, don't belong on TVLand. I wish that they would see the light, and quit cluttering-up their programming, with these idiotic shows. Let the regular TV networks have them, since they broadcast such drivel nowadays anyhow.

Judge Judy
(1996)

Best of the court TV shows.
Judge Judy, has been on the air longer than the other court TV shows. She is a seasoned pro, regarding how she presents her court cases, to the viewing public. She has a sharp, no-nonsense style of dealing with the litigants, who appear in her courtroom.

Viewers have become accustomed to Judy Judy's verbal jousting, with the small claims court Plaintiffs and Defendants, who battle it out to win their cases. Instead of being demure like many would expect of a judge, Judge Judy acts more like a scolding mother, when she gets fed-up with some of the litigants in her courtroom.

And like a scolding parent, she's not afraid to bluntly call a litigant stupid, or foolish, if she feels that it's necessary. Sometimes though, she can be a soft-touch, and gently lecture the litigants on their mistakes, and how to made better decisions about how to live their lives. Some of her litigants appreciate her advice, others don;t.

Lover her or hate her, Judge Judy's show will never bore you. Her shrewd legal ability, uncanny intuition about the character of her litigants, and her fiery personality, will keep you entertained, even if you don't particularly like court TV shows.

The In Crowd
(1988)

Splendid 60s nostalgia film.
Donovan Leitch Jr., stars as 60s teenager Del Green. Del is a nerdy guy, who lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Though Del is a scholar, he loves to dance to songs on the radio. He also digs the Perry Parker show, which is an after school teen dance show, much like American Bandstand. And Del has a wicked crush, on the Perry Parker Show's reigning queen of the cast of dancers, Vicki (played by the gorgeous Jennifer Runyon).

Meanwhile, Del's suburban friends, especially his neighbor Gail, think that Del should concentrate on studying to take the College Board exam, so that he can get into a good college. Gail thinks that Del's infatuation with Vicki, is just Del's 'hood fantasy', and that he ought to wise-up, and forget about Viki.

Nevertheless, Del tells Gail, that he want to go and try out as one of the dancers, on the Perry Parker show. Del is hassled outside of the dance studio, by some tough, working class guys, who are regulars on Perry's show. But with a stroke of luck, and some clever thinking, Del get into the set of Perry's show.

Del is hand-picked by Perry to be Vicki's dance partner, since Vicki's old partner and boyfriend Dugan, was banned from Perry's show. Seems that Dugan is a trouble-maker, who went to jail for stealing a car. For a while, Del dates Vicki, and is even accepted by Vicki's over protective father, who never liked Dugan. But Del is unaware that he's just being used by Vicki, as part of her convoluted plan, to run away to California with Dugan, without her father finding out.

This film has a lot of nice touches. The glamor of the Perry Parker show, including the dancers, is palpable. The gritty, urban environment of the Perry Parker show, and the mid-60s ruffians, are very authentic. As is the the sheltered suburban environment, in which Del lives. I also liked the spot-on 60s radio jingles and commercials, that Del was listening to on his portable transistor radio. The music in this movie, was excellent. It featured many of the stellar recording stars of the 60s; Mitch Ryder, Dionne Warwick, Wilson Pickett, and many others.

Donovan Leitch did an excellent job, in his portrayal of the gawky, awkward, yet charismatic Del Green. The supporting cast, was wonderful too. Especially Joe Pantoliano as the shifty, yet vulnerable Perry Parker, Scott Plank, as the charming hood Dugan, and Sean Sullivan, as Del's tough-guy, mad-cap pal Popeye. The In Crowd, is quite an enjoyable film, and I recommend it to all, who are nostalgic for the 60s.

A Raisin in the Sun
(1961)

Superb drama about a struggling family.
A Raisin In The Sun, is an absolute gem of a film. The plot revolves around a black family's determined fight, to escape poverty. The Younger family is headed by stalwart Matriarch, Lena Younger. Lena shares her run-down tenement apartment in Chicago, with her son Walter, his wife Ruth, their son Travis, and Lena's daughter Beneatha.

After her husband dies, Lena is entitled to receive a tidy sum of insurance money, that her husband had willed to her. The rest of the family, also eagerly awaits the arrival of Lena's insurance check. Especially Walter, who wants Lena to use some of the money, to help him start his own liquor store.

Lena decides to use some of her insurance money, to buy a modest home in an all-white neighborhood, and to donate the rest of it, to her local church. Walter is crushed by Lena's decision. Lena later decides to give Walter some of the money, to give him a chance to realize his dream of owning a business.

But Lena soon regrets her decision to give money to Walter, after he loses it, because of his crooked business partner. Lena and her family, must also decide if they really want to move into a white neighborhood. Especially after white homeowners there, try to offer the Youngers lots of money, if they agree not to move into the neighborhood.

The entire cast of this film, is positively magnificent. Especially Sydney Poitier as Walter Younger. Sydney conveys Walter's anguish, with an amazing depth and clarity. This is Sydney's best film, and a must-see for his serious fans. Claudia McNeil is perfect in her role, as the strong-willed Lena Younger, who acts as the Younger family's moral compass.

This powerful, moving film, is unforgettable. And I highly recommend it, to anyone who loves classic American drama films.

To Sir, with Love
(1967)

Touching, vibrant film about growing up.
Sidney Poitier stars as talented engineer Mark Thackeray, who decides to try teaching high school students. At least until he can land his dream job in the engineering field. The teenagers that he winds-up teaching, are incorrigible delinquents, from the rough slums of London's east-end.

Thackeray gets off to a bad start, while trying to gain the respect of his troubled students. As a black man, he also has the additional problem of winning the respect of the white students, who haven't had to answer to a black teacher before. And most of them harbor some underlying racial animosity, towards Thackeray.

After a particularly bad day in the classroom, Mark decides to try a new approach, to getting through to his students. He goes to the skeptical Headmaster, and proposes the idea of taking his students on field trips to museums, and other culturally educational places. Though he's reluctant, the Headmaster decides to grant Thackeray permission, for the field trip program.

The students begin to thrive, due to these field trips. And also because Thackeray teaches the teens self respect, and treats them like adults, rather than like juvenile delinquents. The students start looking up to Mark, especially troubled teen Pamela Dare. When Mark gets a great engineering job offer, he's torn between taking that job, and continuing in his new teaching career, at the high school.

Sidney Poitier gives a flawless performance, as Mark Thackeray. Poitier portrays his Thackeray character, with an air of stern dignity, as well as genuine compassion. The supporting cast shines too. Especially Judy Geeson, as the angst-ridden Pamela Dare. This film is buoyed by featuring lots of exciting rock music, and by the crackling energy, of the talented cast. To Sir, With Love, will always be a superb cinematic classic.

Breezy
(1973)

Sensitive, unconventional romantic drama.
Breezy is a film that takes a candid look, at the power of love to transform lives. Kay Lenz is in the starring role, as Edith Alice Breezerman (she's nicknamed Breezy, because of her devil-may-care attitude). Breezy is a carefree young woman, who has hippie values. She drifts around, with no possessions except her guitar, and the clothes on her back.

Breezy has no family, because her folks were killed in an accident. She indulges in casual sex, with a guy she barely knows. And she takes shelter, where ever she can find a place to crash. One day while hitchhiking, Breezy accepts a ride from a man who turns out to be deranged. She barely manages to escape unharmed, from this creepy guy.

Breezy's next ride, is with a middle-aged, affluent man named Frank Harmon. Despite Frank's reservations, he gives Breezy a ride. With no where else to go, Breezy later shows up at Frank's extravagant house. Frank reluctantly takes her in, feeds her, and lets her stay with him for a while. Frank and Breezy, have to adjust to each other's very different lifestyles, and outlook on life. Soon enough, Breezy becomes angry about Frank's judgmental attitude towards her. So she leaves his place, but then comes back to him after a short while.

Bit by bit, Breezy manages to charm the cynical Frank, with her happy-go-lucky disposition. She quickly becomes infatuated with Frank, who gradually succumbs to a growing sexual attraction between them. Because Frank is more than twice Breezy's age, he feels increasingly uncomfortable, with their erotic involvement. And so, he must decide if their affair should continue or not.

Kay Lenz is very believable, as the baby-faced, waifish Breezy. William Holden plays the up-tight, world-weary Frank, with a dignified sensitivity. The rest of the cast, is mediocre at best. The southern California scenery in this film, is gorgeous. And it certainly ads to the lush, romantic tone of this film.

The basic lesson of this film, is that life and love are to be enjoyed, without inhibitions or regret. And it was a valuable lesson, that the young taught their elders back in the 70s, when this movie was made. Just goes to show, that you're never too old to learn new ways of living and being. Breezy is a film that really tugs at the proverbial heart-strings, and I highly recommend it.

Cool Hand Luke
(1967)

Superlative, gripping prison drama.
Paul Newman stars as eccentric war veteran, Lucas Jackson. Luke lives in a tiny southern town. And he gets himself sentenced to a chain-gang, after he gets drunk and destroys some parking meters one night.

The chain-gang camp, is run by a seemingly fatherly, yet ruthless Warden, called the Captain. Luke and his fellow inmates, are forced to perform back-breaking chain-gang duty, in the scorching southern heat every day. Under the directive of the Captain, brutal punishment is meted out by the prison guards, to any inmate who disobeys the stringent prison rules.

Luke, rebellious soul that he is, refuses to knuckle-under to the sadistic guards. Luke's steely determination, wins him the reverent admiration of the other inmates. After two failed escape attempts, Luke is subjected to vicious torture, by the guards. The Captain, with the help of the monstrous guards, makes it his mission to break Luke's spirit.

Paul Newman is amazing in his role as Luke. I couldn't imagine any other actor portraying the character of Luke, as deftly as Newman did. George Kennedy plays Luke's burly inmate pal, Dragline, with consummate skill. Jo Van Fleet, gives a wonderfully poignant performance, as Luke's dying mother, Arleta. And Strother Martin, conveys the obsessive resolve of the Captain character, with a frightening intensity.

Other members of the supporting cast shine too. Dennis Hopper, Lou Antonio, Ralph Waite, and Harry Dean Stanton, all give moving performances as prison inmates. Bob Woodward gives a hideously chilling quality, to his mute, blind, sharpshooter road-boss character.

In summation, Cool Hand Luke will always remain a classic of American cinema, for generations to come.

Berkeley in the Sixties
(1990)

Those were the days.
This documentary, focuses on the turbulence of the Berkeley student demonstrations, during the volatile 60s. There's plenty of interviews, with former Berkeley student radicals. Also included, is commentary from members of the Black Panthers, the Berkeley Mayor, local police, and concerned Bay area citizens. Berkeley, and the San Francisco Bay area in general, were the epicenter of political and social unrest, for young people in the 60s. The chaos of the student movement that began at Berkeley, spread to other campuses throughout the nation. Never before, had college students in America been so thoroughly dedicated to positive change, as they were during the 60s.

I lived in the Bay area, just two years ago. And it's undergone a 280-degree turn from its enlightened, progressive character, that was its signature zeitgeist in the 60s. It's become positively inhumane! It's been overtaken by affluent Yuppie WASPs, who have driven the price of housing to astronomical levels. As a result, homelessness is at epidemic levels there. So is unemployment. Even the most highly educated people, have to beg for low-wage jobs there. Racism, and even gay-bashing, now plague the once warm and tolerant Bay area too. High tech geeks are the new gods of the Bay area, and everyone else there is regarded as useless. Bohemians of all stripes, are no longer welcome there. They can't afford to live there anymore, anyhow.

This film is very informative, about how Berkeley students fought valiant battles for social justice in the 60s. It's a real shame, that the Bay area has become a haven for the Capitalist pigs, that the Berkeley students railed against over 40 years ago.

Pleasure for Sale
(2008)

Enlightening documentary about prostitution.
Prostitutes who work at the Chicken Ranch brothel in Nevada, are the focus of this frank documentary. The prostitutes themselves give first-hand accounts, of their experiences in their profession. Customers at the Chicken Ranch are also interviewed, as well as local church Pastors.

The overall tone of this film is non-judgmental, with regards to prostitution. The prostitutes at the Chicken Ranch, come from all walks of life. Most of them are just average women; housewives, students, college grads, office workers, etc., who all decide that they wanted to become high-paid prostitutes. Many of the stories that the prostitutes tell about their lives, are quite heart-wrenching. Some of these women are survivors of rape, incest, bad marriages, and broken homes.

Though the women say that they like making large sums of money, they also openly discuss the downside, of working at the Chicken Ranch. There were incidences of malicious gossip, and competition between the women there. This resulted in emotional trauma for a few of the women, and even one woman being unfairly kicked off of the Ranch.

There's not that much gratuitous sex in the film, despite its subject matter. There is a fair amount of nudity, but it's pretty tame for a film about prostitution. Instead, this film puts the spotlight on the women's professional relationships with their customers, their practical concerns about earning a decent living, and the emotional upheaval in their lives.

No matter how you feel about prostitution, this film is an enlightening look into the lives of a few women, who are involved in the world's oldest profession.

American Pimp
(1999)

Glorifies exploitation of desperate women.
I could barely sit though this film. Unfortunately, our society still glorifies male outlaws, which is what Pimps are. They may dress stylishly and drive expensive cars, but Pimps are still criminal dirt-bags.

Virtually all of these Pimps in the film, are black. As a black female, I'm especially offended that black males, who have been oppressed in our society, turn around and exploit desperate women. These black pimps in the documentary, are no better than the white males that they rail against because of racism. Yes, racism still exists, and it has been very damaging to blacks, and other minorities. But racism shouldn't be an excuse, for these black Pimps to abuse, and live off of prostitutes. Pimps are a disgrace to the black community, and are horrible role models for black kids.

Many women in society, especially women-of-color, become prostitutes as a way to support a drug-habit, escape poverty, or because they're fleeing terrible home lives. For a Pimp to take advantage of women in these situations, is utterly abominable. These Pimps have no scruples whatsoever, and don't deserve to be glorified in the media. This film has no redeeming qualities, and I don't recommend it.

Commune
(2005)

Incisive look at life in a hippie Commune.
Actor and former 60s activist Peter Coyote, narrates this documentary about the Black Bear commune. Black Bear is located in the rugged rural environment, of Northern California. During the 60s and early 70s, several hippies got funding from Hollywood celebrities (including actor James Coburn), to finance the creation of the Black Bear commune. Back then, Hollywood types thought it was chic to become involved with the counterculture.

Those who were members of Black Bear, gave honest accounts of the joys, and also the very real problems, of living in a commune. Their devotion to their progressive ideals, inspired them to make a go at forming Black Bear. Keeping the commune together though, ultimately proved more difficult than they expected. They had to contend with serious issues regarding basic survival, sharing childrearing responsibilities, and how best to express their sexuality, without causing jealousy and alienation amongst themselves. Members came and went to Black Bear over the years. Despite all of the upheaval and changes, the Black Bear commune still exists now. That's pretty amazing. Especially considering how unsympathetic society has become these days, to the hippie values that spawned the Black Bear commune.

This film takes a look back, at when hippies were the avant guard of progressive politics in society. It sheds light on an important era in American history, that many people would like to know more about. So Commune is a very relevant documentary, for those that have an interest in the socio-political changes, that occurred during the 60s and early 70s.

Orgasmic Birth: The Best-Kept Secret
(2008)

A must-see documentary for expectant mothers.
The main point of this documentary, is that if a woman gives birth naturally without medical intervention, she can indeed experience orgasm during the birthing process. It's explained that an orgasmic birth experience is possible, if nothing (such as drugs given to mothers in labor at hospitals) impedes the flow of a woman's hormones, that her body produces when she goes into labor. And these hormones, can produce powerful feelings of euphoria, which can lead to orgasms during labor and delivery.

Several women are shown going through natural childbirth at home, and at birthing centers. When they were interviewed, they gave glowing testimonials about their ecstatic birthing experiences, which included orgasms. Other women were interviewed, who had given birth in hospitals. None of these women who gave birth in hospitals, spoke of their birthing processes as being euphoric in any way.

Midwives were interviewed as well. And they emphasized that women should take back their right to give birth naturally, instead of having to do so in a hospital. The midwives also explained that the explosive increase of cesarean births, have been a direct result of induced expedited labor, which is customary when a woman has a baby at a hospital. And it's a fact that cesarean births, often result in serious complications, including the death of the mother, and/or child.

I think that all expectant mothers, should see this superlative documentary. Then they'll know that their childbearing experiences, can include ecstasy, instead of only pain.

Tanya
(1976)

Hilarious 70s sexploitation spoof.
This film is a fun spoof, based on the real-life 70s Patty Hearst kidnapping. In the movie, a young affluent woman named Charlotte Cane, is kidnapped and held for ransom. Her kidnappers are a group of radical revolutionaries, who are holed-up in a grungy hideout, in the Oakland ghetto.

They're a mixed-race bunch, who are committed to camaraderie, and saving the 'people' from the oppressive 'insect pig' capitalists. This band of freedom-fighters, are also dedicated to having lots of sex with each other. There's plenty of juicy sex scenes, including both interracial and lesbian trysts, between the group members. The sex in this film, is very graphic indeed, including showing lots of male full- frontal nudity.

Charlotte gets caught-up in the lustful antics of her kidnappers, and has marathon sex sessions with them all. She enthusiastically enjoys her newly uninhibited sexuality, that the kidnappers have awakened in her. Charlotte also becomes sympathetic, to the radical extremist cause of the group. She even renounces her name, choosing to be called Tanya instead. So, Tanya has to decide if she really wants to return to her former affluent, sheltered existence, when she gets the chance to do so.

If you like 70s sexploitation movies, that emphasis sex over other aspects of plot development, then you'll really enjoy Tanya.

Thirtysomething
(1987)

Campy Yuppie soap opera.
Thirtysomething isn't a show, that anyone can really take seriously. It revolves around a group of 80s Yuppies in their thirties, who spend too much time obsessing about their own angst. The show tried too hard to be 'deep and meaningful', and wound-up becoming a parody of itself.

Virtually all of the male characters on this show, suffer from arrested emotional development. They never seemed to come to terms, with the fact that they couldn't have everything their own way, all of the time. The thing is, they got their way ALMOST all of the time, which is more than most people do. Still, that wasn't good enough for these guys. They just didn't appreciate the fact, that they were better off than 90% of the general population.

Like the male characters, the women on Thirtysomething also seemed to concentrate too much on navel-gazing, so to speak. Most of these women are intelligent, capable, and pursued interesting careers. Yet they were still consumed with insecurity about themselves, and their lives in general. Worst of all, they were too willing to be excessively accommodating, towards the often immature men in their lives.

The fact that the females on this show were frequently demeaned, was a reflection of the 80s backlash against feminism. In her book entitled "Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women", Susan Faludi eloquently pointed-out that Thirtysomething was guilty, of negative portrayals of the females characters. Especially compared to the male characters, who were much less evolved, than the female characters. So for those hoping to see a show that gave women adequate respect, Thirtysomething definitely disappoints in that regard.

Thirtysomething's only real entertainment value, is it's campy quality. After all, a show that tried so diligently, to convince viewers that over-privileged Yuppies are so riveting, has GOT to be camp of the highest order. I'd like to see a quality TV drama created about the poor, and/or minorities, who have truly harsh realities to deal with in life. A show like that would be much more compelling, than Thirtysomething ever was.

Wanda
(1970)

Quirky, keenly touching character study.
Wanda is a young wife, who abandons her family after losing her job. She never made much money anyhow. Wanda then drifts around aimlessly, penniless and seeking shelter. She goes to a seedy bar one night. Once there, Wanda talks the bartender, into giving her some food and a beer, for free. He's nasty to her from the start, but does give her the free food and beer. His name is Mr. Davis. And Wanda goes to his place for a tryst, and a place to stay for the time being.

With no where else to go and no plans, Wanda stays with Mr. Davis for a while. He treats Wanda like dirt. He starts ordering her to get his food, calls her 'stupid', slaps her around, and even tells her how to dress. Mr. Davis turns out to be a deranged criminal, who's wanted by the law for murder. So he and Wanda hit the road together, so Davis can evade the cops. But when Mr. Davis wants Wanda to participate in a bank robbery with him, she has to decide if she can go through with it or not.

When this movie was made, it was basically unheard of, for a woman to skip-out on her family completely. So in this regard, this movie has quite a cutting-edge plot premise. Wanda is obviously a troubled soul, with very low self-esteem. When asked by Mr. Davis why she abandoned her family, Wanda tells him it's because she's 'no damn good'. Whatever brought on Wanda's intense angst, is never addressed. Wanda appears to be a docile, shy person. And yet, she makes the incredibly brave decision to just ditch her family, and cope alone in a precarious world. One thing is for sure; Wanda is definitely an enigmatic character.

The cinematography in this film, is very fascinating. The scenery has a remote, barren quality, which seems to convey the poignancy of Wanda's empty life. This movie is a unique account of one woman's inner turmoil, and her unusual quest to try and resolve it. If you like ground-breaking films that center around complex, female characters, then you're sure to like Wanda.

Girlfriends
(1993)

Intensely horrible!
This movie was so incredible bad, that I couldn't watch the whole thing. This film was created by a man, and and it shows. The two main characters in this movie, embody virtually every straight male fantasy/fear, that they have about lesbians, and women in general.

Many if not most hetero men, think that women are dangerous, and that they should be very wary of them. And if a woman is also vulgar, foul-mouthed, sexually insatiable, and bisexual rather than exclusively lesbian, then she's every straight man's wet dream. The two women in this film, fit the criteria listed above, to an absolute 't'.

These two women truly are dangerous, because they make a sport of killing men in cold blood. In real life, women who murder men, generally do so in self defense. These women genuinely hate men, which they constantly convey in their brutally offensive language, whenever they refer to them. You have to wonder though, why they want to sleep with men for money, sport, and as sperm donors, since they despise men so much.

Best to skip this turkey of a film, and see movies that have realistic, human, and likable lesbian characters instead.

That '70s Show
(1998)

Funny, but could be wittier.
Like the characters in this show, I too was a teen during the 70s. The producers really nailed the whole zeitgeist, of being a suburban teenager in the 70s. The 70s fashions, cars, home furnishings, foods, and fads, are all very authentic in this show.

The show boasts a very talented ensemble cast, who all mesh together very well on camera. I really like the unique, psychedelic-style film sequences. No other show does camera tricks like this. These cutting-edge film sequences, really help to convey the campy hipness, that characterized the 70s era.

Overall this is a very funny sitcom. The one thing that bothers me about this show, is it's over-reliance on cruel humor, to generate laughs. In this way, I think that this show tries to be too much like Married With Children. While Married with Children is a great sitcom in its own right, it's tacky that the creators of That 70s show, keep trying to imitate it.

I do recommend That 70s Show, mainly due to it's nostalgia factor. It could be an even better show though, if the writers relied more on witty dialog, rather than bawdy, tasteless jokes and pranks.

Capitalism: A Love Story
(2009)

Best Michael Moore film ever.
This is Michael Moore's most superb documentary yet. Moore examines the historical beginnings of Capitalism, and how it has deteriorated into its modern, virulent form. Mainly, he exposes the sinister exploits of huge corporations, and the banking system in this country.

Much of this film deals with the devastating impact, that modern Capitalism has had on the lives of most Americans. Moore interviews families that have lost their homes, due to bad mortgages orchestrated by greedy financial institutions. He chronicles lots of other examples, of how many Americans are brutally exploited by their employers, and corporations in general. Moore even talks to pilots of some of the largest airlines. Many of these highly skilled pilots, are so underpaid that they have to resort to food stamps, to help them afford their groceries.

This film is a glaring wake-up call, to Americans who are fed-up with being trampled by the cruel excesses, of our Capitalist system. After seeing this movie, viewers may be inspired to fight for their rights against the oppressive corporations, and the profit-mad banks in this country.

Viva
(2007)

Brilliant spoof of the 70s sexual revolution.
Ann Biller plays Viva, a bored housewife living in LA, during the early 70s. The story of this film takes place in 1972, when the sexual revolution was in full-swing in suburbia. Viva is a gorgeous young woman, married to a kindly hubby. Viva and her husband, want to be considered a with-it couple. So they decide to start experimenting with spouse-swapping, with the hot-to-trot married couple next door.

Then, Viva decides that she wants to be a model. In order to make it in modeling, Viva winds-up sleeping with some lecherous men, who can help her further her modeling career. She also tries having sex with other women, and finds that lesbianism is an exciting twist for her. Ultimately, Viva participates in orgies, which she considers the pinnacle of sexual sophistication.

But Viva's husband thinks that she's become too caught-up in her sexual explorations, and that she's neglecting him. Viva does become weary, of being treated like just a sexual play-thing. She has to decide, if her superficial carnal pleasures are worth it after all. Especially after her husband threatens to walk out on her, when he gets fed-up with Viva's excessive sexual shenanigans.

This film really captures the spirit of the cheesy, over-the-top 70s sexual revolution. The wild 70s fashions, garishly colorful home decors, and even the party snacks served back then, are meticulously detailed in this film. The actors really ham it up. But that only adds to the hilarious, campy quality of this film. As a spoof, this movie is among the best of it's kind. I highly recommend it.

Sicko
(2007)

Excellent critique of America's wretched health care system.
Sicko is Michael Moore's best documentary yet. He speaks to real people who have been victimized, some tragically, at the hands of America's amazingly horrible health care system. Moore shows that the real villains in the health care mess here, are the greedy insurance companies, HMOs, and politicians, who are bought-off by both the insurance, and pharmaceutical behemoths.

It's bad enough, that there are millions of Americans that can't afford health insurance of any kind. Moore shows that those who DO have health insurance in this country, are still subject to substandard treatment, IF their insurance companies even cover their health care costs at all. Michael Moore travels to France, the UK, and Cuba. He showcases the wonders of totally free health care, in those countries. Moore discovered (not surprisingly) that citizens in those countries that he visited, are healthier, and live longer than most Americans.

I hope that Michael Moore decides to do a documentary, on homelessness in America. Just like the health care debacle, homelessness is another glaring symptom of how inhumane this country has become, towards its most vulnerable citizens. And, like the American health care crisis in this country, the homelessness problem here desperately needs to be solved.

We need more people like Micheal Moore, who are willing to expose the many injustices in our country today. I recommend that every American see Sicko, to find out just how unfair our health care system is these days. Those who see this film, many become outraged enough to demand free health care here, which other industrialized countries now take for granted.

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