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The Green Berets

John Wayne goes to Vietnam
If you ignore all the politics, this movie is your typical John Wayne WWII movie set in the context of the Vietnam War. The acting was so so with most short sermonizing dialog usually seen in many older war movies as one saw with movies made during WWII.

I found it overly long and thought some of the characters were silly (Jim Hutton's Peterson).

There are 3 distinct aspects: the character setup and why we fight justification, the base attack, then and kidnap extraction. I thought it could have been over with the base attack. They should have cut the first part of the movie and added more in country character development.

There are a lot of technical errors in the movie if you understand how the military actually operates (command and control, tactics) but that was not the purpose of the movie.

Net: Watchable but I am not a big John Wayne fan with or without the pro-war message.

(My Dad was in Vietnam in 66-67 and was in the Green Beret toward the end of his tour). We were based at Fort Bragg when the tour was over)

Ride the Thunder

Underwhelming imperfect docudrama
What was stated as a story of John Ripley and Le Ba Binh and their fight during the war was little about the actual acts.

I had hoped it was a deep story of the 1972 offensive that had not been covered much but other than some of Ripley's heroics on the Dong Ha Bridge mentioned by interviewees little more was stated.

It jumped and spent most of the time in post Easter Offensive with Ripley watching TV showing clips of antiwar clips (Fonda. Kerry) and long scenes of Le Ba Binh in re-education camps after fall of South Vietnam.

In some selected clips, the whole story was not given. For example, when Vietnam was split, the south was supposed to have elections (did not). Diem was not a saint (Reagan clip), that all the South Vietnamese wanted the US there or even the Thieu government.

What was missing was any real mention of Johnson's refusal to expand the war, the false projections (media got this right) we were winning, and Nixon administration handling the peace deal so not a balanced account.

The look and feel of the dramatic sequences was more of a reality show.

Tropic Thunder

Not enough laughs
I understand the premise as a parody that in many ways but for many an inside joke to the cast since many will not understand. While some scenes were funny there was just not enough to sustain it for me, I suspect the cast had fun but not sure many in the audience did.

I always wonder about those that post reviews of best or worst ever and given my review is now 2021, the world does not think it was the best movie ever.

Flesh-Eating Mothers

Low budget madness
I will not repeat similar comments about the low budget movie that comes across funny. What helps is the New York accents of the actors as it actually adds to the appeal. I feel that we have been conditioned to actors without regional accents except when wanted for "character" and when they appear in movies it may give the impression of bad acting.

The Fog

Not bad but not great, lost opportunities
I finally watched the original version to see if it was how I remembered it. I was disappointed. The primary issues I had were characters doing stupid things such as opening the door when common sense said you shouldn't. For the story, it would have worked just as well to let them enter the room and then kill them rather than just open the door and call out or turn around. Then there was the scene with Jamie Leigh Curtis at the Medical Examiner who had to be in the room while the other characters conversed outside the room. The second issue was the lighting of the scenes. Some scenes like with interiors with Janet Leigh were brightly lit like some sitcom and gave the movie a TY feel and then there were scenes where in one shot it full sun and then supposedly in another direction it was dark. There was a lot more that could have been done. I was hoping the fog would go after the crowd near the monument but no such luck. I do not see how this is groundbreaking especially in the year 1980.

Demon with the Atomic Brain

Best of the Mihm movies but still misses the mark for me
I enjoy older sci fi movies and the modern take offs but the Mihm's style just does not really score that high for me. I am not sure if I am supposed to be amused by the story, the acting, or the low production values.

The plot in this one seems to make more sense (beginning, middle, end) than others. The acting style is the punchy almost robotic delivery of lines as part of the joke but It does not use sight gags or slapstick. The style may be more like the serials like Rocky Jones. The actors seem like the know they are in on the joke compared to say the actors in Plan 9 from Outer Space.

I do not think if they just reshot Plan 9 in this style this it would be better.


Super low budget disaster movies rarely work
The plot is basic at best and yet another movie where they are trying to leave the city but cannot pull off the effects of a real disaster with low budget CGI. They cannot pull it off - jammed roads, chaos. etc. Some aspects are just dumb. Like why did they get off the motorcycles when they could have just ridden it up the hill?

It is not stupid as some movies and can be watched all the way through without harm..

Terminal Voyage

Watchable run of the mill sci fi movie with familiar story lines
This is decent sci movie with familiar story lines but not much different from all the zombie, virus, and super heroes movies. It was yet another space crew on an extended journey story.

It was a bit long with aspects that could have been removed to improve the place but seem added to substitute for character interaction. The acting was decent and production typical for basic sci fi movie. Unlike some movies. it did not try to insult your intelligence with characters doing stupid things or ignoring basic science principles. It was more a character driven story with little action relying on special effects. If you like sci fi anthology shows. you should like this.

The High and the Mighty

Soap opera in the sky
I am not sure if this was the prototype of the modern ensemble cast disaster movie but it has all the elements. We have some event or possible fatal event looming with many people involved. During this period the cast are all going through personal dramas. This drama is what determines the padding in the movie.

I thought the movie was overlong and overacted but common in 50's movie.

For those that thought it was a good story about professionalism in aviation, the pilot and navigator lost it. The crew also proceeded to try to land when everything said they would not make it.

The last version I saw was in vivid color so this made it more interesting to me. It would look "big" on a movie screen.

I guess John Wayne played the copilot so he could knock some sense in the pilot rather than the other way around

Note: Once you see the movie "Airplane" you will see even many aspects different - passenger applying lipstick. Robert Stack dialogue, personal drama. stewardess that worries about marriage. etc.


A big nothing
I accept the concept but the result was not revealed. It follows other post disaster movie plots where a family tries to reunite, find something. or get somewhere. This had all.

It was not the science that seemed flawed but the believability that there were so few people around. Then we had ending where they had to escape ground zero but just a few miles away it was safe. The movie then abruptly ends without anything...did the Earth stop moving away from the sun, did it alter the tilt axis, etc. It was like part 1 of a 2 part mini-series.

The Triangle

This was maybe a 2hr movie max. The fundamental problem was the script. The concept was not bad and could have been a decent Outer Limits type episode.

The actors did the best they could given the lines they were asked to deliver. It ended up being a dual buddy picture as 2 2 person teams researched. They threw in some personal family situations to supposedly build character that padded the film.

Another padding was when they added the parallel sequence so a key character in the plot did die after all and then retrace events,.

The silliest part was at the end where we see long rows of people at consoles with sunglasses and headphones typing as if they are controlling the device.

As far I can tell, Lou Diamond Phillip's role contribution to the actual main plot was the fast boat.. He goes through some of the parallel time shifts that adding screen time but other than being at the lab at the right time and having a boat, the role was totally not needed. This could have been removed completed.


Touching movie
This movie deals with the arrival of an object from space and how it affects the people that touch it. There are no car chases or CGI to make up for a story or a some super climatic battle in the end. I am sure some will find fault with the object looking like something from a 50's movie. It is a low budget personal drama. The FBI involvement supposedly adds some X-Files like conspiracy but it is almost played as comic relief and not quite resolved. It is a little slow and did have more potential. It is more like an episode of one of the anthologies like Outer Limits. It does not insult your intelligence, people do not do a lot of dumb things, etc. to drive the drama along.

As for wasting 2 hrs of your life, the movie does not last that long. If you like more sensitive (not all action driven) sci fi stories then it will not likely be a waste of time.

5th Passenger

Not as bad or good as some reviews
The plot lines are not new. There is a space crew in trouble. There are conflicts over authority. There is some perceived alien presence threatening the crew. There is a possible underlying government project.

The production is better than a typical sci fi TV show but not trying to extend the boundaries of CGI which seems to disappoint some. The ending may disappoint some as there is no extended battle. If you iike sci fi. most will at least accept it. I rate this is an average for many of the lower budget sci fi movies. That is, watchable since it should be about the story.It is a plus if you are a Star Trek fan to see familiar actors.

Note: It is cannot be a waste of 2 hrs since it does not even last that long.

Better Watch Out

Not bad but not really the holiday comic horror as described
The description described it as a Christmas comic horror. The first 30 minutes started off like any babysitter in a house movie. It takes a turn when we learn it is the kid being babysit as the evil force.. The movie becomes a "Home Alone" series of events as the movie progresses. Some were unrealistic and who could not miss hearing the shot gun being fired but horror movies usually rely on these aspects.

It did run a bit long with some repetitiveness but was better done (acting, production values) than many give credit. The ending was an obvious twist but satisfying.

Note: Some may find the teen violence disturbing. I suspect some would have liked it more if it involved adults and more violence.

Another Plan from Outer Space

Not so original story with inconsistent acting
I did not see any correlation between the title (takeoff on Plan 9 from Outer Space?) and the movie. This is just an extended variation of a typical classic Twilight Zone sci-fi episode with a twist at the ending. It is very low budget - below most TV shows Except for a helmet and the junk radio, there are no other real space props in the movie. The space helmet did not even connect in any way to the space suit (just a blue jump suit) so what value was the helmet?

Most of the movie plays out in the desert where they walk around the likely to be hot jumpsuit (save for one female). There is the usual drama of who is in charge the and quest for water.

Toward the end there is a scene with two law enforcement officers. On one, the uniform was poorly fitting and the top shirt button could not be fastened. I could not tell if this was intentional or not.

Mutant Chronicles

Meh...not a bad movie
For me this was not that original movie in terms of story. It involves a motley crew off to accomplish a certain task to save mankind. Visually it was different with some graphics cartoon style (maybe on purpose).

In the initial parts of the movie, the future battle combatants looked a lot like WWI with helmets, trenches, etc/. Once the team gets going it turns yet another another movie of humans vs an infinite number of mutants (movies in other movies) to the final battle on elevated on platforms. So for the second half, you just watch to see who is alive at the end. The final challenge solution was a bit disappointing and not very climatic.

Watchable but nothing special to me.


OK movie
It was an OK movie and not a total waste of time. Tom Cruise was Tom Cruise so did not see any real new dimensions from him. It had a very slick look but the plot was lacking with a lot of plot holes and it ran a bit long. It started fine but when he had the moments in the stadium and then ended up in shangri-lai on supposedly waste land I felt the movie was not going well. Now, who would put a power core for a drone up front (they just snap in with gum) and it was so easy to disable. They were awful shots so there goes credibility. After meeting the scabs, it started getting predictable and as others as said the mother ship could not tell who the second person was or that they carried weapons. Of course the flight recorder that he happen to have filled in most of the story points. For the conclusion, the other tech finds the shangri-la and they live happily ever after.

It just looked like an expensive pretty picture with a weak story although I liked it better than some other recent ones. It would have been a good Outer Limits episode.

Mission Mars

It is a scifi film
It was not a total lost cause but I always like most older scifi films even the not very good ones. You have a couple fairly well known actors leading the cast but the rest were mostly minor actors.

The plot concept itself was not bad but the script left much to be desired. The directing had a very quick business like pace with actors most going throw their lines. There was little dwell time emotion on except for some solace moments. It had a lot of the delivery like in a Jack Webb show. For example, there was not much lamenting of the astronauts death when back to business on the way home. The sets were not even up to Star Trek TV standards that started airing in 1966 or even less Lost in Space. It did not take itself too seriously or campy so was tolerable.

I found the soundtrack to be a what made this film unique since I like the 60's time capsules. It definitely had a different vibe as the country turns the corner in 1968 in many ways as it shows up on TV and the movies.

Mission: Impossible: Encore
Episode 2, Season 6

So so episode with William Shatner
In this episode, the IMF team use the back lot of a studio to trick a gangster, played by William Shatner, to reveal the location of someone he had killed.

It was actually fairly simplistic plot with convincing Shatner he was back in time and would recreate the crime and therefore recreate the event. Both Shatner and the other character were aged to show present time and then shown without aging to show the past.

The real flaw in this whole scenario is that they have Shatner moving around early US city (a back lot of a studio they used) but as we know back lot is just fronts but they have us believe they are interiors on the back lot too.

Too bad Leonard Nimoy was not in this season but I never felt he was that suited for the role.

Mission: Impossible: The Killer
Episode 1, Season 5

One of the best of season 5
This was probably the best episode of season 5. It had a good script and lots of continuous activity as the tried to follow the killer to identify the target. This season featured a change with a more modern feel but felt this season is when MI lost a lot of its charm.

I never felt Lesley (Ann) Warren really worked out well during her stint as female team member with a tendency to overact compared to the almost stoic performances by the rest of the cast. This was one of her better performances. She seemed to have very minor roles at times.

I did enjoy seeing more modern cars especially the early 70 Plymouths since Chrysler provided the cars compared to the VW's and Mercedes used in many of the foreign locales.

The Horror at 37,000 Feet

Too much like Airplane
I first thought this was going to be a parody.

The production values (no nonsense setups, lighting, costumes, camera angles, dramatic close ups, soundtrack) reminds me a lot of Airplane with the overly dramatic acting style when there is not that much suspense.

In fact, with a slight dialogue change it could be very funny in Airplane style. This would be a candidate for MST3K or a redo like What's up Tiger Lily would be even better.

Shatner and Connors from Airplane II add to the feel.

It is not great but when you think in the above context it is bearable.


Movie was great until they woke up the crew!
The movie was great until they woke up the crew.

I just do not like movies where supposedly trained specialists make dumb decisions. The story is missing a lot of the plot to connect the stories on why some did some things.

I never understood the rationalization of the android doing what he was doing along with most of the rest of the crew at the cave / ship complex and yet the moon had other ships too. When given a choice between doing nothing out of caution or doing something, they always did something that usually ended up killing them.

It was hilarious that someone could go through a cesarean on machine only designed for men (!) then with a belly stapled together was able to outrun and outlive everyone else.

One would think for a mission that cost a trillion dollars (maybe that was not much in 2090's), they could afford a better crew and a ship with living room size working spaces.

Hawaii Five-O: A Lion in the Streets
Episode 1, Season 12

Sure missed Danny
This story revolves an attempt by an organized crime boss to take over the food workers union. The crime brings in an outside from the mainland to run against the locals.

This was an odd episode but the plot was pretty basic with plenty of rough stuff on both sides to keep the action going.

For a show was a story Hawaiians in charge, it does not help that lead characters (Paul Smith or Ross Martin) do not look very local. For an expert mob, Ross Martin's bodyguards were quite inept.

When McGarrett gets the curse, there is no Danny Williams (not in the final season) to be his helper supposedly leaving 5-O without a boss but not sure why they did not appoint a temporary head. He has to do something unconventional by using Will Smith playing an ex-cop looking for revenge.

Hawaii Five-O: Tour De Force, Killer Aboard
Episode 5, Season 9

Decent story - a few plot holes
This was a decent story of a smooth talking assassin after an OPEC leader to destabilize the oil market.

Unfortunately, as the previous review said, Office Wells really some dumb things such as allowing herself to be taken when she knew what he planned to do. First, she got flubbed tripping him up on his history, then gets caught in his room, and lastly allowing herself to get to hotel. I assume it was not for her safety but exposing others to potential harm but hard to believe. In this episode, there is no book em charge.

I also thought McGarrett's near the end comment that Officer Wells, a police officer no less, should not be allowed to see the dead body was interesting but this was the early 70's.

Hawaii Five-O: Cry, Lie
Episode 20, Season 2

Take down 5-0
This is another let's get McGarrett/5-0 episode but I did not really understand why the young lawyer played by a young Martin Sheen, a bit overacting to me, was really after him in some master plot.

This time they are after Chin to discredit 5-0. Of course, Chin has zero alibi's so the perfect suspect for bribery charges and Kam Fong played the role showing a severe guilt complex. The heat is on McGarrett from on high.

The ending was unconventional for a police force and more closer to something from Mission: Impossible but probably happens today. I guess he was desperate after the Governor was going to hand the investigation over to someone else.

I liked seeing Chin character more in this episode and liked the photography. There was a lot of outside scenes moving between places so gave it a fairly fast feel. I definitely like seeing the 70's Hawaii.

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