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King Solomon's Mines (1985)
Hokey-funny, or funny-hokey?
First off, it's a blatant ripoff of nearly everything from Raiders o/t Lost Ark, Henry Jones, Jr. & the Temple of Doom, & High Road to China. Second off, it's actually pretty funny, considering. The slapstick & dialogue is totally predictable (especially in the case of all 4 major actors). It almost sounds from Chamberlain's delivery that it's where Jonathan Frakes got his characterization of Riker in ST:TNG!
If you treat this like Rocky Horror or MST3K, you'll find it enjoyable. Trust me, you don't have to have a bad feeling about this.
Jack and the Beanstalk (1970)
worse than you can possibly imagine you could imagine
This thing is horrid. No, seriously. I mean, SERIOUSLY seriously. Calling it bad truly is being kind. This thing makes Ed Wood look like Martin Scorsese. The adult lead is a middle-aged guy desperately trying to look hip; his hair is so bad it's pathetic, his belt/buckle is straight out of 1967 Haight-Ashbury, his clothes are the worst kind of polyester/double-knit.... You get the picture.
As an example of how bad the sets/props/etc. are, evil giants always have magic swag, right? So naturally there's a magic harp. Well, except there are *two*, both supposedly the same harp. One is noticeably smaller, & they're both made out of cardboard covered in wrinkled gold tin foil. The cardboard looks as though it were cut out freehand by a kindergartener with an X-Acto knife. And the "acting," oh, dear God....
The whole thing looks like it was a pageant put on by a Methodist Sunday School class combined from 1st grade to middle school. Compared to this its companion piece ("Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny") is Citizen Kane. It's just sad. The ONLY redeeming feature is that it's available as a Christmas special eviscerated by RiffTrax, & their version is the only one you should even *think* about watching. Otherwise, avoid at all costs!!
How Sweet It Is! (1968)
hokey, pokey, & could have been a lot funnier
I give this 6 based solely on the fact that it had Reynolds, Garner, & Scotti in it. It was hokey & saccharine 47 years ago, & it's 4.7 times that now. As the saying goes, "Man, I was there then." The thing was written as though it was 1958, not '68. Compare "Boys' Night Out" (also with Garner), done 6 years earlier, & with a similar plot -- vastly superior.
A lot of the humor is weak & sadly forced. The pseudo-psychedelic artwork & intro don't help much, either. I understand & sympathize with those (presumably also of my generation) who like it, but objectively speaking, this just doesn't go higher than about halfway up the scale. :\
The Book of Daniel (2006)
"Anyone that is a true Christian should not want to watch this show because by watching it you are aiding in the effort to keep it on the air and it does not need to be on the air...." There are only two comments I feel qualified to make regarding the above remark posted by someone: Romans 3:10 & 3:23. (They're the passages about there being no human being who is righteous, & about all having sinned & fallen short of the glory of God.) I don't know too many "true" Christians who feel they're holy enough to pass judgement on their fellow sinners, although I do know some who class themselves as that & do it even in spite of the above verses.
Speaking strictly for myself, I like the show; yes, there are a few things I might change or tone down a little, but that's just me. And also yes, I am not only a Christian but an Episcopalian as well. I personally have no significant problem with the show, & I am quite comfortable with my faith. I hope I never become so UNcomfortable with it that I feel I must go on a mission to lecture my fellow sinners. :)
High Road to China (1983)
For fans of slapstick & VCA's (Veteran Character Actors)
Drama, funny, & veteran character actors out the kazoo. Robert Morley (rest his soul) is great as the malicious bumbling nemesis, & Wilford Brimley is letter-perfect as the eccentric good-guy geezer. Jack Weston is stellar as sidekick, Brian Blessed is appropriately malevolent as Suleman Khan, & Timothy Bateson is 1st-rate as Morley's sniveling toady. All of this is overshadowed (but not over the top) by the absolutely perfect chemistry between Selleck & Armstrong, though. Yeah, sure, the conceit of the snotty-rich-girl-drives-the-heart-of-gold-tough-guy-crazy love story has been done to death, but never executed quite like this. These two make an on-screen couple at the level of Bogey/Bacall, Fred/Ginger, & George/Gracie.
Selleck's charisma normally dominates other actors' presence; Armstrong more than holds her own, which is saying a lot for any actress, much less one not on the A-list. The cinematography is exceptionally well-done. All in all, this is one seriously underrated flick, & a movie I'd buy in a heartbeat if it ever became available on DVD, which sadly I doubt it ever will. :(
not a fan
One of Paul Bartel's more dreadful efforts -- definitely nowhere close to being in the same league with either "Eating Raoul" or "Death Race 2000." Granted it's typical of '70s "realistic"-appearing movies/TV shows, but the acting is by & large mediocre & the violence gratuitous. In addition, there is a lot of filler that is frankly inane & complements the plot line about as well as Ripple does Chateaubriand. About the best one can say for it is that David Carradine's & Veronica Hamel's performances are fairly good, & the explosion/crash FX are first-rate. Any of the iterations of "Cannonball Run" is superior to this, & that's based just on film merits & not starring casts. This travesty makes even "BJ & the Bear" look good. :(