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This feels like it was made by people who graduated film school with honors but didn't get any on them. Technically nothing wrong with it. Just a big swing and a miss, rather like the Star Wars prequels in that respect.
Fawlty Towers (1975)
One of the great laugh inducing comedies of all time.
Waiting for God (1990)
I watched the 3 seasons on Britbox and they were quite humorous for the most part. The leads are well cast and have chemistry. After their relationship changed a bit, the the show seemed to trend downwards somewhat. Certainly worth streaming.
More background than movie
If someone took the History of Middle Earth and created a prequel it would be something like this to LOTR (though still better than the Hobbit trilogy). Interesting backstory to the universe and some pointless action at the end. Pretty pictures with people projected against them all having been sterilized heavily.
Spectacle more than movie
Million-dollar effects and ten cent script. It looks like a mix up of all the action and sci-fi films before it, yet it does have spark which would drive the TV series that came after it. Worth watching if you are going to plunge into the series.
Last Man Standing (2011)
A wide variety of conservative sitcoms
The show seems to have morphed several times. The first season was poor and mostly seemed to be a conservative guy against his liberal family. Sensing that this made most of the women in his life look very witchy, the next three seasons feature Meathead versus Tim Allen in an All in the Family reboot. Fortunately the work environment was more interesting including lovable idiot Kyle. His relationship with the middle daughter became more of the focus of the show as it became more of a family sitcom. Eventually Fox did whatever it was and changed everything.
It is hard to fully recommend unless you are a conservative with enough interest to get all the Obama jokes and think race is hilarious. Like All in the Family the black versus white jokes will appeal to some just as Norman Lear intended back in the day. Sadly it just isn't very funny though the cast is generally enjoyable.
The Mandalorian (2019)
An enjoyable journey through the Star Wars Universe. The writing was generally good as was the acting which sometimes let down this franchise. As always the world building and look of the film was fine.
The only negative is that episodes 4-6 where mostly action episodes that felt like fillers. The first 3 and the last 2 are the actual story. Also in a sense this was just a fun side story. While the future may make the series an important part of SW lore, right now it feels like an interesting film set in the universe but not impacting it.
Excellent six parter
Whos that run longer than 4 episodes tend to be weak in the middle, but this seriel was strong all the way through. The action is crisp, the writing is good and the fourth doctor was in good form early in his career.
The story is dark especially for what was a kid's show, but it isn't much by modern standards. Definitely an essential Who.
Short, Solid Who
This two parter is something like a WW2 picture in a different setting. As the name suggests the alien wants to experiment on humans. Decades ago in Britian this was likely culturally relevant, but now it feels like it's been done endlessly.
Still it moves at a good pace and the characters are interesting. This a new Who and Sarah Jane Smith were worth watching.
Creaky FX, Good People
If you watch this with no specials and move on it is low budget, bad FX Alien. If you watch the making of and listen to the commentary, you start enjoying it for it's Tina and place and the people involved. As part of a season release this is especially true. Liz and Tom are lovely actors and you can forgive the 70s TV on a shoestring shows when you like them.
Low grade Christmas musical
How do you fill half an hour of holiday TV time? Hire some unknown actors and have them do a short and wierd musical. This will transport you back to 1950s TV on stations that weren't on the network. Hey they had to fill up holiday air time too.
Doctor Who: Robot: Part Four (1975)
Review of all episodes on Blu-ray.
This is a solid start to the fourth doctor. It isn't as memorable as some serials and the tech is very dated, but the regeneration goes well and Tom Baker is quiet good from the first. Liz Sladen is also good and anything she is in is more pleasant for her presence.
The commentary, making of, and behind the sofa extras are nice if standard. The bit on Target books and Terrance Dicks is a great 20 minutes if you like the books.
Enjoyable Small Town America
After too many trips to New York and Chicago, staying home in Carville was a pleasant experience. There are touches of the sappiness of It's a Wonderful Life which extends to the casting. Watching in December probably helped the enjoyment level.
With both the romance and Andy Hardy's overacting kept to a minimum the film resembles a simple sitcom. fans of a simpler era and a few smiles will enjoy this one.
Santa and the Three Bears (1970)
A pleasant enough Christmas cartoon
It was interesting to read the reviews. People seem to either love or hate this little cartoon. The truth is it's barely average. The animation is bog-standard TV cartoon animation. The voice work is pretty nice especially since it features Hal Smith. It does work nicely for a slow December Eve with a cup of hot chocolate.
The First Christmas (1979)
I didn't expect much from this first cartoon in a large collection culled from a discount bin. It turned out to be a well voiced production with passible animation. Those who enjoy the Christmas story will find a pleasent half hour retelling pulled straight from Scripture.
The Santa Clause (1994)
Home Improvement Holiday Hijinks
Tim Allen is an Everyman which makes him perfect for a simple holiday movie that is both pleasent and forgettable. This feels like a TV movie from the years when the sitcom was a bit. It isn't a classic and is very much of its time. Still if you turn your mind on low and think of the late last millinium, it is decent entertainment late in the year.
A Christmas Carol (1938)
Enjoyable after all these years
There have been many acted versions of this classic tale. While not the best, this is a fun way to spend a bit over an hour on a holiday evening. The actors are solid and the production is classic Hollywood solid.
The Andy Griffith Show (1960)
Seasons 3 and 4 almost perfect
The years with Barney and Gomer might be the best of black and white TV. Most of the truly funny episodes came in those two seasons. None if the seasons are bad, it was just that these two were the peak.
Andy Hardy Meets Debutante (1940)
Corny when no Judy
Judy was virtually the definition of classic Hollywood. When she is on screen this film is worth watching. When she isn't, it descends into corny teen adventure.
A great ending
After seeing so many series in the fantasy realm end badly, it is nice to see a fine conclusion. This film is a classic with only a few flaws. There are times when Jackson goes too deep into his horror background and it may have too many endings. Still it may be the best fantasy film of recent memory.
Great middle film
The second film of a trilogy is often the weakest, but Two Towers is surprisingly engaging. The cast and direction are excellent throughout.
The Wind in the Willows (1983)
Lovely animation and voice work
A bit abbreviated from the book, but wonderfully done stop motion animation and great voice work. The film manages to capture the magic of this world in a way that traditional animation couldn't quite match. The actors were spot on in their portrayals with David Jason giving life to the irascible Toad but somehow, as noted in the bonus feature, making him sympathetic as well. This film spawned 5 TV series which were quite nice in their own right.
Judge Hardy and Son (1939)
Vintage Family Fun
While there is a surprisingly serious plot point, this film has lots of laughs with Andy and solid family togetherness sprinkled throughout. It is an interesting glimpse at the Hollywood version anyway of the American family in a time of crises. Prayer, love for siblings, children and parents and the visiting family doctor and home nurse when health care was a touch less expensive and a touch more personal all play a part. This is one of the more enjoyable of the Hardy family films especially the ones without Judy Garland.
There is a reason LotR is legendary
If you want to appreciate this film and this trilogy, watch the Hobbit trilogy first. Everything it gets wrong this film gets right. Fifteen minutes into this film I was more engaged with Middle Earth, Hobbits and Gandalf than I was in the entirety of The Hobbit. This first film has the advantage of lingering lovingly over Hobbiton and Rivendell the most beautiful settings in Middle Earth and makes the most of it with great cinematography.
Unlike the Dwarves of the Hobbit, the Hobbits here were cast perfectly as was Gandalf which helps to create an engaging introduction to the world / film / trilogy. I must admit there have been many times when I simply have watched the Hobbit beginning of the film and stopped. The pastoral beauty of this world is comparable to the world of something like Wind in the Willows. Of course you can't get the Ring to Mount Doom by staying in this gentle world. Bree and meeting Strider, the beauty of Rivendell, Lothlorien and Galadriel, mixed with some action packed battle sequences make for a great film.
Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever (1939)
High School Drama
This mildly more serious entry in the Hardy Family series centers on a more dramatic Andy and a school play. As with the previous film, he falls for an older woman and all that drama gets in the way of the humor. It isn't a bad film but I prefer a lighter touch and honestly 80 year old school scenes don't hold much appeal. While the scenes around the town of Carville seem pleasantly nostalgic, school films from this era just feel quaint.