April 30, 2014

My Top 10 Favorite Sitcom "In" Jokes

Nostalgia critic has a new series talking about things in movies many people may never have noticed. It got me thinking about something which I always wonder if people notice. The in-joke! I don't mean references to pop culture, but references to the actors real lives.



I love sitcoms (no, really?) and one of the things that they will often do that I adore is an "inside" joke. This is basically a reference regarding an actors previous work within the context of the character on the show. Or maybe a refrence to events within the show. Of course animated shows like The Simpsons do this like crazy. But once in awhile live action series will do it also. Here now are some of my favorites:










#10.The Cosby Show


In "I Spy" Bill Cosby played Alexander Scott and Robert Culp played Kelly Robinson. What was the name of Culp's character when he appeared on an episode of The Cosby Show? Scott Kelly! Of course!


April 28, 2014

Five Things I Hated in "E.T."





E.T. came out in 1982 and was a monster hit. I still remember how long that movie played in theatres, it seemed like it would never go away! I saw it twice and was a huge fan. How many movies do you remember seeing 32 years ago?? I had the stuffed toys, the glow in the dark finger, action figures, and even the Atari game (god help me). I also did the ride at Universal Studios which was only ok. The performances are great from Dee Wallace Stone to the adorable Drew Barrymore. This is considered one of Steven Spielberg's best and I can't argue with that. You can just feel the passion that was put into it.


While I love this sweet little story of a boy befriending a lost alien, does that mean it doesn't have things I don't like in it? Of course not. Here now are five things I didn't like in E.T.



#5.Elliott is a jerk (for the first ten minutes)



I know he is our hero and I like him for the majority of the film, but man is Elliot a jerk when this movie begins. I know, he's a little kid but the way he hurts his mothers feelings and takes no notice of that is just cold. When his brother yells at him, rightfully so, Elliot storms out. Yes, I know his parents are separated which is tough and I know this can be how little kids act and I know this is all setting up the change in character by the end....but man I can't help but watch that dinner scene and think what a little creep that kid is.



April 25, 2014

A Look at "Tough Love" Sitcom Moments

It's easy to be friends and family when times are good. You hang out, laugh, and maybe even tease each other a bit. It's when times are tough for one person that these relationships gets put to the test. You see the person struggling with something, but do you say something even at the risk of disturbing the relationship?


This happens in sitcoms to, and often leads to some of the more memorable scenes. They are scenes, or even just lines of dialogue, where one character needs to give another a little hard to time to get them past whatever rough patch they may be in. Sometimes it's just a little talk with a few wise words of wisdom. Other times, it gets a little more intense. So much so there is the risk of detsroying the relationship. But the character goes ahead,maybe even crosses the line, to help their friend or relative. When written and acted well, these moments usually stand out as very strong character moments.



These are some of my favorite "tough love" moments. Some of these links are attached to full episodes, feel free to stop watching after the scene I describe has played.




Benson 

This is a short one but has always been one of my favorites. Benson's mother visits and then unexpectedly dies. Benson decides not to go home for the funeral. But the governor steps in. Normally the governor is the one in need of guidance, but he knows that Benson is hurting and will only regret it if he does not go home. Touching moment,

This is on YouTube but the video quality is terrible, someone just recorded their TV, Still:


http://youtu.be/RGVSyKt-hnY?t=5m29s


Family Ties


It doesn't get tougher than this scene. We see Elyse's brother, played by Tom Hanks, dealing with an alcohol problem. The family tries confronting him but after a very dramatic moment when he slaps Alex across the room, Steven makes it very simple. No speeches, no lectures...just get help or get the hell out of his house!
http://youtu.be/NOQSQfTsMzo


April 21, 2014

The Perfect "Sitcom Family" ???

What if you could take all the sitcom families we have had over the last sixty years, and blend them into a "perfect" family? Many people have done this kind of thing, and today it's my turn.

As always, this is just for fun.



As you might imagine this was not easy, and is limited to only family comedies. So let's cut to the chase.




FATHER-CLIFF HUXTABLE (The Cosby Show)


This hard, because sitcom fathers always seem to fit into the same categories. They are either stiff, serious people who never relax (Mike Brady, Jason Seaver) or lazy and/or slobs who let the mother run the show (Dan Connor, Al Bundy) or they are there more to hilariously react to things (Steven Keaton, Uncle Phil) or are just idiots (Ray Barone). Cliff was different. He has been America's Favorite TV father for thirty years now because he hit every note just right. He knew how to relate to his kids. He was good at being light and easygoing. He could then go the others way and be dead serious! Bill Cosby created this character and no sitcom father has topped him, in fact over the years the sitcom father has regressed to being the stupid slob. But the best part? The guy was not perfect. Not even close. He had bad habits, he made mistakes, and he would often defer situations to others because he couldn't. It's nice to see a character who is a good father and also allowed to be human.



April 18, 2014

Top 5 Favorite Easter Specials

It's hard to believe the way that Television ignores the Easter holiday these days. Mostly because back in the 70's and 80's, there were all sorts of Easter specials every year! But something changed and most of those specials have disapeared, only living on DVD or people's memories. But I am not here to get into a pseudo phislophical rant on why that is. Instead, let's talk about the Easter specials which I loved and still love.



Ok so lot's of them were weird or boring. Yogi Bear? Never seen it but Ok. Family Circus? No thanks the Christmas one bored me. Fat Albert? Before my time. Bugs Bunny? These specials are always just repackaged clip shows. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Yeah, right. But let's be fair, these specials may have been corny but compared to what we have today they are gold! There were variety specials also, I know Bob Hope did at least one! And Walt Disney World had an Easter parade on Easter Sunday for years which has mysteriously faded away.




So today I thought it would be fun to look at five Easter specials, some old and others not, which I still enjoy every year. They are not on TV anymore (well, except one which we will get to) but I still watch them and remember fond memories when celebrating Easter was ok.




#5.The Easter Bunny is Comin to Town


Who doesn't love Rankin/Bass? Ok, Doug Walker doesn't but I think that's because he focuses more on the stop motion than then story. The stories and charactes are what keep us coming back. This was the Easter version of the classic Santa Claus is Comin to Town. It is told by the same narrator, but this story has a few problems. In Santa, Kris Kringle is delivering toys every chance he gets so the majority of the special takes place in a confined time, maybe a matter of weeks, until the last ten minutes. Here, the events only happen on Easter Sunday which means this special spans years of time. Even worst, there just isn't as much to discuss with Easter and the creators literally give up. The last fifteen minutes is a long and boring filler piece with the Little Engine That Could. But gripes aside, it's still a good special with some very charming moments and worth a watch if you can find it.



April 15, 2014

Analytical Episode Review:Fresh Prince, "Bullets Over Bel-Air"


Last time I looked at something light and silly. Today let's discuss something dark, and dead serious!



Fresh Prince of Bel Air was a huge hit in the early 90's. Today I wanted to take a look at one of the more serious episodes. It tackles the issues of gun violence head on. But does it work, or fail?




"Bullets Over Bel-Air"



A very special episode that actually works....almost.





Plot Summary:A routine camping trip goes very wrong when Will and Carlton are held up at gunpoint at an ATM. The gun goes off, and Will is shot. Carlton goes through a major crisis of faith while Will tries to keep his spririts up.



April 11, 2014

My Tribute-5 Great Bill Murray Roles Often Forgotten


Bill Murray is one of my favorite comedians/actors. He was great on SNL, but most people think of his movies. Caddyshack, Meatballs, Ghostbusters, Scrooged, Groundhog Day, Rushmore, Lost in Translation. But today I wanted to talk about five roles Murray had that kind of get lost in the shuffle of his bigger stuff. But while they do not get the same attention, they are still funny roles and should be remembered. And no, Garfield will not be on this list. Even he couldn't save that mess!


Ok, before I even start I have to shout out the cameo in Zombieland. It was great! Not on the list because it is not underrated and I have never seen the movie, but I did see the clip and it was a brilliant cameo. Now, let's discuss my five choices. As always, just my opinion :





#5.What About Bob?


I'm putting this high on the list because I think this is more appreciated than the others here. But it does seem like when people talk about Bill Murray thIs movie hardly ever gets mentioned. Heck I forget it sometimes myself. And I think that's unfair, since it's a decent little comedy and Murray is really good playing the annoying patient who straightens his life out while the doctor, played by Richard Dreyfuss, has his life unravel. Worth a watch for a little mindless fun and to be honest, Murray does some great acting in this. His character is likable and you really see the growth he goes through in the movie as he bonds with the family. Yeah Richard Dreyfuss gets a little to much, but it is Richard Dreyfuss after all.


April 8, 2014

400th Blog Special:A Look at The Cosby Show Openings

Yes my friends, it's true. I have hit the 400 blog mark. Maybe it isn't such a big deal and I am just making to much out of it, but I can't believe I have made it this far. I started writing blogs on Auguest 25, 2011 and now nearly three years later I am still coming up with ideas. Yeah, some of them work better than others but I'm still here. I love nostalgia and I enjoy sharing that love with all of you. And the best part is that there is a site like this one where I am able to do that.


So when I hit 100 blogs I did a look at sitcom production companies. My 200th was a look at my all time favorite TV shows, while the 300th was those shows I HATE! So I tried to decide what to do today, and then a little idea came to me. Since I am trying to do more reviewing, why not review something that very few have? TV Show openings!


Those classic TV show openings/theme songs were always a lot of fun especially in the 80's. I can't explain to those to young understand, but a good theme song and opening really got you ready for the show. But more than that, it made you feel good knowing you could just relax, forget about the day's troubles, and enjoy your favorite show. In 1986 NBC had a slogan "Come on home to NBC" and I loved that. Man I miss those days. Anyway, I seem to be rambling. I am going to take a look at all seven opening sequences to one of my favorite shows, The Cosby Show!!


The Cosby Show premiered in 1984 and was a major hit. The show's theme music, "Kiss Me", was composed by Stu Gardner and Bill Cosby.The Cosby Show set the standard for the silly opening theme where the cast danced and smiled at the audience.  But were the openings good, or lame?

Let's take a look :

SEASON 1 PLAYING IN THE PARK
 

The theme music is perfect, but who came up with this idea? We'll have a series of pictures go by. This isn't so bad now, but imagine it was 1984 and you are watching this show for the first time as I was. I remember what I thought : who are these people?? When a show first premiers the opening needs to introduce us to the series, but some forget the opening altogether especially with the pilot and just show the names of the cast because they realize no one has any idea who these characters are yet. Who's The Boss? pilot just shows Tony's truck driving to Angela's. Growing Pains showed weird paintings and then one photo of the family at the end. Friends pilot just showed the cast dancing around the water fountain because clips of the characters would have been pointless for the pilot. But this....was bad. Until I had become familiar with the show, the pics flashing by me meant nothing. Even Alf did it better, with the opening theme showing just enough so we would recognize the characters. Maybe I am being to hard on this one, but this one was just fail.I mean, the names come over the kids being helped out of a van. Yawn.


GRADE-C WATCH I HERE :   http://youtu.be/3XN0UACBnPI



April 6, 2014

Top 6 Worst Comedy Movies I Have Ever Seen!


A funeral and an illness kept me from getting this out last week. Never get conjunctivitis and an ear infection at the same time! Anyway, let's talk bad movies:



Sadly, not every movie can be a gem. And a movie intended to be a comedy can be boring, even painful to sit through. And while I try my hardest to make sure that every movie I see is at least decent, when I as younger I had a lot less control of that. As a result, I have seen some bad comedies in my time. Sure once in awhile you get a "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" which turned out to be pretty good. But other times you just get a bad experience.




I am not suggesting these are the worst comedies out there. I am sure there are plenty more which are even worst. But here are six awful comedies I was unfortunate enough to see :




6.Ghost Dad


What's more embarrassing than the fact that I saw this in theaters? I saw his on a sneak preview in theaters! What can I say, I was a huge Bill Cosby fan (and The Cosby Show was the biggest show on TV) and this sounded like an OK movie. I mean it was directed by Sydney Poitier and the eldest daughter was played by Kimberly Russell who I enjoyed on Head of the Class. How could it miss? Very easily it turned out. There was just no humor in this movie and the script was kind of mean spirited. Nostalgia Critic reviewed this so I will not repeat things he said. The movie is bad, want to know more go ahead and watch his great review of it.






5.ZooKeeper


Kevin James can be funny. But this movie is a very bad example of that. I liked Paul Blart, I really did. The fact that the movie was filmed in a mall I go to a lot has nothing to do with it. So I thought I would give Zookeeper a try. Man was this movie boring! I'm sorry, this was supposed to be funny? It was also filled with cliche after cliche. I mean, the romantic interest suddenly gets a job offer in Africa, leading to the standard race to the airport so the hero can tell her he loves her. I care so little I am not even looking up the name. Not funny, and just plain bad. You may notice no Adam Sandler films on this list. It's because I have only seen a handful of his films and mercifully they were all decent. Besides we all know Adam Sandler has enough bad movies to make up their very own list.



April 4, 2014

Analytical Episode Review:Full House, "Terror in Tanner Town"


Yeah I haven't exactly been pounding these out. But let's try to change that now. I was in the mood for something sappy and sickeningly sweet. Hey, I know!!!




I wanted to pick an episode of this series which I have a lot to talk about, and this one is perfect. Let's take a closer look at this,interesting, episode from season four.


“Trouble in Tanner Town”

What happens when a rotten kid visits the Tanner’s? Hijinks of course!!





Plot Summary-Danny has a new girlfriend, and when she is called into work the Tanner’s agree to watch her son Rusty. Not realize what a demon child the kid is. Meanwhile, Becky and Jesse continue to argue about their upcoming wedding.




Best Line-“Oh. That's what this is about. Look, Rusty, I know how you feel. My parents are divorced, too. It hurts that they're not together. But you can't wreck every relationship that your mom tries to make. You know that's not fair.”….Danny trying to make us feel sorry for the little brat


April 1, 2014

Top 5 Reasons I Loved A View to a Kill

A View to a Kill came out in 1985, and it wasn't the biggest hit in the world. But for me, it's always had a special place in my heart. One reason is this is the first Bond movie I had seen in theatres. Untul then I had seen every other James Bond movie till that time on video. This was the first one I saw in theatres, and man was I impressed! Oh, maybe I was just to young and naive, but I enjoyed watching what was then one of my favorite action stars on the big screen at last! But this movie still gets it's criticsim. Here are five other reasons that I love A View to a Kill.





Grace Jones


What ever happened to her anyway? She was freaking cool! She was a Jamaican model, actress, and singer and was all over the place in the 80's. Including this movie where she played May Day. If memory serves she did not have many lines, but she was still awesome.






Duran Duran


Oh come one, you know that theme song rocks! I loved Duran Duran in the 80's and this song remains on my ipod to this day. I wont go so far as to say it;s the best Bong Theme, but hey it isn't Madonna either!!






Christopher Walken


Oh come on, it's freaking Christopher Walken!! Anything he is in is automatically awesome. I think this was my first exposure to Walken and I always remembered him in this role. My favoirte moment comes when MayDay sacrifices herself while getting the bomb out of the cave. Zorin watches this, and after it explodes he seems genuimely heartbroken. Mant movie villains would just say "whatever" and move on, but he shows real depth in that one moment.





Shot in San Francisco


One of the things I really liked was that for once a Bond film spent some time in the United States. And that Golden Gate Bridge scene was pretty cool.






Hey, it's not Timothy Dalton


They say Roger Moore was to old for this role by this point, and that may be. But when I saw Timothy Dalton in the next movie I hated him instantly. I was always a fan of Roger Moore and liked him in this.






So does this all mean the movie is good?




No, it isn't. It is slow, the plot is cliche ridden, Roger Moore was to old (and hates this movie I read), and that Bond girl was awful. To this day I can hear that annoying blonde girk scream "JAMES!" over and over, and a little part of me dies inside. This movie is a favorite more for sentimental reasons. It just doesn't have that appeal to be a classic Bond movie.