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Uninspiring and Incomplete
Having watched the original show, I was looking forward to yet another 'unauthorized' version from a 90s TV show as I did with the 'Saved by the Bell' and 'Full House' versions but this one really disappointed.
First off, unlike the other two, none of the actors look like the actors they are portraying with the exception of the Jennie Garth actress. In fact, the actress that played Tori Spelling could also have played Jennie Garth as well due to their resemblance.
Why you would make a behind-the-scenes movie and limit yourself only to the first four seasons of a ten season show I don't know but that puts the focus of the movie more on Shannen Doherty and her attitude and exploits over the other actors some of which don't even get a mention at all as pointed out by other reviewers.
There were a couple things I did like. When Ian says to Shannen that she is like a shark and a tornado, we get the reference to the Sharknado movie franchise which Ian was later a part of. I also liked the realistic portrayal of Brian Austin Green's dancing style. I remember how we mocked it back then as did the fellow cast members in this movie.
I believe this to be Tori Spelling's version of events but you can decide for yourself if you choose to kill a couple hours with nostalgia.
You May Not Kiss the Bride (2011)
Not Even A Time Waster
This movie is very predictable and is so from early on. Versions of it have been done plenty of times before. Here is a quick summary: Photographer almost kills cat of Mafia boss's wife. Croatian mafia boss (more on that later) gives man choice to die or marry daughter (who speaks perfect English) to get her a green card. Man agrees to marriage. Woman kidnapped during honeymoon. Man saves woman. They fall in love with each other. The End.
Now to the Croatian aspect of the movie. As a Croatian, I didn't have a problem with a mafia boss being from Croatia as their are bad people in all countries but at least the filmmakers could have made a real effort. The names were all wrong, the accents were all wrong, the music was all wrong, Croatians don't make borscht and the coffee is actually very good. Half of Europe could tell you the above.
If you think of calling your mom first after a legitimate death threat is something you would do and she would suggest you get married because she wants grandchildren would be her answer, then this is the movie for you. It was not for me.
The Christmas Shoes (2002)
It's one of those rare movies.
Before watching this movie, I was aware of the great song but not aware that the movie was based on a book.
I thought the movie was OK for a TV movie and the acting only average (although Hugh Thompson and Max Morrow stood out for me) so why the 7 star rating? Gosh darn it, sometimes there's a movie out there that comes along that just gets to me emotionally and reaching for the tissue box. It's very rare for a guy like me that doesn't shed a lot of tears but this is one of those movies. It offers up to us just what is important in life and we should all be aware of that message. Parental guidance recommended for those with small children.
A Learning Experience
Although a dramatization, it's always nice to see what people are really like and not the characters they may be typecast as after a long running TV show.
The movie focuses more on the adults than the children. Special attention is paid to Bob Saget and his history before the show and concerns and antics during it. Dave Coulier's extra talents get limited attention and John Stamos is portrayed as the playboy that isn't taken seriously. The movie didn't get his oversized mullet from the first season right but that's a minor complaint.
The acting wasn't bad so very watchable for a TV movie if this was a show you watched when it aired and wanted to know some of the real people and personalities involved outside the camera lens.
Hunt for Justice (2005)
A typical sleepy, low budget, Canadian made for TV movie
With no input from the woman herself, this movie is about the beginning of Louise Arbour's tenure as Chief Prosecutor at The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
The movie starts out strong with a comment with very strong insight concerning hiring an interpreter: "You don't just need someone who understands the languages, you need someone who understands the people". Unfortunately, soon thereafter, the typical Western uninformed opinions are brought up: (Yugoslavia is a) "religion fuelled powder-keg" "Serbs, Croats and Muslims originally were one nation" "Slovenia and Croatia proclaimed independence causing a civil war" "War crimes on all sides" (but 90% were Serbian caused) You would think people were brought in to this tense situation with at least a basic understanding of the facts and not ignorance.
Louise Arbour also makes the mistake of thinking her secret indictments were successful with the "dozen Croats who turned themselves in". This actually happened as a result of politics behind the scenes. In 1999, the US State Department's James Foley said that Croatia faced "the greatest possible consequences" from continuing non-cooperation with the tribunal. Croatia was ascending in to the 'Partnership for Peace' and negotiating significant loans that would both be in jeopardy unless Croatia was more compliant. It was this international economic and political pressure that caused these soldiers to 'surrender' to the court, not the chief prosecutor.
To the movie's credit, it did seem Louise Arbour learned from her experience and changed her thinking to make the following comment: "We're going after Milosevic. These wars started with him and, one way or another, this tribunal ends with him".
Minor flaws in the movie I found were all the international soldiers speaking with Canadian accents, a scene where Louise Arbour hands her wine glass to her interpreter like he is her personal butler and my favourite, having an actress from outside the region pretend to be a grieving grandmother speaking Croatian but failing miserably.
The topic of Arbour's tenure at the Hague is a fascinating one but don't use this low budget movie as a source for insight in to this topic.
Gimme a Break! (1981)
What could have been.
Unlike movies which appear once, it's hard to rate a TV show since you're dealing with dozens of episodes and several seasons.
For 'Gimme a Break!', the synopsis on TV reads: 'A feisty housekeeper named Nell helps a widowed police chief raise his three daughters'. This was true for the first few seasons and this was when the show was at it's best.
It dealt with controversial issues but gave a balanced approach as the chief represented the more conservative side and Nell represented the more liberal side. Unfortunately, the actor Dolph Sweet ran into health problems during the show's run and soon past away. I think this changed the nature of the show and it was never the same after.
The show turned more into a talent exhibition for Nell Carter and her singing voice and away from family comedy. By the last season, she was no longer a housekeeper, nor helping a widowed police chief nor raising three daughters. The whole successful premise of the show was gone and the show was deservedly cancelled as it was not nearly as funny anymore.
Had Dolph Sweet not incurred health problems, who knows what might have been.
Killing Jesus (2015)
I understand when you make a movie about the life of Jesus, there has to be some liberty taken since there are big gaps in the story-line. That being said, this movie version of Jesus's life is like no other I've ever seen and that is for all the wrong reasons.
As many reviewers have stated before me, there are so many historical inaccuracies I stopped keeping count. You never get to understand why this Jesus would have any followers at all. In this version, he is a nice guy but not much more.
Too many holes in the story make this movie not worth the time spent to make and watch it.
Why is this movie so well liked?
I think the movie can be summed up in a period near the end where the youngest child, thinking their sister is being attacked for real during a play, goes on stage and starts beating the 'bullies', biting the teacher trying to bring back control and completely causing chaos by starting the ruining of the set.
I am a parent and realize what kind of work goes in to holding a play with many volunteer hours of work put in by teachers, staff, parents and of course, the children. When the above scene happens, the parents at first try to prevent their child from disturbing the play. They then become resigned to the fact that it will happen and accept it with smiles on their faces.
This is really scratching the surface and not delving in to what is really going on. The director wants us to laugh at this situation but all I could do is be upset for the teacher, the students, the parents and anyone else involved in months of work coming to an epic failure. If you think this is funny, this movie is for you. If you don't, then don't bother watching this at all.
It doesn't get any worse.
This is someone's terrible view of American Evangelicals. High school students who believe in God are all naive, ignorant airheads. They are conniving, judgmental and shallow. The main character doesn't even know how to use an electric toothbrush for crying out loud.
What are non-Christians in this movie? They are cool because they smoke, have pre-marital sex and ridicule Christians by calling them freaks. One line by Macaulay Culkin actually has him saying that the only reason a Christian would be at a Planned Parenthood clinic is to plant a pipe bomb!
A completely unrealistic, offensive movie and I'm not even an Evangelical. Anyone who finds this entertaining must be a complete hypocrite.
This unauthorized version is told from Dustin Diamond's recollection of events. Since this story is about a group of six teenagers and what went on behind the scenes of the TV show, one man's recollection of events certainly skews history and hence the unauthorized title.
To be fair, Dustin's version of events in the movie version doesn't really target anyone negatively other than the fact that, as the youngest cast member, he felt as though he was an outsider. This lead to awkward and uncomfortable situations with other cast members but we get the impression that on the whole the cast were good friends off the set as well.
Given time limits, many things were skipped which I would have liked to see as someone who followed the show during it's original run. 'Good Morning, Miss Bliss' had Hayley Mills, T.K. Carter and Joan Ryan as teachers along with Heather Hopper and Max Battimo as students. All these actors were not covered in the movie nor why they were excluded when 'Saved By The Bell' carried on with Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Dustin Diamond, Lark Voorhies and Dennis Haskins all continuing their roles.
Diamond's version for cancellation of 'Saved By The Bell: The College Years' differs substantially from mine. I remember wanting to watch it to continue watching these characters and their exploits taken to a new level in college but the show was so atrociously bad that even I didn't watch it to the end of it's run. Despite Diamond's view that this was the end, it was not. He forgot to mention the 1994 TV movie 'Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas' as well as Dustin Diamond reuniting with Dennis Haskins in 'Saved by the Bell: The New Class' which had more seasons and episodes than the original.
On the whole, this movie portrays Diamond as pretty clean-cut and a victim of blackmail from a guy that introduced him to alcohol and drugs but what would you expect from a story being told only from his viewpoint? It would be nice one day if we got another version or even had someone collectively put together all the major actor's recollections and make a more thorough and balanced review of events on film.
The Catechism Cataclysm (2011)
As a practising Catholic, I can guarantee no Catholics were consulted in the making of this movie. If this is how atheists see religious people, no wonder there is great ridicule involved.
From the priest who constantly wears his collar including on a canoe trip, to his naive, dorky nature, this movie couldn't be further from reality. I could go on and on how this is offensive and completely inaccurate but I no longer want to waste any more time thinking of this waste of 80 minutes of my life.
I should have known better than to continue with the movie when I saw a burning Pentagram before the actual movie even started.
Spare yourselves and stay as far away from this as you can.
To Get Her (2011)
All the wrong choices
This movie is truly horrible and one of the worst movies I have ever seen and I have seen a lot.
A group of dysfunctional girls go out and make extremely stupid choices. One of the girl's mother has an adulterous relationship with someone she knew from high school many years ago right before she gets married with no explanation why. The drug dealer seems to be the only one with a conscience(!) but is nowhere to be found after an important phone call. Suicide is treated with beautiful acceptance. Even the Bible is misquoted during a lesbian relationship.
There is absolutely no positive male portrayed in this movie: One child molester, one adulterer, one drug dealer, etc.
Not my idea of entertainment.
Les hommes libres (2011)
Real people are just as fascinating
I would have rated this higher if it wasn't for the end of the movie. Not the part where the two characters see each other but after that which describes the true historical context.
It was very disappointing to find out the main character we follow throughout the movie didn't exist. It was the two minor characters who were real people.
With so much material for actual people and actual events from that era, I don't understand why you would make a movie where the real life people are supporting characters in minor roles. I much would have preferred the main character to have been real for, as I have stated, there are plenty to choose from.
This movie didn't know what it wanted to be. The whole plot simply doesn't make sense. Like with the first sequel, main characters disappear without explanation and new ones are added. Also like the sequel, they play horrible ball to start with despite being such a good team. Can talent be switched on and off like offense in a wrestling match?
The whole story of the team going to Japan just doesn't make sense. The side plot of Kelly pursuing a relationship is also thrown in without any thought. By the end, you don't care who wins or even if they play at all. In fact, baseball is not even the focus of the movie and the child actors play very minor roles.
Just a terrible movie that never should have been made.
Itching for a fight, I watched this in anticipation of a strongly biased anti-Conservative agenda documentary. I was pleasantly surprised this was not to be.
'What's the Matter with Kansas' follows regular and not so regular people from Kansas living their everyday lives and voicing their political opinions. Not having read the book but having read the reviews on it, I expected some bashing of Kansans and their moral values but didn't really find that in this documentary. To be fair, I did not find any political or moral biased here making it much easier to watch. I good documentary if somewhat now outdated due to the politics being discussed.
To answer the question of the title 'What's the Matter with Kansas' since it wasn't really answered, based on my viewing not a damn thing.
Sonja i bik (2012)
Between OK and good
I really loved the fist half hour of the movie. It shows the 'typical' people from Herzegovina that only Croats such as myself can really understand. The rest of the movie, however, falls short by turning it in to a love story of people from different worlds.
I would have liked it more had they stretched out the first 30 minutes into a complete movie with the consequences of the bet being the natural end.
I've seen a lot of Croatian movies and this is one of the better ones but it could have been more. As a previous reviewer stated, watch without children first to deem whether it is appropriate for yours.
God Bless America (2011)
The synopsis of the movie got me interested enough to record and then watch it. Since I originally thought this was a 'dark' movie, I was pleasantly surprised as it started out as a comedy and had me hooked for the first few minutes but then it went downhill from there.
Did the writers of this movie ever consider that a divorced, suicidal, middle-aged man with no friends sitting in front of the TV drinking beer by himself and thinking shooting a colic baby is acceptable is part of the problem that they are bringing to the forefront rather than the solution? How is being a serial killer acceptable but paedophilia isn't? Perhaps a movie where many people are killed is called a comedy is part of the problem? After being introduced to his accomplice, he should have killed her, shot his daughter and then committed suicide for being responsible for raising someone of the type he rants about and later kills.
That would have been a better movie.