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April 2004

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Rating History

Destry Rides Again
2 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I'm not too big a fan of Western's. There's just something unappealing about them to me. While I think I should definately see some of the Eastwood and Leone films...I'm not exactly rushing out to do it.

However, one night I was watching AMC when a film [i]Destry Rides Again[/i] came on. Let me tell you, I was entertained from start to finish.

[center][b][font=Century Gothic]Destry Rides Again[/font][/b][/center]
[center][b][font=Century Gothic][url=""][img][/img][/url][/font][/b][/center]
[center][b][font=Century Gothic]Starring: Jimmy Stewart as Tom Destry Jr.[/font][/b][/center]
[center][b][font=Century Gothic]Marlene Dietrich as Frenchy[/font][/b][/center]
[center][b][font=Century Gothic]Directed by: George Marshall[/font][/b][/center]
[center][b][font=Century Gothic]Written by: Felix Johnson (screenplay)[/font][/b][/center]
[center][b][font=Century Gothic]Released 1939[/font][/b][/center]

[left][font=Century Gothic]Jimmy Stewart is an everyman again, this time as the lovable lawman Tom Destry. He comes to clean up the town after some bad intentions have gone down.[/font][/left]

[left][font=Century Gothic]Plot summary from [url=""][/url][/font][/left]

Kent, the unscrupulous boss of Bottleneck has Sheriff Keogh killed when he asks one too many questions about a rigged poker game that gives Kent a stranglehold over the local cattle rangers. The mayor, who is in cahoots with Kent appoints the town drunk, Washington Dimsdale, as the new sheriff assuming that he'll be easy to control. But what the mayor doesn't know is that Dimsdale was a deputy under famous lawman, Tom Destry, and is able to call upon the equally formidable Tom Destry Jr to be his deputy. Featuring a career reviving performance from Marlene Dietrich as bar singer Frenchie, which could well have been the inspiration for Madeline Kahn's "Blazing Saddles" character, Lili Von Schtupp.

[center]Summary written by [url=""][color=#0000ff]Mark Thompson {}[/color][/url][/center]

[left]The film takes such a light-hearted tone that it's hard not to love. Of the few westerns I've seen this is my favorite. [/left]

[left][b]"The story is formulaic as hell, but the stars do their thing, and it's all so well-lit, and directed with a light hand that you can't help but like it."[/left]
[/b]-- [url=""][i][color=#0000ff]Jeff Vorndam[/color][/i][/url], [url=""][color=#0000ff]ABOUTFILM.COM[/color][/url]

Jerry Seinfeld: I'm Telling You for the Last Time
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Jeery Seinfeld goes to the Broadhurst Theater on Broadway to retire the comedic act that made him a star.
The show was taped for an HBO broadcast, and it starts with an opening funeral segment in which Jerry and many comedic greats bid farewell to Seinfeld's wonderful jokes.

There's the bit about chop-sticks:

[b]Jerry[/b]:[font=Courier New] I'll tell you what I like about Chinese people. They're hanging in there with the chopsticks. You know they've seen the fork. They're staying with the sticks. I don't know how they missed it. Going out all day on the farm with a shovel. Come on. Shovel. Spoon. You're not plowing 50 acres with a couple of pool cues.[/font]

He also has that classic Seinfeld delivery. Commenting on airline peanuts:

"It's just such a big bag."

He covers the gauntlet of issues from taxi-drivers, airline security, drugstores, and buying milk.

It's quick at 75 minutes and includes a Q&A with Jerry after the show.

[font=Courier New]Watching Seinfeld work the crowd in this performance is like watching Michael Jordan shoot unopposed practice shots from the three-point line: There's little challenge involved for the artist, but watching someone so skilled perform even simple tasks is a source of delight.[/font] [url=""]James Rocchi[/url], [url=""]Netflix[/url]

Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes


[b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]Bret Hart[/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]Nicknames: "The Hitman", "The Excellence of Execution"[/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]Tagline: "The best there is, the best there was, the best that ever will be."[/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]Finisher: The Sharpshooter[/font][/b]

[b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]Scores:[/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]Brawl: 5[/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]Mat: 10[/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]Mic: 8[/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]Entertainment: 8[/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]Impact: 8[/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]Total: 39[/font][/b]

[b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]Accomplishments:[/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]WWF World Tag Team Champion (2) (with Jim Neidhart)[/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]WWF Intercontinental Champion (2)[/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]WWF World Heavyweight Champion (5)[/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]WCW United States Champion (4)[/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]WCW World Tag Team Champion (with Bill Goldberg)[/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]WCW World Heavyweight Champion (2)[/font][/b]

[b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]Bret Hart could and should have been within the Top Ten. It's a shame to think Bret will go down as more of a complainer and bitcher than one of the greats. I thought Bret Hart had tremondous talent the first time I saw he and Jim Niedhart wrestle as The Hart Foundation. I knew he was great when he wrestled Randy Savage on an edition of Saturday's Night Main Event. He was finally given a singles push.[/font][/b]

[b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]That push started sometime in 1991. He wrestled Curt Henning at SummerSlam for the IC title and won one of the greatest matches in IC title history. He continued his streak losing the title to The Mountie the Friday before the 1992 Royal Rumble. He regained it back from Roddy Piper in another great match (Piper's best) at WrestleMania VIII. He dropped the title at SummerSlam that year to his brother-in-law Davey Boy Smith, completing a trifecta of memorable IC title matches.[/font][/b]

[b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]At that same SummerSlam, Ric Flair interfered in Randy Savage's World title match with The Ultimate Warrior. Flair "injured" Savage's leg, leading to Flair capturing his second WWF title a few weeks later. Bret Hart was ready to accend the ladder of greatness.[/font][/b]

[b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]In an untelevised match that has [u]never[/u] seen the light of day, Bret Hart captured the World title for the first time from [url=""]Flair in a remote area of Canada.[/url] That reign was cut short at WrestleMania IX, when the huge man Yokozuna ended the title reign. Vince McMahon felt he needed another big man to be champ, so he had Hulk Hogan win the title the same match in a squash match. Hogan lost the title to Yokozuna that June, some three months later. Hogan left to resurrect his career in WCW, McMahon started pushing Lex Lugar (thinking he could push another tall, muscular blonde to the title), and Bret just waited for another shot.[/font][/b]

[b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]We go to WrestleMania X at Madison Square Garden. Bret was in the middle of a feud with his brother Owen and had a match with him. He also co-won the Royal Rumble with Lugar to recieve a World title match at WrestleMania. So, he had to face the winner of the Yokozuna-Lex Lugar match. He lost to Owen in the opening bout (a great match), but rebounded to win the World title from Yoko in the last match of the night.[/font][/b]

[b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]He lost the title to Bob Backland, who in turned dropped the title to Diesel (Kevin Nash) the very next night. Nash started out on a year long reign (the last of the dominent champions) while Bret got involved in some forgettable feuds, and waited for another chance.[/font][/b]

[b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]The Spring and Summer of 1995 had Hart beat Backland at WrestleMania XI and engage in a feud with Jerry Lawler. Lawler brought Issac Yankem DDS to fight his battles (Yankem is Glen Jacobs---Kane). He also had others to fight his battles. It was a long summer of waiting for a title shot, but Hart was a patient man.[/font][/b]

[b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]He got the rematch at the 1995 Survivor Series and won his third World title from Diesel that night. However, things were turning against Hart at this point. [/font][/b]

[b][font=Century Gothic]Shawn Michaels was a brash up and comer at the fact, he was a huge prick at the time. There was a WrestleMania XXII match which would be a 60 minute Iron Man Match. Whoever had the most decisions in the 60 minutes would win the match. The problem was that after 60 minutes there were no decisions between the two. As the match was ending, Hart had Michaels firmly locked in the Sharp Shooter. Most people figured that the match would be declared a draw. The WWF had another idea. [/font][/b]

[b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]After the bell rung, Hart left with the title belt and started to walk down the aisle. Gorilla Monsoon lumbered out (the WWF "President" at the time), and said there had to be a winner. He declared that there would be a "sudden death" period and whoever got the first decision would be the winner. Needless to say, Michaels won the title and Bret walked out of the WWF.[/font][/b]

[b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]Bret was very unhappy with his career at this point. He hated doing the job for Michaels and felt the ending of the Iron Man match was unfair to him and his fans. He came back six months later after being wooed by WCW for HUGE sums of money. He said he was loyal to the WWF. He also said he wanted to wrestle the best wrestler the WWF had to offer..."Stone Cold" Steve Austin (who at this point I felt was nothing more than a cheap Mickey Knox knock off). They wrestled at the 1996 Survivor Series with Hart coming out on top. However, the fans suddenly turned on Bret, booing him unmercifully. Bret Hart was again frustrated, not understanding why the fans were turning the backs on him.[/font][/b]

[b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]He restarted the Hart Foundation to battle the onslaught of the "Texas Rattlesnake". He reconsiled with brother Owen, enlisted the services of former tag partner Jim Neidhart, wooed Davey Boy Smith to the dark side, and welcomed Brian Pillman with open arms to the fold. [url=""]Rather than keep his frustation bottled up[/url], McMahon and Hart decided to use that fact to the characters advantage. This created the bitchy, Pro Canada Hart that most fans remember him as. There was tremedous heat created by Hart's personality change and WrestleMania 13 awaited. In the World title scene, Shawn Michaels "lost his smile" and forfeited the belt. Hart won the title in a Four Way elimination match involving Vader, Steve Austin, and The Undertaker. However, he lost the strap the following night on RAW. [/font][/b]

[b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]The match with "Stone Cold" at WrestleMania was a highlight for both men. It was the match that solidified the "Stone Cold" persona. It was Bret's final WrestleMania match. It was a masterpiece as far as wrestling matches was a perfect match. When "Stone Cold" passed out from blood loss, it made Bret Hart the top heel in the company. [/font][/b]

[b][font=Century Gothic]For some reason, the WWF put Michaels in as a special referee for the SummerSlam match between The Undertaker (who won the World title from Sid at WM) and Hart. Well, Hart spit in Michaels face, Michaels swung a chair, missed Bret and nailed 'Taker. Shawn had no choice but to make the count as Bret covered the KO'ed 'Taker. This gave Bret five World titles, at that time tying Hulk Hogan for most WWF World titles.[/font][/b]

[b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]But, Michaels and Triple H formed D-X, a kind of nWo knock-off. They were gaining mucho heat. Add to the fact that Hart and Michaels never had a rematch from WrestleMania XXII, and the stage was indeed set.[/font][/b]

[b][font=Century Gothic]However, Bret signed a ten-year contract with the WWF the year before. Vince wanted out of the contract. Bret chose to go to sell his services to WCW. This all caused a big problem for McMahon who was extremely paranoid that Bret would do a Medusa Mecili and throw the WWF title in a trash can. Behind-the-scenes, it was worked out that the match would end in a run-in. There would be a disqualification and Bret would forfeit the title the next night on RAW. McMahon agreed to the details, but was plotting something much devious behind the scenes. [/font][/b]

[b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]McMahon conspired with Shawn Michaels and referee Dave Hebner that there would be no way that Bret would leave the building with the title. They all agreed to a high spot that was planned out in advance where Shawn reversed the sharpshooter and applied it to Bret. [/font][/b]

[b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]That night was the line between entertainment and reality was forever shaken. All I will comment on is the fact that the atmosphere was so thick with hostility. The event was held in Montreal, Canada. This was clearly a Pro-Hart crowd as he hails from Canada. Shawn Michaels was a complete heel as he took a Montreal flag and humped it before the match. The HEAT was intense. Vince McMahon was not providing commentary for the PPV...which was very strange and seemed out of place as he was the number one commentator in the promotion for years. He did come out from his rat's nest to come down to ring side during the Hart-Michaels match. [url=""]For more on this conterversial match, click here[/url]. [[url=""]Another article about the prelude to Montreal is here[/url]][/font][/b]

[b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]Of course, everyone knows that Bret got screwed and that it started a downspin in the Hart family. [url=""]In Bret's own words[/url], he feels partly responsible for a lot of his families problems. He feels a lot of guilt over Owen's death. Furthermore, he feels he would still be competing today, had he not gone to WCW and been kicked in the head by a careless Goldberg. [/font][/b]

[b][font=Century Gothic]To say the least, Hart's WCW run did nothing for his career. The management of WCW at that time had no idea what to do with all the talent. Basically, Bret went from a lifeboat and onto thr Titanic. It's sad to think one of the greatest wrestlers of all time had his career cut by politics and a muscle-bound prima donna. He's had a stroke, lost his brother, his brother-in-law, his parents, and contact with the rest of his family over Owen's death. [/font][/b]

[b][font=Century Gothic]Yet, with all that, Hart was at the top of the game from 1991-97, and few people can claim that type of longivety...especially in the fickle world of pro wrestling. He was indeed one of the greats.[/font][/b]

[center][b][font=Century Gothic][url=""]Bret Hart's column after Owen's death[/url][/font][/b] [/center]

[center][b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b] [/center]
[center][b][font=Century Gothic][url=""]Funny Story About Goldberg and Jehricho[/url][/font][/b][/center]
[center][b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b] [/center]
[center][b][font=Century Gothic][url=""]Bret talks about Curt Henning[/url][/font][/b][/center]
[center][b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b] [/center]
[center][b][font=Century Gothic][url=""]First column after the Montreal Screw Job[/url][/font][/b][/center]
[center][b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b] [/center]
[center][b][font=Century Gothic][url=""]More on Montreal from Bret's website[/url][/font][/b][/center]

[b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]For More information, see the film: [i]Hitman Hart: Wrestling With Shadows.[/i][/font][/b]

[b][font=Century Gothic][/font][/b]
[b][font=Century Gothic]Also, for a pro-WWF spin on things, see the DVD [i]Best of Confidential Vol. 1.[/i][/font][/b]

Le Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon)
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

[b]I started FIS 100 today...and it looks like a great class to say the least! 5 weeks of films, most of which I have heard about; yet, have not seen.[/b]
[b]Today we saw [i]The Great Train Robbery.[/i] This tells the tale of a train robbery (duh). Here are my bullet points:[/b]
[list][*][b]Edwin S. Porter, the director had already figured out framing the screen and creating the illusion of 3D. [/b][*][b]The production included the first use of background projection.[/b][*][b]Furthermore, it focused on using forced perspective. Basicly, that means the director wanted you to focus on something and manipulated the frame accordingly.[/b][*][b]Finally, there were moments of color. This was accomplished by [u]hand painting [/u]each frame...the sequence takes about a minute. So, there are twenty four frames per second and multiply that by 60 to get how many frames had to be hand painted. [/b][/list][b]We also saw [i]Trip to the Moon[/i], which was cinema's first science fiction film. I really dug the story and there was even a bit of special effects accomplished by some sly editing. This was a rare treat to see these lassic films. Brilliant direction by Georges Melies[/b]

Robin Williams: Live on Broadway
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

2002 was the year Robin Williams returned with a force. He starred with Al Pacino in the great thriller [i]Insomnia.[/i] He carried the film [i]One Hour Photo [/i]on his hairy back and showed us just how good he is as a straight actor. Finally, in September, he returned to the stand-up scene with the very funny [i]Live on Broadway. [/i]This was originally a HBO special and thank goodness they released it as a DVD.

There are so many funny bits on this it's amazing. Williams is his old self as he uses the entire stage to exhibit his idea of comedy. He's far from PC as he covers gays, religion, and the origin of golf. There's also a very funny bit on "oral pleasure" and a man's role in that.

Williams is a damn good comedian and actor, and 2002 was his year of return.
[b]"[/b][url=""][b]If you're a huge fan, you'd probably want to buy this immediately. Williams is wonderfully out of control.[/b][/url][b]"[/b]
-- [url=""][i][color=#0000ff]Widgett Walls[/color][/i][/url], [url=""][color=#800080]NEEDCOFFEE.COM[/color][/url]