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Found 15 results

  1. Star Trek: The Next Generation Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard Jonathan Frakes as Commander William T. Riker Brent Spiner as Lieutenant-Commander Data LeVar Burton as Lieutenant-Commander Geordi La Forge Michael Dorn as Helmsman and Chief Security Officer Worf Gates McFadden as Chief Medical Officer Beverly Crusher Marina Sirtis as Counselor Deanna Troi Wil Wheaton as Ensign Wesley Crusher Denise Crosby as Security Chief Tasha Yar Diana Muldaur as Chief Medical Officer Katherine Pulaski Colm Meaney as Transporter Chief Miles O'Brien Whoopi Goldberg as Bartender Guinan Season 1: Sep 28, 1987 - May 16, 1988 - Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry 1.1 and 1.2 - "Encounter at Farpoint" - Sep. 28, 1987 - Directed by Corey Allen (Buzz Gunderson in "Rebel without a Cause," Primetime Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for "Goodbye, Mr. Scripps" on "Hill Street Blues," Primetime Emmy Award Nominee for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for "Jungle Madness" on "Hill Street Blues"), Written by - Teleplay: Dorothy Fontana (Writer of 10 episodes of "Star Trek"), Story: Gene Roddenberry (Creator of "Star Trek") Featuring John de Lancie as Q (TV Executive in "The Fisher King," Donald Margolis in "Breaking Bad"), Michael Bell as Groppler Zorn (Voice of Chas Finster in "Rugrats"), DeForest Kelley as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (H. Norbert Willis in "The Clover Throne" and Bob Harcourt, Jr. in "1800 Days to Justice" on "Route 66"), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Court Bailiff (Chang in "The Last Emperor") [Star Trek or not, this Pilot was *rough* - both in terms of the acting (Troi was awful, Q functioned not only as a God-like being, but also as some sort of "nanny chorus," telling us what we didn't need to be told, and Data was seen grinning on more than one occasion (remember how awful Spock was, at first, in the original series - he was grinning too)). My biggest problem here wasn't the plot; it was the condescension of Q, telling the viewer what they're about to figure out for themselves - that is elementary-school TV. This was largely a very interesting plot, but the writers spoiled it for the viewers. I do wonder just how much the creators, e.g., Gene Roddenberry, had in mind when it came to essentially building the entire series around Q - could Roddenberry possibly have envisioned the glorious final episode before the series even began? Nah ....] 1.3 - "The Naked Now" - Oct. 5, 1987 - Directed by Paul Lynch (Director of "Prom Night"), Written by - Teleplay: Dorothy Fontana (2), Story: John D.F. Black (Co-Writer and Associate Producer of "The Naked Time" on "Star Trek") Featuring Brooke Bundy as Sarah MacDougal (Leah in "Firecreek," Elaine Parker on "A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors"), Benjamin W.S. Lum as Jim Shimoda (Kim Mei Clerk in "Another 48 Hrs.") ["The Naked Time" was George Takei's personal-favorite episode on "Star Trek," as he got to have fun prancing around the decks, shirtless, as a swashbuckler. That episode was written by John D.F. Black, and because of that, he was given credit for having written the story for this episode, a "parallel" version written for The Next Generation. In case anyone has forgotten, this is the one where "Data Does Dasha" (sorry, Tasha, and not to be confused by a porn movie with a similar-sounding name) - him being an android, one can only imagine his thrusts-per-minute - Tasha looked pretty tired when she emerged from her quarters. The Pilot featured a cameo by McCoy; this episode has a verbal reference to Kirk - this was undoubtedly to "ease seasoned viewers into" this new and very different series - it seems like a wise and prudent decision. The "Acting Captain Wesley Crusher" scene may have been the beginning of the hatred for Wesley hijacking the series (according to people who didn't like him; to me, his "precocious genius" got a bit annoying, but never went so far overboard that I couldn't stand him, plus he redeemed himself as the series progressed).] 1.4 - "Code of Honor" - Oct. 12, 1987 - Directed by Russ Mayberry (Director of "Unidentified Flying Oddball") and Les Landau (Assistant Director of "Leadbelly"), Written by Katharyn Powers (Writer of "The Longest Drive" for "The Quest") and Michael Baron (BS Degree in Organizational Systems Management from California State University, Northridge) Featuring Jessie Lawrence Ferguson as Lutan (Calder in "Prince of Darkness"), Karole Selmon as Yareena (Homeless Woman #1 in "The Soloist"), Julian Christopher as Hagon (Prison Truck Guard #1 in "X-Men: The Last Stand") [A very poor episode in the weakest season of the series, "Code of Honor" features bad writing, bad direction, and acting that should have - and could have - been stronger. I can't remember the last time I had to hunt this deeply for something else - anything else - the directors, writers, and actors did outside of "The Next Generation," and it's a shame that *this* has to be the episode with the most primitive black stereotypes in this normally equitable series (Ferengi stereotypes notwithstanding). Just look at what I found for the three guest stars - other than Jessie Lawrence Ferguson, it's downright embarrassing to even cite their other acting achievements, especially when all three people did a perfectly decent job in the episode. Karole Selmon is absolutely lovely, and was fine in her role; yet ... "Homeless Woman #1?" Ugh. For one of the writers, Michael Baron, I couldn't find *anything* else he did, so I simply listed his degree, and then when I researched Cal State Northridge, I couldn't even find the degree. Interestingly, Patrick Stewart is in "X-Men: The Last Stand," and I'm wondering if his influence helped Julian Christopher get his role (Prison Truck Guard #1? Ugh). I'm not very politically correct, but this episode makes even me cringe, and I'm wondering if it should have ever been made in the first place. I don't know of a good way to put this, so I'll just come out and say it: Denise Crosby has too much air time in these first three episodes. The most laughably bad moment in the episode? When millions of people are about to die, Tasha is about to engage in a fight to the death, the Enterprise is in a gravely acute diplomatic crisis with the Ligonians, and Riker - who is acting captain - has just finished making a silent soliloquy about the gravity of the situation. Then, the turbolift doors in the bridge open, and Wesley Crusher is standing there, grinning. Riker greets him as if he were working the registration desk at the Four Seasons in Fiji, smiles warmly, and says, "Care to lend a hand? Sit at ops," as he waves Wesley onto the bridge, gets onto the turbolift himself, and exits the scene with this young child strolling over to the control panel, unattended. Are you kidding me?] 1.5 - "The Last Outpost" - Oct. 19, 1987 - Directed by Richard A. Colla (Director of "Olly Olly Oxen Free"), Written by Richard Krzemien (Writer of "Kentucky Rye" for "The New Twilight Zone") Featuring Armin Shimerman as Letek (Stan the Caddy in "The Caddy" on "Seinfeld"), Jake Dengel as Mordoc (Pee Wee in "Ironweed"), Tracey Walter as Keyron (Lamar in "Silence of the Lambs"), Darryl Henriques as Portal 63 (Life Reporter in "The Right Stuff"), Mike Gomez as DaiMon Tarr (Auto Circus Cop in "The Big Lebowski") [Note: After these first 5 episodes (I'm calling the pilot episodes 1-2), I don't know how this show survived the rest of 1987. I don't think I'd ever seen any of these except for "The Naked Now," and they are all ... just ... largely ... bad. I've actually forgotten, at this point, why I ever liked this show so much. Leigh, I'm very much looking forward to watching the entire first half of Season One (which hasn't been terribly fun), and then purchasing Wil Wheaton's book - it should be the perfect quick read for me when I'm finished. I do think "The Last Outpost" is the second consecutive episode where TNG has reinforced negative stereotypes about a human ethnicity of people (with the Ferengi, you can pick your ethnicity, but they're surely being mocked as "short little mercantile, conniving opportunists who won't hesitate to cheat others"). I don't remember how I initially reacted to the Ferengi appearing on the view-screen as giants, but it certainly echoed, and was influenced by, "The Corbomite Maneuver" in The Original Series, except that Balok was just a wonderful person - the type of guy you'd enjoy sharing a glass of tranya with. My problem, in general, with the Ferengi is that the series makes them just a little too easy to hate, and there's no complexity to them at all - they're defined in black-and-white, shallow, and (I guess the current term among Millenials is, "basic"). Also, it's somewhat painful to see them jumping up, down, all-around while Riker is trying to have a discussion with Portal 63. Sure, they've now been established as a race of entities you'll hate upon their very mention, but isn't that just a little too convenient? Looking back, after having watched every episode (I've written this summary at different times), I don't remember a single moment of honor among them.] 1.6. "Where No One Has Gone Before" - Oct. 26, 1987 - Directed by Rob Bowman (4 consecutive Primetime Emmy Award Nominee for Outstanding Drama Series for "The X-Files"), Written by Diane Duane (Writer of the "Young Wizards" novels) and Michael Reeves (Daytime Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program for "Batman: the Animated Series") Featuring Stanley Kamel as Kosinski (Dr. Charles Kroeger on "Monk"), Eric Menyuk as The Traveler (Carney in "Der Roachenkavalier" on "Hill Street Blues"), Herta Ware as Maman Yvette Picard (Rosie Lefkowitz in "Cocoon"), Biff Yeager as Chief Engineer Argyle (George in "Edward Scissorhands") [When Troi, Ryker, and Argyle go to meet Kosinski and The Traveler in the transporter room, the cinematography, lighting, and camera angle is all wrong (see the first picture above). In the "Awkward Scene of the Episode," when The Traveler says to Wesley Crusher, "Something troubles you with the way this is configured?" there is silence, as Crusher sits there nodding for four full seconds which seem like an eternity. This episode clearly borrows something from "2001: A Space Odyssey," as the Enterprise is jettisoned one-billion light years away, in an unknown part of the universe which features fantastic lights outside the ship (see the 3rd picture), and where ideas come to life in the form of terrifyingly real characters from times past. Wesley is introduced to the viewers by The Traveler as a Mozart-like genius, to be nurtured (but not informed) by Picard - this sets the stage for him being a Boy Wonder in future episodes. Kamel overacts as the annoyingly arrogant Kosinski, both while intractably cocky, and also while reduced to a blubbering "I didn't mean to do that," before he gets largely elbowed out of the episode - why he wasn't taken into quarters, I'm not sure.] 7. "Lonely Among Us" - Nov. 2, 1987: 8. "Justice" - Nov. 9, 1987: [Note: In "Justice," Worf's comment at 5:58 on Amazon, "Nice planet," was the first laugh-out-loud funny moment I've ever had in any Star Trek episode, from either series. I want to take shore leave on this planet. This series is improving, markedly.] 9. "The Battle" - Nov. 16, 1987: 10. "Hide and Q" - Nov. 23, 1987: 11. "Haven" - Nov. 30, 1987: [Note: Some of these recent episodes were panned by some reputable online sources; I, on the other hand, remember again why I like TNG after watching them. In "Hide and Q," Worf proved himself to be one of the great heroes of the series. Leigh, I assume Majel Barrett will redeem herself later in the series? There's nothing, nothing at all, to like about her in this episode.] 12. "The Big Goodbye" - Jan. 11, 1988: [Note: Does anyone know why there was such a gap between episodes 11 and 12?] 13. "Datalore" - Jan. 18, 1988: [Note: This is the final episode covered in Wil Wheaton's book, so if you've made it to here, buy the book.] 14. "Angel One" - Jan 28, 1988 - 15. "11001001" - Feb. 1, 1988: [Note: It's not the first season that's bad; it's only the first few episodes - the critics are wrong, and I'm loving this. In this highly structured, almost military environment, a logical person might assume that, at this point, the wonky holodeck might become prohibited, but, meh, to heck with logic.] 16. "Too Short A Season" - Feb. 8, 1988 - 1.17 - "When the Bough Breaks" - Feb. 15, 1988 - Directed by Kim Manners (Director and/or Producer of 132 episodes of "The X-Files" (xx)), Written by Hannah Louise Shearer (Writer of "Q-Less" on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine") Featuring Jerry Hardin as Radue (Deep Throat on "The X-Files" (xx)), Brenda Strong as Rashella (1980 Miss Arizona, Sue Ellen Mischke on "Seinfeld" (xx), Mary Alice Young on "Desperate Housewives," Ilene Stowe on "Fear the Walking Dead"), Jandi Swanson as Katie (Jenny Drake on "Baywatch"), Paul Lambert as Melian (Washington Post National Editor in "All the President's Men"), Ivy Bethune as Duana (Evelyn Tuttle on "Father Murphy") [I get the concept of cloaking a planet visually by bending light rays, but ... isn't there this other force called "gravity?" Regardless, Riker is positively thrilled at the possibility (and realization) of finding the mythical planet Aldea, something akin to Atlantis. "When the Bough Breaks" is an unheralded, but extremely strong, episode with a fine writer in Hannah Louise Shearer, a talented director in Kim Manners, and the sometimes-hilarious, always-alluring presence of Brenda Strong (who guest-starred with Armin Shimerman in the very funny episode, "The Caddy," on "Seinfeld" (Strong is in the first photo up above). You'll see, in the first ten minutes of this episode, that it stands above the norm, and that the slow-starting first season is (and has been) fully on-track - there is beauty, mystery, intrigue, and especially after the uninvited visit to the Enterprise, Hitchcockian suspense, animated by the telepathic powers of Counselor Troi (you get a glimpse here of how effective Troi becomes in later seasons, after getting off to such a clumsy beginning). A subtly hilarious moment occurs right after a little girl named Alexandra disappears - the next scene shows a girl playing a musical instrument, and when she disappears, the instrument simply tips over: This is absolutely a "You have to see it to appreciate it" moment, but if it doesn't slip by you (and it easily could), you might find it laugh-out-loud funny - there's obviously a stagehand holding the instrument who forces it to tip over. It is remarkable just how much Wesley has aged since Episode 1 - he has clearly entered puberty, and has gone from being a boy to a young man in just a few, short months. I'm not certain, but this episode seems to contain a very early reference to the lethal potential of climate change - how many dramas can you think of that mentioned it nearly thirty years ago?] 1.18 - "Home Soil" - Feb. 22, 1988 - Directed by Corey Allen (Buzz Gunderson in "Rebel without a Cause," Emmy Award for Directing "Goodbye, Mr. Scripps" on "Hill Street Blues"), Written by: Teleplay - Robert Sabaroff (Writer of "The Immunity Syndrome" on "Star Trek"), Story - Robert Sabaroff, Karl Geurs (Director and Co-Writer of "Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin"), Ralph Sanchez (Writer and Executive Producer of "Boxcars") Featuring Walter Gotell (Second Officer of the Königin Luise in "The African Queen," Oberleutnant Muesel in "The Guns of Navarone," Hans Lasser in "The Hi-Jackers" on "The Saint" (xx), Morzeny in "From Russia with Love," General Gogol in six "James Bond" films), Elizabeth Lindsey (Miss Hawaii, 1978), Gerard Prendergast (Erik Slade on "Summer"), Mario Rocuzzo (Angelo in "The Locket" on "All in the Family" (xx), Andrew in "Goodbye, Mr. Scripps" on "Hill Street Blues" (xx)), Carolyn Barry (The Metron in "Arena" on "Star Trek" (xx)) 19. "Coming of Age" - March 14, 1988 - 20. "Heart of Glory" - March 21, 1988 - 21. "Arsenal of Freedom" - April 11, 1988 - [Note: "Get Off My Train!"] 22. "Symbiosis" - April 18, 1988 - 23. "Skin of Evil" - April 25, 1988 - [Note: RIP, TY.] 24. "We'll Always Have Paris" - May 2, 1988 - [Note: That's Michelle Phillips from "The Mamas and The Papas."] 25. "Conspiracy" - May 9, 1988 - [Note: My first question: The "homing beacon sent from earth comment at the very end ... what did that imply? It sounds ominous, but nothing seemed to pan out from it in later shows that I'm aware of, so ...? (Answers will be Spoilers)"] 26. "The Neutral Zone" - May 16, 1988 - [Note: And that's a wrap for season one.]
  2. *** MILD SPOILERS FOLLOW *** As a "companion pre-piece" to "No Country for Old Men" (2004) I watched (for the very first time) "Blood Simple" (1987), and I can sure see how one influenced the other. The difference being that "Blood Simple" is almost - perhaps is - a very, *very* dark comedy, in the tradition of Shakespeare's "Comedy of Errors," although "Comedy of Errors" is a farce, and "Blood Simple" is a carefully crafted, methodically worked, mistaken-assumption story that is so subtle that the audience, at times, also makes mistaken assumptions. I don't much care for the term "Neo-Noir," but in both of these Coen films, it's a very fitting description (I think I groused about the term's overuse in "The Usual Suspects," which just doesn't meet the requirements in my eyes). "Blood Simple" is so improbable that it *could have* fallen into farce, but it didn't, and the fact that it didn't shows you're being led along by two master filmmakers. The Coen brothers are positively brilliant, and I've always had "Barton Fink" on my all-time greatest films list - I need to watch that again. The ending of "Blood Simple" was as riveting, engrossing, and shocking as any ending I can think of that I've seen, and to say anything more about it (at least without a spoiler alert) would do the reader a great disservice. It is a monumentally great ending. And I have never seen a Coen film that I haven't liked - I've only seen perhaps half of them, so they're not off the hook in terms of batting 1.000, but they just may be my favorite living filmmakers when you consider their entire body of work. "Blood Simple," if you haven't seen it, is a *great* movie, and it's unbelievable that it was a "low-budget" film - it doesn't come across that way at all. If you loved "No Country for Old Men," you owe it to yourself to watch the Coen film that started it all. Superb!
  3. Be advised that NMWA will be reinstalling their third floor collection from Dec. 17 until Dec. 28 (*). With more than 5,000 works in their collection, it's time to hang some new stuff! During this time, the Rodarte and Ambreen Butt exhibits will be open. Both are worth seeing. (*) "Gallery Reboot: Collection Galleries Closed December 17-28" on blog.nmwa.org
  4. I suspect many of our readers have never heard of Zach Britton, despite him pitching up I-95 for the Baltimore Orioles. An equal number of readers may be wondering why I'm starting a thread on him. As it turns out, Britton is the owner of some fairly impressive feats: * He was an All-Star in 2015 and 2016 * He was the American League Saves leader in 2016, with 47. Upping the "Impressive" factor ... * He is the all-time American League record holder in Consecutive Saves with 60. Apr 15, 2017 - "Britton Ties AL Record with 54 Consecutive Saves" by Dhiren Mahiben on mlb.com * He is the only American League pitcher to hit a home run this decade. [Oops, I'm wrong about that]: Jul 21, 2015 - "Nathan Karns Hits First HR by American League Pitcher in 4 Years" by Eric Stephen on sbnation.com
  5. I'd been casually fascinated by this band in the early 90s. They came and went in my music rotation over the years and then resurfaced shortly before (and after) the death of my oldest brother (my musical Obi Wan). As much as these gents can really rock it, they also can really sometimes just hit you in the gut. "Nutshell" is one of those songs for me: And studio ... because you need to hear it twice:
  6. *** SPOILER ALERT *** --- Do not read past this point if you haven't seen the movie. In the scene which takes place in Jimmy Malone's (Sean Connery's) house (there's only one in the entire film), shortly before he winds up his Victrola, and the knife-man sneaks in, Amazon X-Ray says "References: 'A Clockwork Orange' (1971)," but it doesn't say how. Furthermore, a ten-minute internet search revealed absolutely no details of any reference to "A Clockwork Orange" during this scene, and I've seen A Clockwork Orange at least five times. Does anyone know what the reference is? Incidentally, this scene contains one of my all-time favorite movie lines - when Jimmy Malone looks up at Elliot Ness (Kevin Costner), and with his final bit of energy, choking on his own blood, does his best to scream out (and it's the third time in the movie he says this), "What are you prepared to do?!" I believe it was this single line that might have put Sean Connery over-the-top for winning the Best Supporting Actor Award. Shortly afterwards, at the train station, the "other" scene that everyone remembers from this film is the baby carriage rolling down the stairs backwards. This is a direct homage to the legendary "Odessa Steps" scene from "The Battleship Potemkin" (I've started the video just before it occurs - feel free to rewind and watch the entire scene). Incidentally, even though nobody has picked up on this in twelve years, this post, too, was an homage to the same scene (if you watch to the end, you'll understand why). It was also an homage to bacon; just not that kind of bacon. It was also one of the best posts I've ever written, and can be found in "DonRocks' Greatest Hits."
  7. Bork was rejected because of his history, his ideological disposition, and his disastrous hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee. His nomination was reported out of committee to the full Senate, where he was rejected by a vote of 58 to 42, with six Republicans joining all but two Democrats voting against his confirmation. To say he "fully deserved to be voted onto the Supreme Court" is to assume facts not in evidence. His confirmation would almost certainly have harmed the Republic. Nothing in the Bork saga compares to the refusal of the Senate majority to even consider President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland, whose only failing was to have been nominated by Barack Obama, whose own principal failing was to be President while black, and whom the Republicans in both Houses of Congress were determined to thwart on every issue, even those that had been favored by Republicans in the past. Remember that after the Senate rejected Bork, they confirmed Anthony Kennedy by a vote of 97 to 0.
  8. The Cast of Hill Street Blues, which includes the main ensemble and other recurring characters - these won't be listed under each episode, as there's no point in reinventing the wheel. Here are the credited actors in the pilot: Daniel J. Travanti as Capt. Francis Xavier "Frank" Furillo Michael Conrad as Sgt. Phil Freemason Esterhaus Michael Warren as Ofc. Bobby Hill Bruce Weitz as Det. Mick Belker James B. Sikking as Sgt. (later Lt./Sgt./Lt.) Howard Hunter Joe Spano as Sgt. (later Lt.) Henry Goldblume Barbara Bosson as Fay Furillo Taurean Blacque as Det. Neal Washington Kiel Martin as Det. J.D. LaRue Rene Enriquez as Lt. Ray Calletano (later Capt.) Betty Thomas as Ofc. (later Sgt.) Lucille Bates Charles Haid as Ofc. Andy Renko Veronica Hamel as Joyce Davenport Season One (Jan 15, 1981 - May 26, 1981) 1.1 - "Hill Street Station" - Directed by Robert Butler, Written by Michael Kozoll (Co-Creator of "Hill Street Blues") and Steven Bochco (Co-Creator of "Hill Street Blues") Featuring Panchito Gómez (Young Abraham in "Selena"), Trinidad Silva (Frog in "Colors"), Barbara Babcock (Emmy Nominee for "Outstanding Supporting Acrtress in a Drama Series" as Dorothy Jennings on "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman"), Mark Metcalf (Doug Neidermeyer in "Animal House"), Steven Bauer (as Rocky Echevarria) (Manny Riberta in "Scarface"), Charles Seaverns (Real Estate Man in "Frances"), Veronica Redd (Mamie Johnson on "The Young and the Restless"), Eleanor McCoy (Emerald City Citizen and Poppy in "The Wiz," and Bird in Paradise and Najua in "Timbuktu!" on Broadway), Vernon Washington (Rev. Mills Vernon on "Roots: The Next Generations") [My TV days ended with my high school graduation, and I went *decades* without watching any television - for example, I've never seen "Dallas" in my life, and I'd never before seen "Hill Street Blues" either. The sheer number of characters in the ensemble cast is daunting, but the list of pictures above is more than sufficient to get you through this first episode - it will also help to know what the ranks mean within a police department, which are essential to learn (it will also help you during a traffic stop, to be able to address the officer by his or her title). Regarding the characters above, this list is typical of a U.S. Police Department, which has quasi-military ranks: Officer - The formal name of every policeman, even the lowest-ranked - a title of respect - *always* use this term at the minimum. Detective - It's own entity - often the "weird guys" dressed in plain clothes - solitary creatures who roam the night and make drug busts. Sergeant - A non-commissioned officer, sometimes held in higher esteem than a Lieutenant, just like in the U.S. Army. Lieutenant - A commissioned officer, above a Private, Corporal, and Sergeant, and the best time to earn respect (or not). Captain: The officer in charge of an entire precinct - in this case, Frank Furillo, who runs Hill Street station. The above picture doesn't really show anything "special" about this episode (the three big story lines in "Hill Street Station" were 1) the hostage situation in the liquor store, 2) Bobby Hill and Andy Renko getting shot and almost dying, and 3) the President of the United States coming to visit the precinct, but none of these is really picturesque, and so I thought I'd take an "introductory" screen shot of three of the people you're likely to be seeing just about the most. To me, Hill and Renko's surprise shooting was easily the biggest moment in the episode, but that's really hard to capture in a single photo - listening to Hill talk about the living Hell he went through as he didn't lose consciousness was pretty rough going; at least Renko mercifully lapsed into a coma for two weeks, having no memory of horrible things like rats crawling over his face. The policeman's life; 99% tedium, 1% panic - it's enough to drive some cops to suicide, like my best friend in 1993. Please do me a personal favor, and watch "Elegy for a Pig" on "Adam-12," and think of my dear friend Evan when you do - I'm going to watch it again right now, and it's 1:52 AM.]
  9. Well, it's happened: There's no more "Big Three" (and I don't think there ever was a "Big Four"), and Novak Djokovic just won the 2016 Australian Open to remove all doubt that he has risen to be the #1 tennis player in the world. And quite honestly, I don't see that changing anytime soon, short of a catastrophic event. Between being six-years younger than a still-great but declining Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal's frame giving way, there is nobody out there right now who is even close to Djokovic, and he is a legitimate threat to overtake Federer's record of 17 majors (after winning the Australian Open, Djokovic now has 11). He could theoretically pass Federer *next year*, although that's highly unlikely. In today's power-baseline game, Djokovic is the perfect tennis machine, and one of the fittest people I have ever seen (yes, I think he probably "has some help"). He's basically out there doing wind sprints for hours on end, he can do a full split, he practices yoga, he's gluten-free - and he is absolutely driven to play for Serbia which he seems to view as a "bigger cause" than personal glory. Djokovic has gotten to the semi-finals in 22 out of the past 23 Grand Slams. In the last 7 Grand Slams, his record is 47-2. His game relies on pure fitness, so he'll break down eventually, but right now, I don't think he's ever been in better physical condition - this man seems to be in almost perfect shape. "Novak Djokovic: Can Australian Open Champion Become Greatest Ever?" by Aimee Lewis on bbc.com Yes, he most certainly can.
  10. Reading your first post reminded me that you're a no-BS type of person. Reading your second post got me wondering what I would recommend to you (besides "Duel," that is (which I really think you'd like)). Don't take this as a put-down, but an example of a good movie - a really good movie - that I consider to be, quite literally, "lifeless," but that you may like, is John Houston's "The Dead," doubly so because we were just discussing his first film, "The Maltese Falcon," triply so because I *vaguely*, and perhaps incorrectly, think you might have once mentioned that you like James Joyce. I saw "The Dead" in the theater upon release in 1987, and haven't seen it since (although I did read "Dubliners" about five years ago - and I *still* don't remember what "The Dead" is about, if that says anything about either the short story or me). I remember walking out of the theater thinking to myself, "That was a really well-made movie, even though it bored the hell out of me" (I was also only 26, and my tastes have matured). Now I don't think "Spotlight" was boring by any means, but it was a no-BS film (there was a little bit of over-doing things, but not by Hollywood standards). If you haven't seen "The Dead," I must warn you that it's a period piece (it takes place in 1904, which was contemporary with Joyce), and those "types" of movies have their detractors, me sometimes being one of them. Anyway, just a thought. and I'm thinking of seeing it again myself now that I've read the story.
  11. I recently picked up the DVDs (including the incredible Dead Dog Records arc on iOffer) of my favorite TV series of my youth, and am amazed of how well it has held up. Ken Wahl was the eye candy of the series, but flanked by an incredible Jonathan Banks throughout the series and featuring some amazing actors thru the series: Sonny Steelgrave arc: Ray Sharkey, Eric Christmas, Annette Bening, plus the songs "Good Lovin'" and "Nights in White Satin" featured in the finale when first aired Mel Profitt arc (the first incestuous brother/sister relationship I recall on TV, now a fairly hackneyed conceit): William Russ, Kevin Spacey, Joan Severance (who "awakened" me as a teenage boy) White Supremacy arc: Fred Thompson, Paul Guifoyle Garment Trade arc: Jerry Lewis, Ron Silver, Stanley Tucci, Joan Chen Dead Dog Records arc (amazing, and not commercially available due to all the great music featured): Tim Curry, Patti D'Arbanville, Glenn Frey, Deidre Hall, Debbie Harry, Paul Winfield, Mick Fleetwood, Deidre Hall
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