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Worst Scooby Doo Movie EVER!! Confessions of a Fred Jones Fan
Scooby Doo has been around long enough for there to be fans of the various genres of the franchise. The review and opinion I am about to share is from what I grew up with. Let the record show, I hate Scrappy Doo. I know there are plenty of Scrappy fans out there and that's okay, I respect that. I don't expect many if any fans to agree with my review, but here it goes.
Since this is primarily a negative review, I will start off with the good. I loved Scooby Doo and Shaggy, you can always count on them to stay the way they are with their comedy, love of food and fear of ghosts, It was great to actually see Fred and Velma in the same movie as Vincent Van Ghoul and that Flim Flam character (UGH!) as opposed to their absence in the 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo series. And of course, the animation quality of today. But that's as far as the positive reviews go. Now for the cold hard truth .
I am a purist fan of the original Scooby Doo cartoons, from Scooby Doo Where Are You? series from 1969 to the New Scooby Doo Movies from 1972, to the Scooby Doo Show (Scooby Doo/Dynomutt Hour & Laff a Lympics) from 1976-1978 and maybe Scooby and Scrappy Doo from 1979. This might be considered unpopular opinion, but of all the characters on Scooby Doo, Fred Jones (or Freddie sometimes) has always been my favorite character. I have always identified with the teenage guy who would be the handsome heroic leader of a group and that's what Fred was during the years I dated. Back in those days, Fred was not only the intelligent leader of the gang but also THE driver of the Mystery Machine And even when Fred guest appeared in select episodes of the New Scooby Doo Mysteries in 1984, Fred and Daphne both took leadership roles and Fred drove the Mystery Machine then. I have NEVER liked the 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo because Fred and Velma were phased out of existence and replaced by not only Scrappy Doo, but this stupid kid named Flim Flam who I hated even worse, Anyway, on to the present. I was originally planning on buying the 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo on DVD to have along with this movie. I watched the two episodes added as extras before the movie and I got the gravest disappointment ever. WHY??? Because the writer(s) of this movie apparently hated Fred to the point of completing ruining his character. He is NOT the Fred Jones classic fans like me have all known and loved. Fred has been reduced to an incompetent dufus who is literally muscled out of the leadership role by Daphne who also takes over as the driver of the new Mystery Machine because Fred can't drive a stick shift. And it is later revealed that Fred's absence from the 13 Ghosts series is because he was at CHEERLEADING CAMP?!! Seriously?!!!! And of course, after Daphne becomes the new leader, Fred becomes whiny and needy, questioning what his role is in the gang. I kept waiting for Fred to redeem himself in this movie, and all I got was more and more nauseas!! All the other characters were fine. But Fred was forever ruined. I believe it all started when Freddie was dumbed down in A Pup Named Scooby Doo, which was fine for that show, But starting with Zombie Island and everything that's followed, Fred has been slightly dumbed down, but was still a leader. And in Mystery Incorporated, Fred's niche was specializing in traps, I would have bought that reason for his absence, but becoming a cheerleader and cheering Daphne on as a new leader was the killing blow., I couldn't have cared less if Scrappy was not included. And Fred and Velma had little interaction with Vincent Van Ghoul. The ending was a huge disappointment to fans of the 13 Ghosts series since the final ghost is merely a man in a mask.
Finally, if you love the 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo series or Flim Flam or Vincent Van Ghoul, of if you're a fan of Scooby Doo himself or Shaggy, Velma or the modernized Daphne, yes, it's a good movie, but if you're a fan of Fred Jones, this movie is absolute garbage!! Give me the classic Scooby Doo Where Are You over the 13 Ghosts series and this craptastic movie any day of the week!!!! Thankfully, I'm not the only one who feels this way. Read the RIP FRED JONES 1969-2019 review to see a similar but shorter review.
Fantastic Four (2015)
Fresh From the Cardboard Cut Out of Suck: The Craptastic Quartet
WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS!!
As a lifelong fan of Super Heroes and comic books, I have always loved movie adaptations. I love the good ones, and even with the bad to mediocre at best ones, I have always found something in each of those movies that I liked, that made it worth watching. NOT THIS TIME: I admit, I am more of a DC fan and I follow characters like Batman, Superman, Aquaman, Justice League, etc, over Marvel, but what limited things I do like in the Marvel universe, I have always loved the Fantastic Four. I had the Mego figures and the Power Records book and record as a kid, I enjoyed reading some of the comics back then and I loved the animated series from 1968 by Hanna Barbera and even the 1978 series with HERBIE the Robot. And I personally loved the Fantastic Four movies with Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis and Chris Evans. I love both the 2005 and 2007 movies. They may not be the greatest, but at least they stayed close to the source material.
When I went and saw the new reboot last weekend, my reaction was the same as Cameron's loud scream in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It was a complete abomination!! If you're going to make a movie based off a popular iconic franchise, do it right!! Stay close to the source material and don't get too far away from it. I believe in the old country saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" And that's exactly what 21st Century Fox did in their unsuccessful attempt to keep the franchise. The best thing they could have done was turn it back over to Marvel. They would have done it right.
While I understand that some of these changes have taken place in the Marvel Ultimates Universe, I bet they haven't been around for too long. I say stick with what most people know. Here are what I hated the most:
1: A Naked Thing: Really?! Come on!!! There are kids watching! Would it have hurt to give the Thing pants?! Even if it wasn't the shorts from the comics, at least Michael Chiklis's Ben Grimm had nice pants and he was the same tough Ben as opposed to this little guy. They really Joel Schumachered this movie really badly!!
2: Reed Richards age and characterization: Too young to be believable. Plus, there's no way I could have seen any relationship form between him and Sue. Plus, I did not like him being portrayed as a yellow bellied coward. He's supposed to be the leader of this team. I just can't see Reed being younger than Johnny or close to his age.
3: Johnny Storm: Period! If you want to change the race of a popular established character, be careful who you select. I would have been more accepting if the Thing, Ben Grimm had been African American. But Johnny Storm? I just couldn't see it!! And Sue being adopted? This was just too much to take it.
4: The villain: We've already seen Doctor Doom. I would have preferred another villain like Prince Namor the SubMariner (and spin him off into his own movie) or the Mole Man or the Skrulls. Doom was an arrogant punk instead of royalty.
5: New Story: Not Retooled Origin. I absolutely HATED this new origin. Nuff said.
All in all, this new Fantastic Four reboot is something I didn't even recognize. It's like watching the Cathy Lee Crosby TV movie of Wonder Woman, which also unrecognizable.
The disappointment here is that I was hoping for a reboot with new actors cast according to the traditional source material. To see the FF that we knew from the first two movies with new actors carrying on the stories with new threats and menaces. This movie was so awful, that the director, Josh Trank and the producers and studio blamed each other. Since Chris Evans (who I liked as the Human Torch) has gone on to win the hearts of many as Captain America, I was hoping for a new blonde haired blue eyed Torch. Then again, I also wanted to see the blue costumes with the 4 emblems. Not that garbage they wore in this movie.
There's no cameo by Stan Lee and there are no extra scenes during or after the credits, so you're better off leaving when the credits roll.
In conclusion, this is one Super Hero movie that is a complete failure and a total waste of money. If you're a traditional fan of the FF, YOU WILL NOT RECOGNIZE IT!! I dreaded this movie before I saw it and I walked away totally disgusted!! A complete two thumbs down!!!
Great Disaster Movie With Cast From Dallas, the Waltons, and Adam 12
What can I say? I'm a child of the 70's and I love 70's shows and movies. I'm also a huge Dallas fan. I recall 20 years ago (hard to believe it's been that long now) I finished my freshman year of college and I also recall watching the final episode of Dallas back in the spring of 1991. A week later, I was at Blockbuster Video and discovered I could prolong the Dallas feeling one more Friday night and I rented Hurricane when I discovered both Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy were in it. Don't think they knew each other at that time yet, but it is ironic they were both in it.
I can't think of the character names, but I just watched this movie on you tube and would not mind finding it on DVD. Larry Hagman and his wife are out in their boat and get caught in a Hurricane and trapped in the eye of the storm and they're trying to correspond with their teenage son and younger kids. Martin Milner from Adam 12 is in the Air Force and the head of the crew in the plane that flies through these storms. Hagman was already a celebrity at the time from being on I Dream of Jeannie. Patrick Duffy was an unknown newcomer. He looks like he's in college in this movie. He and his bride are trying to leave their place to head further inland, but their neighbor, the late Frank Sutton from Gomer Pyle is throwing a Hurricane party and insists they join them, which they do for a little bit, but finally leave at some point. All I will say is that Sutton will eventually learn the error of his ways.
The man that plays Martin Milner's father is a man who lives alone and has a dog. I recall that he tries to ride out the storm and wait for his son to come home. He's offered a ride twice and turns it down. The scene I remember best with him is when he regrets passing it up when he tries to leave, his pile of crap truck won't start and he tries to go by foot.
If you're a fan of the Waltons, Michael Learned and the late Will Geer, who are relatives on that show, are esteemed colleagues at the Hurricane Center. And being a fan of the Incredible Hulk TV series, I have to point out that the late Jack Colvin, who was intrepid tabloid reporter Jack McGee on that show, is a TV newscaster in this movie.
You actually have 4 story lines going on here. Hagman and his wife caught in the Hurricane's eye, the fateful trips of Milner and his crew to attempt a rescue. Milner's dad and his dog, and Frank Sutton's hurricane party.
I'm probably one of the few, but I really love this movie. 2 thumbs up.
Two Hours of Memorable Fun!
I had turned 8 years old when the Plastic Man Comedy Adventure Show aired on Saturday mornings right behind the World's Greatest SuperFriends in 1979. Hard to believe that was now 30 years ago. I recall there were four animated shows in this 2 hour variety series.
PLASTIC MAN: I was not aware he was another DC Super Hero until after seeing this show. Like the comics, he still looked like he did in the comics. And it was revealed he used to be a criminal named Eel O Brien. BUT unlike the comics, his origin was not revealed like it was in the comics. Instead of Woozy Winks, he had 2 associates. Beautiful southern belle Penny, who was in love with Plas and always trying to get romantic with him. And Plas was either too dumb to notice or he turned a blind eye. He seemed to have an infatuation with the Chief. A brunette female superior with a strip of grey in her hair. The Chief was a total B*** who apparently hated Plastic Man since she was always nitpicking at him. Replacing Woozy Winks was Hula Hula, a Polynesian known for his "bad luck" but on the plus side, always seemed to have friends and connections wherever they went. I can't remember any of the villains they fought, but I'll never forget Plastic Man swinging on jungle vines on his intro exclaiming "Eat your heart out Ape Man!" MIGHTY MAN AND YUKK: THE WORLD'S UGLIEST DOG: This cartoon was primarily a combination of other influences. Mighty Man was Hanna Barbera's Blue Falcon and DC Comics the Atom rolled into one and voiced over by Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime for Transformers fans) and Yukk, a dog so ugly, he had to cover his face with his doghouse, otherwise, when he lifts his house, total chaos ensued. Yukk is actually Dynomutt turned into a real dog with an ungodly ugly face and Frank Welker used his Dynomutt voice for Yukk. Stupid show but it is funny.
RICKETY ROCKET: Perhaps the worst segment in this Ruby Spears series. Rickety Rocket is a combination of Speed Buggy & Fat Albert. Four black teenagers (Cosmo, Venus, Splashdown, and Sunstroke) in a future time run a detective agency assemble a pile of junk and it becomes Rickety Rocket. I don't remember the stories, but I recall it was total crap and it was later dropped from the airwaves during mid season. No doubt this cartoon offended somebody. "RICKETY ROCKET! BLAST OFF!" FANGFACE & FANGPUSS: Fangface ran as a solo series the year before in 1978, and in 1979, the cartoon ran as part of this series, BUT it suffered from the very same problem that Scooby Doo did that year. The Cousin Oliver syndrome (the unnecessary addition of a new character). While Scooby Doo and the Gang were joined by Scrappy Doo, Fangface and his friends Biff, Kim, and Pugsy were now joined by Fangface's little cousin, a baby who became Fangpuss. Very bad move to an otherwise, enjoyable cartoon.
Plastic Man's second season also suffered from this syndrome. 1980 saw the series become The Plastic Man/Baby Plas Super Comedy Show. In that show, Plastic Man finally married Penny and they had an elastic baby named Baby Plas, who not only had his own adventures, but also with his parents in segments called the Plastic Family. Funny how after they introduce characters like Baby Plas and Fangpuss, that these shows were gone the years afterward.
On its 30th anniversary, Plastic Man is coming to DVD. And it only contains his season one adventures and a couple of season 2 episodes. No Baby Plas or Plastic Family, and none of the other cartoons. Just Plas, Penny, and Bad Luck Hula. It's supposed to be on DVD in late October.
Altogether, the Plastic Man Comedy Adventure Show is fun and has great memories, but it also has disappointing factors as well. I give it an average rating.
B.J. and the Bear: The Foundlings (1978)
They Should Indeed Do a Remake of this Obscure TV Classic
I never saw the pilot movie of BJ and the Bear in its original 2 hour movie format. But I did see it years ago when the series played in syndication in the early 80's. In response to the previous poster, I know that BJ and the Bear ran for more than one season. It actually ran for three seasons. Most recently, I saw this pilot called "The Foundlings". Somebody finally placed it on youtube most recently. It's interesting to see how far more sinister that both Sheriff Lobo and Perkins were in this pilot. Oddly enough, Perkins was NOT a deputy at this time and he was single too. In this movie, Perkins owned a ranch where the captured girls were slaves. Apparently, Sheriff Lobo ran it and Mr. Perkins was just a civilian.
Anyway, BJ is hired by this girl whom he nicknames "Stilts" to haul a load for a set price no questions asked. But when BJ encounters Orly County deputies, it's just a matter of time before he discovers he's hauling a group of young runaway women who escaped from Perkins Ranch where they were held captive.
In this pilot, BJ's red and white rig does not have an aerodine window. Funny how it was added in the series and we learn about BJ's time in the military and what made him decide to be a trucker and go from place to place.
It's a crying shame that neither BJ and the Bear nor Sheriff Lobo stand a snowball's chance of ever seeing the light of day for DVD releases. And aside from Lobo airing on RTN, a channel I don't have (just my luck!) it seems there are no TV stations near me that are broadcasting either series.
I recently had he honor of meeting and hanging out with Greg Evigan when I was emcee at a stunt show in Concord North Carolina this summer. Greg was one of the celebrities who attended. He is a truly nice guy and cool to hang out with.
It is my greatest wish to Universal that both BJ and the Bear and Sheriff Lobo would come to DVD or at least broadcast so I can see them again.
The Batman (2004)
Not as Good As Batman: The Animated Series, but a Good New Interpretation With an Evolving Process
First of all, I am a fan of Batman: The Animated Series all the way. To me, no one beats Kevin Conroy and Mark Hammill and the bunch. BUT it wasn't until the last two seasons of the show that I came to appreciate this series. Now I have the whole series plus the movie The Batman VS Dracula on DVD.
The Batman is a series where we see not only a younger version of the main character, but we see an evolutionary process take place within its five season run.
SEASON ONE: The season fans cried foul the most. For starters, this meant trying to adjust to a new interpretation of a younger animated Batman. In this season, Batman is pretty much alone, hunted by the police, particularly Detectives Ethan Bennett and Ellen Yin. I hated Chief Rojas, who was the head man in charge of the Gotham Police. Bruce only has Alfred as his confidant.
SEASON TWO: Batman is still alone, but he has an ally in the form of Ellen Yin, whose now working with him indirectly. Commissioner Gordon finally debuts at the end of the season. Bye Bye Rojas. I never liked you. We also saw the release of the movie,"The Batman VS Dracula."
SEASON THREE: Batgirl debuts and works most of the season to prove to Batman that she is worthy of being a partner or an ally. Ellen Yin and Rojas are phased out at this point.
SEASON FOUR: Robin is finally introduced and I first became interested in this series because of this element. Bruce Wayne now has a ward, Dick Grayson, but unlike the father/son relationship of previous series, they seem more like brothers in this one since Bruce is younger. As Batman, he now has partners in Robin and Batgirl.
SEASON FIVE: Batman now teams up with Superman and the Justice League Super Heroes. Robin is Batman's main partner and Batgirl appears less as does Gordon.
The series cancelled while it was really getting good, but then again, what more can this Batman do now that he's a JL member.
THE PROS: In seasons 1-3, Adam West (Batman 1966) voiced over Mayor Grange. The late Frank Gorshin (Riddler 1966) voiced over Professor Hugo Strange until he died. In Season 4, Kevin Conroy (B:TAS Batman) voiced over John Grayson and Mark Hammill (B:TAS Joker) voiced over Tony Zucco. VILLAINS: We had Black Mask, Cluemaster, and Killer Moth. And we had Vicki Vale in the Batman VS Dracula movie. These were characters Bruce Timm and Co. never even touched.
THE CONS: This series did not have Two Face, Scarecrow, and Ras' Al Ghul due to a Bat Embargo (they were licensed for the live movies). Bad mistake. This makes Batman: The Animated Series better in that sense. HERO TEAM UPS: While we get to see Green Arrow, Hawkman, the Flash, and the Hal Jordan version of Green Lantern, we never got to see Aquaman and Wonder Woman. However, WB will make up for it with Aquaman in the upcoming Batman: Brave and the Bold series.
All in all, this is a good series, but I place it second to Batman: The Animated Series. Now that it's all on DVD, I recommend checking it out to appreciate the evolutionary steps of this series.
The Dark Knight (2008)
Definitively THE best Batman Movie Ever Made. Definitely Oscar Worthy!!!
And I thought Batman Begins was the best. It is rare that a sequel or follow up movie is better than its predecessor. But Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale have pulled it off. I've never before attended a midnight sneak showing of a movie, but when I read that it was an anticipated sellout, I decided not to wait until opening day. Good thing too.
The Dark Knight is a true masterpiece. It is not only the best comic book adapted movie. It is not only the best crime drama movie. It is not only the best psychodrama movie. It is not only the best Batman movie. IT IS ALL THESE CATEGORIES ALTOGETHER!! I am personally convinced that the Dark Knight surpasses any comic book movie ever made in its history. The entire cast gave stand alone performances in their perspective roles. The cinematography was superb and you can't beat the musical score composed by the same two geniuses who scored Batman Begins.
Unlike the Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher movies, Gotham City looks like a real city, especially since they filmed in Chicago. Burton's Gotham looked too dark Beetejuice Edward Scissorhands fantasy and Schumacher's Gotham looked too neon gay. Gotham City needs to look real and not like some fantasy set and Nolan pulled it off! Christian Bale really pulls off both sides of the cowl as Batman and Bruce Wayne. It's great to see Michael Caine, Gary Oldsman, and Morgan Freeman back in their roles as Alfred, Gordon, and Lucius Fox. The best casting choice they made was casting Maggie Gyllenhal as Rachel Dawes since I felt she was more believable in the role than Katie Holmes ever was. When I saw Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent, I realized that I saw him in a movie called Thank You for Smoking. The studio did wise not to reveal his appearance as Two Face. As to how, when, and where it happens, you will just have to see the movie for yourself. Thank you WB for keeping the secret guarded. But Eckhart really executes the role of the White Knight who eventually falls.
Now saving the best for last. The late great Heath Ledger. While I was not really familiar with his work, he really and truly stole the show as the Joker and he did it without upstaging Batman like what happened in the Keaton/Nicholson movie. Ledger really vanished into the role of the Joker. He literally lived and breathed the part and his Joker is more of a frightening, terrorizing menace than any of the past incarnations. And he lives by no rules whatsoever. Now don't get me wrong. Caesar Romero will be remembered for the camp version, Jack Nicholson has the best Joker look and played the comical killer and Mark Hammill gave the best standout performance as the voice of the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series. But Heath Ledger's Joker will make you either forget the other versions or at least make you put the others on the back burner. In my personal opinion, Heath Ledger truly deserves the honor of a posthumous Oscar Nomination.
Whether or not there is a third Batman movie done by Nolan and Bale is neutral for me. I would certainly enjoy it and I hope it eventually happens, but at the same time, I feel this is the best and I would hate to see a lesser quality movie to follow this one. Any future Batman movies, whether they bring in Robin, The Penguin, Catwoman, or any number of other villains, other heroes or supportive players should be done by another director and starring actor who will continue the franchise in the Nolan/Bale style.
While I love both Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk both, I am convinced the Dark Knight is bar none THE BEST SUPER HERO MOVIE OF 2008 IF NOT EVER MADE!!! Perfect!! Two Thumbs Up!!!
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Second To the Classic TV Series, This Is THE Hulk Movie To Go See!!
When it comes to the Incredible Hulk, I am and will always love the classic TV series the best. But now, I've seen the second best Hulk interpretation ever made!! Oddly enough, I wound up seeing it three times this weekend. I just couldn't get enough of it.
The 2003 Ang Lee film was a total abomination (pardon the pun)and it would be similar to, "What if somebody attempted to do a lower budget Superman movie a few years before Christopher Reeve, Richard Donner, and the Salkinds got involved?" That movie was a joke that was not funny at all.
The Incredible Hulk was a brilliant collaboration and this time, both the director and the star are both Hulk fans of both the comics and the TV series. Louis Leterrier was an ideal choice for a director. Edward Norton made an excellent Bruce Banner. He looked a little like Bill Bixby, but only a little bit whereas he mostly represents the comic book Banner far better than the poorly miscast Eric Bana of the 2003 film. The retold origin was far better than the plot of the previous film and was only restricted to one part early on in the film so that it's not rehashed. Liv Tyler made a decent Betty Ross and she was much more loving and understanding than Jennifer Connelly was, but in terms of beauty, I am more partial to Connelly myself. Add the grey hair and the mustache, and William Hurt executed his performance as General Thunderbolt Ross. The only thing I liked in the 2003 film was the casting of Jennifer Connelly and Sam Elliot as Betty and her father, the General, so I could go either way with the Ross's.
This Hulk movie has many things the previous attempt did not. For one thing, it has some humor in it while the other film was too dark, brooding, and serious. And this film had good length while the other one was too long. That is one agreement that I'm glad Marvel won. Sorry Ed. And most of all, we had a real villain along with a colossal fight for the Hulk. Tim Roth was great as Emil Blonsky and his Abomination was a true menace and a frightening one as well.
Best of all, this Incredible Hulk movie has many nods to the classic TV series. Lou Ferrigno has a better cameo role and he was the voice of the Hulk. There is a brief cameo of the late Bill Bixby seen on a TV set while Bruce Banner is channel surfing. And what I'm surprised no one has mentioned yet, there is also a nod to the late Jack Colvin's character in that there is a character named Jack McGee found somewhere in this movie. You need to see the movie for yourself to see these nods. The Hulk himself is CGI of course, and to some, that is probably a big letdown, but this time, the Hulk looks far better and he doesn't grow when he gets angrier, plus he looks more like his comic book counterpart.
One more thing, the musical score was outstanding!! Craig Armstrong's score sounded like real Hulk music as opposed to Danny Elfman's 2003 score, which sounded a little too Asian and martial arts type of music. But the intro theme of this new movie is really captivating.
For my final evaluation. If you want to see a Hulk movie that is truly good in every way and will capture the interest of both TV series and comics fans, the Incredible Hulk with Edward Norton is THE movie to see and completely discard the Ang Lee film of 2003. I give this movie 2 thumbs up!!
CHiPs '99 (1998)
Except for a Few Continuity Goofs, An Excellent TV Reunion Movie!!
I never thought I'd ever see it happen. The cast of CHiPs reuniting and doing a new reunion movie, and even more than that, it reunited Larry Wilcox and Erik Estrada, who finally decided to bury the hatchet and forget about their personal issues with each other. Oddly enough, they both were co producers as well. I was surprised this didn't air on NBC, but then again, about a decade ago, this was a hot show that aired on TNT, like the same way the Dukes of Hazzard received new popularity on TNN during that time.
It's hard to believe it's now been 10 years since CHiPs 99 aired on TNT. And hopefully, maybe it will get released on DVD someday along with the series. The movie is interesting in that we see how the CHP has changed in the last 15 years, especially in terms of the new motorcycles they used.
For the most part, this movie, I feel was written with the memory of season one more than any other season and it almost completely ignored the characterization and story lines of the final season, as bad as that season was. In season six, Officer Jon Baker left the force and was replaced by Officer Bobby "Hot Dog" Nelson and later his brother Bruce, who went through Cadet training before becoming a CHP officer before series end. Ponch by that time, had matured into the more responsible training officer. Ponch, while still a character had become what Jon was. Most of that was tossed out the window in this movie. Ponch once again was the "Hot Dog" and Jon was a little more strict this time. One can only guess that when Ponch left the force, he did before Jon came back, explaining why they hadn't seen each other in so long. The only element of season 6 was the inclusion of Bruce Penhall as Bruce Nelson, who gets promoted to Sergeant in this movie, but gets injured and out of the story not long afterwards. Artie Grossman is back as a plain clothes Detective and surprisingly, Brodie Greer is back as Barry Barikza, who also mysteriously vanished in season 6. Joe Getraer is now Police Commissioner and Jon Baker is now Captain of the CHP and is married. His beautiful blonde wife, Sandy is also a CHP officer.
Ponch retired from the force some years ago, married the crash victim from the series pilot episode, and had a son. Ponch's wife got sick and died, and now he is raising his son, Frank Jr. What I didn't care for in this movie, were the two new young guys. Sergeant McFalls was not bad. A nice cop like Jon, but Roulette, is not only an exaggeration of Ponch, but also a resident a---hole!! You just love to hate this guy and his rivalry relationship with Ponch occurs when he cites Ponch for speeding. Ponch returns to the force, but unlike his buddies, he never rose in the ranks and is therefore, still a motor officer.
All in all though, it was great to see Ponch and Jon go riding together again after 15 to 16 years. Flashback scenes from the pilot episode, plus the scene where they pull over a bicyclist, whom they pulled over when he was a kid in the pilot was priceless.
While not as great as the original series, CHiPs 99 has its charm and I recommend it as much as the series. I give it 2 thumbs up!!
One of the Best Police Shows Ever Aired On Television and Still Is I Might Add
MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!!
I get disgusted seeing some of my favorite TV shows downed for their quality, but at the same time, I can understand to a limited extent. In terms of technology, we've come a long way. But there are some things from the late 70's and early 80's that will always be priceless. Like Buddy shows, whether it be police or otherwise.
For me, I categorize three shows in particular, Starsky and Hutch, The Dukes of Hazzard, and CHiPs. People down CHiPs for its quality, because you were guaranteed freeway chases and vehicular crashes and accidents in each episode, along with beautiful women who find CHP officers, Ponch and Jon in particular, attractive. And the 70's disco music soundtrack in each episode.
I compare police shows of the era to soft and hardcore sports, baseball and football. While most police shows are grim and gritty, not to mention violent crime dramas, henceforth like football games, I compare CHiPs to baseball. Both are light hearted and the violence level was at a minimum. I don't recall Ponch or Jon ever drawing their guns. And compared to the crap we call reality TV today, the realistic factor of CHiPs was similar to Emergency and Adam 12 in that we saw professionals doing their jobs and we even got to hang out with them off duty on these shows. Through CHiPs, when I applied for my driver's license as a teenager, I knew the documents to present a cop who pulls you over were your license and registration (thanks to Ponch and Jon). I knew that on my written test without studying that one factor.
Anyway, in a nutshell, CHiPs was the adventures of the CHP both at work and at play. The two main characters of this buddy cop show were Larry Wilcox and Erik Estrada as officers Jon Baker and Francis "Frank Poncherello, best known to everyone as Ponch. Unlike most people, I love the 1970's, the styles, and especially the disco music, which I wish I had on CD. For most of the time, Jon and Ponch were the main characters as well as one of their commanding officers, Sgt. Joe Getraer, whose relationship with Ponch was similar to the relationship Captain Dobey had with both Starsky and Hutch. Other than that, the only other cop who was there almost from start to finish was this pudgy cop named Artie Grossman. Other cops were cruiser cops, like Barry Barikza, who was there for most of the series seasons except the last one. Black cops, Fritz, and Turner (future Klingon Michael Dorn) and some very hot Chippies like Sindy Cahill,Kathy Linahan (final season) and my personal favorite Bonnie Clark (Randi Oakes). My least favorite character was the arrogant mechanic, Harlan. I could have done without that pathetic guy.
The show's two worst moments. A few episodes in season 5 when Ponch was temporarily replaced by Bruce Jenner as Officer Steve McLeish, who was Jon's partner while Erik Estrada was tied up in a legal contract dispute, and worse than that, all of season 6 with Larry Wilcox's departure due to the fact that he and Estrada were not getting along, probably due to Estrada's massive ego during the series. Though try as they might, neither Tom Reilly nor Bruce Penhall as the Nelson Brothers Bobby and Bruce could cut it with Ponch like Jon could, though Bruce was more interesting as we seem go from Cadet in training to official CHP before the series ended.
In the end though, you still have a great series. Erik Estrada as Ponch was the character cop who stole the show, but I was always more of a Jon Baker fan. To me, Larry Wilcox represented the type of cop I'd prefer to be stopped by or cited by.
If you want a decent reality based show, I highly recommend CHiPs. And unlike most shows, it's perfectly safe for your kids to watch. I give 2 thumbs up!!
By Far the Greatest Animated Super Hero Movie Ever Made!!
Though my childhood was in the 1970's, I've read some comics that my cousin had during his childhood in the 1950's, so I've come to appreciate the interpretations of the DC Heroes of that time period. In fact, I like that era better than what most of today offers.
Justice League: New Frontier is actually a tale that brings these heroes together before they officially formed the Justice League of America. I have not read Darwyn Cook's novel, but I thoroughly enjoyed this animated movie where we get familiar with not only the SuperHeroes, but also the military heroes and government men.
While DC's big 3, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are present in this story, the unique twist is that this movie follows the journey of Hal Jordan from Korean War air force pilot to Test Pilot for Ferris Aircraft to eventually becoming the Green Lantern. David Boreanaz did a superb job as Hal/GL. The second big lead is J'onn J'ozz, the Martian Manhunter. His story is told and I enjoy the work of Miguel Ferrer, whose voice has also been heard on episodes of Superman: The Animated Series as Weather Wizard, and Aquaman. And finally, the Flash has a major role in this movie. And it's the classic Barry Allen version. Neal Patrick Harris sounded a little too young to be Barry, but he still pulled it off. The only DCU villains who surfaced were Captain Cold, whom I did not recognize and Gorilla Grodd.
Wonder Woman was the classic version and Lucy Lawless was a natural in the role, even though she didn't have much to do. Superman reminded me of a combination of the classic Fleisher Superman as well as the George Reeves interpretation in terms of being the boy scout and the government's voice of reason. Thumbs Up to Kyle MacLachlan. It was also enjoyable to include Lois Lane and a silent Jimmy Olsen. Priceless.
My favorite hero, Batman is the most minor of the A listers. The cool thing is that we see him first in the look of the Bob Kane/Bill Finger version of 1939. Then the switch to the blue and grey version of the DIck Sprang era and Robin's cameo is a big bonus. I must admit, Jermey Sisto's voice for Batman is a bit odd, but he did a great job. Oddly enough, this version of Batman makes me think of not only Adam West, but also the late Olan Soule who voiced over Batman on the SuperFriends.
In minor cameos, we get to see Green Arrow, Adam Strange, and the Blackhawks, My favorite cameo has to be made by Aquaman and it's in a scene in the movie that is priceless!!! I won't tell you when that is. If you want to know, go see this movie.
In addition, we also have the Challengers of the Unknown, but only their leader Ace Morgan has a major role and he is Hal Jordan's co- pilot and best friend in this movie. And let us not forget the government agent, King Faraday. You kind of hate him at first but grow to like him towards the end. Phil Morris, the voice of Vandal Savage on Justice league Unlimited voices over Faraday.
The villain is this being called the Centre and he's voiced over marvelously by Keith David.
Out of every animated Super Hero movie ever made, I recommend this one the most. In odd ways, it reminds me of the SuperFriends, but also the classic late 60's DC cartoons by Filmation. Especially their facial designs.
Great music, Great Story, Great Voice cast. Great Movie!!! I give it 2 thumbs up!!!
Mister T (1983)
Mr. T and his cartoon show well memorable
If you ask me what are some of the things I remember about the 80's one of them is Mr. T. I knew who the guy was, but was not yet watching the A Team. It wasn't until this cartoon of Mr. T came on in 1983 that I finally began watching the A Team on Tuesday nights. Plus in 83, I missed the SuperFriends on Saturday mornings and needed something action oriented to watch that year.
In live action, he was B.A. Baracus on the A Team, but in animation, Mr. T played himself and he was a coach and protector of a group of teenage gymnastics who were on tour all over the US. And like the Scooby Doo characters, they solved mysteries and cracked cases.
It's been 20+ years since I've seen this and I can't believe I still remember most of the characters. Alongside Mr. T, you had a lady named Ms. Bisby, who was a pretty mild mannered lady who helped drive the bus and assisted in many ways. As for the teen gymnasts, you had
Robin, The red headed girl with the freckles who was obviously the leadership figure of the teens.
Kim, the Asian girl who was the brains and had the photographic memory.
Jeff, the handsome and apparently rich whitebread guy with a massive ego. Sometimes you just wanted to strangle him.
And Woody, the young well educated black guy with intelligence and a good head on his shoulder. Woody was introduced as the new guy in the first episode. And I was amazed to discover that he was voiced over by MAD TV's Phil Lamarr, who later voiced over Green Lantern on the Justice League (Unlimited) series. There were other teen gymnasts like Garcia, Vince, and Courtney, but their roles were not as big as the four I've mentioned.
Last but not least, for comic relief, you had a dog with a mohawk named Dozer, and Robin's little bratty kid brother named Spike who was a Mr. T wannabe. This little snot would mostly speak in a voice imitating Mr. T. To me, Spike was to Mr. T what Marvin and Wonder Dog were to Superman on the SuperFriends. Annoying nuisances.
But aside from that, Mr. T was a great cartoon and it was something to watch in 83 until the SuperFriends were back on Saturdays the following year. And I enjoyed that notion that a tough guy like Mr. T could be a good role model and teach lessons. TAKE IT FROM ME!! MR T!! Two thumbs Up!!!
Space Sentinels (1977)
Awesome Filmation Show
I never saw this series on Saturday morning as a little kid. In 1977, I was 6 years old and if I wanted to watch SuperHeroes, I was watching the All New SuperFriends Hour on ABC and then flipping over to CBS to watch the Batman/Tarzan Adventure Hour. I rarely watched any Saturday morning shows on NBC since that network had the least amount to offer me. But I acquired the Space Sentinels/Freedom Force series on DVD last year. And I must say, since I've watched lots of Filmation shows in my lifetime, I knew what to expect and I love this show as if I had seen it years ago.
The Space Sentinels is true genius from Lou Schemimer and the animation team at Filmation. I already knew Hercules because of the Freedom Force series. In this series, Hercules sounds younger and seems somewhat like a dumb jock who loves organic and health foods.
Mercury reminds me of Robin with those orange shoes, but he is fast and is the jokester of the bunch. Astrea is the leader of the group as well as the shape shifter and the most intelligent. That to me was cool. Sentinel One was the Sentinel computer that appears as a holographic head and of course for comic relief, Filmation head Lou Scheimer is the voice of the Maintenance Operator or MO for short, falling in line with similar characters like BatMite and Orko.
The Space Sentinels came out the same year that Tarzan Lord of the Jungle and the New Adventures of Batman did. Great quality animation through the use of rotoscoping, but you got the same old cost cutting repeated use of stock footage, plus there was always a moral lesson to be taught.
I bought this series and Blackstar and was shocked to discover that the same guy voiced over Hercules, Sentinel One, and later on, John Blackstar. George DiCenzo.
The Space Sentinels is also cool in the use of racial diversity. The black female is the intelligent leader, the Asian with the speed of light is the Humorist, and the strong man is a jock with a good tan and a health conscious mind. I really admire this series, short lived as it was. I highly recommend picking up the DVD today.
Cool Animated Show! Hey! At Least Aquaman Had a Show of Some Kind
I never saw this animated show of Aquaman until I was a senior in high school. We'd finally gotten a VCR and I rented the Super Powers cartoon set of Aquaman. Though the animation can't hold a candle to today's standards, I truly appreciate the work that Filmation did. The only gripe I had was Aquaman sporting black boots instead of the green fins on the back of his legs. I truly felt the show had its strength in terms of story lines. Aquaman is truly in his element and you did not mess with him. While I love the SuperFriends with a passion, their use of Aquaman was inexcusable, keeping him out of the water way too much. But I will say this, the SuperFriends had the upper hand in terms of voice over. I liked Norman Alden, the first of the 2 Aquaman voice overs better than I did Marvin Miller on this show. For some odd reason, people keep thinking Ted Knight did his voice. While Ted is definitely associated with the Aquaman show, he was the narrator, supportive players and villains while Marvin Miller was Aquaman.
In this show, Aquaman had a sidekick named Aqualad, who together were like an underwater version of Batman and Robin, with Aqualad using stupid catchphrases like "Holy Haddocks!" and "Sufferin Sailfish!", plus they had an Aqua Cave. SOund familiar? And like the SuperFriends afterwards, they had to have a cutesy character around, hence Tusky the Walrus and 2 Seahorses, Storm and Imp. Mera is in the cartoon, but she's not Aquaman's wife. The only villains I recognize are Black Manta and the Fisherman, but I'm not familiar with the Brain and Queen Vassa.
Tomorrow, I will pick up the series on DVD. Too bad it doesn't have the DC Super Hero segments. I love Aquaman along with Batman and Superman, thanks largely to the SuperFriends.
Super Awesome Animated Movie: But Not For Kids
I've only read the Death of Superman story arc, but I've never read the Funeral For a Friend, World Without a Superman,Reign of the Supermen, or the real Superman's return so I cannot complain about the accuracy. But for an animated movie that did not require the presence of the rest of the DC Universe, they did an excellent job. The new voice cast is one that I will have to get used to. Adam Baldwin did a good job as Superman. I liked the Bruce Timm animated style, but the new crack lines in Superman's face took some getting used to. Lois Lane is completely made over in terms of design and voice over by Anne Heche. Jimmy Olsen looks a lot better than he did on the animated series, plus he is older. Pery White does not look like Perry White. It's some bald guy instead of the traditional look, but it's a minor gripe.
I must applaud James Marsters as Lex Luthor whose voice along with the very skinny design reminded me a little bit of the Kevin Spacey Lex Luthor, only without the humor.
There is unlimited action along with super violence, blood, and death. Plus, the movie earns its rating of PG13 with some slightly raw language. Just one or two words and that's it.
Superman's death, the aftermath, and his eventual return were handled greatly and I applaud it. Both Smallville and Superman Returns had some influence on one part of Superman's life.
That's all I will reveal. If you're an adult comic book fan or an adult Superman fan, I highly recommend checking this movie out, but whatever you do, don't show it to your kids depending on how young they are.
Interesting Back Story But Way Too Gory
I saw this movie last night with my friend and his wife. My buddy is really big into horror movies, so we thought we'd check it out.
What I like about the new Halloween movie is the re imagining of Michael Myers and the fact that he was given a back story. We see his face only in childhood and that was when he spoke. The kid that played the young Michael Meyers was perfectly cast and he had that demon possessed look in his face. You see the dysfunction in his family to the maximum extreme. You see when he stops speaking and when he comes across the jumpsuit, the knife, and the mask. I won't reveal any more than that, so I definitely recommend this movie in terms of a prequel story.
But in terms of the violent content, the original Michael Myers of the classic Halloween movies was violent in his killings, but it was at least watchable. This new Michael Myers kills with the same grotesque level of violence that Jason Voorhees of the Friday the 13th series. Hey!! Now there's an idea for a horror movie. Michael VS Jason.
I'd like to see that. Anyway, the rest of the movie is a condensed remake version of the original movie from 1978. And not surprisingly, there is nudity and teenage sex followed by murders.
If you are a true horror movie buff with lots of blood n guts, I highly recommend this movie, especially to see the psychological back story on Micael Myers. But if not, I'd advise you to steer clear in terms of the violence because now in terms of killing, Jason Voorhees has finally met his match in Michael Myers.
A Good Start to an Otherwise Bizarre FInal Season
I love the Six Million Dollar Man Series, but I have no earthly idea why this 2 part episode was listed separately from the rest of the series. Sharks was a 2 part episode that kicked off the show's most bizarre, yet final season. I must admit, I liked Lee Major's late 70's hairstyle and I wished my hair could have done that when I was younger. But unfortunately, this look was a further departure from his image from the earlier seasons marketed on all the SMDM merchandise. The final season was kind of comic bookish and bizarre in terms of some of the stories. I imagine Lee Majors was ready to move on with his career at this point. But I will admit that the 2 part Sharks episode was fairly decent. An underwater episode with a woman who could control sharks in the ocean with a special device. And her father starts off as the main antagonist but becomes the victim and not so bad guy after all when his head henchman takes over all operations. Not too many episodes I'd recommend in season five, but of the few, I would recommend Sharks along with Dark Side of the Moon, Killer Wind, the Cheshire Project, Walk a Deadly Wing, the Return of Death Probe, and the series finale, the Moving Mountain. But beware, you will encounter weird episodes like Bigfoot V, Rollback, Just a Matter of Time and perhaps the single most bizarre episode in the entire series, the 2 hour Lost Island episode.
But give Sharks a try. This one I will recommend.
Decent 2 Hour Bionic Episode, But Lacking in Action
I don't know why the IMDb listed this episode separate from the Six Million Dollar Man series, but I will say that the Bionic Boy is a good story. It has Steve Austin going to a small town and helping a teenage boy named Andy played by Vincent Van Patten learn how to adjust to his new Bionic Implants in his legs. It's a good story in that we see a boy's dream come true in meeting his football hero, Frank Gifford and getting to play football again. It's also a delight to see Knots Landing's Joan Van Ark as Andy's older sister. The only gripe I have about this episode is that this is a story with no real villains or attempted kidnappings. But I guess it's okay to get away from that once in a while. We also see Greg Evigan, future star of BJ and the Bear as a high school football jock and Andy's rival.
On the plus side, the Bionic Boy is a special 2 hour episode along with the Thunderbird Connection in season four of the Six Million Dollar Man series. And a good recommended episode.
Great Episode that marks turning point in the Series
The Secret of Bigfoot was to me, the halfway point of the Six Million Dollar Man series. The show took its first turn toward the direction of Science Fiction with the introduction of the Bionic Bigfoot played by Andre the Giant as well as the hidden colony of alien beings. I loved Stephanie Powers character and her attraction to Steve. The initial battle between Steve and the Sasquatch is a highlight of this 2 part episode. Oddly enough, I think this may have been the start of late 70's scifi shows with alien beings in polyester jumpsuits, cheesy special effects and laser beams, and giant monitor screens for communications. In addition to the SMDM, the Bionic Woman series as well as Wonder Woman, Battlestar Galactica, and Buck Rogers were all notorious for doing this in the late 70's but you what? I love it anyway!! The Return of Bigfoot was also a great 2 part Bionic Crossover with both Steve and Jamie and Bigfoot was played by Ted Cassidy. Unfortunately, the last Bigfoot episode (also with Ted Cassidy) called Bigfoot V made in season five fell flat and was pathetic. Avoid that one. But this first Bigfoot 2 parter is high on the recommendation list.
The Introduction of Jamie Sommers Gave the Six Million Dollar Man a Bionic Boost!!
Although this is considered the unofficial pilot for the Bionic Woman series, I look at it in its original form as a 2 part episode of the Six Million Dollar Man series that debuted Lindsay Wagner as Jamie Sommers. Col. Steve Austin returns to his hometown and while there, he meets and rekindles his youthful romance with tennis pro, Jamie Sommers, whom Steve's parents always loved. They become engaged and then comes the tragic skydiving accident in which Jamie would be made bionic with one arm, both legs, and one ear, but not before Steve has to do some tearful pleading with Osacar Goldman. One of the most priceless moments in this special episode is seeing Steve and Jamie running together at Bionic Speed. Sadly, Jamie's body rejects her bionics and she runs out into a thunderstorm and Steve goes after her. Sadly, Jamie dies at the end. But thankfully, her popularity convinced the network and writers to resurrect Jamie in the third season of the Six Million Dollar Man, but her memories along with her romance with Steve were erased, which was a way to get her ready for her own series later that year.
I compare the Bionic Woman episode to that of the Incredible Hulk's 2 hour second season premiere episode Married with Marriette Hartley. Producer Kenneth Johnson wrote both of these episodes and had both Lindsay and Mariette die in storms. So the leading men, Lee Majors and Bill Bixby would lose their loves. Only difference is, Jamie eventually comes back.
I really feel that the introduction of the Bionic Woman really helped to increase the popularity of the Six Million Dollar Man series and I highly recommend this episode if you find it on DVD.
The Six Million Dollar Man (1974)
Cheesy, But Excellent! They don't make shows this good anymore!
One of my all time favorite TV shows. I saw it when I was very little and not again until the SciFi Channel in the 90's. The Six Million Dollar Man series was a series that never developed a permanent formula so each season is unique and different from the others. The character first came to life on TV in 1973 with a trio of 90 minute TV movies. The Six Million Dollar Man movie (Cyborg) was take right from Martin Caidin's novel and also starred Darren McGavin as Oliver Spencer and Martin Balsam as Dr. Rudy Wells. Wine, Women, and War debuted Richard Anderson as Oscar Goldman and Alan Oppenheimer took over as Rudy Wells but was never a series regular. This movie made Steve seem like a Bionic James Bond. Solid Gold Kidnapping was a dull TV movie.
Season one (1974) was a season that seemed geared towards more adults than children. Slow motion would be used as a reverse psychology to show Steve's super speed at slow motion. Cheesy, but effective. The episodes were more action oriented and we saw Greg Morris, William Shatner, and George Takai in guest roles. And the best episode of the season had to be Day of the Robot that introduced the toy figure called Maskatron. John Saxon's fight scene with Steve was awesome!! Season Two was in an interesting season as we occasionally heard the trademark Bionic sound effect which was used more towards season's end. In this season, Steve encountered another Bionic Man who was emotionally unstable, plus he would return in season three. The biggest highlight of the season was the introduction (and the death of) Jamie Sommers, the Bionic Woman. Season Three: I think this was when the series soared in popularity, became more kid friendly, and the Bionic sound effect was used on a regular permanent basis. The Bionic Woman, Jamie Sommers got revived and later spun off onto her own series. Then the show turned more SciFi with the 2 parter that introduced Bigfoot played by Andre the Giant. Season Four: This season plus the previous season remind me of the Incredible Hulk TV series because Bionic Woman creator Kenneth Johnson who adapted the Hulk was chief writer on the SMDM in these two seasons. We saw Steve and Jamie occasionally team up like in the 2 part Return of Bigfoot played by Ted Cassidy and the 3 part Bionic Crossover that introduced Fembots. In this season, Steve had a couple of Bionic malfunctions and he meets a boy who gets Bionic leg implants. Oddly enough though Lee Majors changed his look by sporting a mustache for most of this season which went against his look that was marketed on SMDM merchandise. In this season we were also introduced to the Russian Venus Death Probe. Dr. Ruy Wells was now played by Martin E Brooks who became a series regular at this point. Season Five was the strangest season of them all. The series made fun of itself with its story lines. There were more 2 parters than usual and although Lee Majors ditched the mustache, his hairstyle (which I thought was cool) was a late 70s'style that made Steve look more civilian and less military. Since the Bionic Woman was now on another network, he was dating other women and no longer had any interaction with Jamie. Best recommended episodes are: The Robot (Maskatron)series, Day of the Robot, Run Steve Run, and Return of the Robot Maker. Episodes with Jamie Sommers, The Bionic Woman and her season three return episode, plus Welcome Home Jamie which kick started her own series, The Secret of and Return of Bigfoot 2 parters, but avoid the season five episode, Bigfoot V, the Seven Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Criminal with the other Bionic Man played by Monte Markham, the Death Probe 2 parters as well as episodes like Dr. Wells is Missing, The Pioneers, The Deadly Replay, Stranger in Broken Fork, Look a Like, Hocus, Pocus, and the 2 part Dark Side of the Moon, these three episodes guest star Jack Colvin, who would later play Jack McGee on the Incredible Hulk. Also, the Price of Liberty with Chuck Connors, Target in the Sky, The 2 hour episodes, Bionic Boy and the Thunderbird Connection, The 3 part Bionic Crossover Kill Oscar, and from season five, the best ones are the 2 part Sharks, Killer Wind, the Cheshire Project, and the series final episode, the Moving Mountain. I also wanted to mention 4 episodes, Rescue of Athena One, The Peeping Blonde, The Golden Pharoah, and Nightmare in the Sky. These four all guest starred Farrah Fawcett, Lee Major's then wife and future Charlie's Angels star. There's a little over 100 episodes, but this series is great. Though cheesy by today's standards, the Six Million Dollar Man is still a Six Million Dollar Show!!
G.I. Joe (1985)
And Knowing Is Half the Battle!! Great Animated Series of the 80's
I recall watching the first commercial promoting the 1st comic book issue of G.I.JOE from Marvel Comics and all the toy commercials with animation. I also remember watching the M.A.S.S Device mini series followed up but the Revenge of Cobra the following year. It was not until somewhere between 1985 and 1986 that I finally found myself watching this awesome series and really getting interested in G.I.JOE and eventually reading some of the comics.
Marvel and Sunbow productions did an excellent job with this series. Great story lines and great characterizations of both Joe and Cobra characters. For anyone whose never seen G.I.JOE, I highly recommend seeing this series. The best of G.I.JOE, namely the first two mini series and the entire first season are now on DVD. Back in the first season, you had lots of memorable characters, but among my favorites (and I'll save my top favorite for last) are Flint, Lady Jaye, Gung Ho and rhyming Roadblock, Shipwreck, Scarlett,Snake Eyes, Mutt and Junkyard, Alpine, Bazooka, and Quick Kick. I also love all the original Joes who only appeared in minor roles, but were prominent in the first mini series in 1983 like Stalker, Flash, and Rock N Roll, etc etc. But perhaps my all time favorite character who most symbolized G.I.JOE for me was Duke. He was my favorite right from his debut in the M.A.S.S. Device mini series. To me, Duke was the leader of G.I.JOE and in my honest opinion, the best leader, though I will give Flint credit as an excellent second in command. I really hated it in season two when Duke's role was greatly reduced to cameos.
In season one, Duke and Flint were the established leaders. You had the maniacal Cobra Commander and Destro. I always enjoyed their scenes as well as the romance between Destro and the Baroness. Speaking of romance, the Flint and Lady Jaye pairing was one element that kept this show fresh along with Shipwreck as a scene stealer with his annoying parrot Polly. Other memorable villains included Zartan and his Dreadnoks, the Crimson Twins and Storm Shadow not to mention Major Bludd, who was all but eliminated in season two.
In the comic books, Scarlett had a romance with Snake Eyes, who is clearly the most popular character in Joe history, but surprisingly, not in the cartoon. And in the cartoon, it seemed that Duke was Scarlett's potential love interest, which I didn't mind. My top favorite episodes had Duke and Scarlett together with Duke as the team leader in charge. My favorite episode focused on Duke and it was a 2 part episode called Synthoid Conspiracy. Other fun elements were interactions between Joes that were paired up together on missions like Alpine who was always annoyed by the show witted Bazooka. The there's Quick Kick, martial artist and stuntman and movie buff extraordinaire, and when Dusty and Footloose bickered and competed with each other over an attractive female scientist in Hearst and Cannons. Like I said, give season one and shot. This was the best era.
But season two was a whole different matter. The mini series that told of how Serpentor, the Cobra Emperor was created and the second season were just not as good to me as season one. Hasbro definitely wanted to sell the new toys, so the new Joes and Cobras got too much emphasis. I got tired of Dr, Mindbender and Zarana very quickly, Zandar was new but barely featured. The only new Joes who were memorable were the new marine and navy seal, Leatherneck and WetSuit who were always bickering with each other. Action minded pilot Lift Ticket always in conflict with the pacifist medic known as Lifeline. And that's it. I felt Serpentor, his creation story and plainly the character himself was when the show was starting to get waaaay out there. The inclusion of Sgt. Slaughter was the only entertaining aspect and he was only in a couple of episodes and not used all that much. The G.I.JOE chain of command had changed. For reasons unknown, they finally included Hawk who in the comics was the real G.I.JOE leader and revamped his appearance so he wouldn't be mistaken for Duke. He's known as General Hawk in the cartoon. Duke is second, Flint's in third and fourth in command is shared by 2 drill sergeant types, Sgt. Slaughter and the annoying and arrogant Beach Head. The only veteran characters who remained the most active were Flint, Lady Jaye, Shipwreck and Roadblock because of his change in uniform. Duke, Scarlett and all other veteran Joes were either in the background or eliminated all together.
Finally, the G.I.JOE PSA's were good and enjoyable. And most of the popular Joes were in them, some like Flint, Shipwreck, and Deep Six did more than one. I can understand why the likes of Bazooka did not do any PSA's due to his limited IQ ( and yet I heard he was very intelligent in the comics.) But the BIG question for me is, Why wasn't there a PSA with Duke?!!! Even General Hawk did a PSA I can recall.
In closing, check out the first three mini series, the MASS Device, Revenge of Cobra, and the Pyramid of Darkness and the first season of the series. If you can, bypass the second season and the movie that followed. But even season two is better than that horrible series animated by DIC in 1990. Yo Joe!!
Voltron: Fleet of Doom (1986)
Best Episode With Two Voltrons For the Price of One
I'd have to say this is the one episode of Voltron I liked the best of all time because it brought both Voltron Forces and robots together against a mega threat to the universe.
I remember the Fleet of Doom kicked off the Lion Force's second season and Vehicle Voltron's force only appeared in brief scenes as they were trying to get to to where they needed to be.
I recall that Commander Keith and Princess Allura had the biggest roles in this hour long episode. The two things I enjoyed best were when the guys of the Lion Force talked about their days at the academy and the friendships they had with the members of Vehicle Voltron. Oddly enough, the air team seemed like the equivalent to the Lion force.
The other part I love is when Lion Force Voltron is in trouble, Vehicle Voltron arrives in the nick of time and seeing the two robots fight side by side.
Of all the shows, this is the Voltron episode I'd like to see come to DVD since it has never aired on TV again other than that one time I saw it. Two thumbs up!
Great Series With Classic Voice Cast Made For Fine Entertainment
Normally, I do NOT like anime. I never even got into Speed Racer,a classic anime show. I didn't even like Voltron when it first came out. I'm not sure what got me into watching it, but I did, starting with bits and pieces of episodes and then finally, becoming addicted. I think the familiar voice cast did it for me. I recall Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime from the Transformers, Neil Ross, Michael Bell, and BJ Ward from G.I.JOE, Transformers, and many Hanna Barbera cartoons and Lennie Weinrib from Filmation shows.
Anyway, I recall two versions of this super robot.
LION FORCE VOLTRON: Easily, the most recognizable robot and by far the most popular. I can see why. It was pretty simplified. The Voltron Force consisted of 5 pilots who flew 5 Lion robots who all form Voltron, the robot who defends Planet Arus from the likes of King Zarkon, Prince Lotor, and Hagar the Witch from Planet Doom and their giant robeasts, which Voltron always destroyed with the blazing sword. I was in junior high school when this series was popular during the mid 80's in weekday afternoon syndication. You had Commander Keith the heroic leader, Lance, the wisecracker, Pidge, the kid, Hunk, the big guy and Princess Allura herself who chose the fly the Blue Lion after that pilot named Sven disappeared. You had simple numbers in the Voltron Force as well as 5 robot lions, one set planet and one set of villains. No wonder the Lion Force was so popular. I recall in 1986, the Lion Force had a second season of episodes. Like everybody else, the Lion Force is my favorite version.
VEHICLE VOLTRON: This series was not as popular and a little more complex. It was like G.I.JOE meets Star Trek with a group of Space Explorers along with their commander and the crew of their ship, the Explorer, searching for new worlds for the people of their overcrowded galaxy. Corny. This Voltron Force had 15 pilots who flew 15 space vehicles that formed land, air, and sea vehicles as well as all 15 forming Voltron, who I thought was the better looking robot. And they battled the Drule Empire with countless generals, soldiers, and their robeasts. Though this series was not as great, I find myself interested in Vehicle Voltron because of its rarity. The air team was similar to the Lion Force. I saw Jeff the leader as a short haired version of Keith and the kid named Chip is actually revealed to be Pidge's brother. I remember the land team was led by an Englishman named Cliff and the Sea Team was led by Crik, an alien who could predict upcoming things with supreme accuracy. Jeff was air team leader as well as the Voltron Force leader, but even Jeff had to answer to Commander Hawkins.
Anyway, I like both series. Although the Lion Force is coming to DVD, I'm going to wait and see if Vehicle Voltron will make it. If they do, then I will buy all sets. Both Voltrons are fun to watch. The Lion Force may be more entertaining, but Vehicle Voltron to me was the better looking robot.
I Loved This Show. I Wish It Would Air Again and Be Released on DVD
I haven't seen this show in years, but I saw the old intro on youtube.com. I originally saw this show when I was a little kid and I think it came on Tuesday nights on NBC. I never realized that Sheriff Lobo was originally a spin off of BJ and the Bear nor that Lobo himself was originally a villain. From what others have said, ole Elroy P. Lobo was a corrupt Sheriff but on his own series, he was a Protagonist who was corrupt, but not evil like he was when he debuted as BJ McKay's major adversary. I liked Claude Akins and felt he did very well as the comically corrupt Sheriff Lobo. Mills Watson was the funniest one of all as Deputy Perkins who had a battle axe for a wife named Rose. I've recently seen Mills Watson in a couple of episodes of the Six Million Dollar Man in bad guy roles and as a sheriff in the second Incredible Hulk TV movie as kind of a pre Perkins role. But I remember he was unbearably funny as Perkins. And then there's Birdwell Hawkins (or Birdie as he was best known). The only competent cop on the Orly County Police Force. He was the true blue good guy and had the sex appeal to attract the women. I liked Birdie and he was who I wanted to be like when I watched the show.
The first season was truly the best, but I will admit when the show changed its title to Lobo and the characters moved to Atlanta Georgia to be country cops in the big city, that sucked, but I still watched them. I was amazed to see a slightly smaller and slightly pudgy Nell Carter on that series (Pre Gimme a Break)as well as character actor, Nicholas Coaster as the Chief Carson and I vaguely remember two very hot looking but snobbish undercover cops named Peaches and Brandy. I also recall the hot, sexy Heather Thomas appearing on this show once or twice.
As far as I'm concerned, Sheriff Lobo was a copycat of the Dukes of Hazzard in terms of corrupt, but comically inept police. I love the Dukes of Hazzard and Sheriff Lobo was more like the Dukes than BJ and the Bear was. I wish this show would air on TV Land or be released on DVD. I would also like to see BJ and the Bear as well.