Category Archives: Throwback Thursday

Late Throwback Thursday-A Goofy Movie (1995)

When you’re a teenager, the last thing many of us want is to be hauled halfway across the country by our parents.

In 1995’s A Goofy Movie, Max Goof (voiced by Jason Marsden) hates nothing more than to be embarrassed by his father, Goofy (voice by Bill Farmer). He also has a crush on Roxanne (voiced by Kellie Martin). To impress Roxanne, Max makes a promise that seems impossible to keep. In addition to the promise that will probably never become reality, Max is also dragged by his father on a cross-country road trip.

Goofy has always been on of those Disney characters that has always seemed to be on the periphery. It’s nice to see that he was given the spotlight without having to share it. I commend the creative team for trying to reach an older audience by creating a new character that they can relate to. My view of the film is this: if you’re a pre-teen or a early teenager, the movie is fine.  It’s not exactly intellectually stimulating, but not every movie has to be. But if your adult, this film feels too simple and too predictable.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Throwback Thursday-Susie Q (1996)

The genre of teen fantasy romance is an interesting one. Depending on the writer(s), the narrative and character arc can be either predictable/boring or compelling/different.

In the 1996 television movie Susie Q, Susie Q (Amy Jo Johnson) is a teenager in the 1950’s. She and her boyfriend are killed in a car crash. Decades later Zach Sands (Justin Whalin) moves into Susie’s former house with his sister and widowed mother, Penny (Shelley Long). Zach will soon discover that not only are they are not alone, but Susie’s ghost still haunts the property and he is the only one who can see her. In her own way, Susie tries to help Zach’s family and of course, it goes without saying that a romance develops between Zach and Susie.

Does this movie require a lot of thinking on the part of the audience? No. But it’s harmless and mildly entertaining.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Throwback Thursday-Minority Report (2002)

When it comes to police work, the ability to prevent crime by being one step ahead of the criminal may not only dictate the speed in which the criminal is caught, but will also help in preventing future crimes.

In the 2002 movie, Minority Report, John Anderton (Tom Cruise) is the chief of an elite police squad in Washington DC in the year 2054. Their squad is able to prevent crime by seeing into the future and stopping crime before it happens. But when Anderton is accused of a future murder, he is determined to prove that he is innocent.

I am not a huge fan of Tom Cruise, but this movie is not bad. There is enough tension in the narrative to keep the audience engaged. This movie also reminds me, at least, that a) human beings cannot control fate (as much as we would like to) and that technology will always have one or two flaws.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Throwback Thursday-Reba (2001-2007)

Life, if nothing else, is full of surprises.

In the television series, Reba (2001-2007), country musician Reba McEntire plays Reba Hart, a suburban wife and mother whose world takes a complete 180.

First her dentist husband, Brock (Christopher Rich) has an affair with his hygienist and gets her pregnant. Then, if that was not enough change to make your head spin, her teenage daughter, Cheyenne (JoAnna Garcia-Swisher) announces that not only is she also pregnant, but she and her boyfriend intend on keeping the baby.

While this was not my favorite sitcom, I appreciated the reality that it reflected back to the audience Sh*t happens, and we have two choices. We can lock ourselves in the emotional closet and hide, or deal with that sh*t.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Throwback Thursday-Fraggle Rock (1983-1987)

Many of us associate our childhood memories with Jim Henson productions.

In the early 1980’s, he broke away from his well known characters, The Muppets, to create a new world and a new group of characters. Fraggle Rock was on the air from 1983-1987.

Fraggle Rock is about creatures who live in a wall behind the home of Doc and his dog, Sprocket called Fraggles. Living with the Fraggles are Doozers. They all go to the Trash Heap for guidance while one of the Fraggles is exploring the world of humans and writes back to his family.

This show is an integral part of my early years. It was educational without the young audience knowing it (which is the point of this type of programming). It was also fun to watch.

I recommend it.

 

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Early Throwback Thursday Post-The Hour (2011-2013)

From the perspective of someone watching the news at home on the television, it seems like everything is smooth sailing. But like everything in life once the curtain is pulled back, what appears to be smooth sailing is actually rough waters.

The Hour aired for two seasons on BBC America. Starring Romola Garai, Ben Whishaw and Dominic West, The Hour was a behind the scenes look at a 1950’s news program in Britain. Integrating the chaos of running a daily news program with the chaos of the character’s private lives, The Hour was a fascinating drama that captivated viewers. Unfortunately, like many shows who are not given the chance to last, The Hour was only on the air for two years. Led by show-runner Abi Morgan (whose film credits include Shame and Suffragette), The Hour had potential, but the network did not see it that way.

I really enjoyed this show. It had great writing, great acting and contained a cast of British actors that Austen fans and fans of British drama will easily recognize.

I recommend it.

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Throwback Thursday-The Sinbad Show (1993-1994)

For many comedians, the peak of their career is starring in their own television series.

Between 1993 and 1994, comedian Sinbad had his own sitcom, aptly named The Sinbad Show. David Bryan (Sinbad) is the foster-father to two precocious children: Zana and L.J. Beckley (Erin Davis and Ray J). While he tries to teach the children as much as he can while they are under his roof, David also learn a few things in the process.

Unfortunately, The Sinbad Show falls into the category of television shows that tried, but never quite made the connection with the audience that is needed to keep a show on the air.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Throwback Thursday-Movie Stars Television Series (1999)

Being the child of famous actors is not easy, nor is it a golden key to success as a performer.

The television series, Movie Stars, aired for one season at the turn of the new millennium. Reese Hardin (Harry Hamlin) and Jacey Wyatt (Jennifer Grant, daughter of Cary Grant) both have successful careers in the entertainment industry. Reese and Jacey have two children of their own in addition to Jacey’s daughter from her previous marriage. Life is chaotic and busy, as it only can be when your part of a family of movie stars.

The problem with this show is that it was like a rocket without fuel. While the concept seems ok on paper, both the narrative and the character arcs were woefully underdeveloped.

Do I recommend it? No.

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Throwback Thursday-The Happening (2008)

The end of the world happening through mysterious circumstances has been a standard narrative within science fiction for many years. It depends on the writer or writers to flesh out this very predictable narrative to make it feel alive, new and interesting.

In the 2008 movie, The Happening, Elliot and Alma Moore (Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel) are watching their world crumble around them. A mysterious plague has hit the world, causing those infected to commit suicide. Elliot, a science teacher is trying to use his knowledge to figure the cause of the plague and find a cure, but that might not be enough to save his life, his wife’s life and the life of Jess (Ashlyn Sanchez), the daughter of a friend who they are trying to protect.

On paper, this the premise of the film sounds interesting. Unfortunately, it’s one of those movies that only sounds good on paper.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Throwback Thursday-The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)

When a film is adapted from a comic book, it must two serve purposes and two masters. It must please the comic’s core fanbase while appealing to new fans. It must also, as best as the creative team can, full transplant the narrative and characters from the page to the screen.

In 2003, the film adaptation of the comic book The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen hit the big screen. In an AU (alternate universe) Victorian era, a group of heroes from famous novels must come together to save the world. The group includes Tom Sawyer (Shane West), from the classic Mark Twain novel, The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer, and Mina Harker (Peta Wilson) from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Led by Allan Quatermain (Sean Connery) from H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines, this band of adventurers and heroes must save the world from a villain known as the Fantom.

Bear in mind that I have never read the comic book and when I saw the movie, I was unaware that the source material comes from a comic book. As a standalone movie, it’s ok. It’s just the run of the mill film adaptation of a comic book that is top-heavy on special effects and light on both character and narrative.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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