Michael Keaton is great in this working class story. The plot, on other hand leaves a lot to be desired. The premise: A Japanese management team moves in to a small town US factory, and inflicts its philosophies on the Americans. The meshing creates disaster, until, of course, the Japanese finally succumb to the American business practices, and everyone works together. From the start you know that the Americans are going to wind up with everything there way (even if the plot has to make some great logic leaps to get us there.) Even with this entirely predictable plot, Keaton does a great job in portraying the Japanese-America liaison. He doesn't take anything for granted, and finds the good in both the Japanese and the Americans. He also faces some ethical trials that can only be fixed by hard work.
6 out of 10 - comedy
No Time for Sergeants
Andy Griffith got of to a great start playing a Forrest Gump character. Barney Fife even shows up in this predecessor to the days in Mayberry (albeit, in a much different role.) In this black and white comedy, Griffith is Will Stockdale, a southerner who makes his first big foray out of Georgia to join the army. Like Gump, his view on life is an optimistic, bleary-eyed naivity. He drives the Sergeant crazy, who eventually places him in charge of latrine duty. Stockdale, is greatly thrilled by the opportunity. He completes his responsibility to the best of his ability and would have continued that way if it weren't for higher forces.... The movie continues with Stockdale driving unintentionally driving everyone crazy. The laughs are non-stop, even going to the very end, when the radio-station just happens to be signing off with the start spangled banner as they are engaging in a medal ceremony. Just when you think you know where the movie is going, it makes an unexpected turn. Griffith is great in this comedic masterpiece.
9 out of 10 - comedy
Wow! Gandhi is long (over three hours), yet it seems that it could have even been longer. This masterpiece goes through the life of Mahatma Gandhi from his early days, through the Indian revolution, ending with his assassination. The cinematography is excellent, capturing the beauty of the Indian landscape, coupled with the tension of the Indian revolution. However, the focus is on Gandhi himself. After watching, you are struck with the amazing will that he had. He wasn't perfect, but he tried extremely hard to achieve the improvement of his people. Though immediate action is to fight back violence with violence, Gandhi advocates non-violence, which leads to an even more powerful statement. Only through great will-power of a truly altruistic leader, and unanimity of thought of all can success be achieved. And it is, though not without much bloodshed.
10 out of 10 - Historical drama
Though made in 1973, you'll think it was made right smack in the middle of the great depression. It's filmed in black and white, with a tinny soundtrack, and plenty of 30s scenery. Ryan and Tatum O'neal play the old con-man and the young con-girl. After being teamed up, Moses Pray (Ryan) discovers that eight-year-old Addie Loggins (Tatum) is actually better at the underground art than he is. Together they manage to pull of some great swindles, including selling a local bootlegger some of his own whisky. Only later do they find out that the bootlegger just happens to be the sheriff's brother. After seemingly escaping, they finally meet up with the sheriff again, and seem to lose all that they've had. Moses finally takes Addie to be brought up by some of her relatives. However, the two have gradually developed a great friendship over the time, and Addie runs back out to catch up with Moses to continue on their adventure.
Throughout the story, both characters show their human frailties as they both grow off of each other. Only through trials can they finally recognize each other as being real people.
8 out of 10 - Drama
Far and Away
Joseph Donnelly (Tom Cruise) sets out to destroy the 'evil' landlord who has taken away his families farm. Only, once he gets there, his gun misfires, and he soon finds out that his landlord, in fact, has a good heart. It is his underling, that has been causing the trouble. Unfortunately, his underling has already challenged Donnelly to a duel - an event of which he is only saved by the intervention of the landlord's daughter. Soon they end up in America, and are both stuck fighting for their identity. Meanwhile, the 'revolution' that Donnelly had started leads to the destruction of his friends. (Thus you should always be careful before you jump out on noble missions.) The movie as a whole is predictable driven by chance. However, the superb production makes up for it. The majesty scenery and excellent soundtrack help to keep you glued in to this 'fairy tale.'
7 out of 10 - period drama
The theme song by Kenny Loggins is great. Bill Murray and the gophers eak out a few good laughs with their escapades. Other than that, the movie is largely forgettable. A bunch of caddies work at a golf-course frequented by a flaunty, rich playboy (Rodney Dangerfield), a judge, a minister, and an understated rich man (Chevy Chase) who has $10000 dollar checks sitting around, and never keeps his golf score, even though he could probably win a world championship. The plot centers around the misadventures of one of the kids as we seeks a scholarship, which goes up in flames as he develops a romantic interest in judges daughter. That's about it. Other than that, it's a bunch of gags, which work every now and then. Only watch if there is absolutely nothing else on TV.
4 out of 10 - Screwball comedy
Revenge of the Nerds
The jocks' dorm burns down, so though take over the freshman dorm. Due to the circumstances, the school permits freshman to join fraternities. Thus everyone finds a place to live - everyone, except for the nerds. However, the nerds are able to use their unique characteristics (the ones that made them nerds in the first place) to their benefit, and eventually start a chapter of a black fraternity, and win the Greek Olympics. Throughout, the jokes keep hitting on target. The nerds are perpetual optimists, and can always seem to find the good in everything. Their pranks keep the nonstop laughter going in this excellent comedy. If it comes on TV, stay put.
7 out of 10 - screwball comedy