Vic Morrow

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Twilight Zone: The Movie Review


Good
I saw Twilight Zone: The Movie when it came out in 1983. My dad, brother and I wandered into the theatre late and assumed we missed the beginning of the film. Instead of the familiar Twilight Zone intro, here were two guys (Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks) yukking it up in a car. After a few minutes of on-screen banter, my dad leans over to me and says, "I think we're in the wrong movie."

We decide to stick it out and sure enough, Aykroyd turns to Brooks and says, "Do you want to see something really scary?" Brooks agrees and the rest is scary movie history. Cue audience screams. We were, indeed, in the right movie.

Continue reading: Twilight Zone: The Movie Review

Blackboard Jungle Review


OK
Idealism in the public school system got its start here in 1955's Blackboard Jungle, based on the book that convinced America that our kids were not all angels and schools were not built from picket fence perfection. Today, Blackboard Jungle is surprisingly dated and ineffective, as its picture of high school violence and perversity seems quaint in comparison to Columbine-style massacres and Mary Kay Letourneau. Even the firey Sidney Poitier an Vic Morrow, playing the school's punks, seem set to a lower level than we've seen from them in later, mor compelling works.

Roots Review


Excellent
When you think of epic mini-series, what comes to mind? Rich Man, Poor Man? Shogun? More likely than not, it's Roots, the based-on-a-true story tale that spooled over 12 hours and six nights, the story of "an American family," albeit one that began captured in Africa in 1750, then sold into slavery in the U.S. colonies.

Roots begins with Kunta Kinte, emerging from childhood and undergoing warrior training in his tribal homeland. The slavers arrive soon enough, and after a harrowing three-month ride back across the Atlantic, Kunta is sold, becomes Toby under his new master, attempts repeated escapes, and eventually accepts his fate as he settles down with a wife and child. The Revolutionary War comes and goes, and Toby's daughter Kizzy is sold, becoming the mother of her new master's son, known as Chicken George. Chicken George in turn is sent to England to pay off a gambling debt. When he returns home after 14 years, he is a free man. The Civil War arrives, and the rest of the slaves are freed. Soon enough the family faces the perils of vehement racism and the KKK, and Chicken George finally leads his family to safety in a new settlement.

Continue reading: Roots Review

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