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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

Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare Review


Terrible
The only Nightmare on Elm Street movie to begin with a Friedrich Nietzsche quote and give us Freddy riding a broomstick, aping The Wizard of Oz -- all in the first 10 minutes -- not to mention appearances from a young Breckin Meyer to Yaphet Kotto. Cameos are legion: From a returning Johnny Depp (credited as Oprah Noodlemantra) to then-hot Tom Arnold and Roseanne. Too bad it's all for naught. Longtime Nightmare collaborator Rachel Talalay (a production manager on the first installment and later a screenwriter) got behind the camera on this outing, turning in the absolute worst entry of the series. (Freddy as video game character murderer? Pass.)
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