Fred Weiss

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Everything posted by Fred Weiss

  1. Seinfeld (1990)

    I was thinking exactly the same thing. If either of them are ever in a bad situation, they always manage to make it worse. Except George could never be a multi-millionaire. He's at least "one transistor" short of a Larry David. George would always manage to screw up whatever success he managed to achieve. Fred Weiss
  2. Seinfeld (1990)

    I used to watch the Seinfeld re-runs regularly but I got bored with them after awhile when I started seeing the same ones over and over again. But I recently started taping them again on my Tivo and I'm seeing quite a few I've never seen before. I saw one just the other day that may be one of the best, called "Voices". Somehow they managed to cram 4 sub-plots into the half hour each involving extremely funny bits for all 4 of them. Jerry's hearing voices coming from his girlfriend's navel, Elaine getting back with an ex-boyfriend, George being fired from his job but he keeps going to work anyway, and Kramer taking on a business intern from NYU. Kramer was always the real star of the show and it made me wonder if a comedic sit-com needed a completely wacky character to make it work, like the airline pilot on the first Bob Newhart Show or Larry, Daryll and Daryll on the second one or Lenny and Squiggy on Laverne and Shirley, etc. Incidentally, another one I'd recommend is "Mad about You" which had a can't-beat-it starring cast of Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser. Unfortunately it apparently only had a short run of maybe one or two seasons. Someone mentioned HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" with Larry David (one of the producers of Seinfeld). I thought it was hilarious. That one didn't need a wacky character. It had Larry. :-) Does anyone happen to know if they are planning any more? Fred Weiss
  3. Sparrowhawk Book One: Jack Frake

    Yes, Ed is a very interesting guy. He's been a friend of mine for many years and I've been very pleased to carry signed copies of all the Sparrowhawk titles. Sparrowhawk Book IV: Empire was just recently released. Fred Weiss http://www.papertig.com/
  4. Shall We Dance (1996)

    Beautifully written review. Yes, that ending! Just by way of a footnote, I happened to catch an old Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers film and, after just recently seeing "Shall We Dance", I focused a little more on the dancing. I couldn't help noticing that Ginger Rogers, while a superb dancer, seemed almost "heavy" in comparison to the Japanese dancer, who seemed in contrast to effortlessly glide over the floor. Still, to repeat something I said in the other "Shall We Dance" thread, I found the Japanese version difficult to relate to in some respects because of the profound cultural differences. I still haven't seen the American version. Speaking of films with "cultural differences", has anyone seen "Bend it Like Beckham"? That's another one I'd highly recommend. Fred Weiss
  5. Shall We Dance (1996)

    Just one small comment about the Japanese version which I recently watched again. The film is almost worth watching just for the finale sequence in the ballroom. Not only is their dancing beautiful - the young woman in particular has the grace of a ballerina - but the rendition of "Shall we Dance", song in English by a Japanese vocalist is the most beautiful I have ever heard. Her English diction is near perfect and you almost couldn't tell she was Japanese except for a few words which she had some slight difficulty with. Curiously, I found this added to the charm of the song. Fred Weiss
  6. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

    Quick Stephen, start a South Park thread! (This'll get really wierd if Stephen hates South Park.) Ok, explain how you can like all the grossness and gore in South Park, but not in Kill Bill. In fact it may be even worse in aspects in South Park! Fred Weiss
  7. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

    I asked Stephen, "Are you planning to take samurai sword lessons and to learn how to pluck out eyeballs?" Nonetheless, the humor element is so pronounced in my reading of it that I find it hard to believe that Tarantino takes it as seriously as you do. I'll have to read his interview(s) to see what he says on the subject. Fred Weiss
  8. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

    Are you planning to take samurai sword lessons and to learn how to pluck out eyeballs? Come on, Stephen! Fred Weiss
  9. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

    I thought your review was very, very funny and enjoyed it. I may even want to steal some of your lines for future use if I really want to skewer someone. So there's no need to apologize for it. I especially liked, "I had never wished for a heaven before, but I did today so that two hours could be given back to me." And, "I'll start with the good. It had my wife's and I favorite commercial "jingle" in it, the one before the big fight scene near the end "woo-hoo woo-hoo-hoo!" Also, the dialogue is not as putrid as in his other movies." Cracked me up. I don't suppose I could interest you in "South Park"? Fred Weiss
  10. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

    I asked: "What is going on in that flashback schoolroom bit when the teacher calls out Beatrix's name" If that's all there is to it, Ok. But I still don't get the point. As I recall the little girl called just before Beatrix had a wierd name but even after rewinding several times, I couldn't quite make it out. Fred Weiss
  11. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

    Thanks for that. I know very little about Tarantino and his thinking about this - and his other - films. I've bookmarked it and will read it with interest when I get a chance. Fred Weiss
  12. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

    Not necessarily of course. Otherwise you couldn't take fairytales or mythology seriously. But why the conscious and obvious humor which underlies much of Bill? Tarantino clearly intends for you to laugh at much of it. When Beatrix marches to the diner covered from head to toe in dirt and asks for a glass of water, you didn't laugh? What is Tarantino trying to convey when, after the heroic effort involved in escaping from the coffin, he adds that scene clearly designed to make you laugh? There are numerous other examples. Fred Weiss
  13. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

    Stephen said, "I would have to watch it again, but I recall her name was bleeped out more than once previously." <I don't know how to do quote in quotes> I have no idea what you guys are talking about. What does this have to do with the classroom flashback? Fred Weiss
  14. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

    Oh, I forgot to add a question that came to mind when I was recalling Bill's questioning Beatrix and bringing up the subject of the futility of her attempt to escape him. What is going on in that flashback schoolroom bit when the teacher calls out Beatrix's name? Fred Weiss
  15. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

    On the other hand, there is Beatrix's clear intent to shield BB from this life - hence the whole plot-starting element of her trying to escape from Bill. That said, there is "the fact" that Beatrix is a "natural-born killer", which she admits she never really believed she could escape from. Fred Weiss
  16. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

    Plus, BB is already a "killer" - of goldfish, which Bill makes much of by way of his little speech on the subject. Has Tarantino said that there will be a Bill3? Fred Weiss
  17. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

    Btw, Stephen, you might want to consider moving some of these Bill posts over to the Bill thread. I assume they are distracting to the people who want to discuss Shawshank. Fred weiss
  18. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

    I'd draw an important distinction between "highly stylized" and "whimsical exaggeration". Atlas Shrugged for example is highly stylized. But everything that happens in the novel is *possible*, although a number of the story elements do require a stretch of imagination. In contrast, in Kill Bill there are a whole list of impossibilities, not to mention a whole host of other things which are highly unlikely to say the least. That's what gives it that "cartoonish" or "comic book" quality which Tarantino acknowledges explicitly, if obliquely, in Bill's speech on the subject. I'm prepared to give Tarantino a lot of credit for pulling it off, to draw you in, without it all seeming to be utterly ridiculous - as, say, for one example, in "Charley's Angels:Full Throttle". But it is nonetheless clearly whimsical exaggeration. Where I think Tarantino differs from the usual "tongue-in-cheek" movies is that he is clearly not underneath sneering at the romantic genre or trying to convey a superior attitude toward it. Well, there's a touch of that - maybe even more than we who like the film will admit - but for the most part I think he wants you to take it seriously and he wants you to regard Beatrix with genuine sympathy and admiration. However he couldn't possibly expect you to take any of it literally. If he did, then he'd be even crazier than I already think he is. Fred Weiss
  19. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

    There ain't nothing like the Tea House garden sword scene or Elle Driver introducing the black mamba to Bud or the heroine escaping from a buried coffin. But I admit it is not for everybody. You might need a couple of screws loose to enjoy it. Fred Weiss
  20. The Shawshank Redemption

    Thanks for the recommendation. I'll look into it. Fred Weiss
  21. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

    Try the new Google newsgroups. It's vastly superior to the old one. For one thing it's far faster, posts often appearing in minutes (instead of hours, if not days!). And you know what they say, you can't be rich enough - or have enough disagreements. Besides, aside from me, you're missing Atlas Bugged (aka Charles Novins) who remains in rare form. Fred Weiss
  22. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

    Bill and Beatrix. Fred Weiss
  23. The West Wing

    Once again I agree with Stephen. I have been hooked on West Wing for a year or two now, always keeping my eye out for episodes I might have missed or to re-watch ones I especially enjoy or haven't seen for a while. My favorites are the ones with "Ainsely Hayes", the (cute, blonde) conservative Republican they hire for the White House counsel's office and the ones with Matthew Perry (of "Friends" fame) who also plays a Republican hiree. It sets up some particularly interesting conflicts which is the hallmark of the series. Yeah, the liberal slant of the show is hard to stomach sometimes, but they occasionally make a faint effort to present "the other side", from time to time even fairly. Usually however they present the Republicans as morons. Of course usually Republicans are morons, so maybe that's accurate. I wouldn't make too much of Pres. Bartlett's sometimes correct expressions of outrage at attacks against America. It usually ends up being passing bluster, greatly watered down in the final actions taken as result of the influence of his more "level-headed" advisors. Nonetheless he's an interesting character, very intelligent, with strong convictions, often witty, and sometimes just a windbag boring everyone with his abundant knowledge of trivia. What makes West Wing addicting is the sheer number of interesting characters, both regulars on the staff and guest appearances. There is good reason why this show has been showered with awards year after year. Fred Weiss
  24. The Shawshank Redemption

    I'm that way, too. Opera in general doesn't interest me very much. More broadly I have a strong preference for the female vocal voice, especially in opera. Even in pop music my favorite singers tend to be female. So, in opera I like some arias, some of them so beautiful they are transporting, the one from Shawshank being an example. Fred Weiss
  25. The Shawshank Redemption

    Thank you so much. I've been wanting to get hold of a copy of that song for the longest time. Fred Weiss