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Babylon 5.1
by Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon. Visit his web site at comicsrevue.com.

Ratings
Ratings are based on a four star system.
One star means that the commercials are more entertaining than the program.
Two stars watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars is good solid entertainment.
Four stars means you never dreamed television could be this good.

Websites
For more information, you can try the following sites:
Rick Norwood's Website
Worldwide TV Schedule
The Official Babylon 5 Website
The X-Files
Pocket Books: Star Trek
Paramount Star Trek
Babylon 5.1 Columns

| 2012-2013 | 2010-2011 | 2008-2009 | 2006-2007 | 2004-2005 | 2002-2003 | 2000-2001 | 1998-1999 |
| Movie and TV Reviews (Page 1) | More Movie and TV Reviews (Page 2) | More Movie and TV Reviews (Page 3) |

Movie and TV Reviews
Alien Vs. Predator Alien Vs. Predator
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Very early in the film, if you watch closely, you catch a glimpse on a television screen of Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney, Jr., icons of the Universal horror films. Lon Chaney, Jr.'s last film (made in 1971!) was Dracula Vs. Frankenstein, reputed to be one of the dumbest films ever made. It can't be much dumber than Alien Vs. Predator.

I, Robot I, Robot
a movie review by Rick Norwood
I hope you were able to avoid reading any reviews before seeing the movie. Except this one. It is OK to read this review before seeing the movie because I'm only going to tell you one thing about the plot. It is a murder mystery. The good news is that the movie isn't anything like what the previews lead you to expect.

Spider-Man 2 Spider-Man 2
a movie review by Rick Norwood
By now you already know that Spider-Man 2 is in the same league with the first Spider-Man film, which is to say that it is among the best super-hero films ever. Some people prefer it to the first film.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Slightly lighter weight than the first two Harry Potter movies, the third ends leaving you wishing for more. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The film is long on fear, long on beauty, long on character, and short on explanations. In fact, while the rather complicated ways in which the plot advances in Book Three are made crystal clear, anyone who has not read the earlier books or seen the earlier films will be lost.

Shrek 2 Shrek 2
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Better than Rick thought it would be. Not as good as the first one. It has some laughs, and is emotionally honest, which is rare in a cartoon. But there are some missteps.

The Day After Tomorrow The Day After Tomorrow
a movie review by Rick Norwood
The Day After Tomorrow is to science fiction what Van Helsing is to horror films; big and dumb. But Van Helsing at least offered a little charm. The CGI sequences -- the tornados in Los Angeles, the tidal wave that engulfs New York -- are entertaining, but it is a sorry movie where the CGI effects have more personality than the characters.

Van Helsing Van Helsing
a movie review by Rick Norwood
The opening scenes are a black and white homage to the Universal Studios monster pictures. In fact, the whole movie is really just one homage after another, with visual quotes from everything from Stagecoach to Raiders of the Lost Ark. But it owes its greatest debt to Chuck Jones and the Roadrunner and the Coyote, cartoon horror, with cartoon physics (good cartoon physics, you understand) and always an unbelievable coincidence just around the corner.

Ella Enchanted Ella Enchanted
a movie review by Rick Norwood
This film almost flew below Rick's radar, since he had assumed it was a quickie attempt to cash in on Shrek 2. But he has had second thoughts. Adults may find Ella Enchanted too silly, but children -- especially little girls -- will love it.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
a movie review by Rick Norwood
This is a SF art flick, which means it has some boring stretches but an emotional payoff so powerful it more than makes up for them. It would be the most original SF film in years, if it didn't happen to come at the end of a whole slew of movies told backward and an equal number of movies about memory wipes.

Hellboy Hellboy
a movie review by Rick Norwood
This is a minor but fairly entertaining superhero film. The problem with the film is that Hellboy is impervious to harm. The best action movies feature a vulnerable hero in a tight spot: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Die Hard, Titanic. When you have an invulnerable hero, such as Superman or Hellboy, you have to focus on the supporting cast.

Dawn of the Dead Dawn of the Dead
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Times have changed. The audience was rooting for the humans when we watched the original George Romero movie Dawn of the Dead, affectionately called Mall of the Living Dead by its many fans. Now, the audience is rooting for the zombies. As zombie movies go, Dawn of the Dead is pretty good.

The Return of the King The Return of the King
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Good beyond hope! The third film in the trilogy takes even more liberties with Tolkien than the second did, but all in the service of a great cinematic experience. Taken as a whole, the three films are even better than other high points of modern cinema, Star Wars and Indiana Jones, and will be remembered as long and as fondly as Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz.

Paycheck Paycheck
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Great directors pay careful attention to the script: James Cameron, Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg. Their movies make lots and lots of money. Wouldn't you think that would motivate lesser directors to pay attention to the script? Why don't John Woo and Richard Donner buy good scripts?

Peter Pan Peter Pan
a movie review by Rick Norwood
It is impossible to film Peter Pan well. Like Tom Sawyer, the book is so politically incorrect that anyone who dared make a film true to the book would be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail. And so, in this Peter Pan, in the interests of political correctness, Peter acknowledges from the first that girls are smarter and stronger than boys, all Native Americans possess wisdom greater than any white man, and the many things we call love...

Brother Bear Brother Bear
a movie review by Rick Norwood
A man is changed into a bear and must travel to a mountain, making friends along the way. When he reaches the mountain he must choose whether to remain a bear or change back into a man. For this story to work at all, we must take it for granted that there is no real difference, either in language nor intelligence, between man and bear. For the ending to work, we must take it for granted that as soon as we learn to love one another, bears and men will become friends, and nobody will eat anything but fish. Which naturally raises the question, what if one of those fish is Nemo?

Timeline Timeline
a movie review by Rick Norwood
The action is often entertaining. The story is not. Between action sequences you start to think about the many flaws in the plot. We move from full daylight to pitch black night in less than two hours with no twilight. A huge explosion knocks down stone walls but leaves the person standing next to it without a scratch. The hero and heroine escape from a burning house and are suddenly fifty yards away, unseen by the enemy soldiers surrounding the house.

The Matrix Revolutions The Matrix Revolutions
a movie review by Rick Norwood
"This doesn't make any sense!" cries one character near the end of the final film in this trilogy. How nice of them to review their own movie. It would be a waste of time to point out the many absurdities. Superman's battle with General Zod didn't make a whole lot of sense either, and it didn't set off any alarms. It wasn't supposed to make sense. The battles in the Matrix are Superman vs. Zod raised to the nth power, and can be enjoyed on that level.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
a movie review by Rick Norwood
It was a lazy Sunday afternoon, and Rick felt like seeing a movie. He'd already seen all of the good ones (saw Finding Nemo twice) so I took a chance on this one. It was two hours of his valuable time watching the film, just so you won't have to bother sitting through it.

Spy Kids 3D: Game Over Spy Kids 3D: Game Over
a movie review by Rick Norwood
It's boring, but worse than boring, it's preachy in a way only kid movies can be preachy. This film, with its stiff, cheap, red and green cardboard 3-D glasses, causes the viewer actual physical pain. Even the credit cookies are dull.

Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines
a movie review by Rick Norwood
The Terminator series has always been a reliable entertainment machine, and it seems that this episode holds up better than Alien 3, Hannibal Lecter 3, or Jurassic Park 3, despite James Cameron's absence. Would it have been better with James Cameron directing? Certainly. But except for one BDM (Big Dumb Moment), it is very well done. The main writers, John Brancato and Michael Ferris, who also wrote a clever thriller, The Game, know you have to give the audience a reason to care about characters before you start throwing helicopters at them.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
a movie review by Rick Norwood
"I got this really cool idea, see. We'll buy the rights to a comic book from this Alan Moore dude, who's so hot right now in the whadda-ya-callum graphic novels, and then, and here's the really clever bit, we'll take out everything that makes the graphic novel interesting, and put in tried and true Hollywood clichés, so the audience will love it."

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
a movie review by Rick Norwood
It is lots of fun, some very good Monty Python-type humor, and then a little more Monty Python-type humor, and then just a wee bit too much Monty Python-type humor, but still a highly enjoyable experience. There are a few quibbles but the intelligence of the writers shines through.

28 Days Later 28 Days Later
a movie review by Rick Norwood
Rick ran into someone who asked, "Have you see 28 Days Later... yet?" He hadn't, but after several more people started talking about it, he went. He is glad he did. Instead of screen-busting special effects, the movvie relies on realism and likable characters. It is a nice change of pace.

Hulk Hulk
a movie review by Rick Norwood
There is a lot to like here. Unfortunately, intellectual directors such as Lee (that's Ang, not Stan -- though Stan gets applause for his cameo) shy away from resolving a story with a superhuman outburst of climactic violence. Too early they learned the lesson "Violence never solved anything." What they do not understand is that, in the Marvel universe, violence solves everything. You need that payoff.

The Animatrix The Animatrix
a DVD review by Rick Norwood
This DVD consists of nine (really eight) short animated films set in the universe of the Matrix. The first four (really three) are written by the Wachowski brothers, and so add to our information about the Matrix universe. It is always fun to discuss which works set in a given universe are canonical. Almost everyone agrees that movies set in the Marvel universe are not, nor are comic books set in the Star Wars universe. As for the Matrix...

Finding Nemo Finding Nemo
a movie review by Rick Norwood
It is an absolute delight. The film is beautiful, inventive, and very funny. Rick thinks you should go into the movie with no foreknowledge of what you are about to see. Afterwards, when you get together with someone else who has seen the film, you can both just share a smile.

| 2012-2013 | 2010-2011 | 2008-2009 | 2006-2007 | 2004-2005 | 2002-2003 | 2000-2001 | 1998-1999 |
| Movie and TV Reviews (Page 1) | More Movie and TV Reviews (Page 2) | More Movie and TV Reviews (Page 3) |

Copyright © 1998-2004 by Rick Norwood


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