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Profile for David Murphy > Reviews


David Murphy's Profile

Customer Reviews: 9
Top Reviewer Ranking: 30,997,786
Helpful Votes: 92

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David Murphy RSS Feed (Norman, Oklahoma USA)

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Wet Hot American Summer
Wet Hot American Summer
DVD ~ Janeane Garofalo
4 used & new from $6.25

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute brilliance, February 27, 2003
This review is from: Wet Hot American Summer (DVD)
Yes, if you don't know the films that are being parodied here, this movie will make no sense to you. However, it's one of the smartest satires of a film genre I've ever seen. Janeane Garofalo's performance alone walks the line between overacting and making fun of overacting so well that it's easy to see why some people might just think it's a bad movie. Don't make that mistake; it's intented to be bad. And when the film goes off on surrealistic tangents -- the trip to town, the disposing of bodies -- it still works, because the film has set up its premise so well. So buy and enjoy. Paul Rudd's performance as the bad guy/stud is so perfect it merits some kind of award. The scene where he has to pick up the plate he's just thrown on the ground is a masterpiece of pantomime. He so disgusted ast having to do it, that he "machos" all over the room. And the music, especially the "fire, desire, higher and higher" song, is hilarious. Loverboy will never seem the same again. AND the van crash is one of the most perfectly timed scenes in any comedy. Watch it again, and you'll start laughing in advance of the scene, when the driver is singing Danny's Song. What a great film. Bring on the Pepsi Light!

Doctor Who - Attack of the Cybermen [VHS]
Doctor Who - Attack of the Cybermen [VHS]
Offered by AlternativeDimensions
Price: $7.99
9 used & new from $7.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sophisticated, underrated adventure, February 19, 2002
Attack of the Cyberman starts Colin Baker's first full season off as the Doctor with a complex, if ultimately flawed, adventure. What makes the story work is the intelligent direction by Matthew Robinson, who really works to bring out the horrific qualities of Paula Moore's (more so Eric Saward's) script. Never before have the Cybermen been as horrific or fully realized as in this story, where they are allowed to be up front in their violent, quasi-emotional nature. The actual creation of the Cybermen is finally dealt with in its full, gothic nature, with plenty of information about body part manipulation and replacement. Even though the episode deals with an enourmous amount of Doctor Who mythology, it's still reasonably accessible for novice viewers, who will probably want to check out the other Cyber titles in the canon. Colin Baker's performance is one of his best, and Nicola Bryant manages to come across as less forced than usual. Where the story may fail is in its lack of motivation involving the characters. Lytton -- a fine, devious character introduced in Resurrection of the Daleks -- is never completely clear in his motives, and that makes some of his decisions seem a bit farfetched, especially his seeming change of mercenary heart. The subplot involving the two escaped prisoners attempting to steal the Cybermen's captured time ship is also a bit weak. Since the attempt seems to be doomed from the start, its only reason for existence seems to be to enhance the sense of dread that permeates this production. If there's a legitimate complaint, it's that Warner Brothers video has yet again decided on a less-than-perfect transfer, with colors bleeding and shading too dark. At least Fox Video seemed to care about its product. Obviously, if you enjoy this program, you should look into the other Cyber titles (except Silver Nemesis, which is a pure disaster). On the whole, Colin Baker never seemed to get the stories necessary for his Doctor to really break out. This season is similar to Tom Baker's first, with the return of some long-term monsters in an attempt to capture a new audience. What's missing are the masterpieces like Ark in Space, which solidified Tom Baker's Doctor in the minds of the audience. Unfortunately, Colin never got his masterpiece, the show was reworked for the worse, and then he was fired. Too bad. With more stories like this, he might have been able to emphasize his portrayal of the Doctor, and would have lasted longer than two seasons. As is, we get a few minor successes like this one and Vengeance on Varos, and then he's gone. Attack of the Cybermen is a fine story, one that overcomes its seeming reliance on previous mythology, and works as an attempt to recreate the gothic properties of some of Tom Baker's best. It doesn't always succeed, but is still very entertaining.

Doctor Who - Planet of the Daleks [VHS]
Doctor Who - Planet of the Daleks [VHS]
18 used & new from $7.00

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine Conclusion to an Epic Doctor Who Adventure, November 28, 2000
Planet of the Daleks concludes the storyline that began in Frontier in Space and does so with a much more compact adventure, unlike the previous story's epic canvas. Here, the Doctor, injured by the Master at the end of Frontier, guides the Tardis to Spiridon to hunt for the Dalek base that is the headquarters for a galaxy-wide invasion. He must first recover his senses, ally himself with a group of Thals that are also searching for the base, and then destroy the base, along with its massive army of 10,000 Daleks. Although the adventure has enough action for most viewers -- especially an exciting chase up a ventilator shaft with the Doctor and his allies hanging on to a balloon while a Dalek hovers up after them -- the story sometimes seems a bit padded, and would probably have worked better as a four parter than the six parter presented here. A scene involving a campfire surrounded by unseen -- except for some unfortunately fake looking eyes in the dark -- monsters seems to go on forever, and doesn't raise suspense so much as it kills some of what's already been built up. However, the final episode more than makes up for this with an intelligent solution to the Doctor's problems and a fine exit for the remainder of the cast. Also on hand is our first viewing of the Supreme Dalek, a different model than the others -- actually one of the Daleks used in the Peter Cushing films -- which adds on to the already established Dalek mythology very nicely. Perhaps this video will appeal more to long time fans than neophyte viewers, but it's one of the better Dalek adventures that's still available to us, and, when watched back-to-back with Frontier in Space, makes for a nice, epic Doctor Who adventure. Note that the third episode is in black and white, but it makes no difference in either quality or enjoyability.

Stanley Kubrick Collection (Lolita / Dr. Strangelove / 2001: A Space Odyssey / A Clockwork Orange / Barry Lyndon / The Shining  / Full Metal Jacket)
Stanley Kubrick Collection (Lolita / Dr. Strangelove / 2001: A Space Odyssey / A Clockwork Orange / Barry Lyndon / The Shining / Full Metal Jacket)
DVD ~ Malcolm McDowell
9 used & new from $59.41

37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Was Kubrick the Greatest Director?, December 23, 1999
Well, here's your chance to find out. First off, you have to deal with the fact that these DVD's are as good a presentation as you're ever going to get. Most of his films were released in Mono, and many in matted formats, which means that when they're presented on TV, you don't get the black bars at the top and bottom. Complaints about this last bit are meaningless, as 2001 was his only film released in scope, and the ones that would really need it -- Lolita and Barry Lyndon included -- are released in widescreen. Kubrick deliberately shot The Shining and Full Metal Jacket in 1:1.37 for masking in the theatres and because he couldn't have forseen the letterboxing craze we're currently in. Many directors chose to release films not in widescreen because of this (read any one of the biographies for this info). So, what you're left with are seven of the greatest films ever made, and released on DVD for a relatively cheap price. How can you pass this up? Kubrick's view of the universe is dark, totally Hegellian, and sometimes too depressing for the average viewer. But, those who venture into the unknown presented within his films are rewarded with a series of brilliant images that resonate symbolically in ways very few directors could ever hope to achieve. Renoir, Welles, Kurosawa, Ozu, Tarkovsky -- these are the acknowledged masters. Add Kubrick to the pantheon. Nothing will ever equal the experience of seeing 2001 in a theatre, but this is as close as you'll get -- and it is in widescreen and 5.1 Dolby.

Doctor Who - Earthshock [VHS]
Doctor Who - Earthshock [VHS]
Offered by Chasing A Dream Enterprises
Price: $29.99
8 used & new from $5.56

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting Cyber-Adventure, December 22, 1999
The return of the Cybermen after their misuse in Revenge of theCybermen is a moody, exciting adventure that contains moment aftermoment of brilliance. The acting is sound on all levels, with special credit due Peter Davison, whose performance raises the tension level as his realization of the true purpose of certain events adds to the overall mood of the piece. The redesign of the Cybermen was criticized by some, but the see-through mouthpiece adds to the effect of the Cybermen's menace, rather than detracting, by allowing us to see the transformed humanity within the outfit. This is one of the best ones to show to new Doctor Who viewers, as it is accessible to those who've never seen a Cyberman adventure, and has high emotional moments -- especially the ending, which works on every level. One of Davison's best by far, and definitely one of the best Cyber-Adventures. A must-own. Now if only they'd get rid of that ridiculous vunerability to gold, everything would be fine. It works here as a plot point, but nowhere else. Enjoy!

Doctor Who - City of Death [VHS]
Doctor Who - City of Death [VHS]
Offered by martha59
Price: $7.79
24 used & new from $2.18

4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Best of Season 17, December 22, 1999
Saying that this story is the best of the season it appeared in isn't honestly that much of a compliment,since it appeared alongside such horrors as Destiny of the Daleks and the Horns of Nimon. The biggest problem is that Douglas Adams simply rips off Kurt Vonnegut for his plot -- involving humanity used as a tool for an alien plot -- and then throws in more of his brand of silliness, undermining any sort of dramatic tension. Whereas his comedy writing works great within the Hitchhiker series, in Doctor Who any sort of self-deprecating humor draws too much attention to certain inherently ridiculous qualities of the series, which work when allowed to sit in the background, but ruin it if pushed to the front. Some fine acting by the supporting cast, but Tom Baker is in full-on ham form, and can become extremely annoying if you remember his intelligent performances from his first three seasons. Enjoyable, but there are better. Yes, John Cleese has a cameo,and no, it doesn't make it any better.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 15, 2010 10:57 AM PST

Doctor Who and the Silurians [VHS]
Doctor Who and the Silurians [VHS]
Offered by Chasing A Dream Enterprises
Price: $10.50
17 used & new from $3.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and Exciting Jon Pertwee Story!, December 22, 1999
One of Pertweee's best, if not the best in his reign. Malcolm Hulke's script is full of intelligent points, moral dilemmas, and sophisticated excitement. Pertwee's Doctor may never have been better than in this story, which features his alienness and his feelings about his exile in full, glorious writing. The Silurians themselves get a few emotional moments, and this story stretched the idea of how a Doctor Who monster could be portrayed. Any true Doctor Who fan recognizes this as one of the best in the series' history. At seven episodes, it never drags, but instead seems more epic in scope. Absolutely necessary to any collection.

Dr. Who - The Mind of Evil [VHS]
Dr. Who - The Mind of Evil [VHS]
7 used & new from $9.99

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Jon Pertwee Adventure, December 22, 1999
An extremely ambitious production for Doctor Who, The Mind of Evil boasts an excellent script, some fantastic acting, and Roger Delgado's definitive version of the Master. Some great stunts and action sequences help bring this Doctor Who to life, making it one of Pertwee's best stories. If there is one drawback, it's that the storyline gets a bit muddled, and maybe overreaches, with espionage, the Master, a nerve gas missle, and an alien brain parasite all crammed into six episodes. Still, a very entertaining romp, with one of Nick Courtney's best turns as the Brigadier. You'll enjoy it!

Doctor Who - The Ark in Space [VHS]
Doctor Who - The Ark in Space [VHS]
Offered by MAMBO-MIKE
Price: $7.35
26 used & new from $2.31

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Doctor Who, December 22, 1999
The Ark in Space is one the best shows in the history of the series. Although the season was beset by budget difficulties, this story is tight, intelligent, and the acting is some of the best up to that point. Baker's performance avoids the overacting that mars many of his later adventures, and he hits the perfect blend of alien and human. It also features Harry and Sarah, one of the best companion combinations in the show's history. Overall, a fantastic bit of Doctor Who, and one of the stories considered a classic by the fans. A must own for any Doctor Who fan ... even with the popper-plastic Wirrn grubs.

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