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MacGyver Paramount Television, 1985-1992, 2005-2011 Created by Lee David Zlotoff (Remington Steele) Executive Producers: Henry Winkler (The Fonz in Happy Days) and John Rich Running Time: 50 minutes per episode Rated TV-PG for violence and mature situations. Cast Richard Dean Anderson (Lt. Gen. Jack O'Neill in Stargate SG-1) as MacGyver* Dana Elcar (1927-2005) as Pete Thornton Bruce McGill (D-Day in National Lampoon's Animal House) as Jack Dalton Michael Des Barres (British rock singer from the '70s and '80s) as Murdoc (*I refuse to believe that he has a first name, Angus or whatever.) Part James Bond, part Indiana Jones (and a little bit of Adam West on the side) and often armed with nothing but a Swiss Army knife and a flattened roll of duct tape, MacGyver is all adventure. Regardless of how hairy the situation, he knows a way out. And for seven years, MacGyver kept viewers on the edge while at the same time, educated them a bit on science and chemistry. Right at the same time I bought the Miami Vice season 1 boxed set, I couldn't resist getting MacGyver on DVD as well. It's just another series that was part of my childhood. Even though most of the experiments are bullsh*t, they're still fun to watch. In the first episode alone, you'll learn that: 1) chocolate bars can neutralize a sulfuric acid leak, and 2) MacGyver used cigarette smoke to see invisible laser beams before Solid Snake did. And until now, many other TV shows (not just The Simpsons) use MacGyver references on their storylines. As with most '80s action/adventure shows, MacGyver is pretty hokey and unrealistic. Episode 2 is a prime example, as MacGyver is in Burma and everyone's speaking in perfect English with fake Asian accents. Regardless of which, the series is great family entertainment. Hell, MacGyver's the reason I always have a Swiss knife in my pocket. Rating: B+ DVD Extras: F Six discs, 22 episodes, and nothing else to make the season 1 DVD boxed set more worthwhile. Links Official YouTube Channel MacGyver Online Reference The Internet Movie Database
Condorman Walt Disney Pictures, 1981, 2008 Directed by Charles Jarrott (1927-2011) Based on the short story The Game of X by Robert Sheckley (1928-2005) (Immortality, Inc., Journey Beyond Tomorrow) Running Time: 90 minutes Rated PG for violence and mild language. Cast Michael Crawford as Woodrow "Woody" Wilkins / Condorman Barbara Carrera (Fatima in Never Say Never Again) as Natalia Oliver Reed (1938-1999) (Proximo in Gladiator, Vulcan in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen) as Krokov James Hampton (Harold in Teen Wolf) as Harry Oslo Dana Elcar (1927-2005) (Peter in MacGyver) as Russ Jean-Pierre Kalfon as Morovich Synopsis Famed comic book artist Woody Wilkins demands realism for his prized superhero Condorman, but he gets more than he asks for when he is involved in escorting a female KGB agent who wishes to defect from the Soviet Union. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAtervTgpys Lowdown When you were younger, there were tons of movies you spent all night watching on your VHS or Betamax players. Then, as the years passed, you forgot most of them. And when you saw them on DVD, you thought to yourself, "I actually enjoyed that movie when I was younger?" Take Condorman, for example. It flopped at the box office and was heavily panned by critics. Kids back then thought it was cool because Condorman could fly and had a badass supercar. Today, one can't help but laugh at the film - not because it is mostly a comedy, but because its production values are laughable. The storyline is ridiculously hokey, the acting is unbearably cheesy and the wiring is clearly visible in the scenes where Woody uses his Condorman suit. And a lot of Porsche fans are still pissed off by the car chase scene. But who cares?! This falls under the category of "it's so bad, it's good." It's that one toy in your prized collection that everyone hates. Despite all the bad parts mentioned above, Condorman has an equal amount of great parts in it. The cinematography is excellent - especially with the use of Paris, Monte Carlo and Switzerland as the film's settings. And the music by the late, great Henry Mancini (1924-1994) (The Pink Panther, Peter Gunn) gives the film a sense of epicness. Also, you gotta admit that Barbara Carrera was hot in this movie. Of course, this movie could use a little bit of remastering TLC, as the DVD shows it hasn't aged well. Hopefully, Disney will give more attention to this underrated classic. In short, Condorman is an acquired taste, but it's still one of the greatest guilty pleasure films of the 20th century. Rating: B Links Disney DVD's Official Condorman Homepage References The Internet Movie Database