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Everything I wanted this movie to be, it is
Ignore the bad reviews. The pacing is deliberately slow, as it was in Unbreakable. It's worth the long build up to the final act, both brilliant and devastating. I honestly hope to see more movies in this universe. Every character is absolutely true to its origins. The flashbacks are brilliant and in the case of David Dunn, made my heart ache. This will go down as one of my favorite series.
Australia's Next Top Model (2005)
Shockingly bad offshoot
The first two seasons require the girls to pose nude and the male judges and others are overtly sexual using the girls in a grotesque way. Frequent shots are showed of the young women while they are changing showing bare breasts and buttocks.
In season 1- One thin but not emancipated girl was bullied by judges about her weight until she was sent home for being too curvy and a girl with serious mental health issues was deemed the winner. Most of the girls were unattractive, uneducated, and unpleasant.
Season 2 featured drunken antics, sexual promiscuity, bullying, and the winner was actually the chief bully who had a serious health issue who was allowed to return to the contest after two weeks in the hospital, still weak enough to have to sit challenges out. CLEARLY the agenda was that this girl should win at all costs. Again, this season was also filled with ignorant and uneducated young women. Things were so bad that three girls literally quit within the first few weeks.
Season 3 again had serious bullying issues around another girl who was tall and naturally very thin. This season the age was dropped to 16 with rules for the under 18 girls that were clearly not enforced. It got so bad that the judges eventually intervened. Luckily the winner of this season was a mature girl who did very well in her career. Extremely young girls got a "reward" of doing a sexualized catwalk in underwear in a pub with adult men surrounding them.
Season 4 again sees a SERIOUS case of bullying. Again, a group of younger girls picking this time on a fragile girl their own age. I stopped watching mid season when the worst actors were repeatedly rewarded for bad behavior.
I can't imagine how Australia justifies the seriously grotesque sexualization of actual children. I understand the sleazy underbelly of the modeling world but here we see it right out in public with greasy old men literally drooling over 16 year old girls who are barely dressed.
These children are unable to spell, know nothing about the world, and are even incredibly ignorant about fashion.
The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)
Ignore the bad reviews
This isn't a movie meant to be taken seriously. It's just fun, explosions, and silliness. If you expect anything different from Kate McKinnon or Mila Kunis, you really need to re-evaluate your choices in films.
It's nice to see a female buddy movie with women who surprise themselves with their strength. Their close friendship is so nice rather than the usual bickering you see with female characters. They don't rely on things that movies like Bridesmaids do like crass, graphic toilet humor and very unflattering portraits of women where there's always one portrayed as the ugly friend. If you replaced these women with men it would have been a huge hit.
My only negative reviews would be that Kate is sometimes allowed to go too over the top. And both look well over 30, the stated age of the characters. Sometimes the antics would be more appropriate for MUCH younger women even tho they are meant to be sort of immature and unaccomplished.
Overall, I really enjoyed it and laughed until my sides hurt.
The Upside (2017)
A fun and touching story
This has moments of laughter, tears, and absolute fear- of an empathetic sort. It's a really beautiful story of two men who save each other. Please ignore the bad reviews and give it a watch! The chemistry between Cranston and Hart is fantastic. They are both absolute powerhouses!
Desert Bloom (1986)
A powerful movie about dysfunction in a family
Jon Voight gives a masterful performance about a WW2 vet with PTSD and the havoc he wreaks on his family. Jobeth Williams is fantastic and the enabling mother who turns a blind eye to the increasing madness of her husband and it's effect on her eldest daughter.
Haunting and difficult to watch at times, this is a must see!
The entire cast of this series is amazing. It has all the drama and humor but not as slap stick as the movie. I've been glued to the TV since it was released. You will fall in love with these characters and the actors who portray them.
There is one very graphic sex scene in the beginning and many scenes of violence, as you would expect. Some gore but not excessive.
Adopt a Sailor (2008)
Quite obviously a play
I think this would be far better suited as originally intended for the stage. I love Bebe Newarth but she's acting to the back of the room and on film that's problematic. I also felt the other performances were stilted and Peck was particularly wooden. It made the other two chewing the scenery stand out MUCH more than you want in a film.
I'm not familiar with the original setting of the play but feel like this would be far better suited to the WW2 era than 2008. I'm not a fan of fraught stories with unlikeable characters that have no real growth. I'm not sure it's intended to come off the way it does. It feels in tone like Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe where bystanders are forced to watch a disasterous marriage fall apart in the most uncomfortable way possible. Yet the young man sits blandly by with almost no reaction to the chaos around him. He doesn't seem polite and naive but judging.
It might have benefitted from different actors and a film director rather than a theatrical director.
John Carter (2012)
I've always loved this movie
I'm not sure why it gets slammed. The CGI is good. The Turks and other native creatures are terrific. The story is engaging. The battles are fun and not too long. The characters are likeable and the chemistry is great. What's not to like?
Finding Your Feet (2017)
They do movies right in the UK. The movie is brilliantly acted by all concerned. You never expect to see Timothy Spall playing the romantic lead and he was wonderful. So much heartbreak and hope that is really every day life.
Definitely bring a hanky.
Ridiculous pile of drivel
Poorly written, terrible acting, ridiculously bad propaganda from your right wing fundamentalist friends who don't believe either in abortion OR funding health care, education, child care, or food for poor people.
If I could have given it a negative number, I'd have done so.
M. Night Shyamalan is back!
This movie is brilliant! I was right back in the universe that began with Unbreakable, one of my favorite movies. The maturity and thoughtfulness and attention to detail that characterized his earlier works is back with a vengeance. James Macavoy is fantastic. The young woman is also amazing and I'm looking forward to see what they do with her in Glass and I was glad to watch them bring her character along. The scene in the diner gave me goosebumps.
I'm really looking forward to Glass!
After Life (2019)
If I could give this a higher score I would
Ricky Gervais knows how to make you laugh and ugly cry, sometimes together. I think this is my favorite of his series. He speaks right to the dark, sad, and angry part in all of us. He also shows us that everyone is beautiful.
The series is beautifully shot, the cast is fantastic and each character has a slow reveal from who they are in Tony's eyes to who they really are. It's beautifully done.
Only Ricky Gervais can pull off shows like After Life and Derek. I hope he gives us more.
Margot at the Wedding (2007)
I think a lot of reviewers don't understand families with violence in them
The sisters are the product of an abusive parent and a passive parent. Their adult relationship parrots their childhood. Margo is a rather vile, self centered, deeply unpleasant woman who clings to her son alternately babying him and treating him like an adult all while treating everyone around her including her son to her acid comments on everything from their appearance to their life choices. She offers no support while demanding to be catered to at every instance. Her entire intention is to destroy her sister and she absolutely succeeds in this goal.
Her sister is overly passive and desperately wants love and acceptance.
Really brilliant performances from all of the characters including the ones you just absolutely hate.
This isn't an uncommon family dynamic and tho it's hard to watch unfold, it's a perfect slice of life for many people who are struggling to live with the past. It feels familiar and gritty, like sand in your bathing suit in the long hot car ride home from the beach. It flays your last nerve and gets more and more painful until it ends abruptly leaving you relieved, yet oddly wanting more.
Jack Black is a master. It's nice to hear him really sing and to see him do some dramatic acting. He's wonderfully funny and restrained in this movie.
It's a fun, quiet dark comedy.
Not a good adaptation
Apparently whomever adapted this version of Swiss Family Robinson never actually read the books. The father is an overbearing asshole. The family is not close. There's mostly sniping and arguing. There's a son being raised by pirates. Nobody is likeable. Give this one a pass unless you're bored to tears.
I'm American so any inconsistencies in British law or courts aren't obvious to me. I absolutely love this show. The drama is fantastic and at times edge of your seat. Just when you think some characters are gone too far, they are brilliantly redeemed. I'm binge watching and have just started season three but I don't see it going downhill at all.
A lovely tale
The story of a lonely, heart broken man who creates artificial intelligent people to save others from feeling the way he does. Ewan McGregor heads the cast and as always he's compelling and sensitive. Even robots fall in love with him. He's completely irresistible.
It feels like a cross between Blade Runner and A.I. With less violence and a gentler tone.
Probably ly the least satisfying ending of any show ever!
What the hell? This is a beautifully written, slow paced story of what happens in the aftermath of a child's abduction and death.
Kiri is a child who was found next to her dead mother who died of an overdose. Her drug dealer dad goes to prison. She's placed with a white family who are in the process of adopting her when the social worker takes her on a visit to her father's parents.
The story ends abruptly with all the balls in the air. There's no resolution. Brilliant show... no end.
Still Breathing (1997)
Brendan Fraser could read a phone book to me and I'd die happy. He has a beautiful voice. He has a magical chemistry with his costars and with the camera. He exudes innocence, gentleness, and good humor. Celeste Holme is stunning and perfectly cast.
I just love this film.
The Orville (2017)
Well done, Seth. Well done.
The Orville is everything Discovery is not. It's forward thinking, light hearted, unpretentious, and has both light and serious episodes. Like the original intent of Star Trek, The Orville makes you think about the issues of the day, shows the love and loyalty among crew member, and gives one a sense of hope for the future.
While some people think there are too many cultural references to current day media, entertainers, and history... it's a whole lot of fun when alien species misunderstand.
The chemistry between the entire cast is great. The practical make ups are beautifully done. The music a stirring. The ship designs are amazing.
Seth McFarland really pulled out all the stops on this show. He's really brilliantly talented.
If I could rate this movie higher I would
Not only is the source material, a book of the same name by Robert Crais, the movie is edge of your seat brilliant from the first minute to the last. FANTASTIC performances by the entire cast. Brilliant cinematography. I think the creepiest bad guy on film in the character of Mars, played by Ben Foster. He haunts my nightmares!
There are some standard plot elements but they are so brilliantly fit together with twists and turns you don't even notice on the first viewing. I saw this first on the big screen where it's really massively effective, particularly in the close up sequences. But it translates very well to the small screen.
Enjoy the film, read the book. Both are brilliant and the book will flesh out the film. Robert Crais is a genius!
Island at War (2004)
A beautiful series
This is a beautifully told story that's so real. In today's world where evil is rearing it's head and democracy is in danger because those in power won't speak out against these same sentiments expressed by the Germans, it's an even more frightening story.
Many of the Germans terrorize the, particularly women, with violence and glee. It's shocking that a civilized people can turn into brutal animals. We are seeing the rise of this behavior again. Hopefully we can learn the lessons this series has to offer about strength and resistance in times of strife before we get to this point.
Not even remotely like the books
I really wish they would stop making dreadful movie and tv show adaptations out of beloved books. If this series had NOT tried to be Anne of Green Gables it would have been really great. The girl who plays Anne is very charming in the part and really would have done brilliantly in a real adaptation. Everyone else in a main character is completely wrong, not the actors, the characters. A lot of the supporting characters are pretty bad.
The story isn't even close to the books after the first episodes. I'm just not sure why we have this trend of taking perfectly terrific novels, tv shows, and movies and redoing them so dreadfully that you can barely tell what the source material is. The ONE thing I like in this series that steps away from the original is Anne's flashback sequences. The original story pretty much glosses over the horrors of her past and this version digs a little deeper into what was commonly the life of orphaned girls of the time period.
Season 2 is particularly reprehensible. What on earth have they done to Gilbert Blythe? What has happened to Diana Barry and her parents? Who is this "French" Canadian character whose accent is frighteningly bad? Do they think everyone who lived in this place were idiots who couldn't see a con man coming a mile away, including the wealthy businessmen?
The original stories were so rich and full of brilliant characters. Why throw all of that out the window? Why not just make this story it's own story? This nonsense of taking the bones of a classic piece of art and building on it with toothpicks and silly putty to build a completely different world needs to come to an end.
A Very English Scandal (2018)
Aside from some rather tragic choices of hairstyles or wigs, this is a fantastic production. Not only does it cover a shocking case in Britain but it showcases exactly how horrible a world is when homosexuality is illegal and can land you in jail.
Wonderful performances by all but a stunning job by Hugh Grant playing against type.
Give it a watch. 3 episodes which I watched back to back. The trial is edge of your seat even when you know what the outcome will be before starting to watch episode 1.
Dark Matter (2015)
Season 1 was brilliant and exciting as we learned new things about each of the characters. Unfortunately they revealed too much too soon and really didn't have anything to go with in subsequent seasons. What was fun about Season 1 was the mystery of what happened to them, who they were, how they ended up on the Raza. Season 2 started out ok but by mid season we lost any real reason to keep interest. Season 3 was really pretty bad. Usually shows are getting better each season. This one slid downhill into just another shoot em up bang bang mid season 2 and never recovered.
Season 1 had plenty of action, but the driving force was the mysterious circumstances. IMHO, the writers forgot what was compelling and just blew their advantage by spilling all the beans right out of the gate.