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Accidental Love (2015)
Hit and miss comedy, mostly miss
This movie tries to be both a love triangle and a social commentary movie but fails in both attempts. While its chock full of Hollywood stars including some legends, the script is confusing and the settings and actions seem improbable and outright unbelievable. Marsden's comedic talents go untapped as the lovestruck highway patrol officer, Gyllenhall is what I expected...not very good and doesn't seem to have the knack for slapstick. Tracy Morgan is a typical black stereotype as he declares he isn't a black stereotype, and Kurt Fuller as the minister with a constant erection due to a visit with a quack doctor, well that idea just isn't funny. The only standouts are Paul Reubens as the smarmy aide to Rep. Pam Hendrickson, and the rather cute yet very politically militant girl scouts who take no prisoners when they realized they have been lied to about a Shakira appearance. It overall could have been much better but the script was just terrible, the jokes were not funny and there was just no way to save this movie in its present form.
The Island (2005)
Many problems with this film!
At first the movie starts out with an intriguing premise, cloned humans who are promised an eventual trip to "The Island" a paradise. The first 30 minutes are very interesting as you get to know the main characters and you are given hints of something not being right. Then all of a sudden you see Sean Bean...uh oh. Yet another "Sean Bean dies in a film" movie. The movie quickly falls off the tracks and degrades into a quasi-Logan's Run style plot, punctuated with an orgy of car chases, murders, more chases and a blatant ripoff of Return of the Jedi with a hovercycle chase. Despite being plain old human clones the two main characters seem virtually invincible considering what happens to them. A character development is totally wasted in the form of Djimon, the actor who plays the director's main henchman and hired killer who originally was an African tribal refugee. The movie doesn't spend any time on his character and it just felt strange at the end they would put him in there as a main plot hook.
Really all you need to know is "Logan's Run". Its plot is lifted straight from that movie with a small addition of an evil (of course) corporation funded by rich selfish people (of course).
Oh did I say its LONG....very long, 2 hours and 30 minutes long. The movie would have been acceptable if they had cut 45 minutes of unnecessary car chases out and put in some real intrigue.
ADD & Loving It?! (2009)
A lighthearted look at ADD but....
I really did enjoy the humorous and rather funny look at adult ADD in this show but I felt that it didn't really talk in depth about the condition as it applies to adults. Granted its less than an hour long so you can't cover very much but if it had been stretched out another 30 minutes and more useful information added it could have been helpful as a resource. As a sufferer of adult ADD myself I was looking for something that simply wasn't there, which was finding out more information. The show is essentially a promotional tool for their pay website which I will not list. If you think you've seen Patrick McKenna before, you have! He was on a memorable Stargate SG-1 episode as a bumbling USAF contract scientist who had ADD (though it was not explicitly stated in the show), and of course he plays a support character on the Red Green show, but he's wearing thick glasses and slicked back hair so he's almost unrecognizable.
Don't know what to make of this movie
This decidedly British production is part horror film and part black humor. The two stars are definitely Roddy McDowall as the rather flippant and mentally ill Arthur Pimm, and the Golem which racks up a body count when nobody seems to be looking. Initially I didn't understand why Pimm took the mysterious deaths with very little concern until I found out later he's about 2 cans short of a 6-pack, keeping his long-dead mother in his house and having tea with her on weekends. Everybody is of course extremely British, and there's an odd streak of young angst and jealousy as Pimm sees himself get insulted, fired, and the girl he likes get taken by a smooth talking American curator who is as buff and groomed as a NASA astronaut. The fun really begins when the Golem "cheats" and tells Pimm where the scroll is, and when he activates the Golem you hear a creepy heartbeat sound and a greenish cast is on the Golem's head. The creep factor was blown away though when the Golem didn't walk, it goose-stepped....oh man was it unintentionally hilarious. It was a pretty creepy statue however, I wouldn't be able to sleep in the same room as that thing. McDowall was relatively old when this movie was shot but he looked quite young due to his slight frame and youthful features. Jill Haworth was sultry and I could certainly understand why Arthur was totally gaga for her. She had friend zoned him in a major way. As with all good movies, it has a nuke in it, nuff said.
The movie was long but never really boring, just interesting in a curious way, and very very British.
Peeping Tom (1986)
Wow this actually has a PLOT
The 80's were the golden age of adult films, where shaving, tattoos and piercings had not come into vogue, and they actually attempted to have a real script and the adult film performers delved into real acting.
The story is about William Burke, powerful, successful and rich, but his secret is that he doesn't like sex, but prefers to spy on others, hence the title "Peeping Tom". Its actually quite a funny movie at times and Burke (Jerry Butler) does a fairly good job, despite his rather odd hairdo which really isn't something you would see on an executive, even back then. His friend Sy Norman (Nick Random) looks more the business executive part, right down to the polyester suit and comb-over. Buck Adams is funny as the rather dimwitted "cool" guy in the warehouse that seems to only be interested in one thing, while Nina Hartley keeps chattering away.
The sex scenes integrate well within the movie, being part of Burke's peeping fantasies and spying interludes.
In the end he finally gets caught, and gets put in a psychiatric hospital for some R&R. Burke makes a rant/admission in the hospital scene thats unexpectedly hilarious. In the end he's "cured" of his peeping in the usual manner how porn movies solve problems.
His analyst also happens to be his invisible friend who berates his perversions during the fantasy sequences.
This classic movie has some familiar stars of the time, such as Kristara Barrington, Nina Hartley, Sheri St. Clair and a cameo by Honey Wilder, a former star from the 70's.
Just the facts
Emergency! is a rather quirky show, it seems almost devoid of lame, syrupy soap opera style plots you see on modern hospital and rescue shows. People aren't sleeping with each others wives and husbands, there is no quiet introspection by characters, and it is free from the general emotional malaise you see on shows now.
Just the facts, you see the process of a rescue, the interactions, the diagnosis, the risk taking and everybody acts professional. I guess back in those days they cared about you and didn't ask for a $100 co-payment while you are on the stretcher! It is quite an intriguing show and it is glued together with just enough human interaction to form elegant and watchable episodes. The situations sometimes are humorous and sometimes head scratching, but isn't that life? You would think the process of alarm-driving-rescue-hospital-ending would get monotonous, but each episode is unique, and you gotta admit the fire rescue stuff looks fun. Sure its dangerous but you get a lot of toys to play with, you help people, and people respected you in return.
The show falls somewhere in between a drama and reality TV.
The Adonis Factor (2010)
Not for the Straight Person
Unfortunately the film itself shows how glaringly superficial the entire male gay community is just in how the film is shot. You are subjected to constant 15 second cuts of male bodies dancing, gay men making out, flexing, and just lots of un-necessary eye candy while the documentary seems to flounder at least until halfway through when they start talking about the flip side (the less than perfect looking gay men). I struggled to pick up any sort of cohesive thread in this documentary, mainly because it fails to concentrate on one particular person and their personal journey. Instead it just goes almost randomly from person to person giving little snippets of information and then showing more writhing male bodies.
I'm sure if you're gay you will want to simply unzip and enjoy, but the value of this movie as a documentary is suspect. The approach is quite haphazard and the short attention span style of editing is problematic.
The only person who I even felt anything for was Clint Catalyst, the emo-style gay who had a rather depressing background of rejection. He only gets about 10 minutes in the film and his early years are not talked about much.
Finally there is precious little information of how the gay community is structured, adding to the confusion of an outsider's perspective.
An MTV-style slickly shot but amateurish stab at a documentary. Only worth watching if you're a gay man.
A Great Low Budget Slapstick Comedy
Its rude, its crude, its tacky, its tasteless, and it is full of comedy gems. There are so many quotable scenes, which is a good measure of a comedy's success. It is very much like Airplane, but with less "out there" comedy and more scenes which have a common thread of relevance in terms of social commentary about what could happen when humans become so dumb, society can barely function, but nobody notices because they're dumb! This is intelligent comedy pretending to be low-brow comedy. If you get the joke, you will love it. If it hits way too close to home...so to speak...you will not love it.
Brawndo was so great it actually became a real product. Better than drinking toilet water, who does that?
Star Trek: The Menagerie: Part I (1966)
Best of the series
I'm sure I will get a lot of gruff for that claim, but this 2 part episode has it all, and Roddenberry managed to make it dovetail perfectly with "The Cage" in terms of plot. This is one of those episodes that is far more than gorilla monsters or planet killers, it has intrigue, secrets within secrets, and what seems like the idyllic Star Trek world falling apart before our eyes as the two top characters look to be finished career-wise, and one may even be executed! The end of part I has a sobering pan-away as Captain Kirk is alone in a room, quietly pondering what to do next. You feel his confusion and sadness and the tension is gripping. You just can't wait to watch part II. The masterful re-use of The Cage pilot gives you insight into the way two starships are run, first with the serious all-business Captain Pike, and the relaxed swagger of Captain Kirk. The two crews in contrast to each other but both knowledgeable and professional in what they do. Will this culminate in a happy ending for all? Or will it be a disaster for Starfleet and the Captain of the Enterprise? Time to pop in Part 2 and find out...
Quite a good series
This is of course a story wrapped up in historical context, so many events have been dramatized or changed to keep the story fresh, and with the absence of real historical information there's little to go on other than the writer's imagination. The show is intriguing right from the start, focusing on the 2 main characters who are the thread that ties both seasons together. One is a loyal centurion with old style romantic ideals about Rome, and the other is a problematic foot soldier who is the son of slaves and has a big problem with authority, but despite his personal failings is a thoughtful and loyal friend. Yes this is a buddy movie but with a purpose. The 2 characters are put together by events and despite the officer / soldier dynamic, they become friends as they experience personal tragedies, triumphs, and and radical changes in the Roman empire as leaders fall, nations are conquered, and both characters are given many moral and financial challenges which they each have to deal with as best they can.
While you end up liking the main characters, you realize they after all are just Roman soldiers, and the sword seems to be their main way of solving problems. They are ruthless and bloody. Sometimes they use their training for good, sometimes they don't. A trail of bodies is inevitably left behind.
What is interesting is the show focuses a lot on how Romans lived. There are scenes of them worshiping various pagan gods, you get a glimpse of Roman medicine, bathing, brothels, commerce, and the inner workings of their economy which puts state over people.
Overall it manages to keep multiple story lines coherent and easy to follow. There is the Lucius and Titus thread, the conflict between Caesar and Pompey, and the more low key yet just as ruthless conflicts between the women of Royal houses. Its all tied together by the rule of "unintended consequences", chance occurrences, and good and bad fortunes of the characters. Sometimes you DO wonder if the Roman gods actually exist and they are manipulating the characters.
As the series ended in season two, I wanted more, but alas it was over. We say Octavian become Augustus Caesar, we saw the last Egyptian Pharonic empire fall, and we see Virinus and Pullo go their separate ways. Its implied that both finally get some good luck for a change. I wouldn't have minded another season. It would have been interesting to see the writer's take on Augustus's reign, Tiberius, and of course the corruption of Rome under Caligula and the rebirth under Claudius.
Super Size Me (2004)
Humorous and somewhat frightening look at the industry
Morgan Spurlock definitely carries this entire documentary. His demeanor and presence makes what would normally be a rather dull experiment into a funny and somewhat tragic look at fast food and how it affects us all. The theory is simple, eat nothing but McDonalds for 30 days, 3 square meals, have at least one of everything on the menu, and if they ask to him to super-size it when he orders, he has to. Spurlock quickly finds out how caloric-dense McDonalds food is, and how its designed to be addictive with massive amounts of caffeine, corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and salt. Its a shocker that 3 meals equals over 5000 calories a day, double what the average healthy person needs. The results of course are predictable at least to me. What's funny is the response of his dietitian and doctors monitoring him, who didn't realize how damaging fast food was to the body. The tragic part was the health center that monitored him during that short month went bankrupt! No money in healthy lifestyles, but plenty in fast food. Spurlock only touches on some big topics like school lunches and the psychology of programming kids to know fast food places through the use of cartoon characters, so he stays on topic of the 30 day experiment which is a good thing. Obesity is such a huge complex issue that you can't really address every aspect in a single documentary. This documentary may not keep you from eating McDonalds forever, but it will make you think twice before eating fast food on a regular basis.
Star Trek: Of Gods and Men (2007)
Disappointing, but campy and kinda fun
The plot is rather complex, which is unusual for the simplistic ones of TOS. As an older Trek fan, its great to see a veritable tour de force of actors coming back to reprise their roles from past movies and series, with only a few exceptions. This is unusual in that it is "Uhura-centric", where she plays a core character and of course handles it in a different more female way of doing things. There's still plenty of phaser action and explosions for the guys though, and who doesn't like a green skin slave girl character. Low production values detract immensely, and the CGI is absolutely terrible. I've seen much better stuff from Babylon V and they were using Amiga 2000 computers back in 1994. Pyrotechnics were also missing. Actors didn't have squibs when they got hit by phasers so they just jumped backwards and fell. Going on the cheap. The dialogue also was kind of stilted and forced. Nobody felt comfortable which is usually the hallmark of STTNG. The only one that seemed relaxed was good old Walter Koenig, though his lines were not well written.
It could have been much better. To have been graced with so many veteran Sci-Fi actors and then to nuke the production with cheap CGI and a poor script, well its makes you feel that it could have been great if done right.
The Hottie & the Nottie (2008)
Oh come on, it was not that bad! You people just hate Paris H.
Granted this movie was highly formulaic and somewhat one-dimensional, but it never promised you interleaved plot devices nor a surprise ending. It also was not created to give you an intellectual conversation with your friends on the way home. Its a romantic comedy, and generally speaking such comedies are predictable. You watch them for the ride, not the outcome which is a given! Joel Moore is perfect as the underachiever, Paris is perfect as the girl who went through life on just her looks and did fine, and Christine Lakin had to suffer through makeup meant to make her as ugly as possible. Yes its Shallow Hal all over again. There's some decent slapstick and of course some miserable failures, such as the completely unfunny Arno Blount character. Johann Urb is sensational as the "Perfect" male who you just can't hate.
This movie won a few awards (razzies, heh). It didn't kill any brain cells and its a harmless relationship oriented flick with some laughs, some tender moments, and a good though rather jarringly short ending.
Paris Hilton haters will hate this movie just because she's in it, so don't listen to them, they're probably fans of the horrible Perez Hiton, a pink-haired fat uber gay critic who lives on human suffering.
First Family (1980)
I liked it.
Its a deadpan comedy movie, which not everybody will appreciate. You have to be a Bob Newhart fan to understand. Just watching how uncomfortable Newhart is when confronted with a situation is golden. It was the 80's man, people had a better attention span then and yes the jokes were filthy. The resolution at the end of the movie is predictable, and the last punchline is rather improbable (a fertility statue popping a boner) but all in all it was a good comedic effort and much better than the crap we have to tolerate these days that passes for comedy. Its also a nice time capsule of a movie where you get to see actors now dead (Korman, Radner) in their prime doing their particular brand of comedy. I can never get enough of Fred Willard, I have no idea why he cracks me up but he's a natural at it. You might recognize William Sylvester who played Dr. Heywood Floyd in "2001 a Space Odyssey".
Earth: Final Conflict (1997)
Quickly falls off-track
Believe me I wanted this series to work, but the early departure of Kevin Kilner dealt a near death blow after season one. Robert Leeshock just wasn't right for the part and Jane Heitmeyer did an admirable job as lead but the series just got too messy and confused at that point. I don't know what happened in Season Five, what a mess. Sometimes its time to drop the red cape and just stick the sword in the bull, if you know what I mean. The only consistent thread holding the series together were the amazing performances of Leni Parker and Anita LaSelva as the two Taelons in quiet idealogical conflict. If not for their talents and well-written dialogue they would have been two weird bald man-chicks in a B-movie series.
If only this series could have ended at season 4 and picked up later by SyFy...
Recycled Space Junk
I give it a 3 only because the actors at least did what they could with the material, and they did bother to work out and at least not look stupid AND fat in space. The premise is a medical rescue ship that apparently has only one doctor on it (Bassett) who just happens to be a super computer and space dimensional scientist too. You find this out later when Bassett is talking 9th dimensional Star Trek mumbo jumbo with the computer Sweetie. Spader is out of his element here. He does freaky movies well, but this is run of the mill star trekkin complete with scientific gobbledygook which he is unaccustomed to spewing. The plot is simple, murderous weirdo with a bomb in space. Done about 1000 times before, but now done 1001 times....in blue! Yes EVERYTHING is blue. We get it already, its a blue giant! I don't think I saw any other color other than a flash of red on a control panel and some purple in that 9th dimensional alien suppository. I didn't understand why that guy got into a busted pod and ended up inside out, I didn't understand why the so-called "rescue" ship people are so incompetent they nearly kill themselves trying to rescue others because they don't know how to calculate a jump, and I don't know why Lou Diamond Phillips is in it. Okay, so lately he's not getting many roles, but Lou Diamond Phillips? I was expecting him to pull out a guitar anytime and play some La Bamba. Poor Robin Tunney, cute as a button, body so hard you can bounce a quarter off her breasts, and of course destined to not make it completely through the film. What is it about sci fi and the obsession with airlocks? Watch the movie you will know what I mean. Angela Bassett is as always a bad bad actress. She plays the same sexually frustrated angry black woman she always plays. Just have sex with hunky Spader already and relax a bit. Heck I would and I'm a guy (not in a gay way, I just respect Spader for his hunkiness). Facinelli makes a terrible space psychopath, not good for his career since the easiest role any actor can play is murderous psychopath. In the end I just wanted my rental money and 1.5 hours of my life back, but I won't get it. Luckily no brain cells were harmed during viewing of this film for which I am thankful.
Joe Dirt (2001)
Take it for what it is - a Comedy!
You would think that such a simplistic premise would make for a crappy movie but it was hilarious. Lets face it, dumb rednecks are funny. There were some great supporting actors like Christopher Walken who as usual steals the show when he's on, and the Silence of the Lambs thing was absolutely golden, with Brian Thompson doing a great parody even though he only had a few minutes of screen time. The cameos are many, and the humor is wicked and pulls no punches. Some of it is outright dumb at first but is explained later on, such as the nuke which seemed so cheesy with 50's file footage....but it explains why near the end of the movie. Overall its good mindless entertainment, and Spade does a surprisingly good redneck. I think it helps that he's a skinny. I'm no big fan of Dennis Miller but as a supporting character he makes sense here, and mercifully he's more the straight guy than the unfunny guy trying to be funny (his normal role). Kid Rock is so redneck he reminds me of the locals around here.
Babylon 5: In the Beginning (1998)
Wow, it doesn't get any better than this.
This B5 movie was AMAZING. It fit together all the complex plot lines of the series, answered many questions, and still left open some uncertainties. It does have some cute kids which usually kills a movie, but they are not plot devices but instead a way to segue to more important things. If you kept up with the entire series, by the end of the movie you know exactly where the movie is chronologically, and you know the tragedy that is about to unfold. Thankfully the movie doesn't cover it, because as the emperor of Centauri said, "That is another story, for another time". Great acting by everyone.
An interesting tidbit about one of the alternate language tracks is if you turn on the German language dubbing, Reiner Schone, who plays Dukhat does his own dubbing because he's from Germany.
This is a must-have movie for a B5 fan, Its the best of the bunch.
Babylon 5: Soul Hunter (1994)
A decent episode that foreshadows whats to come.
While the story seems to be a simple non-arc episode, it actually drops hints at a far more complex story/background of the B5 world. You of course don't know this until you move on to other seasons, so this is one you need to see again after you have explored later B5 episodes. All the seemingly random unconnected side plots and information tidbits all link together. Sheppard is creepy as the Soul Hunter, and the storyline is well paced. I really hated B5 Season 1, mainly because I thought Michael O'Hare was a terrible actor and detracted from the show. Even Bruce Boxleitner could out-act the guy so thats pretty bad. The Soul Hunter threat becomes important later on when you see them again in the B5 "movies".
The Stöned Age (1994)
Great Movie if you remember the 70's / 80's
Yes its low budget, but this is the kind of movie that doesn't need SFX, explosions or CGI. This movie reminded me of well...me. Yes I'm Hubbs, the loser who was the leader of my pack of friends and I did have a friend like Joe, and I did know a dude like Tack that was annoying. I was a total dork so think how dorky THEY were.
Its a fun movie, and I liked the twist/role reversal at the end. On the surface it looks like a stupid teen movie but it is one long social commentary for that time period, aka the early 1980's.
I loved the movie. Its too bad the young kids now may not get the references, the jokes, the personalities, but isn't it always like that?
Der Untergang (2004)
A wonderful and apparently historically accurate retelling of the final day's of Hitler and Nazi Germany. The actors were cast in a way so they resemble the historical figures quite closely, and the battle scenes kept me on the edge of my seat. If anybody has ever watched LEXX, you will recognize Rolf Kanies playing Hans Krebs. His fluent Russian in real life came in handy as his character had to speak in Russian during the negotiations with General Tschuikov. The movie didn't try to make any particular character appealing, except maybe for Ernst Gunter-Schenk. Considering how this bunch of men were responsible for 50 million dead it was a good idea to not portray any of the characters as 'good guys' anyway.
There was an amazing amount of research put into the film. The uniforms strove to be accurate, even the weapons and sidearms were the kind you would have seen in 1945 such as the StG44. Probably the only slip-up was the Russian soldiers all had PPSh's, and none had the PPS, which was more commonly seen in 1945. The only other niggle was a reference to "penicillin" in a phone conversation from a field commander but the Germans didn't have penicillin during WWII.
The Prophecy (1995)
If you are a Christian fundie, don't watch this film!
You will most likely be offended since this movie plays around with biblical storytelling and fundies always hate that kinda stuff. Stick to bad Christian B-movies and you will be fine.
Now, if you want entertainment, love Christopher Walken's awesome acting, and want a very interesting movie that will give you the creeps, pop this video in your DVD player and enjoy.
There is very little SFX and it really doesn't need it. Walken carries the movie through sheer force of talent. Mortensen and Stoltz do admirable jobs with their characters, and for some reason this whole movie is unsettling...but in a good cinematic way. Mortensen gets in a classic "last word" which will make you consider using a night light from that point on. Walken is downright hardcore...and you will never think about angels in the same way ever again.
A gem of a low budget film with good acting making up for lack of explosions, gore, and CGI.
While I give it 3 stars simply for style points, it really didn't keep my interest enough for me to even finish watching the movie, it was THAT bad. Anyone could have taken the timeless plot of a small group against impossible odds and turned it into watcheable cinema, Zack Snyder instead decided to to an MTV style short attention span flick designed for 12 year old boys. It was historically inaccurate, and putting in trolls, deformed humans, a 9 foot tall bald drag queen and elephant thingys made the whole experience just plain silly. There was plenty of muscles, nudity, yelling, and slow motion violence but the nod to Sam Peckinpah was not enough to save this turkey of a film.
It could have been so much better, but it suffers from "closeupitis" where the action is seen in close-up so you really can't figure out what the heck is going on. Usually its done to keep the audience from finding out that the lead character is terrible at the martial arts...
Generally speaking, I like it when a movie attempts to put female leads as heroes whose destiny isn't tied to a man, but this movie is just a mess. Terence Stamp is miscast, Jennifer Garner is just to tall and clumsy to be Elektra.
Nice try, but its pretty much killed off any possible Elektra franchise.
Would we really know the outcome if it happened?
Ya know, this site has lots of folks talking about whats wrong with Jericho, like they have a real frame of reference to work with. The story is meant to be at the human level, not at the "big picture" level. This can make it seem cheesy since we humans are all emotional and all. Think of the War on Iraq....if we go big picture we get all the politics, the military, the operations, but if we go to the human level all of a sudden its completely different. We then have to deal with how the war affects families, we have to deal with the pain individuals feel.
I like Jericho, its a good mix of soap opera and intrigue. Without huge budgets they can't put in lots of special effects or people getting their heads blown off, so sorry you folks who never grew up past the age of 14, you will be disappointed. The show feeds you tidbits of information at a time, and always has a "cliffhanger" in the old style of a serial. A refreshing change from sitcoms and police dramas.
I can't wait for the next 7 episodes, it looks like the end of Jericho but at least there is resolution. CBS probably couldn't stretch it out any further without Jumping the Shark so its a good idea to have some wrap-up episodes.