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Dumb fun with heart and pretty awesome writing.
This one is kindof a mystery to me. The premise and the whole main storyline seems really dumb on paper. And most of the cheesy dialogues don't help either.
I have also never seen that many moronic characters in a tv show before.
How can you make that into a solid 5-season airing show? The writing. How they got it green-lit though is another mystery.
The writing, character-development and acting is the best I've seen in a long time. I rewatched Chuck for the third time now and I still manage to overlook the lame premise due to sheer amount of work put into the writing of all the characters.
The chemistry between the main protagonists and even the side characters is awesome. And it's probably the best love-story I have ever watched, complete with heart-warming and -breaking segments (yes, I watched my share of romantic movies...on purpose).
If you happen to stumble over Chuck for some reason nowadays, give it a shot. If you dig the first two episodes, the rest is as good. If you don't, don't bother.
Star Trek: Discovery (2017)
Good-looking but dumbed down too much
After giving up on the series six episodes in when it first aired, I decided to give it another try. I gave up again after finishing the first season.
The production value is insane for a Star Trek series and the visuals are stunning, together with pretty good acting. Discovery visually goes the road the latest Star Trek movies started. Lots of lense flares, blinking lights, close-up shots and shaky cams to make the experience "realistic" while in my opinion making it rather exhausting than fun.
Would I have watched it, if it weren't called Star Trek? I would have, being a fan of everything sci-fi after all. But I would have given up the first time instead of returning and giving it another chance.
Star Trek has built a lot of lore during the last decades. The writers for Discovery seem to just pick all the bits they liked from it and use it to their own content. Without the lore, the series would be hollow and have nothing original besides the spore-drive idea itself. The rest of it really are recycled ideas so far. Some plots get written to progress character development and make you feel closer to everyone you encounter in a series, build up tension and the whole world these characters live in.
Not in Discovery. The plots and twists are used to surprise you while completely ignoring character traits and dumbing certain individuals down for the sake of the twist. There is practically no character development in the whole first season and I didn't care about anyone personally.
The writers treat their own characters as idiots or completely opposite to what they were an episode before for the sake of a twist or cool idea with the plot. And ultimately treating the viewer an idiot for taking all that as granted.
I wont give it a third attempt. I've had enough and keep looking for actual entertainment. Star Trek lore aside, rating it as a random sci-fi series I still cannot give it a good rating. It felt like a chore watching the whole first season and the twists and turns made me cringe most of the time. Also... lense-flares. God I hate those.
Got motion sickness issues? don't bother.
Generally, the whole team certainly knows what they're talking about. They even adress and implement stuff that is known from the spider-verse I did really not remember. Here's my two issues with this film though. I was really looking forward to it, mostly hoping for a game-changer in art within the whole franchise.
The stop-motion-trick while doing the whole movie may be a bold animation choice, but turns out to make the whole thing clunky and I cannot figure out why they went for a lower framerate than regular animated movies. To me it just feels off and makes it hard to watch. What brings me to the second issue. I happen to feel motion sickness in certain games that appear to have head bobbling and certain light and brightness effects. So far I couldn't figure out the reason but this movie manages to do the same to me. I had to stop watching 1 hour in due to actually feeling sick just watching a damn movie.
Lot's of people like it. give it a try. I cannot recommend due to motion sickness issues. A clear no to the lower framerate. It was an artistic choice but I clearly don't see the point except for the saving money part. It is creative, sure, but I cannot watch it...
A bit better than expected but surprisingly amateur-ish
I gave this one a shot after watching the trailer. I finished season 1 but am writing the review while watching the last episode actually...
It's probably the darkest take at a series from DC so far, but that's the whole problem really. They tried imitating what Daredevil did so good.
Some of the actors do really good while others just seem overchallenged. The murky writing doesn't help either. Some characters get a slight backstory, others are just there. For some reason, they did very well with the male costumes but failed horribly with female costumes. It all looks cheaper than the jeans I'm wearing right now. The storyline is, well, not present. It's all over the place really and I lost interest halfway through. When someone is dizzy, they blurr the camera view, music is too loud and shifts in seconds randomly. It's supposed to set the mood, but same as the storyline it's all over the place. The CGI is really bad. The fight scenes are actually entertaining in my opinion.
It's the story really that bothered me. Lot's of extremely dumb decisions and reactions, close to no character development (except for two side characters that might get their shot in season 2 if lucky). Curtesy of Akiva Goldsman, one of the writers that managed to butcher The Dark Tower Movie and the Star Trek franchise with Discovery already.
I will definitely not come back for season 2 if there is any at all. I suggest you watch or rewatch the first season of Gotham instead. The four star rating is because I actually watched the whole season. Nah, make that a 3. I just finished the last episode and god, it is super bad.
This is probably going to be my one and only 10/10 review.
Living in Switzerland, I stumbled upon a serenity-dvd which turned out to be some pretty funny and entertaining sci-fi-western mixup.
I never heard of Firefly or even Joss Whedon before (having watched the famous Buffy or Angel episode-wise on tv after all). Firefly never aired in Europe.
After googling it, I figured out there was a series that precedented the movie. Downloading and watching the episodes made me really happy. I still keep rewatching Firefly after all these years at least annually. It ticked all my boxes when it comes to humor, sci-fi and western back in the days and still does now. Much like Cowboy Bebop did when i discovered that. It's my genre kindof and I really cannot get enough of it. The cast works awesomely together and there is no boring episode at all througought. Masterpiece imho, but of course comes down to what you like to watch after all. If you do like your share of sci-fi-western comedy with witty dialoge and no stupid behaviour for a change, that's the thing you are looking for. It didn't age well over the years CGI-wise but I cannot recommend it enough.
If you're into (bad) torture porn
I'm always looking for decent horror movies. It's really hard. The contributions are many, the actual good ones, not that much.
This one is of the latter sadly. The acting and the visuals are actually pretty good. Problems are with the story and the premise. It has nothing to do with a ghost story, despite the title. It's actually a bad attempt at a home invasion story combined with some torture porn. There are constant scene switches that don't help with the storyline. It feels like an attempt to put several genres into one, but fails horribly at all of it. Every 20 mins. there's a switch in horror genre for some reason. It feels desperately random while going nowhere. Skip that one if you actually happened to find a decent horror this year. I sure didn't yet :(.
The whole movie reminded me of a bad attempt at creating another Michael Bay's Texas Chainsaw Massacre. God I hate whatever Michael Bay does lately, but the Massacre Movie worked, while this one doesn't.
It's a mess. And the Lovecraft references where stupid and nonsense.
The Rain (2018)
God. I'm really sad about this one. Filming, score and direction are pretty well done. But as with most other series lately, the writing is just too lazy.
The core idea together with the story is something exactly to my taste. Apocalypse and deadly virus scenarios are kindof my thing if they work.
From episode one on, they managed to make everyone make the baddest possible decision. They also manage to make the audience hate every last one of the actors from episode one on due to decisions and, sad enough, pretty bad acting up to overacting. I personally hated the Rasmus Character most. They managed to make him an egoistic idiot as a child and as the grown up version aswell...
The music choice and the cutting and filming are great. But i cannot get over all the stupidity. You remember Prometheus? They sent the best scientists out to explore the source of humanity? First thing those "scientists" did was touch whatever they found on the new planet without gloves... That's the kind of stupidity you can expect from this one. And it keeps happening until the last episode of season one. The only way to progress the story for the writers seems to be when someone makes a bad decision. That is lazy writing 1.0. The Rain has promise and the core story is something nice for a change. Props to the score choices, they worked well. But it's just written really bad.
Starting to lose interest
I'm into episode 5 of season 2 now. Season 1 did a great job creating the universe and building up tension and suspense. It even made me get invested in some of the protagonists while failing to make me care for others.
I stuck to it mainly due to the fact that I really loved Person of Interest and whatever Jonathan Nolan wrote before.
Here's the problem: I don't care about any of the characters at this moment. I'm not invested in what they are working towards or if they even survive.
The production value and acting are both top, there is nothing to complain there. But I keep getting distracted while watching an episode and start doing other things. The pace and cutting is weird since season 2 started and it fails to keep my attention at all. I was really waiting for the promised ancient Japan part of the park and all the samurais. Sadly, even that storyline fell flat and ended in clichéd characters and no caring on my end.
I fail to find what drives most of the characters to do what they do. There are some goals I can see and others that just feel off. It feels like all of them are just wandering the park (that should be overrun by the parks security or government military by now) for no apparent reason.
I'm sad because I really had high hopes for this due to Jonathan Nolan. Will give up watching now though.
A solid 6 for the acting and production of the series. Nothing more cause I really don't care about any of the characters by now.
Lost in Space (2018)
Okay as family entertainment
The visuals are stunning. The acting ranges from okay to pretty good. Parker Posey plays herself as usual. I personally like the spacesuit- and robot-design. The script and story is solid. Not original but solid.
I never watched the original series but by now it is 53 years old. Whatever they changed for the remake, I'm okay with it. The world turns and it has to have changes. I don't see them being due to political correctness either, it's just changes.
The story is generic. No very big flaws, but no creativity either. You know right from the start, that the family members and core actors won't die the whole series, which makes everything pretty uninteresting. Whatever suspense they try to build gets lowered a lot by the fact that there is no real danger. The behaviour of the people is often dumb and predictable and I didn't really get invested in the characters. I found most of them annoying rather than engaging.
I started getting distracted while watching already in episode two and found myself do other things while watching the whole first season.
The show is okay all in all. No huge flaws, but no real suspense either. Okay as family-entertainment, to weak for me personally.
PS : Those rating a show higher or lower than they normally would to « fix » the, in their opinion, fake ratings, stop rating at all. It doesn't work that way. If all of you would stick to your actual rating, imdb might even get back on track and have properly rated shows again.
Game Over, Man! (2018)
For those into Seth Rogen humour
I kinda knew what I got into when clicking the play button on Netflix. It's called comedy. but not my kind. If you liked Workaholics and are into the kind of humour Seth Rogen makes money of, that is your movie to watch. If, like me, you never figured out why that kind of comedy ever appeared and got it's place in Hollywood, skip that one.
It's got lots of penis-"jokes", lots of violence (including cutting off the aforementioned) while still being predictable. I was really bored while watching and googled around on the other monitor. I don't like where Netflix is going in general. They seem to fund everything lately.
Again, some may like it, it's just not my humour or even close to my understanding of it at all. Hence the 2 star rating, because it might be for some while to me, it's just a waste of money and a shame of a movie.
Good-looking hull with superb acting but no content.
After seeing the Teaser Trailer for Annihilation last year I was very intrigued. I like almost everything Sci-Fi and figured it could be a more intellectual and philosophical ride than usual. So I went to buy the book-trilogy by VanderMeer and started reading to prepare for it. I don't regret that part, having never stumbled upon any of Jeff VanderMeer's work before. The books are weird, creepy and also pretty clever and special compared to other Sci-Fi I read. I felt like VanderMeer clearly outsmarts most readers.
Hearing that Alex Garland only read the first novel of the trilogy and then came up with a movie on his own had me not only sceptical but made me not rush the reading aswell. So far I'm done with book two.
Garlands Ex-Machina was great, I loved it despite some story-telling flaws. What he did with Annihilation made me angry after having read the books. I don't know if it's ignorance or arrogance but except for the very core idea of the book, he seemed to not care at all about the material.
There's an area that has a shimmer around it and manages to change physical laws and completely morphs preset dna together with other things. That's pretty much all Garland took from the book. The rest is from his own mind. No dialogue or scene have anything to do with the book from there on. The protagonists actually had to tell the audience they're getting crazy because the scenes didn't picture it well enough to see.
The acting was great, especially from Natalie Portmann and Tessa Thompson (underrated but will get there I hope. I managed to stumble upon most of her work since Veronica Mars). The setting reminded me of the videogame The Last of Us but not of the books from VanderMeer. Still beautiful though. (Heck if Garland made a movie of the game with that setting it could have been awesome).
Watching the movie as standalone without the novels it got adapted from, it still makes for a very murky experience, due to lack of backstory about the travel into Area X and the lack of motivation from the protagonists. Also, the eerie background-sounds were great. The guitar-songs in some scenes felt completely out of place for the setting.
Therefore my rating is 6, because of the cinematography and the very good acting overall.
After seeing the movie on netflix, I can see why Paramount decided to not drop it in cinemas outside the US and China. It was not worth it and I am still sour about that fact. I am not looking forward to Garlands next work like I did after Ex-Machina.
If you like Sci-Fi and haven't read VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy, give it a try. You won't be disappointed.
Van Helsing (2016)
Yes. I only watched the first episode. I used to watch 3 to 4 episodes before rating a series. But after watching the first episode of Van Helsing I already was done for.
The first episode showed me clichéd characters, bad acting, extremely bad camera-work and an aftertaste of a really bad 70's B-movie. There is stuff out there more worth your while. The take on the Van Helsing story had me checking it out. But it is really that bad. I will not bother with any more episodes than the first.
Ghost Wars (2017)
Okay. But skip if you like clever writing.
I'm rating it a solid 5, because I actually was entertained enough to watch the whole season. That rarely happens with bad shows.
The first two episodes are pretty bad. But the show gets better and better after that, before it starts dropping in quality again at around episode 7 or 8. The last three episodes increased the facepalm-value and ended in a last episode that completely ruined the barely existing like I had going for the show.
Despite some of the other reviews, I found the acting okay overall. With what script they had, all seemed to have done their best. D'Onofrio felt a bit off considering his other performances while Meat Loaf was doing great.
The writing and dialogues seem to depend on the writer and episode. (one example of many: Avan Jogia tells D'Onofrio to not run away from conflicts because they just keep following you. 5 mins. Later in the episode he runs away from the group to avoid conflict...)
The core idea had me watch it, and with a higher production value and proper, consistent writing, it could have been a good show. Not great, but good enough to stay in mind in a positive way. Sadly, the writing is inconsistent. Some episodes work, while most of them don't. Some even negate the progress from the episode that aired just before. I can get over bad CGI if the story is catchy and I'm entertained. Some of the caracters act clever or logical in one episode but completely dumb and cliché in the next one. The whole series jumps in quality and story from episode to episode. Also, while Avan Jogia is supposed to be the main character, he rarely even shows up or gets anything to say in most episodes. The last episode made me lower the score 0,5 points because it completely negated the character development of two people again. Give it a go if you have nothing else to watch. But you definitely won't miss anything if you pass.