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Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019)
A missed opportunity but delightful enough
Not every film needs to be a cinematic masterpiece. Sometimes I just want to be entertained a little. This film will not leave me with a lasting impression but it was fun enough.
Angelina Jolie is perfect in the role although I'd love to have seen more of Maleficent's "bad-asser-y". I enjoyed the world and vibrancy of the Dark Fey but it tickled the same nerve as Avatar did so, while fun and sparking childlike excitement in me, it was not freshly handled.
The conclusion was hasty and VERY Disney.
Although more for younger audiences I appreciate those Disney productions that "sneek" in content appealing to older audiences and I thought this production could have done just that.
Pluses for Jolie, the dark fey and Pfeiffer and "meh" for most of the rest.
Of course this will be sensitive viewing for devoutly religious people and some are automatically going to hate it because many parts rely on subtitles. A pity.
Give it a try. It is a different and interesting premise, well acted and well filmed.
The Witcher (2019)
- I start off by saying I was pleasantly surprised how well Cavill portrayed his role and carried the series. I had hoped he would but was prepared for disaster.
- The sets were good and Netflix obviously opened their purse (however, see below on Minuses)
- The fight scenes were excellent
- It picked up its pace nicely in the two latter episodes
- A few key characters were poorly cast, including Yennefer (unfortunately) - the level of acting just wasn't there for an "epic" show
- Several characters were too "clean" and "polished" for the world and story. Henry Cavill is very clean cut handsome but his character Geralt was grimy and hardened enough to make him suit the world nicely. Not so much for others
- The cgi was frequently quite poor. Don't get me started in the dragon. Netflix apparently did spare some expense here
- This first season didn't anchor itself enough to make me yearn for a second season. The whole build up was the meeting of the Witcher and his "ward" but we were never rewarded with anything there really to be invested in their relationship or future
- Many dialogues were contrived and poorly acted.
Any comparison with GoT is unjust. We can't compare everything to GoT (besides, that show had a very questionable last two seasons). However, it didn't satisfy wholly. It took me a few days to finish (and I am an avid watcher of sci-fi and fantasy) and as mentioned I am not dying for the next season. Not a hit, but not a miss. Decent watching but mostly thanks to Cavill.
Saw it on opening day (Europe) and it was ok!
A decent effort. Enjoyable but lacking new, exciting lore or writing. I'll see it again but I am not ecstatic. "Spoilers" are mild but will shortly follow.
Of course people are going to be mostly either angry or happy. JJ Abrams, whatever you think of him, had the seemingly impossible task of bringing a story 42 years in the making home.
I, for one, am disappointed with quite a few things. Mostly though I have a new found anger for the complete waste of Rian's The Last Jedi. They totally squandered 1/3 of the new story by giving us no story. I felt that so much while watching episode IX. Of course it felt rushed.
The new trilogy as a whole didn't leave a huge impression but maybe time will fix that.
They did a good job bringing Leia in. I was blown away and so happy they could have her in as much as they did. I thought the comedic elements were mostly good. The worlds and effects were obviously brilliant. Lastly, a couple of moment actually made me tear up too!
With that said, there were a few things that left a bitter taste as I am reflecting afterwards.
1. That kiss almost made me completely loose my head. I was redeemed shortly after. 2. The mysticism of the Jedi and Sith has been so unexplored that it seemed too much (Last Jedi squandered the opportunity) 3. I was looking for a genuinely satisfying space battle but when the reinforcements arrive, I am left disappointed as they are not really shown. 4. I am so sick of these super weapons! Now they are attached to each star destroyer. Why? This is something I loved about the series Battlestar Galactica - only guns and nukes. more even odds. I am sick of there always having to be a dreadful super weapon. 5. Always the force field or tower to take out. Again as in #4, lazy story telling.
I am sure there will be more to gripe about. There is a lot to process. But it was a decent effort. I will definitely see it again soon. I believe 100% that there will be a continuation after a few years hiatus/side projects.
Jack Ryan (2018)
Stellar season one. Season two is a complete bust.
Jack Ryan went through a complete transformation, for the worse. Rated the first season a 9. Now down to a 6. The plot is boring and writing not clever. Predictable the whole way through but I stuck with it hoping for a turn. I was left feeling robbed.
The Mandalorian (2019)
If it walks like SW, looks like SW, sounds like SW..
...then it's Star Wars.
Update: seen second episode. What the hell is up with the short episodes? 30 min for the second one? While also being disappointed that the force snuck its way into this series and I'm getting a little worried about this being a show about a baby sitter in space rather than a bounty hunter I'm still glad for the show as below. Rating lowered from 9 to 8...
I enjoyed this first episode even with insanely high expectations. One major issue was that the episode was way too short.
It has the feel that I've longed for but with some new characters and plot. My favorite SW film since the original trilogy is Rogue One and this series seems to have the same "feeling".
The self destruct jokes were enough humor and while being a little fast pace, and had a minor ridiculous hiccup around the Blurgs (?), it was a really nice coming "coming home" moment. I'm hoping it'll keep on this track but I'll update my score if anything changes.
Watch it and just let yourself get lost in a galaxy far far away for a bit!
Not horrible but not exciting either
I am an avid sci-fi/fantasy enthusiast and had decent hopes for See but this show isn't really hitting the spot. I gave it a six for acting (although Momoa isn't a standout), photography and world building. But the plot and story isn't all that engaging and I'm not sure I want to follow this through the rest of the season.
The premise of blindness is perhaps the biggest problem. It's a terrible distraction that feels a little contrived, like a cop out for finding some other unique contribution.
I had higher hopes for an Apple production
Great pilot! Ignore overall score (cant rely on those anymore)
I knew within seconds that this show would get a bunch of low scores. IMDb-ratings nowadays don't go too high on any show that angers a highly sensitive crowd of politically driven people incapable of just relaxing. No matter acting, cinematography, production and feel. Things that this show definitely deliver.
Yes, this is a surprise in terms of direction compared to movie and comics but it's only the beginning. Lindelof has had some hits and misses over the years but I have high hopes for this show. So, please give it a shot if you're somewhat open minded, not so easily offended and you're not usually taking everything on screen that you don't agree with as a personal attack.
And: Please keep politics out of IMDb!
Catherine the Great (2019)
Always in awe of Mirren but "meh"
I had such high hopes. It's so unfortunate that they spent an enormous amount of money on sets and costumes when many characters are terribly miscast.
Helen Mirren is a force to be reckoned with in anything she does, never mind age gap being historically inaccurate here. But, her gift is not harnessed because of script. The casting of Potemkin was an outright disaster.
A sad misstep as a show but at least I had a few hours of Mirren.
The Politician (2019)
Great acting, roller coaster of some fun, some depth and some good old fashioned drama. A nice production and it follows a Murphy-style.
Side note: I'm sure I'm not the only one tired of people lately reviewing shows as they were political news. Leave politics out of IMDb, please. Rate shows and film on their story telling, not any political themes. What's great about entertainment is that we get to see all kinds of stories!
Carnival Row (2019)
Watch it. Ignore comments about politics...
I hope they make a season 2. Thoroughly enjoyable fantasy with good amount of realism. Anyone trying to pin this as overtly political ignores that the themes in the show are common in history, not surprising to find in entertainment in general and not "propaganda."
Great acting and great visuals! Enjoy and leave politics at the door, just for a minute...
Parks and Recreation (2009)
Finally saw it. What a gem!
To me, this is way funnier than Friends, The Office... And it has so much heart.
I'm here for any resurrection/reunion in the future!
The Perfection (2018)
Decent acting potential...wasted
Don't bother! Started off interesting and then took a complete nose dive.
I have enjoyed the two leading actresses in other series and films but I'm not sure why they signed on to this. The story is off to a good start but instead of turning into more of a Black Swan direction it just gets bizarre. And perverted. I for one am sick of sexual violence/abuse being casually used as a driver of a plot. I'd give it a zero if possible.
Horrible, just plain horrible.
Game of Thrones (2011)
Great but with some trouble
I love this show. Really.
I read the books now and realized that the showrunners has had a hard time once they left the books. The difference in pacing and plot twists become noticeably worse. Nevertheless still great tv.
My only other critique is the prevalence of sexual violence. Although RR Martin's mind is even worse in regards to this in the books, the show could have treaded a little more carefully here.
All in all though: amazing tv, production and acting.
Our Planet (2019)
David Attenborough and Netflix created magic
Each new epic nature series brings something new. With each development in the science and art of photography we are treated to new wonderful scenes.
David Attenborough has for a long time brought brilliant series such as Planet Earth I and II, Blue Planet etc to life with his unique, passionate and wonderful voice. Along with Cousteau he contributed to my path of becoming a marine biologist.
This series, as the others were, is sorely and unfortunately needed. Hopefully Netflix and Attenborough can reach a new, more motivated audience, with this fantastic show to inspire not only wonder but also action.
Black Earth Rising (2018)
Compelling and exciting
First off I will admit I've been a fan of Michaela since "Chewing gum" and she's spectacular here. Some reviews describe her as unlikable and angry and such comments miss her character's backstory.
The series is historically and culturally significant while offering excitement and a great plot. Great writing and photography and super acting by the cast overall.
After Life (2019)
Beautiful, funny, weird
Gervais & Co are brilliant. Different and drier, darker humor is interwoven nicely with sadder and serious notes.
Good show to hold me over between great shows
Liking the darker theme and it darkens well enough after the first 2-3 episodes. My current favorites are The Umbrella Academy and Doom Patrol and while the Titans doesn't quite measure up to those two it is quite good.
I don't mean to say that people that rate this show low aren't smart. At all. But it is a brilliant mix between dark, clever and raunchy that Veep offers. I love this show (and hated Seinfeld).
The Umbrella Academy (2019)
Love, love, love!
As an avid yet critical sci-fi/fantasy/superhero fiend I don't give much a pass. This show is a hit, what I was missing. Not all acting is top notch (though Robert Sheehan is magic) but overall a clear 10/10
Science and film fail
Within the first few minutes it is clear how poorly the main character is conceived. For example when asking if the bacteria are using ammonium as a source of oxygen. Somebody should've checked google and asked a high school chemistry student... Disappointing film making all around.
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018)
Mind not twisted but phenomenal construction
Hats off to Netflix and creators for trying something new. However, it was less thought provoking than many other Black Mirror episodes or shows like the OA or the Staircase.
I liked "playing" but am left hoping this isn't the future of tv or cinema.
Derry Girls (2018)
So many laughs and much heart, set in an otherwise depressing time in Northern Irish recent history. The last 20 seconds of episode 6 really tied it together as a production. Can't wait for more.
Never mind the "reviews" insinuating politicization. It is a show that basically shows how, if colonization was feasible (which is the premise not a promise), Earth issues and conflicts of profit, law, regulation, politics etc will follow us there.
A great mix of science (and I actually have a PhD in the natural sciences) and story that unlocks the imagination and forces thought on how we lack perspective on our own current planet.
Tell Me a Story (2018)
I am pretty excited about this one!
Great first episode and it definitely has me hooked. Each subplot had me engaged and I hope they stick with the interweaving structure of them.