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1120 reviews in total 
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So far I'm liking the sharp wit and the characters, 24 June 2017

After reading a couple of reviews, I wasn't sure I wanted to watch this series at all. The basic thrust of the reviews was this was a show where characters tell jokes onstage but offstage you are trapped in their drab, humorless lives of desperation.

Now, so far I've only seen the pilot, and maybe after a couple more episodes I'll feel differently, but right now that's just not what I saw. Yes, the comics tell jokes onstage, but their offstage lives are not humorless at all. These are smart, mordantly witty people, so while their offstage lives aren't full of "jokes," there are plenty of witty remarks.

This series has been compared with Vinyl, and I understand why. Both shows emphasize their 70s ambiance (although Vinyl was more over-the- top) and the filming has that messy visual quality that in itself is very 70s (think Robert Altman films). The main difference is that Vinyl was a screaming, drug-soaked series that could never take five minutes to calm down and look at itself (except in one single episode, which was the best thing in the whole series) and IDUH doesn't have anything like that. Because of that, I'm hopeful that IDUH won't wear out its welcome the way Vinyl did. Vinyl was driven by an over-the-top character, but unless Melissa Leo's terrific, equally over-the-top Goldie suddenly becomes the entire focus, this series is unlikely to become another Vinyl.

I hope I'll like the rest of this. For now I'll just say, don't let the critics put you off checking out the pilot.

"GLOW" (2017)
2 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Seems mildly interesting, 24 June 2017

While I don't plan to watch any more of GLOW after seeing the pilot, it's not bad at all. It's just not all that compelling.

It's all cute enough. A struggling actress can only find work on a wrestling TV program, where she meets a variety of characters.

I suppose it's more a comedy than anything else, but not a particularly funny one. The only one who really gets any laughs is Marc Maron as the show's snarky producer.

To me it seems that if you've got a series mainly focused on women and the only interesting main character is a guy, there's an issue. The only female character that really made an impression was Sydelle Noel as a tough stunt double.

As for Alison Brie, the actual star of GLOW, she's fine. But that's about it. I don't feel her character is sharply drawn and her only emotion in the pilot is exasperation. I liked Brie a lot in Community, so she's certainly talented, but either she doesn't have a handle on the character or the writer doesn't. Because I have no real sense of her, or what she wants, or why she so eagerly embraces a role that is nothing she ever wanted.

But then, that's just the pilot. Perhaps her character is developed later. I don't know. The problem is, I don't care enough to find out.

"Wrecked" (2016)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Often hilarious take-off on Lost, 23 June 2017

Imagine a plane goes down and a group of people find themselves stranded on a desert island. Now imagine all those people are idiots.

That's Wrecked.

This is a very silly comedy about a group of misfits struggling to survive the elements and their own pettiness and incompetence. At times the series is absolutely brilliant - I loved the episode where characters with a portable DVD player with enough power left for one movie had to choose between a stupid movie they liked or a thoughtful, serious movie they knew they *should* watch.

The cast is excellent, particularly Rhys Darby as Steve, who seems goofy and harmless at first but turns out to be pretty nuts.

If you like wacky humor and the occasional cannibalism joke, this is definitely the movie for you.

A Korean Western with Slam Bang Action, 23 June 2017

While Spaghetti Westerns were made by Italians but set in the American West, The Good, The Bad, and the Weird is a Korean western set in Korea, with cowboy-hatted Korean men on horses robbing trains.

The movie has the classic western look down cold, with vast deserts and gorgeous sunsets and plenty of guns. It even has one group of colorfully-dressed bad guys that, when you see them from a distance, give the vague impression of being Indians.

While the movie captures the look and sound of classic westerns, the movie has the pace and high style of an Eastern action flick. This is why I like this movie much better than most of the westerns I've seen, which tend to be slower and, for me, dramatically flat (excepting a view brilliant westerns like Shane and the Unforgiven). In American terms, this is the Western early Spielberg would have made if he'd been fonder of amorality and constant violence. It's funny, fast- moving, and full of beautifully shot set pieces.

Overall, this movie is a blast, but it's an overlong and somewhat confusing blast. The story doesn't always bring the audience along with it, and the movie doesn't seem to know when it's time to bring things to an end, insisting on a final showdown that feels forced and is irretrievably stupid.

Noah (2014)
Different biblical movie that fails to better the genre, 22 June 2017

Noah is a biblical epic that's not particularly attached the source material, something made abundantly clear with the appearance of its Transformers-like rock monsters. Hollywood has often expanded on the stories in the bible, adding details to make its short, expositional stories more engaging. But they have rarely used the "loosely based on" approach of Noah.

Unfortunately, while the approach is different in some ways, the movie also has the slow, ponderous quality of many old testament film spectacles, only even more ponderous, slow, and pretentious. It's as though the director watched the worst of 50s-era bible movies and said, with modern technology, I can make something much worse than this.

Is this slow, soggy mess really Darren Aronofsky? That's the name on the credits, yet this is not the movie you'll want to watch if you are looking for a Darren Aronofsky-style film. And if you're looking for a big-budget epic, well, even the big "setting sail" scene is no more than okay.

After the tedious first half hour I started skipping forward, which gave me a chance to see the aforementioned sailing scene, the one excellent moment of the movie, the evolution scene (just watch it on youtube), and the film's dark take on Noah. Nothing I saw made me want to actually watch the rest of this.

Departing from biblical source material was not, in itself, a bad idea. I liked the idea of God communication visually through dreams, and of people saying "creator" instead of "God," and it was interesting to see a creature that didn't make it onto the ark. But the movie doesn't really have much to say about anything and is less entertaining than any hokey old Cecile B DeMille picture.

With a director as brilliant as Aronofsky, it's tempting to watch even their worst movies to see if there's a spark of brilliance. But watching this is on a par with watching David Lynch's Dune. Don't do it.

Slow moving, 21 June 2017

I took a look at this because of so many glowing reviews, but to me it seems like little more than a standard melodrama that has been animated.

The animation itself doesn't thrill me. Character design is fine but not especially interesting, and the most notable visual aspect of the movie is its wide shots of Havana and New York.

The architecture is, in fact, more likable than the cast. Chico is just a jerk, and the movie failed to convince me I should care about him or his on-and-off romance with Rita.

This is also one of those animated movies that doesn't really do anything with the animation part. You could make this as a live action movie without losing much.

For me, this movie was just plain boring.

This was far more brilliant than expected, 21 June 2017

Powerless, a cute and sometimes clever sitcom, was canceled before this episode was aired, and that is a tragedy, because it is not the best episode of the series but a really remarkable episode in general (I tracked it down online; it's only been released in New Zealand).

The basic premise is quite ingenious. Louis Lane has been killed, and a crank scientist insists that she has died before and was revived when Superman turned back time.

Believing that this will happen again (a theory justified when Stephen Hawking publicly murders Neil Degrasse Tyson), the cast realizes that this means they can do anything they want with no consequences, leading to a free-for-all (which ranges from Teddy telling off everyone he works for to Emily deciding to eat an entire chocolate muffin).

The episode is wonderfully plotted, and the ending is sweet and funny. It's a shame hardly anyone will ever see it.

If Powerless had started this good, it probably wouldn't have been canceled.

cute series that was getting really good towards its untimely end, 21 June 2017

My initial impression of Powerless was that it was cute, innocuous and funny enough to keep watching. It had an interesting premise and some solid actors. At times it seemed rather generic, but there were also moments of cleverness and wit.

Those moments of cleverness increased as the show progressed. By the halfway mark the series was much funnier and cleverer, and towards the end there were things like the brilliant No Consequences episode.

Alas, by that time the series had been cancelled. This is the problem with a slow start. It's a shame; I think season 2 could have been really great.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Stylish, Fellini-esque story about a weird pope, 16 June 2017

I liked this series from the first minutes. Jude Law is fascinating as the first North American Pope, who is strange and arrogant and has a vision for the Catholic Church that even he seems unclear on. The dialogue is sharp, the characters are detailed and complex, and the cinematography is slick and stylish.

The series is also quite odd, often reminding me of Fellini in its surreal touches and the way it keeps viewers off balance. I was surprised that the user reviews I looked at didn't mention this; perhaps people just think the Catholic Church is so inherently weird that they take all the strange elements in stride, causing them to view this as a basic political drama when it strikes me as much more than that.

I understand the guy who wrote and directed all the episodes is a notable filmmaker. I'd never heard of him before, but I look forward to experiencing some of his films.

"Taboo" (2017)
Seems promising, 15 June 2017

I've just watched the pilot of this series about the return of a presumed dead man into a world of intrigue. While the supernatural elements are more low key, it reminds me of Penny Dreadful, with the same dark, brooding tone.

Tom Hardy is powerful as the returned man. He exudes danger and determination and secrets. Well, everyone exudes secrets.

The setup is intriguing but the pace is slow and you have to like your drama dark and humorless.

Ultimately I decided not to watch any more of this. It's good, but if I want a series with this feel I would be more likely to go back to Penny Dreadful, which I hadn't watched for a while but which overall I enjoy more. But by all means check this one out for yourself.

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