Reviews written by registered user
crothman

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38 reviews in total 
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9 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Horrible is right., 8 December 2014
4/10

The funniest thing about the movie were the closing credits, and I spent the entire film hoping they'd arrive soon.

The jokes were unfunny and repetitious, figuratively poking you in the ribs with every line to say "This is funny. It is. It's really funny). The characters are too stupid to care about. The only one who was funny was Kevin Spacey, and he was in the film for about three minutes. Otherwise, it made you long for the subtle and clever humor of the Ritz Brothers.

Jason Bateman gamely tries to hold the thing together, but both Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day play characters who are just too stupid to remember to breathe and the dull script thinks plugging in a few outrageous concepts without humor makes comedy.

The first movie was only mediocre, but it had some laughs in it. This wastes talent on an immense scale.

285 out of 570 people found the following review useful:
A dull, trudging parade of clichés, 27 September 2011
1/10

You've seen Terra Nova before, in dozens of science fiction shows and movies. There is really not a single original moment in the entire show and, alas, it doesn't seem to realize this.

The setup is a society that's on an ecological disaster (like "Blade Runner"), where a family is sent back into the past (with dinosaurs like "Jurrasic Park") to form a colony (like "Earth 2"). The family consists of a heroic father, a smart mother, an angsty son, a genius daughter (like Lisa Simpson) and a younger, cloyingly cute younger daughter. None have the depth of a cardboard cutout.

Storywise, it's a mess. There is never a moment when you can't predict accurately what will happen next. It's not even difficult to do so: when the doctor is treating an accident victim, you know she's going to say "stay with me."

It also makes no sense. People say one thing about the world, then act as though the situation is completely the opposite. The setup is ludicrous (a colony has houses like that?).

Ultimately, this is third-rate science fiction that's about as entertaining as watching a turned-off television. It may be worth it if you create a drinking game of "name the cliché," but you wouldn't make it over a half hour before passing out in a drunken stupor.

There is bad, there is terrible, and then there's Terra Nova.

"Misfits" (2009)
3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
This show will blow you away., 26 August 2011
10/10

As others have mentioned, the description -- a bunch of kids gaining super powers -- doesn't begin to describe what the show is about. The characters are complex (even the minor ones), the situations are believable, and the stories go places you never expect. Actions all have consequences, but the show doesn't forget to have a sense of humor.

The key is that the super powers are all closely tied in with the characters' wishes, dreams, and personality; they stories are nothing like how this situation would be portrayed in the US. No one fights crime; they're too busy trying to deal with their own lives and the consequences of their personal strengths and failings. The first two seasons have been put online at Hulu.com; watch them and be amazed.

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A strange but entertaining version of The Shadow, 11 September 2009
6/10

The second of the Rod La Rocque Shadow movies is a vast improvement on the first, and bears no relation to that film or anything else about the character.

In this, Lamont Cranston is a newspaper/radio reporter who writes a column on crime, as well as having a radio show. His identity thus is a secret to no one. He is aided by Phoebe Lane, an aspiring reporter, in unraveling a mystery.

The mystery is interesting enough to hold interest and involves a crime that baffles everyone. There is some good scenes, especially with Cranston and Phoebe. But the characters (other than the Shadow) are all over the place. Phoebe is sometimes a smart protofeminist and also a complete ditz -- often in the same scene. Her final scene makes no sense after what we've seen before it.

But the movie does move along fairly well and the mystery is intriguing enough. It's a decent little film if you want something fun to kill an hour.

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Dull and draggy, 11 September 2009
3/10

This version of the Shadow has little to do with the pulp hero (other than name) or the radio version. The Shadow was changed from a spirit of vengeance to a routine wise-cracking detective, though some vestiges of the mystery in the character remains.

This still could have been a decent B-movie thriller except for the deadly dull direction. Everything moves at the pace of a dying snail and the plot is generally uninteresting.

Rod La Roque does as much as he can with the role; he has some easygoing charm (though that is a departure from the original character) and manages to make the best of things. The rest of the cast, though, is pretty generic and bloodless. It becomes very hard to care about the situation.

There's also a strange subplot explaining the Shadow's motivations, with an ending that kinda sorta might resolve it, but even that isn't clear. Very little to recommend it, other than La Roque's performance.

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Not very good Hitchcock, 22 March 2008
5/10

While competently directed, the movie is too obviously a photographed stage play (thought Hitchcock tried to open it up). It's nothing like his usual type of film, either; the one bit of suspense as a twist is obvious from the beginning (the actor overacts too obviously). Other plot twists are obvious quite early.

Still, it has its moments. There's some nice comedy and characterization. If you're a Hitchcock completist, it's worth looking at to see how he handles a type of material he didn't seem attuned with. If not, you may find uninteresting.

(Not a criticism of the film, but the Irish accents can make it hard to make out some of the dialog.)

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Good idea, horrendously executed, 23 June 2005

The idea was that "roving reporters" would go around the world to find new comedy acts and show them on the air. That sounded quite promising.

The problem was that the producers were highly influenced by "Laugh-In." The comics were given very short segments -- no more than a minute. It was impossible to determine whether they were good or not after hearing about three jokes. And just as you began to get into the rhythm of the routine -- bang! -- off to another. Everyone was given a short shrift, and no one was memorable.

The show deserves a footnote for being one of the first US TV appearances of Monty Python's Flying Circus. But even that was handled incompetently, as the censors bleeped out the words "naughty bits" from the sketch (the actual words "naughty bits"). You'd think they could choose a segment of Python that wouldn't have anything the censors would frown on, but the producers most likely were only willing to choose chunks of skits that ran for less than 30 seconds, so they could move on to something else.

Ultimately, a complete waste.

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Dull and pretentiously arty, 2 February 2005
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's rare to see a film this boring. The characters were just plain flat, and the director's penchant for making every single shot a tight, off center close-up made it painful to watch. Not to mention the "arty" shots thrown in like bad non-sequiturs.

Not a single character showed any more life than a cardboard cutout, and the film dragged out about twenty minutes of story into two hours. It pretended to say a lot about race relations, but really was pretty shallow about that, too (unless it's a revelation to you that Japanese-Americans were ill-treated during WWII). Ethan Hawke's character mopes around morosely, unable to let go of a teenage love affair that ended at least eight years before. About halfway through, you'll be screaming, "Get on with it, already." I'll have to assume the book is a lot better, since the movie is completely uninteresting.

117 out of 151 people found the following review useful:
Hilarious comedy!, 25 November 2003

Probably the best show of the 2003 season, and the best new comedy in years. It's very hard to describe, since the comedy is entirely character-based, not plot- or wisecrack-based.

Basically, it's the story of the Bluth family, developers who are in bankruptcy with the father in prison for fraud. One son, Michael, tries to be responsible and keep things going, while the rest of the group is entirely self-centered and can't seem to focus on the fact they are broke and in disgrace.

The various family members go off in various directions: George (GOB) fancies himself a magician, Buster is a momma's boy, Lindsay goes off supporting odd causes, Lindsay's husband Tobias fancies himself an actor. It's a show you need to watch closely, but the laughs are all over the place, from unexpected directions.

5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Funny and complex drama about the issues of belief, 14 November 2003
9/10

Excellent film about the nature of religion in a small Texas town. When a picture of Jesus appears on a screen door, people react in different ways, and we see how people are both helped and hindered by their belief.

The characters are great and each has a story to tell. I was reminded of Robert Altman's NASHVILLE, where characters interacted into one fascinating mosaic. There are more interesting twists, as characters' beliefs are challenged, and they react and change (and sometimes not).

Even if you're not religious, the film is terrific. Writer/Director Kirk Davis walks a line between scoffing at the nuttiness of religion, and treating it perfectly seriously. It's a religious film for those who believe, and for those who have no real use for religion.

See it.


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