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Django Unchained (2012)
Yes this is a Tarantino movie, not really the best.
Yes this is a Tarantino movie. That said, you expect a bit of blood and gore, but this was to the point of not remotely believable. The squibs they used and the following blood splatter was over the top. I suppose a teenage boy that loves bloody video games would find this "awesome." But it actually detracted from the suspension of disbelief. The script was predictable and the story pretty weak. Now Pulp Fiction was also another offbeat movie, and it was QT too. Now that was a much better script and the humor in it was better. On the plus side, I really enjoyed the performance by Christoph Waltz as the doctor. He is a good actor. So, for almost 3 hours I will never get back, I am a bit disappointed. QT can do better, he has before. I am glad I did not see this in a theater, that would be not just a loss of time but a lot more money.
Doctor Who: The Snowmen (2012)
Good Stuff and still not so good stuff
Since Steven Moffat has taken the helm after RTD left producing the show, I have been repeatedly disappointed in the direction of the series. Of all actors that have played the Doctor, I find Matt Smith on the same level as Colin Baker in "entertainment value." I should clarify my favorite actors as the Doctor were Jon Pertwee, Peter Davison and David Tennant in that order. The scripts are also hit or miss as well. That said; I enjoyed this episode more than others from the past season. First, the opening credits are FANTASTIC! The orchestration is wonderful coupled with a return of the image of the Doctors' face in the very well done graphics! The story was okay although I expected Clara to say "Spit Spot" to the kids at some point and pull a tall lamp out of her bag. Also, using a Sontaran as comic relief seemed a bit silly. Killer Smowmen from outer space with a floating spaceship (TARDIS) in the clouds seems like a bad B-Movie plot from the 1950's and the conclusion to the episode is a bit confusing. And if we must have a villain, I don't think the "cute, sexy and lick-the-mirror handsome" Doctor Richard E.Grant was the best choice.
I am sure there was an intent of a cliff hanger but it was more of a "what in the heck just happened" moment (IMHO). There was good action, great music and Clara (Oswin) is really a perfect companion for the Doctor. Hopefully, she can hang on for a regeneration and a better Doctor will be cast in the role...soon! I long for the days when RTD brought excellent stories every week, or even when John Nathan Turner was in charge. I should clarify that Steven Moffat has had some good episodes such as "Blink" but nothing consistent.
Doctor Who is something I look forward to on Christmas Day, and I am hopeful that future episodes will improve. I would not want to see the Doctor go back on the shelf like it did in 1989.
The Starlost (1973)
Interesting for its time
I took the time to watch the series and I understand why Harlan Ellison distanced himself from the project. The production was similar to a cross between Saturday morning's "Land of the Lost" and "Doctor Who" during the Tom Baker era. It is too bad that the budget was so low. The show could have been so much more. With the technology we have today using computer graphics it could be amazing. The most noticeable "bad graphics" are with the Color Separation process or "green screen." That technology alone has become pretty seamless today in such programs as the current Doctor Who, Sanctuary or Warehouse 13. Harlan Ellison was a brilliant writer and the story has great potential today if someone would produce it.
Most of the classic & current Who stories are interesting and occasionally try to educate on some level. But the real test of a good episode was if it was entertaining and allowed the suspension of disbelief. This story was full of distractions from the beginning. Being in outer space without the TARDIS and still breathing and shouting?? Falling to the Earth and catching a spacesuit to offer protection as if it were a parachute caught while from a falling airplane? Puleeeze!
I give Dr Who a lot of latitude where science comes in, but this was not a very well thought out story on any level!! The plot is all over the place and while the trailers temped us with a CS Lewis Christmas feel, it failed to deliver. It would be great if RTD came back, they found a replacement to MS and wrote better stories. As a fan for over 40 years, I hope the show gets better...It needs a Doctor!
When this program was first released, I was put off in the previews by Amanda Tapping with a British accent, so I skipped watching it. She may have been born in the UK, but her American accent seems to pop out at times. However, I decided that after three seasons on the air, I would watch the program. I was not disappointed. The story is a very interesting look at the Sanctuary that Dr. Helen Magnus operates to protect "Abnormal" beings.
The program uses probably more CGI and green screen (CSO) than any I have seen in awhile. Some of it is very well done and in other places it looks like a scene from a PS3 game. However, the effects seem to add more than distract from the plots. Another bonus I liked was seeing SG-1 alumni pop up now and then like Michael Shanks (Dr. Jackson) or Gary Jones (Walter). My favorite line is when Gary Jones says. "I knew that British accent was fake."
Christopher Heyerdahl is brilliant in his roles as is Robin Dunne as Will. Another treat is seeing cast from Highlander such as Jim Byrnes and Peter Wingfield. Overall the casting is very good and believable. Most of the shows so far have had some substance but I do wonder how long that will last. Hopefully, it can find good writers and continue on!
Human Target (2010)
Amazing show! A MUST SEE!
This is one of the best shows Fox has put on the air in a long time! I would love to see this show for years to come, but unfortunately I understand FOX axed it. Very unfortunate, since this show is interesting, entertaining, and great fun for everyone! Mark Valley truly fills the role of Christopher Chance in every way. Kind of an American James Bond. Also seeing Lee Majors in the series was icing on the cake as his part reveals part of the legacy of Chance. If the show is truly gone, I think the networks made a HUGE mistake! Anyone I know that has seen this show thoroughly enjoys it! I would hope the networks will see how great this show really is and perhaps it will appear on one other than FOX.
Intense and thought provoking
"Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few (or the one)?" to quote from Star Trek. But the question is valid here. A very gripping and intense film that makes us look at ourselves and ask, what would I do if I were in the same position? I don't know if I could answer that. The story is told very well by great actors! The film draws one in to the drama and I like that. Yes, the torture and violence is not easy to watch, but it is portrayed in the context of the movie appropriately. People should be aware of the graphic nature of the violence before watching, and probably not watch it if they are offended by that type of content. I also think the ending could have been a bit better, but that's all I will say and not give it away.
Reggie Perrin (2009)
OK. But not great.
Average is how I would describe this series. Yes, I did really enjoy Leonard Rossiter as Reggie but times have changed. So Reggie passes by Sunshine Des erts and is now into Groomtech. Unfortunately, the comedy here is somewhat lacking. There are amusing moments but not enough. Mind you, I love Martin Clunes as Doc Martin, but I think the good writing is what is missing. Remaking any older series like F&R of Reginald Perrin, The Bounder, Only when I Laugh, Manor Born etc, is a challenge but it requires thinking outside the box for the times we live. I hoped for more from this series. Now I am looking forward to the next series of Doc Martin!
Russell T Davies really took the elements of Dr Who and made a much more "adult" or darker side to th whovian universe. I have loved Dr. Who since William Hartnell and my favorite Dr.s are Jon Pertwee and Peter Davison (from the original series). But anyone watching TW must remember this is NOT Dr Who anymore than it is the Sarah Jane Adventures! The SJA is to kids what TW is to adults. RTD made this pretty clear in the early episodes such as an alien that kills you is you have sex with it. I doubt that plot would be in a DW episode. Torchwood is very well thought out IMHO. It is worth viewing from the beginning if you have the chance. Now lets see the NEW series! :)
Great Concept for the time
I vividly remember watching this show every week. For the time the technology was pretty amazing. We were still using a good old rotary dial phone back then and no one even heard of a personal computer or miniature wireless surveillance cameras. That was even more technology than they used on Star Trek! Burgess Merideth was wonderful working in "Cameron Probe Control" and Doug McClure was probably my favorite agent. Today, technology has exceeded the tools used in this program but it would be great to see it brought back in a present day form using the technology we have now. If this program ever re-appears in some media format, I would love to see it again.