Reviews written by registered user

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116 reviews in total 
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9 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
Good, but not as magical as Carl Sagan's masterpiece, 4 May 2014

I like this version. It's based off of Sagan's original material, so it's intelligent and informative. As we might expect, it's good to see the updates in visual technology, especially with images from the Hubble and the wonderful CGI we now have. Oh, what Sagan could have done if he'd had access to such images, CGI and HD! Given these advancements, it's nice to see Cosmos brought to this modern generation. One, so that a new generation can enjoy this material. Two, the original, while a masterpiece, was getting a bit "dated".

Alas, though, as we might also expect, the modern version doesn't capture the magic of the original. Tyson is a good host, knowledgeable, pleasant and well-spoken, but he doesn't have the voice or poetic wonder of Sagan. Sagan's voice made science sound like poetry. I was gripped by his treatment of the subject as a young teen. I only wish we could have brought that level of passion to the new generation.

Another aspect where Cosmos 2014 is not Cosmos 1980, is the music. The music of the original was some of the best ever compiled for a documentary. From classical to synth, it was unique and captivating. I remember scouring record shops for the soundtrack on vinyl, until, at last, I found "The Music of Cosmos" as an LP! That music inspired me for years to come. The new version's music is acceptable, but not inspiring. It's more like stock music soundtrack used on any Discovery Channel special.

Had I not had the original to compare this version to, I would have no complaints with Tyson or the music. They only fall short when compared to a legendary series, but are fine in and of themselves. As I stated earlier, I do hope a new generation watches, enjoys and is inspired by Cosmos.

It's worth watching. If you love astronomy or cosmology, you certainly won't be bored.

Iron Man 3 (2013)
3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
IM-1 is still the best of the series. As for this -- call it "shallow action fun"., 8 May 2013

Let's start off with saying I really liked IM-1. It was one of the better superhero movies I've ever seen. This is a sentiment shared by most of my friends.

IM3? Let's say it was enjoyable enough to watch as an action flick. However, it failed to impress me in any of the ways I would hope a major feature film would. For instance, the story. OK, granted, not all movies, especially action movies, have to have a great, let alone deep, storyline and script with sensational dialogue. It all depends what they are TRYING to be. That's where IM3 fell short, to me. It seemed like it was trying to seem deeper and more intelligent than it was.

Let's make that clear, right now. No matter how much you may have enjoyed this film, it's neither "deep" nor "intelligent". Any thrills derived are more along the lines of action and shallow motifs.

IM3 seemed to give us a number of elements just for the sake of handing them to us. The most infamous of these, what they did with The Mandarin. I won't get into that, here, in this review. But let's say the "twist" was more a twist for the sake of the twist. It was not innovative or clever. They could easily have pulled off the same plot device with any other number of names or new characters. Instead, by dropping the name The Mandarin, they slapped the faces of everyone who were familiar with this character from the comic book and wanted to see him brought to life.

Another cheap-trick element was Tony's emotional issue (again, not discussed here). You can't just drop something like that in to a character like Stark without working it in, with purpose. Otherwise it seems random and just "thrown in for the heck of it".

I'll also mention the ending, which left us wondering "why DID he do that?" Just for the sake of a few pyrotechnics and a feeling of "starting fresh". Sorry, sometimes a theme needs to make sense.

That leaves us with is not bad. Not great, though, since the Extremis characters were just a bit too over-powered (and not consistently, I might add) and a far different battle than what I might have hoped for. RDJ, of course, is masterful as Tony Stark, and he was the best part of the movie. I just wish Stark, who is one of the more interesting characters in the Marvel movie franchise, was better-used in this installment.

It's interesting to note that, while there were minimal moments of pure dialogue, they seemed slow and to drag. This is indicative of the quality of the writing and characterization, since I usually love moments of meaningful dialogue, even in an action movie. I guess this wasn't all that "meaningful". Hmm.

I leave you with the notion that if you want to just see an action film, you may, indeed, enjoy it quite a bit. Just don't set your expectations too high. Take all the elements with a grain of salt. They seem to be geared towards a more juvenile audience than the average comic book reader (yes, I meant that as it sounded).

IM3 has its moments, and is worth a view, but it's far from great, if you hope for any meat with your cheese.

26 out of 42 people found the following review useful:
Not impressed., 12 January 2012

I find this new brand of sitcom, a la Whitney, to be most unimpressive.

No matter what you think of these botoxed femmes, in terms of their stand-up routines, this scripted pap doesn't translate well.

In short, the jokes are nothing we haven't heard too many times, before. It appears the writers have supplanted genuine cleverness, humor and wit, with trying to "shock" people, by pushing the boundaries of decency.

Don't get me wrong; some of the best comedy in history has pushed the boundaries of social ideals of "decency", in the past. HOWEVER – those comedies did so with a purpose. They often challenged our sensibilities and old ways of thinking with unique, clever or thoughtful ways. Conversely, shows like Whitney and Chelsea seem to just try to make the audience say "I can't believe she said that" in social realms, which are already loose and maybe a bit crass. Crass is no substitute for clever.

Anti-intellectualism is taking hold in shows like this.

"Whitney" (2011)
108 out of 206 people found the following review useful:
It's always a bad omen when the forced laughter comes every few seconds..., 22 September 2011

...and this was no exception.

Despite the fact it was claimed it was "filmed in front of a live audience", I no more feel this laughter was genuine, from the heart, than the impersonal machines which usually are the hallmark of a poorly-written crapfest comedy.

Since it was Whitney Cummings, I thought I'd give it a chance. Despite being a bit "cheap / crude", she seemed to have some wit in some of her routines. Sadly, no such wit was present in this brainless comedy.

This is not "amusing in a low-brow sense like Larry the Cable Guy or Jeff Foxworthy" comedy. It's just pointless, without anything unique or clever. This is just the same brain-dead sitcom we've seen before a zillion times, with a zillion different names.

I gave it a shot. It didn't cut it.

Nothing new here, folks.

41 out of 86 people found the following review useful:
Remarkable - for all the wrong reasons!, 12 January 2011

As I begin, I have to find it amusing that the reviews are split between overly generous (after all, even people who found this a "guilty pleasure" could not justify giving this a 9 or 10 rating) and those who consider it "terrible". That always says something about a show. Especially when favorable reviews get an inordinate number of "useful" votes and the unfavorable reviews get an inordinate number of "not useful" votes. All this, despite the discussion boards reflecting mostly negative opinions.

I pose it to those reading such reviews to consider, who is likely to be giving these glowingly favorable reviews and marking views of contrary positions down so? Think about it.

That being said, Bob's Burgers is remarkable. Remarkable for the fact that it's one of the worst shows I've ever seen to be aired in a prime time slot. Also remarkable for the lack of even the most remedial value.

The voices were terrible, the themes superficial and sophomoric, the humor very "Jr High", the animation was neither "loose" in an artistic sense nor refined. It was just - BAD.

I do not like to come across as ripping on a show just because it's not my personal cup of tea. I at least like to look for the positives in a show, or recognize for whom it might be enjoyable (e.g. children). This show is truly remarkable in the sense I found almost no remedial positive values in it, nor could I envision a demographic for whom this would be truly enjoyable. Mediocre, even in the most unrefined of circles.

I gave it a fair chance, tried to keep an open mind, but whatever scraps of humor may have been contained within were overshadowed by the overt repulsiveness of the overall show.

40 out of 55 people found the following review useful:
The loud canned laugh track can't hide how dreadful this is!, 1 March 2010

Like many, I saw the ads during the Olympics. I also saw Seinfeld was attached to it, which, IMHO, gave me hope. So I decided to tune in. I thought I would like it, at least a little. A "guilty pleasure", if nothing else. It seemed a concept which had potential.

When I heard the cacophonous canned laughter which roared at every line, I felt myself tense up a little. Usually, the louder the canned laughter, the weaker the material. As I heard the script, the knot in my stomach only got worse.

The lines were insincere and contrived. The humor and jokes hackneyed. The situations unbelievable and ridiculous.

I honestly don't know what Jerry Seinfeld was thinking. While he contributed a scant bit of amusing banter in the pilot episode, it wasn't nearly enough to rescue what was otherwise a train wreck.

I wasn't expecting too much. As I wrote; I expected it to be cheap thrills and "guilty pleasure" material. That shouldn't have been too hard to achieve. Yet it failed to rise to even this level.

Maybe if they didn't try so hard, it would be better. This show seemed too desperate to scream "LAUGH AT US! PLEEEEAAASSE"! It's a sad waste of a concept with good potential and a waste of what could have been a good idea.

I guess it COULD get better with time, if it's completely re-vamped. But I'm not holding my breath.

32 out of 68 people found the following review useful:
Even WORSE than the commercials!, 9 October 2008

Hard to believe - but it is! I shouldn't be surprised. Commercials try to show how unique and "funny" a show can be. Yet not only didn't the commercials announcing this new show have the slightest iota of humor to me, I've not spoken with anyone who found the commercials amusing, either.

I don't recall ever seeing a pilot so devoid of cleverness, cuteness or humor. The characters were insufferable for the most part. Especially Selma Blair's (which is astonishing she would agree to be in a fecal sample of a show like this). The few moments where the characters were slightly redeemable were considerably hackneyed and trite.

Rare is the show with no redeemable qualities at all. And this is not one of them. Kath and Kim has exactly ONE redeeming quality - and that's Selma Blair. Despite wearing repugnant outfits and acting like a pitiful, whiny stupid excuse for a young woman who seems like a cross between Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, Selma is still nice to look at.

But if you want to look at Selma, go rent Hellboy. You'll at least maintain a modicum of respect for her instead of searing this abominable character into your brain to associate with her.

All in all, Kath and Kim is a waste and truly epitomizes the worst that TV is or ever has been. It sets a new low.

12 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
It's not Frasier (it's not as clever as Cheers, either), 1 May 2008

This show, unlike many of the other Fox sitcom "attempts" (coughcoughstackedcough) isn't so "BAD" as it's just not GOOD. Which is actually a commentary on the depth of the writing considering that "Back to You" has some noteworthy on-screen talent.

Like many others, after Frasier, I anxiously awaited seeing the great Kelsey Grammar in a new sitcom. Patricia Heaton and the wonderfully silly Fred Willard were draws as well.

Unfortunately, the script is not equal to the cast, especially Grammar. It could be likened to watching Ian McKellen on a soap opera. It's hard watching Kelsey Grammar go from one of the best, most intelligent sitcoms of all time to this hackneyed pap.

Indeed, "hackneyed" sums up "Back to You" quite well. There's little original in the situation, characters or humor. We've seen these characters and the same chemistry between them ad nauseam. The characters don't have depth or life; which takes some adjustment after the interesting character of Frasier.

And... the humor. It could almost be enjoyed; at times. Every now and then they have a one liner which is mildly funny in an adolescent way. However it's completely ruined by the ubiquitous laugh track and the overreaction of the cast to every minor pun. Nothing ruins a laugh like the laugh track and the cast trying to convince you that you should be doubled over laughing.

Overall, despite a cast worth watching, "Back to You" is fast food down from Frasier's cuisine. Some people will enjoy this show since it adheres to the hackneyed formula for brain-dead sitcoms. If you like sitcoms most people call "dumb" and "banal", you may enjoy "Back to You". However if you're looking for a comedy with any depth, originality or intelligence, look elsewhere.

Where, I don't know these days, but not here.

3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Don't let the corporate shills fool you - this was AWFUL!, 23 March 2007

You can always tell the comments which come from those with a vested interest in a movie like this. Amidst myriad comments decrying how AWFUL it was, you get a few who praise it - much worse, they actually cast votes as high as 10/10! No matter how much guilty pleasure one derives from dreck like this, by no stretch of the imagination could this film be ranked as high as the greatest films of all time!

Yet I'm not here to rail on those who pretend this is a good film. I have nothing against them. I merely bring them up to point out how pathetic this film truly is. That it will garner no sincere admiration of this (or nearly any) level.

Movies just don't get any more stupid. This movie ranks among the very worst, with no real redeeming qualities or enjoyability whatsoever. It is true garbage.

Sad to know this is what the Sci-Fi Channel has stooped to. Now they have become synonymous with movies which scrape the bottom of the barrel and are written for severely mentally disabled adults or below average children.

6 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Hee, hee, ha, ha, ho, ho, ho....huh?, 12 March 2007

Oh, yes, gotta love those laugh tracks!

I mean, what would we do if we weren't told when to laugh? If every quip was not indicated to us as being funny by uproarious laughter each time? Forget those shows which are CLEVER and require a modicum of brainpower to appreciate. In fact who needs cleverness at all when you have the LAUGH TRACK! When something is supposed to be funny - cue up that laugh track and we'll KNOW it's funny! Not because anything inherently made it funny but because we were told so.

Oh, the off-color jokes, you ask? Why did they bother to write them when we have the LAUGH TRACK telling us to be amused? Well, for SHOCK VALUE, of course! I mean, you must differentiate this laugh track guided show from the myriad other laugh-tracked shows. While we're laughing something will somehow deeply disturb us - even though we don't know why because we KNOW it's funny since the LAUGH TRACK is telling us so. So we're laughing and we're shocked. The one-two punch on which we dumbed-down Americans thrive today.

Yes, forget quality when you can have a LAUGH TRACK! HAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH hee hee ha ha ha ha ho ho..... HUH?

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