Reviews written by registered user
Hotoil

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97 reviews in total 
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2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Lacks ... Humor., 6 February 2003

This show seems to have been aimed at a more conventional crowd than Cleese, Chapman and Palin's work with Monty Python. In fact, it has very, very little of the subversive and hilarious wit they displayed in that comedy troupe. The premise doesn't give much room for anything but Cleese portraying an intentionally annoying character (a noisy father disrupting his TV-watching children, an overly considerate date, a loud middle-aged woman in a movie theater) and noticeably bothering a character usually portrayed by Michael Palin. The characters don't have anything very funny about them, they are very straighforward and do nothing but annoy or get annoyed in the exact way you would expect based on Cleese's narrated set-up. There aren't any twists. There are very few moments when you get any hint of how brilliant these guys could be on their television shows and movies as Monty Python. In fact, it's kind of annoying seeing such talented men wasting away in such an unfunny piece of work - even if you're a Python fan, theres nothing really necessary about 'How To Irritate People', though the dedicated will inevitably check it out since theres almost always a copy by the Flying Circus videos at any rental store.

Pranks TV! (1988) (V)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Not as merry or interesting as it may seem, 18 January 2003

A very drab, poorly made video on the art of pranks. I expected some colorful stories and footage of neat subversive pranks ... the packaging actually promised this. What I ended up renting was a really low-energy video that featured a few people talking briefly about some things they had done to shock people. A few seemed like intelligent and potentially interesting specimens, particularly the mechanic who liked to alter billboards and Karen Finley, who liked to create uncomfortable situations by playing on peoples gender preconceptions. But overall, even the interviews with somewhat intriguing people were dry, vague and extremely brief. Some other 'pranksters' - like the man who said he repressed his homicidal urges by strapping explosives to his body or biting the heads of rats in crowded places, or the 'punk rocker' who hung dead cats and dogs from his body when performing at shows - were just annoying to watch, even if the production itself wasn't as horrid as it is. A complete waste of time and video tape. I recommend checking out the book Billboard Liberation Front & Friends: THE ART & SCIENCE OF BILLBOARD IMPROVEMENT, though.

5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
It Flopped...and Not Without Cause., 15 August 2002
9/10

Honestly, this movie has a good heart. The puppetry is amazing. The underlying message is nice. But not even inventive special effects and good themes can save this movie from being ...bland. Yes, I dare say the Dark Crystal, now a cult favorite and a work of the deservedly legendary Jim Henson - kind of failed for a reason.

First, it's far too scary for most children. Too dark to be a kids movie. And for older audiences...it's likely to be a bore. Despite boasting it's share of top-rate eye candy (the puppetry and special effects are way ahead of their time, showing a remarkable amount of ingenuity and restraint!) - theres not much in the way of story and character development. The plot is rather conventional in form and clear from the beginning, offering absolutely no twists or turns along the way. The main character has absolutely no personality - this hurts it even more. A predictable story is bad enough, but a bland star makes it difficult to sit through. The best scenes take place with him out of the picture.

It's not a total washout though. The visuals alone are enough to make many people sit through it without any problems, they are that good. And there are some choice sequences that hit all the right notes (mostly near the beginning). The overall theme has many parallels with our own world, and some good insight into the relationship between good and evil. There are also quite a few laughs, some of which are intentional.

But damn, if they had done a little more work on making the story more original and rewarding to follow - and made the lead character more than an empty shell with which to stitch together the plot - it could have been the masterpiece it sometimes appears to be.

Shoddy, thrown-together $equal, 10 August 2002

Obviously, this film was rushed out to cash in on the success of the original. But the worst part is that the filmmakers do a horrible job of disguising this fact...

Most of it looks to have been filmed in front of a blue screen, in a studio. Few or no outdoor scenes actually shot outdoors or on a nicely crafted set...just actors doing their work in front of a blue screen so they can quickly paint in scenery and props with a computer and capitalize on the popularity of the first SPY KIDS movie as soon as possible. This just makes the whole thing look cheap. That, and the computer animation (which there is a lot of) is awful...I've seen much better in movies much older than this, which is another sign that little care was taken in order to get the movie out fast.

But the ultimate sign of how empty this affair is would have to be the script, which is unoriginal and unimaginative. It takes a Jurassic Park type story, recycles some elements of the first movie, and throws in a sitcomish plot involving the Spy Kids grandparents.

This will probably entertain young children, but its fairly bottom-of-the-barrel entertainment.

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Another Mario Classic!, 3 August 2002

Adds many unique elements to the classic Mario scenario. A great sequel to Mario 64. Controls are familiar to those who know the previous adventure on Nintendo64, though slightly enhanced. What can I say? It's addictive and a must-play for GameCube owners, and it gives most video game addicts a reason to rent or own a Gamecube.

0 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Painfully Unfunny, 16 March 2002

This is an awful movie. The first 2/3 of it are just frantic, cheesy hospital jokes, and near the end it becomes an awkward mix between true romance/drama and slapstick comedy. Don't be fooled by the long list of popular TV actors and actresses here...I'm not even sure this movie made it to theatres, it's so bad, and theres a reason it's never on television. Not recommended unless you are very easily amused, or just like watching bad movies.

"Oz" (1997)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Uncensored, but fairly Uninspired too, 13 January 2002

This series began pretty interesting, but has been gradually declining in quality since the first season. Just because it's filled with lots of graphic violence, nudity and uncensored language doesn't make it gritty & realistic - the dialogue, for one, sucks. It just tries to be too poetic and uses the same 'voice' for just about every character, and few of the actors on the show are capable of rising above this flaw. Many of the stories are interesting, but the way they are presented is rather weak. And now I hear they are about to do a musical episode? I think this show is going on too long, and falling into the same creative pitfalls of your average network series.

The Godson (1998)
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
The Horror!, 23 December 2001

Why do members of great comedy troupes tend to participate in mostly crap when their group's disband, no matter how funny and intelligent they are?

Eric Idle of Monty Python recently starred in the awful sitcom "Suddenly Susan". Python's John Cleese is doing the rounds in every sitcom, Hollywood comedy or commercial that comes calling as well. David Cross of the brilliant HBO series Mr. Show can now be seen in wretched films like "Scary Movie 2" or in guest spots on the bland sitcom "Just Shoot Me". Former Kids in the Hall cast members have ended up in lame comedys, sitcoms & even Saturday Night Live.

Kevin McDonald, once a hilarious 'Kid In The Hall' himself, is now doing schlock like The Godson. It is sad. He's a funny guy - most of the time, but the key is moderation, restraint and timing. This movie exhibits none, and McDonald's hyperactive and insecure character is just totally out of control. Does't help that he's surrounded by horrible jokes.

So Kevin McDonald continues to the tradition of great sketch comedians who don't seem to give a damn when it comes to working outside of their element. Unfortunately, anybody who first comes upon the Kids in the Hall AFTER seeing him in this may have grown to hate him.

1 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
A Classic, 22 December 2001
2/10

What can I say? This is a groundbreaking comedy. Howard F. Howard is obsessed with the Three Stooges - not only do we get classic clips of the Stooges, but hilarious all-new adventures featuring a bunch of Stooge obsessives and impersonators. It's not only funny, but you learn something...about yourself. Should have been an Oscar contender but god forbid they recognize slapstick comedy as the vital art it is. Bravo!

3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
One of the Smartest Satires TV has to offer, 16 December 2001

I gave up on this show shortly into it's second season, when it began to get very repetitive and boring - the jokes were relying on the same gags and swear words, and each plot was about the town being attacked by some supernatural force.

But after catching the movie & the bulk of the show's 5th season this year, I must say it seems to have bounched back. It's actually become a very clever satire - this season episodes dealt with Sex Education in Public Schools, the war on terrorism, gays in the boy scouts, the media scandals of Gary Condit, the Ramsy's and O.J. Simpson - all better than anything else on television. Yes, it's also raunchier than ever, but it's well-timed and usually goes for much more than mere shock value.

Seeing the Simpsons has lost much of it's satarical edge over the years and become little more than 30-minutes of badly-timed animated slapstick, the reinvigorated South Park is quite a blessing for those of us who hunger for society and pop culture to be brutally and tastelessly ripped apart.


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