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This show shows promise. I think we all hated the first few episodes but for those of us who stuck with it we found out that as the series progressed it started to become genuinely funny. It is a wonderful, detached a quirky comedy with more than a few noticeable flaws. But these are outweighed by other laugh out loud moments the likes of which have only ever been seen on Red Dwarf. The characters, while underdeveloped, are humorous and quirky and add to the hilarity, especially York, the sadistic security officer. I know this show has very definite and profound flaws, but it is these moments of brilliance that make the show worth watching, that make all those cringe worthy flop gags worth cringing for, give this show a chance, you won't regret it.
Batman Begins (2005)
Batman Begins...to leave Joel Schumacher's mess in the dust.
For those of you who haven't seen this movie, I bet you're all wondering, is everyone raving about this movie just because it is a good Batman film, or just because its not a Joel Schumacher Batman film. Well I'm raving because it is neither, it is not done by Joel Schumacher (good) and it is not a good Batman film...it is the BEST Batman film EVER! This takes what was great about Tim Burton's films (and believe, a lot about them was great) and makes it even better! This is what Batman should be, epic. Even though he has no powers, Chris Nolan at the end of the day that Batman is a superhero. And superheroes need to save cities, rescue people and be very cool. But at the same time this is distinctly Batman, moody, dark and unforgiving, the fight scenes are very masterfully done, done from the villain's perspective instead of Batman's, making it believable that Batman is a figure of fear. The music is up to the standard of the 1989 version, contributing to the slow burning pace of Batman movies. All in all this is a very good movie, everything about gels together really well, one small niggle however with Scarecrow. He may be scary if you're drugged but otherwise he's just an idiot with a grain sack on his head but that is the only microscopic dent in this movies Batsuit.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
SHAZAM! Wrong superhero I know but it gets the point across.
Wow, this movie was sooo much better than the first one, and the first one was brilliant! If this is to become a trilogy then we can definitely see some darker themes creeping in here. The first movie had Peter Parker struggling with dual identity a little bit and then forgetting about it as soon as Mary-Jane got in trouble (again). This film really fleshes the plot and characters out, showing more depth to all of them, we find out that Peter is not just struggling but REALLY struggling. We also see the darker side of Osbourne, that he has grown from a bereaved rich boy into one who would readily kill in revenge. The cast is as ever, brilliant, Alfred Molina is genius casting for Doc Ock and they were really lucky that Tobey Maguire's back injury didn't stop him from being in the film as he remains excellent. Overall this film is a good continuation of the franchise and nicely sets things up for the third movie, watch it, now.
Batman Forever (1995)
Holy contributing to the death of Batman Batman!
I admit this movie is not as bad as Batman and Robin, but it sets the franchise on the slippery slope to Family B-movieville. For one thing, the movie is almost completely miscast, Val Kilmer is no Michael Keaton, not pulling off the whole haunted recluse vibe as well as Keaton did. Tommy Lee Jones is not suited to the over the top villain archetype and it shows. Jim Carrey as The Riddler may seem inspired, and for a while it works, and about halfway through the movie you feel that the Riddler is wearing a bit thin. Chris O'Donnel is more of a publicity stunt, pandering to the younger audience as the sort of toughguy but also goodguy character. The only cast members that really work are Nicole Kidman, who has the perfect soothing voice and eyes that make her a very convincing love interest. And good old Michael Gough, he was always good as Alfred. In this film we can see the one liners that marred the fourth film begin to creep in, Forever walks a very fine line, and came so very close to falling on the wrong side of it.
One final thing: Did we ever need Robin?
Batman & Robin (1997)
Holy Crap Batman!
Dammit this movie is awful, and I don't mean awful, I mean awwwwfffulll. Everything about it screams "60's TV show". The first two batman movies were great as they were dark and moody, which is what Batman is meant to be. Thank god for Batman Begins swooping in and saving the franchise from having this atrocity as the last film in the series. Everything about stinks of family entertainment. Batman is not family entertainment! Everything from the HAHA not-so-much one liners to the infamous silver-with-nipples-on bodysuit. If anyone says "Hey shall we rent Batman and Robin on DVD" render them unconscious and watch either the first two or the fifth one and leave this limp leaf hanging from the Batman tree in the mud.
The fat cat has burst
They took Garfield and turned it into a kid's movie. Why? The comic strips were very much adult oriented, in a way that it would be seen as someone perused thought a newspaper on their lunchbreak. The mish mash of characters made it so charming, Garfield the lazy cat, John was a loser, Liz wanted nothing to do with him and Odie was very much just the dumb dog in the corner. So when they took this movie and turned it into a gooey, toddler pleasing fest where they all live happily ever after, what were they thinking? John is not so much a loser as just a bystander, Liz is a romantic love interest who actually has feelings for John which completely throws the whole "John is a loser" dynamic of the comics. I don't like feel good comedies as you can probably tell and I certainly don't like it when they take something as iconic as Garfield and turn it into gooey, dumb, Disney-like film. This movie is not all bad, Bill Murray's voice over is superb and he was well cast, Garfields sarcastic banter is present and correct, causing the occasional chuckle but never really soaring to greatness. The rest of the cast is competent as is the directing, you can't help but feel that this movie might have actually been good if it wasn't such a...kid's movie.
Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)
Talking 'bout my Generation
This movie is everything Insurrection should have been, when I saw Insurrection I just thought "please god let them make another one". Insurrection was not a good movie by any measure and no good as the sign off for one of Treks most beloved crews. I'm so glad that Nemesis was made, this is how you give a sign off to a series. TNG goes out with a bang, with plenty of action and drama along with it. This movie shows that Star Trek can be more than a Utopian view of the future, it shows that Star Trek can be deep, with events that strike deep into the characters, and your souls. It shows Trek can be hard hitting, edgy and above all, dark. The movie takes all the emotions you have built up over the seven seasons of the show and the last three movies and brings them to a stunning climax. Data's death is suitably heroic and really rounds of the movie in a way that is truly fitting to one of Trek's most enduring and well loved icons. This is definitely a candidate for one of the best Star Trek, nay, best SciFi movies of all time.
Joss Whedon has a habit of making you like things without knowing why
This is a good show, lets not beat about the bush, its cancellation must have ripped a hole in the universe somewhere. Unfortunately, shows of this calibre are cancelled all the time in favour of tripe like Charmed and Mutant, and the big bad fad that is reality TV. Fundamentally, this show is very similar to Battlestar Galactica (and for those anti-Galactica people out there, you'll want to watch Firefly anyway as I'm about to tell you)in the fact that it is character oriented space drama, not action or adventure (although it does have its fair share of action). But something about this show rises it above Galactica, the main characters are Anti heroes, much like Galactica, but the guys in Firefly are not one dimensional (if any of you have read my review of Serenity you know what's coming). The characters have facets and are not divided into basic archetypes like "moody" and "disturbed". Just when you have a character figured out (Jayne surprisingly being the most complex) they go and do something that blows your assumptions out of the water. I often say Battlestar Galactica is the best show of TV at the moment, but Firefly is not on TV now, is it?
A good ending.
A very nice ending to a very nice series. The Peacekeeper Wars maintains its moodiness while still managing to be an out and out sci fi presentation. The plot lines left painfully dangling are wrapped up with no cop outs (ie, lets just forget the whole Aeryn and Crichton being dead thing and bring them back with no explanation, FYI, that did not happen). The only downside is, unlike Serenity, you really had to see the series to fully appreciate the movie (it might have something to do with the fact that Farscape got more backstory in 4 seasons that Firefly did in just 1). This film/miniseries/whatever you want to call it is stylishly done with brilliant action set pieces and heart breaking deaths (telling you who dies might just give too much away and my humble spoiler alert would not be enough) and at the end of the film when Crichton holds up his baby, you can't help but go all warm and tingly inside.
Ode to a scuzzer
Why did I not buy this game when it came out? I have only just recently got and I have to say it is pure genius. It is funny as hell, William Franklyn is perfect as VAL, the on-board AI computer. The whole game has a very Babylon 5 feel to it (apocalyptic Galactic War, last of the Startopian stations blah bleh etc and so on). You must keep all the aliens on your station happy, you can even employ some of them to work for you (research wise etc). You can even have opposing factions on-board the station who you must either ally with or destroy. The game has a fantastic sense of humour and makes fun of everything under the sun (not just other sci fi stuff but the aliens characters also make fun of various elements of our own society, I'll let you find out when you buy the game, which you will!) This is, in a nutshell, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy crossed with Babylon 5 and Red Dwarf (if only for the Scuzzer maintenance robots) I leave you with a comment from the ever funny VAL "You know that Ice age on your planet a few million years ago? I did that!"