Reviews written by registered user
|26 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was really looking forward to this show, and now I decided to write a
review, because it's starting to make me angry. And because it seems
that the ratings are based on what people imagined this would be like.
Like I did.
We follow the lives of three women living in Monterey, California, and the endgame supposedly is that no life is perfect. Right from the start we know there will be a murder at the end, and we watch the events leading up to it. We see flash-forwards.
I am 5 episodes in, and since this is supposed to be a 7-part series, I think I can now write the review. I am still watching this because the houses are AMAZING. I am still watching this because I cannot fathom how this topnotch cast could be choosing to invest in something so mediocre (at best).
The "murder among the rich and beautiful + coastal houses" has been done before, it's "The Affair". And it was intense, and interesting, and sexy. This one isn't. The murder plot is completely disconnected from the rest of the action. This show could have been "The O.C." for a more mature audience, but it tries to be "The Affair", and fails.
And building a show around beautiful rich people, their rivalries, their sex lives and their mansions, is at least an honest thing to do. Six-year-olds (not one, many) who talk like 40-year-olds, isn't. Unemployed single mothers in their twenties moving to a rich-as-f**k town, isn't. (And what does she do all day? She jogs.)
And finally, my biggest issue with "Big Little Lies". What this show has taught me about men. If your husband beats you, and then you have great sex, and he looks hot, then it's okay. You should "work on the relationship". If your husband likes to cook, is polite and considerate, then you are not gonna be having any sex. You are probably cheating on him already. Oh, and there is a third type of man in the show, the rapist. Two episodes still left for someone to mention that beating your wife is, like, not okay. So, there is still hope. (Even though this guy quite conveniently is always able to avoid her face and her arms, and to stop immediately when the kids enter. Great guy.) Otherwise, these stereotypes of characters are offensive to both women and men.
Even if something happens and these last two episodes miraculously turn good, it doesn't change the fact that more than half of this show was already bad.
In the Borgens family, the acclaimed author father, the college student
freshly published author daughter, and the socially awkward high-school
student son, also a writer to-be, are all stuck in problems of love.
Samantha's story was the most relatable for me. You could understand
how she is afraid of getting hurt by love, and how the plan she has
revised to protect herself seems to make perfect sense, while at the
same time you know she is not gonna be able to go through with it.
Rusty's story, although not particularly new, is very well-written and
Nat Wolff really brings it to life. The father's story was for me the
least intriguing, but still okay.
The cast is top-notch. Kinnear and Connelly, great. Logan Lerman. Yeah, he's golden, end of story. If you want more on that I suggest reading some review on "the perks of being a wallflower" (and btw that's another film to watch if you liked this one). Nat Wolff was amazing, a promising new talent, and I am waiting to see what he does next! And finally, Kristen Bell has a small role, and she is funny as always, a great addition for a bit of a comic break to the film's stream.
In the meantime, the love of books is perpetrating the film. It makes you wanna go and get lost in a book, it reminds you of that feeling when you read something you love, something that completely absorbs you. The little written lines in the character introduction part were also a nice touch.
The movie has a number of unrealistic moments, which other reviewers properly mention. It's just that... I didn't really care much about those little flaws. This is not about whether you are too young to be a published author at the age of 19, or whether it's feasible to carry around an amount of pot enough to make a salad. Realism was not the point. Plus, as Sam says, there are the realists and there are the romantics, and I guess this film is a romantic's work. Just the ending was a bit too happy for my taste - after all, I remain a cynical realist despite loving this film...
Overlook the mediocre ratings, trust that Kinnear and Connelly chose well, and watch this movie. It's simple, it's sweet, it's good stuff.
"Hit the floor" follows young dancer Ahsha Hayes, as she joins the
Devil Girls, the dance/cheer-leading squad of the LA Devils basketball
team. The story is nothing special, quite over-the-top and predictable,
involving Ahsha's mother, who is a former Devil Girl and doesn't want
her daughter involved in the world of professional basketball, the
team's coach, who used to date Ahsha's mother, the squad's director,
the squad's bitchy captain, the star player who has a crush on Ahsha,
Ahsha's boyfriend etc etc... They all get mixed-up in a world of fancy
parties, LA villas and heavy eye makeup. Plotting, sexing and,
thankfully, dancing! Which is the best thing in the show. The Devil
Girl performances. Very entertaining, well-executed, video-clip style
It's a pity that Ahsha, the main character, get's boring really quick. Jelena, the bitchy villain, though a caricature, is more fun to watch. The rest of the cast ranges from the guy who used to play TV's Clark Kent, to the guy who used to play Bob Pinciotti, to ridiculously muscular guys who look like living J.I. Joe Barbie dolls. Look out for Katherine Bailess though, who is shining through as the ex-stripper Kyle, adding a little bit of spice with her witty lines and her southern accent.
I couldn't believe the 5.5 average! People act like this movie is your
guide to having sex with minors! Did they not see the rest of the
movie? The tag line "this summer growing up is optional" is misplaced,
because it makes you think this is a comedy; well it isn't. And maybe
that's a reason why so many people didn't like it? They wanted to see a
comedy and ended up with a sad not-yet-mid-life crisis drama. Or maybe
when you can't relate to the problems the movie is dealing with, it's
easy to focus simply on the love story and miss the point? This is a
powerful character movie where every one of the main characters shows
us something to relate too, or, as I perceived it, they all portray
sides of the same issue.
Leigh (Kristen Bell) feels confused, depressed, lost. She is almost 30 years old and realizes she doesn't want to keep on living a life that does not fulfill her. She shouldn't have to. Leigh wants to feel alive again, she is tired of not being happy. "You look sad" Jason says to her, and that's exactly how she looks. She was a valedictorian, with high expectations, and then when she did grow up, it is not nice as promised. She wants to escape, bury her head in the sand, feel good again, feel alive. Is it bad to want to feel good? When Jason holds her in his arms, towering over her as she is so petite, she looks sheltered again, and "you will never be sheltered again", she tells Jason. She is "sucking his youth like a vampire".
Todd (Martin Starr) and Mel (Mamie Gummer) are Leigh's high-school friends. Todd, still living in a small town, still in the closet, works a job where he will not be missed if he goes away for half an hour. He looks sad too. "Why don't you leave?" Matty asks the obvious question; "I just can't". Inertia, fear. Growing-up (for real) is scary. The look on his face when Mel yells at him "what's wrong with you?", is so real, he looks so hurt. When Leigh starts her "escape trip" he is eager to follow. We will see him fall low in the process, but at the end, really grow. Martin Starr, and Kristen Bell as well, prove here that they can be great in non-comedic roles as well. Mel also follows her two friends in their carefree journey, although reluctantly. She looks like she has her life together. Married, a vice-principal, trying to get pregnant. A responsible grown-up. The picture of the perfect life, but she is stressed and unhappy. That "perfect" mold doesn't quite fit her. At the end, she get's to be more conscious of her wants and her choices.
To relive their youth, Leigh, Todd and Mel hang out with a group of 16-year-old boys, who are in their turn frustrated with being misunderstood teenagers in a small town. The interactions between the two age groups were beautiful, as each learns and grows from the other. The young cast was excellent too. Especially David Lambert as Jason, who did a great job looking like the mixture of child and adult that a teenager is.
The setting of the pool, Leigh's pale looks, the nature hikes, the quiet gas station at night, create a fitting melancholic atmosphere to surround the story. When the characters grow up at the end, Jason and Todd for the first time, Leigh and Mel for a second time, it's a mature choice, a step forwards. Time does only move in one direction, but swimming is different than just floating along.
Roz and Lil are best friends since childhood, now in their forties.
They both look gorgeous. Their 18-year old sons, who look 28, are also
best friends. They are surfers ('nough said). The sons spend every
night drinking wine with their mothers. If that is normal 18-year old
behavior in Australia, then OK, I didn't know. After all the wine,
Lil's son gets together with Roz. Okay. And then, Roz's son gets with
Lil. Hm. Everybody's happy and in love. Then some drama occurs, to
create somewhat of a plot.
The movie feels very amateurish. The pace is slow, the script gets ridiculous at times, the film is much longer than needed, the dialog made me laugh at some points (unintentionally I suppose?). It's pointless. How did Naomi Watts and Robin Wright end up in this? Basically, it only serves as eye candy. You have an amazing ocean landscape, two fantastic beach houses on a cliff, and four beautiful actors in swimwear. So, half-naked people swim around, drink wine gazing at the ocean view and have sex. For 1 hour and 40 minutes.
For someone who has watched a few (or more...) TV series, this is a
classic, by-the-book, teen show. Like The O.C., 90210 and Gossip Girl
have already proved, when you put pretty faces in pretty, and
expensive, clothes, you have yourself a TV show.
Jane is a high school student and she is supposed to be unpopular, an outsider, "dateless" to quote the storyline description. I am not sure how this fits with her going to school every day in extravagant dresses, high heels and tons of makeup.
Jane loves fashion and designs most of her clothes. After a misunderstanding, she lands her dream-job, assistant in a big-time fashion company. Where they think she is an adult. Now she has to juggle two secret lives, one in high school, and one in high fashion.
The plot revolves around troubles Jane faces at school, at work or at home. She always manages to cope, with some help from her best friend, Billy.
The cons: The whole situation is completely unrealistic, from Jane's clothes, to her platonic friendship with Billy, to people getting jobs at their local high school whenever they feel like it. The dialog is totally predictable. If you've watched high school shows before you can guess what the next line's going to be. Jane has an annoying quality I can't really put my finger on... but I didn't like the main character, and that of course is a problem.
The pros: No one expects you to take this seriously. The clothes look good. Billy looks even better. All of the supporting cast is lovely. Jane always manages to turn things around and make it work, which gives the show a nice optimistic note.
It's light entertainment, very enjoyable, and I would like to see how it would all turn out if there was gonna be a season 2...
P.S. I kept wondering why she has to change when going from school to work. Her outfits are already over-the-top. It would make more sense if she wore something more "normal" to school.
P.S.2 The first half of the season is better paced, in the second half new characters are introduced and that usually stretches the plot a bit much.
A 4.6 rating average? Why? What was so bad about this movie? I read the
other reviews to see whether there was something I missed... Nope. Some
of the other reviewers don't even have the characters' names straight.
And I concluded that most of them didn't get the movie at all. I
sincerely hope they didn't get it because they've never been through
anything similar. So I decided to write a review of my own, and praise
this highly underrated movie.
Lola is at a high-point in her life. She lives in New York City, she is working on her PhD thesis, and she is about to marry her dreamy-looking boyfriend of years. If it seems too good to be true it probably is. When the above-mentioned boyfriend gets cold feet and dumps her, everything comes crumbling down. She cries, comfort-eats, sleeps on the floor and goes to school looking like a zombie. She employs her two best friends, Alice and Henry, to help her get out of this funk. Things get complicated in the process though, mostly due to her feeling confused and ambivalent... Enter the classic coming-of-age, finding yourself stuff, the "choosing to be alive" as Lola phrases it. Sprinkled with some hilarious spot-on bits of dialogue, usually from Alice (Zoe Lister Jones), the friend who's there mainly for the comic-relief, and does excellent in it I might add.
I have to agree here with some of the negative critique. Yes, it is difficult to feel sorry for Lola when she lives in a beautiful New York apartment, walks around in cute little skirts and high heels looking gorgeous, continues to look gorgeous despite all the comfort-eating, and sleeps with three different guys in the course of an 87 min movie. True that. However, the emotional turmoil, obsessive thinking, failing to accept reality, and all those feelings that follow a heartbreak were there, mindfully portrayed. Greta Gerwig was an ideal choice for the part, since she evokes this next-door-girl quality that makes it easy for the audience to sympathize and identify with her. I also found her little flaws of the "wholesome" diet and the cleansing potion thermos super funny!
At parts of the movie I could guess what the next line was going to be, and not because it was predictable; because it was genuine and it felt real.
"The Hunger Games" movie is a failed attempt to combine "1984" and
"Battle Royale", and then sugar-coat it with some teenage love. Equals
I haven't read the books, but anyone who has read books that have been adapted to films can tell what a bad adaptation this one is. With the usual problems: it drags way too long, there are boring pointless flashbacks that felt like there was a mistake in the reel, the characters come out as indifferent and shallow (yes, it's so much easier when you can explain everything in writing, huh?), the villains are not convincingly evil enough and again have no depth as characters. Well, okay, then maybe there are some good action scenes? Nope. The visual effects are terrible and no fighting is actually portrayed in the fighting scenes.
I honestly can't see why there was such a fuss over this movie. Oh yeah, it is a series of books aimed at teenagers, sounds like a good chance to make money. When you are dealing with issues such as absolutism and children killing each other you can't expect to "keep it light". If you can't do it right then you shouldn't do it at all. Make a movie on vampire romance instead.
I have read and watched bad adaptations, like the Harry Potter books and movies, and good ones too, like the Lord of the Rings books and movies, and my opinion on "The Hunger Games" movie is: Don't waste your time. Go watch the real stuff. It's called "Battle Royale".
"Lunch Queen". Hmmm. It is as bad as the title implies.
The story goes like this: The Nabeshima brothers run a small restaurant in Tokyo. It's a western-type restaurant and they like to stick to their traditional flavor and keep it low-key. After a kind of a misunderstanding let's say, it's not so important why, Mugita Natsumi poses as the older brother's fiancée and starts working at the restaurant and living with the family, while supposedly waiting for him to return home. The presence of a woman in this all-boys home stirs things up. Okay, not that much, this is a Japanese drama after-all...
The main problem is pretty much nothing happens. And it is so slow-paced and boring... Yes, Tsumabuki Satoshi is very cute, but how long can you stand him acting so dumb? Not that long. And their food was SO delicious that people had to close their eyes to bare that much happiness. Because they had a bite of omu-rice. It reminded me of those stupid 90's commercials where beautiful women have a spoonful of yogurt so sensationally... yikes.
Bottom-line: If you need your dose of Japanese drama try "Kimi wa Petto", "Voice: Inochi naki mono no koe" or "Hana zakari no kimitachi e", because this one isn't worth it.
First of all, I haven't read the book, this is my opinion solely on the
series. I do however plan to read the book, since many other reviewers
praise it so much.
I guess it was a mistake to watch this right after I finished watching Game of Thrones. This is NO Game of Thrones. It is also set in the Middle Ages, but it is not "dark" enough. There is also some bloodshed, but it is nowhere close to the gore in Game of Thrones. And there is some sex in it, but again, that was more fairy tale -ish love, it was not really sexy...
There are many flaws in this series, flaws that even someone not familiar with British medieval history, like myself, can notice. Stuff like how the dialogue got so out of place at certain points it made me laugh. Or how after Aliena and Richard are stripped of their title and castle, Aliena decides to make money by working as a merchant. So she just trades fur and just gets rich. Like everybody else around was just stupid and didn't think to work and earn money. She, a woman in the Middle Ages, a princess who had never worked in her entire life, could just do it.
Another thing that bothered me was that the actors did not look convincingly medieval, they looked like modern people in an odd setting. I am not sure why... Maybe their make-up, or the way they talked, or the way they carried themselves in general? I cannot really place it, but they felt odd. Especially Ellen. Every scene she was in felt like I had just found Waldo! Not to mention the fact that they weren't aging... The plot covers something like 15 years, yet Ellen looks 30 when her son is 18, and 30 when her son is 30. Another problem with the casting was Alison Pill as Maud. I kept waiting for her to start playing the drums or something! She looked nothing like a medieval Queen.
Moreover, this is a clear case of the good guys fighting the bad guys. The bad guys' sole reason of existence is to do bad things to the good guys. Why? We are given some reasons in the beginning, but at the middle of the series I had to try and remember what the reasons were. They seemed to do "bad" things because they enjoyed being mean. And the line "who do you hate the most?" just stresses this. It was like the Queen in Snow White asking her mirror who is the prettiest. The villains in this series are equivalent to villains from a Disney movie. No depth and no character whatsoever.
The story revolving around the character of Richard also gives many opportunities for "whaaat...?"s. He was a total coward at first and then miraculously turned to the greatest knight in the kingdom, all because he went to train in France. How exactly did this happen? Then he fought for King Stephen, the one who executed his father for treason. Instead of Maud, the one his father tried to help. And so on.
Why I gave this a seven then? Well, despite its flaws, I actually enjoyed it! I liked the many different character plots connected around the building of the Cathedral. Every time I visit a medieval Cathedral I wonder and try to picture its story... How it was used originally, how did they manage to build it. And I know this is not a historically correct answer, but it's a perfectly suitable fictional one. And as far as television making goes, this had a little bit of everything: numerous characters to like or dislike, love, fighting, treason, plotting. And okay I admit, I do have a soft spot for Eddie Redmayne. Even though his character comes out a bit inefficient at times, if not stupid.
This is light entertainment, not history, and if you are looking for a fun way to spend a few evenings, it is a nice choice. Not a great one, but good enough.
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