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Mission Pluto (2015) (TV)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Jason Silva is very pleased with himself, 25 September 2017

This documentary is presented by somebody called Jason Silva. The documentary has a presenter because unless there is a presenter with lots of personality we won't watch it. Jason is very pleased with himself. He speaks in a very loud voice which is necessary because we are all children. Sometimes he speaks so loudly that he spits. He is very handsome. Well he certainly believes he is. He is much more important than Pluto. Science is very boring unless it is presented by handsome and interesting people like Jason. Jason makes it interesting by shouting a lot and saying the same thing quite often. There are a few actual scientists in this documentary but as they are boring and not handsome like Jason we don't see too much of them. We are all stupid children and so there is no point giving us any of the complicated science stuff anyway. I learnt a lot. Though I can't remember exactly what.

8 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Illogical and lazy -, 11 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have no problem with a film based on an Implausible Idea. Talking plants? Time travel? Ghosts? Fine. All absolutely fine. BUT if a film is going to be based on an Implausible Idea, the Implausible Idea has to be worked through in a consistent, rigorous and coherent way. Otherwise, it is not an Implausible Idea, it is a Stupid Idea.

This film is a good example of the worst of the genre. The Implausible Idea is a world in which people do not know how to lie. Fine. A totally honest world is undoubtedly implausible but contains plenty of comedy potential. But what we are actually given is a confused and confusing world that has little to do with the title of the film.

Thus Gervais conflates emotional incontinence with honesty. Apparently being 100% honest means blurting out your feelings without being asked. So we have endless scenes in which characters randomly announce their current state of sexual arousal or their intense hatred for each other. What this has to do with an inability to lie, is beyond me. Being honest does not mean announcing to my date that I feel like masturbating.

Gervais also conflates honesty with gullibility. Even if I believe that nobody lies, that does not mean that I think everything they say is true. People make mistakes without lying. But Gervais treats them as though they are the same. So we have the absurd scene in which Gervais tells a woman that the world will end unless she sleeps with him there and then. And she believes him because apparently this is what would happen in a world without lying. The possibility of error is not allowed for, even though this does not begin to follow from the premise of the film. Similar is the scene in which the Gervais character tells the bank teller that his account has huge sums of money in it even though the computer shows US$ 50. In a world in which people do not lie, they will still be prone to error. Why does this not occur to the teller? Absurd and silly.

Gervais also suggests that if lying is unimaginable then so is fiction, drama, theatre etc, because they are all lies. More nonsense. Is a fairy story that is known to be a fairy story, a lie? Of course not. Yet this idea underlies one of the chief running gags in the film.

And worst of all apparently if there is no lying then people will believe any prediction about the future. But if I say "There is a heaven", it is not an accusation of lying to say that I might be mistaken in my belief. A point repeatedly overlooked or ignored.

I could go on. It is all deeply irritating and the result is a film in which events and actions are illogical and random. Stuff happens that has no logical connection with the Implausible Idea that supposedly forms the premise of the film.

If the film were sufficiently funny then I suppose I might have born it, but it isn't and I couldn't, so I walked out.

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Quite pacey - but some silliness, 5 December 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Warning Spoilers follow:

This was a pacey and generally quite well written episode with plenty of incident to maintain interest. Killer Rapist is developing into a proper character and his relationship with Greg is handled well. Some nice lines and a well judged fight.

The Eco Centre bit was also nicely done - some interesting questions about justice and law in a society that lacks the resources for either.

I also liked the father/daughter/son story (though see below), although I am a sucker for that kind of tear jerker.

Now for the silliness:

1. Re. the weeping daughter who would supposedly not see her father again, why didn't they just say "We'll bring her back in a week and if she's OK, then you know there's no problem and you can all come out". Bleedin obvious I would have thought.

2. What on earth is going on in the creepy science centre? Given that everybody in the world is either dead, has had the disease or is immune, why do they NEED a vaccine? What's it for? What's the point?

3. The test subject has got the disease. The rest of them presumably are susceptible. So why are they wondering about in silly little dental nurse masks that wouldn't keep out a blind mosquito, let alone a killer virus? What nonsense. Couldn't the BBC shell out for proper isolation suits? This is the sort of cheapskate mistake that marks the difference between British TV and the top class U.S. series.

4. Please can they stop blathering on about "immune system" collapses. The disease is an acute virus, not a chronic infection. Get it right!

Rant over. I'll still be watching next week...

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Not quite up to the standards of the original but worth watching, 25 November 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Minimal spoilers follow...

This was a hard act to follow. Although the original "Survivors" went downhill after the first series, the early episodes were memorable. The first episode of the remake doesn't match the standards of the original but it isn't a bad effort. Some random comments:

1. The overall dramatic effect is a little too "Casualty" for my liking. Some of the acting on the hammy side, uncertain dialogue, heavy-handed music. Didn't quite have the creeping sense of menace I was hoping for/expecting.

2. Some silly touches. Abbey leaving a note for Peter on a bit of paper stuck on the door with a bit of blue tac, which wouldn't last five minutes. The bloke who blows up the petrol station for no discernible reason. The writers sensibly avoided too much science (which they would undoubtedly have got wrong). But they couldn't resist some references to "auto-immune" and such-like, which didn't add anything and made no sense.

3. I'm not at all sure about the actress who plays Abbey. She doesn't have the pertness of the original. The chemistry between Greg and Abbey was important. It's hard to see anything like that developing here.

4. On the other hand, KillerRapist Bloke is an interesting addition to the cast (will he turn out to be a Goody?) Some excellent cinematography of empty roads and the like. The scene where the boy wakes up is haunting. The last two minutes introduce a new sub-plot (things seen from the other side, as it were) which looks lively.

Perhaps the greatest problem the series faces is that the idea of the apocalyptic killer virus has been taken to another level by 28 Days/Weeks Later. Of course Survivors is not really about that; it is about what comes after. But still, comparisons are unavoidable and Survivors inevitably seems rather milky compared to 28 Days.

Still, enjoyable enough and I shall continue to watch.