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Not even for Tom Hiddleston
This movie has a group of unconnected people (despite being "family" and "friends") who never do or say anything, on vacation in a villa in Italy, in one scene after another of them situated in places (e.g. eating pizza, at a pub, walking, swimming, drinking, smoking, towing a car). They are self-absorbed without having any redeeming qualities even among "oldest friends;" they are to a person nasty, yet boring. Literally no one ever says anything. One time the father screamed at the kids. That's about it. Probably the most interesting thing about it was that once the actress playing "Anna" called Tom Hiddleston "Tom" instead of his character's actual name, "Oakley," in a scene. Utterly pointless.
If you want to see a movie with Tom Hiddleston that actually has characters in it, see "The Deep Blue Sea." They're jerks too, but it, by contrast, has character, dialogue and plot.
The Bling Ring (2013)
I hated it but there is a way in which it is good
I wondered what could be in the minds of the kind of people who can try to party with celebs and then rip them off (Lindsay Lohan said from the start she knew exactly who robbed her); and this movie does show that.
It shows it in a way that glamourises what they did in the way it portrays the burglaries, but also is, I am guessing, too slow-paced for people who would get off on being like the perpetrators I mean protagonists of this film.
I think that the movie does show, without editorial comment, the emptiness and dysfunction in the inner lives of the people who did the burglaries. I think it's clear that Emma Watson's character is full of crap (and yet is clearly played as if she takes herself very seriously, which the person on whom it is based, obviously does)
The way in which this movie really makes sense is if you luck into noticing and planning to pick apart the little note at the beginning of the film that says it is based on a Vanity Fair article by Nancy Jo Sales, called "The Suspects Wore Louboutins."
I'm sorry, you are telling me that an entire feature film is based on one little article? In Vanity Fair? So I prepared to pick apart the glamorous parties and ridiculous conversations spun into one candy-floss movie typical of the worst of American movies (Our film industry has a penchant for taking a real thing and "inspiring" a completely-falsified and treacly movie from it)
I read through the article. One of the things done really, really well in the film is that it uses the incidents in the article, dialogue-verbatim. Which makes sense, since the article is apparently taken from statements made to the police by the thieves.
Once you know that, the movie makes a lot more sense. (And I think that while the ending can appear to kowtow to the kind of people who think nothing is worth having unless they've taken it from someone else, that it is intended to ironically reflect the celeb culture and the narcissism it can engender).
However, being able to feel that it actually faithfully represented the material it was based on, and that it probably did make the burglary scenes, and, indeed I feel the movie, in such a way that it does not come across as a parable "Don't do this" but seemed to try to really just put it all out there, I still can't recommend that people see it.
It was a lot like the movie trailer (just a lot longer), but less interesting and less background than you might expect.
I feel bad putting it down because I think it really did do some things well, but it comes down to the simple reality: would you recommend this movie to someone? And the answer is, sadly, no.
The Beast (2009)
I saw the airing on 15 January 10:00 - 10:52 PM EST (this unusual time slot is what was scheduled). It was tight, well edited, grim, brilliant. I went to watch it with a friend and his cut was completely different. We both recorded another upcoming showing (17 January 6:00 - 7:00 PM EST and PST).
The showing on the 17th was far inferior; out of order, dumbed-down, slowed down, important points left out, and truly disappointing after the brilliant cut I had seen.
And if you are going to craft a show like this, don't decapitate it by blanking out every other word! Which versions did people see? Did anyone else catch two different versions of this? Which did you like better?
Information added to negative reviews
The series seems to combine the "fourth wall" comments and a little of the bawdy humour of the brilliant "Up Pompeii" with a slightly Blackadder-Season-Four-like element of plot farce. A nice bonus for Doctor Who fans is Nicholas Courtney ("The Brigadier") in the role of "Col. Witherton," with a decent amount of screen time.
In the "episodes" section, a review of the second episode (the review entitled "Down the hole" from 26 September 2006) mentions an example of meaningless attempted bawdy humor from an episode. There is actually some meaning. The sleeping Churchill's palm is green; Howerd's narrator-like character, Private Potts, observes this saying "I wonder where he's had it" (little pun there); and the audience find that one of the locations in which the green paint shows up is on the bum of Potts' own underwear, in two places like hand-prints over the bum.
There are some throwaway jokes I enjoyed, for example Private Potts, fawning over another character, General Hollocks, is saying how handsome he is and wondering aloud whom he calls to mind -- the other character is *also* played by Howerd. In another, Potts details aspects of a prisoner's punishment: "Terrible punishment. They made him watch those ENSA shows. You know, with people like Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan and Max Bygraves and Kenneth Williams and Frankie Howerd and people like that." (...) "They're so old-fashioned -- except one!" Another typical kind of joke from the series is: Man holding gun to Howerd: "One false move and I'll let him have it" Howerd: "No, thank you. I had it last night, thank you very much" (also potentially a reference to the green hand-prints/Churchill's green hand) As the show reviewer (entitled "Desperately un-funny" from 24 July 2004) says, it is no "Up Pompeii." But as long as you are not expecting brilliance, if you like Frankie Howerd and his antics, you may enjoy it. I know that I am glad to have the series.