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Frisky Dingo (2006)
Greatest adultswim cartoon
Frisky Dingo is undeniably the best show that adultswim has ever aired, and in my opinion is one of the best comedy shows ever.
The show's description in its IMDb page is only the tip of the iceberg, the show had so many great story lines that were awesome setups for even greater jokes. The show's even better in the subsequent viewings, then you will see the subtle foreshadowings of future story lines and characters whose appearances at first were "blink-and-you'll-miss-it" types, and then they were part of the main cast.
Each character even though they're not voiced by anyone whose name might ring a bell is voiced perfectly. The jokes come at a fast and furious pace, even though everything is prewritten one might not shake the feeling that every dialog is improvised between a group of friends, it's just so natural.
The amount of running jokes that this show established in just two seasons is staggering. Every time say Mr. Ford, whose ass is everywhere, pops up the laughs are guaranteed.
It's a shame we never got a third season, but the two are enough to keep any comedy-hungry TV fan satisfied.
Human Target (2010)
Good show ruined by the network
Human Target was a good show. It had, and for the most part still has, a good cast. Chance perfectly plays a laid-back hero-for hire, same for McBride who plays Winston, Chance's voice of reason, and Haley, the wild card of the group. Each episode of season 1 was like a mini James Bond movie. Everything was pretty predictable, but the clever writing, great acting of both main players and guest stars and extremely bad-ass stunts and action sequences made it and enjoyable TV show to watch.
Then season 2 came around and everything collapsed like a house of cards. FOX was not satisfied with the ratings and the fact that the male oriented cast didn't appeal to women, so they had the show retooled. The two new additions to the cast were horrendous, both characters served as nothing more than road blocks in the story lines, one in a typical TV show fashion was always screwing up the assignments and the other (the boss of the whole Human Target detective agency) was always complaining about how Chance does his business. Not to mention that the love-interest storyline for the nagging boss and Chance was completely unnecessary for the show. The biggest blow for me was the fact that the awesome cliffhanger from the season 1 finale was wrapped up in about five second and completely forgotten for the remainder of the season 2. The fact that there were maybe three episodes in season 2 that weren't completely cliché-ridden and badly written didn't help either.
As I'm writing this review FOX hasn't yet announced if 'Human Target' returns for the third season or not, but if the show remains in Matt Miller's hands, I say put it out of it's misery.
Made me angry.
So I have girlfriend and with our friend we saw that movie and we couldn't stand how pathetic this sh*t was. The writer is a f**** idiot if he thinks that people act/talk in way that people in the movie did. It's also disrespectful for people who --- got cheated by wife/ have girlfriends whose been fuc*ed by their friends --- because people in the movie are bunch of twats and reaction of normal human being is opposite to things and words that Clive, Jude, Julia or Natalie said or did... Very, very disappointing... I thought Oscar-nominees in 2004 were really good...
Now I don't think so anymore...
Being Human (2011)
I've never seen the original version, and as long as I have the bad taste in my mouth after watching this drek I'm not planning on doing that.
Even though the premise is promising, the execution is beyond horrible. Acting is extremely bad, and every scene with the werewolf or the ghost is cringe worthy to say the least. Only Sam Witwer looks like he knows what he's doing. Everything has this sort of low budget feel to it, most of the sets feel sitcom-y, and everything looks like it was filmed with a hand-held camera. The writing would've been good, if the lines weren't completely butchered by the delivery of the actors. When the werewolf tried to be quirky and imitated a Irish accent, I changed the channel and skipped like 5 minutes of the show to collect my thoughts.
Overall I highly recommend skipping this one.
Better Off Ted (2009)
Great, but no "Andy..."
Better Off Ted is a sitcom centered in an office of a heartless company- Veridian Dynamics. Most of the episodes are narrated by the titular character- Ted, portrayed by Jay Harrington in "High Fidelity" style. The only reason I started watching Better Off Ted is because it came from the same mind that brought us "Andy Richter Controls the Universe", a genius sitcom, that sadly got prematurely cancelled. And while "Ted" is a good TV show, and it's definitely better than most of what passes as comedy these days on TV (The Office, season 9 of Scrubs- I'm looking at you), it didn't live up to it's predecessor. But enough Ted-bashing, let's review the thing, Pro-Con style:
Pros: Cast (For the Most part- more on that later).Lem, Phil, Veronica- these three character are the highlights of the whole series. They are what Fonzie was to Happy Days. The two geeky scientists portrayed by Jonathan Slavin and Malcolm Barrett provide great laughs and get most of the better story lines, like when they realise that most of the things they invent are used to murder people. Portia de Rossi, mostly know for playing Lindsay Bluth on Arrested Development, out-shines every cast-member as Veridian's middle management- Veronica. She delivers her lines with perfect comedic timing and nails the heartless company executive persona. Titular Ted although gets plenty of laugh-out-loud hilarious lines, but Jay Harrington mostly shines when he's a straight man for above characters. Ted's daughter- Rose, is pretty good too, at least she's not a too-smart-for-her-age kid that is usually present in sitcoms.
Great story lines- when it came to them this show was pretty original, and through that - funny. Highlights include office motion detectors not detecting black people and Veridians tactic of using the death of an employee that no one knew to motivate it's employees to work ("FOR JENKINS!"- Veronica screams, channeling Braveheart).
Spoof commercials- it's hard not too laugh at the little commercials of fictional company Veridian Dynamics. The mixture of Portal's GLaDOS with stock footage and music is a highlight of almost every episode ("Veridian Dynamics - Don't cross us. Ever. Seriously. Just don't.").
Andrea Anders- this lady almost ruined the show for me. She's better off in regular sitcoms, not in a fast paced comedy like this one. On her own, she sucks, but because the actress is backed in most of the story lines by more competent cast members (like when she pairs up with Veronica, or with guest-starring Taye Diggs), she's almost bearable, and funny on rare occasions. She's also a part of another of this show's problem, which is...
A shoehorned "will they or won't they" storyline- from the get go, the show is trying to sell us the chemistry between Ted and Linda, which doesn't work in the slightest. Not only is this show forcefully keeping them apart (Ted having a limit of one office romance, Linda getting a boyfriend to make Ted jealous, but then staying with him), but the actors have no chemistry whatsoever. Harrington is excellent, and probably would do excellent work with an actress more competent, but Anders usually wrecks the scenes where Ted and Linda are talking to each-other. It's less like Ross and Rachel, and more like Michael and Rita (look them up!).
Overall Better Off Ted is an excellent TV show, even though it wasn't perfect, it's still a shame that it was cancelled. Given enough time it sure would attract a more sizable audience, which while not being extremely big, it would be loyal and enough to warrant the series new seasons.
Wojna polsko-ruska (2009)
A movie in love with itself
Once again I have found myself disappointed in Polish cinema. After reading many glowing reviews about this movie I thought that maybe the time has come for a decent Polish production, but unfortunately that was not the case.
But before I get to the bad stuff, let me give props to the movie's leading man- Borys Szyc. This guy is the only thing good about this movie. He's performance as "Silny" is great, when he needs to he is funny, and when the time for drama comes he is believable. Szyc has definitely proved, that he is not another talentless polish actor bound to play in soap operas. It's a shame that his talent is wasted on this movie, here he is like a diamond in an unflushed for centuries toilet.
So what is bad about this movie? About everything else! I haven't read the book myself, and frankly after this movie I certainly never will, but from what I've read, everything that is written in the book has been ripped from the pages and put on a screen. And here lies a big problem with this movie. Masłowska's style is rather chaotic, over-the-top, somewhat disturbing even. With that in mind the director/screen writer Xawery Żuławski could've cut the ridiculous parts and do a good movie, that shows the sadness of the typical Polish hoodlum in a realistic manner. But no, instead of that he just took all of the book's pages, ripped them off and put them on screen. Because of that the movie's style is incredibly uneven, one minute we have a dramatic scene, where Silny is contemplating about his sad life and the next we see a poorly choreographed fight, that ends with a drop kick 2 meters in the air. Some will call it artistic, ambitious, a cinematic equivalent of Sistine Chapel even, like the reviewer above, but nothing could've been further from the truth.
Also bad are all the other actors in the movie. Szyc could've just stood there and read cue cards and he still would outshine very other cast member. Maria Strzelecka, who plays Angela, is the prefect example of what would happen if Keanu Reeves and Paris Hilton hooked up. For the entire duration of the movie she's standing still and says her lines like she's lost the part of her soul that makes her human. R2D2 from Star Wars is Orson Welles compared to her. Other actors and actresses in this movie are also not exactly qualified to labels themselves as such. Thought they are not as bad as Strzelecka, they reach new lows in their respective categories. Every single one of them based their character's mannerisms on a bad Looney Tunes cartoon, the result is that every single character is too over-the-top even for David Caruso's standards. Not to mention the atrocious cameo by the books author- Dorota Masłowskwa- near the movie's ending. Her "acting" is one of the worst ever caught on tape, but since she is not even an actress it's understandable. But in that case, why is she even in the movie?
In the end "Polish-Russian War" is a bad movie. It tries too hard to imitate a good, ambitious movie, but fails miserably doing so, because the source material is not exactly fitted for such. The result can only appeal to snobbish, pretentious folks, who will think that they are smarter than every one else because they understood this movie. So if you are that kind of person, than watch this movie, like it and form some elitist cult afterwords with the guy who wrote the other review. Together you shall pass on the message of this movie's greatness and ban Gladiator from cinemas and TV screens everywhere.
Quan jing (1978)
I watched this movie a few month back. It's plot is pretty forgettable, same for the fighting scenes. For the most part the movie is cliché-ridden and steadily mediocre, but there is one, big exception.Around the half of the first hour of the movie there is this scene that will stay with me forever. As you might have figured out from the synopsis, the ghosts that haunt Jackie are the big part of this movie. Before the said scene they appear a few times, later they teach him some moves and thank to that Jackie wins the final fight. But the first encounter between the ghost and Jackie is one of the funniest moments in all of Jackie Chan's films. The poor special effects, the ridiculous script (Jackie starts peeing at the ghost), the whole insanity of seeing a fake skeleton bounce on the screen because the guy used X-Ray Vision scroll and looked at his friend is more then enough reason to watch this movie. I haven't laughed much at the movie for a long time, and I'm happy that I saw this low-budget martial arts extravaganza.
In conclusion if you have the opportunity to watch this movie, please do. The first 1/3 is pretty boring, and for the rest of the movie you wish that the craziness that occurred around 30 minutes in repeats itself, but sadly that doesn't happen. But this 10 minute segment of Jackie playing around with ghost is more than enough for you to rent this movie.
The Soup (2004)
For the most part lost it's thunder...
From what I saw watching the clips from episodes way back when the show started, this show was very funny. I highly recommend getting the older episodes from iTunes, where they are not so expensive, since they are basically a laugh factory. But recently like the title of this review states, this show has lost it's thunder. Don't get me wrong, sometimes it's still laugh out loud hilarious, but those episodes come few and pretty far in between. Mostly it's because of the fact, that on some weeks they couldn't manage to find some funny clips from TV shows, so they fill the 30-minute time slot with boring skits that are worse then the ones from MadTV (I have no idea how they've managed that).
Other annoyances include "guest stars" that for the most part are simply not funny, so whatever momentum the show has gained through awesome clips in the beginning of the episode is quickly lost when you have to watch a celebrity read lines from a teleprompter that were supposed to be funny, but in reality they fail big time. Most of the guest spots end with shooting the imaginary, too overused lately, gun at the intern Matt and with plugging of the new TV show of said celebrity. In the history of the guest spots only two have worked- Bryan Cranston's when he was promoting season two Breaking Bad and Michael Emerson's when he promoted the last season of Lost. And there was around 1,5 year gap between the two, filled with badly read jokes by the Kardashians or The Hills alums. But I guess that they have to get the budget of the show from somewhere.
The host- Joel McHale- does a pretty good job. He's especially funny when he's ad-libbing, not so much when he's reading lame jokes from the teleprompter. What's amusing that even if he reads a totally unfunny joke, the audience (which is composed of friends and family of makers of the shows) goes crazy like monkeys in the zoo. It's basically the equivalent of a bad sitcom, where no matter how bad the jokes are, the audience laughs anyway.
In conclusion, if you have nothing else to do, I recommend watching The Soup. Maybe you will be lucky and the week that preceded that episode had some actually funny clips, otherwise you're stuck with 30 minutes of filler material.
Calling it brilliant is an understatement
This is hands down the best sitcom of the last two decades. Forget Seinfeld, Frasier, Friends etc. Those shows are pale in comparison to the brilliance that is Newsradio.
The cast is basically the best thing about the show. Everyone character that the actors portray is a completely different individual. The best actor in the show was undeniably Phil Hartman, his performance as Bill McNeal made me cry from laughter in every scene that he was in. Close second after him comes Dave Foley, a great straight man to all of those zany characters, but on occasions he also becomes rather of the wall, his facial expression when he comes clean to Bill about what he did to his precious cane is one of the greatest grins in the history of mischievousness. Other highlights in the cast include Stephen Root as a boss that everyone would like to have and Vicki Lewis as Beth, the eccentric secretary of Foley's. Joe Rogan as Joe and Andy Dick as Matthew are also great, especially when they're paired together in an episode. The episode where in one moment they were best friends, and a minute later they were very hostile towards each other was one of Newsradio's best. Maura Tierney, while not being the worst sitcom actress of all time, is nothing special. Though she had great chemistry with Dave Foley, her portrayal of an overachieving radio host (or whatever she did around the office) could sometimes annoy.
Writing was also excellent, subtle pop culture references in the dialogues, the wittiness contained in them are great. Almost every episode of Newsradio I memorable thanks to the cleverness of the writers.
By almost all episode I mean first four season. Unfortunately the unexpected death of Phil Hartman greatly affected the quality of the show. It would have survived beyond 5 seasons if the only thing that's changed would be Hartman's absence. But that was not the case. Not only did the scripts got sloppier, with characters acting totally out of the character,which is evidenced by the whole Lisa Miller-Johnny Johnson situation, and episodes simply not being that original or funny, but the new cast member Jon Lovitz also brought his share of nails to the coffin that became Newsradio. I understand that Lovitz was Hartmans friend (which is paralleled in the relationship between their respective characters) and he stepped in in time of need, since Newsradio was not a very popular show and the sole fact that a key component to the show was lost culd warrant it's cancellation, but he wasn't that good of an actor to keep up with the rest of the cast, no matter how crappy the scripts were. Whenever you thought that Newsradio was coming back on tracks quality-wise, Jon Lovitz stormed the scene and the only thing that you could think about is how much you want to punch him through the TV. He was THAT bad, which is surprising, since I didn't seem to mind him in Rat Race, but I guess here, where he totally stood out, the anger that this man can cause is amplified.
In conclusion, if you have the chance to watch Newsradio, do it immediately. This is one one the best TV shows in history, but keep in mind, that if you catch a season 5 episode by accident, don't make the judgment about the show as a whole based on these flawed episodes. The quality drop was really that drastic. But when it was good, it was fantastic, and lucky us, the show was good most of the time. So go watch Newsradio and enjoy the "Good Times".
Party Down (2009)
Great show (Season 1 review)
I must admit, I was a little reluctant to watch Party Down after the mixed reviews I've been seeing on the Internet. How wrong was I. Season one is way better than most of the current comedy shows on TVs. Party Down is about a group of wannabe-Hollywood-artists whose careers didn't go as well as they hoped, so they've started to work in the titular catering company, and every episode is set at a different party, like for example a Sweet 16 of a spoiled girl or Senior Singles seminar.
The cast of the show is awesome. From the Veronica Mars alums (Ken Marino, Ryan Hansen) to other familiar faces (Martin Starr-"Freaks and Geeks" and Lizzy Caplan-"Cloverfield") etc. everyone fits in they're role perfectly and delivers the jokes flawlessly. Special praise in my opinion goes to Adam Scott, who plays Henry, and Jane Lynch, who plays Constance. Henry's recognizability due to the fact that he played in a beer commercial and the great catch-phrase that came along with it are the cause of many laughs throughout the season. Jane Lynch on the other hand is great as an oddball in the group, the arguments that she has with the groups "hardcore sci-fi veteran" Roman are also very hilarious. But those characters are not the only ones who bring laughter to the viewer, the guest stars are also great, from the foul-mouthed JK Simmons, whose basically JJ Jameson with safety off, to Veronica Mars herself- Kristen Bell as an strict catering team leader, they make every episode memorable.
The writing is also top-notch, dialogues are awesome and the situations that the main characters find themselves in every episode, which to say always end in failure, are clever and hilarious. The only downside to this show that I could find is the mandatory in these types of shows (see Jim and Pam, Ross and Rachel, JD and Elliot) "will they or won't they" storyline with two of the main characters- played by Scott and Caplan. The banters between the two are great, but in the end, the relationship feels kind of forced and unneeded. Either way, Party Down is a great show, that I recommend to anyone who likes a good laugh once in a while. It does a pretty good job of filling the void left by cancellations of Veronica Mars and Arrested Development, though if I might say, longer seasons wouldn't hurt.