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Impractical Jokers (2012)
A rare case of the UK taking a US idea and failing
Usually when an American TV network likes a UK TV show and wants to make some money out of it, they buy it out and make a sub standard version. Red Dwarf are Men Behaving Badly are two examples of this off the top of my head (The Office being the exception). This is one of those times when it's the other way around. The US version of Impractical Jokers is fresh, original, improvisational, and hilarious. This is lacking in all those areas.
In the US, the Tenderloins are a comedy quartet who have a genuine rapport and electric magnetism in their relationships, most likely as they grew up together and have been part of a comedy group for a long time now. They're able to work off each other and know their subjects well, and it shows. The UK team of Impractical Jokers doesn't have the same electricity.
Some parts of the UK version seem to consist of the 3 jokers behind the scenes feeding lines to the person out in front, which they then repeat. It completely takes away that spontaneous element when you know exactly what the person is about to say. The thing that works about the US version is they start off with an idea and have to think on their feet, they have the confidence to let each person take that idea and run with it, and more often than not each of the 4 of them move in completely different directions. Sometimes it doesn't come off or isn't as funny as it could've been, sometimes it's laugh-out-loud hilarious. The UK version could take some tips from this.
I don't know why, but many of the setups just aren't funny. It seems like they're trying too hard to be funny and aren't letting it flow naturally. Some of the lines are downright childish. One task, for example, including convincing people to become interested in titles of shows which were based on things like faeces, urine, vomit, and rear end noises. At times the jokers end up just looking awkward and embarrassed. It needs a lot of work.
Original idea but expected more
I intended to see this movie at the cinemas but it was gone within 2 weeks and when it finally came on Foxtel I wondered why I was bothering to go see it in the first place. The storyline was original and there were some interesting ideas used here, but the acting wasn't as good as I hoped and so many characters seem to either be angry or depressed in this movie that you find it hard to connect with anyone, not even the main character to an extent. I thought the speed of finding a donor was a bit far fetched too. What I thought was strange is that this movie was billed as a comedy but I probably only laughed once, at the stupidity of the moment where Gary attempts to defend himself with a wok. I think this movie tries to depend on comedic sympathy and ridicule over anything else. I expected something great from this movie but it just didn't deliver. Throughout most of the movie I felt uncomfortable and I didn't start to like it until about 20 minutes before the end. I really want Australian cinema to be prosperous but there sadly isn't enough drawing power here to help that along, apart from the fact that I practically saw no promotion before its box office release and monstrosities like Date Movie got loads more at the time. If I had a choice between Date Movie and this one though, I would choose the latter.
Echo Point (1995)
It had a few fans, but lacked the suspense and the ratings of other soaps
Yes, I was a big fan of the show at the time and thought a lot of the girls were cute at the time, including Jessica Napier who is the same age as me. There have never been reruns shown of Echo Point to my knowledge so I don't know if I would still like it today, but it was similar in ways to Home And Away and Neighbours without being ridiculously melodramatic like those two shows can be. Maybe the lack of big shocks and surprises led to its downfall. It was just too pleasant and too close to normal life, and people tend to watch dramas to escape their boring normal lives or watch something they wouldn't normally see, which this show didn't really have. Not even the introduction of former big soap stars like Melissa Tkautz (E Street), Victoria Nicholls (Prisoner, The Restless Years, Sale of the Century) and Rowena Wallace (Number 96, Sons and Daughters, Prisoner) could save this show.
Still, there must've been some talent there when you look at where the stars of this show are today. Jessica Napier has gone on to be in popular Aussie TV shows such as McLeod's Daughters and Wildside. Martin Henderson went on to be in US movies Torque and The Ring, and got seduced by Britney Spears in her Toxic video. Rose Byrne has been in several successful movies such as Two Hands with Heath Ledger and Bryan Brown, Star Wars Episode II as Natalie Portman's double, and Troy with Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom and Eric Bana (and she's also one of the cutest female actors going around today who I still have a crush on). Tom Long went on to be in successful Aussie TV show Seachange and starred in popular movie The Dish with Sam Neill.
I guess Echo Point was a platform for several actors' careers and was mainly just a way to get some exposure before becoming successful. I still loved it though, but it just didn't get the ratings Channel 10 wanted.
Secret Valley (1980)
I grew up with this, and I loved it!
Some of my first great memories of TV were from shows just like this! It was all in good fun and very basic and dodgy, but that's what made it so watchable.
I grew up with this show and other childrens shows like You Can't Do That On Television, Double Dare, Agro's Cartoon Connection and The Girl From Tomorrow, and I'll never forget it! I might be reaching my mid 20's now (ooh where's my walking stick) but accidentally stumbling across this page through other links brought back a few good memories.
I do remember that one of the girls in the show seemed to have developed really fast up front, but I was too young to notice in that way. I just thought she was unusually big.
You have to wonder where these people are now. Simone Buchanan went on to have a successful career for a while and Max Cullen has had a lot of roles in his life, but you don't hear much about the rest. They probably went on with their lives and we probably pass them on the street more than we realize and we don't even notice them.
If anyone does know what any of these people are doing now (including Simone Buchanan), please make a post about it. I'm interested to know. It would be nice if the ABC threw a few shows on here and there just for nostalgia.
The Time Machine (2002)
I had high expectations, it has its moments, but was a bit disappointing
I had high expectations for this movie seeing that I am a lover of anything related to time travel, and I'm also a bit of a sci fi fan. Even though there were a lot of things I liked in this movie, I found a few things here that disappointed me.
There was a good lead-up to the time traveller's life in the 1900's and his reason for travelling (even though by viewing other comments it seems that this was not taken from the novel and was adapted for the movie), and I liked the visuals of the construction of a moon colony in the early 21st century and the progression of human civilisation in 2030, even though the computer database seemed a bit ignorant and closed-minded.
However, I noticed a lot of holes in the plot. In the travelling time from 2037 to 802701, the time machine moved through time and its surroundings moved through erosion and temperature extremes and other changes in environment, which in my opinion was visually and perceptively fantastic. However, I don't see how the effects over time would allow for parts of New York to be preserved for so long when the surrounding earth was completely wiped away, nor do I see how a computer could last for so long without running out of power or being damaged beyond repair. Also, I don't see how humans could have survived or evolved if humans were apparently wiped off the earth (or at least from New York) due to the destruction of the moon. The movie doesn't point out how humans survived or where they came from and the lead character doesn't seem concerned with this, nor does the movie show any humans from 2037 to 802701. Also, I don't think it's plausible that the English language would have been handed down to descendents for over 800,000 years.
I think the movie was far too short as I feel that a lot more could have been explained and questioned and elaborated on in this movie. In a way it sort of inspires me to create my own remake. Even though I like the ideas that were used in this movie, there's a lot of things I would do differently and would add. I wanted to see a lot more of the happenings from the 1900's and beyond to see the perceptions from the moviemakers.
If you regard all the holes in the plot and a few weird bits and pieces, this is a fun and interesting movie. If it confuses you or annoys you a bit then don't worry because it's not that long and it's over almost as quickly as it starts. 9/10 for subject matter and perception, 7/10 for plot holes and stuff that just didn't make sense. Overall, 8/10, and I'm being a little generous because I like time travel movies.
Hilarious must-see raw comedy
It may have only cost under $30,000 to make, it may be in black and white, but Clerks is a movie that will change you forever. It's changed my life and it's my favourite movie. It's hilarious, it's shocking, it's disgusting, it has a rockin' soundtrack, it has young adults talking about sex and pornography and relationships amongst other things, it introduces you to a legendary duo in Jay & Silent Bob... it has it all! A movie that was given a high rating on its language alone has to be seen to be believed. Kevin Smith is a genius as writer and director and this movie started it all for him, and with good reason. If you've seen Mallrats or Chasing Amy or Dogma or even Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back to a lesser extent, and loved it, you NEED to see this movie. Everyone I have shown this movie to thought it was hilarious. Don't let the black and white visuals sway you. This movie is definately worth watching for the content. If I ever get to the USA, I'm visiting the Quickstop convenience store at Leonardo, New Jersey for sure! Maybe I'll see Jay & Silent Bob... I sure hope so. I can't say enough about this movie. Just see it! :)