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Suits: Two in the Knees (2014)
No longer what it used to be
The first season was fantastic and huge fun with witty characters.
The second was more about office politics and the third went on and on about that murder case.
This 4th season sees the people we had become fond of, now turn nasty at each other, scream at each other, call each other names and are thoroughly unpleasant.
Are they all turning alcoholics? The drinking is getting ridiculous.
Harvey no longer smiles, Mike shouts, Rachel is for ever sulking, Jessica stares are longer and more and more frequent, Donna seems to spend her time telling people off, even Louis who was the comic relief during three seasons is no longer funny.
As for this damn take over case, we've already spent three long boring unpleasant episodes on it. How long will this go on? How patient will the audience be?
Person of Interest (2011)
Great shame that 3rd season goes downhill all the way
I enjoyed the first two seasons which were great gritty entertainment, with a good formula.
The 3rd season departs from the person of interest to go all out war against HR, with bodies galore, explosions, action switching from night to day and day to night (continuity team, where are you?), with the heroes turning into cartoon-like characters.
Then the writers killed off the most charismatic character of the lot.
The irritating Root becomes a main character, but scores badly on the credibility level. The Machine communicate with her on the 15KHz frequency band ... oh dear, are the writers attempting to emulate the awful Intelligence show?
I gave up watching after the "Aletheia" episode where Reese leaves, gets drunk, is somehow traced across the States by Fusco (who has become the comic relief) and out of nowhere the two of them reappear to save the day disguised as SWAT officers. "Aletheia" is a real stinker of an episode with plot holes of epic proportions, and is to be watched in full suspended disbelief mode.
I am giving a miss to the rest of the 3rd season. I'll probably watch the first couple of episodes of Season 4, and hope it has improved to make the rest of season 4 worth watching.
Sherlock: His Last Vow (2014)
What's going on with user ratings?
What is going on with the ratings?
A disappointing episode which needed desperate measures and a fair dose of suspended disbelief to retain attention (among others Sherlock being shot in the chest by Watson's wife who was revealed to have had a previous career as a CIA assassin before becoming a solo assassin ...).
Episode having just finished, I went to IMDb and lo and behold 252 people had already voted for "Sherlock: His Last Vow", giving it an average of 9.7.
241 out of 252 have given it a 10.
Well over an hour later and having refreshed the page several time, the count is still the same, still 95.6% of 252 votes (241) giving 10 to this miserable episode. Not a single vote in the past hour. This would indicate that viewers voted (95.6% giving 10) BEFORE the episode was shown.
Are the ratings rigged? And for what purpose?
Fortunately, we had the pleasure to see the excellent Lars Mikkelsen (of The Killing and Borgen fame) who made a great villain.
A big goof, by the way, at the end. When Moriarty (yeah, flogging a long dead horse) comes on TV the picture flickers and we see "snow". The country has gone digital and there is no "snow" on digital TVs when the signal weakens.
Machete Kills (2013)
Worse than awful.
I gave it 2 as I believe that ratings of 1 don't count for calculating the average.
How could 1719 people give this rotten turkey a 10 rating? Probably friends and family of some of the actors, extras and of the crews?
It's not funny, it's not tongue in cheek, it's not a parody, it's not a comedy. They have reached the absolute lower levels of abysmal.
I have seen many bad movies and usually one can laugh because they are so bad. Some are so bad that they have become cult movies. This mess is much too awful to be laughed at.
The plot ... what plot? Enough said.
Were all these otherwise famous actors so desperate for the money?
And a sequel is in development! At the very best, this garbage should have gone straight to video, bargain bin section.
You have been warned!
World War Z (2013)
Conned by the hype
After all the fuss and hype, I felt I just HAD to see this film.
Oh dear ... how did they manage to spend $200 million on this?
Same formula as was used back in the 1940s. Horrible disease that turns people into zombies. Enter hero and family, plus obligatory young child. Fight zombies every so often to wake up the audience, board planes and helicopters which are incredibly economical on fuel, then oh miracle a "cure" is suggested but one has to fight yet more zombies in order to get whatever has to be injected. Zombies fooled, worldwide joy as the "cure" is parachuted and zombies blown by deadly CGI. End of movie.
Embarrassing goofs galore. I can't use a phone in my garden shed because of the metal shelves and fittings, but the hero's wife uses hers in a metal cabin below deck in an aircraft carrier. Yeah, right... Cardiff Airport is 3 miles from the seaside in the Bristol Channel but never mind, they crash the plane somewhere in North Wales and promptly walk in the Cardiff (South Wales) laboratory. A baseball bat in a Welsh laboratory? Hello props department ... this is Wales in UK! Do your US laboratories keep cricket bats in the reception area? Incredibly stupid staff in the WHO laboratory, our hero is told in which room to go to, but not which bottles to pick! As for sick people being invisible to zombies, that's a very lazy solution.
I was conned by the hype.
IRT: Deadliest Roads (2010)
Gobsmacking scenery but pity the show is so staged.
My marks are for the fantastic views of India, the Himalayas and South America. They are NOT for the show. The show spoils the viewing. Why oh why do they have to make it so dramatic when it's so obvious that it's staged?
The silly voice over about the truckers being miles from anywhere with no one around. We know jolly well there is a whole team with land and air vehicles, camera crews etc escorting them.
Fake arguments, fake tempers, amateurish editing. Best example of bad editing is when Tino and Tim stick TNT on their container. The lorry starts and stalls,TNT is gone; 1/2 mile later TNT is back on. Why stage a lorry stalling?
The most awful bit of obvious staging is Lisa taking the fuel drums to the rescue team. The truckers going on and on most unconvincingly about "these people need their fuel" and Lisa repeating it ever more unconvincingly ... Please guys, take acting lessons! Then we have a short footage of Lisa driving, footage of drums in a lorry, footage of arriving in a field. Hmm...
As I stated, the scenery is wonderful but the bit about trucking is so obviously staged that it's superfluous. I won't mention the daft annoying CGI of trucks exploding, falling down cliffs etc.
Mountain Men (2012)
Good series, but marred by too much staging and repetitive padding
Great series, but needlessly staged, over dramatized and much too repetitive.
Why create such an atmosphere of danger and stress? We know there is a whole camera crew there at all times. We see Tom and his friends go duck hunting, a duck is shot and the camera shows the dead duck. With a camera crew next to the bird, the hunters can't find it? Embarrassing.
A grizzly is lurking at night in the yard, Tom fires a shot then goes on his own, armed with a torch to investigate. Come on, we have archive footage of a bear, then a probably armed crew goes filming in the yard.
The voice over keeps reminding us that Marty is all on his own, no mention of the cameramen, sound technicians etc. When he breaks down at night "10 miles away from his cabin", are we really to believe that a heartless, sadistic crew would film him unarmed, walking to exhaustion for hours, gasping for water, with bears and wolves marauding? Same when using the plane - will he / won't he make it, shouldn't fly in this weather etc, with his plane being filmed from another aircraft. The loss of his glasses (series 1 -06) to add tension to him being on a very tight schedule ("with no one around for hundreds of miles") was a silly staged situation; search for a couple of minutes, then "oh there they are", camera zooms and miracle! his brown frame, brown oval rimmed spectacles have become white frame white square rim "broken" spectacles!
Eustace owes a fair bit of money and claims he is broke. Is he really staring in two TV series pro bono? The chase for the alleged poacher was not credible. Two mountain men moving silently, but accompanied by a full camera crew stomping in the woods. Any poacher would have heard them from miles away.
The persistent over dramatization is embarrassing. Will he make in time / will he crash / will the bears or the wolves attack / is he lost in the snow etc etc
Why are we shown the same clips half a dozen times during an episode, going back and forth in time? As for the archive footage of hungry bears and wolves (wolves can weight up to 140 pounds we are told zillions of times), perhaps it made cheap padding, but very boring by the end of the series.
Very interesting series, but one gets the feeling that it's produced for an audience of primary school children.
Les revenants (2012)
** SPOILERS ** A grossly over rated messy damp squib.
I watched the whole series which came out last year in France. It started fine but soon went downhill, until the last episode which degenerated into utter nonsense, not unlike a cheap sci-fi from the 1950s.
A clumsy imitation of Lost, with overlong subplots / yarns about ex-boyfriend who slept with twin sister of a revenant and about dead Simon who keeps pestering his much alive ex-bride to be episode after episode.
There seem to be only about 30 people in this town of many thousands, with some 20 cops looking after them. Every so often crowds appear in bars, schools, shops etc, but have somehow disappeared towards the end.
OK, this is "supernatural" and suspended disbelief is expected but so many facts aren't explained such as skin diseases appearing, revenants always hungry, Adèle getting pregnant with a revenant (wasn't she on the pill, she had a loving male partner), and at the end why did all the new revenants demand the three who were at La Main Tendue?
The hunting revenant's double barrel shotgun mysteriously turns into a .22 rifle with scope.
A couple of sex sessions thrown in every episode -or so it seemed- to keep the ratings going. A medium who "sees" only whilst having sex ... come on ...
Then we find that one cannot leave the place. Drive on and always come back. But, where did the buses come from? Where did the pumping lorries come from? Why were the dam engineers allowed to leave town?
At the end the whole town musters only about 30 people and 20 cops to take refuge in the homeless centre. No explanation as to the rest of the town's population, horde of revenants make their demands, iron shutters down, noise of a shoot out with the cops, open shutters and cops have vanished but the whole town is now flooded (very bad cgi, by the way).
Second series of this mess in 2 years time. You have been warned!
Jo: Notre Dame (2013)
They have spent 2 million euros on each episode.
All I can say is that they must drink very expensive coffee between takes.
The actors are wasted in this awful series.
Spoiler! The plot is ridiculous, and the main clue to find the culprit is a door handle that operates the wrong way round.
Typical maverick cop with alcohol, drugs and all sorts of problems. Very slow stereotyped subplot about Jo's daughter who hates him.
There are very good French cop series around, such as Spiral /Engrenages. This is not one of them, don't waste your time.
Secret State (2012)
Waste of good actors
Yet another political wannabe drama that fall way short of expectations.
And that annoying much too loud soundtrack ... please, it doesn't make the story any better by banging on drums as if there was no tomorrow.
Appalling security. Now then, the Prime Minister is assassinated, the Deputy PM inherits the job but is totally oblivious to the obvious security risks considering the recent murder of his boss. He pops down to the pub, goes jogging (always to the same place we are told), goes walking about. There were three bodyguards to start with, later cut down to one.
The PM's Army / Navy / Air Forces advisers seem to consist of one general. Everyone including the PM are all effing and blinding at each other, government buildings are like an indoor market where anyone can come in.
Stereotype characters galore, General with his agenda, two cabinet ministers plotting against the PM, evil banker, evil multinational, GCHQ and MI6 both with their own agendas, the ex-spook (on the booze, of course) going freelance, laptops and computer screens connected to bugs, etc. What were all these otherwise good actors doing in this mess?
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy was 33 years ago ... Still waiting for another gripping series.