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El Chapo (2017)
Okay, he spent a lot of time in prison, but . . .
. . . do we need to see every minute of it? The second half of this could be described as Narco behind bars, because it tells the dreary tale of El Chapo stuck in a maximum security prison. As a prison tale it has its merits, but it's not what I signed on for, and I can't help thinking they are stretching this to get in a full season two . . . or three, as El Chapo had a long career, relatively speaking. The problem is, aside from getting to know the various characters, season one is missable.
There are also some glaring plot holes. Supposedly he was down to near zero money and totally dependent on a huge shipment to restore his power. But when he's in prison, his operation seems to be running still, as they have money to attempt to bribe guards. In real life his cartel was very powerful when he was captured, and he continued to run it from prison for many years. Doesn't add up.
The Keepers (2017)
Too long and unfortunately rather pointless
You can certainly feel sympathy for the people working on this case, but the simple fact is that too much time has passed to learn anything new. Almost everyone involved with the murder is either dead or a fossil. It's rather sad at the end where they express their faith that it will be solved. No, it won't, it can't, no more than a murder that happened in 1850 could be resolved.
The biggest problem is that this story could have been told in two hours. It's stretched out to seven by complete filler, the camera watching someone make tea, dogs cavorting on a couch, a cat walking across the floor, and endless repetition of stills. It's just draining, nothing happens, no great insights are revealed.
If this documentary was made fifteen years ago, well, maybe you'd have a shot, but in 2017? It's just too late, this is no longer living history.
Switched over to Louie
Yeah, I couldn't get into it either. The first hour was okay, but as the second dragged on I really lost interest when they started to invent plot details surrounding Manson, like blackmailing that (Congressman? State Senator? I forgot) and holding his daughter for leverage. By the time it got close for Louie I was lost anyway, and while carefully waiting to make sure "The Comedians" was over, so as not one glimpse of Billy Crystal soiled my eyes, I changed over and I don't think I'll ever come back.
Some movies or shows can be carried by the lead actor, they're so interesting to watch that you can forgive some lapses, but Duchovny doesn't have that kind of personal power, he walks through his scenes as if he was as disinterested in what was going on as I ended up being. The remainder of the cast were forgettable, I didn't see anyone emerging that would hold my attention. Sorry, but it's second rate network TV fodder, nothing about it I feel compelled to return to.
Maria Wern (2008)
Well, first, how there could be that many murders in Gotland, but never mind. What confuses me is what exactly was made. According to IMDb, we got a four part series in 2008, and four separate episodes in 2010 (plus the feature movie in 2012). I have four English subtitle files for the 2008 series, but not the vids, and I've watched six episodes from 2010, not four (five of the English sub files needed to be re-synched). I have the movie vid, but there are no English subs (yet).
As far as the show goes, well, nothing special. The Maria Wern character is a pretty ordinary cop, she seems to have no special gifts, no unusual personality quirks. Aside from the actress being pleasant to watch, I don't really get why this needed to be made. I enjoyed it well enough, but am I jonesing over the 2008 and 2012 material I haven't seen? Not really.
The Tunnel (2013)
The same exact plot, and a character with the same mannerisms (she even changes tops in the police bull room, that's as far as I got before erasing it). For the third time?? There was some justification for a US version, after all, we're subtitle challenged over here, or illiterate, depending on your view of the US TV audience. But anyone using the internet has seen Bron if they wanted to (I did), so I found the US version vaguely insulting to the intelligence, the way the main plot copied Bron right to the final scene on the bridge. But the Brits? I mean, they actually broadcast the original on British TV! Unbelievable, and I don't care how good the production and acting is . . . unwatchable.
Ed: Yeah, they remade Shakespeare a hundred times, but not in the same year!! The US version just ended a couple weeks ago.
A competent, professional film . . . with no critical reviews?
OK, Malcolm McDowell is just here as a "name", he's merely the narrator. Moreover, his comments are not particularly welcome, particularly after the second scenario.
That aside, this is a very good horror movie, a trilogy of tales in classic fashion. The cast is fine, the photography is excellent, the soundtrack lush and properly climatic. It's as good as any other horror/macabre movie out there right now, certainly on a par with "The Purge" for example, but fewer than five votes here? Zero critical reviews on R/T or linked here? I don't understand that at all, my first instinct was that this must be some crapola indie film, and I'd expect maybe two 9 or 10 star reviews comparing it to the best of Hitchcock (by people who had never posted any other reviews until they were hired to work on the film). But it's not, it's a well made, mainstream film with real actors and professional craftsmanship. By all means check it out.
Crossing Lines (2013)
Dead on arrival
Not because it stinks, it's competently made. There are a few actors you'll recognize (yes, it's the Game of Thrones dude), and the police procedural stuff is okay. Unfortunately it has two very large flaws, first the cast is much too large . . . er, still (ahem). You can get away with four or five, but not seven, eight? I lost count. There's no way to stay connected with that many people. Second, it fails to learn from the foreign cable police revolution like Braquo, Bron, Forbrydelsen and particularly Engrenages, which it dearly wants to be. Those series remained interesting week after week because they were a continuation of one long plot. Instead Crossing Lines is apparently adopting the US model of a new case every week, and that's just archaic, it doesn't work any more.
But it's dead on arrival because I didn't even know it existed until I stumbled across it (on usenet) and was curious enough to look it up. If NBC is doing any advertising for the show, I haven't seen it . . . of course, I can't think of anything I watch on NBC. And there's zero internet buzz, still waiting for five votes?? You have to get all the way to "Crossing (blank)" before it comes up on the search menu here. That's sick for a new series. I wonder if it will even last the 10 shows scheduled in the US?
PS: Newfreeman, there are only two other reviews aside from yours, and neither of us "rubbished" it. I said . . . well, what I wrote above, it's competent. But it's not great, in spite of the (Following inspired) wounded genius cop, he didn't actually solve the first crime, it was pretty much deus ex machina, eh? And as far as the actions of the various cops are concerned, John Cooper would have bitch slapped them for being so careless. Of course, many cop shows have those faults, how many times did Sarah Lund run into some dark hallway with zero backup?
Awful screen play??? What?
I don't understand what the first reviewer was talking about, this is a killer thriller that moves like lightning, once you get past the (very good) setup.
Is there a deep mystery to be resolved that's real interesting? Not particularly, but I believe Hitchcock had a term for that, the "mcguffin", the thing the crooks want but the audience doesn't care. This movie is about nonstop action, and it's very well done, one of the best foot chases I've ever seen, with amazing camera work. For them to have accomplished that in 35 days with two cameramen, it's just . . . astounding. By all means check it out.
Groundbreaking film of immense influence
Ignored for many years, this exciting film of the attack of the tiger men from Mars was enormously influential on future science fiction films. Noted director of early 1950's films, Theodore Sheckler (working under aliases due to his communist party membership), credited the film as "inspirational" and "brilliant beyond belief". The directors of special effects for "Star Wars" claimed to seen the film every day during production. Speaking off the record, one of them said "our goal was to somehow improve on the spaceship models used in the film, but a high bar was set." Effects director Dr. Harlan Tarbell, the noted magician, is still remembered today with the Harlan Tarbell award for special effects given out at the Oscars. Reportedly Tarbell's work was a constant reference in designing prosthetic skullcap makeup for the recent worldwide hit "Avatar", and he is particularly known for his novel use of partially hidden strings to suspend spaceships from studio ceilings.
The film was produced by the father and son team of John F. Dille and John Dille, Jr., whose budding acting career was stopped short of star potential by a fatal accident involving marmalade and a hat. His bereaved father was not able to work again, and spent his later years in seclusion, dedicating himself to invent safer marmalade in his garage workshop. His work is responsible for several patents that guide the industry today, without which tasty marmalade would probably not be in such abundance.
Not bad for a TV movie
It's kind of a plain story, this kind of thing has been done many times. As much as I admire King, I never even read the book after learning of the plot, the first book of his I missed.
Anyway, like I said, routine, and pretty good considering who made it, which I'm sure many will echo. But I must say I loved the cop! His one liners really made the first part zing, and it's been pretty flat since he left. In fact, I'm getting bored and may miss the final humans-come-together confrontation with the demon from another dimension (can you say "It"?) in favor of a Monty Python re-run I've seen a thousand times. Hmmm, maybe I rated it too high.