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Gets better each week
Lets face it, Australian TV is for the most part terrible, but this is a real diamond in the rough that not enough people are watching. The Chaser crew who do the satirical newspaper and CNNN try something new by mixing live comedy, pre-recorded skits and political satire into one show filmed in front of a live audience, sorta like Rove, but funny. They love causing controversy and this causes some of the shows funniest moments, especially Chris telling his wife to "f-- off" live on breakfast television and Julian handing a novelty cheque signed by Saddam Heusein to the head of the AWB. It has to be one of the funniest Aussie shows since the Micallef Program.
Batman Begins (2005)
The first Live action Batman movie to really get it right
First off this is a great mainstream action movie, you don't have to be a fan of Batman to like this film, as it is the most accessible of the Batman films thus far, it explains the character better than ever before. I have been following the development of this movie for a long time, all the right pieces seemed to be falling together, a non-mainstream director who can make an enjoyable film, a scriptwriter who is familiar with the comic book medium, a great cast filled with great actors, not big name stars and the fact that this one was to have nothing to do with the previous Batman films, and start it properly. The film follows Bruce Wayne from when he is a child, to how he reacts to the tragedy of his parents murder, to fleeing Gotham as a teenager to living as a Petty criminal in Asia, and then returning home. Christian Bale gives a great performance as Bruce Wayne, playing a stuck up rich womanizing snob to protect his secret identity, and then a equally great performance as Batman, a fearful and slightly insane avenger of justice. The other stand out performances would be Gary Oldman as Commisionor Gordan and Michael Cain as Alfred. This film is highly recommended for all
American Dad! (2005)
A good cheap laugh
I recently caught the pilot episode of the new show from the Family Guy creator, and well originality isn't this shows strong point, it is basically a different Family Guy. But the show although it seems to similar to Family Guy is quite funny, the family is slightly insane CIA Dad, nerdy son, hippy teenage daughter, talking pet (this time a goldfish), and an alien the the dad rescued from Area 51, and a mother. Like the Family Guy the strengths lie in the shows fast pace and sight gags, blink and you will miss a joke. While this will never be on the same par as Futurama or the Simpsons it is an entertaining show that doesn't try to be anything more than it is, a good cheap laugh.
Star Trek: Voyager (1995)
A good idea is almost completely wasted
Not being a huge Star Trek fan, i really liked the idea of what his story tried to do, to mix a group of political rebels together with loyal Starfleet officers and get them lost on the other side of the galaxy and have them work together to find a way home, whoever the show turned out to be a boring mess that somehow trudged along for 7 long years without getting canceled, and how it did that is anyones guess.
The problem in the show is the writing is incredibly boring, the characters have no real flaws or differences to keep them interesting, Kate Mulgrew's Captain Janeway lacks any acting talent or charisma that made Kirk and Picard so memorable, there is no drama among the ships crew,
somehow the Marqii (political rebels) and Starfleet put all their differences aside and happily work together. It lacks the emotional journeys of characters like Data, Spock and Worf. The only actor in the show who truly stand out is Robert Picardo's Doctor (And i believe most of his good lines where ad-libbed).
A good comparison is the Next Generation episode "The Best of Both Worlds" where Picard is assimilated by the Borg to help then understand humanity, after that episode Picard was so traumatized he felt like taking his own life, and it was one of the greatest Trek story's ever because of the emotional journey he went through, however in a later Voyager episode Janeyway and several other crew members are assimilated by the Borg, but are all better at the end of the show due to some magical machine the holographic doctor made to keep them sane or something like that, just make the show seem so unbelievable and boring compared to The Next Generation.
Las Vegas (2003)
All style, no substance
This TV show about the inner workings of a casino is less interesting than it sounds. The show follows a security team and their lives working at a major Las Vegas casino, and instead of examining the gritty underworld of the city of sin, it try's to make Las Vegas look like an exciting place where dreams come true. The security team are a pleasant bunch of people who will help police with a murder investigation or for no reason at all befriend and help residents of the casino with their problems. James Caan probably gives the best performance on the show as the big boss but is nowhere enough to save this show. Constant computer effects and strange camera angles try to keep up the momentum of this show, but with the clichéd script maybe they should have called this show "Reno"
If you are interested in some good movies set in Las Vegas check out "Casino" "The Cooler" or "Leaving Las Vegas" and don't bother with this tourist brochure.
Rove Live (2000)
responsible for the death of Aussie comedy
Rove was a young comedian when he got his big break on channel 9 in 1999, his show only lasted for a few weeks but was quite funny. Afer that show flopped 10 picked him up do do a variety comedy show. Instead of trying to come up with good material and sketches it strives to be an Aussie Letterman, but falls way short. The problem with this show is it doesn't have an original idea, his "what the" Roving with Rove" "John call Rove" and various other bits are direct copys form Letterman, Conan and Leno. But this show will rate well as it is the only variety show for big name movie stars, bands and pop stars to appear on when they come for a promotional tour of Australia. So while the jokes will always be stale and unfunny, people will continue to watch it for Kyle, Travolta, Clooney, Jackman and all the other celebs that appear on the show. And no other network will attempt at making another comedy, sketch or variety program while this one is still successful, i guess they think there is only room for one. Oh well it cant last for too much longer.
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
An absolute classic, the best Batman movie so far
Out of all the Batman films so far, including all the live action films, this one is still the only one to really explore the character of Bruce Wayne/Batman and examine what drove him to becoming Batman.
It has a great story that flashes back to just before Bruce took up the mantle of the bat and the woman he was involved with at the time, then skips forward to an unknown assassin killing Gotham City's mobsters, and we see how the 2 story's meet. The writing is top-notch, in no-way predictable and the voice acting by Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as the Joker truly amazing and bone-chillingly scary.
The only complaints is that the animation could have been better at some points, but that is because it was originally meant to be a straight to video release before Warner's saw what a masterpiece they had created, and also it should have run for a little bit longer, but oh well. If you haven't yet seen it i highly recommend it.
Ocean's Twelve (2004)
What a waste
This movie looked like good fun in the trailers and ads. The 2001 movie was great fun, and the entire cast and director returned, it should have been great, unfortunately it wasn't.
The problem with this movie is i don't think Steven Sodenbergh knew what to do with so many stars, and how to continue the story that finished off nicely at the end of the first film. Instead of a clever script we get 2 hours of cameos, in-jokes, George Clooney and Brad Pitt smirking, some impossible to follow story about cat burglars and interpol, and beautiful shots of Europe ruined by an overuse of hand-held camera, and a god awful sequence about Julia Roberts worshiping her own celebrity status.
It may have been fun for the cast and crew, but not for the audience
Battlestar Galactica (2004)
I first heard about this show from a clerk at a DVD store, he said it was one of the best Sci-Fi's in a long time and would recommend it to anyone, as the miniseries was only $20, i gave it a go and was blown away, it was absolutely fantastic. I feared the TV show would not be able to be anything near the mini, i was wrong, the whole cast returns (including Tricia Helfer wonderfully sexy and evil number 6 and Mary McDonnell as President Roslin) The writing has remained top notch, there hasn't yet been an alien of the week of some lame time travel episodes that the Star Treks always do. The strong acting and characters remain at the forefront of the series and each episode reveals a little bit more about their tortured history. The only complaint is their haven't been that many space-fights like the fantastic ones in the miniseries, but that is a small complaint.
Teen Titans (2003)
A half hour sugar high
Me and my friends recently saw an episode of this and at first we hated it. The animation is heavily influenced by Japanime and unlike the Justice League and Batman cartoons it is very childish.
But then we forgot about the comic it came form and enjoyed it on a different level. The show is terrific fun for kids and adults, the plots go at a million miles an hour packed together with awesome Japanese music. The cast is funny and the show is full of homages to old shows and sight gags as well as the most catchy theme song for a TV Show ever. switch your brain off and enjoy.
While not as good as Batman the Animated Series this will be a show you can safely watch with little kids and be sure of everyone having a good time