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7 reviews in total 
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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Cry now. They want you to cry now., 25 March 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is one of the most manipulative movies I've ever sat through. All it needed was a flashing red sign below the screen telling me when to cry. It's fine to evoke emotions, but they were trying way too hard. Granted, the movie opened it a scene of a child dying, so it was clearly indicated from the beginning that this movie was going to be a barrel of laughs. I suppose I knew what I was getting into from the fist scene.

Sure, not every movie has to be upbeat, but this movie was so unnecessarily depressing that when the lights came up in the theater, half the audience had committed suicide. Okay, I'm lying. I saw it on Netflix. I was going to see it in the theater, but they outlawed it in my area because of all the suicides. Every other scene had something horribly tragic happen. Being needlessly depressing is not the same as being deep. This movie had nothing interesting to say at all. It was hard to feel very strongly about the end, because by the time that happened, I had become desensitized. In 2 hours. Because it was City of Angels. Of course something depressing is going to happen; it happens every time you turn around.

Moreover, the characters were difficult to like. Seth (Nicolas Cage) came across as incredibly creepy. The man used his powers of invisibility to hover over people to read their minds so he could try to understand human emotion. That's not sympathetic. That's downright invasive. I mean, he sat in the bathroom watching Maggie character bath and I'm supposed to like him because he's depressive, even though it clearly explained in the movie that angels don't feel negative emotions? And, not to be mean, but the movie goes through great lengths to present Nicolas Cage as a sex symbol, which seems off. He is an average looking guy with no personality whatsoever. What is it about him that is so damn appealing?

Maggie (Meg Ryan) is a big question mark. For one thing, I like to think that my doctor would feel distress if I died during a procedure, so that seemed realistic. However, it later becomes clear that this was the ONLY patient that has ever died on her operating table... So, to recap, she's an ICU surgeon who had never had a patient die before that. THAT'S realistic. She also comes across as very cold in some scenes. It was half way through the movie that I realized that the doctor she is sleeping with is her boyfriend, and not just a sex buddy. So, essentially, she is cheating on him with Nicolas Cage's character, and doesn't seem to see anything wrong with it. Even when he proposes to her, she seems more disturbed by the fact that he proposed than any of her own wrongdoing.

On the positive side, it's a very aesthetically pleasing film. They especially had some wonderful shots of the mountains in the Lake Tahoe scenes. Also, if you are a particularly sentimental person, than the over-the-top tragic nature of this movie might not annoy you as much as it did me.

As for me, I just found this movie to be to be over-the-top tragic to the point where it seemed unnatural and manipulative. I feel that a plot should unfold and if tragedy comes, it should come naturally; this film seemed to use story as a segue into the cry scenes, and it shows. The dialog is bad, the story is full of holes, and the characters are unlikable. Ultimately, it is for that reason that I give it 2 stars.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Better than it looked in the commercials, 14 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I avoided watching this movie for a long time, because the commercials frankly gave me the impression that this was going to be another sex comedy, when, in fact, it is actually a nice story.

Part of what makes this movie great is that Carell's character is very likable. Carell's ability to play grotesque characters straight comes through very well here. It makes Andy seem very easy to sympathize with, and makes the viewer hope for the best for him. While I don't imagine that his so-called "problem" is the norm, I would assume that it's not as rare as people think, especially for someone as socially awkward as this character. Yet, despite (or perhaps because of) his nerdy demeanor and his social awkwardness, he's hard not to like. He is particularly sympathetic compared to the jerks who try to take him under their wing. Seriously, if the nicest guy in your group of friends stalks his ex-girlfriend, you need to find better people to hang out with.

I also enjoyed the ending, where the film reaches the conclusion that his virginity wasn't a curse, and that it was worth it because he eventually met the right person. I liked this message because they don't beat you over the head with an overt moral message, but instead it's just kind of something that makes sense for this particular character. It's kind of a cute ending for a movie that has such twisted humor throughout the whole thing. This is the kind of comedy I like: twisted humor, but an overall good story.

Overall, it was a good movie that I will definitely watch again.

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
It's hit or miss, 30 September 2009

There are episodes of this show that are truly hilarious. This is true often enough to make this show very entertaining. The comedy tends to be very very blue, but in general, the show is so bizarre that it's difficult to get too offended by most of it.

Story lines that involve Brian and Stewie are really the most interesting characters on the show. Because these two characters are the smarter characters on the show, and because they're very existence forces the viewer to suspend disbelief, they tend to end up with the strangest and most humorous plots and subplots, as well as the smarter jokes.

However, there are times where it is less than inspired, and times where the jokes really are just offensive. . I think some racial and religion jokes can be very funny, and are often funny as presented on the show, but they are overused and therefore get very old very fast. Just a heads up: Anne Frank jokes are not funny

The other characters are good sometimes, and at times aren't very interesting. Peter being stupid and bigoted can be very funny, but is a little overdone. It is very difficult to believe that Lois would actually stay with him, regardless of her implied moral ambiguity. The way he treats Meg has it's moments of twisted humor, but is often uncomfortable to watch. Is it really that funny to watch someone be verbally and at times physically abused by her family and her peers to the point where she becomes mentally ill? Meg's character is a giant question mark, because she's really not very sympathetic, which I'm sure is intentional, but she's not very well written. At some point, Meg's semi-psychotic behavior and her social isolation needs to give way to some other character traits Chris? Well, Chris's character is secondary at most. Even plots that center around something going on in Chris's life tend to be more about Peter's reaction to them than Chris. Perhaps it's better this way.

This show is inconsistently very funny. It is funny often enough to make it worth recommending, but there are certainly episodes worth skipping.

45 out of 61 people found the following review useful:
An experiment in how not to run a family, 28 April 2009

I think everyone knows by now that reality television is not real. It was interesting news (I suppose) 15 years ago. I honestly don't understand why anyone cares anymore. With this in mind, I think it unfair to judge the real family based on what is seen. So when you see me make criticism, please note that I am criticizing the "characters" on the show, not the actual people. I don't know them, and for all we know, they could be lovely people.

This show is just another version of the Osbournes: spoiled "kids", a mother who clearly loves her kids but can't parent for crap, and a father whose given up all hope of ever having anyone recognize the value of his opinions. Bruce is a lot more like Dan Conner from Roseanne than he is Ozzy, but all three men seem to agree on one thing: the love of overbearing women. Disturbingly, in the likability contest, Roseanne seems to win out of the women picked. Scary thought, huh? Kris Jenner, as presented here, is a women who does seem to love her family. She is also one of the worst parents I have seen presented on a TV show in a long time. This is a women who harassed her daughter into posing naked for Playboy that clearly made her uncomfortable; a daughter who was trying to fight off the stigma of the sex tape. This is a women who gave out her daughter's private cellphone number in the middle of an argument because she criticized her (bad) management. This is a women who openly admits to living vicariously through her children (specifically in the Playboy episode).

The daughters are in their twenties, and are treated as if they were teenagers. Well, people rise to what is expected of them, so they act as such. Khloe's the only adult daughter that a normal person can relate to, and even she's a bit... scary. And then the two youngest children are pretty normal kids, but it disturbs me how often they are presented in an unflattering light. When they're in their twenties, are they really going to want to be remembered for playing on a stripper pole? Or mocking their sister? Or how about when the older one hit puberty, and they presented her as an angry little brat? Sure, that's how kids are at that age, but we should chalk at least SOME of that up to hormones and recognize that she's probably not going to want people to see her like that. When you're an adult, you get what you signed up for. When you're a child, someone needs to draw the line.

My other problem is that every episode has a adorable little moral and it's always pretty much the same: "I'll never take my family for granted again... Well, I mean I won't take them for granted again until next week". So they beat us over the head with a lesson that's never actually learned. At least when Full House did that, it was cute.

Is it entertaining? At times. But is it something I'd suggest to others? Not really, no.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Worlds Apart without leaving the country, 19 March 2009

Remember that show on National Geographic Worlds Apart, where an American family went to live with another family, usually of a "tribal" culture, and then suddenly realized "holy cow, our lives are different!"? A little overdone, but it was actually a pretty good show. I wish they were still making it.

Wife Swap is very similar in format, except, of course, that they stay in the country. And, instead of moving the whole family to live with another whole family, they just switch the wives.

It's a decent show that would be a better show if it showed more versatility, but as it is, there are pretty much three kinds of episodes: the politically conservative, usually military, family and the politically liberal family; the stay at home mom who home-schools and smothers the kids and the working mom who doesn't spend enough time with the kids; and the very strict family who expects too much from their kids and the family that has no rules. There are variations, but they tend to be minor and they still end up fitting into one of these categories.

This wouldn't be as big a deal if they didn't due 9 seasons of this. And it does get a little annoying when every other episode claims that the table meeting is "the most shocking table session yet", meanwhile, 90% of the time, the arguing is minor and they often end it with some level of tact.

However, that is the normal reality crap. Those of us who watch reality TV know that it is contrived, faked, and the commercials are over-hyped. Yes, that's right, contrary to popular belief, most of us know this. I'm not sure it works in the context of this show, which is really more of a straightforward drama than train-wreck reality schlock.

Despite this, the idea is still interesting. The idea of having to live someone else's life for two weeks is interesting to even the most content person. In that sense, this show is very good.

Freaks (1932)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Well, it's interesting, anyway, 19 February 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Politically correct or not, people have never really gotten over their interest in the sideshow. It is this that makes the movie entertaining. This being the case, it probably would have been better to have done a documentary on the sideshow, as opposed to attempting to write a bad story around frighteningly bad acting.

Harry Earles was not an actor. I couldn't tell if he didn't speak English or if he merely had no understanding of inflection. His sister (who played his wife. CREEPY) was slightly better, but only very slightly. So what do you do when you have a group of circus performers who can't act? You surround them by actors who also can't act. Yeah, that makes sense.

The story claims to show the freaks as the truly "normal" ones and the other performers as the "freaks", which I suppose was an unusual concept in 1932. However, they also essentially portray the freaks as a cult in various points of the movie, and when the main antagonist is paid back, they disfigure her and then apparently use some sort of bizarre unexplained magic to turn her into the human chicken, making her "one of us" (hence the mantra). I realize, of course, that it was the 30s and they couldn't show anything, so they were trying to do the "what you don't see is more disturbing than what you do see" deal- something I generally miss in horror films. However, this wasn't so much disturbing as it leaves the viewer confused. I somehow doubt this really helped the argument that they were trying to show them in a "positive" light.

Despite all of its flaws, there is something incredibly intriguing about the movie. There's a great intensity to it. I love the fact that they used real sideshow performers, something that never would have been done today.

58 out of 78 people found the following review useful:
Denise Richards is a lot of things, but "complicated" ain't one of them, 7 June 2008

Here's the reality, Denise: you're not the Bond girl. You're not the girl from Wild Things. You're the woman who married Charlie Sheen. And, frankly, it's hard to feel sorry for anyone who would marry Charlie Sheen.

This stated, I did not watch this show wanting to dislike her. I really wanted to like her. Despite myself, I enjoy reality shows. Yes, I am a little ashamed, but there it is. What can I do? I wanted to like her and I wanted to like her show. However, she makes it very hard. If anything, her show, an obvious attempt for her to gain sympathy, hurts her case, because the difference between her and her ex-husband is that HE openly admits to being a deeply flawed individual, while she whines about her critics, but is somehow thoroughly convinced that America will think her bad personality is cute. I think I'd rather HE get his own reality show, because at least he's entertaining.

I digress. About the show: well, first of all, "It's Complicated" is a poor name, as it isn't complicated at all: she is an unpleasant person. Seems simple to me. And she's not even unpleasant in the typical reality "It makes for good television" way. She is unpleasant in a "I hope I never cross your path because you curse out everyone on it" kind of way. Okay, so she's not the first person to get angry at the people at the DMV, but let's see who else she insulted on her confessionals, been rude to or cursed at (who didn't deserve it): Her personal assistant; her sister, who was just trying to help her; her sister's husband, who didn't even do anything; her friend, who was just trying to help her; the guy who was on her date, who she was cold and sarcastic with, and then made fun of behind his back and called gay. And yes, girlfriends make those kind of comments to each other, but most don't do it on national television. I really hope that guy was just a hired actor.

Any more innocent bystanders you want to shoot, Denise?

The second episode wasn't as bad as the first, but how hard is it to get people to cheer for you when you're cursing out the paparazzi? I want to make this clear: I NEVER side with the tabloids. Ever. They are BAD people. They're like the mafia without guns with their essential claims of "it's only business". However, attacking the paparazzi is like shooting fish in a barrel. While I don't blame her, and even applaud her for doing it, it doesn't really get the "pity" affect she was going for.

You'd think that with her blunt personality, she would seem honest, but there's a hint if insincerity with everything she does. She says she wants to show another side of her, but we've seen very little positive except a few rare things: I do applaud her standing up to the tabloids. Aside from that? Nothing much. She seems to get along really with animals... Her dad seems nice... Anything else? Nothing really.

This being a business, most shows are devised entirely to make money. Obviously. However, hers attempts to serve dual purposes: to make money and to make people feel sorry for her. She may well do the first, but she's going to try a little harder to do the second.