99 Reviews
Sort by:
Not exactly like the book, but an interesting interpretation nonetheless!
7 February 2018
The original book on which this is based was not what you would call science-fiction, but more like history-fiction. Even though Philip K. Dick is known for science-fiction works, this novel was not science-fiction, but history-fiction. PKD's novel was inspired by a previous novel by Ward Moore called "Bring The Jubilee", which was history-fiction about what would happen if the South won the American Civil War, rather than the North. TMITHC the novel had a novel within a novel called the The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, which was the inspiration for rebellion against the victorious Axis powers, but it wasn't the supernatural newsreels from another universe as it is in this TV series.

When PKD wrote this book, in 1962, he set it in 1962, so to him it was set in modern times. The TV series is also set in 1962, but to us, it's a period piece, since it's well over 50 years later! We now have a lot of history that has happened since the novel. So the producers seem to have added some anachronistic touches to it to help distinguish between alternate realities. For example, in the Axis-winning timeline, certain technology is years ahead of schedule, such as Concorde-like supersonic airliners (which they call Rockets), monorails, what appears to be a Comanche-like attack helicopter, many decades ahead of schedule. Yet the automotive technology seems to have stagnated, cars and buses appear firmly rooted in 1940's and 50's design right into the 60's. It is meant to show that the Nazis had very different technological priorities.

The TMITHC TV show is a bit more rooted within science-fiction, with a little bit of history-fiction thrown in. These days concepts like time travel and the multiverse are very popular, so they've taken the TV show in that direction. I don't think it's badly done, just not really the same concept as the novel.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Arrival (II) (2016)
Creates a sense of dread
14 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This movie creates a building sense of dread, which is interesting because there are no typical space battles, or on-screen violence. There is some off-screen violence, but that's hinted at, rather than actually shown. There are some fantastical technological wonders on the alien ships, like their artificial gravity, and the aliens' smoke-based writing system. The aliens in the movie, called the Heptapods, were created based on biological influences on Earth, they look familiar and alien at the same time. They look kind of like octopuses or even the human hand.

In some ways, this movie is familiar, it's similar to Close Encounters of Third Kind, or Childhood's End. It's even slightly similar to Independence Day, but several levels smarter. Another interesting feature of this movie is that it was told non-linearly, which we don't find out about till the end, that a lot of the stuff that we saw happening actually didn't happen till the future.

Overall a very intelligent movie, but if you're going in to see a typical space shoot-em-up, this isn't the movie for you. Also very interesting that they built up the entire mystery of the aliens within just a two-hour movie, the pacing was just right, you were never bored. These days intelligent thought-provoking shows are usually found on HBO or Netflix TV mini-series, rather than in movies.
5 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Gods of Egypt (2016)
Very entertaining, don't know why critics didn't like it
2 March 2016
It's a mythological movie, always liked mythological movies, and this one was no exception. I went into the movie not having read any of the critics reviews, and when I came home afterwards, I was surprised to see so many critics have bashed the movie. The only problem that they can cite is that this movie had too many white actors in it! This was never a problem in the past, The Clash of the Titans and the Immortals were similar mythological movies from just a few years ago, also with a mainly white cast and it was never even mentioned for them. Since this movie came out so soon after the 2016 Oscar awards ceremony, which was criticized heavily for not having any black actors or black-based films nominated, maybe this movie got unfairly caught up in the fad of the times?

Anyways, there's a lot to love about this film. Watch the depiction of the flat Earth, with a Sun being dragged around by Ra's chariot. They could've gone with a modern scientific depiction of the round Earth and the Sun, but this is mythology, they wanted to stay true to the mythological depiction, and so they did depict it like mythology has it. But their depiction is a lot of fun, it is sort of a retro-modern depiction.

I never felt the movie dragged at any point.
68 out of 140 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Safe (I) (2012)
Surprisingly competent action thriller
8 September 2012
We watched this movie without expecting too much, but it was a surprisingly good movie actually. Even my wife liked it, and she hates action movies. It felt like a video game, and a lot of the scenes seemed to be filmed from a first person shooter perspective. I loved the way we see action scenes from the point of view of the gun as it's shooting people. Much like a video game, the acting was low-intensity stuff, but at least not too stupid. The editing was tight in most cases, there weren't too many scenes that felt like they were dragging (just a very few).

We don't see why the little girl and the anti-hero feel a bond with each other, it really makes no sense. The girl is a super-genius and she has learnt to be super-cautious around the people she works with, yet she doesn't try to run away from him, and intuitively trusts him.

There is lots of violence, but it's stylized violence, and there isn't too much blood and gore. Perhaps why even action-flick hating spouses could like it.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Pandorum (2009)
A very competent sci-fi horror flick, surprisingly
6 August 2012
I'd never even heard of this movie until they played it on our sci-fi channel here in Canada, Space. The story is somehow reminiscent of Alien, and Planet of The Apes, in some cases. There is an interesting twist in the end. The special effects are hot, but they could have done with far less of it, and it would have still been an amazing story.

I like the concepts they came up with, such as the temporary amnesia one has after waking from hyper-sleep. This not only helps setup a voyage of discovery of oneself, but also shrouds in mystery a lot stuff that has happened to them, that they should have remembered but can't. Wish this movie had done a bit better in the box office, then there might have been a sequel to show their lives after these events.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The Almighty Johnsons (2011–2013)
Surprisingly likable
24 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This show just started here in Canada on the sci-fi Space channel. I've watched maybe the first 5 episodes of it only, I understand it's already on its second season in NZ, but already my wife and I like it. Compared to crud like Heroes, and No Ordinary Family, this is a much more believable storyline. There's no great super crime fighting going on here, it's more about a bunch of ordinary people living ordinary lives, except that they also happen to be gods. And not all-powerful gods either, just weak gods with greatly diminished powers, however they are going on a quest to recover all of their powers so that they can become all-powerful again. And the quest is not to recover some magical stone or anything, but simply for one of the brothers, Axl/Odin, to find his opposite goddess, Frigg. These are two of the most important gods in Norse mythology as they are the parents of all of the other gods.

They aren't going around beating up bad guys, they are just living life in the suburbs, running businesses, and trying to survive daily lives, find ways to earn money, etc. Some of them are using their godly powers for their own advantage, and some are not. Their godly powers are actually not all that impressive actually, which again makes the show much more accessible. In superhero TV shows, you usually see a guy with such amazing powers that you often wonder how bad guys even stand a chance against them? This is kind of how Heroes started in its first season, until they totally screwed it up in later seasons.
15 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Homeland (2011– )
It's neither intelligent nor well-written
13 June 2012
I know when we watch a work of fiction, that we have to suspend our disbelief, but they are just asking way too much of it here from us. There are so many plot holes in this thing. I have watched the first 6 episodes of 12 so far, and I don't think it's going to get much better. The CIA agents must be buffoons here, making such basic mistakes that would've gotten a mall security guard fired.

I watched the story mainly to see Maurena Baccarin, and Damian Lewis. Claire Danes is of secondary interest to me. I've been a fan of Damian Lewis since his series, Life. I've been a fan of Maurena Baccarin, since her days on Firefly & SG-1 (not so much on V, however).

I do enjoy the acting, just don't like the writing.
19 out of 37 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A worthy prequel to the original 1968 movie
18 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This is easily one of the better blockbusters of the summer of 2011. Of all of the mindless summer blockbusters, this one is the least mindless. There is a large cast of well-known and accomplished actors in this movie, but for the most part, you could say that they are doing cameo roles, as the focus is squarely on the apes.

We went and reviewed the original movie after seeing this movie. I say that this is a worthy prequel to the original 1968 movie, because throughout the movie they pay homage to and try to explain how events led up to the original movie. Obviously they explain how apes became intelligent. But there are other quick little touches too, such as explaining how the apes can ride horses. They showed the manned space mission that gets lost in space which is obviously the mission that Charlton Heston was on in the original movie, the ship even looks like the original. They paid homage to Heston by showing one of his western movies in a TV screen in the background briefly. They showed that an engineered virus was responsible for giving the apes intelligence, but was also the same virus that killed humans. They showed how this virus was spread throughout the world by a pilot who happened to be a neighbour of the doctor (James Franco) who developed the virus and was the owner of Caesar the chimp.

Throughout this movie there's a lot to like. Much better than the 2001 Tim Burton/Mark Wahlberg remake. There are some interesting connections between these three movies and Harry Potter, despite the 4 decades in between them. In the 1968 movie, the astronauts initially thought they've landed on a planet orbiting the star Bellatrix. Bellatrix was a character played by Helena Bonham Carter in the Harry Potter movies. Helena Bonham Carter was also in the Tim Burton 2001 Planet of the Apes remake. Tom Felton who plays Dodge Landon in this movie, also played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies.
1 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Cloverfield (2008)
Suspense factor is way off the chart!
10 August 2011
I saw this movie at the theatre when it was first released, and then watched it again at home in BluRay a couple of years later. Even though I knew what the movie was all about from the first time, I did not feel any less suspense the second time watching it. This movie reminded me entirely of the 1997 Godzilla movie, same city being destroyed New York, except this one seemed like it was done right. Monsters are much scarier if you don't see them constantly, and they just pop into view briefly and unexpectedly.

I thought the whole idea of starting the movie off like a love story, and then totally changing the type of movie after a quarter of the way through was an extremely clever plot device. It's what kept the movie completely unexpected for me.

Some people complained about feeling nauseous from the hand-held camera movement effects. I'd say that's overblown, if just watching people at an angle on a screen makes you feel nauseous then you're probably too fragile to even tilt your head.
1 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Outcasts (2010–2011)
It really grows on you
8 July 2011
There was a major improvement of this show starting with the 2nd episode, but I think maybe some damage was done to it by its pilot episode. The pilot had some characters which we never see again, which actually made the series more tight and focused. I think that one problem that arc-based stories in general make is that they try too hard to keep the deep dark secret a secret. They may even try to keep it a secret right through the whole season, and people just don't have the patience to wait for the secret to be revealed. They should just reveal it in the first episode, and hook the people. If you hook them in the pilot, then the series has a chance of survival. Unfortunately, they didn't do this early enough in this series, and as a result its viewership has suffered.

However, for those viewers who had the patience to wait for the secret to get revealed, they were treated to some amazingly gripping stories. I just wish science fiction writers wouldn't try to be so clever about guarding the secret. You have to entertain right from the first episode to the last. If the first episode feels boring, then the whole series will fall off the cliff. Watching this series on DVD might be the best way to watch it though.
3 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Darksiders (2010 Video Game)
God of War Lite
4 May 2010
Although I'm calling it God of War Lite, that's not an insult really. A lot of stuff in the God of War series are frustratingly annoying button-mashing sequences, or pointless puzzles meant just to increase the gameplay time. Those are thankfully not present in this game. Final blow sequences are all just one button press rather than a randomized sequence of them.

There has been a lot of comparison to other games like Portal, Zelda, and God of War. I think God of War is the most relevant comparison, as GoW has a similar plot to this one. I finished playing the three God of War episodes, and then I picked this one up once I was done with GoW3. The ending of this one is lifted from GoW3, or at least very similar. But I was able to go through this game quicker than any of the GoW's as the time-wasting puzzles and button-mashing sequences were not present.
5 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Moon (2009)
Pays homage to sci-fi classics of the 70's
25 October 2009
First of all, I didn't know that the director of this movie was David Bowie's son, Duncan Jones, until I read about it in here. It wouldn't have mattered, a good film is a good film, no matter who did it.

This film reminds me heavily of sci-fi classics from the late 60's and 70's. I was reminded of "2001", "Silent Running", and even the TV show "Space 1999". This might be because I think the special effects were achieved through model-making like they used to in the 70's, rather than computer CGI as they do nowadays. It shows that there's still a place for model-making, and in certain circumstances it looks more realistic than CGI.

The filmmaker even uses our knowledge of these past films against us. For example, we're all used to the evil computer HAL on 2001. So when we watch the computer on this base, GERTY, we have certain assumptions about its motives, and thus we're surprised by its actual motives in the end. Even the use of the actor Kevin Spacey, as the voice of GERTY aids in the illusion, since we know his roles from the past where he's played some very strange characters, makes us think this is going to be similar to one of his old roles.

Sam Rockwell's performance was excellent, as Sam Bell. And we shouldn't forget Robin Chalk's performance as a young Sam Bell. I would say that the actors, Rockwell, Spacey, Chalk were actually part of making the special effects illusion work.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A joke that went too long
21 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The main premise for this movie is every woman's fantasy: a vagina that kills and eats men. Well at least it is a fantasy for every woman who has ever had a fight against a man. What's that, 99.9999% of women? But don't worry it's not a gory kind of eating of men. It's more like a comical slurping them in, like a drain plug. There's no blood or parts left behind. So for blood, guts & gore fans, forget about this film, not much gore here.

The two main characters of the film are somewhat unrealistic. Helen is a good girl who becomes a prostitute. Meanwhile, Dennis is a nice guy who stalks Helen.

The story is already a little silly at this point, but then they throw in two more equally silly sub-stories that just send this movie into the bad B-movie territory. The first new sub-story is about Dennis finding new love with a pair of conjoined twins; and then eventually murdering one of them, and becoming a fugitive bank-robber. The second new sub-story is about Helen finding new love with a nice policeman who rescued her from a prostitution-related bad date, and decided he wanted to marry her. Dennis and Helen eventually meet up again at the end of movie in totally unbelievable circumstances, and magically Helen's murderous vagina is cured!
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Surprisingly amusing
8 July 2009
I started watching this show and immediately got hooked. Yes, the humour is a bit crude for Brits, and women. The jokes are often about sexual shortcomings and alternate lifestyles. Brits usually like to take subtle shots at politicians or celebrities -- that'll never work in America. However, they did take a shot at George W. Bush in the third episode parodying his infamously flubbed "Fool me once, shame on you" speech.

The character of Zezelryck, the incompetent sorcerer, reminded me of Chris Tucker's character in the movie The Fifth Element. It was a screechy Prince or Michael Jackson impersonation.

Bruce, the gay boytoy character, is a bit too over-the-top. Too obviously gay. I liked the character they had in the 4th episode, the Bi-Clops. He was a bit more subtle, and therefore funnier.
8 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Legend of the Seeker (2008–2010)
Fun and compelling adventure
8 July 2009
I've finished watching the whole Season 1 now, and I must say it only got better as they went through the season. I found it more accessible than the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Initially, this series might seem like a cheap knockoff of LotR, but it feels a bit more authentic than LotR. The heroes and villains aren't super powerful, just slightly more powerful. The magic isn't limitless, which could result in too many stories being resolved by magical devices of the week.

In fact, I'm pleased that they seem to have placed limits on how powerful magic can be, using magic has costs on the user. Such as Kahlan when she confesses someone, she nearly collapses from exertion to the point where she can't keep fighting anymore. So she has to rest up after using the Confession power, but she also has to weigh whether it's worth confessing someone while she's in the middle of a fight because it leaves her vulnerable. If the producers can keep up this level of discipline in storytelling, then this series will prosper in the next season and beyond. By comparison, I felt the same way about Heroes in its first season, but they messed it up in subsequent seasons.
3 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Virtuality (2009 TV Movie)
Not bad, but might be too slow
27 June 2009
For those of you complaining about how the show seemed to end right in the middle of its plot. Yes, it was supposed to be the pilot for a TV series. There's been plenty of speculation on websites that FOX has decided not to proceed with the full series, but it will proceed with the pilot since they already paid for it. So that's why the show was left in a cliffhanger.

FOX doesn't have a lot of confidence in this show, and I can't blame them for it; better to let it die quickly than to have a sci-fi fan base disappointed when it inevitably gets canceled in mid-season. It seems a bit inaccessible for non-sci-fi audiences, the pacing was a little slow most of the time. The virtual reality special effects seemed like bad CGI greenscreen, but perhaps that was on purpose, so that you'd know you're in a virtual reality setting. I started only getting interested when they started showing the special effects for the journey to the other star system, Epsilon Eridani. They did research their interstellar propulsion mechanisms well, and it looked like nuclear propulsion drives as described in various science fiction novels in the past.

I didn't think the idea behind the story was bad though. It was about a rogue virtual-reality character showing up within various crewmembers' holo-stories, and creating very scary havoc inside their stories. When things start going wrong in the holo-stories, a lot of finger pointing goes on between the crewmembers against each other. However, I don't think solving a new holographic mystery every week is enough to keep people's attention for a full-length series.
11 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Don't listen to the critics
17 June 2009
There are just some types of movies that critics will never love, and this is one of them. Were they expecting Shakespeare? Leave your brain at home and enjoy this movie, that's the best advice I can give you. Don't nitpick this movie to death. I was never once bored or annoyed by this film. I had read all of the bad reviews, and I was prepared to skip this movie, but I'm glad that I didn't.

They had good pacing in the movie, they didn't waste any time with slow scenes. Every scene had something interesting happening in it. By comparison, "Up!" the Pixar hit film of the summer, and critically acclaimed, was also good, but it definitely had some minor slow moments in it that bored you.

One person was complaining that there was too much profanity in this movie for young kids. Didn't the US PG-13 rating give you a clue that this would be the case? Set your expectations and you'll get far with this movie.
4 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Journeyman (2007– )
Slowly developing storyline, but has potential
30 November 2007
I've been hearing the opinions of friends and family about this show, some like it, some are so-so, and some are less than so-so. I'm firmly in the "like it" camp. Yes, it is a rehash of Quantum Leap, and QL also had a lot of people who didn't get it. In a sense it's more accessible, and less radical than QL. At the end of every story, Dan Vasser comes back to his family; whereas QL's Sam Beckett was jumping from time frame to time frame, with no guarantee of ever seeing his home again; that made QL a bit of a downer, whereas this one is more upbeat. Another interesting connection to time travel TV shows of the past is Moon Bloodgood, who was in the super-radical 2006's Day Break with Taye Diggs, and ironically she was playing a time traveler's companion in that one too.

The overall story is slowly starting to develop right now. We're just starting to find out the reason Dan is "leaping", there's a creepy physics professor who seems to be connected, and knows more than he's letting on. Also Bloodgood's character, Livia, who is Dan's fellow time-traveler and his ex-fiancée who supposedly died in a plane crash years ago, also seems to know more than she's letting on. Livia acts as Dan's mentor and protector. And Dan's suffering family, his wife Katie, son Zack, and brother Jack are all interesting back-stories about his life in the present day.

I just hope we see enough of this series to get all of the questions answered, time travel shows have very little chance of survival on American TV; witness Quantum Leap and especially Day Break (killed six episodes into the season). There's already murmurings of this show going to be canceled.
17 out of 37 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Beowulf (2007)
Special effects and stuff
17 November 2007
This was a slightly over-long movie, with too many slow spots in between. However, I'm glad I went to see it in IMAX 3D, as it heightened the enjoyment, above what it normally would've been. I'd highly suggest you see it in 3D too, rather than in the normal version.

One thing I was surprised to find out was that this was a completely animated movie, and not a live action movie with special effects. That's because the characters in the movie all mostly looked like the actors who were just playing their voices. Anthony Hopkins looked like Anthony Hopkins, Brendan Gleeson looked like Brendan Gleeson, and of course Angelina Jolie looked like Angelina Jolie (most of the time). So when I saw the trailers, I just assumed it was just live action. It was an interesting choice to make the characters look like their voice actors who we're all familiar with.

However, that's not to say that it was perfect. I found the characters' expressions were lifeless. I wish they had put some scanners on the voice actor's faces and replicated them to their animated character's faces. This is a problem with a lot of animated movies trying for authenticity -- they just never get the facial expressions right, for example the Final Fantasy movie. It isn't such a problem with a character based on Angelina Jolie, who has relatively few facial expressions, but it was a problem for the Anthony Hopkins character (King Hrothgar), the Ray Winstone character (Beowulf), and especially Robin Wright Penn's character (Wealthow). Wealthow looked like a marionette throughout the movie with almost no expressions on her character's face. Also, in some scenes the Angelina Jolie character looked like her (almost too perfectly, her animated body was much curvier than her real life body), but in other scenes it didn't look like her at all. It doesn't look like they paid attention to quality control throughout the whole movie.

Also a warning about the 3D effects. It is somewhat headache inducing. The movie looks 3D alright, but mainly like the flattened 3D like what you would see inside a Viewmaster stereoscope. Foreground objects pass in front of background objects like you would expect in 3D, but the foreground objects look like 2D cardboard cutouts; there is no depth to the foreground objects themselves. I hope some future 3D technology takes care of this annoyance.
2 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Premonition (I) (2007)
It was okay, but some big continuity errors
27 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
There's going to be spoilers in this review, so be forewarned. I'll just say beforehand that people who can follow non-linear story lines will probably mostly like this movie, the rest of you will absolutely hate it. Also the title of the movie, Premonition, is a bit of a misnomer, it's not really about premonitions, it's about travelling back and forth through time in the wrong order; a premonition means you've seen the future and remember it, while still remembering the past, but in this movie she isn't travelling through the days in the right order so she sees glimpses of the future without knowing the stuff that happened before it.

In the movie, we see that during the first day, Bullock is told that her husband has died in a car crash the day before. We later deduce that this first day of the movie is Thursday. We see her go pick her daughters up from school, and that's the first of their big continuity goofs. We see that the older daughter's face is fine with no scars on it. This is important because later in the movie we find out that she was injured on Tuesday when she accidentally falls through a plate-glass doorway, and sustains facial injuries that are revealed to be there upto Saturday at the very least. If she had facial injuries from Tuesday through Saturday, why doesn't she have them on Thursday too? Another continuity goof (or maybe an omission) is at the end of the movie. We see early on in the movie that she's dragged off to a mental institution on Saturday after the funeral. But at the end of the movie we see she is just waking up and it's several months later, and she's pregnant with her dead husband's baby, and she's getting ready to move out of that house. So what happened between the mental institutionalization and moving day? No explanation offered. Can you get sent to a loonie bin and be let out that quickly? Did the doctors at the loonie bin somehow come to the realization that she was right all along, and they were wrong?
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Drive (2007– )
Low-intelligence but fun Lost-style show
3 May 2007
This seemed like it could've been a fun show. Much like Lost, there seems to be a manipulative secret cabal (i.e. The Others) running things in the background for mysterious purposes. Unlike Lost's secret cabal, this seems to be the world's stupidest cabal who manipulate an illegal cross-country road race rather than manipulating a group of plane crash survivors. But don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with stupid shows and stupid ideas, as long as you know you're watching stupidity and adjust your expectations accordingly. Mindless entertainment is just great too.

The show had some good ideas, it used computer-generated car race sequences. Due to this, you got some great camera angles on the cars in motion. For example it looked just like a video game like Need For Speed, where you follow or lead the car from just slightly above and behind/ahead of the car at a constant distance. However, the cars were too obviously fake, so they could've worked on the computer animations some more.

Unfortunately, I've heard that the show has already been canceled, after just 4 episodes. Not surprising.
4 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
should have stuck to documentary or drama, not both
27 December 2006
I know we shouldn't expect much from a low-budget indie film. But the idea behind it is sound: an attempt to open America's eyes to the cozy relationship between the government, and the journalists that are supposed to be keeping an eye out against it. But somehow the documentary aspect of it, takes away from its drama. The protests during the 2004 Republican convention in New York were not that compelling to make a documentary about it. Those kinds of compelling protests belong to the era of the 1960's.

It would have been better to stick to a drama format. Perhaps a slow build-up where the young journalist's eyes are gradually opened up to the conspiracy.
2 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The Flash: Pilot (1990)
Season 1, Episode 0
Oh yeah! It was horrible
23 May 2006
Not to take anything away from all of the comic book fans here, who seem to adore this show, but are you crazy? Everything about this show screams out "bad", from the acting to the writing to the directing. It's like as if the actors are reading their lines off of a teleprompter (which they probably are). Even when the show was on TV, I guess I never watched more than one episode of the series -- it had nothing to do with the network giving bad time slots to this show. Giving this show the network's best time slot would have just resulted in that time slot getting destroyed. There are just some shows that are too horrid to survive, and this is one of them. Its fate was exactly what it should have been.
2 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Battlestar Galactica (2004–2009)
It's sometimes easy to forget that it is science-fiction
21 February 2006
Recently there's been a lot of hype about how the stories in this series seem to have some relevance to the mood of the times that we live in right now. Well, that hype is all true. There is a lot of relevance to the mood of paranoia that's permeating our lives right now. Everybody from ultra-conservative groups to ultra-liberal groups, and major media outlets like Time magazine have raved about this show.

So it's sometimes easy to forget that this is science-fiction. In fact that might be one of the flaws of this show, there is so much politics, paranoia, and other human interactions, the science-fiction takes a backseat; there's not enough space battles or stuff. The original show that this was based on was a Star Wars clone; George Lucas even sued the makers of the original series for too much resemblance. So it's ironic that this new show is almost the anti-Star Wars; it probably reflects a changing of the guard in stylistic approaches to science-fiction. Star Wars, and Star Trek as well (both before and after it), were all about envisioning the future in terms of technology -- find the coolest gadget and focus in on it. The new approach is to minimize the gadgetry. In a sense, this sort of minimalism is reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Oddessy". In the 70's, gadgetry was king, and science-fiction thrived on it. These days, gadgetry has been done thoroughly to the ground.

So these days, what makes this new minimalist science fiction cool? Well, they're concentrating on camera work and physics. It's been noted that the show looks like it's been filmed with hand-cameras, that's not just the filming of the interior scenes where people are interacting with people, it also applies to the exterior space scenes. There is a somewhat jerky, documentary style to it sometimes. This serves the show well, when they want to add an element of surprise. For example, when a Cylon fighter is approaching, the camera swings over to find it, it may overshoot slightly and have to come back a bit, and then it would have to focus in on the object, this all takes some time and causes much tension while it's happening. It's much like if somebody were shooting at you from far away and you can only hear them, but you have a lot of panicky moments while you're trying to find him with your eyes. As for the physics, these ships actually look like they are out in space, and not just out in the air. The ships can flip backwards, and slip sideways, and hover, and move silently without their engines firing just using their momentum, just like as if they were in real vacuum.

Another interesting break from old-guard science-fiction is the choice of soundtrack here. They've completely broken from the tradition of the over-dramatic symphonic sound of past sci-fi. For the opening credits, they are using a simple drumbeat for dramatic moments, and they use a mournful ethnic vocal folk song which sounds like it would be appropriate at a funeral. They sometimes use Celtic and other folk songs as background music too.
27 out of 73 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A personal survival story
13 August 2005
I thought this was a much better story than a lot of the other alien invasion stories of the past several years. You're not overburdened with a lot of technical jargon and scenes of generals and Presidents in situation rooms planning strategies. It's also not about jet fighter pilots or other military men taking these aliens out. It's simply the story of a father (Cruise) heavily focused on the survival of his two kids. His kids are the overriding concern here, not how to fight these aliens, finding out who they are, and why they're doing this, etc. He's a father that will do everything in his power to make sure nothing happens to his kids, and he'll go to great lengths to make sure nothing happens to them.

Kudos to Spielberg for resisting the urge to turn this into a grand heroic adventure (like Independence Day), and keeping it on a personal level. In a way it was similar to M. Knight Shymalon's Signs, but Signs was not nearly as scary as this.

Tim Robbins shows up to make a cameo as a creepy survivor, which Tom Cruise and family meet up with halfway through the movie. Morgan Freeman also shows up as the narrator of the movie.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.