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The Sopranos (1999)
A very uneven, drawn out series
The entire series had some very bad flaws and had poor writing off and on. I am not on the Soprano bandwagon. There were so many side stories which were just a complete waste of time. The longer the series went on the worse it got.
I really dislike watching things which are not that great but some people insist are the "best ever" or "flawless". It's an attraction to people until they actually see it for themselves. This show had many parts to it which were designed to hook certain demographics to the show. What is funny is that these same people now state that if you don't get the show then you are not up to par with them. Excuse me but you are the ones who are manipulated and don't even realize it.
The show was mediocre with some good characters and acting at times. There was some good writing at times as well. There were however some episodes which were not needed. This series could have been done much better in half the time. I would not recommend this show to anyone.
A terribly one-sided "documentary".
I just finished the film and was taken by how one sided it turned out to be. At least half of the film covers his past. It plays out more like a tribute to the main character - Budd Dwyer.
The film is composed entirely of interviews and news casts. Headlines and partially highlighted newspaper articles are repeatedly shown. The selection of people interviewed and the amount of air time they are given all create bias towards Dwyer.
One example is the the appointment of a federal prosecutor. The film has someone interviewed stating that the "Democratic governor" had a role in his appointment. That is far from being true as it was a federal crime. The president at the time was Ronald Reagan who was also head of the Republican party. The Attorney General of the US is appointed by the president and he in turn assigns federal prosecutors. The "documentary" tries to make it seem that the Democratic governor who felt wronged by Dwyer was out for vengeance.
Another example of biasness is when the film shows the man who gave Dwyer the bribe money. William Smith, the district Republican chief, states in one scene of the film he was surprised that Dwyer accepted the money when he offered it to him. This would seem to indicate he knew it was bribe money. The film then tries to show he lied at Dwyer's trial because he was offered a plea bargain. One scene lasts three seconds and the other 4 minutes. Be very careful while watching as you may miss items as they are being glossed over by the filmmakers. Afterwards think about all you have seen and make your own decision regarding the case.
The interviews with Dwyer's son unwittingly show how he failed as a father. His son is not a very nice or compassionate man. The film spends far too much time interviewing Bud Dwyer's friends and family. It does not spend enough time combing through the case which led to his conviction.
The "documentary" did not do a very good job when explaining the charges against Dwyer. Instead it quickly introduced the evidence and witnesses then spent more time trying to demean them. It's as if the filmmakers felt only the headlines and a few quips were sufficient. I took issue with this and realized how poorly done the film had become.
I enjoy watching documentaries and exploring issues in an unbiased manner. This film really was a let down. I would say it is more of a propaganda piece than anything else. If you always felt Bud Dwyer was innocent or were one of his supporters then this film may be enjoyable. No one can feel good about what Dwyer did in taking his own life but do not let that act cloud your own judgment when viewing the film. I can not recommend others view it.
If you like Bill Mayer you'll like the film, if not you won't.
I didn't like Religulous at all. It was largely because of Mayer. He has a constant overwhelming presence in the film. His attempts at humor take the front seat over the subject matter. I did not laugh or feel the urge to smile once during the film.
Here is a list of the things I really didn't like: Mayer's sarcastic jokes throughout the film. (Like the title of this review states if you don't like his wit you won't like the movie). The unnecessary use of on screen subtitles mocking comments as people talked. (His comments were really juvenile and disrespectful. Someone could do that to what any of say each day. I have no doubt Mayer thought of each subtitle shown. It's the same sarcastic witless humor.) Mayer's constant interrupting to tell a joke. (Their is one scene filmed in a shop where he asks a question of someone "What miracles made you believe in Jesus?". Mayer then ignores the person's reply. He instead looks at a statue points out the price and asks aloud "2600 dollars?! How much is the one without the baby Jesus and shawl for Mary?" I was waiting for a drum's rim shot but it never came. He was just there to crack his really stupid jokes.) There are off screen comments by his crew which provokes more lousy jokes by Mayer. (The film was cut so badly that you can hear the crew being cut off verbally as Mayer chimes in with his thoughts on something or to attempt another lousy joke.)
The best scene for me was his interview of the senior priest at the Vatican. Mayer played the straight man and let the priest be the funny person.
Bill Mayer is not funny for me and the film was done very amateurishly. I can/t even like it from the viewpoint of being a documentary film. I gave it a 4 only because I would like to see another company try to examine religion critically and in a humorous way.
Eden Log (2007)
Watch the first five minutes and decide for yourself.
The worse part of this film is how it was drawn out. The story could have been over with in less than thirty minutes. There are long scenes filled with silence and absolutely no action. The viewer will notice this problem after watching the first five minutes. It did not add to the film, instead it made it more boring. The same theme of using long scenes are continued throughout the film. Finally the viewer is rewarded for watching with a few lines of dialog. The story is very weak. Just accept that this was likely someone's dream put down on celluloid. I have to ask what ever happened to showing plots in films. It is visually a very depressing and dark film. The viewer is left with little to look at, little commentary and virtually no plot. This is an A, B, C movie. It does not explore the rest of the alphabet. It uses straight lines leading the viewer to the conclusion of it's mini-story. This film claims to be of the horror genre. I watched the film with a person who can't even sleep with the lights out. There was not the slightest twitch of fear in any of the scenes. How disappointing is that? I love sci-fi and there are so many good books waiting to be made into films. Why or how this one made it to completion is beyond me.
Na srebrnym globie (1988)
One of the worst films I have ever seen.
I have seen many bad films but it is hard to remember any which equaled this one. The film has very little if anything going for it. Like other parts of the film the beginning of the film wasn't needed. There is little continuity to the scenes. It will be a real struggle for even the most die-hard film lover to get through this monstrosity. It lasts two and a half hours long and is horribly written. The film tries to be poetic but the script is stilted and the story line becomes constantly disjointed. (The fact there is one-fourth of the film which was never shot doesn't help matters.) In place of lost scenes viewers will see modern shots of life on Earth as the director narrates what the missing scenes would have looked like. The acting is overdone and is laughable if it weren't for the fact they are trying to be serious. I get the idea that the actors were allowed to ad-lib their lines which go on for an inordinate amount of time. I'll do my own ad-libbing right now which will give you an idea of what is in store:
A rainbow is like a light never reaching its essence. It is the light of life that glows that way. Life is that way everyday in the morning. I like the morning it gives me a feeling of freshness. Feeling fresh I can see the light.
Yes it is that bad. As previously stated the film has several scenes which should have been cut or not used as they add nothing to the storyline. The lighting is very dark and shot with a blue filter to the point that fire looks green. The soundtrack (or lack thereof) will also make you question the director's ability to bring a coherent story to the screen. The only joy I experienced while watching came after the two hour mark when I knew it was almost over.