Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
The Last Ship (2014)
Entertaining, but frustrating.
I understand that any TV show must rely upon conflict and crisis to maintain a story-line, but TLS can be a very frustrating ride for most viewers. I have to attribute this to lazy writers, an unfortunately common trait in recent shows and movies.
First, there's way too much Star Trek-itis, where the captain and XO go on every mission and patrol (since they're the "best men" for the job). They might as well be wearing red shirts. Second, every character is stupid. And I mean REALLY stupid. Well-trained crew members wonder "if the captain is keeping something from us," as if that's not SOP for military operations. Everyone makes very bad decisions. People act completely contrary to their own best interests. Third, crew members and military personnel often behave as if they have never been through any training. Professionalism is almost completely absent.
Other than that, it has a story and can be entertaining, even when it's insulting to members of the armed services.
Rocket City Rednecks (2011)
Need to take it in the right spirit....
Accepting this as being similar to Mythbusters is very difficult, and rightly so. Your best bet is to just sit back and pretend that it's a fictional show about rednecks trying to achieve some engineering feats and how they might go about it. I live in NC and so the accents are not off-putting to me, but there are a few negative aspects that I had to make allowances for. Among these are: (1) The constant statements about how useful their inventions and concepts might be to the world or to the military. In fact, virtually everything they try has either been done before (and done much better), is impractical in the real world, or just doesn't work. (2) I would also expect that they could anticipate a few of their problems by doing more math before they try something. (3) Some of the outcomes are obviously exaggerated, either by selective editing or other methods, to the point that you might call them "fake." (4) Contrary to the statements about making do with what they've got at hand, they obviously spend thousands of dollars on some of the projects, purchasing multiple high-tech motors, blu-ray players, high-tech materials, and similar supplies. On the whole, Mythbusters is a lot more scientific and reliable as to results.
Finally, proof that trolls and spoofers have the upper hand...
As I write this review, there are around 200 reviews posted. As far as I can tell, fewer than 10 of them rate this film at 7 stars or above, yet its average rating is slightly more than 7 stars. In fact, while the vast majority of reviews on the first five pages give it only 1 star, the ratings summary says that only 1.2% of those rating it gave it just 1 star.
This is a long way of saying that it's now inescapable fact that trolls, spoofers, and studio shills dominate the site. A system is only useful until enough people figure out how to game it, and this is (sadly) now the case for this site.
On to the review: Neighbors had a big challenge to overcome with me, as I just don't normally find Seth R. and his "Seth Pack" to be very funny. Unfortunately, this film fails on every level to provide either humor or entertainment. It's a rare film that can depict all characters as totally unsympathetic and get away with it. After all, the viewer needs to be able to identify with SOMEONE in a story or film, even if it's the third-party narrator. This movie has absolutely no sympathetic characters in it at all. It's the essence of comedic nihilism. I didn't like any of the characters, none of them said anything that was vaguely funny, and I didn't identify with any point of view expressed in the film. To make matters worse, the director relied solely on profanity and T&A for shock value.
Totally worthless movie. Don't waste your time.
Dinosaur Island (1994)
Some reviewers don't watch many movies.
My friends must tire of hearing me say, "I watch the bad movies so you don't have to." I average about 600 movies a year (really)...and most of them are bad. DI wouldn't even make it into the bottom 100 movies I've seen, in spite of what some reviewers have stated. It is obviously self-mocking and completely tongue-in-cheek, intended as a bit of soft-core disposable fluff. There are absolutely no pretensions.
As far as the FX, I've seen much worse in many recent independent (and major studio) releases. Plus, the editing is coherent (even if the continuity is deliberately uneven) and you can actually hear the dialogue.
As far as the plot, it actually has one, even if it's as silly as a Carol Burnett sketch. (BTW, the "healing boobs" scene is pretty sly.) Anyway, there's a lot more pretentious junk than this to watch, so give it a try some evening when you've had a few drinks and you need something disposable.
Under the Dome (2013)
"...With The World's Dumbest Sheriff's Deputy"
The only differences between this series and an Asylum film is that the FX are better in this series and the acting is marginally better. The screenplay is a poor adaptation from the original novel, lacking any of the rich and interesting detail that King normally provides.
Add to this the unbelievable stupidity of the deputy who is acting as sheriff and the sheep-like citizens of the town and you have a fairly frustrating viewing experience. How Big Jim had managed to conceal his sociopathic tendencies prior to the big event is a total mystery. To put the frosting on the cake, it's very slow-paced, often going an entire episode without revealing a relevant plot point.
I watched the episodes each week for about five weeks as they became available for free, but then this week I noticed that I had not watched the more recent episodes. I hadn't intentionally skipped them, I just forgot. This gives you an idea of how memorable a series it is. (Disclosure: I watched all the remaining episodes simply to be able to write a fair and informed review.)
Not recommended unless you're a die-hard King fan.
100 Degrees Below Zero (2013)
Oh, come on! There are lots worse than this.
Yes, it's another typical Asylum film, but we saw plenty of films from the 60s, 70s, and 80s that were much worse. At least it proceeds with some sort of plot and story-line. It's silly, but coherent. You can hear all the dialogue, which is sort of unusual for recent films.
There ARE a few things you have to overlook. For one, the bargain basement FX. It's also sort of weird to have virtually no extras, even in the normally crowded streets of Paris. The best way to watch this is to play the drinking game: every time someone falls down, you take a shot. You'll also enjoy hearing every Brit speaking with some unusual accent.
Definitely not worth the scorn it receives. See it if only to hear the geese story.
Again, I blame gamers for movies like this....
I like Guy Pearce a lot and I generally enjoy Luc Besson movies, so I was sort of looking forward to kicking back and watching this one Saturday night. Immediately after the opening interrogation scene, I knew I was in trouble. While I can tolerate absurd and unlikely situations (really...mattresses stacked in the alley right where they're needed?), I can't tolerate third-rate CGI that's simply unnecessary to the plot. I am not exaggerating when I say that most video games back in 2003 had better graphics than this movie does. What's impressive about a cheaply-rendered city bus overturning on a cheaply-rendered bridge as it's being forced over by cheaply-rendered cars? Where's the skill, the vision, the imagination, or the artisanship of the filmmaker? Why even bother? You might as well have one character simply say to another, "Yeah...on the way over here the guys chasing me forced a bus off the road." Would the audience have enjoyed "Speed" so much if the bus, the road, and all the passengers were simply CGI? Needless to say, this is actually one of the high points of the movie. It's all downhill from that point.
OK, I'm off my soapbox. I just hate it when good filmmakers are led astray and talent (along with funding) is wasted.
Eve of Destruction (2013)
Those whacky physicists...always accidentally destroying the world!
But you have to love them.
Sometimes you get movies that are well-written and challenging (e.g., "Primer"), but with budget effects and sets. Then you get "Eve of Destruction," which is exactly the opposite. Relying on 1960s "Star Trek" physics, this movie actually spent some time on locating or creating the sets, and the effects are not nearly as bad as some other reviewers would have you believe. And it is the ONLY movie I can recall where you get to see someone drill through a telephone pole. (It's always been simulated drilling in other films.)
My favorite scene is when the two Nobel-laureate physicists decide the answer is to create a "denser vacuum." I'm pretty sure that they mean a vacuum with LESS average density or mass, since there's no vacuum existing at that time, but we get by that fairly quickly. And they never seem to question why using their apparatus to do something over HERE, makes bad things happen about two miles over THERE.
My second favorite scene is when an eco-terrorist "occupy" movement is broken up by riot police. As far as I could see, there were exactly two riot police (though both of them were costumed very nicely).
If I had a son and wanted to encourage him to go into physics, I would show him this film. It would go something like this:
"See! All the women you meet will have really nice breasts and great cleavage."
"But, Dad, they're all either evil or misguided!"
"Yes, which is why we need more male physicists."
Check it out!
The Revenge of Al Capone (1989)
Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick....
I watched the whole thing, and it wasn't awful by any means. You just have to understand that this movie is "based on real characters, but the events bear no relationship to what actually happened...and forget about the anachronisms." I'm not even going to try to list the goofs and errors in the movie. Just kick back and have a good time.
The production values are not too bad, though I doubt that the USA in the 1930s was as clean as it looks here. FDR, Cermak, and some others are a real hoot. I also suspect that Ness was a lot closer to the way he's played here than in other movies and TV shows.
The biggest objection I had was to Ray Sharkey playing Capone. Sorry, but it was a mistake. Sharkey does have a menacing quality about him, but you'd never have known that he was playing Capone unless the dialogue told you. (OK...maybe the scar.) They didn't put any effort at all into making him resemble the paunchy and balding gangster.
Finally, this movie is shot like a TV movie, but it IS worthy of the R rating. It's not really gratuitous, but it stands out.
The Numbers Station (2013)
Just sort of going through the motions.
I think that I liked TNS more than some of the other reviewers did, but that's not to say that I thought it was an exciting or thoughtful film. It's always enjoyable to see John Cusack in the role of a burned-out something, and he steps right up to the plate here.
Some of the reviewers have pointed out that the location (and this is basically a single-location film) seemed unlikely. Plus, it was not realistic to have (literally) one burned-out field operative protecting the whole place. I don't really have a big issue with this, but that's just me.
The problem for me was that the film is poorly-paced. It's pretty much the same all the way through. There's minimum tension and not much mystery. If something is foreshadowed, it happens in the next few minutes. Mysteries are resolved shortly after being introduced. And even the fights are pretty lukewarm. In this respect, it's somewhat similar to the B&W spy thrillers of the 60s and 70s, but without the "whodunnit" factor. (Now that I think about it, I didn't even notice or care "whodunnit.")
Pretty much for Cusack fans. Those interested in gratuitous nudity or violence need not apply.