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War Room (2015)
CAVEAT: My wife rented this through Netflix thinking it was about something completely different, namely, a military codebreaking movie. I am not a religious person anyway, so I would never have willingly chosen to watch this movie, but I agreed to watch it after she encouraged me to "keep an open mind." I take no issue with religious people or people who believe in prayer, but I think this movie taught the wrong message to anyone, religious or not. That said, I am now helping her choose the movies in our Netflix queue :)
First, the old woman should not have pushed her religious views on the realtor so hard. No religious person should be trying to force religion on others (Jehovah's Witnesses come to mind). The husband's abusive behavior and cheating toward the wife and daughter needed to be dealt with not through crying and prayer, but through counseling and/or divorce. The fact that the husband committed larceny, embezzlement, and fraud through his company, lost his job, lied about it, and somehow his wife not only didn't get angry, but instantly forgave him, made me puke a little in my mouth.
And the movie taught that prayer solves all one's problems in exactly the way one wants, which isn't what is taught in the Christian religion. A person has no responsibility toward solving his/her own issues in life; God will fix everything. That, plus the ridiculously over-the-top melodrama, makes this a must miss, even among the most evangelical sort.
I don't understand all the Spy bashers. Many of them claim that the movie is lame and stupid. I agree; the movie isn't deep, it doesn't make a person think hard, the plot isn't dark or complex, and there isn't much character development, but that's not what kind of movie Spy is. It is a James Bond spoof; that's all. And it succeeds in this very well.
My wife and I laughed hysterically throughout the entire movie. We watched it in the theater last year, just watched it for the second time last night, and loved it both times. We are Melissa McCarthy fans. She's living proof that you don't have to be stick skinny to be successful, and I think that's pretty cool. We also liked her in The Heat (although we liked this movie more,) and we watch Mike and Molly every week.
I'm taking away one star for the cussing. As others have said, I think they overused it, and they REALLY overused it in The Heat. I'm not a prude, but it does get irritating after a while, and I believe the writers could have omitted quite a bit of it and the movie would have been better, especially toward the end of the film. So if you want a lighthearted, relaxing movie and don't expect something earthshattering, give this one a try. I think you'll find it fun.
Losing Interest Already. . .
My wife and I have watched the first four episodes, and I was really enthusiastic at first, especially since the show is based on a strong female lead character. I don't know why reviewers constantly complain about how such and such show is unrealistic and unbelievable. So what if a show is unbelievable? It's called entertainment. They aren't supposed to be realistic. That's the whole purpose of TV; to entertain you and take you away from reality. If they were believable, it would be real life, and we all know how much fun that is. Smh.
But I digress. The first three shows were really exciting. I loved the action and found it interesting, despite the mega overdose of police dramas on TV, most of which I haven't seen, so I'm at somewhat of an advantage in that this one seems rather unique to me than to many other viewers. But as I watched the fourth episode, I got the feeling I wouldn't be watching the show much longer because every episode would seem the same as all the others. I'm pretty sure I am going to get really bored with the repeated theme underlying the show: following the tattoos on Jane's (Taylor's?) body to Never Never Land. I suspect I will stop watching it soon, despite my initial enthusiasm.
I don't believe the show has staying power despite the drama because of this repetition. I think shows that heavily rely on only one character to build the storyline are more likely to fail because it's too easy for the viewer to lose interest. When the shows include backstories on several different characters in the program, the viewer can get hooked on any one or a few of them and want to continue watching.
Obsession: Dark Desires (2013)
Unique perspective in a true crime show
I am an avid watcher of the Investigation Discovery Channel, so when I heard about this series I thought it would be interesting. I saw the series premiere last night and it was much better that I expected; a show I'll be watching every week. Instead of using a professional narrator or journalist, the victim narrates their own story. Some narrators on these shows overdramatize the story or have annoying voices, which is a dealbreaker for me. With a different person narrating each time, that issue is eliminated, and it will make the show less predictable week after week. I hope they don't change this format. Secondly, this program is about stalking rather than the more frequent murder shows on ID, and it's great seeing the victims triumph over their stalkers and receive justice without tragedy befalling them.
The Anti M William Phelps
True crime shows are my favorite genre. I've watched almost every show on ID. Some are better than others (much better) and Homicide Hunter is one of my favorites. The reason I call Lt. Joe Kenda the anti M. William Phelps is that Kenda is everything Phelps isn't: He is an excellent investigator, he is free of ego, and he doesn't exaggerate the story for dramatic effect (or to sell more books). He discloses the important details without getting bogged down in the trivialities of each case. The only criticism I have of this program is that ID doesn't seem to air many episodes. Maybe it's just my timing, but the network reruns the same three or so episodes repeatedly. I even set my DVR. I will set it again for the upcoming season, and hopefully I can catch more.
Judge Judy (1996)
In the beginning was Judge Judy. . .
Judge Judy knows human nature. Until Breaking Bad, Judge Judy was my favorite television show. Now it is relegated to second (sorry Judge). I have been a faithful viewer since the beginning. To all the naysayers, sometimes the judge is rude. Sometimes she's wrong. Sometimes she cuts people off. But the litigants often deserve it. People who engage in welfare fraud or don't pay child support yet are willing to announce this on national TV deserve sharp words, IMO.
She is always honest, and she doesn't go overboard with the political correctness like on some court shows. Her show isn't psychotherapy like Judge Mathis and Judge Jeanine Pirro. She gets to the truth, and she does it fast. She is also very perceptive about how people behave. She knows human relationships well, and what else is small claims court but a relationship summarized in a few minutes? I will watch her until she goes off the air, and hopefully on DVD as well.
Breaking Bad (2008)
The best show I've EVER seen!
Amazing. Fantastic. Wonderful. Dramatic. Intense. Terrific. Fabulous. Tremendous. I can't come up with enough adjectives to describe how great this show is. I didn't even know what it was about when I started watching it, which made it that much better. I started watching it on Netflix after the system hounded me endlessly to try it, and finished it on cable, since Netflix didn't have the last episodes.
What's so great about it? BB is about family. It's about craziness. It's about corruption. It's about the love of money. It's about the contradiction between our public vs private personas. It's about fear, love, hate, happiness, sadness, and indifference. It's about conflicts, children, and the monotony of suburban existence. It's about being human. Everyone can relate to something in the show. Even if somehow you can't, it hooks you from the very start. This is coming from a person who is very picky about TV. I have never seen a show as awesome as this one. I urge you to give it a try.
SOOOO Boring. Zzzzzzzzz.
Sci-fi is my favorite genre, so when I read the description of this movie on Redbox, I was excited to try this out, despite getting negative reviews from my in-laws. I should have heeded their advice. I watched about 40 minutes of the movie and called it quits, and even that took a lot of effort. To me, it is quite similar to Steven Soderbergh's remake of Solaris, the only movie I've ever walked out on. It is visually stunning, incredibly slow, and going nowhere even slower. It has a lot of dream sequences, which I personally find annoying. It also lacks any clear plot or direction, though I confess I wasn't paying close attention after the first few minutes, so I probably missed something relevant in that regard. I'm just grateful I only wasted $1.20 renting it at the Redbox instead of paying $9.00 to see it at the theater.
Great movie if you can handle gore and an unhappy ending
Human Centipede is not a horror movie for the faint of heart. The haters should have realized the movie is not going to appeal to anyone who doesn't have a strong stomach and an extremely open mind. I liked it because most themes in the horror movie genre have been done repeatedly and are no longer interesting. This one seemed pretty unique. Also, since the setting was in Germany (the characters are German and the location was overseas somewhere, though the movie is in English), horror movies are somewhat different. I thought it carried tension throughout the movie. The plot line was lacking since the synopsis of the video acts as a spoiler. Anatomically, maybe it wasn't realistic. But then again, most horror movies (or all movies for that matter), aren't realistic. That's what makes them an escape, which the victims don't. That is the reason I only rated it a 7.
Under the Dome (2013)
An Unusual Sci-Fi Gem
Don't watch this show if you're looking for the average, boring sci-fi series. Don't watch it if you're looking for the typical meathead hormonal male hero who runs in, gets the girl, and saves the day. Don't watch it if you're looking for fancy spaceships and transporters. I was looking for a different sci-fi TV show and I found it with Under the Dome.
I love, love, love this show. I just discovered it on Amazon Prime and have been binge watching the series all afternoon. It's great because it has an interesting sci-fi premise and there is a lot of tension and action in every episode, with complex relationships between the characters. My favorite thing about the show is the presence of the strong female characters. In almost every TV show/movie I've ever seen, women are crying, useless, hysterical wimps when the going gets tough. Not so in this series. I will definitely be watching every episode.