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kershmey_baker

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6 reviews in total 
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"Grimm" (2011)
55 out of 95 people found the following review useful:
Detective Harry Potter the Vampire Slayer. Sigh., 7 September 2012
1/10

I seriously fail to understand how this show manages to appeal to anyone. The plot is a mind-numbing mish-mash of other successes, using the painfully ever-present 'cop show' format, but squeezing in a Buffy- style fantasy element and a Harry Potter-style lead. The main character is your average way-too-young-and-pretty TV Detective, living a seemingly normal life, until his sickly aunt shows up and informs him he's inherited the role of a Monster-Slayer (cough-Buffy-Cough) and that his parents, who he thought died in a car-crash, were actually killed by 'Him', a mysterious figure who's also now hunting the main character down. (cough-harrypotter-cough)

Every episode begins with a loose quote from a fairy-tale that has vague connections to the episode itself, but more than anything this is a Cop show; an entirely standard (if not sub-standard) CSI style program only with the fictional forensic science CSI employs every episode replaced with junk mythology/fantasy elements. All the various 'criminals' introduced episode from episode are monster-people of some sort, more often than not animal hybrids, I.E Wolf-people, snake-people, beaver-people, etc... with the occasional ogre-person or dragon-person. Every episode one of these monster-folk commits a wacky murder of some sort, and our young monster hunter/detective seeks to solve the crime and resolve monster-person issues as peacefully as possible. Not all these monster-folk are bad, but all bad people in the world seem to be monster-folk in this universe. Even Hitler was just a wolf-man.

Of course, no one but our hero can actually see or identify these monster-folk (who are each portrayed by brief glimpses of bad and terribly repetitive CG face-effects), and not wanting to seem crazy he keeps it a secret from his thoroughly unlikable girlfriend and his ridiculously thick-headed partner. Wacky crime after wacky crime is committed by these monster folk in our detectives area, and his partner is ludicrously oblivious too/accepting of the 'supernatural' elements of these crimes, never bothering to ask what happened to normal police- work, which seems to no longer exist in the area.

This is a bad show. The lead is bad, his complimenting cast is bad, the one likable character, a wolf-man the lead befriends, is a decent actor but badly written. The story is vapid and doesn't know where its going, and the world the characters are living in is entirely unbelievable. I watched almost every episode of the first season, and entirely regret the time wasted. Stay away from this one, unless CSI Miami is your idea of excellent television.

4 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
A decent but depressing show., 23 August 2012
6/10

I like The Newsroom. Its got tight and witty writing, I'm enjoying the characters so far, the subject matter is usually engaging and Jeff Daniels does a great job. Aside from finding the show a bit too painfully patriotic at times, and my dire hatred for its sap-sopping opening song,I think the show is quality, through and through.

All that said, this show really bums me out. Why? Because its about a publicly broadcasted news agency with integrity, self-respect and balls... and its 100% fiction. Its like the forlorn imaginings in recent retrospect of how things should have been instead of how things were. As much as it seems to want to suggest news agencies and outlets could get better, it feels more like the mumbled make-believings of every news-team hopeful now living on the streets because they wouldn't sell out.

"Continuum" (2012/I)
18 out of 32 people found the following review useful:
Struggling story, oddly offensive elements, 23 August 2012
5/10

I don't often sit on the fence with shows and films, but in this case I find it hard not too. I want to like this show. Its Canadian, the acting is decent, the lead is terribly cute, and though the 'Time-Tangerine' is perhaps the most ridiculous plot-centric prop in TV history, all the other futuristic elements are relatively neat and believable. The first few episodes seemed to suggest that the show would portray a continuous, developing story; one that would surely get side-tracked from time to time, but would flow through each episode, as seen with most of the truly exceptional dramas on TV today. To my disappointment, the show has instead adopted the more classic 'single story per episode' method more in keeping with the buckets of 'CSI'-style shows out there, which this show increasingly resembles with each new episode, the last two of which have been particularly weak.

There's also elements to this show I find oddly offensive. Its about Kiera, an adorable corporate cop of the year 2077, living in a society of corporate rule that's embattled by anti-corporate terrorists. These terrorists escape with the Time-Tangerine, the cute copper gets caught up in the timesplosion, winds up back in present day with them, alone and having to stop them. Here's the bit that bugs the hell out of me: These future-terrorists, whom the show goes to great pains to associate with 9/11 style imagery at multiple times throughout the short-lived series, are gradually equated with anti-corporate sentiment in general; portraying anti-corporate/capitalist protest as a sort of gateway drug to terrorist activity. At a time in Canada where there's an active campaign by the administration to label and charge peaceful environmental protesters as 'eco-terrorists' in order to give corporations greater protections from obstructionist protest actions, I can't help but wonder if this none-to-subtle suggestion is just a crass attempt to be current and topical, or if its a sentiment paid for by the show's sponsors.

5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
All the money in the world couldn't save this show., 22 August 2012
3/10

Even after a slow start I had lingering high hopes for this show and where it might go for quite a few episodes, but that all stopped some time ago and my watching of it these days is more about a sort of masochism than anything else. Every episode seems to get a little more vapid and painfully dull, with a series of gimmicky 'reveals' that might be interesting if the characters weren't all so empty. The main is well acted enough given the repetitive,cliché-engorged scripts he's given, and there's a lot of decent talent on board that seems to be entirely wasted, as not a single character really grabs your attention. From the infrequent gruesome deaths (often of characters they spent a lot of time introducing you too but ditched for no particular reason/to no great effect)its clear this isn't meant to be a kid-friendly show, and yet they refuse to engage in any sort of interesting drama between the characters; no bitter rivalries, no love triangles, not a single character who does anything other than what we'd expect of them. Even the signature 'Sawyer' bad-boy character, called Pope, is wholly lacking in any sort of authority as the spunky villain, and every solid opportunity they've had to create tension between him and a female lead he was introduced with has been soundly bailed on. Never mind how much nonsense the clearly panel-written and totally uninteresting plot tosses up, or how laughably ineffective alien invaders who supposedly almost obliterated all of earths armies suddenly are to facilitate the characters painfully slow quest for marriage and family bonding, a little bit of intrigue between the characters might actually make this show vaguely watchable. They're throwing millions at this show hoping to buy an audience, when they could improve it 100% by just getting a decent writer and ditching the panel of business grads who must be doing the screenplays now.

Let Me In (2010/I)
5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Not bad, but completely pointless., 11 July 2011

This was a decent movie, but it was a decent movie because it almost completely mirrored the far superior 'Let The Right One In.' The scripts were borderline identical, and the deviations were not good ones... the plots were exactly the same but for different settings, only this one made obvious and waved in the face of the audience what the first film was subtle about and only hinted at in regards to her 'father figure', apparently assuming the American audience is less capable of figuring things out on their own. I can't say this is a bad movie, because its not. What it is however is a cheap(in terms of quality, I'm sure Hollywood spent more on theirs) knock off of a much better movie. If you have a choice between 'Let Me In' and 'Let The Right One In', the titles themselves make the choice pretty damn obvious. Seeing the original (with subtitles, not dubbing.. the dub track is pretty awful) is the only way to go with this one.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Strange, eerie, and oddly satisfying film., 11 July 2011

I wasn't entirely surprised to see the lacklustre rating IMDb had given this film, given its not the sort of movie that lets you 'enjoy' it in the conventional sense. None of the characters are particularly likable, the near entirety of the plot is revealed in the first few minutes, and the rest of the film is but giving you often surreal glimpses of how the characters came to this point. These, however, are not negative characteristics, or at least not where I'm concerned. The movie isn't 'pleasant', but its viscerally emotional; dark theatre that truly challenges the audience usually in subtle ways, but then at times quite directly, tearing down the fourth wall to do so.

Willem Dafoe's role in the movie is understated, as are his scenes... he's something like the narrator as Detective Hank, and in the absence of the lead, his interactions seem strangely scripted, almost as if he's forgotten what an excellent actor he is. I get the impression this air of 'woodenness' around his scenes, especially his early scenes, is intentional... his scenes take place in the 'now' of the story, which seems a bland and almost plastic atmosphere... its when they track back to the 'past' that the Movie really begins to take shape as an almost anxious nightmare.

Michael Shannon as Brad is spectacular. He's a grown man who seems trapped in the persona of a desperately sullen child, unstable and overwhelmed by the world around him. As we begin to empathize with Brad, he seems to make the very normal, modern, clean suburban world around him seem almost like a dystopia simply by his presence.

The real star of this film in my mind was Grace Zabriskie, who played Brad's mother. She's always been an absolutely superb character actress, has given me the willies in more than one Lynch film, but never have I seen her shine so much than in this film as the submissively overbearing Ms. McCullum. She is a woman who seems to validate her own existence through the life of her disturbed son, and is incredibly desperate for appreciation. The most powerful bit of acting in the movie, in any movie I've seen in a long while in fact, involved her lingering in a doorway awaiting a thank-you from her son and his girlfriend. Her dwindling hope and mounting terror and despair with gradually dampening eyes as the moment stretched and stretched gripped like a fist behind my navel... such concentrated emotion is a testament to what a spectacular performer she is.

The movie is excellent, but not for the impatient or those who can't appreciate artistic abstraction in film, nor for those who want a 'feel good' flick. This movie won't make you feel 'good', but it will make you feel, and think, a great deal.