Reviews written by registered user

4 reviews in total 
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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Defies simple categorization, 22 July 2006

I don't know why there are so many negative votes for this movie. It's an interesting exploration of gun issues without taking a particular side. Maybe because of that, it's upsetting people at one particular end of the political spectrum.

Being a movie fan, I found it terribly easy to identify with Dillon. He's a young man who has grown up fascinated by guns, movies and guns in movies, and now, fresh out of school, he takes his first stab at adulthood by getting close to that which he has studied all his life -- he takes a job at a gun store.

The job exposes him to things and people he's never experienced before: Bounty hunters, sexually aggressive women, NRA-enthusiasts. And as his world expands, his self-understanding becomes increasingly foggy. Finally, when he comes face to face with the threat of real violence, he is left only with his instincts and the gun that his job has required him to carry.

See this movie and be prepared to talk about it with your friends. This one isn't going to get out of your mind any time soon.

2 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Can't think of a better update/remake/reimagining -- Whatever you want to call it, 2 December 2005

I was never much of a fan of the original Battlestar Galactica. I watched it because I was a huge follower of Star Wars, and the special effects in the show satisfied a hunger I had that that movie awakened in me. But the plots were insubstantial, the characters were weak (especially the teeth-grinding child, Boxey, and his friend, the monkey-in-a-puppet-suit robot-dog), and the acting was average at best. The only reason to keep watching was to catch the outer space SFX (which was too expensive at the time to allow them to produce for each new episode, so the same shots were repeated over and over again, but to my young eyes that was okay), and to get another look at the Cylons, who, with their chrome-polished exterior and steely, monotone robot voices were even cooler than pre-"Return of the Jedi" Stormtroopers.

So when I heard about the show getting remade, I was not only fine with the idea, I was actually quite excited about it. The premise of the show -- the remnants of the human race are on the run from an army of robots, trying to escape to a home-Earth spoken of only in legend -- was always pretty cool stuff, and deserved to be handled correctly.

And oh boy, does this version come through. This is the first sci-fi show I can think of where you can consistently feel how high the stakes are for the characters. The desperation of the situation is potently communicated through the documentary camera style and the superb acting (Edward James Olmos is quite possibly the best actor on television in this role).

All the changes they brought to this update are brilliant: The focus is on the characters and their desperate situations, not on the visuals, which are understated and almost realistic without being boring. Sound in outer space is audible, but muted and dulled, as if everything were deep underwater. Comic- book style character names have been explained away as military-style nicknames. A new character -- the president of the colonies -- brilliantly underplayed by Mary McDonnell -- has been introduced to give us a non- military perspective on the prospect of most of the human race being destroyed. Starbuck has been changed from a cigar-chomping man's man to a cigar- chomping mannish woman, which somehow humanizes the character more. Baltar is no longer just a straight evil-guy, but is now complex and ambivalent about his betrayal of humankind. And the Cylons have been evolved to a fascinating, theistic, utterly amoral race of machines that have the capability of communicating their world-view through something that you can understand Baltar would be attracted to: The body of a gorgeous (yet somehow too angular) woman. And at the same time, they've retained a less evolved version of Cylons which are similar enough to the original design to satisfy those of us who bonded with the originals.

Battlestar Galactica is about a pack of struggling refugees just trying to stay alive, not trying to win a war. Maybe this is why the show isn't more popular -- because it takes it doesn't aggrandize conflict, it doesn't play for "gee-whiz" responses, and it doesn't shy away from complex grey-area subject matter.

This is the show that Star Trek's "Voyager" wanted to be, but didn't have the guts to attain -- dark and brooding, communicating suffering and the rigors of war.

Great show, 17 June 2005

First on Fox, then on PBS, this show was actually a documentary, not a manufactured "reality TV" show. Because of this of course, it couldn't survive despite it being extremely well-made and compelling.

The format was excellent, combining footage from third-person camerapeople with self-shot "diaries" directed by the stars themselves. I suspect this show would have really connected with a sizeable high school audience as well as a parents-of-high schooler audience, had PBS had enough money to let people know that the show existed.

Now that documentaries are getting such big audiences in America, PBS should try this again. Especially since PBS is on the verge of being dragged prematurely to its death.

268 out of 468 people found the following review useful:
Give this a chance, 30 March 2005

I haven't seen the British show upon which this is based, so I'm daring to judge this show by its own merits.

Boy, do I like it. This is the best mockumentary comedy since The Larry Sanders Show. Steve Carell is fantastic, and everything is wonderfully underplayed. I just worry that the show is too intelligent for American audiences, and won't last long as a result.

I'm hoping the network will foster this one like Fox has with Arrested Development, pushing it where it can, not expecting big audiences right off the bat, and allowing it to grow. I doubt if the show will grow beyond a cult hit, but hopefully that will be enough to keep it on the air for at least a few years.