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Hot Girls Wanted (2015)
Let's the subject matter do the talking... Unforgettable.
I don't get it. The negative review (as of May 30, 2015) confused me. Someone from outside the porn industry does not have "the right" to make a documentary about it? And Rashida Jones is extra unworthy because she grew up with money and successful parents? We're still talking about producing, right?
It would be one thing if it was ABOUT what people from outside the industry thought, or if their points of view were interjected, or if opinions--which could have ONLY come from the subjects anyway--were cherry-picked to push an agenda, but it was the complete opposite of that. IT WAS 100% OBSERVATIONAL. IT JUST SHOWED THE SUBJECT MATTER, AND LET IT DO THE TALKING. If you didn't like the documentary, it is because you didn't like what the subject matter said, not because of who produced the freak'n film.
Catch a Contractor (2014)
Best TV Discovery of 2015 (so far)
I have a special place in my heart for JUSTICE. And this show dishes it out in spades.
It's super FUNNY too!
I really like Kitchen Nightmares, Catfish, and the good episodes of Bar Rescue (where justice is dished), and now Catch a Contractor.
One thing this show has that the others don't: Adam Carolla. And he is one funny, witty, dude that PULLS NO PUNCHES.
Yes, Gordon Ramsey doesn't pull punches, and I love it, but Carolla does it in a way that's like he has no "editing function" - he says all the stuff others think, but don't say.
It's so great to see the scum get their comeuppance.
If you like the dry wit that's naturally funny without trying too hard, bad guys getting their as*es handed to them, and screwed people getting some restitution, you'll love this.
"Kutcher Bias" belies GREAT performance and movie
This movie easily ranks among the movies I most disagree with the critics on.
Why they HATE it?
It's painfully obvious that their was a "Kutcher bias." The last thing nerds and GROUP-THINK-CRITICS are going to be open to is a model-turned-actor taking on the role of one of the most accomplished men of his generation, esp. so soon after his death.
Not only did he nail the role, but he took the responsibility so seriously, and did such a great job, that he actually paid homage to the much deserving Jobs.
I admit. I was bias too...
...until I saw how much Kutcher embodied Jobs. I couldn't believe he could do it. I didn't think he had it in him. I was wrong.
This is coming from a cinephile EXTREMELY sensitive to poor acting, and yet Kutcher sold me--hook, line, and sinker.
Not only did Kutcher nail the role, but it was a DAMN GOOD MOVIE.
I've seen it twice now, and I look forward to the next time. It is inspiring, and it engenders that sense of magic and possibilities so few movies do.
It is just a great, gripping, story. I was "in it" every step of the way. I didn't see Kutcher. I saw Jobs, and one hell of a ride.
The Green Prince (2014)
Wow, just incredible...
I'm still in that post-amazement daze.
First, I almost never last two seconds on "story telling" documentaries (I need in-the-moment action and suspense). This still had action and suspense for two reasons:
1. The story was incredible.
2. There was plenty of original footage (I saw a review stating that this was just guys in a room talking, but that is untrue - lots of original footage).
You just can't believe that this really happened. Not with a person so high in the Hamas hierarchy.
And there was no boring build-up. I hate having to "invest" time, risking my time for an unknown pay-off. The story, editing, and people grabbed me from the beginning.
All I'm going to say is that you get the perspective of both the Hamas leader's son, and his "handler."
All you need is the capacity for reason, and at least a minimal awareness of the Israel-Palastine conflict; and you will probably enjoy this.
Really falls off
I really liked how it started: Quality filming, acting, and music.
But then it got a little convoluted. The main actresses looked too much alike. And the dialogue referenced too many names of characters we couldn't possibly have known well enough to follow.
As the stories unfolded, everything went downhill.
Protagonists were written to do dubious things with insufficient justification for the audience. It seemed like the drama was being "set up," as opposed to organic and justified.
Further actions taken by the characters were frustrating, and also didn't seem natural given the circumstances we'd been given (doing things that didn't make sense in the moment).
Maybe if we had been given more background for the dubious and frustrating behavior, things would have felt more understandable and appropriate, but I don't think any amount of background could have been sufficient to justify all the weird actions and reactions by the characters.
Hotel Impossible (2012)
Starts well. Interesting properties, owners, and conflict. But quickly gets boring.
Pros: The host, Anthony Melchiorri, is pretty good. He's got that confidence and competence that these kinds of shows require. BUT, he does overdo it sometimes, and it gets a little tacky (like pretending to throw up, and touching disgusting stuff unnecessarily).
Another Pro is Blanche, the designer. She's attractive, and has a fun personality.
Cons: After the first few episodes, it's just boring people with depressing and weak properties.
What could make the show better? - More lively people (further away from death). - More prestigious, or at least interesting, properties (not the dime-a-dozen Inn crap that every town has 20 of). - DRAMA!!! (the best thing about these kind of shows is when the deadbeats get set straight!.. Anthony is too easy on the deadbeats).
AWESOME premise and characters offset by UNNATURAL/FORCED DRAMA AND HUMOR
---Premise--- I love the savvy mentor along side his genius protégé premise. There are also many consistently interesting story lines.
---Characters--- Harvey (the mentor) and Luis play the two veteran attorneys, and they steal the show. The boy genius, Mike (played by Patrick Adams), on the other hand, embodies "TV acting" to the nth degree...
---Patrick Adams (plays Mike, the prodigy)--- As a big consumer of TV and movies, I am hyper-sensitive to the abundant "try-too-hard" acting so common in Television, and Patrick Adams's depiction of the boy genius, Mike, is the epitome of that. His acting is 100% "result oriented" (instead of letting the character's REAL reaction to the circumstances do the talking, Patrick does all of these forced/unnatural things with his lips, tongue, and other faculties to OVER-convey whatever "result" he thinks HIS CHARACTER should be naturally conveying).
---Romantic scenes are HORRIBLE--- I LOVE good, unpredictable, realistic drama and relationships, but the intimate scenes that unfold here are so set-up, simple, and predictable that you see each line of banal dialogue coming a mile away. It is painful to watch. There is CHEAP SET-UP AFTER SET-UP (totally unfounded statements are made just so their counterpart can say or do something "surprisingly" heartfelt in response).
---WEAK and contrived Humor--- The material and delivery are straight out of an 80's sitcom ("He's standing behind me, isn't he?"... Seriously, they use that one!). All the humor is like that - it tries WAAAAY too hard.
From Adams's "result oriented" acting to the shallow spoon-fed romance, and the corny overplayed 80's TV humor, this show tries too hard on the delivery, and not hard enough on the material.
Alpha House (2013)
Cheap Shots and Manipulation
If you have the same politics as the writer; if you don't mind him injecting his political positions every chance he gets; and if you don't mind him using your entertainment as a median to express his 100% partisan personal politics, you may like this show.
It's amazing the extent of which the writer uses every opportunity he can to let viewers know where he stands on all the major political issues (abortion, religion, global warming, gay marriage, etc.), AND greatly disparage the other side in the process.
(I'm not talking about satire. I'm talking about overt statements that are clearly not meant to be funny, just statements).
The thing is, I AGREE with SOME of the writer's politics, and where his political enemies are being foolish. I just can't stand the writer using the dialogue of what could be a great show to let us know where he stands, and how much he loathes the other side.
Great shows that do politics WITHOUT coming even close to taking advantage to the extent this writer does: The West Wing, House of Cards, & SNL.
Sure, in the aforementioned shows, you can see which way the writers lean, but they're not using their position to take cheap shots and manipulate the audience.
A Review for the Neutral and Unbiased
(A review for people who just want a good show, and don't have a bias one way or the other).
I disagree with those that say the half-hour format is the cause for the lack of depth and character development. Each episode picks up where it left off, and since you can watch them back-to-back, it's more like a five-hour movie split into 30 min. sections.
The show has a great premise, great acting, and great directing, but the cause for the lack of depth and character development is the extreme dependence that the drama has on sexuality "surprises" (the premise is original, but the drama that unfolds is easy and shallow, as opposed to clever, new, and engrossing).
In this same vein, the degree to which an inordinate proportion of the cast and extras that are gender/preference ambiguous is distractingly unrealistic (it makes sense when it is justified by the location, setting, or circumstances, but the show would have to be based on Castro Street to justify the sexual orientations and happenstance that the creator, Soloway, provides at almost every turn).
How it could be better: It would be much more interesting to see the "Transparent" premise in the real world with deeper, more complex, story lines.
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Now THIS is an Action Movie
With more matured tastes than I use to have, I need more than just action and explosions. I need an ENGROSSING, well acted, well told story.
This had everything, and more.
As the title indicates, it "Repeats," but it is NOT repetitive.
The director was like a surgeon with the precision he used to tell such an intricate story in such a seamless, fun-to-follow, way.
It's an entirely new and original take on "Repeat" that kept this fan on the "Edge" of his seat the entire time.