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The BBC reveals it's bias
I decided to give Dr Who another chance after a series of stale episodes and more than a few very poorly written ones.
While special effects, acting and costumes were all good, especially when compared to past episodes, something started to niggle at me. At first I couldn't put my finger on it, then after the line about the president being orange suddenly it was clear. While many have laughingly stated the BBC has become more right leaning in it's recent coverage of news leading up to the election and story writing, I have not been fooled. The supposedly unbiased publicly funded organisation has yet again allowed social justice and left wing political correctness into our living rooms.
While I have no problem with diversity per say, the BBC's habit of forcing it down our throats like we are school children who need to be taught for our own good is insulting and now bordering on brain washing.
While the media at large may hate Trump, and the news is right to report on his short comings, I am sick of being talked down to by people with the creative abilities of a stick.
In this one episode I counted a lesbian, black woman, a midget also a woman, a jab at the lawfully elected leader of the free world, female leader of an army, a long term male antagonist turned to good because he miraculously changed gender and the male protagonist taking a back seat to the female support. I have no issue with supporting characters helping the central character, even though he has been setup as the one with all the experience, knowledge and abilities needed to solve each threat. I do have a problem with the new arc of having all the female support characters constantly saving his ass while the male support characters act as either cannon fodder or comedic punchlines.
There is just too much progressivism in this show for my liking and while I'm sure I'm in the minority, this has overwhelmed my ability to ignore the trend and this will be the last episode I watch.
Hit and miss
Well acted and heart wrenching but totally inaccurate.
One thing that stood out to me was the almost apologetic portrayal of Therons character. Quite seemingly brave to attempt this, until you realise it was completely fabricated. Not once in all the films made about real male serial killers has Hollywood attempted to make them sympathetic characters, and with good reason, they were monsters, and so was Wuornos. None of the films made about male serial killers showed lengthy scenes involving their abusive parents or upbringing. The horrible acts committed against them never put centre stage. When portraying the stories of John Gasey or Ted Bundy I don't remember a violent beating or rape, despite many of the most notorious male serial killers having been abused themselves.
To concentrate on this to make the audience sympathetic does a severe disservice to the memory of her victims, and this demonstrates the stark contrast to so many films of a similar nature. Reversing the gender of the killer speaks to a dishonesty and political bias within mainstream media to portray women as victims and men as attackers.
Jenkins took the time to include the phrase based on true events but distorted the truth to suit her own agenda. While the film is well made, it is hard to ignore these biases, especially in an age when feminism has done it's best to create a war between the sexes under the facade of equality.
Overacting the series.
While Babylon 5 suffered from a few over the top performances, in general its main cast and regulars were all accomplished actors.
Crusade on the other hand is jam packed full of terrible performances. From regulars like Galen who never met a syllable he didn't over emphasise, to a whole catalogue of terrible overly expressive bit parts, this show really has more than its fair share of over the top actors.
Whether it was a decision by the director or just poor acting, every episode contained at least one cringe inducing scene.
While the overall story was interesting and had huge potential some of the plots were very samey and one in particular was so bad, it approached Plan 9 levels of awful.
The special effects remind me of games of the same era, which is reasonable given they were all using the same technology, but it has dated very poorly.
There are a number of shows that were cancelled long before their time, Crusade was not one of them.
Too much Progressive nonsense to be believable
As much as I like the premise, the stories have an annoying habit of forcing progressive ideology into every episode. While I have no problem with women working in organisations like the FBI, this show does not come close to reflecting the reality of the male to female ratio in law enforcement and especially the FBI. Mixed race relations again are ham fistedly forced into almost every plot, there are two prominent gay characters, and the condescending political bias makes me feel like I'm being hit over the head with the Democratic agenda stick.
If mainstream media wants to push a message into public entertainment, it should be balanced, but like CNN this show spends so much time telling us what we should think based on a one sided perspective. I for one am tired of being bombarded by it. It's on my phone, the news and now TV shows, when will it end?
Amy Adams is sad the movie
This film was a painfully slow exercise in self indulgence. It had none of the bombastic stupidity of films like Independence day and it's even worse sequel, but equally failed to be even slightly engaging. Watching it I felt like an advertisement for globalisation, mixed with lithium.
While the acting was fine, it was in no way great, because it's hard to over or under act in dialogue this boring. The story was told through the perspective of the main protagonist which was a good choice, but was insufficient to overcome my lack of interest. It reminded me in certain ways like Apollo 13, in as much as it was trying to tell a first contact story in a way that is technically as realistic as we could imagine, given no one has met aliens yet. However this approach only goes so far, and my biggest issue with the film is the lack of pacing.
There is a subtle twist at the end which refers to numerous scenes throughout the film which if I was still interested, I would have found clever, but by that point I has ceased to care.
I can see why some people appreciated it, but cannot understand the waves of overwhelmingly high scores it has garnered thus far.
Late Phases (2014)
Slow paced but worth it
When I first saw the review score and read some of the reviews I was put off, but now I'm glad I made my own decision on this. The film sets up the premise quickly but then takes a long time setup the final scene. This is achieved by using the mythical one month full moon trope.
I found the characters to be well done, and unsettling realistic. Many may have found they were looking at themselves when seeing this film. From the hypocritical American Christians who superficially great people then ostracise them when it suits them to the protagonist with his grumpy old man angry at everyone persona. It was refreshing not to have perfect main characters but actually flawed human beings portrayed, shock horror! While the police are often portrayed as bumbling or clueless, here they were more disinterested than incompetent, but equally entertaining.
Don't expect a schlock horror, while the effects aren't up to much, it's not about creating fear through special effects, arguably the laziest method available today, but the use of a slow build up of tension based around the one month time restriction. The inclusion of a blind main character was interesting. not relying on the old cliché that other senses become more acute, simply that he has to rely on them more, and we see him pains takingly working out distances around the house to make him more mobile and aware of his surroundings.
All in all, I would recommend this film, to those who like their horror to be a bit outside the box. Certantly not for the typical nudity and gore aficionados. While others have stated this film has "ripped off" better movies, I believe it has incorporated elements in a far more believable way. While Silver Bullet was clearly best appreciated as a comedy rather than a horror, Last Phase is more of a suspense who dun-nit.
Plot Twist, the movie
The film has so many plot twists, that I stopped caring about the characters 20 mins in. The writers have no concept of what a game is and apparently did no research into gaming community. The confusion which was probably intentional, does not help the constant plot twists and double crossing. While an argument could be made that the confusion, plot twists and complete lack of logic was attributable to the minds of the killers, this does not excuse an over poorly written film. It is possible to tell a story like this without loosing your audiences interest or empathy for the characters. The final 5 mins of the film, which is the only part of the film to occur outside the actual game, does make sense now. Given that the deranged killers are out of the decision making process, this makes sense, to the movies credit, but many will see the final twist coming.
The plot is a mess, the characters all over the place and visuals, while intensionally disturbing are not amazing but simply adequate. That said, elements of the film are very well done. The fact that I came away hating the protagonists is understandable given that in reality they were the antagonists. The disjointed plot, and constant illogical decisions of the characters, as well as the constant backstabbing are all explainable by the psyche's of the killers. Despite this eXistenZ is probably a film you will only watch once, which is a pity because it is also the type of film that reveals more of itself with more viewings.
No Jump Scares to be found
First of all, a good rule of thumb when reading IMDb user movie reviews is to ignore the 1/10s and 10/10s, very few films have nothing to offer and most people giving such reviews are fooling themselves as much as anyone else.
This film has the audacity not to rely on jump scares but good acting, some great suspenseful scenes and decent writing. I won't lie it's not a masterpiece but neither is it awful, as so many have claimed. Reading through other reviews it was easy to see the main complaints revolved around the use of flashback and the hard to follow plot. Neither of which are things I would cast in the negative column, unless you have the attention span of a Nat and the concentration of a caffeine fuelled ADHT sufferer.
There is one scene, I won't spoil which many will see coming but still manages to unnerve all but the most jaded of viewers. The films strength revolves around the uncertainty of the plot. Are these two children witnessing a supernatural event or is it all in their heads. The ending has the intelligence to leave that up to the viewer and again is probably a source of contention among those who like have their hand held through a film.
If you are of the mindset that everything you watch needs to be spelled out, linear and action packed then this isn't for you. However if you enjoy a bit of ambiguity in your horror film and can manage with a relatively slow paced film, then give it a try.
BloodRayne: The Third Reich (2011)
Another bowl movement from Boll
If your one of those poor unfortunates who have managed to sit through an entire Uwe Boll movie, I commend you. I remember watching House of the Dead, one of many movie games, Boll has raped, and thinking how hilariously bad it was. Alas it seems due to the then loose rules governing Germany tax on films, he was able to turn out crap with the express goal of making flops, and the game industry, as always was more than happy to sell the rights to this hack, for a few bucks.
Let me explain, up until recently, Germany had a ridiculous system governing taxes on films to promote German film makers, which "movie makers" like Boll abused. If your film did not make money your investors contributions were not taxed so he could make bomb after bomb, and still make money.
The first Bloodrayne, like this offering, had nothing to do with the game, and was yet another insult to the gaming community, who have been crapped on for years, by Hollywood. With a handful of exceptions, most video game based movies have been truly awful, and Boll's films are no exception. In fact I would rather watch Super Marios Brothers again, than another Bloodrayne sequel. Even when Boll tries to make a comedy or send up, he fails miserably, Blubberella being a prime example. His films are designed to fail, designed to make the most amount of money with the least effort, and anyone who tells you different either works for Boll or has been in a boxing ring with him, see critics who mock him.
While the writing for NCIS got markedly better with each season, this is another earlish episode where poor writing was still very evident.
Don't get me wrong, overall I greatly enjoy the show, which is why I want to remark on a particular factor that was common in many episodes of the first few seasons, much to the detriment of the shows integrity.
Most of the episode follows the same pattern, crime, investigation, head slaps all round. This one, however has a number of frustrating issues. The first revolves around the way criminals are revealed to the audience. One of the characters the team meets is a victim of a car crime, but is treated with suspicion early on despite no one being aware of his criminal activity, which is revealed later. On its own this is not an issue as there is precedent for law enforcement to be thrown off by criminals reporting there cars stolen after using them in criminal acts, however this is frustrating because it happens so often. Instead of writing a good script which slowly leaves clues to the criminals identity, it is not only explained in a sentence or two, but we are also setup to expect it by the protagonists immediate dislike for said characters. Either Gibbs and co have esp, or have access to information the viewer is denied, neither of which is likely or good writing. I can only surmise that this tactic is supposed to bias the viewer against the criminal before he/ she is found out, however once you've seen it for the 10th time it becomes annoying. I love subtle clues to criminals identities left in plane site, but having main characters dislike as a precursor to their reveal is lazy. The identity of the kidnapper is revealed later, but no clues are given to his identity what so ever. While this is is annoying it not the worst instance of poor writing. The reason I picked this episode was the massive plot hole at the end. When it is revealed that the aforementioned criminal is a paedophile, he is captured and arrested in the final scene. What's wrong with that I here you ask, well on the surface of it nothing, bad man commits crime and goes to jail, hooray. However, he did not commit a crime, he was undoubtedly going to, and was shown as a paedophile by the woman who was abducted early on. The problem was, the actual victim was abducted by one of her co workers. So we have the NCIS agents take an instant ESP fuelled dislike to a man who's only crime they are aware of, at this point, is a victim of car crime. The kidnapper whom the team spends most of the episode chasing is revealed to be someone else. But for some reason they now have the paedophile making a run for it, supposedly because he was spooked by the earlier NCIS visit, and while I could stretch to believe that his online chat, discovered on the abductees laptop, was evidence, one of the other characters says flat out, that in most cases the criminals get away without prosecution. So ending the episode on the mans capture is an anti climax, as he is probably going to get away with based on information earlier in the episode.
As the show progressed scenes like this got fewer and the overall the writing improved, but even today, I have to suspend my disbelief on a semi regular basis due to what is just plain lazy writing.