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Pushing Daisies (2007)
This is one strange little show!
After watching one and half episodes I was thoroughly bored. The intended humor comes thick and fast, but it's not funny. The acting is more wooden than cardboard standees of Captain Kirk. The story lines... what story lines? The final straw was when one of the bizarre characters began singing a song from Grease... my wife looked at me, I looked at her, and we knew it was time... we pressed stop on the DVD player and have never looked back.
It's not that I'm opposed to quirky, I love Eureka and Eli Stone, but this is beyond quirky. It's just stupid! I watch a lot of TV and cannot understand why good shows like Jericho, he 4400, The Pretender, and now Stargate Atlantis, get canceled, and a show like this gets renewed, not for another 9 episodes but a full season! There's no justice in TV heaven.
To sum up... utterly pointless waste of time...
August Rush (2007)
August Rush is Oliver Twist
August Rush was a great movie. The acting was above par, the direction was inspiring and the music... well, the music was amazing, especially the guitar parts... I'm a guitarist so I appreciated this. Although a little too "chick flick" in parts, it's also part modern day fairy tale and part drama. Not wanting to spoil this movie for anyone; it's a little slow to get going but worth the effort in the end, and it's a great family movies to boot.
The only thing I found a little off was the fact that the story was directly taken from the Charles Dickens "Oliver Twist" and yet nothing was attributed to Mr. Dickens. And for those of you who would argue the fact, there's even a character names Arthur (Artful Dodger), a Fagin type character played creepily but wonderfully by Robin Williams, a workhouse environment at the beginning... in short this movie was a modern reworking of "Twist." Credit where credit's due is what I say.
Apart from this... enjoy!
Mr Monk and the review
I love this show. It's original, funny, clever, touching and quirky all without becoming too dependent on one over the other.
As you probably already know the show centers around Adrian Monk, an ex-cop, who is now a private adviser to the San Fran police department. But Mr Monk is one tormented soul; his wife was killed in a car bomb some years before the show launched and now he has all manner of phobia's and what I simply call Monkism's... in short he has a bad case of OCD.
Week to week he solves one crime after another yet he cannot piece together his own wife's murder and this fact alone haunts him every day of his life.
I realize that how I have just described this show seems depressing at best but the show continually rises above to deliver a thoughtful and often mind-bending thriller/comedy/drama.
I have been a faithful fan ever since the beginning and have all 5 DVD box-sets released so far. I was a little saddened when Sharona, Monk's first assistant played by Bitty Schram, left the show and for a while there I didn't think that Natalie, Monk's new assistant, would gel but she has surpassed all of my expectations... I would love to see a filmed version of the brilliant tie-in novel "Mr Monk and the Two Assistants" in which Sharona and Natalie meet and help out on a case but alas I don't think we will.
With all of the police/murder/detective/crime shows out there there are only a few that have ever been as good as this and most of those are older detective shows like Quincy, Perry Mason, and Columbo, and this is essentially the sub-genre that would best describe Monk; a classic type crime solving mystery show with a 21st century touch. In the last couple of years only the new show Psych, another USA hit (and no I do not work for them) has come close to being as good as this despite there being a plethora of CSI's, NCIS's and 24's out there.
This show is amazing. It's funny, it's well acted, it's well written... it's just brilliant! I stumbled on this show by chance... I was buying the season 5 box-set of Monk (another brilliant show) and for a few dollars extra I got season one of Psych included. I wasn't sure what to expect, to be honest I had never even heard of the show before then, but I did like the premise right off the bat. I'm so sick and tired of wasted time slots taken up by shows like Medium and Ghost Whisperer so when I realized that this show was an off the wall take of those shows I fell in love immediately.
One part Monk, one part Columbo, and one part Abbott and Costello this show is a winner hands down. Check it out and get Psyched!
Keeping Mum (2005)
A review from a faith based perspective.
This is a bizarre little movie. It has all the right ingredients for a great comedy; Rowan Atkinson as a minister, Patrick Swayze as a sleazy golf instructor, and Maggie Smith as a demented yet lovable old lady. However, Keeping Mum never really knows what it wants to be; comedy, drama, social statement, romance, or even faith based; it's all of these yet none of them... that's why I refer to this movie as being in the "psycho genre" of movies... not because of it being a horror movie i.e. Halloween or Friday the 13th, but for the reason listed above.
The movie does have some genuinely funny moments as well as some very touching scenes but the story is so dark it's difficult to like what was happening throughout; lies, murder, sex, murder, very black humor, vengeance,and did I mention murder? The twist ending doesn't come a shock it's been done so many times before. What would have been original is if there had been some consequences for the actions done in this movie. And that is why I didn't really like this movie... it contains a total lack of consequences. Maybe I missed the point but I understood the meaning behind this movie is if something offends or gets in the way of the perfect family then dispose of the problem quickly and surely and then go on as if it never happened.
Although I don't think anyone is going to go Columbine after seeing this movie I still don't think it's a movie that we should let our kids watch. I expected much more especially with Mr Bean starring in it but I should have listened to a friend who told me that I shouldn't expect Mr Bean but Scary Mary... referring to the Mary Poppins type storyline.
So to sum up if you're looking for a good time look elsewhere, if you're looking for an adult version of Mary Poppins then you may just enjoy this movie.
Violence: Moderate (most of the violence takes place off screen); Course Language: High (many uses of the "F" bomb); Sex: Moderate/High (the reverends wife is having an affair, breasts are seen, groping, fondling, having sex); Family Friendly: No
The Lost Room (2006)
If you like good Sci-Fi... a must see!
To coin a phrase from Oliver "Twist... "Please sir, can I have some more sir?" A highly entertaining and thought provoking mini series from the Sci-Fi Channel. I liked how the story revolved around people who had become almost Smeagol/Gollum-like (definately the most complex and interesting character in the "Rings" trilogy) due to objects that were not as they appeared... they each have their own distinct power which their owners/slaves crave. Basically this is six one hour shows divided into 3 parts (2 episode's per part) and I really have nothing negative to say other than, if this is it then the ending kinda sucked but if there's more on the way then I'm ready for more as there are a thousand and one questions bouncing around in my gray matter... plus there are so many loose ends to tie up. I really hope the Sci-Fi Channel do the right thing and give us a follow up mini series, a full season or two, or even a movie to wrap things up. With all the crap that the Sci-Fi Channel produces they owe it to fans of this show (call us "Roomies") to bring the story 360. No word of a lie, this show is quite possibly the best show ever to grace the pixels of my television.