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Into the Woods (2014)
Disney should make movies for kids again.
So this is just a taste of the famiy friendly, PG-Rated content that this Disney film had in store for my kids: A line where a woman actually says "he raped me" ... A scene where Johnny Depp is basically singing a song about a "juicy young girl" he wants to eat but instead of you imagining him as a wolf you're imagining him as a sick stalker pedophile. Having fun yet? This film has scenes of mutilation of women's feet to fit a shoe, because what we need in a kids story tale movie is "SAW Part 8" ... And constant references to women being literally chased around by men like objects , and last but not least a random sudden scene of a married man and woman cheating on their spouses. Having fun yet family viewers? This is stupid and offensive. Should not be rated PG and save this garbage for adults who want to see it.
Remember When Disney Made Movies For Kids & Had CGI Better Than Sharknado?
First the positive: Maleficent the character happens to wear the same make up as the superstar celebrity Angelina Jolie does in real life.
Now my problems with this movie and the Hollywood studios mentality in general:
Why do all movies nowadays have to be so violent, cynical, and have post ironic twists to change up the classic stories they are asking us to PAY TO SEE AGAIN due to nostalgia? Just make a PG13 or R rated film for adults if you want to make these emo-dark violent kids movies.
The distracting discount Michael Bay King AKA Sharlto Copley (who is actually a great actor in most films) is not even sleep walking or phoning in this movie, he acts as if he does not even remember how to act or that a camera is rolling and that he is being paid MILLIONS of dollars to do the simple task of reciting words written on a page for him, which is his profession. He is terrible and it is offensive how terrible his performance is knowing that he CAN in fact act, so this recent trend of talented celebrities *AHEM, BRUCE WILLIS...HARRISON FORD...ANTHONY HOPKINS...DE NIRO...PACINO ETC -- Need to either retire with their gobs of money and accomplishments or start doing what they are paid very well to do and ACT for jebus sake.
Where did the CGI budget go? This looks worse than a SCI FI Channel show. It looks worse than the BIBLE series on History Channel, and at least that used bad CGI only for establishing shots. The intro to this film looks like a failed PIXAR studios test short from the 1980s or something...why are they charging us 10 dollars to see something they cannot afford to produce better than an old episode of Flash Gordan? Insult to injury.
And this is PG and people across the globe are going to think it is child friendly. Well..not really. Is child abuse funny? Women getting smacked around by men? Battles and men on fire? A man being killed by a long fall to his death? A man asking other soldiers to bring him a woman's head? Yeah...classic Disney stories for the children.
A random afterthought love interest who of course does not truly love sleeping beauty since he exchanged only, hmmm, FIVE LINES OF Cliché DIALOGUE WITH HER>>> Resulting in true love being only from adopted mommy Angelina kissing her forehead. WHAT IS THIS GARBAGE? Is this some twist of an already bizarre message?
I will not even get into the absurd villain and his ridiculously inconsistent behavior which is a huge plot hole...hell I am sick of even talking about this garbage.
SO MAKE UP YOUR MIND Hollywood. Is every movie dark or is it happy? Does it always either have to be Dark Knight Dark or Iron Man Irony? Can we just watch something that is not cynical or worst of all treating the audience like idiots. The real idiots are the studios and writers thinking this garbage is worth even a DVD rental. No more of this nonsense is sponsored by my wallet anymore. One good thing from seeing this film..
The Raid 2: Berandal (2014)
Smart movie, Stupid Characters. Entertaining Film, Idiot Logic
I loved this film for its shining spots, as I loved its predecessor. And to its credit, this one was much bigger all around and way more ambitious.
As always, the film looks great, the action is amazing, the actors are great athletes and solid actors, it's overall great film making. The only problem is some of the writing/story contrivances.
This world is very realistic and keeps the tone throughout. Almost grimly sadistically realistic...so it does the film a disservice to resort to Kill Bill like style villains with really campy weapon choices.
Come on people...a deaf woman in designer shades wielding two hammers? A guy in a hoodie who's really good at hitting baseballs at people?
This is laughably weird and would fit in an X-Men movie, but not one of this caliber.
And what is with these ultra-violent mafia members in Indonesia...sometimes they use guns and sometimes they use hands and martial arts or melee weapons? How did any of these idiots live this long? I can suspend disbelief like in the first film when one character said he'd rather use his fists than a gun, but in this film there is absolutely no reason for cold blooded gangsters to NOT protect themselves at all times with some type of firearm. They very randomly choose their spots of when to use weapons from the 21st century and sometimes from the stone age. A bit laughable and contrived.
And like kill bill, too much of a good thing gets boring. We love the action and fight scenes, but it gets a bit long after a while and honestly the story and drama behind the scenes with the mafia family rivalry were way more fascinating than the elongated fight scenes.
Entertaining and well done, just missed a big opportunity to keep it more consistently serious and could have reached a higher level than it did. Still very well done.
300: Rise of an Empire (2014)
Rise of the 300's B-Team
1. The back story of the villains in this film is more interesting than the story of the 2-dimensional leads in it. 2. The cartoon blood was distracting. I half expected to see some ACME Anvils land on some Persian dude's head. 3. The slow motion to fast motion gimmick was old 5 years ago, and if we want to see 300 style action sequences, we will watch 300. Beautiful imagery, but I'd rather see paintings of it rather than 2 hours of slow- mo. 4.Under explained stakes and characters. I still have no idea why anyone was fighting and what they were fighting over really. And furthermore I felt more sad for the lead villain who was raped repeatedly as a slave child rather than the leading men who think it's cool to have sex with the enemy. And the other heroes from 300 are a culture of people who not only beat children but discard BABIES if they are not born perfectly. These are our heroes? The Persians at least didn't mention that in their back story. 5. This film is almost all exposition. Nearly 80% of the dialogue is either Braveheart style speeches to 10,000 soldiers who somehow can hear one man without a microphone, or two over-acting characters speaking in inconsistent British accents to remind the audience of what's going on and what they're going to do. 6. If you can't get Gerard Butler to perform ANY speaking lines in the film, just cut him out completely. It was laughable how many times they did the "OH, Your favorite character, GERARD BUTLER, JUST left..you JUST missed him..so here is stock photos from the last movie of him...and oh his wife and this guy were in the last movie...and you know them...so they will speak on his behalf" 7. King Leonidas' wife is just as skilled as any Spartan on the battlefield and leads them from the front lines? OK. 8. If Hollywood is going to only make remakes, reboots, and adaptations of earlier works, they should at very least think a bit more on the script before pooping it out. There is no substance in this film, no real story, no stakes, and worst of all, no serious supporting actor. 9. On a positive note, the extras in this film are HILARIOUS. Comedy gold. 10. I cannot take this movie seriously, and I am their target audience. Worth a DVD rental for some fun, but even in 3D it gets old.
Try again Hollywood cash-cow Inc.
Hollywood Studios Have Less Heart Than Robots
Firstly, the film has a great cast and good performances. Not a terrible film in technical or performance terms, but certainly another pointless remake/reboot/re-imagining of a classic franchise. What is the point of doing this? I know it's for money and just in hopes that people recognize the name, but this movie may as well have NOT been about the Robocop we know.
But even without comparing it to the original...WHERE IS THE HEART or SUBSTANCE in this movie? Name it. It's nothing different than the other 100 drama/action/comedy films that have some basic evil vs. bad story. Nothing original.
Anyways: It is The same old by-the-numbers cliché garbage. Laughable script and unoriginal but worst of all: Just boring.
How many times are we going to see the same plot devices and laughable cliché characters in a movie? And even preaching to us, how about giving us something to actually think about or discuss.
Hollywood has only one move these days: Making 1-dimensional characters (innocent good guy, evil for no reason bad guy)-- Wash, rinse, repeat.
The Monuments Men (2014)
If Disney Made A World War II Film
This film is definitely not terrible but missed a big opportunity at making something memorable. And needless to say it unfortunately has a lot of problems that do it (and its intriguing story) a huge disservice. Before listing the problems I will note its positives: The acting, cast, direction and visuals are all good. OK...
And now the problems:
1) The quips and zingers every few minutes: Is this a sit-com or a drama about Nazis stealing art? It was hard enough to believe any of these characters are allowed to simply meander around Europe without strict supervision but even less believable that these men snap out witty one- liners back and forth after every few minutes. And the problem is that these one-liners are often during times of implied danger or tension, which gets broken immediately with the comedy relief.
2) The musical score/tone is absolutely bizarre and out-of-place in many areas: When taking on a subject as serious as WW2, it's not a great idea to constantly have happy-go-lucky comedy relief music going on in the background. It really is tonally all over the place and is out of place when considering the message trying to be sent about the importance of human art/culture, etc. Half the time I was expecting either a Broadway musical dance-line to jump out and start kicking their legs in front of the screen or at least see the Rocketeer fly past a Nazi blimp.
3) The one dimensional characters. We learn very little about the actual personalities of the main characters so there is little to invest in, especially between the characters and their relationships. It's hard to feel bad for characters who you don't know and are acting really stupid in very dangerous circumstances. I also felt there were many scenes missing from the film because we never see the main characters even bond or have much meaningful dialog within the first hour of the film, and are expected to cry for characters we do not know and expected to care about relationships we have not established.
4) The villains (are even worse:) The bad guys (Nazis of course) might as well have been twirling around their mustaches and laughing maniacally. Are we to believe that even the "bad guys" in a real historical situation did not have other emotions besides crazy and evil? And as if if the Nazis were not bad enough villains, the writers needed to include a sub-plot with the big bad Russians, who although helped us beat the Nazis, are apparently evil for wanting to take art for themselves, I guess.
5) Missed opportunities: Many scenes have a lot of potential to lead up to something interesting, intense, or memorable. They never deliver in any way, however. Every single moment where there is action,drama, or a threat of danger/death, it is resolved with some type of comic relief or very random exposition designed to move to the next scene as quickly as possible. Very sad to say because every scene starts out with promise, then fails.
6) The heroes/the Title: Not even sure about the accuracy of this film: But if true, the heroes are not even the Monuments Men, but the ONE German-speaking member (hired on a fluke) who figured out where the art was being hidden and the same guy also finds hidden Nazi gold. It should have been named after this one character, the other members are idiots. Any man who steps out of a vehicle in war-torn France to offer a cigarette to a horse, deserves to be shot.
7) The WW2 tropes cliché festival: Yet again another movie showing the "greatest hits" of WW2, relying on its audience to be a bunch of stupid simpletons who only respond to iconic images or names they know from grade school text books. "OH, OMAHA BEACH! OH, BATTLE OF THE BULGE! OH, SCOWLING Hitler! OH PICASSO! THIS ALL MEANS SOMETHING!" .. No, it's time to stop going for the low hanging fruit and bring something unique.
8) "If it weren't for us you'd be speaking German" ... This is an actual line from the movie, directed at a French woman from an American soldier. The problem is that only a few scenes before we see a German Nazi soldier speaking English to that very French woman. So apparently she would have been speaking neither German or French, she'd be speaking English so that the English-speaking audience wouldn't have to read subtitles. Ridiculous jingoistic quips would work fine in a more clever WW2 film, but definitely not this one.
9) Last but not least: George Clooney as Danny Ocean/Prince Charming/Hero Astronaut:
I cannot take him seriously in a WW2 film when he does the whole "I'm not just a pretty face" smooth talking nonsense. In an Ocean's 11 film, yes. He's a good actor, why did he choose to play it like this AGAIN? It's annoying and takes us out of the movie, especially when trying to believe him as a humble hero who cares about art and not just how cool he is.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)
CIA Agent with a PhD Can't Hide A Movie Ticket
Very entertaining ride, but disappointing when put against the early Harrison Ford/Baldwin Jack Ryan films which took the subject matter more seriously and were not as ridiculously CSI-Miami-ish like this one is. Also they focused on his cunning and did not pretend he could transform in moments from geek analyst to James Bond in Hulk-like speed.
Here are my gripes with this movie
1) The infamous Hollywood cliché checklist: 9/11 Terror imagery? Check. Boogeymen Russians even though the cold war ended decades ago? Check. Ticking time bomb as opposed to a device that just blows up instantly via remote? Check. Name-dropping the latest internet social networks? Check. 2) We are meant to believe that a brilliant CIA analyst working on top secret national security projects is unable to hide something as benign as a movie ticket from a super secret meeting with another "covert" agent? 3) The CIA just runs around Moscow shooting off guns, speeding through streets, and clearing corpses from hotel rooms? Really? 4) A plot point is that one terrorist had someone take photos of a downtown city area for reconnaissance. As if there is not enough free, untrackable stock images available from google maps and other websites that show every square inch of every American city. Taking traceable photos of a building is pointless in the new internet age. 5) Keira Knightley's annoying face and whining. 6) The CIA leaving national security up to a CIA analyst who was activated by accident and his wife who didn't know he was working for the CIA. 7) A CIA analyst who only spent a few months in battle-training suddenly sneaking around like James Bond. 8) A pushing 60 Kevin Costner trying to be believable sneaking around like James Bond in skull caps. Also, Kevin Costner needed something else to do in this film other than just being Kevin Costner. He was a generic character with no impact on the stakes or overall climax. 9) We don't learn much about the main character besides the usual Hollywood cliché nonsense of him being a "Patriotic, Heroic, Genius, Faithful husband" American that has no flaws and of course was a Veteran who for some reason knows everything. In the Harrison Ford films at least we saw him at CIA headquarters and interacting with bureaucrats, etc. This film was like an episode of 24. 10) OK it's a movie, but the convenience of how many times these main characters happen to be in the right/wrong place at the right/wrong time is absolutely ridiculous. Not to mention the entire premise of the film relies on layers and layers of coincidences that all depend on Jack Ryan's life following an exact script in order to find out the terror plan, the perpetrators, and save the day. 11) The Russian villain suddenly realizes Jack Ryan is a history buff simply because Jack Ryan knows the name of a painting? Come on now. Where were the exchanges in Russian to show his linguistic skills? Just, OH, you know the name of this painting, therefore, audience, this guy is a historian.
But overall an entertaining film, however generic and should have just been named something else, not related to Tom Clancy. Absurd but fun.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Encompasses everything wrong with Hollywood's arrogant attitude towards its audience
Dear Hollywood: It's time for something new.
Firstly, this film is entertaining enough and has a great director/cast/performances, blah blah blah -- However we should expect more after this many years of the same tripe from indeed talented people who have done better before. And seriously, how many times can we be entertained by basically the same thing over and over and over, just repackaged? People snorting cocaine. People having sex. Hookers. Bad behavior. Shocking male genitalia in an R-Rated movie when we usually only see bush and knockers. Give me a break. Hate to tell you, although the audience may be comprised of giddy man-children who laugh at dick jokes: Shock value does not equal brilliance.
The film started out good and held my attention but the lack of depth written for any character besides Leonardo was awful. Everyone is a caricature of characters we have seen in countless other movies. And I learned less about Jordan Belfort from this three hour film than a three line bio on wikipedia.
And: What was the point of this movie? I honestly still have no idea and the ending was especially disappointing and anti-climatic.
Bravo for Di Caprio in the role but that is honestly about it. Why was John Favreu even in this film? Why was Mathew McNaughahay wasted for 5 minutes of screen time?
It could have challenged the audience by not giving us the stereotypical black and white character development and extra predictable plotting.
Scorcese has done a good job of making mob figures and murderers seem charismatic and cool, but this film teaches neither the character or the audience anything at all.
I'm rich, so this resort style jail is not that bad. Time to get an inspirational speaking gig and make a Hollywood movie officially validating me as legit.
Enough is enough, we need to ask for more out of these "based on true story" indulgences.
Between Belfort and Hollywood, I would say the latter has ripped off average people the most.
The CGI Games
This film was nearly 3 hours of an emo Cabbage Patch Doll delivering monotone monologues to other angst-ridden emo teens in strange outfits.
But seriously, I was just hoping for the film to exceed its predecessor and it did on some levels but was just flat out SLOW & full of unnecessary and random scenes. They could have cut out several of the pointless character-intros and had a much more powerful film. I mean, do we really need to see a tedious action sequence of people fixing up a man's whipped body? I guess that was for the ladies.
Now, I do like how they are going for the 1984-feel, and I realize this is based on a book (I did not read) ... But this film's universe DOES NOT feel lived in whatsoever. Not only is it too reliant on CGI spectacle, but it does not challenge the viewers to any serious moral questions. It has chances to do so but follows the movie cliché of thinking the audience is too dumb to swallow anything besides Black Vs. White, bad guys are bad, good guys are completely innocent in every way, paradigm.
And maybe they describe this world better in the book but it is absolutely ridiculous to think that the only thing this society ever talks about 24/7 is the HUNGER GAMES. Really? This prospering government with endless resources and military power spends their every living moments talking about the annual hunger games? Where are the factories or businesses that profit on the war toys or the amazing fashion technology, architecture, transportation, etc? They absolutely push the limits of dumb by pretending this world would be so obsessed with the hunger games instead of other issues in their very vast infrastructure. Just not sure how any society could thrive over anyone when their only concern in the world is the stupid annual game where emo teens kill each other. Okay, the have "sponsors" which are not really discussed in this film but they could have at least explained why the only thing on TV is talk about these stupid games. Just saying, it is a paper thin reality, unlike a more detailed universe like Harry Potter or LOTR.
5/10 because it had some intriguing action, interesting twists, and funny CGI monkeys. Me like CGI.
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Good for a Sci-Fi Channel StarTrek Knockoff
I thoroughly enjoyed the first Thor. It was better than expected and was not an entirely by the numbers hero movie. This one, on the other hand, is not only a cliché soap opera movie, but confused as what it wants to be.
Half the beginning forces rom-com background music on us & the other half is full of ironic quips & other shenanigans that belong in a Jim Carrey film.
The story, villain, and connectivity to The Avengers is laughable and the cliché humanoid 60's Star Trek aliens take you out of the movie.
This should have been a home run but it's quite disappointing if looking at it objectively and not as a drooling Avengers fanboy.
I admit some plot twist had me excited for moments and the acting was solid.
Too much Whiny sidekick girl & black swan chick but 4/10 is being generous either way.
"Half of North America lost their Facebook"
The great: Amazing visuals, visually stunning, amazing direction, the type of movie 3D was made for, well acted overall.
The good: Short and sweet, does not overstay its welcome.
The bad: Very bad dialogue (for this type of film), especially from George Clooney's character. And seriously, what Nasa astronaut would say to themselves: "I hate space" or "sunny with a chance of satellite debris"??
The badder: A lot of Hollywood cliché exposition aimed directly at the audience & terrible stereotypes subtlety interwoven (Chinese play ping pong and have Budha statues, Russians drink vodka...yeah yeah yeah)
The worst: The over-hype of this film & an actual line of script mentioning the similarly over-hyped Facebook. It is a sin to use trendy flavor of the week pop culture lingo in films, especially in one this good.
Come on now, do you really think people will remember facebook in 20 years while watching this film? I think when that line comes up in 20 years, the kids will kids say "what the hell is facebook"???? Visuals = Timeless. Dialogue? Not so much. It's like mentioning social networking site "Friendster" a decade ago...a NO NO.
And the character development was a bit weak and wasted time with some meaningless quips that never paid off. This would have been just as good a movie as a silent film.
Overall a solid flick but not anything I could imagine watching in its entirety a second time.
Runner Runner (2013)
A One-Hour Justin Timberlake Music Video & 30 minutes of Ben Affleck Blinking Repeatedly
Mindless entertainment, check.
Justin Timberlake being Justin Timberlake, check.
Ben Affleck being his same character from Boiler Room but with more blinking while delivering frat-boy douche lines, double check.
Hot girl standing around being hot, Check.
FBI agent way to young and random to be a believable yet cliché FBI agent, check.
Justin Timberlake not nearly getting his ass kicked enough in this film, inexcusable but CHECK.
So much potential, so much of the same. What a shock.
Story and plot had a lot of potential, and although I am not a big Family Guy fan I have found Seth Mcfarlane to have some bright spots that are really funny in his writing. Not sure what his obsession is with oldtyme show-tunes but I digress.
This film shows everything that is wrong with the Hollywood hype machine & the poison of writers/directors thinking something is funny just because of the premise or their brand of shtick that's become popular.
This movie is not that funny, it's just the same old jokes that try too hard to push the envelope with material we have simply just seen WAY too much, especially from Mcfarlane & his barrage of cartoons, etc.
Had some funny moments but instead of taking any chances with making a unique story it ends up doing the same Adam Sandler nonsense of copying every other trashy Rom-Com formula cliché in the book.
The special effects were good, some of the jokes were clever, but if they wasted a great opportunity to make something different here. Not sure why this movie is as overrated as Avengers but I guess this is what we settle for these days.
Only acting worth mentioning was the female lead...other than that it is the typical & expected cookie-cutter performances by non-funny male leads.
Blah Hollywood, blah.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013)
Hollywood finds new levels of low...
I will admit I am NOT the target audience & was not as impressed by the Avengers movie as everyone else on the planet, but I was open to this TV show being at least interesting or impressively produced: I was terribly wrong.
The casting was obviously cheap because the acting is awful, aside from some of the main characters.
The special effects..hmm...am I watching a made for TV movie by the SciFi or history channel? No this is a well known franchise on the heels of the biggest and highly acclaimed film of the last few years with a HUGE exec. producer...so why this garbage?
Whoever is giving this good reviews is either delusional or being paid to say so. I do not believe any serious critic would take this show seriously or say it is even close to doing justice to the film/franchise it is based upon.
Again, I did not think the Avengers was anything special but admit it was entertaining, well produced, and impressive with characters/visuals, some plot points, etc etc.
This show was none of the above. They couldn't even come up with an original story or villain. It was more like something ripped off from one of the Spider-man movies or something, this was TERRIBLE.
The worst part about it was the script and terrible acting & both writers/actors are terrible so they are all to blame here. Even Daniel Day Lewis couldn't read those lines with a straight face.
"Watch your six"?? seriously? And how about that bull s h i t excuse for Agent Coulson still being alive. It ruins the whole point of the Avengers finale where they work together based on his death. What is this garbage?
Josslin Wheedon or whatever her name is owes us an apology but at least we didn't have to pay 12 stinking bucks to watch this crapola.
Hollywood is not only out of ideas, they can't even build upon good ideas that worked well in the past.
Pass on this show, it may as well have a laugh track like the new "Dads" TV show has. It's that bad.
Hollywood is a joke.
Furious 6 (2013)
Most overrated film since the Avengers
Are you f u c k i n g kidding me? I guess this got positive reviews because compared to the other installments in the franchise, this one is like a masterpiece. But still absolutely ridiculously stupid & can barely be called a film.
Not sure what we are supposed to take less seriously: Paul Walker's acting, Vin Deisel's monotone delivery, or that this is the 6th one of these pieces of garbage.
Is this all Hollywood has to offer us these days? Reboots, remakes, and sequels? May as well continue the theme of making board games into major motion pictures because this is just absolutely horrendous.
Fast and Furious is slowly becoming the Police Academy of our time. See you all again at Fast Fingered 14
20 years behind its time
Sad to see such a wealth of what could have been great ideas turned into complete tripe & random events that don't pay off. Lots of odd good guys & very forced "bad guys" in this film & stereotype characters that must have been written back in the 90's or something.
The latino characters are taco cart vendors? Seriously? The Korean woman owns a nail shop & speaks in broken Engrish? Really? The racing snail team consists of Sam L Jackson & Snoop Dogg who OF COURSE must speak in Jive slang black talk because that's how all black folk talk yo! And the Italian guy is the stereotypical, machismo, Italian-English FOB accent dude....what is this garbage? This is for kids?
CSI: Miami (2002)
Pro-Authoritarian Propaganda Posing as Entertainment
Instead of going for the low-hanging fruit critiques to CSI: Miami I am going to point your direction at a lesser discussed but equally insulting element of the show.
Aside from the bad acting, laughable science, predictable "good guys always get the perp" endings, & conveniently detailed exposition in every scene; this show takes the idea of praising our tax-sponsored bureaucratic police state to an all new level. And this is an issue I have with several police/law enforcement dramas today, but CSI Miami is absolutely shameless in its ridiculously elementary, black & white portrayal of crime fighting, which although intended to praise hard working civil servants in this line of work, actually makes them cardboard cutouts with no gaping flaws or character to them & ends up patronizing them in my opinion.
Now I absolutely know there is a place for authority/police, CSI type entities, etc etc and blah blah blah. My point is that in this show they go around playing the "I'm a cop card" on every single person they encounter & end up sweating tax-paying citizens we later find out are innocent. Now this might bring drama & "who done it" flair to the show, but it is very overdone in this show & shouts out the message that authority figures who are paid by OUR tax dime, can go around shouting orders/accusations at us, demanding hair samples without even a warrant while lecturing us about things that are illegal in the state; only to find out we are in fact INNOCENT of the crime being investigated. And in this show they never seem to give a rat's A about the complete abuse of power displayed here (as well as the incompetent use of it overall). Not sure about other average citizens but although I am sick of horrific crimes in my nation I am just as sick of tax-salaried employees running around in private jets in Armani suits, thinking they are above the law & taking away any freedom of ours to get a desired result. Sorry but if you want us to root for elite police units, at least make them relatable or somewhat sympathetic/respectful to the citizens footing the bill of their high-tech "anything at our fingertips" work environment.
Furthermore, CSI Miami telegraphs us the idea that only dead victims are being worked for here, when in reality, CSI would be working for ALL citizens who pay them to do their damn job, which should not include harassing them or going around bragging about their power to get warrants & searc through their stuff. It's just short of police state propaganda but I know it's only a TV show. And somehow they continued throughout the show to take themselves OH-SO seriously which leads me to believe it is a bit more than entertainment & meant to be a somewhat realistic look into what CSI-type units do. Well if it is anywhere near accurate as to how our law enforcement behaves, I am not very surprised looking at our current TSA, but am still no less offended that these idiots are the characters we are supposed to be rooting for.
The writers/producers should have AT VERY LEAST written in some type of dissenting voice within CSI that every now & then quips about the rights of citizens Vs. their bottom line of "anything to catch the bad guy"...especially since in every episode they go through sweating several WRONGLY accused people before settling on the truth of the real murderer or often find that the death was ACCIDENTAL (which makes CSI look pretty stupid to be threatening people with jail time who are in fact innocent.)
The show would still be laughable even if the science was more accurate & their lucky streak of evidence was less convenient; However it is a good-looking show. Half of the dialogue sounds straight out of an after- school special wherein they may as well start looking directly at the camera & say "Don't do drugs, stay in school, bad guys always lose, and always be cool!"
And although I have not seen every single episode but would not at all be surprised if they started using the Bush Doctrine on suspects & water-boarded them to confess while singing the national anthem.
If the bully loving, white-and-black paper thin characters from CSI Miami are who the audience sees as "good guys" then maybe we deserve to be harassed sheep who earn less freedoms with more tax dollars.
The Social Network (2010)
The movie this generation deserves
In a Frank Zappa interview, he once discussed the changing music industry & how it slowly went downhill due to executives not taking any real risks while thinking they "knew" what was cool or what the kids wanted in order to meet their bottom line. He goes on to basically say that the current (at that time) decline in music quality/originality is what our society deserves; Since the masses obviously keep buying into the MTV culture where "good" art is more about looks, money, & style than actual content.
I think Zappa's idea applies to this film and our declining society as a whole (in terms of film, music, and the entertainment industry in general). We deserve this type of tripe, shallow, & superficial "pop culture" fad praising art that we throw gobs of money at each year. This film is a cookie-cutter "what's cool now" made-for-TV special with apparently a wild squirrel randomly jumping on piano keys for the soundtrack.
There are some solid performances here but overall it is too panderous to the contemporaries who will remember the rising popularity of Myspace 2. What is worse is that they didn't even make a Steve Jobs film until after he passed & Jobs (and company) did a lot more to change the way we interact in all aspects of life. Why did Facebook/Zuckerberg need a 2 hour film about him even as the site's popularity was rising? I guess because it's "hip" & so "IN" right now.
They may as well start making films about eBay's rise to power & the evolution of YouTube starring Justin Bieber as Chad Hurley.
Our watered down, over hyping society is sadly continuing into a dangerous trend of accepting essentially superficial and empty products that all look the same but with a slightly different package. Everyone wants to be a star or know something about stars; Both desires, just like this film, do not result in anything worthwhile.
I give it 10-15 years max before Facebook becomes as relevant as Pet Rocks & Gangnam Style. If critics and audiences keep buying into this garbage, it is certainly what they deserve more of.
The Avengers (2012)
Surprisingly entertaining but overrated tripe
Solid movie? Yes. By the numbers? Absolutely. Not daring, original, or unique story wise in any way. This is not a classic but glad 80% of people think it's the new Godfather apparently.
Good for them but not for the future of film making which is now more about CGI wowing & explosions behind CGI superheroes.
Acting is solid, characters are interesting enough, but they did not bring anything NEW to this franchise that we already know so well from previous films. Generic bad guys who all die at the same time like it's Star Wars Episode I? Are you kidding me? And a bunch of hardcore superheroes and...a woman with a pistol and a guy with a bow-&-arrow who wears a leotard? This is laughable but apparently our current audiences take this s h i t seriously. Whatever, seriously.
The Butler (2013)
Well done visually but poorly done in casting. Starts strong, Fails in the end.
Worthwhile movie but relies too much on the heart-tugging subject matter to sell it. Some great performances from the main characters but a lot of wasteful casting on either distracting musician-actors/cameos or Robin Williams as Eisenhower for 45 seconds of screen time? Random.
Also could have focused less on the modern-day endorsements (of the main character) as it takes away from the meaning of the story and the lessons learned from all races on past mistakes & state-sponsored injustice.
Spoiler: At the end where it shows him endorsing Obama, whether or not it is true, it absolutely loses the previous theme showing it was more about equality regardless of race, but ending it on this note felt like the character we loved so much was just voting for someone based on race. Less timeless a movie because of this quick wrap up & pandering to a contemporary audience.