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My younger sister made me watch this and in return, I'm gonna make her watch Cannibal (2006).
I haven't read any of the "Twilight" books, and to be perfectly honest, I'm probably not going to attempt to do so on my own. Frankly I don't think I'd read any of them unless someone put a gun to my head. I'm really not into teen love stories, let alone teen-Dracula love stories. I'm commenting purely as someone who has only seen this film.
That said, speaking technically, this is a terrible film. Many film adaptations of literature come off stilted, unbalanced, flawed... But "Twilight" is a great example of precisely what NOT to do in a film of any sort.
It begins with the lack of character development. None, NONE of the characters actually develop. Bella's back-story is nearly a mystery, and the character has absolutely no personality or ties to anything around her. Edward Cullen had the most character development of anyone, no doubt because he's obviously author/creator Stephenie Meyer's amalgamation of idealized male traits and characteristics. There is no balance between Edward and Bella, with Bella offering the audience virtually nothing to relate to or care about; we simply do not see her engaged in any "life" to speak of. She's deader than any/all of the ancillary, interchangeable supporting characters. The other vampires? I scarcely remember their names since they aren't really involved. And the human characters? Equally if not more neglected and downright aborted.
The next major flaw is the story itself. There is none. It's literally about an hour and a half of trite, hopelessly hackneyed adolescent angst and protracted anguish between a codependent girl and a pasty, gaunt narcissist. Hot, right? Well, it could have been; maybe if we'd been offered reasons they were even attracted to each other. Of all things I expected to see, "Twilight" leaves completely absent any reasons for them to be together, or even want to be together. We never really know why Edward "loves" Bella. He seems to compliment her scent a couple of times, and tells her that he'd love to consume her blood as it would be "like a drug" to him. This mentality in itself isn't necessarily so absurd, but what makes it so absurd is that Bella is so unremarkable and ostensibly devoid of ambition or even opinion about the world around her. And the things Bella says to Edward? A considerable amount of dialog and screen time is devoted to Bella praising Edward for his physical acumen as a vampire. Worldviews are never discussed. Edward just blurs around saying vaguely creepy things while Bella praises him, and absolutely nothing happens in the background. There were a few "bad" vampires that showed up at some point, but I have no idea what they were doing or why. They're just thrown into the mix during, of all things, a vampire baseball game in a thunderstorm.
Yeah, a vampire baseball game in a thunderstorm. That thing that to have been the worst vampire-sports sequence I've ever seen. Corny doesn't begin to describe it, but it's honestly just about the only inkling of a plot or story outside of the interplay between Edward and Bella.
I decided the film wasn't 100% devoid of value, however. The cinematography really isn't that bad, and the visual impact is actually quite well implemented. CGI is approaching overuse but it's nowhere near as terrible in other recent films. Camera-work is able though the complete lack of a story robs the experience. You know what? Watch it on mute or in a language you don't understand and you'll probably have a much better time. Maybe get the digital version of it and cut/paste a pastiche of out-of-order sequences and give it a soundtrack made of Dream Into Dust, Flatline Skyline, Bauhaus, and/or Joy Division songs just for some really ironic giggles. Otherwise, just get some friends over and do your own Mystery Science Theatre 3000.
Since the film is pretty on mute and made me snicker and guffaw every few minutes, I gave it a solid 3. Unintentional comedy is never worth a mere 1 or 2 stars.
Five minutes feels like an hour.
Good premise, terrible acting and implementation.
Painfully boring direction. Unbearably slow. Characters were totally wooden and impossible to like or care about in the slightest.
I gave it a chance, and I ended up unable to take much more after the first forty-five minutes. I can't even remember if it was actually that long, pardon the pun.
It was a complete disappointment after hearing years of hype about how great Memento was supposed to be. I just don't know how people were able to stay with it; I had figured out the ending not ten minutes into the film.
I'm not going to waste more words on it. The end.
Hole in the Wall (2008)
Addictive and fun!
Remember the "physical challenges" from Double Dare? Hole in the Wall reminds me a lot of those, and it's always fun to watch for the same reasons it was fun to watch Double Dare, or GUTS.
Usually I hate game-shows, as they're invariably boring to me, but Hole in the Wall is just fast enough to keep from getting old too fast. It's always fun to see if a giant contestant will make it through, or if a tiny one will get swept into the pool by the wall.
But I guess if you're determined to be angry about life in general, you won't have much fun watching. Too bad, because I'd play the game every day if I could.
Whale Wars (2008)
Look at it objectively.
Whoever says this is "television stooped to a new low" clearly doesn't know anything about presenting an extreme point of view in an unbiased manner. In "Whale Wars", Animal Planet has managed to give us a show that actually chronicles a very controversial group of people without taking a side. There are no endorsements for, or against, the Sea Shepherds or their activities by the production crew or the television network. After watching many biased documentaries of all sorts by all sorts, I thought Whale Wars was a nice change.
Personally, I don't really ascribe to too many environmentalist causes, for a variety of reasons. As such, I was initially skeptical when I heard about the premise of Whale Wars. I was sure I'd be getting another heavily biased faux documentary, the aim of which was to pander to one extreme on the right-left political spectrum. I was also expecting lackluster production with tedious editing.
Fortunately, none of that is the case. While most of the people involved in this venture seem almost foreign to me (I'm a gun owner, I eat meat nearly exclusively, and I consider myself an American patriot), they do not come off as completely insane ecoterrorists. This is perhaps because they're explaining themselves at every turn. There are many sit-down interviews in addition to action sequences; the viewer can then weigh what he sees them doing against what he hears them saying, and is invited to make his own judgment.
The pacing is not boring or slow, nor is it rushed. As we see the Sea Shepherds deciding on tactics and the commission of their actions, we also see the consequences of what they do. They are not glorified or lionized, and I don't come away feeling as if the show has tried to legitimize or marginalize them one way or the other. The same goes for what we are able to see of the Japanese whaling ships.
But this is where the niceties end. After multiple attempts to communicate with the Japanese, the Sea Shepherds become aggressive. When I first heard about this group and some of their tactics, such as throwing stink bombs onto the whaling ships, I felt they were completely outside their rights as activists. However, that's because I thought they were attacking these vessels in Japanese waters, exclusively. When I learned that the Japanese were not in their own territory, I had to reconsider.
Are the Sea Shepherds right, or wrong? That's for individual viewers to decide. Are their tactics effective? I suppose we'll all have to wait for the Japanese and Australian governments to make an action before we can determine that.
I'm forced to admit, though... The Sea Shepherds definitely have guts, and aren't slacking. Their missteps are shown alongside what they consider victories, and I can at least appreciate that they've decided to actually DO something about what they call a problem, instead of asking others to do it for them. I've never liked whiners, which is why I can admire them for being active and aggressive (though arguably nonviolent) instead of just sitting around whining about it.
Most addictive absurdism and satire ever.
Adult Swim has added a number of new shows in the last two years, and people have had all sorts of reactions. Regardless of whatever reaction a person may have to Metalocalypse, you have to admit that it will get your attention once or twice.
Without parroting the same praise others have given the show, I'll say that the reason it's so intensely hilarious is because it takes five very well defined characters illustrative of classic metal personalities and brings them down to earth, readily accessible, and just waiting to screw up horribly in everything else they do. No matter how well or ill intended they are in their non-metal deeds, they invariably amplify the horror of the every day human experience. When we sit down and watch, we're just dying to see what the death-toll will be.
Some people have said that the humor in Metalocalypse is "too simple", or "too tasteless"; I can't really argue much with the latter because gore is a running gag, but I'd hardly dismiss it as "simple". Granted, unless you're aware of metal archetypes and racial stereotypes of Scandinavians, you're going to miss a lot of the "inside jokes" and things may get boring. Nevertheless, if you watch from the beginning and keep each previous episode in mind as you watch the next, it'll all make sense. That's one of the reasons I'm absolutely enamored with Metalocalypse. The prevalent attitude coming from its creators is not smug or exclusive or stuck-up, and it doesn't feel like they're trying too hard to be funny. Everything strikes me as being quite innate and not at all forced or deliberate.
If you ask me, metal itself is a pretty pretentious genre. Like gangsta rap, metal personalities are almost invariably malignant. Luminaries of either genre have always portrayed themselves as infallible gods who know no wrong, and can do no wrong. A quick study of any celebrity culture in any country indicates that so many of these people are terminally narcissistic and histrionic, ready to take full advantage of us little people. Rather than fume while resenting it, we can make fun of them and remind them that they still use toilets and make stupid mistakes.
Many people have compared Metalocalypse to "This Is Spinal Tap", and I can see that. I can sooner see a comparison to "CB4", though. I would've loved it if some genius had managed to make CB4 into a series on Adult Swim. Same concept, slightly different details. Point being, it's a great deal of fun to plot through the "real, dumb lives" of people who believe themselves to be living gods.
In any case, I absolutely love the show and measure my weeks in terms of Fix premieres and Sunday night airings. This is the best new show on the network, and I hope its creators take full license when creating more episodes. There is a host of potential in Metalocalypse because metal itself will never go away, nor will the personalities behind it. If I don't get at least another season or two, I'll just develop dysthymia.
Boring, unoriginal, definitely deserved to be canceled.
I have no idea how anyone managed to stay awake during this show. The acting was ham-fisted and amateur, the story was old news, and plot development (or lack thereof) invariably had my eyelids sagging less than halfway through each episode. That's about all there is to say of it, because it genuinely lacked substance of any kind.
How can you people like crap like this? It's freaking stupid, it's an insult to your intelligence. I don't even know how to further explain it... It's as if some of you will stare mindlessly at junk like this solely because you like the way some of the actors look, or because, for whatever crazy reason, you haven't seen the same formulas in dozens of shows a million times before.
I just.. forget it. This show sucked, and thankfully it's gone forever. I wish they'd get to work on demolishing The O.C. once and for all.
A Haunting (2005)
Derp Da Derpee Derpity Dumb.
I can't believe a network once devoted to science would actually air this kind of crap. Every episode is the same: A bunch of middle-American white people, usually Christian nuts, anonymously and profusely attest to having been "haunted" by various supernatural phenomena; of course none of which is actually substantiated. Sometimes "professional ghost-hunters" and "paranorma researchers" are featured in these ridiculous stories, and they invariably come away from the so-purported haunted houses and families with little more than unintelligible, staticy audio and/or video. Often, the family's pastor, priest, whatever will survey the site and simply convince them to strengthen their Christian beliefs and routines, and all will be well. Usually, it is. This series sooner belongs on PAX or INSP than Discovery.
I don't know if it's just that I'm hard to scare, or what, but this show is about as frightening as a cheesecake. The only thing remotely scary about it is that somewhere, somebody's actually taking it seriously.
Tonight's episode is what led me to writing this. The story is by far the most aggravatingly dumb one yet. The family involved consists of a husband and wife, a teenish daughter, and a seemingly haunted young son. Initially, nobody but the son can hear the voice of a malevolent spirit known only as "Man"; "Man" seems to inspire him to behave psychopathically, defying his parents, assaulting his mother, destroying his toys, urinating in his closet, and attempting to smother the family's kitten under couch cushions. Sounds like Junior has a problem with Oppositional-Defiant Disorder to me.
Most bizarre of all his incidents, his mother (the only member of the family interviewed) insists that while he was watched by his cousin, he caused toys to levitate in mid-air in her bedroom. Right. The trouble only continues and worsens past the attempted kitten murder with the phantom Man eventually materializing in front of Junior's mother in a dramatic and violent attack, what with the yelling and pushing and laughing and all.
Deciding not on a visit to a qualified psychologist, she consults with some kind of psychic or medium or whatever you want to call him; he had long hair and a braided headband, so I guess he was qualified in these situations. He prescribes a typical"new age" technique involving the dumping of a combination of olive oil, sweet grass, and other herbal sundries around the property, before a session of walking around with burning sage and Christian prayer in the front yard. Junior's mother then gives us a wild account of the house shaking and voices ringing out from the aether; I only wish I could talk to the neighbors, whom surely must have been entertained if any of this crazy BS actually happened.
Naturally, after all that, everything "goes back to normal" and no further problems or phenomena are observed. Not a word is mentioned about Junior's mental state or the disciplinary habits of his parents, of course. We also don't know if the cat survived. I feel badly for that poor cat.
Some of you might be sitting there saying, "But sohalia, the cases are DOCUMENTED!". You know what? I can write down any manner of insane and inane rambling poppycock as I see fit, take tons of pictures, and call everybody up and repeat the story a hundred times. It's documented! It's also complete garbage! Remember kids, just because it's "documented" doesn't make it real or true.
Speaking of reality, I have to ask... Did I miss something? Is this all a joke? I haven't read anywhere that this series is actually a joke or fictional or whatever, so I'd really appreciate it if somebody tipped me off in the event that it is. I'd appreciate some reassurance that Discovery wasn't going completely to hell. I miss the days when they ran actual documentaries on wildlife and other actual things.
If you want a series about people going through real and not imaginary trouble, watch "I Shouldn't Be Alive" instead.