Reviews written by registered user
|354 reviews in total|
When this series appeared in 2009, I'd have rated it a notch higher
than today. As it stands, it is kind of a "face-based" CSI show. It's
based on Paul Ekman's work on universal facial tells ("micromovements")
which reveal what a person is subconsciously feeling.
It has pretty cool story lines and is very well acted, but the characters are starting to drift into dangerous territory.
The lead character, for example, is turning into a superhuman that is always smarter than everyone, always right and no matter the dilemma, always "playing" (cleverly conning) everyone.
None of the other main characters can challenge him - even his business partner has been watered down in power.
Instead of experts using an amazing tool, it's becoming about an amazing person using a tool.
If you look into this issue, you'll find that Roth's contract allows him "right of refusal" on any script. Writers have complained, but this is one of those situations when the actor has storyline control.
Hopefully, we'll see the show move back to having problems that "can" baffle the expert(s) and show how they can brilliantly deal with situations when the science only takes them part of the way - which is what makes the CSI formula so successful.
This series took a while to develop - I didn't know what the framework
was for several episodes. Other BSG fans I know got bored and quit
watching. That's unfortunate - there's a brilliant sci-fi idea and
However, the series goes way overboard on all the religion and cultural stuff. It's interesting to a point - but then we need to get back to sci-fi material and/or sci-fi related plot development. This is probably the biggest problem with the show.
The characters, on the other hand, are very well acted. If they had right scripts, the combo would easily reach the heights that BattleStar Galactica did.
All in all, this is pretty good series with a lot of potential. If it picks up the pace and focuses more on it's sci-fi underpinnings, it would gain a bigger and more satisfied audience.
Finally, some serious and great writing is back in a Stargate series.
It was present in the original Stargate movie, the early seasons of
SG-1 and then it disappeared (later SG-1 and SG-A were very different
in nature). SG-U has the key elements of strong actors, characters, and
story lines -- and it's all happening with great backdrop of the
The show is well cast with actors who'd make you want to see what happens next even if it weren't sci-fi. Equally as important are the scripts - and they are very well written with conflict, suspense and unpredictability.
What remains to be seen is if the series can keep its current breadth of script ideas fresh - this tough task for any new series. It doesn't seem like it will win over die-hard SG-A fans, so it will have to develop a new base of it's own. If haven't checked out the series yet, it's definitely worth a look.
There are so many cool ways that the idea of dealing with "past lives"
can be used to create interesting story lines. In this series, the
primary focus was on dealing with crime related issues. That's fine -
crimes are an area ripe with mystery.
However, whenever I watched it, I got the feeling that I kind of know what the overall story would be, how it would proceed and how it would end. ... And honestly, sometimes it was a bit of a struggle to watch.
I think part of the problem is the writing - it really needed more imaginative story lines and more realistic characters. The former is a tough one to solve - they probably needed to bring in new writers. As far as the characters, they really needed to be overhauled. Kate McGinn (the lead) was really not believable -- she smiled too much at the wrong times and came off as not fully committed. As for the people she approached - they were not really believable either. They didn't seem to bat an eye when she told them that their problems may be related to a "past life" issue. On a series like "Medium", people often slammed the door on the lead character when she told them that she had a psychic dream about them - that's more believable.
Given that the series has been canceled (even before all the episodes have had a chance to run), it won't have a chance to recover from its problems. The idea was good though - it just needed to be conceived and executed better. Hopefully it will be reborn into and better life down the road.
Splice is not at all what I was expecting - it's more hardcore sci-fi
than the typical/predictable special effects fare. It shows us images
that are not "pretty" to look at, plot directions that we don't want to
see followed and character choices that can best be described as
"unpleasant". And yet, those are what makes this movie worth watching.
I won't talk about the plot because if you're going to see it, you should get the full benefit of letting it unravel in it's own way. Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley do a fine job in the lead roles to drive the plot forward.
While there are things to balk about, there's more thought and image provoking stuff here than you'd find in a dozen typical sci-fi / horror movies. It's been a while since I've seen a good creepy movie - definitely worth the watch!
Amazingly, this show is a lot of fun to watch. Who would have thought
that watching a couple guys with metal detectors scour the ground for
rocks would be so interesting? Well, given that they're searching for
space debris that is often older than the Earth itself, it's enough to
add an immediate air of interest.
One thing that's great about the show is that these guys are fairly laid back and relaxing to watch. Geoff is in it for finding cool rocks for his personal collection while Steve is focused on the money. Every time they find a rock, we see a pop-up graphic that tells us the approximate monetary value of the find. A pebble-sized rock can easily go for $200-$300 while a small hand-held one can eclipse the $1000 mark. On a good day, they seem to be able to pull in roughly $10K (or so it seems).
Another thing that's amusing to watch is them toiling in harsh heat or cold of remote locations for these elusive iron-based objects. We then see them head to the nearest university to learn weather the rocks they've found are truly extraterrestrial in origin. It's the moment of truth ... and the news is not always good.
The show also does a beautiful job of using comic-book like graphics to keep you in suspense about things through the commercial breaks. What a fantastic extra touch! If you like shows about space, treasure hunting or rock collecting - this is a program worth checking out.
There are three things you should know about this movie: (1) See it in
the theater in 3D if you can (and IMAX 3D if you have the opportunity)
(2) DO NOT BE LATE - there were no previews at my showing, so folks who
were in the concession stands when the lights went down missed the
beginning of the movie and (3) be ready for a long movie - it's 2:40
OK - I'll make this quick. Avatar is definitely worth seeing, but the greatest enjoyment you'll get from seeing it is from experiencing the fantasy world of "Pandora" - not from traditional movie elements like performances, plot, dialog, themes, etc. Of course, those are all there and they are very well done, it's just that they're not what makes this movie great.
Being exposed to a spectacular alien landscape with vivid colors, 3-dimensional perspective, fantastical creatures big and small, intricately detailed imagery and exotic locations is a large part of what this movie is all about.
If the visuals of the movie were any less strong or the acting/script/etc. were not strong enough to support the world Cameron created, the movie could easily have been a disaster.
I strongly recommend watching this in the theater because after watching the previews on TV, you're definitely going to lose a lot of the ambiance and atmosphere by watching it on a small screen. I plan to see it in the theater again.
The most important thing to know about this movie is that it is not a
typical fantasy, monster or children's movie. In fact, kids or teens
probably won't find this movie very interesting. It deals with adult
themes ... not horror or scary things ... but stuff like what goes on
in a troubled kid's head.
I have to admit, the first 20 minutes really had me confused and disappointed. For an $80M movie, it looked pretty low budget. The opening title was badly done, the lighting was poor and the music - well, it sounded like background film music from the 70s.
However, as the movie progressed, I had to let go of my preconceptions of what I wanted it to be and watch the movie for what it was. Then, as I started to get into the head of the problem child, I started to 'get' the movie and become more interested.
The most amazing thing about this movie are the visual designs and effects. The creatures and their movements and interactions were just phenomenal to watch. Instead of looking like giant puppets or costumes, they seemed real and alive. I'm sure this movie is going to have an influence on the future 'monster' design.
If you had the book as child (it's really just a picture book) and were haunted by the images, this movie won't disappoint. However, if you're looking for a cool fantasy-like story, you won't find it here. This is about a troubled kid working through his 'issues' in his imagination. If you're open to watching a movie about that, it's pretty darn interesting.
Pandorum has a lot of great elements going for it as a sci-fi movie: a
captivating start, great atmospherics, a clear plot goal, nice visual
designs and a well-known celebrity in a key role. These things I loved.
But my god, after the movie got going, the editing cuts (how one camera view transitions to the next one) went crazy. Not "cool" crazy, just crack-head crazy. You'd be watching one critical thing and then suddenly/unexpectedly, you're watching something else - and you're confusingly trying trying to piece together what you just saw with what you're seeing now.
One of the worst instances of this happens when the two main characters lose radio contact with each early in the movie. Suddenly, you're "cut" into the middle of a critical conversation where they've got back in contact. How is that interesting to the viewer?
Another problem is with the revelation of the background story. There are a several key moments when the characters slowly learn the story about what's going on. When they speak it out loud, the miraculous revelations come across as weak and unmoving instead profoundly jarring. This is probably the fault of the director and editors; the actors seemed to be pretty capable of what they were given.
I'm a big sci-fi fan, so of course I had to see this. Is it worth seeing in the theater? Only if you're starved for seeing a space-oriented sci-fi movie right this minute (my case). Otherwise, wait for the DVD. If you're not a sci-fi fan, listen to the critics: the approval rating is in the low 20%-30% range.
Also, be careful about the rating on IMDb - check out "user ratings" link and you'll see that the highest scores (almost an average of "9") come from those under 18 years old. The scores drop as you go up in age.
Jeez - I thought this theme had been beaten to death in both movies and
TV news/science segments ... but no - here it is again, as if we've
never heard about it. A society that relies too much on technology is
stupid / decadent / etc. - and needs to be straighted out. Well - OK,
but that aside, the movie is "OK" at best.
The main problems are that it's slow and a bit hard to believe. The editing along with the core footage seems to promote a really slow pace. Furthermore, there's no real tension until the movie is close to the ending. As the movie progressed with it's anti-technology message, Bruce Willis became less like a hero and more like a pain in everyone's neck.
As far as believability - it's a cool idea to talk about, but seeing it implemented in a movie makes it seem a bit ridiculous. I mean, would you ever really want to spend the money to go to skiing in the alps - and then send your robot/surrogate in your place? That's the kind of thing that people do in this movie. Oh - and the whole human race is plugged into surrogates in 8 years. Think about it ... in 8 years, let alone 50, everyone in the poorest regions of third world countries has a super-high-tech surrogate (let alone money to eat).
There's more to pick at in this movie, but I'll stop there. The critics have this one right - only about 35% think it's worth a watch. I'm a sci-fi fan, so I rate is "passable"; it's just not a "good" movie.
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