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356 reviews in total 
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2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Simply a fun movie to watch, 5 August 2014

Different people will probably come away with different reasons about why this film is enjoyable: lots of aliens / monsters / spaceships, outcasts bonding together, tons of action and explosions, fast moving story, likable comedic characters, cool 70s pop/rock music, etc.

For me, it was the spectacular scenery - wow ... some of it was just breathtaking to watch. The planetary landscapes and outer space visuals were especially rich and attractive. Even the animation was amazing.

Rocket (racoon-like creature) is tough work for any team of animators - but he just looked 'alive' and real like all the other characters. Plus, many of the scenes featured numerous complex ships, creatures and environments with enough detail and independent movement that the universe felt believably teeming with life.

Though it might have minor weaknesses here and there - it'd be misleading to dwell on any of them and not give a fellow moviegoer the highest recommendation for good summertime scifi fun.

Lucy (2014/I)
10 out of 30 people found the following review useful:
Good talent, but challenging speculation, 28 July 2014

I like Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman and admire several films of writer / director Luc Besson (The 5th Element, The Transporter, District 13) ... but this movie didn't do it for me.

The science aspect, which I usually tend to ignore, bothered me and felt like too much of a stretch. It just felt strange - If we use 100% of our brains, we become like gods?

What happens if a cat or a chicken uses 100% of it's brain? Boggles the mind.

The movie "Limitless", which also speculated on using near 100% of the brain, felt more believable and interesting. As the main character increased in power, there were limitations and trade-offs. As such, there was a compelling challenge and catharsis involved.

This movie seemed more like a simple speculation embedded in a weak story.

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Great series ... but starting to drift, 28 January 2011

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.

"Caprica" (2009)
18 out of 29 people found the following review useful:
Pretty good ... but gets bogged down in Religion and Culture, 4 January 2011

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 storyline here.

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.

108 out of 187 people found the following review useful:
The Universe is getting better!, 18 June 2010

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 Stargate theme.

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.

4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Love the idea ... but wanted the series to improve, 12 June 2010

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 (2009)
8 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Disturbing on so many levels ... it's a dark and fascinating movie, 9 June 2010

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!

10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
This show's definitely a "meteor-right " !, 26 March 2010

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.

Avatar (2009)
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Think of it as getting an "experience" - not just seeing a movie., 23 December 2009

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 minutes.

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.

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Haunting ... but not at all what you think it is..., 1 November 2009

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.

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