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The Astronaut's Wife (1999)
Waste of a good cast
When I saw that this movie was rated only 4.8 despite such a strong cast, I was surprised. Now I know why it rates so low. The dialogue is confusing and aimless, and the director loves bizarre camera angles and movements that only serve to distract, rather than to illuminate or reveal.
The pacing is far too slow. It's been going 40 minutes, and I still don't know what it's about. If I hadn't read the blurb I wouldn't know that Johnny Depp was supposed to be somehow different now that he's back. The movie hasn't made that point yet. And it never will, as far as I'm concerned. It hasn't held my attention and now I'm writing this comment instead.
Purposeless writing and obtrusive, gimmicky direction waste a competent cast and, for all I know, a clever story.
Banal script needs better actors
This program has what you might call an "actor's script" - in other words, it needs a considerable input from the actors to bring the characters to life and make the dialogue sparkle. The deadpan delivery it gets from this crew of C-listers just doesn't do the job. Judging from the plot types and visual style of this series, the producers were trying to re-create "The Avengers". That, too, depended on the actors, and stopped working after Diana Rigg left. This material might work if delivered by a really over-the-top team, like Monty Python or the Comic Stip. With these actors, it's just a turkey. I'm surprised it lasted as many episodes as it did. Well, you get that with the BBC I guess: their lack of slavery to the ratings sometimes leads to some brilliant TV that wouldn't succeed commercially - but also to total rubbish like this.
A hilarious spoof
This show is a hilarious spoof of the "Superhero with his underpants on the outside" genre. The Superheroes' costumes are baggy, ill-fitting and makeshift, the acting from the young stars is appalling, and the whole thing is obviously intended to be taken about as seriously as "Batman". The villains are delightfully megalomaniacal, the plots wonderfully ludicrous (wait until you see the fifty-foot woman swatting away NZ's military forces), and there's even a girl student reporter who believes she's rumbled the secret alter ego of one of her classmates. Don't expect too much from this show, it's just a piece of lightweight fun. If all it ever achieves is to amuse a few people on a Saturday afternoon, then its purpose is served. If it helps train up some new talent as well, that's icing on the cake.