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World War Z (2013)
Yawn... expensive, utterly boring, and ten years too late.
Why was this movie made? Here we have yet another zombie action remix of half a dozen movies that everyone has seen, only this time it's got Brad Pitt and an odd emphasis on Israel and the Middle East. I'm not kidding when I say that it's even more boring and predictable than the most stereotypical of zombie movies. The action scenes feel like something from a textbook, and the plot is, yes, textbook. It was hard for me to sit through this because I really did feel like I was watching a movie made from a checklist.
It was oddly surprising to watch a large budget movie that isn't even as good as it's cheaper counterparts. If you compare this to such movies as Cloverfield, I Am Legend, Walking Dead, War of the Worlds and Thirty Days of Night, this movie doesn't even come close to any of them, yet borrows scenes from all of them. So again I ask, why would you waste time and money on such a snooze fest?
90% filler material doesn't make a "surprise" film.. it makes a boring film
The key attribute that fan reviews seem to point out with this movie is that "it isn't what you would expect", as if this alone is what makes it worth watching. It's true that Lo isn't what you would expect, and on so many levels. But the core of "the unexpected surprise" seems to stem from comparing the cover image to your actual movie watching experience. So here's my comparison. If you look at the cover image it has the appearance of a well crafted production, scary yet contemplative, nicely designed and mysterious. The cover really looks like Lo would be something provocative. So it's a big surprise to find out the movie is actually silly and superficial, not contemplative, not provocative, cheaply made with sub par acting and entirely filmed on a stage, but the biggest unexpected surprise is that it's a "comedy". And this is where the real problem lies, because yes Lo is a comedy, but the number of humorous moments is.. well I counted less than two. So unless you construe actors trying to be funny and monumentally failing as being "funny", well, it's a surprise within a surprise I guess. Most viewers would probably agree that Lo is a one trick pony. It doesn't have enough substance to hold up for a second viewing, and it's certainly not going to have something you missed the first time around. I have to admit that I had my hopes up for about the first ten minutes, but by the end of the waiter's musical number (mmm hmm) it was clear that Lo didn't even have enough material to make an actual movie, but they did it anyway. Even with all other inadequacies aside, the one unforgivable complaint I have with Lo is that most of it serves no purpose in regards to the plot. The whole story is contained in the first ten and last ten minutes. The rest is a random collection of talentless exhibition, as in awful musical numbers and long bouts of inane dialogue. It's not that a movie like this couldn't work, but every scene has to be more than just an expose of silliness. In fact Lo has a good premise and a good surprise ending, but the other 90% is about as entertaining as wood paneling. For some this might be "not what you would expect, but everything you need".. but for most it's just an awful movie.
Iron Chef America sucks..
Sorry guys, but it sucks. Here's the straight dope: The Chefs are not as versatile or as good as the truly awesome Japanese Iron Chefs (Bobby Flay most especially is a not an Iron Chef. He really isn't good enough). The critics aren't that critical. They all seem happy just to be getting free food and being on TV. The chairman knows nothing about what he is doing or food. The special ingredients are more often than not, not that special. The narration is kind of annoying. The narrators comments aren't that great and often really corny.
Some board of executives over at Food Network obviously recognized the potential of the original Iron Chef, but the idea was then passed down to a team and the end result is a poor, washed out version of a truly great show, being the original Japanese Iron Chef. Iron Chef Japan was the "Iron Chef". Iron Chef America is kind of like fast food.
Murder on Flight 502 (1975)
Classic 70s garbage that you really should see.
From the maker of Love Boat, Melrose Place, and T.J. Hooker comes the made for TV movie, Murder on Flight 502! I love made for TV movies like this because it portrays a special blend of mindless cheesiness found only in 70s and early 80s TV plots that are pretty much extinct today. Have no doubts, this show sucks, but its entertaining because it's so corny and unbelievably minimal in content. There's a comforting sort of charm in realizing that TV creations like this were big hits in popular TV viewing of the time. All the characters are campy, cookie cutter stereotypes that over react and over explain everything so that we the viewers will not be confused due to misfortunes caused by subtlety finess. But its the lame plot that brings it all home. I can just imagine the TV execs of the day sitting around smoking pot and "brainstorming", when suddenly one them stands from his seat and announces, "Let's make a show about a bunch of people on an airplane!", and that was it, that was the plot and history was made. Long gone are the days when idiot proof plots and acting like this would engross a nation wide TV viewing audience. I won't ruin it for anyone (even though there's nothing to really ruin), but you pretty much know how the story is going play out within the first five minutes. The whole show is basically like watching a game of Clue (the board game) where the viewer tries to figure out who has the bomb on the plane. There's lot's of insipid comedy relief that's not really funny, and drama that has no depth. But don't get me wrong, it's white bread, mindless entertainment all the way. Truly a prime example of a lost art that produced this piece of 70s TV crap. Enjoy!
Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005)
The best in animated storytelling...
Even though Avatar is of American origin, it has a lot of Japanese anime influence, particularly visually, but keeps the best of both animation cultures with it's American sense of playfulness and more realized characterization. The creators of Avatar have really crafted an artistic piece of fun and creative storytelling that is a rare gem for American TV. Avatar has strength in all the major areas of film and story, starting at ground level with an exceptionally believable world setting where war is taking place among the different nations. The main characters who find themselves caught in this struggle are three teens named Katara, Sokka, and Aang (the Avatar) who have set forth to bring harmony to the world through their influence and through the powers of the still developing Avatar. There is lot of humor and fun in this show, and you can't help but to really love these characters and their pets. But this is just the beginning of the glue that keeps you coming back. Great plots and stunning visuals are just as much of importance to the overall success of the show. The story lines are top notch, being both episodic in nature and chronologically integral from one show to the next. Each episode usually introduces a new and genuinely interesting opposition and/or characters to be overcome by the end of the show, and visually there is plenty of awe inspiring backgrounds and quality animation. With just enough well paced action, some sincere points of moral conviction (can you believe it), and witty humor makes the show a winning combination. This is entertainment for all ages, and definitely a must see.