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Sister Wives (2010)
Kody feeding his gargantuan ego
There is coming a new monument to the United States, similar in theme and design to Mount Rushmore, that of the oracle of wisdom Kody Brown. His carved image will, as always, be surrounded by the lesser images of four women all fawning over him like lemmings.
In the arena of the genre of so called "reality" TV, there is a vast wasteland of garbage and idiocy. However, some of these reality TV shows manage to slither into sewers and crevices even lower than the rest. Sister Wives, featuring Kody Brown the holy oracle of polygamy along with his patriarchal empire, is the epitome of moronic reality shows.
If this sloppy mess of distressed emotions and constant social conflict was meant to put polygamy in a good light, it fails miserably. Kody can make up phrases like "multiple marriage" to legitimize his world of confusion," but the reactions of his four wives (one legal and three he calls "spiritual") belie his false pretense of harmony and success. And multiple marriage means exactly the same thing that polygamy does.
Nothing is ever calm in the four neighboring households "on the cul- de-sac" that defines Kody's realm. None of his kids seem happy, and one by one are moving as far from him as they can get. The women are griping all the time, and of course, instead of blaming his royal highness they stage childish cat fights among themselves to increase his ego of having women fighting over him. Listening to their carefully prepared speech is irritating too; you can just see Kody's disheveled hair and squinty eyes staring at them threateningly while they talk.
One could go on and on about how trashy these people and their arrangement are. Suffice it to say there are many other TV channels you could be watching instead of these imbeciles.
My Big Fat Fabulous Life (2015)
Her big fat loud obnoxious mouth needs to be sealed shut
I don't normally write comments about TV shows, but this garbage demands to be trashed.
We see a loud goof with delusions of grandeur sitting on a couch constantly talking about herself. Then we're shown some footage of her doing something stupid as she tells us how wonderful she is. The empress of her own imagination, Whitney, pontificates about how nobody should shame her, even as she mocks, ridicules, and argues with everyone around her. She thinks she is in a relationship, but the guy is obviously using her. Her ex co-owns a house and co-habitates with her. No, I'm not kidding.
She has a weight problem, weighing over 350 lbs., especially dangerous since she is dancer who ignores the weight and does intense dance practices. She lies to herself about the seriousness of her situation, and ignores all medical advice. She is a terrible role model, even though she has appointed herself as a Joan of Arc of morbidly obese people.
There is no reason to watch this show, and no reason for TLC to run it.
Even the monsters were bored by these dull lead characters
The creatures in this movie remind me of Bigfoot and Nessie. Somebody's always talking about seeing them, and showing grainy picture of a shadow to prove the encounter. But, for some reason, these giants are shy and like to wander around in the dark where nobody ever sees them clearly.
With a title like Monsters, and an elaborate backstory about these things revealed through narration, you would expect to eventually see what these things are. It's common practice in this type of movie to conceal what they look like for a while, and let them be scary as an unknown threat, but the audience expects to see them at some point. This movie just teases you by hiding their appearance way too long for its own good.
After a while, the movie forgets all about the creatures, and bores you to death with a goofy couple who are not interesting or sympathetic. They're just annoying and tiresome to look at. Neither one has positive attributes, and you wish the creatures would show up just to squish them. They talk and talk about essentially nothing, and you never learn anything about them, nor do you ever care.
So we see the two bozos get themselves into stupid contrived situations that bring them into danger, but they must have bored the monsters too, because you still don't get to see them. Scene after scene of this dysfunctional couple, but little else ever happens. To make it worse, Every single pointless thing they do is dragged out.
The ending is a dud, too, although from the way it's shot, it's obvious the writer and director thought they had revealed something groundbreaking to you. They don't. Unless you like "so bad they're good" type movies to poke fun at, avoid this one.
The Good Dinosaur (2015)
Nice concept, bungled execution
What if that infamous asteroid of 66 million years ago zoomed right on by this planet on into space? What if that K-T extinction event never took place? What if dinosaurs were still around; would they still dominate the world?
This movie could have had some greater fun with such a premise, but sacrifices creativity for time-worn animated movie clichés. The hero and his family are just a human family in dinosaur bodies, and don't shine any exposition on this modified Earth. Humans? Yes, they're here but developing slowly. They are primitive quadrupeds that can, but rarely bother to, walk as bi-peds.
The story is just a perils of Pauline type thing, with predators and other natural disasters afflicting the heroes every so often. Oh, and humans act like dogs in this world, for whatever reason. Some characters die grotesque deaths at random times, just not a pleasant story. In the end, not much is accomplished, so all these deaths are for nothing, just like the story.
Could have been a lot better; not sure why they settled for this.
Dude, where's the gospel?
Jesus appears to be a surfer who's searching for but can't find the beach to go hang ten. Judas, dressed in black, is an emo who wants to get like totally rad against the Romans and hang ten all over their face. The rest of the cast are card board cut-outs; it's hard to figure out who is playing whom.
The movie appears to be well meaning, but it just goes all wrong. First of all, it takes all its source material from forgotten scripture, the Gospel of Gnarly. The writers come up with stuff that doesn't fit with known scripture, and to say the writer took poetic license is being nice. Jesus comes across as confused, wimpy, and suffering from severe sleep deprivation. Judas just yells and screams at him, so that they can launch a military campaign of two men to overthrow the Roman Empire.
Judas is always mad, and it makes no sense that Jesus would have called this guy as an apostle in the first place. From then on they bicker, with Jesus always sounding like a 1st grade teacher, and Judas sounding like a cross between Fred Flintstone and General George Patton. The fact that the acting is weak makes these awkward characterizations even more bizarre. Events from the passion are tossed and turned, out of context, and out of logical chronology.
This should only be viewed as a novelty, as a case study of just how far a story can stray from source material.
Little Boy (2015)
Nice approach to a familiar theme
This movie was a new approach at story telling. I can't remember off hand any other movie that was structured like this.
It certainly works. The story is told through the titular little boy who is literally just that: a child who is small for his age to the extent his parents take him to a doctor to see if something is wrong. He is small in size, but not in dreams, hope, or faith. His father has marched off to fight in World War II, and the builds upon his heart felt wish of his father's safe and swift return.
Much of the action is allegorical, and the story does need to be told that way. However, the flip side of that coin is that some of the ideas are heavy handed and intrusive. One example is little boy's interaction with a Japanese man, to address the interment controversy which in turn looks at the atmosphere of bigotry that caused it. This aspect of the story is the film's strongest sub-plot, but there are a few minor problems on how it was utilized. The interpretation of the child calling upon spiritual powers was overdone, and inaccurate which undermined what the movie was meant to say.
Excellent acting and a well devised script. The characters are involving, and the story contains all the faith and optimism that it is meant to convey. Ultimately, the concept of the movie works well, and the ending supports it.
Frosty Returns (1992)
Frosty melted by hot air
Don't be fooled into thinking this slush has anything to do with the classic children's Christmas special. In fact, the word Christmas is avoided like the plague, along with almost anything that is connected with Christmas. No Rudolph, no Santa, no Nativity, no Christmas tree; nothing.
The holiday referenced? Winter Festival, whatever that is. In the story, it looks like a company picnic thing where a few small carnival booths are erected to take your money in those impossible skill games. Snow is the only thing in the story, and the only source of conflict. Adults hate it. Misled kids hate it. The evil clichéd big business guy really really hates it.
So the corporate guy wants to melt all the snow with some aerosol thing, and nobody in the town even cares, except for Frosty and some girl who thinks she's a magician, and her brother. That's it. Oh and Johnathon Winters is there as some little midget that flies around on snowflakes. What he is supposed to be is never explained and never makes sense.
Frosty doesn't look or act the same, as he did in the original, and the story line has absolutely no connection to the events and characters of the original. He's as afraid to mention Christmas as everybody else is, and doesn't really have much to do except whine.
The writing has no warmth, no humor, no heart. The story (what there is of it) never engages and brings no emotional response when resolved. The animation is cheap and ugly. The characters are poorly developed, if at all.
There was a much better sequel to the original Frosty called Frosty's Winter Wonderland, where he meets the love of his life and gets married. See that instead. Hopefully, the network that carries Frosty will start airing that sequel with it, and melt this one down.
The Killer Shrews (1959)
Entertaining and very rewatchable
OK, it was made with a budget that even in 1959 would have been just barely enough to take your girl friend out for a root beer float at the local hamburger joint. It's not Oscar material, but it's one of those B-movies that entertains way over what its budget would suggest it can.
Camp value, yes. Moments that beg for MST3K jokes, yes. But there's a flair to this thing that just keeps your interest. It has that drive-in craziness feel, and breezes along its merry b-movie way with a plot that's easy to go with. The actors make the most of the script they're given, and there's enough chase scenes, fight scenes, and attack scenes that things are never boring.
The fact that it's filmed in b/w really seems to help the atmosphere, as does the claustrophobic situation of the characters being trapped in a house with the monsters trying to get in at them. I love the "walking in trash cans" scene, it's a weird mix of laughable yet creative. Ken Curtis's cowardly Jerry is totally different from his Festus on Gunsmoke, and he carries it off pretty well. Throw in some dedicated scientists who have unwittingly unleashed a monstrous terror, and the titular savagely-fanged creatures that look like feral dogs with an attitude, and this movie just gets away with all its goofiness.
But what stands out for me about this is that I've watched it so many times, and still enjoy it. I know the lines better than the characters do, but still the goofy energy level of this thing just never wears out. Among b-movies, this one has a unique personality, and is worth a look.
Kaijû daisensô (1965)
"We have found a love beyond all computations!"
"Did he kill Rodan and Godzilla?" "He couldn't! They're too tough!"
That's a small sample of the many memorable lines from this very watchable (and re-watchable) Japanese monster classic. Whether the dialog was written corny intentionally, or was a result of translation flaws; some of the lines are of the "you've got to hear it to believe it" variety.
It's from the era when Godzilla and Rodan were no longer mindless automatons that wrecked Tokyo just for the fun of it, but now heroic rubber-suited good guys that do good stuff. There's hostile aliens, plotting spies, the Japanese army, astronauts, and a pretty femme fatale.
Planet X, a planet populated by people who all wear sunglasses, seeks help from us. They have a bad monster, you see, called Monster Zero (AKA King Ghidara) who wrecks stuff. They want Godzilla and Rodan to beat him up. After they do this and Godzilla is doing jumping-jacks to celebrate, Planet X launches an attack to conquer and colonize Earth.
Lots of camp factor. You won't believe the secret weapon the humans find, and what its power is. The scene where two guys use it to escape aliens is hilarious. Look for the reaction of the guard that Nick Adams grabs. Adams, astronaut, is the lone American helping the Japanese save Earth, and he hams it up with some great speeches and good old overacting. The big monsters have two well choreographed fights, and the evil characters are as fun as the good guys with weird lines. Spies were all the rage in 60's movies, and you'll fund them here.
"We have found a love beyond all computations!" lol, one of my favorite movie lines ever.
The Terrornauts (1967)
This is a film great for riffing MST3K style (although I don't believe they ever ran this). It doesn't really seem to be taking itself very seriously, and almost plays like the cast & crew made it as an inside joke.
The early part of the story shows some enthusiastic astronomers trying to contact extra terrestrial life with radio signals, and this scene is played straight. When they finally do establish contact with somebody out there, however, things get weird and silly in a hurry.
They are abducted to some alien fort long-since abandoned except by a robot that bounces and shakes around a lot when it moves. One of the oddest monsters appears, and it all reminded me of a Dr. Who episode that was on a very low budget. Soon the abductees, including not one but two comedy relief characters, learn that they must save the universe. There is a battle scene that looked almost as real as when two kids play with toy soldiers.
If you need a good laugh, see this nonsense.