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Smiling_slinky

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9 reviews in total 
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2 out of 36 people found the following review useful:
Show runners changed show after pilot, why?, 15 January 2017
1/10

I watched the pilot however long ago that was, and it was a fun interesting show, good humor, interesting characters, interesting story. Key point here is it was also TV-14 which helped with the lighter nature of the show. I actually paid attention to it because they didn't take the license of it being a streaming show to throw decency out the window just because they could, but they made a choice which actually benefited the theme, tone, and story to have it be more of a family feel.

Fast forward to now when I check out the first episode of the season they created and it is TV-MA with F-bombs dropping all over the place. I didn't make it 3 minutes in before I gave up because of how the tone changed. I was lauding this series to my friends based on the pilot, and how different it was from other streaming shows, and I was excited when I heard a season would be made. I supported and voted for the pilot based on what it was, and they did not deliver that show, they changed the tone and churned out another "oh so mature" streaming show.

Annoying. Not bothering with this show.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Season 1 is nearly perfect, Season 2 is a disaster, 5 October 2016
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm kind of late to the game here, I only just got through Season 1 this week, and started on Season 2. I'm really disappointed with what I am seeing so far in Season 2, and I'm not sure the ship can be righted at this point.

Season 1 hit the ground running from the first minute of episode 1, and the whole first episode was amazing. They really captured lighting in a bottle with a number of aspects of the show that made it endearing including: - Emma Roberts and the writing for her character. The satire of the character sets the tone for the show and the world they live in. The writing is great, but also all the ancillary details of the character, her position at the sorority, her rich lifestyle, her interests and goals in life, they all make the Chanel character and she becomes the glue that holds the whole thing together.

- The dynamic between the Channels. The Channels are a fun little Mean Girls troop, although in comparison to Mean Girls they are a poor imitation. The Plastics were fun, interesting, well written, and well acted down the line, but the Channels really are not. If not for Chanel keeping the dynamic going, and the overall story line, the Channels would be very flat on their own.

- The production. Wow, from top to bottom this felt like a movie. The sets, wardrobe, cameras, lighting, story line, cinematography (so many of the shots were just awe inspiring for me), score, soundtrack (unreal how good the song choices were), etc. I was wrapped up from the beginning and was taking in the setting and story with delight.

- Story, setting, tone. Having a good engaging story to keep the characters with interesting things to do was great. The setting at the University was a lot of fun. The tone was spot on, a fun absurd world where these characters could be their absurd selves, and everything was handled with a fun levity.

- Overall, this was an inspired effort, where they had a vision for something grand, executed at the highest level, and succeeded in many aspects of the show.

I'm certain that it is very difficult to create and write interesting characters with this much dialog for a season long effort like this, and it shows. Many of the characters are very weak, and just not interesting.

Sadly a lot of the actors were also not up to the task, and were not interesting or likable regardless of the writing. Other than the Channels I don't think they were as inspired about the other aspects of the show. Some characters and aspects of the story started strong, but petered out before the halfway point.

This leads into my issues with Season 2, but before that the real segue into disappointment for me, episodes 12 and 13.

They ruined the world they created. The source of the fun and humor of the series is the presentation of different clichéd characters being extreme. The Channels are supposed to be the mean popular girls played up to an absurd level, but it only works if you keep the equilibrium that despite all the crazy stuff they do, there are not real world consequences.

Things in the series don't play out as they would in real life, nor do characters say or respond to things as they would in real life, that is the whole premise.

This was ruined when they had people suddenly start hating Chanel for writing a mean email. The humor is the absurdity of these terrible people being popular, when they wrecked that it pulls apart the whole premise.

When episode 13 rolled around, they took the whole thing apart. They took away everything that made the Channels who they are and destroyed the premise by having the judge address them like it was the real world. They took away their setting at the university, the wardrobe, the other characters, their families, their wealth, which was what made them who they are. By the end the whole show was completed gutted.

Finally, Season 2 rolls around.

The production from Season 1 is gone. Not a single aspect of the production from Season 1 is here. The call backs in the score are even poorly used, and the song selection this time around is off. It has the worst of TV production values, and the whole lure of being like a movie is gone.

They drop everything from the first season, and still try to fit a few of the same characters into a completely different series. Nothing that worked before is here. The setting is gone, everything that made the characters who they are is gone, and they just try to inject the same behaviors into this new setting, and it doesn't work because nothing that made the characters who they are is there.

It is just bizarre to see the returning characters try to interact in this environment, nothing is in character. It's just a broken way of story telling.

They also continue breaking their system by having absurd characters occasionally be held responsible.

Overall I don't think this Season has much hope. Maybe they can somehow turn things around and bring it back to the university, but if not, maybe go back to the drawing board for Season 3 (if they make it that far) and start from scratch to make something new and create more magic.

50 out of 78 people found the following review useful:
Season 1 is good to watchable, season 2 starts off in the grave, 25 May 2016
1/10

Season 2 is shockingly awful. From the technical execution, to the acting, the dialog, the writing, everything is worse than any low budget series I have caught in the last 10 years. I was concerned that they wouldn't have a meaningful story to tell after season 1, and so far it is worse than I could have imagined. I'm done, this is just, so, so bad.

Season 1 I liked the first half of the series, the second half was watchable, but not compelling. I did like most of the characters, and I didn't know who to trust or what to believe until the series was mostly over.

"Luther" (2010)
4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Interesting, starts good, but not great, rest is rubbish, 2 July 2015
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was excited to watch Luther, without any expectation I was just curious to see what it would be like. I am a fan of Elba by the way.

The first episode really drew me in as I was impressed with the film-making, cinematography and music. The characters were interesting and I was intrigued by Elba's performance. From episode 1-4 I enjoyed the experience and was really engaged. The episodes after these were another story.

The climactic episodes began off kilter from the start. The kidnapping scenario just felt like something from a super hero movie and not at all realistic and out of step with the tone and setting of the previous episodes. Everything spiraled out of control from then on.

The characterizations of the detective that worked with Luther that started a killing spree was just ridiculous. When he sets up Luther I expected Luther to easily show what a silly plan that was and then start after the detective, but instead everyone else on the police force has gone mad and somehow think that it must have been Luther when Luther is the one who called it in. Beyond belief. From that point on every episode contains:

1. Clueless, worthless, useless police that cannot do their jobs at all.

2. Luther being unable to solve any crime or catch anyone.

3. Tons of awful characters like the head inspector guy.

It is hard to describe my disappointment with the episodes following episode 4. At it's best Luther was only good, other than Elba being a fascinating actor, but after it went off the deep end, it ceased even being entertaining.

Sets a perfect tone for a fantasy and adventure story that few Anime Capture, 24 July 2014
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As a preface, my favorite Anime Series would be Last Exile, so if you have seen that then you know where I am coming from when I say that there are few anime series I have seen that have a lighthearted enough tone to compare well with some of the great action adventure movies that have come out of Hollywood including Star Wars the way Last Exile does. Last Exile was just gentle enough with the fantasy world building to ease my western palate easily into the series. They also had very warm and down to earth characters to root for.

I'm happy that I have found Valkyria Chronicles as it is similar to Last Exile in many ways. The character designs and visuals are similar, the early 1900s, slightly steam punk setting, even the dependence on a fantasy glowing blue power source that is mined. More than the visuals, this series has a gentleness about it, and a grounded, down to Earth, lighthearted tone just like Last Exile, which makes it as easy to watch as a typical American summer Blockbuster.

It falls short of Last Exile in overall story and characters however. Another reason Last Exile is so special is the lack of most common silliness that accompanies anime series. There is a tiny bit, but the least I have ever seen in a series. Valkyria Chronicles has a noticeable amount, which will raise eyebrows of someone who hasn't seen many anime series, but I could overlook them to enjoy the overall goodness present.

I was very happy with the experience, and heartily recommend this series to anyone looking for something fun and rewarding to watch.

50 out of 86 people found the following review useful:
Favorite TV series of the last 5 years, 19 October 2012
10/10

I really enjoy Revolution. There is a start for you. I caught a commercial for it while watching the Olympics, and I was genuinely curious about this post-apocalyptic action/adventure series.

To give some background, I don't watch serious TV. I don't like Dr. shows, I didn't like 24, Lost, or countless other serious series because they all suffer from filler and pointless drawn out dialog that is light years from even a decent movie.

Despite these reservations I decided to give Revolution a chance, and was more than pleasantly surprised but rather floored in amazement. Since then I am continued to be impressed that the writers have not sunken to the level of the pointless drivel/time-wasting conversations, but are instead filling each episode with amazing cinematography, great characters, and great action.

The crowd here on IMDb is very strange in that the hipster thing to do seems to be to criticize this show to no end, and hate it. I guess the TV audience that posts on IMDb are not in touch with the average public because everyone I talk to about Revolution loves the show and enjoys it every week.

Revolution satisfies what I look for from cinema in a weekly serial format, and for that I could not be happier, and will continue to enjoy this show.

5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
American view, I deeply enjoyed this exceptionally well acted, engaging, thrilling, wonderful title, 2 May 2012
10/10

I really cannot praise it enough. It is probably the best Chinese film I have seen in years, and easily one of the best period films I have seen. Of Donnie's recent films, I really cannot find a comparison, this is truly stellar. Wen Jiang is so amazingly charismatic as Cao Cao. I couldn't help but be engaged whenever he was on screen, he is probably my current favorite actor, including Hollywood. He may be the best actor in the World currently. Betty Sun is very enjoyable in her role, and added another level of depth to the story.

From the opening, I knew I was in for something special. The soundtrack, the cinematography, the acting, just excellent.

In short, if you enjoy Asian Cinema to any degree, this film will be nothing but a delight.

Taken (2008/I)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Movie that gets everything right (Spoilers), 19 January 2011
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I took a look a Taken out of curiosity when I read the premise, and could not have believed what I was about to experience, let alone find out later it was a French production. It seems Hollywood just doesn't want to give audiences what they want to see, but Taken does deliver justice in every possible way that a moviegoer could dream of.

Through every scene I found my self with my mouth open saying, "That's what I would of had happen!" How many times do we see in movies like Fast and Furious where even "tough guy" Dom won't blast the bad guy when he has a chance? Taken is the complete opposite. Every opportunity to kill a bad guy is judiciously taken advantage of. I have never been more thrilled by a movie, and everyone I know enjoyed it for the same reasons I did.

In short I would recommend Hollywood make enjoyable movies like Taken, and stop being so philosophical and weak when dealing with the bad guys.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Truly Excellent American Animation Series, 16 November 2010
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The MIB Animated series was very enjoyable when I used to watch it. I was impressed at the greater depth in story telling and action compared to other series on US TV. In fact I felt the animated series filled out the characters of K, J, L better than the first film, although I felt Tommy Lee Jones' K was better than the too-serious, monotone, and flat K of the series.

I feel from reading around this show wasn't getting the attention it deserves because when I watched it the series was head and shoulders above other series at holding my interest and being fun.

They had cute parodies like having an Arnold sounding actor taking on the "Predeterminator," having the worms leak the story of the MIB to Hollywood, resulting in a in an animated trailer for the MIB movie, complete with animated Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. In that way they did a good job of making the series its own entity, away from the film, which some people who didn't follow the series when it was out seem to miss. There were off episodes of course, but for the most part I enjoyed the show very much.

I would go so far as to say the series influenced MIB II, (for worse in my opinion), as rather then keeping with the feel of the first film, it broke off and adding much more worm, who were in character from the series, having all the MIB agents have super human abilities, giving K much less soul than in the first film, spending too much time on random alien characters rather than the main cast, bringing back Jeebs, who was in character with Jeebs from the series. It really was a shame actually, they should have made the film sequel fitting with the first film, and just leaving the series to itself.