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"Leverage" (2008)
96 out of 102 people found the following review useful:
Fun, 2 February 2009

"Leverage" is an entertaining, fun show. The cast is stellar, the writing snappy, and the characters are likable. It's nice to see a show that doesn't focus too heavily on the "dark side" of everything and can exist without a message.

That's not to say that there aren't poignant moments. (Nate in "The Snow Job" and Parker in "The Stork Job" are particularly memorable.) But they aren't in the majority. Although not every episode is brilliant, none have failed yet to make me laugh at least once.

The show follows a group of thieves who take on corporate villains who have too much power for their victims to defend themselves under normal means. Timely? Oh, yeah.

Timothy Hutton is the much-advertised Oscar-winning face of the team's leader, ex-insurance investigator Nathan Ford. At first, I was incredibly underwhelmed by Hutton's performance. After a few episodes, however, I started to think that maybe he was deliberately underacting (while the others are overacting) to contrast Nate's "honest man" to the thieves who make up the rest of the cast.

Gina Bellman plays a sympathetic Sophie Deveraux. Sophie is the team's "grifter" who moonlights as an actress. How well does that go? As Nate puts it, "she can act... when it's an act." Although she's hilarious, Bellman isn't the funniest of the cast by any means. Christian Kane, the badass Texan you might remember from "Angel," is even tougher, funnier, and angrier as the team's strangely likable fighter Eliot Spencer. Beth Riesgraf contrasts his deadpan humor perfectly as Parker, the crazy but lovable money-obsessed thief. And Aldis Hodge is hilarious, playing the cool geek of their techie, Alec Hardison.

The group has their conflicts, and in the first season, it looks like their biggest problem might be staying together. But the quirkiness and bickering creates a team of misfits that will have you rooting for them from the beginning.

"Leverage" is a good, escapist show where everything is sexy and exciting and the good guys always win. I can see this show becoming a cult hit, or I can see it failing after only a few seasons. Either way, if nothing else, it's fun!

Eragon (2006)
11 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Not as bad as some say, 22 December 2006

There were some moments of Eragon that I had problems with. The timing, for one. It went much to fast, a few hours giving months worth of travel, growth, or training for the characters. But overall, I found the movie worthwhile, if you can ignore that.

The book was different, and, in a way, I might have had an advantage over some others, not remembering it very clearly. But honestly, have you ever seen a movie based off of a book that was completely true? You have to be able to ignore the changes. There will be people who will hate it if it's not identical to the book. If you're one of those people, I would advise you not to waste your time seeing it, because it's not.

Yes, as others have pointed out, it has similarities to other books and movies, but so what? Lots of movies and books follow formulas of previous successes.

Eragon is a movie you shouldn't try and compare to predecessors. If you can do that, it will be very good. Great choreography, good acting, most of it well-written... if plot holes and outside influences can be forgotten, it's a very entertaining movie.

Hoot (2006)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Great, 24 August 2006

I read the book in a summer book club, and all of us there loved it. My friends from that club agreed not to watch the movie, lest the book be ruined. I didn't agree, and watched it recently with my younger brother and my parents.

I was pleasantly surprised. The movie was very true to the book, without losing it's own spirit. The 'new kid' theme was shown just enough so that we get a feel of it, but that's not what the story's about.

The acting wasn't the best I've ever seen, but it was still good, and the kids especially had a lot of energy. The characters were interesting, and the plot was cute and not too overstated. It was a kids movie that works just fine for adults or teenagers, too.

I wish there had been a bit more tough-girl attitude from Beatrice, but she was still a great character. Mullet Fingers was quite a bit like I had imagined him, except his hair was a little obviously dyed, with blonde hair and dark eyebrows. Roy worked very well as the little guy and the new kid, especially interactions with his parents and friends.

The message and the ending (which I won't discuss other than I liked it) teamed up to make a great cheer-up movie for a rainy day. All in all, this was a great film that you can watch again and again whenever you need reminding that the world isn't a horrible place after all.

4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Can't Believe It, 29 June 2006

I first saw this show when I was bored. My friend turned on the TV and shouted "Avatar's on!" Her brother raced downstairs, my brother ran in, and we watched the entire episode of the King of Omashu with the others explaining it to me as we went along.

I'm not much of a cartoon fan. I'm not even much of a TV fan. I thought I'd watch that one episode, and be done with it, and never watch Avatar again.

I was wrong.

From the first, Avatar blew me away. This is one of three shows I have ever seen that has both humor and drama down to a point. It is also the only show that has this down so well that I have yet to see an episode that I disliked enough not to watch it over and over and over...

Every one of the characters seemed real. So real I can see the people around me in them all the time. It was amazing.

Don't think this is a kid's show. Yes, it's appropriate for kids. But if you give it a chance, adults, teenagers, and kids alike will be swept up in the plot, sucked in by the animation, and kidnapped from your preconceptions of the show by the characters within a few episodes.

When I first saw Avatar, I couldn't believe it. I had actually found a TV show that was still running that I LIKED! Good job, Avatar creators. Keep it up!

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Characters and Plots Original and Funny, 19 March 2006

After seeing each Star Trek series, and talking it over with several of my friends, I have come to a conclusion.

Voyager is amazing even by Trek standards, and is sadly underrated.

Many of the people I've spoken with dislike it because they don't like Janeway. All I can say is, if I only watched shows where the captain or main character was my favorite, I'd watch a lot less TV, and read a lot more.

All of the characters, whether likable or not, are extremely realistic. The character of Naomi Wildman manages to be cute without seeming dull, while all of the adults from Tom to Chakotay reminded me of someone I know.

The realism, which I cannot emphasize enough, is astounding, while the plots are original, and the interactions are funny.

I loved Voyager, partly because its so strange. The characters are not afraid to admit that what's going on isn't normal, and when something happens several times, they point it out.

Like everything, it has its bad episodes, and one or two characters that I can't bring myself to be attached to. But even while its being funny, I can still see the characters' bravery in facing their situation.

Not everyone gets along, and they all have their little quirks, which makes the seven-year solo trip to the Delta Quadrant as entertaining as it is meaningful.