Perhaps they were still reeling from the loss of other central characters, or there was a dip in the ratings. Maybe it only seem overly convenient and contrived due to other changes in cast. But whatever the reason, this one was an insult to the intelligence of the Downton Abbey audience. I would go as far as to call it a breech of contract between entertainer and entertainee. An obvious contrivance beneath the stature of the series lowering it into lazy and unnecessary melodrama.
So much of this show was insulting that it would exhaust my word limit to cover them all. The insults that spring to mind: Firemen standing around while people are banging on the "bulletproof" GLASS DOORS suffocating is an insult to firefighters (how about, "stand back, we're going to back this vehicle through the side windows."). Conversely, breaking shatter proof glass with the velocity and lack pin point impact generated from a sling-shot pen is an insult to physics majors. Having a person with a fear of heights climb out of a high rise building onto a retractable solar panel is an insult to everyone who has such fears. And it doesn't take a genius to see that a person of Sylvester's proportions plummeting 10 feet onto a 2 foot by 3 foot solar panel, that bends (rather than breaks) and maintaining his balance as it angles away from the building is impossible ... and an insult to anyone with a brain of even modest proportion. There's also the kid's comic books that were left to burn when they could have been dropped to Walter below. That along with the comic book humidor seemed like deliberate foreshadowing for something that they could not fit in to the episode. Horrible script, horrible direction, even the acting was sub par.
There is incredible competition for our viewing time. Another dog like this and our household will be done with Scorpion.
Avoiding too many details, The primary male lead (Tom Selleck) is a horrendously poor father, and the back story shows that he pulled the old switcheroo on his family, completely upending their lives. He provides zero parenting, and about as much financial stability. His wife was wrong to leave him ("for better or worse") and the nightmare daughter that results is very poorly matured within the story. She perpetrates a crime on screen for which she is NEVER held accountable. That crime should NOT have been shown. Indicated, suggested, communicated, sure, but shown in detail--in all it's evil--never! Especially because she got away with it! If you love animals it will break your heart. Redemption is important, but repentance is a part of true redemption, and this movie misses that mark a dozen times. One concept they seemed to clearly communicate is "bad things happen to good people." Okay, that's true ... but generally speaking, far more good things happen, and even the "bad" things tend to turn in favor of good people. But not in this movie. I watch Hallmark to avoid this sort of thing. If I want lame melodrama I can tune into Lifetime!
You get the sense that somewhere along the lines this was a really great movie. It probably started out that way on paper. But in the end it's a thoughtless assault disguised as a good movie.
Curiously, when TV Land aired the episode in 2013 the did so minus what is arguably the funniest line. It's still a great episode, but (spoiler alert) at the point when Buddy returns to the office to get something he left, Rob, having just heard the UFO say "uhny uftz" again is certain that Buddy is pranking him. He says "Buddy, you son-of-a-gun, you Uhny Uftz me!" to which Buddy replies the missing line of "Rob, I've done some terrible things in my life, but I've never Uhny Uftz nobody!" The typically great Morey Ansterdam delivery is just perfect, but for reasons I would love to know, TV Land airs a version with the line removed!
Super 8 is more than just the excellent thrill ride that others have so adequately described in this forum. It's a break from the rut that the industry is slippery sliding its way into. A movie that actually delivers more than it's trailer promises. And one that rises above the super-trailer-formula-for-success that appears crucial to survive the increasingly difficult and competitive battle to claim your entertainment dollars.
In our times, and in a darkening future looming on the horizon, movies do not need a good story, they just have to have a great promotional trailer and solid first two weekends at the box office to cover the investment. Anything that can be sufficiently hyped qualifies as entertainment in that sad world. But Super 8 seeks to stem the tide. Not only did it eschew the wham-bam super-trailer--it was more curiosity invoking than anything else--but the strength move was in its story! With layers of intrigue and plot angle like you get from a first rate novel, it will stands up well on small screens, and works for adults and children alike. The great books that became movies in the 70s had that. The outstanding screenplays of the 50s had that. And if we have any sense at all, we'll rush out and see this movie in droves and encourage others to create great cinema. Movie-going is depending on you, GO!
Many MANY will be challenged by the ending, but in my opinion that's a little like being upset that so many people drowned in the Poseidon Adventure. It's a movie about a guy who has fore knowledge of disasters... people are gonna die, and there's always a chance that it may not end as you hoped (which is true of any action movie). Along the way you will enjoy watching a movie where the characters have to deal with circumstances that they do not all of a sudden become super-humans with knowledge and abilities not present at the beginning of the movie in order to tackle them... you know, like in real life. In that sense it is styled like one of the classic 50s horror movies, but it is not "horror," but rather thought provoking science fiction.
Simply put, if you enjoy movies on their own merit, if you enjoy watching a mystery unfold, this movie is one of the best ever!
Judged on it's own, it's merely slow, stupid, and uneventful (with some weak performances thrown in for good measure). Judged in comparison to the 50s classic, it essentially lets you down in every possible area. To wit, the original had The Cool Ship, The Impressive Giant Robot, The Deep Message and, oh, the Earth Standing Still! The remake blows every last one of those, even the Earth standing still is less effectively done and seemingly without purpose, which brings me to my original point. Hollywood has forgotten how to tell a good story! They've forgotten that a good story must have purpose and some believability and reason and that we need to care about somebody or something. Mark my words, if the industry is to be saved, they need help from someone who can read a script like this and ask intelligent questions; questions like: What's the purpose in the kid being so bratty? Who shot Klaatu and what triggered it? How can we believe that the US has the equipment & technology to move something like Gort, and why did we develop it (for the previous 50ft killer robot)? Why would the Secretary of State (or did she say Defense) just follow orders to attack Klaatu when she knows they've exhausted everything and gotten nowhere? Why would a civilization as advanced as Klaatu's need to have a face-to-face at a McDonalds? Why didn't the we see the UN convene over this world crisis? And the kicker for me: Why wouldn't Helen (Connely's character) have called the Secretary (Kathy Bates) and told her this simple and vital sentence: "If any harm comes to Klaatu we are doomed, he's the only one who can stop the swarm of destructo-bugs." If they could clear the highway for her to at the beginning of the movie, wouldn't they do at least that to save all humanity! Let us pray for Hollywood, else, they haven't got a prayer!
Another question; What exactly did he see in her? What was so special and different to leave him without sense enough to come in from the rain? Are these two "soul-mates," or is she just a woman who needs to feel loved and frustrated enough with her life to have sex with a total stranger. Was the sex sooooo life altering that he was willing to finally settle down? Passion and love, let's not confuse the two, one can last four days, perhaps a week, maybe a year... the other a lifetime. Sure, drop everything and go... he's got nothing to lose, while she'll lose what little she has. That is NOT romance, it's sad. It's insulting. The more you think about it, the more his "certainty" plays like a pickup line.
And when did these DEEP LASTING emotions develop, from the 3 or 4 conversations they had? While driving along in the truck? Or was it when they were soiling the sheets in the bed where she was to sleep with her husband? Which brings me to the issue of infidelity, and the dim view of marriage in general? He doesn't seem to value it, she "suffers" through it. In this lopsided "romantic" story there's scarcely a happy couple to be found, let alone happily married one.
As a GUY who LOVES romance, please, PLEASE do not accept this counterfeit tripe of an offering as real romance. Hollywood has gotten so lazy as to toss us a scrap and expect us to gobble it up as fillet! A man who asks a woman to leave her husband, and her kids who are "almost grown" is thinking of himself. A REAL man, and REAL love would offer to do whatever you wanted to make YOU happy. He would say I cannot bear to lose you BEFORE you had to have a conniption-fit in the kitchen. HE would be devastated on that last day BEFORE you served breakfast, before you did anything, and would take you by the hand and ask you to sit down, and with a lump in his throat the size of Iowa look you in the eyes and ask, "What are WE going to do?" THAT is romance. It's not a 4-day teenage fling with older actors. It's no-matter-what, 'till the end, 'till death do us part!
HUSBANDS listen up! Your wives are quietly telling you something. Get busy and do your duty as a husband. Sure she's adjusted her life for you, sometimes sacrificially, but you are bound to do all within your power to see that she is happy and fulfilled! She should feel LOVED!
If you're a football, Fear Factor and WWF Smackdown kind-of-guy, then, well sadly (or perhaps thankfully), other than sports, there's not much on the dial for you. But if you've found guilty pleasure in Seinfeld, Friends, or even Smallville, you will find The Gilmore Girls wittier, more consistent, and in many ways better written than any of those. It's a show that at first viewing you think, humm that wasn't bad, it was funny and light. But as you get to know the people, who are all well fleshed-out characters, you can really sit back and enjoy. And being a guy let me tell you the two female leads are extremely easy-on-the-eyes. Lauren Graham... well, since my wife just might read this some day, let just say Wow! The scripts on The Gilmore Girls are as fast as lightning, and run the gamut from side-ache funny to sad and very touching. The mother daughter relationship is without a doubt the best ever shown on television, and I leave it to you to decide to which mother and daughter I refer. It plays on the backdrop of the wacky quirky town of Stars Hollow, where people "are who they are." The writers have good time exploiting personalities, with real insight into the way people behave. The stuff that happens makes sense (not like on Friends). Relationships that "should" evolve do, and those that you think are doomed indeed fall apart.
Now in all fairness I will admit the show is somewhat slanted towards the female population (lot's of handsome male roles, lot's of insight into how women handle situations), and it could really stand another solid male character besides Luke Danes (I discount Chris 'cause he's immature, and Mr. Gilmore cause he's rarely on). But on the plus side, with all that female dialog and insight, as a REAL guy who needs to try and figure that gender out, I gotta tell you could do a lot worse! Also in fairness to any Christian who endeavors to watch this show, for reasons I cannot guess, the writers do take an occasional swipe at things we hold sacred. You can rationalize it away, but Rory's "I'm sick of Jesus " line (referencing Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ") and other lines like this will not sit well in the pit of your stomach. Some will be able to ignore or gloss over it, some will not. I write this as a warning, to both viewers and the writers. It's completely unnecessary, it's pushing my family away from the show, and it damages an otherwise brilliant piece of television dramedy.
The acting is in some spots excellent, Quaid, Ward and Holm shine... others not so much. Yes, YES it's loaded with cliche', and the script falters in those details, but I would dare say that the starring role is that of the special effects themselves, and the weather effects in particular never fail to satisfy. Viewers in my audience actually squirmed in there seats as the various meteorological catastrophes unfolded.
Do people die unnecessarily? Do they make obviously stupid decisions that bring about their own demise? Well, isn't that the very definition of cliche in a disaster movie? One thing that caught this viewers attention. The script at one point seems to make a confusing/non-statement about belief in God... and a half stab at religion. It was the most pointless moment in the film, and considering the US audience (and the runaway success of "The Passion...") perhaps it would have been better to leave that sequence on the cutting room floor.
In the end, the lead performer, aka, the visual effects team, delivers the goods. With the exception of one creature effect, their performance is simply the new (forgive the pun) high-watermark for all weather effects. Their contribution dragged what would have ordinarily been only a 5 up to 8 on a scale of 1-10.
It is also a brilliant piece of filmmaking. From the use of first century languages, (Latin, Hebrew, and Aramaic) and the symbolic interpretations of evil and temptation, to the beautiful (seemingly authentic) score and heartbreaking examples of love, the viewer is actually left wanting for more in spite of all the pain. Mr. Gibson's film manages to portray a Jesus that we would have loved to known. He seems like a very nice guy. His relationship with his mother seemed so tender and healthy, and his disciples all seem to like him as opposed to simple revere him. There's just so much hope.
When we see him treated so cruelly, perhaps more cruelly than anyone has shown anyone treated on film, it is, quite frankly, very hard, and borders on the unbelievable. But this also is not a criticism. Again, the movie has chosen to go where others have not. It asks us to watch the results of whip on skin, and actually counts the number of blows given in this type of scourging. To see that on film IS hard to believe! It forces us to ask, who could take such a beating! And more controversially, who would deliver such a beating. No one would want such a charge laid at their feet. The movie does show that the Romans were cruel (even monstrous) and Jewish leaders were pig-headed, and ultimately responsible for the death sentence placed on Jesus. Does it do so incongruently with text from which it is derived? No. It is as accurate as any one director can be in one movie. Mel Gibson and Benedict Fitzgerald have pulled from various passages of scripture to piece together the best depiction that they could. I would argue that it is the best depiction that has ever been.
But then there's the controversy. My take is, if you believe that Jesus Christ was and is the Son of God, and He really did come here to be a sacrifice for all mankind, then by definition your life's goal is to bring the world to that understanding. Someone HAD to sentence Him to death. And someone HAD to carry out His crucifixion. If it weren't the Jews and the Romans, it would have been the Greeks and the Babylonians, or the Africans and the Assyrians, or whoever. It wasn't by mistake that He died, nor did anyone "take" his life. The Bible is clear; God ordained it, and Jesus "laid down" His life. Anyone with ANY belief at all should be all the more concerned for those who God selected to do the deed. They need Him as much as any of us, and are by far the least likely to feel open to receive Him as the Son of God.
Conversely, if you do not believe Jesus was the Christ, then this movie is simply a gut wrenchingly close-up view of the cruelty of man, and the cruel death sentence of a great man; whose followers would continue to grow in number until this day. It has no basis to cause tension and hatred toward any one group of people for the very reasons just stated. Those who believe will be spurn to do more to help non-believers see it their way. Those who don't won't. And as for those who are simply looking for an excuse to hate, and a reason to be cruel? Well, it's better they are dug out from their demonic places here and now and exposed them to the light so that they too can find the true meaning of love and sacrifice that this movie is all about.
Sure it's very hard to watch. Everyone cheers to know that a parent would place their life in jeopardy for the sake of their children, but no one wants to see them actually die a cruel death. And at the very least, we all need to know that the children were grateful, and grew up to honor the memory of their parents as decent and contributing members of society. This is where "The Passion of the Christ" leaves you. You so desperately want to know that all that sacrifice was worth it, that the whole world would honor the memory of His death. Your heart is left in limbo, your emotions are wrought and ragged, and you are mentally unable to account for the two hours and 6 minutes that have gone by. Sure it was painful, and chances are you cried, winced, and at times hid your face from it yet you are left so desperately wanting for more; More of the hope that all will be better now.
trying to calculate. But depending on your opinion of the other
shows, that may or may not be saying much. Let me put my
opinion in a historical perspective and say that "Life with Bonnie" is
one of the best sitcoms EVER on Television! It's "Cosby Show"
good! It's "Happy Days" good! It's "Dick Van Dyke Show" good! It's
call all your friends, send e-mail, program your VCR and buy extra
tapes good! You know the type of good I'm talking about... so good
they couldn't copy it if they tried?! Perhaps the people responsible
for this show should have some decision making in all ABC
sitcoms because this show is BUY DISNEY STOCK GOOD!! Am I
making my point?!
Watching "Life with Bonnie" causes you to have a gentle smile for
at least 22 minutes of that hour. That is except for when you are in
the middle of a belly-laugh, or, when the writers want you to feel
sentiment thick enough to make you fight back tears. It's so
original, so clever, honest, sweet and hilarious all that the same
time! There are movie comedies that aren't as good as this show.
It's far far better than "Friends," because the whole family can
watch it. It's better than "...Raymond" or "Frasier" because it's
characters remain consistent, and the comedy is never at the
expense of one character's misery. These shows are often quite
good, but just not in the same league as "Bonnie." I was sad to
see Ms. Hunt's last show cancelled, but if only I knew ABC was
going sneak Ms Hunt away from CBS and launch this show I'd
never would have shed a tear. "The Bonnie Hunt Show" was
excellent, but this new show is simply the best! Everyone I know
who knows anything about quality TV loves this show!
Let me just close on this note. It may not have "Seinfeld's"
numbers 'cause there's just so much else on TV (none of it as
good, just so much to choose from), but make no mistake, this
show is a rare gem that will forever be remembered as one of the
great high-water marks of TV comedy.
Well, considering such extreme challenges, somehow director Reghardt van den Bergh, producer Dan Johnson and adapter Johann Potgieter have served up a miraculous production. It simply is a movie that rises above others on this near and dear topic. From the actors they selected to the locations, the resulting movie is simple and unadorned, and in this critic's opinion, the most easily received rendition ever produced. Devout and skeptic alike can enjoy this portrayal of a loving and greatly empathetic Christ. Bruce Marchiano, who plays Jesus, plays Him full of love and compassion. He's down to earth (no pun) and personally involved in the well being of everyone He meets. The viewer can feel His caring. It's simply the best portrayal to date. The supporting talent is also excellent in this production, which is so realistic it seems to be quiet. Now, as we all know, there is trauma in this story, and when appropriate, it does get uncomfortable to watch. but not gratuitously. They simply got it right. I realize that in the millions, or billions of other readers of this story, there's room for differing opinions, but upon second or third viewing, I think many would lean in this reviewer's direction. and I score this film a perfect 10.
Without spoiling the plot, these reviewers would have to admit that the story begins to drag somewhere about the 2 hour mark. It is so "deep," not many young teens will enjoy it, and the effects, while outstanding, are not good enough to carry what was essentially, a sad story. I think that the Amblin-Machine, known for (among other accolades) brilliant adaptations, esteemed too highly the adaptation from the late Stanley Kubrick. Which is sad because Mr. Kubrick, who loved serving "deep," thought-provoking films, like 2001 A Space Odyssey, and Dr. Strangelove, was clearly not at the top of his game (example, Eyes Wide Shut) when he adapted this sci-fi drama. It is so dark, and such a downer, that those touches of Spielberg that are sprinkled in, only serve to frustrate the audience with false hope, and make the experience unfulfilling.