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Teen Spirit (2018)
Quite bland
19 July 2019
The first two thirds of the film put me on life support. There was a glimmer of hope near the end, but then the film was over and I realized we never got anywhere. Not satisfying at all and really a waste of time unless you're just a massive Elle Fanning fan.

What makes a good film can be subjective, but a critical concept is that you need proper pacing and contrast between different types of scenes. Nobody wants 60 minutes of the camera pointed at a tree... They tried to put a couple things in, like the scene involving a horse and then some drinking later on, but it was seriously still a bore.

I got a few "Smash" (TV series from 2012) flashbacks while watching this but that was probably just my brain trying to stay awake...
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Waste of time
10 July 2019
I don't care what the source material was, as a film this was a waste of my time. We are teased with all these high-level concepts throughout the entire movie, but we never get anywhere.

It's like someone inviting you for the best meal in the world but instead of going inside, they just drive you around in circles outside the restaurant pointing out the architecture of the building.

I understand they are perhaps trying to save the payoff for the next film, but what a terrible idea. There is literally nothing in this film other than backstory and stupid conflicts with people who ultimately mean nothing.

It's like being invited to watch the biggest MMA match up of all time but instead of going in for the main event they make you watch some drunks push each other around in the parking lot.

Another example of the trailers being far better than the actual movie.
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Ben Stiller vs. Amy Adams
8 July 2019
In the first film I was kind of on board with Ben Stiller as the dense deadbeat dad comedy relief punching bag. However, I was shocked that they completely wasted Carla Gugino. I'm guessing someone else thought the same thing, so here we have the next film and Amy Adams is along for the ride as some kind of sidekick.

WELL, Amy is one of the best actresses out there and she makes Ben look like a complete buffoon. Seriously, in one dramatic scene Amy has her mouth completely open and is acting her face off to match the circumstances, but 6 inches away Ben barely can muster anything more than about what I can do while sitting on the toilet.

I guess it will keep your 10 year old out of your hair for a bit?
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A Thousand Words (I) (2012)
Worth a watch
7 July 2019
Better than the negative reviews make it out to be, but also not quite as good as it could have been. Actually could be a good date movie for some couples.
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Could not stop watching
5 July 2019
I missed this when it came out, probably due to the negative reviews. Wow, is this film so good! Humor, romance, intelligence, action, etc. are all there and en pointe.
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Cinderella (I) (2015)
A very different film from what you may expect...
5 July 2019
There are so many films based the Cinderella tale. I think one of my favorites is "Ever After: A Cinderella Story" from 1998. I figured this would be just another Cinderella spin film, but no, it's shockingly pure and simple, perhaps a metaphor for Cinderella herself, at least as she's presented in this film.

It's actually this presentation that actually leads me to deduct one star. I had a little trouble inserting myself into the wold of the film. Except for perhaps one or two scenes, we're to believe she's some kind of perfect angel and it felt a bit strange. Is she a real girl or not?

The ending pulled things together well enough and so I suppose almost all is forgiven...
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Absolutely Underrated
23 June 2019
What is the point of any book, film, song, artwork, etc. but to activate your imagination so as to leave your world behind for a bit? Most of the negative comments revolve around how this film doesn't match the book or history, which is unfair considering that is a typical result in the industry. I found myself pulled right in to this world and enjoyed every moment of it, imagining myself as a Musketeer fighting evil! There really is some great content to be found, with a very good mix of contrasting highs and lows.

One thing that kind of hit me was that while the film is called The Three Musketeers, it's not really about them, in my opinion. It's more about how D'Artagnan and how he... well, spoilers. I recently saw some of the latest superhero and space battle blockbusters (you know who you are) and I'll say The Three Musketeers was a far more memorable and enjoyable experience.

Some of my favorite scenes are where the camera is up close on a couple characters as they interact. I appreciate that kind of composition where it is just you and the actors. I think there is a lot of fine acting in this film.
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Heart warming comedy, but not quite family friendly
2 June 2019
I think this film could have easily been a bigger hit if they would have cleaned it up some. As it stands, it really isn't appropriate for kids, which is an utter shame.

The actors had great chemistry together and all the performances were pretty good. I think Rose Byrne especially knocked it out of the park.
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The best of the three...
1 June 2019
The magnetic Stana Katic, less camp, and a touching love story.
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Outlander (2008)
I got pulled right in...
31 May 2019
Watch this on a tablet/laptop while zipping around and you probably won't understand all the hype. I think for the film to make an impact you need to invest your attention and get pulled into the world that is being presented.

I watched it in my home theater and was right next to everyone physically/mentally as the story unfolded. Even years later I remember how I felt during and after the film and I consider this to be one of my top favorites.

The ending was very well done and if you're emotionally right there with the lead, it all makes sense and just works.
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John Carter (2012)
Personally, I wanted more science fiction elements.
20 May 2019
Your enjoyment of this film will probably depend on what you're looking for. Obviously the filmmakers consider this a love story, so if you are a guy you'll be falling in love with the beautiful woman, and if you're a woman you'll fall in love with the hunky guy. It's a reasonable date night film if you both are interested in science fiction to some degree, although be prepared for the laws of physics to be trampled.

There were some really interesting concepts brought to life in the world this film built, but unfortunately they were largely ignored. I suppose some was being saved the for sequels that got cancelled?

Specifically, the lead actress, Lynn Collins, while she started out as the cliche'd perfect woman with brains/beauty/brawn, I was ultimately disappointed. I had hoped she would be involved more with the technical aspects of the story, helping us to understand the science fiction we really want to know more about. But we only get tiny snippets and then she's back to being a damsel in distress.

Not that I'm particularly complaining, as Lynn Collins is equally ridiculously hot and 100% believable. They honestly should have named the film Lynn Collins, not John Carter. My girlfriend disagrees...
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Dream Lover (1993)
Great conversation film...
28 April 2019
This film is a gold mine (or land mine??) for discussions about beauty, love, relationships, life, the list could go on. I found it quite compelling in that regard. Plenty to think about for a while afterwards.

Of course Mädchen Amick is the star of this film, with her traffic-stopping beauty and delicious acting. James Spader was plenty believable in his role. The rest of the cast were quite terrible, unfortunately, which I suppose is OK as they are just supporting the two leads.

Adding to some of the negativity, the writing was a bit rough here and there. The final few seconds of the film were actually quite poetic, but the ending as a whole just didn't quite meet my expectations.

I think the film is underrated. Compared to modern blockbusters involving space battles and superheroes, I got tons more out of Dream Lover than any of those. I say watch this with your significant other, and then let the conversation begin.....
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Ignore the 1 star reviews
11 March 2019
If you rate this a 1 star out of 10 then you cannot be taken seriously as a reviewer. At worst, you could rate this a 3 or 4 out of 10 assuming you provided some logic along with your review.

The film really is generally a mess, however, with terrible pacing and continuity, some of the worst line delivery I've ever heard and random things being thrown at you constantly without any explanation. I think the element control was interesting. Maybe some of the issues could have been solved with a proper director's cut, assuming they filmed the scenes.

I only viewed this recently and assuming they still hold the rights, Katara and Princess Yue could make an awesome sequel. Low budget, please and focus on making a good film instead of special effects.
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Worse than stupid
26 February 2019
Somehow being silly and mindless wasn't low enough for this film. We are hit with crass, gross and disturbing, all while your intelligence is dragged through the gutter. Seriously, do not let your kids or friends with weak minds watch this...
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Not a waste of time
14 February 2019
I score this 10/10 for Angie Harmon being so, you know... I score the rest of the movie a 2/10 since I'm not a teenager. So the average is 6/10.
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Prospect (2018)
Felt like a lost Firefly episode...
11 February 2019
For sure there are many weak points in this film. Some things I wish they would have fleshed out:
  • lack of emotion from the lead actress
  • more information about what they are looking for
  • explanations for some of the random things we see

These writers/directors are green, I get it. I'm sure they learned their lesson about not building up the world enough that we find the characters in. That is really the primary fault here. Really sort of odd since they made the short film from which this is based.

The lead actor's voice makes me feel like we are in a Firefly episode from an alternate universe: one where previous episodes gave us back stories and exposition but somehow we missed that and are just smack in the middle of the first season.
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The Orville (2017– )
Not quite what I was hoping for...
10 September 2017
UPDATE FOR SEASON 1: 7 out of 10 Gotta love the guest stars on this! Always fun to see familiar faces!

Adrianne Palicki is really the star of this show, I think. Almost everyone else just reads their lines off like some kid's play. Yes, I know there are a lot of fresh faces on this, but it's still a problem. The only other standout exception is Penny Johnson Jerald. She really brought it on a couple episodes. Seth is terrible. I can hardly stand it whenever he's on screen.

Seems like we are nearly down to only one-joke-per-episode, thankfully. Maybe Roast Battle has ruined me for jokes these days? Most of the comedy on The Orville just makes me groan. The one exception was in episode 11 when I suppose a re-imagining of the hot potato game made a turn for the worse. I found great pleasure and laughter from the pain involved!

Hellooooo Ensign Turco!!!!!

UPDATE FOR EPISODE 2: 7 out of 10 I found the second episode to be breath of fresh air compared to the first. I hope they can keep up the improvements!

ORIGINAL REVIEW OF EPISODE 1: 5 out of 10 The first episode was a bit of a rough mess. The comedy was strained, the CGI was excessively used in the sets and low budget, it seemed like they tried to pay homage to certain well-known scenes but it just didn't come across clearly, and the way we meet the characters was generally a very poor effort. Furthermore, I found the plot to be very basic and technology/sci-fi concepts were almost completely ignored other than acting as a plot device.

For a premiere with so much riding on it, I do believe they've almost certainly killed off the show, unfortunately. Did they not even consult with ONE well-rounded sci-fi geek on this???
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The Voice (2011– )
OK if you ignore a few things...
24 May 2017
This show exists to attract viewers, advertisers and dollars. If you think otherwise, you are just fooling yourself.

The disclaimers alone are intolerable, such as the fact that they can change the outcome however they see fit. Then we have other major issues such as the popularity of the coach greatly influencing voting, and the concept of vote splitting.

The vote split is really damning for the show when combined with the popularity of a coach, since it means a coach with two artists will always lose compared to a coach with one artist.

So when will the producers do the right thing to make the show completely fair to the artists? I suppose when the viewers stop tuning in they will make a big deal about how they are changing things in order to get us back.

In the meantime, we can all skip the commercials and also not buy those junky cars they keep giving away. We'll fast forward through all the coaching stupidity and lame lip syncing guests and just enjoy the very few truly great performances by the artists.
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Insert Time Joke Here
11 March 2017
There are only a handful of concepts in our human condition that are truly epic: the planes of existence beyond what we can see now; the infinite greatness of space and the infinite smallness of matter; time, the beginning, the end, and travel within.

I don't think it requires a philosophy degree to have considered these concepts during your lifetime. You'd also quickly realize you are at an immediate loss and you would bury the thoughts with daily business.

So when a TV show sells itself primarily on the concept of time travel, you should expect, no, DEMAND a minimum level of quality and handling of the topic.

WELL, this show fails in an epic fashion in this regard and the time travel portion is unfortunately just a gimmick, perhaps to widen the net to include nerds/geeks/whatever.

As far as the time machine's role in the show, it literally could have been replaced with a taxicab and an airplane and we'd have the same story just without as many insults to our intelligence. I say "as many" because the plot holes and missteps in the writing are still there and are actually quite epic in their own right.
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Victoria's Secret Fashion Show (2014 TV Special)
One of the best in recent years...
27 December 2014
As soon as the opening narration started, I knew I was going to really like this year's show. (It makes me wonder if someone finally listened to my complaints from previous years! Even if the answer is no, I feel vindicated regardless.) The voice-over at the top of the show was a bit over the top with regard to the content, but the effect was awesome. Classy was the feeling I got right away.

On the same vein, I also liked the introductions to the segments, such as "Dream Girls". The announcer is a classy way to introduce the models and the artist. Although like previous years, they couldn't help themselves and just before the this particular segment starts you get this annoying crew voice-over going "send the talent now, send the talent now!" How stupid and childish can you get? Thankfully, there was much less of this compared to previous years.

Taylor Swift really shocked me again this year with her amazing look and let's be frank, model body. I can honestly say she upstaged most of the models. My only complaint is that she either lip-synced/auto-tuned her performances or they dubbed her in afterwards for the broadcast. There is plenty of speculation going around with regard to her vocal abilities. This show added fuel to that fire.

The remaining vocal performances in my opinion were just OK. I didn't really care for having to AGAIN listen to songs that have been saturated on the radio and other TV shows for the last few months. I think to keep the show fresh, they need to keep an eye on this issue in the future.

The final performance of the night, Taylor's "Style" was pretty impressive. The song is catchy and cool sounding and has lots of topical buzzwords. But the best by far was the beginning where Taylor and Karlie look at each other, nod, link hands and start walking down the runway. I pretty much forgot to breathe at that point. Add to this the rumors that they are dating and you've got some pretty fantastic dreamscapes...
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Motor City Masters (2014– )
Reasonable entertainment...
18 July 2014
Like most guys, I'm an over the top car nut. I have stacks of Super Chevy and Car Craft from decades gone by. I watched every American Hot Rod episode and never missed the newest Top Gear or RoadKill. I drool over the classic and modern muscle at car shows. So I think I have some credentials with regard to reviewing this show.

Let me start by stating that Brooke is basically the best thing this show has going for it. Talk about design perfection, proportions, body lines and flashy paint jobs and you basically have Brooke on the brain the entire episode! OK, with that out of the way, this show absolutely has plenty of flaws but still can entertain and educate the viewer. I honestly do learn some things each episode. Not very much from a technical standpoint, but plenty from a design view. For example, I found myself somewhat surprised how graphics and paint can affect the look of a car, regardless of what body panel lines may be underneath. I own a couple Audis and SAABs which I feel have unique body lines that work well without fancy paint, so perhaps this show has expanded my viewpoint somewhat.

With regard to specific contestants on the show, I have to admit that Darby is catching my attention. Sure, she's female and attractive, but that isn't the reason, especially with Brooke around. No, Darby is actually a talented designer and even at this stage I can state that she deserves the win. Of course being on a team, it is possible she will get stomped on in a future episode, but that would be a shame. Hopefully having lead two teams to victory already will protect her somewhat.
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King of the Nerds (2013–2015)
Waste of time
26 January 2014
After hearing that this show was a successor of sorts to "The Big Brain Theory," I figured I had better check it out. Sure, "The Big Brain Theory" had the usual stupid reality TV components that will rot your brain and lower your IQ, but they counter balanced that with some really great challenges which got those neurons making plenty of new connections.

WELL, the "King of the Nerds" is basically just 100% brain rot. The winner did NOTHING the entire show other than sit in the corner. The runner-up was shockingly good at everything yet didn't win the final popularity contest due to simple revenge by the losers. My IQ went down quite a few points during this show's run. Fortunately, I've kept all my college textbooks and was able to recover in about 10 minutes of studying.

If you analyze this show carefully, you will realize the producers really don't have the proper background to make an "intelligent" program. They simply have a reality TV formula that they are regurgitating over and over. Our taste in entertainment these days IS quite a sad commentary on our culture and proof that there is little innovation but plenty of exploitation.

A final thought: of the participants that got enough screen time to get to know, I have to say Ivan really stood out. Not only did he make an impression in the challenges, but his commentary was shockingly intelligent and enlightened. If I were CEO of a large corporation, I'd hire him in an instant. This guy is an asset.
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Victoria's Secret Fashion Show (2013 TV Special)
Near Perfection
5 January 2014
This is easily the best show in recent years! (Yes, I'm STILL hating the fact that they use crew radio chatter as voice-over. At this point I have to assume there is a crazy person somewhere with lots of influence who thinks it is a good idea and everyone is too scared to speak up. Oh well.) The music was great. All high energy and fast moving, and there were models on the runway for all of it! I have to give major props to Taylor. She blended very well with the models and I have to say I feel a little odd for some reason saying this, but I think she actually could get away with being a runway model. None of the prior female artists on the show made me think that, so a compliment to her I say.

Camera work this year was a GREAT improvement! When the models reached the end of the runway, the camera seemed to lovingly caress them like they have always deserved but have never received until now. No more of those super fast cuts to make you dizzy and lose track of what you are watching. There was the PERFECT amount of soft focus and slow-motion. They used it sparingly and made it special.

The Paris mini-feature/commercial in the middle of the show was impressive. Well done.

Glad to see Karlie Kloss made Angel. Her penetrating eyes and the way her teeth look when she smiles makes my heart sick. Easily the most interesting looking model of the bunch this year.

My jaw was on the floor during the entire final segment, "Snow Angels." We have Taylor looking like a hot/curvy human disco ball, ridiculously-hot Karlie in a body stocking, snow flakes and Bahati's feathers flying around, Taylor and models walking hand in hand down the runway...dare I say orgasmic?? If my wife reads this I'm in the doghouse for a year!
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Still worth watching
5 January 2014
I do not understand the OBSESSION with the crew voice-overs. "Justin Bieber IS in the house, we are two minutes away everybody." And then they proceed to introduce the models with the same stupid crew voice-overs. REALLY?? No disrespect to the crew, who I'm sure are all wonderful people, but wouldn't it make more sense to class it up and do a PROPER introduction to each model with a REAL VOICE?? They have done this year after year and it really is distracting and annoying.

OK, moving right along. Alessandra and Behati are both ridiculously hot, we know this. But wow, Karlie Kloss for some reason jumped out at me this year as being the hottest of them all. Her face is somehow especially exotic.

I have no idea what Justin Bieber was doing in this show. An awkward unplugged performance for 3 minutes solid and no models on the runway? If I wanted to go to a Bieber concert I'd go buy tickets. This is A FASHION SHOW and it's only about 45 minutes long. Stop wasting my time.

The bloopers at the end were cute. Well done there.
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Star Trek: Voyager: Faces (1995)
Season 1, Episode 13
Creator Hater
9 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
In this episode, we get to see the horror that the creators of the show have inflicted upon us: covering up Roxann with all that makeup for the entire series. What a shame they felt obligated to continue some of the silly traditions of the Star Trek universe such as having other aliens in high positions. We GET IT ALREADY, the future has lots of aliens, just tell your story. The problem is, sometimes there is no story, which is why you have fall back on some contrived fight in order to fill air time. You have a Vidiian who takes the face of a fellow Voyager crew member and he's surprised at the response? It smacks of forcing the issue again to fill air time. Feels like lazy writing. To top it all off, the killing will continue since the Vidiians no longer have the Klingon DNA to help solve their problem. Yay for more madness from the writers.
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