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I've watched all the episodes, and I am really getting into this show.
Obviously it isn't completely realistic. If you want a realistic medical show, go watch a documentary. That's what documentaries are for... TV dramas are for entertainment.
And entertain, it does. The first episode seems a little shaky, but afterward the characters develop really well. They're all likable and engaging. In every episode, amidst cool rescue action, interesting aspects of their jobs and lives are examined. Eg they explore the characters' feelings and actions when dealing with issues like homosexuality, accidentally killing patients, friendship/hierarchy conflicts, being exposed to terrifying contagions, and all sorts of other things. Something completely different happens in every episode. It's interesting, fast-paced and unpredictable. It's also slowly getting better; they certainly don't seem to be running out of ideas.
Basically, good show in every possible way. Except realism, but that obviously isn't the point.
Beautifully made, vacuous plot.
This series was recommended to me because I loved the BBC adaptations of Bleak House and North and South. It is a very high-quality production, but the story is pure fluff and lacks any substance. I've never read the books, but based on this series I would assume that, when they were written, they were pretty commonplace light reading. Someone else here described this as a "soap opera," and I completely agree. It's a nice cute series of stories, but contains nothing really interesting. In particular, the romance between Dr. Harrison and Sophie Hutton couldn't have been more boring and predictable, watching any of THAT was a complete waste of time.
Bad in almost every possible way.
This movie was bad right from the start. The first scene is a young attractive university professor assigning homework to her students while they're walking out of the room at the end of class. Even though nobody ever assigns homework like that in real life, for some reason they always do it in bad high school movies (though usually accompanied by the classic bell-ringing sound), so I immediately suspected that this movie was going to be bad.
It just goes downhill from there. A convoy of about a million gigantic SUVs shows up at a home to pick up one single unsuspecting person for something so secret they won't even tell her why she's going with them, and for some reason she goes anyway (unnecessarily sending a million SUVs to pick up one person is apparently a great way to keep a secret). She goes to join a group of "top scientists" or something, and there's no obvious reason why the military has assembled this group of scientists since they didn't even have any particular matters of scientific interest at that point. Of course this group of scientists contains exactly one improbably young and attractive female, our one-dimensional protagonist. And, being female, she obviously forms an immediate emotional bond with the alien... After that, it's basically a bunch more illogical plot and an annoying child, mixed in with a vague pseudo-environmentalist theme of how humans are destroying their planet.
The ending was so unremarkable that 10 minutes after the movie was over, my friend turned to me and said "wait a minute, did we actually watch the end? How did it end again?" And I couldn't remember either.
In retrospect, I probably didn't need to write all that. I can summarize this entire movie in three words: Bad, dumb, and bad. I give it two stars instead of one for some vaguely intriguing moments after they first get the alien into the lab, and the cool giant alien that looks like (i.e. is a ripoff of) Iron Man.
Way too long, boring, adds nothing to the genre it copies.
I'm mostly commenting on the Rodriguez film and about 10% of Tarantino's, after that there was no way I was going to sit through all of Tarantino's interpretation of this boring idea. The problem is that the concept, making an exploitation horror pastiche, was only interesting for about 20 minutes. The first 20 minutes are somewhat amusing. But the other 90 minutes I managed to make it through were just mind-numbingly boring.
This quickly turned from a commentary on the old films to just another bad horror movie, except even more boring since the plot is deliberately bad. You may as well go watch an authentic 70s horror flick instead, this one isn't any more interesting. (Actually, many real old horror/exploitation films are way smarter than Grindhouse.)
This concept might have made a brilliant half-hour short film, but here it was stretched out way too thin. I don't understand how anybody can sit through a movie that deliberately has no substance for an entire three hours. Is everybody else stoned when they watch this?
Georgia Rule (2007)
I originally saw this because I felt like watching a cheesy bad movie. This film, of course, is marketed as a family comedy where a stereotypically rebellious "bad" girl gets put in her place by her stereotypically strong-willed grandma.
I sure was surprised when this turned out to be a rather serious drama about sexual abuse. The main theme is the question of whether or not the apparently untrustworthy girl's claims are true, or just a plea for attention, and how it is nearly impossible for anyone to know whether to trust her. It was actually fairly interesting, and thematically similar to Doubt.
I am very confused about the angle the advertisers took in promoting this film. It seems to me like the people who would actually be interested in this movie are exactly the ones who won't see it, because it has been marketed as a generic mindless comedy. There is no hint anywhere in the advertising about the true nature of this film.
The Dark Knight (2008)
I guess it had its moments
I am sincerely confused by all the hype around this movie. It just didn't seem that great to me. No characters had any personality or motivation whatsoever, except the Joker. There was no plot structure at all... the entire thing was just the Joker threatening to kill people and everybody freaking out, then repeat, then repeat again. No break in the action, no climax. And all this for at least two hours. By the end I was TRYING to fall asleep.
Not to mention the really, really stupid plot devices. (If you don't care to hear my rant/list of these, which may include SPOILERS, skip to the next paragraph!) Being able to remotely transform all cellphones into high-resolution sonar devices? This idea is just stupid. Wayne chooses "taking a boat ride with the entire Russian ballet" as an alibi? Because somehow he trusts all these near-strangers enough not to blow his cover? That entire plot device was clearly an excuse to fit in at least one scene with scantily-clad women. And the Joker escapes from jail because they didn't bother to put his handcuffs back on after Batman took them off. How lame is that? As soon as he got into jail it was obvious he'd escape, because that's how these stereotypical plots always go, but I at least hoped it would be because of Joker's cleverness rather than because of a completely unrealistic and inexplicable lack of security. He was an infamously dangerous criminal, obviously an entire police station wouldn't be so lax around him. And when he holds his knife to an officer's neck to make demands, another officer about ten feet away is pointing a gun and has a clear shot at his head, and a reason to shoot, but he doesn't. Why not? This movie follows SO many other predictable plot stereotypes. Like the fact that as SOON as Harvey is disfigured, it's completely obvious that he is going to become a villain. Because you can't be disfigured without being evil... Only the handsomest of men are heroes. The most annoying thing is how they didn't even feel the need to explain his lighting-quick transition to being a supervillain with no convincing motivation except for showing his burns, because as soon as you saw that his face was burned you just knew he was evil, end of story. It's just like the way that as soon as you see a child in this movie, you KNOW that group of people won't die, because children never die, of course. The audience might be offended. Also, both protagonists are totally infatuated with some boring girl for no apparent reason, which is a pretty good sign that a movie isn't very thoughtful.
Some of the ridiculousness and predictability of the movie's plot could have been forgiven if it wasn't so very tedious. Two hours of the exact same continuous action sequence with no breaks to allow for deeper plot or character development is just too much. Unless you like watching violence for its own sake regardless of plot, and have a really, really long attention span, I can't understand why you like this movie (and you probably do, everyone does, apparently). Not to mention that this long tedious action sequence mostly consists of the exact plot of the first half being reused as the second half (Joker's setup on the boat and the hospital were the same story, it's as if they couldn't decide which one to use and then thought "hey, let's make this movie REALLY long and just use both of them, one right after the other...").
It did have some redeeming qualities. The joker WAS great, the nihilistic spin on his character was well-done. The beginning was relatively interesting, before they got into the repetitive action sequences. And toward the end they killed someone who I really didn't predict would die. But, I would never, EVER sit through this again.
Best movie I've seen in a long time
Firstly, I have not read the graphic novel. This was deliberate, since I knew there was going to be a movie, and reading any book tends to ruin the movie. I'm sure there are a whole bunch of things in the graphic novel that they left out or changed, and it's hard for those who have read it to imagine how people could understand the subtleties of the story without it. But trust me, the morally complex, multi-layered characters and plot were very well delivered by the movie alone. There was nothing that seemed like it didn't make sense or wasn't quite explained. The movie was just about perfect.
I'm surprised to hear a lot of reviews saying that this is just an action movie for teenage boys; I thought quite the opposite. There was much less action than I expected, the movie centered mostly on emotions and ideas conveyed through dialog, narration and character flashbacks. The action scenes were all fairly short, though when there was action it was delightfully innovative. There were a lot of nasty and unexpected twists like limbs snapping, guts sticking to the ceiling, bones audibly crunching... Every time something violent happened, they made it interesting and shocking rather than recreating the generic ho-hum violence of every other movie. (And there was no obligatory 30-minute-long final action scene culminating in the conclusion of the plot... oh joy! Those get so boring.) Plus, many of the scenes were rather bold for a mainstream film, and showed certain things that are normally hidden off-screen or completely avoided. The only example I feel I can give without spoiling anything is the full frontal male nudity, something that is rather conspicuously hidden in almost every Hollywood movie. This movie isn't concerned about hiding little things like that, just as it isn't concerned about hiding certain subjects that most movies wouldn't show.
This movie definitely isn't for everyone. People expecting another Dark Knight will be disappointed (or, as in my case, thrilled), as this movie is completely unique. People who want an action movie and don't want all that talking and thinking will be disappointed. But to those looking for a long, complicated, deeply moving epic that will really make them think about the very concepts of right, wrong, and heroism (and who haven't read the book, which based on other reviews seems to ruin it): Do NOT miss this movie!
Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000)
Contrived and Self-Indulgent
Watching this, you can just tell that Larry David thinks he's the funniest person ever. He thinks he's so funny that every episode can be like a slow-paced version of Whose Line Is It Anyway, starring only himself. His performance is so fake and full of self-admiration that you can almost see him grinning proudly at the camera whenever he hears the sound of his own voice. But it's just not interesting to hear him go on and on in a stereotypical, slow and uninspired version of neurotic-Jewish-comedian style. It's especially annoying when he repeats the same thing over and over in an obvious attempt to appear humorously neurotic that quickly becomes boring (eg "a guy in a suit stealing my newspaper? A GUY IN A SUIT STEALING MY NEWSPAPER? A guy in a suit... stealing my newspaper!?" ... repeating a joke that's already obvious does not make it better).
Not to mention that the humor is basically the same style as in Seinfeld. Yes, of course this show is not identical to Seinfeld; it's less clever. I will never understand why everyone else seems to think this show is so great.
Charlie Bartlett (2007)
Two-dimensional characters living a familiar story
I came out of this movie with no more than a bunch of complaints. I shall list them:
1) All the characters, aside from the principal (Robert Downey Jr), were two-dimensional at best. Most often they were just unlikeable.
2) The high school and all its students seemed to be constructed from all Hollywood high school stereotypes thrown together.
3) So many things about the movie were way too familiar, and appeared to be borrowed directly from other films. In particular, a lot of the movie reminded me of Igby Goes Down. Some of the scenes are almost identical, especially near the beginning. I doubt this is coincidence. Thumbsucker also comes to mind.
Incidentally, why is this movie rated R? I figured the cheesiness was because it was meant to be a heart-warming movie for young teens or something. On the other hand, the unintentional moral ambiguity would rule that out as a purpose for this film; basically, the message seems to be that if you sell your prescription drugs, no one will abuse them, everyone will suddenly love you, and you will become innocently popular.
In general, this movie was boring and unoriginal to the highest degree. It seemed like it was trying to get at some sort of point, but it was confusing and just didn't deliver.
The X Files: The Host (1994)
I find this one of the creepiest episodes of seasons 1 & 2. It's all about the fluke-man. It looks terrifying, but in an interesting way. It's like a painting by Michael Hussar or Chris Mars, but less pretty. Just its presence makes this episode eerie, I think it's my second favorite monster so far (the first is Tooms!). The fact that they bring it to a mental hospital is absolutely hilarious, I wish they'd shown more scenes from that situation. I'd love to watch that psychiatric evaluation they talk about doing (what a tease).
Despite loving this episode I only give it 9/10 because of the fact that right at the end they very briefly explain away fluke-man's existence with "radiation" from Chernobyl. Yeah, that's creative. Even "alien DNA" would have been better... Plus, to make things worse, they moralize about it. "Radiation. Abnormal cell fusion. The suppression of natural genetic processes. Mulder, nature didn't make this thing. We did." This whole theory comes out of nowhere and isn't integrated with anything. Furthermore, it actually contradicts what Scully says about the impossibility of sudden, complex mutations in a previous episode (yes, pointing this out makes me a nerd). It's as if right before they finished this episode someone said "Wait a second! We forgot about the explanation for fluke-man!" and then squeezed in this disappointingly unoriginal 15 seconds or so.
The X Files: Squeeze (1993)
I'm absolutely thrilled by the originality of this monster. Who ever made up the idea of a man who eats 5 livers every 30 years, and nests in his own bile in between, is a genius. Of all things... It's such a delightful idea! The fact that he looks so normal and acts kind of like a silent version of Daria (you know, stoic on the outside but angry on the inside?) makes this even better. The first-person rendition of his slow-motion victim-spotting vision is quite enlightening, it really gives a good sense of how this guy thinks and sees the world. The fact that they've actually created a convincing psychology for such an inhuman person is very impressive. This episode is definitely a refreshing watch! It's so weird that it's almost funny, but still creepy as well.
The X Files: Irresistible (1995)
It tries to make a point...
So, as far as I gather, this episode is trying to make a statement about how real-life villains are very bad people, and this is just as scary as the paranormal. The "paranormal" imagery associated with the villain, Donnie, is purely symbolic. He's actually just a normal human being.
The problem is that I just don't buy it. Donnie is simply not scarier than the paranormal. He's not even that scary at all. As a guy who seems confused and weird rather than malicious, likes dead girls and hair, and has only newly become a murderer, he's significantly less disturbing than most well-known real-life serial killers (eg: he's like a VERY watered-down version of Ed Gein). Which is why Scully's horror at seeing nothing but bodies with hair and nails cut off (something not too different from a normal personal hygiene routine), before anybody has even been killed or hurt at all, is completely out of character. She sees things a hundred times worse in almost every other episode and hardly flinches.
So, as Comic Book Guy says... "worst episode EVER!"
Cool... but huh?
This is a really neat episode, but it has an annoying lack of answers atypical of the X-Files. For example, what about all the things Shannon says have happened to her? Is it all completely made up? And if so, why? If it is true, why don't they show an investigation into it or something? Finding THAT evidence would have made for a pretty powerful sequence. And the agents clearly couldn't just ignore it all, they would have to look into it at some point, and the episode ends so early that we don't get to see what they find out. I get the sense that they might have run out of time while making this episode and had to cut things out, since a lot of plot threads are abandoned. And aside from this episode, the X-Files normally seems to cater to the curious type of audience that wants to actually find out what's going on. It is an investigation show after all. I wish this was a "to be continued" episode, because as much as I hate those, this is an interesting story and they could have gone a lot deeper into it.
I cannot fully describe how amazing it is to watch what looks like a really cheap movie version of a Goosebumps episode, and then gradually come to realize that the little things you were laughing at because they accidentally looked sexual weren't really accidents.
This movie is essentially a children's "scary movie" crossed with gay soft-porn. How awesome is that?
Though, I've probably spoiled the surprise with this review. On the other hand, I suppose looking at this IMDb page at all has already spoiled it. The best is to get someone to watch this thinking it's a run-of-the-mill b-movie, and let them experience the wondrous journey of discovery on their own.
Paranoid, and not in the smart way.
It's kind of ironic that so many people think they're being "free thinkers" for doubting the government, and yet are completely willing to believe everything said by this documentary, even though a significant portion of the claims it makes can be discredited by a simple Google search. The information given in Zeitgeist is dubious at best, and outlandish at worst. For example, with no evidence whatsoever, it claims that ALL popular media exists solely as part of a conspiracy to stop people from thinking. As if without television, everyone would just sit there and ponder philosophy... Considering that television and mass-media as we know it have only existed during the last century, and that same century gave rise to more scientific innovation than any other period in history, clearly media does not make people dumber by any means.
That's just one example of a million things that are wrong with the claims made in this documentary. It would take hours and hours to write about everything that's wrong with it. For example, look up pretty much any god out of the enormous list of gods that this documentary claims share the same origin story with Jesus to find even more apparently made-up claims. (Start with Horus, for example. He does NOT have the same origin story as Jesus, at all, even though the documentary claims he does, with no evidence of course...) So I'll just leave this with one final thought: If someone was telling you about how every single important event in modern history was due entirely to conspiracy, and they were homeless on a street corner rather than an underground documentary filmmaker, how much credit would you give their ideas? Chances are, you'd think they were just nuts.