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Doom Patrol (2019– )
9/10
Character driven....
31 May 2019
...and one of the best "superhero" shows ever. Dark, warped, amusing, interesting and I can't wait for season 2.

Writing amazing with smart twists throughout. Likeable, if broken, characters abound.

Acting on point.

Directing keeps a great pace.

Special effects could be improved on.

Well worth the price of admission.
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The Order (2019– )
6/10
Slightly above average...
5 May 2019
...CW style teen angst drama crossed with fantasy in modern day setting. Can't really say there is anything to hate or love here.

Getting right to it with the mediocre...

Acting, while not stellar, is serviceable across the board. Actually rather liked Martini as the heavy. While they were playing fairly stock characters, the relative unknowns all played their parts well enough.

The plot, with a minor twist or two, is one we all have seen before done better. The dialogue unoriginal but serviceable.

Special effects/CGI were subpar even in a made for TV realm.

Overall:

Free on Netflix and maybe worth the time to watch...but don't go out of your way.
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The Expanse (2015– )
9/10
This one just keeps getting better...
20 April 2019
... and that hard because it started out excellent.

True science fiction touching into drama, mystery, politics and intrigue with some action and thrills.

The good:

The acting is spot on with excellent scripting and dialogue to back it. The plot is engaging and really A+ for the writers across the board.

Special effects are well done without being over the top.

Top notch production values.

Directors know their business and keep it moving along.

The downside such as it is:

Between introducing the characters and getting the story up and running this one is slow to start and draw you in. Keep with it, its worth it!

Overall

Well worth the time and any cost to watch. Looking forward to Season 4.
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Black Summer (2019– )
6/10
Hard to describe...
16 April 2019
... and certainly not what I expected from the Z-Nation creators. Very dark which can work, just not sure it did herel A zombie flick(yep, know its a series) that likens back to Night of the Living Dead both in a good way and a not so good way. It catches well the tense horror feel of NLD but well imagine if that horror classic(at 1.5 hours) had been 6 hours long.

Breaking it down.

Acting was well done from a cast of relative unknowns who didn't have a ton to work with.

The script is one of weaker I have seen in the genre(and that is saying something in the world of ZA films) and the intelligent dialogue is essentially non existent. Character development...nil. Not a fan of the chaptering. Plot was predictable, but being a zombie flick acceptable.

Special effects were surprisingly understated...not really sure how I feel about that.

Directing...hmm...it moved along and I can't say it was boring, I'm just unsure that I liked where it went.

Over all. I watched it and don't regret it...but can't really recommend it.
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8/10
Thought this was actually one of the better character intro...
10 March 2019
...movies from Marvel. Despite numerous flashbacks this one kept a good pace without the slow spots common in the character intros.

The good first(and mostly)...

The acting across the board was well done IMO.

Special effects in general were well done...a bit overwhelming in the space battles. Overall maybe an A- with the exception of the age regression on Jackson and Gregg which gets an A+.

Storyline and characters were solid, though not especially innovative.

Production values and directing were excellent.

The not great(though not horrid)...

Writing and dialogue were a bit flat in spots. Again not horrible, but lacking the LOL moments from the best of the Marvel movies.

Overall...chose to see this one opening weekend and it was worth every penny.
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6/10
Could have been...
24 February 2019
This had the potential to be an excellent film but unfortunately drifted into mediocrity. This low/no budget time travel sci-fi drama started out with all the signs of being a hidden gem in the footsteps of "The man from Earth" before it tragically stumbles.

An interesting premise combines with some interesting dialogue for a not too preachy societal commentary. Had they focussed more on a theme of personal growth, the time travel aspect or possibly even the societal commentary angle then this one could have unearthed the gem that remained buried. As it is, it is more of a muddled mess.

Acting Henrickson and Keegan turn in good performances. The remainder should probably leave this one off their resumes.

Writing was excellent in the first half of the film sliding into tired for the conclusion.

Low budget so don't look for miracles in terms of soundtrack or cinematography and as expected special effects were no existent.

Overall...

Not sorry I saw it but unlikely to recommend it. If you have a couple hours with nothing more interesting to waste it on, give this one a look.
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IO (2019)
2/10
Somewhat better...
27 January 2019
...than performing a root canal on yourself, but its a close call.

Poor science combines with a terrible script and a swiss cheese plot to produce a true snooze-fest. Sometimes you can find that B movie gold in independent low budget films, but this isn't it.

High points such as they are:

The acting wasn't horrible. Had the two actors had more to work with in the form of better writing, this may have been watchable.

Cinematography was OK.

The rest:

Pacing was horrible. Plot was lame and the dialogue was, well I almost said silly but that would imply at least some intent to entertain.

Overall, save your time and a brain cell and skip this one.
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She Demons (1958)
7/10
B-gold
4 January 2019
If you get a kick out of Plan 9 and other 50's B classics you are looking in the right spot.

How can you lose when you combine a mad scientist, scantily clad dancing girls, a volcano, Nazis with monster animal girls(stil scantily clad)? Did I mention the planes doing bombing runs, cheesy dialogue, stock characters and goofy storyline?

Yup some campy gold here. Go into it with appropriate expectations if you enjoy this genre(?) and I expect you will enjoy it.
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Aquaman (2018)
6/10
Not the best DCEU...
2 January 2019
...but not the worst either, granted that isn't a high bar.

Just gonna put it out there, though many will disagree, Mamoa does action hero well in my opinion. There were a few other other solid performances, but nothing anyone should be putting out there as their shining moment.

Special effect blockbuster with over the top CGI. While it was indeed visually stunning in spots I think they would have been better off investing in some better writers. CGI should not take the place of a good story.

Which brings me to the tired plot, lifeless dialogue, mostly 2D characters and much recycled, cliched script.

Directing and pace...well this one dragged. This one would have had slow spots at 1 1/2 hours, at almost 2 1/2 hours lets just say the editors should have gotten a bit busier.

I'm a comic book geek and don't claim otherwise. I would love to see DC get their act together and start putting out great movies on a regular basis, but I don't think this is one of them.
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5/10
Hit and miss...
31 December 2018
A few interesting stories that were too short, a few mediocre a few poor that seemed way too long. Not sure where all the love is coming from.

Acting was well done across the board, both from the familiar faces and those less well known.

Some of the stories as I mentioned were good/great, but they are balance by the rest that just seemed to be filling space. Dialogue was well done even if it was supporting a story that went nowhere.

Pace was perfect in a few stories, dragged in most though.

Cinematography was amazing.

Overall not something I will watch again(ever) but it had some good points.
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Bird Box (2018)
5/10
It is Okay
28 December 2018
Not really getting the 1 or 10 reviews.

If one ignores those you will find a perfectly adequate film. It fits better into the category of psychological thriller(with limited thrills) than horror or scifi.

On to the review:

Acting was decently done considering the fairly weak script.

Lovecraftian storyline(just seeing the creature makes you go mad) has never really translated well to film and this is no exception. Some mildly creepy moments.

Pace was okay, but honestly they could have shaved 20-30 min without a problem. Director seemed to be aiming for a slow burn rising to an explosive end, however in this case it just fizzled.

CGI and special effects were non-existent. Wouldn't have been a problem had the premise or dialogue been better.

Overall, don't regret seeing it, but there is not a lot here to recommend.
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8/10
Fun...
9 December 2018
...in a 60's Batman, The Tick, Kick-ass kinda way.

Bad(ish) first in this one:

Fairly predictable plot and scripting.

The rest:

Acting from the mostly unknown(to me at least) cast was well done and enjoyable.

Directing...this one moved along nicely, no real slow spots.

Production values were good.

Special effects were a nice surprise, neither overdone nor cheesy.

Overall not a bad way to spend a few hours on a quiet Sunday afternoon.
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The Awakening (2005 Video)
1/10
Low budget...
9 December 2018
...and it shows on so many levels. Unwatchable.

I would have just stopped there had it not been too short a review.

Had the acting been better this may have achieved the dubious distinction of being endurable, though with the poor script, watchable and enjoyable were way out of reach.

Low budget older flick, so didn't expect special effects wonders, but this is just bad.

Was hoping by the reviews that this might be one of those hidden B gems. Just goes to show what getting the cast and crew to post reviews can get you. OK, you got me.

Hopefully this one just disappears. I feel like I have already wasted more than enough your time(at 30 sec) having you read a short review...
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5/10
Tromaville this aint...
2 December 2018
... a B movie that knows its a B movie, if only it had embraced it.

The whole RomZomCom genre is so under-utilized....just sayin'. The fact that this could potentially fall into this slim category as a date movie with someone not into Zoms or gore actually raises its rating(at least for me).

Over acted and under scripted with 2D characters and mediocre effects on a low budget. The somewhat recognizable actors provide some amusing moments and they at least seem to have a bit of fun with it.

While this one is never going to be on anyone's "must see" list it was fine and is unlikely to offend.

While I would never recommend paying to see it, grab a bowl of popcorn and watch away for free on Prime.
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Prepper (2016)
2/10
A bit of potential...
2 December 2018
...that really goes nowhere.

This film actually had a bit of potential going in. Independent and low budget can still produce a good movie...it just didn't in this case. Had they taken this as a character study of 2 liberal(whiney) teachers learning to survive in a world of non-entitlement this could have been an interesting watch. Likewise had the film not taken itself quite so seriously, the one or two mildly amusing scenes could have expanded into a watchable dramedy. As it is this is a confused 1/2 story that takes us on a slowly rambling preachy journey to nowhere.

Really confused as to why this is rated as high as it is.

If you feel the need, watch it yourself and draw your own conclusions(ultimately it is your time to waste)...but only if its free.
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Downsizing (2017)
4/10
Meh...
26 November 2018
A genre bender. Not exactly sure what genre they were aiming for, however in my opinion they completely missed the mark. A couple of mildly humorous moments. An interesting SciFi premise that fails to deliver. Environmental and societal commentary for grade schoolers maybe. RomCom drama lacking romance, comedy and drama(as well as chemistry between the leads).

What works at least a bit-

The leads played their parts well enough.

Cinematography and special effects were passable.

What doesn't-

Pacing is horrible. Not sure if this is more a poor job of directing or editing. In either case they should cut an hour or so of snoozefest.

Writing for the most part is subpar(though there is a mildly memorable moment here and there).

Included with your Hulu subscription and still a bit overpriced. The minutes you spend watching this would be better spent on an old re-run of...well really just about anything.
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Supergirl (2015– )
5/10
Super(ish)
22 June 2018
Reasonably well acted, poorly written show with much potential.

Let me start with the fact that I want to like this show and every time I think that it may be going somewhere good it bolts off on a weird tangent led by a mediocre writing team. Campy and goofy can work(see "the Tick" or the 60's version of Batman) and be enjoyable and humorous...the requirement for this to work being that said show doesn't take itself too seriously(count this as a major fail). I'm okay with touching on current events and issues, writing shows structured around current headlines whether that involves gay marriage, alzheimers, gun control, etc and creating backstories to fit before jumping to ridiculous conclusions got old about 1/2 way through the first of these innumerable episodes. Weak, simpering, conflicted, whiny heroes that spend the majority of their time getting spanked across the small screen provide a priceless glimpse into the failed ROM-COM heads of the team of writers that seem intent on getting this one cancelled.

What could work well with this show:

The actors make the best of what they have to work with. If the writing could turn around I expect they could turn this into a series memorable for something more than butchering a strong franchise.

Special effects are okay on a TV budget.

If they pick a theme(dark, light, campy, or whatever) this could be a decent show...which brings me right back to the POTENTIAL.

All in all, free on Netflix and worth what you paid as long as you don't have to watch the commercials. Worth the time if you want to watch something from the franchise and it is too soon to watch Smallville or Lois and Clark reruns again.
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8/10
If you are expecting a Shakespearean Masterwork...
20 May 2018
...you probably should avoid movies based on comic books. Fun summer blockbuster...now you got it. Ignore the trolls with the 1/10's and the 10/10's from the fan boys and you are left with a good flick.

For me the pace was good and it didn't feel overly long. CGI was throughout(as expected) without being the star of the movie. Decent storyline and plot and very well scripted. Amusing in spots...a bit dark in spots.

Plenty of star power in this one and marvel continues the humanizing of heroes that it invented(the humanizing that is) back in the 60's.

Short review, but ultimately it comes down to I recommend the theatre for this one and don't regret spending the cash even a bit.
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Black Panther (2018)
5/10
8/10?...
18 March 2018
...and I'm just going to get right to it.

The good:

Acting was well done across the board. Visuals were amazing in spots and in others the CGI was clunky. Directing was OK and the production values were good.

The not so good:

There were some slow spots in this one...lots of them. Unlike most Marvel movies, this one seems to lack much of any sense of humor. I understand they are doing an origin story with the first film for BP...they spent way too much time on it. This may have worked well were this a stronger story, not so much here. Not to give too much away if you haven't seen it, entitled rich prince becomes king(and superhero), loses kingship then gains it back(along with powers and a suit), because he is...you know...entitled.

Considering the time they spent developing this story I would expect that there would have been much more character development, but in this case it was sorely lacking. The "villain" is the most developed character in the film and ultimately the most likable having at least a motivation. The titular hero of the movie, aside from having been born the son of an absolute monarch, chowing down on the African equivalent of peyote, is not(in my opinion) well developed, relatable or especially likable. Other characters are 2D, but honestly still more likable than our hero.

I wish I had skipped the big screen and waited for Netflix.
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8/10
Very well done...
5 March 2018
...presentation of a true story. I will tell you that I went into this one fairly blind, beyond knowing that it was based on a true story about firefighters and I don't think it can be considered a spoiler to let you in on the fact that it is not a "feel good" movie. That having been said...

Acting: A+ all around from the veterans to the newer faces. Brolin stands out.

Based on a true story that is well worth telling with a few clunky spots in the sub-plots.

Great cinematography and use of special effects.

Quick paced and engaging. Well directed.

All in all, well worth the price of admission and wish I had seen it in the theater.
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7/10
An AD&D module come to life...
22 February 2018
...in a good way. Not even sure that's a thing anymore, but those of you of an age, and geekish as myself, will know what I'm talking about.

The story moves along well and is surprisingly well written. Acting is well done by the relatively unknown cast. If you are a fan of Sorbo, besides being in the promo photos, his role is minimal(as in maybe 3 min screen time). Plot, well I'm not giving anything away telling you this is a fantasy quest movie, heck its in the title.

Direction is well done.

CGI is...ah...well...there is some CGI. Considering the extremely low crowd-funded budget it wasn't terrible. Costumes and creatures weren't bad.

Overall, not a bad way to spend a couple hours and worth a binge watch of the whole series if you have Amazon Prime.
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Geostorm (2017)
2/10
Impressively bad...
19 February 2018
...on all sorts of levels.

If only the great cast on this film had something to work with this film could have achieved at least mediocrity. A few mildly entertaining performances(though not believable mind you) made the film a bit more bearable.

And now onto the bad:

Lame retread plot combines with 2D characters and cliched dialogue to make this film seem much longer than 1:49. What's with the kid and the dog? If you are throwing science into the storyline could you at least has an elementary level understanding?

In terms of CGI, its been done much better repeatedly over the last 20 years.

Overall, this summer block remains unbusted.

Wait for this one to show up free somewhere if you feel the need to see it.
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2/10
The sequel to an amazing movie...
11 February 2018
...dumbed down for a new generation. Intelligent, engaging script updated for an ADHD audience to view while texting about the latest social media post they saw. Where the original used dialogue and interaction between the characters to comment on the nature of faith, religion and the nature of existence, this version combines the worst feature of a Hardy Boys mystery(sans mystery) with a teen angst drama in a dismal fail. A weak attempt to tie to global issues left me feeling that this was a sales pitch for a paleo diet.

I actually didn't hate the acting in this film and thought Smith, Williams and the Star Trek alumni did a fair job with an inherently weak script. Ultimately they were the sole reason this one earns more than one star for me.

Interesting marketing strategy, though I expect that this has more to do with the fact that that no one was willing to attach their studio name to this one, and I was actually willing to donate a bit had the movie risen above bad free TV. Had it been a 10th as good as the original I would have.

Special effects non-existent(as expected). Cinematography blah.

Released free on the net and hopefully not too many sites waste the storage space. Fan of cheesy B movies, but sometime bad is just bad. Brain floss would be helpful to keep this one from ruining the truly amazing original the name of which this slimes.
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The Ritual (I) (2017)
6/10
Not bad...
10 February 2018
...not great.

Low budget(at least I assume so) film that captures some of the feel of the original Blair Witch Project without the annoying, found footage, bouncing camera thing. Fairly non-existent special effects.

Unknown, at least to me, cast does a good job with this reasonably well written script. Plot... I have mixed feelings on this... seems to have started more as a psychological thriller before deciding on creature feature. Had they chosen one or the other at the start and stuck with it this would have been a much better movie.

Well directed and mostly well paced.

Decent cinematography when its not too dark.

Overall:

I've seen much better and sat through much worse. Free on Netflix and I don't regret the time spent.
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6/10
Not great...
8 February 2018
...not terrible with some amusing moments. For the most part throw away characters however the acting was okay. For me the pace was decent and while the plot was far from engaging, I wasn't especially bored either.

The mediocre:

Pretty much everything. Nothing particularly stands out to recommend or condemn this one, so if you have a couple hours to kill on a snowy afternoon and aren't feeling like pushing a shovel this is an okay filler.

Free on Netflix and worth what you paid.
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