I have both good and bad things to say about this production. And while the bad things might take up the most space in this review, that doesn't mean there's more bad than good in this version of this play. It just means that it's often easier to express a critical view, and to put one's finger on particular points.
My default rating of a good theatrical production that does what it's supposed to do - keeps me entertained and impressed - is 8 stars out of 10. If it's pretty good, but causes my mind to wander and perhaps a yawn or two to emerge, it's down to 7. "Antony and Cleopatra" is not a grateful play to stage. It's complex, and easily gets over-long if nothing special is done to keep it interesting.
Let me start with the good things. The most distinctive actors were those playing Cleopatra, Enobarbus, Charmian and Pompey. Josette Simon's animated Cleopatra is to be singled out as the greatest performance. I have heard some critics (even feminist ones) say that they don't like how passion-driven Simon's Cleopatra is, but those critics of course don't understand what this play is essentially about. Cleopatra's character is herself an actor; much of her "passion" is playing pretend, staging herself as a certain persona, and revelling in it. In this sense she is one of the most self-aware characters in Shakespeare. Histrionic, yes, but always with thought, intention and strategy behind it. So, in short, Simon's portrayal of Cleopatra is very true to the character; more so, even, than those of many other actresses, whose performances tend to be more subdued. Animation, movement and changeability, however, are what brings Shakespeare's Cleopatra to life, and Josette Simon has created a very impressive version of her, worthy of the time-honored RSC.
As for the rest of the play, I must confess to being rather less satisfied. Perhaps the biggest problem with this production - something that has dogged the RSC in recent years (with notable exceptions) - was that it was too traditional for comfort. It was so traditional that it got boring. Three hours of a fairly bare stage with actors in fairly accurate period costumes? I nearly nodded off. Something has got to be done to keep a play like this interesting. Make it funnier, crazier, anachronistic; add something a bit modern. Outrageous costumes, for instance. And for God's sake, add some color to the brown wooden stage! Is it so hard to hang up some pretty arrasses or bring on some green trees? Minimalism may be traditional, but it is also devoid of imagination and poeticness (in fairness, they did have a big black Bast statue towards the end, and it was most refreshing!). It does Shakespeare no favors to add nothing physical to the production. Today, the stage itself should also be an actor and should express and communicate something.
But traditionalism is not necessarily a problem in itself. Traditional performances can be very good; they tend to provide a baseline standard for what such a classic should be like on stage. In fact, most theater purists would rather have a traditional performance than one of the more outrageous modern ones, which often cross over into overwrought silliness or nonsense. However, what I felt was lacking in this production was the full quality of the enunciation that we have come to expect from the RSC. I'm sure these actors probably worked as much with their enunciation as members of the RSC usually do, but for whatever reason the actors' palpable fascination with Shakespeare's words was not greatly in evidence here. They didn't taste the words while speaking them, and the beautiful and perfect accents that serve Shakespeare's language so well were less on display here than in many other RSC productions (a fine recent example of how to do it is the RSC 2015 version of "The Merchant of Venice" with Patsy Ferran). I don't know why. Is it the director's fault? Or the artistic director's? Or something else? All I know is it could be better, and it has cost this production a star in my rating. To gain a higher rating, the RSC needs to start thinking out of the box and add some imagination and excitement to the proceedings, whether in the overall directing style or in the acting itself, which should be overflowing with enthusiasm for the language. Try something new. Anything. It's very sure to be an improvement.
This version was quite faithful to the novel, with room for far more of the details, and it really fit a lot of material into the series in some form or other. The last episode also followed, very nearly, the originally unpublished final chapter that was only published in 1987, after the author's death. On the one hand it maintained the mystery, and on the other hand the TV series added a symbolic element and explanation: that disappearing at Hanging Rock represented freedom; represented escape from a troubled life. When you can see this, it all becomes much more beautiful.
My rating: 8 stars out of 10.
What chiefly dissatisfies me is that the movie just isn't cosmic enough. Why didn't they pour on the whole Darkseid thing? They should have pulled out all the stops! They are in competition with bloody Marvel Studios, which race onward with one amazing movie after the other while DC is standing still and scratching its behind. They should have gone for bigger and brighter, and poured more money into it, hiring more competent talent, especially regarding the writing. But it's DC. They do stupid things by force of habit (sorry, but they do. Many many people think so).
Well, at least this movie isn't a total loss. I expected the worst, but there were quite a few things in the movie I liked (and, of course, more things I disliked. Why didn't we see more of Mera?). I particularly liked Cyborg, with his alien tech that kept evolving and producing new super-tech powers for him. That was cool, especially since I felt that he would be one of the toughest characters to make work. Besides the lack of arcs and development, I didn't have problems with the other characters, but I'll emphasize that I really loved Wonder Woman. She was a total inspiration. She succeeded in giving you the feeling that she would absolutely have your back, and truly care about you all the while, whether you were an innocent bystander or a comrade in arms. She embodies all the admirable and feminine qualities of mother, sister, lover and protector, and that is a heck of an achievement. The movie is worth watching for her alone.
I hear that some people really like this movie, as in giving it 8 or 9 stars out of 10. Good for them. For me it was a bit of a hollow experience; something with the potential to be so much more. I rate it 6 stars out of 10, which means slightly above average, compared with other movies of its type. No classic, but conceivably something I'll want to watch again sometime. It's a shame Whedon couldn't do more to save it. Ultimately, I think they should have just redone the whole movie from scratch rather than changing it into a sort of happy zombie version of the original version. Who knows, maybe some form of the original cut will make it onto an eventual disc release. I doubt it will be better, but it will certainly be interesting.
The season 4 opener was fully on par with the high standard the show has been maintaining after its uneven first season. A crazy world-threatening plot, and (hilariously!) our team gets almost no resources to work with, so it's business as usual for Team MacGyver! They're in the Arctic, and naturally runs into a luxury hotel for high-level Russian officials - what else?
I think some people dislike the show because they are not quite aware that it's a comedy show - and if you try to take it seriously, well, then you're not really gonna be able to! But I love it. 8 stars out of 10. Great and smart entertainment!
It's not a masterful show; there are elements that appear clearly low-budget, but it's nowhere near bad enough to warrant a ridiculously low rating. It's a solid 7, and worth following. It respects the original Inhumans comics very much indeed, and it's great to see such faithful interpretations of those characters (but of course only an actual fan and reader of the comics will properly appreciate this). It's also beautifully shot on Hawaii, with lots of nods to the indigenous populace.
The story is a bit over-simple in its structure (although it does feature some admirable world-building), and the double-episode (which seemed more like 75 minutes than 90) doesn't have any closure of its own by the end. But I really enjoyed the (sort of) mute Black Bolt; the actor does a great job of playing him. Medusa's prehensile hair does seem like it was very hard to get right on this budget, which is probably why they cut it off rather too quickly. I guess prehensile hair is still a very difficult thing to make good-looking, even in this day and age. At least they tried. And it will of course be growing back.
Looking back on this show I actually find that the image I remember most vividly is the close-cropped Medusa; a striking short-haired female in a striking purple outfit in lush, green surroundings. That made an impression. Which is good.
In short, I enjoyed this show and as a superhero fan I consider it unmissable and must-see! Even if it obviously doesn't have the productions values that "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." has. But, if it is successful, it will get more funding in time.
GOTGv2 sadly could not live up to the first movie, and at 4 stars it is, for me, the worst MCU movie yet. The main problem with it was its story: it barely had any. They meet Ego, he turns out to be a bad guy, and they fight him. That's the story. No particular nuances, no significant subplots, nothing much that made any kind of sense. It was this really thin story, and the rest of the movie was held together by gags (of very varying quality), clichés and no tape. Sure, there was a string of brief fan service moments, but that's not enough to make a movie good.
In this movie I wanted to see more characters. I expected a crammed movie, but there were about *one* new character: Mantis, and she had very little to do. They spent too much time on Yondu, for the wrong reasons (not because the story demanded it, but because Rooker is such a respected actor), far too much time on his deadly arrow which got way over-used here (it should have been saved for a really important moment), and although the sibling rivalry between Gamora and Nebula was my favorite part of the movie, Gamora generally had a very tiny role and was almost reduced to a mere love interest.
We didn't land on any interesting planets (besides Ego), and the universe was not expanded. Ego says he came into existence alone, but also says he is a Celestial. Sadly, we are not told what Celestials are and how he can be one of them and be a unique and lonely being at the same time. The golden people from The Sovereign were a bunch of one-track a-holes. Why would they want to kill the GOTG when they've just saved the galaxy (them included) from Ego? No, most of what was in this movie just made no sense at all. Such a shame. I also dislike much of the humor, because it is too vulgar. James Gunn clearly has the gutter-mind of a 9-year-old (and yeah, this was also a problem in the first movie. Joss Whedon has some of the blame, as he encouraged Gunn to put more of his own humorous taste in the movies).
So, only 4 stars out of 10. Lots of things to look at, and several funny and touching moments. But, this is the tongue-in-cheek village idiot of the MCU, and I really wish it were more serious. In this sequel we basically just get more low-brow jokes, more guffaws from Drax, more distinctly unheroic sadism from Rocket, etc. We get more of what was popular in the first movie, but less of what actually worked.
Yes, there are problems with the action scenes. They are just not very good, neither in the choreography nor the directing. One wonders why this is not on par with the action scenes in "Daredevil". Did they have a lower budget for "Iron Fist"; did they get somebody comparatively incompetent to do the action work? What the heck happened? I can't rightly say, except of course to grant that Finn Jones just is not much of a martial artist - he was picked for looks and GoT fame, and not for the kind of capabilities this role requires.
I believe I can identify a greater reason why this show does not excel, however. The primary problem with it is that it is done in the same realistic and somewhat gritty style as the previous three Marvel-Netflix shows, and this is quite simply a style that doesn't fit the concept of Iron Fist AT ALL! Iron Fist is a kung fu hero, whose adventures should be pulpy and stylized with color and spectacle and outrageous feats of martial arts - and we don't get any of that here. So the big fail is that the producers decided to continue the show in the same style and atmosphere as the other shows. In other words, the other shows and the overall vision for all these shows is what is to blame for the shortcoming of "Iron Fist". The saga of Danny Rand simply cannot work under these restraints. And what a pity that is!
Having said this, I still think there are cool things about this show. Colleen Wing is great. Tom Pelphrey is a hell of an actor. Madame Gao is cool. But I have to admit that I can't think of that much more to praise the show for. Except that I did and do find it fairly entertaining.
One way they could have made it better was by following the comics more. In the comics, Iron Fist mucks about on the city streets for sixteen or seventeen issues after having left K'un Lun, before he is approached by Jeryn Hogarth about claiming his part of the big corporation that he is heir to. In the show he goes to the big office building as the very first thing he does, and then the whole season is basically spent on this problem of getting back into the company, which is just not all that interesting.
A shame they couldn't make the show work, but I blame the other shows a great deal. They shouldn't have kept "Iron Fist" in the same style as the others. Anyway, if there is a season 2, I hope they are smart enough to make some major changes. Not really holding my breath, though.
I hope I'm wrong, and that the story (if picked up) evolves in novel and unexpected directions.
This show has now become the absolute anti-thesis to everything that is admirable about the character in the comics. The TV Oliver Queen is now a mass-murderer who just kills people left and right, is not above torturing them, and his co-workers are just as far out. This is ridiculous. They are total and complete anti-heroes. This show has eradicated everything remotely heroic about these characters. It's complete and utter trash and this was the last episode I'm watching of this show.
The biggest problem with this show is that it tries to be a Batman show. In the classic comics, Oliver Queen (like most proper superheroes) would never kill anyone. The one time he did it by accident, he was so appalled that he entered a monastery for years to deal with it. In this show, Oliver is just a simple multi-murderer, and in this episode we once again see why that is such an idiotic idea. And on top of getting a lot of innocent people killed, he goes to his reporter friend for comfort sex on the very same night because he feels so sorry for himself. That is COMPLETELY inappropriate. When you're trying to come to terms with being responsible for people having died, you don't seek out pleasure. You wallow in the bad stuff you've done. Otherwise you wouldn't be a decent human being. Which Oliver clearly isn't. It's getting disgusting.
I have more complaints, but these will do for now. It's just so appalling to me to see people gushing over this show with 10-star reviews. Jesus H. Christ, guys. What are you, twelve?
Sadly, episode 4 was substandard to me. This whole alien fight club thing just makes absolutely zero sense. Maybe they just used it because there is something like it in the comics, but it doesn't work in the world of the TV show. Why exactly would the super-powered aliens be fighting gladiatorial battles for the entertainment of humans? Why wouldn't the aliens at least be organizing it themselves? The episode offers no convincing explanations.
Megan's true nature was predictable from the moment she explained about her origin - how stupid does Hank have to be to not see that? The show seems to be entering the dreaded soapy territory of the CW network, as also witnessed by the interrupted romantic tension between Alex and Maggie. Would it kill CW to have just one proper process of courtship and dating without having to introduce annoying emotional anxiety that will be prolonged for however long? Stay the hell away from formulaic storytelling in this show, dammit!
The rest of the episode was okay. Mon-El and Win had a fun time and Kara is starting to set aside her cultural prejudice about Daxamites. Now all we need to know is whether Mon-El is a regular guy (and an obvious love interest for Kara now that they flushed the other love interest out of her life) or has some kind of villainous hidden agenda...
7 stars out of 10 this time. I pray it's back to 8 or 9 next time! I hope the show stays strong.
The BBC Collection version of these plays perform them in a humorous way that the text perfectly supports. But here we get only stark, cynical realism. Shakespeare's work and words are the pinnacle of wonder; of poetry. "The Hollow Crown" is devoid of any wonder or poetry. Why use Shakespeare when the producers clearly want something completely different? This is a deconstruction of Shakespeare, and it is, in short, awful. What a waste of great poetry, great actors and budget money. Is it done in the name of accessibility? Do they think that this will make Shakespeare more palatable to ordinary people? Well, if they are right, I despair on behalf of the ordinary people.
Sadly, it doesn't work. Another of the main things that doesn't work is when Jean Grey "phoenixes out". The flame bird looks great and all, but the whole point of that character is that she is transformed by the change - and she wasn't! Not in any way at all! This was really annoying! I was so excited about what she would become now; whether she would break out as Dark Phoenix or at least just Phoenix, but nothing at all happened except amping up her power level. There was no effect on her character. That is almost as disappointing to me as the last time they botched the Phoenix story, namely in X-Men: The Last Stand, where they just had her standing around and doing nothing. WTF?!
X-Men: Apocalypse had too many characters. Storm and Psylocke in particular got hardly any real development; we didn't hear their motivations and except for Storm at the very end, they didn't get a chance to be heroes. Mystique also had very little to do in this movie. She brought news of Magneto's change, and she brought Nightcrawler with her, but she didn't have much else of consequence to do. Her power level was too low to influence the final battle. They should have done more with her, and shown us what connection she had with Stryker, as per the end scene of the previous movie. A lot of the problems with this movie seem to be caused by having had to make it in a damn hurry. They should have waited a year and spent the time working out a better story.
Still and all, with all the action and cool characters, this is still a damn good-looking and entertaining superhero movie. I still rate it an 8 out of 10, even though it's best in the beginning and just gets weaker from then on. A good thing I haven't mentioned yet is the music. I really thought the music worked very, very well in this movie.
X-Men: First Class (2011) was an astonishingly great movie; 10 out of 10. Days of Future Past (2014) was also fantastic; so many great details and a very cool and complex story: 9 out of 10 stars! Sadly, X-Men: Apocalypse is yet another step down from that level; it's a furious chase movie with a weak plot and villains whose motivations aren't explored in any detail, and some of whom (Magneto!) changes allegiance for no apparent reason. Such a shame! I really expected better from Simon Kinberg after the extraordinarily well-made two previous X-Men movies.
My rating: 6 stars out of 10. I might have given it 7 if it didn't have so many repeating scenes. But it was nicely put together under the circumstances. And very cool moves by writer/star Dean Alexandru! Sadly for this movie, it is too smart for its usual target audience of action movie fans, who consequently give it a very poor rating. You actually need to have your brain switched on when watching it. Otherwise you're not gonna get it.
- Was Batman's stealing the kryptonite a part of Luthor's plan? It didn't seem to be, yet it played a key part in Luthor's plan to pit Batman against Superman. So, huh? I call that a plot hole.
- How did Luthor learn Superman's secret identity? This wasn't explained.
- How did Batman find Martha Kent in the undisclosed location? Not explained.
- So many story elements were just included as throw-aways, incl. the big thing at the end. That's completely meaningless. And speaking of the final fight, Superman should not have been able to carry that spear. He was vulnerable to it; there were two other major characters who could have carried it without being affected by it; it's more logical that one of them would have done it. Only, if they had, we wouldn't have gotten that nonsensical shock-value throw-away ending.
Almost nothing worked in this movie. Mindless action, no characterization, ridiculous pacing, overwrought stylism with no substance. Who the hell likes this sort of stuff? I liked about two things about this movie. I liked the early sequence with the flash- back to Metropolis being destroyed by Zod's people in the first movie; it was visually spectacular in a way that worked. The other thing I liked was Luthor's overall character arc. He pits the two mains against each other (thus providing a proper explanation for why they fight, which really needed one!) and he's aware of the more cosmic implications of what's going on, unlike the other characters. However, I didn't particularly like Jesse Eisenberg's portrayal of him. I don't have anything against Eisenberg (I loved him in The Social Network), but the way he played Luthor as some kind of insecure, twitchy psycho just seemed stilted and artificial to me. Neither he nor any of the other characters, except Wonder Woman, felt anywhere near real or relatable. The romance between Clark and Lois also fell flat; we are introduced to it in the beginning of the movie, but apart from two kisses along the way, there is no feeling whatsoever in the course of the movie that these two are in a relationship. All the characters just feel dead.
It's a shame. I was hoping to like this movie. I wasn't overly fond of Man of Steel, but I didn't hate it, either; I rated it a 7 out of 10. BvS is much worse and can garner only a 2. This DC Murderverse movie is just incredibly terrible. I never thought we would get a movie compared with which Man of Steel looks like a wholesome, competent, better story, but that is what we have gotten. Most people will agree with this appraisal in the fullness of time, no doubt.
From being very silly in the first season, this show has grown to become pretty damn awesome and pretty damn unpredictable. I salute the show-runners for their courage and integrity. This is one of the best episodes yet.
I love the show for the resolve that the characters have. And the speed with which the plot evolves. This is a world filled with hard choices, and these characters grow with the tasks and make those choices. This is very different from the extremely boring and wishy-washy way in which characters behave in most "realistic" TV shows. On top of this the plot is slowly beginning to explain the premise of the show, giving us a lot of the background material that was omitted in the first season.
This is a heck of an exciting sci-fi show and it's just getting better and better. Every fan of good sci-fi should support it.
Not wasting any more time one this show. Going back to re-watching Constantine.
My ratings of Lucifer: Ep. 1: 7/10 Ep. 2: 6/10 Ep. 3: 6/10 Ep. 4: 4/10
There were some good ideas and also some less good ideas, and as a whole the impression was not as professional and tight as are the productions that the Royal Shakespeare Company presides over. The actors made several small mistakes here and there, and it was not always clear whether a changed word was intentional or just misspeaking. Some words were intentionally changed; "yeoman service" had become "faithful service" and "as for my means, I shall husband them" had become "as for my men, I shall marshal them". There were maybe a dozen instances like this (oh yes, I remember one more: when Hamlet talks to his mother, and Shakespeare writes "I the matter will reword, which madness would gambol from", Cumberbatch says "I the matter will repeat, which madness would fly from" - decidedly less literary!), and it doesn't make sense to me to make such minor changes. After all, it's not like there are great numbers of audiences who will suddenly understand the play much better based on about a dozen changed words in a furiously paced three-hour production. To my mind, it's better to retain Shakespeare's words (the text cannot be improved upon, and it's a fool's errand to try), and make audiences wonder about them and perhaps want to look them up, rather than to try with such half-hearted efforts to "help" people understand it more immediately.
One of the best things about the production was the role of the Danish tin soldier that Hamlet took on to demonstrate his madness. He dressed up, played the drum and ensconced himself in a toy castle, which I thought was a great way to bring out his "antic disposition".
But overall, Cumberbatch's acting seemed rather too hot-headed and raving to put across any particularly memorable or sensitive portrayal of the title character. The climactic duel scene was also a bit messy and strange, landing this production on 7 stars out of 10 in my estimation.
Several people express confusion at why Alba's character is thrown out of her home by her mom because her father got sick. This is not directly explained in the movie, but I think it is extremely clear: it's because her mom wants her daughter to have a life of her own. Not to be tied down taking care of the sick dad. I don't really see anything very strange about that.
The movie is adorable and emotionally effective most of the time. Where I do start to get a slight problem with this movie is towards the end. The whole ax thing got over-dramatic, the reinstatement after the firing was not explained (although I suspect it probably was in the book - clearly it had something to do with the hotshot lawyer mom of one of the pupils), and the guy's comment about being her "bathroom monitor" was a very strange reaction, clearly only supposed to create artificial tension until he changed his mind seconds later. Add to this that the ending was perhaps a tiny bit too syrupy. But somehow it makes sense; most of the elements do combine to make a well-rounded whole.
I enjoyed the movie and I continue to be shocked by how off-putting some people found it. I guess a lot of the negative reviewers are just aping other negative reviewers in order to seem like they are cool. Memo: People who ape other people's opinions are never cool.
Sadly, it was a big disappointment. Deeply deficient on the story level as well as the character level. Some of the problems:
- Sue isn't even on the team that goes exploring in the other dimension; she has been replaced by Victor Von Doom. She just gets hit by an energy backlash as the others return, and in this back-handed "ad hoc" way receives her powers. They could at least have addressed in a few lines of dialogue WHY Sue wasn't going to be one of the "astronauts". Instead it's just a boys' club. Also, Sue and Reed never get together; there is no hint of a romance between them, aside from a single line of innuendo from Reed at one of their early encounters.
- Ben isn't a pilot. He's not even from Yancy Street. He's not part of the team, but is only called in to participate in the experiment because he is Reed's old friend.
- Johnny is hardly in the movie for the first twenty minutes or so, and never gets much development of his own. Is he a mechanic? What can he do, besides weld? He doesn't get any real or memorable character moments. Neither do the others, for that matter.
- Reed reads like a one-trick-pony who has no other project than the dimension machine. What else do they do at the Baxter Building? Or at "Central City" at the end. Reed is supposed to be smart; supposed to be Mr. Fantastic - he is the core of the team, and any story involving him should be intelligent. This script very much isn't.
There is little meaningful interaction, chemistry or bonding between the characters, and the very end of the story (when the military just gives them what they demand for no reason) doesn't make any sense. The movie as a whole is dark and humorless and almost as unlike the FF comic as it is possible to be.
One of the greatest "huh?!" moments is when Sue helps the military find Reed. Sue is opposed to being a super-soldier for the military, but still she apparently accepts that they've turned both Ben and Johnny into super-soldiers, and uncritically helps the military find Reed - when in fact she should be angry about everything they've done. Bunch of nonsense. They're probably trying to show the team's early days, before they understand what's going on, but instead the screenwriters are exposing the characters as dupes who are easily manipulated. This script is a disaster.
The main actors, in and of themselves, are not bad. But, for one thing, they are too old. Late twenties, early thirties, for characters who are largely supposed to be high schoolers. It's another thing that sadly doesn't work at all. Also, the way they behave towards each other: They act like moody teens, nonchalant, not looking at each other when they speak to each other, not relating anywhere near naturally to each other. This, frankly, is perhaps what I find most toe-cringing about the movie.
In retrospect, this movie actually does look like a half-hearted effort to just put something out there, no matter what, without doing anything remotely artistic to it. I'm sorry to speak so negatively about a lot of people's presumably hard work, but this really turned into a bad movie. I don't know exactly who's to blame, but I hope they learn a lesson from this and won't repeat these mistakes again later.
What a shame, and what a dud.
3 stars out of 10.
Kirsten, the main character, is appallingly arrogant. I kept waiting for a big reveal that she was really from the future or another planet or something, because she didn't seem like any kind of believable person at all. Turns out she's basically got a variant of Asperger's Syndrome, which for no reason that makes sense is here called "temporal dysplasia" or "dysphasia" or something. There is potential in a show about a protagonist who is emotionally challenged (watch Scorpion to see a fair version thereof) and must gradually discover what emotions feel like, but this just seems to be a throwaway element, included only to feature a somewhat stylish and distinct main character (reminding - and not in a good way - of the Bionic Woman remake, and, of course, Dollhouse. What is this fad with having human women look and behave like robots?). At the end, when she talked about waking up to emotional experiences, I thought there could be a cool idea in there, but then they go an ruin it with a sudden wild coincidence about her long- lost father being the next case. Sheesh. When will current writers and producers learn that sci-fi is mainly about ideas and doesn't have to be about character all the time? Character-driven stories are mainstream, and we don't need to impose the tired dictates of mainstream material on intelligent genre plots. Intelligent characters and audiences care about IDEAS and ISSUES and not just about their sodding family members or old flames (of course they care about their family, too, but THAT'S NOT THE STORY! In sci-fi, the story is about some "novum"; something new and unexpected and unusual which commands the attention of the protagonist).
The other aspects of the show were quite awful as well, from the hilariously unrealistic motormouth dialog and to the ridiculously attractive and ridiculously young cast that occupied every role, incl. those of authority. This stuff is just nowhere near halfway believable.
Bla bla bla bland bla bla bla bland formulaic bla bla bla predictable bla bla bla unbearably mediocre bla bla bla bland bla bla bla dull bla bla bla cliché on top of cliché bla bla bla sentimental bla bla bla sunset bla bla bla American flag bla bla bla totally toe-cringing bla bla bla bland. All seen before bla bla bla what was Carlton Cuse thinking bla bla bla what were any of the actors thinking bla bla bla money talks and bullsh!t walks bla bla bla they'll never live this crap down bla bla bla even the clueless British guy was played by an Aussie 'cos no True Brit would be caught dead in All-American Pie porn like this bla bla bla please don't waste your time unless you're twelve years old and haven't seen a lot of movies bla bla bla. The Rock should be an action hero, but except for one short scene in the beginning and one in the end, he and his muscles have nothing to do in this movie. Bla bla bla worst of all: he's a big-time rescue guy and when the disaster hits no one is asking him to help in the rescue efforts? He just goes after his own daughter and leaves everyone else to die? How convenient for the plot. As a superhero fan, I find any story about a hero who abandons his hero career just so he can selfishly be with his family to be abhorrently anti-heroic. A father is a normal dude, not a hero. A hero puts all the innocents first, because his ability to save them also gives him a moral imperative to actually do it. What's more important: the save the world or to save your family? Good luck with your happy family when the world has gone to hell. Sheesh.
The one interesting thing I took away from this movie: Boobs. Carla Gugino = big boobs. Her daughter in the movie, Alexandra Daddario = big boobs. And she takes off more and more clothes as the movie progresses. So, watch this movie for the boobs. It's got nothing else to recommend it. Seriously. If you have any sense of quality at all, this movie will disappoint you. A lot.
Average average average bla bla bla and so cliché-filled that I refuse to honor it with a 5 star review. In this day and age, playing it safe with formulaic storytelling must be exposed as despicable. So subtracting one star for that, ending up at 4 out of 10. Bla bla bla big, dumb movie. Unlike the superior "2012", this is nothing you'd ever want to re-watch.
So, if you're looking for sci-fi fun or good entertainment, please steer clear of this embarrassing and toe-cringing turkey. Life's too short. Try "Space Milkshake" instead - same concept, basically, and one that works.
2 stars out of 10.