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"Monkey Boy" just isn't all that funny
22 October 2019
Despite raving reviews and ardent fans insulting the intelligence of those who don't acclaim this as an undying classic... seriously, it's just not that great.

Weird? Yes. Unusual? Campy? Nutso? Yes on all counts. But major chunks of plot are evidently left to the telepathic abilities of the audience, and performances are either wooden or seriously over-the-top. John Lithgow is the saving grace of this film, and his role is totally insane.

From a cinematic and production viewpoint, this is not top-shelf. From a story line viewpoint, it's silly. Not that there's anything wrong with silly... if it's good silly. But this is camp that intends to be camp and fails. It's humor that sometimes kinda works but usually doesn't. It has one truly memorable line... and even in that "Monkey boy" just isn't all that funny. I'm sure some folks find it hysterical. Hey, to each his own, monkey boy.

There are many, many viewers who consider themselves some sort of elite group because they "get" this film and if you don't agree, you're just clueless. The truth is some people are going to love this... and a whole lot more won't even bother writing a rewiew. I love campy films, and sci fi camp more than anything-- if it's well done. This isn't well-done camp. The supposed "secret references" are often figments of viewer imagination. The directing is disjointed and inconclusive. Overall it just sort of hits the end and... ends.

I really don't know why this became a cult classic. There's no denying that it did, nor that many people absolutely breathe this film. That doesn't mean viewers *have* to love it... or that anyone is stupid in declaring it "not the best movie ever made"-- because it really isn't (not by a long shot).

If someone loves this film... good on ya and more power to you. That doesn't mean that people who dislike this film are idiots. It means they demand a bit more in cinematic experience than "let's throw stuff at the screen and see what sticks". This *could* have been a great film. With a bit better script, a bit less cocky directing, and a bit more story this could have been an all-time great. Unfortunately it falls significantly short of that. Be a starry-eyed fanboy all one wants, this one needed a bit more polish.

Some people think a man running around in a rubber Godzilla suit is the height of movie history. Other people... not so much. Doesn't mean that either one is wrong. It means that Buckaroo Banzai may prove to be an acquired taste... or one that is unpalatable.
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Joshua (I) (2002)
The message is basic and moving but misses a major point
22 October 2019
Some may consider this religious claptrap, but one need consider this is an imaginary fantasy movie, not a presentation of reality. It is a "what if" presentation. The directing and acting is decent (if cliche at times). It does feel as if they crammed to much into a short time slot and may have done better as a 2-part miniseries.

The message presented is basic and the way it's presented emotionally stirring. The movie does disregard an important doctrinal issue: the diverse and divisional teachings of Christianity. To some this contradicts "one hope, one faith, one baptism" and the requirement to "worship in truth". This is a conceptual issue rather than production, but to some viewers the overall interdenominational presentation may be a little hard to swallow. The point of the movie comes across, but some viewers will question or dislike the method and find some parts ridiculous. This will depend on the viewer.

I personally give it 5 stars based solely on rushed, cliche plot devices as well as a decidedly weak ending. I have seen far worse religious movies and do not judge this on religious aspects, but rather the simple question of "is it a well done movie?". For those emotionally influenced by such things it will be a tear-jerker and may be very stirring and inspirational... but technically it qualifies as a "made for TV" movie with a script that gets weaker as the movie draws to a close, leaving viewers with a lack of closure. That's deadly in any film.
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Decent, but...
20 October 2019
This is a decent anime. Well-crafted (although one does get really tired of The Burst after about almost immediately). The story is unique and the characters, although anime-cliche, well-enough created. Some of the dialog is a little cheesy, but that's not unusual in an anime.

The real problem is toward the ending, where the plot gets somewhat confusing (as in "who is what at this point?") and is both anti-climactic and somewhat predictable. For several episodes it seems to be a repetition of "dodge the Burst kill the Burst evade the Burst shoot the Burst" ad nauseum. Still it tends to remain interesting throughout. The rather weak ending drops this down to an "above mediocre" level, but doesn't place it in my list of "good anime".

They could have had a much stronger, better and more satisfying ending (really, there were no limits to the different endings they could have used), so the somewhat dull choice they made was rather poor writing overall.

Worth a watch perhaps and not "bad anime", but just not up there with the greats.
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A-X-L (2018)
Decent CGI and that's all
13 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Mediocre. Mundane. Cliche. Un-moving. Without a point, says nothing. Totally unbelievable.

First, a $70 million war robot that can be totally damaged by (no spoilers). Gemminy, hope nobody spills a soda on the thing; the results would be catastrophic. The only thing sillier than its evident total inability to be a war dog is how easily this super-high-tech device is repaired using basically a torque wrench, soldering iron and electric screwdriver-- by two teens who know nothing about robotics.

Seriously, this is lame on toast. I almost gave it a 5-star "mediocre" rating, but it was 1 star too goofy to rate mere mediocre. Kids might like the movie (if they can bond with a monster-level death robot that wags its tail). This will leave most teens and adults cold and shaking their heads when they walk out of the theater (or eject the DVD or shut down Netflix).

The only thing I will grant this movie is that for once Netflix produced a Netflix Original that didn't drop an F-bomb every other sentence, had no gore, and aside from typical teen clothing had no sex. Family-friendly is nice for a chance-- although younger children might be terrified at the decidedly menacing visage of the robot. Because aside from the fact it acts (at times) like a playful dog... there is really nothing to love about this beast. I found the rotating grinders inside its mouth especially endearing.

This is a "feel free to give it a miss" movie. Not the worst movie ever made. By no means rates above a 5. Might appeal to adrenaline junkies, dirt track riders or fans-of-robot-movies. Beyond that, there is nothing special here. This is not the droid you're looking for. Move along. Move along.
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Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
First 4 seasons interesting...
8 October 2019
As other reviewers have pointed out, the first four seasons were fairly interesting. Season 5 jumped the track and the shark at the same time. Season 6 seemed to pick back up (the musical episode brought a chuckle). But that brought an end to the original story... and Season 7 proved to be a droll, cliche re-boot of the plot. Nothing new here, move along, move along.

P.S. I believe all races are equal and I'm all for giving "minorities" more parts in the movies. I'm as tired of seeing "white Jesus" movies as anyone. But it seems everyone is using "alternate universe" as an excuse to "do whatever we want with the story line"... a gimmick that is increasingly overly-used. It's becoming as tiresome as time travel changing everything. More mixed-race roles in Hollywood? Non-white leading characters? You bet, I'm all for it. But puhleeze... Disney, Marvel, DC... there's a limit as to how much one can swallow. Let's turn Captain America into an Arabic female, right?

Push the envelope, but avoid tearing it to pieces. No spoilers; viewers of season 7 will get the point. There's only so much I'm willing to suspend my sense of disbelief before it vanishes in a purple cloud of smoke.
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Dark Phoenix (2019)
X-Men or Hatchet Men?
26 September 2019
That said, it is rather surprising how many viewers failed to understand that this entire story takes place in an ALTERNATE UNIVERSE. So very many reviewers have complained about continuity errors and story changes etc... when the simple explanation is this is a different part of the Marvel Multiverse. This would HAVE to be the case. There are things that happen in this movie that would completely contradict and compromise all X-Men movies prior to this if it didn't happen on another Earth. Once that is realized, all questions about continuity and major plot differences become moot.

While this was not explicitly stated in the movie... it should be obvious to any Marvel reader (especially those who have seen the prior movies). I mean, we all saw (a certain character) as a grown adult, yes? So how did so many people miss this alternate universe concept?

The problems I have with this movie do not have to do with that concept. I'm fine with alternate universe stories; they can be very interesting and bring new life to a series (look what it did for the Star Trek movies). My complaints have to do with the fact that Marvel as a company is losing touch with the comic universe.

They are becoming darker, more violent, more obscene. They are not alone in this. Such is a major fan complaint in the DC universe as well. Both companies are trying to "change with the times"... which of course is necessary. But the directions of change they have chosen are the wrong ones. When did these companies lose sign of what comic books stand for? (Well, to be honest comics have for a very long time been violent and sexist. So maybe I'm a bit off base in this premise.)

In this movie Xavier states, "I'm not sure what super hero means." I have the same question. Is a super hero a person who now marks a body-count on his/her cape? Does a super-hero now murder opponents at whim just because they have super powers? Is the goal of Marvel now to see just how deadly nasty and violent they can make a movie and get away with it?

Face it, the comic book world is going down the toilet. This movie is no exception to that. In truth, I'm rather surprised they haven't dressed Storm in a latex bikini. (Wait wait... I forgot about Mystique. Hey, paint her blue and add a few scales and we'll squeak by with a PG-13!)

But the biggest issue: In truth, the story line in this wasn't all that great. It was already done, before. Yes, this is a significantly different version of that story... but not as artfully told. From beginning to end Marvel films have become one massive display of violence, with the body count increasing by the movie.

Where does the concept of "super hero" fit in there?

As somewhat of a post-script: Let's discuss casting. I don't think I've seen more disjointed, difficult-to-believe casting choices. Scott is the leader of the X-Men. It is difficult to picture this kid (shorter than Jean Grey if one can believe it) being that leader. He simply does not look... mature. Hank/Beast was cast pretty well, as was Magneto. Professor X was well-acted, but too young, period. Okay okay, so he's supposed to be young in this. It's just not the "Professor X" character. It's somewhat like showing Batman actually starting his career as a teen. It doesn't jive.

What bothers me most in casting however, is the extreme discontinuity in the characters of Jean Grey, Mistique and Nightcrawler with their adult versions. Let's be truthful: the actors playing the younger versions look *nothing* like those who played the mature adults. No similarity in appearance. Part of casting's job is to maintain character continuity. Good casting directors will go to great lengths to choose child actors who somewhat resemble the teen version, who resembles the adult version, who resembles an older version. It's an art-- which seems totally lost to the casting directors of the X-Men series.

So all in all I think I'm being generous in giving this movie a "mediocre" rating of 5. (I was tempted to give it a 3 just for sloppiness.) That's not because of continuity or major story issues (again, Alternate Universe). It's because it simply wasn't very good.
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I don't give 10 stars lightly
23 September 2019
I don't hesitate to call a turkey a turkey and body-slam a bad flick on solid concrete (as my review list shows).

Ralph Breaks the Internet is terrific.

Good characters, cute overload, and enough memes in the background to have game fanatics single-framing the entire movie. The story, directing, voice acting are all superb, concept through production.

To those who rated this 1 or 2 stars because of supposed "advertising" or "product placement"... have you never heard of satire? The movie is called "Ralph Breaks the INTERNET". The Internet is all about advertising and in-your-face product promotion. So what did you expect from this movie, Old Yeller? Why would such concepts surprise any viewer? It's like slamming a teen-oriented film because it contains... teens. (gasp!)

Not only does this movie spoof those things in a humorous way (the pop-ups were creative and funny, as were the personifications of websites and users), it doesn't hesitate to use the actual names of companies in doing so. Did they make some bucks in the process? Maybe. Probably. SO WHAT? It was still funny. There are enough memes and tropes and Easter Eggs in this film to keep people re-winding for hours. (Anyone notice Qbert there?) :D

Regarding the claims that Disney promoted itself: Bull hockey! It's a Disney film about the Internet... so it's to be expected they're going to put some DISNEY into it. No big surprise there. But they didn't just do that... they actually made fun of themselves in the process. The room with the princesses where they're discussing their backgrounds and traits and powers and why they're princesses... does nothing more than make them appear to be a bunch of maladjusted psychos. That people, is what we call HUMOR and SATIRE. It was funny as blazes.

I mean, folks can give this 1 or 2 stars if they want... to look totally clueless. This is satire, use of mega-tropes and self-deprecating humor at its best. Did some viewers totally miss those concepts? Geeminy, then go watch a Transformers movie or something. Let the rest of us enjoy a good movie for once.

CREDITS CLIPS: Be sure to watch those long, long credits, as there are TWO (yes, two) credits clips-- and one of them had me laughing my tail off.

I'm pretty critical when it comes to rating films but I don't hesitate to give this a hefty 10 stars. To each his own... but I don't find a single flaw in this entire film, which is very rare. Haven't seen an animated film this good since Tangled.
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Self/less (2015)
Mediocre sci fi continuity mess
20 September 2019
I hate to shout "The Emperor has no clothes", but when one sees the number of 8 to 10-star ratings here for this flick, it becomes apparent that a whole lotta people don't know good cinema from their hind end.

Not that it's wrong to say "I really really liked this movie. 10 stars!" Different people have different tastes and for some, this is a thrill ride and that's all they're looking for. But rating a movie and REVIEWING a movie is two different things. It's amazing how many people seemed to miss the numerous flaws in this production.

The major inconsistency is the total dissimilarity between Kingsley and Reynolds representation of the main character. To maintain continuity and story line, more time should have been spent on establishing Kingsley's personality and mannerisms (instead of rushing him off screen ASAP)... and those mannerisms should have carried strongly to Reynolds. Most notable was Kingsley's strong and unique accent... none of which was present in Reynolds. Since they chose for Kingsley to affect an accent in the first place, why not Reynolds'?

But it doesn't stop there. There is no similarity whatsoever between the short glimpse we get of Kingsley's character as a person and Reynolds follow-up. They are as different as night and day. Some of this could logically be attributed to storyline explanations, but compete loss of everything Kingsley presented during the first of the film is simply bad writing and directing.

The plot was nothing new. It's been done before and better. Still, that's not a problem if the story is done well. This wasn't. The concept had great potential and a fine (if highly predictable) resolution... but the majority of the film was basic sci fi action / chase scenes / combat / car wrecks... which while well done and "exciting", fairly ruined the potential of the film.

If you're looking for action adventure and a rather high body count, this film has it. If you're looking for good, meaningful sci fi... there's not much of that here. Add to this fairly weak characters (both mother and child), cliche characters (the evil mad scientist), even more cliche characters (no shortage of henchmen to shoot in this one!), and we have a plot line that is mediocre at best.

Many reviewers here found these same flaws, and it's gratifying to see that they demand more of a film than "Wow, it had really great fight scenes!" and a high intentional-kill body count.

This film could have been so much more, dug much deeper into personalities and relationships, examined and debated the ethical situation in greater detail, and certainly resolved that ethical situation in a far-less-cliche manner. As it turns out, it's just another sci fi adventure flick that leaves so very many stones un-turned. For the thinkers out there this may be a bit of an adrenaline kick, but prove disappointing overall.
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Children's anime not for children
14 September 2019
I have to agree with JoelNova that the story line in this is weak. Purely coincidental to his experience, I also found myself fading halfway through the 4th episode and by the middle of the 5th episode gave up on it entirely.

The characters are super-cliche. The story is action-packed but borders on boring plot-wise. I am not an easy person to bore, but found myself totally bored by the middle of the 4th episode, where I found myself thinking, "When is this episode going to end?" That's never good for an anime.

While this is not rated for children, undoubtedly younger ones will watch it for the cute characters (such as a chibi dragon). Some parents may find objectionable the strong promotion of fantasy "gods" and even repeated recommendations in at least one episode to pray to and worship such gods. This could have influence on the impressionable.

The graphics are moderately acceptable (nothing special). The dubbed sound syncs nicely and the background effects/music don't override the voices. So technically it's done well enough... if just barely enough to slide by. I did like some of the designs on the skyships. The dragons were sadly droll. And just to say: Tiamat has worse ranged targeting than Star Wars Storm Troopers-- unbelievably bad. You want one of the worst magical powers in the cosmos, here it is: highly powerful beam and explosive bursts that never hit their intended target. That would be a bummer. Worst. Dragon. Power. Ever.

I don't think there is a unique, original character in the series. In short, it might appeal to action junkies but for those who appreciate skillful story-telling, this falls far short.
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Intended as a mild comedy but rather heavy
11 September 2019
The animation is good. The characters are good. It's only 11 episodes so it doesn't stretch out overly long. But the story/directing was changed too much from the original concept and near the end became a predictable pot of emotional mayhem.

That's its flaw: the final episode becomes far too heavy rather quickly, and is an emo-fest from the beginning to nearly the very end. Yes, it portrays a good moral concept, but it is trope city. I suppose one can't blame an anime for using tropes, because that's one of the standards of what makes anime what it is. But it could have had more of a surprise ending. Instead it has all the flavor of typical Asian films: the main characters pouring out their hearts to each other and the audience, and like a tidal wave it's too much and too sudden.

It's not that we weren't presented hints of this throughout. But that's the thing: it's like the director said "Here, watch us fill this bucket" throughout the series, and then suddenly pours the whole bucket on the audience at one time.

The story relies very heavily on the concepts of ancestor worship and reincarnation, to the point that both concepts become a major plot device. Some may find this objectionable. But it is an Asian film so such is expected. In this case though, it struck me as somewhat over the top. Much of the story is rather heavy-handed, when more subtle mystery and mystery-revelation would have worked better as a plot device.

Would I recommend it to others? In this case I'd have to say no; it's just too excessive in several areas to form a well-rounded story. I liked some of the characters; others were uber-cliche. The highly-predictable exactly-as-you-expect-it ending is somewhat anti-climactic. I give it 6 stars as above average because of some of the enjoyable characters and initial presentation, but because of the increasingly heavy story and plot devices can't place it among the top animes.
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Fairy Tail (2009– )
I know it's "popular" but...
2 September 2019
I understand that some anime lines are extremely popular (Pokemon, Dragonball, Transformers and yes, Fairy Tail). But there's some anime I like and some I don't. So this is more a personal subjective review rather than my generally-more-serious type review.

I got literally 3 minutes into this and my impression was:

* Lousy animation not even worth of Saturday morning cartoons, much less the anime genre

* Awful theme song. Non-catchy, brash, poorly-written

* Worst show intro I've seen in any anime, ever. It just screams, "Amateur tripe follows!"

* Hyperactive to the extreme

Does it have a good story? Does it get better? Do the characters shine? Those first three minutes might cause a person to not care about checking it out further. In truth I shut it down at that point and decided to watch no more. But later I was a little bored so decided to give it a fair chance. I lasted about 4 more episodes and concluded my initial impression was correct. It remain silly, excessively hyperactive, and unimpressive.

So not my favorite anime by a long shot. Compared to anime such as RWBY or Sword Art Online it doesn't hold a candle. But some folks might find it enjoyable. (As a note: I don't like Pokemon, Dragonball or Transformers at all... so giving this 5 stars is pretty generous from me). ; )
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Carnival Row (2019– )
More Amazon garbage for pile
2 September 2019
Does Amazon not know how to make an original series devoid of gratuitous language, nudity and gore? They can't even make a decent fantasy-based series without diving head first into the cesspool?

Those who use such shock-tropes evidently don't have the skill to do better work. It's gotten to the point that if it says "Amazon Original"... might as well cross it off the list and find something better to do. Did no one learn the lesson from Game of Thrones? Oh wait... they did! Throw gore, sex and language at the audience and rake in the money!
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Beautful but dreadfully written
2 September 2019
I can understand how many could give this high ratings. From the first episode one is awed by the degree of creative design, use of CGI and imagination in this series.

Unfortunately, that's all it's got. The worst flaw of the series is blowing the basic premises of the movie out of the water-- concepts that were essential to the Dark Crystal story. If one never saw the movie that probably wouldn't bother... but who hasn't seen the movie. This is like saying that Superman never came from Krypton or Spider-Man wasn't bitten by a radioactive spider or James Kirk never met Spock. The major plot change blows the whole concept of the show right from the start. Simply a bad plot decision that immediately alienates many Dark Crystal fans.

Then there's the yaaaawwwwn "story". Twenty minutes into the first episode I was bored (and that's not easy to do, as I love artistic fantasy / scifi-- and this has lots of artistry). But this series carries none of the charm, fascination, or personality of the original movie. It's just droll. Not to mention that constant snot goobers coming out of the nose pustules of one of the main characters is just repeatedly gross.

One matter that bothered me (and many other reviewers): The puppets themselves. Were the Gelfling faces made of flat plastic sheets? Seriously, they had none of the look, charm and beauty of the original Gelflings. In truth, they looked pretty much like paper mache puppets. Not near the quality of the originals.

Beauty, style and CGI does not a series make. Story, character and heart is the soul of the film. So I can only give it a 5-star "mediocre" rating. I've said it before: start with a good plot and story. The focus isn't on the landscape and CGI: it should be about the characters and intriguing plot. Other shows and local plays can do this with a one-room setting. Surely a series with the finances behind this one could do far better.
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Definitely not the worst Jackie Chan movie
26 August 2019
This is an asian high-fantasy movie rather than a martial arts flick. So adrenaline junkies looking to get their fix on this are going to be disappointed.

This does have a relatively good premise and story. The characters are well-thought out and enjoyable. Unfortunately the English text translation is so extremely bad it is sometimes difficult to follow the story. Typical confusion between he / she / it, extreme mistranslation (in one spot the English is actually written out on-screen and the translation renders it otherwise).

But the romantic sub-plot is quite good, and it has a very Asian ending (avoiding spoilers). It does get to a point at near the end where the on-screen CGI is so over the top it feels more like a Transformers movie than fitting in with the rest of the film. That along with the very bad translating gives this a mere 5-star "mediocre" rating from me.

Those who rated this 1 star... seriously, you're putting this equal to the worst movies ever made? If you can't write better reviews than that don't bother. I'm not sure it warrants the 8 stars some give it, but given a chance and tolerating the butchered translations, it's a mildly interesting 2 hours.

I really liked the mind-altering pixie character. Cute as a button and used well throughout the film, both as plot device and emotional prodding.
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Magical Girl Site (2018– )
Twisted and horrid anime
10 August 2019
Be forewarned: this anime has one of the most stupid, pointless non-endings existent. So if one decides to watch it and is disappointed by the "ending"... at least you won't be surprised.

Whatever morality lessons might have been taught from this is overshadowed by blood, gore and horror. Bottom line: this is a psychopathic horror anime... and not a good one. The main goal is shock schlock. The stories are poorly written super-emo. While one can sympathize and even rage at the terrible things the main characters experienced to make them what they are, what some become is as horrid (or moreso) than that which was inflicted upon them.

There are no heroes in this, the battles are nonsense, and nothing, but nothing is properly explained or resolved in this rather nasty piece of work. While I enjoy psychological anime, this falls fall short of well-conceived and instead caters to cliches (including a ridiculous beach episode in the middle of all this), unnecessarily gory fight scenes, and one of the most garbage, nonsensical endings I've seen in any anime.

If you decide to give this a skip you'll be doing yourself a favor. This anime caters to the lowest mental denominator. I got hooked in wondering how this was all going to end up. Never again.
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City Hunter (1993)
Wow, what a stinker
7 August 2019
Has to be one of Jackie Chan's worst movies. Intended as a campy satire-- the only time I laughed during the whole movie was during the blooper scenes at the end.

Honestly, Chan has made some funny films and we've enjoyed some amazing acrobatics, but the choreography in this was horrible, the schtick not funny. This had all the feeling of martial arts by Jerry Lewis.

I figure there will be a wide range of mixed reviews on this. But halfway through I seriously considered hitting the off switch; the only reason I kept watching was because it was Jackie Chan. But even he couldn't save this unfunny schlock. Some people might find this hilarious. I found it to be bad directing, horrible English voice-overs (the actor they chose to play Chan could not have been a worse voice decision), and the choreography some of the worst I've seen in any martial arts film, schlock or not.

Only positive thing I can say for it is that they had many lovely actresses playing various parts. Beyond that, wow, what a stinker.
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Lost Cause: Aptly named
2 August 2019
This could win an award for "most fast-forwardable film of 2014". Okay, it's a fan film. But from the lame anti-copyright notices at the start to when I finally hit the stop button (about 90 minutes into this way-too-lengthy 2 hour 20 minute flick), this is wordy, slow-moving, with bad scripting, bad directing, bad editing, bad sound. It had its attempts at humor... unfortunately most of it forced... but for the most part this is a yawner-class presentation.

I'm all for fan films. Not much one for badly-done fan films. Even amateurs can do enough research, study, and come up with directing and scripting chops so a film doesn't reek. MST3K-worthy, well... maybe not because it's too slow and cumbersome even to make fun of. "If you're going to do something, do it well." If you can't do it well, at least make it funny schlock. Sorry to say this fails on both counts.
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Fan film
2 August 2019
It's a fan film. Poor choreography, poor sound. Sorry, I like to give fan films a break, but dressing a guy in a Spidey suit does not a film make.
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It's a stinker
23 July 2019
I appreciate diversity in taste. Despite that, it's difficult to imagine someone legitimately considering this a "good movie". There are plot holes enough to sink a starship. What should be a relatively simple concept is presented in a manner so confusing and counter-intuitive many viewers won't really have figured out what happened by the end (some will... but likely won't be impressed). I can't go into details without spoilers. Suffice that this is poor writing, poor directing, and doesn't even qualify as a mediocre fan film. It's not Asylum bad, but close to it.

Bad camera angles, predictable characters, nonsensical plot elements and really bad science are topped off by a goofy ending pulled out of a 3rd grade fiction assignment. It's not a terrible movie, but far from good. Worth watching? Not if you're a true sci-fi fan and value your time.
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Eve of Destruction (2013– )
Better than most such films
22 July 2019
This isn't a perfect film, it's not high-budget, it's an end-of-the-world disaster flick. Anyone going in expecting anything more is severely delusional. There are some flaws, a few corny lines, and the ending is slightly lame (but not totally). There have been FAR worse disaster films. It is definitely not a 1-star film as some would have people believe.

The directing and acting in this was above par. The story line was very cliche, very predictable, nothing unusual. It does however have some decent special effects. I particularly liked the acting of Aleks Paunovic, the Russian electric lineman. In truth most of the actors do a fairly decent job. The film starts out interesting and maintains its momentum through both episodes. I suspect it is better to binge-watch it online rather than lose that momentum in a 2-night micro-series.

Several reviews here are extraordinarily harsh. One has to wonder what they were expecting going in. You don't go see a Transformers movie and complain that it's about giant robots, nor go to a hamburger joint and complain they don't have gourmet food. This is obviously a low-budget, made-for-TV disaster flick, and people are knocking it for being a low budget disaster flick? Get real.

This is considerably better than most films of this type. I found it interesting all the way through. No, it's not hard science (does anyone here even KNOW hard science when it comes to dark matter?). There's a lot of supposition, conjecture and imagination going on. It's not intended to be cerebral fiction.

Overall an entertaining film, which is all one should expect it to be. Not the best film ever made, but by no means one of the worst as some "reviewers" here would have us believe. If you have three hours to kill, it's worth a view. People giving this movie an unbalanced 1-star review are doing no one any favors. If you don't like B class movies, don't watch B class movies. Duh.
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Falling Water (2016–2018)
Poorly written rubbish
9 July 2019
The first thing I would like to know is why there are only 34 reviews here (at this time)... with the latest being August 2018... and none of them deal with season 2. Something is messed up there.

Regarding the series itself:

Rotten Tomatoes wrote: ""Falling Water attempts complexity and intrigue but churns out an unimaginative concept lacking a redeemable payoff." I could not agree more.

The only thing I found positive about this overall is the lead actress, who carries the part well. For the rest, there is a difference between a well-designed mystery and loosely-joined random concepts. At first I wondered why the show seemed so disjointed until I visited Wikipedia and found the writer(s) and even directors changed from show to show. No wonder this seems like a mess of a confusing plot line: that's exactly what it is.

I usually reserve 1 star for the worst of series, but in this case I give it 1 star for wasting people's viewing time with (as Rotten Tomatoes points out), an intriguing premise that fails to deliver. This is as disjointed as LOST, as pointlessly weird as the original Twin Peaks series, and as with so many such efforts, leaves the audience clueless as to what is real and what isn't.

The series moves extremely slow. Unless one is really, really into endless dream sequences in which one can't tell whether the current scene is dream or reality, this is going to leave a lot of viewers cold. Add to that gratuitous scenes that have no bearing on the plot whatsoever (evidently thrown in just to be gratuitous scenes), pointless unexplained special effects, and dead-end story lines... and we have the makings of long, boring schlock.

I see too many short 10-star reviews here to be believe they're honest reviews. I find it difficult to believe earnest, intelligent science fiction fans would swallow this drivel without tearing the writing to pieces. There are some lower-star reviews... which are the only ones I find to be honest and didn't read like paid advertisements.

I love a good mystery, but good mysteries require good plot lines. There is little or no continuity in this series, no explanations beyond the cliche, and dream sequence after boring dream sequence that makes less sense than most actual dreams.

There are better things to watch, and considerably better story lines.
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A Rough Draft (2018)
An unusual romp
5 July 2019
While a visually and intellectually unique movie, two unnecessarily gory scenes and gaping holes in the story line spoil the overall effect. Written and directed properly, the loose strings tied and the gore left out, this could have been a work of brilliance. I cannot recommend it based on the in-context-but-excessively-bloody scenes. And I cannot laud it because while a great concept, was poorly scripted and directed.

If you've seen Buckaroo Banzai and wondered what the blazes is going on, there's a lot of that here. If you didn't read the book first then went to see 2001 and found yourself scratching your head, this has a similar effect. Questions are asked but not answered. Characters are presented but not explained. Character thinking and reasoning is not fleshed out. Script-wise it's a mess. One of those "too bad" movies, as it had the potential to be a classic. I'd love to see this re-done, better.
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Quite the stinker
25 June 2019
Poor artwork mixed with out-of-nowhere plot devices and sophomoric dialog makes this less than watchable. Characters are shallow, story line even more shallow, makes one wonder how old the writer is and why someone didn't stop this production somewhere along the line.
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Self-important drivel
23 June 2019
This is one of the worst portrayals of Steampunk I've seen. It leeches all the fun and creativity from what is basically an enjoyable hobby, and tries to turn it into a future-tech political statement. Such is the stuff of nonsense.

There are considerably better documentaries out there. There is far more accurate and relevant information available on the Net. This "documentary" seems a collection of opinionated statements and somewhat absurd claims collected into the director's view of Steampunk-- a view that (in my opinion) most true fans of Steampunk would reject as nonsense.

A poor example of documenting a genre that is full of creativity, imagination and fun.
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Ren (2016– )
Not to be continued
20 June 2019
Drags you in with well-done directing, acting, a somewhat-interesting (if cliche) plotline... then drops the final episode with "to be continued". Nothing is explained, there is no continuation. "A fool beings a project without first counting the cost." If you're not going to finish it, don't start it. People giving this high stars is like someone promising a wonderful dinner... but has nothing more than a small salad prepared.
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