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It's an ok time-waster
I'm wondering how shows and movies that just aren't great end up with such high ratings. As of writing this this new re-hash of "Catch 22" showing a 7.8 rating, seems a bit high considering it's supposed to be a dark comedy that only afforded me two out-loud laughs.
That being said, it's still not terrible it has its bright points. It's longer running time (than the original movie) allows for more exploration of the characters and storylines, though not holding true to the book still allow it to atleast keep my interest enough to continue watching. Of course that's not a glowing opinion of the story but, like I said in my title, it is an ok time-waster.
I was going to rate this Catch 22 a five (5) in a nutshell watchable (average, a C or C-) as long as there isn't anything above average on Hulu (a long-shot in and of itself) you'd rather be watching but, I haven't mentioned the cgi yet, which is actually quite good when compared to the rest of this production. The flying scenes are the only real star of the show here and they raise that pretty poor 5 C-minus rating I would have scored this show into a still not quite glowing but watchable in a nothing else to watch emergency rating of a 6.
A 6, kinda like a C+, better than most of the crap out there but, pretty low on anyone's list that may have something better to watch.
The Invitation (2015)
Dreadful... in the most fantastic way!
This movie is dreadful... no, not as in dreadfully bad. As in it will fills you with dread, once it finally gets going. If you enjoy a slow-burn of a horror movie that builds its horror in tiny steps along the lines of say "Rear Window", "Audition" or "The Shining (this film isnt quite in their league but, it owes plenty to them) all the while increasing that I don't wanna be here, I want to get out of here feeling until the big reveal... and then it's too late. This might be your kinda film.
I don't want to give any of the plot away, any of it. Going in blind, just like the movie's protagonist is the way to go with this one. Myself I was told to see it in much the same manner as I tell you now.
Now I tried to watch it twice never getting past the 15 minute mark, it's that slow at the onset. But a good review from a friend that knows how much I enjoy horror that doesn't rely on gore or cheap jump gimmicks.Good horror that builds its fears and tension by well done storytelling. If you enjoy "that kind" of horror movie give this one a shot. Once you get past those first 10-15 minutes you'll begin to feel that dread that's telling you something is really wrong here. You may, like the character in the movie, want to get up and leave. But by then, it might be too late for you too.
Da hong zha (2018)
Q: How bad could it be?
A: Really bad, it's just terrible. I'm being generous giving it a 3 because I only watched 30 minutes of it. I'm thinking maybe it got better after that, because it just couldn't get any worse.
I, Dolours (2018)
A good primer for those who know little of the troubles
I'm sure you've already read the description so I'll skip the part where I tell you what this documentary is about and just jump into whether it's any good or not.
Short answer, it's quite good. Maybe it's just me but, for my documentary dollar you just can't beat an autobiographical story. That is providing the subject is forthright and honest and we get that with I Dolours.
The aspect of this story that I find most fascinating is the source. Between 2001-06 Dolours Price and another Ex-IRA member told their stories to historians at Boston College under the strict confidence that the interview tapes remain sealed until their deaths. With the caveat in place Price holds nothing back in the telling of how and why she became a soldier in the IRA, the roles she played in the conflict and the resulting years she spent in prison as a result.
Honest storytelling from a first-hand source sets this film apart from most docs you may see on any subject matter. You can tell from her nothing short of courageous storytelling she believed she (and the IRA) was in the right in The Troubles. Thankfully the makers of this film never address the question of right or wrong. I think doing so would have lessened her tale.
There are of course two sides to this story and if you really want the whole story of the conflict in N. Ireland you'll have to search out other documentaries on the subject. But that being said this movie is a pretty decent primer for anyone that is unfamiliar with this chapter of history. Despite not coming from an impartial viewpoint the film-makers still do an admirable job of outlining the issues that led to The Troubles. Where this doc really shines in telling the story of why one particular woman would join that fight.
It's got a good beat and you can die to it
Deadwax is not a masterpiece of the genre but, it sure was fun.
I saw someone who didn't care much for it compare it to the old "masters of horror episode cigarette burns" (loved that one btw!) Not a bad way to look at the theme, it is in a nutshell just another story about someone paid to go find something that should not be found. However I (and my wife who also really enjoyed it) thought it was more like a twisted version of "High Fidelity" you got your whole obsessive nerd used record thing going on meets "The Ring" with its "you watch it you die" theme. Only here you listen... you die.
If youre maybe a bit older (40+ or a fan of music on vinyl) it's got the whole nostalgia for music that came on big vinyl discs going for it. And two if like me you're like me and more of a fan of the storytelling before the gore (don't worry there's more than a few splashes of blood and body parts across your tv screen) Add a bit if sci-fi with some far out, though based in real science theories, worked into the story, you might like this.
Better yet since the episodes are only like 18-20 mins long watch the first one. Due to its short time Deadwax pretty much hits the ground running, if you're not hooked in the first 10 minutes it's probably not your thing.
Watership Down (2018)
Shame on you Netflix
I'll keep this short and try not to sound like a cranky old fart but, some movies should not be remade. I admit I'm biased. the original Watership Down came out when I was a child and despite its adult themes, violence and some really frightening scenes was a favorite of mine as a young boy... oh hell it's a favorite of many people my age. I also believe the original had an influence upon many of us Gen-X'ers that made us better people, I won't go into the how's and why's on that as to not create any spoilers but, suffice it to say I doubt this new version will have that effect.
Ok here goes, why didn't I like the new one. First of all the animation looks like it was done for an early PlayStation II video game. Secondly they strayed too far, way too far from the original source material (movie and book) Third, where's the heart? Because they were working for the streaming audience they werent held back by a movie's running time they had all the time in the world to develop the characters ( poor big-wig alone one of the most complex and interesting characters from the original appears to be suffering from some sort of anger management issues) and really explore the whole book, a near perfect book so no changes needed there.
Whew, I could rant on for way too long about how much I just did not like this but, I'll stop short of saying it was terrible. This wasn't a totally awful program though, it was incredibly unnecessary. The people that made this could have really shined even while completely ignoring the far better 1978 movie version, given the book was just so fantastic.... if they just stuck to it. Like I said this new "watership" isn't bad but, it's not great. There's some fine actors' talents wasted here, too bad that couldn't find animators or writers to match them. If you want great, watch the original movie.
Mac and Me (1988)
Watch the MST-3000 Version... Its watchable!
Wow, is this movie bad... that's not a question, it's bad! However I just watched Mystery Science 3000's new take on Mac and Me, and they made this movie into something the original creators couldn't, they made it watchable!
So maybe this dog-fart of movie may gain a new audience other than stoners and people without cable or internet or a book or a radio or anything in the world else to entertain themselves for an hour and a half.
Well maybe all those people but the stoners, they'll watch anything :-)
Robin and Marian (1976)
Audrey Hepburn's Perm
I saw this movie way back as a young boy in its first run on an early HBO, and loved it! I just watched it again on TCM and... "meh".
The credits run and the movie opens as two armored soldiers dig the ground. Either accidentally or in a poorly scripted bit of slapstick their helmets knock into one another as they free their treasure from the soil which as it turns out, is a large stone. The camera pans out as they labor from the ground to a neaby catapult. Now in the background we see a dilapidated castle and a mere handful of other knights. Seems this poor excuse of a siege army is about to lay siege to this even poorer excuse of a castle. They load the catapult, then crank it up and let loose. The stone launches and flies a pitiful halfway to its target... and there you have this movie in a nutshell. Underpowered and understaffed, despite its top tier star power.
This retelling of the tale of Robin Hood and Maid Marian is, as I'm sure you've no doubt already seen the synopsis, is bottom line an original and quite engaging take on the story. Problem is like the two knights banging heads tries to be funny when it just doesn't jive with the overall mood of the story. And as a whole tries to hit the lofty targets it's made for itself but, like the stone just fall short.
I honestly wish I never re-watched it. Not because it's a terrible movie, it's not. I think its 6.6 rating is about the only thing that really is spot on here. It's just I prefer my childhood memory I had of the story. Whether my remembrance of the climactic scene between Robin and the Sheriff being much more brutally realistic. Or the lack of any memory of Audrey Hepburn's perfectly dyed and coiffed perm... where they hell would a nun get her hair done in 13th century England!?
Every Which Way but Loose (1978)
That ape stole a whole $@#-]@ bag of Oreo
When I see a movie such as "Every Which Way but Loose" being given 3, 2 or 1 star that's just some sort of nerd hate I just can't relate to. No, this isn't an Oscar winner or was it even in contention but, it is a fun movie. I could go on and point out all the short-comings thin plot, some down-right infantile gags, cartoonish characters a theme song you won't be able to get out of your head no matter how hard you try (trust me, you want it outta there too!)
But that's also the charm of this classic. Every Which Way was not created to make you think, pull at your heart-strings or make you cheer for the underdog. This is just a turn your mind off and enjoy the ride sort of film. It's not particularly violent, profane or gratuitous nor was it when it was made 40yrs ago either.
The most objectionable bit of the film is Ma's dirty old lady mouth. Played by Ruth Gordon, Ma steals the show with her potty talk, work with a shot-gun and contempt for Clint Eastwood's Orangutan Clyde. Trying to stay completely un-biased (it's hard 'cuz I sure do have a soft spot for this flick) I'd have to give this movie 4 stars alone just on the strength of her performance. Add a star for Clyde the ape (another fine job there!) and another star for that fantastic infantile humor, cartoon bikers and a movie that allows you to just turn your brain off and enjoy the show.
It ain't art but it sure is fun and it's got an orangutan that gives the finger out of a moving pick'em up truck. What's to hate!?
The Day After (1983)
He told us he watched this while on acid
1993 the 10th anniversary of the film's (I believe at the time its only) prime time tv showing. I was working as a bartender at a night club in Washington DC. I told the other bartender I was working with that night that I saw in the news that it was the 10th anniv. of the movie's premier.
Both of us had the same thing to say, was in jr. high, so tough to reconcile your feelings about it at such a young age, it scared the living hell out of me, so glad the cold war was ovet ect. ect. ( pretty much just the same reactions and feelings as the bulk of the reviews here)
Then our barback busts in, "I was in high school when it came out and watched it with my parents while I was on acid."
What? I was dumbstruck! Then as quickly as he chimed in he went back to his business of setting up our bar for us. Just like that, like it was no biggee.
Now I'm not trying to set you up for some big allegory or give some moral speech about how drugs are bad with that story ( though on a side note drugs did eventually cost that young man his life) I've just decided to include it in this review because both the other bartender and I had been so deeply disturbed by seeing the movie that we thought any other reactions to this film other than the ones we (and obviously many others) had were just impossible to believe. Seriously how could someone watch this on acid and not lose their mind?
Sorry, I realize that wasn't a very good review of The Day After, in fact I wouldn't call it a review at all. I meant to write a sincere and to the point review after just having re-watched the film for the first time in 34 years. So if you'll bare with me for 2 or 3 more sentences here I'll try to give it my best and shortest shot. I'll skip my opinions on the story, acting, direction ect (all tip top btw, especially working within the constraints of 1983 network television)
And just say this: Every time I hear, "This is a test of the emergency broadcast system. If this had been an actual emergency...." I remember The Day After
Not quite cinema as high art but, what movie still is after a few drinks
Citizen Kane, The Godfather, 2001 there's over 100 years of examples of moving pictures more art than entertainment.
And then there's Grabbers.
It sure ain't fine art but, it's a whole hell of allota fun! I'm not going to bore you with a long review. I just re-watched Grabbers tonight (saw it 4 or 5 years ago when it first came out. While ironically enough drunk with my wife one night... and we loved it, though didn't remember much of it) and thought I'd stop by to say how much I enjoyed it again. I'd like to keep this review short, sorry bedtime (want a synopsis, please read one if the longer reviews) would just like to say if sometimes like myself just want to shut the old brain off relax maybe have a laugh and enjoy the goofier side of usually serious and or cerebral horror/sci-fi genre, here's a flick that fits the bill perfectly. Though I'd suggest following the house imposed two drink minimum.
Li Xiao Long chuan qi (2008)
Bruce Lee the time-traveler???
Gonna keep this short. I really wanted to enjoy this show but, I was so put off (as a few of the other reviewers have pointed out) by the anachronisms like modern cars and buildings in multiple scenes/shots. They just destroyed my personal ability to suspend disbelief enough to be able to just lose myself in the show and enjoy it.
Example; I've been a huge fan of Lee (both the actor and athlete) for over 40 years, I'm also a longtime fan of the football team Arsenal and was quite pleased at the 12:05 Mark of the first episode to see an extra showing his support for them in a modern Arsenal jersey (circa 2006) Now this is supposed to be a scene meant to be set in the 1950's! That's just one example but, modern clothing, cars, buildings and I swear I saw a guy on a cellphone in the background at one point too. Its all just too much to ignore.
Bottom line, I realize unless you have a endless budget these things can pop up here and there. The show as a whole wasn't bad. But all those inconsistencies, it just feels as if there's no respect for their audience. Which to me, made it un- watchable.
Dimension 404 (2017)
If you're not 100% twisted 100% of the time, this might be for you
OK first I want to try keep this short as possible because you've already seen other reviews and the description I'm sure. So, in a nutshell is it any good? Yes, if you take it on its own. I've seen the comparisons to Twilight Zone, Outer Limits and Black Mirror and like those this is also another sci-fi/ horror anthology show. But can we just hold there for a second.
I read one review saying something along the lines of this is a terrible copy of Black Mirror, I don't agree. I really enjoy the former and I do agree, it's a better show. However, it is also much darker. An episode of Black Mirror can leave you feeling as if you just watched someone eat a puppy. Whereas Dimension 404 is a bit lighter in mood and subject and surely does not take itself as seriously. Same goes for the "Zone" and "Limits" we should probably compare 404 to one of the more comedic episodes of the Zone or better yet, the 80s anthology by Steven Spielberg "Amazing Stories". In broad strokes if you enjoyed Stories, I think you'll enjoy this. If you're looking for something a bit shocking and more thought provoking you can't go wrong with Mirror or some of those fantastic old Zones. Bottom line 404 uses differing methods to tell similar tales and after four episodes it's not my preferred method but, it sure is a very fun change of pace. If you're not 100% twisted 100% of the time you might enjoy it too.
A solid but not quite earth-shaking effort
This is my first review and will try to keep it as short as possible because, hating to bust on any aspiring authors or critics out there most of us don't read the long reviews. There's no need to write a 2,000 word synopsis on any movie,show or whatever here, IMDb already does that for us. We just wanna know if it's any good or not.... oops I guess there goes keeping this short.
Anyways, I just watched it this morning so while it's fresh in my mind, is this movie any good?
If you like horror, action and/or adventure (along the line of Jaws, though this is no Jaws) you might enjoy this. It has its action, experiencing and trying to escape the earthquake. It's got its scary, borderline intense moments of terror and lots'a blood n' gore. Oh yeah and bonus, some annoying hipsters get killed! Add in a couple of "didn't see that coming" plot twists, a fun ending and you may start moving towards the edge of your seat but, I don't think you'll make it all the way there.
Bottom line, it's not a particularly moving piece of cinema but,if you got an hour and a half to kill and you're not paying for it (like me I caught it on cable) It's still better than a lot of the other crap I've seen lately on TV so it's coming in at a solid, watchable but not earth-shaking 6