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Breaking Bad (2008–2013)
I am sure I am in the minority, but,
24 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I don't like the show. I think the premise is original and promising. I also think Brian Cranston is well cast in the lead, which is reminiscent of the role made famous by Michael Douglas in Falling Down. However, everything else seems to fall flat. They are trying to create a dark dramatic series in the mold of the Sopranos, the Shield, or Rescue Me, but this show just does not pull me in despite my giving it chance after chance. For the three aforementioned shows, I was hooked after the very first episode I watched of each, but after weeks of watching Breaking Bad, I am still indifferent with regard to the show.

As to what specifically I think the problem is, I am not sure. Outside of the lead, I don't care for any of the characters, so we can start with no meaningful character development for the supporting cast. The bald friend/neighbor is annoying to me whenever he is on screen. That actor seems miscast in this show. He is cast as a macho, bumbling,and not terribly bright or insightful and I have the paralyzing suspicion that he is supposed to provide some sort of comic relief, which does not come through. He looks like he should be playing a role more in the mold of Vic Mackey from the Shield. I haven't cared for some of the story lines, and some of the stuff was just flat out unbelievable. An example was when Walt's hostage escaped and the situation resolved itself by the running into a tree and knocking himself out. I have never seen or heard of someone knocking himself/herself out cold by running into a tree like that. It was a cop-out way to resolve a very sticky situation for the main character and IMO an indication of sub-par effort from the writers. It will be a shame if this show fails, because the premise is original and promising.
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An entertaining movie
24 December 2007
There are a select few individuals out there that seem to garner everything they know about life from movies, be it political viewpoints, philosophy, etc. and find it objectionable when a movie is produced purely for entertainment purposes. I can't speak for everyone, but as for myself, I don't want to have to pay to have yet another political viewpoint shoved down my throat (CNN/Foxnews broadcasts 24/7 for that), or to be beaten over the head with with the life philosophy of some bazillionaire producer/director that lives in the Ivory Tower that is Hollywood. I can read Zarathustra, the Tao Tse Ching, or even the Bible for that.

When I go to see a movie, I just wan to be entertained, and National Treasure BoS delivers there. Not the best movie I have ever seen, but it was an entertaining escape from reality for two hours and that it was I pay my money for. For me, the best part of the movie wasn't Nic Cage. He has done so many movies, it seems like he has gotten to the point where he is just punching the clock. He doesn't stand out on film, but he isn't horrible either and that is what we get from him here - a very pedestrian workmanlike performance. I would like to think he has another touchstone performance in him like the one he gave in "Leaving Las Vegas", but if he can still keep getting several million per movie just being average, why put in the effort. Diane Kruger was also pretty average. She shined in the first movie, but not so much here.

For me, John Voight, Justin Bartha and Helen Mirren were what made the movie good. John Voight was great. His character was both funny and endearing and the synergy between him and Mirren was palpable. Mirren showed once again why she is arguably the best actress in the business. Justin Bartha was a scene stealer and had some of the funniest lines (along with Voight).
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Better than I expected
30 March 2007
I wasn't expecting much from this movie for two reasons: a) Heder hasn't done anything funny since Napoleon Dynamite and b) I thought Will Ferrel's shtick would start to run thin. Both actors played the type of character I expected from them. Heder gave something similar to the Napoleon Dynamite character and Will Ferrell was Will Ferrell. What I didn't expect was the humor. Ferrel carried the show and played the funniest character by far, but Heder didn't drag him down like I thought he would and the two worked well together. Heder was Jack Lemmon to Ferrell's Walter Matthau.

As far as the supporting cast, Poehler and Arnett were good as the Machiavellian doubles team that are the skating rivals to Ferrell and Heder's characters, but no one else really stood out. Jenna Fischer was lackluster as Heder's love interest and Craig T. Nelson did not make for a funny or interesting character either. Two people I thought would have been able to shine in larger roles were Andy Richter and Rob Corddry. Both are funny guys, much funnier than Nelson or Malco, and were underutilized in this film.

The humor was low brow to be sure, just like in every other project Ferrell does, but I happen to like that sort of humor, so I enjoyed it.
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I expected more from this show
1 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Comedy Central has had success with original programming using professional comics. The Chapelle Show, Mind of Mencia, The Daily Show and the hugely popular Colbert Report all star professional comics and all are, or in the case of Chapelle Show, were, solid shows. Given that Sarah Silverman is one of the best female comics in the business, I was expecting good stuff when I tuned in.

I was so disappointed.

There were some mildly funny sequences, but given that the star is the caliber of Silverman, the show could have been much better. It was just the pilot, and hopefully next week's show will be better. If not, get her some help in the form of better writers for the show.
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