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Good grief, this is an awful film
Now I know there are many classic Hollywood maniacs out there who would probably just assume that I'm just another modern idiot with an attention span shorter than that of a goldfish; too short to appreciate such a film. I've met too many people who would accuse me of such. But I have seen my fair share of silent film, and Metropolis is one of my favorites(and I know few who can make it through that one).
The cinematography of this film is truly outstanding when put next to other films from its time. But the story is incredibly basic and some of the things that the characters do don't even make sense. In terms of interest in the story, you can pretty much shut off the movie after the first hour. I can't imagine ever watching this again.
If you want an example of outstanding cinematography and early VFX, check definitely check it out. But if you're looking for something along the lines of City Lights(a FAR better film), best skip it all together.
High School Big Shot (1959)
Is this a great film? By no means. Is it as bad as they say it is? I just don't think so.
I suspect people the majority of those who watched this film saw the MST3k version and take enjoyment out of saying that it "sucks".
High School Big Shot is one of the better movies to get the MST3k treatment; as much as it still made great riffing-fodder, it actually had some decent acting for such a low-budget. While certain aspects of the story were very one-dimensional, other parts were a bit complicated.
The only aspect of the plot that was downright lousy was the end. The ending is not only abrupt but makes very little sense! I couldn't have predicted such an awful ending from the rest of the film which was not only entertaining but even relatable.
This film had an overall anti-woman theme, painting women as being only interested in financial-gain. I won't comment on whether or not such themes have a place in our society, but it has the potential to anger some viewers. However, very small dialog changes could have avoided that problem and still held the movie together.
Not great, but pretty good for a cheap noir flick. Give it a watch.
PS: Star Trek fans might get a kick out of the appearance of Stanley Adams, who played Cyrano Jones in the TOS episode "The Trouble with Tribbles".
This is supposed to be funny?
I caught some episodes of Veep on HBO while eating Beefaroni out of a can in my room at the Vagabond Inn. The place smells badly of cigarette ash.
I just don't understand what is supposed to be funny or interesting about this show. The acting certainly isn't terrible, but all of the dialogue feels written. I also can't name a single character that I like in any way.
I think this show is lousy, though I can understand if some people would like it. I do find it difficult to believe, however, that the majority of the positive reviews here are real. Read the ones at the top; they all sound like a promotion written by the same cubicle worker at a marketing firm.
What's most annoying about this show is when they have scenes that have the potential to be funny but they ruin it with poor-timing. If this show wants to get seriously entertaining, they should hire Brendan Small as a head writer; he's got comedic timing to a tee. Plus his ideas are just funnier in general.
The only saving grace of this show is the women. Many of the female actors, including many of the extras, are extremely attractive. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is also looking very very good here. I don't know if they used CGI to hide her aging, but either way I'm happy when she's on- screen.
It's too bad that Julia always gets stuck with these mediocre shows playing bitchy characters. She could be great but nobody ever gives her anything decent to work with.
Axe Cop (2012)
This is, without a doubt, the worst cartoon I've seen in my life. I suspect that the makers of this show have purposely inflated the IMDb rating for it, because I just don't see how anyone could rate it anything more than 1 star.
They think that they're being clever by being random. But see, randomness in and of itself is not funny. Adult Swim shows can have a level of crazy randomness, but the episodes are usually about something. What Axe Cop tries to do is copy Adult Swim but take randomness to a point where that's all it is. There's nothing funny or clever about it.
Axe Cop should have been called "Deus Ex Machina: The Show", because its randomness gives it virtually no form or restriction(yes, that's always a bad thing). For example, a character can suddenly have fire powers or move the entire earth without those powers ever being previously established and without any explanation. The Axe Cop is surrounded by enemies? Well now he has the power to cover the earth in fire that only kills all the bad guys! It's not funny or amusing because every second of every episode is just like that. There's a reason children usually don't write for TV or Film because their imaginations are random and have no substance. I guess the creators and the idiot executives at Fox thought that this time they'd "think outside the box" and hire a kid and his older brother to write a cartoon for them. This goes to show just how out-of-touch some of these executive goons are.
Don't bother watching this show. Go outside or read a book; don't lower your already low standards and let this crappy show melt your brain.
The Wave (1981)
An underrated film about a fascinating social experiment
I'm not sure why so many people dislike this movie. Maybe it's because it seems far-fetched, or because of the low production budget, or because some people didn't want to have to sit still and watch a thought-provoking movie in high school. I really don't know.
Anyway, I was one of those kids who had the weird experience of watching The Wave back in high school. It had left a big impression on me, and I'm not easily impressed or intrigued by anything. This is a made-for-TV film that does a very good examination on group dynamics and how people function when they are told to believe they are superior based on arbitrary standards.
At this time, it's been about 14 years since I probably saw this movie in high school. I remembered the core message and some key moments, but it had been so long that my memory of the film wasn't fresh. Now that I'm much older, does this film still fascinate me and hold up to my standards? Does it stand the test of time? I tried to figure this out by watching The Wave after high school, but back in 2006 I couldn't find a single copy of it anywhere on the internet. Hardly a mention aside from the IMDb page for it. I'm glad to see that it's now available for viewing.
I just watched The Wave today and I can say that it still holds up to the test of time. The wardrobe, cinematography, and directing styles are very 80's, but there really isn't anything that dates this film except that which is external. They do a great job at convincing you that the teacher is out of his mind until it's revealed that he still was doing all of this to prove a point. I wouldn't call The Wave a masterpiece, but it's pretty good in my opinion.
Now for the bad; this movie lacked in a few minor areas. First off, much of what happened was a bit exaggerated and rushed, which may be one of the reasons why some people don't buy this story. To be fair, the production budget was very low and with only about 46 minutes available for the TV movie, they had to cram a lot in. Also, they really should have kept Lauree's boyfriend under the control out of The Wave. He was so far into it that it was hard to swallow the complete 180 in his attitude and beliefs. The only protagonist really needed to be Lauree.
Overall, I really like this movie and enjoyed it as much now as I did when I was a teen. I have not seen the recent German portrayal of The Wave(known as Die Welle), and now that I've re-watched the original, it will be interesting to see if this theatrical version is any better.
Rocket Power (1999)
I loved this show.
Rocket Power gets a bad rap. Not that peoples' opinions don't count, but there's a place for this kind of show. It's not terribly deep or anything like that; just a bunch of kids and their adventures.
I think to like this show, you might have needed to be the kind of kid who's in the show. This is one of the shows that I grew up with, and even before it came on, my friends and I did all the same things that the kids did in Rocket Power. If we weren't playing street hockey, we'd be riding our skateboards, surfing, etc. This show was easy for kids like us to relate to. I think if you didn't grow up in that kind of environment, the show may just end up being annoying and uninteresting.
What I liked best about Rocket Power(and other Klasky-Csupo cartoons like The Wild Thornberrys) is the subtle amount of character development. Now surely it doesn't stand up to the kind of development in adult shows, but even at that age I was impressed considering the number of kids shows where everything resets the following episode. As an example, Sam(The "Squid") started out being the new kid/geek/loser who was pretty terrible at any of the sports that Otto, Reggie, and Twister would partake in. Sam does retain his identity for the rest of the show, but I recall that by the end of the show, he managed to fit in better with his friends and even became better than Otto at some things.
Sadly, I can't really say the same about Otto, who needed the development almost as much as Sam did. This was attempted in a few episodes after we learn the moral of the story, but things usually reset for Otto in the next episode. Taking that into consideration, I kinda wish Otto was left out of the series entirely. That would have removed 90% of the annoyances most people cite.
I don't get why people say Rocket Power is a "stereotype". If you want a stereotypical kids show, look towards shows like Recess where they took the most typical group of kids with the most typical archetypes and put them into the most generic setting for kids to be in(a school yard). Rocket Power, on the other hand, takes a specific group of kids who have their own individuality as well as a female character who exhibits very few "feminine" character stereotypes, and bases stories around that. Much more interesting to me, personally.
Now since I'm an adult, I doubt I would sit through Rocket Power or other Nicktoons again, but if I have kids someday and RP came on TV, I'd let them watch it.
What the heck did I just watch?
That is exactly what I thought when the film was over.
Seriously, that was a Pixar film? You have to be joking.
When you get right down to it, it's yet another misfit princess story. It's about a somewhat unruly princess who wants something different in life than what her parents want for her. Now how many times have we seen this story before? I'm not even going to list off those stories, because most of you know and have seen them by now.
Simply, there is nothing in this movie that was memorable and that we haven't seen before. We get the misfit princess story, and that's exactly what we get. No surprises. It was all very predictable...
...until midway through the movie. (SPOILER ALERT) In case you haven't seen the film, the princess(Merida) is not your typical princess. She's outgoing - she's a fighter. She is particularly good at archery, supposedly better than everyone else. But since she's a princess, OF COURSE she has to marry a prince. Does she want to marry a prince? NO. Are all of her suitors complete idiots who are unworthy of her? ABSOLUTELY. Do her parents understand her? OF COURSE NOT. Does this remind you of any other better movies? So anyway, since her mother in particular doesn't see eye-to-eye with her, Merida pulls a petty trick on her by slipping her a potion that would "change her". Gee, this couldn't turn out to be anything bad, right? Well, it turned out bad alright, and provided the only surprise in the movie: Her mother turns into a BEAR! You've got to be kidding me.
The rest of the film is spend having Merida trying to undo the spell whilst goofing around with her mother bear friend. (END SPOILER ALERT)
If you are curious enough to see where that part of the story goes, you should see it for yourself.
All in all, it's a very forgettable movie. There were some attempted laughs in the film, but none that made me so much as chuckle. It was mostly cookie-cutter children's movie writing; the kind of "funny" things you'd expect the characters to be saying rather than giving them some charming uniqueness.
Am I the only one who despises the three little boys? The whole time I got the feeling that the writers were using them as a device to keep the story interesting for little kids. I had the same complaint about the three gargoyles in The Hunchback of Notre Dame; They were irritating and added nothing to the story. All they added were typical "little boy" mischief that made me yearn for the end of the current scene.
The only amount of heart in this film was after the mother threw Merida's bow in the fire, and then we see her pull it out of the fire regretfully, realizing what she had done. Granted, that's not much, but at least that's SOME glimpse into a character. They could have easily ended the scene right there, and made the mother look like a complete witch, but for a brief moment, we get to see a little bit of how the mother actually feels.
Thanks for wasting my money, Pixar!
How any fan of Archie comics could approve of this "film", I don't know.
This movie is bad in every way imaginable. Whoever made this movie clearly knew nothing about Archie comics and wanted to make a quick made-for-TV buck.
Everything about this movie is just wrong. The characters are NOTHING like the characters in the comics. I know that these are older versions of those young characters, but the "maturity" and "development" of these characters that people talk about are really just arbitrary character traits. Really, would asexual Jughead be that stupid to have a child with some hoe? And then get a career as a psychologist? Absolutely not. Would Hiram Lodge hate Archie enough to want to kill him? Absolutely not. Would Betty OR Veronica knowingly have Archie cheat on his wife with them? Absolutely not. Would Reggie be such a weasel as to help Mr. Lodge evict Pop Tate's Chocklit Shoppe? Absolutely not. Nearly every character trait and action is completely unbelievable.
And why was Jughead's son such an obstinate little brat? I could understand an unruly kid, but this kid is a complete jerk! If I were Jughead, I'd have whipped his rear back into the stone age. What's even more outrageous is how Archie almost MURDERS Jughead's son by pushing him off a tall ladder! I know that the scene was supposed to be comedic, but think about it: Archie could have KILLED the kid! Would the Archie in our beloved comics do something that foolish? Absolutely not.
By the way, who the heck thought it would be okay to put sex into a movie based on children's comics? Sure, relationships and dating are the main themes of Archie comics, but sex was never discussed(for valid reasons). No sex actually happens in TRaBA, but a scantily clad Veronica literally tries to get Archie in bed and begs him to do it with her! Then there are the embarrassingly bad scenes like where Jughead and Archie are in the runaway car that was rigged by Mr. Lodge to turn into Herbie the Love Bug. Now maybe I missed something, but was there any reason why Archie couldn't have just taken his foot off the gas? He never said that the car wouldn't stop, but just that the brakes didn't work. Again, this is another example of the ridiculous idea that Mr. Lodge would want to murder Archie.
Even worse than that was when Jughead does a bad 90s rap version of Sugar, Sugar with his son. The only way to know just how bad this scene was is to watch the move.
And of course there's the part where Betty barges into Archie's motel room, unbuttons her blouse, and asks him to have sex with her. Then Veronica shows up, sees that the shower is running and says to Archie "How did you know that was one of my fantasies? Let's get WET." Seriously, how did a semi-wholesome comic strip turn into a borderline nudie film? Again, no actual nudity or sex, but honestly, how would you feel if they made a Flintstones cartoon on Nickelodeon where Betty wants to have sex with Fred and Wilma with Barney? Sure, it's fine if you're adult, but it's a KIDS SERIES!!! Overall, it's a poor tribute to an American icon, and these characters should never have been portrayed as anything but teenagers. Only watch this movie if you want a chuckle. If you're an MST3k fan, you'll probably find some enjoyment in watching this disaster of a film. Maybe Rifftrax will make fun of this someday.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
This movie is great and here's why
I was shocked to find out that so many people left negative reviews for this movie! First of all, the movie is rated PG. Moms, if you thought this would be a good movie for your 6 year old and then got angry when it contained naughty words on the level of "doodie", well, you shoulda read the MPAA rating on the VHS tape.
I don't know what kind of stereotypes people are talking about that are in this movie, but if you're offended by this movie then I imagine Shirley Temple classics would probably offend you as well.
Anyway, I LOVE this movie. I don't want to make it sound like it's the greatest movie ever, but as far as a fun Halloween movie, it really delivers on many levels.
I had actually first seen this movie when I was around 11 years old and I thought that one which with the long silvery hair was really hot. Then years later I learned that she's played by Mr. Ed! Oh, I mean Sarah Jessica Parker. I guess she wasn't so bad looking years ago.
The acting is decent all-around. I can relate to the main character because my hometown is LA, and when I have moved to different places I'll say "I'm from Los Angeles", and people say "Huh?" Then I have to say "You know, LA." The fact that the main character had to go through the same thing really cracked me up.
Anyway, if you don't like "horror" movies but you'd like a spooky movie to watch on Halloween, give Hocus Pocus a try!
Babylon 5 (1993)
You people have to be kidding...
How in the heck does such a worthless piece of garbage as Babylon 5 get such high praise from the few people I've met who actually watched it? If you want a cheap ripoff of Deep Space Nine, just look towards Babylon 5. I am not joking. The main setting is on a space station, parts of the space station look identical to Deep Space Nine sets, there's a wormhole of sorts that ships go through; There's even a bar/casino on the space station that's run by an eccentric alien. Now like all Babylon 5 fans I met, you might be thinking "Couldn't Babylon 5 be a ripoff of DS9?" Well, you'd be wrong. Deep Space Nine came out over a month and a half before Babylon 5 premiered. It's as if some executives at Warner Bros saw the first few episodes of Deep Space Nine, and then hired some writers to rush and make a clone of it in a month and a half because they know that Sci-fi shows were hot at the time.
The acting is laughable. Every one of the main actors is rather plain, yet they always manage to over-act their parts. And why the heck do they all talk so fast? I bet you they were just reading off cue cards most of the time and forgot what periods are. What's strange is the extras are sometimes better actors than the stars of the show. Otherwise, the way the actors talk is so unnatural and unconvincing. Nobody in real life responds to each other as quickly as the characters do in Babylon 5. But then again, that could have to do more with bad writing and bad editing. When it comes to conversations in Babylon 5, pauses be damned! After watching this show, I will never complain about the bad visual effects in Star Trek Voyager ever again. I understand that this show started in 1993, but the effects are even bad for that time. The ship in Forbidden Planet looked better than the effects in Babylon 5. They must have thought that using more CG animation would make the show more popular than DS9(who at the time was using a combination of physical and CG effects). Instead, the result is just a small step up from Nintendo 64 graphics, with the exception of whatever that wormhole thing is when ships come out of hyperspace. That looked awful. Animators will know what I mean when I say that it looks like someone took a cone primitive and slapped a texture on it. They use CG at any chance they get and it always looks bad. Now I'm not entirely against sub-par visual effects, but in this case it makes the show painful just to look at.
The plots are both boring and incredibly simplistic. It seems to me like the writers had this in mind: "Let's forget about any sort of character development and let's just have the characters doing stuff for reasons." There isn't a single character in this show that you can connect with in any way.
Really, you have no idea how disappointed I am in this show. With all the high praise, I expected something halfway decent. But I guess I'll just have to toss it onto the pile of bad sci-fi shows along with Stargate and Andromeda.
My advice to anyone interested in watching this show is to only expect amusement for it being a bad show. Don't expect anything great. I really hope that Rifftrax comes out with riffs for Babylon 5 episodes someday, because then the show would actually be entertaining.
The Goode Family (2009)
The little show that tried
I'd like to say something nice about this show before I say something bad about it. First off, I love the idea of this show. It's basically the reverse of Mike Judge's previous shows such as the hilarious Beavis & Butt-head and the somewhat funny King of the Hill, which poked fun at rednecks and idiots. The Goode Family instead pokes fun at P.C. environmentalist liberals. This is an idea that I have not seen anywhere else, and in reality it should make a great show.
But it doesn't. Much of the humor falls flat. I don't know how else to describe this show, but it's just not that funny. It has it's moments, but so far it's been disappointing to me. Mike Judge is better than this. This show has a lot of potential, but in the first season it certainly hasn't met that potential.
However, I don't hate this show. I want to see it succeed because I still like the idea and want to see Mike Judge make a terrific show. Fortunately I think it's been picked up for another season, so we'll wait and see what happens.
The show isn't bad enough that I won't watch it. The upside is that it's not obnoxious, like King of the Hill sometimes was. Though The Goode Family isn't great, I'm still hoping it will get better. It still has time to fix it's previous flaws. It could even become as good as Daria was(which was a spin off of Beavis & Butt-head).
I give this show a 5 because it's worth watching, but just barely.
Until the Light Takes Us (2008)
So, I've been waiting almost two years for this film to come out, and it finally did. I actually just saw it today (November 5, 2008) at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood for the AFI Film Festival.
Until The Light Takes Us fulfilled many of my expectations. For one thing, it features lots of insight from Varg Vikernes. I was afraid that he would only be in a small fraction of the movie.
The film is pretty much about the beginnings of Norwegian Black Metal, and about all of the lies and misconceptions surrounding it. It was not made be black metal fans, so it's a very unbiased view at the events that took place in the late 80's and early 80's.
Though being a black metal fan myself, I believe this to be a very accurate and fascinating documentary. It is not a narrative, contrary to what I first expected, but basically interviews with various black metal artists such as Fenriz, Count Grishnackh, Abbath, Demonaz, Hellhammer, and many others (of whom I cannot remember the names of at this moment). This film has an amazing amount of credibility and really clears up what Norwegian Black Metal is all about.
This film had very few things that I disliked. Though several parts of this movie were shot with a hand-held camera; normally this doesn't bother me, but the whole time I was thinking "Why didn't these guys use a steady cam!?" The shaky camera movement almost made me feel sick. Fortunately most of the film isn't like this. Second of all, there is a sequence about this modern artist who made art surrounding the genre of black metal. I felt like this was sort of to kill time, and I felt like the man was just being pretentious. This, to me, had little to do with the subject of the film. The movie is also a bit scattered. The beginning starts out with Fenriz, and I didn't really know where the film was headed. The movie didn't become more chronological until later on, and even then there really aren't any signposts throughout the film so unless you are familiar with the subject you might get a bit lost.
I felt that the music for this movie was very appropriate. It did contain black metal, but not enough to turn away your average moviegoer. The soundtrack is a mix of black metal and ambient music, making the movie very easy to watch while still putting you within the dark atmosphere. I congratulate the makers of this film for not making it one giant music video! Though overall, I'm pretty impressed. I was highly anticipating this movie and it was very through provoking and enjoyable. I took a friend with me to see it, who knew nothing about black metal, and she enjoyed it. It's a great film for black metal fans and even those who aren't. I do hope that this movie wins some kind of award.