Asteri-Atypical

IMDb member since August 1999
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Reviews

The Walking Dead: World Beyond
(2020)

Shallow, vapid, teen-based show apparently aimed at the below 20 crowd
I have a hard time assessing this from the lens of a teen. Being... well... somewhat past my teenage years, I can't presume to speak for the predominant mindset and culture of that demographic. I can only speak for myself... and I will.

To me, this show was seriously lacking in depth, complexity, intelligence, sensibility --- even redeemable action or superficial excitement (or fun). Not only is the plot centered around a bunch of teens, but they seem to think like teens, and make stupid typical teen mistakes. The problem is, in TWD universe -- they'd be DEAD. There was nothing uncanny about them, their skills, or their situation which made it seem plausible.

Now, I've seen show aimed at teens or kids, which I truly enjoyed. Either they were more deeply layered, or had fun/excitement/action, or were just plain funny enough, to be enjoyable. I don't see those redeeming complexities, here.

I actually wanted to enjoy this. I gave it a shot -- but I just can't. Some shows, I might say "it's not for me, but give it a shot, maybe it's more your cup of tea." But not this one. UNLESS, of course, you are in that youthful demographic. Maybe the perception of the modern young person is different enough to like this. After all, someone makes Kardashians and other reality shows popular. But if you're at all like me -- you'll wish you'd just passed it by.

I Am Your Father
(2015)

What could have been...
... and I mean that in regards to the documentary, in addition to what the documentary was about.

I liked the concept. However it turned out to be the biggest tease I've seen in a documentary. Central to the premise is that Prowse SHOULD have played the dying Vader in Return of the Jedi. That for this, and other reasons, he was wronged. We saw the director building up to the prospect of shooting the scene, spoke that he would, that Prowse was willing (even though permission was not given from TPTB)...

AND THEN WE DID NOT GET TO SEE IT.

Not even stills. Not even a Prose in full makeup sans mask -- only indirect vignettes.

It's poor filmmaking to elude to the inclusion of a moment which kept us watching for over an hour, imply we will get to enjoy it, then fail to deliver.

If you don't have permission, fine, Let us know that up front so we don't get our hopes up.

The interviews were worthwhile, but most of the good of this documentary was undone with that unfortunate stunt.

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
(2014)

Good, but not as magical as Carl Sagan's masterpiece
I like this version. It's based off of Sagan's original material, so it's intelligent and informative. As we might expect, it's good to see the updates in visual technology, especially with images from the Hubble and the wonderful CGI we now have. Oh, what Sagan could have done if he'd had access to such images, CGI and HD! Given these advancements, it's nice to see Cosmos brought to this modern generation. One, so that a new generation can enjoy this material. Two, the original, while a masterpiece, was getting a bit "dated".

Alas, though, as we might also expect, the modern version doesn't capture the magic of the original. Tyson is a good host, knowledgeable, pleasant and well-spoken, but he doesn't have the voice or poetic wonder of Sagan. Sagan's voice made science sound like poetry. I was gripped by his treatment of the subject as a young teen. I only wish we could have brought that level of passion to the new generation.

Another aspect where Cosmos 2014 is not Cosmos 1980, is the music. The music of the original was some of the best ever compiled for a documentary. From classical to synth, it was unique and captivating. I remember scouring record shops for the soundtrack on vinyl, until, at last, I found "The Music of Cosmos" as an LP! That music inspired me for years to come. The new version's music is acceptable, but not inspiring. It's more like stock music soundtrack used on any Discovery Channel special.

Had I not had the original to compare this version to, I would have no complaints with Tyson or the music. They only fall short when compared to a legendary series, but are fine in and of themselves. As I stated earlier, I do hope a new generation watches, enjoys and is inspired by Cosmos.

It's worth watching. If you love astronomy or cosmology, you certainly won't be bored.

Iron Man Three
(2013)

IM-1 is still the best of the series. As for this -- call it "shallow action fun".
Let's start off with saying I really liked IM-1. It was one of the better superhero movies I've ever seen. This is a sentiment shared by most of my friends.

IM3? Let's say it was enjoyable enough to watch as an action flick. However, it failed to impress me in any of the ways I would hope a major feature film would. For instance, the story. OK, granted, not all movies, especially action movies, have to have a great, let alone deep, storyline and script with sensational dialogue. It all depends what they are TRYING to be. That's where IM3 fell short, to me. It seemed like it was trying to seem deeper and more intelligent than it was.

Let's make that clear, right now. No matter how much you may have enjoyed this film, it's neither "deep" nor "intelligent". Any thrills derived are more along the lines of action and shallow motifs.

IM3 seemed to give us a number of elements just for the sake of handing them to us. The most infamous of these, what they did with The Mandarin. I won't get into that, here, in this review. But let's say the "twist" was more a twist for the sake of the twist. It was not innovative or clever. They could easily have pulled off the same plot device with any other number of names or new characters. Instead, by dropping the name The Mandarin, they slapped the faces of everyone who were familiar with this character from the comic book and wanted to see him brought to life.

Another cheap-trick element was Tony's emotional issue (again, not discussed here). You can't just drop something like that in to a character like Stark without working it in, with purpose. Otherwise it seems random and just "thrown in for the heck of it".

I'll also mention the ending, which left us wondering "why DID he do that?" Just for the sake of a few pyrotechnics and a feeling of "starting fresh". Sorry, sometimes a theme needs to make sense.

That leaves us with is not bad. Not great, though, since the Extremis characters were just a bit too over-powered (and not consistently, I might add) and a far different battle than what I might have hoped for. RDJ, of course, is masterful as Tony Stark, and he was the best part of the movie. I just wish Stark, who is one of the more interesting characters in the Marvel movie franchise, was better-used in this installment.

It's interesting to note that, while there were minimal moments of pure dialogue, they seemed slow and to drag. This is indicative of the quality of the writing and characterization, since I usually love moments of meaningful dialogue, even in an action movie. I guess this wasn't all that "meaningful". Hmm.

I leave you with the notion that if you want to just see an action film, you may, indeed, enjoy it quite a bit. Just don't set your expectations too high. Take all the elements with a grain of salt. They seem to be geared towards a more juvenile audience than the average comic book reader (yes, I meant that as it sounded).

IM3 has its moments, and is worth a view, but it's far from great, if you hope for any meat with your cheese.

Are You There, Chelsea?
(2012)

Not impressed.
I find this new brand of sitcom, a la Whitney, to be most unimpressive.

No matter what you think of these botoxed femmes, in terms of their stand-up routines, this scripted pap doesn't translate well.

In short, the jokes are nothing we haven't heard too many times, before. It appears the writers have supplanted genuine cleverness, humor and wit, with trying to "shock" people, by pushing the boundaries of decency.

Don't get me wrong; some of the best comedy in history has pushed the boundaries of social ideals of "decency", in the past. HOWEVER – those comedies did so with a purpose. They often challenged our sensibilities and old ways of thinking with unique, clever or thoughtful ways. Conversely, shows like Whitney and Chelsea seem to just try to make the audience say "I can't believe she said that" in social realms, which are already loose and maybe a bit crass. Crass is no substitute for clever.

Anti-intellectualism is taking hold in shows like this.

Whitney
(2011)

It's always a bad omen when the forced laughter comes every few seconds...
...and this was no exception.

Despite the fact it was claimed it was "filmed in front of a live audience", I no more feel this laughter was genuine, from the heart, than the impersonal machines which usually are the hallmark of a poorly-written crapfest comedy.

Since it was Whitney Cummings, I thought I'd give it a chance. Despite being a bit "cheap / crude", she seemed to have some wit in some of her routines. Sadly, no such wit was present in this brainless comedy.

This is not "amusing in a low-brow sense like Larry the Cable Guy or Jeff Foxworthy" comedy. It's just pointless, without anything unique or clever. This is just the same brain-dead sitcom we've seen before a zillion times, with a zillion different names.

I gave it a shot. It didn't cut it.

Nothing new here, folks.

Bob's Burgers
(2011)

Remarkable - for all the wrong reasons!
As I begin, I have to find it amusing that the reviews are split between overly generous (after all, even people who found this a "guilty pleasure" could not justify giving this a 9 or 10 rating) and those who consider it "terrible". That always says something about a show. Especially when favorable reviews get an inordinate number of "useful" votes and the unfavorable reviews get an inordinate number of "not useful" votes. All this, despite the discussion boards reflecting mostly negative opinions.

I pose it to those reading such reviews to consider, who is likely to be giving these glowingly favorable reviews and marking views of contrary positions down so? Think about it.

That being said, Bob's Burgers is remarkable. Remarkable for the fact that it's one of the worst shows I've ever seen to be aired in a prime time slot. Also remarkable for the lack of even the most remedial value.

The voices were terrible, the themes superficial and sophomoric, the humor very "Jr High", the animation was neither "loose" in an artistic sense nor refined. It was just - BAD.

I do not like to come across as ripping on a show just because it's not my personal cup of tea. I at least like to look for the positives in a show, or recognize for whom it might be enjoyable (e.g. children). This show is truly remarkable in the sense I found almost no remedial positive values in it, nor could I envision a demographic for whom this would be truly enjoyable. Mediocre, even in the most unrefined of circles.

I gave it a fair chance, tried to keep an open mind, but whatever scraps of humor may have been contained within were overshadowed by the overt repulsiveness of the overall show.

The Marriage Ref
(2010)

The loud canned laugh track can't hide how dreadful this is!
Like many, I saw the ads during the Olympics. I also saw Seinfeld was attached to it, which, IMHO, gave me hope. So I decided to tune in. I thought I would like it, at least a little. A "guilty pleasure", if nothing else. It seemed a concept which had potential.

When I heard the cacophonous canned laughter which roared at every line, I felt myself tense up a little. Usually, the louder the canned laughter, the weaker the material. As I heard the script, the knot in my stomach only got worse.

The lines were insincere and contrived. The humor and jokes hackneyed. The situations unbelievable and ridiculous.

I honestly don't know what Jerry Seinfeld was thinking. While he contributed a scant bit of amusing banter in the pilot episode, it wasn't nearly enough to rescue what was otherwise a train wreck.

I wasn't expecting too much. As I wrote; I expected it to be cheap thrills and "guilty pleasure" material. That shouldn't have been too hard to achieve. Yet it failed to rise to even this level.

Maybe if they didn't try so hard, it would be better. This show seemed too desperate to scream "LAUGH AT US! PLEEEEAAASSE"! It's a sad waste of a concept with good potential and a waste of what could have been a good idea.

I guess it COULD get better with time, if it's completely re-vamped. But I'm not holding my breath.

Kath & Kim
(2008)

Even WORSE than the commercials!
Hard to believe - but it is! I shouldn't be surprised. Commercials try to show how unique and "funny" a show can be. Yet not only didn't the commercials announcing this new show have the slightest iota of humor to me, I've not spoken with anyone who found the commercials amusing, either.

I don't recall ever seeing a pilot so devoid of cleverness, cuteness or humor. The characters were insufferable for the most part. Especially Selma Blair's (which is astonishing she would agree to be in a fecal sample of a show like this). The few moments where the characters were slightly redeemable were considerably hackneyed and trite.

Rare is the show with no redeemable qualities at all. And this is not one of them. Kath and Kim has exactly ONE redeeming quality - and that's Selma Blair. Despite wearing repugnant outfits and acting like a pitiful, whiny stupid excuse for a young woman who seems like a cross between Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, Selma is still nice to look at.

But if you want to look at Selma, go rent Hellboy. You'll at least maintain a modicum of respect for her instead of searing this abominable character into your brain to associate with her.

All in all, Kath and Kim is a waste and truly epitomizes the worst that TV is or ever has been. It sets a new low.

Back to You
(2007)

It's not Frasier (it's not as clever as Cheers, either)
This show, unlike many of the other Fox sitcom "attempts" (coughcoughstackedcough) isn't so "BAD" as it's just not GOOD. Which is actually a commentary on the depth of the writing considering that "Back to You" has some noteworthy on-screen talent.

Like many others, after Frasier, I anxiously awaited seeing the great Kelsey Grammar in a new sitcom. Patricia Heaton and the wonderfully silly Fred Willard were draws as well.

Unfortunately, the script is not equal to the cast, especially Grammar. It could be likened to watching Ian McKellen on a soap opera. It's hard watching Kelsey Grammar go from one of the best, most intelligent sitcoms of all time to this hackneyed pap.

Indeed, "hackneyed" sums up "Back to You" quite well. There's little original in the situation, characters or humor. We've seen these characters and the same chemistry between them ad nauseam. The characters don't have depth or life; which takes some adjustment after the interesting character of Frasier.

And... the humor. It could almost be enjoyed; at times. Every now and then they have a one liner which is mildly funny in an adolescent way. However it's completely ruined by the ubiquitous laugh track and the overreaction of the cast to every minor pun. Nothing ruins a laugh like the laugh track and the cast trying to convince you that you should be doubled over laughing.

Overall, despite a cast worth watching, "Back to You" is fast food down from Frasier's cuisine. Some people will enjoy this show since it adheres to the hackneyed formula for brain-dead sitcoms. If you like sitcoms most people call "dumb" and "banal", you may enjoy "Back to You". However if you're looking for a comedy with any depth, originality or intelligence, look elsewhere.

Where, I don't know these days, but not here.

Shapeshifter
(2005)

Don't let the corporate shills fool you - this was AWFUL!
You can always tell the comments which come from those with a vested interest in a movie like this. Amidst myriad comments decrying how AWFUL it was, you get a few who praise it - much worse, they actually cast votes as high as 10/10! No matter how much guilty pleasure one derives from dreck like this, by no stretch of the imagination could this film be ranked as high as the greatest films of all time!

Yet I'm not here to rail on those who pretend this is a good film. I have nothing against them. I merely bring them up to point out how pathetic this film truly is. That it will garner no sincere admiration of this (or nearly any) level.

Movies just don't get any more stupid. This movie ranks among the very worst, with no real redeeming qualities or enjoyability whatsoever. It is true garbage.

Sad to know this is what the Sci-Fi Channel has stooped to. Now they have become synonymous with movies which scrape the bottom of the barrel and are written for severely mentally disabled adults or below average children.

The Winner
(2007)

Hee, hee, ha, ha, ho, ho, ho....huh?
Oh, yes, gotta love those laugh tracks!

I mean, what would we do if we weren't told when to laugh? If every quip was not indicated to us as being funny by uproarious laughter each time? Forget those shows which are CLEVER and require a modicum of brainpower to appreciate. In fact who needs cleverness at all when you have the LAUGH TRACK! When something is supposed to be funny - cue up that laugh track and we'll KNOW it's funny! Not because anything inherently made it funny but because we were told so.

Oh, the off-color jokes, you ask? Why did they bother to write them when we have the LAUGH TRACK telling us to be amused? Well, for SHOCK VALUE, of course! I mean, you must differentiate this laugh track guided show from the myriad other laugh-tracked shows. While we're laughing something will somehow deeply disturb us - even though we don't know why because we KNOW it's funny since the LAUGH TRACK is telling us so. So we're laughing and we're shocked. The one-two punch on which we dumbed-down Americans thrive today.

Yes, forget quality when you can have a LAUGH TRACK! HAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH hee hee ha ha ha ha ho ho..... HUH?

The Punisher
(2004)

Haven't we seen this before? Many times?
I've seen this movie too many times.

Oh, not "The Punisher". I mean the story. The characters. The formula. Sadly, this movie departed little from the "hero deals blow to crime boss... crime boss gets revenge on hero's loved ones... hero, after being thought dead, comes back to violently ruin crime boss' day... big showdown in the end" formula. There's really very little original here.

This movie departed from the comic book in a number of ways. Sadly, nearly every such departure was a major step in the WRONG direction. Most notably was the well-known tragedy which turned Frank Castle into the Punisher. In the comics the long-established origin is that Castle's family was accidentally caught in crossfire in a mob war. Sadly, this movie's solution lacked the power and grit of the comic version. I imagine this was changed just to make it more an action scene. Whatever the reason - BAD MOVE.

Overall this movie was unoriginal and leaned towards the "stupid" side where you get the feeling the writers didn't consider their audience to be very intelligent.

Can I recommend this movie? Not really. While not the worst movie, there's nothing here which hasn't been done better in many other movies. If you're a fan of the comic; you will be genuinely disappointed with the changes.

Sasquatch Mountain
(2006)

Some movies....
Some movies make you think.

Some movies make you laugh.

Some movies are guilty pleasures.

Alas, this is not any of the above.

Yes, Sci-Fi Channel is continuing on its mission to re-define "Science Fiction" as "brain-dead horror aimed at 9-year-old boys who find pro wrestling enjoyable".

The plot of Sasquatch Mountain is beyond stupid. Was it envisioned by someone deluded enough to find it quality? Or was it envisioned by someone who was selling out to an idea that a substantial number of fans WANT this drivel? We have become stupid enough as a nation without Sci Fi Channel trying to dry up what's left of our brains.

Oh, yes - DON'T BELIEVE the evaluations written by LIARS who are somehow invested in the movie PRETENDING to be fans who actually enjoyed it. First clue - these people voted this movie a 10/10. That's impossible. Even someone who is a fan of this kind of lunacy would never consider it among the BEST movies around. Don't believe the liars.

Who Wants to Be a Superhero?
(2006)

Had potential but reality-show format kills it...
At first I winced when I heard this show has the tag-line of banality, namely "A Sci-Fi Channel Original". Yet when I saw the concept I had hope. When I saw Stan Lee, comic book guru and personal idol that he is, would be involved, I knew I had to check out this show! However, despite some interesting facets, the stench of "Sci-Fi Channel Original" still has managed to permeate this show.

Stan Lee is unquestionably the high point. He has a great presence on screen and adds drama. He also is THE person to be in such a show. The other potential high point of this show is (or at least would have been) is the entertainment value of seeing people express their creativity and dress up as their fantasy super-hero creations!

This is where it falls flat. Instead of multiple NEW super-hero candidates each week, it appears we are stuck with the SAME dwindling group of heroes in the typical reality-show "vote 'em off" formula. Seeing new heroes and new personalities could have been quite amusing for some time to come. I can't imagine the appeal in seeing the SAME characters in new and lame reality-show style competitions and being overly melodramatic at the end when someone gets voted off.

Another serious problem with this show is that it appears to be overly contrived. I could not believe in any of these characters. They seemed scripted and unreal parodies. Most of the contestants are established actors.

Sorry - but even the legend of Stan Lee can't quite rescue this show from the "Sci-Fi Original" tag of low quality programming. If the creators had dared to be ORIGINAL in concept and not follow the tired, banal, worn-out reality show format, they might have had a show which was at least very amusing and humorous.

America's Got Talent
(2006)

America's Got Talent (but I wish it was on this show...)
OK. I agree this show qualifies as "guilty pleasure". A few of the acts actually DO have talent. Many of the others have a certain brainless remedial value to watch while you do the dishes, chat on the internet or sort through your mail.

As a serious talent search, however (like Star Search was), it's absurd! Out of the immense pool of talented people in America, this can't possibly represent the highest echelon! This show is watchable in the way The Gong Show was; a number of silly novelty acts. Yet The Gong Show didn't take itself so seriously! It didn't try to claim it had some of America's greatest talent! It didn't have judges who feign sincere commentary. Plus the acts appeared ONCE and were gone; you didn't have the same acts vying for slots in final rounds. It was simple silly fun. This show would have done better to be the same.

This show became somewhat absurd when the judges not only venerated the RAPPING GRANNY but voted her into the finals! America's Got Talent lost all credibility with that move. "America's Got Cheap Novelty Acts" would be a better title.

They shouldn't pretend to sincerely be about quality when a no-talent "rapping granny" is the judges' choice.

P.S. Should I even mention that "America's GOT Talent" is improper English?

Unan1mous
(2006)

A dark spot on an otherwise bright season for FOX
The 2005-2006 season has been an uncommonly good one for FOX overall. Which is a refreshing change after many seasons of canceling wonderful shows (including Firefly, John Doe, Futurama and many others) and abysmal reality shows. For some time it appeared FOX had given up on virtually all quality programming.

However this season we had "House". "Bones". "Prison Break". "24". Let's not forget cornerstones like "American Idol". Overall a quality season.

And... then came "Unan1mous". Eww. Amidst a lineup of shows, a number of which were real winners, FOX reverts to type for a moment and brings on garbage like this. A banal reality show in keeping with such "gems" as Joe Millionaire and Mr Personality. What can I saw about this show except - STOP MAKING THINGS LIKE THIS! If you ever get a chance to see this, for heaven's sake, DON'T! Oh, well. FOX has redeemed themselves, for the most part, in my eyes. Prison Break, 24 and House are excellent shows. I can forgive them for Unan1mous.

I forgive them less for canceling "Arrested Development", one of the best comedies in years, but that is another story... ;)

The Lawnmower Man
(1992)

A film built around now-antique CGI tricks
Like many others, I saw the name "Stephen King" attached to this film and that prompted me to see it.

Oh, the dupe that I was!

I also heard this film was a breakthrough in CGI. Again, I was duped.

This film was not interesting in story OR CGI. King sued to have his name removed and I don't blame him. The story was NOT up to King's standards. It would appear the story was written around the idea to showcase the CGI of the film.

As for the CGI, some were "interesting" for their time - but more interesting in terms of being a demo reel for the CGI of the day than apropos to good movie making. All the CGI seemed to scream "hey look at what I can do with the computer" as opposed to enhancing the story. Indeed, the CGI competes with the story.

The problem with such heavy reliance on dazzling viewers with the latest CGI "tricks", especially in this era, is that very quickly the visuals lose the ability to impress. Today one views them more as laughable than impressive. I was tempted to call them "first generation theatrical CGI" but I couldn't forget movies like Tron, who used even more primitive graphics to good effect years earlier. Tron is a good example of a movie that is still watchable even though by today's standards the CGI is positively paleolithic. Another of what I now call "second generation CGI" films is Terminator 2 which is still very enjoyable. But Lawnmower Man? It was a CGI tech's playground which is easily forgettable. Not the worst movie I've ever seen but not very good either.

10.5
(2004)

It boggles the mind that movies like this are ever made...
This is the kind of movie people make fun of and laugh at.

Sadly, not laugh at for the comedic value but for the sheer stupidity of the so-called "science" and the overall writing.

I should no longer be amazed at what manages to pass for quality in movies, even made for TV movies, but still movies like this astound me that they are made. I can never fathom that in all the pool of writing talent out there that THIS is what passes as a script.

Obviously no one with any understanding, even a pedestrian understanding, of geology or tectonics wrote this. The script reminds me of those which get a "B-" in a high school creative writing class.

Why did Beau Bridges and Kim Delaney sign up to do this dog of a movie? Are they really that hard up for work? Their acting was decent but they were the exceptions.

The effects looked cheesy by motion picture standards but it's understood this is a low-budget movie.

Probably the most amazing thing about this movie was its legacy.

"Hey, boss, Mr. Network Executive, we made a movie that everyone thinks is insanely stupid. Many people watched it but they all hated it. We are laughing stocks for making a movie this terrible. Any ideas"? Reply: "Hey, I know! Let's make a sequel"! I shudder for our society.

The War at Home
(2005)

Old, tired and stupid. And it's just begun. Save us.
I cringed when I heard the first canned laugh track in the first few seconds of the show but yet I gave it a chance. You KNOW when someone offers a line which is only slightly amusing and you hear an obviously fake laugh track explode in uproarious laughter that it's a show aimed at morons who need to be told "yes, it's funny, go ahead and laugh".

Ugh. I couldn't stand this show as it revealed itself. I can't speak for everyone - after all some people actually like that IDIOTIC show "Stacked" (which makes me wish to vomit). I can imagine those who like "Stacked" might actually like this drivel, too. Some people still get a kick out of the old "pull my finger" gag. To me, this show is just about as witty - and just about as original.

The themes were old and tired. The jokes were lame and hackneyed. The characters were ones we've seen everywhere before - and the worst of any you might imagine.

So... if you like things like burping words and neighbors who say "pull my finger"... you might actually like this show. Otherwise... pass it by. It's stupid - and not in a clever or original way. This one is about as old and tired as any show has ever been at its premiere.

Pterodactyl
(2005)

Pterrible!!!
Well, for a supposedly "SCI-FI" film, it was certainly missing the "SCI", which stands for science.

If you consider "I" to stand for "Imagination", then it's missing that, too'.

So all we got when we got this movie was F.

Despite the fact the corporate shills are at it again, giving supposedly good reviews to this ugliness, this movie is yet another piece of trash being offered by the so-called SciFi Channel.

This movie featured some of the worst, over-stereotyped characters I've ever seen. If I hadn't seen them so much I would have laughed. But the punchline of this joke is quite stale. The acting was just as bad.

Stories like this aren't clever. They don't entertain. There's no eye candy. Only someone with the mentality to laugh at a human body being transected by a cheap CGI effect and say "hey, dude, look at all the blood" would enjoy any part of this movie. Why make things like this?

Anyway, something REALLY made me mad in this movie. There was a comment by a character to the order of "I haven't seen so much white since someone streaked at a Farscape convention". How DARE SciFi Channel make fun of Farscape? How DARE they? SciFi Channel took away a beloved series to replace it with this seemingly endless string of decrepit, brain-dead movies aimed at morons, despite the clear proof that Farscape had an audience and was economically viable. What audacity to foolishly mishandle a wonderful show and then make snide remarks. I've heard it said before and now I'm having to agree. The goofs who run the SciFi Channel at present hate SciFi and hold contempt for its viewers!

Avoid this trash.

Star Trek: Nemesis
(2002)

Going out with a whimper...
While not the worst film I've seen in recent years (many have been pretty bad), Nemesis is a sad adieu for the Next Generation crew.

What has happened to Star Trek et al? Have the creators simply run out of ideas? Have they gotten cocky? Or is it that they've been given too much carte blanche power when before the lion's work of the creativity came from other team members? Who's to say? All that matters is that Star Trek is going where EVERYONE has gone before and how it's going there can no longer be described as "boldly", but "badly".

Nemesis (which could easily be called "The Wrath of Shinzon") would have been a reasonable 1-hour TNG episode, entertaining for those purposes. The irony is that in the 2-hour movie, most of the best lines and scenes were actually cut! What idiot decided to cut the wedding of Troi and Riker? Sure, these were sub-plots and sidelines but, frankly, they were worth at least as much as the main story. Why I say this would have worked as an episode of TNG was that it was not special enough nor original enough to be a major motion picture, must less the FINALE of the TNG crew! It has been mentioned that Shinzon was miscast. I have to agree. The idea of his character was interesting but the development and characterization were lackluster at best. He just faded into the backdrop of "another hate-filled, vengeance-minded rogue with a starship". Sorry, but we'd had a better version of this character and scenario for exactly 20 years.

I would recommend to any Trek fans to watch the DVD with all the extras. It IS worth watching. It's just not worthy of the place it holds in Trek history. Yet, all that being said, it echoes the overall decline of the Trek legend in recent years (and was a better send-off than poor Enterprise had, at any rate).

The Trek franchise needs a break. Give it a rest. If it ever comes back, bring in a new creative crew entirely. One who actually appreciates and understands Sci-Fi, not one which is trying to repackage it for the mass market and the lowest common denominator.

Alien Express
(2005)

Only Beavis and Butt-Head would like this movie...
"Eh-heh eh-heh hey, dude - look at these aliens. They're like - biting the humans and stuff! Eh-heh eh-heh eh-heh"

This must rank amongst the worst movies of all time. It's utter drivel for anyone with a modicum of a brain. Sure, you have the reviewers on the payroll who give glowing reviews and vote highly for this abomination but it's easy to tell who these sell-outs are. Their reviews are TOO good. To give a movie like this even a mediocre review claiming it had some B-movie remedial appeal would be a glowing review! Calling this a great movie tips the hands of the corporate shills.

But enough of that.

This movie had about all the bad characteristics a movie can have without being SO bad that it's enjoyable just to laugh at. The old Japanese 60's monster films had a quality that this movie lacked. At least in those 60's films you could laugh at just how bad the rubber monster suit looked. Or laugh at seeing the strings holding the space ships, how the models dangled on the strings and how the flames curved UPWARDS out of the back. Those movies made fun of how BAD they were. Alien Express (aka Dead Rail) seems to actually think of itself as a GOOD movie - which makes it incredibly absurd.

The effects were awful by today's standards. Beyond awful. However not quite as bad as the 60's monster movies hence they lacked the comedic appeal. The plot and dialogue were about as sophomoric as I've ever seen, made even worse by being every bit as predictable as you might expect. I won't even point out the plot and logic holes in this one; it just wouldn't be fair to this pitiable plot (plus it would take to long to even get started). Most of the acting was awful; Lou Diamond Phillips must have been very desperate to agree to touch this one.

SciFi Channel is rapidly becoming the "cheap thrills channel", producing movie after movie without an iota of concept or intelligence in the lot. I can only wonder - why bother?

Don't bother with this tripe. It doesn't get any worse.

The Law Firm
(2005)

Why people hate lawyers...
Even though Roy Black says "you are here to serve your clients" it was clear how much a game of "winning" this was for this group of newbie lawyers. The ethic was not one of doing what's right and arguing on any ethical basis but employing tricks to "win".

Moreover, this group of people is quite petty and bickering. Such is sadly in keeping with some of the negative impressions the public has of attorneys.

It was amazing how unprofessional some of these supposed "professionals" were. For people who were supposedly trained to speak for a living they were surprisingly unskilled. Maybe they can look up some local Toastmasters clubs.

Lastly, I'll point out that the judges seemed somewhat "scolding" in their comments in the middle of the trials. I personally haven't been in many trials but I can't envision most judges speaking to the attorneys in a manner like one would address freshmen law students.

All in all, there's some remedial entertainment value here. It seems a bit contrived and unreal and it follows the hackneyed "reality show" format a bit much for my tastes but it's mildly interesting to see the attorneys put together their cases then argue them. Not as good as CourTV but what do you expect from one of the Borg (aka Major Networks)?

Being Bobby Brown
(2005)

Scuzzy criminals get TV show...
How better to describe it than scuzzy criminals on TV? And I don't mean in the show COPS; here, they're actually being presented as protagonists.

I don't see any remedial value in this show unless you have a perverse penchant for human tragedies. Whitney Houston is a tragic example of the fallen star; a star which Bobby Brown helped pull from the sky. Bobby Brown is nothing but a low-life criminal. Why watch him? Why does Whitney stand by him no matter how despicable he is? This couple should be locked up and it's a loathsome shame they are making money and achieving a modicum of fame from watching the septic tank which is their lives and the human waste which is their character.

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