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Outer Banks

Utter dreck. Do not bother.
I do not understand the good reviews. I am okay with light teen type adventures, but this show is so poorly written it was constantly frustrating. Cliches after cliches.

Some reviews said to suspend belief and they aren't kidding. That's an absolute requirement here. Suspend your taste for good television too.

The Sopranos

This is what great television is.
I believe this is the best series I've ever watched. GoT had that spot until its spiral in the end. Sopranos has no issues in this regard. The writing is superlative all the way through and there is very little to criticize otherwise. Perhaps there were some character developments that were flawed (Buscemi when he changes), but that is nit-picking. Such a wonderfully done series and it also struck me that the Soprano children were so well written it was eerie. The issues and dynamics between Meadow/AJ and the parents were all so well done.

I never got caught up in the show when it aired as I did not care for Mafia related content. We just spent the last month binge watching this program in 2020 because my curiosity finally won out and I felt I needed to see Gandolfini's last major endeavor. I am very glad I did. He fit this role to a tee. Honestly, there is so little to call out on this show I would encourage those who have not watched to do so.

I know the ending confused me a bit, but upon reflection, I liked it quite a lot. Well done. Well done.


So many jokes, and so few real laughs.
I stuck with it the whole way and like many of the cast already from their other endeavors (primarily SNL). This one simply fails to evolve into anything more than a few chuckles and yuks here and there.

The announcers added some good lines and the lead is likable. The pep/anti-pep talk was also a good joke. Technically speaking, the film is very good. It was shot well, editing and so forth are nicely executed.

My summary is that it is too weak for a five, but I didn't hate it either. You most assuredly should not pay to see this movie. Free...okay, but at the end, I can only give it a 4 of 10.

Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist

A reasonable review. - 6 of 10
I enjoy martial arts movies of all ilk, so perhaps you should know that.

I see reviews for this film at both extremes. Folks gushing seemingly uncontrollably about it and others condemning it completely. I have no dog in this fight. As of this writing, there are 3,146 voters rating this film at 8.4. I will state that there are many fabulous and fantastic films out there done to much higher standards that are currently ranked lower than this film. This is no insult to this film, as it was done with limited resources, but eight point four seems a bit high for the quality we have here. I will certainly give it a solid six.

I think fans of the genre are the ones most likely to see this film, so the high rating is understandable in that regard. Furthermore, it was aired initially as a webisode. I sort of stumbled on the movie and decided to watch it despite my no great attachment to the Street Fighter genre. I played the game back in the day, but that's about it. I had a rudimentary understanding of who the prime characters were, but had to learn the others. Fortunately, there are few. This film employed simple locations and scenery, and it all felt right except for a powerline swath of trees going up one hillside that kept showing up in shots. It dragged me away from their world if but only for a moment. A distraction.

Otherwise, the production value seemed decent and I settled in to watched it. I actually found the acting and writing a bit rough at first blush. It had a thinner, made for teevee feel (crude dialog excepted), but perhaps it was more of a mini-series quality since it also runs so long (2hr20min). I decided to take the roughness as 'quaint' and some of the dialog as 'real-world' and that made it work for me, but I wondered about the director. So I looked up the details and learned that this was an independent "work of love" project by the young director/actors/writers/martial artists Joey Ansah and Christian Howard, who are also fans of the genre. Well, that sort of explains that then. Still getting his director legs under himself seems plausible, but his passion for the story pushes it along. The writing seemed rough at times, but flowed fine elsewhere. There was an unevenness, but I feel their enthusiasm added a positive element to the film and I like that. It allows me to look past its rough edges and we're getting a richer back story because of it. No, that doesn't fix the acting or the cringes in some odd scenes, but the characters were done well enough and I was engaged with all of them, even our nemesis. It would be impossible for me to pick apart any of the details of the story as I have not followed the genre, but I enjoyed the story well enough.

Only one other reviewer I read complained about this next item: the ending. ***This could be considered a spoiler***, so you can stop reading now if you deeply care, but I am sure someday I will understand why the film sort of just petered out. I was missing the traditional climax culminating from the struggle between the characters. There was some very good tension built up in that struggle and then there was none of the expected satisfaction. I was not frustrated, but instead disappointed. I would watch a sequel of the same making (same film style) and perhaps that is the intent. I don't know. It may have been a singular work of love. Should a second 'episode' get funded, I would expect better from Ansah and Howard and I would suppose they could do it.

Fans of the genre will love it while fans of martial arts movies should like it as I did, too. Fans of movies will have to decide for themselves.

Wheeler Dealers

Great show. Bubble gum for the shady-tree mechanic!
I have watched nearly every season of this show and thoroughly enjoy it. I tire of Mike quickly, but I know he plays a necessary role and Edd is following up with some fine wrenching of his own. He really shines when explaining the detail of his work. I wish Edd's portion of the show might be extended for another 20 minutes to further explain his technique and ideas. As a shady-tree mechanic, this is the part of the show I find fascinating.

Learning about the variety of automobiles they bring through is a fun and fulfilling experience, but my one jab is that Mike needs to let Edd drive the cars he repairs.

Almost Live!

Very good northwest comedy show
It is a genuine shame that this show was canceled. Since that was over ten years ago, I am mostly over it. Mostly. Fresh and original, Almost Live was loaded with talent. Tracey Conway, Nancy Guppy, Pat Cashman, Bill Nye, John Keister, Steve Wilson, Bob Stainton and Bob Nelson were the main players that I remember. At least Joel McHale made it (Community, etc) and most people deservedly know Bill Nye (The Science Guy) by now. Pat Cashman reminded me very much of Phil Hartman and I felt could have done just as well given a national stage.

Yes, much of the entertainment is localized, but this isn't a bad thing. You may miss on a couple of the jokes, but it's simple enough to get and you'll likely relate it to your own area. Most of the cast would have been a good augmentation to the SNL cast and many of the sketches were far funnier than SNL was cranking out during that period. Pound for pound, AL offered us much more rib-shaking funny material. Billy Quan is one example that just cracked me up. YouTube is a good source for this.

If you reside in the Pugetopolis, You can catch the reruns (two of them) on the local NBC affiliate (King-5) after SNL. I just add the extra hour to my DVR and watch it after I have skipped all the commercials from SNL.

Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man

Where you headed? "Nowhere special." -Hop on. I'll take you there.
Ug. This film is not great. It's also not quite good, either. Hambone acting from everyone involved, with writing to match, makes it a good candidate for "Bad Movie Night". While it may find some merit in this regard, more isn't really deserved. The from-the-gut pat lines from Rourke and Johnson left me rolling my eyes. How Johnson finds his ex riding down the road is a mystery to me. Did I miss something? I do like Tom Sizemore, but his paper-thin bad-guy role is very tepid at best. I will say that Daniel Baldwin was better than I thought he would be. Even as cheesy as his performance was, I liked him. The method in which he and his mates appears is very much a cheese soaked experience. Have I mentioned the cheese? There is some. Much. And more. No, no. I'm full. Please stop. No..?

Oh, I sat through the entire film and even paid attention (note title). Lots of folks rave about the buddy connection points of this film, but I thought it was vapid and ridiculous. Comic book style. It's certainly not the worst film 'evar', but it also never got over the hump of gaining my favor, but I guess you (The Reader) know that by now. For a brainless semi-action tough buddy film, it's okay, but Tango and Cash (7of10) would be a much better one in that genre. Check that one out. I give this one a 4 of 10.


Ideas...check. Adds up to: Not great. - 4 of 10
Stiff acting from most of the cast and terrible dialogue are two of the worst transgressions this film made. In one scene, I there were 30-40 clichés strung together spewing from every character. Many others are found throughout the film. This is on par with one of the worst writing jobs I've ever heard.

I can overlook the constant over-exposed shots, the cheap sets and the inexpensive method in which the film is shot, but simply tell us a good story. It fails in this endeavor. I end up not caring halfway through because they haven't sold me on it, and well...I've checked out. I cease to care, and still I persisted. I was not rewarded.

The trivial nature that the film seemed to adopt early on with the fighting initiated it's descent into tedium. At the moment the actors actually started speaking, the careening steepened. I didn't believe anyone. They had not convinced me. Neither through the words they spoke or in the nature in which they spoke them. I thought some of the characters were just awful. Especially the father. Without revealing anything, his motivations seemed quite obtuse. Once again, I didn't believe it.

I cannot completely condemn this film as I liked some of the elements it had to offer: the blown bill sequence, the flat panel glasses guys, and the flicker effects were among them. The little girl was the only one I believed. She did well.

Ultimately, I felt like I was watching a student's film. Nice idea, very poor execution. Do not go out of your way for this one. Isn't there a Seinfeld rerun on? For effort and a couple of clever concepts, I can only muster a 4 of 10.

Entry Level

Cute film. Very much worth a watch - 6+ of 10
I liked this film. It was well cast and along with DB, I enjoyed seeing Taylor Negron, Kurtwood Smith, Steve Ryan, and Cedric Yarbrough. Mr Negron caught my attention way back in "Better off Dead" as the smarmy mailman and I very much enjoy seeing him in films. I liked what was done with his character. Missi Pyle is a joy to watch and her quick delivery makes her a potent force on the screen.

The writing was better than good. Mr Horn has done a fine job with this film. Perhaps we could've done more with Cedric Yarbrough's character by bringing him in closer along with the others, but we can't have everything. It's just that I feel that Mr Yarbrough is very talented and I enjoyed every scene he was in. As I type that I have to laugh because I could say that I enjoyed many of the scenes and the various characters presented to us. The only criticism I can offer is that I struggled to connect the two leads, especially with regards to their physicality. But anything is possible and the dialogue between them smooths this over for the most part.

I saw the ending (in my mind) before it happened, but there is no great fault in that and it's not as if it's some great secret here. It is still a very pleasant ride and there are many chuckles throughout. Not a barn burner, but well done and worth watching. I almost gave it a seven, but it sure garners a solid 6 of 10.

A Dog's Breakfast

Middle of the road dark comedy. - 5 of 10
What is it with people rating films with either a 10 or a 1? Is there something wrong with recognizing a film's shortcomings and flaws? Or its strengths for that matter? This film has both.

This film feels like either a play or a made for teevee movie. Sort of an "Afterschool Special" type of feel. I'll call this a shortcoming of reduced production costs. For example, we know that the house was on fire, but we never see it. Not necessarily a big negative, but films that skimp on these types of things can tend to have less of a visceral impact on the viewer. I felt this scene was countered somewhat by hearing the entertaining fireman's radio chatter in the background. These types of details lend to the intelligence of a film and are a nice plus. There are quite a few of these touches in the film and I greatly appreciate a filmmaker believing that there is smart audience watching.

As far as the acting, it felt a bit wooden to start, but the characters seemed to warm a bit as we progressed through the story. Paul McGillion was my favorite in this one. The other two main characters felt a bit more strained or forced in their performances. Not a lot, but just a bit and it was enough to distract me. The plot was readily apparent after the ladder "accident" so there were no surprises for me in the end. This did not damage my attentiveness or opinion of the film as I already struggled with turning it off from 3 minutes in. I felt this way throughout the film, but I am okay with having watched it to the end. Cute. I'll call it a cute film.

The Telltale Heart (this appears to be the book he is gripping at one point) aspect of the film was mildly entertaining, but overall the film's limited production costs make this a character piece and the characters are not all that deep or believable to me. Entertaining? Sure. A 10? No. A fat 5 in my book.

The Sarah Silverman Program.

Started out exceptionally well, but goes low in the second season. - 7 of 10
I originally scored Sarah's show with a nice fat 8, but I've struggled a bit with her humor of late and a thin 7 is what's settled in. I shall explain.

You will either like Sarah's humor, or you won't. If you don't, I doubt anyone could persuade you. You folks know who you are and it's perfectly fine, but then you know that too. Moving on, the first season gave us fantastic bits about Sarah, her friends and family, and her pursuits in life. In one memorable episode, she is "pulled over" by Officer Jay whom she meets for the first time. - "Do you know why I am standing here?" he asks. "Because you got all C's in high school?" she quizzically replies. It seemed to be a genuine question. - That is funny stuff in my book. Sarah can come at you from odd angles. In another episode, her affair with God was notably funny. God being petty and jealous added wonderfully to the joke. It is clever, it is a twisted view, but she would show us the truth in the humor and we laughed.

Then, came the second season. While still not without some new and inventive comedy, we seem to have slipped somewhat into banal poop and fart jokes, quite simply. I get some good laughs here and there, but much of it seems like filler while she, and the writers, struggle to foment some original material. Sophomoric and tiresome are the feelings I have for the episodes lately, but I have been gutting it out for the gems I do find (the turtle) and waiting for her to turn it around. I was a fan of her "Jesus is Magic" routine and would like to think that I understand what she is capable of. Let's get back to that.

Meet the Spartans

What did you expect? Heck, it ain't all bad. - 4 of 10
I did not begin this film with any high hopes. This is how this type of film should be approached. Cheap humor and gross jokes abound. This is how these films do it and to expect any complex humor is selling the genre short. Yes, there are much better films in the genre, but come on people, you cannot knock it for trying. It does connect on a few jokes and I found it mildly amusing for the the first half, I then started to get a little bored with it and I wandered a little. It's a good thing that it is so short. In fact, it may be too long at 84 minutes!

No, it is not Airplane or Naked Gun, but it works a little and you cannot judge these films too seriously. Don't go out of your way, but if it's on, you're likely to get a coupla yucks out of it. I consider a 5 a "take it or leave it film", so it just misses that mark. In it's genre, it is a 4 of 10.

The Bourne Ultimatum

Bouring. What's the big dealio? - 5 of 10
I guess I miss the point of these films. Big drum beats, shaky camera and quick scenes don't equate to a good film, in my opinion. I could use a bit more depth, but I guess it's not fitting for the plot. The frenetic pace actually wore on me at first and then bored me. The 'twists' really didn't seem all that surprising and the end did not seem all that fantastic or unbelievable to me. Is this the best they can come up with? With films like this being swallowed like precious wine from everyone, Hollowood won't be making anything good for a long time. Come on people, demand better. I can only go 5 of 10 here and as I think about it more and more, it's generous.

Everything's Gone Green

Not awful, but fairly boring. No real substance here. - 3 of 10
I liked some of the characters, but our lead relied too heavily on a charming smile. I didn't care two whits about him. He makes bad choices and I really didn't care since he did not seem to either. He seemed rather unintelligent. There were a couple of moments that provided a chance at some human insight (the scene with the whale was interesting), but these are lost in the general malaise of the film. The love interest was acceptable and the other various characters were mildly interesting, but the plot meanders around too much and left me wanting at many points in the film. In the end, I wondered why I stayed so long.

There are some tepidly humorous moments, but ultimately I did not care. I cannot fathom rating the film higher. - 3 of 10

Bon Cop, Bad Cop

Terrible, but not awful - 4 of 10
The dialog struck me as a deficiency in this film early on. The script needed to be rewritten. Some of the acting by the supporting cast was outright terrible. The sister and the head bad guy could barely read their lines. Someone else mentioned clichés. Of these, there were many. The story line seemed a bit disjointed and I was never really given a reason to be drawn into it, either. Perhaps because I am not a hockey fan...? I honestly did try. The compulsion to turn it off came many times, but I stuck with it. I searched for good elements. One I thought of was: At least I didn't pay for it.

Okay, what's good? Well, the cinematography wasn't bad at all and bordered on quite good. The banter between the two cops was entertaining at times and there are sections of dialog that rose above the trite garbage that surrounded it.

This movie has a rating of 7.3 right now and I fail to see how this is possible. Do people not see good films ever? Are there that many Canadian hockey fans out there? My guess is that the Canadians have stacked the voting. I cannot give this film more than a four of ten.

Someone cut off the Internet to Canada. ;~P

Fast Track

A couple of yuks, but it ain't all that. - 5 of 10
I had high hopes for this film and made my friend watch it. His comment at the end was that he was glad he didn't spend any money on it. I must agree. While I enjoy all the actors involved, the film just doesn't have enough going for it to put it over the top. Too much talent was shown and then not used. This left me wanting.

With regards to the plot element: We care about Tom and Sofia, but Tom acts like an idiot and Sofia appears to brush him off too easily. Of course, this is to play into the plot, but it was too hard to believe after the beginning was set up so solidly. The result is a plot that cannot maintain it's credibility through to the end. It's a light film, so this isn't the greatest of crimes.

All in all, it is enjoyable, but it's middle of the road fare and certainly not worth the 8.1 rating that it is currently riding at. Rather somewhere between a five and a six depending on your perspectives and your mood. If you are rating this film higher, go watch Zach in Garden State and rethink your rating. That film is truly worth it's current 8 rating.

Enough said, 5 of 10.

Drop Dead Sexy

Meh - coupla laughs, good balance, little else. - 5 of 10
Well, not much to be had here. Jason Lee is fine and Glover shines in the way he can, but you have to listen closely as many of his lines are muttered. But this is as his character should be, so his performance is to a tee. Fun with Glover here. Lee - not as much, but no complaints. His slicked-back hair is especially nice.

The story was simple enough and apropos for our cast of characters, but this film doesn't rise up and stand too awfully tall. An assortment of morbid jokes lead the lot, but the film comes up with enough small jokes to keep things mildly interesting. See it if it's on, but don't lose any sleep over seeing it. Not much more. - 5 of 10


Moving, powerful, and insightful - 8 of 10
I felt there to be very few flaws in this film. The ones I found are greatly overshadowed by the energy this film carries. The acting seemed flawless with every character and the writing was great. The performances by the leads should gain them note, but the film as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Being powerless to help or do, communication breakdowns, personal responsibility, and personal relationships are the prime themes given that I collected from my viewing. These themes are gathered from separate stories that are connected. The stories run deep as do the connections and they are woven into a fine tapestry and laid out before the viewer methodically. Well done.

I found the music to be quite rich and powerful which very much kept me involved and attentive in this long film. Despite its length, at its end I did not feel that it was too long. Instead, I found all of it engaging and much of it griping.

Some have spoken about the director's overuse of negative themes, but I think these are simply things that actually happen in life and we are being given an eyeglass to see them with. I approve. The world is not all shiny and white and we should keep this in mind.

A fat 8 of 10.

Snakes on a Plane

Oh, it's bad. Not good. Just...bad. Rating : 1 (but it deserves less)
Unless you are between the ages of 10 and 14 (except for the R rating), there are very few things to like here. One or two lines from Kenan Thompson, David Koechner (we really should see him more) and Sam Jackson are humorous and Julianna Margulies is as good as she can be considering her surroundings, but sadly, that's it. Poor plot. Poor acting. Worse writing and delivery. The special effects are dismal. As much as the entire situation is an odd and awful joke, the significant individual embedded situations are all equally terrible. If we consider the action portions, well there are unbelievable action sequences in some films that make you giddy and there are some that make you groan. This movie only contains the latter kind. This leaves little left. I'm so glad I did not pay for this.

Despite any hype, I can read and think, so as I sat down to watch, I did not expect anything good. I had no expectations, but was somewhat worried going in. Yet, like a train wreck, one cannot merely look away. And even with no expectations, I was let down. Bad. Not even 'so bad, it's good' material. I'm _very_ tolerant of bad movies, but this makes "Six String Samurai" (which I liked) Oscar worthy.

No, this piece of over CGI'd rubbish is in the same company as Battlefield Earth, Little Man and Gigli. How this is currently rated a 7.2 completely mystifies me. Brainwashing or somehow stacking the voting system is all that I can think of as answers.

I could go on and on but suffice to say that tonight, I witnessed a train wreck. I need to go wash my eyes. 1 of 10

The Descent

What? This movie stinks. - 1 of 10
This film doesn't have much going for it. The characters were uninteresting and bordered on the annoying. I enjoyed their fate when it finally came. Very few points of interest, which actually includes the premise. It's as if someone had a fairly neat idea and completely ruined it with the writing and directing. I really cannot imagine how or why this film has scored so highly. I felt that it warranted a rating of two or three, because of a couple of minor positive points, but I was coaxed to help drive the rating down from an outlandish seven point five. Yikes. I had to agree.

This is one to avoid. At least don't pay to see it.

1'ish of 10

Mjóddin slá í gegn

Quirky and fun characters, but not enough "oomph" - 5 of 10
I enjoyed the characters in this mockumentary, but I was left bored in too many parts. I thought there could have been more to flesh out with them, but perhaps it was meant to be more 'real'? I do not know. But I do know that I was looking at my watch at several points in the film (ok, I actually do not wear a watch, but I would have looked at it if I did wear one), wondering where it was going. I found the characters fun and interesting, but only mildly so and I did not get enough punch from their anxieties and odd lives. Perhaps I expect too much. I liked the idea of a depressed security guard and the assistant mall director cleaning toilets, but sadly, not much else was done with it. Worth watching, but I stayed up till 2am catching this and I am still not sure of it's merit. At the very least, it's a fat five of ten from me.

Employee of the Month

Funnish, but it outsmarts itself in the end. - 6 of 10
I had a good time watching the film and I appreciate the turns very much, but the music had me playing with the volume constantly. First straining for the voices and then cringing from the beating melodies, it is a poor audio mix. This, in no way, diminishes the plot's appealing complexity or the actors' delivery of it. That was all fine work.

The journey through the film is an engaging ride. This movie fails in the myriads of twists in the end. I was spinning around at every one. All right, some I predicted and some I did not, but I suppose that is irrelevant. Perhaps it is also irrelevant that I was never fully satisfied with _any_ of the twists given. I am left wanting here and I do not wish to be.

Then everything is explained in an overly much fashion. Did we really need to know so much now without knowing enough before? Leave us wanting instead here, eh?

I did not feel a connection with the side characters in this film. They should've been brought more fully to life to make it work better here. Then maybe we'd have something (for sure we'd have a longer movie!). Maybe much of this film found its way to the editing room floor. I do not know, but it is missing something.

Overall, this movie is worth watching, but it won't get top billing in my deeveedee collection. I can go no higher than 6 of 10.

Christmas with the Kranks

Awful. Awfully awful. What a waste of time. - 1 of 10
I would like to rate this film a zero. It misses on all marks in my book.

The acting is terrible. The dialogue is just plain bad. It's really difficult for me to imagine that folks would find this film funny at all. Though I did find ~one~ funny gag: That Marty brought The Ham. If you sit through it (and I hope that you don't) then you'll know.

I was actually somewhat enjoying the interesting "we don't have to do Xmas" message and wondered where they were going to end up with the story, but it ended up a extremely disappointing and trivial "shame on you for snubbing Xmas, but we're still gonna help you to show that we're better than that" or something along those lines. Yeesh. Where is the imagination? Groan. Pure garbage. Don't waste your time. Do yourself a favor and go watch Christmas Story instead. - 0 of 10

City by the Sea

Awful. Sloppy. How did this story get to the screen? - 2 of 10
I really stepped into this one expecting something from De Niro and McDormand (and a 6.3 here), but I was sadly disappointed.

The (multiple) parallel story lines just irritated me. I considered them an affront to the viewer. I got tired of the heavy handed approach early on, I guess, but it still kept on coming.

I didn't feel any depth to the characters whatsoever. I still struggled to stay on, but this was only to see a hammed speech by De Niro. The ending results left me guessing quite a bit, but not in a good way and this only irritated me further. I'll not reveal anything, but who funded this bowser? I'll give a point to McDormand and Forsythe, both of whom I like and did reasonably well despite the terrible script and swiss cheese story. De Niro does not live up to his capabilities, he seems to be on auto-pilot here. He hand picked James Franco to play Joey, but I was left wondering why.

Blech. See something else. I want that 108 minutes back. - 2 of 10

War of the Worlds

What...? Not great, but fun special FX. - 5 of 10
Well, this one misses the mark slightly. Some implausible story turns cause some confusion on this one. I didn't understand why some things happened when they happened. Or why they happened at all. Character development should be more important to some film makers.

*****Possible Spoiler Alert*****

My main gripe, though, is that it's a premise of this film that they placed the Martian walking machines in the ground some while before the attack. With this in mind, I would think that there would have been a sampling of the Earth's microscopic life as that occurred. I just can't buy that they died from microbes in this scenario. The original did not propose this in my memory which makes the ending more plausible. Or did I miss something? This doesn't make much sense. Neither do a couple of other things, but I'll let them slide.

Passable acting, no deep dialogue, but then, it's an action film. The action is sometimes slow, but there are some pretty good FX. All this adds up to 5 of 10. Maybe a fat five, but no better.

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