bthwaithe

IMDb member since August 2006
    Lifetime Total
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    IMDb Member
    14 years

Reviews

Perry Mason
(2020)

Terrible Show
I never watched the Black & White Perry Mason tv show, so I don't care if this show is completely different. I just know this one is bad. The plot is plodding & drawn out. I had to wait 8 episodes for that? Della Street is a drip, Perry Mason is a scrub, HBO has been on an Ugly Sex kick for a while, Tatiana Maslany's character is nonsensical (yes, I know she's based on Aimee Semple McPherson) veering sharply around curves from cynical atheism to hitting the brakes at "No! It's real! It's really real!" A mistrial isn't a win, btw, and "lawyer" Perry Mason (who seemed to know little of the law in the courtroom but that's ok because neither did the prosecutor) needed to clarify that to the loads of people who told him he won. The whole thing was filled with anachronisms & uncreative ripoffs from Chinatown & Day of the Locust. I await the 25 responses from HBO bots claiming it's a 9-10 star blowout of fabulous writing, acting & filming and the claims that anyone who thinks otherwise is an doddering, near-dead nursing home loser.

Clue
(1985)

Frenetically Unfunny
Good cast, blah script & very poor direction. Too many long shots when people drop a punchline. They should be closeups, otherwise the punchline gets lost. Lots & lots of lost punchlines in this film due to how it was filmed. Mel Brooks it ain't. It's supposed to be be energetic, fast moving fun but it's oddly dead. Jokes bomb. Actors stiffly deliver lines. You expect to hear a canned laugh track at most of the dialogue, like 1960s sitcoms that had uproarious laughter after unfunny lines. There's too much explanation of things you don't care about. You don't care who dies or why. You don't care who did it, or why. Maybe you have to be under 10 years when you see it. That has to be the excuse for all these highly rated reviews claiming it's one of the funniest things they've ever see. I didn't laugh once.

Thorne: Sleepyhead
(2010)

This Stank
This was so bad ....it was like a joke it was so bad. It was last season of Dexter bad. It was Arya Stark killing the Night King bad. There was all this yelling & screaming. I can't imagine what life would be like if the police were as hysterical-screamy as the cops in this show. They'd all be crying & peeing themselves before getting out of the briefing room. It was obvious who the killer was as soon as his name was mentioned. Maybe if the cops weren't so wrapped up in their angsty yelling & showing their teeth to the camera they might've figured it out sooner.

Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
(2019)

Godawful Crap
There's really nothing more to say.

Midsommar
(2019)

Been There, Seen That....Only Much LONGER This Time
If you're over 21, you've seen this already. You've seen Wicker Man, Rosemary's Baby, Harvest Home, Get Out & even some random Midsomer Murders episode that uses the same old trope "Wanted: Cult is seeking young persons with goal to steal youth, vitality, fertility & be human sacrifice to elder beings/deities. Contact our fellow cult member who will lure you to where we will drug and/or immobilize you. Please be advised there will be scary naked old people & very deliberate lighting using shadows & bright sunshine used in contrast with each other to foreshadow THE HORROR OCCURRING IN BROAD BRIGHT DAYLIGHT COMMITTED BY HAPPY BLONDE PEOPLE.

Oooooh....scary, kids.

This movie goes on & on as if the director doesn't believe in outtakes. "Yeah, we'll keep that 10th scene of slow motion dancing in there, even though it looks like the other 9 scenes of slow motion dancing."

Like all horror films, young people will make stupid choices. "Yes, I'll trip out even though I'm in so much grief that I'm always crying & shaky & i feel weird among strangers in the middle of this endless field. NBD, really. No....really.....Really...It's ok. I'm fiiiine."

"Sure, I'll drink this tea you're shoving in my hand even though the last time I ate/drank something you gave me I became spaced out and/or was fed pubic hairs."

Then, when the old people jump off the cliff and their heads are smashed in with a pallet, I'll make a big scene instead of realizing what's going on, keeping calm and saying, "That was beautiful & can I please use the outhouse?":then...escape.

And where was the electrical outlet for that laptop? And for charging the phone that was used to take all those photos?

And why were the faces of dead people taken off, then put back on again when they were just going to be burned in the shed anyway?

The sound was horrible, so I turned on subtitles. I shoukdve known the letters would be so small, thin & light that they wouldn't show up on the light screen. In fact, in one of the early severely & deliberately underlit scenes, guess where the subtitles were placed? In the one, tiny pool of light on the floor. It was like a plot to keep the dialog secret.

Cue old music for credits.

On Becoming a God in Central Florida
(2019)

This is a Mess
When a show tries too hard to be quirky but is devoid of wit, humor, interesting characters or plot, this is what you get. This show proverbially throws spaghetti on the wall to see what will stick and none of it does. It just slides down to the floor, all wet, limp and steamless.

The show is pointlessly repetitive and unnecessarily noisy. Scenes are drawn out well past the time someone should've yelled "Cut!"

Professor T.
(2015)

Oh Look, Another Autistic/Aspy/Volatile/Rude/Eccentric Detective
Yeah i know he's a professor, but c'mon. He's detectiving and you know it. And look, another messy haired woman detective in ill fitting ugly sweaters. I wish their detective work could manage to solve the case of how to find a comb, shampoo and a barber without a sense of humor. And look, the detective is emotionally transported by music. A good number of detective/priests, detective/Oxford dropouts, detective/socialites, detective/ aristocrats, detective/detectives rely on jazz, blues, classical music, pianists, violin scraping, electronica to elevate them above the cares of the filthy, teeming world that surrounds them. But hey, at least there's no time-traveling or violent cops who hold conversations with their murdered, half-headed police partners. And look, the novel concept of detective/doctors/professors who despise the rest of humankind.

Analyze That
(2002)

Why Are there Actors
In the credits who have the names of characters from mob movies?

Black Mirror: Striking Vipers
(2019)
Episode 1, Season 5

Repetitive & Boring
This episode is about 50% padding. It was boring & repetitive and I didn't care about any of the characters in it.

Game of Thrones: The Long Night
(2019)
Episode 3, Season 8

That Was Stupid
Wtf are they doing in this show? Witty Tyrion, who was always smarter than anyone knew (except Varys) has been turned into a dope. Dany has been turned into a tyrant. Sam suddenly gets all pissed off that his abuser father & arrogant brother who looked down on him got themselves killed after betraying the Tyrells. Bran is so useless that I'm sad all those people died to save him so he could drowse in his wheelchair like an old man, flying in a ravens body doing absolutely nothing. He has to stay alive because he's supposed to be the memory of the human race & the NK wants human memory erased. Meanwhile, Samwell is constantly finding things in books that Bran doesn't know about. So the memory of human history is in books all over Westeros. We really don't need Bran.

The Dothraki stupidly charged into the night. Why? Why not try to wait until the sun comes up?

How many freaking people lived north of the wall? There's no big game up there. It's taiga and tundra. How did so many people manage to live up there? There were like 10s of thousands of wights. Was the NK gathering them for over 1000 years? Because there's no way that many wildlings could live up there and feed themselves only over the past 8 years.

Characters are repeatedly shown being cornered and swarmed by wights. But they live, despite the fact that we've been told the army of the dead is the most fearsome thing ever. Nobody can beat them! Except everybody inside the castle wall besides Edd. Little Lyanna Mormont had to charge a giant in order to get killed. And I like the way the wights wait their turn to be killed. They've swarmed our major characters, but allow the characters to kill them one at a time instead of all of them grabbing the character's arms and knocking them down.

Arya is a super killer, but she has trouble escaping shambolic zombies in a library. She gets into a room with Hound and Melisandre. Wights are bashing in the door. There are piles of bodies on the floor. There's fire everywhere. She's surrounded ...but that's ok. Because she can run and the camera will stop following her. We have no idea how she got from a barricaded room surrounded by zombies and fire, plus learned how to fly.

How the hell could wights kill the entire dothraki army, yet not be able to kill the major characters who are literally covered in wights?

Jon Snow stupidly makes the same mistakes he makes all the time. Melisandre decides to kill herself rather than try to resurrect Ser Jorah as a last good deed.

The only defense of the castle is a narrow ditch of fire right in front of the walls. No fields studded with dragon glass, no dragon glass on the outer walls of the castle. No boiling oil poured from the top walls.

This was the stupidest battle ever, and there have been some stupid battles, like the one when Jon came up with a cockeyed idea to capture a wight and the Battle of the Bastards, another of Jon's stupid battle tricks.

The Death of Stalin
(2017)

Sorry, But No
I see "uneven" used a lot in reviews for this. Yeah. That's one word that can be used. I'll bet this sounded really good in development. We know it's true that Stalin was laying about for quite a while, getting.....errr, stale.....as his coterie worriedly discusses what to do. We know a power struggle followed. Why not make a black comedy about the death of Stalin? It has all the ingredients. Except it doesn't work. It doesn't work as a dark comedic satire; it doesn't work as drama. Several actors seem to have wandered in from other films (Jason Isaacs seems have dropped in for a visit from a funnier film.) Why doesn't it work? The actors are fine, but they don't seem to have gelled (jelled?) as a cast. Tambor isn't the least bit funny, which is strange. How can you make Jeffrey Tambor not funny?

The timing is off. The film feels flat. The satire lands with a thud. The corpse-like makeup on the characters is too obvious. We get it. They're surrounded by death because they cause death; they are death. The whole system is about murder and lies. And even though the death of a monster who is surrounded by monsters trying to figure out which one will become the new top monster should lend itself to satire......this film doesn't. That's too bad.

Active Measures
(2018)

It's Good
I happen to know all of what's in the movie because 1) I'm retired and retired farts like me have time to read. 2) I lived in Manhattan for 20 years & am well acquainted with who and what Donald Trump is. 3) I studied Russian in college in NYC in the 1990s and know the type of people who poured into Brooklyn thanks to glasnost & perestroika. When it comes to this topic, it's kind of right up my alley.

But most people don't know the real Donald Trump or have the time to do all the reading I've done . They've got jobs, young kids, car trouble, bills, a million things to deal with. So I recommend they watch this film. It's fast moving and it's an overview. It doesn't bog down in minute details, which means it's not boring. It quickly & easily explains money laundering (something the Trump Organization has pled guilty to in the past), so that's a relief because some people's eyes glaze over and think "I don't want to have to take a class in finance."

So you've got an overview of what's going on and most people need that in order to be informed voters. The reason I gave it 8 and not 10 stars is because the closed captioning is crappy. Sometimes the film sounds fuzzy, so I needed captions but they blended into the background too many times to be effective. I also didn't like the music interfering with the story. It's a bit loud & urgent sounding, and we can do without that. But in this film you will find out who the major players are and what has gone on for the last 30 or so years.

You don't have to listen to me - you can take Don Trump Jr's word for it. In 2008 he said, ""Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia." Or take the word of Erik Trump who said in 2014 "We don't rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia ." Meanwhile their father says, "I have nothing to do with Russia." Reallly? He'd better talk to his sons, because they've been withholding vital info from him for years, lol.

Mum
(2016)

Really, Really Bad
I can't believe my PBS station picked up this dreck. Maybe it's a show with a message - that a boring, nearly mute woman who doesn't seem to interact with her family beyond meekly nodding and smiling at their boorish, inane behavior will wind up with a boorish, inane family. She gives no guidance to her children; lets her in-laws walk all over her as they make nasty proclamations; watches her brother and his wife behave awfully in her home and has a nearly wordless relationship with a family friend who is in love with her. They should have drawn a cartoon bubble over her head saying "Nobody home. Be back later. Or not"

Is it supposed to be funny that people are always standing awkwardly in the front hallway saying nothing? Or did I just drop a spoiler? Maybe I should have written a SPOILER ALERT - People stand around doing and saying nothing. A lot. Is this meant to be endearing? Who knows? Who cares? "Look how annoying my family is and I am powerless. I cannot tell them they must behave appropriately in my house or leave it. Woe is me."

I guess this is what passes for "gentle comedy."

Jennifer Eight
(1992)

Meh, Not Underrated
This movie is on the level of 1970s "TV movies," which were hastily thrown together weekly made-for-TV films written by hack screenwriters with hack directors and hack production values. It's surprising that Andy Garcia (in his hot days) and Uma Thurman are in this middling drama. I'm guessing the majority of the film's funding went to their salaries, because i cant find anything else the money might have been spent on. Certainly not on plot or characterization. If you haven't figured out who is the murderer after he's on screen for 20 seconds, then you should just OD yourself because there is no hope for you.

Today's TV procedural dramas are 100 times better than this film. But damn, Andy was hot back then.

Spy
(2015)

Not THE Worst
This is not the worst movie ever made.

****Spoiler alert****

Melissa McCarthy's "The Boss" is the worst movie ever made.

**********************

You have been warned.

The Ghostbusters remake, also with Melissa McCarthy, is in the top ten worst movies.

I don't dislike Melissa McCarthy. I thought she was great as Sean Spicer. But someone else obviously chose the material for that SNL sketch, not Melissa. She is fine when someone steps in, refuses to allow her to repetitively swear or do scatological or gross sexual jokes.

The Durrells
(2016)

Truly Awful
All you need do to get a feeling for this series is to look at the signature photo, i.e., the series official cast photo. The characters are all scowling or looking somewhat blank. And there you have it. This program is about a family of self-centered, whiny, insulting young people who continually disrespect their mother. Mother looks exasperated, then tells them what wonderful children they are and how much she loves them. Every once in a while, mother puts her foot down and demands something of her children. They mostly don't do it.

I believe this show is supposed to be humorous or farcical. It's not. It's annoying and there are no characters worth caring about. The youngest boy goes around capturing and imprisoning local wildlife. The girl is brainless and boy-crazy. The writer son looks down on everyone and the other son is a cypher with a gun and a local girlfriend but, believe me, you don't care about the son-girlfriend relationship because the characters are forgettable. The writer son is interested in his mother's sex life and that is creepy enough, but he brings home a dangerous old drunk to satiate her. I think the ensuing scene is supposed to be madcap, but it was just a chore to sit through.

I understand that Keeley Hawes is very popular in the UK, but I don't find her interesting as an actor and yes, I've seen her in other programs. Ashes to Ashes, Upstairs Downstairs 2.0 and The Tunnel to name a few. She always come across to me as Keeley Hawes, as opposed to the character she's playing. I see actors like Nicola Walker and Sarah Lancashire in as many programs, but I find them interesting. They always convince me they are the characters they're playing. I'm thinking maybe Miss Hawes' popularity is the reason why a Durrells series two is planned.

I really hope PBS stays away from series two. This has been a particularly dreary PBS season with the Durrells, the dreadfully miscast/historically inaccurate Indian Summers and the monotonously dingy Wallander (half of every episode is composed of grey-tinged scenes of Kenneth Branagh staring bleakly at nothing, signifying his health --- and the soul of the world--- is not-so-good). I miss good PBS programming and hope this dry spell ends soon. I'm not one of those Downton Abbey fans who must have elegant drawing rooms and women in artfully designed period clothing. I watched Downton for the lulz --- which it delivered. At least Downton was a success of so-bad- it's-good TV. The Durrells - no.

And yes, I know the youngest son grows up to be a much-beloved naturalist/author, but I'm not willing to sit through this program long enough to see him evolve.

2 Broke Girls
(2011)

Clarence! Take Me Back! I Want to Live Again!
Please Clarence, take me out of the 1970s --- stop showing me what a world without humor is like! I don't want to stay here in this 2 Broke Girls universe of bizarro-world retro TV where sex and going to the bathroom are "nudge-nudge, know what I mean, eh?" topics. Not since Happy Days has there been a TV show where the canned laughter erupts for every line spoken and where prolonged applause greets a tiresomely unfunny character who utters lamely repetitive catchphrases.

In the 1970s, Happy Days was the favorite show of kindergarten and elementary school kids. Fonzie was the idol of preschoolers. But children of these ages shouldn't be allowed to watch the horrifyingly unfunny dreck of 2 Broke Girls. Sexual innuendos can occasionally be subtle and funny, but not on this show. They are shrilly delivered, blatantly crude and unending. 2 Broke Girls takes the format of 1970s sitcoms -- unrealistic characters in an unrealistic world talking in an unrealistic way -- and adds relentlessly repeated references to bodily functions that produce effluvia of one kind or another. I was thoroughly disgusted by this grimy, smutty juvenalia and I only saw one freaking episode.

This show is so bad it should be cancelled, then shot through the head so that it can never rise again. Then its carcass should be thrown onto a bonfire and reduced to carbon molecules.

Take me home Clarence, back to a world where canned laughter is recognized as a historical mistake and is banished forever. Take me back to to a time where TV characters do not deliver awful one liners in a stridently irritating voice, then stand back and wait for the yucks. Take me away from this 2 Broke Girls world where tawdry, one-note cultural and ethnic stereotypes are a substitute for wit.

Take me home to the 21st century.

Hinterland
(2013)

Dull
I get that it's supposed to be all glum and noir and bleak, but nothing about this show interested me. The detective characters were barely one dimensional. The lead detective mopes around staring at people, staring at photos, staring out at the landscape. The murders themselves are dull and no matter how hard I tried to care, I just didn't. I didn't care about the gloomily uptight detectives or about the victims and ultimately didn't care to continue watching episodes to find out who killed them and why. There isn't much story to any of this; there's a lot of cinematography padding. I didn't find the landscape interesting enough to warrant all the scenery padding. Maybe it's because I live in a more beautiful area that empties out at the end of summer, so I'm used to autumnal and wintery open space. The lead detective sure does try hard to resuscitate people, though. He seems to pound on chests a lot out in damp fields.. If you like inexplicably tormented detectives with a permanent 5 o'clock shadow, fields, reeds and lots of outdoor birdsong (without ever seeing a bird), you'll like this series. Otherwise, it's almost a bad parody of ScandNoir.

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