nammage

IMDb member since September 2001
    Highlights
    2015 Oscars
    Highlights
    2014 Oscars
    Highlights
    2013 Oscars
    Highlights
    2012 Oscars
    Highlights
    2011 Oscars
    Highlights
    2010 Oscars
    Highlights
    2007 Oscars
    Highlights
    2005 Oscars
    Lifetime Total
    500+
    Lifetime Filmo
    5+
    Lifetime Plot
    150+
    Lifetime Trivia
    75+
    Top 250
    2019
    Poll Taker
    100x
    IMDb Member
    19 years

Reviews

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things
(2021)

Time-Loop Love Story
Who gets a haircut and their scalp is perfectly tanned? Who gets $100 bills out of ATM's? How can someone in a constant time-loop not figure out what someone wants when nothing else works? Also, if one has been in a time-loop a thousand or more times, knows almost every little thing that will happen, how difficult is it to find a dog? It's the little things that stick out to people in time-loop films.

The cliché of doing a topic over and over again is us inevitably in a time-loop. What I think makes a great love story to watch is the one viewing it becomes enamored with one or both of the characters who is in the love story. Mark (Kyle Allen) is the one we start off with. We see through his daily routine that he's been in the loop for quite awhile, so in essence: we learn nothing about him except he has a father in his life, a mother that works, apparently, a lot, a younger sister who's on the soccer team, and a best friend who he talks to but...they're all inconsequential to each other because we're stuck watching his carefree life. There's no tribulation. Then enters Margaret (Kathryn Newton) who, apparently, may have been in the time-loop just as long as Mark but that's the impression and she still seems to have her wits about her, even if she acts a little too carefree, and how they only just ran into each other in a seemingly small town where they go to the same school, per sé?

50 minutes in I was expecting something, anything, and the build up is there but nothing. I didn't care about the characters because one doesn't really learn anything about them to care anything about them. What kind of people are they? What's the emotional pull for us to them? None of this is shown until the last 20-30 minutes and by then...who cares? Time is a human invention. It can mean something. Everything important in this film is in the last 25 minutes; we were only seeing his life and not hers. One may attach themselves to him by the end but the character of Margaret just seemed like fodder up to that point, and that doesn't make a love story whether Margaret's love for Mark or for her mother. We should have gotten more of Margaret's story except in the last 15-20 minutes. But then that was the entire point of the film.

Did it work?

Elisa y Marcela
(2019)

Love of Lovers
I've been watching romance films for the past week 'cause I'm in that mood but haven't really found one where I actually cared what happened. Also, I'm also getting so tired of flashback films, romance, or not. It's so trite, it's (figuratively) giving me a headache. If one is going to tell a story from the past then start there, don't start from after it's all said and done and then flashback. Reminds me of bad horror films.

I think the film went for the reality without adding too much fiction. Sadly people typically don't want reality especially in concern to actuality. The truth of the women this story is about, how they met, fell in love, and did everything they could to stay together even with one becoming a 'man' and the other getting pregnant to legitimize the marriage to her 'man', and then attempting to survive through that. Not very easy, especially for the time period. Did this film portray that well? Eh, so so. The excitement, if one calls it that, doesn't come until the last hour, the first hour was the meeting, falling in love, sex, happiness etc., and it was okay. At times it seemed not quick enough and other times a bit slow and rough but overall, it's not a bad film.

The reviewer who stated "circus freak" is a modern term one would refer to another (or themselves) is not accurate. The term comes from when circuses began using those referred to as "freaks" in their acts, and that started widely in the mid 19th century (1850s) but can be traced back as far as the 18th century in Russia. Since this film takes place in the late 19th to early 20th century, and based on sensationalism used quite frequently during that time period, it is quite possible the term was in use by every day people in reference to those different to 'normal' people of the time. The word "guess" has been used since the 14th century. It's use in varying phrases such as "I guess so" instead of "I suppose so" I'm sure didn't take 700-800 years to follow. The one word referred to but not mentioned, yeah that one while not "modern" has been used since the 1920s. So, not a word from this film's time period but not a modern word in the least, the longer version of that word did come from the 19th century. Also, I don't know how you watched this but when I did, it had subtitles. There are options to turn things off if watching it from a platform. If you saw it in a theatre, well, can't help you with that.

Valley Girl
(2020)

Loved the Original
(Don't think I'm actually spoiling anything, I always mark it that way.)

If you've seen the original, grew up with the original, you'll more likely hate this film. The main problem I had was the treatment of Julie's parents. In the original film they were kind of nerdy, and vegans but carefree and independent and instilled that into their daughter; letting her make her own choices and be her own person yet in this, the Dad is an executive at some investment firm, and the Mom is judgmental. I thought the parents were weird in the original but they were her parents and they let her be herself, they didn't try to persuade her to not be with Randy. I hated that they changed her parents so much.

The original Randy wasn't a physical fighter (but could fight if needed) and he had a sensitive side that wasn't well expressed in this film. They have the song "Boys Don't Cry" by The Cure (not an 80s song, came out in 1979), and Randy did cry in the original because he loved Julie. He slept on her lawn all night to prove that he loved her. He constantly pursued her after the breakup, in this he basically just wallows in his own world.

This could have worked as a musical if they used original songs, actually reflected the original film and the characters, and make the setting actually be the 1980s. I remember the 80s, I was a kid but I remember it, and nothing in this reminded me of those times. Not even the songs because while some of them were actual 80s songs they were just too Pop. Imagine someone making the Grunge genre into a Pop song. Shiver at the thought but it's probably been done.

I love the original, have the digital copy. Maybe that's my bias but I'm fine with that.

Sylvie's Love
(2020)

Stevie Wonder killed Jazz
I have a lot of negative reviews; not because I dislike a lot of films but 'cause I mainly review films I wanted to like but didn't or just a random review without reason (which is why I have some good reviews.) This one "I wanted to like." There's nothing special about this film. It's a regular clichéd romance film reminiscent of the early 2000's. There's no real investment in a character, there's not enough of an emotional quality to any of the characters to really attach yourself to, in my opinion. The flashback in the beginning doesn't even play well because it comes too quick without an establishment of why it's flashing back, you know? So, it's seemingly meaningless in its delivery; and it goes to the present without any real indication that so much time has passed.

If one looks closely they can see this is clearly paint-by-numbers. The direction, and the writing. But not really that good of a paint-by-numbers because while it displays all the attributes nothing really seems natural (natural would denote the occasion of coloring outside of the lines.) I did love the beginning (minus the flashback scene, as mentioned above), it had a good feel to it but then it quickly just faltered from there. The clichés were boundless and not even well put together. There's no real dramatic moments (even the horrible secret that the lead female character holds about her daughter which is only a 'secret' to one person -- everyone else knows.) No real comedic moments. No real romantic moments. No real anything.

The two best things about the film is the music and the cinematography. Those are the best aspects of the film and if this was a documentary on Jazz/Classic Rock and not a love story, probably would have worked. What I really disliked was that everyone sounded the same. The same voice tones, pitch, vernacular etc., except for the character of Sylvie's father, Lucy and the French guy; but the French guy didn't even sound French even though the actor playing him is French. There's actually a short scene where a white woman mentions how Sylvie's 'husband' sounded 'white' over the phone. While I wouldn't agree with that, I did notice the sameness in most everyone. That's just not realistic of the time period. Of course, many things in this isn't realistic for the time period but the focus is the love story but it failed at that, for me.

The worst part: Sylvie does a horrible thing and that's it. No consequence. The last 30 minutes of the film seems to be contrary to how anyone would react to those types of situations; madly in love or not. And the daughter. While some children are in their own worlds this one seemed to be fodder. She was there as a prop not a character. That, in itself, is horrible. Also, this film made it seem as if Jazz was dead in the 60s, hard for Jazz musicians to sell a record. Um, Coltrane's "Ascension"? Or Miles Davis's "In a Silent Way"? Or Wayne Shorter's " Speak No Evil"? Or Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong etc., All huge in the 1960s. Apparently in this film Stevie Wonder killed Jazz.

McGraw Ave
(2020)

It literally Put Me to Sleep
(I don't think there are any spoilers, I always mark it that way)

Low budget highly cliched and typical drug dealer television show that shows how low budget it is. The one aspect these types of low budget films/shows typically has is great music. This had okay music and very sparingly except the opening credits: that was good. I kind of wondered where all the money went to, and there looked to be plenty of money 'cause they used real money in the show, all of it seemed to be $100 bills and a lot of them. Maybe that's where the money went: to be used as a prop rather than actually putting it toward production costs.

The acting isn't the worst I've seen though the white cop was the worst actor but didn't have the worst lines; the worst lines went to the female black cop who was his boss: one clichéd line after the other: "If you take off the snake's head...the...rest of the body falls." (episode 2.) Many more gems like that.

So, what's this about? Drug dealers and what paths they take in being drug dealers and the cops of which some are bad and some don't care or whatever and they go after them, or something. They tried to make it dramatic more than action but it was more action than drama because the drama didn't even make much sense in the way they presented it. It's too bad, really, 'cause I wanted to like it but I didn't. There were some actual humorous scenes (meant to be humorous) and that was nice, so, at least there was that.

I kind of watched all six episodes, I had a few hours to kill and this show did it literally (I kid, I kid...maybe) and it is watchable when incredibly bored, waiting on something else to finish (like for me), real time killer. Not an enjoyable one but in my mind: it's not necessarily meant to be. For me, in the end, Kyle Greenlawn's 'Pops' character was the best thing. I thought he had the best lines, he was the best actor, and couldn't believe this was the only thing he's been credited as doing. It actually starts getting better by the third episode but you still have that feeling of wanting it to end already. Skip the first episode and just watch 2, 3, and 6. You're not missing anything from the other episodes. I fell asleep during episodes 4 and woke up during episode 5; I still count it as it being watched 'cause they were still playing so I heard them unconsciously...

Wiedzmin 2: Zabójcy królów
(2011)

My First (Second) Game Was on Dark Difficulty
I played on an Xbox One S. I got the game in March 2019 after getting The Witcher 3 in 2017 and playing that game multiple times through 2019 (I still play it.) I played The Witcher 2 in March of 2019 before getting to Flotsam and quit. Then, on a whim, I started my second (first complete) game November 24th 2020 and played on Dark difficulty. It was awful. Finished the game on December 4th and got the Dark Achievement, one of 0.97% of Xbox One players to do so.

This game is probably only good to play on PC based on what I've heard versus those playing on PS4 and Xbox One (and based on my own experience.) The Steel/Silver Swords rarely did damage to any person, creature, or animal, even the most basic person/creature/animal. Even with the best swords and best enhancements: little to no damage; really only worked on Harpies and Insectoids. I had to use bombs and then the further in, bombs stopped doing damage. Then it was all magic, basically, in most of Chapter II and all of Chapter III. The only thing that killed Wraiths were Grapeshot Bombs. I found that hilarious. My Silver Sword did 0% damage to Wraiths. The dragon killed me a lot. Took me hours to figure out what worked and the timing of how and where to move. The actual fight took 45 minutes using Igni, which was the only thing that did damage. On soldiers I ended up using Axii a lot until the last part of Chapter III where Axii no longer worked on soldiers. Originally I planned on killing Letho but ended up just letting him go 'cause if my sword didn't work, bombs stopped working, and apparently magic was barely working anymore...what was the point in trying?

The main story and many of the side quests were perfectly fine as stories go but the rest just made me hate the game, overall. I read about other gamers playing on Normal on PS4 and Xbox that had similar problems; so really they all should have just played on Dark to get the Achievement because it seems it was Dark on all difficulty levels for us. Death March (with everything one can turn off turned off, which is how I played it) was easy on The Witcher 3 compared to Dark for The Witcher 2. I had fun with that game. If I didn't have the digital version of The Witcher 2, I probably would have broke it to pieces. It was unnecessarily difficult.

Citation
(2020)

He Said, She Said.
So, this film is about a girl in college who gets sexually assaulted by a professor, who's popular, and brings it to the attention of the school and a 'trial' is held by the school administration. Basically a "he said, she said." While I don't put much stock in fictional tellings of a 'true story' ('cause it's rarely accurate to the actual story) this is supposedly based on a documentary where people went undercover at varying universities in Nigeria and Ghana and recorded the interactions made by staff to the undercover student(s). So, in that vein: more true than not however the 'trial' seems total fiction to outline the scenario, which is totally fine.

This film shows very well how one can change a narrative by slightly changing a phrase from a positive to a negative (or vice versa.) The main problem with films like this is they provide two points-of-views when it should provide three but; and I know that's not the easiest thing to do especially since this film doesn't necessarily tell you present-tense and past-tense separately. One has to figure that out for themselves though one can tell in most scenes but not really in all scenes. Now, it's not a great film in the vein I think it was trying to be to resonate the advocacy of bringing attention to the broader issue of the subject matter and that's because in the flashbacks it shows the one point-of-view, and then speaks of a second point-of-view. Meaning: the one point-of-view shown is the truth and the spoken point-of-view is the lie. That's why a third should have been present to be better represented in a more equal telling. It also could have been 20-30 minutes or so shorter and primarily because it kept deviating from the message of the film and added unnecessary fodder.

Overall, it's a good film but not a great film. What makes it not so great is the thriller aspect they added to the last 30 minutes where the professor previously got another girl pregnant and after she had the baby she commits suicide as if a 'shooting gun' scenario is needed for the overall message of the film. It isn't. It never is. The message is what's important but one doesn't need to dilute that message with thriller aspects. This is not to say, in general, it's an untruth but this is a fictional story probably based on a documentary on various people not a single person. Start with that, if one must, not end with it.

The Aftermath
(1982)

You're Going to "Love It!" or "Hate It!"
Three astronauts, coming back to Earth from wherever, can't seem to get an answer from Mission/Ground Control. In re-entry, the ship 'Nautilus' starts to become damaged and then there's only two astronauts left. When they arrive the world they knew no longer exists and the world they are now trying to survive in is in a nuclear fallout with men gone mad and mutated (not zombies), people trying to survive a cult-like leader (played by the late Sid Haig), and a bevy of other things.

I loved it from the opening credits. Never seen it before. Never heard of it before and it reminded me of those campy 50s and early 60s science fiction films that are difficult to find; not that those were necessarily good and not that this is necessarily good except in that particular vein.

Now, I'm a technical rater so I had to rate it primarily on that however, if there's enough of everything else (story, emotion, character development, etc.,) then of course it gets added on top of the technical rating. Is there much of a story? I think there is. I outlined the main plotline above but there's more to it if not directly in one's face. Emotion? A little. I mean, it seems to be more of a drama than a strictly horror/thriller film or what not. Though the third act kind of forgets the emotional aspect and becomes more 'action' than anything but there had to be an end and that's what was chosen, I guess.

Does it ripoff other films/novels of the time or before? Yes. It isn't new now and it wasn't new then. Sometimes one is inspired though this has hints of just rippoffs such as with "The Road Warrior", "The Planet of the Apes" and "The Day the Earth Stood Still". Still...I enjoyed it. I mean, one could say those who made the "Fallout" video games ripped off this film. It goes both ways, you know?

The writing is subpar and preachy (non-religiously) at times, the acting is paint-by-numbers (probably because of the writing and direction), the direction is basically getting the job done; one can tell he never directed anything before. There are quite a few humorous scenes throughout but of course they were made to be dramatic or intense but they come off humorous. Slipping on a bullet casing, picking up a gun, escaping from bad guys etc., even about an hour in the love scene was bit corny and humorous and it lasted a few seconds.

As I state in the title: you're either going to love it or hate it. I will say this, though: I loved how they added a laser gun in the last 30 minutes. No laser guns anywhere else in the film but in taking Cutter's camp: laser gun! I also loved how the astronaut never missed a shot one against 50 but one on one, well, he's a pretty bad shot.

Cats
(2019)

Never Seen the Broadway Version
(There are no Spoilers, I always mark it that way..

I've never seen "Cats" the Musical on Broadway. I hear it's a beautiful Operalét (Opera/Ballet.) Some here, in the reviews, have a misconception of what an opera is or isn't: such as no speaking parts, just singing. That's incorrect. Operas typically are primarily singing first, and spoken dialogue second. Now, most operas are primarily just singing but there are quite a few with spoken dialogue.

I've heard a few of the songs before, such as "Memory". My point: I'm coming into this mostly fresh so I'm unbiased to those who've seen the Broadway (or London) version, and make comparisons between the two. They never are alike. Even novels to film are typically different from one another that, at times, the only thing in common is the name(s.) Same with actual history to film; usually not even close to telling what really went on but just made up stuff for dramatization and/or comedic effect.

This film moves so fast, from one scene to the next, I had no idea what was going on. It was quite incoherent. I had easier times keeping up with weird arthouse films than this one. Right when I thought respite was there, it just hurried on to the next scene that was even more incoherent. There was no time to get to know a single character so I cared about none of them. Not their plights or even caring what they were singing about. And while there were minor scenes of dancing from what I heard of the original, and what I've seen in other ballets myself, it seemed quite missing in this.

Overall, I can't give an honest opinion of this film and story because I only understand the concept and that derives from the little knowledge I have of the play based on the poetry of Eliot, which I have read but it's been many years so it's quite faint in my memory (no pun intended.)

I will say this is not a 1/10 (and most definitely not a 10/10) because there is something here, a mish mash of things ready to have a coherent story put in place at some future date, perhaps? But as is: a mish mash of incoherent snippets of...something.)

Yes, God, Yes
(2019)

Quiet Repose
I liked the trailer which made me watch the film, and the beginning was good but for a 77 minute film I kept checking to see if it was over yet. It is so boring. There's little to no composition, songs are almost obsolete; I mean, near the end there's a Collective Soul song as the main character gyrates on a mop pole which, I guess it was supposed to be funny but I just found it weird. It moves unnecessarily slow. At first I actually didn't mind as if it were building up to something and it kind of does, like the utter hypocrisy of those who spout one thing but do the opposite but the punches (punchline) were misses as if the person was totally stoned in the concept.

I guess after awhile I was looking for quaint but humorous and really all I got was quaint, which, I guess is fine but it's just too little. It does have the 'raunchy' aspects but it didn't seem it was trying to be raunchy. It seemed to be trying to be real, like real life, and maybe it was or is but for the content it really shouldn't have been. People looking for raunchy want raunchy. People looking for feel good typically want that. People typically don't want both entwined together though I did recently see a Canadian raunchy-feel good film but it was Canadian: they're always feel good /facetious.

I think it was just too quiet. There just wasn't any excitement when there should have been. It was quite monotonous.

Rebecca
(2020)

A Bit Skiddish
I love the story of 'Rebecca' and the 1940 film is one of my favorite films. Hitchcock did that story remarkably well. I actually preferred Hitchcock's version to the novel; don't get me wrong, I loved the novel but in the confines of what Hitchcock had to work in he did a marvelous job at making one immersed in the story.

The production value in this is well done. I even think the actors were the right choice for the roles but it seemed too modern even in its setting. The haunting aspect didn't come soon enough. I think it would have worked better if they started at the house in retrospect of the narration; though in the novel it was more of a remembrance after Manderlay burned down and they were living abroad.

Gothic style doesn't necessarily mean dark and gloomy; everything in this is bright and shiney, for the most part, and that didn't bother me. 'Rebecca' to me was always a love story first and a psychological thriller second. The love story being between the new Mrs. De Winter and Max rather than Rebecca and Max because Max never loved Rebecca and Rebecca only loved herself, if even that. Mrs. Danvers loved Rebecca because they were basically the same person: cruel-hearted.

Overall, it's a nice effort but doesn't stand up to the novel nor Hitchcock's version. What I think people could have gotten into is a prequel to 'Rebecca'. Or at least, I could.

The Foursome
(2006)

A Family Friendly Raunchy Film
(No real spoilers. I always mark it that way...)

Just because you have a few American actors in a film, doesn't make it a Hollywood film. Case in point: this is a Canadian film. Filmed in Canada by Canadian production companies. If one has seen enough Canadian productions, they can actually tell the difference. It took me awhile to get British humor when I first started watching British film/tv series and the same goes with Canadian humor which is vastly different from American and British humor. The one thing that almost all Comedies from Canada have that American/British do not have: overtly cliché lines and phrases used as if they're not cliché at all. Like it's the natural lexicon of Canadian vocabulary.

This film comes off as if it'd be raunchy but it's not. The title, the older wives always checking out the body of the younger wife. The overall settings making it seem as if something raunchy is about to happen but doesn't, or does it? From a Canadian perspective: it probably is raunchy. Raunchy for a Canadian. A family friendly raunchy film. Only a Canadian can make a film like that. And that's what this film is and you have to watch it in that light; otherwise, you're just expecting too much. And there are funny scenes but in that particular light.

Now, it's not a great film but it's not an awful film, either. Do the ages of the actors playing the male characters really match up? No. The oldest was born in 1961 and the youngest was born in 1976 (being 9 years old in 1985 when they all graduated college.) That is a detractor, no doubt, but overall, I still enjoyed the film.

Yes, based on the title and the synopsis of the film I was expecting raunchy and it's there just wasn't expecting the family-friendly aspect of it. But still, it's not too bad but if you're expecting one thing and getting the direct opposite, I can see how that would make seeing this film a disappointment.

Hurricane
(2018)

I Read Some of the Reviews Here...
This is low budget, per sé, it cost $10 million (USD) to make. The average cost to make a film (including marketing it) is $85-$100 million (USD.) So, hindsight: it is low budget. This film, for me, made me look up the 303 Squadron; read about the people in it, and yes: compare the actual history to what is in the film and it got a lot of it correct (people-places wise.) Did it get the aerial combat right? No, of course not. What film has--even big budget? Probably none of them, ever. If it was actual reality no one would watch it because it would make the vast majority of people dizzy. The reviewer who stated the aerial combat in Star Wars is what reality would more likely be is discounting the fact that that's in space, and while it may seem truer on the planet Earth, doesn't mean it'd be true in space. Get it? No one knows what combat in space would actually be like so they used aerial combat based on the gravitational pull of the Earth as their baseline: WHICH WOULD NOT BE REALITY! A space battle would be, in reality, incredibly boring to watch which is really the only real comparison one can make. Films don't have time for boring fight scenes. Actually, the only show/film that basically gets the science right on all fronts is "The Expanse". Were the dogfights unrealistic? Yes. Why didn't they have the reality instead of the fiction? Boredom, most likely. People get bored easy. That's why people get actual history from books and schools and/or documentaries, and not from fictional 'true story' films and if they do: they need to go back to school.

On a technical side only, this film is a 5/10. It was humorous in parts, it was dramatic in other parts, had interspersed action sequences, and flashbacks I didn't care for but understand in congruence of the characters it was made for. It told a story. There was no real bad guy character (excluding the German characters, of course and the one guy who choked the girl, he was more an egotistical airbag than anything) and while the focus character was of Jan Zumbach, there was no real good guy character, either; meaning: it was about the people on all sides. I quite enjoyed that aspect. Don't get that often in films. It was relaxing. Which is why I enjoyed this film.

Films will never get history 100% correct because history, in the grand scheme of things, while interesting to a subset of people, is boring. They'll also never get the technical aspects 100% correct because it too is boring or doesn't fit their budget. Just the way things are and always have been. You want 100% reality all the time, then, go live it.

Julie and the Phantoms
(2020)

"Read the room, Dude."
Netflix algorithm gave this a 97% that I would enjoy this show. I did and I didn't. It's a G-rated show, and I do like some G-rated shows/films at times but typically as nostalgia rather than contemporary. This show originally came from Brazil, and released in 2011/2012, or something. One reviewer here mentioned that "this wasn't made in 2020" .. yeah, most shows and films released in 2020, weren't made in 2020. That's the copyright date i.e. release date which is how almost anything published is represented.

The acting, for this dramedy, is a little over-the-top at times, and other times kind of stale but then I'm not exactly the demographic that this is aimed at; I'm guessing teenagers are, and while it's rated G it does have suggestive content; things not said but any competent person can figure out that they're referencing sexual situations. And in that vein: I thought if more PG, the acting a bit more normal and not accentuated, that I would also be a demographic it would appeal to but it seems a copy of Nickelodeon or Disney; though the former more true than not because that's the original company who produced the one from Brazil.

I will give it this: better than 'High School Musical (sadly, I have seen those)'; the songs, except the first one in "1995", were all excellent. I was a teenager in the 1990s (18 in 1995) and I don't remember any song that sounded like that from back then but I could be wrong. Maybe it existed back then, too but I don't think so. The lead actress in this, while her acting is somewhat over-the-top at times, her singing is really good. I didn't like some of the stereotypes but people do have them but why does there always have to be a 'bad guy' character? Why can't people just be people? Yes, there are people like that, even as teenagers but I think we could do away with such stereotypes because not all teenagers, or people in general, are a representation of such people but perpetuating such stereotypes make it seem as if they are. Also, while I didn't mind the introduction of other ghosts the stereotypes seemed to include them, too.

Overall, the first season was alright. It wasn't great but it wasn't bad, either. While some parts appealed to me (like the music and overall story) the rest did not and that's fine. It doesn't mean it's bad, or anything...I think it was the whole Caleb subplot. I think the show would have worked, for me, without that character. I mean if one excises that character from the show, except for the ending to the last episode, it doesn't really change anything from the rest. It's unnecessary. It's added to have a 'bad guy' and I find that pathetic. The episode entitled "Finally Free" was an exceptional episode, and "Unsaid Emily", I will give credit for that.

Mignonnes
(2020)

Children Acting Like Adults
I have seen many types of films throughout my life. I've seen regular mainstream films, Independents, foreign (to the U.S.) films of many nationalities. I've seen highly religious and/or restrictive films, and one's that have hovered over lines but didn't cross them. I've seen sexploitation films, softcore/hardcore pornographic films; I've seen probably every genre that could be thought up or has been. I'm saying all this 'cause I know when a film is taking advantage of a set of people for a negative reason; and all the hype of this film says it exploits young prepubescent girls. Is it true?

I guess it would really depend on who you are as a person. Me, I'm a film lover; I do not like all the films I've seen (my mostly negative reviews prove that) but I do try to walk away with some sort of understanding from the story being told. This film starts off by showing a young girl who comes from a conservative religious family and is introduced to something a bit more liberal than what she has been exposed to from her family. She sees a young girl (wearing clothes young girls typically wear) dancing to music in the laundry. She sees a sort of Flash scene at her school of kids posing or ceasing a dance. Some other girls throw rocks at her that she may admire and at home she starts wearing clothes like the young girls she admires that show her stomach which for her family would be too much. Also, this may be a longshot but I think the main character is attracted to the girl in her building and that's why she wants to be around the other girls to be closer to her; one can tell she never wants to disappoint her. Yes, she tries to get that phone back by stripping down (for a sexual act) but she wanted the phone. Is the dance at the end sexual? Yeah but most dances are--what they were created for to begin with.

There's no sexploitation in this film, in my opinion. Netflix's promotion of the film seemed to sexualize these young girls in the film but the film itself does not exploit young girls. It's just about a young girl coming from a strict religious background who starts, in small ways at first, rebelling against her upbringing. The outfits the girls wear in dancing is no different than what any young girl from most democracies currently wear. There are scenes where the buttocks (clothes worn) shown, such as the main character watching during prayers on her phone of women twerking and then she stares at a woman wearing a red dress that has sizable buttocks; though I'm thinking she's imagining the woman twerking and when we get to the first rehearsal of the girls attempting to twerk--yes, if you have perverted thoughts or you're a conservative person, I can see how one would think that's a sexualization of young girls but I grew up in a more liberal household, I guess.

What I found disturbing in this film is the blood on the dress. What I found disturbing was how women in conservative religious denominations are treated. Also, what I found disturbing is the fact that in many competitions (like beauty pageants) young girls are told by adults that they have to be more like adults and less like the children that they are. This film showcases that quite well. The girls in this act more like the older dancers so they can become popular and be noticed. That's current reality, and has been for quite a long time, which is sad.

A history lesson: twerking came from the 1980s in New Orleans, Louisiana, and by the 1990s became a very popular dance in most of the Southern United States amongst the African-American community. Caucasians started to adopt the dancing style by 2013 when Miley Cyrus made it popular (though in the South it was probably already popular amongst Caucasians, she just brought it to a wider arena.) However, twerking may originally come from Senegal, and the lead character in this is Senegalese.

I had no intention of watching this film but I like controversy and those yelling for people to boycott Netflix and this film made me want to watch it. The film trailer did not. I had no interest in the film based on the story and/or trailer.

Overall, it's an okay film.

Chrome: Pilot - Death Wish
(2020)
Episode 1, Season 1

Um...Robot Dystopia?
(No spoilers, I always mark it that way.)

Watched the "Pilot/Mini-Series" or whatever it is on Amazon Prime. I guess I'm not one of the 200 raters here who gave this 10/10 'cause this 31 minute "Pilot/Mini-Series" made absolutely no sense to me. I've seen a lot of Science Fiction and some weird arthouse type films/TV series and I still don't get this.

I understand it's low budget but there's so much in this that it was too much at once. So, I guess a Fembot Slave becomes rogue and gets some armor or something and then it's about her survival, I guess. I don't know.

I tried looking for any review anywhere (except by users here, and couldn't find one. The acting is below average. The special effects are all over the place that to state what's good and what's not is pointless. Kind of reminded me of low budget 80s films in many ways. Not saying that's a detractor or even a bad thing but I'm also not saying it isn't.

I don't know if this is the end of the series, or not but I'll pass on any future episodes unless they can clean it up as in every way. It doesn't have to be perfect or even big budget it just has to be somewhat coherent and I don't feel this is.

Chyornyy tsvetok
(2016)

Chernobyl: Aftermath
(There are no spoilers, I always mark it that way.)

I watched this on Amazon Prime. I have watched several Russian and/or Russian speaking shows on Prime and they all had subtitles (I don't understand Russian except for select words and phrases), this did not. I don't know if the subtitles weren't turning on for me or if it just didn't have them? I watched it anyway. This could be a stereotype and/or bias or it could be those from one culture trying to read the body language of another culture; I don't know, but the characters seemed emotionless, at times. It's difficult to read body language, voice tone, etc., when the emotional aspect seems non-existent. So, I then had to go by sets, direction, composition etc., for the mood: difficult but not impossible. There was emotions, children playing and laughing, merriment and the like but I'm talking about the deeper tone because one is supposed to be invested, somehow, in the overall story. (subtitles would have helped.)

None of this deterred me; I was going to watch it and try to figure out the story though based on title alone: not too difficult. One can read the basic synopsis for each episode here so I won't really talk about individual episodes (especially if and would get it wrong in interpretation) but one doesn't need to really understand what one is speaking to understand what they are saying if everything else plays out fine.

The composition was mildly okay. It felt soft and uninviting. And, it would cut off at unexpected times then start up again for, I guess, an emotional scene. Its timing seemed off, at times. It also seemed composed by different people. It didn't sound the same in one scene to the next. The sets were normal, tearing, and sort of blah as if no effort was put into them rather more on location without dressing (except in the last two episodes when it took place in the present day.) The video quality was below average, crisp, but below average. I came upon this Mini-Series from an outside review that gave it high praise for the cinematography; I don't know what they were watching but it couldn't have been this. It barely takes place outside of buildings (except in the second half of the series), the make-up was okay but not great, the explosion (which they emphasised) was non-existent and it reminded me of the "Titanic" film in 1997 -- in it was a love story of a girl with two guys fighting over her (the only thing that reminded me of the other.)

I agree with the other reviewer here: something to watch when bored. The HBO mini-series is far more superior. Yes, bigger budget but also better story.

Super Detention
(2016)

Slacker Superheroes Unite!
(I don't think I actually spoil anything but I always mark it that way)

First off: it's an independent film so that's the vein it should be taken in. Comparing it to A-list and/or big budget films such as "X-Men" and "The Breakfast Club" is nonsensical. Does it have similarities to the two? Sure but so would any other Superhero fanfare or film/TV that would have students in detention.

The story: some big shot guy named Kaeluss comes to the school. Some troublemaker teens are placed in detention to not cause any trouble for the visit. Apparently Kaeluss has an evil agenda of consuming the powers of all in attendance and the Superhero slacks in detention are going to save the day but before they can do that first they have to get along with each other.

The dialogue is filled in cliché (to the extreme) phrases that no one uses anymore; or, at the least: not all bundled all into one film in such short intervals. I'm thinking this is pointed at preteens maybe. Otherwise it's mindboggling to think anyone older would be into the dialogue though, and no offense intended, this was made in Canada and my experience of their shows, it's right on par. Kind of wonder if they actually speak in cliché all the time there. Has to come from somewhere, right?

The acting starts off fine in the beginning but with the cliché dialogue it just gets worse and worse as it goes on. The overall story isn't too bad but it does get grating from the dialogue. I found it ironic that the Principal's lines were less cliché than the rest, and his acting wasn't too bad. The reason why I find it ironic is because the guy who plays him wrote the story/dialogue.

There were some mildly humorous parts throughout but no real laugh out loud scenes, in my opinion. There is the in between moments where they try to have the teens actually think and react (in a more adult and/or mature manner) to the situations they're in but they are fleeting, at best. Then you have fight scenes where after someone does something the opposition just stands there watching them as they slowly escape. And it happened a lot throughout the fight scenes. The choreography was lacking. I guess they didn't have a choreographer for those scenes.

The CGI/special effects were okay. Some were top notch, others, not so much. It is a watchable film as long as you're doing something else while watching it; like writing a review. Overall, it's okay. It's not the worst out there: trust me: there are far worse things to watch out there.

Azali
(2018)

Surviving in Accra
I felt empty watching this, in the sense that there seemed to be no connectivity. I had subtitles but they didn't generate with some of the non-English probably because the languages were mixed together. I understand countries do that; that's not a problem but going from one scene to the next just seemed disconnected and that seemed to be one of the reasons why. Also, I've seen a lot of movies etc., but I don't know if I would call any of this 'acting'. It seemed as if everyone was just speaking AT each other rather than TO each other. Maybe it's a cultural thing, I don't know.

There's a lot of quietness in this. Like you're just looking at people, scenery etc., like it was dispersing art house type moments (I don't think it was, intentionally at least.) It's a story about a 14 year old girl surviving and trying to get back home. Everything moves so slowly. I was interested in the film but it just was teetering on boring me to death. It's too quiet. Even what supposedly is supposed to be exciting was subtle and quiet; such as the main girl finding out that she's going to be sold into slavery (sex trafficking, most likely) and the slaver comes up from behind her--and this other guy that the girl knows from elsewhere--and reaches for a gun in her purse and was so ominous but became so monotonous. It begins only to get interesting until the last 35 minutes of the film but then it twists into just the unbelievable. Amina was able to escape a life of slavery and perhaps sex trafficking only to end up surviving in Accra as a prostitute. That's irony for you. Of a city of over 2 million people she runs into a guy who sort of becomes her protector (who's also new to the city) oh, and after Amina finds her Uncle we find that her protector is her biological father who she's pregnant by! Oh, the twists this movie has and how pathetically entwined. I think they knew it was a boring movie so they added that taboo!

I will say the showing of the vast landscape was quite lovely to look at but other than that, I didn't really care for this film.

Threesomething
(2018)

I Enjoyed It
I found this actually humorous; especially the part where one dude's mother talks to her mopey son who was in the threesome but didn't actually get any of the sex. His mom relates a story about her having a threesome once and then using a cucumber on some other dude and the look on her son's face is priceless. During this whole thing, the other two in the threesome are talking about getting married right after the threesome and about the guy taking the girl's last name, a dog's chewed up tennis ball is their ring, or whatever, and they seem so happy while the other dude is just moping around all depressed. Hilarious.

You can tell with the dude and the girl (Zoe and Issac, I think) are really into it but you can also see slight tension between the two. And the other dude (Charlie, I think) is feeling depressed, left out, angry but still thinks he has a shot with Zoe. So Isaac goes camping before the ceremony and Charlie goes over to Zoe's to...do whatever. Zoe keeps calling Isaac on his camping trip but Isaac doesn't have his phone, and Charlie is hanging out with Zoe, eating dinner, and she's beginning to waver, maybe thinking straight about the whole thing. When Isaac starts playing the guitar and singing badly and the cringed face of Zoe. Hilarious. I laughed out loud at that. Do Zoe and Isaac get married? Yep. But the true winner here is Zoe because she gets her threesome whenever she wants (though separately) because Charlie pretends that Zoe is his Mommy and and gets his milk from her, in the end.

It's not a long film. 71 minutes. This isn't a skin flick (some nudity) but there's a few scenes of graphic sexual verbiage. Especially toward the end. The photography is fine. The acting is fine. Direction is fine. Everything's fine. I enjoyed it.

Confound
(2019)

Christian Martial Arts Girl
A little girl wakes up in a forest with a gash on her forehead with a lollipop and a lighter in her pocket. She then finds a pocket knife and a flask with booze and drinks it then finds in another pocket a giant timer. Her first word is..."Hello?"

Then it opens to a drug deal where someone tastes a bag of cocaine. That doesn't happen in real life unless you learned about drugs from not actually doing them or knowing about them. Cocaine has no flavor; it does numb the tongue but other than that: competent to even somewhat competent drug dealers and/or law enforcement would not taste the product--only in films do they do nonsense like that. Then it goes back to the girl in the woods with a lot of watching her do boring things. Then it got so hilarious: this tiny little girl barely hits this dude with a gun pointed at her after she runs from finding a guy dead in the woods, he goes down then she pirouettes the gun away from him and then kicks against two guys twice her size (mainly in the chubby side rather than height.) The little girl looks like she could barely take on another little girl then all these other dudes. The setup for her is lame. Basically, she used to have autism, or something, but with whatever type of autism she had (didn't say) she memorised the entire King James Bible (not that that's impossible, it's not, many autistic children have rote memory but in this case that's only applied in the literal sense not the metaphorical. Meaning: they can repeat the verse but have no understanding of it.) and apparently her blood heals almost any wound/disease. Some bad guys are after her and the money she took from them.

The photography isn't too bad but what's the worst is the acting, the writing comes to a close second (though the film does stay in the plot for most of the film,) the direction isn't the worst; the editing is fine. I don't believe there was much composition (maybe slight composition before the 'dun dun dun' scenes, or flashbacks--yes, there's flashbacks) or even too many songs which would have made it move a long a bit better but then again it may have drowned the dialogue though I don't know if that's necessarily a bad thing. This film runs 1 hr 52 minutes. I did watch the whole thing but only to see if it actually would get better.

I came across this by reading the description, somewhat my review title, and wondered if this was a Christian film. I'm not a Christian but I'm a film lover and will watch almost anything once. I couldn't find anything on this film, just a listing here and that one can watch it on Amazon Prime (where I watched it.) There are violent scenes but it's mainly shown of only the young girl against the bigger guys. I don't know what Christian message they were trying to send nor do I care but whatever.

Star Trek: Picard: Remembrance
(2020)
Episode 1, Season 1

Bingeworthy
But one episode a week, that sucks. I want to binge it already. I didn't go in watching any previews, or trailers, or even reading any reviews. Huge Star Trek fan; one of the few who likes "Discovery", better than "Enterprise". At first seeing the character Dahj I thought, "Is this some 'Nikita', or 'Hannah'" or whatever? Because there's enough of those; then my mind said, "Nah..." and I was back into it.

I really enjoyed it. Want to watch the episode again but I'll wait. Don't want to be tired of it too soon. It happens. Anyway...I like the heading it's on with the Romulans and the Borg ship at the end (being used by the Romulans.)

Data was a little...worn out but understandable with Brent Spriner also getting up in age but I do think they could have CGI'd his face a little slimmer...just sayin'.

I don't really have any critiques for this first episode; it's not perfect but, for me, close enough to it which is why I gave the rating in which I did. Can't wait for the next episode I just hope they don't have any filler episodes or time-loop episodes or it-was-all-a-dream episodes etc., we had enough of those with the other series (all of them except maybe the original series.)

Anyway...

Banana: Episode #1.6
(2015)
Episode 6, Season 1

Bland
(there are no spoilers, I just mark it that way.)

I think this is the worst episode of the series for two reasons (but mainly one): first, this felt like a filler episode; an episode with no real connection to the plot of the series; basically a stand-alone to fill in a gap--the first series "Cucumber" had eight episodes so this series should have eight episodes. Perhaps, perhaps not.

Second, this episode took a serious subject and made it bland. Also, it took it to an extreme as most series/films do which I guess is fine otherwise there'd be little to no excitement, like with the type of OCD I have, which is mild compared to others. Things have to be in a certain order for me and any time that order is messed with I get angry; as long as it's put back, I'm fine but it's not the end of the world type obsession.

I think the vast majority of people who have a form of OCD are more in my boat than the character in this episode (or other series/films), or others where it interrupts their lives and not only our own. Of course, as stated: really not exciting but then this OCD character wasn't exciting (positively/negatively) either but not because she's more like my type but because the overall episode was just bland.

I think what would have made this episode better is if they turned it comedic but with the overall dramatic feel the rest of the series encompasses. While there were some quirky scenes in the beginning they were more annoying rather than humorous. Missing this episode does not take away from the rest of the series, in my opinion.

On a technical position, the episode is well produced and acted but does that really matter when it's just a filler, and a bland one at that?

10 Things I Hate About You
(1999)

My Rating's Generous
(No real spoilers, I just mark it that way)

I'm a film lover, and the same goes with TV (which also is film.) Maybe I'm biased since I loved the film and the "The Taming of the Shrew" by Shakespeare. There's no concept of "hate" in this. Or "sadness". Or any type of emotion except giddiness. There are periods of anger and condemnation but overall: they're fleeting. They water down some characters or over exaggerate others. They lost me the moment they made Patrick Verona into a sleezeball, I think that was around episode eight. Bianca isn't overly vapid because if she was then a guy like Cameron most definitely wouldn't be into her. And, speaking of Cameron: he's not showing actual love and depth in this show like he did in the film, he's showing some lapdog future stalker type character. Kat is Kat not solely based on her ideals and philosophies but also because of the tragedies she went through as a young girl. The Kat in this show is unattractive, in my opinion.

The only originality in this is the father (played by the same actor) other than that: this is just every other teen flick out there for teenagers, that's probably fine, but for those of us (or just me) who loved the film and the original story, this is lacking everything those two were. My rating is generous because I wanted to give it a 1/10 but I didn't because there's probably value here for others, just not me.

The Last Ship
(2014)

The Only Good Guys in the World: The USA!!!
The first season bad guys: Russians. Second season bad guys: British. Third season bad guys: Chinese. Fourth season bad guys: Greeks. Fifth season bad guys: Columbians. Any main antagonists in the U.S.? Oh, one of the crews' mother but she was gone by the second episode of the second season. Anyone else? Oh, the White House Chief of Staff (also a woman) but she got hers in the end. A mad scientist in the fourth season but was he really American if he switched allegiance?

I thought it was hilarious that primarily only the US Navy was represented here, I mean, they did have some Army guys by the fourth and fifth seasons but I guess the Coast Guard, Air Force and...what's that other one...the one that is a huge part of the US Navy? Oh...the United States Marine Corps. It's hilarious (or insulting) that there were absolutely no Marines, at all, in this show. I mean, maybe they were there and I missed it? (I rechecked: they're in the fifth season but completely missing from the first four.)

This show's message was one thing throughout the entire series, in my opinion: the United States is the only country that can save the world. Also, it's really the only good guys, too. The rest of the world just wants to kill, murder, profit off of the suffering of all others. Sure the US has some bad apples but nothing compared to the Russians, British, Chinese, Greeks, and Columbians--speaking as an American myself, of course.

This was an awful show. The only season I liked was the first. The second was tolerable and the rest were just garbage. This show is fantasy, pure and simple. The US is so corrupt today that our politicians are bought off by corporations and have a current president who only cares about himself and what profit he can make off of us. In reality: we're the bad guys.

As an aside: my favorite character was Bacon.

See all reviews