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A Quiet Place Part II

A movie that shouldn't have been made
In my review for the original movie, which I gave a score of 8, I wrote: "I hope they don't make sequels and turn this gem into a franchise. How many horror franchises can you name that have not come with diminishing returns?"

It turns out I'm psychic. The characters have evolved into morons. Plenty of things don't make much sense. How do people figure out within the first two minutes of the creatures arriving that they have to keep quiet? Why do the island people play a song like a riddle instead of broadcasting a message like "Hey! The aliens can't swim! We're on an island having a luau!"

The movie suffers from sequelitis - same same, but different - to the point where it almost becomes ridiculous. The ending is almost a carbon copy of the one in the first movie. I wonder if the very last shot is a last minute reshoot or if they ran out of money, because that was some Langoliers-style compositing. We won't see that shot on any VFX artist's showreel.

The Office

How to rate this show?
I love the UK original and was quite hesitant to watch the US adaptation. I have seen adaptations from other countries which have failed miserably, but the US version really manages to make it their own show.

I came close to giving up after the pilot, which was basically a remake of a UK episode (by contractual obligation I'm sure) but it quickly got better. Seasons 1-5 are often hilarious. But the decline begins in season 6 around the time Dunder Mifflin is bought by Sabre. New characters who add very little are added.

And when Steve Carell exits the show in season 7 there is really no reason to keep watching. Especially since we're introduced to the painfully boring character Robert California. I can only take so much of James Spader gliding around smacking his lips. It is around this time that the series also becomes The Andy Bernard Show. He worked fantastically as a supporting character, and Helms plays him really well; the character is just too one note to be a lead.

The plots get more convoluted and absurd in the later seasons, rarely to the show's benefit. The show is a bit too cutesy too often for my taste, it's like they don't dare to trust the audience.

As for the actors, Carell (of course) is boss. It's a role he was born to play and it's difficult to imagine anyone else playing Michael Scott. John Krasinski mumbles his way through nine episodes, probably because those were the only takes he didn't break out laughing. He turned out to be a great director, but an actor he is not.

Watch the blooper reels on Youtube. They are amazing.


Pretty good thriller
Good story and acting. It's well made.

The twist with the doctored photo of the license plate didn't really work for me. I work quite a bit with both photoshop and video editing software and what is portrayed here doesn't really make sense.

I can see why they wanted to give Gere's character his comeuppance in the end, but Sarandon's attempt at blackmailing him would hardly have worked. "So go to the police. I'll say you're an alcoholic who has tried to get a divorce with unreasonable demands I couldn't accept - you have already drawn up the paperwork - and now you'll say anything to get back at me." They gave up on that conflict way too fast so that the movie could end. In the end it became a bit of a black and white morality tale.

The Andromeda Strain

A procedural, not a thriller
The first time I watched it, knowing next to nothing about the movie, years ago I wasn't too fond of it. I had expected to see a straight up thriller, which is perhaps why I found it slow and kind of dull.

But if you treat this movie more like a procedural it's actually quite good. Kate Reid's character is perhaps a bit too much of a comic relief for my tastes, but on the other hands it's great that they portrayed scientists as real people and not just mindless automatons as they so often are in movies.

La casa de papel

This show turned into a parody of itself (season 5 review)
I wish there was a way to rate seasons separately in IMDb. The first season was great, a solid 9. But already in the second season the show metaphorically jumps the shark when a character literally jumps a motorcycle. Things quickly go south from there.

Season 2 had a natural ending. But of course Netflix has to keep beating that dead horse. Season 3 onward make no sense whatsoever. I thought season 4 was bad, but season 5 was bad on a whole other level. It's amazing how poor the writing and execution of this is in the latter seasons. The big firefight with the oh-so dangerous military A-Team sent in to wipe out the moronic robbers is shot so amateurishly that it actually made me laugh.

The characters - who are now experienced bank robbers - keep making the dumbest decisions imaginable in order to fill the run time. The professor's planning skills were a stretch already back in the first season, but by season 3 he must have developed superpowers. There is zero tension, because of course the professor will have thought of absolutely everything. Tertiary characters are thrown into the mix without introduction whenever they write themselves into a jam.

The acting is for the most part over the top. Tokyo (good riddance and I can see why she wanted out) poses like she's on a runway, Denver is chewing the scenery whenever he's on the screen, and I hoped that we would finally be rid Berlin after season 2, but of course Pedro Alonso is hamming it up again in plenty of dreadfully boring flashbacks which take up almost as much run time as the heist.

Leave it to Netflix to take something great and turn it into garbage.

Season 1 - 9 stars Season 2 - 7 stars Season 3 - 3 stars Season 4 - 2 stars Season 5 - 1 star.


Decent horror/drama
I came close to giving up within the first ten minutes, but it got better. It reminds me quite a bit of the Dennis Quaid movie "Frequency". The movie can't decide which ending it wants, so it tries to have both. Not surprisingly having your cake and eating it too isn't a recipe for success. It's a shame they decided to include the end credit scenes.


A Hallmark movie
Impressive in a way to take a true story like this and make it kind of dull. The biggest surprise was that Roger Deakins was the cinematographer, because a lot of the daylight scenes were very flatly and amateurishly lit, and his cinematography is generally amazing.


This was horrible
Oh wow... Since he's an absolutely horrible actor, I tend to stay away from movies with Wahlberg. But I actually liked Shooter, his former collaboration with Fuqua (a director who is more miss than hit), so I gave this a try. Color me surprised that Wahlberg sleepwalks through yet another movie.

The movie starts out fine with a pretty good car chase starring some people you will never see in the movie again. A title card tells us that this chase takes place "the last life", and the following scene where we meet Wahlberg's "character" (a generous use of that word" takes place "in this life". But there are no clues like hairstyles, architecture or costumes if "the last life" took place in the past or if "this life" takes place in the future.

And how the whole reincarnation works is muddy to say the least. Are you instantly reborn in a new infant's body, or is your consciousness transferred to the body of an adult?

If you are reborn, why is Wahlberg's character 20 years older (and that shows in his face, no matter how many pushups he can do) than Sophie Cookson's character whose alter ego in "the last life" died slightly before Wahlberg's?

If your consciousness is transferred into an adult, why are they starting to have flashbacks in their teens, i.e. Circa 35 years before this story in Wahlberg's case?

Or is the consciousness transferred when they die in "the last life" to a teenager and they turn essentially into sleeper agents until they remember their past? In that case, this means that Wahlberg has been puttering around for 35 years before he had his epiphany. What the hell has Ejiofor's character been doing for the last three decades in that case? Just put the search on hold and wait for Marky Mark to start remembering?

My god, this is such a poorly written movie!

I have to say that I zoned out after a while, I had zero interest in the nonsensical story, especially when Neo, sorry, Wahlberg essentially got super powers.

The action is amateurish. Apart from the laughable CGI which made John McClane duking it out on top of a fighter plane in Die Hard 4 seem realistic, the editing is appalling. Just look at the fight between Ejiofor and the guy who looks like a viking. There is zero sense of geography or even continuity between the shots.

The Final Girls

Surprisingly sweet
Reading the trivia, it was fortunate that they chose to focus on the mother-daughter relationship and not just make it a generic slasher snooze fest. That way the movie has some heart.

Good thing they killed off Devine and Middleditch early, because I can't stand their improvisational style mugging for the camera.

The movie was also mercifully short, about 90 minutes, which is perfect for this type of film.

The Good Liar

Perhaps it worked better as a book
The acting is fine, which one would expect. But the story leaves much to be desired. The twist (that Mirren is also trying to scam McKellen) obvious from the very beginning (just like it was in Matchstick Men), but the underlying reason for the twist, why she does it, comes out of left field with nothing in the rest of the story to back it up. And perhaps the choice to have an octogenarian fight scene in the end wasn't the best one.

It killed two hours, but is nothing I'll see again.


Good show
I really liked this show. It's nice to see some good original dramatic content in this era of remakes, reboots, sequels, comic book adaptations and true crime.

The acting felt a bit shaky at first - perhaps I'm spoiled from watching too many Hirokazu Kore-eda films, where the acting always is top notch and naturalistic - but it got better in the later episodes. One person who stands out in particular was Aoi Okuyama who plays the daughter, Taki.

Having some knowledge about the Yakuza, it would have been interesting to see a bit of the political influence they wield in Japan (I suppose the corrupt police captain symbolizes this), with their close ties to right wing parties. Perhaps the show would have touched a bit upon that in season 2.

One thing which felt completely out of place and added nothing to neither character nor story was the lesbian subplot. But I guess that's mandatory now in the 2020's.

The ending was quite abrupt and didn't really tie things up. They had 8 hours to tell this story, yet the last episode felt quite rushed, compared to the first episodes which felt quite slow. It's clear they were aiming for a second season.

Rough Night

Couldn't finish it
This is basically a remake of Very Bad Things (just as bad as this movie), which in turn essentially was a remake of Stag (better than both these movies).

After making it halfway through the movie without a single laugh I gave up. This movie is so desperate to be raunchy it comes off as the Steve Buscemi "How do you do, fellow kids?" meme from 30 Rock.

Scarlett Johansson is a lot of things, but comedian isn't one of them. The same goes for Kravitz. Ilana Glazer is the same as she is in Broad City, which isn't surprising given the director. Kate McKinnon is BIG as always. She's not one for subtlety, and it gets a bit tiring after a while. Jillian Bell was a try hard, just to see everything fall flat.

The Terror

Season 1 review
Originally this was apparently supposed to have been a movie. But in the era of streaming everything must be drawn out into a 10 episode series.

I am so sick and tired of the "slow burn" fad. Just because you make things move along slowly does not necessarily make them more profound. There was no reason for this to be ten hours long. Lawrence of Arabia (one of my favorite movies) managed to tell a far more epic story with complex characters in three and a half hours.

It looks good visually. I can see this being a good 120-140 minute movie, but drawing it out for ten hours is just lazy writing. This is apparently based on a novel I have never heard of, but you could ditch the whole spirit bear subplot without any consequence and focus on the survival aspect. But I guess "monster" is an easier sell.

I'm not the biggest fan of Jared Harris, and many of the other actors were shaky as well, especially the guy playing Hickey. He has theatre actor written all over him, pulling faces fo the back of the room even though there's a camera two meters away. The girl playing the inuit was good, as was Ciaran Hinds.

If I said I look forward to seeing season two I would be lying.

Rob & Romesh Vs

Great fun
I only know Rob and Romesh from their guest spots on various panel shows and Taskmaster. I watched the episodes of them vs Team GB on Youtube and decided to check out the rest and had a blast. Their personalities complement each other perfectly, and I have to say that it's quite brave for two guys in even worse shape than I am in squeeze themselves into ballet tights and pose topless. There were a surprising amount of laugh out loud moments. Fingers crossed for season 4 and more!


Not a documentary
This was a very good drama, which nonetheless plays pretty fast and loose with some facts in order to build dramatic tension. Which is fine; it's not a documentary. I just hope people don't believe that this is the absolute truth.

The book "Midnight in Chernobyl" by Adam Higginbotham, which was released a few months before this show aired, paints a more well rounded (or perhaps complicated) picture.

Chernobyl's civil defense chief, Serafim Vorobyev, made clear as early as 3-4 am that the reactor has exploded, something which was confirmed by tests taken by Chernobyl's department of nuclear safety at 8 am. I understand that the way the show portrayed events made for a better drama, but don't take it as absolute truth.

In the TV series Dyatlov is an almost cartoonishly evil and incompetent figure and Legasov near saintlike. I understand they had to take some dramatic license, all dramas need their protagonist and antagonist, just don't take it as absolute truth. Judging from the book it's no doubt that Dyatlov was a tough and demanding boss, but not as unfair and willing to lay blame at anyone but himself as in the show. As for Legasov, the speech at the trial never happened. His change of heart seemed to have come from not so much as a radically changed outlook on the Soviet Union and its nuclear power, but it seemingly had more to do with his loss of status as he was viewed as being too entrenched with the ancien régime by a new generation of scientists. Again, it doesn't make for an effective drama so I ac understand why the filmmakers decided to change it. But again, just don't take it as absolute truth.

As for the show's Legasov's claim that the flaw inherent in the RBMK reactors would be covered up by the Soviet leadership it doesn't make much sense. By the time the trial began all 15 remaining RMBK reactors had been subjected to an extensive technical refit proposed in a Politburo resolution passed in July 1986. Again, it makes for a compelling drama, just don't take it as absolute truth.

A very effective drama, well acted, well constructed. Just don't confuse it for a documentary.


Paint by numbers disaster movie with astonishingly bad acting, especially from the guy in the lead. Full of tired cliches.

The Orville

What type of show does this want to be?
Not funny enough to be a comedy, not exciting enough to be an adventure, not insightful enough to be a drama. It attempts to be everything all at once and excels at neither. It's the Muppet Babies of Star Trek. I probably would have liked it more if it had been an out and out comedy or parody.

The Movies That Made Us

Season 2: Poorly produced
I really liked season 1. But season 2 is horrendous. Frantic editing where a talking head can't be on screen for more than two seconds before the ADD riddled editors and producers have a meltdown, throwing in umpteen "funny" sound effects and the new oh-so hilarious smart-aleck British narrator interrupting the flow at every turn. The narrator of season 1 was also a bit annoying, but this new guy takes the cake.

I'm writing this in the middle of episode one (Back to the Future) but I don't think I have any interest in finishing it or any of the other episodes in season 2.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Stop. Shouting.
This show might have been OK had it not been for Charlie Day. He's so one note shouting every single goddamn line. Like Jason Matzoukas he's a one trick pony who does the same boring schtick in everything I've seen him in.


I wish this film had been in the hands of a more competent director and writer. I knew absolutely nothing about this case or movie, but the filmmakers manage to spoil absolutely everything of value within the first couple of minutes. (Ironically enough the IMDb summary is also a spoiler...)

The structure of jumping backwards and forward in time effectively undercuts even the slightest hope of any tension. If this movie is anywhere near the truth, it's impressive in a way that a man with absolutely zero charm or charisma managed to dupe everyone around him for almost two decades.

The story is there for a good movie, it just wasn't this movie.

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

I liked the first John Wick, it had a clear story and somewhat of a main character, but the sequels are absolutely pointless. Both 2 and 3 are nothing but a string of brutal action scenes with almost no connective tissue. You know, story and characters, that kind of thing.

If you haven't seen 1 AND 2 shortly before having seen 3 you are essentially f'd, because 3 begins in medias res and offers no explanation or background to what's going on. Which only shows that the story doesn't really matter.

There is very little difference between the sequels and those porn videos where only the money shots are strung together. The sequels shouldn't even be regarded as movies. They are stunt reels. There is no need to view the whole thing in one sitting, you might just as well chop it into 10 minute Youtube clips.

John Wick must clearly be using an aimbot, because there is headshot after headshot after headshot. Do people know how insanely hard it is to hit something as small as a head (and a moving one at that) at a distance?

He has also enabled god mode, because in the sequels he's an immortal. He gets shot, stabbed, punched and kicked a million times without real consequence. Not to mention falling off the roof of a tall building, smacking into fire escapes and awnings on the way before landing on the asphalt with a thud. Perhaps he'll wince for five seconds, but then Johnny's back to fighting like a champ.

This also means that there is no sense of peril, effectively removing all tension no matter how spectacular the choreography is.

Judging from the sequels neither New York, nor Rome or Casablanca have any police. But that's not the only weird thing about this universe. When they're fighting in the library, people are sitting five meters away reading with any reaction whatsoever. When three people are brutally stabbed to death in the middle of a train station. People mill about without even flinching. Is the twist in 4 that John Wick and this whole under-the-table organization I couldn't care less about are ghosts?

The acting is also on par with porn. The new woman playing the auditor is a perfect match with Keanu Reeves, because they have the exact same emotional range, which is none. And listen to this writing:

  • "After this we'll be even."
  • "No, after this we'll be LESS than even."

What does this even mean?? Who wrote this??

Halle Berry is thrown into the second act for some reason, but she has no bearing on the story. You could lift her scenes from the movie and it would be exactly the same.

Why do all women working for the organization look like Rosie the Riveter-style hipsters? Why do the filmmakers still think that tattoos are associated with shadowy figures?

My god, these sequels are a waste of time.

Boogie Nights

I must have seen and heard the trailer for Boogie Nights a thousand times. I used to work in a video store in the olden days and its trailer was on a coming attractions VHS playing constantly in the store. I saw the movie as it was released and was floored. I've seen it a bunch of times since then, the last time a couple of days ago.

Paul Thomas Anderson released the lackluster Hard Eight just one year earlier, but Boogie Nights feels like it's made by an entirely different director full of confidence.

This movie has an amazing energy and is teeming with visual playfulness. It has real characters and great acting all around. I've read about the other actors considered for Dirk Diggler, like DiCaprio and Damon. But they come off as too intelligent. Dirk Diggler has to be a little dim, and in that regard Wahlberg is a perfect fit.

It's quite long. I wouldn't have minded if they had tightened the second half dealing with the 1980s.


I love vigilante movies, but this is more an aging-white-actor-becomes-action-star movie. The story is OK and the movie is commendably short, clocking in at 90 minutes.

It would have been far more interesting if he had been an everyman. But of course he has to be a super skilled elite soldier. It's very reminiscent of Law Abiding Citizen in that regard.

The action is OK, but honestly nothing spectacular you haven't seen dozens of times before. Bob Odenkirk is good. Poor Christopher Lloyd hobbles around aimlessly.

An hour and a half of decent entertainment and sometimes that's enough. Probably nothing I'll bother watching again.


I couldn't finish it
I gave up after a half hour or so. Not the finest moment in Crowe's career. I guess we're meant to sympathize with the female character, but she seems like an a-hole too. Not wasting another hour on this to see which unlikable character comes out on top.

Cracked Up

Not very good
Of course it's horrible what Hammond had to endure, but that does not necessarily translate into a good documentary. The structure is all over the place, it's still not clear what happened when. It feels exploitative considering his mental illness. He's still clearly not doing well. Do we really need the cameras rolling when he breaks down and cries again for the umpteenth time?

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