dcobbimdb

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Reviews

Chernobyl
(2019)

Wow!!! But not for the faint of heart
HBO typically puts out good stuff, and here they certainly didn't disappoint. I binged through all 5 episodes in a row as I just couldn't stop watching.

I've known about Chernobyl from a physics & nuclear point of view for years, and while this series does get into those details, it mainly focuses on the aftermath, the political and humanizing aspects, along with all the selfless sacrifice which I really wasn't aware of, and in that regard it is really a difficult watch.

My only real gripe was the putting of the animals down. Call me shallow but I had a hard time watching that and ended up fast forwarding through that segment. I guess I can understand why they did that and it was also to show the perspective of the young boy forced to participate but I really couldn't bear to watch it and would have preferred it never been put into the story and IMHO didn't really add anything to the story.

Overall I thought it was really well done. The acting was top notch, the story and flow was great and a real eye opener. It's very well done but is a harsh thing to sit through and stomach. Meaning for those who like watching uplifting or "feel good" movies / series, this isn't for you. I give it a 9/10.

Tenet
(2020)

Interesting take on a time travel movie
Is it worth seeing in the theaters? Yes, especially in Dolby if you have the chance. This movie thrives with good sound and I know with Covid many aren't going to the theaters, but I'm glad we did...

As other reviews might lead you to believe, this movie is confusing as hell. Don't feel bad if you see it and say "What the heck just happened?" It's intentionally confusing, with a broken timeline where you start off having no idea what's going on, and slowly as the movie evolves you understand more and more and by the end you'll probably get the overall plot, but not much else. Now I have bad hearing so I'm real hit and miss going to theaters, even with loud sound. Most things I watch with headphones or subtitles, however my daughter said the dialog was hard to follow so I guess I wasn't alone.

But if you're like me after it's done, and hours later when your mind is still jello, go online and just search for tenet explained and a whole lot more will make sense. Or just wait another 6 months till you can rewatch the movie again and again until it makes sense, which I'll probably do as well. I do not recommend reading spoilers before seeing it or it will ruin a big aspect of the movie.

If you've seen previews or at least read the synopsis, then you get that this is an action movie involving some weird "time" stuff, and I'm not going to say anymore than that, other than it's a somewhat original take on it, which is refreshing. That said like most movies that involve some sort of time manipulation you have to dispel belief and just go with it and that's no different here. Now whether or not it being so confusing and hard to follow is intentional to the point where it hides flaws, I couldn't really say until I've watched it a few more times, and with headphones or subtitles so I can actually make out what's being said.

Overall it's a good action movie if nothing else, and definitely worth a watch on the big screen if you feel comfortable, if not it's still a good movie on your home TV, just be prepared to not get it the first time or be asking a lot of questions after. But I will say it's entertaining, and a somewhat original take on the idea and I will see it again

Self/less
(2015)

Good sci-fi thriller
My rating scale is simple, was I entertained. In this case I was. The movie had a good flow, interesting story, and a good combination of sci-fi & action mix. Is it a movie I'll remember years from now? Probably not but it kept my interest and I actually cared about the characters and how it came to an end

The "how" in this movie isn't really explained, and I kind of like that as sometimes mystery is good, and you can't rip holes in it either. While the premise of course is a bit far fetched, the acting is good, the action as well and I can't really complain about too much.

If you're looking for an entertaining sci-fi action thriller give it a watch

Forsaken
(2015)

Great slow building modern western
I hate to compare this to Unforgiven, as that movie probably ranks #1 as my favorite modern western, but this movie is pretty good and has that similar tempo and is more about the character development, a slow building story, and most importantly realistic feel vs. a lot of mindless unrealistic shootouts.

While I don't think anything can compare to the power and screen presence Hackman, Freeman, and of course Eastwood brought in Unforgiven, but Forsaken does a good job and has some memorable acting of it's own. Kiefer is a versatile actor and while I don't think a cowboy is his best fit, he did well, but mostly I thought Michael Wincott who I've only seen in a couple other movies really shined here. My only regret is I wish he had more screen time as he stole every scene he was in, including the ones with Kiefer. I didn't realize Demi Moore was in the movie until she showed up, which was a pleasant surprise, although she too has a small role

Interestingly I didn't think the scenes with the Southerlands were that much of a standout, and given IMDB's low 6.3 rating at the time of me watching & writing this review, was the main reason I took a leap of faith and watched the movie to begin with. Mainly to see the dynamic of those two on the screen together, playing father & son, but in the end it wasn't any more fulfilling or memorable than two decent actors playing father & son. I wouldn't call this a let down and I don't really know what I was expecting, that said I will look up some other Michael Wincott movies as I just thought he stole the show

To sum up, no this isn't Unforgiven by any stretch, it didn't have that score, level of depth or acting level, but it is a similar type of a western and is definitely entertaining and worth of a watch if you like westerns. IMDB is kind of funny though and generally what I've found is 9=A, 8=B, 7=C & 6=D and anything below a 6 is an F which I typically won't ever watch. So I almost passed this by and am glad I didn't as I personally rate it a C+ / B-, certainly better than the D- that it has now...

Terminator: Dark Fate
(2019)

Is this Terminator or Golden Girls?
Are they ever going to stop making these? I only watched this as it was free part of my subscription, and I had nothing better to do one evening so I figured what the heck. I went in with low expectations and while it pretty much met those expectations, I did make it all the way through without fast forwarding it, which I guess is a plus. Contrary to my predictions, I actually liked Arnold in this despite him being an old man & all, I thought he was going to be in it as a glorified cameo

While the new terminator antagonist was decent and more powerful than previous models, the plot was simply an overcooked ham, nothing new, just another rehash with a new character, it's getting really really old.

The other thing that bothered me was Linda Hamilton, from her first to last line she just sounded like a 90 year old chain smoker which made me cringe and was just a cranky burnout through the entire movie. I gave this a 4/10 because it did have some good action sequences and some funny humor at the right moments, but I really hope they stop making these as it's just a repeating record getting worse with age

Midway
(2019)

Is this a cartoon?
Admittedly I didn't watch the whole thing, far from it actually. I really couldn't get into it as I found the acting so over the top by pretty much everyone. This literally felt like watching Sin City, but with much worse acting, especially the lead who just tried so hard to be a fearless cocky idiot that it was just cringe worthy.

As far as the effects & action sequences, as others have mentioned it looked very cartoonish, again similar to Sin City, which fit the bill nicely for that movie as it was supposed to come across like a comic, whereas here it just bounced me right out of the movie and made it seem like I was watching a video game, it was uncomfortably bad...

Between the overacting and the cartoonish effects I couldn't even make it half way through this. I don't know what I would have done if I saw this in the theater, and am glad I didn't have to find out. If you want to see realistic flying and battle scenes watch Dunkirk, granted that was on a much smaller scale but at least it looked real, this just looked like a cartoon or game, either way it looked bad...

Baby Driver
(2017)

My kind of movie
My rating scale for movies is simple, how entertaining was it? And I found this very entertaining from start to finish. For one I liked the characters, I actually liked them all. They all had their quirks, but their intriguing points too. For me that's somewhat crucial in that if I can't get behind any of the character it just bounces me out of the movie. That was the case for me with the other recent movie I saw "Uncut Gems" which got a great review score, but I couldn't stand it, primarily because I hated or couldn't relate to a single character. This film however was quite the opposite.

The flow of the movie throughout was spot on. And as others have already pointed out the music is great and perfectly integrated into the film. For me though what I really loved was all the subtle and unexpected humor. Humor like this is awesome because while the film does take itself serious, it doesn't take itself too serious and has some unexpected and cheesy humor baked in that all works and totally hits the mark.

I understand some negative reviews complaints about unrealistic aspects and things, but I didn't mind because again the film doesn't take itself too serious, so at least for me it was easy to suspect disbelief, where as with very serious movies it can be difficult, whereas here it's just kind of comical. That said about the only thing I wasn't fond of (hence the 9 out of 10) was a couple plot points such as the butcher scene or why Doc was at the hideout after the botched heist, but I could overlook these things for an otherwise great film.

Bottom line, from the opening scene I was sucked in and found it more and more intriguing as it progressed into the 2nd & 3rd acts. A very enjoyable watch that I was happy to have stumbled upon

Uncut Gems
(2019)

what a self induced nightmare
This was on Netflix and had a rating of 7.5, so I figured why not as the general story line seemed intriguing. Well it certainly wasn't my cup of tea, and I like action flicks and dramas too.

I could tell from the opening credits it was different, I guess would be a nice way to put it. The music score was really weird, almost 80's synthesizer and really didn't fit the movie at all, but I just figured maybe it was just a weird opening. Nope it's like that the entire movie, and scores & music in general can make or break a movie. In this case it was certainly the latter for me. It had that Indie / foreign feel to it, as well as being a 'B' movie, but I rolled with it thinking I have seen a few indie films that were good. But after 10 minutes into the movie you start to realize this is going to be an adrenaline fueled rush coupled with yelling and cursing throughout, to the point of it feeling exhausting. Still, wanting to give it a chance I watched on...

As far as the acting goes I've never seen Sandler in a role like this, but then again I haven't seen him in anything in the last 10 years. So it was refreshing to see him in a different role. However, through no fault of his I couldn't stand his character, nor could I relate to nor get behind anyone in the movie. Movies like this tend to lose my interest quickly as I have no investment or interest, basically nothing to latch onto, and couple that with a really weird score, I was fading fast...

I made it about 45 minutes into it, being fascinated he wasn't killed up to that point and paused it only to realize in disappointment I wasn't even half way though it, and I was not going to sit through another hour plus of this, so I sped through the rest in about 5 minutes and watched the climax. I won't spoil the end but I didn't find it surprising, satisfying, vindicating or anything really. But again I didn't really care how it would end as my interest was far removed at this point.

In the end I'm surprised at the high rating, while I gravitate more towards action & sci-fi genre, I enjoy all kinds of movies and my criteria is pretty simple, I want to be entertained, and while I can't say this movie was boring, I didn't find it to my liking and wasn't entertained at all. It seemed really over the top, loud, obnoxious, and way to unrealistic. Even if this had a good score I don't think I would have liked it any more. Since 1 is the minimum rating I give it a 2 as I thought Sandler did a good job, beyond that there was nothing at all I liked about it

El hoyo
(2019)

Meh, just another political symbolism movie
I could see this movie being the kind of movie a philosophy or social studies teacher would have their students watch and outline all the symbolism and various aspects of social groups and system of government. The movie isn't a realistic movie by any means nor does it even obey the laws of physics, though it takes itself very serious at the same time. In that aspect I didn't find it an enjoyable watch...

Going into this movie I saw it had a high score and simply involved a vertical prison, so I'm thinking Shawshank of a more abstract sense, and went in hopeful. I didn't read anything about it being a 100% symbolic movie relating to capitalism or social classes and had I known that I wouldn't have watched it. Me personally, I tend to prefer movies purely for their entertainment value, that's not to say I don't like a good thinkers movie such as Interstellar or Inception, but on average I don't like movies driven by a political message, and that's really all this movie is, and the purpose for me writing this review is to let others know.

So... Knowing that you may find this movie really appealing and the acting itself is pretty good. I found the first few minutes very intriguing as you are immersed into this world / prison with no information and basically put in the shoes of the main character, and I do like movies where you're just thrown into something not knowing what the heck is going on. However after a few minutes I started to realize pretty quickly that the prison, the people, and everything in the movie is a symbol for a capitalistic society that is striving to be a communistic one given the limited resources, at least that was my take on it. I'm sure others would relish the opportunity to debate every single aspect of this movie from the platform itself down to the escargot, and point out the 101 symbolistic meanings, but for me I find this very uninteresting. If anything I watch movies to escape reality and be entertained, not to dive into the heart of the socialistic onion, meanwhile I'm being bounced out of the movie as I start to wonder "So how is that platform actually moving up and down again?"

So yeah, in the end I can see the appeal this movie may have on political revolutionists, those heavy into symbolism or as a philosophical class project. But for those who enjoy movies purely for entertainment value this may not be your gig. In the end I gave it a 3/10 not because I didn't like it (well that may have some contribution), but because while it's somewhat original I didn't find it that deep or thought provoking other than the obvious "this is representative of that, wash, rinse & repeat..." Not to mention I just found a lot of things ridiculous, stupid, and in some cases devoid of any fundamental laws of physics

Star Trek: Picard
(2020)

It's growing on me
At the time I reviewed this the show has a solid rating of 7.9. Admittedly I wasn't all that won over by the first few episodes as I thought the show had a bit of a slow start, but it is growing on me and now I can't wait to see how S1 ends

Reading a few reviews it's pretty clear many purists simply don't like the feel of the show, that it's not true to form ST, darker and abandoning it's principles. While I always loved Star Trek, there was always a side of me that thought it was just a bit pompous and overly self righteous, and that it didn't get itself dirty enough, obviously that's not a problem with Picard. I know part of the cleanliness of the previous shows was probably to do with Roddenberry and his utopian beliefs, and maybe also to do with the fact that they were on cable, but Picard being on CBS All Access, they can be more graphic and drop F bombs all they like. I know some people may strongly disagree with this and say it's too foul for kids, but personally I've never found ST to be much of a kid show to begin with. So overall I welcome the darker and quite frankly more earthbound feel to it

As far as the story itself, I'm glad it's about something different, not centered around a specific ship or station, but more free reigns to just follow a story line wherever that goes. However, that said I'm wondering if this particular story arc about Synths vs Romans will continue on into S2 which I think would wear thin, or wrap up at the end of S1, and if so, then what's in store for S2? It's kind of funny how the Orville blatantly copied so many ST things, except machines rising up against organics and yet Picard is building off a very similar arc

And then there's the aspect of Picard's brain condition, which we finally see symptoms of, and a 79 year old Patrick Stewart playing the role, and as good as he still is you have to wonder how long this thing could go? Sure they could conjure up some miracle cure, but given the name of the show is Picard, it really is revolving around him and he's the glue holding this whole thing together. I can't think of any series show where the main lead is almost 80 years old, so I guess time will tell there.

As far as reusing old ST cast members, this feared me a bit as it usually makes for lackluster episodes or future developments, and typically serves to just give some screen time to someone who's over the hill. That said I'm glad about Jeri Ryan's appearance in the show and don't mind a bit if she becomes a supporting regular as she's still got it. I really hope we don't see any more of Marina Sirtis as she's just not aging well, that and I never liked her pointless character in the first place. Far as Franks, I prefer him behind the camera instead of in front of it. I did like seeing Hue again even if it was brief. Overall I hope they don't have too many more reunions

To sum up, yeah I thought it started a little slow, but I can see why, good stories take time to build. But things started to pick up in the middle episodes and as we got more into the third act I'm intrigued to see how things are going to end for S1. I really hope they don't screw up the ending, I guess we'll see

8/10

Ray Donovan
(2013)

Gave up mid-way through season 2
I started binge-watching this show on a rainy weekend, just looking for something new to get into. Given the general premise, the fact that it starred Liev & Jon and the favorable rating on IMDB I figured it would be right up my alley.

Well, I made it into season 2 before finally throwing in the towel, I just became indifferent, bored, and it became cringeworthy and bothersome. I think if I started watching this weekly back when it aired instead of bingeing, I would have given up on it much sooner. But I wanted to give it a fair shot hoping it would get better.

Ultimately what lead to me giving it up was a combination of the believability factor, coupled with characters I just couldn't get into. Starting with the believability factor, I get it, this is TV, not real life, it's for entertainment, etc.... But the show does take itself serious and even know one must suspend disbelief for certain things, it was just too far off the grid for me. It wasn't the action which surprisingly seemed believable, but rather relationship dynamics, and how people would typically interact and react to things, especially between Ray and his wife & kids. No way is any of this remotely close to real life. As far as all Ray's work-related dealings, that part of the show I actually liked, but going back to the believability factor, it was just too far away from reality for me to roll with.

Now onto the characters, this was the other thing that ultimately bounced me out of the show. For a show to remain intriguing enough to keep one's interest, you have to be able to like or relate to some of the characters, it gives you something to root for and invest into. However, for this to work characters at least have to remain somewhat consistent or be grounded to whatever principles they adhere to. In this show the two main characters Ray & Mickey would act a certain way, and then go do something so conflicting or polar opposite that it just creates an artificial or unnatural chaos. And for the record I'm totally fine with morally gray characters, but they at least have to be somewhat consistent, unless they are a psychopath or something. In this case I couldn't care or get invested into Ray, his father, or pretty much anyone else from his family. About the only characters I liked were Terry, Avi & Lena, but collectively they have such low screen time that it didn't amount to much

To sum up, I like the main plot theme, and a few of the supporting characters, but for me it fell flat with characters actions or interactions, and lack of consequences for anything, just so outside of the normal world. I found myself spending more time questioning: "How could that person just do that", "why would that person just put up with that", "how can that person be such a rich powerful person and yet such an idiot", or "How is it that people can just down glasses of hard alcohol in pretty much every scene like it's water, not show any stick faces, and not seem to get drunk." Anyway enough is enough for me...

Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker
(2019)

Redeemed the 8th film
Overall I walked out of the theater liking the movie and with a good feeling. Granted I went in with grim expectations after the 8th film just destroyed everything and didn't appear to leave much to work with. So on that grim basis I'm happy to say that I thought they came up with a good story to wrap up the 3rd trilogy.

I thought it started off a little rocky, but after a bit grounded itself and found a good pace. Thankfully they avoided the dumb humor of the 8th movie and brought back the subtle humor that Star Wars is known for. The action & effects was good as well.

I get it that Star Wars fans are a critical group, and nothing will ever live up to the original trilogy, but that said and considering how the 8th film left things I thought this 9th film did a good job of concluding things. So on that note if you're a Star Wars fan who was a bit burned by the 8th film (like me) don't listen to all the bad reviews and just go see this one

Joker
(2019)

Definitely not a "feel good" movie
I didn't see any previews or read any reviews, went into this completely blind other than knowing it was somewhat of an origin story about the Joker. Overall I thought the movie was really well done, but I realized that this isn't really my kind of movie, maybe I'm more of a Marvel type person...

The depiction of this was a very, very realistic rendition about how the "Joker" might have come to beg. And in that regard it's a little bit scary. There's no glamour, no movie magic, gimmicks, or special effects, this is very much as realistic of an approach I've ever seen to a comic book like character. The only thing that comes close IMO are the M. Night Shyamalan movies "Unbreakable", "Split", and "Glass" which I very much enjoyed, but even those involve abilities and some suspension of disbelief, but if you liked this kind of movie then those movies are in the same category of realism, or at least a setting of realism.

As for the actor, Phoenix did a remarkable job, he's certainly not one of my favorite actors by any means and I've only seen him in a couple movies, where incidentally he played the bad guy, but I have to give him credit as he did a wonderful job playing the abused, dark, and disturbed Arthur. Far as rooting for the bad guy, this movie certainly sets you up to feel for Arthur from the very beginning. He's a guy who's basically been dealt a bad hand from the beginning, and if anything really shows the mental instability of his character, and to a large degree how he's a product of the environment he was brought up in. In that unique sense, and from a certain perspective, pretty much everything he does is justified. I'm certainly not saying I agree with any of it, but you can plainly see why he does the things he does and is certainly a cause and effect situation.

I came out of the movie saying "Wow..." and started to stir on it for hours afterwards. I very much like action, horror, sci-fi & drama. So this is every bit up my spectrum of movies that I enjoy. But I certainly didn't come out of the movie feeling good or energized by any means. My biggest criteria and measuring stick for a movie is simply "entertainment." Was I entertained? Very much so... Did I enjoy it? Not really, and this for me is a rarity but there are a few movies I've seen over the years that fit into that exact category.

So... to sum up. It is a masterpiece in what it's trying to do, and is very entertaining, so I give it a 10 in that regard. But I honestly didn't really like it that much either, it's very dark, disturbing, and pretty much a downer from start to finish and you leave feeling drained and empty. In that regard I give it a 2. Thus my final score of a 6 is what I rate it. I realize IMDB currently has this pegged as an 8.9, which is ridiculously high, and I can to some degree understand why in that it's very unique. I guess in the end what I learned about myself is I like dark movies if they either aren't serious, or realistic. But for me a large reason of why I enjoy movies is to get away from the real world, so I can see why in this instance because its dark, and because it was realistic, why I didn't really like it...

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
(2019)

Decent but getting too ridiculous...
While I loved the first one, and liked the 2nd & 3rd ones, the suspension of disbelief is just getting absurd.

As for the good, I liked the choreographed fights, much like the first two movies, this does not disappoint. They continue to deliver great action sequences, keeping it fresh & interesting, and while most of the time honoring round amounts and gun reloading, to the point of it being comical and of course perfectly timed.

Now as far as the bad... Again I understand one has to suspend a lot of disbelief and just go with it, after all it is an action movie right? But that said, there are a collection of things that just bug me, like there are assassins literally everywhere, much like the 2nd movie, it seems like half the population are assassins. Also, there is never any police, ever... I mean how can all out war happen with literally armies of assassins yet there's not a single police or military involvement whatsoever? In fact it's almost comical how deaths in public places don't even seem to trigger general panic or anything. Some aspects in the fight sequences are a little scripted looking, like people waiting for their queue or some time sync issues, but these were few for the most part few. OMG the adjudicator, both the actor and the character just annoyed the heck out of me.

However probably the biggest issue for me is all 3 movies literally take place within a week's time span. And we already saw from the first two movies he gets shot, cut, and takes numerous punishment throughout, and the 3rd movie is no different. Yet he still has the strength and stamina to keep pulling through which just defies all physical boundaries. I mean in the real world, you don't just get stabbed or shot, stitch it up & pop some pain killers and keep on fighting on like nothing happened, you'd bleed out within minutes. Not only that in pretty much all his fights he takes punishment, yet there is no accumulation of damage, no swelling or slowdown, heck it never even looks like he's breathing hard. I realize it's supposed to be a fast paced movie, but I just think it would be great if they actually added a bit of realism to it, maybe add in the occasional quick rest scene. It just gets to be a bit mechanical and absurd

In the end, it is mindless entertainment, I know they are working on a 4th one and I'll see it of course

No Country for Old Men
(2007)

Frustrating movie...
This movie started off good and I was intrigued from the beginning, but then 2/3 into the movie it just does a 180 and was a total let down up to the end. Maybe I went into this expecting too much given the high rating & all, it's not like I need a happy or Hollywood ending to like a movie, but this movie was just ruined in the final act, to the point where I was kind of shell shocked, and after that wore off I was kind of pissed knowing I blew 2 hours on this. The best analogy I can give is working on a good jigsaw puzzle only to find there are missing pieces in the end, leaving you feeling cheated.

Acting wise I thought Javier and Josh were great and I liked them both. Tommy & Woody were both wasted and didn't serve any point or advance the plot of the movie at all. In fact both of them could have been stripped out of the movie completely and it wouldn't have changed a single thing. Kelly was okay, but nothing special

Personally I though the effects were kind of hokey, and very noticeable GCI when it came to certain gunshot hits and it always reminds me that practical effects always beat out GCI any day of the week, but sadly this is just the way of things I guess

Overall I think the movie had a lot of potential, but it's as if they ran out of money or just tried to pull off some weird M. Night Shyamalan ending which failed miserably. It's really hard to digest and describe without directly spoiling, but in the end I was left unsatisfied and a bit confused, and not confused as in I didn't get it, but again I really can't dive into that more without giving away spoilers. If anything it teaches me to never simply go off a rating...

Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne
(2019)
Episode 6, Season 8

Good riddance GOT
It's really sad that the series was so good for so many years and kept building and building. And then after two years of waiting, season 8 finally comes only to disappoint on so many levels. It's really sad for everyday viewers who loved and watched the show for years.

In the end I'm left wondering where or what made it all go wrong, if the show runners simply couldn't tell the same great story the author had came up with once they surpassed the books, if they just didn't care and wanted to wrap up so they could move onto bigger and better things? Maybe in the end they thought they were delivering or ending something great. All I do know is that I'm disappointed and left with an empty feeling, not one that the story intended to leave me with. More like watching a piece of beautiful art being destroyed. And it's really sad to know what was and what could have been, and now never will be...

Oh well... Time will go on, people like myself will rant and rave for a bit and finally move on to something else. What's done is done and can never be undone. Unfortunately this show will not go down like Breaking bad or Lord of the Rings, or one of the greats, but rather like Dexter (a show I had to search on as I already couldn't remember the name). Basically a show that had so much potential, but just couldn't finish strong, and as a result 10+ years from now will be largely forgotten

Learn from this HBO...

Game of Thrones: The Bells
(2019)
Episode 5, Season 8

Burn them all
I very much disliked episode S8E3 (except for Arya's parts) mainly because the battle plan was so stupid and I just couldn't get over it, that and it being so dark and hard to see...

This episode on the other hand, while tactically it may have also been a bit out of left field, we finally got to see the full potential of the dragons wrath. I guess it's one thing when an unsuspecting dragon gets picked off, it's quite another when you use one intelligently, outflanking your opponent, coming from the side & behind, which makes a lot of sense considering how fast a dragon is vs. ships and maneuvering scorpions.

Regardless of the fact that Danny has really become her fathers daughter, she and her dragon single handedly brought down Kings Landing on their own. Sure her ground forces mopped up what was left of their army, but if not for her dragon or if they got a lucky scorpion shot in, the battle surely would have went a different way. I mean they had no siege at all except for the dragon, and obviously elephants wouldn't have made much difference as the dragon would have just scorched them anyway.

I know it's a show and dragons are mythical creatures, but the one thing I dislike is just how explosive the dragons fire is. I get that it's super hot and would turn anything to ash and melt rock, but I don't like how it makes ships or castle walls just blow up like it's a bomb. And that's just how she breached the gates to let all her forces in. I kind of got how the Night King's dragon brought down the ice wall as it more or less super heated it. But If you look back at S6E3 (the battle of Merreen), you see 3 dragons converge on a single ship and take turns breathing fire on it until it finally splits in half, which seems more believable than what we see here. And I assume that they were fully grown in that battle, but anyway...

I also like how they wrapped up the Hound / Mountain story arc, as well as Arya's fight for survival trying to escape Kings Landing. Cercei's ending was a bit lackluster, I certainly would have rathered something a little more gruesome or backstabbing, anything more than death by cave in...

This certainly sets up an interesting final episode as now you have Dany who's totally torn her gloves off and who clearly won the battle. I certainly don't see her being talked out of the throne and bending the knee to John, who clearly doesn't want the job anyway, so it will really be interesting how they finish this off. Are Arya's revenge days over or is there a new name added to the list?

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

Lets throw battle tactics out the window...
Given IMDB's high score for this episode I guess I must be alone. I did like certain aspects of this episode, but overall I thought it was disappointing mainly due to oddly poor battle tactics. I never thought GOT would be guilty of horrible battle strategy, but this episode appears to be proof

Where to start, oh how about the brainless dothraki. Flaming swords or not it was utterly ridiculous for a few hundred dothraki to charge into the enemy with only a few catapults as aid against several thousand unread. Granted I get that the dothraki know no other way to fight, but one would think a few hundred against many thousands isn't good odds.

So then the unread horde charge in, but I didn't see a single arrow shot towards the horde, nor any further catapult launches. What did they have only a single stone for each catapult? I don't care if the whites conjured up a snow storm, one would think the archers on the walls would be raining flaming arrows over the unsullied army against incoming whites, thus thinning the horde so the unsullied could mope up what makes it through. But for whatever reason they didn't do that. Obviously things aren't going well at this point.

So then when the Unsullied start to get pushed back by the uncontested whites, they decide they want to light the trench and basically condemn anyone beyond it (basically the entire unsullied army) to die. At this point I could do nothing but shake my head. Had I not been so looking forward to this episode I would have turned it off. I could get behind the whites doing something unexpected, charging from the sides or behind or whatever, this was just blatant stupidity on an epic scale, and I'm disappointed in the show runners and director for delivering such idiotic battle tactics. So now Dany's armies are both completely decimated, and from what I gathered that made up well over half of their total forces

At this point it seems pretty much like the whites against just our main characters really, who seem to hold off and dispatch many of the dead, which from what we saw so far is absurdly ridiculous. Granted our main characters are probably the best fighters I just have a little trouble understanding how the dothraki fleet gets killed in about 15 seconds (well not really, they were idiots), and the entire unsullied army are killed within a few minutes, and yet our main heroes are for the most part slaughtering dozens of whites each. Meh...

And finally to top it off it looks like Bran is defended by a half a dozen ironborn with bows. Basically the most important person defended by a handful of people, regardless if an allied dragon is supposed to swoop in or not. Heck what the Night king should have done was simply flew there and smoked them all with one dragon shot, but I guess that wouldn't have made for a good ending.

As for the good, I liked the Arya scenes and some of the in fighting by our main heroes, but that was about it. I was simply overwhelmed by how idiotic this battle played out overall, sigh...

Avengers: Endgame
(2019)

It doesn't get any better than this
To say this movie was awesome is an understatement. I'm still processing everything but OMG was it truly a masterpiece. I'm struggling to think if I've ever given a 10 before, but if I have it's only ever been one or two in my life. This certainly was a 10... However you definitely need to see ALL the movies from 2008's Iron Man through Infinity war. And I do mean ALL of them for this movie to truly shine or even to make sense. Even given the 3 hour running time this movie makes no attempts to fill you in, and nor should it. You need to be well prepared going into this

That said I saw the opening night fan event showing, and got a commemorative coin that is actually metal, heavy, and super cool! But it was shown in a regular theater with mediocre sound, so I also have tickets for a showing on Friday as well in a Dolby theater room, which I can't wait to see. Now I loved Avengers Infinity War, but I laughed, cheered and got way more emotional in this movie than that one. I've been in theaters where the crowd cheered or laughed before, but I don't think I've ever seen it let alone experienced it to this degree. The emotions were just flowing to say the least.

I really liked how the first act brought you into the aftermath of this post-snap world, and really focused on the hardship of what things would have been like after such an event. And while this was all very sad the one thing I was shocked about was that they successfully pulled off so much humor. Humor in a marvel movie is no surprise, but given how Infinity War ended I really thought this was going to be a dark and dreary movie, and yet it gave me some of the best laughs while still taking itself serious. It's quite a magic act to pull off

The second act really sets the game plan in motion for how they plan to "fix" things and while suspenseful and intriguing it still kept up great and appropriate humor. Obviously humor is a subjective thing and some might bash it. I tend not to like potty humor style but more organic or situational humor, which I thought they just nailed. But at the same time there were some heartache moments that just brought you on the edge of your seat, or made you wipe your eyes. Towards the middle of the movie I was just glued to my seat

And then there's the third act. OMG... As you would expect it sets up a mega finish as they really are wrapping up the culmination of 11 years and 20+ films worth of story lines and this is what it's all about. The action was great, effects second to none, a bit chaotic at times but that just adds to the intensity. There were moments I just yelled and cheered like I never have at a movie before. I watched it with my daughter who I've taken to or seen every one of the marvel movies with and we were clenching each other through the last 15-20 minutes as it was just so intense, amazing and emotional.

Coming out of the movie we were both just stunned and in awe, just trying to process the emotions of what we just saw. To bring out so much emotion in us, and from what we saw so many others is just unbelievable. That in itself just tells you how extraordinary this movie was and is a true credit to everyone involved in making this film. All I can say is don't read any spoilers as there are sure to be some now that it's out. Get some tickets, go and see it for yourself, you will not regret it, but again if you've missed any of the movies in between Iron Man and Infinity war, get caught up first.

The Orville: Sanctuary
(2019)
Episode 12, Season 2

Great episode but other reviews stir up crap
I liked this episode and think it was a great follow up to 'About a Girl' in S1. Bortus and Klyden are obvious heading down separate paths, with their child being caught in the middle, so it will be interesting to see how that turns out.

While the humor of The Orville is still present, it is diminishing, and if you re-watch some of the earlier episodes the show overall has gradually slid over to the serious side, which I think is fine provided they keep writing good compelling stories. I personally thought the earlier episodes were a little too silly potty humor wise, but that said it shouldn't get too serious

Captain Marvel
(2019)

I thought it was entertaining
It's certainly not without it's flaws, but overall I was entertained throughout the movie. The story & pace was good, action & effects were good. Anti-aging on Fury was really good, Coulson looked a little synthetic to me. The humor overall I thought worked, anything cat related was hysterical. One thing I like about movies if done right is when they leave you with questions, but it has to be done well. If you leave people with questions due to lazy writing, then that isn't cool, but if you walk away pondering things, then that's usually a good thing, at least I think so

I didn't read any reviews before going to see this and honestly didn't go in with much in the way of expectations. Captain Marvel is a hero I'm not really familiar with. Lets face it she doesn't have the celebrity status as Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man & Thor. And I can't pretend to be a fan of Larson either, I only saw her in Kong which wasn't all that memorable, but mainly I'm indifferent to her as an actor

After reading reviews, overwhelmingly which are negative I think they're a little harsh, most complain about Larson being wooden, which again I can't really comment on as I really don't know her or other works, I thought she did okay but admittedly I wasn't wowed over by her either.

One concern I had going into this was all the talk about her being too powerful, which is true and a negative IMO and once she transitioned into Binary it was pretty much lights out for the bad guys. The main problem with this is I never felt like she could lose or be seriously hurt. Mainly just confined or blocked until she finally broke free, which is very different than feeling like she could actually be hurt or worse.

I must admit I was confused with the tesseract and timeline details. I didn't quite grasp how supposedly it went into the drink with Cap America in the 40's, Howard Stark recovered it shortly after, and presumably it was in his / Shield's possession until Loki snatched it in the first Avengers. So the fact that it has such a dominant role in this movie perplexed me, but I guess after enough thought it more or less works out.

All in all I thought it was entertaining, action packed & funny, which is my overall measuring stick, at least for these types of movies. Was it as memorable as Iron Man, Thor or the Avengers? No, but I put it in the same bracket as Ant Man. So maybe on the lower side when compared to the recent Marvel movies, but by no means a bad movie overall

The Orville: Identity: Part II
(2019)
Episode 9, Season 2

Well they didn't screw it up!
Let's face it, part 1 started off like any other episode and wasn't until about 2/3 into it that it started to up the game, and by the end of the episode literally took the safeties off and had everyone including me on the edge of their seat.

This however really set some big expectations for the conclusion episode, and thankfully it did not disappoint. The Orville thus far has been a space comedy with bits of drama thrown in here & there, sometimes not at all. This episode was all drama, with still a little comedy mixed in where appropriate.

I'm sure the show will more or less remain true to it's form as a comedy first, drama second, but obviously the creator, writers & producers will see what a huge success this was and hopefully keep a good mix of comedy & action drama

The interesting thing is, if the show had originally started off as a serious show and then started throwing in the potty humor, I don't think it would have done as well. When a show or movie takes itself serious, we as the viewer have to buy into that world and take it serious too, and the flaws, plot holes or shortcomings tend to stand out and we judge. With a comedy we as the viewer tend to relax and not care so much about the technical stuff or validity of things, so long as it's genuinely funny or entertaining. The Orville managed to succeed on that level as a comedy, however with this two-parter it completely switched gears and immersed us with a couple of action packed episodes and in this it completely nailed it.

If anything I hope the writers keep this up, and ride the line well. Have the show still be a comedy, but be able to take itself serious at times as well. However this show ends this season, this two part episode will be one the pinnacle shining moments for it.

Polar
(2019)

Unique in it's own way
I really liked certain parts, others just okay, and yet others almost made me turn it off. However I was entertained throughout, which for me is the biggest measuring stick for how good a movie is. Basically it's John Wick, Sin City, and Die Hard all rolled into one, with Starship Troopers type humor

Far as acting & characters, I'm not really familiar with Mads, other than noticing he was the bad guy in Dr. Strange, where I thought he was just okay, here though I thought he was great and perfectly cast. I've only seen Vanessa in High School Musical (yeah, I know...), so very different role for her here and she was decent given her recluse character. Sindy was obviously some nice eye candy, but the other villains were more or less unlikable & forgettable. Especially the boss villain, OMG I was hoping one of his own goons would wack him as he was so annoying and IMO the biggest weakness in this movie by far. I like eccentric bad guys that you love to hate, this fat slob was just idiotic and so painful to watch and sit through his scenes. No idea what they were trying for, but it certainly failed for me and had he been given more screen time would have completely killed the movie.

Far as flow, it was hit and miss but always entertaining. On the one hand it's hysterical you get introduced to the main character as he's getting a rectal exam, and the movie takes itself serious at times, and then it does a total shift to the goon squad, and their blundering idiot boss. I like action, grit and gore, but the torture scenes were a bit much for me and on par with the 2011 film Unthinkable, which was a great movie, but poorly timed...

Overall I liked the film and while I typically don't like sequels unless it's organic and how the story was originally designed, in this case I liked how it ended and would certainly tune in if they ever make a part 2

The Orville: Majority Rule
(2017)
Episode 7, Season 1

Hated this episode
This was one of those episodes I liked how it started, and then after about 5 minutes it just kept getting worse & worse. The concept of this society is utterly ridiculous where you can imagine people probably get lobotomized for the dumbest things. I'm surprised there wasn't a line of hundreds of people awaiting their mind scrambling

That said I thought the whole dry humping a statue was ridiculously bad as well. There are times I like the humor on this show, and there are other times where it just seems way over the top and too out of place

I understood this episode was trying to make some points, and even in our world I don't do social media at all, I don't have a Facebook account or any of that crap as it bugs me how needy people are for attention, and I guess this episode almost seemed like a warped play on that.

So in the end I've liked the show thus far. I think the humor is a little too much or too dumb at times and detracts, but I also like that the show doesn't take things too serious. Hard to find a happy medium I suppose

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
(2018)

Awesome, boring, exciting, sad, done...
I'm honestly not sure what I think of this after seeing it, and I don't know that I want to see it again, which I guess tells me something.

I started off loving the movie and loved that while it was not a musical, it incorporated music or rather singing, theatrics, or solo's throughout it. I can't really give too much away without giving spoilers, but will say this. Each story I liked, the endings or how they played out not so much. I thought the acting was good in pretty much all respects.

I would say it's difficult to have 6 stories in a feature length film and have them all play out to ones liking Was I entertained throughout? for the most part yes, there were some parts that drug on & got boring, but overall it had good stories. I don't think the movie ended quite as well as I thought it started out though, hence my overall score which is slightly above mediocre. While all the stories had something great, at the end of them, I for the most part felt let down, some I was like "what was the point?" And I guess maybe that brings into light the basics of a movie or story, the fundamentals if you will. And IMHO I think this movie intentionally deviated from that mindset, throwing me off a bit. Now does that make it wrong or bad???

In the end I'm glad I watched it, was for the most part entertained throughout, some great monologues & scenes, in that aspect it had some works of art, though maybe not my art... It's one of those strange movies where I would recommend it to anyone because of it's uniqueness. That said, is it a good party or feel good movie, no...

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