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The Carbonaro Effect

It's all editing.
While this show may have some entertainment value as far as the comedic nature of most pranks do not, repeat do not, believe for a moment anything you see in it actually happened in real time. It's all editing. Give me a camera and I can make appear or disappear anything from a thimble to an elephant. I could also make a 10 storey building disappear digitally. All it takes is professional seamless editing. This is why the vast majority of the marks have to be in on the gig and only rarely are they unsuspecting walk-ins. This show is the perfect example of why "magic" should always be performed live and never on camera and I kind of resent the fact that there's no disclaimer explaining their editing. They try to portray Michael Carbonaro as a magician performing live when that's clearly not the case. There are some funny and well-thought pranks so some people will enjoy the show, just don't believe it's real!!!

Dating Naked

Anything but real.
This has to be one of the most stupid programs I have ever watched. To call this series a "Reality-TV" show is simply ridiculous. Reality? Where? In Mars? Certainly not on our planet. I have never ever heard of anyone going on a first date completely naked. This is absolutely implausible and extremely impractical too!!! There's no way any of us can relate to this experience. As if having a naked couple trying to connect in front of a camera, which in itself is pretty outlandish, wasn't enough they continue to introduce more naked suitors. I guess the objective is to have people decide who is more sexually desirable based on physical attributes because the conversations are simply atrocious. It's completely nonsensical. But if you decide to go ahead and produce a show like that then...WHY ON EARTH COVER ALL THE NUDITY WITH THOSE TYPICAL DIFFUSED BLOBS??? Find a channel where nudity is admissible and the time slot adequate and show it all. As it is this show is a joke. It would still probably be awful with no censorship but, at least, it would make some sense.


A show that won't last
Kristie is a sad attempt by TVLand to bring back the magic of 80s and 90s sit-coms. The main problem is that it does so based only on the names of the actors. The writing is poor, unsophisticated and utterly uninteresting. Writer and Executive Producer Marco Pennette simply doesn't bring anything new or fresh to the table. The funniest sit-coms are so because of the hilarious situations in which the characters are placed. But, in Kirstie, Pennette just tries (unsuccessfully) to force the dialogue to make every line funny and it just doesn't work. Though I suspected this show would be no good, I watched the first two episodes (which were run consecutively) for one reason only: Michael Richards. Unfortunately for him the script gives him very little to work with. It may well be unfair for Richards to be compared with his time as Kramer but it is basically inevitable. He set the bar very high for himself in 1989-1998 and my guess is any attempts to repeat that success will fall short. He tries to recreate the Seinfeld magic but, at 64, doesn't come close and his special brand of physical comedy isn't what it used to be. He should be commended though for trying to pull off his unique slips and falls even if, due to his age, his body isn't nimble enough. Rhea Pearlman does the same: tries to emulate her Cheers character with similar disappointing results. Eric Petersen is too bland and less than noteworthy. And this brings us to Kirstie Alley. Quite frankly I recommend you spare yourselves the vision of a 250 lbs 62 year old woman pretending to be any kind of, past or present, star. I suspect this sit-com will, perhaps, make it to a second season but only due to the star power of some of the cast. After two or three years tops it will be dropped.


Should health care be free?
Michael Moore has always been controversial. And, as all conflictive people, you can only love him or hate him. Because of this his messages are, very often, misunderstood or simply dismissed. I will not align myself 100% with Moore politically but his message in Sicko got to me loud and clear. Some reviewers have criticized this documentary for, according to them, telling total lies or half-truths at best. Of course, we all know that the US Health System is not as bad as Michael portrays it and the systems in place in the UK, France, Canada and Cuba are not as fantastic as he shows them to be. But it's only natural that Moore would carefully select the appropriate examples to make the point he's trying to get across, isn't it? I know of some examples of my own that he could have easily included in Sicko had he known about them. An Argentinian friend of mine went to Spain on vacation, suffered severe food poisoning and had to be treated at a local hospital for a day and a half. He was expecting a substantial hospital bill but when he was discharged he was told his treatment was free as Spanish Social Security pays for all health care expenses for, not just Spaniards but also, foreigners while legally in Spain. He also told me the care he received was top notch. So these things do happen, they're not a figment of Michael Moore's imagination. But let's get to the main topic of Sicko. Should health care be afforded everyone in the USA for free or not? I am no communist and I still believe it should. I cannot imagine any obligation that should be more important to any government on earth than to protect the well being of their citizens.

And we have the money to pay for health care but our government chooses to use it elsewhere. I cringe when I hear how much we're spending in building yet more fighter planes, bombs or any device manufactured with the sole purpose of killing other human beings. The LGM-118 Peacekeeper ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) cost $400 million apiece and 114 were built thru 1998 alone. Each F-177 stealth fighter comes at $111.2 million each and they were all retired in 2008. The bigger stealth bomber (Northrop Grumman B-2) came with a price tag of $737 million per unit and $44.6 billion total program cost thru 2004. We built all these weapons, spent fortunes and never got to use but a few of the planes in Iraq. We threw away billions of dollars while people at home could not pay for health services as they were losing their homes. We're still building weapons we don't really need just because of the scare tactics and lobbying by Northrop Grumman, Boeing and the likes. The USA is already, by far, the most heavily armed military in the world and their latest budget is higher than the combined budgets of the eight nations that follow us. And Congress actually believes it's better to spend an additional 2 trillion in 2014 than to pursue health care reform!

If we used this money to take care of our poor and specially our sick....I believe we'd be a much better country. Quite frankly, I very much prefer my tax dollars be used for taking care of our people than to ensure we're more capable of killing others abroad.

That's Michael Moore's message in Sicko and I, for one, wholeheartedly have to agree. Don't let whatever personal dislike, or even hatred, you may have for the guy obscure this simple fact. Moore may be a Marxist, a reactionary or whatever you choose to label him but...on this particular occasion he's totally right!!!! Let's get our priorities straight...

Dude, Where's My Car?

Even with an unlimited budget and ten years to work on it, I could never make a worse film than DWMC
If I had the goal of making the worst film ever and were granted an unlimited budget and all the time in the world....I still know I couldn't outdo this flick. I feel a little guilty to pass judgement on this piece of crap because I couldn't force myself to watch it in its entirety. Believe me, after 10 minutes I kept on watching only because being the perennial optimist I am I hoped it would improve. As it got progressively worse I realized this horrendous flick had indeed the potential of making number one on my list of worst films ever. With a conscious masochistic attitude I forced myself to watch an additional 30 minutes. The pain, mixed with atrocious boredom, became so bad I finally had to give up and quit watching... But, unfortunately for me, I had watched more than enough. It is my contention that you have to be almost brain dead to enjoy anything about this unfunny, uninteresting, poorly written, acted and shot piece of garbage. If you have a couple of braincells will most definitely kill them if you insist on watching this horrible me!!! The best advice I can give anyone is: do not, repeat DO NOT waste your time or money watching DWMC. You'll achieve the same level of pain by simply cutting a finger off....and it'll be quicker too!!! The only reason I rated this movie a 1 is simply because IMDb does not give us the option to rate it a 0 !!! I suggest IMDb corrects this shortcoming as a 0 is even more than this torture of a film deserves...

For the record my rating is -1/10


A movie for intelligent people only
Religulous is a fabulous documentary that will never ever get the credit it truly deserves. I would describe it as the mother of all "mockumentaries". But, like I said, it's basically impossible that it will be appreciated by roughly 85% of the world's population. Why? Very simple: 85 of every 100 people profess some kind of religion or other spiritual concoction and every single one of them will feel insulted and possibly threatened by the, not so subtle, suggestion their beliefs are total crap. The film states that 93% of the world's scientific community are atheists, something I suspected. Only intelligent people dare to question, analyze and eventually doubt the teachings most of us received as kids. The masses won't wanna hear a word about Bill Maher's doubts and the most fanatical will think he deserves to be killed for his "blasphemous" portrait of Religion in general. I personally admire Bill for the enormous courage he displayed in making this movie, I'm not sure I would have had the guts to do it myself. Once again I think it's a pity the vast majority of human beings won't even begin to understand his message. In this respect, this documentary is well ahead of its time. My best hope is that, a hundred or two hundred years from now in a more enlightened and open-minded planet Earth, this brilliant piece of human self-examination may broaden the horizons of those lucky enough to understand it.

Kudos Bill truly are one of a kind!

The Social Network

The trees won't let you see the forest!
The comments of some people here remind me of the old saying that goes "the trees didn't let him see the forest". It appears many posters are looking for a deeper insight about life in general or for more human emotion in the characters at large. And these are not what The Social Network is about. This is a movie about business opportunity and entrepreneurship, not a personal drama. A movie doesn't need to be psychologically profound or dig deep into human nature to be exciting, refreshing and entertaining. And The Social Network is all of the above. This film is magnificent because it teaches us three very important lessons and does so while being fun to watch.

The first one is that, if you're smart and willing to work hard, there's no limit to how much financial success you can have regardless of how young you may be, specially if you live in the USA or any economically developed nation. There is a land where dreams can come true after all.

The second one is that there's usually a price to pay for such success, like the loss of trust and friendships for instance. It should be noted that the main reason most business ventures involving more than one owner go awry is because of the greed of the partners once the big bucks arrive. Before a company makes any real money the founders have nothing to fight each other for. This is a lesson no one who watches this picture will ever forget. And there's value in that.

The third valuable lesson is that you always have to watch your back no matter who you're working with. If you're too naive to protect your interests there will always be an opportunist, like Sean Parker or even your "best friend", around to take advantage. That's another didactic point that can help all of us in the future.

Besides the above, this movie is very well directed and even better acted. It has a very nice flow to it despite the constant cutoffs between the story (completely told in flashbacks) and the attorney's office squabbles. There's one more very important aspect to The Social Network: it's historic value. We usually only attribute such description to films that depict events that happened long ago. Right now since the movie just came out recently and deals with issues that have transpired in the last decade only, we fail to see that it, in fact, depicts history in the making. Many years from now people who watch it will understand how a completely new era in human communication came to be.

The ending of the movie is also a reason for hope. If you notice no one ends up a big loser. Everyone gets something: even the supposedly wronged Winklevoss twins end up with a "paltry" $62 M settlement, money they didn't even really need in the first place anyway.

You don't have to like the characters in this movie, in fact I believe they were written to be despised by most of us. Mark Zuckerberg was not necessarily such a bad person but the reason of his success does not lie in his being the nicest guy in the world. There's truth to the fact that successful businessmen have to be driven, ruthless and yes, greedy. Whether we can forgive them or not for those shortcomings is a whole different story. Eduardo Savarin was too innocent, trusting and distracted in his pursuit of creating a global company. Sean Parker is a shark that sees the opportunity to make up for his previous business failures at the expense of Eduardo and others. So what's new? That's just life! But having little or no sympathy for the characters should have no bearing on how you rate this film. They're simply human beings with their flaws and weaknesses, as we all are. Tony Montana epitomizes what an extremely depraved and despicable individual looks like, but most of us still loved Scarface despite that fact.

Of course, every movie can always be improved but I sincerely believe the subject matter of this one is creativity, wizardry and entrepreneurship and not human emotion or innate goodness. From this perspective dwelling deeper into the characters' idiosyncrasies would probably have detracted from the point it tries to make. The Social Network is a fabulous flick and I consider it a must-see, specially for those looking for inspiration to get their business (computer related or not) off the ground.

Murder in a Small Town

A thriller that won't keep you on the edge of your seat
Sins of the Preacher is a TV movie described as a thriller. The main problem is that it's not very thrilling at all. Almost since the very beginning it's apparent that Debbie Martin's death is a murder case and not a suicide as it's been ruled. It's also very clear who the murderer is, so the only suspense left for us to chew on is whether or not the victim's mother, Susan Parker, will succeed in bringing the culprit to justice. The acting is uneven. While Gail O'Grady and James McDaniel give worthy performances in the roles of Susan Parker and attorney Wade Thompson respectively, Christopher Gartin and Taylor Cole are not believable in their roles as Pastor Andrew Martin and his lover Brianna Daniels. This is in great part due to writer-director John Stimpson's failure to develop both characters in depth. The devious killer Andrew Martin is simply not threatening enough. As a villain you would expect him to pose a threat to those investigating him but you never fear for the lives or safety of those trying to bring him down. His lover Brianna, which we see too little of till the later part of the film, looks more like a Playboy bunny than a reverend's love interest. Most of the limitations of this flick come from the fact that it is based on a true story and has not been fictionalized enough to bring you to the edge of your seat. So if you're looking for excitement and suspense you'll be disappointed, but if you're okay with an ordinary family drama with a predictable ending, then it becomes a watchable picture.


Most depressing movie ever.
I have always wondered what is it about Bergman that so many people acclaimed. After watching many of his films I'm still wondering as I haven't got a response yet. To those who like the technical aspects of his film making, I'll say I have seen many better ones. There's very little ingenuity to his camera movement, which is always too slow to impress me, his use of light is no better than that of silent movies made decades before and he always seems to abuse the length of many of his close-ups that are unnecessarily eternal. The acting in most of his movies is simply adequate, never of an Oscar-winning quality. And, as for his stories, well...that's probably the worst part. In Winter Light there's really no story, or is there? All we see is a man who's lost his faith fighting his inner demons in a self-destructive manner. I don't recall ever having drawn any positive pointers from any of Bergman's movies. His world is a desperate one where not even the slightest glimmer of hope is ever offered. His characters are always tortured and never seem able to find a solution or relief to their inner anguish. What's his message? That we may as well either kill ourselves or continue to live a pointless life? That no matter how hard we search our soul there's never gonna be an answer to our questions and doubts? I don't recall ever finding a light moment in his films. There's never a respite, a funny moment, a shadow of a better future. With Bergman there's never a light at the end of the tunnel. I, for one, really despise Bergman's hopeless universe and refuse to allow myself to be drawn into it. It's great to watch a movie that makes you think, but when it ends abruptly, as is the case with Winter Light, leaving everything unsolved after little or no consequential storytelling, what can you gain from that? There's not even the hint of a moral to this story, it's just another depressing, pointless exercise by a guy that must have had a very sorry life indeed. Don't watch it unless you're looking for another reason to commit suicide!

Serial Mom

Uncreative, absurd plot, poorly shot, ridiculous acting and, above all, tremendously unfunny! I'm an easy going person and, still, this movie was a torture to watch. I would actually have stopped watching it after 15 or 20 minutes but, since reviews had been kind of okay, I kept at it hoping the movie would improve. Unfortunately it only got worse with every passing minute. And please don't think I "simply didn't get it". I fully understood the supposed satire Waters was trying to produce. It simply didn't work. Watching this film was a complete waste of my time, except for the fact that it will keep me away from any other Waters movies.

The Godson

I will never understand how this film got made.
This is one of the worst films ever made. It ranks up there with the Killer Tomatoes movies. It's absolutely unwatchable for anyone who uses more than 0.1% of his/her brain. It's really, really hard for me to decide what's worst about it: the story, the dialog, the acting, the editing... How some other users here found it funny and even had the guts to recommend watching it is beyond belief unless they hate the rest of us and want to put us thru the same awful torture they underwent. I'm dumbfounded by how Mr. Hoge could possibly find financing to get this wreck shot. If I had read this script beforehand, I would have paid good money to ensure the flick was never made. Maybe that's how he found the financing!!! :)

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