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Star Trek: Discovery

Pay check: Discovery, Culture's death at Wolf 359
With Klingons that look more like the Jem'Hadar, Federation ships with the bridge hanging under the craft and a credo so divorced from 'To boldly go.." one has to seriously ask if a class action lawsuit against the producers of this dross, for this death blow to culture, is viable.

Great, another space-based action fodder for our cherished millennials, but why on earth call it Star Trek? Obviously this ain't it? And that's forgoing the staggeringly wooden acting, horrid writing with jaw-droppingly bad exposition and across the board miscast actors.

If you really want to sodomise a beloved franchise so badly, why not go all the way with the political correctness agenda and post-modern junk science and just flat out paint the picture for us.

Let the Captain be a 7 feet tall woman sporting a moustache who refuses to be called 'Sir'. Let the first Officer be a black, lesbian Muslim wearing a yarmulke. Let space exploration be replaced by the quest for gender identity. And lest we forget, lets always refer to space as safe space.

Gene Roddenberry probably never heard of the term social justice warrior, nor would he have wanted to. Because if these people would have their way, the character of Kirk would be chained behind a large SUV, his ripped-open corpse hauled around town while pink haired mercenaries chant "Death to the patriarchy".

The Dark Horse

The Limp Horse
With a sluggish pace, The Dark Horse revisits a tired old theme done many a time before but without any sense of direction or elaboration of plot.

The core problems of the film are surely the lack of engaging characters and the absence of a convincing script and narrative. At no point did it become anything other than a brutal test of one's patience only serving drawn-out and repetitive scenes that failed to build up to some kind of climax or otherwise interesting turn of events.

Aside from the annoying and undeveloped lead, no character is focused on, leaving nothing but walking/talking stereotypes one couldn't possibly relate to, dragging forward through mud, an already wafer thin plot.

The positive reviews for this film here on IMDb are suspiciously disingenuous. Even though the acting was fine, a film with such a lack of hubris, originality and pace, can't possibly get more than 3 stars when judged fairly.



True Story

Weak melodrama without a story
Hill plays a journalist interviewing a murderer during his trial played by Franco. Vague exchanges take place while the two main characters apparently become friends. At some point the movie ends, without a point and without any real story or a hint of subplot.

Apart from it not having a story to tell, The films sports a most terrible script uttered by totally uninteresting characters in scenes that are systemically too long. None of the characters are believable, ruining the film's main plot point. Especially Hill's character makes zero sense. You can't be an investigative reporter and then be that naive. A friendship emerging from such shallow, boring and fake conversations, is also not credible. And what was the character of the wife even doing in this movie? She seemed to be his sister at first.

Recommended viewing speed: 4X

Child 44

A dark and brooding mess of a film..
Child 44, a dark and brooding mess of a film about a serial killer in 1950's Ukraine. Distracting, fake Russian accents, uninteresting dialog and a supercast one wouldn't expect to have signed up for a film with such a scruffy scenario, turns this movie into a torture to make it through to the credits.

A completely redundant effort as well; this film was already made with far more aplomb at the hands of Chris Gerolmo when he made Citizen X (1995), starring Sutherland, von Sydow and Stephen Rea. A similarly themed film that is far better crafted even without the usage of bloated cinematic prowess and CGI extravaganza which is commonplace today.

Go watch that little nugget in stead.

Danny Collins

As Bad As It Gets
Nicholson plays Danny Collins, a talentless, ageing folk Singer who got written a note by Lennon back in '71, only to read it 4 and half decades later. The note changes his spirit and subsequently Danny goes looking for his estranged son and befriends a desk clerk in some motel.

Those must be violins, I'm hearing?

The acting chops of Nicholson and Hunt notwithstanding, the movie is a complete disaster. Not only is the maudlin story and impotent scenario offensive to the point of where's-my-forty-five, what in the nine hells is Pacino doing being cast in the title role? Murray, Malkovitch, maybe even Tommy Lee could have done a more believable rendition of a corpsing rock star. Pacino can't sing? Hello? Think mcFly, Think..

Utter rubbish, 24 karat schmaltz..

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst

Talking heads blather on for over 5 hours
The Jinx; A documentary about the deaths of a handful of people starring the main suspect who is interviewed after having served time for one of the killings as he maintains his innocence.

Stretched out over six 45-minutes episodes, the documentary basically tells the story of Robert Durst's life with Durst himself collaborating the story entirely apart from having anything to do with the deaths and killings that make the story interesting. After three episodes, this repetitive dynamic becomes quite a drag.

Glued together with archive footage and private family footage of the man's past, we basically get treated to the blather of people involved in Durst's life or in the lives of the people he presumably killed and law enforcement officials involved in the cases. The term blather is not used lightly here. There is surprisingly little sappiness to be found in the comments made. The documentary never makes a case for why the viewer should care about any of these people or their viewpoints, or what Durst himself has to say or lie about the deaths of the victims.

People get killed all the time, Durst very probably was involved in all of the cases presented, yet denies this. It shouldn't take 6 plodding episodes to document this.


Death of a President

Bad acting and sub par production values...
A documentary style approach to the assassination of George W. Bush is attempted via interviews with security staff, a bit of editing and then some. In the end the movie just unwittingly comes across as a spoof and a bad one at that. Perhaps with better actors and a less obvious script the film could have worked. As it stands the film progressively irritates due to the stale acting and the lack of a believable set up. TV anchors don't display the tension the gravitas of the situation surely would bring and when an attempt is made at that while interviewing the staff on call that fatal night, the performances are simply too far removed from being believable.

The idea of merging fact and fiction this way certainly is fresh and interesting, but executed with way too little oomph to be convincing, rendering the film little else than a cinematic sleeping pill.

The Hateful Eight

This guy needs professional help..
Tarantino's 8th offering to the big screen is about as lethargic as it is puerile.

The film consists of little else than endlessly talky routines, extremely poorly written and acted, which are more or less aimlessly heaped against a pile of inconsistent banality. At best we are looking at some form of performance art specifically tailored to torture its audience and at worst the disconcerting mental break down of what once was a very promising and upcoming director.

This wasn't a film, this was a masturbatory glorification of pulp writing to send home a single message, namely that Tarantino thinks his fans aren't worthy of his art. What this artist needs is professional council and not to be given two more chances to defecate even more on his own legacy, what's left of it anyway..

Source Code

How far is this dumbing down going to go?
Everyone loves Donnie, and he's a brilliant actor for sure. But one can't be betting on just that producing a movie that will get on anyone's nerves when things aren't explained in a manor that caters to some respect for reality.

There is nothing about quantum physics that allows for computer software to correctly guess what would take a molecule by molecule scanning and recording of an event in real time. There is also nothing about it, that would create parallel universes when the code is executed. And even if the latter would somehow be the case, we now have like, what, 15 freshly created universes in which 13 times people are dying due to a train bomb, shooting the ending in its own foot.

There is nothing wrong with making a movie build on the popular assumptions of quantum theory, but if it doesn't even hold water in a Newtonian world, please rewrite the story or simply forgo the effort..



Glossy, superficial and empty
One can already tell two minutes into it that the movie is going to demand a lot of patience. Everything about those two minutes as the rest of the film, screams 'fabricated' in the way scenes are framed, the shooting is in-the-face wobbly, the casting involved only too good-looking actors and a script forcing the cast to utter lines that no one in real life would even imagine uttering. No attempt at translation from storyboard to something believable was ever made..

The film is frustratingly annoying in that no one in the movie behaves like any real person would, exactly like in Crash. It's a movie made for people who live in some kind of western comfort bubble who haven't got a clue about real life and how things actually play out in a reality that flies for the other 95%.

The film is not worth a review, it should simply not be in a top 1000 on IMDb so one would skip it naturally..


The Man from Earth

People need to get some perspective
A former tenure professor is moving on to greener pastures as he reveals his true history to his left-behind colleagues; the man turns out to be 14.000 years old.

From the first scene up, the film feels amateurish in just about every way. The actors seem uncomfortable, the staging desperate and uninspired and the filming & editing apparently left to a novice.. Story wise, there is nothing to observe here worth mentioning. The story line is puerile and extremely unconvincing as were all of the stereotypical characters.

Another case of 'Primer effect' where a low budget turd is somehow hailed as the second coming of Christ. Pun intended.


Jimmy Carr: Funny Business

Jimmy Carr has been described as "the hardest working man in comedy" but apparently didn't seem to have put much original effort into his latest show Funny Business which came across more like a best-of than anything else.

With a timid crowd today in the Netherlands, Carr just seemed to be working through his routine, offering little in the way of freshness or unexpected pun. With at least a quarter of the jokes coming from previous shows, Carr failed to impress his audience with his all heard before routines and curious lack of oomph. Especially his patented laugh, ordinarily a source of amusement, seemed off timed and calculated which added to the staleness of the performance.

It was especially the second part of the show that failed to impress; jokes were often either something he already did or an obvious variation of them. As a result, the audience didn't seem too eager to offer him the heckles he could work with. Some were so painfully terrible, even Carr must have noticed he simply wasn't reaching us with his rehashed material.

Truly disappointing..

10 Cloverfield Lane

Derivative and plain boring.
Goodman plays Howard, a paranoid psychopath and the proprietor of a large underground hideout, built for the occasion. In said hideout, he plays house to two co-dwellers: a bearded moron (John Gallagher Jr) and an attractive young lady played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Is there really a threat outside, will Howard behave himself? The problem is, after 20 minutes of tedious scenario and bland characters, who really cares?

The film never picks up any speed, sports no subplots, feels like it could go anywhere without sticking to any internal logic (which indeed it doesn't) and merely serves hollow and underused characters.

It's obvious the writers of this project wanted to fuse two genres of film but ended up having half the audience wet their pants over the ridiculous ending in which an alien spacecraft is destroyed by a bottle of Single Malt and the other half of the audience so abashed, they dare not admit they just wasted 2 hours of their lives.


Boring and nonsensical
A woman and her son are held in a garden shed, referred to as 'room', by a man who uses the woman as his sex slave, having abducted her 7 years earlier. The woman concocts a plan to smuggle the son out in order for him to find help and free them. After the plan is successfully executed, we follow the two in the aftermath of the ordeal, struggling to retrieve the life that was previously stolen from her.

The film is repetitive and annoying. At no point is the captivity nor the woman's response to the situation believable. It's just a garden shed located in some suburb instead of underground. The woman's not shackled and can virtually escape every time the captor enters the room.

Relying on child actors is a notoriously shaky endeavour and again the constant whining of the kid and the way it talks, is grating and tiresome. There also seems to be no real connect between the first and second act. The 7 years she previously spent in the room might just as well have been a written premise at the start of the film. With no deeper layers to the film and with no character really fleshed out, the film feels aimless and not well thought-through.



Just terrible..
After his wife is killed in a car crash, Davis Mitchell (Gyllenhaal) deals with the lack of feeling any emotions by demolishing buildings, furniture and household appliances. He also befriends a customer service employee from a vending machine company.

Probably meant as a comedy of sorts, the film is totally ridiculous, not entertaining and insulting to the intelligence. The absurdity of the Gyllenhaal character and his love interest doesn't match the universe of the other characters in the movie which results in a total disconnect for the viewer. The script is weak and the contrived situations simply not funny. An attempt is made at infusing some symbolism but it's neither here nor there. A real stinker.


A Bigger Splash

All over the map..
As the former lover of a recuperating rock star re-enters her life, complications between him, her and her current lover ensue.

The film follows a typical Woody Allen set up, but fails completely in the delivery. With a mute Swinton, totally unbelievable as a Bowie like rock star, and a blabbering Fiennes, the film simply gets on one's nerves. The interpersonal intricacies are one- dimensional and never develop. Also the depiction of local law enforcement as a bunch of bumbling buffoons straight out of some French comedy franchise from the 70s, was especially grating.



Too thin...
Saoirse Ronan plays Eilis, a young Irish girl exchanging her hometown in Ireland for Brooklyn New York. After the long voyage she finds employment and a husband. When her sister back in Ireland dies, she is forced to go back home and has to deal with the lure of both homes.

Brooklyn is a well made movie with superb acting. The story however is surprisingly thin, predictable and too slow paced towards the end to hold one's attention. There's simply not enough conflict and the characters are not fleshed out to any satisfying degree, rendering them little more than stereotypes.


Back to the Future

Back to Back to the Future
When Marty travels back in time to 1955, he accidentally ruins the moment his parents would have met, threatening his own existence. With the help of the younger version of the scientist who built the time machine back in 1985, Marty has to find a way to get his parents back together as well as trying to find a way back home to 1985.

The movie is brilliant from start to finish and reminds of that other comedy classic Groundhog Day. Both movies are superbly well written and directed as well as sporting a near perfect cast. Even after 30 years, Back to the Future is a joy to watch with truly iconic performances by Christopher Lloyd, Michael J. Fox, Thomas F. Wilson and Crispin Glover.



Holey crap
Craig, hopefully for the last time, once again yawns his way through a non existing scenario as he gets send once again on an errand to save the world. Sporting some beautiful locales, explosions and hand to hand combat scenes, what the film was actually about, was lost in the noise of people scratching their heads as they watched it.

Familiar faces come and go as the nonsensical script lines fly across the 7.1 spectrum in a lame attempt to obscure the fact that apparently no one in the cutting room had an inkling as to the intended sequence of the individual scenes.

Even compared to your run of the mill action thriller time-waster, Spectre Skyfalls short on every aspect one could think of when reviewing a film. A film with Connery and Moore watching a freshly painted wall dry, while they talk about their glory days portraying Bond, would have easily been more entertaining.

Saul fia

Should have been a short-film..
Son of Saul, set in 1944 Auschwitz, follows the walking head of a prisoner for 107 minutes as the head goes from place to place in the camp. In the background of the images recorded, we see the blurry outlines of corpses, blood and people walking about trying to burn as many bodies as they can. With a minor plot involving the lead trying to find a rabbi to bless the body of his son who is not his son, the movie does its best to give us an idea what it must have been like being a member of Specialcommand in Auschwitz.

But apart from giving us that idea, the movie offers really nothing else. It could as well have been a 15 minute short and perhaps should have been. After 30 minutes you really get the idea and wish for the film to finally take some direction and to stop sporting only horrible imagery and morally bankrupt circumstances. It never does however, which turns the entirety of it into little more than a brutal test of one's patience. A real shame considering the subject matter it portrays.

A Perfect Day

Plot-less bore of film
A team of aid workers lead by Del Torro and Robbins are bumbling around somewhere in the Balkans in search of a rope. The rope is needed to lift a corpse from a well, the only operational well in the area. The movie relies heavily on its script and the two main leads but fails miserably at being anything other than a drag. Terrible performances by both Olga Kurylenko and Mélanie Thierry further ruin any credibility the movie might have regained. As if the soundtrack wasn't already thoroughly corny.

For a film that relies almost solely on its script, it is remarkable they couldn't write something other than the ridiculous and repetitive back-and-forths between the dismal characters to fill the runtime of the movie. One truly wonders what Robbins and Del Toro ever saw in it to commit to such an aggravatingly dull and witless scenario.


Pawn Sacrifice

Somewhat entertaining, but riddled with clichés
Maquire plays Fischer, the chess prodigy from Brooklyn in a run of the mil drama about a man's attempt to become world champion in his craft.

The structure of the film is one we have already seen a thousand times, from the Rocky movies to more contemporary films like the Great Debaters. In those films, the hero is an underdog whereas in this one, Fischer clearly is not, although one could consider him as such given his mental instability.

With little surprises as the film progresses, the audience is treated to the idiosyncrasy and paranoia of Fischer which seemed in the end to be neither here nor there. Yet, with decent acting from just about every one involved, the movie still manages to entertain as it builds up to the famous 1972 confrontation between Fischer and Spassky as the latter defends his world championship title.



Terribly slow and predictable drama
Mara plays Therese who falls in love with a much older woman played by Blanchet in 1950s New York. From the onset, the film appears to be crippled as it barely gains speed during the first and second act. Blanchet's acting felt laboured throughout and Mara fared little better. Had two lesser known actors been cast for the main roles, the film might have been a bit more interesting as both Mara and Blanchet turn in nothing you haven't seen before from them.

The problems of the movie are simply a lack of story progression and turns of events. The film just kind of plods on for 2 hours and then ends, without offering the viewer anything other than pretty sets and a predictable script. The story itself is just way too thin to really hold one's attention.


Gone Girl

Nothing connects
Affleck plays Nick Dunne whose wife goes missing. When treasure hunt-like envelopes with 'clue x' written on it appear, the viewer knows the disappearing was staged. Oddly enough, the movie then continues as like the viewer doesn't know this. It makes no sense.

Gone Girl is Fincher's weakest effort to date. Nothing in the film connects to that which was intended to be displayed. The actors don't fit the characters, much like the synthetic dialog, and way too many scenes lack the proper build-up, feeling like they belonged in a completely different movie. Every character in the film comes across as a one-dimensional product of someone's limited imagination rather than an actual person. Yet the sloppy way the implausible, immature storyline is sold as credible, is surely the movie's biggest flaw. Our hearts go out to the family members of Suspension of Disbelief. May it rest in peace.

The scenario would perhaps fit a Coen brother's movie that doesn't take itself too seriously and where the absurdity can be put to use as a form of comedy. As it stands, the lacking source material just contrasts too much with Fincher's superior directional skills and cinematographic wizardry, not to mention Reznor's outstanding soundtrack. It's all just one gigantic mismatch.


Prime Suspect: The Lost Child

Worst of the series..
A baby gets abducted and the prime suspect is a convicted pedophile. As emotions build up, the members of CID London have to pull themselves together to stay professional and focused.

The worst episode of this otherwise excellent series is surely The Lost Child. Not only was the plot completely obvious after 15 minutes, the depiction of paedophilia hysteria was itself hysterical. The throwing of a suspect in front of speeding van by a senior police officer was completely over the top and thoroughly unbelievable. On top of that we have to suffer through the completely rubbish acting of Beatie Edney playing the role of the mother of the abducted child.

Given the short running time of this episode, the proceedings felt rushed. But this could have been forgiven if the writing had been up to the standard of the previous seasons. It didn't even come close.


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