As far as the series itself goes, it was very skillfully and professionally put together. As far as the case goes, ANYTHING involving Mike Nifong is suspect, and when one adds an irrational alcoholic Assistant DA, and a corrupt "expert," the cloud darkens. (Yes, I know about Alford pleas, what they mean, what they DON'T, and why they often take place.) I don't know what "really" happened, but I know the circus that was the Durham County Criminal Justice system did nothing but hurt everyone involved.
I don't disagree with many of the other reviewers who are critical of how the film was put together, or how much time it spent with one sister as opposed to the other, or some other storyline/technical aspects of it. I wonder if, to some extent, they were limited in who they could talk to or who would talk to them (for example, did Sara have a boyfriend/boyfriend's family who would talk? Were there people who were "close" enough to Yeser and its herd to provide more info?) Having said that, when I finished watching this movie, I saw the sperm donor ("father" if we were talking about a human) and womb provider ("mother" with the previous caveat) as unmitigated evil and off-the-chart stupidity, respectively. I felt for the friends and relatives of the girls, and grieved for them and the girls. To that extent, this movie was an overwhelming success, and worth the 9 I gave it.
I was aware Yaser and accomplices were recently captured. Thankful TX is a death penalty state.
I first watched this a long time ago and had a chance to see it again (thank you, YouTube!). In between, I have had the chance to read more (still have some to go) and view a lot of old footage from news reports and other sources (watch "No One Saw A Thing" if you get a chance, but take it with a grain or two of salt.)
Like many of the other reviews, I think this movie does a fairly good job of portraying the events (as best cramming years into a movie can.) It also reminded me of how wonderful an actor Brian Dennehy was and how much he should be appreciated and missed.
If I have any criticism (and I hesitate to use the word), it would be of Marcia Gay Harden's performance. I hesitate, because she was great in her effort. If one has had occasion to see any video of the "real" spouse (Trena McElroy), one would see she was even lower, in my opinion, than portrayed.
There are some who see the actions of the townspeople (or whomever) as no better than those of McElroy and his ilk. I disagree, and I'll leave it at that.
I was a middle school student when this trial was going on. At the time, I was very interested in law and government, and ultimately became an attorney. After the case concluded, I read a number of books about the trial, including many by members of the 7/8. I had the chance to see William Kunstler speak when I was in college in the mid 1970's, just a few years after the case.
I would first refer anyone to the Facebook posts of Rennie Davis and Michele Dellinger (David's daughter) regarding the film itself. As I understood them, Sorkin did not contact any of the surviving members of the 7 or their families. This concerned them, though Rennie Davis was still positive overall.
I would compare the movie to an abridged version of the case. Some dramatic license was taken, but the message was still communicated. I would recommend it to someone who wasn't around when it happened, as a starting point to learn more. The LBJ footage near the beginning refreshed my memory and made it clear the man was evil, pure and simple.
I did have some concerns. Jerry Rubin was portrayed as a fragile, passive soul in need of a relationship. In reality, he was anything but. The writing and acting performance did not do him justice whatsoever. (I have since read the "Daphne" agent was not real--making it stupid and unnecessary.) Weiner and Froines were less involved, but not as UNinvolved as portrayed. I have been a fan of Frank Langella, and appreciate his performance, given the cinematic license necessary in bringing a story this complicated to the screen. That having been said, he gave Julius Hoffman more dignity than Hoffman ever had. As one who followed the trial, I can say he actually made him look BETTER than the IRL "Judge." Foran had political ambitions and threw racist comments around during his failed campaign. He was not a potted plant who sat there and watched wheels go round and round.
In the interest of space, the other members of the 7/8 and the attorneys ranged from adequate to great.
If you watch it, enjoy it (I really did), and use it as a beginning to learn more. If you don't you'll never know the real, and complete, story.
I was already competing in and training for distance and multisport races when I underwent triple bypass surgery. My friend, a retired nurse, found this movie and we watched it just after I was discharged from the hospital. I have a way to go before I'm back to where I was and/or beyond, but this started the path and is motivating me to get back on it.
The tease for this caught my interest and is accurate insofar as it states what was INTENDED. That's where it ended. Historically false, poorly written, and a waste of otherwise good talent.
Don't waste your time. Sheds no light on anything.
The basic idea was a great one--terminal father and his soon to be widow discuss who can step up as a father (not husband, btw) to the family after he goes. They come up with a novel idea. The interaction between the "dads" themselves is a great part of the story. When it focuses on family issues that would be common to all of us (grief, anger, when is it ok to start over, and the like) it's a great work.
Now, the not so good. A number of posters have commented on the political nature of the show and I don't disagree with them. I wouldn't even mind if there were some occasional issues raised. However, every episode, so far, has had SO much on so many issues. I can get that anywhere. I gave this the title I did because I don't need a sermon every week on them, and by throwing in the proverbial political kitchen sink, the message loses any meaning.
Since I started watching this, I've started to read up on Isaac Wright, the real life Aaron Wallace and one of the producers of the show. They've taken some license with the IRL story, but not TOO much--it's still a great work. Great cast, good writing.
ABC--more of this, less Shonda Rhimes. Please.
Apparently a number of posters felt this movie fell short when compared to the "original." I'll take them at their word but, to be honest, I couldn't care less.
Cranston has come light years from his days as Malcolm's father, and is beyond excellent in this matter. Hart is as well. Kidman puts in a solid performance as does Margueles (sp??) as Lily. The rest of the cast are very good at worst.
I had previously watched Sandler in a dramatic role in "Reign O'er Me" and was very pleasantly surprised, so I had hopes for this movie. Well....
I'll avoid any long descriptions of content, as the other posters pretty much have it , and I wanted to avoid spoilers.
About halfway through the movie, after two couples had already left, I turned to my friend and said "Sandler's doing a good job with a (cleaned up for this review) terrible script." I waited a few days before writing this to see if I still believed it. I still do. Sandler's performance was the ONLY reason I gave this ANY stars at all. The script was putrid, the soundtrack annoying, and the remaining cast substandard to neutral. The fight scenes were often impossible to follow, the dialogue impossible to understand (one long argument) and the story itself cluttered with nonsensical BS.
I have watched, and appreciated, Eric Bogosian in other roles, most recently in Billions. I have been a long-time fan of Judd Hirsch in a number of roles, most notably "Running On Empty." How and why they leant themselves to this fiasco is a mystery. Their respective stocks did not rise with this one. Thankfully, John Amos limited his exposure to a mildly humorous cameo.
If Kevin Garnett was seeking to do some acting after a great b-ball career, this was not a good start. If he tries again, I hope his next attempt is in a better vehicle.
The actor who played "Phil" was making his first appearance as well. He just acted himself into a career of cheap horror movies. Terrible. simple as that,
Save your money and use your time for anything else--both are better spent elsewhere.
Sorry Adam, your performance couldn't save this,,,,,,,work
Pure, unadulterated manure. There is not one positive thing that can be said about any of the characters. As for the "script," just another blah-blah tale of woe are us/nobody understands nonsense. Don't waste your time.
I was intrigued by the idea behind this show, but the mystique is over. I have a family member who has been diagnosed with Asperger's (sp??) Syndrome, but don't know enough about it to venture opinions on the character in that regard. I simply have come to think the show is unrealistic, the plot predictable, and the characters overdone.
Enjoy if you choose. I just do not find it entertaining or uplifting any longer.
There was a time when I would have given this show a 10 (or more if allowed.) That was then.
Some reviews have been critical of the politics. I can't say I disagree, but I can tolerate those. The show has always been held out as a comedy. I did appreciate the humor, and a little bit of family love that went with it. It's just not funny any longer, and since the humor's gone, we're left with people who are just terrible individuals. It seems every time they strive to break out of the "Gallagher trap," something will pull them back in. One has some smarts and a good heart, then gets pregnant, then overcomes it, then turns into a scheming snake. Another finds success in the military, only to be cast out and end up a criminal once again. One has an in to a private school, excels, and is done in by the usual "father" stupidity. Another is intelligent enough to get to college, but blows that. Any time you start to cheer for them, the reason is taken away. Macy is brilliant, but the exploits are predictable and no longer funny.
Thanks for some good seasons, but I'm done.
I thought I would get something from this movie because I, like the character, have dealt with weight issues and found some help in running. (I also ran the NYC Marathon in 2013.) I found nothing in the lead character redeeming whatsoever. She crapped on every person that ever gave a damn about her, and found every excuse to avoid the goal, and blame everyone but herself. Glad I watched it on Amazon, so I only paid the cost of my subscription. I would have felt ripped off otherwise.
The trailers really didn't make the show appear interesting, and I haven't really been a Dunst fan in the past. I have been a HUGE Ted Levine fan--since the Crime Story and Silence of the Lambs days. I also live in Michigan--home of one of the biggest MLM entities.
So far, Dunst has been a pleasant surprise and Levine has been his usual--excellent. The others are what they are and I can do with or without them. I don't know how long the story can run without jumping the shark, and I suspect it will sooner rather than later. For now, though, I like what I see
Showtime's blurb says this is "far from reality TV," and that it's a "real" portrayal. Nope. IF it were real, it "explores" people I would never want to know, let alone like or feel for. If I'm right, the characters are not interesting and not worth identifying with. No more for me.
I was very intrigued by the show during the first couple seasons. Now, as the 5th and final one begins, I am very ready for it to be done. The fact I find no positive qualities in any of the characters (including the petulant monster children) means the actors must be doing their job well. Coupled with a very stupid theme song, the show has run its course. Fare thee well.
Cliche, predictable, and just plain terrible. Adam Rayner was brilliant in the first season of Tyrant, then the bottom fell out. The downward spiral apparently hasn't hit bottom yet.
This cast has nothing to gain by "acting" in this pathetic excuse for further padding of Marcia Clark's pity fund.
I gave this a 10 early on and waited until the 4th episode to review it. The main cast portrays the characters so well, at least based on what I've observed in other media, they evoke very visceral reactions--proof of the quality of the performances. It was already known Matt and Sweat were pure and complete evil and merely human in form only. The actors continue that, as their performances evoke no sympathy for them. As for "Tilley" Mitchell, there is nothing positive to say about it in real life, and Arquette only makes that clearer--an excellent effort. Lyle Mitchell was (and apparently still is) a dupe in real life, and the actor portraying him did it almost as well )
Matt, Sweat, and the Mitchells have been often and since made out to be "misunderstood," and Tilley Mitchell made out to be a victim. This series proves that was never the case.
For the entire run of SOA, I found Suter's writing to be either genius or idiot. Same here, so far. To begin, he brought back one of the WORST SOA characters--Lincoln Potter, the DB US Attorney. He'd last about 7 seconds in any version of the DOJ under any Attorney General of any political leaning. The quicker they get rid of him, the better. Same with the anti-cartel cult. They'd last maybe twice as long as Potter in the real world.
Edward James Olmos is amazing. Would prefer no subtitles, as the characters speak enough English. Like the rest of the cast. Like SOA, some storylines are useless, others brilliant. Just hope Suter does the right things.
Truly revealed how pathetic a human being Ashton is
I read Jeff Ashton's book a few years ago and found him to be one of the most distasteful individuals in the profession. I think a lot of Rob Lowe as an actor and he was very able to portray that expertly. I'm sure Ashton loved the portrayal.
Ashton took the proceeds of his "book" and beat a long term incumbent. He was then defeated, but recently was elected to a Judgeship. Watch out, central Florida, you get what you elect. I'm sure he thinks Orlando just can't live without him.
UPDATE: Finished the second season a while back. Not changing the ratingbut did have a couple things. First, I never thought I would appreciate John Kreese--until he bopped the obnoxious Demitri (sp??). I also have to give the writers credit--I was concerned about re-introducing that character back into the series. So far, the writers have handled it well.
A couple of concerns--the "Hawk" character is becoming overdone and unsympathetic. At the start, you wanted to see him evolve. Now, the character has forgotten what got him there in the first place, and is not fun to watch anymore. I hope they fix it. The scene with he and Demitri in the comic shop and mall was terrible. That, couple with the last fight scene, cause some concern. They were about as realistic as a Twisted Sister video. Those concerns aside, anxious for the 3d season.
ORIGNIAL REVIEW STARTS HERE
A colleague of mine once said "the truth is usually somewhere between the respective versions." I think this describes the two rivals, who have more in common than (1) their past, (2) martial arts overall, (3) each other, and (4) they know or will ever admit. For all the differences, we see they, in fact, share quite a few beliefs, though they approach them in very different ways.
The same can be said for the new group of students and prospective students. It will be interesting, if/when there is/are new season(s), to see how they evolve and interact with each other. I only hope things do not become SO complicated we'll need scorecards to keep track of the changes. (This was the biggest criticism I had of the short-lived "Tyrant," which killed itself as much as anything else with bad scripts that turned everything upside down.) This is not only true of LaRusso and Lawrence, but of nearly every "relationship" in the series. I'm also not sure I cared for the direction the very final scene foreshadowed. While I appreciate the character, and think the actor is fantastic, it may stop the evolution of Lawrence in its tracks, an evolution I think is the biggest plus in the entire series. If, however, they write it well, it could be a great storyline.
A couple of shoutouts here--the actress playing LaRusso's wife does a great job--the wisdom is ALMOST Miyagi-esque (I did say "ALMOST".) Same for the daughter and the lead Cobra-Kai students. I hope some of the "lesser" Cobras (the small kid in particular) step up in future seasons. On the other hand, Daniel's cousin adds nothing, and the mean girls and boys need to go away fast.
My only concern is there is so much overlap in so many of the characters that something unrealistic (shark-jumping) will end up being written to keep up with all of that. Please don't--just keep it going as it is, and we all win.
Having worked in the profession for over thirty years, I find the script eccentric and overdone. If any true professional behaved like most of the cast, they would be disbarred, broke, or both. Could have been good, but Shondaland can poison even the best ideas.
Season 1, amazing. Season 2, still good. Season 3, terrible.
If I rated each season, the first would be 10, the second a 7 or 8, and the third 0 or less. The other reviewers covered the specifics well. I guess if you wanted the series to end, they knew how to do it well. The zombification of Molly and her needing to breed was pole vaulting the shark. Who would have though Jamal and Laila were the likeable ones.