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The First

No wonder it was canceled
Well, I could be faulted for not watching the whole season before writing this, but I think if it hasn't taken off by now (episode 5), it's not going to. I didn't figure it would be a piece of space opera, but neither did I think it would be an incoherent mess of incomprehensible drama. And if, after a whole season, they still haven't actually got to Mars yet (I don't know this; I just read it here somewhere), then I'm not surprised somebody pulled the plug. I found myself involuntarily pushing the fast forward button repeatedly, just so I could maybe see a tiny bit of action. Nope. So far, just five episodes of bickering and complaining. I will have to decide whether to carry on or cut my losses; at the moment, bailing out seems fairly attractive. Too bad, there are some good actors in this, but they are just given nothing to do. What a waste.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout

Illuminated faceplates; Please, no!
The surest sign of ultra-lameness in an action film is when there is some sort of suit which has a helmet attached, and whaddya know, 9 times out of 10, the faceplate of the helmet is illuminated from the inside, as it is here. Well, you don't need a science degree to know that if you were wearing such a thing, you wouldn't be able to see a damn thing, because of the intense glare. This is just so obvious, and yet, because it simplifies the task of lighting the scene, this is what they do.

So, this would have been an average disposable popcorn-muncher, but instead it's become, for me, a case of being barely able to sit through the rest of it. And the budget! $125 million, to make a non-event like this? With that kind of money, I'm sure they could have found lighting solutions that didn't insult our intelligence in this way. They think, nobody will notice, or realise that nobody would actually do this. I noticed the absurdity of this trick the first time I saw it, I wouldn't remember which film it was, because I don't remember anything else about it. Same with all the others I've seen since. I'm really tired of being taken for an idiot. You should be, too.

I've given this a 3, only because Simon Pegg is in it, though he should know better.


Ignore the other reviews
This marks the end of my reliance on amateur movie reviewers in making a decision about whether or not to watch any given movie. Because of them, I almost didn't watch this one. I will say this: Ignore everyone who bagged this film. They don't know what they're talking about. After reading endless 1-star reviews, and even some 9- or-10 star ones, I see that none of them got it right. Of the bad things I might say about this film, the worst would be that the science is just terrible. I don't blame this on the filmmakers directly, rather on the average american being so ignorant of things scientific that the makers know they can get away with almost anything. In large part, I can live with this. The requirement to suspend disbelief is very common for moviegoers, and for a lot of reasons. But, when it comes to science, it is different. A lot of us know pretty much what is possible and what is not. The science in this film failed when it came to scaling everyday big-people's objects to the small world. It just doesn't work. The small world looked just like ours. In order to have fridges, ovens, toasters, televisions, etc. that look exactly like the ones we have, there would have to be massive miniature factories with hordes of miniature robots building these devices from impossibly tiny components. A whole manufacturing economy would have to be in place. I saw no evidence of this. All the little peoples' needs appeared to be provided by big people. None of the reviews I read noted that a shrunken person would necessarily have a very high, squeaky voice. They all sounded exactly like lower-volume big people. Of course, that would ruin the whole film, so best to just ignore it.

Nowhere in the film did I see any reference to shrinking any beings other than humans. Yet, in Norway, we see horses, sheep, dogs, all suitably miniaturized. The first thing that struck me when I saw the miniature yacht in the Norwegian fjord was that the thing was only about 3 feet long at most; the fjord was glassy smooth, but I'm quite sure they're not always like that. The weather can get very nasty, and if it did, a 3-foot boat would have no chance at all.

Leaving all that aside, things really weren't that bad until the silly climate lectures started, and it really fell apart with the methane revelation. Talk about bad science! And if the earth did get enveloped in the biggest methane bubble that it could produce, would it really take 8,000 years to get over it? I kinda doubt it.

Much has been said about the nonsense of Mrs. Safranek getting cold feet at the last minute and bailing out of the whole thing. It almost looks to me as if they had already partly shot the film and she needed to be hastily written out of it, for reasons we wil never be party to. That would be consistent with her sudden disappearance. Then again, it would make sense to shoot the scenes of the actual shrinking at the very last, because they involve shaving everybody's hair and eyebrows off. It wouldn't do to have to wait for Matt's hair to grow back.

Anyway, the science of the shrinking process isn't much better than the rest. But, so what? Is it a good watch? Yes, up until the last half hour, when the wheels fell off. So, I suppose it could be recommended, with the warning to disregard the silly ending, but you'd realize that, anyway, albeit too late. But I wouldn't spend a lot of money on it. As for the satire, I didn't see any. At least, not the American kind, where they rub your face in it to make sure you got it. But I didn't see the other kind of satire, either. Not much of any kind of humor.

Finally, I would say that this isn't really Matt Damon's kind of film, so I don't know why he did it. Needed the money, perhaps. Not that he didn't do alright with what there was to work with. I'll give it a 6.

The Blacklist

I wouldn't normally do this, but I have some suspicion that the makers might look here from time to time to see how it's going on the outside.

I've been watching this from the beginning, and got hooked right away. It was so refreshing to see James Spader again, i will unashamedly admit I will watch anything with him in it.

My main complaint is that the writers have dropped the ball on a number of occasions, turning the narrative into absurdity. At times it looked like they were writing for a completely different show.

A big source of annoyance for me is Ressler. Although I would like to like him, his character is so unlikeable that I can't help thinking it's the real Klattenhoff we're seeing. But the real trouble is, whenever he speaks, he mumbles. I can hardly make out a word he's saying. Surely someone around the place has noticed this.

As if this isn't bad enough, at S5E15 they have introduced apparently a new character, Detective Singleton. Now, I don't have any real problem with him, except - he's also a mumbler. I can't understand anything he says.

Finally, there's Tom. Perhaps the most annoying person I've ever seen on the screen. From the moment he appeared, I lived in hope that they would soon write him out of the series. In case it would constitute a spoiler, I won't reveal whether they did or not.

One last thing; the spinoff "Blacklist Redemption", I have not seen, but have heard things about it, and none of them good. Spader is not in it, that's enough right there. It's very hard to understand why they even bothered.

So, if you're still reading this, and you haven't seen the show, well, I can tell you that halfway through season 5, there are still some shreds of the original premise left, but not very many. Mainly because of Mr. Spader, it is still watchable. Without him, I would have given it probably a 2 or 3 at best.

Columbo: Last Salute to the Commodore
Episode 6, Season 5

My two cents
I have to agree with the majority here; this is the worst Columbo episode I've seen yet. I'm sure it's the direction, as it's full of inappropriate pauses, jumps, scenes that drag on too long, dialog that makes no sense. But I think I've seen other episodes directed by Patrick McGoohan, and I don't remember seeing these flaws before. So, what really ruined it? Was it inept writing? Did the producers influence the narrative? Were they trying to imitate Agatha Christie? I don't know, but I hope there are no more like this, because I am watching them in chronological order, and I enjoyed every one, up till now. If you haven't seen this one yet, I suggest you give it a miss.

All Is Lost

Not as bad as so many are saying
I had to come in here and throw in my 2 cents, after seeing some number of people who trashed this film for sailing ineptitude and bad decisions.

Firstly, if you want a movie for and about sailors, this isn't it. Sure, there are some embarrassing gaffes, and I guess Robert isn't a sailor, else he wouldn't have agreed to do some of them.

But we have these morons here shooting off their mouths when they couldn't even pay attention or watch the whole movie. Someone said he didn't take water on the raft with him. He did. Someone else said he took a hat with him but didn't wear it. He did. Someone else said the resin repair he did on the hole was terrible. It kept the water out, what more should it do?

Others have trashed Robert Redford for giving a lame performance. This is a mistake. the fault is in the direction. I saw the same failings in Margin Call. In my opinion, J.C. Chandor is an unfit filmmaker, and shouldn't be allowed to make any more. Pretty much everything wrong with this production should be dumped straight on him. Done well, this would have been a terrific film. As it is, it's just watchable.


Not very well balanced
I was living in Detroit, on the west side during this time. I can tell you, it was scary. I expected this movie to show me some things I may have missed, but it didn't. The rioting itself was just background to the goings on at the Algiers Motel, which mainly the whole movie is about.

I will give them credit for almost seamlessly integrating real footage with that shot just for the purpose. There are some factual errors and some anachronisms, but mostly they wouldn't be noticed except by someone my age. I have to admit to being somewhat disappointed by the amount of attention given to the events at the motel, not to say this wasn't important, and the acquittal of the police involved had very dangerous consequences. But I still would have liked more coverage of the riots themselves, being as it was the worst racially fueled conflict in the country up to that time.

So, although I appreciate the effort that went into the making of this, it could have been much better.

After Earth

Why did they bother?
If the idea was for Will to usher his son into the acting business, it sure didn't work. Apart from anything else, Will turned his natural charm and charisma way down, so as to not outshine his son too much. No need, even Keanu Reeves is decidedly non-wooden next to anybody in this turkey. I am really amazed that M. Night Shyamalan is still able to find work. He has to take the blame squarely for this embarrassing, steamy turd of a movie. Maybe a lot of bad judgement on Will's part as well. Hopefully the younger Mr. Smith will learn something from this, and choose to do something else with his life.

I won't go on and enumerate all the things wrong with the movie; it's already been done here. If you haven't seen it, please don't bother. And hope that Mr. M. Night Shyamalan is finally drummed out of the movie business.

Dark Matter

Just astounding
I am giving this a 1 to do my bit to offset the ludicrous 7+ rating this turd has somehow gotten. It can only be a concerted effort by studio shills and friends and relatives of the production; nobody who has actually seen this would be caught dead praising it. Uwe Boll does magnificent work compared to this. That is something I never thought I would ever be saying.

A high-school drama class would have done a far better job without even trying. Cheesy sets, inane dialog, wooden acting, embarrassing effects, this one has it all. It would be alright if it was so bad that it landed in the "so bad it's good" category, like Ed Wood. But it's just so bad it's unwatchable.

I am among those scratching their heads, wondering how this ever got a green light for production. So, the studio bosses must be every bit as inept as the cast/crew. I am not exaggerating when I say this is the worst thing I've ever seen on television. Watch at your own peril.


Improbable mess
On the basis of the very high IMDb rating, I went ahead with this. Should have known better. Am I being unfair by basing my opinion on only the first episode? No; it is common for them to put everything they've got into the first one, because it will influence a lot of people in their decision to continue or not.

The most glaringly obvious thing is that agent Dunham seems to have complete freedom to pursue whatever she wants in this investigation, but she's not investigating anything at all, she's just trying to get someone to save her boyfriend. Is this how the FBI really works? I didn't think so.

Now, have you ever seen the CDC burn a plane on the tarmac? I didn't think so. Is this strategy in their rule book? I kinda doubt it. This episode is so full of implausible crap like that, that it's impossible to just sit there and let it unfold without internally screaming.

And there's 5 seasons of this? Uhh... no. I thought I was going to be treated to some rollicking Twilight Zoney kind of stuff, or even X- Files-ish sort of thing. No. Fraid not. Watch some Star Trek reruns instead.

Taken 3

6.0? You've got to be kidding.
I actually went to the trouble of adding up all the stars and then dividing by the number of reviews, which should give you the average rating. I got 4.5. Something is obviously wrong with the rating system here.

This was a shambles, and Liam Neeson should be ashamed to have his name on it. Mr. Megaton, as has been noted here elsewhere, should not be directing movies. This was a cash-grab, I mean, nobody was even taken. How can you call the movie "Taken 3" when nobody was taken? I suppose they couldn't think of anybody else to "take", so they did something else instead. The idiots that watch it won't notice. To what extent Luc Besson was involved in this mess, he should be ashamed, as well.


What were we thinking?
This film blew me away when I first saw it. Unfortunately, 18 years later, it is just embarrassing. I'm not sure why I didn't notice back then that it is just crammed with unnecessary hysterics and over-the-top drama. Most of the characters are just plain annoying, and the story just doesn't seem to make sense. Did it make sense 18 years ago? Probably not, but the effects must have been dazzling enough to mask the lack of a cohesive plot. And to allow it to run for what is now obviously an excessively long time.

One of the worst, yet most often committed mistakes in any film that involves spacesuits/diving suits is the inclusion of a bright lamp INSIDE the helmet. Obviously, this is done to improve the lighting for the camera. You don't need to be very intelligent to know that this light inside the helmet will absolutely destroy all visibility for the wearer. All he/she will see is glare. And yet, nearly every filmmaker does it. Here is no exception, although I will admit it's not the worst. But use of this lame lighting trick reflects either stupidity or bare contempt for the viewer. I can't help it, it ruins the whole film for me, no matter what other merits it might have.

But this one ruined itself, it didn't need the helmet light to do that. It's unfortunate; I anticipated a very rewarding experience going into this viewing so many years later. I now wish I hadn't bothered. My memory of the film is now also ruined.

Into the Grizzly Maze

Billy Bob couldn't save it
I would watch anything with Billy Bob Thornton in it and never complain. Until now, that is. This is close to the dumbest movie I've ever seen. Never have I cared so little about the characters, never was I less thrilled by a "thriller".

Terrible writing, bad direction, bad acting. Billy Bob was OK, but just. What a waste. Expert shooters everywhere and not one could hit a huge bear.

I'm sorry, but this took me by surprise. I was really expecting something watchably entertaining; I didn't get it. Halfway through, I couldn't stand it any longer and started skipping forward so it could end.

The Last Man on Earth

worse than a waste of time
I started looking thru the reviews here and first I found 4 or 5 pages of nothing but 1-star reviews. I said to myself, nothing could be THAT bad, could it? Then I came to 3 or 4 pages of mostly 9- and 10-star reviews. So then I thought, something's wrong here. Somebody at IMDb has collected all the 1-star reviews and put them first, so to create the maximum bad impression. OK, so I just had to see for myself.

I'm sorry I did. The 1-star reviewers were all right on the mark. This show has all of the worst features of all the bad sitcoms ever made. It is the shallowest and most irritating thing I've ever seen. How anyone could think this is hilarious is just stupefying. If this is widely seen as good entertainment, then Western civilization is in deep trouble. I can't go on.....

Stealing Harvard

I tried, I really did.
Normally I wouldn't have bothered, but I read some of the reviews here that said not to worry, it was mindless, but very funny, even hilarious. So I watched it.

I didn't laugh once.

I will admit that Tom Green is not my cup of tea. Even though he and I are fellow native Ontarioans. That kind of gutter slapstick I just don't find funny at all. Like fart jokes. But the whole movie was like that; certainly not the worst I've seen, not as bad as Freddy Got Fingered, anyway. But no, not funny.

So, I tried to like it, but sadly, I got nothing out of it. Just be warned if you're considering watching this and you haven't seen it before. Unless you really like Tom Green, you will waste your time.

The Thaw

Where do I start? First with Val Kilmer's phoned-in performance, I suppose. I like Val, but he is only in this one so they could put his name in the credits. Shame on you, Val. This isn't even a "B" grade film, it's a "C" or a "D". By far the worst of the over-emotional actors was the ultra-irritating shrew who played Evelyn, Val's daughter. I hope I never have to see her again. She singlehandedly ruined what little redeeming features the rest of the film might have had.

It doesn't really matter; the film doesn't work on any level it tries. If it is trying to teach us something about the consequences of global warming, it sure picked the wrong way to do it. The consequences are very real, we don't need to invent an invasion of prehistoric bugs.

This trash is a waste of time. Go for a long walk or something instead.

Sudden Death

Really Awful
Don't pay any attention to the rave reviews of this film here. It is the worst Van Damme film and one of the worst of any sort I have ever seen. It would appeal to somebody with no depth whatever who requires nothing more than gunfire and explosions to be entertained.

Seeing that this is directed by Peter Hyams it has made me realise that Peter has no talent as a director, but is very good at filming explosions and the like. However, movies need other elements as well; for example, a story. This one didn't have one. This might explain the awfulness of some of Mr. Hyams' more recent films, hardly any better than this one, really.

One can't help wondering how some people ever were put behind a camera.


Forget it.
Generally I will watch anything with Dennis Quaid in it, he's just such a likable guy. But that wasn't enough to pull him through this mess.

Incoherent story, bad dubbing, cheesy effects, choppy editing, bad acting, this one's got it all. Plus a truly nauseating ending.

There's probably enough reviews here, but I thought I'd point out that there seems to be a major flaw in the impartiality of this board, as, at the time of writing, all of the good reviews are on the first pages and all the bad ones are on the last pages. What's going on here? Surely IMDb editors wouldn't be burying bad reviews because they like the movie, would they? I'll leave it to you to decide.


Not as good as the reviews here suggest
Spielberg didn't direct this, but it has his fingerprints all over it. The king of schmaltz can't resist dumbing it all down and hamming it all up until he's sure all the kiddies will demand mum and dad take them to see it.

It didn't work this time; it bombed at the box office, and deservedly so. Trying to make a Sci-Fi and a comedy rolled into one just doesn't work. It didn't work here.

I feel a bit sorry for Dennis Quaid, I usually like his films, but nobody involved with this stinker had much choice, especially Dennis.

It didn't even work as fluffy, mindless entertainment, as some Spielberg films do, I just can't ignore the bad science and the misplaced humour.

I gave it a 3, simply because I managed to sit right through to the end.

Figures in a Landscape

Alternately baffling, shocking and irritating, this film is remarkable in a lot of ways. It shows that Malcolm McDowell is a really talented actor who went to waste after being typecast as a sleazebag; he never got any decent roles after that.

What's unusual about this film is that we are never given more than scant information about who these guys are, why they are running and from whom, or where on earth this is all supposed to be taking place.

You might think that all this, plus the almost nonexistent plot would make this film supremely forgettable, but this is far from the case. My only complaints were that Robert Shaw's character kept bursting into screaming and cackling fits at inappropriate times and the ending, for me, almost ruined the whole thing. Why did Mac feel he had to try to finish off the helicopter just when he had finally reached safety? Other than that, this is an extraordinary film. I would have given it a 9 except for the above issues.

I Wanna Hold Your Hand

No, it's not any of those
Don't believe any of the praise of this film that you see here. What an irritating piece of crap. Annoying characters, moronic plot, stupid storyline, you name it, it's got it.

I should have stopped watching when I saw Spielberg's name in the beginning credits; the king of nauseating schmaltz never gets involved in anything without ruining it with his cutesy bullsh!t.

It could have been funny, I suppose, in a mindless sort of way, but no, the funny bits would have needed to be stuck in between the irritating ones, and there's just no room. It isn't even funny in that quaint, dated sort of way that makes some '70s films watchable for a few laughs at least.

Just inane, mindless drivel, aimed at the lowest common denominator, with IQ in the 60 and below range. Don't bother.

The Prophecy

Is this the best that talking monkeys could come up with? How could anybody possibly take this crap seriously? Whether you're a Christian or an atheist, this film has something to offend everybody.

The only thing that saves this is Christopher Walken putting in perhaps his best performance ever. That's where the two extra stars came from.

I was also attracted by a few more of my favourites; Amanda Plummer and Viggo Mortensen, but alas, they didn't have enough screen time to do them justice.

Anyway, this isn't horror, it's not suspenseful, it's not frightening, but it is funny, the scenes with Walken in them, that is.

Echelon Conspiracy

You get what you pay for.
I'm only really commenting here because I get the sh!ts with dickheads who post comments about what an abysmal film this was when they only watched the first ten minutes of it.

Sure, it could have been done better, it's no Enemy of the State, after all, but as a reasonably enjoyable way of wasting 100 minutes, it does the job just fine.

So what if it's full of clichés, plot holes and technical faux-pas? Like, disguising your use of a cellphone by using an earpiece with a brilliant flashing blue light, well, it's something I probably wouldn't do, but I probably wouldn't unquestioningly do anything I was told to do by a text message from a total stranger.

Never mind, just enjoy it for what it is.


stupid, stupid, stupid.
I'm not going to bag this film for all the myriad technical f|u|c|k|u|p|s, it would take two days to outline how the whole thing isn't even remotely possible. Others have pointed out all the relevant stupidities already.

Given all that, I still could have sort of enjoyed it, if only they hadn't included all the maudlin, nauseating, infuriating, Disneyesque sentimental crap, which is so out of place anywhere, but nowhere more than out in space, where the tiniest mistake can mean instant death.

The "crew", as well as the "real" astronaut were equally guilty of putting all their fatuous nonsense ahead of everything else. It completely ruined any value the production may have had left.

I'm surprised NASA let this garbage out so that so many people would get so much misinformation about something so important to them. If you haven't seen this yet, save yourself the irritation. Watch Apollo 13 again. At least that tried to be sort of real.

The Girl Can't Help It

Required Viewing
This would have been a really silly movie but for the amazing classic performances by some of the Rock'n Roll originals. I take exception to whoever it was who suggested that Eddie Cochrane was imitating Elvis. Elvis was only starting to be noticed in 1956. Eddie had his own distinctive moves and wasn't imitating anybody.

Some of the jokes about Jayne Mansfield's t!ts didn't age very well, and the displaying of same, using the then-current conical bras that made them look like nose cones of rockets, doesn't help any. Almost reminds me of some modern Japanese Anime with exaggerated t!ts.

Tom Ewell never got the recognition or the good parts he deserved; he shows here that he was undeniably a top A class actor. Edmund O'Brien was incredibly irritating here, maybe because he was directed to be so, but that doesn't make him less irritating. Especially his idiotic Rock around the Rockpile song.

Never mind, if you want a real glimpse of the roots of R'n R, this should be required viewing. I was in my early teens when this came out; there were no video clips back then. Hardly ever did we get a chance to actually see these people perform. This film is priceless if only to show how Rock 'n Roll started out as really just speeded-up Blues.

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