review

Dear White People


Originally written 18th January. I watched the first episode and wasn’t really interested enough to continue, but I did write a review! If anyone does watch it, I’d be interested in hearing what you think. Does it get better? (more…)

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Bad Moviethon #19 – Killers 


#19

…in which I examine if bad movies really deserve their woeful rotten tomatoes score

Rotten Score: 10%

Synopsis: Three years after a fateful trip to the French Riviera, Jen (Katherine Heigl) enjoys the good life in suburbia with her handsome husband, Spencer (Ashton Kutcher). That comes crashing down, however, when gunfire rings out the morning after his 30th birthday. It turns out that Spencer has not been honest with Jen about his job; he’s a deadly spy. Now she must learn to dodge bullets while keeping up an appearance of normalcy.

This movie has to be one of the dumbest things that I have ever seen. Even 10% is a generous score. It was that movie where you just sit back and wonder how many people wasted their time on it. How does a script this awful even get greenlit? Ashton Kutcher’s looks were not enough to save this movie. It’s only saving grace (for me) was seeing Casey Wilson pop up.  (more…)

SIX (History Channel)


The series chronicles the operations and daily lives of operators who are part of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU), more commonly known as SEAL Team Six, which is one of the U.S. Armed Forces’ primary counter-terrorism units. [Wikipedia]

I only watched this show for one reason and one reason only. 

Kyle. Freaking. Schmid. 

Imagine my disappointment when I saw he was playing yet another drunken lothario type (although, it’s not like anyone else remembers Copper). Still, his hair is adorable so I forgive him. 

I have one major issue with this show. It uses a very real and still ongoing crisis as the backrop and falls into that white saviour bullshit extremely easily. It was borderline offensive. Completely distasteful and next time, they should maybe pick another crisis. 

To give you a quick summary, we meet the team in Afghanistan. They are looking for a known terrorist but they don’t find him. Instead they end up shooting an American in cold blood. In front of his brother. They destroy the camera footage and apparently forget all about the witness to the crime. 

Years later, the guy that shot the American – RIP – is working security and no longer part of the team. He’s in Nigeria with some people who will be renovating a girl’s school and want to do a photo op. Before that can happen, Boko Haram storm in and kidnap everyone.

In Dubai, the brother of the dead American (Michael) is working with ISIS. When he learns that Rip has been kidnapped, he does his best to get a hold of him. That happens, and we’re forced to watch as the poor girls are dragged from one place to another. 

Eventually, after taking a very long time, the SEAL team are sent in to rescue them. It takes about three attempts, but they do. At this point the teacher of the kidnapped girls seems to think that Rip is some kind of hero. Everyone lives happy even after. 

Until the last scene where an American girl that Michael had been grooming magically finds Rip and shoots him in cold blood. 

Questionable plot aside, the show was easy to watch. Time flew by and it’s good background noise. I’ll probably watch the second season. It’s nothing special…It has the same propaganda-ish feel that these shows generally do. And it was stupid. So stupid. The side plots were the worst part. 

We have one guy trying to pay for his kids tuition. One guy is finally leaving his deadbeat father status behind him. One is trying for a baby (until his wife leaves him). The worst part has to be when one the team members dies. At his wake, the duaghter of the deadbeat dad finds video of her deadbeat father ‘comforting’ the widow. 

Is this a soap opera or a serious show?? The narrative is a little confused. I also didn’t care for the fifty-eleven flashbacks. I’m curious to see how they approach season two. 

Verdict: 5/10. Worth it mostly for Kyle Schmid’s hair. 

The Ranch (Netflix)


Ashton Kutcher stars in this Netflix-original sitcom as Colt, who returns home to his family’s ranch in Colorado after his semi-pro football career ends in failure. Colt plans to run the ranching business with his older brother, Rooster, and his father, Beau (Sam Elliott), whom he hasn’t seen in 15 years. In addition to proving himself to his father and navigating family dynamics, Colt is torn between his current girlfriend and his high school sweetheart, Abby (Elisha Cuthbert), when she expresses doubts about her fiance.

I reviewed the pilot episode of this show a while back. The post is no longer up (because I have standards or something, idk!) but the snark was strong.

Based on the pilot, the summary of this show is basically ‘Youngest son returns home after failed football career to find that his father is still a redneck farmer that hates everything.’

The laugh track doesn’t help this show because as people are ‘laughing’, I’m wondering if I’m having a terrible dream. There are wise cracks about Ashton Kutcher wearing Uggs. The first one was so painful that the writer treated us to another. The opening conversation is about Ashton Kutcher’s character slipping when peeing into the mouth of an ice statue. He ended up flashing Shania Twain while he was up in Canada. The following exchange happens:

Brother: I bet she said that ‘don’t impress me much’.

Ashton
: No, she said, ‘man I feel like a woman’.

Laugh track
: ha ha ha ha ha we’re sobbing on the inside.

By the end of the episode, Ashton Kutcher’s character has supposedly failed his football tryout. He asks his father if he can stay and tries to give him money. His father says no and zzzzZzzzzz. Is this a sitcom or weird family drama? Oh and Ashton and his father manage to end a fifteen year drought by arguing. As this happens a song with the lyrics ‘Rain makes corn and corn makes whiskey. Whiskey makes my baby freaky’ (or something along those lines) plays and I was silently screaming SOMEBODY SAVE ME.

Clearly, I don’t care enough about ranches and hoedowns to like this show. Oh, and I just looked up the reviews and apparently the internet agrees that this show is terrible. Well, some of the internet. Apparently it gets better. Or is it that the pilot is so woeful that it can’t get any worse?

As someone who genuinely liked Undateable (which was a terrible, terrible show), I should probably give this show a few more episodes on that basis. However, if I do, I’m only doing so because I like Elisha Cuthbert.

I’m still mostly watching the show for Elisha Cuthbert. The jokes are so-so and it’s basically a predictable soap opera.

The biggest issue while watching the show was Danny Masterson. His jokes were along the lines of the Shania Twain joke. Insensitive and not very funny. I was also aware of the accusations against him so it was super uncomfortable. He left the show eventually (well, they fired him) so…I don’t know. Perhaps the show can focus on actual humour and discard the cheap laughs.

Or not.

The only major criticism I have is that it’s very repetitive and it looks cheap. I think I read that they shoot it on a soundstage in Burbank (in front of a live audience who apparently laugh at the many, many, f-bombs). Yeah. It shows.

I also hate all of the country music they keep subjecting me to. I don’t think I’m the show’s target audience AT ALL.

And I am not sure why ‘fuck, yeah‘ comes up so many time in the scripts. If they’re ad-libs then…fuck, no. Swearing is a lazy punch line that doesn’t really sound good when it’s a half an hour show. It also sounds so forced on the show at times that I automatically roll my eyes.

Other than that it kind of grows on you. I don’t love it but I don’t hate it either.

It’s harmless background noise and perfect for those nights when you can’t fall asleep, lol.

Verdict: 5/10

ETA: I finished season 2 part 2/season 4 and ugh. Predictable. That and everyone seems to have undergone asshole transplants. Elisha’s character was just annoying which means that my viewership may end sooner rather than later. They need to give her better material. Or maybe just get her to come back as Alex Kerkovich.

#HappyEndings4eva

Bad Moviethon #15-17


(POTENTIALLY)
BAD MOVIE MARATHON 

#15-17

…in which I examine if bad movies really deserve their woeful rotten tomatoes score

Let’s Be Cops | 2014

Plot: Two struggling pals dress as police officers for a costume party and become neighborhood sensations. But when these newly-minted “heroes” get tangled in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives, they must put their fake badges on the line.

(more…)

book recommendations…


Speaking of Nancy Drew, I read one of the books the other day.  It was TERRIBLE. I know that Carolyn Keene is probably fifty different people with different levels of questionable writing ability, but it was awful. Whose idea was it to retool the series?

The Nancy Drew Files, or the Nancy Drew Case Files, is a detective fiction series started in 1986 and released by Simon & Schuster, New York. It is a spin-off of the original series of novels featuring Nancy Drew, with a greater emphasis on adventure, malice and romance.

Lol, I wrote a little snarky thing on it after I finished it. I was supposed to review the first five books but that didn’t happen. Hasn’t happened. Yet. Never underestimate the depths of my boredom. 

Here it is:

The Nancy Drew Files

1. Secrets Can Kill (June 1986)

Plot: Nancy poses as a student and goes undercover to investigate a series of thefts at Bedford High.

Snarkified plot: Someone is stealing files and items at a high school in FuckedUpShitAlwaysHappens Heights and the police don’t care. Let’s hire 18 year old Nancy Drew! This time her car is red and not blue because this series is MODERN! 

After some top notch sleuthing (so sole guy being rude to Nancy) we discover that said guy was blackmailing the other students. He dies, no one cares and the case is solved!! 

But wait! 

He also happened to be blackmailing the super hot student that Nancy makes our with for no real reason. Oh, a hot guy! Oh, she might leave her not quite boyfriend, Ned, for hot guy! Oh, but wait, she’s just undercover as a high school student! It would never last. And OH NO, he might be a murderer! Oh, wait. He’s not. He’s just a Russian spy. 

CASE SOLVED!

Turns out that she was just confused and that she loves Ned after all…

Mhmm…

Until the next hot guy she meets while undercover. 

Verdict: LOL.

So yeah, for 2018, I’m going to need some intelligent book recommendations. 

Bad Moviethon #14 – Red Dawn


in which I examine if bad movies really deserve their woeful rotten tomatoes score

Red DawnIMDB

When North Korean troops invade U.S. soil and take over the city of Spokane, Wash., a recently returned Iraq War veteran (Chris Hemsworth) and a group of teens (Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson) flee to the woods and form a band of freedom fighters. Dubbing themselves the Wolverines, the youths launch guerrilla attacks against the invaders — but how long they can sustain the fight in the face of the enemy’s superior numbers and firepower remains in question. (more…)

Thor: Ragnarök (2017)


First things first, while I ended up really enjoying the movie, the opening scene had me like…WTF. I guess they were trying to ease us into the new Thor, but having watched the first two recently, it was really weird. I guess Team Thor was supposed to help with that… welp.

Secondly, I’m surprised that the critics are all over this movie. Yes, it’s very funny and enjoyable but there are some issues with it. Major ones that I’d expect a critic to point out. I was on IMDB looking at reviews and it’s a sea of 10/10. Initially, I gave it a 9/10 but I’ve since downgraded it to a 8/10 and by the time I’m done it might be even lower, lol. I’m getting a The Dark Knight Rises feel about this. That movie was so long that I thought it was amazing until I got home and I was just thinking…”…Wait a minute….”

Anyway Spoilers from this point forward!

(more…)

snarkview: Lie To Me


 

lie-to-me2

The world’s leading deception researcher, Dr. Cal Lightman, studies facial expression, body language and tone of voice to determine when a person is lying and why, which helps law enforcement and government agencies uncover the truth. But his skills also make it easier for him to deceive others.

s-v

You know, my parameter for bad shows is usually ‘is it better or worse than the crap that the Supernatural team have been putting out since season 6?. It’s not difficult to be better than Supernatural. It really isn’t. A reality show based on Vanilla Ice living with Eskimos for six months would be better than Supernatural.

That being said, Lie To Me now has the distinct honour of being even worse than Supernatural. Sort of. Season 1 is great. I have no complaints about season 1. The science was a bit… well, they basically used screengrabs to convey microexpressions which seems iffy to me. There’s a fifty percent chance between it being a genuine microexpression and a well timed screenshot. Someone should let shippers know that, though. Anyway, season 1 reminded me of my second favourite show ever (yeah, despite it’s flaws, Supernatural is still my favourite show purely because it got so bad that I vowed never to get heavily invested in another show. So it still occupies that spot), The Mentalist. It was a typical procedural.

Just not typical enough apparently.

Shawn Ryan took over for the second season and everything went downhill. I guess he wanted to put The Shield in Lie To Me because the main character goes form nerdy scientist to rude Englishman. So he went from speaking like a reasonable person to call everyone a wanker and yelling ‘oi!’ every five minutes. He went from being a consultant to barging into people’s houses, getting into people’s faces. Being waterboarded and tortured by freaking Jason Dohring and coming out unscathed. It was quite the transformation.

Apparently Tim Roth didn’t like the science aspect of the show, so they just abandoned it. It was just Lightman determining who was lying and who wasn’t. And I could deal with that. Except, the acting became really bizarre. I was convinced that Tim Roth was either sick or had a drinking problem but apparently that’s the characterisation.

He flops about, jerks around erratically, pulls faces and can’t sit still. I can’t believe that no one told him how stupid it looked. It killed the show for me. I can sit through silly storylines (like some guy marrying a new woman every six months after cutting deals with the ex-husbands), but not a character being so weird and uncomfortable for no good reason. He even becomes slightly sexist and inappropriate around any female character on-screen except for his teenage daughter, Emily.

That’s another thing. In the first season, he was at least civil to the other main characters. By season 3, he’s just nasty. I couldn’t make sense of it. Was it had writing or just bad acting? They all seem annoyed with each other. Like they all got on the same bus during rush hour and they were on it until the last stop. Pure misery.


Verdict: 8/10 for the first season, 5/10 for the second season (just because I like that episode with all of The Shield characters) and 0/10 for the third season.

Ghostbusters (2016)


ghostbusters1920jpg-4856da_1280w

First of all, I have to admit that when I saw the trailer, I laughed my head off at the Chris Hemsworth part. I will also admit that for all of the shit that this movie got, I was of the mind that they probably should have just created a completely different franchise. Or even come up with a all-female spoof. For the most part, though, I didn’t really care. I can’t really understand why a silly movie about ghosts offended so many people before it was released (oh, wait…)

That being said, I was fully expecting this movie to be awful, but it was only partially awful. The writing is probably what lets the movie down. It’s bad. So, so, so bad. That being said, the two people I liked the most were Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth. Both played stereotypical characters – sassy, black woman and airhead, but it made me laugh…? I can’t complain about the token casting because let’s face it, it was the only way we were going to get a sister in the movie. At least she was there. It’s a movie about ghosts, I don’t need to be represented by any of the characters, so I guess that was nice of them. There was also the token Asian character whose only role was buying soup so, I think that was probably worse.

The plot of the movie was basically – a bunch of women team up to fight ghosts unleashed by some crazy guy who hates people. I didn’t really follow it very closely. I just looked up whenever I heard Chris Hemsworth speaking. That being said, I started paying attention when he got more screen time and the movie was fine. It was silly, fluffy and the jokes were hit and miss but it’s a Ghostbusters movie. Did anyone expect more?

Anyway, this movie is worth it just for the police dance scene and end credits. And Chris Hemsworth.

I can’t believe that they cut the dancing out of the released version. Whoever they left in the editing room messed up. Dancing always saves the day. Mostly.

 Verdict: 7/10. Someone needs to cut a Chris Hemsworth scenes-only version and I’ll give it a 10/10. Just saying.