review

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

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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.

Bad Moviethon #13: Batman and Robin (1997)


(POTENTIALLY)
BAD MOVIE MARATHON #12 

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

Batman & Robin |imdb|1997

Plot: Batman and Robin try to keep their relationship together even as they must stop Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy from freezing Gotham City

Rotten Tomatoes score : 10%

Line of the movie:

Let’s kick some ice

 I love me some (relatively) old school Batman, but this has to be the worst superhero movie I’ve ever seen. Well. Maybe apart from Daredevil.

Anyway, first problem is George Clooney. He has more charisma in those Nespresso commercials than he does in this movie. In fact I’d rather watch a film about a coffee wielding superhero than Batman and Robin. It’s lameness has not been exaggerated, it’s just a poor movie.

First of all, I know that Val Kilmer was originally supposed to be in the movie, but they couldn’t find anyone better than Clooney? Secondly, Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr Freeze. Mr Freeze is supposed to be desperately trying to save his wife, not happily spray painting himself blue and being the cheesiest villain of all time. Ironically, John Glover plays Dr Jason Woodrue in the movie but he would have been a better fit as Mr Freeze.

Speaking of him, he creates two more ridiculously over the top villains in Bane and Poison Ivy. The motives are generally the typical ones – kill everyone just for the sake of it. But like, only after Poison Ivy spends excessive amounts of time trying to persuade people to kiss her.

Somehow, she works her magic on Batman and Robin, who have been having an internal conflict throughout the movie. By that I mean that Robin is the whiniest, most egregious man child in this movie. He whines when Batman saves him, whines when Poison Ivy goes after them and tries to seduce them. He just whines, whines and whines. It’s too much. Chris O’Donnell was wronged by whoever wrote this script.

They manage to shoehorn in Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl. I think she was Alfred’s niece who despite studying in England (and Alfred being English) had an American accent. She also has a thing for bikes and somehow teams up with Batman and Robin at the end.

I really wasn’t paying attention. This is just a poor movie. However, the cheesiness and Batman factor make it somewhat watchable. 

Verdict: 3/10.

American Assassin (2017)


American Assassin | 2017

I saw this last week Thursday and thought I’d write about it. I also just accidentally posted a YouTube video. Ignore it!

Spoilers ahead!

There seems to be mixed feelings about this movie but… I’m not sure why. No, it’s not going to set the world on fire (well…) and maybe a movie about terrorism isn’t what we need (but were any of the others needed?) but it’s called American Assassin. People get shot. Shit blows up. There are car chases. That’s all you can expect.

Anyway, the plot was fairly standard:

Mitch Rapp and his girlfriend are on vacation in Basque, Spain, when a radical Islamist jihadist cell lands on the beach and begins to attack the civilians with assault rifles. Amid the carnage, Rapp frantically attempts to find his girlfriend, but is unable to prevent her death at the hands of the terrorists.

Eighteen months later, Rapp, now consumed by his desire for vengeance, frequents an internet message board where the terrorist responsible for his girlfriend’s murder quizzes Rapp on aspects of Islam and jihad. Having secured an invitation to meet him face to face, Rapp prepares to take his vengeance on the man responsible for his girlfriend’s death.

When Cold War veteran Stan Hurley takes CIA black ops recruit Mitch Rapp under his wing, they receive an assignment to investigate a wave of random attacks on both military and civilian targets. After discovering a pattern of violence, Hurley and Rapp join forces with a lethal Turkish agent to stop a mysterious operative who wants to start a global war.

Thoughts:

The opening scene.

What. The. Fuck.

I’m torn between it being absolutely recklessly realistic and it being well, realistic. It definitely hooks you into the movie.

Even if I was slightly uncomfortable by that and what came after, it was interesting to see the terrorist cell stuff. If the entire movie had been about that, then, I’d complain but it was over fairly quickly. We moved onto the usual someone wants to build a nuclear weapon schtick blah, blah, blah and actually the movie sort of fell flat after that point.

The middle. Basically the CIA turn up and Rapp is trained into a super spy assassin kind of thing. His test scores are off the charts etc. Anyway, once we move off that we’re introduced to Ghost, a former protégé of Michael Keaton (who leads some kind of special ops team or something). Ghost has just obtained some plutonium for some Iranians.

Sigh.

Anyway, the action moves to Italy and we discover that Ghost is really angry at the US and Michael Keaton because he was left behind on the battlefield. Something about him not following orders.

After a gratuitous scene in which fingernails are extracted and an ear is bitten, it transpires that he has built a nuclear bomb in order to take out some kind of warship in the ocean. Ooookay.

Anyway, the build up to that scene was the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen. Rapp somehow finds a car underground, drives it through a tunnel in order to break open a gate. And the the car gets stuck and causes a huge fireball…. WHILE THE PLUTONIUM IS METRES AWAY. That entire building should have been toast. Anyway, somehow, they manage to switch between a housing project to the ocean in about two minutes.

It was very confusing.

Rapp and Ghost have this really odd fight on a boat. I could see that they repeat he same sequence a few times. The fight was also oddly anticlimactic. However, it was what came next that was really baffling. Rapp throws the nuclear bomb into the water and it goes off. Everyone should have been toast. Instead there was a huge water vortex that lasted for a minute and a helicopter was blown about until it wasn’t. Everyone lived! Except for Ghost.

Okay then.

The ending shows Rapp going after another Iranian who was also involved in the plutonium deal. I wonder why the director included that. Or the writer. It’s not like the sequel (if any) is going to pick up there. Minor issue, though.

The main issue with the movie is the lack of character progression. We know Rapp is messed up, but we don’t see it. It’s all tell, tell, tell with little showing. I personally would have made the whole terrorist cell thing a very minor backdrop and focused on seeing his life after his girlfriend died and in general after the attack (he was shot several times but made a full recovery!). Watching him punch someone excessively wasn’t enough. With regards to the villain – Ghost is just plonked in the movie and boom, this is the bad guy. It was, well, bad. The Turkish agent also had some stuff going on but by that point, the plot was so convoluted that when she killed herself I forgot that she even existed.

Anyway, Michael Keaton is always a delight. I don’t care that all he did was yell a lot. IT’S BATMAN! Sanaa Lathan did her best with the limited script. Dylan O’Brien is definitely one to watch. I thought he was really good, probably the best part of the movie even though he was limited by the unadventurous script. And I’m glad to see he’s doing okay after his accident on the Maze Runner set. Taylor Kitsch… well, at least he’s still getting work?

Verdict: 6/10. Entertaining but predictable. However, it wasn’t overly long or worse than your typical action movie. There are some really nice scenes in terms of the cinematography and fight/action scenes. Also – Dylan O’Brien isn’t hard on the peepers. 😝

I’m also going to check out the books as well now, so there’s that. Yes.

Thank you for reading!

Lethal Weapon (FOX) 


Rebooting the hit movie franchise of the same name, “Lethal Weapon” follows Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh as they combat crime in Los Angeles. Following the death of his wife and their unborn child, ex-Navy SEAL Riggs moves to California in search of a new start at the LAPD, where he is paired up with Murtaugh, who recently suffered a near-fatal heart attack. The newcomer’s tendency to not look before he leaps clashes with Murtaugh’s more considered technique, but when they look past the surface friction, they see the partnership might give them what they need.

Technically, this is snarkview. I saw adverts for the show on TV, but it wasn’t until I actually saw the promo on YouTube randomly that I was sucked into watching it. 

The show is, well, charming in its own way. The pilot episode was absolutely horrible, but there’s enough in it to make you continue. That being said, there’s only so much disbelief that I can suspend. 

That the LAPD would continue to allow Riggs and Murtaugh to work together is ridiculous. That we’re supposed to be okay with the whole Riggs wants to die/or does he?! thing is just as ridiculous when his half of his recklessness is just random. I get that he’s the crazy one, but it’s a lot easier to digest in a two hour movie. The entire show is ridiculous. Depending on where you look, people either love it or hate it. 

Take this review on IMDB (where this show has a rating of 8.7/10? LOL)…

I always read the 1/10 reviews because they’re entertaining. And much less annoying than those 10/10 reviews. 

Daman Wayans is a hack who should never have been picked to play Murtaugh.
1/10 | 5 Jul 2017
This show is a sad attempt to imitate a fairly decent movie franchise. Clayne Crawford is barely adequate as Riggs. He’s not even remotely convincing as a bad ass, despite the show’s desperate attempts to portray him as such.
And that accent is just plain annoying. Also, the hair. WTF is that hair about? Speaking of hair, or rather, lack thereof, Daman Wayans was a horrible choice for Murtaugh. He minces and prances through the show like a drag queen reject. His treatment of his new partner reeks of outright contempt, nothing like the grumpy, but ultimately good-natured Murtaugh of the movie. He also is not remotely convincing as a cop. He wouldn’t be convincing as a meter maid. Face it, he’s just a bad comedian who’s also a bad actor and it’s a shame that a fine character like Murtaugh was wasted on this hack. This show needs to be cancelled and the creators need to apologize for ever making it to begin with. But then, that’s me.

I love the last line. Anyway, let me address the most important part. 

Riggs’s hair….

When a character spends half of the time flicking back their hair, it’s distracting. Especially if their haircut kinda sucks. 

Anyway, that review is harsh. I probably wouldn’t have cast Damon Wayans, but he isn’t bad on the show. None of them are except for maybe Hilarie Burton, but that’s only because I feel like she sucks the life out of everything. 

Murtaugh on the show can’t seem to decide whether or not he likes or loathes Riggs. I’m not sure if all episodes aired in the correct order but it was weird for him to be all we’re family in one episode and then the man is nuts in the next. I practically had whiplash. 

Anyway, to sum up season 1:

  • Riggs’s heavily pregnant wife dies while he’s in the middle of investigating a drug cartel related to someone called Tito Flores
  • Six months later, he’s a mess and clearly unfit to work but transfers to LAPD anyway (something to do with his father in law yadda yadda).
  • Murtaugh has heart issues and is just returning back to work, he also has a baby daughter and two kids
  • They argue, Riggs jumps out of buildings a lot. Riggs drinks a lot
  • They’re family
  • They hate each other
  • —-(Therapy sesh x 200 because they wanted to be seen as taking the whole thing seriously (despite making it a running gag – somehow it worked better in the movies)).—
  • They’re fam–no, wait, they hate each other
  • ‘We are faaaamilyyyyy but I want a new partner!’
  • ‘We will save Riggs’s alcoholism with our love!!’
  • Christmas episode – maybe Riggs’ wife’s death wasn’t an accident? Maybe they killed her because he was going after their drug cartel. The cartel leader says ‘You’re [Riggs] not that important’. I was hoping that they would leave it at there but nope.
  • It turns out that the cartel did kill her, but only to get to her father who’s the state attorney (or something) in LA. It was very convoluted. 
  • Along the way, Riggs meets Hilarie Burton and they fall in lust blah blah blah blah. 
  • Murtaugh and his family are cute
  • …. and, after Riggs learned that his FIL knew who killed his daughter the entire time, he turns him in and then goes to Mexico to kill the cartel leader. 
  • Before all of that Riggs kidnaps some guy called Gideon (who is a torturer for the cartel) from police custody. He takes him to his RV, and then up to a cabin and shit gets real and Murtaugh shoots Gideon. Gideon falls down a huge waterfall and washes away. 
  • Two scenes later, Gideon is fine. I honestly thought maybe he had a twin brother but no. The whole gunshot and drowning thing just super turbocharged him. 
  • The finale was crazy bad basically. 

    That’s fine but…

    • Murtaugh, who has three kids and wife decides to follow an unhinged Martin Riggs to Mexico.
    • Bruh. 
    • After spending the entire season bitching about how this dude is going to get you killed you follow him?
    • Even with your three kids. 
    • Your wife.
    • Your pacemaker. 
    • YOUR PACEMAKER. 
    • It was ridiculous but #family
    • Oh and Riggs makes a point of calling the cartel guy to let him know that he’s going to kill him. Doesn’t seem like a smart move but I’m sure Riggs knows Mexico better than the cartels do. They’ll never find him!

    All in all it was entertaining.  I’d recommend it if police procedurals don’t drive you nuts and you’re not someone who’s too good for network TV (you’re only edgy if you’re always watching something on Netflix 😂). 

    Verdict: 6/10

    Side note: I think McG loves CGI explosions almost as much as I love boybands.