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Westworld: The Passenger (2018)
Lots of potential but in the end no emotional and intellectual payoff
I thought this season started with a lot of potential that just wasn't realized in this final episode. The plot cleverly branched out into different parts of the world of Westworld adding subplots and more players. At times it was hard to follow all the plots within plots and scrambled timelines but I kept watching expectantly to see all the plots connect by the end into one cleverly weaved story line. Unfortunately, for me that wasn't the case.
Somewhere around the second half of the Season the story started watering down, some filler episodes were introduced and many characters got rolled back in a sense. I appreciate an intricate plot but this felt more deliberately over-complicated plot just to make it seem like it's complex. By the last episode I felt like I just wanted to get it over with. I had different expectations for the ending of the Season and I'll admit that the fact they didn't come true influenced my feelings about the Season. The Machiavellian tone of the ending lacked nuance and didn't really peek my interest for the next Season.
The Shannara Chronicles (2016)
Second season worst than the first, thought it was suppose to be other way around
I've never read any books. I liked the first Season. It wasn't the best I've ever seen but I liked the actors and it reminded me of low budget fantasy series from the 90ties. The story was actually interesting, I loved the connection between modern world and fantasy world and it ended with suspense so I was really interested what was going to happen in Season2.
Unfortunately Season2 obviously got passed to another network, it took 100 years to make and when it started it sucked. The plot was dragging all over the place, the acting got worse and had many copy-paste story elements from you're typical low budget series. Everything was so predictable and unbelievable.
So yeah, Season1 is watchable, skip Season2.
Miscast space opera placed in a visually gorgeous world
I don't think that movie can really be rated as a whole because some parts were extremely good and some were extremely bad. For that reason, I will separate the review into segments: visuals and world building, plot and characters and behind the scenes.
So from the first trailer that I saw for this movie, I thought "this looks amazingly beautiful" and in that department, the movie didn't disappoint. You get to see so many different types of environments, planets, space stations, space battles, real and imaginary environments, aliens, technology old and new... It's like every SCI-FI movie compressed into one. And what I like is that it doesn't seem like too much and that's because the pace in which these environments are represented is just right. The plot unfolds within a certain environment long enough for the viewer to get a general idea how things work without actually narrating it. It left me really interested to know more about the space station and the planet with the virtual marketplace. In general, the pacing of this movie was good, at least for 2/3 of the movie. In the end, it gets very rushed and sloppy. The visuals in this movie are truly beautiful and it's fascinating to see how far CGI has come in the world-building department. Literally, anything you can imagine you can do. And the movie should really be commended for that. One more thing should also be commended and that's Luc Besson's ability to introduce this complex world to the viewer without explaining things through dialogue. The two exceptions from this feel very organic and logical to the plot. On that part, I felt that it was treating the viewer as an intelligent person that can draw some conclusion on his own.
For that reason, it makes me so mad that the movie fails to treat the viewer in the same way when it comes to characters and the story. The main plot is very underdeveloped and feels like a watered-down version of Avatar. And if you don't make that connection the movie actually suggests it by introducing a very similar alien design. The gravity of what happened to them gets trivialized by not paying it the time it deserved to really make an impact on the viewer. The movie either should have ditched the side plots and committed to the main story or chosen a lighter theme so it could take time to really explore this world. Out of those options, I would have chosen the latter because I'd love to see more.
But, even a bad plot can be saved by having iconic characters and this movie missed the mark. I have to admit, when I first saw the trailer I was intrigued by the actor choice because they really weren't typical blockbuster faces which are getting so boringly perfect. But after watching the whole movie I just felt that something was off. First off there is no chemistry between these two actors. None! I just couldn't see them being in love with each other. But I could see them as being brother and sister (which was kind of creepy) because a lot of their bickering came off as sibling rivalry. Apart from the non-existent chemistry what bothered me more was that the actors didn't really portray their characters well. Now I've seen Dane DeHaan in a few movies and I know that he can act but this role really wasn't for him. As for Cara Delavingne, I think she has a very interesting face, very expressive and a bit alien like...too bad she doesn't express a lot with it. Now I'm not saying she couldn't be a good actress, but she needs a lot more experience and practice (maybe some lessons) because she didn't deserve to be the lead in such a big movie. The result of this bad casting are inconsistencies that happen throughout the movie with how characters look, what is being said about them and how they behave. This really gets highlighted when both of them show up in military uniforms and you can see how gimmicky they look. To me, they look more like renegades with no morals or space mercenaries - not military types. Now Valerian is supposed to be this military trained follow orders type of guy. Shouldn't he have a bit more muscle for that?? Or maybe just a stronger yaw line? Also, he's supposed to be a player? Really? I just don't see Dane DeHaan as being a player. There's this one scene that paints both characters in a particularly heartless light. They're riding the bus with their assault team when the bus gets attacked by a creature trying to tear the bus apart. They escape this situation without even trying to save their teammates and later just expressing resentment that they ruined Laureline's dress or something. Talk about cold. I found it surprising that Luc Besson envisioned this for his characters since he stated that this was his passion project. He even went so far as to say Laureline was his first childhood crush.
Another series about teenagers who have too much free time on their hands
So right from the start, it's obvious this is another teen romance/crime series. If you've watched at least one of them you pretty much know exactly what to expect. A group of teenagers (who are all played by people in their 20'es) wrapped up in a mystery plot who's days seem to last 48 hours instead of 24h, because in that time they seem to do pretty much everything from schoolwork, socializing, detective work, talent development and hooking up like there's no tomorrow. Boy, I sure feel inadequate because I just can't seem to fit all of that into my schedule :) But that's to be expected since it is a series and doing just homework wouldn't drive the plot forward very well. The mystery part of the series is very intriguing at first, but get's a bit watered down with all the high school drama. It's most similar to Pretty little liars series except they didn't drag it out for seasons. Instead, the first season ended with a resolution and the next season began with a whole different plot. Which I appreciate. The series takes every opportunity to show the main characters half-dressed, girls go to school either dressed like Wallstreet attorneys, Stepford wives or like they borrowed Ariana Grande's concert outfit. OK, they do sometimes wear regular clothes, I'm over exaggerating. :D Nobody's having sex, but they do go around a lot. Archie has a different love interest every two episodes. The actors are likable but what always bothers me about these shows is they never treat characters with respect. They set them up one way but when the plot demands it characters will change whichever way suits the plot. A high school overachiever/good girl will become a sensual seductress for an episode so they can dress her in something sexy. Characters will fluctuate from episode to episode making it hard to get a sense of who they really are because they're actually whatever the plot needs them to be at the moment. Every other silly thing is bearable.
Nice start with minor hiccups
Nice start of the season. I'm glad the Jason plot was wrapped up in the first season and not dragged out for seasons and seasons like in Pretty Little Liars. The shooting was definitely a surprise at the end of Season 1 and we finally discover what happened. One problem I had with the episode was the part when Archie goes home with Veronica. The whole taking a dog for a walk and having sex with your girlfriend in the shower while your dad got shot and might be dying in a hospital is just..unrealistic.
Whaaaat is happening???
This show is losing cohesion really fast. First, in the last episode, we find out that the show we watched a pilot for isn't really going to be the show we would be watching for the rest of the Season. I'm still on the fence about the Discovery crew. To this point, they have been all really annoying, moody, hostile and pouty. At some point, I felt like I was watching the "So Cosmo" reality. I guess on all the other Star Trek series they've been really lucky to find such a nice crew, especially Voyager. If I had to travel with these people through the whole galaxy to get home I would kill myself. But wait...I wouldn't have to because I'd have spore drive to get me home. That's one of the things that is starting to bother me more and more with this show, the lack of continuity. I am really friendly towards the idea of revamping the show and changing the style to fit current times, but why does it have to include changing the cannon and messing with the continuity. Star Trek movies did the same thing with introducing time traveling and ridiculous teleportation capabilities. If they wanted to do their own thing why didn't they just start a new franchise, why mess with the legacy of Star Trek? This episode also didn't shed light on the Klingon situation. I keep waiting for some more explanations because I really, up to this point, don't understand what these Klingons are on about. WHat is a Torchbearer? Why is he so important? Why is T'Kuvma so bent on war with the Federation? Did they do something to him? And why does he get to be the messiah? He is just a person who flashed all the Klingons and they met him for 5 seconds and now he has the status of Kahless. How did he pass his teachings, telepathically? Episode 4 and they keep talking about him like he died years ago. And what is with this purity??? Klingons disappear for 200 years and suddenly they return to wage war with Federation because they want to remain pure? And they speak about it in such a boring way with those stiff masks that don't allow them to make any facial expressions.
Why this got cancelled out of all the s*** out there...?
Write a story about people connecting across the planet. Put in different races, cultures, sexes and feature them without Hollywood stereotypes. Also, use different sexual orientations without dumbing them down.
And this show gets canceled??? Why? Were the sex scenes too much? Because I would have thought after Game of Thrones that anything goes. Or maybe people weren't interested because for once America wasn't in the center of everything? Anyway, such a pity. I thought many people have grown to like and love all the characters in the show as I have. I was really interested in what their story is going to be and the exploration of different cultures. Now everything is going to be summed up in a movie? Jeeeeeej!!!
Bland characters and a script written in 5-minutes
The only thing I enjoyed is set design. I like the concrete interiors and the little contemplation gardens.
Everything else sucked.
Acting is terrible. Everything is extremely stiff and artificial. Series has terrible problems with pacing and it makes scenes look tired and boring. Even action parts seem like those dreams in which you're trying to run but no matter how much you try you're always too slow. Interactions between characters are forced. Crystal is the worst I've seen in a really long time, like they picked her up from Nickelodeon or Disney Channel. The hooves, OMG THE HOOVES, what the hell was that? I feel soooo bad for the actor who plays Gorgon.
Well anyway, I'll stop wasting my time, and don't you waste your time either.
Beatriz at Dinner (2017)
Has a lot of unfulfilled potential
Plot-wise this movie is very school project like in a way. The characters are one-dimensional almost a cliché. It could be intentional for the purpose of creating conflict between them but it comes off one-dimensional really. As any introspective thought-provoking movie, it comes up short at the end of the story. Especially with the double ending, which is a stupid idea in 90% of movies. Gives the viewer a feeling of sorrow and hopelessness since it doesn't give any resolution or way to move forward. Creating a movie just to show us it's all hopeless and we should all kill ourselves or them isn't very inspired, just comes off childish.
Where this movie really shines is the dialogue and Salma Hayek's performance. Salma sells the character perfectly which is especially entertaining because we're used to watching her always glammed up. Her slow persistent monologues are interesting to watch and the little moments of silence and introspection. John Lithgow also gives a good performance. The interaction between characters was the best part of the movie and it didn't feel boring at all. I had to tackle some feeling of awkwardness with all the weird social behavior but I liked it. All in all a slow pace movie with amazing performance and mediocre plot.
The Orville (2017)
The show that can't decide what it wants to be
Sooooo....I'm giving this a 6-star rating because I think this show is halfway there. You have to be a fan of the show STar Trek to find this entertaining because it follows the exact cookbook that old S.T. shows had. I found references to familiar characters fun. The plot is delivered in a very Star-treky manner. It looked so familiar that it could easily be mistaken for a real Star Trek show but it wasn't. The shy and clumsy attempts at humor throw the show off balance and lower the quality in general. It puts the viewer in an awkward position, actually wondering if this comedy show could actually do better without the humor.
I felt that the creators of the show needed to commit to one or the other, either a comedy show or a real tribute to Star Trek. This way it's not really funny enough for someone who was expecting a comedy, but it's also not serious enough for someone watching it out of Star Trek nostalgia.
The 3rd episode is a proof of that. When it needs to get serious or clever the show turns to bad attempts of humor leaving the viewer embarrassed for the characters and kind of cheated out of a better solution to a nicely set up plot. Not to mention that it becomes downright insulting at points while still attempting to tackle and deliver a lesson on a serious subject.
Star Trek: Discovery (2017)
Star Trek new frontier, something fresh and new as it befits a SCI-FI show
I was expecting to hate it, but I watched the first two episodes and I actually liked it. I am very much excited to see more.
As a female Star Trek fan, I was happy to see a female captain and a first officer. Michelle Yeoh is amazing, I've always loved her and she did a great job portraying a Starfleet captain in a crisis. Didn't really like the Michael Burnham character but she's also a typical first officer, full of herself. Reminds me a bit of Riker. We'll see about her character development. I thought I was going to hate the show because of the new Klingons, but I was once again surprised to find them believable. They look menacing and scary. Out of all the races in Star Trek I've always disliked the Klingons and the gimmicky childish way in which they're portrayed. In all the previous series characters spent more time talking a lot about Klingon honor, culture and conquests but in most scenes portraying them like dimwitted apes that just shout at each other and lose every battle shown in the series. So I can't wait to see what the war against the Klingons actually looks like.
Some parts of the plot were a stretch for me. The Klingon ship design is a bit excessive, not in decorations, but in the size of the ships. They were a bit too large. The costumes and the masks the Klingons wear are so stiff. I can't really see them being very effective for combat and you can't read any facial expressions through the masks.
I am a bit surprised at all the negative commentary, even more, surprised at the reasons listed behind them. Anyone calling this show bad because it doesn't look exactly like all the other shows before isn't a real Star Trek fan. It would be sad for any SCI-FI show to adopt such an outdated image today and there are enough episodes already made for us to watch if we feel nostalgic. Even I as a fan can say that from today's perspective old Star Trek episodes seem a bit childish and naive. They also had many plot holes and ridiculous plot lines. The fact that I find a comedy show Orville to be very similar to Star Trek is just proof. I like it but let's face it. Television has progressed beyond the familiar frontier. It has become more grey, more bold with its topics, ready to challenge our black and white ideals. So I think we should give Star Trek a chance.
All in all, I like the direction they're taking it in. I just hope that on that road they won't lose the main spirit of Star Trek and that's the exploration of human society, our ideals and what makes us human while referencing real issues we face every day in a highly futurized environment. Loosing this was the first mistake the Star Trek movies made when they turned Star Trek into a firework of visual effects without any content. ------------------------ So after the pilot episodes, this show took a weird 180 degrees turn. The third episode is like a completely different show than the first two episodes and not in a good way. Apart from 2 characters we're introduced to a whole new cast of characters who are all extremely unlikeable. The atmosphere is completely changed from "we come in peace" attitude to "we will cross any line for the greater good". Characters have become really irrational and aggressively impulsive in their decisions. I still don't understand the Klingon arc. I was expecting it to become clearer with the progression of the show, but I just don't understand what the heck are they on about. They keep talking to each other like we're in Season 3, dropping names and terms I am not familiar with. What is a torch? Why is it important? Why is this T'Kuvma dude so special apart from possesing a torch? They spent 5 seconds with him, why is he suddenly a messiah? The show treats this as a matter fact topic. I don't know, it's like a completely different show.
Life of Kylie: Nineteen Pt. 2 (2017)
over edited ode to idolizing celebrities
Kind of sad to look at, not because of Kyle but because of the whole situation. All these kids going crazy because Kylie showed up. So what? Have some self respect. This episode would have been more fun if just nobody payed any attention. The episode is so over edited, probably because there's nothing happening.
Doctor Strange (2016)
Nice visuals otherwise boooring as hell
The only good part of this movie was stolen from other movies like Inception and Warcraft(magic stuff). Benedict Cumberbatch is a great choice but since he's not really given great dialogue to play with he sucks. He becomes too powerful too fast and the humor is over baked and overcooked. Dormammu is so lame, isn't he suppose to be one of your most powerful villains, Marvel? The final defeat was just insulting to me as a viewer.
I felt they made this movie just to show us the green infinity stone so they can let us know there's an Infinity movie coming after they make a couple more of these brainwashed no good movies. I feel like Marvel is just throwing us crap so we can dig through it to see if there are some infinity stones inside while they make more money!
Btw. I'm not gonna watch Infinity Wars out of payback.
Amazing start but gets more and more disappointing towards the end
First few episodes the show really sucks you in, the acting is amazing, the visuals are breathtaking and of course there's the never ending question on the possible future of androids, artificial intelligence and in the end it all just turns out to be a subject of what it means to be human? Do our moral obligation stop at biological life? Is the future of androids really to become overpriced sex dolls and shooting targets? (I don't believe so, but it's definitively going to become one aspect of their use) In the end the biggest question of this show is: "Are you a good person if you enjoy harming something that looks like a human even though it isn't?" But this really cannot be credited to this show, it is a question explored by many shows, movies, books and etc. What THIS show is best for is the mystery that is revealing itself in the background. And that part of the show is really great, there are many revelations and plot twists along the way that really keep you crazy to know more and then comes a point in which you feel everything should start untangling but it doesn't and it just becomes inception. The ending is really unsatisfying, not really living up to what it was built up to be.
Over time some plot lines and character developments become unrealistic, even though it's masked well with the mystery aspect of the show. And there is also a very clear feminist/white-male-hatred undertone in the show and some of it is just overcooked and over-boiled.
13 Reasons Why (2017)
This is the reason why we watch anything
I'll be short with this one, if you can connect a meaningful message with good storytelling you can't miss. This show did just that, it tells a story we've seen, read and heard many times before but I'm a new and fresh way that gives a new dimension to the whole issue.
I didn't "binge watch" it, I watched it day-by-day just like the main character and it made it feel even more real.
The Magicians (2015)
It's getting better with time
At the beginning of Season 1 everything in this show is really weird and artificial. The characters felt gimmicky and that got more pronounced when you'd realize they're suppose to be playing teenagers. The plot also feels rushed, you feel there is more content between the lines that you can't really read. Things get more interesting when the main antagonist shows up and from there things start to look a bit better. What really kept me with this show are the characters (despite the acting) because there are no good/bad guys. I mean, there are villans and heroes but even while they're doing good all the characters seem a bit bored, like they're doing it because they think it's proper, not because they feel it's right. In that way they seem more inline with modern culture that always wants excitement but can never get satisfaction out of anything.
As this series is progressing through seasons it's getting better and better. The plots are craaaaazy, Alice in Wonderland level crazy, and characters keep growing with the story and changing which is surprising because I never would have guessed it from season 1. Highly recommend watching it if you like something different and out there
I've seen reviews online that rate this show badly solely because it's not Harry Potter. I am a fan of HP too but this is not that kind of magician story, so keep an open mind.
Waste of time
I wasn't expecting much from this but I was at least hoping the script would follow the book. I feel like the changes that were made weren't necessary and they just keep deviating from the original story in a way that is making this into a completely different story. I don't want to claim that the actors on this show don't know how to act but they just plainly suck. I don't feel any chemistry between them, they just keep walking around with a lot of determination making pouty faces or talking with too much sass. It's probably not their fault, the script probably doesn't leave much room for any characterization. Half of the time the scenes leave me saying to myself inwardly "What?" so with the beginning of S2 I just stopped watching. I think I'll just stick with the books and the movie (which I thought was a pretty decent cover of the book).
The OA (2016)
Proof that not everything has to be created from a book to be good
So I just watched the first season and I can't really decide how I feel about this show. Well obviously I feel 8/10 but I have mixed feelings because some things I really liked and some not so much.
The ending obviously didn't really bother me as much as other people, I'm waiting to see what happens in season 2 to have an opinion although I will admit it left me confused. The rest of the show I really found intriguing, the story was delivered in an interesting way that always left me wanting more. That's the main reason why I am willing to overlook some weird details, because in the end I can appreciate a well told story. In a way it reminds me of Breakfast club with seemingly random people meeting drawn together by a common cause. If you're the type of person who watches Star Trek and then complains that you don't really find warp drive plausible don't watch this. If you're the type of person who enjoys a good campfire story you might find this enjoyable.
The Expanse (2015)
The show starts a bit slow which bothered some people obviously but I really appreciated it. It gives you enough time to familiarize you with the setting of a solar system inhabited by humans. I also appreciate the attention to details and the whole science behind it (although that credit probably goes to the writer of the books). If you have patience to wait for the plot to build up I promise it's worth watching. The second season is amazing so far, really not what I was expecting it to be and I'm really hard to surprise.
The 100 (2014)
Interesting start but getting worse through the seasons
I know most people don't really care much for the scientific stuff but the writers of this show can't really assume that people who watch this are completely willing to ignore all the nonsense that happens in this show?
If they just wanted to deal with teenage drama then they should have picked a fantasy theme like vampires, you can invent things all you want there. This show starts all scientific, it's even set in a world where most technology and human knowledge is similar to what we now have and know, but with every season the explanations get more and more far-fetched. The last season is especially unbelievable, 100 people is not enough to sustain a genetically viable population. The other thing are the characters, they're just like any half-brain series, they're not really consistent, they keep shifting from maniacal to reasonable mental states. The third season was pretty good, watching Allie take over everybody was frustratingly entertaining but this nuclear winter again...I don't know where it's going to lead, hopefully not big brother confinement of 100 people.
Star Trek Beyond (2016)
I just don't have the patience for bad movies anymore
I gave this Star Trek movie a 1 because I just don't have the patience for this kind of bad storytelling anymore, especially because I liked the first movie so much. I would rather watch any episode of Star Trek series than this, any day.
Damn, I don't even know where to start. There's no moral to this story. The reason why Star Trek is different from XXX movie is that it always has a deeper moral to explore, I didn't find any in this movie.
The characters are messed up. The thing that bothers me the most is Spock. I had no problem with Spock shedding a tear in the last sequel, but in this movie he's really off the rails, he's sobbing, laughing...emoting all over the place. If they really wanted to pay homage to Leonard Nemoy's performance maybe they should've payed more attention to his acting not mentioning his name all over the place. Kirk was really bad in this movie, I understand that he's depressed but he was just boringly bland. Sulu being gay is obviously another positive discrimination Hollywood rule.
All the CGI and stupid and illogical plot lines and scenes made me cry. The scene where Kirk and Lt. Chekov slide down from the saucer can only be surpassed in stupidity by the scene from Prometheus where they run straight from the doughnut ship instead of turning left/right. The number of those little bee ships grows exponentially in the final scene?! Playing rock music is a total rip off from Guardians of Galaxy. Why did the ships start exploding when they played the music??? I thought they were just suppose to collide with one another?! Anyway bullshit after bullshit with no effect.
The only bright thing was the humor, that really made me watch the whole thing.
La glace et le ciel (2015)
Fascinating footage of life on Antartica
I went to see this documentary mostly because I saw that it was about Antartica because I've always been fascinated by it. I didn't know anything on the subject of the French scientist Claude Lorius or his life work, but I thought that even if I didn't like the documentary at least I'd see some nice scenes of Antartica. It turned out better than I'd expected, I really enjoyed every minute of it. The old footage of the expeditions were fascinating and the new ones breathtaking but the biggest surprise, even to me, was the story itself. I have always been curious about people's life journeys especially the ones of people who choose unusual life paths and I really appreciated the little details he managed to remember like wanting to quit each time he had to take his hand out of the glove or how he suffered the cold nights just to get a glimpse of the Aurora Australis. I guess the first part was a bit more interesting on an emotional level because I found myself trying to imagine how living on Antarctica for a year with two people would feel like and the second part was more interesting for the story. The documentary comes to a bitter sweet end, bitter because we know we're hurling towards an unpredictable future and sweet because somewhere in the audience somewhere in the world could be a future scientist feeling inspired to help.
I would recommend this to patient viewers who find themselves fascinated by extraordinary life stories.