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About me

I love discovering new things. People see me as a quiet person but once you get to know me I'm a loud mouth.

Newest Lists:
The Great Kiss-Off | Those Aliens Love Their Mind Melds | Film Composers


Favorite Lists:
And The Pet Survives | Will James Marsden Ever Get The Girl? | Fox + Firefly Cast = Doom? | Is It A Song? Is It A Movie? | Family Affair | Oh Captain! My Captain!


How I rate stuff


10 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ - Exceptional. A classic. Top 10 worthy.
9  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ - Great! It's going into my DVD/CD collection.
8  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ - Awesome!
7  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ - Entertaining.
6  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ - Satisfying. Decent replay factor.
5  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ - Average
4  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ - Unsatisfactory
3  ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ - Mediocre. So bad it's funny. Maybe.
2  ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ - Bad.
1  ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ - My eyes/ears! How they burn!
0  ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ - Terrible. Made of utter fail.


I rate movies and tv shows in relation to previous works in the same genre. So an action film with a high rating is not necessarily better than a drama with a lower rating.
Single

About my collections

I watch all kinds of movies but I have a special affinity for action and romantic movies!

My tastes in tv shows run towards the procedural and sci-fi.

My music is truly eclectic since I respond to good music no matter what the genre.

And as for books: true crime, thrillers and romances form the bulk of my collection but I'll sink my teeth into anything.

Lists

2 votes
2015 Movies (23 items)
Movie list by Vix
Published 2 years, 7 months ago
8 votes
Set in the 80s (24 items)
Movie list by Vix
Published 4 years, 3 months ago
10 votes
Crushes Through The Ages (106 items)
Person list by Vix
Published 8 years, 4 months ago 1 comment
3 votes
Movie Watch: April - June 2015 (10 items)
Movie list by Vix
Published 2 years, 6 months ago
6 votes
Movie Watch: January - March 2015 (19 items)
Movie list by Vix
Published 2 years, 7 months ago



Recent reviews

All reviews - Movies (65) - TV Shows (25) - Books (1) - Music (1)

A Fitting End To An Excellent Show

Posted : 4 years, 3 months ago on 11 May 2013 05:40 (A review of Southland)

Riveting. Profane. Tender. Raw. Hilarious. True-to-life. These are just some of the words I would use to describe an episode of Southland.

This drama delves into the daily lives of patrol officers and detectives on the streets of Los Angeles. Originally broadcast on NBC as a replacement for ER, Southland initially focused on how a case would inter-connect with various police departments - the beat cops, the drug and gang squad and homicide while also showing the characters’ home lives. But with a large ensemble cast, the stories were spread too thin and there just seemed to be too much going on.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed watching the first season. It is electrifying viewing but what I especially looked forward to were the interactions between Sergeant John Cooper and his rookie partner, Ben Sherman.

Though the show was well-received by critics, there weren't enough viewers and NBC cancelled it before the second season could air. Thankfully, TNT bought the rights to the Southland and the move to cable has turned out to be a boon for the show.

The reduction in the budget and the number of the principal cast members has allowed the writers to focus on what makes Southland interesting - the daily beat. So it is no surprise that seasons 3 – 5 have some of the best episodes I’ve seen in a long time.

We get to see the police officers go about their day, dealing with everything from the mundane to the ridiculous and the down right dangerous. The storytelling is both tight and loose. Some plots never get closure while others take on greater meaning as the season progresses.

The characters are also very complex. Much of the show rests upon the shoulders of Sgt. John Cooper, a gruff and steadfast twenty-year veteran and field training officer who at first glance is your stereotypical cop but who is in fact hiding some major skeletons. Michael Cudlitz brings a great array of emotion in playing Cooper, able to say more in one look that a whole monologue could.

Regina King is as Detective Lydia Adams is such a strong character - she is someone who cares about her job and will go the extra mile to get justice. I wish I had more words to describe just how kick ass she is.

Benjamin McKenzie as Ben Sherman is also a revelation. He sheds his O.C. pretty boy charm for wide-eyed naivete that is transformed by the nature of his work into a hardened, glory-seeking cop. The transformation of Sherman is startling but organic.

Shawn Hatosy as Sammy Bryant a detective in the gang squad who goes back to the police beat after a traumatic event is also brilliant.

C. Thomas Howell as Dewey is probably the most polarizing character on the show. He is loathsome and bigoted but barring shenanigans in season 1, he is the kind of cop you want covering your back when the sh*t hits the fan.

A great deal of what makes Southland work is the camera work. The use of hand-held cameras to lends proper grit, immediacy and intimacy to each scene. This "fly-on-the-wall" quality has your feeling as though you are a part of the action. Each moment, each emotion is amplified and the uncertainty of what could be around the next corner makes for tense viewing.

When taken as a whole Southland is an uncompromising, authentic look into the toll that police work takes on a person - having to deal with the bad guys is tough enough but on the streets of LA it can often seem like everyone is against you.

Normally cancellation is the worst thing that can happen to a tv show but in Southland's case this was the best thing that could have happened to it because it has grown to become one of the finest shows on TV. People compare it to The Shield or Hill Street Blues as the gold standard of police drama. In the near future, other shows will be compared to Southland.


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Quintessential Shane Black

Posted : 4 years, 3 months ago on 25 April 2013 02:13 (A review of Iron Man 3)

Tony Stark is in many ways a changed man. Yes he his still glib and suave but once the spotlight is off he shows a more vulnerable persona. The fact that he spends more time out of the suit than it shows how much he has been traumatized by the events of The Avengers and the attack of the terrorist, Mandarin.

Robert Downey Jr really shines here playing it both loose and tense as he shows how Stark finds this reserve of character and steadfastness to do what is necessary to save those he loves.

Iron Man 3 is quintessential Shane Black - full of dark humor and unexpected twists. He loves to subvert your expectations in a way that will have you alternating laughter with sounds of amazement.

The action builds to a number of amazing set pieces - the monkey-in-a-barrel sequences, the denouement when Tony Stark/Iron Man confronts the villain had me holding my breath at many points.

After having been subjected to bad-to-middling special effects in a number of recent movies, I had a hard time telling what was real and what was CGI. The effects were that good. I watched the 2D version so I can't comment on the 3D transfer.

I have to give kudos to the entire cast. Gwyneth Paltrow finds added dimensions to Pepper. Don Cheadle as Rhodey is hilarious in the way he and Downey Jr. play off one another. Guy Pearce is like a snake - both mesmerizing and repellant. Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin gave the movie one of it's best twists!

James Badge Dale and Rebecca Hall are great as well. It's also good to see Jon Favreau back as Happy Hogan.

A lot of the times the third movie in a huge franchise is content to rest on its laurels resulting in a tepid film that pales in comparison to what came before. Iron Man 3 subverts this expectation, giving us a thrilling ride but also taking the time to explore characters.


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A tense film

Posted : 4 years, 4 months ago on 15 April 2013 11:08 (A review of Argo)

Argo is one part Hollywood satire and four parts thriller, telling the story of an audacious plan to exfiltrate 6 US diplomats during the tense time of the US Embassy Hostage Crisis in Iran in 1981.

After a brief backgrounder into the political history of Iran, the movie goes on to show the takeover of the US Embassy and the ensuing chaos which these 6 employees use to make an impromptu escape. Granted safe haven by the Canadian ambassador, their relief is only temporary as they must leave Iran soon. But as time passes and tensions mount, the usual avenues for escape are no longer viable.

CIA exfiltration specialist, Tony Mendez comes up with a risky and totally out there plan - under the guise of location scouting for a Hollywood science fiction movie, he will get the 6 US citizens out of Iran.

The comedy and absurdness of the plan (the scenes in Hollywood are hilarious and Alan Arkin nearly steals the movie) provide a stark contrast to the seriousness of what is happening in Iran. Affleck does not depict the Iranians as mustache twirling villains. The brief political history of Iran shows that these are people with very real grievances and the potential for real conflict.

In many ways, Argo isn’t your typical 2010s thriller. Affleck has crafted a film that wouldn’t look out of place in a previous era. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an old-fashioned film. The sets, costumes, filming style, even the introduction titles are seamless for a movie out of the 70s or early 80s.

When breaking the movie to individual points, there are things you can be critical about: the characters of the 6 diplomats are not that well-developed. We aren't given much information about them that should make us care what happens to them.
Also, Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez, the principal character, does an okay job with the acting but perhaps not enough to carry the entire movie. The other characters, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin and Victor Garber are all fantastic.

Yet these issues don't detract much from the movie. It is clear that Affleck's directorial sensitivity shines through. I would call Argo a Gestalt movie - one where the whole is greater than the sum of its individual parts. Yes, you can nitpick about certain details but what makes Argo a fascinating piece of entertainment is that the individual issues don't matter much.

The story is propelled not by action or by complete characters. Instead, it is the tension of the situation that drives it onward. So what if we don't know where the diplomats came from? We are more concerned with whether Mendez's plan will actually work and if the diplomats can survive.

Each scene builds upon the previous one until you feel like you are one of the diplomats - frightened and worried whether this will be your last moment. There were many points in this movie and especially for the last 20 minutes where I was biting my nails feeling as though my heart was in my throat.

Ultimately, Argo is an exciting, funny, tense and a highly entertaining movie.


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A Decent Effort

Posted : 4 years, 4 months ago on 5 April 2013 04:52 (A review of Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome)

Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome is set 10 years into the first Cylon War. We follow a young William Adama, fresh from the academy who is assigned to the Battlestar Galactica. Quick to be the hero, he's originally in it for the fame and glory but comes to realize that the war is not all it is being portrayed to be.

Plot-wise, Blood and Chrome takes place between the events of Caprica and the re-imagined Battlestar Galatica. But thematically, it is more skewed towards action than thoughtful drama.

While it may lack the gravitas of its predecessors, that action approach works well in the context of being a web series.

No, Blood and Chrome isn't going to have you thinking about the story days after you've watched it nor will you be blown away by the acting but it still makes for entertaining viewing.

It is still an ambitious project that is constrained by a limited budget. The story is let down by the quality of the special effects. Given the lack of practical sets (they used 3D scans of the original Galactica sets), a number of scenes looked fake.

There is an overabundance of camera lens flares and background blurring to hide the fakeness but it only enhanced these problems because I was continually distracted by it. One show in recent memory with worse use of green screen sets was the re-imagined V.

This is a shame because other special effects, particularly the action sequences (a lot of the dog fights and views of various battleships) are fantastic - crisp, clear and in keeping with the BSG aesthetic.


There aren't any big name actors in this, just a lot of familiar faces you normally see in smaller roles. Thus, the acting is okay but nothing much to rave about. While Luke Pasqualino did a decent job as William Adama, he looks too young be a rookie pilot. Instead he looks like he's about to enter high school.

But all things considered, if this were made into a tv series and with some tweaks (improve the character development and emotional resonance) and a better budget, a show about the Cylon war is something I'd be interested in seeing.


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Frustrating to Watch

Posted : 4 years, 4 months ago on 2 April 2013 07:57 (A review of Revolution)

One day fifteen years ago there was a global shutdown of electricity. This event known as the Blackout has resulted in a transformed society of small agrarian communities and violent militias. When her father is killed and her younger brother is taken captive by one of the more brutal militias, a young woman faces an arduous journey to finding the truth about the past and reclaiming what remains of her family.

When I first heard about this show I was intrigued to see what Eric Kripke was going to do post-Supernatural even if the premise seemed fantastical. Instead what I've gotten is an hour of television that ticks the boxes on a network executive's checklist of "how to maximize those advertising dollars".

* "We need a new Lost" so let's have a central mystery of why there's no electricity which assumes that the lack of power decreases our capacity to remember prior technology like say, steam.

* "Hunger Games is hot" so there should be bows and arrows and lets set in a post-apocalytical world.

* "We must appeal to the 18 - 35 demographic" so the show centers around a pretty young woman. Never mind the fact that she can't act.

What galls me the most about Revolution is that there are actually slivers of interesting ideas and character development - for example flashback sequences showing the after effects of electricity going off. The aspects the breakdown of society, of friendships and families as well as the characters' transformation during tough times are quite good. But this takes a back seat to the "by-the-numbers" future present.

Think of an overly Photoshopped image and you can picture what Revolution is like with many hands pulling the show in different directions, smoothing out the grit and upping the gloss (the characters look remarkably polished and well put together). This is a mediocre product, one that you can't even call "so bad it's good".

Ultimately Revolution is drama that has been developed to death by committee so the only emotion it elicits is frustration. It drapes itself in a cloak of science fiction and pseudo-Western elements in the hope that you'll be convinced that it is interesting. And that you'll forget that it is in fact dotted with bad acting, action sequences that often times do not deserve the name "action", groan-worthy dialogue, and story lines that are either rushed or developed at too slow a pace.

In theory Revolution sounded like a good idea but the execution has been anything but. I'll be continuing to watch until the end of season 1 in the hope that things change but I have doubts I'll be back for a second season (if it happens).


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Will Have You Feeling Paranoid

Posted : 4 years, 5 months ago on 14 March 2013 11:29 (A review of Person of Interest)

Person of Interest is a smart, layered action drama about a reclusive billionaire who joins forces with an former CIA agent to prevent crimes before they happen.

Using a mixture of surveillance-style footage and regular cameras Person of Interest builds on your paranoia about being watched by Big Brother.

In the wake of 9/11, Harold Finch, a software developer and very rich man, creates a machine for the government to determine potential threats to national security. But as the Machine processes all data - from CCTV footage, internet activity and wiretaps, it also sees threats to ordinary people.

Since the government is more interested in stopping terrorist attacks, other threats are considered irrelevant. Though Finch has no way of knowing whether an individual (gleaned from the social security number the Machine sends him) is to be the victim or the perpetrator, he must find a way to stop a murder before it can happen.
Finch works with John Reese, a former CIA agent who wants to atone for the sins of his past while trying to keep one step ahead of the police and the government who have pegged him as the "Man in a Suit" vigilante.

What Person of Interest does well is to take the tropes we are familiar with, such as procedurals, secret identities and vigilante justice and spin them into directions that are unexpected and thrilling.

I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the show's hat-tip to Batman as Jonathan Nolan, the creator of Person of Interest also helped to write the more recent Batman saga. The comparison of Finch as Bruce Wayne and Reese as Batman is easy to see. But Person of Interest plays down the comic book aspect and roots the show in reality.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying the show simply for how it goes about resolving the threat to the "number-of-the-week". And this always handled in intriguing and kick-ass ways. But from time-to-time, the show uses flashbacks to delve into the past of our two broken heroes.

What I like about Person of Interest is that it isn't afraid to take risks - story arcs that would normally stretch through a season are resolved pretty quickly.


But Person of Interest is always posing new questions. Is the Machine sentient? How was Finch injured? What exactly do the events in China have to do with Reese, Finch and the Machine? What lengths will the government go to to keep the Machine a secret? Will Carter catch up to Reese? What would happen if she does?

Even episodes that seem to have no lasting consequence can reveal aspects about the characters that I hadn't previously realized.

And in tandem with the story it is the character development that makes everything work. Kudos to the actors - Michael Emerson as the serious, dry witted Finch, Jim Caviezel as Reese who is a coiled spring ready to act at the right time. Taraji P. Henson as the dogged Det. Joss Carter who goes beyond the call of duty to get the job done and Kevin Chapman as Det. Lionel Fusco for showing his heart of gold beneath the slimy exterior.

A definite "MUST WATCH!!!". Yes, with capital letters and exclamation points.


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The blockbuster season is off to a great start!

Posted : 5 years, 3 months ago on 29 April 2012 03:30 (A review of The Avengers)

The story in Avengers is basic - Loki wants to rule over Earth and a disparate bunch of superheroes (Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, The Hulk and Hawkeye) must band together to fight him and his army.

Joss Whedon works his magic to maintain the balance amongst all the characters (with nods to their respective movies) while blending action, humor and drama in a way that didn't feel false or forced.

The climactic action sequence is one of the most breath taking rollercoaster rides I've seen in a number of years.

I have no complaints over the acting though I must give special praise to Tom Hiddleston - he was electric as Loki - arrogant, petulant and vulnerable at times as well.

Everyone in the cinema had a great time - Joss Whedon should be pleased with the spontaneous cheer that erupted at a vital moment.


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One of the best shows of 2011

Posted : 5 years, 6 months ago on 3 February 2012 09:43 (A review of Homeland)

Season one of Homeland follows a soldier, Sgt. Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) who returns home after 8 years of being a P.O.W and a CIA analyst, Carrie Matheson (Claire Danes), who thinks he's been turned and is involved in a plot to attack the USA.

This show successfully weaves action, suspense and drama, anchored in realistic performances. Damian Lewis is amazing for being able to convey so much emotion with a simple glance so that even though you're wondering about where his loyalty lies, you can't help but feel for him. Claire Danes is also superb as an over-zealous analyst who's trying to hide her own mental issues.

Homeland doesn't provide you with easy answers - it just guides you down a path where you have to make your own mind up as to what and who is right and wrong.



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Skip the Pilot and watch the remaining 12 episodes

Posted : 5 years, 6 months ago on 3 February 2012 09:29 (A review of Prime Suspect)

Similar to the British classic, Prime Suspect US was billed as a show about a female detective working in a predominantly male precinct. But with all the police dramas that I've seen the blatant sexism on display in the pilot episode made the show seem out-dated even with Maria Bello's strong performance.

However, future episodes rightfully tossed that aside in order to focuson life in a homicide squad. By giving us a look at the heartbreak as well as the hilarity that comes with being a detective, Prime Suspect found it's groove.

With an excellent cast from Bello to Brian F. O'Byrne, Kirk Acevedo, Damon Gupton, Tim Griffin and Aidan Quinn this show was 12 hours of excellent television. Too bad people stopped watching after the pilot.


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Highly Entertaining

Posted : 6 years, 3 months ago on 30 April 2011 04:58 (A review of Thor)

Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the arrogant son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins) is banished from Asgard after disobeying his father's orders. On Earth he bumps into (literally) a scientist, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), and must find a way to return to his home to prevent it from being destroyed.

To say I had doubts about Thor is an understatement. Kenneth Branagh directing a comic book action movie? Plus all the clips I had seen of Chris Hemsworth as Thor were incredibly cheesy. There's no way this is going to work!

Thankfully I was wrong.

Branagh is actually an inspired choice as a director because he has a great sense for the emotional pulse of a scene - for the action sequences and the more grave parts. Together with the actors there is a gravitas to scenes that seemed cheesy in the clips.

But what surprised me was how funny this movie is. As with Iron Man there's a lot of humor, particularly Thor with his fish-out-of-water bit when he's on Earth.

Chris Hemsworth together with Tom Hiddleston as Loki are the breakout stars in Thor. They really made the movie for me.

The movie moves along rather quickly with the action almost evenly divided between Asgard and Earth. Sometimes a bit too quickly - the romance between Thor and Jane comes into play very quickly. I can believe that the sparks are flying between them but for them to fall in love that fast - it's veering into Mills and Boon territory.

Thor kicks off the summer movie season with a bang. If you liked Iron Man you won't go wrong with Thor.


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Comments

Posted: 6 days ago at Aug 10 18:55
Hi my dear friend, this is my new list. This list contains 52 new lists! Each one on the course of a country in the Eurovision Song Contest. Please comment and vote on each one. They gave a lot of work to do! I want to know your opinion about the top 10 of each country, so you can leave a comment on each of the lists. You can also comment on your country, and who is your favorite representative.

Eurovision Song Contest by Country
Posted: 6 months, 3 weeks ago at Jan 23 21:21
Hi my dear friend..this is my new lists check it if you want to..hope you like it..

Ryan Murphy: A Showrunner Who Never Holds Back
Top 10 Italian Movies
BEST PICTURE OSCAR NOMINATIONS TRIBUTE
Posted: 7 months ago at Jan 17 23:06
Hi my dear friend..this is my new lists check it if you want to..hope you like it..

Great Movies That No One Talks About
The Best Coming-of-Age Movies (1970-Present)
Posted: 1 year, 3 months ago at May 14 16:57
Hi my dear friend..this is my new lists check it if you want to..hope you like it..

Sophia® Awards 2016 (Nominations)
Golden Globes (Portugal): MUSIC
Golden Globes (Portugal): CINEMA
Posted: 1 year, 5 months ago at Mar 5 4:53
After the huge success of the lists :
The Best Gay Themed Movies
The Best Lesbian Themed Movies
I am pleased to share with you my new list, which completes the trilogy:
The Best Transgender Themed Movies

As always, thanks for ALL the votes and comments.
Posted: 1 year, 7 months ago at Jan 14 2:58
Hi my dear friend..this is my new list check it if you want to..hope you like it..

♀ + ♂ + ♀ MÉNAGE À TROIS ♂ + ♀ + ♂


Posted: 1 year, 10 months ago at Oct 10 22:19
Posted: 3 years, 7 months ago at Jan 7 12:49
Thanks for the vote :)
Posted: 4 years, 2 months ago at Jun 2 17:30
Thanks for the addition to
The Worst Song Stuck In My Head list. Sorry, that it took so long to update the list. Between being off line for a month and work... it is has been a rough few months.

I really appreciate your votes. Hope everything is well. Cheers :)
Posted: 4 years, 2 months ago at May 21 17:01
Thanks for the review vote. :D
Avatar
Posted: 4 years, 3 months ago at May 14 2:16
Thanks for your vote.
Posted: 4 years, 3 months ago at May 11 7:23
Thanks for the votes! Appreciated.
Posted: 4 years, 3 months ago at May 3 6:40
Thanks for the list vote, Vix! ;)
Posted: 4 years, 3 months ago at Apr 24 7:18
Hello! Many thanks for the picture and list votes :)
http://www.listal.com/list/saul-bass-on-titles
Posted: 4 years, 3 months ago at Apr 23 15:59
Thanks for the votes and the comment, love :) And yes, I fully agree, Richard Armitage is beyond amazing!
Posted: 4 years, 3 months ago at Apr 21 20:13
Thanks 4 voting

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