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

Ruined By Bad Editing

Posted : 8 years, 9 months ago on 28 October 2008 09:59 (A review of Max Payne)

I didn't have many expectations going in to see Max Payne, never having played the game. I left the cinema disappointed because the movie held such promise that failed to fully deliver because of an illogical story. This was mostly due to bad editing - there were many scenes that dragged on for what felt like forever and other scenes that felt out of place. It got to the point where I wanted to scream at the screen "Get on with it!".

Back to the story - the mythological aspects of the drug hallucinations were actually more interesting but it wasn't really developed and was abandoned in favor of something else (I won't go into the details but yeah, the plot twist is so obvious).

Another thing that had me confused was who the hell Mila Kunis was supposed to be. She appears, she helps Max Payne while trying to avenge her sister's death but the reason why she's carrying all this heavy weaponry is never explained.

I give Max Payne points for some exciting action but there's not enough of it for me to set aside just how dull the movie turned out to be.


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Keeps Getting Better

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 1 October 2008 07:53 (A review of Stargate: Atlantis)

I started watching Stargate Atlantis on a whim and I am incredibly glad I did.

The general story of of a mostly scientific team heading off into the far reaches of outer space with a possibility of never returning to Earth was an intriguing one. Plus the Wraith are one of the best villains since The Borg.

However a number of the season one episodes were run of the mill, the exceptions being "The Storm", "The Eye", "Letters from Pegasus" and the season ender. What kept me watching were the characters - particularly Sheppard, McKay and Teyla and the mix of humor, action and drama.

Since then the show has continually improved, the story lines have gotten more focused, the character development is great - McKay in particular has the best stories - McKay and Mrs. Miller, The Shrine are both great standouts.

Season five has some of the best episodes that I have seen from SGA and so I was really shocked to learn that show was being cancelled.

For good television, you cannot go wrong with Stargate Atlantis.


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Uneven But Promising

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 1 October 2008 07:42 (A review of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles)

Set between Terminator 2 and 3, The Sarah Connor Chronicles follows Sarah and John Connor and their Terminator protector, Cameron, who journey from 1997 to 2008 to stop Skynet from coming online.

The show as a good mix of action and drama dealing with the family on the run and their relationship with one another.

Sadly it's taken time to get on its feet - the first episodes of the season 1 were clunkers though things improved for the latter part of the season. Also, the first two episodes of season 2 have been at times boring, poorly paced and confusing. But things have started to improved with episodes 3 and 4.

Summer Glau makes a decent Terminator. Much like her character, River, in Firely and Serenity, her small frame provides a deception for the power she has - a kind of anti-Terminator. Lena Headey is excellent as Sarah Connor - her turmoil and desire to do whatever it takes to protect her son is palpable. My only wish is that Thomas Dekker's John Connor starts to man up and stop being such a cliched teen.



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Good Story, Dated Everything Else

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 1 October 2008 07:28 (A review of V)

When aliens descend on Earth seeking help, much of the world rejoices in the knowledge that we are not alone. But the seemingly benevolent visitors have a hidden agenda that threatens humanity's existence.

The year haven't been kind to V. What was once state of the art special effects now comes across as fake and cheesy. The acting at times is over the top and some of the action sequences are laughable.

But the most important element of this mini-series that still stands up to time is the compelling story. It is this that makes of compelling viewing despite the drawbacks.

The slower pacing allows for the gradual shift from euphoria to apprehension as people begin to realize that the visitors aren't all what they seem. By the time the resistance is formed, events start to unfold at a brisker pace.

If you can get past the cheesiness, V still makes for interesting viewing.


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Family Friendly Drama

Posted : 8 years, 11 months ago on 13 September 2008 01:45 (A review of Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye)

This show follows a young deaf woman as she pursues a career in the FBI. Sue Thomas: F.B. Eye is no hard-hitting crime drama. The FBI setting is just a means to dealing with topics on friendship and building character. The sets make the FBI seem like a regular office and the cases are easily solved.

The first episode is incredibly corny with its movie-of-the-week sentimentality and predictable dialogue. Subsequent episodes are less cloying and I found myself liking the characters more and more.

The show shines a light on the idealized lives we could be leading without being overly preachy. If you're in the mood for some heart warming drama, then a few episodes will hit the right spot.



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Scary Road Trip!

Posted : 8 years, 11 months ago on 13 September 2008 01:34 (A review of Supernatural)

Two brothers travel across America to hunt and destroy all manner of evil. The writing is excellent and the visuals make for scary viewing. On a weekly basis I end up having to cover my eyes in anticipation of some ghoul coming from nowhere.

The relationship between the two brothers - sibling rivalry mixed with deep regard for one another, is the anchor of the show. Though at times Jared Padalecki, playing the younger brother, Sam, gets on my nerves. Jensen Ackles as Dean has some of the funniest lines and the fact that his music tastes are stuck firmly in the 80s - cassette tapes anyone, just adds to his charm.

Each brother handles the mantle of responsibility differently but it's clear that they would go to great lengths for one another.

Supernatural is a great blend of scares, humor and drama.



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Really Funny!

Posted : 8 years, 11 months ago on 12 September 2008 01:48 (A review of Bones)

Dr. Temperance Brennan is a forensic anthropologist at the Jeffersonian Institute. Her expertise with bones has her working with the FBI and Special Agent Seely Booth to solve crimes.

While Bones follows the formula that makes it similar to other crime procedurals out there, it sets itself apart with a great cast of characters and humor. What makes the show work is the interplay between Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Booth (David Boreanaz). The two have a fantastic chemistry and comic timing that it helps to tone down the often gruesome nature of cases being investigated.


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Spooky

Posted : 8 years, 11 months ago on 12 September 2008 01:35 (A review of Paranormal State)

Paranormal State is a reality tv show that follows a group of students at Penn. State University who investigate paranormal incidents.

The show is a more spookier version of Ghost Hunters and it is more creepy. But a lot of the unease and fear is a result of sound effects and editing. Only a handful of cases - the demon possession and the one with the dead animals - evoked chills from me. For the most part, it all comes down to whether or not you believe in these types of paranormal activity.

The narrator and main investigator has a tendency to be over dramatic in his voice-overs but Paranormal State still makes for interesting viewing.


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Fast Paced Procedural Infused With Humor

Posted : 8 years, 11 months ago on 5 September 2008 01:09 (A review of NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service)

I initially thought that NCIS was just another CSI clone but after watching a few episodes I became a believer - I never expected to enjoy this show as much as I have.

The episodes move at a quick pace and the cases are interesting enough to grab your attention and hold it. The writers are not afraid to let story archs develop over the season (sometimes over multiple seasons) which makes for really good character development. Threads of a mystery are initially spun and only fully developed in later episode (The Meat Puzzle, DiNozzo's undercover work are ones that comes to mind).

The characters are all different, each with their own quirks - sometimes you wonder how such a disparate group can work together but they get the job done. Also the humor that is liberally laced throughout the show adds to its charm.


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Watchable But Ultimately Disappointing

Posted : 8 years, 11 months ago on 5 September 2008 01:03 (A review of The Andromeda Strain)

When a satellite crashes near a small town in Utah, a deadly virus of unknown origins is released. Now the military and a group of scientists race against time to contain the virus before the whole of North America is affected.

For a television movie, The Andromeda Strain has some good visuals - the cgi and other special effects are all excellent. The story too, gets off to a great start. By the time the scientists had reached the town and seen the devastating effect of the virus I was hooked.

However things start going downhill as more and more characters and plots are introduced so that in order to tie things up, the writer had to cut corners and come up with scientific gobbledegook along with not one, but TWO government conspiracies.

With all the shifts in storytelling to take care of the different point of views I found myself not caring for anyone. Plus any dramatic tension was lost and by the time of the open ended finale that The X-Files is so good at I was wondering why I wasted my time.


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