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Rookie of the Year (1993)
If you don't love baseball ...
... or Gary Busey or the Cubs or twelve year old kids this thing is probably not for you. Otherwise I found some really good laughs in it. The story was appealingly filmed and professionally cut and so on. My point is that most Europeans don't have a clue about the game and it is quite important for the story. (For how long will this go on? - Well it's the third inning and they play at least eight. - God help me!) It is great to see how the boy is brought up by his mother to be nice to people and show them respect and how the really manly men repay the favor. All in all I give it a ten because it achieves what it aims for. Do watch it. If you can tell a sinker from a curve ball that is.
Mississippi Burning turned cop show
The more I think about it the more it makes sense to me that David Duchovny (who is obviously behind the whole thing, have you seen the titles) wanted to walk in the footsteps of Gene Hackman.
And it works, too! We're back in the seventies again, everything is slightly sepia-tinted and while Charlie Manson is still mainly strumming his guitar (when not busy raping and beating women) the white majority hopes that Tricky Dick will save them from evil.
Duchovny's character is the classical anti-hero, a cynical do-gooder who would die for you but prefers to make you come up with some more swear words.
The backdrop is just that - but I can't say it was chosen unwisely or that it comes across as unrealistic.
On the whole I would rate the endeavor as a success.
Insufferable - or maybe not so
A filthy rich entrepreneur who is used to getting what he wants by waving his checkbook discovers that he has cancer and does not have much longer to live. So he wants to know what happens when he dies, whether there is a life after death. Being the visionary that he is he decides that the answer is somewhere and just hasn't been found yet. So he enlists, or rather coerces, the help of a brilliant female surgeon who is struggling with a near death experience and has recently suffered the loss of a child - but no clue about social interactions or philosophy or science in general - as his researcher in the capacity of voice of reason. Add to the mix a Senegalese intern who is wise and servile, a cliché teenage daughter and an estranged husband who, apart from one extramarital night out, seems to be incapable of doing anything wrong. Oh, and a best-selling author who might or might not be a huckster.
Sounds absurd yet? I haven't even started. The only reason I didn't switch this one off is because for some time I couldn't figure out who the intended audience is. I also wondered what they would throw in to make the details more interesting (answer: nothing).
To leave on a positive note: perfect for a nerdy drinking game.
EDIT: Episode 3-5
Basically everything I criticized in my - admittedly very scathing - review has gone. They must have fired the screenwriter and hired a decent one. People are suddenly people and behave like that. The dialogue has improved immensely. No more pseudo-philosophical claptrap, even Matthew Modine's character has something to say (albeit copied from Marvin Minsky but what the heck.)
All in all I've never seen such a piece of trash turned into a quite watchable show.
Killing Season (2013)
To tell you the truth I found the reviews here more interesting than the actual movie.
On the positive side, the cast is practically fail-safe, so if you must, go ahead and watch it, I won't put up a big red warning sign. I also subscribe to the appreciative things that have been written about the editing and the photography and the music.
On the negative side, it is just plain sloppy. I am more than willing to look past historical inaccuracies, phony accents, and logical problems in a story if the story is strong enough. But here it is just the other way around: if you force yourself to overlook the flaws you are basically already too busy to actually watch the movie.
As an example, the much-berated accent is not that bad in itself (I cannot validate Serbian) but it is not believable simply because the guy talks like Joe average with a weird pronunciation (cultural references included - I have to ask myself: where and how did he learn them?).
And then those little things: the pitcher of lemonade magically fills itself. The protagonists seem to be faster on foot than when driving a car.
Conclusion: Nobody involved in the making of that film seems to have cared very much about it, so why should you.