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Steven Spielberg showing his bigotry
From Temple of Doom to Lost Ark, these movies are ripe with racism that was backwards even for the time they were made in.
Asides from the plot in this movie being nonsensical and the "crystal skull" looking like it was made out of cheap plastic, Spielberg once again feels the need to depict another civilization as primitive barbarians. In the movie, he shows a long lost Mayan civilization clad in loin cloths worshiping a crystal diety.
At one point, the natives are gunned down with no explanation or remorse for an entire civilization annihilated.
This might have been fine 20 years ago, but it's clearly telling that Spielberg needs to be called out for his racist portrayal of the world - from East Asia, South Asia, Middle East and South Americans. Disgusting.
How to Become a Tyrant (2021)
Entertaining, but panders to the US masses
It's a well put together miniseries, and it's interesting to see footage and animations re-enacting all the tyrannical rises of power.
It's clearly meant for mass American audiences, who may have a very insular concept of history and gepolitics. It overly explains points and skips over other issues - like CIA involvement in many of these countries.
Outside of historical gaps (like Gadaffi & Hussein revolutions were both instigated by US & UK intelligence agencies), the show really panders to the lowest common denominator in terms of the narration script and visual effects.
It's a good show to absorb in the background as you do other things, but the "playbook" concept is a bit silly.
Horribly offensive (even for it's time)
This movie became a cult classic - but was based on horribly offensive stereotypes and a portrayal of Indian Hindus as a barbaric cult. There was a lot of controversy when the film was released for its portrayal of Hindu gods and white man's savior syndrome. This was back in the 80s.
The film today is an embarassing cliche - it's difficult to watch Indy boss around a kid with a highly exaggerated Chinese accent. I'm embarassed for all the people rating this so favorably.
Lucky Louie (2006)
Painful to watch
Louis CK & Pamela Adon, both great comedians - but this show was just poorly constructed and difficult to watch.
The writing is hackneyed and cliched, with the dumb husband routine and nagging wife. Throw in a kid to make things risque as Louie swears and says things he shouldn't - it all sounds good on paper, but the execution is embarassing.
This show got cancelled and frankly, it shouldn't have been greenlit. The production value was terrible. I don't know how this has a 7 star rating on IMDB - it's not relatable unless you grew up in a 90s family sitcom.
Boardwalk Empire (2010)
Starts off great, interesting ending
Starts off great as you learn about the corruption spreading as prohibition takes off. It's a story of morality and it doesn't have a happy ending.
You're reminded this an HBO show that loosely follows real life historical figures through the rise of organized crime and the forces trying to stop them.
The later seasons start to get a bit tired and boring, but it has a strong ending.
Mortal Kombat (2021)
A little cliched but decent
It's not a great movie, but it's watchable. They managed to be less cheesy than the original MK movies of the 90s.
They changed up the designs of the costumes, which seems like a blasphemy and Gora, one of the main villains and antagonists is killed off very easily. There's some funny moments when one character declares his own fight a flawless victory.
Overall enjoyable for anyone with MK nostalgia. They really play into the damsel in distress trope with both the main character's wife and Sonya having no real agency and needing men to rescue her.
I really hope they make a sequel, but not if it focuses solely on Johnny Cage, which seems to be where they're heading.
I guess this was one part reboot and two parts a continuation of the Hellboy franchise. They kept the same cast and continued some of the story, except they brought back some characters alive and failed to carry over parts of the last movie (like Hellboy's girlfriend being pregnant).
Overall the movie was pretty boring, they never elaborated on the villain's motivations or what they were trying to accomplish. They were just evil for the sake of being evil. The story didn't really go anywhere and it somewhat abruptly ends.
Don't waste your time watching this, just re-watch the first movie.
The Mule (2018)
Entertaining until the sugary-sweet ending
It was a good movie with great acting and a few funny jokes about how things have changed for the better (tolerance and anti-racism) and worse (cell phone obsession).
But the final chapter of the movie just becomes ridiculous - from creating an unnecessary villain in the cartel, which wasn't needed, to his redemption and finally an ending that paints a very rosy look at what his reprimand would be for trafficking drugs.
Overall watchable, but the ending was silly.
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020)
Entertaining but not a great translation from stage show to TV
I watched the movie, but the pacing was a bit slow since this was a stage play that they turned into a movie.
I watched it on a higher playback speed and skipped through some of the more drawn out scenes. It was enjoyable and had a really interesting perspective. At first Ma Rainey seems really demanding, but as she later discusses - she's mostly demanding for respect and to make them hurt, so that they give her proper attention and courtesy.
It really showcases how Hollywood exploited POC singers and stole their music for their own profit.
Don't waste your time
I heard good things about this - so I decided to watch it.
The movie suffers from pacing problems that make it difficult to sit through. The acting is over the top with the split personality character & the head doctor, but Morgan Freeman's acting is great and really carries the movie.
The plot is utterly nonsensical and suffers from M. Night Shyamalan's signature issues with having characters make exaggerated soliloquies. Trying to tie together the two movies (Unbreakable and Split), the movie fails at creating a coherent plot.
Love and Monsters (2020)
Zombieland with Insects
If you've seen Zombieland - you've seen this movie.
The narration, the guide, the setting and the characters all mirror much of what you've seen in the original Zombieland. The difference is that instead of zombies, it's mutant insects that somehow got radiated by fallout from nuclear missiles that were shot into space.
Ignoring the nonsensical origin story, it follows the tropes of action movies - loser boy falls in love with girl, seeks to meet her again, makes friends along the way who help train him, hero uses training to survive and meet girl and defeat evil villains. Happily ever after.
Schitt's Creek (2015)
Entertaining, but not without it's problems
I resisted watching the show & later watched an episode, which I found boring. It wasn't until the COVID quarantine that I gave it a chance and binge-watched the entire show in a week.
It's a fun comedy that doesn't take itself too seriously. The mother is completely unlikable, and I know that's a part of the design of the character - but there was really nothing redeeming about the character. It's an easy-to-watch show that kinda spins in circles at point.
The show suffers from a few issues:
1) The only two POC characters are stereotypes - the sassy Black woman and an Indian guy with an accent, who is quick to scam people.
2) It's a bit hard to believe that the son character, who starts off bi - but then after season 1 is exclusively gay, is able to find an almost never ending supply of gay men within a very tiny rural town. And that the attitudes towards the LGBTQ in this community is so supportive, which again contradicts the close mindedness depicted in other episodes.
Overall it's still worth watching,
Pineapple Express (2008)
Entertaining first half, boring second half
Admittedly, I didn't watch this while high - but the movie's first part is entertaining - a lone loser meets his drug dealer and gets a new strain, which rival gangs are after. The second half of the movie is just boring, even with action fighting scenes and explosions - it feels tacked and doesn't really go anywhere for a comedy movie.
I can understand this is a stoner comedy, and best enjoyed while high - but it's actually pretty boring.
Starship Troopers (1997)
Good SciFi Movie Mocking Nationalism & Republicanism
The acting is atrocious, but this is a scifi movie series that doesn't take itself seriously. It's responsible for the popularization of several quotes and phrases. The movie makes fun of nationalism and the dangers of a culture that popularizes or glamorizes military culture (hint: USA).
The movie subverts what the book preaches, and in many ways the movie delivers a better more salient message than the book - namely that a utopian society built on military cultural or human imperialism is problematic.
A great scifi movie, interesting commentary on society and just a generally good, but cheesy scifi action film.
Mars Attacks! (1996)
Tim Burton's Best Movie
Huge cast of well known actors. It makes fun of scifi and alien movie tropes and shows the actual consequences. The aliens are realistic in that they aren't just automatons attacking earth in endless waves, they actually are quite human in their cruelty - toying with victims, playing pranks on them and mocking them.
It's a dark comedy for adults, and many of the 1 star ratings people gave this is because they wanted a Disney happy ending or thought they could watch it with their kids. This is not a family movie.
Battle: Los Angeles (2011)
Utterly boring - 3 stars is generous
All of the characters are unlikable, to the point that your left hoping the invading aliens win. At the very least it would put humanity out of its misery.
Decent action movie, subverts action film movie tropes and that's why people dislike it
It was ahead of it's time really - the movie is actually quite entertaining for anyone expecting a simple action movie, where the hero character is flawed. It feels like the water-based spiritual predecessor to the the 2000's era mad max movie.
They were clearly setting it up for a sequel, that sadly didn't come as a result of the movie failing at the theatres. I feel if they made a tv show or sequel now, it would probably do quite well - given the popularity of apocalypse movies & games like Mad Max and Rage (game).
Sorry to Bother You (2018)
The comedy mostly falls flat, but the premise is so unique that it's worth supporting & watching.
The first half of the movie feels like it's going to be a tail about a guy who puts on a white voice to ascend the corporate ladder, and it is in part. But the second half quickly escalates and spins off into a tale about capitalism greed & the extent people will go to for profit.
Credit to the creators for doing something unique, it slightly missed the mark but was entertaining on the second half & completely didn't see that coming.
I'm being generous
I watched the first 5 episodes of season 1 and can safely say they have a great idea, but the execution is weak - it feels like they sanitized the jokes to make it family friendly. What's left is a show with really infantile humor that relies on slapstick and improv-style acting. There's some decent actors in this show, but they're never allowed to use their acting skillset because the roles are so 1 dimensional.
The store manager's voice is extremely grating and it feels like they were trying to make a version The Office for retail workers. It feels like they're pandering to the lowest common denominator with this - surprised it lasted 6 seasons.
Maybe it hits its stride in later seasons, but it's pretty difficult to watch.
Girl Lost: A Hollywood Story (2020)
Serious Issue, Realistic but Bad Acting & Somewhat Disturbing Decision to Sexualize a Minor in the Movie Itself
So it's an indie film and that excuses a lot of smaller gripes, but the acting is pretty bad. Specifically the character of Beth, who is played out as a one-dimensional evil character for the purposes of the movie.
The movie doesn't shy away from nudity and the odd part is that for a movie that's about how people try to sexualize children, the movie itself sexualizes the actor playing the young girl - with unnecessary nudity and scenes meant to appeal to perverts.
Kind of gross the director would sink to completely tasteless shots of the girl being raped (which were also comically bad in acting - guys licking their lips and other silliness).
The one upside is that the movie ends realistically and wasn't shy in showing that these stories seldom have a happy ending.
Marvel fans won't like this...
The UK version is better in every way, but Utopia is a show that seems to be far too dark & edgy for American audiences. Like the UK version, it doesn't shy away from violence to women or children, and characters morally dubious.
There is some Americanized changes to the show, like overexplaining the story and having to explain everything out of fear the audience won't understand what happened. Ultimately I don't expect this show to survive because it doesn't wrap up everything in a happy, sugary ending like typical comic book/Marvel movies.
Generally, American audiences don't like it when evil prevails or if there isn't a clear good and bad guy. The good guy always has to win at the end of an American story-arc (even if it takes a triology to reach that conclusion).
Great story inspired by a true story of students who cheated but didn't get away with it
A sleeper hit - this movie tells the complicated tale of a motley group of less affluent students competing in an academic decathalon with the odds stacked against them (basically handed over to the more affluent school).
It has a realistic portrayal of how students/kids act, and how something morally dubious may not be entirely wrong. The acting is good, although a bit overly dramatized in parts.
Definitely worth watching.
The Fugitive (1993)
Dated & Completely Unrealistic
I'm watching the movie nearly 30 years after it aired and while some scenes are iconic, like the train escape and jumping out of the sewage pipe - despite what people say, the movie just doesn't hold up.
The notion that this guy could evade cops while in a parade and at a hospital (that he keeps going back to) is laughable.
It also wraps up way too neatly - despite him having been on the run for a year from the cops, and all the crimes he's committed including breaking & entering, assault/battery and vandalism.
Ok it's a movie, so some suspension of disbelief is needed - but it's weird how the head Marshall, aptly played by Tommy Lee Jones, has an entourage that follows him around and serve at his beck & call.
Overall the film is passable, I had to fast forward through some scenes because of how drawn out the movie was.
The Hustle (2019)
Whoever green lit Anne Hathaway's accent should be fired
I didn't realize this was a remake until after I had finished the movie. There were was one funny scene in it (although it appeared in its entirety in the movie trailer).
Anne Hathaway's French/Danish accent was horrible. It would have been fine if it was used minimally, but someone must have told her she could pull it off - it's horrendous. The movie spendsd about the first 30 minutes praising Anne's acting abilities with an entire scene dedicated to her ability to emote - almost as bad as Ocean's 12 Julia Roberts scene -bleh.
Overall it's watchable with a few twists, but largely playing on tired cliches and gags. It's clear that the movie feels more like a series of comic vignettes between the two actors loosely tied by a con artist plot.
Watchable while you do chores, clean your house, iron clothes - but otherwise forgettable.
Ocean's Eight (2018)
Horrible, Rhianna as a Jamaican Hacker seriously?
This was terrible. It was meant to be a female empowerment remake, but instead of robbing a bank or casino - they rob jewellery from the MET Gala. They may as well have stolen makeup from Revlon.
The acting is horrible and they know women are dragging along their boyfriends, so at least they threw in some long ample (but unnecessary) clevage shots to keep the men entertained.
The twist endings are horrible and it feels like halfway through the production they realized they had cast Rhianna, so may as well throw her in a Jamaican rasta hat (complete with dreads) and call her a hacker.