Sherlock (BBC) Review

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Review:

Does anyone else just… not get what all the fuss is about?

Seriously, I feel like the entire world LOOOOOVES this show. I wanted to love it, I really did. Unfortunately, it makes me want to tear out my hair.

You see, Sherlock does some stuff so well and then just completely bombs other stuff to the point that I can’t even believe some scenes are written by the same people. Maybe the pod people that were always hijacking Buffy the Vampire Slayer moved to England? But in this case, it’s not even that there are good episodes and bad episodes, like season two of Buffy. Every single episode is a mess of brilliant stuff mixed up with total crap. Too much crap for me – I quit two thirds of the way into season two.

Warning: for some reason, Sherlock brings out the profanity in me. If you don’t appreciate f-bombs, stop reading now.

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Battlestar Galactica, Season 4 Review

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Review:

Sooooo, season three of Battlestar Galactica was a bit of a mess, but had some redeeming points. Season 4? I don’t even know. I disliked it so much that I’ve never gone back and rewatched any episodes. I suppose if I did, I might find myself liking it better?

But then again, maybe not. As I said back in my review of season one, I got invested in these characters. I cared about them. And I feel like almost all of them were completely shat on by the final season.

In retrospect, some of this started as early as season two, but it accelerated in season three and was practically intolerable by season four. Characters that were once lovable turned gross. Characters that were once fascinating got boring. Yet others broke so badly and so completely that the pieces were impossible to put back together and it was not a tragedy but a relief when they died.

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And that’s not even getting into the ludicrous mess that was the series finale.

So the question becomes, can I in good faith recommend that people watch Battlestar Galactica when I and a significant percentage of its fanbase were not just dissatisfied but actively infuriated by the final season? Maybe I’m masochistic, but I think the answer is yes. Battlestar Galactica may be a cautionary tale about how badly a great show can go astray, but when it was great, it was really great. As painful as it was watching them fall apart, my imagination would be a poorer place if Starbuck and Roslin and Adama and Six and Cain and Shaw and the rest had never flown in and taken up residence.

My rating:2 Stars (2 / 5)

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Chicka Chicka ABC Board Book Review

Review:

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This is an abridged board book version of the classic Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. My kids like the “chicka chicka boom boom” parts, but except for that, it’s a very boring read aloud. The text starts off rhyming, but by the end, it just becomes a list of letters. It reads like the author lost interest halfway through. For example:

A told B and B told C, “I’ll meet you at the top of the coconut tree.”

But:

Look who’s coming! L M N O P! And Q R S! And T U V!

Whoop de doo. Four exclamation points in a row doesn’t make a boring list of letters any more exciting. If I wanted that, I’d just go with the alphabet song.

It stops shortly thereafter with the letters all falling to the ground, leaving off the second half of the original book.

My rating:2 Stars (2 / 5)

I recommend getting the full version instead, as it contains more rhyming in the second half.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Paperback)
by Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault

Price: $6.00
217 used & new available from $0.01
4.8 out of 5 stars (2354 customer reviews)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 1 Review

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Review:

To be honest, I’ve only seen some of the episodes from season one of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and wasn’t impressed. The show was a mid-season replacement and it was initially given a tiny budget. With just 12 episodes, it didn’t really have enough time to find its footing and it flailed around with mostly silly plots and absolutely terrible special effects for most of the season. If you want to watch Buffy but don’t want to sit through the whole season, start with these four episodes:

  • 1×01 Welcome to the Hellmouth
  • 1×02 The Harvest
  • 1×07 Angel
  • 1×12 Prophecy Girl

There are occasional callbacks to other season one episodes (especially 1×03 Witch) in the later seasons, but these four are the most important to the show’s overall arc.

My rating:2 Stars (2 / 5)

Supernatural Season 5 Review

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Review:

Despite having mostly lost interest in Supernatural by early season four, I finished out the season and even made it through episode 10 (“Abandon All Hope”) of season 5. I suppose having Ellen and Jo die so pointlessly was the final straw on the camel’s back of my dislike for the Lilith and Lucifer plotlines. ~shrugs~

My rating:2 Stars (2 / 5)

 

Borgia: Season 1 Review

Review:

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After The Borgias was prematurely cancelled by Showtine, I decided to give this European show (also known as Borgia: Faith and Fear) a try to get my Borgias fix thanks to this intriguing comparison of the two shows by a historian, but found it disappointing.

It was interesting to compare the different choices the two shows made about how to tell the story, but while Borgia did make some choices that I liked a lot (as well as some that were more historically accurate than those made in The Borgias), the acting and characterization killed the show for me and I lost interest midway through the first season.

An international production, Borgia cast actors from a wide range of backgrounds and nationalities, and unfortunately the mix of accents made it difficult to suspend disbelief. For example, Rodrigo had an American accent, Cesare had a British accent, Juan had a Spanish accent, and Lucrezia had a German accent. And that was just the Borgia family! Compounding the problem, some of the accents were so thick it was hard to understand what was being said.

In addition to the problems with the accents, some of the actors were simply not very good, and the characterization was sometimes sloppy and inconsistent, and occasionally outright preposterous. In particular, the characterization of Cesare was baffling to me. He came across more like a lunatic than “Il Principe.”

Borgia also had a lot of extremely graphic sex and violence, to an extent that was off-putting for me, and the lower budget forced them to cover some important events by standing around and talking about them rather than actually depicting them. In a rare case where Showtime’s The Borgias was nastier and more graphic than Borgia, the French king’s invasion in The Borgias involved towns being sacked and put to the sword, huge armies on the march, and a bunch of Roman soldiers being sliced in half (literally) by chained cannonballs. In Borgia, the French invasion consisted of about 20 guys running through the streets of Rome with torches.

Though Borgia is worth watching if you’re interested in the family or the period, I think Showtime’s version of The Borgias was both better made and more enjoyable.

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My rating:2 Stars (2 / 5)

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The Phantom of the Opera (2005) Movie Review

The Phantom of the Opera (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
Actors: Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, Patrick Wilson, Miranda Richardson, Minnie Driver
Director: Joel Schumacher
Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC
Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Studio: WarnerBrothers
Running Time: 141 minutes

List Price: $5.97
Price: $5.89
153 offers available from $1.09
4.7 out of 5 stars (3698)

Review:

As a longtime “phan,” I was pretty excited about this film, but I’m sad to say it disappointed me. Though visually stunning (the opening scene when the theater is restored to former glory was particularly breathtaking), the vocals were not up to par, especially Gerard Butler as the Phantom, whose voice was gravelly rather than seductive and bore no resemblance to anything that might be realistically mistaken for the voice of an angel. There were also some alterations to the plot that managed to be both pointless and stupid, and I can’t get over the awfulness of Butler’s makeup, which resembled a bad sunburn or case of hives more than a terrifying deformity.

phantomdeformity

Oh well.

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My rating:2 Stars (2 / 5)

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Austenland

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Review:

I loved the premise of Austenland (Austen fangirl goes to Austen themepark), but the execution was sadly lacking. Most of the secondary characters were ludicrously overblown, which provided occasional funny moments from actors of the caliber of Jennifer Coolidge and James Callis, but was mostly just stupid and off-putting, with none of the wit or cleverness of Austen herself.

The characterization of Jane herself was inconsistent and entirely subject to the whims of the (contrived) plot. Martin and Nobley were little better. All in all, a disappointment.

My rating2 Stars (2 / 5)

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