Movie NERD

Review "Ducktales"

"Ducktales" (2017)

I've seen some reviews ranting about how this show isn't faithful to the original and too much has changed in the reboot. I however strongly disagree. The reboot is very faithful to the original, without repeating the exact same formula as the original had. All of the characters, including the triplets and Webby, now have their own personality.

Webby is no longer the stereotypical "girly" fourth triplet. She's spontaneous, creative and a quick thinker as well as a quick talker (even more so in stressful situations).

Huey seems to be the only one who's still in the Junior Woodchucks. He's the oldest, more organized triplet. He's not as spontaneous as his siblings are. But make no mistake: he's still mischievous. He seems to be cool with getting dragged into dangerous situations together with his two younger brothers, never showing any signs of being really scared. He's level headed. But can get overly excited about small things such as activities on field trips.

Dewey is the middle child. He's extremely spontaneous even more so than Webby and his two brothers. He's not afraid of putting his own life in danger. He seems to enjoy taking risks that put him in deadly situations.

Louie is the youngest triplet. He's by far the most laid back triplet. He likes to slack off. A lot. He is, however, ready to act whenever the need arises. He has talked to Webby more his brothers thus far.

Scrooge McDuck is believed to be the uncle of Donald Duck but the triplets have always called him uncle Scrooge. He's the richest duck in the world. He has a bit of an Indiana Jones vibe about him. He is famous in the world as an adventurer and loves to get himself into trouble (unlike the Scrooge in the old series). Despite his old age he's surprisingly agile and can take quite the beating and still fight back without any problem.

Donald Duck is the Uncle and the caretaker of the triplets. Unlike the original show, Donald will have an important role in the reboot. He was Scrooge's sidekick once but they parted ways after an incident of some kind.

I like the new voice actors surprisingly much. Some say the triplets sound a bit too old but I think it works. The writing is simply brilliant! Witty, mysterious and adventurous!

Seriously give the show a chance even if you never watched the original series. It's a reboot done right.
(10/10)  

 

Review "Muppet Babies"

"Muppet Babies" (2018)

Muppet Babies is an American animated television series featuring toddler versions of the Muppets characters that began airing on Disney Junior and Disney Channel on March 23, 2018 and is aimed at a target audience of children from ages 4 to 7. It is a reboot of the original 1984–1991 animated series of the same name.

Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Animal and Summer Penguin use their imaginations to go on fantastical adventures in their playroom and back garden.

It is awesome that shows I loved as a young child, like Duck Tails and Muppet Babies are being brought up so that I can watch with my young children. My 4 and 6 year old kids LOVE the Muppet Babies show. They say it is their new favorite show, and quite frankly it is mine as well. They don't sit through much, but we watch this show all the time and look forward to new episodes every Friday morning. They even asked to watch "grown up" Muppets, but they prefer watching the muppets as babies. Much cuter and the jokes are more relatable to young kids, and those of us who feel young at heart.
(10/10)  

 

Review "The Blacklist"

"The Blacklist" (2013-present)

It's not the best TV show you've ever seen--it's not edgy or innovative with an original storyline or remarkable cinematography. It doesn't have distinctive, stylish features. Into its 6th season, The Blacklist survives, it thrives despite its being no Breaking Bad, or Mr. Robot, or Fargo, or The Knick. How is this possible? Just what is its appeal?

James Spader as Red Reddington is the answer and the sole reason this show is so watchable. He's not only the captain of the ship, he's the crew and the ship as well. In short, his performance is everything that makes this show great and I suspect he's somehow improved the template like performances of his supporting actors over time. The man is just a joy to watch and makes an improbable character--govt spy turned international criminal mastermind-- delightful and believable. Every actor on that show ought to thank Spader for allowing them the opportunity to make money on a show that would have been cancelled its first year--perhaps mid-season--if he were not on it. It's the darndest thing, the difference one actor can make.

Still, I wish that the creators had chosen a different actress to play the part of Elizabeth Keen, the FBI profiler that Red Reddington is inexplicably fond of. Someone like Zoe Saldana would have been brilliant casting and added dimension to the mystery of the Keen-Reddington relationship. And perhaps better casting for that part would have inspired the writers to shape her role more credibly and sent the show into the stratosphere. While Megyn Kelly may be a solid actress, she does not yet have the chops to make something of the oddly inconsistent writing for her role. Too late to change this up now.

I'm hardly the only fan who tunes in to enjoy Spader's performance, marveling at how the dreamy young actor with long blonde hair evolved into this very charming, balding older man who can act his *beep* off. I give him an Emmy for just Being There.

(8/10)

Review "Square Pegs"

"Square Pegs" (1982-1983)

Former "Saturday Night Live" writer Anne Beatts looked back at her own painful adolescence for this character-driven sitcom about skinny Patty Greene and brace-faced Lauren Hutchinson, two bright but nerdy Weemawee High School freshmen who make doomed attempts to join the "in" crowd, which includes spoiled rich girl Jennifer DeNuccio and preppy head cheerleader Muffy Tepperman. At least Patty and Lauren have a pair of friends in class clown Marshall Blechtman and New Wave music maven Johnny Slash.

I love Square Pegs the way I love Welcome Back, Kotter or I Dream of Jeannie: for it's kitsch quality. From an easily-spooked new-waver named Johnny Slash, to the bitchy, overly-bubbly pep coordinator Muffi, to Sarah Jessica Parker in one of her earliest roles as an ugly duckling, this show is full of weird and wonderful characters. True, it's hard to believe why two people like the main characters would want to be friends with the catty popular girls, but we get the feeling the show was asking itself that same question. Anyone who loves the '80s as much as I do would love this show. A theme song by The Waitresses, an appearance by Devo, over-the-top legwarmer and skinny tie costumes worn by everyone; what's not to like?

(10/10)

Review "The Americans"

"The Americans" (2013-2018)

Philip and Elizabeth Jennings are two KGB spies in an arranged marriage who are posing as Americans in suburban Washington, D.C., shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected president. The couple have two children, teenager Paige and preteen Henry, who are unaware of their parents' true identities. The complex marriage becomes more passionate and genuine each day but is continually tested as the Cold War escalates. As Philip begins to warm up to America's values and way of life, his relationship with Elizabeth becomes more complicated. Further complicating things is the arrival of the Jennings' new neighbour, FBI agent Stan Beeman, who is part of a new division of the agency tasked with fighting foreign agents on U.S. soil. The drama series was created by former CIA agent-turned-author Joe Weisberg.

Fiercely original, this show actually has you rooting for the bad guys. I think the thing that sticks out the most for me is the casting which is so out of left field it works: First you have the angelic looking Keri Russell who has always played the sweet and fragile type. Now she's a badass assassin who can turn on her dispassionate attitude at a moments notice. Second, you have Mathew Rhys fresh off his stint as a gay man on "Brothers and Sisters" who also is cold- blooded killer and torturer. Third we get Richard Thomas who was the iconic John Boy from "The Waltons" who portrays the head of the terrorist branch of the FBI. Lastly, we see Margo Martindale who was a nurse on " A Gifted Man" is now a KGB operative and ruthless field manager for other KGB agents. All of this works, and works well. The show is perfectly paced and credible with little "Hollywood" cliché and fireworks for a show of this nature, which sometimes becomes very intense and stark. Primarily based around Reagan's Star Wars initiative, this vehicle provides new insights and viewpoints of behind the scenes accounts of that era and the enormous complexity and preparation behind it, and doing so when technology was far less convenient than today. I only have one gripe and that is what is happening with their kids when their folks are away on missions? The show is rich with complex characters, sub-plots, and emotions, a true enjoyment to watch.

(9/10)

Review "Hotel Transylvania The Series"

"Hotel Transylvania The Series" (2017-)

Hotel Transylvania: The Series is an action and adventure TV series based on the Hotel Transylvania franchise. Its first episode aired on June 25, 2017.

The series is a co-production between Sony Pictures Animation and Canadian animation studio Nelvana. Sony will handle the worldwide licenses for merchandise, and will only distribute the series in the USA. All other foreign rights will belong to Nelvana.

Hotel Transylvania: The Series focuses on the teenage years of Dracula’s daughter, Mavis, and her three closest friends Hank N. Stein, Pedro, and Wendy Blob. With Dracula away on “Official Vampire Business,” Mavis finally sees her chance to show her father what she can do. With the help of her friends, she decides to put her brilliant ideas of how to run the Hotel into motion, but … enter Aunt Lydia, Dracula’s older and much meaner sister. While Mavis and friends are ready to let loose and have fun, Aunt Lydia pushes for even more order and tradition at the Hotel.

(10/10)

 

Review "13 Reasons Why"

"13 Reasons Why" Netflix (2017-)

OK, I didn't want to take the time to write such a long review. But having spent the time watching it, the show lends itself to a lot of discussion.

First off, there are a lot of things "13 Reasons" did well. Good emotional acting, high production value, solid script, and believable high school characters.

However, there is something very inherently wrong and almost distasteful about the way this show portrays the concept of suicide. The heart of the story seems flawed.

Now, I've never read the novel, so this review is only about the show itself. But the very title "13 Reasons Why" and the way that Hannah goes through them one by one like a shopping list, is just unbelievable. Suicide is overall a very internal feeling. No way that a girl who is depressed and has been bullied to the point where she has no sense of self-value left would even have the mindset to record 13 tapes blaming everyone who ever wronged her, which is a very external act.

But fine- maybe it only serves as a driving point of the story. Which brings me to my next point.

The majority of the reasons are mundane bits of irrelevant high school drama. Only when we get to the part where she witnesses rape and then gets raped do things start to make sense. So why did she drag her best friend Clay into it? Really, the only person who cared for her? "To make you understand why", she says to him. Well, a letter would have sufficed. But the tapes mess up his life. There are near-comical moments where we are forced to watch Clay zone in and out of flashbacks Inception-style. One wonders how no one has dragged the poor kid off for counseling. And the other classmates who did such minor things such as make a "hot or not" list, or published a poem she wrote? Clearly, Hannah was very unstable to begin with. But nowhere does the show ever really touch on depression or any other mental problems Hannah may have been suffering. In fact, she is vindictive and almost aggressive in the way she lists the "reasons why", like she's out for revenge, even though she "feels nothing." I mean, not even in the way she dresses implies how she is really feeling (she's always dressed and groomed impeccably). Could the show at least TRY?

In the end, two boys nearly commit suicide themselves due to the gnawing guilt. The tapes lead Clay to do things similar to, or even worse than, what the bullies did - and the show seems to condone this behavior. There are a lot of mixed messages and it's very confusing to watch. Sure, the major message is "be kinder to each other", but the tapes contradict that lesson and the whole thing ends in a hateful spiral of a blame-game.

I haven't even really begun to touch on everything that is wrong with this series. But I'll end it here, and say that I really hope that anyone who watches this does not believe that the way suicide is portrayed here is standard or even realistic.

(6/10)

Review "Scream the tv series"

Review "Scream the tv series" Mtv Network

As a TV series, Scream has the advantage of having infamous namesake and it does deliver the classic slasher gimmick, although its greatest attribute is its self-awareness. It realizes the obstacles, such as cliché high school setting and transition from movie to series, and rather than trying to gloss it over, Scream faces it head-on with smart quips in addition to the mandatory pool of blood.

Premise remains the same, a killer stalks their preys before mutilating them in gruesome fashion. The show gives this antique gore aptly, it's pretty good in the buildup and effect of the butchering is done with just the right tone. However, it's not just slashing away randomly, it also tries to set an eclectic cast. As the movie itself says, the audience should invest or care about the characters to make the killing efficient.

Characters are presentable, casting fresh actors is a good direction to build the series. They don't veer too much from typical high school kids, but there is effort to broaden the personalities beyond the expected. It uses already proved formula and tweaks it with modern upgrade without overflowing it to needlessly aggrandized aspects.

The main concern is how much the straightforward plot can carry it for many episodes. Its necessity to offer kills can also be taxing for a series and unlike movie sequel or reboot, the nostalgia effect will wear off sooner of latter. Luckily, it has room to expand and with enough mystery, it could work for the long run.

Serializing a slasher flick might have its issues, but Scream is clever enough to turn most of them into perks, making the classic kill fest into a more modern version and also staying true to its root.

(7/10)

Review "Bates Motel"

Review "Bates Motel" (2013-2017) A&E

After the death of her husband, Norma Bates buys a motel in the picturesque coastal town of White Pine Bay, giving herself and teenage son Norman a chance to begin anew. Shy Norman is reluctant at first, but with the help of his mother -- with whom he shares an intensely close relationship -- the boy begins to open up to others and make new friends. Some locals, however, aren't as friendly and welcoming to the Bates, who discover that because White Pine Bay isn't as peaceful as it appears, they are forced to do whatever it takes to survive. The drama series, from executive producers Carlton Cuse ("Lost") and Kerry Ehrin ("Friday Night Lights") and inspired by the seminal 1960 horror film "Psycho," explores the formative years of Norman Bates and how his complicated bond with his mother forged a serial killer. Outstanding..

(10/10)

Review "Burn Notice"

Review "Burn Notice" (2007-2013) USA Network.

Michael Westen is steamed -- or, more precisely, burned. His career as a spy ends when he gets a "burn notice," the covert equivalent of a pink slip. Stuck in his hometown of Miami, he intends to find out who did this to him and why, although that's not easy to do: With the burn notice attached to his name, he is cut off from his usual contacts and has to fly under the radar of the intelligence network lest he tip off his secret enemy. So it's a good thing he can rely on help from Fiona, his ex-girlfriend and IRA spy, and his friend Sam, also a former spy. Then there's Madeline, Michael's mother, a hypochondriac but probably not a spy.

What a great show. This reviewer binged the whole series in 2 weeks flat! Big fan of Jefferey Donovan's since "The Shield". Treat yourself to Burn Notice.

(10/10)

Review "Santa Clarita Diet" (Season 2)

Review "Santa Clarita Diet" (Season 2)

I am half-way through Season 2. Picking up right where we left off, Season 2 of Santa Clarita Diet finds the Hammonds trying to adapt to Sheila's now-advanced undead state -- even though she's desperately working to hold on to her suburban lifestyle and not be defined as just another monster. Unfortunately -- while the family has become markedly better at murder -- the number of missing people in Santa Clarita is starting to pile up and it's no longer going unnoticed. Meanwhile, the Hammonds are chasing the source of the virus so they can stop it from spreading and save humanity -- which seems important. Through it all, Sheila and Joel are grounded by their unconditional love for one another. Sure, being undead -- or loving someone who is -- isn't always easy, but don't all relationships have their challenges? What a brilliant show. What fun. Netflix, you still got it in my book.

 

Santa Clarita Diet's second season overpowers season one in practically every way possible...One of the best things about Santa Clarita Diet is its phenomenal cast and in the show's second season everyone's only more comfortable in these roles, and it shows.

(10/10)

 

 

Review "OZARK"

Review "OZARK" (2017-) Netflix

Created by Bill Dubuque ("The Accountant," "The Judge"), this drama series stars Jason Bateman as Marty Byrde, a financial planner who relocates his family from Chicago to a summer resort community in the Ozarks. With wife Wendy and their two kids in tow, Marty is on the move after a money-laundering scheme goes wrong, forcing him to pay off a substantial debt to a Mexican drug lord in order to keep his family safe. While the Byrde's fate hangs in the balance, the dire circumstances force the fractured family to reconnect.
It's dark, it's a bit gritty and it will make you feel uncomfortable more than a few times. Honestly, I only started watching this show because Jason Bateman was in it and I generally like shows that he is in. And once again he didn't disappoint.

I highly suggest this show if you enjoy dark dramas that will keep you on the edge of your seat and maybe second guessing a possible life of crime.

(9/10)

Review "LOVE"

Review "LOVE" (2016-, Netflix)

I absolutely can not stand either of the two main characters. I watched about 4 episodes and found myself fast-forwarding through long-long-long scenes that went absolutely nowhere. Seriously how is there a 40 minute scene at a restaurant before they have even ordered their meal? Kill ME!

We are led to believe that each has some inner merit that we are supposed to root for but they are both so friggin annoying that I just don't care. The main male lead is the Hollywood cliché Jew (even though he's not even Jewish). He whines non stop and seems incapable of making a decision. ANY DECISION! How does this guy have friends? There is absolutely nothing likable about this guy. I just feel sorry for him.

The female lead is the pretty but self-destructive girl. I've known people several like this. Other than the fact that she is pretty what is there to like? She's just a terrible person. Some terrible people are at least interesting but there is no way that she would be drawn to him. No way!

The Austrailian roommate was charming and fun. I'd like to know more about her but the rest of the characters I am happy to never see again.

Skip this show. There are so many good series on Netflix. Skip this one. Sigh...

(5/10)

Review "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"

Review "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" (2015-now, Netflix)

 

There's a lot to what seems to be a simple story of an Indiana Mole Woman moving to New York to finally experience life how she wants it. Tina Fey and her writing team already proved themselves with 30 Rock which had some of the best written comedy of all time with what is in my opinion one of the best television characters of all time, Jack Donaghy, and while Kimmy Schmidt is a different approach to her formula it still very much feels like something from the minds of the creators of 30 Rock. The Jokes are still fantastic and smart, with Pop Culture references to an extreme and quirky humor that goes along very well to the silly tone of the show itself.

The Performances here are all top notch. Ellie Kemper sticks out the most, she has her award win down right here, with a lovable sweet and honest performance as an ever grinning oblivious girl with a big heart. But even the supporting cast is perfect. Titus Burgess nails it at what is basically his character from 30 Rock just without the success. While he starts off as annoying he gets to be one of the most hilarious parts of the show as a desperately trying actor. Jane Krakowski is basically Jenna from 30 Rock, still as perfect as an actress can get for a role like that. Carol Kane as the freaky weird landlord of Kimmy's and Titus' delivers just as much and is just as lovable as about every aspect of the show.

But the smaller things stick out just as much, the costume design is fantastic with the glowing colorful wardrobe of Kimmy's or Titus' long 70's like shirts. The sets stick out as well, Kimmy's appartement always seems to look different and kind of progresses since she moved in there with Titus', the apartement becomes a part of Kimmy herself in a way. Jacqueline Vorhees' house just as much encompasses exactly for what she stands with something like a huge fridge just for diet water.

All in all, can not praise this show enough. It's lighthearted silly and at the same time smart and sometimes sophisticated fun with extraordinary writing, characters you WILL fall in love with, dedication from the whole crew in terms of lighting, set and costume design, cinematography, original score. It makes for what is one of Netflix' best orginials now and seeing that the first season was made for NBC we can only suspect that the show will get even better now that they can work under the free creative environment Netflix offers them. I absolutely cried from laughing here and at the next time I admired the creativity Tina Fey once again brings out here.

 

(10/10)

Review "Mom"

Review "Mom" (Season 4 Episode 9-CBS)

Single mom Christy has her hands full with two children, Violet and Roscoe, and maintaining newfound sobriety, when her passive-aggressive, recovering-alcoholic mother re-enters the picture, brimming with criticisms about Christy's life. As the daughter works to be the best mother she can and to overcome mistakes she made, she must also navigate dysfunctional relationships with romantic interests, and with her irresponsible ex-husband, Baxter. Despite the uphill battle, Christy tries to remain positive and stay on a path to help her reach her goals.

Episode 9 Season 4 reunites Co-stars from The West Wing Bradley Whitford & "Mom" star Allison Janney. Nicole Sullivan also Guest Stars as Whitford's wife. Both we the viewers suspect are Alcoholics. Mayhem ensues. Whitford is a absolute scream. as is Sullivan. "Mom" writers/directors are very content to turn the comedic reigns of this episode over to Whitford & Sullivan. The end result being a sore tummy from laughing so hard. Emmy worthy for sure.

(9.5/10)

Review "Santa Clarita Diet" Season One

Review "Santa Clarita Diet" (2017-)

 

Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant star in this Netflix-original series as married realtors, Sheila and Joel, who are living a quiet life, raising their teenage daughter in Santa Clarita, Calif. Their world unexpectedly changes when Sheila goes through a dramatic transformation that sends her down a road of death and destruction -- but leaves her looking and feeling better than ever. Barrymore and Olyphant also serve as executive producers, alongside showrunner and creator Victor Fresco ("Better Off Ted").

 

It's much tamer than something like the irreverent Zombieland or raucous Shaun of the Dead, nor does it have the biting satire of Delicatessen. But that doesn't mean Santa Clarita Diet isn't without teeth. It's wonderfully weird enough to be binge-able. What a great show! Score Netflix.

 

(10/10)

Review "Monk"

Review "Monk" (2002-2009)

After the unsolved murder of his wife, Adrian Monk develops obsessive-compulsive disorder, which includes his terror of germs and contamination. His condition costs him his job as a prominent homicide detective in the San Francisco Police Department, but he continues to solve crimes with the help of his assistant and his former boss.

What can I say? It don't get better than this! Tony Shalhoub is amazing. His Monk character is genius.

(10/10)

Review "True Detective-Season One"

Review "True Detective-Season One" (On HBO)

 

When i first heard about the show , I thought to myself that with a premise and cast like that , what could go wrong with this show? Well there could have been a lot of things. For example the plot may have been overdone or under thought , direction may have been all over the place , but the first episode proved that it was not to be so.

The plot looks delicious...yes it does and the neat direction just purely compliments the smooth design of the show. Even though story telling is non linear at times , but it has been managed very well with subtle dialogue and the growing suspense. It does get dark at times but handles all its complications with ease.

The casting is clever...very clever. Both Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are brilliant actors and at the same time have a certain mystery about them that is Perfect for the show. They have a firm grip of their respective characters and seem dissolved in them.

This show is NOT just a regular cop drama or a clichéd murder mystery. It is much much more and has already proved so in the first episode. Much is expected from it and the future looks bright for True Detective.

 

(9.5/10)

Review "Homeland"

Review "Homeland" (On Showtime)

 

When Marine Sgt. Nicholas Brody returns home following eight years in captivity, CIA agent Carrie Mathison thinks he has turned and is connected to a terror plot to be carried out on American soil, so she engages him in a dangerous game of cat and mouse that puts America's national security at risk. Later on, Carrie gets a promotion and returns to the front lines overseas. She is assigned to one of the CIA's most volatile and dangerous stations in the Middle East, where she is in the heart of battle in the war on terror. Years later, after being disillusioned and placing herself in a self-imposed exile in Berlin, Carrie becomes estranged from the CIA, eventually returning stateside where she works for a foundation providing aid to Muslims living in America.

 

(9/10)

Review "The Killing"

Review "The Killing" (2011-2014)

 

"The Killing" is an unconventional, multi-layered show that manages to pull off a suspenseful murder investigation story and a social and political commentary, without coming across as patronizing.

The motor of the story is the murder of 17-year-old Rosie Larsen. The first episode is full of dramatic power as it gives a glimpse of what the Larsens' life is like before this tragedy, and how their everyday life and its moments of simple happiness fade off as Rosie is reported as missing, first, and hopes to find her alive become more and more meager. The detective in charge is Sarah Linden, who gets a mysterious new partner named Holden. Sarah has her own personal story as well, with an impending marriage, a trip that she has to put off once and again due to the investigation, and a rebellious teenage son with whom communication isn't always great. Another side story, directly tied up with the main line, is that of counselor Darren Richmond, who's running for the city council elections and is unlucky enough to have a campaign car directly involved in the crime scene -or is it just bad luck? The murder investigation gets more and more complex with time, and the show never gives you a break as to the guessing. New suspects, elements and twists are incorporated with each episode and the plot is enriched with social drama elements such as subtle (or not so subtle) racism; drug addiction; how law and justice enforcers treat people differently according to their ethnicity, religion or social status; or the backstage of elections and how the rivalry between competing candidates gets crude beyond belief.

I went into this show looking for a good crime drama, and so far I am loving it, but I'm also getting a lot more than I was hoping for.

 

(9.5/10)