Series Review: The Beast (2009)

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Hello and welcome back to this corpse known as “Series Reviews” where as the title states, I review TV series. I wanna do more of these, it’s just that it takes a while to finish a season of a show (or an entire show) and I am also really lazy and dumb and I am sorry, please forgive me. With that out of the way, let’s review a short-lived show.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Beast”.

“The Beast” follows veteran FBI agent Charles Barker (Patrick Swayze, R.I.P) as he unwillingly takes on a new and young partner named Ellis Dove (Travis Fimmel). Thing is though that he doesn’t know that Ellis was recruited as a sort of double agent to investigate Barker and his activities. You see, Barker isn’t your typical by-the-books agent, he does everything his way and is suspected of some shady shit. So throughout the show we get to see both how these two solve cases as the undercover agents that they are, but we also see Ellis question his loyalties. And while we have seen similar things before, maybe this show could still do it in an original way. But it didn’t. While the plot offers a few pretty decent twists throughout, it never really feels original or even that engaging. I didn’t completely hate, I mean like I said, there were a few decent twists every now and then. It was also pretty entertaining to see how our heroes would solve these cases every episode. However I feel like the episodes could be a little slow at times. There are so much potential for the plot to be something truly great, but there are almost an equal amount of stuff holding it back which is a shame.

What really helps the show stand out a little more is Patrick Swayze. And I’m not saying that simply becuase I have been a fan of him for a long time, I am saying it because he was legitimately good in this show. This is most definitely the most rugged and dark I have ever seen him. While he isn’t the typical “Charming Mr. Swayze” in this show, he still has some charm to him in the show. Not gonna lie, this might be the best performance I have ever seen form the guy, and I fucking loved him in “Ghost”. Next up is Travis Fimmel who I know stars in the show “Vikings” which I will see at some point. He will also be in the upcoming “Warcraft” movie which is kind of fun. Anyway, how was he in the show? Eh, he was fine. He never really impressed me, but he was also never bad. He was good enough. I did however really like how well he and Swayze played off of eachother. They had pretty good chemistry. Every other actor were pretty good in the show too. Also, Lou Diamond Phillips showed up in an episode. Fun to see that guy still get work.

The music was done by a man named W.G. Snuffy Walden (Pffffft, hahahaha!). And it was decent. Nothing I haven’t really heard before, but it was also not bad. It was good, it worked for the show, that’s it. Although I did really like the opening theme, that I thought was really good.

While I haven’t really truly praised the show for anything yet, let’s give it some props. The cinematography for the show was really good. It gave the show a dark and gritty look that really benefited it. I also really liked some of the writing in the show, it was really well done. The parts I liked were either smart & insightful or darkly funny. And the action in the show was pretty good too I suppose.

The show actually got some pretty good reviews over it’s short run but never really had a lot of watchers. But overall it got pretty mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 59% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 51/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10.

“The Beast” is a show that had tons of potential to be great, but never really reached those heights. It had an okay plot, good characters/acting, decent music, good directing & cinematography, good action and some pretty solid writing at times. Although the show moves a little slowly at times. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Beast” is a 7,98/10. While not great, it’s still worth a watch.
Worth a Watch

Review for “The Beast” is completed.

I miss Patrick Swayze…

Movie Review: Ghost (1990)

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Does love transcend all? That is a question many people ask themselves. Can love for someone be the solitary reason for one’s survival/struggle? Intrepret the situation however the hell you want. Me? I don’t know, haven’t felt true love yet.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Ghost”.

Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze, R.I.P) is a young man with a lot of things going for him. He’s doing well at his job as a banker, he lives with his true love Molly (Demi Moore) and they have a pretty big apartment. Unfortunately he gets murdered one evening. But he also comes back as a ghost and takes the help of a psychic (Whoopi Goldberg) to keep in touch with the world and help Molly from a terrible fate. I know my description sounds a bit off, but I am simply trying to explain it without really spoiling it. Anyway, I really liked the plot. I was a bit skeptic since it seemed like it might become a very melodramatic and sappy plot, but I actually enjoyed it a lot. It had a lot more depth than I thought it would. It also made me tear up at a spot. Let me put it like this, on the outside I shed a tear… but on the inside I cried like a little baby. Good job, “Ghost”.

The characters are interesting and entertaining, that’s the best way I can put it. Patrick Swayze was pretty great in this movie. As a big fan of him I have still been able to see that he hasn’t been that great of an actor, but here he was genuinely good. Demi Moore was pretty great in the movie as well, showing a lot of emotion and simply giving a great performance. Whoopi Goldberg was also really good, she actually gave a great performance in the movie (holy shit). Tony Goldwyn was also great, but I guess you can safely assume such a thing when Tarzan is in the house (Obscure references, ho!). Every actor was in fact great in the movie.

Leave it to Maurice Jarre to create a truly great score for a movie. If you don’t remember, he is the man who was the main composer for the movie “Fearless” which I love. And here he knocked it out of the park again. This score has a lot of emotion behind it, but it also manages to create tension whenever it needs to. It managed to capture all kind of musical feelings it could. He did a great job. I also like how they included the song “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers, it was really well done.

This movie was directed by Jerry Zucker who, HOLY SHIT HE DIRECTED “AIRPLANE”! That is a funny jump, from a hilarious and strange comedy to a love story featuring ghosts. Anyway, he did a great job directing this movie, nothing else to really say here. What I also enjoyed is the fact that this movie manage to capture pretty much every genre without it all feeling totally mish-mashed and terrible. It captures drama, comedy, fantasy, thriller, action… you name it. And I’m genuinely impressed by how well it actually managed to do it.

This movie has been pretty well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 74% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 52/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,0/10. The movie also won 2 Oscars in the categories of Best Supporting Actress (Whoopi Goldberg) and Best Original Screenplay. The movie was also nominated for an additional  3 Oscars in the categories of Best Picture, Best Film Editing and Best Original Score. 

“Ghost” is a movie that surprised me on so many levels. Not only did I actually like the story, but I was even touched deeply by it. I also really enjoyed all the performances (which were great), the score was terrific with the inclusion of “Unchained Melody”, and the directing was good. I also enjoy how it actually made me laugh because of real humor. Time for my final score. BOO! My final score for “Ghost” is a 9,88/10. It gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

“Ghost” is now reviewed.

I guess love does transcend all…

Movie Review: Donnie Darko (2001)

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Mindfuck stories! I love them. Mainly because they make you think. That is why I am such a fan of stuff like “Matrix” and “Inception”. But if you don’t like watching these types of movies because you have to use your brain for once, then you have nothing to be here for. Seriously, shoo! Go away! But you other people, you can stay. Today we are taking a look at a movie that is a mindfuck but also a cult classic.

Bunnies and Rabbits…”Donnie Darko”.

The story of the movie follows young man (high school student) Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal, also roll credits). He lives with his father (Holmes Osborne), his mother (Mary McDonnell), his older sister (Maggie Gyllenhaal, irony) and his younger sister (Daveigh Chase). Donnie is for the most part a normal guy. Except for the fact that he has a tendency to sleepwalk quite a long distance from his house. But one night when a jet engine suddenly bursts through his room (while he’s out because of sleepwalking) he then starts having visions of this large, creepy rabbit named Frank (James Duval). Frank makes Donnie lose touch with reality and commit crimes. Thing is…only Donnie can see him and he doesn’t know where he comes from. And that is where I stop because otherwise I will get into spoilers. This story is like I previously said…a mindfuck. It is complex, weird and…yeah, weird. That is really all that can be said. It is not your typical run-of-the-mill mindfuck. This is one that stands out in the crowd like a large, creepy rabbit at a carneval. This movie makes “Fight Club” look normal! Yeah, achieving that is pretty big in itself. But still, I really liked the complex story…worth thinking about.

The characters…ah yes. No one is normal really in this movie (Except maybe Donnie’s science teacher, played by Noah Wyle). Which makes them really interesting to watch. One thing that also makes them interesting to watch is that they are played by actors who know what the hell they’re doing. I especially felt invested in the character of Donnie, not only was his character very well-written, but Jake Gyllenhaal does one hell of a job playing him…he was excellent. But in general…every character was interesting in one way or another. But Frank creeps me out…a whole lot.

The music…creepy. That is all you need to know. Okay, that wasn’t really fair to you, but I don’t know what to say. It is creepy and cold…kind of like the overall tone of the movie. It fits perfectly for the overall creepiness of the entire movie. And the end theme…the song they play during the final scene…I love that song. I had heard it prior to seeing the movie…but hearing it in the movie made me so happy. Not gonna spoil the scene itself…just saying…search “Gary Jules – Mad World”…you’ll see why I love it and think it’s so beautiful.

The camera work in the movie is excellent. It looks incredibly good and always makes a scene interesting. Richard Kelly did a great job with it. Also…what kind of sick motherfucker would come up with the design of Frank…it is terrifying…STOP!

Now for the reception “Donnie Darko” got. It was overall good reception. It first debuted on the Sundance Film Festival and got a lot of praise there. Then it came to regular cinemas and got even more praise there. Rotten Tomatoes has a “Fresh” cerftification and an 85% positive rating for it. Metacritic has 71/100 as their score for it. Fun thing: Roger Ebert gave it 2,5/4 stars in his original review  but raised it to 3/4 stars on his review of the director’s cut version 3 years later. And imdb.com has the score of 8,1/10 for it and has it ranked #193 on the Top 250 list.

My opinions on a few aspects of the movie are given. It is clever, complex and creepy (The 3 C’s). My final score is a 9,56/10 and a recommendation to buy in combination with the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
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I thoroughly enjoyed “Donnie Darko” and highly recommend it.

Review of “Donnie Darko” is completed.

Still can’t believe I found a movie that makes “Fight Club” look normal.