Being Human (U.S.): Season 1 (2011)

3

being human season 1 cover

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

What I liked:

  • Sally, Josh, and Aidan becoming so tight, especially after the guys initially tried to send Sally away.
  • Tony helping Sally to be a more interesting ghost. This was quite amusing for me.

being human season 1 sally and tony

  • Josh and Aidan’s struggle to be normal can be quite amusing at the best of times. Things work, and then they don’t, and then there are, of course, these insane complications. Makes for an interesting watch.
  • Josh and Nora and their super quirky, strange relationship – it’s hilarious, and they really click quite well.

being human season 1 nora and josh

  • Josh’s facial expressions are pure gold.
  • The intricate relationship between Bishop and Aidan. You get glimpses of it throughout the season, and while you don’t get far too much depth from it, you get enough to know it’s actually quite good.
  • This dinner scene, that went from amusing to hilarious (convince the family Josh is not a werewolf, let the vampire consume garlic, and wham, there we have it):

beign human season 1 dinnerbeing human season 1dinner silly werewolf being human season 1 dinner garlic being human season 1 dinner screw up

  • Josh reconnecting with his family was also a good thing – the show didn’t drag it out for forever and six days, when it would have lost its impact.
  • Sally’s death reveal – sheesh, that was some crazy stuff, but I think it was handled really well.

What I didn’t like:

  • Rebecca. This character just grated on me. So many of my complaints about this season come purely from her, and her antics.
  • Ray, and how  he tried so hard to split Josh and Aidan apart when they are such besties.
  • The camera work is a little sketchy at the best of times.
  • Sally really can make everything about herself.
  • Rebecca and Aidan being painted as this epic love story confused me. They were not that tight before she passed, they were not that tight after she was turned, but we are supposed to buy into them being each others everything? CONFUSED.

being human season 1 house wants to eat us

Rating:

The first time my husband and I watched this show (although the rewatches have just been me), we put it on as a filler something to play on the TV while we munched some junk food and chilled. What happened, however, was us burning through five episodes and getting to bed late (it was a weeknight) because we got hooked. I had it for a while but the premise just sounds absurd: “A vampire, a ghost, and a werewolf live together in an apartment and try to be normal”. It sounded so silly, and yet, when you watch it, it just works.

The show is so stupidly entertaining, but I can’t get enough of it, flaws and all. I think it is a crying shame that it was cancelled what with only four seasons. I know that this is based on a U.K. show of the same title, but that I have never watched. After this, I don’t know if I can ever watch it. This is actually quite a solid introductory season, and it has a smaller budget, sure, you can see this, but it never really detracts from the entertainment. I quite enjoy the characters, or I do, for the most part.

Sally, while she can be annoying and supremely self-centred, is also very sweet and exceptionally loyal. Then there is Josh, who is constantly overthinking things, but he is smart and quirky. Aidan brings up the last leg of this trio, and is the character I enjoy the most, because he is (so far) the most layered of the lot, but I suppose it is easier to create a more complicated character if they have been around for a few hundred years. Aidan is constantly sorting everything out for Josh and Sally where he can, being the loyal friend, pushing them to do more, to be more, always being supportive, but is also the one that gets the most flak if something goes wrong, which I really don’t think is fair. He is judged the harshest all the time, and expected to be perfect, when he is just a flawed individual.

being human season 1

Anyway, the show also has its share of superbly irritating characters – Rebecca and Marcus definitely top my list here. For one, Marcus was jealous and competitive and whiny, not to mention he did’t have a backbone. Then there was Rebecca. She was just some chick Aidan went out with one night, banged, and killed. Yes, that is bad, but then the show paints it like some epic love story when she comes back to life (thanks to Bishop) and all. I just didn’t get it. I could have bought into it if they just left it as a purely sexual thing, but they tried to force emotion into it the whole time and that was just awkward. Not to mention, she does super questionable things. The worst was when she turned Bernie, which crushed Aidan, who was forced to kill Bernie, and then Rebecca was all torn up like she had lost everything when she knew this kid all of one day? I don’t get it man!

The effects are a little dodgy, sometimes the pacing is a little off, but Being Human is packed with awkward humour, is tons of fun to follow, and has three great leads that carry this show really well, making it one heck of an entertaining watch, something I definitely didn’t initially believe it had any right to be.

being human season 1 paper

Review: Pitch Perfect (2012)

2

“John, a change of pace could not come soon enough here for the Barden Bellas. This is not a great way to start their season.”
– Gail

SYNOPSIS: Beca, a freshman at Barden University, is cajoled into joining The Bellas, her school’s all-girls singing group. Injecting some much needed energy into their repertoire, The Bellas take on their male rivals in a campus competition. – via IMDB

I was roped into watching this years ago and I wasn’t overly impressed with it, but since there are three of these things now and I was out of things to watch and I wanted something that required zero commitment from my side, I decided to give these a shot and see why people love them. Honestly, I still can’t see it.

Granted, I’ll give Fat Amy her due because stopping those twig bitches in their tracks was pretty sharp. Now, aside from that, all I could picture while watching this was Anna Camp as Sarah Newlin, telling Jason Jesus was alright with them boning. That is all that woman is ever going to be to me. The rest of the cast is alright in a totally bland and generic way, except Rebel Wilson who, of course, puts herself right out there – not necessarily with good lines or great jokes, but she just gets so into it you can sort of deal with having her around. Not all of the music in this movie was created equal, and some of it was really not that good. A lot of it was tired.

The humour wasn’t always to my taste, I found it just a bit icky, too, what with body and toilet humour, but I guess you can’t really expect more. There were also too many racist and sexist jokes thrown in here. I was totally let down by the lack of eye candy – for reals, the movie is just okay, but I didn’t even have something to look at and make it halfway okay. The story is completely generic and super bland, bringing nothing new to the table. It is ridiculously cheesy (and not the cool type) and incredibly predictable. Also, then there is Adam DeVine, and I don’t get why people like him. I find him to be annoying as hell.

Anyway, when all is said and done, Pitch Perfect isn’t really my scene and wasn’t that great. Oh well, I tried, and it totally ticked the boxes for me for a brainless, easy watch.

Review: Shazam (2019)

8

“Billy Batson, I choose you as champion.”
– The Wizard

SYNOPSIS: We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s case, by shouting out one word – SHAZAM. – this streetwise fourteen-year-old foster kid can turn into the grown-up superhero Shazam. – via IMDB

I caught this on opening weekend and have just been faffing around about publishing. This wasn’t really on my radar until Zachary Levi was cast in it, and then I was sold. I mean really? Chuck Bartowski? Beyond sold! Then it was forgotten until a few months ago and I saw the trailer, and it looked like plenty of fun. When it was released, it was legitimately the first movie in months I was willing to go to the cinema to see. Glad I did.

Shazam certainly is a lot of fun, and I enjoyed it. It is not the greatest movie of all time, but it is an easy watch. Zachary Levi and Jack Dylan Grazer have fantastic chemistry, and you can certainly tell that Levi is having a total ball. Asher Angel, too, is quite sweet as the young Billy Batson. I really liked how Victor and Rosa try to make a difference in these kids’ lives, and they seem to be such genuine, sweet people.

The third act of the movie is just a little bit too cheesy for my taste. It got a little bit too much and was a bit cringy, but not so much that it spoils the movie. I also feel that Mark Strong’s villain was very flat and generic and not really developed as much as he could have been. Also, some of the humour was most certainly geared at kids, but that isn’t really a problem because I think this is a great movie for kids.

Anyway, while Shazam has some issues, it is still amusing, and was certainly worth a watch.

Review: 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

10

 

“I don’t like to do what people expect.Why should I live up to other people’s expectations instead of my own?”
– Kat Stratford

SYNOPSIS: A pretty, popular teenager can’t go out on a date until her ill-tempered older sister does. – via IMDB

This is such a classic in my opinion. I have seen it plenty of times and I still love it. There is so much about it that just screams the nineties but it pulls it off. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen this movie, and it is still a blast from start to finish. It has held up really well after all these years.

Everyone does a great job with their characters. Julia Stiles is a fantastic, bitter girl, Heath Ledger is fantastic as the outcast bad boy, Larisa Oleynik is a suitably spoiled brat, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is that sweet boy-next-door type. There are so many characters to talk about here so I will not really get into them all. It’s a sweet, fun story with plenty of humour in it. No matter how many times I have seen this, there are still things I laugh at. 10 Things I Hate About You is also super quotable, and will stay with you long after you have moved on.

The humour is great and the story keeps you hooked throughout. There are so many little things that come together in this to make it worth the watch, and I loved to see how certain characters interacted with others. The soundtrack also totally works with the movie. I thought the rumour mill surrounding Patrick was absolutely amazing, too. While this is not the most original and unpredictable movie ever, it is done so well and the cast work so well together that it still has a fresh feeling to it. Also, I absolutely love the chemistry between Stiles and Ledger.

So much has been said about this fantastic movie over the years, and there is not really much that I can contribute to the discussion. I will just say that 10 Things I Hate About You is quirky and sweet and has heart and gets me every time. It manages the fine balance between sweet but not sappy, and I appreciate that. It is the kind of movie that guys and girls alike can enjoy. The movie is bags of fun every time and I highly recommend it, and not just because of the nostalgia!

Also, could we just take a moment to admire Heath Ledger in this??

September Blind Spot Review: Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

2

“The only way to find out what story you’re in is to determine what stories you’re not in.”
– Professor Jules Hilbert

SYNOPSIS: An I.R.S. auditor suddenly finds himself the subject of narration only he can hear: narration that begins to affect his entire life, from his work, to his love-interest, to his death. – via IMDB

I have always heard that Stranger Than Fiction is a solid movie and that Ferrell is excellent in it (this reason is always cited when I say I am not a huge Ferrell fan) and I have always said I will get to it at some stage and then I never do, which is how it ended up on y 2018 Blind Spot list. I needed to cross it off my list.

Right off, I didn’t know what to expect from this movie when I started it. Was it going to be one of Ferrell’s ridiculous movies, would it be different, what was going to come from it? Well, let me tell you, Ferrell rocked this one. Completely. It was a more contained performance than I am used to seeing from him, and the humour landed for me from him now more than ever. I feel he is sometimes just too OTT and not my cup of tea. I think the cast all worked well together in this to deliver a pretty good comedy drama, and I enjoyed it.

The pacing was good, and I was sold on seeing what, exactly, Harold’s life was all about, because it was super bland, doing the same thing day in and day out. Emma Thompson as writer and narrator fit the role perfectly, and it was entertaining to watch her whenever she was on screen. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s insistence on being a kind anarchist is sweet, too, and Ferrell’s lonely Harold is quite sad. Dustin Hoffman, too, as the weird and quirky writing expert is quite fun, and just to see how all the characters interact and pull together to change the initially drab story is a satisfying experience.

The humour is rather sharp and low key in this, not forceful or over the top or anything like that, and it just worked completely for the story being told. I liked how the story paced itself, never too slow to be boring, never too fast to be confusing. I found myself delighted with Stranger Than Fiction coming to life, as a reader and a moviegoer, there was plenty that worked so well.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Stranger Than Fiction, and I might very well check it out again someday. Ferrell did not irritate, and it had enough quirk to keep it fun and sweet but not grating or excessively cheesy and with a cast that worked well together, and I can highly recommend it.

August Blind Spot Review: This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

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“We’re very lucky in the band in that we have two visionaries, David and Nigel, they’re like poets, like Shelley and Byron. They’re two distinct types of visionaries, it’s like fire and ice, basically. I feel my role in the band is to be somewhere in the middle of that, kind of like lukewarm water.”
– Derek Smalls

SYNOPSIS: Spinal Tap, one of England’s loudest bands, is chronicled by film director Marty DiBergi on what proves to be a fateful tour. – via IMDB

Yes, I know I am so far behind on this Blind Spot challenge and that is just awful. I know, but time has run off away from me lately and I owe all my fair bloggers an apology for a) not being consistent and b) not dropping by. I blame a large part of that on this godforsaken laptop. It gives me the heebie jeebies just to take it out and beg it to work. Ugh. I am going to do my best to rectify that sticky situation of being so inconsistent. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get back to the review, even though it is extremely late to the party.

We all know that I adored What We Do In The Shadows, so I was interested to hear that this was a mockumentary. This Is Spinal Tap is iconic and has been quoted everywhere, but I had no real concept of what it was, and when I started watching it, I knew that it was going to be entertaining. I love old school metal/rock. I mean we have The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Motörhead, AC/DC (and this is just if you are naming the really popular ones) that dominated the era, and this mockumentary rolls with it, and does so well. Form the outfits to the performances, This Is Spinal Tap taps into it all (har har har).

The music is truly fantastic and truly captures the times, though the lyrical content surely leaves a lot to be desired. The movie is fun and hilarious, because so many of the stupid things that happen to the band are not that completely out there. At all. Then then there are the characters peppered throughout the film. Some you will like (such as Derek Smalls), and some will just irritate you for numerous reasons (I’m looking at you, Jeanine, even though I know you were deliberately written like that). There is also a ton of quotable content here, which has been demonstrated throughout the decades.

This Is Spinal Tap is filled with plenty awkward moments and some ridiculous but entertaining dialogue, and it is plain down fun. It is very aware of what it is, and plays up to all the crazy that it can. The movie has a ton of fans and I get it. I had a few good laughs, and think it came together really well. And as a mockumentary, Reiner did fantastic work. If you aren’t totally aware that it is a piece of fiction, you can understand why a lot of people were taken in thinking they were watching a real documentary. Well worth a watch.

Sporadic Scene: The Fate of the Furious (2017) – Haka

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Goodness, this scene! When it opened with Dwayne Johnson giving the lecture, I was like “oh, I am sure this is just gonna be some scene with some kids for the lols”,  but man, it was so much more than just that. Manis and pedis for everyone after, sure, but man, this scene is fantastic all round. Dwayne Johnson leads a girls soccer team in the haka and it is truly both hilarious to boot and at the same time rather inspiring, as you can see it means a lot to him and the girls take it seriously. It is more than just a choreographed skit, especially when you see how much respect was actually afforded the scene, that the haka was blessed by the elders, everything. That’s just great, in my mind.

Sporadic Scene: Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015) – Hit Me Baby One More Time

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Man, this sure was a movie that knew what it was about and how to embrace it. There was tons of silly stuff going on and giggles to be had, but a standout scene from this is hands down the Britney Spears/zombie sing out that happened. Oh man, really now. It seriously cracked me up as everything about the scene is insanely ridiculous, and yet it feels right at home in this movie.

May Blind Spot Review: Big (1988)

9

“So you got a job, where you play with all these toys?”
– Billy

SYNOPSIS: After wishing to be made big, a teenage boy wakes the next morning to find himself mysteriously in the body of an adult. – via IMDB

You know what… this one was going so well until it wasn’t. And when it wasn’t going well, my stomach was churning. Maybe let me back up and get this going properly so we are all on the same page.

In the beginning, I was having a good time. The movie was sweet and silly and so totally eighties, and Tom Ha

nks was totally just owning it. Preposterous movie, but cute. But then it went icky – quickly. Despite the fact that this 12 year old is now in an adult body, it does not make him an adult, so for the writers to have to engage in a sexual relationship with a coworker was just too much for me. I just went ICK and the movie never recovered from that.

Besides that whole section of nasty, the second half did suffer from being too adult-y and all that. Yeah, I get why, and yeah, I get the message and all that, and it is necessary for the story arc to start somewhere, progress, and then complete, but after Josh started kicking it with Susan, everything fell apart. I got the whole concept of how much life changes when you have to grow up, how the simplicity is lost, I didn’t mind the message, but I was having severe difficulties with the relationship component – even with his body, he is still a child, and my skin crawled.

In the first half there were a lot of fun things – it was funny to see a child find himself in an adult body and try to pick up a life and make things work, all the while having a total ball with all that cash and freedom. Tom Hanks is also excellent here, to be sure, and I thought he handled the role really well. He came across and genuine and adorable.

Anyway, I can’t really say Big was much of a winner. It started out alright and then it just went super dodgy, and it ruined the experience for me. I will certainly not be rushing out to watch this again. Once was enough.

Review: Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003)

4

“I’m here to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.”
– Elle Woods

SYNOPSIS: Elle Woods heads to Washington D.C. to join the staff of a congresswoman in order to pass a bill to ban animal testing. – via IMDB

Really?! Really?! WHY?! That’s all I really have to say on this matter. Legally Blonde 2 is everything you expect from Hollywood and their bout of sequelitis (thanks again, Tom). This is such an unnecessary movie, one that goes out of its way to reuse to much that made the first one good, and instead of it carrying the same charm with it, it just falls flat. Luckily it is not as offensive as The Princess Diaries 2, because that was such an abomination.

I particularly resented the whole animal cruelty, save Bruiser’s mom thing. Yes, I know how cold that sounds, but it was such a stupid, shallow plot to base this whole movie on. Yes, the first is fluffy, but Elle going to Harvard, learning to be herself and doing well for herself, was one thing. This? I just don’t even know what this was even remotely about, except annoying. There were things I liked, like seeing silly Elle again, Paulette being that inapproprialtely weird friend, and her courier still being around. Also, Bruiser’s outfits still reigned supreme. Aside from that, I hated the shallow rehashing of things, the silly “coincidences”, the ridiculously unbelievable way that the characters interacted, and have I mentioned the excessively stupid main story of the animal right’s bill just to get Bruiser’s mother invited to Elle’s wedding?! I am not even joking. What a useless plot device.

This movie was definitely quite a painful watch. It had moments where it tried to break through and be its predecessor, to bring the goods to the table, and there were times it succeeded. Mostly, however, it was just messy and overly ridiculous. Overall, Legally Blonde 2 is a pretty meh experience that has some heart at times, but is totally annoying at other times. Typically unnecessary sequel that we could have done without.