Marter's Reviews

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by MilkyFresh on Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:19 am

I fucking love somebody.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Dead Herald on Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:21 am

MilkyFresh wrote:I fucking love somebody.

Nope.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Hubilub on Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:48 pm

Marter wrote:
Furburt wrote:Dammit, films these days are getting so indistinguishable.
I don't know what you're talking about.

Are you being a naughty person and banning people?

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:50 pm

Me? No. You? Seems like it.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Xandy on Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:54 pm

Hub just banned, like, three people.

And he made it so I see the site in Japanese.

And took away my editing powers.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:54 pm

And tried to pin it on me.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:44 am

Greenberg
Greenberg is a classic example of a very "indie" feeling comedy. The cast, apart from Ben Stiller in the lead role, isn't well-known, the majority of the humor is perpetuated from awkward situations and conversations between its characters, and there aren't many locations to go to. It feels very much like an indie film, and for better or worse, that's exactly what it is.

What this means for its audience is that some will find it funny, creative and enjoyable, while others will absolutely despise it and call it a boring piece of art that is aimed primarily at "art house snobs" and critics. There's some merit behind the latter statement, because this type of comedy isn't aimed at the general populace, even if it likely could be enjoyed by most. There's a specific niche that Greenberg wants to fill, and for me, it does that job wonderfully.

The story has a possibly depressed and alcoholic Roger Greenberg (Stiller) coming to L.A. to house-sit for his brother. Given his current mental state, he's not exactly the most apt person for the job, but his brother figures that he can look after a house and a dog for 6 weeks. Was this really a good choice?

Here is where we diverge from a typical Hollywood story, and transition into independent film territory. If this was a mid-budget Hollywood film, he would likely stay at his house the entire time, with things going wrong inside of it. People would come over and cause mayhem, and there would likely be some Home Alone style robbers appearing at one point or another.

In Greenberg, Stiller's character goes out often, not actually staying at the house all that often. Instead, he leaves in order to interact with other characters. There are two in particular that he hangs around with, but for very clear, very different reasons. One of them is his old friend Ivan (Rhys Ifans), who he wishes to reconnect with. The other is a girl named Florence (Greta Gerwig), and she plays his love interest.

Like I said earlier, the main comedic moments of the film come from the different interactions--often being incredibly awkward--between the characters involved. Ivan and Florence plays characters that bring out both the best and worst in Roger, as well as allow him to be himself, his true self. When he acts like he feels, things become really awkward, and elicit a large amount of laughter from me.

This is where the arguments that the film was made for art house snobs and critics comes in. The way a film is marketed will often determine how successful a film is. If the film looks like a typical Hollywood comedy, then people will go in expecting that kind of humor. They will then leave disappointed. Greenberg, on the other hand, wasn't marketed this way at all. Ben Stiller's name being attached to it might have hindered its niche appeal, but primarily, people should know what they're getting into with this film. It's targeted at the types of people who don't like typical Hollywood comedies, and shouldn't be shunned or rejected for doing so.

What Greenberg does better than anything else is build its character up to be human. You're not necessarily supposed to like Robert or Florence, especially the former of the two, but they're both very human characters. Males around the age of 40 will especially be able to relate to Robert, who's more or less going through a mid-life crisis. Ivan is likable, although he's had his fair share of problems in the past--issues that Robert still has to deal with.

Performances are on the whole pretty solid, with Stiller and Ifans being the best of the bunch. Both performances have depth, and make us care more about the characters. Stiller's character is a tragically flawed one, and when the film reaches its climax, his problems and possible solutions to those problems all come to a head. And we care, because of his performance. Both actors also fit perfectly into the film, and despite not being a big fan of Stiller myself, I can see that he's a good enough actor if given good material to work with.

Said good material is the script, which comes courtesy of director Noah Baumbach and one of the actors playing a small role in the film, Jennifer Jason Leigh. Their script feels real, focuses on characterization, and ends up being really funny. While there aren't many laugh-out-loud moments, if you appreciate the humor, you'll end up giggling to yourself throughout the duration of the film, and to me, that's almost better. A constant smile is better than a slightly stronger one that emerges half as often, in my opinion.

Greenberg is the picture-perfect definition of an independent comedy film. If you don't tend to like them, then stay far away from it, because you won't enjoy yourself. If you do happen to find them funny, then by all means, watch Greenberg, because you will laugh at all of the awkward situations that characters find themselves in, as well as the awkward dialogue exchanges between these characters. Some of it is heartbreaking, but almost all of the film is humorous. Stay away mainstream Hollywood comedy fans though, as this movie isn't for you.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by reg42 on Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:56 pm

I think we should rename this board to "Marter and Friends"

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:03 pm

There are plans to change how this board functions, which Furburt mentioned earlier in this thread.

I don't know if they're going to end up happening, because just having one thread seems like a waste of an entire board, but whatever.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by reg42 on Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:11 pm

Well I'm guessing this board would close and the review thread would end up in the Arts board.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:23 am

The Children
If you are the kind of person that needs almost everything in a film to have an explanation, then you will not like The Children. You will also not like it if you cannot stand children doing bad things, and being "punished" for doing said terrible things; the punishment I'm referring to is death, if you were confused.

The basic premise of The Children is actually fairly simple. It's New Year's, and family is visiting family. There are four adults, four young children and one teenager. Part-way through the film, the children come down with a mysterious virus that turns them intelligent, cunning and murderous. They essentially become killers, beginning with small "accidents" that only injure, and eventually becoming typical slasher film villains, going around with knives in hopes to kill the older characters.

I said that the virus turned the children smart, but it may just be that the adults are so brain-dead that, by comparison, any amount of intelligence exhibited by the younger crowd makes the kids seem like geniuses by comparison. If I have one main problem with The Children, it's how the main cast doesn't act in any way reasonable or relatable. They're bigger zombies than the actual kids, showing no glimpse of brilliance or intelligence, and instead acting like they're five themselves, reacting purely on emotion to guide their decisions.

I mean, yes, I can understand not wanting to murder your own children. That makes sense to me. What doesn't make sense to me is how the characters turn on one another, overlook simple clues, and ultimately blame the teenager, Casey (Hannah Tointon), for the deaths. Moody teens are prime suspects for adult rage, right?

However, while they are "dumber than a sack of nails", at least they do have emotion, and you almost begin to care about them. Casey is the most relatable character there, but the rest of the grown-ups have their quirks that can make you grow attached to them. They emote, and when things start growing wrong, you want to see them live, as well as take care of any imminent threat--the maniac kids.

And here is where the morality discussions can begin. Is it right to kill children? Is it right to kill your own children? These talks could go on forever in regards to this film. Yes, children do die. They have to. If they didn't, the film would seem too supernatural, while also becoming just another slasher flick, except with more than one scary monster out there performing the murders.

The take I have on it is this: If there is someone out there, no matter the size or age, that is coming at you with a knife, you have the right to defend yourself. Some of the characters within the film agree with me on this, others do not. Guess which ones get to live at the end of the movie.

This is something else that I'd like to touch on in regards to The Children, the film's ending and its future. It is perfect. It leaves the viewer wondering what exactly is happening, and leaves right at the perfect moment. Now, if there ends up being a "Children 2", or any other similarly named sequel, I will be disappointed. Yes, sometimes it's nice to get everything explained to you, but in this case, you don't need that.

The ambiguous nature of The Children is almost the only place where any true horror comes from. Take that away, and it almost would degenerate into a typical slasher film. Not knowing exactly why the kids have decided to go on a murderous rampage is scary, especially given how cunning they end up being. Take that away from them, and no matter what the explanation given, it won't be as fascinating. The edge-of-your-seat feeling that you get while watching a film like this will be lost, because you can just say, "oh, yeah, I know why this is happening. Boring!"

The actual murders in The Children aren't actually that graphic, but nonetheless make you want to look away from the screen. And that's something you'll likely do--close your eyes or turn away--because you'll feel disturbed by some of the things shown. Or presented. Or faked. See, there is often a cutaway right before something disturbing happens, and then we get to see the aftermath. You don't actually see as much as your mind wants to think, something that director Tom Shankland uses wonderfully.

On paper, The Children seems like a great horror film. It starts out slow, lets tension build, and then unleashes a terror amongst the characters we've grown to like. That's essentially what happens, and I'm thankful. There are slight deviations from the usual slasher formula, but the lead characters, except for Casey, are moronic, especially in comparison to the kids haunting them. Some moral questions are brought up, but are somewhat ignored by the actual film. I'll say one thing though, there better not be a sequel for this film, as it doesn't need one.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:01 am

Frozen
About an hour into Frozen, the film lost me. It only lost me for about 15 minutes, but it was enough to make me question why I was still watching it. For a horror/thriller film, this is almost unacceptable. What happens in this part is very simple: People talk about their past on a ski lift. That's it, and it doesn't have much else to do with the rest of the film.

It also seems odd, because we already know these characters. They were established right from the start, as they need to be in a film like this, and this fact renders the 15 minutes I'm talking about pointless. If you decide to watch Frozen, take this as a tip, and have a break during this scene. It serves no importance, symbolic or otherwise, and I would hazard a guess that it was included just to bring the film's runtime up to "standard".

I'll offer one more word of advice so that you can get the most enjoyment possible out of the film: Suspend your disbelief. If you over analyze this movie, you will find a lot of plot points that don't make complete sense, stupid character decisions, and overall a feeling that none of this movie actually could take place. It's a horror movie, you can't expect it to all fit properly, but in this case, it's really noticeable just how far from reality this picture is.

The basic idea of Frozen is that 3 people, (2 snowboarders and 1 skier), go on a ski lift late at night. They've bribed the lift operator, and he lets them on. He eventually gets relieved of his duty by someone else, someone who is unaware of their escapade. He ends up shutting down the lifts. They're still on it. It's Sunday, and the ski hill is only open on weekends. They are trapped for the next 5 days, with nobody coming to rescue them. The next move is theirs.

The film opens up with anything but horror. The three people talk fine, and they have a successful day skiing. It's only when they go back, probably about 25 minutes into the film, when things start to get interesting. Really though, I wouldn't have it any other way, Since we get this character building off the bat, it means that we care about them when things start to go south. Or at least, the film attempts to make us care, which is more than a lot of horror films can say.

What works best about Frozen is the psychological horror that it brings to the table. You are able to put yourself into the shoes of the characters and think, "what would I do", all throughout the film. If you've ever gone on a ski lift, and it stops, there's always that little nibbling thought in the back of your mind that makes you wonder how you would possibly get down from the lift. The actions the characters take may be ones that you think of, and when they fail or succeed, it makes you reconsider what you would try in order to escape the inevitable threat of freezing to death.

The suspension of disbelief comes primarily from two factors. For one, ski lifts have two operators, not just one, so that things like this won't happen. Secondly, none of the characters bring a cell phone with them. This is explained, but it still doesn't make much sense, especially when one of the characters even brings cigarettes with her. That's right, apparently cigarettes are more important than a cell phone. See, suspension of disbelief is required in order to properly enjoy it.

If you do choose to overlook its flaws, then you should have a good time watching Frozen. It almost plays out more like a drama than anything else, but there are some truly thrilling and terrifying moments that will make you cringe in disgust. When the film premiered at Sundance, some people in the audience fainted during a couple of the scenes. Yes, it is fairly intense, so be wary of that if you have a light stomach.

Some of the restraints from a lower budget production to show through, mostly in the make-up job done during some of the scenes. They are inconsistent, to say the least, and it becomes fairly noticeable even if you aren't paying close attention. And even though the film was actually shot on location, it doesn't always feel that way. This might be due to some of the camera angles attempting to show how isolated the characters feel, by filming them against the black night sky, but it just felt cheap to me.

The cast is largely a bunch of somewhat unknown actors, only one of which actually does a good job. Shawn Ashmore is one of the three people stuck on the lift, and he plays the wise-cracking best friend. He fits his role perfectly, and is the only character I really cared about. The other two actors, Emma Bell and Kevin Zegers, were less interesting, less involved, and didn't warrant much sympathy from me. Bell whines the whole time, and Zegers is too reserved to make me care. In fact, when his character does something monumentally stupid, I found myself cheering rather than being horrified.

I feel bad having to give out so many tips on how the best way to watch Frozen, and that likely means it isn't a great film, but overall, it was a solid watch. I didn't mind watching most of it, only that one segment in the middle. The majority, if you don't look to far into it, is tense, sometimes crossing into the path of horrifying. It's more psychological than anything else, and allows you to question what you'd do in the characters' situation. It's mostly fun, but also forgettable, with only a couple of scenes actually staying with you afterwards.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Wayward on Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:44 am

Since reading your review of Frozen, I have attempted to smoke my cellphone with unsuccessful results.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:46 am

Wayward wrote:Since reading your review of Frozen, I have attempted to smoke my cellphone with unsuccessful results.

Disheartening, but that's just part of science.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Wayward on Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:57 am

Furburt wrote:
Wayward wrote:Since reading your review of Frozen, I have attempted to smoke my cellphone with unsuccessful results.

Disheartening, but that's just part of science.
If at first you don't succeed, give up and watch cartoons.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:50 am

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
In most cases, if a movie adaptation of a video game is to work, it ends up forging a new story for itself, instead of copying the one already laid out in the video game. The Resident Evil series is a prime example of this, including a protagonist that didn't even exist within the game franchise. In Prince of Persia, the characters are similar, the Dagger of Time still exists, but the story is completely separate from the games.

Like I said to open off, when a different story is used, that's when a video game adaptation has the greatest chance of success. Not trying to copy something that fans are already greatly familiar with means that when it appears on the big screen, direct correlations and comparisons do not arise, at least, not right away. Instead, fans of the series are treated to something fresh, while non-fans are given something that might entice them to want to try out the games, without feeling like they are reliving a story they've now witnessed on the big screen.

This is pretty much exactly what Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time does. It takes already familiar elements of the games, and puts them into a separate story, one that hopes to keep things fresh, while being entertaining for fans of the series. This is basically what it is, translating the fun, acrobatic gameplay of the game and turning it into a fun, acrobatic action flick.

Which isn't to say that there is any depth in the film, because there isn't. Characters don't develop or feel like real people while the story is bare-bones, with any plot twists being easily visible for miles. For an action film, whose basis also had few plot points, this is actually okay in my eyes. Sure, it means that people who need depth to mindless entertainment will be disappointed, but doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose of "mindless entertainment"?

That is what Prince of Persia is, mindless. I mean that in the best possible way I can, but yes, it is still a problem. The film doesn't need to have a lot of depth to be fun and accomplish its goals. Unfortunately, it doesn't transcend its genre in any way, existing for the sole purpose of entertaining the audience for a couple of hours, and then leaving the audience's minds, never to be thought of again.

This is especially true because of the way the film ends. It's incredibly hard to mention it without spoiling how it ends, but it was really disappointing. In fact, mentioning that I don't like the ending before even mentioning the plot seems kind of fitting, now that I think about it. Take that as you will.

The main plot involves Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal), a prince who was adopted by the king, being framed for the murder of his adoptive father. His uncle (Ben Kingsley) and brother are on the hunt for him, and he has escaped capture with Princess Tamina by his side. They are untrusting of one another, causing some sort of tension between them through most of the film. At one point, they meet up with Sheikh Amar (Alfred Molina), who plays more of a comedic relief role than anything. He doesn't like taxes, to say the least. (Just roll with it, you don't have much choice).

And, well, there is about one major plot twist within the film. That's about it, and you'll likely see it way before it is revealed to you. Essentially, the plot serves as a reason for us to see Prince Dastan jump from rooftop to rooftop, swing across conveniently placed wooden ledges, climb buildings and fight with swords. It's reasons like this one, where the plot is a backdrop to a bunch of action scenes, which is why I don't think depth really matters when it comes to a film like this. It's an action film through and through, and people will want to watch it for its action scenes, not for its great character development or plot.

The action scenes are fairly fun to watch. There were some entertaining parkour sequences, some exciting sword fights, and...actually, that's about all. Those two things occupy pretty much all the time of the action scenes, save for the opening "storm the castle" part, which actually ends up being the highlight of the film.

I have two issues with the action sequences in Prince of Persia. The first is a problem with the film as a whole, in that its pacing is somewhat out of whack. If feels too long, with a large, slow part near the middle that could have been shortened. The second problem is with the use of slow-motion. Sometimes, this does make things look impressive, but there were some slow-motion shots where there wasn't much point to it. There were times when there wasn't even any action going on, but slow-motion was applied anyway.

Look, you don't go into a film like Prince of Persia and expect great depth. That's just not how it is, and if that's what you do, you need to realize that a film like this isn't going to bring you that. Instead, you get fun action sequences held together by a barely relevant plot, with characters that have no real personality other than to accomplish their main task. That's fine, but adjust expectations accordingly when considering watching this film. It's entertaining, but not much else. Once it's over, you'll forget it even exists.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:22 am

Ellie Parker
There was a time in Ellie Parker when I had to stop taking it and its characters seriously. The lead character, Ellie (Naomi Watts) and her best friend, Sam (Rebecca Rigg) are talking to one another in a car. They decide to have a competition to see who can force themselves to cry the fastest. They will use different acting techniques; Ellie will draw from past experiences, Sam will make up a memory and draw from that.

The reason that I stopped being able to take it seriously is simple. I was able to force myself to cry faster than either character could. Now, both characters are struggling actresses in Hollywood, so I can believe kind of believe that they aren't exceptional, but if they took longer than I could to fake-cry, then they lose all credibility with me. Maybe that's not fair, but to be frank, I don't care about being fair with a film like this.

If you are not going into the acting business, or are not already in it, then you don't have much reason to see Ellie Parker. If you are, then go ahead and see it, because it will show you two things. Firstly, it will show you the trials and tribulations of trying to make it big in Hollywood. Secondly, it will show you the kind of film that you will likely begin acting in, assuming that the film doesn't dissuade you from attempting a career like Ellie's.

Now, I'll admit that the second point is a bit harsh, but to me, this would not be the kind of film you would want to star in. Perplexingly, this was a film that Watts chose to star in and co-produce, and this was after her "Hollywood break". I've been told that Ellie Parker is a semi-autobiographical film as well, and maybe it could only have been made once Watts had the ability to help finance it, as well as the ability to draw viewers just from her name.

I'll admit, this is what happened to me. I knew it was an independent film, and I knew it starred Naomi Watts as a struggling actress. That's just about all. I didn't know that it was going to feel like a series of only slightly connected events, I didn't know that it was going to have some of the poorest filming technique I can remember seeing, but I was aware that not knowing these things was necessarily a bad thing. going into a film with no expectations is often a good thing, because you can be surprised. In this case, I wasn't.

What was surprising was how much I ended up disliking Watts' character. I mean, I didn't like her right off the bat, when I was sure she was going to crash her car while changing outfits as she drives. She was an unsafe driver, and that's a poor first impression to give to the audience. She's not all that nice of a character either, as we find out later. Even though she goes through heartbreak and sorrow, I couldn't bring myself to care.

Not helping was the way the film was shot. It was filmed on a camcorder over the course of five years. The person doing the filming was seemingly unaware of how to shoot properly, and made the film a burden to keep a focus on. There are some scenes that are filmed fine, but there are times when you are trying to follow what's happening, and it just becomes too much work. The quality of the images is poor, as is the camerawork.

That's not to say that absolutely everything about Ellie Parker is terrible. There are some scenes that were shot fine, and as a result, are just fine to watch. One scene in particular in which Ellie and her friend are sitting on a bed together, face masks on, talking about things of real depth--that scene was entertaining. It only lasted about a minute before it was interrupted by a guy knocking at the window, and the girls screaming profanities at him. Also fun was a joke that I swear was a direct shot at Keanu Reeves, (who also cameos in the film), and a scene with Chevy Chase.

Now, normally I'm the one championing for smaller, independent films to be seen by people, especially if they star actors who I'm a fan of. I'm a fan of Watts, but I can't say that Ellie Parker is worth your time, unless you need something else telling you that you will never have a successful career in Hollywood. If you really do need that, I can still think of a better way. Go to a downtown street, and stop every single person who passes you. Try acting for them, and see if they think you're any good. It'll be fun, trust me. At least, I'm sure it'll be more fun than watching Ellie Parker, and, who knows, maybe you'll get some encouraging feedback. You can only find out if you try, right? At least there will be a chance of positivity, unlike with this film.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:22 am

United States of Tara (Season 1)
I really want to get into the mind of writer Diablo Cody. I want to know if she actually views relationships and characters the way that she writes them, or if she writes them how she believes people should or shouldn't act. I can never tell if she's trying to write her characters to be relatable or completely over-the-top, because they tend to switch back and forth. Their human characters, to be sure, but their dialogue often comes off as them trying too hard to be relateable, which ends up having the reverse effect.

Many people do praise her writing; lots of the time this happens because it feels different from conventional script writing. It tries to be "hip", and I'll admit, it usually is. It just doesn't always seem realistic, if you know what I mean. She tries to create real people, but the way they speak with one another doesn't feel real. I think it's due to how disrespectful they treat each other, or maybe--actually, no, I'm sure that's why.

This is especially true in United States of Tara, where we focus on a family of four. There are two parents and two teenagers. They don't act like a family though, or at least, no family that I've ever witnessed. At every chance they get, they'll insult or poke fun of anyone else, without any real reprocussions given. It's like the children can do more or less whatever they want--say whatever they want--and their parents will just let them do it. Maybe punishment occurs when we aren't watching them, I'm can't say.

The basic draw of United States of Tara, besides Diablo Cody's script, is the premise. Tara Gregson (Toni Collette) has something called dissociative identity disorder (DID), which basically means that, without warning, she can "transition" into a completely different personality. She is unaware of what happens during these times, while the "alters", as they are called, do whatever they want with Tara's body.

At first, I was curious as to how this would work out; having many different characters all played by the same actor could be confusing. At least, that's what I believed. This isn't the case though, as the different personalities are all distinct enough to instantly recognize after seeing them more than once. The show begins with three, adding one more by the time the season comes to an end.

We begin with "T", a character that believes she is still 16 years old. As such, she acts more immature than Tara's actual daughter, Kate (Brie Larson). She's fun-loving, wreckless and an irresponsible parent. Good thing that Tara's husband Max (John Corbett) is always there to look after the kids. The second alter is called "Buck", a male. Somehow, Collette pulls off being a character that believes himself to be a Vietnam veteran. Finally, we have "Alice", a sterotypical 1950's housewife, seemingly straight out of a 50's TV show. They're all distinct and easy to keep track of, so don't worry. They're also all interesting, always making things entertaining when Tara transitions.

Also hanging around the house is Tara's sister Charmaine. She doesn't believe that Tara's illness is real, and instead thinks that it is brought on by herself. Her story arc is two-fold. Firstly, she is attempting to find her true love, and secondly, she is trying to fit in with the rest of the family. Kate, Tara's daughter, is a rebellious one, but also seems to be fairly intelligent. She goes from relationship to relationship, but is also getting tired of her home life. She gets a job early on, showing her independence and strong-will.

There's one other member of the family I'm forgetting, and that's Marshall (Keir Gilchrist), the youngest in the family. His basic story arc involves him trying to get a boy at his school to like him. It's the simplist story, and also the least entertaining. While it is something that many people can relate to, (maybe not the homosexual part, but the feeling of trying to woo a crush), it doesn't mean that it's told in a very unique way, or that it is engaging on any level.

We begin the series with Tara coming off her medications that used to keep the alters in check. She and Max decide that they should deal with the alters in hopes to make Tara better. They will accept whenever alters come around in hopes that they will give information regarding an incident that the couple believe started the DID to begin with. Funnily enough, Tara doesn't spend much time trying to figure out what did happen, while Max spends the majority of his free time digging for dirt regarding what happened to Tara many years ago.

Now, the entire show could fall apart if Toni Collette couldn't handle switching between the different characters she is asked to play. Thankfully, she can, and she does it wonderfully. Each character is uniquely written and uniquely performed, with her performances really helping flesh out each alter. The rest of the main cast is good as well, with the two teenagers proving that they can, in fact, act like teengers, while John Corbett stands in the background playing the quiet character that Tara and her alters get to play off.

Essentially, United States of Tara plays out far more like a drama than a comedy, but still has moments of genuine laughter. This is fine, because it means we get to focus on what it would be like to live in a household where one of the authorative figures can instantly become an entirely new person. By keeping the series dramatic, we feel the gravity of each transition, and stay captivated, waiting to see what happens during, and after, they occur.

The weakest element of the first season is the finale, which felt poor. The episodes leading up to it had real tension, always making me want to watch the next one. After the final episode was over, I was left with a feeling of discontent. While I still wanted more, it wasn't from any of the events of the episode, and instead was from the bond that you end up feeling with the characters. The resolution that it brought felt off, as if they felt they just needed something that would allow a second season to be made, and to me, that makes me feel cheated.

United States of Tara kept me involved for the vast duration of its first season. Despite the family dynamic not really clicking with me, the characters grew on me, the story arcs felt natural enough, even if they weren't the most original plots in the book, and the acting, especially on the part of Toni Collette, was impressive. I wanted to keep watching this show, episode after episode, and for someone who doesn't watch a lot of television, mostly because I find it hard to care about TV characters, this is impressive. While the ending didn't really leave me with the same feeling of anticipation that the episodes prior did, I'm still glad that there is a second season, just so that I can continue to watch the characters within.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Dead Herald on Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:26 am

When you're talking about DID, you can just drop the name Sybil.

Everyone knows what a Sybil is.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:31 am

...I don't.

Oh yeah, one more thing that doesn't really fit in the review, because a lot of people wouldn't get it, (even some that read these things wouldn't), but...

BRIE LARSON AND KEIR GILCHRIST STAR TOGETHER IN THE INCREDIBLE FILM JUST PECK. THAT IS AMAZING, AND MAKES UNITED STATES OF TARA BETTER JUST BECAUSE OF THAT FACT.

...My love for Just Peck is far more than it likely should be.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Dead Herald on Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:33 am

Marter wrote:...I don't.

Oh yeah, one more thing that doesn't really fit in the review, because a lot of people wouldn't get it, (even some that read these things wouldn't), but...

BRIE LARSON AND KEIR GILCHRIST STAR TOGETHER IN THE INCREDIBLE FILM JUST PECK. THAT IS AMAZING, AND MAKES UNITED STATES OF TARA BETTER JUST BECAUSE OF THAT FACT.

...My love for Just Peck is far more than it likely should be.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sybil_%281976_film%29

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:35 am

Dead Herald LXI wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sybil_%281976_film%29
Huh.

Seems interesting. Might have to give it a watch some time.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:41 am

Tell me, Matthew, has there ever been anything involving Brie Larson that you didn't enjoy?

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:42 am

Furburt wrote:Tell me, Matthew, has there ever been anything involving Brie Larson that you didn't enjoy?
So far, Hoot.

EDIT: Also, I can't say she's the reason I enjoyed the first season of United States of Tara. Her story arc was one of the weaker ones, IMO, and she didn't actually appear all that often.

EDIT the second: Real names now? Things are getting serious!

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Dead Herald on Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:55 am

Marter wrote:
Furburt wrote:Tell me, Matthew, has there ever been anything involving Brie Larson that you didn't enjoy?
So far, Hoot.

EDIT: Also, I can't say she's the reason I enjoyed the first season of United States of Tara. Her story arc was one of the weaker ones, IMO, and she didn't actually appear all that often.

EDIT the second: Real names now? Things are getting serious!

You'd better tell him now that you're not a chick. It'll save him a lot of heartbreak. Crying or Very sad

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:09 am

Dead Herald LXI wrote:You'd better tell him now that you're not a chick. It'll save him a lot of heartbreak. Crying or Very sad
I'm 99% sure he knows already.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:26 am

The name Matthew tipped me off.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Wayward on Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:25 am

Well, now I'm hooked on yet another Showtime show.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by MilkyFresh on Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:17 am

(-:
Nice one Marter, didn't disappoint.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Dead Herald on Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:37 am

My mother won't get Showtime, we have HBO. She'll only have one or the other and god forbid my brother not get to watch Larry David...

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by MilkyFresh on Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:38 am

Hey, fuck showtime compared to HBO, HBO beats the shit out of it.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by MilkyFresh on Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:38 am

Although I have neither, just vanilla TV.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Wayward on Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:41 am

I think they both have good shows. Six Feet Under rocked my world, and I've gotten hooked on True Blood, but I also love Dexter and now United States of Tara, too. Of course, I watch them all online or at friends' houses.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Dead Herald on Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:42 am

I don't actually watch that much TV. Even NCIS is boring me now. The plot twists are getting way too predictable.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by MilkyFresh on Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:53 am

Eh. I do love Dexter and Tara, but HBO has brought us:
Boardwalk Empire, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Mad Men, Sopranos, Flight of the Conchords, Deadwood, Da Ali G Show, The Wire, Band of Brothers, Oz and The Adventures of Tintin. Unfortunately they are also responsible for Sex and the City, but I'm willing to fogive them for that.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Dead Herald on Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:57 am

As an experiment, I watched an episode of Ali G, and then drank 3 shots of whiskey 24 hours later.

I'm fairly certain the whiskey killed less brain cells.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by MilkyFresh on Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:04 pm

You are probably correct there.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by MilkyFresh on Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:04 pm

Although the show was about 10,000 times better than the Ali G movie. That was apalling.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Guest on Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:17 pm

My TV has the sole purpose of being a wonderful screen for my console games.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Dead Herald on Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:23 pm

I haven't bought a console game since Bayonetta, and that was Jan '10... Something is clearly wrong.

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