As Good As It Gets
what a terribly boring film. I'm sorry but this is absolutely not deserving of best picture and will be forgotten quickly. Entertaining and engaging cinema? No. Nothing performances with flat faces and mistaking silence for subtlety.
Watching it is like watching the spectacle of a class clown at their best: you laugh at their jokes, instigate their defiance, and "ooooh" when they get in trouble.
This show has moments of clarity, but they're lost in negative turn after negative turn. Acting is great, but the plot and writing just never gives the watcher a reason.It's a shame, because had they found a way to demonstrate some positive turns in the story to cling onto amid the endless complications that arise, this show could have been something special.
Charles Herold (cherold)
Vinyl, like Spinal Tap's notorious amplifier, goes up to 11, and as it follows its protagonist's drug-fueled insanity, the series sees little need to turn down the volume.This was a lot of fun in the first episode, which featured a lot of adrenaline-fueled, somewhat surreal madness, but as the madness continued, episode after episode, it became increasingly wearying.A bit past the halfway mark the series began to pick up again, with a decent episode 6 and a terrific episode 7 involving Elvis that was everything the series needed to be.In spite of a wonderful soundtrack and some great performances from Ato Essandoh, Juno Temple, and - unexpectedly - Ray Romano, Vinyl never quite found its voice, and I wasn't surprised nor saddened by its cancellation. But overall I did find it interesting.
I can't believe how many bad reviews I'm reading here. Not that the show was perfect (I just finished a 24h binge watching of the whole first season), because it's not, but 4 stars? Even 3 and 2? For me it's a solid 8 star, despite some arguably avoidable clichés, but not the ones most people are talking about. Sex and drugs and payola in the 70s music industry are clichés, yes, so should they avoid something so obviously real THERE and THEN, just because we already know about? And what's the alternative, if they can't portray "infidelity" in the music business, a fake happy couple living in THAT environment without problems, like in a 50s ad? Sex and drugs on TV are not taboos any longer, so what? Is showing taboos a mandatory criteria in order to have a good show? What's a taboo anyway, nowadays, should they add some incest , pedophile priests or scat, just to be original? Too late anyway, Pasolini already did most of it -guess what- in the 70s. The minor problems for me concern a 'too-much-Scorsesed' plot, with the customary dead body in the trunk (one reviewer is right about that, at least) and mafia connections. Even though I'm sure there was plenty of it, it seems a bit too much or too preponderant in the plot. I would have focused more on the Polygram deal or on the industry's malfeasance, probably. That said, it's still a fascinating and well done portrait of life in the music business in those years, and somehow I think that Scorsese and Mick Jagger know a bit more about it than most of the reviewers here (including me), clichés or not.
Let's be clear. This show is NOT an attempt in social realism. Nor, is it trying to present the viewer with an accurately documented history of the biggest rock stars of the 70's or actual industry insiders. What it does do, is take an interesting idea, create fictional characters and look at how they behave and react against each other, while referencing real performers from the period. Vinyl is no more of an attempt to convince its audience that what it portrays really happened than say House of Cards is in presenting a factually accurate representation of a US President or the American political system. Once you accept that, you can sit back and enjoy the real story. It is the story of a 'record man', Richie, and his conflicts, his demons, his dreams, his selfishness and his inability to seemingly make any good choices. The characters, like the clothes from the period are flamboyant and loud and colourful. Clichéd? Sometimes yes, and that is partly why it does work. This is not straight a rock 'n roll drama, how could it be with so many interwoven scenes where 'stream of consciousness' musical performances suddenly interrupt the plot? There is plenty of humour here too - perhaps a nod from the creators that they don't take it all too seriously. There is also some subtle and clever historical references (no spoilers), such as a throwaway comment about a food buffet while Mamma Cass is in a background scene, and a scene following a Vegas performance where a clearly unwell but pre-heart attack Elvis rubs at his left arm. It does not really matter that the rock stars portrayed do not mirror their real life counterparts as some reviewers on here seem to get upset about. They are incidental to the overall story and if the creators of this show had focused on that then this would have been a story about the greats of the 1970's music scene. Instead, we have something better, a fictionalised story that is set amidst the 1970's music scene. And it is a great story with good characters, over the top stories and excellent performances.