Saturday, September 29, 2012

1766 - Looper

I can't remember the last time I saw a film on opening weekend.  It's been a while.  I'm still behind and haven't seen Rian Johnson's last film "Brother's Bloom".
So, first and foremost, as always I enjoyed the hell out of Joseph-Gordon Levitt - he's on such an amazing streak right now.  They make-up job they do on him to make him more like Bruce Willis is pretty impressive for the most part.  The film is pretty fun - for those unaware it's about a future where time travel was invented and then made illegal, and crime syndicates use it as a way to get rid of people by having a "looper" on the other end kill them and dispose of the body.  Sound complicated?  It is.  In fact, it's complications like this that, ultimately, keep the film from really working for me.  I enjoyed it a lot.  Emily Blunt was enjoyable as well, and the kid in it was goddamn phenomenal - what a discover he was!  There's so many fun and inventive sequences and it's entertaining and worth checking out.  If I ever get around to watching it again I'll get into all the nit-picky stuff that really nagged at me, but I'll let it go and not ruin anything for you fine folks.
If you're curious, at all, as to the nature of my nit-picky, it has, mostly, to do with just the complete brushing aside of even trying to explain why and how the time travel works - it just feels a tad lazy - like an amazing concept was had and to avoid having to make it logical they just decided to avoid explanation.  Bitch, moan, just enjoy the film already, right?
It's being billed as a thinking man's action film, and I'll give it that, just don't think on it too hard or it might start falling apart on you.

Friday, September 28, 2012

1765 - Louie: season three

If you've read my reviews of the past seasons of this series, this will come to no surprise to you.  Louie C.K. is my favourite comedian, and Louie is, hands down, my favourite comedy series currently on the air.  In terms of enjoyment this series is on a par with the films of Woody Allen for me.  The humour is often subtle, but it packs an honest punch and it makes you force a mirror onto yourself and your own life, but without ever being ridiculously heavy handed.
This season told much more of a straight story than the previous.  It would appear that Louis decided to tell a more fluid story of love and loss, aspiration, and reality.  SPOILERS AHEAD.  From meeting the girl of his dreams to watching her slip away in a terrible fashion, from being groomed for one of the top spots in his profession, to suffering in a moat of depression, this season was about Louie having to get out of his lonely funk and do something about himself.  And he's succeeded admirably. 
There is absolutely no other series like this on television and it's the kind of thing that would be just impossible to replicate.  It's unique because it allows one of the greatest entertainers of our generation to just go out there and tell the story he wants to tell.  Here's hoping they let him tell lots more.

1764 - Young Adult

Holy shit it's been a long time since I've watched an actual film.  Spending my evenings on Sex After Kids has kept me more-or-less away from cinema, but since I had a break tonight I thought I'd treat myself to a film I've been meaning to see for quite some time. 
I'm a big fan of a lot of the people involved in this film, and I'd yet to see a Jason Reitman film I hadn't liked.  Let's cut the shit - we all know that Charlize Theron is a pretty damn attractive woman, but she's also one that's not scared to look or be ugly in a film, and so for a guy like me, that makes her all the more attractive.  She plays a pretty despicable person here and it works because she does it in such a fascinating way that you just can't wait to see what she'll do next.  At first I wondered, what does she really see in the Patrick Wilson character, but then it started to make more sense to me - he's not the point - he's kind of a loser himself - her issue is her bullshit ties to the past and I can identify with that.  Patton Oswalt was pretty damn great here as well and I can understand why a lot of people think he was robbed from some award nominations.
For those who see the Diablo Cody/Reitman reunion please know that this film and Juno are pretty far removed from one another - this one is a little more difficult to swallow - it's not about selfish people becoming better people - it's more about selfish people realizing that they need to be less shitty and move the hell on.  It's not the kind of film I think I'll ever need to own or revisit, but I'm glad I finally caught it all the same!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

1763 - The L.A. Complex: season two

This is a tricky one to right up because I've got some friends that are involved in this series and, if I'm honest, I'd love to work on this show if it comes back for a third season (please, oh please come back for a third season).  After the first season I liked this show a lot - there were some story lines that I wasn't crazy about and characters that I wasn't big on - but this second season came back swinging and realized that it was okay to not like all of the characters, so long as they were made interesting.  What's strongest about this series is that it has absolutely no problem with upsetting the status quo and putting it's characters through hell.  You actually believe that a character might leave and never come back, because that happens, because that's true to life.  This world inside of this show is messy, and despite being a bit of a soap opera, it's also quite real.  Characters are given hard choices, and even when they win they have to do so by losing something else.  Martin Gero and his writing staff understand how much loss plays into victory, and there's always sacrifice, especially when it comes to something so personal as following your dreams. 
If you're in Canada you can watch this series for free off of Much Music's website - otherwise I'm sure there's re-runs and on-demand type stuff.  It's easily my favourite Canadian series, and I'm proud of the work they've done on it.  As Jewel Staite in the (hopefully not series) finale, "We made something".  They certainly did.  And also the season wrapped up quite well, I could personally go for another round.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

1762 - Weeds: season eight

It has been a long-ass ride to the end of this series.  Regardless of quality it's one of the more unique series in it's willingness to completely re-invent itself and it did so in some pretty amusing ways.  I was ridiculously impressed when the series actually sent Nancy off to prison and forced her to pay for her crimes.  This season was all about coming full circle, getting back to the suburbs and the heart of the story, and it did so in kind of a clunky way.  What comes now will be SPOILER RIDDEN, so proceed with caution…

As previously mentioned, this series has never had an issue re-inventing itself, jumping ahead in time, etc… so it wasn't a huge shock that the finale would jump ahead…. eight years?  Is that right?  And looking at the other jumps in time, and the seasons themselves it seems as if the entire series takes place over… what 13-15 years?  That's kind of amazing, really.  It almost felt like they re-watched the first season of the series to see what they should revisit here…. Scotson.  Check!  Shane's fascination with Pittsburg - check!  Silas and Megan - check!  Andy and the Rabbi chick - check!  Doug and his gay son - check!  Jumping ahead so far for the finale also meant forcing a lot of focus on a new actor as Stevie, the character who was probably given the least amount of focus for the rest of the series.  Am I happy that they all found peace at the end?  Sure - and I like that it left Nancy feeling pretty fucked up, and that Andy never gave in.  Their relationship was always the highlight for me.  Both Mary-Louise Parker and Justin Kirk are absolutely phenomenal, and their chemistry has been a huge plus to the show, and probably the chief reason that I always returned to it.  Their scene on the spot where her first husband died was a thing of beauty and pain and was easily one of the shows finest moments. 

So farewell to this show - I can't say I'll miss it terribly as I watched it more to see how it would end up - it ceased being the must-watch show that it started out as.  Kind of like an ex-girlfriend whom you have an amicable break-up with.  You still like them but you don't love them anymore, and don't think much about them when they're away. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

1761 - Breaking Bad: season five

I'm a tad behind on writing about this one as well - although only a week so cut me some slack :)  Needless to say, this is season five (or the first half anyway - I'm still considering the next season as season six given that it's a year break) and so this is going to be ridiculously SPOILER HEAVY.  Get out now if you're not caught up of the series.  And if you're just starting, enjoy the ride!  You're in good hands.
So it's been a hell of a ride watching Walter White go from good guy to buy, from Mr. Chips to Scarface.  And it's seemed awfully effortless.  Bryan Cranston is peerless in just how fucking good he is in this type of role.  After the hell he went through last year it was delightful to watch Walt come into his own while still cleaning up the mess that his pride had gotten him into.  And what amazed me the most was how as soon as Skyler finally broke through to him… Heisenberg went away.  Walt saw that he's well-over-achieved his dream.  And beautifully, that's when the other shoe drops.  Although he doesn't know it yet.  If I have one complaint it's that we didn't get to see Hank freak out more at the ultimate discovery.  Although how goddamn exciting is it to know that Hank is in 'the know' going into the final eight episodes?  So many ways this could go down, and we know that we're in good hands with Vince Gilligan and crew.  Shame we have to wait a year, but it's worth it if the final chapter is anywhere near the quality of this series thus far.  Easily one of the best television series of all time.

1760 - Community: season two

So I'm ridiculously behind on this series (season three just added to Netflix - huzzah!).  This is a series that I admire the hell out of, even if I don't absolutely love it.  It's hilarious and has a cast that I find phenomenally enjoyable.  The guys I want to hang with, the women I want to date.  But not because they're beautiful (which they are) but because they just seem like a helluva lot of fun to hang around.  This series is unlike any other in it's ability to constantly test it's format.  You could argue that really all they do is play with genre within their own universe, but I'd argue that that's easier said than done.  They do this, sure, but they don't abandon their characters or arc to do so.  Is it about a community college?  Not really.  It's about, like all great sit-coms, a dysfunctional non-traditional, family. 
I don't imagine that this series is for everyone, but if you're a comedy fan and a bit of a nerd, you could do a hell of a lot worse.  It'll be interesting to rapidly consume the next season and then see what happens when they come back sans-Dan Harmon...