Friday, December 28, 2012
The only decent thing about season six was, literally, the final few seconds where Debra walked in on Dexter - changing the fate of the show forever. This season was all about Debra coming to grips with who Dexter is, and also more-or-less becoming his sidekick in a weird way. All that fueled with a bizarre love-triangle with the fantastic Hannah and you've got a pretty solid season - top that with a half-season villain of Isaac Sirko and it's even stronger. A lot of people complained that Isaac was taken out too early - I'd argue that it would have been hard to keep him up and build towards this season's climax. I was actually hoping that Hannah would be the one to take out La Guerta and thereby protecting Dexter and making Debra owe her one - possibly the one way to get her off her back and make it so that Dexter and she could be together - although turning Debra into a killer is a pretty smart move forward for the show. Will she spin out of control? Should be interesting, especially since Hannah is still in play. Could the two of them still have a happy ending? I'm interested to see where the final season will take us since things have (somewhat) been brought back to a status quo. I have to say that I want a final season that sees Dexter, somewhat, on the run - how else can this end on a happy note without him faking his own death?
We shall see in the fall of 2013...
This is a really great story - it's epic in scope and yet small and personal. The performances are fantastic and arguably flawless in some areas. Tom Hooper made a solid choice to film the ballads in mostly unbroken medium shots and it's inspired and beautiful - really allowing a true performance - and none is more perfect and heart-breaking than Anne Hathaway's. I'm not an oscar-whore, nor do I take much stock in them, but if she doesn't get some recognition for her supporting role then it's a damn shame, I say. Jackman is pretty great but I have to say that role isn't all that exciting to me - the stand-out male role goes to Russel Crowe as the complicated and conflicted officer of the law. What happens to him is heart-breaking in a very bizarre way. I want to say a lot more, but I won't and will leave that for you to discover.
If you like musicals of epic scope you'll dig this. I did find it a touch long in some spots - and some of the sing-songy dialogue I could have done without - give me a proper song and music or just speak dialogue, I say!
But all in all, a hell of a show well done! See it on the big screen with the big sound if you're going to see it at all.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
If you've even been a Tarantino fan this is the one to see. Please put out a kick-ass bluray and I'll be there in a heart beat.
I could write a lot more about it, but it's really worth discovering all it's little gems on your own! As it is, I highly recommend it.
Sunday, December 23, 2012
This is the last of the absolutely essential Christmas films I watch each year (or try to) - there's always a few more that I try to get around to, but this is one of the must-sees. It's amazing to think it's a decade old at this point, and I absolutely forgot that Zooey Deschanel was a blonde in this film. I adored her when I first saw this and still do today - it's nice to see things work out for people like this who really deserve it - the film is chock full of great characters but she's an absolute delight through and through.
This film is more gags per minute than most films, but it never feels like it's forcing it or trying too hard. One liners, visual gags, it's a unique magical thing.
This film has been out for about a decade so if you haven't seen it then you really really owe it to yourself - it's on Netflix currently so many sure you get around to it over the holiday season - whether you're new to this film or it's an old favorite - I always discover new gems in this one. Hopefully you do too!
Saturday, December 22, 2012
I'm pretty predictable when it comes to my holiday viewing of cinema. It's Muppets, this, and Elf which are always my staples. In fact I raced around a few Christmases ago to find this on DVD. We had a friend over tonight who'd never seen it and so it was my duty to make sure she had and I think she was enchanted by it as well. It's amazing that this film is close to 25 years old - it easily still stands up today - the comedy is sharp - the heart intact. I'd argue that the ending gets a taaaaad preachy at the very very end, but I can live with that. I grew up with the TV version which was edited for time and content so it's still a tad odd for me to watch this as was originally intended - but I love it all the more.
If you've never seen this update on A Christmas Carol you're missing out especially if you're a comedy lover and enjoy Bill Murray. The cast is loaded with strong performances. I can't say that this is a film for the entire family - but teenagers could easily enjoy.
Seriously though - if you've never seen this before get on it before the holidays are over. You'll thank me.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
So I was pissed when they didn't kill Brody at the end of the first season - I thought it was a cop-out and didn't know how they would extend that character. The brilliance of what they did was the first season you spent rooting to kill Brody, and they managed to flip it where here you're rooting for him to make it out alive. Very very strong reversal for us emotionally as an audience member. For Claire Danes character this season has been a redemptive one, and she's as good as she ever was. And so if they coped out with how they ended the first season they emptied the kitchen sink here. This season was doing things in the second episode that I thought would take the entire season to get out - but they just plowed through a lot of great material with what seemed to be reckless abandon. A risk that paid off in spades.
This season moved along like a freight train and made the world much bigger - I think some people preferred the smaller scale of the first season and, really, I like both and I think they can work together as well. I love where this was left and how I can already see the seeds of the third season. Clean slate for everyone in a really wonderfully heartbreaking way. Hopefully the future seasons can sustain this quality, or they get out while they're still in fighting form. I loved this and can't wait to return to it next fall.
Monday, December 17, 2012
If this film isn't part of your lexicon it's a damn shame - it's one of the best coming of age stories and all the better because of it's wife variety of tales. It's the last day of school for a bunch of kids in a small Texas town. Some about to become seniors, the others about to become freshmen - but all of them are on the cusp of change large and small. It also features a pretty impressive cast of up-and-comers and even the delightful Richard Linklater couldn't have predicted how big many of them would become.
If you're looking to pick this up you'll probably want to spring for the Criterion Collection edition (I have the usual) as I'm sure it's worth the extra $$$.
This is easily one of the best films of the ninties and of it's genre, one of the best in general. If you were every a teenager in high school I just can't imagine how this wouldn't resonate with you somehow.
If you've never seen this and are a fan of any of the cast or just the buddy comedy in general this is a must see - and the songs are an awesome bonus - I listen to the soundtrack fairly regularly.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Is it a predictablity-fest? Sure, to some extent - although to be fair that's exactly the kind of film that this is... Despite being a bit on the cheesy side from time to time it's surprisingly frank and I think really cuts to the core of people in that age range currently. This could be a fun film to throw at a teenage daughter who's coming into their own. Also, very fun soundtrack. Cinephiles aren't going to dig this, but it's not for them. Those who would like it, I can only assume would like it a lot.
Reese looks lovely here and she and the others have light moments to shine and they do quite well - it's just not a terribly entertaining film and it never draws me in. I was interested in who she'd pick in the end, but I couldn't really care less who she ended up with as I didn't really get a sense of love from any of the parties...
So I don't recommend or condemn this one - go with your guy - it's on netflix.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
One could argue that it's a tad formulaic but I don't know if that's a bad thing at all for this sort of story. What this story requires, and has in spades, in a unique voice and point of view. At it's heart it really tackles the core issues that haunt teenagers no matter what era they are in. As someone whose getting closer to being the parent of teenage people rather than a teenager himself (holy shit that's scary) I think this book is relatable across the board.
It's light and fun - if you dug films like Mean Girls or Easy A then this is probably right up your alley.
For me, it's a pure and constant pleasure. The music, the jokes, it's all working and Michael Caine fits in perfectly with the madness and yet gives it a poignant touch. Outside of Bill Murray he could very well be my favourite Scrooge, and it terms of the classic approach, I think he safely is.
If you've never seen this version of this classic then you really owe it to yourself to - they put it out on Bluray this year for the anniversary and at $20 it's a pretty good price, although I'm sure you can find it on DVD even cheaper. If you watch this and don't love it, you have no soul...
Saturday, December 08, 2012
Considering it's a message film I found the message to be buried a bit, and completely abandoned by the films final act. I bought into the face that Gerard could make all of this work, but I don't buy into the ending - at all. Feels like an awfully large cheat. Again, no spoilers and judge for yourself.
If you're a fan of the premise (as I was) check it out, and hopefully you aren't as disappointed by it's ending as I was.
I'm not sure when or how the distribution for this film is going to work but please keep your eyes peeled for it in the near future - it's a little gem.
Monday, December 03, 2012
So that's it for the spoiler-free half of this review - in short if you like good television and love zombies, I'm amazed you're not already watching this.
This thing has been a roller-coaster ride. I love the energy, I loved Rick's descent into madness. I loved how they killed off T-Dog just to give away the suspense of killing Lori. Lori is a character I never really cared about, but her death made me cry like a little girl - mostly because of the way that Carl and Rick reacted - and the absolutely horrible thing that Carl had to do to help with her passing. That poor little bad-ass.
I love that this series no longer feels like it's wasting time. Originally I thought we'd be at the prison for two seasons, but I wouldn't be surprised if the prison was the back-drop for season 3 alone. I can't imagine the Governor's retribution being dragged out much further than the second half of the season - but we shall see. If this is true then next season I want the entire thing to be on-the-road. No home to call their own - completely fucked. Thats a terrible thing to want, but there it is.
The Governor was a really great slow burn - and I love that we've gotten to see the transformation a bit - the fight with Michonne (spelling, sorry) at the end of the season was pretty goddamn great. And how about putting Merle and Darryl against each other? (part of me thinks it's all part of the plan, though, to get Merle to infiltrate the group - have Darryl vouch for him that he was kicked out of Woodbury - it's pretty smart, if you ask me - and what wonderful drama we can get out of Merle reuniting with the group that left him stuck up on the roof).
We've got two months off until the show comes back, and that's a hell of a shame. Luckily the new book comes out in a few days :)