Archive for February, 2011

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Wow!  Absolutely brilliant!  One of the most imaginative cinematic experiences I’ve had since Terry Gilliam was in his prime.  Really makes me wish I had seen it on the big screen when it originally came out.  I have to keep this short, since I just cannot describe how much I enjoyed this.  Wow!

 

R.I.P. Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart

I can’t stop crying.

Nicholas Courtney was 81.  I know he had been having health problems lately.  He was as old as my dad.  But somehow I always thought Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart would always be around.

I discovered Doctor Who in the mid-70s, when Chicago’s PBS station started showing episodes starring Jon Pertwee, the third Doctor.  This was during the time period when our beloved Time Lord was exiled to Earth and working as scientific advisor to UNIT.  The commanding officer in charge of UNIT in the U.K. was the Brigadier, played by Nicholas Courtney.

I grew up watching Doctor Who.  As much as I loved every actor’s interpretation of the role, my favorite was always the Doctor I started with.  The ensemble during this time has been referred to as “the UNIT family,” and the show has rarely ever been able to recapture that chemistry.  Jon Pertwee will always be my Doctor, Katy Manning’s Jo Grant will always be his companion, and Nicholas Courtney’s Brigadier will always be there, appropriately frustrated and flustered (flustrated?) by the Time Lord’s antics.

I can’t type anything else right now.  No … wait … one last thing: I miss you, Brigadier.

Nicholas Courtney, ‘Doctor Who’  actor, dies at 81

Law & Order: UK

“In the criminal justice entertainment system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: The police who are saddled with gobs of expository dialogue, and the Crown Prosecutors who attempt to plug the plot holes in forty-six minutes or less.  These are their godawfully boring as hell stories.”

Many British TV series have been adapted/reimagined/sodomized for American television, but Law & Order: UK is supposedly the first time an American dramatic TV series has been adapted for British television.  The result is a mixed bag.  None of the episodes are wholly original; they’re directly adapting old Law & Order scripts and shoehorning the stories into the UK’s legal system.  The good thing is that they’re adapting some of the best stories Law & Order ever produced.  And it stars Apollo (Jamie Barber) and Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman), who are both sheer joys to watch.  How could it possibly go wrong?

By somehow removing all sense of characterization, charisma, and chemistry between the leads.  That’s how.  And although handheld shakycams worked nicely for Battlestar Galactica, I really can’t stand the camera shaking when the cops are in the box questioning suspects.  And I’m seriously disappointed John Munch never showed up.

 

Boardwalk Empire

Seems like this new HBO show wants to be The Sopranos meets The Cotton Club, only without any of the charismatic or compelling bits.  I tried to like this.  I really tried to like this.  Especially since Martin Scorsese directed the first episode.  And it stars Steve Buscemi, whom I normally adore watching.  And it raked in gobs of critical praise.  Sorry, couldn’t get into it.  Couldn’t even force myself to get into it.  I pushed myself to watch the first three episodes, just to see if I was missing some sort of slow buildup.  Yawn.  As acclaimed as this is, I thought it was so amazingly boring that I’m not going to bother wasting any more of my time watching it.  Especially when the only thing that kept going through my mind again and again as every episode progressed was … so when does Treme start up again?

Outcasts

On one hand, this new BBC sci-fi series seems a lot like what I originally expected Spielberg’s forthcoming Terra Nova would be like … that is, before I discovered that Terra Nova stoopidly sends its refugees back in time rather than to another planet.  Based on the first two episodes, Outcasts is gorgeous to look at, but almost painful to think about.  Jamie Barber is completely wasted as a trigger-happy psycho.  Liam Cunningham is almost compelling as the president of the colony.  Amy Manson is almost sympathetic as an almost sympathetic pseudo-cop.

Why is it that, whilst I was watching these episodes, I kept having Earth 2 flashbacks?  I kept waiting for Tim Curry and Clancy Brown to show up … or Terrians to pop up out of the ground.  Where’s True Danzinger when you need her?  Oh yeah, she’s dead.  Ooops.

Oh good gravy … eight and a half minutes into the second episode, this show just totally turned stoopid.

And five minutes later, it turns stoopider … oh well … so much for this … Outcasts is a royal waste of time …..