Archive for October, 2014

Garfunkel And Oates

Y’know … I’ve seen Garfukel & Oates’ vids on YouTube, and yes they made me laugh, but I wasn’t sure they could package together enough material on a regular basis to pull off a weekly TV series.  Especially after watching the first two episodes.

Interestingly enough, I had already seen Kate Micucci outside of the duo, since she played Raj’s girlfriend Lucy on The Big Bang Theory.  I liked her in that, so I figured I’d like her in Garfunkel And Oates.

Even more interestingly, I think I’m starting to like Riki Lindhome more.  The more I see of this show, the more I like it.  It’s not balls out fantastically hilarious, but it’s certainly not bad, and the songs interspersed in the episodes are usually good enough to make me hum along and giggle.

So I ended up watching all eight episodes of the entire first season.  I can officially say it took a while to grow on me, but now I like this show.  I’m actually looking forward to more, if IFC greenlights a second season.  And I just missed ’em a few weeks ago live at the House Of Blues!  Damn!

 

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The Robinsons: Lost In Space

Okay, let’s file this one under Things To Watch When You’re Clutching Your Stomach With A Bad Case Of The Squirts.

Y’know, for the longest time I *REALLY* wanted to see this, The WB’s 2004 unaired attempt to remake/reboot/reimagine Lost In Space.

Ten years ago, when I heard that John Woo was rebooting Lost In Space, I thought, “Oh yeah!  Rock on!  How could this possibly go wrong?”

It did.  Ew.

I had given up looking for this years ago.  Tonight, I quite literally stumbled across it on YouTube because the chickadee who plays Judy Robinson just made her debut as a kick-ass recurring character on Agents Of SHIELD.

Unfortunately, she’s annoying here as Judy and I have absolutely no sympathy for all but one of the other characters.  The only performance that comes anywhere remotely near compelling is Jayne Brook as Maureen Robinson.  Makes me feel almost sorry I never watched Chicago Hope.  Almost.

The aliens are shit – funny guys dressed in funny suits making funny noises – and shit is not a threat.  Unless you’re watching Dogma.  This ain’t Dogma.  It’s really sad to think “The Great Vegetable Rebellion” featured more imaginative and provocative antagonists than this pathetic reimagining.

This actually makes the ’98 film look like an enjoyable romp through my childhood joys.  And I despised that reprehensible waste of celluloid.

Thank goodness this never aired, because in retrospect I wish I had never seen it.  I’d much rather continue to imagine what John Woo could have done with Lost In Space than be forced to ever sit through it again.

 

The Battery

An awesomely intriguing character study of two fellas doing what they need to do to try to survive a zombie apocalypse in New England.

Wow.  “Like rain on a tin roof.”  This film is amazing.

 

X-Men: Days Of Future Past

Pfffft.  Not bad, but not great either.  I had a similar feeling towards this as I did when I saw Inception: it was nowhere nearly as groundbreaking nor as mindfuckery as the hype led me to expect.  In one respect I feel cheated, thinking that I should’ve waited to watch this until the supposed extended cut is released next year.  Not quite as bad as The Last Stand, but certainly never came close to being as good as First Class.  Yawn.  When I see the sentinels on screen, I don’t think ooooh what a nasty and compelling threat, I think ooooh mediocre CGI.  And Peter Dinklage was utterly wasted in his role.  Oh well.

At some point I really need to sit down and watch Superman Returns to see if it’s actually as bad as people tell me it is.  I miss the Bryan Singer that gave me The Usual Suspects.  Man, what happened to you?

 

High Moon

Another day, another SyFy original.

I have to admit, I saw the opening few minutes of High Moon earlier this summer and was not impressed.  I had never read the source material (John Christopher’s The Lotus Caves), so I didn’t really know what to expect.  But because it is a SyFy original, I kept my expectations low.

For the first 20 to 30 minutes, I was wincing a bit.  Too much exposition packed into too little time, and too many pieces of real science thrown out the window.  Good example: Eve is wearing a special force field that automagically replenishes her oxygen.  That’s all fine and dandy, but what about protecting her from lunar heat/cold differentials?  Radiation?  Cosmic rays?  And (as dramatically cool as it might have been) are you REALLY going to wear those shoes out in the regolith?  The last thing you want to do is track regolith back into your ship.

Also, was it just me, or were there gobs of stalactites and stalagmites in the lunar caves?  The stalactites and stalagmites that we’re so used to in terrestrial caves are formed by water action.  There’s no water on the moon.  Okay, clarify: there may be water ice deep in dark lunar polar craters, but there is no amount of liquid water on the moon that we are aware of that could create stalactites/stalagmites.  So then why are there any stalactites and stalagmites in the lunar caves?  Especially in the tunnel where we first see the Russians – according to the dialog there, that is a tunnel that they built/mined/dug out themselves, however the ceiling is far higher than it should be and there are obvious stalactites in the long shots.  In digging tunnels or mines, the diggers only dig out what is necessary for them to function.  There’s no reason (at least none identified by the dialog) that they would’ve tunneled out a huge room with a 30 foot ceiling.

However, in spite of my quibbles, I actually ended up liking this.  Quite a bit more than I expected.  It’s not great, but it’s certainly not bad, and after I finally stopped wincing it really did keep me entertained.  A few random thoughts:

I love that the Russians speak Russian, and I absolutely love how they displayed the subtitles.

“Leak detected” … “leak contained.”  Very nice touch.

“Sergeant, he asked you a question.”  POP!  Very very nice touch.

So moonchick gives up her access card, but in the very next scene she still has an access card.  Eh?

Mechagodzilla roaring – um yeah – there ain’t no atmosphere to propagate sound on the moon, so his roar won’t make anything vibrate.  And we’re not going to hear him stomp on the moon buggy.  That we’d probably feel, but we certainly would not hear it.

“Lunar Japan welcomes you.”  I’m lovin’ it!

“You seem pretty cool with the fact that your liver might be choking on lunar hemlock right now.”  Absolutely love that line!

Overall, it’s not bad check-your-brain-at-the-door sci-fi, almost a throwback to old pulp sci-fi.  The dialog got snarkier as the show went on, and I have to say I’m kinda disappointed it wasn’t picked up for more episodes.  I rather doubt it would’ve worked as a long term series, but I certainly would not mind watching a little more of it (maybe one or two follow-up movies or a six episode miniseries to finish off the storylines that they left hanging).

 

Edge Of Tomorrow

Holy SHIT!  That was fantastic!

Warner Brothers appears to be trying to remarket this as “Live Die Repeat.”  Fuck that.  If you are going to retitle it, go back to the original title of the Japanese source material, All You Need Is Kill.  That title kicks more ass than anything your marketing department could EVER fucking come up with.

Holy shit, holy fuck, holy fill in the expletive of your choice.  Absolutely positively best film of 2014 thus far.

American Horror Story: Freak Show

WOW!

Disclaimer: I have not seen any prior episodes of American Horror Story.  I know the basic premise, that each series is a new story, but I’ve never seen Murder House, Asylum or Coven.

Still … WOW!

Beautifully shot – I absolutely adore the cinematography and the split screens.  I really miss ol’ ’70s style split screens.  And Jessica Lange is fantastic.  “Oh no, my darling, you are confused.  You liked it here with us.  No … no … you LOVED it.”

Overall, the first episode is far more creepy than scary.  Get under your skin creepy.  Basically Twin Peaks style creepy.  I would probably consider it scary if I had issues with clowns.

This is almost as if David Lynch and Mark Frost decided to remake Tod Browning’s Freaks as a 13 episode miniseries.  I kinda get the feeling this is pretty close to the kind of series that Carnivale aspired to be.

“It’s a godawful small affair
To the girl with the mousy hair
But her mommy is yelling no
And her daddy has told her to go”

Holy shit, this just turned fantastic!