Archive for December, 2014

Goodbye, Craig

I cannot tell you how much I am going to miss this man’s show.

“I’m not retiring.  I’m stopping doing this.  I’m not stopping doing IT.”

Craig, your new it cannot get here fast enough.

 

 

Ascension

I can’t remember the last time a SyFy Original actually attempted something resembling hard sci-fi.  Ascension is very pretty on the surface, and the production design of the ship’s interior is extremely well done.  The opening ten minutes were spectacular and sucked me right into the story.  Unfortunately, as much as I wanted to love it, based largely on the concept of a generation ship launched back in 1963, I can only like it.  And even then, I can only like it when I check my brain at the door.  The more I think about it, the more questions I have, and few of these questions have answers.

The big twist at the end of the first night/second episode simultaneously intrigued and annoyed me.  Intrigued in that it literally pulled me immediately into watching the next part and threw the entire concept for a loop.  Annoyed because I was looking forward to seeing the originally stated concept explored in much further depth.

I can’t help feeling that the entire miniseries is one big wannabe.  It wanted to be something big, intelligent and groundbreaking.  It ended up striving for those heights rather than reaching them.  A good example of this is the cast.  Whenever I saw Brian Van Holt on screen, I wanted him to be a Stargate-era Kurt Russell.  Whenever I saw Gil Bellows on screen, I wanted him to be Mark Sheppard.  It strives for a level of quality that it cannot quite achieve.

My biggest problem is that the big twist damaged my suspension of disbelief regarding the ship’s crew’s suspension of disbelief.  On one hand it answers a number of my questions about the science behind the ship.  On the other, it opens several other questions regarding how nobody on board has ever figured it out.  That’s pretty dim considering they supposedly packed 600 of the brightest minds in the country in that ship back in ’63.

Finally, there’s the last section of the finale, where it jumps from science fiction into science fantasy.  I really would’ve rather seen them stick to a straightforward sci-fi story.  I also really would’ve rather seen them wrap things up from a storytelling perspective instead of leaving so many threads dangling in a wannabe cliffhanger for a second season that has no guarantee of being produced.

 

The Interview

Haven’t seen it, never actually wanted to see it, but considering recent events now I REALLY DO want to see it.  Also considering recent events, I would love to be able to pay good money to see it on the big screen somewhere.

But all that is moot, at least for now.  Let’s take a moment to hear what Richard Roeper has to say about this, because he summed up all of my feelings far more succinctly than I possibly could:

 

 

We cannot let them win.

 

UPDATE:  Also, this:

 

Guardians Of The Galaxy

More catching up here – yet another flick that I saw quite a while back and I never posted the review.

Now this was an extremely pleasant surprise.  I went into this film knowing absolutely nothing about the source material.  The comic is a Marvel title that I had never bothered to read.  When the first trailer was released, I heard mixed messages – people I knew who were familiar with the source material didn’t like it because they said they were playing it too much for laughs, but people I knew who had not read the comics were really looking forward to seeing it because it looked like a fun sci-fi romp.

What did I think of it?

It was a fun sci-fi romp!  With a fantastic soundtrack!

Up until now, I had considered Captain America: The Winter Soldier to be my favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe film.  Now it’s tied with Guardians Of The Galaxy.  I think Winter Soldier is a better film than Guardians, but I also think Guardians is a whole lot more fun.  Winter Soldier is a well-made paranoic thriller at heart, whereas Guardians is more of a happy-go-lucky romp through sci-fi tropes that is elevated several levels by the impeccable soundtrack, Michael Rooker, and two fantastically realized CGI characters.

Guardians 2 cannot get here fast enough.  Again, this is making me less interested in Avengers: Age Of Ultron.  I’m really hoping that a future Avengers film will bring the Guardians together with the rest of the team.  We’ll see.