Posts tagged ‘Warner Bros’

Westworld

I typically stand wholeheartedly against anyone doing a remake simply for the sake of remaking something, especially when the original was not only pretty darned good but also something that I have a bit of a soft spot for.  Zack Snyder managed to win me over with his version of Dawn of the Dead, a film I desperately wanted to hate just because I thought that the original film should never ever have been molested by a remake.  And now here comes Jonathan Nolan and HBO to molest Michael Crichton’s classic Westworld.

And y’know what?  It works.  It’s in the process of winning me over.  The pilot episode seriously intrigued me.  I always loved Crichton’s original film, and this new interpretation looks like it could visit some pretty interesting (and rather dark) places.  I would love to see them address the various aspects of artificial intelligence and questioning reality that the creative brains behind Caprica and Virtuality suggested those shows would eventually visit.  I’m not even missing Yul Brynner.

Speaking of Ronald D. Moore, yes indeed, I have to say that this new series appears to do for the original film what Ron Moore’s reimagined Battlestar Galactica did for the original ’70s Galactica series.  The third episode here is bogged down by too much dippy exposition and some dodgy de-aging CGI, but it also includes the most chilling moment thus far:

“Analysis: what prompted that response?”
“I don’t know.”

So … three eps in and I’m enjoying it enough to ride it out for the rest of the first series.  The production value is impeccable; the interior of the park looks even better than Deadwood, and the behind-the-scenes parts of the park look far sleeker, colder, more sterile and more chilling than any of the behind-the-scenes bits of the original Delos.  The cinematography for the location shoots is gorgeous.  And Evan Rachel Wood is just amazing.  As long as we don’t dive back into dippy exposition, I expect I’ll enjoy the rest of the run.

 

Blindspot

Y’know … when your show’s conceit is that Lady Sif has been found naked and covered in tattoos in Times Square, then I want to be able to see Lady Sif naked.

But no.  This is NBC.  Broadcast channels don’t play that game.

The rest of the show?  Yawn.  Boring.  Clues from the tattoos feel manufactured rather than coming naturally out of real investigations.  Sigh.  Jaimie Alexander wasted.  And nowhere near naked enough.

iZombie

I really wanted to like this.  I do actually like the lead actress.  I also like the character that she inhabits.  I do not like the fact that Comcast On Demand forces me to watch their commercials and prevents me from fast forwarding through those bits.  So I’m a little jaded here.  I tried watching it via a legitimate venue, but Comcast’s actions make me feel like I should torrent iZombie if I’m going to keep watching it.

Am I going to keep watching it?  I’m not sure yet.  Considering that I was consistently yelling a hearty “Fuck you!” at Comcast throughout every single commercial that their On Demand service forced me to watch, it makes me want to completely cancel my cable TV service and just rely on their internet service for downloading torrents.  And the story seemed a li’l pedestrian … I thought Liv’s character was fairly well developed, but her surrounding characters were this side of cardboard.  However, I’m still a sucker for zombie stories … so I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt for the time being, and I’ll download subsequent episodes instead of bothering to watch them On Demand, and we’ll see how it goes.

Oh, and by the way … officially … from the mouth of someone who has been a customer since Babylon 5 moved to TNT back in 1998 … fuck you, Comcast.

 

Constantine

Dag nab it … I was holding off on posting thoughts about Constantine until I had an opportunity to sit down and binge watch some more of the show.  And now NBC has announced that they are not going to bother to pick up the back 9, effectively shutting down production of the first season with only 13 episodes.  So here I am, getting caught up in a new show that I’m actually enjoying and then the network craps out on me.

Feh.

So yeah, I’ve really liked what I’ve seen so far, enough for me to make the time to watch the rest of this season’s episodes.  And it’s not officially cancelled yet, so I guess there’s some semblance of hope.  Faith manages, right?

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.

The Big Bang Theory

Is it just me, or is The Big Bang Theory not anywhere nearly as funny as it used to be?

I used to go out of my way to make time to watch new episodes.  Last season had a few laugh out loud episodes, but the majority of them made me giggle rather than laugh and there were too many that did not even make me giggle.

The first two episodes of the new eighth season had me giggling here and there, without any guffaws.  The third episode was downright painful to watch and was not funny at all.  This comedy is no longer comedic.  The seventh season finale set things up for the writers to rock the boat a bit — I was glad to see them giving themselves the opportunity to redefine the core relationships and allow Sheldon to grow as a character, especially since the multi-year renewal that they scored gives them three more guaranteed seasons to explore how these relationships can grow.  What happened after that?  The eighth season premiere effectively hits the reset button and we’re all back to the same ol’ status quo.  Now I hear an upcoming episode gives Stuart his comic store back.  Another reset button.  Yawn.

CBS moving the show to Monday nights also hasn’t helped at all because I keep forgetting that it’s on.  Old dog, new tricks: it became a family ritual years ago to sit down and watch this together on Thursday nights, so I keep looking for it on Thursday, not Monday.

A few days ago, my wife was watching a rerun of a second season episode on TNT.  Turns out it was an episode that I had never seen.  I happened to be walking through the room on my way to doing something else, but two minutes of witty dialog made me laugh so much that I had to sit down and watch the rest of the episode with her.  This is back when the writers were writing for characters, not caricatures.

The contrast between the enjoyable experience of watching that single old second season episode versus the horrible experiences of watching the three episodes of the new eighth season is so sharp that I have to wonder what has gone wrong in the interim.  Are the jokes tired?  Are the writers tired?  Has the multi-year renewal made them way too complacent?  Or have I just gotten tired of it?  As annoying as these characters can be, I used to be able to find aspects of all of them that I liked.  Now I can’t.  Sheldon and Howard were both so damned unlikeable in last Monday’s episode that I seriously considered just turning it off.  The one thing that kept my finger off the off switch was my realization that the episode was execrable enough to give me something to complain about here.  Comedies are supposed to make you laugh, not wince, and I’ve been wincing way too much.  Honestly, if last Monday’s episode was the first Big Bang Theory episode I had ever seen, I would’ve turned it off halfway through and never bothered to watch another episode.

I’ll see how I react next Monday (or whenever I remember to watch next week’s new episode), but the way this season is going I don’t have much hope for the show.  The multi-year commitment that CBS made in March means that the writers and producers do not really need to worry about ratings again until the 2016-2017 season.  That’s a damned shame, because it removes the corresponding level of pressure to produce a high-quality product.

 

Godzilla (2014)

Now THIS is how you make a Godzilla movie.  After the previous horrible gaijin attempt to make one, I am flabbergasted by how much they got RIGHT this time.

Make the movie about the characters, not about Godzilla.

Sprinkle li’l bits of teaser fights throughout the film.  Leave the big ol’ all out kaiju slapdown ’til the end.  “Let them fight.”

Put a heavy emphasis on sound design and sound editing.

The pacing is immaculate – let the tension build and build and build on a slow burn over time.

Make.  It.  Scary.

I think the last time a Godzilla movie came close to scaring me was Godzilla Vs. The Smog Monster back in 1972.  But I was only six at the time, so that’s understandable.

And that HALO jump … oooooooooh … what a beautiful sequence.

My only complaint is it seemed like they misunderstood how EMPs work.  They show EMPs knocking out all electrical systems, then the systems all seem to magically come back on afterwards.  Nope, my understanding is that the EMPs would fry the circuits, damaging them enough that they would no longer be functional.  Period.  And they made a comment about the EMPs interfering with tracking the things by satellite.  Um, nope.  I can’t imagine a ground-based EMP affecting anything in orbit.  Unless they threw in a bit of technobabble dialog that I missed.

Aside from that, this long-time Godzilla fan was very seriously impressed.