12.01.2010

IN PRAISE OF GUY



First discovered the terrific Sam Rockwell in Lawn Dogs (an excellent and very underrated film, with a truly American story - rare) ... here is a link to the movie on Hulu

11.14.2010

TIME TO FIX THE BSG ENDING, MR. MOORE


Now that Caprica is no more and the prospects for Blood & Chrome are limited, it's time to return to the 2003 source material and do it right

11.11.2010

MUSIC TO MAKE YOUR MIND WANDER

One of the greatest tracks ever - good quality audio for this clip

10.31.2010

ZOMBIE OVERLOAD

AMC's new series The Walking Dead is the umpteenth entry into the already overpopulated zombie pantheon. What is there now, like 100 zombie movies, shows, etc.? Only about 5 or 6 are truly good, with the best being George Romero's 1968 Night of the Living Dead. Walking Dead tries to have it all ways. It's a little bit 28 Days Later, a little bit touchy-feely, a little bit cop show, a little bit NotLD, and a little bit Shane. Overall, pretty lame. This is one graphic novel comic series that doesn't translate. The acting is sub-par, especially from the Starsky and Hutch leads. The only cool thing in the whole premiere episode was the Upper Torso Lady, crawling around in hunger. The zombies seem to be the mostly slow-moving, mindless Romero type, but the zombi-fied wife of the helpful black guy was able to remember the house she had formerly squatted in and focus her eyes into a security peephole - uh, right. The zombies are rendered so trite and not scary that you'll find yourself more scared by the douchebags and social misfits that populate those online dating ads during every commercial break.

10.29.2010

GALACTICA 4.0


Caprica is mercifully cancelled by the Sharktopus Network (nee SyFy), and instead they'll try to squeeze some more Cylon juice out of yet another incarnation of BSG - this time called Blood & Chrome, which will be about the young William Adama and his part in the first Cylon war. We'll know immediately if SyFy and David Eick (producer on BSG 2.0 in 2003 and showrunner for B&C) intend to screw up the new version if they fail to cast the same actor as Husker Adama. Here is Eick in his own words ... Ah, if only they'd skipped Bionic Woman reboot, Caprica, and instead focused on a 5-year story arc for BSG 2.0, we could have had a satisfying ending with no Ellen as the 5th, no "Daniel," no angels, and no "250 thousand years ago."

10.28.2010

BOBBY: "YOU HAVE THAT LOOK"

Bobby (to Dean): "You have that look."

Dean:
"What look?"

Bobby:
"Like you're going to do something stupid."

Became a Supernatural fan. Another show I never watched until years after it began. Just finished the 5th season and it had a terrific story arc and good ending (for once). It is possible to create a satisfying ending for a television show - maybe someone should tell Ron Moore and Damon Lindelof. It was a bit self-serving with the prophet-as-writer device, but it was done with humor and fit with the tone of the show. A very entertaining series and tons of good character actors. The actors who play the angels seem to be having the most fun.

Here's a link to the Hulu eps (with a link there to the CW site for the show)

10.09.2010

CRAPRICA RETURNS

Up late and accidentally hit upon the return of Caprica around 3:00am on the Mansquito Network (SyFy they call it) ... even worse than before, if that's possible.

Every single thing I liked about the 2003-2006 Battlestar Galactica reboot is slowly being sucked out of this show, as if they let some of those teen-angst vampires that stalk every media nook-and-cranny nowadays loose upon the show to suck what little life it had right out of it.

Terrible ideas drive this show, which should be no surprise because lunch-lister Jane Espensen has been put in charge - and she was always the weakest writer on BSG. Way too many story threads overlap and bump into each other - like a schizophrenic was put in charge of making the area rug for the foyer. Every evocative mention and image of the 12 colonies in BSG is made cheap, and dumbed-down for Caprica. There is no magic, just the mundane.

What ever happened to the gold sky of Caprica? Key timeline error: if Daniel Graystone invents the robots and one generation later William Adama is the key military leader fighting the Cylons, when was the golden age when robots and man and the gods all lived together from the mythos of the earlier show? Bah.

The look of the show grows more like Stargate meets Sin City, the high-style slickness to the look of the Graystone parts of the story are completely undermined by this whole mafia subplot. Really, what a joke. My cat can cough up a furball with more interesting elements that these Caprica episodes. We've seen it all before, and done better.

Have mercy, kill this show soon.

9.04.2010

8.01.2010

7.22.2010

LOST - BAD ENDING

LOST ended terribly. Not quite as bad as the abomination that was the finale of Battlestar Galactica, but close. In an almost identical fashion, the writers of LOST carried on about how "it's about the characters" (the same way the BSG creators did) as their cop-out for failing to provide answers to the many mysteries they fashioned in their story and instead gave us a weepy chick-flick ending with a late-in-the-third-act-major-character-and-plot-development and a deus ex machina ending.



5.26.2010

ALL GLORY ...



I've switched the content of this post and the previous post so the comments here are actually in response to the previous post's former alternate story (now linked in above post)

5.21.2010

LOST - THE END - STICK A CORK IN IT

REVIEW
The sad news is that the ending to LOST was indeed Deus Ex Machina and was almost as bad as the Battlestar Galactica ending (but saved its crappiness for the final episode cluster rather than stretch it out for a whole season).

Note to LOST storytellers and Hollywood in general:
STOP BEING S
UCH FUCKING LAZY WRITERS!

Every single fan ide
a about the mysteries of the island and the story and every bit of fan fiction about a proposed ending was better than what the high-powered, paid, professional writers of the show came up with. Egads.

The big island climax comes with Desmond descending into the Golden light cave since Jack had been badly stabbed by Smokey/Locke so couldn't be lowered by rope down into it. Desmond goes down but i
s not converted to smoke. And the golden light was less glowy - in fact, once Desmond got to the cave (which looked like leftovers from one of the Pirates' movies or a Laura Croft set) it looked more greenish-yellow and was much more muted. And then when Jack goes down into the cave - oh wait, our hero can descend by rope into a deep cave with a gaping stab wound! - and puts the drain-plug "cork" back into the hole the light is reddish. Weird how having the cork in let the water flow yet pulling it out dried up the flow (tampon companies are you watching?).

What was most distressing for me was how syrupy and sentimental it all was. I wanted answers and a final spectacular showdown between Smokey/MIB and Jack/whomever (not some cheesy Kirk on the sandstone rocks in Chatsworth and styrofoam boulders) and to find out what the island actually is. I got that queasy feeling I had when I watched the worst part of any Star Trek ever: the scene in Generations where Picard wakes up in the diffusion-filter pinky-out doily parlor with children and a Christmas tree.

First Ron Moore and David Eick give us a great show (2003's reboot of Battlestar Galactica) with so much promise only to basically abandon it to simplistic angels and god did it for their big deus ex machina ending, and now JJ Abrams, Cuse and Lindelof (and the rest of the writing team) decide they're too lazy to bother weaving together their vast and myraid collection of story elements they'd concocted and did their own version of god did it: it was all a dream - Jack's death fever-dream of his life as he ascends that tunnel of light to heaven.

On an entertainment scale I'd give the episode a 5 out 10 and I'd give a 3 out of 10 for living up to its potential.

This is what you ga
ve us, LOST creatives: an unfinished masterpiece. Yes, the adage goes an artist never finishes his work, he merely abandons it, but at least with Michaelangelo we have a vast body of his works and thus the unfinished sculptures are understood on their own merits and technical brilliance. He said he didn't create the figure(s), he liberated them. You LOST guys were working on one series and just walked away from its complexities rather than face them. [Imagine Jersey accent]: Yo, it's lika a body - comin' outta da rocks deh - jus leave it, it's good enuf. You were never liberating a brilliant and complex story, you were just randomly chiseling and then quit.

The LOST-Untangled (with muppets) is now up and is much much better than the live-action slop we got.




ANALYSIS PRIOR TO AIRING OF THE END
[I gave the show's creator/writers way too much credit]

Ourobo
ros (the snake eating its tail - the endless cycle) ... time repeating. In Battlestar Galactica there was the constant refrain All of this has happened before and all of it will happen again and it looks like that's what we'll get with the finale of LOST. You can't fracture time, it will always re-set.

I see the main conflict as Eloise vs. Desmond. Eloise has carefully manipulated people and events to create a happy timeline - the Alt+B as I've been calling it, where her son Daniel is alive and pursuing music rather than science. Eloise killed her son by shooting him on the island when she was younger than he was and she was pregnant - possibly with Daniel - an ultimate time-paradox. Eloise was trapped after that with the knowledge of what would happen but she manipulated what events she could to destroy the island reality or at least the relevant peoples' knowledge of the place in Alt+B.

Her pendant at left is an open Ouroboros, telegraphing that she believes time is not a closed loop, so believes she can fracture it and proudly wears this sentiment as jewelry.She knows there are now two timelines and wears that knowledge as well.

Eloise can't control the discoveries nor the impact of her son's time experments in the timeline in which Desmond goes to see him at Oxford and I suspect that it is Faraday's time experiments which set this all in motion in the first place, he is the Ouroboros - time loops again and again because of him. Eloise helped explode the bomb to undo her murder of her son, which allowed her to see the alternate timelines.


Eloise's husband, Charles Widmore, in the island reality has blasted Desmond with electromagnetism but never really explained why. I suspect that Widmore had reason to believe that Desmond would be able to see both (or all) timelines through this exposure since the island had displayed unusual magnetic properties and other phenomena. So island Widmore activated Desmond's quest in the Alt+B timeline that is fracturing all of Eloise's hard work. There should be a showdown between Desmond and Eloise. If the show it true to form I expect some rich irony in the outcome. Desmond may think he's doing all of our characters a favor in Alt+B but he is probably provoking time (and the island) to re-set.

There seems to be a balanced scale effect happening - most evidenced through Ben: as he grows more sweet and principled in Alt+B he becomes more evil on the island. Desmond is active in Alt+B but passive on the island.

The concert in Alt+B seems to be where it is all set to manifest (kinda cheesy). Des
mond is assembling the principals there while Smokey/Locke is still trying to assemble who he has left on the island. Smokey want them to die - but they must kill each other (even if by accident) and now he has his instrument - Ben will do it.

The ending could have gone many different ways but the show's creators and writers had to narrow it down somehow and I'm okay with a Desmond-Eloise face-off. She is the Controller, so carefully trying to shape one reality to give her and the others happiness (the price is their ignorance), and most importantly have her son's life back. Desmond is the destroyer - but perhaps unwittingly. It would be most helpful to find out Widmore's motivation for putting Desmond in the magnetic field and see a shot of Desmond's POV in that magentic field, and if we don't get that information the writer's have been lazy or sloppy.

I see the island as a living thing - although not sentient - that exists outside of space and time. It can't be found unless it or its agents find you. It is a time-space well, drawing to it those people also outside of spacetime. Again, a paradox: people the island seeks have to have been to the island to acquire such properties. I'm sure hoping Abrams, Lindelof, et al are not going the Battlestar Galactica route and we end up with another deus ex machina god explanation ... I'm worried because of Allison Janney/Earth Mother Hippy's comment about the golden light in the cave, "a little exist inside all men."

Now, Smokey/MIB/Locke has one motivation - to destroy the island - MIB shattering the wine bottle after Jacob gave it to him is his way of telegraphi
ng that he will not even try to remove the cork to get free (remember, Jacob told Ricardo/Richard that the island is the cork holding the evil on the island?) ... no, MIB/Smokey will break the bottle - attempt to destroy the island itself ... the only way this seems possible is for him to let the light out of the cave

5.18.2010

LOST - WHAT THEY DIED FOR - REVIEW

[updated]
Much
better episode than last week's Across the Sea, but again some puzzle pieces felt hammered into place and not carefully inserted where they wo
uld naturally fit (Widmore's sudden death, Anna-Lucia pops up, Ben's turn to evil)

Jacob Explains It All For You worked okay - yet his driving for
ce was to atone for some guilt about throwing his brother ManInBlack into the Golden Cave - yet he seemed to have no problem with spending 30 years with some crazy Earth Mother Hippie who killed his real mom and forced him to take on the horrible responsibility of guarding the reverse Pandora's Cave: goodness, but also an evil wind (to contrast with Pandora's Box: all the world's ills, but also hope)


Yin and Yang, baby, that's where it's at with LOST ... black & white ... loose and tight ...


As Ben is humanized in the Alt+B parallel timeline (fighting on behalf of Locke, warm-hearted feelings for Delenn, oops, I mean Rousseau, and her daughter) he becomes more
d
e l i c i o u s l y evil "I want to watch" in the island reality [clearly, what goes up in one reality must come down in the other] and even viciously shoots Widmore dead. Yea !, bad Ben is back! And Billie Jean King was Jason-ized, shut-the-hell-up with a teen-slasher-film slash [nod to Potiphar, you called it ... or you know things].

Sawyer shows a little puppy-dog I fucked up face to Jack since he got the sub blown up and people killed but Jack lets him off the hook - he [Locke] did it, Jack growls. So deathlist for this ep includes: Widmore, annoying glasses lady (BJK), and maybe Richard. I'll bet Claire and Miles (and Pivotal Penny) get to join the list in the finale, and SmokeMonster may thrash Kate, Sawyer and Hurley just for fun.

All those names written on Lighthouse light-base (I guess that's how Jacob found his lost souls to bring to the island) and on the cave ceiling, not so mysterious after all. Kate, you can be the one, if you want, but since you're an adoptive mommy now, I crossed you off.

And when the moment came for the Candidates they didn't even try a To Tell the Truth fake step-forward - no one besides Jack even expressed the slightest
interest in the job. So, as completely expected, Jack took the job (and took the drink of the stank river water - or maybe it tastes of golden light?)

Was Richard killed? Just like that, an unceremonious quick Smoke-Monster-tendril thras
h ... almost off-camera? Laaaaaaame ... if that's really the end for him. They give his character one of the best episodes of the whole series Ab Aeterno - almost cinematic in its beauty - and this is his end?

Desmond is a busy little bee over in Alt+B, lining up all the kiddies to fracture island reality (jail breakout - well transport van, actually) ... it seems Widmore's little magnet experiment let him see the view to the other side as I said a few eps ago [note: re; 'Beautiful View' image of window at left - I had it in my huge image folder and lost track that I had saved it from a wonderful Greek photographer's site called toomanytribbles - apologies for lack of credit and here is the photo link]

We finally catch up with Miles, Richard and Ben and we end up at the condos - Miles feels all twitchy because he's standing on the ground where Richard thoughtfully buried Ben's daughter (pound in another puzzle piece), then Miles decides he'll race around the jungle alone rather than hide from Smokey/Locke. Ben shows his special place in the closet and then says howdy to Smokey/Locke and leads him to where Widmore and BJK were hiding and gleefully watches/participates in their murders. He is desperate to know what was whispered about Desmond.

Back in Alt+B wheelchair Locke goes to see Dr. Jack and is ready to "let go" and be operated on to perhaps restore some leg function ... after good Ben tells him that Desmond didn't want to kill him really but for him to let go. In the Yin-Yang what-goes-up-must-come-down equation of the two time-streams if Locke does this in Alt+B, then Smokey/Locke will lose power on the island.

And at The End, when the show creators re-set the story, who else will join the intrepid cast on their journey on Oceanic 815 for the movie version?

Even if all was obliterated but the Alt+B timeline by the end of the tv show, the same scenario would manifest again albeit a bit differently for the film version because you can't really change things.

Epilogue: It seems there has been a long cycle of humans who were brought or somehow made it to the island and always one that figures out the golden light needs protecting and this mission overrides all sense of morality and other human and social imperatives in order to uphold the mission.

LOST - my alternate ending

Here is most of my alternative to Across the Sea and here is my alternative (some of it) to tonight's What They Died For

5.17.2010

LOST FINALE SNEAK

Final promo trailer is pretty terrific and is promising a lot:

5.16.2010

LOST, my ALT+B version

I've added a Hurley scene to my ALT+B version of Across the Sea (click for that post) ... I've kept the aborted plane scene but that's all. I'll add my version of What They Died For before Tuesday night's ep. Spoilers (major) have leaked out online - the events in the final The End episode, but I'll ignore all that. You can find it on io9 and I believe Dark UFO also if you want to read it. It doesn't seem terribly interesting to me if it's accurate and not some fake-out. Like Battlestar Galactica's ignominious end, they LOST creatives seem content to just gloss over or ignore a lot of the mystery they've created.

[Synopsis - highlight]
Alt+B - Desmond is interrogated by the Police for the hit-and-run on Locke and for being at the hospital. Widmore pulls strings and bails him out - they have a talk in Widmore's car: he has indulged Eloise's craziness (as he sees it) for a long time, but her seemingly prescient knowledge made him very rich. Desmond ...

Island - we finish the Desmond rescue by Sayid and Desmond convinces Sayid that he feels dead on the island because he is, and tells him his life in Alt+B is what counts and says he can show him a glimpse of it - Sayid allows Desmond to choke him and Sayid sees flashes of the Alt+B timestream and his life with his lady love. Sayid takes the gun, sits on the edge with his back above the well and shoots himself - his body falling into the well. Desmond is horrified at the violence, but understands and runs off into the thicket ...

Hurley is seething, angry at himself for getting his group in SmokeMonster/Locke's clutches. He has caught up the group as they head toward the coast and the sub. Hurley has a rock, he works his way close to Locke and finds his opportunity and smashes his head with it - Locke transforms into SmokeMonster before their eyes and wraps its tendrils around Hurley and lifts him, choking him. Hurley is determined and stares into it. Smokey puts him down and Hurley spits the words, "You need me, and until you don't you won't kill me." Smokey transforms back into Locke. Hurley addresses the stunned group, "Until Jacob picks which of us is to replace him he won't kill the candidates - you (Jack), you (Sawyer), and me." Locke, also seething, trasforms his arm into Smokey and grabs Claire and dashes her against a tree - killing her.

more coming