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Jun 08

The Fountain

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TheFountainThe Fountain is a visually interesting, totally boring, directionless (pun intended), movie.

Actually, there are three stories* (I am using the term stories very loosely here as a story is supposed to make a certain amount of sense) which I won’t discuss mainly because I never figured out what they were about. They are repeated multiple times and go nowhere.

The whole thing is like a bad acid trip which, come to think of it, might explain the script.

But it looks good, and the acting is fine. It will irritate the hell out of you after come out of your coma and realize that 90 minutes of your life was just wasted.

* I didn’t realize there were three stories until I read some reviews. Actually, there might be four stories because they keep, I think, performing the same operation, on the same monkey, over and over.


Aug 10

The Grid and The 4400

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These two series had nothing to do with each other except appear on tv at about the same time.

The 4400 is about abductees being returned to some place in the state of Washington and about the governments response to their return.

The Grid is about our old friends the terrorists. They win some; we win in the end. One curious thing about terrorists is how their “leaders” want the followers to run home to Allah, but aren’t willing to lead the charge. But that’s another story, isn’t it? And, isn’t that the way of all leaders. After all, someone has to stay home and lead.

I am not going to discuss the plots except to say that you have seen it all before:

If you haven’t seen the programs I’m sure they will be rerun about 1000 more times before summer ends.

Both ended last night. Both were pretty good until the last episode in the series.

The Grid held together very will except, in the last episode, for the FBI agent with the “Heart of Gold.” He has promised the father of an American terrorist that he will not kill him; that he will “take him alive if possible.” This leads to the dumb bastard getting shot and another agent with more sense has to kill the terrorist before he can blow up the ship which will send something deadly into the city of Chicago, etc.

The bumbling idiot agent, the one with the extra hole in his body, also spent most of the series telling his wife, and son, he was sorry for all the disruption to family life hunting terrorists was causing. Except that he didn’t actually do anything until the last 30 minutes of the program except whine about disruption to his wife and son. Oh, yes, and give the manditory speech about the “friends I lost in The Towers…”

The ending of The 4400 was, to say the least, bizarre. It just stopped going; like they ran out of film or money. We were told that a baby who was being born to an abductee was part of the answer; we were told that the world, or our part in it, was ending some time in the future (I could have predicted that one); we were told that some comatose patient who was no longer comotose, and was also not who he appeared to be, had the answer.

What the f&$k was the question?

The woman who is having the earth saving baby, or whatever it is, has escaped from forces with her boyfriend and lives in a beautiful, expensive cabin in the woods somewhere, I assume, in Washington. They have no money, and no jobs; this has never been a problem in tv land and doesn’t matter.

It is now 6 month later; the baby is on the way, or she has stomach problems, so they get in the car and head for a hospital, or somewhere.

Then we see tall trees bow to a passing car and it’s over. More next week? Nope. That’s it!

The cast of The 4400 was competent. Nobody seemed miscast.

I especially liked Richard Tyler who I have never seen before but has a “screen presence” whatever that means, and Mark Valley, last seen in Keen Eddie, who plays a nasty government villian this time.

The cast of The Grid was also mostly competent except for Dylan McDermott who is just too damn whiny; just like he was in The Practice.

The English cast was excellent.

Two in the American cast stand out: Piter Marek played an American muslim working for the CIA who was, unfortunately, blown apart in the end (probably for having sex with a non-muslim who was, even worse, English), and Julianna Marguilies who got to wear black and play tough and was suprisingly good.


Jul 22

Rescue Me

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Rescue Me is a new television series about New York firefighters post 911. It stars Dennis Leary as Tommy Gavin and a cast of unknowns; or at least unknown to me. It is much like The Shield in that it is gutty, new, and edgy. The network, FX, carries both programs.

These guys are real, or at least as real as it’s ever going to get on television. When they go to fight a fire in a 4 story walkup, and we see them climbing the narrow stairs to get to the fire, claustraphobic is the word that comes to mind.

There is black humor. When the fire in an apartment is over, the guys are outside resting and they look up to see what appears to be a little girl at one of the windows in the apartment that was burning. They freak, she jumps out the window and they rush over only to find a doll on the ground. Tommy has played a little joke on them.

One firefighter, whose name I didn’t catch, has just been examined for colon cancer. He has created a list of 10 people he is going to kill if he has cancer. Liza Minelli is at the top of the list. I don’t know who the other nine are but I figure we could all fill in the blanks.

There are ghosts in the program and Tommy sees, and talks, to them all. Fortunately, this isn’t a sappy gimmick.

This program is sometimes painfully hard to watch. But you should watch it. It’s the best thing on television right now.

Wednesday at 7pm PST. Many repeats during the week. So, if you missed it last night, you can probably see it tonight.


Jan 23

The Wall – Live in Berlin

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The Concert, The Event, The Wall!

image

Before watching this DVD of Roger Waters THE WALL Live in Berlin, I had listened to The Wall twice this week. Obsessive perhaps, but The Wall holds up.

This may well be the greatest concert movie ever made. The time and place is historic; the film work is terrific, the sound is awesome, the cast and crew are great, and, of course, THE WALL is brilliant.

Get this DVD, turn the lights down, the music up, sit back, light up (oops… we don’t do that any more!), and be amazed.


Oct 27

Stop “Signs”

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We watched this movie Saturday night. While the pace is much like watching grass, or, more to the point, corn, grow, you eventually get sucked into the whole, silly plot which is about aliens landing in a corn field in Kansas and, instead of taking over the state capitol, or a 7-11, they concentrate all their energy on taking over a farm house where 4 people live.

I have some questions!

Why is it that aliens, who have the technology that allows them to travel 100’s of thousand’s of light years, can’t open a door?

Maybe the aliens aren’t from “out there.” Maybe they are by products of genetically altered corn. Maybe water makes them swell up and pop.

And, why is corn a symbol of evil, or creepiness? I realize that it is a recyclable food, but evil? I just don’t get it.

Also, what does Mel Gibson do for a living now that he is unfathered; what does his brother do besides smoke and watch television in a closet? Why don’t the kids go to school? Why is no one bothered when the boy murders his dog with a serving fork? What happened to the meat on the barbecue? Where’s PETA in all this?

Why are there 1252 half empty water glasses all over the farm house. I realize the daughter has a problem with water (hmm, maybe she’s part alien), but doesn’t any one ever clean a glass? Don’t they ever run out of water glasses? Do you have 1252 water glasses in your house?

Why does the younger brother hit the water glasses with his baseball bat? Wouldn’t it have been easier, and more accurate, just to throw water on the alien? How can you break a bat on a water glass?

How come the alien can’t get through the wood slats nailed to the windows, but can carve strange patterns in the same wood. It seems to me that he (it?) would just make one of those patterns bigger, and he’s (it’s) in.

Why does Mel Gibson, who is the father who was a Father, lose his faith when his wife is killed, but get it back when an alien is watered to death in his house?

Why didn’t the aliens bring raincoats, and umbrellas?

Why does the boy who has asthma and sucks on his inhaler every 30 seconds throughout the entire movie not have the inhaler when he is in the basement?

Why is the boy dead and then not dead? Is it a miracle, or is it Hollywood?

Why was this movie made?

Did anyone actually read this script before the movie was made?

Why did we watch it?

Will all these questions be answered in the Director’s Cut? Or, will it only get sillier?


A watchdog is a dog kept to guard your home, usually by sleeping where a burglar would awaken the household by falling over him. - Anonymous

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