Saturday, May 25, 2013

Movies & TV

I haven't done one of these posts in a long long time.  I've seen a lot of good movies over the last winter.  I've also watched tons of TV.  I've discovered a few hidden gems.


In SciFi genre there is Oblivion, The Avengers, Thor, all of the Iron Man movies, Wolverine.  I like Marvel movies even if they are dopey   The only one I truly disliked was the third X-men movie, The Last Stand.

Thor was a surprise.  While I was expecting good CG and lots of fighting, what came as a pleasant surprise was the hidden humor (Natalie Portman keeps running him over) and the love story.  Wolverine fills in his backstory.  But for good old fashion SciFi in the tradition of Arthur C Clark, I recommend Oblivion.  The younguns don't like it much.  Not enough blowing up of things.  But it is a good story told in the old SF style.  And how could you go wrong with Morgan Freeman?

In not-SF there is Hugo, The Artist, Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Jack Reacher, The Bourne Legacy,  Butter and A Fish Called Wanda.

Best of the lot/can't miss are The Artist and Hugo.  Gorgeous films.  Brilliantly shot.  Great acting.  Novel films.  Both are must see.  On the more light hearted side are Miss Pettigrew, The Marigold Hotel and Butter.  All good movies with solid acting and a good story.  I had to rewatch A Fish Called Wanda.  It is one of those movies that you have to rewatch every few years.  Very Pythonesk.  Great cast.  The last two are really fun action films that I enjoyed very much.  Great acting.  Good stories.  Slightly unpredictable.

On my must watch list:  Continuum, Scandal, Smash, Defiance, Person of Interest, Elementary and of course Dancing with the Stars.  Contiuum is a nifty new SciFi show out of Canada.  It is shot in Vancouver.  I love the background story.  Corporations take over the government in the near future including the food supply, water supply and power supply.  People rebel.  There is time travel involved and it is going to get interesting regarding who are the good guys and who are the bad.  The first season is up on Netflix and the second season is about to start on the SyFy channel.

Scandal is a great show.  Political intrigue.  Amazing plot twists and fantastic acting.  First season is up on Netflix and the second is available on Hulu.  There are a couple of episodes in the second season that are a bit gruesome (they involve torture) but you can always skip over the gory bits.  While it is disturbing, it is part of the plot so they aren't gratuitous just too graphic for my delicate tastes.

Smash, the grown up version of Glee.  Lots of great singing.  Too bad it is being canceled.

Defiance is a new SciFi show that is turning out to be quite good.  Only a handful of episodes have aired on SyFy so far and are up on Hulu but dang I like it.  It is another attempt at Cowboys and Aliens but with them trying to get along rather than blow each other up.  Lots of cultural misunderstandings and political machinations and some decent acting.

Person Of Interest has gotten really good this season.  All sorts of plot twists and intrigue. Wish this were available on the internet without having to go through a paywall.

Elementary is an updated Sherlock Holmes.  LOVE IT!  It isn't just murder of the week like Castle and Body of Proof.  It is really about this broken man trying to paste his life back together.  Watson won't put up with his crap and tells him off when he crosses the line which he does often.  Brilliant acting and great character driven plots.  Again I wish this were available on Hulu or Netflix but it is also locked behind a paywall.

Oldies but goodies that I'm watching from beginning to end: West Wing, Arrested Development, Call the Midwife, X-Files.  The one you probably haven't heard of is Call the Midwife.  It is a British show set in post WW2 England.  The first episode is a bit gross but if you get past that I love how the characters develop and interact.  Great sets and costumes.  Good acting and plot.  It gives you some perspective on what life was like prior to birth control.   I also absolutely love the music they've selected for each show.  It is one of the few that I let run through the credits so I can listen to the songs.

Other shows that I watch when I get really bored (i.e. they are tolerable but have problems with either weak plots, predictability or weak acting):
SF: Haven, Arrow, Beauty and the Beast, Warehouse 13, Revolution and Sanctuary
Other genres: Hart of Dixie, Revenge, Once Upon a Time, Castle, Body of Proof

These are all shows I get bored with fairly easily.  They tend to be rote and predictable in their own ways.  I have to be in the mood to watch them.  If Revolution doesn't shape up soon I'm going to quit watching it.  It holds some promise but it can't decide if it wants to be character driven or plot driven or action driven and wildly swings between the three.  You start to get hooked on a character and then they do something horrible and walk away like nothing happened.  They have killed off several characters that are in close proximity to the central ones. The main character swings between being a really nasty soldier and then is supposed to be one of the good guys.  A confusing mess if you ask me.

Although Haven, Beauty and the Beast, Hart of Dixie and Castle are all different genres they are all will-the-main-characters-hookup? shows.  Castle and Beauty and the Beast did cross the invisible line and it is only a matter of time to see if they jumped the shark as a result.  Frequently once the romantic tension between the main characters is gone then the show dies.  B&theB suffers from seriously bad dialogue and some fairly bad acting but the plots can be good once in a while.

I have no idea where Haven stands.  It is supposed to be starting up again soon but I still haven't seen a new episode up on Hulu.  It is an odd show with a rote disaster of the week to be solved by the good guys going on along with the unrequited love between the main characters.

Hart of Dixie is just fluffernutter.  Good for when I'm truly brain dead.  The rest are predictable in their own way but a good distraction.

Anyway, I'm brain fried now so I have to stop writing.  Bye!

No comments:

Post a Comment