Archive for the 'tv/film' Category

up

June 3, 2009

Up

Well, all I can say is Pixar hit another one out of the ballpark. First of all though, I have to say that Wall-E is still my favorite of them all. Everything from the homages to sci-fi movies of the past, to the almost silent film nature of the first half, and including the underlying environmental message, made that movie very hard to follow up. The opening montage of “Up” was packed with so much emotion and tenderness, showing me all the wonderful things to look forward to in life, but also warning me to seize the day before it’s too late, to be spontaneous with my decisions (which is the theme of this blog, right? :P). There were wonderful sweeping CGI landscapes, completely random, off the wall, inventive, and undeniably memorable characters, a plot that indulged the inner adventure seeking aspirations of our childhood, and just the right amount of humor (I mean, who didn’t think Alpha’s first words were hilarious? I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in a Pixar movie.). Kristine’s captivated state throughout the whole movie peppered with “Awww,” “Go go go!,” “Nooo!,” “Point!,” “Squirrel!,” and “Gobble gobble” only solidifies and provides evidence of the imaginative power of  “Up.” Although we watched it in 3D, I’d have to say it’s not a necessary feature when watching this movie. Nonetheless, I give this a solid:

A-/A

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tv show formulas = poll

November 13, 2008

What was originally supposed to be a rant about certain types of TV shows, eventually evolved into a basic primer on three categories of shows that everything pretty much falls into these days:

Terrorist/Mission of the Week
This type of show seems to be the most prevalent, probably because it requires less writing skills. You get the show, usually some kind of Action/Crime/Supernatural theme, and every week there is a new terrorist, or a new krypto-freak, or a new mission. Every week is different, and it happens week after week, and 80% of the show is focused on this. The other 20% actually has some plot elements weaved in, probably about an overarching secret organization, plot twist, or an unexplicable connection between all the terrorists/missions, to keep users from tuning in to see what may happen or probably may not happen next week. I dislike this show the most, mainly because it seems like they stall you for 80% of the show with really crappy writing, and dump you with a couple minutes of actual plot development, which is almost always a cliffhanger. In fact, in this week’s Knight Rider, there was this line (I swear!): “You rhyme like a white boy and not a Beastie Boy.” *shakes head* If all that crap was taken out, you’d probably end up with a 1 hour season. Obviously, although I dislike this, the general public must love it, because CSI is consistently on top. Examples: Smallville, X-Files, Fringe, CSI, ER, Chuck, Knight Rider.

Situation of the Week
This category shares a lot of similarities with the previous one, but is different enough to warrant its own category. The difference is that the weekly situations don’t pretend to be a part of the overarching plot, if it even exists. Usually you’ll find this in sitcoms. These situations ARE the show, hence they are usually better written. If there ever is a plot, it’s almost always a love interest. These shows are easy to watch out of order, and easy to pick up. Very TV friendly, although it seems to be a dying genre. Examples: Friends, Big Bang Theory, Seinfeld, Family Guy, Futurama, Simpsons.

Really Long Movie
Ah yes, now we come to my favorite type of show. If you were to watch all these episodes back to back, cut out the commercials and their respective transition scenes, title screens, and credits, you’d have a TV show that flows on forever like a really really really long movie. This type of show is very enjoyable to watch as a season, but very hard to watch on a weekly basis, because, well, you want to know what happens next, and a week is a long wait. Plus, a lot of plot elements are forgotten in a week’s time (thank god for ‘previously on…’ recaps). Problem with these shows is that they aren’t usually TV friendly. Audiences that pick up in the middle of the season will miss out on a lot of plot elements, and watching episodes out of order will really mess things up. A lot of people who hear about these shows too late just don’t have the time commitment required to catch up. Examples: Friday Night Lights, Heroes, The O.C., Lost.

I know, I bet you can almost just label these categories as Action, Comedy, and Drama. Well, they do usually seem to fall into these categories, but there are some shows that like to break the conventional formulas and blur the lines, incorporating lots of elements, like Desperate Housewives and Entourage, and I just wish more would. So I’d like to take a poll, as I’m always curious, and I want to test out the new included poll feature in WordPress, and see what type of show the general public seems to like the best. And I know I’m probably missing something, so the 4th option includes groundbreaking formulas and whatnot.

smallville: coming to an end?

May 3, 2008

Ok, so I guess I jumped the boat on my previous post on lex vs. clark. Apparently, Michael Rosenbaum, who plays Lex Luthor, is going to leave the show. And to make matters worse, Kristin Kreuk, who plays Lana Lang, is going to leave the show too. The show, renewed for the 8th season, which is rumored to be its last, will presumably play out with two new villains for Clark, including one of my favorites: Doomsday. But, Doomsday is supposed to kill Superman much later on, so I’m not sure how they will try and incorporate him into a Smallville story. Oh well, the show never really followed the Superman mythos accurately anyway. With Kreuk and Rosenbaum gone, which is basically 2 out of the 4 remaining cast members who were from the show from the beginning (the other two being Tom Welling and Allison Mack), the only way this show can redeem itself (for me at least), is if Clark finally learns to fly and makes the transition into Superman. That’d be a fitting end at least.

lex vs. clark: the beginning

April 18, 2008

Spoilers! (Kinda) The last scene from yesterday’s episode of Smallville (“Descent”) was so badass. The music was great, the cinematography was breathtaking, and the plot marked the official beginning (in my opinion anyway) of Lex vs. Clark. Lex is pure evil now, and Clark is beginning to realize his destiny and the value of his life, and the ensuing war between the two all begins with this scene. The series has kind of been in a slump lately, and this episode was definitely refreshing. Here’s hoping for some great plot lines to now tie more directly into the Superman mythos. (And is he ever going to fly in this show???)

lost theory

April 13, 2008

After reading a friend’s blog, I came across a link to this amazing theory on the plot of “Lost,” and if it is even remotely correct, I love Lost even more than I already do (if that’s possible). Only time will tell. We got two more seasons to go! It’s quite a complicated theory, and I’m not sure how they’ll convey it all on TV within two seasons, so maybe there’s a simpler explanation. If you haven’t watched all of this season, there are definitely spoilers to watch out for! I’m always fascinated with time travel though, which is why I really liked the show Journeyman, which was very unfortunately cancelled by NBC. I really thought the acting was top notch, the cliff hangers were great, and the underlying plot was captivating.

friday night lights

April 6, 2008

So it’s official: Friday Night Lights will return for a 3rd season. Basically, the show gets all these awards, and critics seem to love it, but the ratings are just really low, so the show is always on the brink of cancellation. People just don’t watch it, mostly because they think it’s about football or something that only guys would watch. Well, the football does provide a sort of location and constant backstory, but I’d say it’s about 10% of the show, and the rest is about real life. The show is so realistic, the acting is so good, and I just love the way the cinematography works in harmony with the soundtrack from Austin-based “Explosions in the Sky.” So anyway, the higher-ups at NBC are big fans of the show, and the main reason why Friday Night Lights was even able to have a 2nd season, although a shortened one because of the strike. Since NBC didn’t want to foot the complete bill of picking up FNL for a 3rd season, DirecTV is going to be broadcasting the 3rd season first, I think Fall of 2008, and then NBC will re-broadcast it Spring of 2008. They’ll start shooting in August, and depending on where I’m at and what I’m doing, I might consider being an extra in the show again. Although, the two episodes of the 2nd season where I was an extra, I was basically shown on national TV as a guy who could not dance and a guy who texts too much on his Treo in a cafeteria. What? It was like a 12 hour work day and I was bored! Good thing I was very much in the background and just another face in the crowd, so even if someone was looking for me while watching those episodes, I highly doubt they’d be able to find me. That’s why I have graciously attached screenshots. :P Please, please watch the show if you can! I think you’d be quite surprised at how good it really is. The 1st and 2nd seasons are available for $19-$20 each on Amazon if you ever want to catch up. I’d say those are quite reasonable prices. And I think they even have a guarantee that if you don’t like it, you can mail it back to them and they will refund the cost back to you.

nines

March 28, 2008

I watched this movie called “The Nines,” starring Ryan Reynolds and Hope Davis. There was a little girl in there who looked eerily similar to Dakota Fanning, and afterwards from the credits and some IMDb-ing, I found out it was actually her little sister, who I never knew existed. That aside, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and if you have any interest in the movie, I suggest you stop reading as I am most likely going to delve into some topics that could best be described as spoilers. Basically the character that Ryan Reynolds portrays is what is referred to as a “9.” This is based on a theoretical scale of “God” being a “10”, and humans being  a “7.” There is also some absurd (or is it?) reference to Koalas being “8’s” because they are telepathic and can control the weather. Whatever. So basically Ryan’s character is some kind of a cosmic being who is able to create and vaporize whole universes (at least a universe from the human perception) with just a thought. And he has been addicted to creating these universes and living in them and playing it out, and has started to lose sense of reality, like a crack addict or World of Warcraft addict. (There’s even a reference to “Evercrack”)

Anyway, the reason why I like the movie is because I connect with it on some kind of spiritual or intellectual level. Currently, I am a self-proclaimed agnostic. I have not quite decided or understood my existence and the existence of this world yet, but it does get clearer as the years pass. However, this movie explains things that I feel and believe more eloquently than I ever could. You see, I believe that our existence is much bigger than we can perceive. I think our perception of this universe is much different than how other beings perceive it, whether the being is an animal on earth, or some other cosmic/spiritual being. I believe in life outside of this earth. Sure, science primarily debunks the possibility of this happening, but I don’t think life outside of this earth can be perceived by us. It’s not something we can begin to understand. And our existences probably cannot be understood by most others either. So my main struggle in terms of my religion/spirituality has to do with whether or not there is a higher being, or higher beings (like the “9’s”), that have the capability to understand and/or control other existences. I have no idea if there is a term for people like me, but regardless, you should go see the movie if this type of thing interests you. Even if I did spoil all of the mystery of the plot.