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Pop culture junkie, native of Las Vegas, not really a writer.
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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Moonlight - the best new comedy on television?

So Phillip and I couldn't resist and DVR'd "Moonlight" the new vampire show on CBS. It was everything we expected it to be and more: cheesy while trying to be serious, filled with terrible puns, and horribly acted. Right from the opening shot we knew what we were in for. In a dream sequence, Mick St. John (yep that's our hero's name!) is being interviewed by someone off camera. "So how is it being an actual vampire?" she asks. Mick: "It sucks." AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Nice one. No pun intended, right? Oooh, the dialogue was so bad in this show that it actually made my stomach ache. Who writes this stuff? Who greenlights it?? I just don't get it. This show was ripe for a little MST3K treatment and that's the only way Phillip and I even made it through to the end. We've decided that Sophia Myles (that blonde vampire from the Underworld movies and Isolde in Tristan & Isolde) is a low, low, low rent version of Kate Winslet and thinks that her acting is enhanced when she uses her hands close to her face. There was one entire scene where her hands truly never left her face area. It was hysterical. The lead guy is handsome enough, but the director tried too hard by dressing him in a really thin shirt so his muscles rippled through and keeping a fan on him so that his hair blows seductively whenever possible. Oh and even the music in this show was pun-tastic. The song used for the music montage at the end that tied everything up in a neat little episodic bow was "My Immortal" by Evanescence. I'm not kidding. Although I really enjoyed watching the pilot episode because I got to make fun of it so thoroughly and laugh more than I have laughed in a long while, I don't think I'll be able to make it through a second viewing. It won't last beyond a handful of episodes anyway. Oh, wait, this is CBS and "Ghost Whisperer" is still on, so maybe it will last. Maybe I'll catch it again some Friday night when I have nothing better to do and I need a good laugh.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

2 Days in Paris

I've been a Julie Delpy fan since "Before Sunrise." I thought the screenplay she co-wrote with Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater for "Before Sunset" was a little piece of Heaven. But still, I didn't quite know what to expect from her writing/directing debut (well I think she has done some shorts before but this is her first full length). I was pleasantly surprised. Well written, touching, and laugh out loud funny (which I didn't expect), this film was a joy to watch. Delpy really captured a relationship with all its foibles; the tender moments and the moments when a pair are just plain mean to one another for no real reason. This was also the most endearing Adam Goldberg has ever been on screen. I just wanted to give him a big hug. And am I the only one who thinks Delpy is probably a complete nut in real life? How else can she write and play these neurotic characters so perfectly?

Oh and my favorite line in the movie? Well slightly paraphrased cause it's from memory:

Marion: Why do you even want to see his grave? You don't even like Jim Morrison. You don't like The Doors.

Jack: I know, but it's a famous grave. And I'm a huge Val Kilmer fan.


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Two surprisingly enjoyable films!

The past two days I’ve watched two films that I enjoyed more than I expected to.

The first was Douglas McGrath’s "Infamous." I’ve read Capote’s "In Cold Blood" which is an amazing true crime novel (oxymoronic as that is) and enjoyed Phillip Seymour Hoffman in his Oscar winning role as Truman in 2005’s "Capote" so I didn’t really expect to like "Infamous" that much cause hell, didn’t we just see this movie??? But Toby Jones’ performance as Truman Capote was a revelation! For me he reduced Hoffman’s performance to mediocrity at best. Toby was all flamboyancy, cattiness, and wit. This time around we got to see much more of Capote’s needling influence within his high society friends which enriched the character greatly. His Capote was so ridiculous that at first you didn’t think he’d ever be able win over the town folk of Holcomb let alone the killers, but little by little he does it and wins over the audience in the process. Plus, Toby is a tiny little man, like the real Capote was which helped the believability. I know they had tried to downplay Hoffman’s size and make him seem small, but it never really worked – which I didn’t fully realize until watching "Infamous." I will give the 2005 film one advantage over this new film and that’s Catharine Keener as Nelle Harper Lee. Keener is, of course, brilliant in everything she does. "Infamous" unfortunately had Sandra Bullock in the role and gawd she was awful. Even if she had been able to keep her Southern accent consistent, it still wouldn’t have been enough to make her performance believable. Toby swallowed her up. This, now that I think of it, is rather fitting, since Capote kind of swallowed up Lee in real life too. Daniel Craig was quite good too as the killer Perry Smith. "Infamous" played the Perry/Truman relationship up to sensational glory, taking it much further than "Capote" did, but it worked. Craig really pulled the tragedy and menace of the character off. Overall I felt that "Infamous" far outshone "Capote" in revealing what kind of man, lover, friend, liar, writer, bitchy little queen he really was – and with heart! HA!

Phillip and I finally watched David Fincher’s "Zodiac." We’d had it out from Netflix for a few weeks now, but neither one of us had been in the mood to watch a two hour, forty minute long movie about a serial killer whose case to this day is unresolved. We finally popped it in last night and wowza – we were pleasantly surprised! First off the cinematography and art direction were incredible. I really hope Oscar voters remember it when the time comes. The little period details from hairstyles to music to being free to smoke at work and on airplanes to the cars people drove – it was really well done. And some of the shots were fantastic, like the overhead shot that turned the corner sharply along with the cab, and the time lapse of the construction of San Francisco’s famous Transamerica Pyramid! The cast was also impeccable from the ever brilliant Brian Cox and Robert Downey Jr., the sorely underused Elias Koteas, the perfect Boy Scout Jake Gyllenhaal, and the continual impressiveness of Mark Ruffalo there would pop up in scene after scene someone else I was thrilled to see: Anthony Edwards! Dermot Mulroney! Chloe Sevigny! Donal Logue! James LeGros! Clea Duvall! For a movie about an unsolved crime the plotting still felt like we were continually trying to get somewhere and that we eventually would. There was still drama and tension and mystery and surprise. It was a great puzzle of a movie, slowly pieces would fit in one place and then you’d realize, wait, that doesn’t actually fit there, and you’d have to move it. For a movie with a really dark storyline it was actually a lot of fun!