June 30, 2012

I confess that I didn’t have a lot of enthusiasm going into Prometheus (which explains why I hadn’t seen it until this).  The first two-thirds worked well enough for me, but the final act really spiraled into story cliches.

Also, there isn’t sufficient character development to invest viewers in anyone deeply enough to generate an emotional response.

If you like science fiction, my favorite film in that genre in recent years is Moon.  Check it out.  Compelling story and a character you will care about!



FOX 8 Morning News

June 26, 2012

I’ll make an appearance on the WGHP morning show tomorrow around 9:30 to talk about — no surprise here — movies.


June 25, 2012

The great thing about cable on demand services is having the ability to catch up (or keep up) with shows you might not have in regular rotation.

Based on the British show The Thick of It, created by Armando Iannucci (who also did a film I admire, In the Loop), VEEP went though another incarnation or two in the US before landing on HBO.

Over the weekend I watched the eight, half-hour episodes of season one (it has been renewed for a second season) and discovered that I was ambivalent about the first half of the season but drawn in by the second half of the episodes.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays Vice President Selina Meyer, and she’s pretty unlikeable.  Honestly, it was her chief of staff Amy (played by Anna Chlumsky, who is also featured in In the Loop) and body man Gary (played by Tony Hale) who kept me engaged in the early episodes.

I can’t say I like any other characters more in subsequent episodes, but a visit by the VEEP’s daughter, a pregnancy scare, and a few other story elements ratchet up my interest level as the series progresses.

What continues to bother me about VEEP is the idea there is no real service in public service – just a lot of self-serving players.  The series presents a cynical view, and I know there are plenty of people who are one-dimensional in politics, but the idealist in me cries out, “Say it ain’t so…”

Is the shallowness of political life represented in this series all there is?  I can’t believe that.


June 20, 2012

Do I recommend it?  No.  Was it as terrible as I expected?  No.

Surprisingly, that’s because of some of the grown up actors in the film, even Tom Cruise.  I have a hard time watching him in films since the couch performance and declarations of undying love on Oprah years ago, but his dissipated rocker character in this film is weird enough to make him watchable.

Not much plot, even less character development, and most of the music never made it to my iPod.

Rock of Ages falls somewhere between Rock ‘n’ Roll High School and Across the Universe, but it lacks the low-budget edginess of the former and the conceptualization and craft of the latter.

Seeing this film reminded me how much I appreciate Across the Universe.

GIRLS Goes Out on a Low Note

June 18, 2012

Can anyone say “Jumped the shark”?  The season finale of Girls was a disappointment.


June 18, 2012

I finally made myself watch the pilot and first episode.  No more.

When I was in college, Dallas was a popular show, a bit of a cultural event.  So much so that friends on my hall would gather in dorm rooms and lounges to watch weekly episodes before we would scatter across campus (or, more often, move in big clumps to the same destinations) for social activities.

What was the appeal?  I can’t remember.

Watching two hours of the new version of the series revealed some familiar, if aging, faces and locations and reminded me of the trite dialogue spoken by cardboard characters drawn in stark black or white.

The theme song made me smile a little, but in the final analysis, the only difference between Dallas and various daytime soaps (that also don’t engage me) is the production budget and the lighting.

That’s not enough to make me a viewer.


June 14, 2012

I recorded Dallas last night.  Do I have the energy (interest) to watch it?