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Showing posts from May, 2008

dexter (season one)

Nomadreaderboy and I have finished season one of Dexter. It's absolutely worth watching, as it is unlike any other show on television. It's not brilliant, but it is certainly captivating. The show certainly has the potential to be brilliant, and I hope season two will prove my hunch.

Going in, I heard two things about the show: it's the best show on television and it's about a serial killer. It's not the best show on television. In fact, the first half of the season is better than the second half. The build-up and tension were delightful, but the answers to the questions were unsatisfying, partially mundane and a little silly. I'm more than willing to suspend my disbelief, but I was completely unprepared to do so. The first half of the season was hyper realistic, almost to the point of uncomfortability at times. (It is a realistic portrayal of a serial killer after all).

Dexter was based on a novel, now a series of novels, and the conclusion of the season…

updike insight

Suddenly I want to read more John Updike:

"When she was dead, I rejoiced, to a degree. Her death removed a confusing presence from the world, an index to its unfulfilled potential. There. You see why I am not given to introspection. Scratch the surface, and ugliness pops up." - from "The Full Glass", published in The New Yorker, May 26, 2008

movie review: indiana jones and the kingdom of the crystal skull

In my effort to rewatch every episode of Sex and the City before that film comes out, I did not even attempt my goal to rewatch all three Indiana Jones movies. I admit, a few references went over my head, but Spielberg's heavy handed techniques clued me into most references.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is perhaps the perfect summer movie; it is purely entertaining cinema. The script was weak and rather nonsensical at some points, but I didn't stop to think about the plot until the movie was over. My attention was captivated the entire time. A fair share of this credit must go to ShiaLaBoeuf, Karen Allen and the surprisingly agile Harrison Ford. It's no secret I think ShiaLaBoeuf is perhaps the finest actor of my generation, and he will win an Oscar before he's thirty. There were some cringe-inducing lines he had to deliver, but I didn't actually cringe. He made bad dialog seem natural, as he did in Transformers.

On an unrelated tangent, how…

sex and the city, round one

Since the release date for the Sex and the City was announced months ago, I vowed to rewatch every episode in May before I see the movie. I foolishly thought moving would allow me plenty of time to watch all 94 episodes. In actuality, I sat down to officially start this project and watch the first episode last Saturday, May 17. Two weeks is plenty of time for currently unemployed/job-seeking self to do something I enjoy doing anyway. It's worth noting my pursuit is not unique. Emily Gould is blogging her same experience, even more condensed than mine, for Jezebel under the clever tag living viCarrieously

It's generally accepted among fans the show gets better as it goes on. The early episodes are funnier than I remember, but I miss the bittersweetness that develops over time. There are scenes I find so ridiculous (i.e. Carrie freaking out when she farts in front of Mr. Big), I can't even take the episode seriously. It made me take Carrie less seriously too. When she…

new yorker movie reviews

One of my favorite parts of The New Yorker are the movie reviews. I don't mean the glowing reviews of art house movies my non-Manhattan dwelling self will finally get from Netflix two years from now. I look forward to reading the fine print in the "Now Playing" section about mainstream movies I know the reviewers will hate, but they still discuss it in a ridiculously high brow manner. Summer blockbuster season is ideal for my viewing pleasure. Here is a collection of this week's gems:

Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay
"This cinematic burlesque show, in which the baggy pants keep dropping and occasionally fall off altogether, is perhaps the first bottomless comedy---much of the humor, and a fair amount of the nakedness, is concentrated below the belt." Superfluous plot details. "The Harold & Kumar movies, in their slovenly way, mark the transition to a post-racial society in which, as the Salon movie critic Stephanie Zacharek put it, '…

law & order finale

As a brand new resident of New York state, I admit I squealed when I read the season finale of Law & Order was inspired by the Eliot Spitzer scandal. The episode started off a little dull, but soon high class hookers appeared. The detectives had little screen time this episode, although S. EpathaMerkerson still managed to steal every scene she appeared in. I confess I haven't seen an episode since Jesse L. Martin's departure, so I still can't comment on Anthony Anderson's role as the new detective. Regardless, this episode was written for Sam Waterston.

Despite the silly plot point that only Sam Waterston recognized the governor's voice as the mystery john, the writing was superb. Tom Everett Scott was so deliciously evil as the governor, I hope he acted his way into a regular role next season. In the end, the storyline of corrupt government and seedy dealings that is so unsatisfying in reality is the only ultimately gratifying way to end the episode and s…

first thoughts: the real world xx: hollywood

I haven't watched The Real World since the sixteenth season set in Austin. Each season, I find myself getting excited for the premiere, and I turn in to watch the first one or two episodes. Usually, I then discover most of the cast members to be either dull or irritating, and find the unfolding events rather elementary. I know the ignorant Southerner will have an awakening one episode. Although I do enjoy the liberalization of anyone, it's not new or usually enjoyable to see the ignorance leading up to the meltdown.

I hoped that this season would be different. The producers caveat was that each cast member has some aspirations of a career in entertainment. Would this season hearken back to the good old days of San Francisco, when Judd was already a semi-successful cartoonist and Pam was in medical school? Hardly, but at least these young people are only partially focused on getting drunk. As many cynics will note, reality television has not historically been a pathway to an…