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boring useless details
Friday, 6 January 2006
broken flowers
watched this last night and i still can't decide if it's bordering on brilliant or pathetic. i liked the pace and the lack of, despite a clearcut goal, purpose in the way it goes about from place to place, scene to scene, very different from most every movie one might otherwise see. thing is, while certain conclusions could be assumed:

  • dora's husband says they have no kids of their own so she could easily be the one to have sent the letter
  • bill murray's real life son is in that car in the end so we could be meant to assume that's the son

    we are never given enough information to really conlude anything definitively. that being said, clearly the film is about the journey, except do we know enough about murray's don in the beginning to know how much he may have changed by the end. his reaching out to the kid from the airport, buying him the sandwich and whatnot--that was a notable act for the practically somnambulistic character from earlier, but then when the kids runs and don is left in the street, it's like no change has taken place at all, at least none that will last

    so then, what's the point? is it all an existential treatise? a grand measure of the nothingness of being? a metaphor for every attempt to truly KNOW anything in life? and, if we (or at least i) can't really know what the point of the film is, is that a whole other level of metaphor, or is it filmmaking that while deliberately laidback drifted into lazy?

    Posted by ca4/muaddib at 12:19 PM PST
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  • Thursday, 5 January 2006
    the millennium vulcan
    Now Playing: stabbing westward - wither blister burn + peel

    the alphabetical cd listening (and culling) is up to mid-S. something like 50 or more cds culled so far--unfortunately not all of those sellable to the used cd place

    not much tv on of late, though this week is getting it back. only three shows on my list for last week, fourteen for this week... plus apparently the daily show was new last night and i missed it. been watching the second season of scrubs on dvd and serenity with commentary and last night wedding crashers, which i rather enjoyed

    on the writing side of life, i recently edited hindsight and sent it to the magazine of fantasy & science fiction. haven't been turned down by them since a year and a half ago, so i got that going for me (not to mention hindsight is one of my better reviewed stories). and, i've figured out a way to fix the end of... well, i referred to it before as my gardea horror story, but it didn't end up much of a horror story, rather a simple travelogue with some highlights of violence. it was called southard, the sands of red, but that title doesn't fit. i'm contemplating calling it when on a caramor.

    in other gardea news, i recently created a new map for known bas (that is gardea and the surrounding areas), and had a big enlargement made to figure out where some places are and how the geography relates--been learning stuff about geology and geographical terms and to what they actually apply as i go, making for a more realistic other world). and, i've been setting up my plot for the third gardea book:a bit of a dislocated in time, sci-fi take on fantasy methinks (still under the title carrian way)

    also discovered the other night that i know exactly how an old novel idea of mine needs to be written. thing is, i can't write it. it's a bit of a purposely cliched serial killer story, cliched so it can focus on the characters but... ugh, i'm rambling now about something i don't ever intend to write. that seems kinda stupid

    anyway, work is boring but doable, data entry and whatnot. life is well enough, movies and tv and family and sex and all, even if the wedding and its assorted get togethers a few weeks back was just a reminded of how antisocial i am... this past weekend's new year's eve party at my sister's house was another reminder of the same. and i'll be thirty by the end of this month, so i doubt i'll be shifting over to being a social animal anytime soon. i'll just make do with my family and my online discussion people--though, come to think of it, i haven't posted much online of late, and i don't just mean here at this little read blog--and my tv and movies and occasional books and my fictional creations. hell, maybe hindsight will get published and maybe i'll qualify for jeopardy for the third time when i tryout again in a few weeks and this time they'll actually call me to be on the show, and maybe i'll come up with a screenplay that can get me that nichols fellowship this year, not that i even made the quarterfinals last year...

    hehe, negativity is fun

    anyway, my point in all this is who the hell did the subtitles on the serenity extras? i mean, seriously, did they know anything about film in general, about serenity or even star wars for that matter? i mean, what is the millennium vulcan and why was joss whedon thinking about it? were there some indians spelling out the subtitles phonetically in some tiny village or what?

    yes, that was my point in all that rambling above. got a problem with that? =]

    now, i'm off to watch disc two of the return of the king extended edition with the fourth commentary. and you get along to whatever business you've got.

    Posted by ca4/muaddib at 1:00 PM PST
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    Wednesday, 28 December 2005
    wild (and boring) palms
    Now Playing: queensryche - promised land
    not much on tv of late. a mildly disappointing final hour of nip/tuck (making me hope for a different reason than before that there will be no fourth season), a few new episodes of arrested development, and sleeper cell (which was good aside from a couple setting issues... notably that that "stadium" was so very much NOT dodger stadium (far too small, and on too flat a ground, as dodger stadium is famously in chavez ravine), and that bar was very much NOT in glendale (though i guess even folks from glendale wouldn't mind that last one much))

    been watching season two of scrubs on dvd and enjoying it a whole lot. too bad three and four aren't available just yet, though five will be having new episodes starting like next week

    didn't die in a plane crash on the way to or back from the carolinas

    but, why i'm really here today, catching up on the boring (which apparently i hadn't done in 16 days, though i was out of town for five of those days and sick for another four or five), is a viewing of the first two hours of wild palms last night. i'd remembered the miniseries as being kinda cool, comparing it in my head, as many reviews do, to twin peaks, but it was hardly good, and i really don't think i'll be bothering with the rest of it. it was strangely watchable, i'll admit, and it was a bit of a novelty to see an early 90s viewpoint on virtual reality and that wonderful thing called cyberspace (which i've yet to get my virtual reality headset, by the way... don't have a personal jetpack either... oh well). but, it's kinda boring and trying a bit too hard to be interesting

    Posted by ca4/muaddib at 1:11 PM PST
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    Monday, 12 December 2005
    horrible geography, giant gorillas, jesus, tilda swinton, a closet and a partridge in a pear tree

    been watching the giant gorilla movies, the original king kong and son of kong from 1933, mighty joe young from 1949 and the king kong remake from 1976, and just minutes ago finished the 1998 remake of might joe young--wanted to watch king kong lives again but blockbuster doesn't have it--and looking forward to the new remake of king kong this week, just before heading out of town for a few days

    quick rundown (and a complaint):

    • king kong (1933) - great effects for the time, obviously, uninformed portrayal of islanders (of course, who's to say it wasn't a completely accurate view of folks who live on skull island? i mean, have you been there?
    • son of kong (1933) - great effects continue as the plot (or lack thereof) gets worse. but, damn it, that bear fight was cool (like the best of the original) enough to make up for the silly earthquake ending
    • mighty joe young (1949) - had always thought this was a pre-kong movie, but turns out it's by the same people who did kong, back again a decade and a half later. and, this time they go for a bit more comedy, and a silly ending (though that switch in coloring was a nice touch, even if the orphanage bit was a bit, um, well, on the nose (or something like that, contrived as it is)
    • king kong (1976) - nice updated bits, with the stuff about the energy crisis and the oil company. i especially loved that the big intro of kong to the crowd was inside a giant gas pump. would have been nice if more of the monsters had made it to the remake--as is, only the giant snake makes it (aside from kong, of course)
    • mighty joe young (1998) - fairly watchable movie on its own. has its own version of the orphanage bit from the original that a) works better cause it doesn't seem quite as contrived and b) doesn't work cause i hate that blond kid (and i'm not even sure why as i can't even recall what i've seen him in) and would have rather seen joe eat him. some geography bugged me though. joe gets from the hollywood walk of fame to the hollywood sign in like a minute (even in context, they establish it as definitely less than 20 minutes, which at his pace through the city would not have worked. plus, then, after going to the hollywood hills, he crosses a freeway, which he would have already had to cross to get there in the first place--and nevermind why they were driving the truck through hollywood in the first place... i figured they wanted joe to pass that king kong neon sign* that's like a block from mann's chinese, but they didn't bother to go there (oh well). anyway, then, he heads toward the palisades, more than ten miles from the hollywood sign, which at gorilla pace with people and cars between, would have taken until the next morning at least, but oh well, can't have realism from moviemaking people who should damn well know the area in the first place, i guess.

    and then there was jesus, the devil and the big closety thing, the chronicles of narnia, in which, unlike the bbc version, they tried to cast a likable lucy rather than casting an appropriately annoying bitch of a girl, some evil american way of making the christian side of the story a little less repulsive. great creatures, lazy green/blue screen work in a few parts, but good casting, nice enough battle sequence and fantastic detail from weta, as expected. to be fair, i think the movie presented the whole death of the savior better than passion of the christ (but could have used a little more gore in that respect, a good flogging to go with the clipping of the mane), and at least had a point (not that i need to get to complaining about gibson's christ opus anymore than i already did here after i saw it in the theater.

    and, santa (or father christmas or whoever he was...been a couple years since i read the book) didn't come off as silly in this version, since his costume was a realistic, toned down red, so that was nice, tilda swinton was scary enough and the wolves (and other creatures, as i mentioned) were great

    and, in other news, sleeper cell has turned out to be fairly good, though i wonder if it would have held up as well at one episode per week. alias was great last week, nip/tuck is about to have its big conclusion (which fx is still just calling a "season" finale) and boston legal has been particularly schizophrenic of late... getting into both ally mcbeal style weirdness and practice melodrama, mixed with a bit of brotherhood of poland, nh politics. just hope kelley sticks with it.

    and it's christmas season, christians all aflutter with alleged joy, malls crowded and money aspending, and i'm off for a few days later this week. just gotta try to get my gardea story ("southard, the sands of red" which has been taking too long, and running over 70 pages already when i thought it would be a quick little thing, go figure) done before the trip

    * i think i might be confusing the king kong sign at universal citywalk with the godzilla looking dinosaur thing right by the ripley's museum, but then i'll just say they couldn't have joe step on some footprints at least?

    Posted by ca4/muaddib at 8:44 PM PST
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    Monday, 5 December 2005
    kiss kiss kong bang
    Now Playing: counting crows - hard candy

    been a few days since the last entry--not sure how many and don't feel like checking--so i'll just cover the last few days, the so-called weekend.

    there was a parade in montrose. hayley was in it. it was cold

    there was pizza, barbecue chicken pizza on friday, steak lover's on saturday. there was cake (chocolate mayonaise cake with caramel chocolate whipped frosting amde by me for saer's third birthday friday). there was homemade chili... which i just realized i forgot an ingredient--so i guess that particular ingredient isn't too important

    there was watching of:

    • most of charlie and the chocolate factory, not all as it was just tween parade return time saturday night and pizza eating time, afterwhich kids went to bed. funny still, pretty sure i already covered it in one of these blog thingies
    • war of the worlds - benefitted from cruise playing a guy who was fairly unlikable--i'd like to see him play a sadistic killer or something; that would be fun--and some only ok special effects. i expected it to look better. simplistic plot, trite dialogue, and that abrupt ending that would have been cool if the movie wasn't trying so hard to be a big action epic. what we need is something a little more like signs, some folks on the sidelines, aliens invade, invasion destroys things then a) inexplicably (and i mean without any attempt at explanation) the invasion ends and aliens leave or b) folks all die and we get no explanation. even signs had the water thing and the god thing and a denouement.
    • king kong - the original. while it might appear racist and mysogynist (as sarah pointed out after), i think the racism was just uniformed and uninterested filmmakers, intent on making a monster film--hell, it was speciesest as well; those dinosaurs were all either the wrong size or acting inappropriately (brontosaurus chomping on people, anyone?). as for the mysogny, i'd say it's inherent in the plot but not an aspect of the point of the film, certainly. still, made in 1933, some inherent racism and sexism was to be expected. you don't watch this film for the realism anyway, but rather those state-of-the-art (at the time) effects
    • kiss kiss bang bang - surprisingly funny, memorable, and all around good, a great mystery, some deconstruction/reconstruction of the PI subgenre with superlative use of film conventions, edits, narration, etc. shane black took advantage of being the director to turn his writing into a driving force behind the film and its structure. good for him. and the three leads, downey jr, kilmer and monaghan were fantastic
    • sleeper cell - i still say "terrorists" have no reason to attack los angeles and probably never would, but still this played out like the beginning of what could be a great character study (of the cell leader and of the agent), or what could easily turn into something... well, less than its parts. we'll see how part two is tonight
    • grey's anatomy - consistently good, and one of the best shows on the air these days, certainly better than the end of desperate housewives just before it, allowing its characters to be unlikable when they need to be, to do stupid things when they need to, to be more like real people than the heroics folks you would get in some medical shows
    and i tried boondocks for a few minutes, and huey's monologue/explanation about anal rape at the beginning was funny (and unexpected) but the episode quickly went downhill and i tuned out

    Posted by ca4/muaddib at 12:29 PM PST
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    Wednesday, 30 November 2005
    at least it's not triple h
    Now Playing: goo goo dolls - gutterflower

    on the comic strip front, i'm over brevity and am enjoying the new dog eat doug comic (in addition to my usual daily comics: boondocks, calvin & hobbes, for better or worse, frazz, get fuzzy and pearls before swine)

    on the tv front, i'm over masters of horror. though the last couple were at least somewhat entertaining (unlike that post apocalyptic one, which bored me to sleeping), they still just weren't good, a bit predictable with bad dialogue, not to mention it's just plain stupid to keep driving when you can't see (has no writer heard of brakes?) or to keep fucking the deformed girl after she ate your cat, your neighbor and that circus guy you sent to kidnap her. odd sidenote (on the latest "chocolate" one, not that deformed girl "jenifer" one): when did henry thomas turn into lyle lovett? i mean, there were the same mannerisms and facial tics and it was very weird

    and threshhold* is gone, invasion will probably go away soon, to be replaced by the rest of the final season of alias, but surface is still on? what's up with that? my tv schedule for the week is shrinking, with rome done for now, the aforementioned threshold* cancelled (and invasion probably on its way out), night stalker gone, and nip/tuck with only a few weeks to go. for this week (monday 11/28 to sunday 12/4... yeah, i'm going by the monday to sunday week like the new tv guide even though it annoys me), i've only got 9 shows (all dramas) and one of those is a soapnet airing of pasadena which i won't even be watching (i'm waiting until i've got them all), and prison break was the fall finale). so, 8 shows in 7 days. i've done better than that in one sunday night in recent months (think back to when deadwood and carnivale were both on)

    at least those shows that are left are good. for the record, they are:

    • prison break - done till march, but good while it lasted
    • house - really great the last couple episodes, building on the characters and ongoing plots almost more than dealing with the case of the week, more medical homicide than medical law & order
    • nip/tuck - going strong, adding new subplots this late in the game is really working for it. fucked up characters doing fucked up things. this show will be missed... and that is not me hoping there will be another season.
    • lost - deliberately moving forward (in time and in the overall plot) very slowly, but adding some great backstory and details, even when they don't seem to apply. if only the audience could stop demanding that every backstory reveal a new awe inspiring addition to the "plot"
    • veronica mars - great new season, building on the mysteries of season one, tackling multiple ongoing plots for the new one, the bus crash, the mayoral race, the culture war, veronica getting in over her head, duncan obsessing over coma girl, sheriff lamb being almost nice, weedman being helpful, logan getting even more fucked up
    • invasion - gradually building its pace to something that should be able to keep its audience interested, but maybe just in time to get the axe to make room for the end of alias (as much as that makes no sense), adding intriguing details with nary an explanation but still satisfying
    • pasadena - just taping this one to catch up later
    • grey's anatomy - getting better and better, with the new dr shepard and meredith getting over the old (somewhat) and everyone else getting more depth and more subplots, even the asshole, hell, especially the asshole
    • sleeper cell - here's to hoping this one will be good, cause that's like four episodes next week, another six or so (ten hours in all but i'm not sure of the whole schedule yet) in the next. bugs me though that it's set in los angeles. despite the paranoid freaks, the so-called terrorists have no reason to attack los angeles, even if we are the root of some of the surface evils of the american empire. it's what's under that surface that matters to the "terrorists", hence attacking business and military targets a few years back. of course, you set this show in new york or washington, folks would probably get all offended (well, more than some probably will anyway, that is)
    and, i saw rent over the weekend, and as i figured, the good parts were great and the bad parts were ok. problem is, i figured out, they treated the adaptation like a musical as opposed to an opera. the operative definition for a musical being a regular ol drama in which occasionally folks start singing, the stage version of rent being more a 99% singing, few bits of talking. now, i kinda liked how some of the sung bits became dialogue, same as phantom of the opera did it last year, but adding a whole conversation about commitment and then making up that party afterward was just odd (though it did make for a great line at the end of take me or leave me that otherwise wouldn't have been there)

    other problems worth noting:

    • if you don't know what azt is, if you're a bit dumb to "get it", you really are never told roger's dying (keep in mind, the "virus" of one song glory could just be a metaphor), the movie skipping out on the darker bits like roger's girlfriend having killed herself instead of just dying
    • maureen should not have been asking the violent folks to stop. the stage version makes like maureen absolutely loves the notion that she started a riot. while the film starts to use its scope (and extras) to get a real riot going, it fizzles in that and moves on to the life cafe
    • nice to see roger going to santa fe, but makes for an expectation of something actually HAPPENING there, which nothing does, on the stage or in the film. he goes, he comes back. the epiphany is almost a sidenote
    • mimi's out tonight i thought wouldn't work as a stage performance (as in, her singing while on the stage at the catscratch) but it worked well staged that way, especially with the end being her going home alone
    • without you worked well as played over angel's death, tying it to more than just mimi and roger
    • staging roger on the balcony, mimi below, with his friends behind her was great
    • putting collin's reprise of i'll cover you in the church was a nice touch, as was putting the fight following in the cemetery. great use of setting in the film all around (just watch the burning of eviction notices during the song rent), even if they did try to shy away from the music a bit much
    • and finally, great use of special effects in a film that otherwise didn't need them, with the life support group members disappearing

    and, i've been playing some sudoku (trend follower that i am) and reading and thoroughly enjoying concrete: depths (rebel that i am) and haven't been writing enough. that is all

    * that word bugs me, threshold... threshhold. it seems the double h should be proper, but it looks like crap, and i really don't feel like looking it up to see for sure my favored version, with one h) is right, cause then how would i complain? you know?

    Posted by ca4/muaddib at 12:56 PM PST
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    Wednesday, 23 November 2005
    places like hogwarts, the bayou, rome and wal-mart
    Now Playing: kevin & bean on KROQ

    been a few days, so i'll get on with the boringness:

    • harry potter and the goblet of fire take one - before i get to the movie, i'll whine, cause all that money it made and selling out audiences and whatnot cost me the chance to see the film on friday night. one theater was telling everyone there might be seats in the front row (which if i'd been alone would have been fine, but i had two of my kids with me), the theater a block away was sold out. so, we got out of the parking lot within the free first half hour and went home to watch the film the next day
    • and went home to watch willie wonka and the chocolate factory - certainly not as visual as the remake but still holds up quite well. plus, it was nice, me and sarah defending the film to the kids who were, like all modern children, bored by parts of the film (cause if there isn't hilarity and fantastic visuals every damn minute, then why are we bothering watching it, right?)
    • then came masters of horror - "jenifer" - a predictable but horribly fun little hour with classic showtime style--that is, plenty of sex and nudity to balance out the gore, violence and deformity. it was like the hunger was on again--and that show was more consistently good, so that sort of comparison is a good thing in my mind. i should mention that this episode might have played better if i hadn't noticed that steven weber wrote it (or adapted it anyway). seems a bit narcissistic writing your own role in a sex filled romp, at least when not in the porn business... not that porn isn't narcissistic for those involved, of course
    • then saturday we got to harry potter and it was a damn fine film, not just the best potter film but one of the better films i've seen, with only a couple editing flaws (one of them a bit annoying, the other only barely so):
      1. at the yule ball, there's a brief spat tween hermione and ron, but cut to after the ball, she's angry at him for ruining everything, when we've seen nothing of her everything being ruined. as far as we can tell before that, she had a fine time with krum. it seems like something's missing
      2. at the end, we get dumbledore telling the students (and us) that, while he's announcing that voldemort is back, the powers that be at the ministry don't want them to know that (setting up the plot for the next film), a fact that would have come off better if, say, fudge had taken a moment to tell dumbledore that they can't announce that sort of thing without some evidence. not necessarily an editing problem but more of a lack of content. we get the information but not in the best way
      but, all in all, the film works and works well, with some great dark, scary bits, some nice adventure and wonderful real life relationship type stuff, the main characters problems getting dates to the ball and ron and hermione's budding relationship and all the related parts
    • and saturday night was time for skeleton key, a film that should have been so much better. i mean, peter sarsgaard is in it; how can it be bad? the plot is ok, but the dialogue is attrocious and the direction is horrible--for example, main girl (played by kate hudson, who won an award for acting before right? so what the hell happened?) runs to get out of the secret room in the attic before old lady gets upstairs to the attic, big tense scene, will she make it, will she get caught and all that, then what was it--a whole scene later?--she admits to having been up there, making all the tension a stupid display for the audience. and, for that matter, why does lawyer guy act like a lawyer guy at all? main girl doesn't know him from adam (as they say), so why is he playing a part that keeps him away from the house so much? SPOILER AHEAD OF COURSE: i mean, if he's the old black guy, why is he posing as a character that main girl hasn't even met and throwing out characterization like mad to make us care (or trying to, anyway)? who cares who he is, as long as he isn't acting like an old black guy? and, did main girl's friend suck at reading her lines, or was that just me? i swear i fell asleep during the damn climax, it was so boring. but, i'll recommend the film to everyone i hate
    • and so there was sunday, a trip downtown, some time at a sports bar watching some steelers and a brief trip to the galleria and the lego store to get meself an advent calendar (which i proceeded to open completely upon getting home, of course), then came the simpsons, a funny episode--i remember laughing a lot--but i can't recall much specific about it.
    • then, while recording family guy and american dad, i watched me some rome finale, ie some damn fine television, with the expected death of caesar coming off particularly violent, gruesome and tragic, veranus' bit with his wife pulling at the emotions like pullo's bit with the arena last week, and a strangely happy ending for pullo and eirene
    • then was grey's anatomy, with a quite funny thansgiving episode, but still with the tragedy (even if it was a bit predictable with the coma guy dying). unlike tv guide, i didn't think it was particularly notable that bartender friend was gay... or maybe i did, since i just noted it. fuck
    • and then i finally got to last week's alias, a nice little hour reminiscent of classic season one episodes. it was great to have sloane acknowledge his blackmail then act on it anyway in the end, having his cake and eating it too
    • prison break - the escape looms and everything's going nicely, pudgy fbi guy even finally turns against his own plot (which you just know is going to lead to his death), then abruzzi gets cut and a little bad timing gets lincoln dragged away and to be continued in next week's "fall finale"
    • and i recored house and threshold while off with sarah to see wal-mart: the high cost of low price. a nice enough documentary, a bit too much editing in a few places (as many a documentary these days is wont to do), but it gets its point across. and, one of the editors and one of the researchers were there after to answer questions
    • then home to nip/tuck, with the kimber/christian wedding coming and matt hooking up with a cute little nazi (played by brittany snow, and i'd just like to point out to the folks behind this show that's she's over 18, unlike her character here and here characters on american dreams, so more skin would be fine) to match his haircut, and quentin IS NOT AT THE WEDDING PEOPLE, so of course he's the carver when it's blatantly not sean who comes to kimber's dressing room... but i get ahead of myself. kimber and christian dance around the julia issue and some wedding jitters--personal note: drive off to vegas without much planning and there aren't too many jitters (and no carver interruptions), trust me--and there's talk of the homogenization of humanity as a bad thing (a deliberately racist notion that still makes some intriguing points about plastic surgery and dovetails nicely into the carver's return. not that we get to see him return, mind you. but, we all know it's him (or her, if you think it's it liz, as many, including myself, have been thinking). but, QUENTIN WASN'T AT THE WEDDING, PEOPLE! HOW CLEAR DO THE WRITERS HAVE TO MAKE IT?! plus, quentin has good reason to be angry with christian, hence dragging out this carver attack, adding abduction and that letter ruse with kimber from next week's promo. unless the carver is kit, of course. made a huge thing of accusing christian then gets herself cut just to rule herself out as a suspect. toying with the audience, she was, methinks. all around, a fun episode. can't believe the season is almost over already
    • and today is the day before genocide day, and that means it's baking day for some. me--i'll be making a birthday cake oddly enough, to be consumed at the family thanksgiving gettogether tomorrow
    • and i am wondering if i can fit rent into today's schedule

    • Posted by ca4/muaddib at 9:28 AM PST
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    Friday, 18 November 2005
    cancellation schmancellation
    Now Playing: dada - puzzle
    so, here's the thing: night stalker got cancelled, right, and i figured that wouldn't bode well for alias. now, cynopsis has this announcement today:

      ABC is expected to slot Alias in the Wednesday 10p time period as of December 7th for a two week play, airing the final two episodes of the previous season. The show will then return with originals in midseason. Invasion will return to Wednesday nights on December 21.

    so, here's how i see it going: night stalker's gone so the thursday block on abc is screwed. i mean, what used to be nbc's night is now cbs' night, with nbc getting an easy second and abc pulling sloppy thirds--and that not even in a great demo, as the good demo not already watching cbs or nbc is watching the oc and 20 year crapfest (aka reunion). oh, and wb falls somewhere in there as well, and upn--with programming i mostly don't care to watch but with a great way of running things--settles for last. but, still, abc keeps trying to raise the ratings for that night, cause having a handful of the highest rated shows (ie lost, desperate housewives, grey's anatomy and commander in chief) just isn't good enough. to be fair, the networks would never bother with anything at all good or interesting if they weren't in constant competition with one another, but at some point i say settling for third place should be fine. but, anyway, the thing for abc thursday is alias on its own isn't as easy a sell (or audience grab) as alias partnered with another show. to be fair, primetime live is an ok show, but it can't do for 2 hours every week, and really, it doesn't quite cover the same audience as alias--not that i haven't ended up watching primetime live a few times of late simply cause i don't do er or without a trace and the fx comedies are off for now, and that show's good and all, but not fitting to be with alias (or vice versa), though it's worth noting that those nazi twins were cute... and, i'm allowed to think that, right, even though they're underage, since they're also nazis and all. doesn't that cancel out the age thing, like with the olsen twins--they're so morally rephrensible that it's ok to think about them however you like, that they're hot or that they're not (for the record, the olsen twins are not) or even that they should rule the world (via wal-mart takeover) or be murdered in their sleep... i mean, i'm not perfect, but i'm certainly less morally repugnant than nazi singers, right? except maybe here or here or here or... oh, you get the point

    where was i?

    right, so, with night stalker gone, alias has to move. so, they stick it with lost again, like last season. but, then, the move will screw with some fans but still likely improve the ratings for a couple weeks. of course, then there are two problems:

    1. what do the higher ups think when back in its thursday slot (assuming that will happen) alias drops again in the ratings and seems like such a disappointment? will the notion that this seems to be the final season mean they will keep it going just to end it properly? or will the drop in ratings screw the show for good, and the fact that it's nearly over anyway will just make it that much easier to kill?
    2. what happens to invasion, now that it's getting some momentum going storywise, finding its audience in the lost leavings, and then, oh now, where'd it go for two weeks? will they even bother to put it back? and, if they do, what if its ratings aren't as good as a) alias in that slot or b) its own previous ratings in that slot?

    i've learned in recent years that despite my own attention to schedule changes, most people have no fucking idea when even their favorites shows are on sometimes, and when shows get switched (for sweeps (ie the invasion/close to home switch) or post sweeps fuckarounds (this alias/invasion thing) they get lost (pun unintended). executives have to know this, so we can assume switching is done only in desperation, and though it has had its successes (but don't ask me to name any, besides maybe the x-files moving to sunday), it fails more often than not, and it hurts both shows involved and it pisses off the audience members who pay attention (like me) and confuses the audience members who don't, then good shows get cancelled before they have their chance to shine (not to beat a few of my personal dead horses, but i'd cite wonderfalls, firefly and ez streets for a few examples), or just before they get to go out in a proper blaze of glory, like alias really should... maybe bringing back rambaldi and introducing the latest villain in a cliffhanger: alvar honso*

    * if you don't get that reference, too bad for you**

    ** or congratulations on not being a total tv nerd

    Posted by ca4/muaddib at 1:48 PM PST
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    Thursday, 17 November 2005
    when is a glass eye not a glass eye?
    Now Playing: crash test dummies - god shuffled his feet
    on LOST:
    • knew goodwin wasn't peace corps (for sure) when ana lucia suggested that if THEY took the strong ones first, they'd have taken him, and he just mulled that over--and clearly agreed he was strong--then made his own countersuggestion. real peace corps for life kinda guy would've been more humble, maybe thanked her for suggesting he was strong enough to be a threat then move on... at least i hope that kind of subtlety is something of which the writers are capable
    • i wonder if nathan's company retreat was on that trip locke got left out of
    • so, did bernard sit down in the nearest empty seat when the shaking started or were he and rose not sitting together (certainly a possibility)?
    • funny that ana lucia turned off the radio cause she was so paranoid by then, but if she hadn't maybe the two groups of survivors could have gotten together a week (and a few deaths) earlier
    • that collective consciousness and faked crash theory kinda got screwed by the opening shot
    • mistereko seemed to be right there with the tailies from the start, so was the announcement about his character when he was cast a ruse or is there still more to learn about him? like, is he a priest, doing that 40 days of penance thing, focusing intensely on that bible--and was he carving a cross for a grave or marking off days on his own stick? and, if he is a priest, couldn't he still be from that other plane with the heroin?
    • and, it's nice that the pilot, who knew the plane was off course, was apparently killed and cindy, who also knew the plane was off course, disappeared. of course, she got to spread that information a little better than he did
    • glass eye=symbolic? or is it left behind by someone who used that bunker, or left behind by someone adopted by THEM, what with having no tags in their clothes, no IDs, no anything... maybe they don't like modern amenities like glass eyes either
    • and, unrelated to this episode, but connecting to that collective consciousness theory, weren't shannon and boone supposed to be in first class but got bumped cause they were late or something? cause, then it's interesting that they are the two from the midsection to have died already. wonder who that drowning girl (way back when) was and why the collective consciousness wanted her dead


    • seems watching the three films on consecutive days makes the formula of the adaptations a bit obvious. introduce plot in london (just like in the book) but simplify it, get to school in amusingly magic way, meet new teachers, throw in a quidditch game (but don't bother talking about how the season is going or anything outside the plot, unlike in the books) but only as it directly relates to harry's problems fucking it all up, have harry use magic cloak or maruader's map (or both) to overhear the exact bit of information that will drive the rest of the plot, then in the alfonso cuaron version, get on with it and have some damn fun with the convoluted climax, in the columbus versions, keep the pace slow but sorta hint that a climax is coming, then in one scene finish it all, then denouement in the great hall and all is well.
    • i know the plots of the novels tend to ward a formula as well, specifically because each one is supposed to cover the schoolyear from beginning to end (and the adaptations can't handle the plot going so slowly very well). but, with the books getting more and more detailed and rambly, the formula gets harder to recognize each time (though it IS still there)
    • too bad about some subplots left out of the films... though it hasn't amounted to much yet--keep in mind, i've yet to get my hands on a copy of book 6--hermione's elf organization seems like something that is going to end up being quite important in the end
    • knowing the big spoiler bit from book 6, i found it interesting that in the first film (and possible in the book as well, though it's been a few years so i can't be sure), it is said that as long as dumbledore is around, harry is safe. book 7 ought to be fun

    on INVASION:

    • the plots advance, and a new twist is inserted in that girl who knows what's going on and has a whole different attitude about it. plus confirmation that old bodies are left behind, new ones in their place, but why was the sheriff shocked so much at the sight of mariel's body? didn't he know how it works? or is it bigger than even he knows?


    • damn funny bit with the lists. and the show as a whole, and the Daily Show before it, was funny of course

      Posted by ca4/muaddib at 1:30 PM PST
      Updated: Thursday, 17 November 2005 1:32 PM PST
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    Wednesday, 16 November 2005
    british kids are so british
    Now Playing: collective soul - dosage
    • the lion the witch and the wardrobe - the bbc version. the effects are easily forgivable, even some of the worst of them, but damn it if they didn't add a hell of a lot of dialogue to the book--why did they have to have a three hour movie when the book could probably be boiled down to one if one really put some effort into it. i still say--about the story, that is, not this incarnation in particular--that it's a crap story and aslan, just like jesus, is a bit of a cheater. i mean, who the hell wouldn't die if it meant you get to go be a god and everyone will worship you forever... or that you'll wake up the morning and all will be fine? and, i can't decided if the casting on lucy was brilliant or horrific; i mean, the girl, with her blatantly british looks, big teeth and extra weight, captured that arrogant annoying devout bitch lucy quite well, almost too well. sorry, lucy's annoying
    • harry potter and the chamber of secrets - not as good a plot as any of the other books, but this one works well as a movie. saw it a few times already, of course, but reviewing for goblet of fire this weekend. one thing worth noting on this one and the other two (and what will probably be the case with the fourth)--the casting is brilliant
    • house - "spin" - not the best episode of house, but also not the worst
    • nip/tuck - "hannah tedesco" - less heavyhanded with the metaphor, and that's shocking since the main surgery was extra graphic and extended--hell, the two facial surgery bits could be the reason this episode was 20 minutes long--and speaking of being long, did anything announce that? odd twist at the end of sean's bit in this one, but at least he's still around, and the wedding next week should go down in flames quite well... or surprise us all by being absolutely normal in the end
    • recorded but not watched yet: boston legal, the daily show, the colbert report

    Posted by ca4/muaddib at 1:26 PM PST
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