Is there a network that simultaneously treats a show as good and bad as NBC? Parks and Recreation, easily the best series on broadcast television wouldn’t have survived if NBC hadn’t kept it after all these years, even in its weak first string of episodes. Then again, NBC gave it only half a season back in 2011 and had the show on a month hiatus until last week. Now, Parks and Rec had only two more episodes for the rest of the year. Is that fair for the network’s highest rated sitcom (though that bar is not too high)?
I’m currently in the process of writing a Great TV series entry of Breaking Bad, hopefully to come out before the Complete Series Blu-Ray set comes out. But in the meantime, check out this great fake video of Breaking Bad‘s conclusion where it turns out the entire series was just a dream of Hal, the man-child father of Malcolm in the Middle (who Bryan Cranston also played).
The clip, about three and a half minutes long, doesn’t just show how great Cranston’s range as an actor is, but points out the similarities between the two characters (they both ran around in their underwear, for one thing).
In just about a month, my most anticipated movie of 2013, Inside Llewyn Davis will come out. So I thought it’d be appropriate to ask what’s your favorite Coen brothers movie?
Anyone who has followed my blog enough knows how much I love the Coens’ stuff, from Miller’s Crossing to A Serious Man. My favorite would be The Big Lebowski, which combines a Raymond Chandler-like premise with the Coens’ comic sensibilities. As for their best, I think it’s between that and their pitch perfect No Country For Old Men.
Editor’s Note: I know Dexter’s finale came out over a month ago, but since the show’s now available on Netflix I thought it’d be a good time to talk about it. Also, spoilers.
The main weakness of television is that after a certain amount of time, a series tends to run out of ideas. For the good of many shows, its fans tend to only celebrate the good days (despite where it’s been for the last twelve years, The Simpsons shall always remain for me the best sitcom ever produced on television). Dexter, however, has gotten to the point where it’s hard not to distinguish its great seasons with its bad ones. In its first four years, the show was one of the freshest and best things on television. Yet soon afterwards it became clear that the writers didn’t know what to do with the show. Storylines were repeated, characters stopped being interesting (how could the Miami police department not see through Dexter after all those years?), and the series became boring. Dexter still had some strengths (Michael C. Hall always delivered), but I stopped watching the show a couple of years ago. I hoped that “Remember The Monsters?,” the series finale, would help redeem Dexter but it only further reveals the weaknesses of the show. It’s a punch in the gut for anyone who has ever loved Dexter.
David Lynch’s INLAND EMPIRE (all letters capitalized) seems almost like a semi-sequel to the director’s previous film Mulholland Drive. The main protagonist of INLAND EMPIRE, played by Laura Dern, is if Naomi Watt’s Betty had gone on to star in that film she was trying out for. Both characters are innocent, naïve souls who enter a world of double identity and mystery.
But Mulholland Drive isn’t the only David Lynch film similar to INLAND EMPIRE. With a few exceptions like The Straight Story and Dune, all of Lynch’s movies essentially take place in the same universe, where characters live normal lives until they interact with an unnamed or unseen paranormal being. INLAND EMPIRE may have the most likeness to Mulholland Drive, but it’s not too far off from Lost Highway or the early episodes of Twin Peaks in terms of structure. INLAND EMPIRE is hugely complex and wildly surreal, making even Eraserhead look linear in comparison. Its immensity and intricacy may confuse audiences and bewilder many, but I found the film to be electrifying and awing, a picture that’s one of Lynch’s best efforts.
For today’s question, I reflected upon the last few years of cinema. While I agree with the general consensus that there’s a lack of artistic stab in today’s work, 2011 and 2012 were both great years for film and even 2013, which seemed mediocre just a few months ago, seems to be shaping up. So I thought I’d ask what’s your favorite movie of the decade so far, from 2010 to today?
Review by ckckred of Cinematic
Few directors, if any, can move a camera the way Martin Scorsese can. Scorsese is a filmmaker who has always exhibited incredible energy in his pictures, marking him as one of cinema’s greatest figures. In 1990, Scorsese delivered the decade’s best movie with GoodFellas, a film that defined an era of fast-action crime dramas. Five years later, Scorsese returned to the mob genre with…
Director Steve McQueen’s previous films, Hunger and Shame, focused on the lives of troubled men in bleak worlds, an IRA prisoner and sex addict respectively. Now the British director has taken on a similar and more open subject, but one that is no less weighty, on America’s darkest and gravest injustice: slavery. 12 Years A Slave, based on a book of the same namesake written by Solomon Northup who tells how he, a free man, is taken into slavery, has won much praise, earning critical raves and audience cheers at the Toronto Film Festival and is currently is the frontrunner for Best Picture.
Due to the current blogathon held by Tyson and Mark over at “You Talkin’ To Me” (I have a piece on Casino coming soon) as well as the new movie Last Vegas, I though it’d be appropriate to ask what do you think of Robert De Niro’s current movies?
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, there is no actor I respect more than Robert De Niro. The man did to acting what Orson Welles did to directing. He delivers performances with such rawness that no other actor could do.
But it’s hard to deny that De Niro’s recent work has disappointed many fans. The legendary actor has over the past decade starred in many comedy duds and forgettable action pictures. While I still believe he can be as great as an actor as he once was (Silver Linings Playbook proved that), I wish he’d take more ambitious roles from strong directors. Hopefully his new miniseries will help him get back on track.
But what do you think?
The novel Dracula remains one of, if not, the best pieces of horror literature, but the story is better known for its 1931 film adaptation with Bela Lugosi. While I admire that movie’s performances, I find it, like many early pictures with sound, to be almost like a filmed version of the play, lacking the suspense of the book. F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu delves into the true horror of the story much better. Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of the story manages to expand from the 1931 film and is the picture most faithful to Stoker’s story, but doesn’t manage to fully engage to audience like the novel does. Even as someone not too fond on the original adaptation, I find it to be superior than this remake.