Posted by: ckckred | September 27, 2014

Five TV Shows That Took a Season or so to Become Great



The first season of Blackadder is far different than what the series would become in the following years. Edmund was an oafish prince instead of the clever Englishman intent on power and Baldrick was Blackadder’s wise and loyal companion instead of a dimwitted peasant. While Blackadder’s initial year has some great sets, the episodes were often a bit inconsistent, but by the second season the series found the perfect balance between history and humor that made the show so memorable.

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Posted by: ckckred | September 21, 2014

What Movie Would You Like To Have Seen Get Made?

Recently, I read Simon Braund’s The Greatest Movies You’ll Never See, which details some legendary film projects that never hit the big screen, from the likes of Francis Ford Coppola’s Metropolis to Jerry Lewis’ notorious Holocaust comedy The Day the Clown Cried (a cut does exist for the latter, but Lewis refuses to release it, perhaps realizing how poor taste the picture is in).  It’s a well-researched book essential for any filmgoer’s library, but it made me depressed to realize how many amazing movies could have been made.  So for today, I thought I’d ask what movie would you have liked to have seen receive the light of day?


My answer would be Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon.  After doing 2001: A Space Odyssey, Kubrick attentively researched Napoleon and hoped to do an epic on the French emperor, culminating at his defeat at Waterloo.  Unfortunately, Kubrick’s vision was too large and hefty for financial backers to invest in and the project never came through, though Barry Lyndon and Eyes Wide Shut have similarities to the script.  Recently, Steven Spielberg announced he was hoping to make a miniseries off of Kubrick’s screenplay but sadly we will never see the full force of Kubrick’s original vision.

Posted by: ckckred | September 20, 2014

The Zero Theorem


In interviews, director Terry Gilliam has stated that The Zero Theorem is the final chapter of his dystopian sci-fi trilogy. Its two predecessors, Brazil and Twelve Monkeys, mean that The Zero Theorem has big shoes to fill, but it’s more psychological and personal than either of those pictures, a look into a depraved, depressed individual searching for himself in a confused and cluttered world. Call it Gilliam’s Synecdoche, New York if you will, as it shares much with Charlie Kaufman’s portrait of misery through the frustrating process of condensing the world into a single idea. In Synecdoche’s case, it is a play that encapsulates all of its creator’s life and struggles. In Zero Theorem, it is a theory that proves that life has no meaning.

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Posted by: ckckred | September 14, 2014

What Was Your Favorite Movie of the Summer?

We’re already two weeks into September and now I think we can all conclude that the summer movie season has ended.  So for today, I’m asking what was your favorite movie of this summer?


I’ve said it before, but Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is one of the most extraordinary films I’ve seen in some time and isn’t just the best picture I saw this summer but of the year thus far.  But what about you?

Posted by: ckckred | September 11, 2014



While watching Lucy, I found it appropriate to juxtapose next it to Under the Skin, the year’s other sci-fi Scarlett Johansson vehicle. While Lucy, a hastily paced thriller with gunfights and car chases, is tonally the opposite of Under the Skin, a psychological horror with an emphasis on stillness, both movies feature a protagonist detached from the norms of the modern day world. In Lucy, director Luc Besson explores the endless stream of knowledge and power humans could possibly obtain. Besson’s never going to be mistaken as the next Martin Scorsese, but to his credit his movies are smarter and more intelligent than those of Michael Bay or Roland Emmerich. The grand ambition of Lucy is proof of that statement, but while Lucy is entertaining throughout its duration, it seems like Besson chewed more than he could swallow.

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Posted by: ckckred | September 9, 2014

Under the Skin


From its eerie opening of spellbinding lights and screeching strings to its dark and unexpected conclusion, Under the Skin is a distinctively unnerving sci-fi horror that carries no bounds to any source of conventionality. Director Jonathan Glazer emphasizes on creating scenes with Buñuel-style mood and texture, utilizing minimal dialogue to make viewers grow uncomfortable in their seats. Glazer, who has been on hiatus for the past decade, also channels Kubrickian imagery for a glowing emphasis on humankind itself. After watching Under the Skin, I felt bewildered and confused at Glazer’s ponderings but was somewhat satisfied and amazed at this surreal portrait he has painted, which will probably benefit from additional viewings to further contextualize the thematic material the picture presents.

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Posted by: ckckred | September 7, 2014

What Movie/TV Character Would You Want To Be?


I know my answer sounds a bit bewildering, but I would really like to be Larry David’s fictional self in Curb Your Enthusiasm. Larry has the unique ability of calling people out no matter how inappropriate the circumstance or the possible concequence, and since I’m often too polite to criticize someone for cutting the line or parking directly behind me, I’d really like to know how that would feel just lashing out against those who oppose my day-to-day social norms.

But who would you choose?

Posted by: ckckred | September 3, 2014

Lord of the Flies


I first read William Golding’s Lord of the Flies back in middle school alongside George Orwell’s Animal Farm. As I dug my eyes into Golding’s novel, I was terrified at the growing anarchy and collapse of discipline of the novel, that young, seemingly innocent boys could be turned into deranged killers and savages. An allegory for human society and governments, Lord of the Flies retains its horrors today through its adolescent ensemble of characters, easy for readers wishing to graduate to more mature books to latch onto the story.

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Posted by: ckckred | August 31, 2014

What Do You Think of Book Adaptations?

A few weeks ago, I saw Peter Brook’s adaptation of Lord of the Flies.  While I admired parts of the picture (I hope to get a review up in a few days), I was ultimately disappointed that it didn’t live up to the high standards of William Golding’s novel, despite being faithful to the story.  This isn’t too uncommon, as many movies based on classic pieces of literature have failed to live to their namesakes (Huck FinnGreat Gatsby, etc).  While there exceptions to this rule (such as Orson Welles’ The Trial), I think the sky-high expectations to the novels hurt the pictures as a whole.

But what do you think?

Posted by: ckckred | August 26, 2014

Emmys 2014 Review

Vince Gilligan

The Emmys have never been the gold standard of television (remember, these are the same people who have almost completely ignored The Wire) and this year wasn’t any different. I didn’t watch the show because about a few years ago, I realized how irrelevant the Emmys (and award shows in general) are to judging actual quality. On the other hand, the Emmys still retain its importance to the industry and for that matter they’re worth writing about. So here are my thoughts in bullet points (you can check out the complete winners on the Emmys’ own site).

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