Monday, November 18, 2013

Pilot Watch: Reign

As has been mentioned here before, I like most CW shows.  I don't care if they're full of insanely unrealistic pretty people, I don't care if they're silly; I just likes them.  And what's wrong with silly pretty people if it's well-written and entertaining?  Nothing, that's what I says.  So why did I wait for five episodes to pile up before I decided to give Reign a try?  Well, it looked stoopid.  Too stoopid for me.  I had also heard not-good things about it.  But, with the pilot episode about to expire from Hulu, I decided to go ahead and give it a go.

And people...it wasn't good.  It made me giggle in places that I don't think were meant to be funny.  It's like...if you've seen good productions of historical dramas, you know what they're supposed to look like.  And this show is about Mary Queen of Scots, and there's a mental image you get when you think about shows about royalty.  Mostly I think of Downton Abbey, full of production values and ACTORS and good writing.  And I know DA isn't about royalty, per se, but it is about posh people wearing posh clothes and getting dressed for dinner and worrying about heirs and marrying for political purposes and not for love.

And Reign?  Is full of pretty people playing dress-up.  None of them look or act like they live in a different time period.  The writing is silly, the acting is silly, and sometimes it's so silly it's giggle-inducing.  For instance, this guy?  The French dude Mary is supposed to marry?


Made me giggle SO HARD.  There's just something so weird about his facial hair and his acting and I dunno, I just giggled at him.  Not sexy AT ALL.

And then there's Hunky Nostradamus*.  I guess at this point in time, Nostradamus was actually around 50, or 70, I dunno, but he was OLD.  He definitely wasn't 20, which is what he looks like on this show.  Which is just, well, silly.  They could have hired someone venerable and made it interesting, but instead we get another generic stud who will be more believable as a romantic possibility for someone later on. 

*I believe this term originated with Dan Feinberg from hitfix.com; at least that's where I first heard it.

If I graded such things, I'd probably give this one a C-.  It wasn't terrible, but it sure wasn't good.  However, I didn't immediately delete the rest of the episodes from my Hulu queue, so it's likely I'll give it a second episode. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Review: Curse of Chucky

Well, Child's Play 3 can revel in the fact that it is no longer the worst in the Child's Play series.  That honor can now go to Curse of Chucky.  I'm just glad I waited to get the disc from Netflix instead of renting it from Amazon instant over the weekend.  After my Chucky marathon on Saturday, I really wanted to watch Curse, but I knew I had the disc coming, so I decided to wait.  I would have been pissed if I'd wasted $5 on this piece of crapola.

First of all, the movie is only 90 minutes, and yet I kept looking at the time, waiting for it to be over.  Seed of Chucky, which is kind of the weirdest entry in the Chucky oeuvre, at least isn't boring.  It's kinda weird and stooped and the doll kid was named Glen, but Tiffany wanted him to be a girl so she called him Glenda, and then he didn't know what he wanted to be so they called him Glen or Glenda, haha, wink, get it???  Just too much.  On the other hand, it had even more Tilly than in Bride, and that's always a good thing.  Point is, not boring.  Not looking at the clock going, holy baby jeebus, make this end!

Also, the attempt at MORE backstory.  Now, I love some good mythology.  I was stoopid enough to watch Halloween Resurrection even though I knew they'd ruin the great ending to H20, because I wanted to know how he wasn't dead.  I've gone back and filled in all the Fridays I hadn't watched because I wanted to know how he got killed at the end and then got brought back for the next one.  I like that kind of shit.  But you don't need to go overboard.  We already know that Charles Lee Ray was some kind of strangler before he was gunned down in the toy shop before he transferred his soul to the Good Guy doll.  We don't really need any more back story than that.  And when you have flashbacks to poor Brad Dourif looking about 50 years older than he did in the first one?  Just sad. 

The only thing I can say I kinda liked was the post-credits sequence.  It makes no sense, but I dunno, I still kinda dug it.  (And yes.  I will watch another one if they make it.  I love my horror movies.)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Halloween Quickies, pt. 2

Okay, so after Sleepaway Camp 2, I watched:

The Innkeepers:  Talk about a tonal shift.  SL2 was loud, obnoxious and incredibly stoopid.  The Inkeepers was more thoughtful and slow.  UNTIL IT WASN'T.  I was a big fan of Ti West's  earlier movie The House of the Devil because it was really atmospheric and full of tension.  The Innkeepers has the same kind of vibe.  And unlike SL2, it had characters who I was interested in.  I liked them.  The basic plot is that this old hotel, The Yankee Pedlar Inn, is closing and this is the last weekend that it's open.  There are only a few people in residence so there are only two employees working, who are also attempting to document the existence of a ghost.  I really, really liked this movie.  It was funny and it was also genuinely scary.  There were things that a jaded horror movie watcher SHOULD have seen coming, but I didn't and I actually yelled once.  There's a scene towards the end where the tension was so unbearable I almost wanted to turn off the teevee.  Very good flick.

The last movie I watched was:
Epitaph: After watching all five of the Child's Play movies, I wanted something scary.  So I picked this Korean movie, hoping for something creepy like Ju-On or Ringu.  Instead, I got a quite lovely psychological ghost story of sorts.  It took me a while to actually get into the movie.  In fact, I was ready to turn it off after 30 minutes, but for some reason I kept watching.  The plot seems kind of crazy because it's highly complex and you think you're missing something and then realize maybe you weren't.  It's one that I'd like to go back to at some point and see if it makes more sense after having seen it once.  I'd recommend it if you don't mind a slow-paced atmospheric movie.  And when I say quite lovely, I really mean that.  I'm not good at the ol' film jargon, so I'll just say it was pretty to look at and was actually about something.

Anyhoo.  I watched that one on Saturday night, and I was all prepared to make another day of it on Sunday afternoon.  But even though the Child's Play franchise isn't even as half as graphic or bloody as the Friday the 13th movies (and there are only 5; well, plus the new one I haven't seen yet), somehow I felt all horror movie-d out and ended up catching up on some of my teevee shows.  So I guess I have a horror movie limit after all.  I even got really grossed out watching last week's American Horror Story.  Like flinching at blood and stuff.  Totally not like me.

But all in all I had a good weekend of drinking and sitting on my butt on the couch, watching silly movies and annoying my blind kitty.  I mean, by moving around so much on the couch she calls her bed.  Maybe by next October, I'll be writing more regularly and have gotten better at it, and maybe I'll actually plan something out.  One can hope! 

Halloween Quickies, pt. 1

So, my Halloween movie marathon didn't exactly go as planned.   I only watched movies on Saturday and instead of watching a random assortment of movies, I went killer doll crazy and watched all of the Child's Play movies.  In some ways, it's a better franchise than some of the others because they're mostly pretty good.  Pretty good in a silly horror movie way, that is.  I mean, I've seen all of the Nightmare on Elm Streets and Halloweens and Friday the 13ths, but mostly, there are maybe three good ones in the mix and the rest are shit.  I'd say all but Child's Play 3 are pretty darn watchable.  And I haven't seen Curse of Chucky yet, so I don't know how that one will pan out.  Child's Play 3 was the only one where I was looking at the clock, waiting for it to be over. 

Anyhoo, I watched some other things besides Chucky movies.  Here they are:

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark: I guess this was a remake, but I'd never seen or heard of the original, so I have nothing to say about that.  This was a pretty decent movie, but I had one major problem with it.  There's a little girl in the movie who, either because of the writing or the performance, seemed to be fairly intelligent.  She's being stalked by little demony fairy things in her new house and at some point discovers they don't like light.  And she does a few smart things in that regard.  BUT, later in the movie, she's taking a bath and they come in and somehow turn off the light.  She gets out of the tub and runs to the door but then just kinda stands there while I'm yelling "turn on the light, stoopid!!!"  And she never turns on the light, despite knowing it will make them scatter.  DUMB.  I mean, if she had, it wouldn't have suddenly turned the movie into a modern masterpiece or anything, but I would have thought much better of it.  As it was, it was all right, but I probably wouldn't watch it again.

Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers: Um, yeah.  Sleepaway Camp is a terrible movie.  TERRIBLE.  But I had heard some people kinda liked the sequels, so I thought, why not?  I'll give most anything on Netflix Instant a try.  OMG.  Sleepaway Camp 2 is WORSE than the original.  Just horrible.  From about five minutes in, I just wanted all of those stoopid campers dead.  And you watch a movie like this and you remember that not everyone could afford the services of someone like Tom Savini.  So instead, when Angela cuts out someone's tongue at the beginning, rather than actually seeing any kind of simulation of such a thing, Angela just puts her hand over the girl's mouth, then moves a knife around like she's cutting off her lips, and then it cuts to her throwing a tongue on the ground.  I mean, her mouth wasn't even open.  Just ... inept. 

Stay tuned for part 2!!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

If I were less boring and lazy and all of that, I would have planned something in advance for Halloween so I'd have something more interesting than just "Happy Halloween" to say today.  I AM WHAT I AM.  So there.  All I know is, I'm watching silly horror movies on Netflix Instant all weekend cuz  I couldn't take today and tomorrow off from work.  I've got a bunch queued all up in there and I'm not gonna think too hard about it, just gonna press "play" and watch 'em up!  Anything that doesn't grab me within 30 minutes, is dunzo.  I will move on and feel no guilt!!

At some point I'll probably watch the original, the best, Halloween movie and see if it still scares me. 


He's in broad daylight!!  This is one of the scariest scenes in the movie, when Laurie and Annie are walking towards him and he just moves out of sight and they keep walking and OMGHFDOFJISOFJDS!!!  Freaky!! 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween 2013: All the Boys Love Mandy Lane

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane was originally made in 2006, but due to complications with its distributor, it didn't get a U.S. release until just this year.  I don't remember when I first heard about it, but I'd been anticipating its release ever since because everyone was raving over it.  Owing to its limited release this year, I actually somehow avoided knowing anything about it, which is kind of nice.  I was able to watch it without ever really being sure what was going on and what I should be expecting.

In case you didn't know, Mandy Lane is a horror movie.  Amber Heard plays the titular character, a gorgeous virginal blonde who is indeed lusted after by all the boys at her high school.  She is invited to a get-together at a friend's parent's cattle ranch where all the boys are each hoping to get it on with her.  And I'll leave it at that.  If you like horror movies, especially slasher movies, you don't need much more than that and I'd rather not say anything else.  This isn't an especially scary movie, although YMMV. 

Now, did I like the movie?  Was it worth the wait?  Well...I dunno about that.  I was mostly enjoying it until a certain point, and even though the characters weren't particularly likable, I was curious about where it was going, and what was going to happen.  But then when it all became clear, it really wasn't that clear, and I felt a bit let down.  I don't mind movies that don't have clear answers.  A great example is Black Christmas, where you never really learn why the guy in the house is killing everyone.  That's okay.  But this one, I felt a bit cheated.  I think part of the buildup to this movie was that I got the idea it was some kind of female empowerment something-or-other, and I'm not sure that it was. 

I gave this one three stars.  Like Final Destination 5, if I had stopped the movie before the letdown, it might have gotten three and a half.  I'd recommend it to slasher movie fans, especially those who like something a little different.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Netflix is weird

As I was doing breakfasty things in the kitchen this morning, I happened to notice a Netflix thingie, one of many that pile up on the table because hubbie and I are SLOBS.  Oh, what's a Netflix thingie, you might ask?  Well.  If you've never received discs through the mail, here's what they look like:



The sheet on the left side is essentially an ad for Netflix.  You tear that sheet off and throw it away.  Or leave it sitting on your table, along with junk mail, until you get sick of it, and THEN throw it away.  ANYWAY.  I happened to notice the most recent one sitting on the table, and it was basically a reminder that Netflix has zombie movies for you to choose from, since it's almost Halloween.  And then it had four DVD covers.  I'm guessing this is what they would consider the cream of the crop?  The quintessential entries in the genre?  Well.  Here are the four movies they chose:

Zombieland.  Shaun of the Dead.  World War Z.  AND...  AND....  Young Frankenstein.

"One of these things is not like the other..."

Um.  I have ISSUES.  The most obvious is that Young Frankenstein is NOT A ZOMBIE MOVIE.  Yes, Frankenstein's monster is a reanimated corpse, but he is not a zombie.  Not in the classic sense of what I consider to be a zombie.  Zombies are reanimated corpses who then eat other people and pass on their zombieness.  Ol' Frankie could eat people, but he wouldn't pass anything on.  The only way Young Frankenstein fits is that it's a horror comedy, and in that sense, it can go fine alongside Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead.  Which means World War Z then doesn't belong, because as far as I know, it's a serious zombie movie.  But it's a zombie movie and therefore belongs.  Dagnabbit!!

The other issue is simply that I wouldn't have put both Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead on the list.  They are both excellent zombie movies, but they are outliers of sorts, since they're comedies.  I also wouldn't necessarily have put Return of the Living Dead on there, either.  Now, if the fourth movie had been Night of the Living Dead, or Dawn of the Dead, I probably wouldn't have given the thingie a second glance.  I might have wondered a bit why they'd chosen both Zombieland and Shaun, but I wouldn't be ranting about it.

HOWEVER.  I think, in part, what frustrates me about the choice of these four movies is that they're not zombie gore-fests.  Yes, there is some gore in both Zombieland and Shaun, but my sister watched them and liked them both.  And girlfriend does NOT like horror.  Does not like gore.  I guarantee she wouldn't like Dawn of the Dead, which to me is THE zombie movie.  And from what I've heard and read about World War Z is that it is not a gore-fest.  It's more mainstream.  AND it's PG-13.  The only horror movie I've seen recently that was PG-13 and still good was Drag Me to Hell.  PG-13 and zombies just don't go together.  We go see zombie movies to see body parts ripped off and eaten.  Blood, gore and intestines, oh my!!

None of which is to denigrate Zombieland or Shaun AT ALL.  They're just the kind of movies that non-gorehounds would choose if you asked them to pick a good zombie movie.  I shouldn't be surprised by this, but ya know.  I can be naïve sometimes. 
 
EDITED TO ADD PHOTO EVIDENCE:


That there is the tear-away sheet from a Netflix envelope, inviting the consumer to "add these flesh-eating zombies to your queue."  Frankenstein's monster does not eat flesh!!!  Jeebus Creezypants!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Blergh

I have 33 horror movies queued up in my Netflix to watch next weekend.  I don't think I'm gonna get them all watched in one day!  Oh noes!!  I might watch a few this weekend if I don't get stuck doing what I always do on weekends.  Which is: doing online jigsaw puzzles while I listen to podcasts.  I am so boring!!  The last time I watched a bunch of movies on Halloween I think I only watched 6?  So, yeah. 

The annoying thing about Halloween this year is that I now have a job where I actually have a specific thing I have to do on the first of every month.  I'd like to take next Thursday and Friday off, but then I'd have to postpone this specific thing to Monday, but I don't know if my boss would go for it.  And I don't really mind having my horror movie marathon on the weekend.  I was gonna start on Friday night and watch stuff all weekend long.  I dunno.  Maybe I'll still run it by the boss and see if I can take next Friday off.

I just wanna go home and watch horror movies NOW!!!!!  Go buy some beer and pizza and turn all the lights out.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Halloween 2013: Final Destination 5

Quick thoughts:  Final Destination 5 is a good example of why I will mostly likely watch Paranormal Activity 5.  Because sometimes a sequel is damn good.  I had kinda given up on the FD series after 4 (mostly because 3 and 4 were boring and I actually keep forgetting I even watched 4), but then someone on a podcast said 5 was actually pretty fun, so I said, what the hey.  I AM a completist, after all.  Now that most, if not all, I haven't actually checked, of the Hellraiser movies are on Netflix Instant, I'll probably make my way through those.  YES.  I will regret it, and I know this already.  But I will do it.

ANYHOODLE.  Final Destination 5.  Again, like PA 5, this series has a conceit that definitely wears thin.  Hence the badness of 3 and 4.  But I dunno, 5 was just fun.  The kill sequences were awesome, and the opening made me giggle numerous times.  Ultimately, I only gave this movie 3 stars, though, mostly cuz the ending was majorly lame.  Unlike 3 and 4, though, I'll watch this one again.  I'd totally do a marathon and skip 3 and 4.  I think Dick Casablancas may have been in 3, though, so maybe I'd watch it again.  *skitters off to check interwebs*  WRONG, it was Nick Zano I was thinking of, not Ryan Hansen, and it was 4.  See, I still don't remember 4 at all!!

So, the FD films in order of awesomeness: 2, 1, 5, 3.  That's it, right?  I'm not missing something??  Nah.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Halloween 2013: Paranormal Activity 4

I'm just a sucker for these movies.  I don't LOVE them, but they're good for a decent scare or two.  The real problem with them is the movie around the scares.  Characters you kind of want to slap so they'll shut up already and get to the scares.  And there's definitely a problem of diminishing returns.  By the fourth movie, it's like, "oh, a door opening by itself AGAIN.  I'm SO scared."  For the most part, it's just the same tricks over and over and this movie definitely didn't scare me very much.  Some good eerie moments but not real scares.  But I'll probably watch the fifth one when it gets put up on Netflix instant streaming.  Cuz you never know!  Some sequels are actually fun.


I think the main problem with this one is that they've stretched the found footage conceit almost to the breaking point.  I can buy people who think their house is haunted, so they put up cameras all around the house and check them periodically.  Yeah, it stretches credibility, but if it's fun and scary, I don't mind.  This one, though, just, I dunno.  Mostly we get the stoopid teenage main character chatting with her boyfriend online, so we have to look at her dumb face A LOT.  And her dumb boyfriend is even worse.  And spoiler alert, I guess?  So, psycho Aunt Katie kidnapped her nephew Hunter after killing off the rest of the family, and then she shows up across the street from the people in this movie, with a kid she's calling Robbie.  So I assumed Robbie was Hunter.  But then it seems like later they're trying to say the boy in the other family is actually Hunter??  So then who the fuck is Robbie??  Things like this bug me and take me out of the movie.  They make me all stabby and psycho-facey.


So I wouldn't recommend this movie unless you saw and didn't hate the other three.  Otherwise the whole thing wouldn't make ANY sense, probably.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Review: Star Trek Into Darkness

Yeah, I never saw this in the theater.  I really hate leaving the house on weekends and I don't like to go out after work, and I dunno, if it weren't for work I might never leave the house.  I get panic attacks sometimes in large groups of people and sometimes I just can't deal, so I don't see that many movies in the theater.  I dunno.  Maybe I would have liked it better if I'd seen it in the theater.

I enjoyed it for the most part until it started getting all cutesy and up its own ass with the referential crap.  A tribble for no reason, and then the whole reversal of Kirk and Spock at the end of Wrath of Khan, and then suddenly Spock is yelling "KHAAAAAN!!!!" and I'm annoyed.  I love a good wink at the audience if it's done right, but too much and it's just fucking lazy.  And it just made me want to rewatch Wrath of Khan, cuz that's a good movie.  And I love Cumberbatch, but I kept trying to wonder what it would sound like if he said "fine Corinthian  leather..."



Thursday, October 17, 2013

Halloween 2013: Cronenberg

David Cronenberg directed one of my very favorite horror movies, the remake of The Fly.  There's a part in it where Goldblum vomits up his food at the table and just says something like "oh, that was gross," that just kills me.  It's gory, gross, funny, and that means it's My Kinda Movie.  Also fitting nicely into that category is The Brood -- awesome and creepy and I love it.  Others of his that I'd seen are The Dead Zone, Dead Ringers, Existenz, A History of Violence, and Eastern Promises.  All of which I liked except for Existenz, which for some reason I violently hated.  But everything else is excellent, although Dead Ringers suffers a bit in comparison to the rest.  Anyway, since I got back on the Netflix DVD train, I decided to catch up on a few I hadn't seen.

First was Scanners, which I gave 3 1/2 stars.  Not sure why, in retrospect I'd probably give it just 3.  It was a decent movie but suffered a bit when I realized the big iconic scene (the head exploding) occurred in the first 20 or so minutes, maybe sooner.  After that I was kind of waiting for something even more awesome to happen and it didn't.  But Michael Ironside was really good.  I think that's the best thing about it (besides the 'splodey head, which I howled at).

Next was Videodrome, which I  also gave 3 1/2 stars, and I'll stick with that.  Now when someone says "Long live the new flesh" I have a frame of reference for it.  (cuz it happens SO OFTEN).  This is one of those movies that challenges the viewer a little, at least those of us who enjoy horror.  And at the same time gives us perverts exactly what we want.  I've always liked James Woods, and I enjoyed his performance in the movie.  Also:  Debbie Harry!!  Her acting was not so great, but still.  I think she'd be fun to have a drink with.  Unlike Scanners, I can see myself watching this more than once.  Good flick.

Last was Rabid, which I gave 3 stars.  Creepy, gory, but ultimately, I dunno, somehow not very memorable?  Except maybe for the fact that Marilyn Chambers is in this and is of course as nekkid as she can be.  Maybe if they'd cast a better actress I could've sympathized with her character, but as it was, again, I dunno, I wasn't left with very much of anything when it was over.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pilot Watch: Witches of East End

If Sarah D. Bunting hadn't mentioned this show favorably in a blog post, I would likely have never watched it.  It's on the Lifetime network.  THE LIFETIME NETWORK.  Anything that bills itself as the "network for women" is not going to be for me.  Yes, I'm a woman.  I got the tits and hooha to prove it.  But...I'm not a girly girl.  I don't usually like girly things.  I do like some rom-coms, but usually I only like romance if there are vampires or something like that in the mix.  Straight romance, not really my kinda thing.  Happy crappy romantic movies are the anti-Sandisan.  Gimme a dick flick, something with a Statham or a Willis, lots of action and some tits and I'll be happy.  So, yeah.  Lifetime Network: Not For Me.  (my love of Sex and the City does not negate any of what I've just said, BTW)

BUT.  I do like shows about witches.  I like shows about sisters.  And this show has Witch Sisters!!  Yay!!  Unfortunately, it has Ms. Channing Tatum, who despite having fantastic tits and doesn't mind wearing shirts that show them off, is quite a bad actress.  She's not embarrassingly bad, she's just not...good.  Plus, she gets to see Channing nekkid whenever she wants, and well, he gets to see her nekkid whenever he wants, which makes me not like him all of a sudden, and well, confusing.  ANYWAY.  She's probably the worst part of the show, and really, she's not that bad.  Besides, Madchen Amick!!  Shelley from Twin Peaks!!!  She's looking good, and she's really funny and I love her.

The show itself is a lot like Charmed, which, yes Witch Sisters and I watched ALL OF IT.  Hot Witch Sisters, to boot.  Especially Holly Marie Combs, who was one of my first female crushes, back when I didn't really know what that meant.  Anyway, there's some silly romantic stuff, Jenna Dewan-Tatum's fiancé is named DASH (ugh), but I can ignore it if the focus stays on the witchy parts.  I was actually surprised by how much I liked this show.

Pilot Watch: The Tomorrow People

I like The CW Network.  I will watch almost any new scripted genre show that they air.  An exception is Beauty and the Beast, mostly because I heard a lot of bad things about it, and still do.  I also only watched one episode of Nikita, despite it being pretty much right up my alley.  Blame it on having too many other shows to watch.  Likely, Nikita is something I will marathon on Netflix once the whole series is up.  So even something as kinda silly-looking as The Tomorrow People, I'm gonna watch at least once.  Plus, the lead actor (Robbie Amell) is brother to the lead in Arrow (Stephen Amell) and hello, HOTNESS.  Yeah, I'm gonna give it a go.

One of the hardest parts about making a pilot can be the setup, the introduction to a realized world.  Usually the introduction will come via someone new to the world: a new recruit for a secret agency, for example.  If done well, this won't seem too clunky or exposition-y.  If not done well, it'll be...clunky and exposition-y.  For me, if the show can give me some characters I'm willing to watch a second episode for, I'm not too concerned with how clunky the intro is.  Not all pilots are great, not all shows start out fully realized and awesome.  The Tomorrow People handles all of this by kinda speeding through the exposition while giving the viewer some interesting characters and situations.

Basically, there are non-humans who have three special abilities: Teleportation, Telepathy, and Telekinesis.  These people, umm, mutants?  I'll call them the TPs, the Tomorrow Peeps, are hiding from an organization called Ultra, the head of which wants to capture the TPs and eliminate their powers.  Stephen (Robbie Amell) begins exhibiting some of these powers and is brought into this secret world.

This has potential.  I liked the characters, although it strains even more credulity than usual that Stephen is in high school when he looks to be about 23.  (He's actually 25)  I can live with this as long as we don't get a lot of school scenes, which I don't think we will.  Also, one of the things set up is whether or not Stephen's dad is dead or not, and judging by the fact that when said father showed up via recorded message, I yelled "Hot daddy!!", I do hope they find him.  I'll likely keep watching this one.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013

On Notice: Sons of Anarchy

I've been watching Sons of Anarchy almost since the beginning.  It's a loud, crass, casually misogynistic, violent show, and I really loved it.  Despite the casual misogyny, there were good female characters on display, even if the men around them sometimes treated them like crap.  There seemed to be a heart at the core, a moral center of sorts, even if it was a crude, bloody heart.  From the beginning, it's straddled a line for me between what's watchable and what isn't.  Occasionally the show could be a little more exploitative than I liked, but it always seemed to have a point to it.  And since some of the exploitation came at the expense of showing off Charlie Hunnam's excellent tushie, I figured it all balanced out somewhat.

But recently it's just been dragging on me.  I've been putting off watching the week's episode, partly because I'm getting tired of it and partly because F/X has decided to fellate Kurt Sutter by letting him have regular 90-minute episodes that just DRAG and have no reason to be extra-long.  And this week I actually may have hit the breaking point.  A subplot so demoralizing and above all, embarrassing, that I don't know how much longer I can watch.  And by embarrassing, I mean the fact that these fine actors had to act out this scene and someone actually wrote the scene in the first place, it's just sad. 

Basically, Gemma has gone to visit Clay in prison, a nominative conjugal visit, even though the only point of the meeting is for Clay to pass information to Gemma (for which service the guards accept $500, I think).  Once the information has been passed, and Gemma is about to take her leave, the guards decide they want the conjugal to actually take place so they can watch.  (Clay and Gemma are still legally married but they're estranged, and well, it's complicated.  Basically, there's no way on Earth Gemma wants to fuck Clay.)  And yeah, that's icky.  But I still could have lived with it had Clay beat them up, or Gemma, or something, anything so the scene didn't take place.  But it did.  They cut away, so we didn't actually have to see the ickiness, but it still happened.  And why?  There seems no narrative purpose to this at all.  It's not like there's a dearth of plot to this show.  I don't usually think Sutter does things just to shock and be "badass" but this really crossed the line for me.  And I'm not a prude.  I just don't see any reason to have this humiliating scene on this show.  I actually fast-forwarded through it, and I never do that. 

I almost gave up on this show last season and then was glad I didn't because it got interesting, but this may be it for me. 

Halloween 2013: Four Flies on Grey Velvet


I realized after I reviewed The Bird with the Crystal Plumage that I still needed to see a few more of Argento's early films.  Bird was his first movie, and Four Flies was his second.  And for once I'm going to review something that I JUST saw, which means I'll actually remember the dang plot.

Robert is a musician who thinks someone is following him.  After following the stalker and confronting him, Robert accidentally kills the man.  While this is happening, someone is taking photos of the murder.  Shortly after, Robert begins to receive these photos in the mail and hidden around his apartment.  Who is sending these photos and why?  Will the answer make a ton of sense?? 



Well, watch and you'll find out who was sending the photos.  You'll also get to see Argento in the early stages of what would become his signature style.  There isn't a ton of gore in this movie, but there are quite a few excellent set pieces and while it's not a great movie, it does have a lot to recommend it if you like Italian horror.  If you've seen more than a few Argento movies, it'll be kind of obvious who the killer is, but I don't know that the mystery is the point of watching an Argento movie. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Halloween 2013: A Smattering of Movies

I watched a few movies this year that aren't technically horror movies, but have some element of psychologically scary stuff, so here's a few with brief reviews.

Martha Marcy May Marlene (3 1/2 stars)
I was fascinated by the book Helter Skelter when I was a teen, and this movie kind of reminded me of that.  Elizabeth Olsen was fabulous and it was well worth watching.

Red Riding: 1974 (3 stars); Red Riding: 1980 (3 stars); Red Riding: 1983 (3 1/2 stars)
These three British movies (also known as the Red Riding Trilogy) all tell a complete story, but were directed by three different directors.  They're not really scary but they are about a serial killer.  I guess I particularly liked the third one.  I watched them in two days; I think I watched the first movie and the next day I watched the second and third.  They're fairly grim in tone, so I don't know if I'd recommend a marathon of all three.

We Need to Talk About Kevin (3 stars)
I can't exactly say I enjoyed this movie.  It was hard to watch at times, even though there's not a lot of actual violence in it.  But Tilda Swinton is a Goddess.  And the actor who plays Kevin?  Wow.  I had seen him not long before in The Perks of Being a Wallflower (which I loved), and he was such a joy in that one, but he was also totally believable as a young psychopath.

M (5 stars)
LOVE this movie.  I had never seen it before, but I know I'll be watching it again.  The end scene where Peter Lorre is surrounded by people who want to kill him (for good reason) stuck with me for quite a while after watching it.  He's a pedophile and a child-killer, but is it his fault?  Does he deserve mercy, considering he didn't choose this way of being?  I was frankly rooting for them to kill him, but I wasn't doing it gleefully, and it made me question how I really feel about such things.

Stoker (4 stars)
I love Chan-wook Park.  He directed my beloved Oldboy, a movie that is so gorgeous and so heartbreaking.  I didn't really love his last movie, Thirst, so I was a little apprehensive, but I really enjoyed this movie.  And I recently watched Shadow of a Doubt for the first time and couldn't help but see some similarities in the relationships between uncle and niece in both movies (just add incest!).

Monday, October 7, 2013

Halloween 2013: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

I saw Dario Argento's arguably greatest movie, Suspiria, for the first time about three years ago.  I didn't like it.  The music annoyed me, the plot was incomprehensible, and I think I gave it two stars.  But for some reason, it stuck with me, and I dunno, I decided to watch it again and suddenly, it spoke to me.  The music: awesome.  The plot?  Well, still incomprehensible, but who cares?  Anyway, now I love this movie and I have been going through the rest of Argento's movies.  I first watched the other movies in the "three mothers" trilogy (Inferno and Mother of Tears) and then moved on to others such as Phenomena and Deep Red.  I love all of them.  Mother of Tears is a later movie, and it isn't as good as the others, but I still mostly enjoyed it.

It took me a while, but I finally decided to go to the beginning and watch his first movie, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage.  Here's the summary from the Netflix page: "Witnessing a brutal attack on a woman but unable to help her, Sam, an American traveling in Rome, soon finds himself the target of an elusive killer. The deeper Sam delves into the mystery, the more at risk he becomes."  I had to go find the summary because I honestly couldn't remember the plot.  And something to say about these movies: plot?  Doesn't really so much matter.  The mood, the atmosphere, is much more important.  And once I went to google some images, I remembered the movie.  I liked it a lot.  That said, I have a swiss cheese memory (unless you need the lyrics to random songs from the '80's) so trying to review a movie three months later is really difficult for me.  Basically, if you like Argento, you'll probably like this one.  Yeah, I know, this review is pretty lame, but I'm making myself write anyway. 

I gave this movie 3 1/2 stars.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Pilot Watch: Masters of Sex

I meant to write about this way earlier in the week, but um, Lazy.  All I'll say at this point is that I really, really enjoyed this show.  In case you don't know, it's about Masters and Johnson and the groundbreaking sex research they did in the 1950's.  The casting is great and I love Lizzy Kaplan getting regular work.  They also did a really good job of not seeming prurient about the amount of sex in the show.  I mean, if you're gonna do a show about sex research, well, there's gonna be a lot of sex.  And there is, but it doesn't feel gratuitous, and I like that.  I can deal with gratuitous sex on something like Strike Back, cuz that's the genre and it's kind of funny, but a serious show about sex needs to be more careful and they did a good job in the pilot.  I'll keep watching this one.

Pilot Watch: The Originals

As a die-hard fan of The Vampire Diaries I was quite intrigued by the back-door pilot they aired last season, which featured the "original" vampires from the TVD universe.  There's Klaus (who is actually a wolf-vampire hybrid), Elijah (who is YUMMY), Rebekah, and two other brothers who were boring and I think are actually dead.  There's this whole thing about how since they're the original vampires, they're actually immortal (as opposed to the limited immortality of regular vampires -- they're immortal until you kill them), meaning they can't be killed at all, except oh, there's this white oak stake that can kill them permanently, and I believe these two brothers were indeed staked with the white oak.  I THINK.

Anyway, something something about Klaus going to New Orleans and meeting up with one of his um, sirees?  Children?  Spawn?  I dunno what they call them on this show, but Klaus is his sire, meaning he made him into a vampire.  Marcel is the dude's name and MAN.  He is HOT.  He's also kinda evil and he's got this large gang of vamps and they're basically making life hell for all the witches in NOLA.  And it should be said, Klaus is also pretty evil and there's really no good vamps except maybe Rebekah.  Elijah is less evil than Klaus, but he's still kinda evil and arrogant. 

So, the episode itself wasn't really all that great.  It did a lot of rehashing of the back-door pilot aired last season, plus there was a lot of clunky exposition so any noobs would be able to understand some of the relationships and whatnot.  Which is fine, but it was kinda boring.  I'm presuming it will get better, though, and will keep watching for the forseeable future.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Halloween 2013: The Woman in Black

I love horror movies.  And I love Halloween.  I'm not sure why.  I don't dress up, I don't give out candy to children, I don't decorate.  I don't even change my Twitter avatar or anything.  I guess I just like October.  It starts out with my seester's birthday and ends in Halloween. 

Anyway, I've been netflixing a lot of horror movies this year, and I meant to give little reviews of them, but ya know something?  I'm LAZY.  And I always worry I'll sound stoopid and I don't know how to do screen grabs of movies and my blog looks stoopid, and BLAH BLAH BLAH.  Well, I decided to just throw caution to the wind this month and try to put up at least one post per day.  And today it occurred to me I could go back and review some of those horror movies since it is Halloween month.  Shocktober!  These are definitely going to vary in length, quality and coherence, but what is new? 

So, I went back through the movies I've watched this year, and the first horror movie I watched was in May???  The Woman in Black is on there, right before Behind the Candelabra, which aired at the end of May, so there we go. 

Broody Harry Potter.

The Woman in Black stars Daniel Radcliffe as a lawyer who goes to a spooky house to do some, um, legal things.  I don't remember exactly, and it doesn't matter, it's just an excuse to get him to the spooky house and the spooky villagers and all that jazz.  It's a ghost story, and it does have its share of cheesy jump scares, but it's also legitimately creepy.  Daniel Radcliffe is a decent actor and I thought it was a good horror movie, albeit with a silly ending.  But it wasn't a BAD ending, and that's about the best you can hope for in a horror movie.  It's hard to stick the landing, and as long as I don't feel like the ending ruined everything that came before it, I'm okay with it. 

I gave this one 3 1/2 stars.  It was better than I expected it would be, and I would watch it again.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

ONE WEEK

American Horror Story: Coven begins next week.  The first episode is called "Bitchcraft."

OMG

DED

SO FUCKING EXCITED

Jessica knows what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Happy Birthday to my SEESTER!!!

Dearest Jan,

I wish you the most happiest of birthdays.  May your beauty and grace only grow as the years go by.  I'm sorry I can't be there to share this happy day with you, but know that I am thinking of you.

Yours always,
Robert



Monday, September 30, 2013

Pilot Not-Watch: Various Suspects

No, I didn't not-watch a show called Various Suspects.  I'm just being silly. 

Every pilot season, I worry that I'll miss out on something great.  Like Scandal.  I watched the first episode and liked it well enough, but not enough to keep watching.  But then everyone was like "eeeeeeeeee Scandal is the best LOLOLOLOL" and I was annoyed I'd stopped watching.  HOWEVER.  Netflix put up the first season on streaming and then Hulu had the second season up, and I caught up and didn't even get spoiled on any major plot points.  So now, I'm feeling less anxious.  If I miss something and it starts getting a lot of buzz, I can catch up.

But even knowing that, I still DVR'd a lot of new shows.  Some, like the Avengers Variety Hour, were a given.  Whedon?  IN.  Others were not, but I thought I'd give them a try.  So here are the shows: Mom (Anna Faris!!  Alison Janney!!!), Trophy Wife (Josh Lyman!!), The Michael J Fox Show (BUNK!!), Hostages (Toni Collette!!!), and The Blacklist (UH, Spader?).  So, I actually watched some of the first three shows.

Mom is on CBS and has a studio audience.  Something has to be really, really good for me to put up with that.  And it was .... bad.  I didn't even make it to Alison Janney.  Maybe it'll get better and I can catch up later.  Or it'll get cancelled and I'll be happy I didn't bother.  Trophy Wife had a lot of positive buzz, and it was okay, it was just ... a family show.  I don't really watch family shows.  I might watch genre shows that have good family stuff, but just straight family shows just aren't my thing.  I don't have kids and don't really like them, so there's just so much I can't relate to.  I mean, I love Josh Lyman, but even if we fell madly in Love?  He's got like three kids and two ex-wives and I'M OUT.  So, even though it had potential, it just wasn't the kind of show I'd be likely to watch.  And the Michael J Fox Show?  Similar stuff.  Mostly a family show.  Just not my thing.

Now, Hostages and The Blacklist are kinda more up my alley.  Thrillers.  However, neither really looked very good, and I just decided not to take the time to watch them.  They are the ones that I'd be most likely to get spoiled on plot points, but eh.  I'll live.  I watch a LOT of teevee and there are other shows I'm more likely to get into.  And other shows that haven't even come back yet!  I just don't have to record everything.

Pilot Watch: The Crazy Ones

Hubbie made me DVR the new Robin Williams show, so I did.  Well, he didn't make me.  Like he has that power!!  I was vaguely interested cuz Buffy is in it and so is "Not so great" Bob Benson from Mad Men.  So I recorded it and we watched it and we laughed, but yeah.  It was funny in that "oh, I have 30 minutes to kill, I could watch this" kind of way, but not in a "I must DVR this and watch it every week or I will DIE" kind of way. 

I suppose if I were actually a TV critic, I'd actually give a synopsis of the show.  It's basically a half-hour sitcom about an ad agency.  Robin Williams is the head of the agency, and Buffy plays his daughter.  And I like them both, and I definitely like "not so great" Bob Benson, but I dunno.  I have a feeling it will be frequently shmoopy and that is intolerable to me.  Hubbie decided he liked it enough that I feel obligated to give it a series recording, but I'll probably make him watch it by himself.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Books I wish my liberry didn't own, pt. 2

UGH:
 
The ultimate Obama survival guide: how to survive, thrive, and prosper during Obamageddon, by Wayne Allyn Root.
 
The summary of this gem:
"In this book, you'll learn how to use your personal Obama defense shield (as designed by Root) to protect yourself and your family, how you can create a precious metals defense system to preserve your assets, how you must educate your children to prepare them for the Depression to come, how to protect your family and turn your home into a fortress in Obama's second term."
 
Yeah.  Right.  Uh-huh.  Liz Lemon, take it away:
 
 

Pilot Watch: Marvelous Avengers Variety Hour

Yeah, I know.  The show in question is called Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  I don't care, I'm never calling it that.  It's going to be "that Avengers show" or "Shield" to me. 

Anyway, I don't have much to say about it yet.  It needs a little time to cook before I'll know if it's actually good.  It had a lot of good elements in it, and I liked most of the people.  It was just kinda generic in some ways.  But it's Whedon and I'm legally bound to give it time to get better.  I wasn't so sure about Dollhouse at first, either, and it turned out to be a pretty decent show. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Pilot Watch: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

I'm not ashamed to admit I love Andy Samberg.  Tall, goofy and doesn't mind looking like a damn fool.  I may go on and on about the hotness of the Idris or the Tatum or the Statham, but what really gets my motor running is a tall, goofy-looking dude with brown hair.  Maybe it's the sense that if I met him in real life, there might actually be a chance he'd talk to me.  Anyway, I love Samberg.  I loved Hot Rod, which basically means I am actually a 14-year old boy.  So be it.

All of that is to say I was pre-disposed to like Brooklyn Nine-Nine.  The presence of Samberg guaranteed I would at least watch one episode.  The presence of Andre Braugher meant that it might actually be a quality show.  And guess what?  I liked it quite it a bit.  It was funny, it had Samberg being goofy, Andre Braugher said "meep morp," and I am so in.  It's also kind of nice to watch a cop show that's not heavy.

Pilot Watch: Sleepy Hollow

When I first saw the trailer for Sleepy Hollow a few months ago, I figured it was too good to be true.  It looked silly and crazy and just up my alley, but so did other shows like The Cape (which I bailed on 30 minutes in).  I'm happy to report that the show was definitely silly and crazy, and it might actually be good. 

The pilot wasn't perfect by any means.  A little too on-the-nose cheesy at times and a little too much character shorthand.  But it was fun and it was never boring.  And come on.  Mother-fucking SATAN shows up at the end.  I saw that and said, "I'm IN."  I don't really see how it can work as a show long-term, but I'm willing to watch for a while and see.  I didn't think Grimm was going to be much good in the long run, but it turned out to be a fairly decent little show.  And hot British guy alert!  Hot and funny.  Like I said, I'm in.

Friday, May 31, 2013

I Watched This: Hemlock Grove

Hemlock Grove (available on Netflix Instant) is the kind of show that seemed meant for me.  Supernatural show, created by Eli Roth, yes, okay, I'm in.  Even so, I didn't watch it immediately when it dropped on Netflix.  The regular TV season was still in full swing and I just didn't feel like adding another show.  In retrospect, it might have been better for me if I had watched it then.  Most likely I would have been put off by the truly atrocious pilot, and would have never watched more.  But this week when I decided I wanted to watch it, there was just enough in the pilot that made me interested, I had an evening to kill, and so I watched more of it. 

All I really knew going in was that there was something about werewolves.  And I assumed it would be a nice little horror show, maybe a little campy, maybe a little scary.  Either of those would have been fine.  Both mixed together would have been fine.  However.  There is very little real horror in this show.  And it was NEVER scary.  As for camp, there has to be a sense of humor, a sense of FUN for that to work, and there is no real fun in this.  It isn't even a "so bad it's good" situation.  It's just mostly bad and no fun.

So, why did I keep watching?  Mostly because there was a mystery, and I'm a sucker for a mystery.  Who was the werewolf who killed the girl in the pilot?  Why are these gypsies interested in the Godfrey family?  What's up with the weird Frankenstein sister?  (And why is Famke Janssen inflicting this bad British accent on us???)  Also, there was a clip circulating of what was termed "the grossest werewolf transformation EVAR," which I decided not to watch in advance.  This scene was NOT in the pilot, so I kept watching.  Now, that scene?  Was worth waiting for.  It was interesting, it was gross, it had life.  If the rest of the show could have matched that, maybe it would have been worth something.

Random observations:
  • Bad accents.  I love Famke Janssen, I really do, but her accent was distracting and bad.  Dougray Scott always sounded constipated, and Bill Skarsgaard?  OMG.  It was all he could do to form words.  Truly bad.
  • I didn't care one bit about any of the characters besides Frankenstein sister.  A major character died in the final episode and I felt nothing.  Nothing!!
  • This show was full of portents that led nowhere.  Slow, ponderous scenes that went nowhere. 
  • Lack of clarity.  Famke Janssen is a vampire?  But she had a tail?  What???  Why??? 
  • Gypsies.  A major plot point was that the people in this little Pennsylvania town were racists towards gypsies.  Huh?  Is that a thing now? 
The worst thing about all this is that I will probably watch if they do a second season.  I am an idiot.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Books I wish my liberry didn't own

Purity, by Jackson Pearce

"Sixteen-year-old Shelby finds it difficult to balance her mother's dying request to live a life without restraint with her father's plans for his "little princess," which include attending a traditional father-daughter dance that culminates with a ceremonial vow to live "whole, pure lives."

UGH.  Just UGH.  Father-daughter purity dance things are just fucking gross. 

Our occulted history: do the global elite conceal ancient aliens? by Jim  Marrs

"Marrs shifts through the historical, scientific and cultural record, showing how numerous ancient texts and tables tell of visitors from the stars colonizing the Earth. Were these visitors simple observers-- or did they play a much more active and controlling role?"

Um, no.  That's the answer.  NO.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Best book summary EVER

"It began as an entertainment for a winter weekend. It ended in snowbound disaster. Everyone had an alibi, and most a motive as well. But Inspector Alleyn, when he finally arrived, knew it all hung on Thomas, the dancing footman."

Okay, the book is called Death and the Dancing Footman.  But I saw the summary first and it was just so delightfully random I had to share.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Graphic Novels

I have been reading the crap outta graphic novels this year.  This is what happens when you move to a city big enough to have a good public liberry.  I'm reading a lot more than usual and I'm finding new stuff and it's just friggin' awesome.

Transmetropolitan is now one of my favorite graphic novel reads EVER.  I'm thinking of getting a Spider Jerusalem tattoo but I don't know how that would work.  I could just get the spider tattoo he has on his head and get it on the inside of my wrist.  That'd be cheaper than anything else.  I just feel the need to permanently remember these books and how wonderful they are.  Profane, sick, wrong, and also sometimes moving.  It's like Preacher, except it doesn't go to quite the extremes that Preacher does.

Monday, March 4, 2013

TV 2012: Odds and ends

New
Arrow
Eagleheart
The Fades
The Hour
Grimm
Key and Peele
Lost Girl
Switched at Birth

Cancelled
Awake
Best Friends Forever
Bent
Boss
Eastbound and Down (?)
The Life and Times of Tim
The Secret Circle

Stopped watching:
Being Human (U.K.)
Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23
Episodes
GCB
House of Lies
The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret
Luck
Once Upon a Time
Political Animals
Up All Night
Warehouse 13

TV 2012: Runners-up and summary judgments

Most disappointing:
Boss - I never quite knew how I felt about this show.  At times I liked it quite a bit but most times it kinda bored me.  It was the kind of show where I kept looking at how much time was left and it always felt like it was taking for-fucking-ever to be over.  Then the finale just fell flat and lay there dying and gasping and I was happy when it was cancelled so I wouldn't have to dither over whether or not to watch a third season.
Homeland  - Man.  When this show is good?  It's one of the best things I've ever seen.  When it's not?  It's worse than a particularly bad episode of 24.  Why?  Because it has soooo much potential to be great, when it fails it just feels worse.  And this season, while it had a few really great highs, had some pretty great lows as well.  Enough lows that while I doubt I will stop watching, I'm not really looking forward to season 3.  I never would have predicted that when the season was young and the episodes where at their peak.
House of Lies - I was looking forward to this show quite a lot before it aired.  Don Cheadle, Kristin Bell, Jean-Ralphio??  I was so in.  And it ended up being just kind of meh at best and unpleasant at worst.  So annoying.

Most improved:
New Girl - Last year this was on my list of shows I thought I'd be giving up on soon.  Well, I didn't give up on it and now it's one of my favorite shows.
Parenthood - I've always thought of this show as good, but messy.  For some reason this season feels a lot less messy.
Sons of Anarchy - I almost didn't watch this season after last season ended so stoopidly.  But I did and I'm glad for it because it was a pretty good season of television.  Maybe not as good as the excellent second season, but definitely better than the third and fourth seasons.

Just plain fun:
Children's Hospital
Community
Cougar Town
Eagleheart
Happy Endings
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
The League
NTSF:SD:SUV::
Revenge
RuPaul's Drag Race
Sherlock

Honorable mention:
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart/The Colbert Report - These are the only shows that never sit around on my DVR.  I suppose that's partly because there are four episodes each per week.  But both are consistently good, consistently funny, and I just enjoy the heck out of watching Jon and Stephen.

Most fun new shows:
Key and Peele
Arrow

Ending on a good run:
Fringe
30 Rock

Died too soon:
Best Friends Forever and Bent - I watched all of these and I think they both could have developed into something had they been given the chance. 

What's wrong with me that I don't love this show?
Game of Thrones - I love parts of this show quite a lot.  And hell, the thing just looks good.  It's well-written, well-acted, all of that.  But I've never fallen in love with it.  I just don't really CARE enough about the characters to love it.

What's wrong with me that I love this show?
American Horror Story: Asylum

Finally losing steam:
The Vampire Diaries
Supernatural

Slowly losing me:
Suburgatory - This is one is suffering from what I might call the "Glee virus."  Glee was a show that I loved and hated and loved and hated and finally the hate was more prevalent than the love and I had to give up on it.  If you watch ten episodes and two of them are wonderful, that's still eight episodes of dreck you're putting up with.  Suburgatory has shown that it's capable of wonderful episodes, but it can't maintain any consistency with it.  I'm not willing to put up with yuck for one or two stellar outings.
Raising Hope - Similar to above.  I'm finding this show to be more pedestrian and typical than I'd like. 

Still good for at least one or two excellent episodes per season:
South Park

Most testosterone:
Strike Back - If there were more depth to this show, it might have qualified as one of my top favorite shows.  It suffers in comparison to Spartacus, which is even more over the top in its sex and violence, but amazingly enough, does have some depth to it.  But this show is just a lot of fun and fills my need for silly action sequences with hot men running around in tight t-shirts.


Favorite Shows of 2012

These are the shows I decided were my favorite in 2012.

Alphas
Archer
Boardwalk Empire
Bob's Burgers
Breaking Bad
Justified
Key and Peele
Louie
Mad Men
New Girl
Parks and Recreation
Spartacus: Vengeance
Treme

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

TV watched in 2012

30 Rock
Alphas
American Horror Story
Archer
Arrow
Awkward.
Beavis & Butthead
Boardwalk Empire
Bob's Burgers
Breaking Bad
Children's Hospital
The Colbert Report
Community
Cougar Town
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Downton Abbey
Dr. Who
Eagleheart
Enlightened
The Fades
Fringe
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
Grimm
The Guild
Happy Endings
Homeland
The Hour
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Justified
Key and Peele
Law & Order: UK
The League
Lost Girl
Louie
Luther
Mad Men
Misfits
New Girl
NTSF:SD:SUV::
Parenthood
Parks and Recreation
Raising Hope
Revenge
RuPaul's Drag Race
Shameless
Sherlock
Sons of Anarchy
South Park
Spartacus: Vengeance
Strike Back
Suburgatory
Supernatural
Switched at Birth
Treme
The Vampire Diaries
Wilfred


Cancelled:
Awake
Best Friends Forever
Bent
GCB
The Life and Times of Tim
Luck
Political Animals
The Secret Circle
Boss
Eastbound and Down?


Gave up On:
Being Human (U.K.)
Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23
Episodes
House of Lies
Once Upon a Time
Up All Night
Warehouse 13
Whitechapel

TV I caught up with this year

Suits (season 1, first 4 episodes, will continue in 2013)
That Mitchell and Webb Look (series 1)
Buffy (season 2 re-watch)
Dallas (about half of season 4)
Dallas (season 1-3)
Switched at Birth (season 1)
Veronica Mars (season 3 re-watch)
The Thick of It
Garth Marenghi's Darkplace
Strangers with Candy (season 1 re-watch)
Archer season 2 re-watch
Buffy season 1 re-watch
Peep Show (series 1-7)
Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil
Andy Richter Controls the Universe (season 1)
It's Always Sunny in PA (season 4-6)
It's Always Sunny in PA (season 1-3 re-watch)
Ugly Americans (season 1)
Clone High
Eagleheart (season 1)
State of Play
Alias (season 3)
The Life and Times of Tim (season 1)
A Bit of Fry and Laurie (series 4)
Shameless (U.S.) season 1
The Big Bang Theory (season 4)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Book Read 2012

Here's a list of all the books I read in 2012.  60 in total, 20 I'd read before.

My favorites:
The Night Circus / Erin Morgenstern
Necromancing the Stone / Lish McBride
Breed / Chase Novak
Gone Girl / Gillian Flynn
Assassin's Quest / Robin Hobb
Royal Assassin / Robin Hobb
Assassin's Apprentice / Robin Hobb
Cast in Fury / Michelle Sagara
Cast in Secret / Michelle Sagara
Cast in Courtlight / Michelle Sagara
Cast in Shadow / Michelle Sagara
Timeless / Gail Carriger

The rest:
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children / Ransom Riggs
Deadlocked / Charlaine Harris
Dead Reckoning / Charlaine Harris (re-read)
The House Next Door / Anne Rivers Siddons (re-read)
Transmetropolitan, vol. 2 / Warren Ellis
Spike omnibus / Peter David, et al.
Transmetropolitan, vol. 1 / Warren Ellis  (re-read)
Planetary, vol 3 / Warren Ellis
Planetary, vol 2 / Warren Ellis
Planetary, vol 1 / Warren Ellis
Angel and Faith vol. 1
BTVS Season 9, vol. 1
Nocturnal / Scott Sigler
Locke and Key, vol. 5 / Joe Hill
Locke and Key, vol. 4 / Joe Hill
Locke and Key, vol. 3 / Joe Hill
Locke and Key, vol. 2 / Joe Hill
Locke and Key, vol. 1 / Joe Hill (re-read)
Who Could That Be at This Hour? / Lemony Snicket
And Eternity / Piers Anthony  (re-read)
For Love of Evil / Piers Anthony  (re-read)
Being a Green Mother / Piers Anthony  (re-read)
Wielding a Red Sword / Piers anthony  (re-read)
With a Tangled Skein / Piers Anthony  (re-read)
Bearing an Hourglass / Piers Anthony  (re-read)
On a Pale Horse / Piers Anthony  (re-read)
Bethany's Sin / Robert R. McCammon  (re-read)
Mine / Robert R. McCammon  (re-read)
Usher's Passing / Robert R. McCammon  (re-read)
Sharp Objects / Gillian Flynn
Wake / Robert J. Sawyer
Ancestor / Scott Sigler
The Killing Floor / Lee Child
Redshirts / John Scalzi
Red / Warren Ellis
My Sweet Audrina / V.C. Andrews  (re-read)
Seeds of Yesterday / V.C. Andrews  (re-read)
If There Be Thorns / V.C. Andrews  (re-read)
Petals on the Wind / V.C. Andrews  (re-read)
Flowers in the Attic / V.C. Andrews  (re-read)
Spoiled / Heather Cocks; Jessica Morgan
Agorafabulous! Dispatches from My Bedroom / Sara Benincasa
Kill the Dead / Richard Kadrey
Sandman Slim / Richard Kadrey  (re-read)
You're Not Doing It Right / Michael Ian Black
The Night Eternal / Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Circle of Enemies / Harry Connolly

Movies 2012

Movies I watched in 2012
I only watched 25 movies this year (not including movies I re-watched).  This seems like a very low number.  Plus, I only saw two movies in the theater this year and both were Joss Whedon movies.  That's about right.

5 stars
The Avengers

4 1/2 stars
Bridesmaids
Cabin in the Woods 
Goon

4 stars
The Trip
The Guard

3 1/2 stars
Sleepwalk with Me
Tiny Furniture
Gambit
Happy-Go-Lucky
Paranormal Activity 2

3 stars
Bronson (5 STARS for Nekkid Tom Hardy)
Haywire
Young Adult
The Muppets
Fright Night (2011)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
X-Men First Class
April Fool's Day
Paranormal Activity 3

2 1/2 stars
Fast Five (4 stars for Sweaty Dwayne Johnson )

2 stars
Red State
Planet of the Apes
Friday the 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan
Cherry Falls

1 1/2 stars
The Slumber Party Massacre

1 star
Bad Teacher (only got through about 20 minutes of this dreck)