The musings of a feminist pop culture fanatic

Archive for September, 2010

#6 127 Hours Trailer (9/10)

EW Description: “James Franco scurries up a ledge, then descends into the abyss in a spot for Danny Boyle’s drama about real-life hiker Aron Ralston. It’s this kind of pulse-pounding tension that has us revved up for the survival tale.”

People who know me know of my intense love of Slumdog Millionaire. So, of course, any movie from Danny Boyle is going to be okay by me. I love James Franco as an actor, so that’s even better. But THEN! I see Amber Tamblyn (a.k.a. Joan of freaking Arcadia!) and Kate Mara (the girl who got an abortion on Everwood) and I MUST SEE THIS MOVIE NOW!

So, the trailer starts out by running through Boyle’s filmography, which I felt was unnecessary, but whatever. Then it shows some of the backstory to set up Franco’s character and then we see him slip down into the hole where he would remain for “127 Hours.” I feel like the majority of the movie will take place after what the trailer shows us, unless it’s told mainly in flashbacks, which is entirely possible.

Basically, this movie looks wonderful, and I think there’s a good chance that if these films live up to their hype, we could see some of the actually talented people in “Young Hollywood” making an appearance at the Oscars. Between Franco and The Social Network‘s Jesse Eisenberg, we could have one of the most youthful Best Actor races in quite some time.

Then I remember it’s the Oscars, so probably not, but hey, a girl can dream, right?


#4 Red Riding Trilogy on DVD (9/3)

EW description: “Watch all of the thrilling corruption and crime of the five-hour British crime drama, costarring the new Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield.”

First of all, Andrew Garfield is only in the first part of the trilogy, so the EW description is very misleading. The second part focuses on some actor I did not recognize and the third part primarily stars the dad from “Still Standing.”

I would not necessarily call this miniseries thrilling. I flet it had A LOT of filler stuff. It could easily have been condensed into a really good 2 1/2-hour-long movie. Most of the scenes felt unnecessary, and quite frankly, pretty boring.

Perhaps if I had a better knowledge of the case or knew more about the British police force in the 1970s and 80s, I would have enjoyed it more. I really love crime dramas, but this was not very well done. Although each part was only 90 to 100 minutes, all of them could have been condensed in some way.

Overall, I would not say this trilogy was something anyone “must” watch. It was okay. Nothing too special.

#6 Sons of Anarchy season 2 on DVD (9/3)

EW description: “FX’s pulp series about an outlaw biker gang revved itself up in its second season with juicier plotlines, Adam Arkin’s pitch-perfect villain, and some amazing acting by Katey Sagal. Catch up with a DVD set that includes deleted scenes, a gag reel, and footage from a night out at a bar with the crew.”

I didn’t watch the full DVD set. I got the first disc from Netflix and watched that tonight. I can see why people like the show, but it’s just not for me. It’s what I would classify as well-done, but not even slightly enjoyable.

Some people like a lot of violence in their entertainment, but I am not in that camp. When there are scenes in a show of a woman being chained up, beaten, and gang raped, I feel physically ill. It doesn’t matter how good the acting is in the scene (though Katey Sagal is quite wonderful), the bottom line is I don’t enjoy watching things that make me want to vomit.

I made it through the first three episodes of season 2. There are definitely parts that are intriguing. As much as I hated seeing the rape scene, the aftermath of it is handled masterfully by Sagal. I really liked the relationship between Jax and Tara and found that enjoyable. On the surface, I like the conflict between the Sons of Anarchy and the white supremacists, but I don’t want to see all the beatings and shootings. I can tell that Adam Arkin’s character will probably develop into a wonderful villain, but I can’t handle watching the path that will take him to that point.

In a lot of ways, I feel about this show the way I felt about Inglorious Basterds. It’s very well-written and has excellent direction and acting. However, there are a select few storylines I actually care about and the ones I don’t are too hard for me to handle watching. If you’re looking for a really good show and you can handle violence, then definitely give the show a shot. Even if it’s not for me, I can respect it as a good show.

#2: Melissa & Joey (9/3)

EW description: “Flashback! Nineties sitcom mainstays Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence star as a local politician and the manny she employs in this disarming comedy.”

Full disclosure: I wanted to hate this show so incredibly much. When I think of most ABC Family shows, I think of sickly sweet bullshit like 7th Heaven. I suppose they are getting cooler with their Gilmore Girls and That ’70s Show reruns. Plus, they’re showing Friday Night Lights in syndication and I will love them forever for supplying my Matt Saracen addiction.

Anyway, I wanted to hate this show. Melissa Joan Hart was decent on Clarissa Explains It All and Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, but neither of those were especially memorable shows. Joey Lawrence was awesome on Brotherly Love, but once again, nothing terribly special about it. All three of those shows were very important to me in my childhood, but going back and watching a lot of other shows which also were favorites of mine, they did not stand up over time.

So, when I sat down at the front desk and started watching the pilot, I was shocked to find myself genuinely laughing out loud at times. I mean, the show is basically Who’s the Boss meets Raising Helen, which doesn’t sound especially good, but there’s just something about it that is really charming.

I finished the first episode and found myself wanting more. Now, I’m three episodes in and convincing myself I cannot add another show to my already too-long TV schedule for the semester. However, now that I have a DVR again, this show might just become one of my regulars. Everything about the premise tells me I shouldn’t like this show, that it’s too cliche and unoriginal, but it’s executed wonderfully. The two actors playing the niece and nephew are really funny and not too cloying. The actress who plays MJH’s assistant has excellent banter with Hart. And MJH and Lawrence really do have great chemistry.

All in all, Melissa & Joey was a very pleasant surprise.