Post-Oscars: 2012

argoscar

Before looking back on last night’s Academy Awards telecast, a few notes:

1. I don’t know about you, but I tend to forget a lot about the substance of most awards shows about a week after I read the last article or hear the last podcast discussing them. Memorable moments always stand out and winners, upsets and surprises are not quickly forgotten, but if you were to ask me to give any more than a vague recollection and a “great/good/okay/bad/awful” rating for any past show, I’d be struggling to come up with much. I have enough trouble remembering what it is I think I want to say about the movies I see and write about here, it seems a waste to spend too much time thinking about the movie awards show and how things compare to previous years. Continue reading

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Pre-Oscars: 2012

[As usual, this was written over a period of about a week and is going up last minute. If you’re kind enough to excuse my self-importance and actually read this post, please overlook the mechanical and grammatical errors as well. Also as usual, this is far too long.]

I wrote up a Pre-Oscars post last year and half of it was introduction plus a quarter of it was just a ranked list of Best Picture nominees. This year, I’m going to take a more conventional approach and look at the categories one by one. I’ll do what everyone else always does and give a Will Win/Should Win along with some reasons why. It helps because I already wrote most of this up in an email to a friend. So, apologies to that friend, but you’re going to see a lot of the same here.

I haven’t seen everything this year, though I do think I’ve seen more (prior to the awards) than any other year. Leaving out shorts, docs and foreign films, which are not always easy for average Joe to see, I currently have a record of 102 out of 111 nominations seen. Obviously, you already knock out 37 nominations when you see Lincoln, Life of Pi, Silver Linings Playbook and Argo, but I still think that’s a good record for someone who doesn’t get paid to see movies.

Please keep in mind that this is all opinion, it is all changeable and I am by no means an expert. That said, I think the Oscars are a great way to start debates and discussions about movies. It’s fun to defend or deride the picks made by the Academy, whether the nominees include our favorite movies, or whether all of the wrong films were nominated again. Here we go! Continue reading

The Walking Dead: Season 3, Episode 9 – “The Suicide King”

WDT

The back half of season 3 opens where the first half ended. We’re in the Woodbury walxing arena and the Gov declares that this Daryl vs. Merle battle is a fight to the death (which will presumably confirm where Merle’s loyalties lie). Andrea pleads with the Gov to end the fight, calling him Philip to appeal to his human side. The Gov refuses to stop the fight, in fact, he decides that it wouldn’t be a walxing match without some walkers. Of course, it can’t really be a fight to the death when the guys holding the walkers come in so close that Merle and Daryl can hardly land a punch. Continue reading

Dead Series Discussion: Last Rites for Last Resort (Part 4 of 4)

LRT

What follows is the third of four posts about the canceled (or “dead”) ABC series Last Resort (2012-2013). It is a structured discussion of the series between me (Jeff) and my friend (Patches). The post was originally planned for his page, Nothing but the Rain (as it was his idea, and he wrote the brief introduction below). He has allowed me to simul-post it here as well, so don’t be confused by some of the interaction. You can read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 if you haven’t already.  Keep in mind, we discuss the entirety of the series, so if you were one of the tens of people who watched the show, enjoy. But, f you’re one of the billions who didn’t:

SPOILERS ABOUND! Continue reading

Dead Series Discussion: Last Rites for Last Resort (Part 3 of 4)

LRT

What follows is the third of four posts about the canceled (or “dead”) ABC series Last Resort (2012-2013). It is a structured discussion of the series between me (Jeff) and my friend (Patches). The post was originally planned for his page, Nothing but the Rain (as it was his idea, and he wrote the brief introduction below). He has allowed me to simul-post it here as well, so don’t be confused by some of the interaction. You can read Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven’t already, and also Part 4 if you’re ready to move on.  Keep in mind, we discuss the entirety of the series, so if you were one of the tens of people who watched the show, enjoy. But, f you’re one of the billions who didn’t:

SPOILERS ABOUND! Continue reading

Dead Series Discussion: Last Rites for Last Resort (Part 2 of 4)

LRT

What follows is the second of four posts about the canceled (or “dead”) ABC series Last Resort (2012-2013). It is a structured discussion of the series between me (Jeff) and my friend (Patches). The post was originally planned for his page, Nothing but the Rain (as it was his idea, and he wrote the brief introduction below). He has allowed me to simul-post it here as well, so don’t be confused by some of the interaction. You can read Part 1 if you haven’t already and also Part 3 and Part 4 if you’re ready to move on.  Keep in mind, we discuss the entirety of the series, so if you were one of the tens of people who watched the show, enjoy. But, f you’re one of the billions who didn’t:

SPOILERS ABOUND! Continue reading

Dead Series Discussion: Last Rites for Last Resort (Part 1 of 4)

LRT

What follows is the first of four posts about the canceled (or “dead”) ABC series Last Resort (2012-2013). It is a structured discussion of the series between me (Jeff) and my friend (Patches). The post was originally planned for his page, Nothing but the Rain (as it was his idea, and he wrote the brief introduction below). He has allowed me to simul-post it here as well, so don’t be confused by him welcoming me at the beginning. Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 are also available if you’ve already read this one. Keep in mind, we discuss the entirety of the series, so if you were one of the tens of people who watched the show, enjoy. But, f you’re one of the billions who didn’t:

SPOILERS ABOUND! Continue reading

The Walking Dead: Season 3, Episode 8 – “Made to Suffer”

WDT

Time for the midseason finale of The Walking Dead, and not a moment too soon!

Morning. Rain. A forest. A lone walker stumbles among the trees. Out of nowhere comes none other than Dennis “Cutty” Wise (Chad Coleman) from The Wire. His name is actually Tyreese and apparently he’s a fan favorite, but I’m going to call him Cutty, at least until he proves himself (and then probably after that too). Turns out, Cutty’s not alone. He seems to be the leader of a group that includes Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) and what looks like a father-mother-son team of redshirts (walker-fodder? disposables?) who probably won’t make it through the second half of season 3. In fact, as if she could read my thoughts, mom gets bitten. Cutty’s crew (henceforth known as Cutting Crew) arrives at a large, partially ruined brick structure. Sasha votes they off mom and go inside. Cutty overrules her, decides to spare mom for now and the group enters…the prison? Nice little reveal. Continue reading

The Walking Dead: Season 3, Episode 7 – “When the Dead Come Knocking”

WDT

The Walking Dead returns in a couple of days. I thought it was about time I caught up on my season 3 posts.

When we last left the prison gang, Rick had learned a valuable lesson about the true meaning of Christmas, Daryl finally found Carol and Michonne showed up outside of the prison gates. Rick takes his sweet time deciding whether or not to let her in. While she’s waiting, she kills a few walkers and then passes out. They carry her inside and Rick immediately takes away her sword. Isn’t that pretty much what Michonne’s story has been this year? Someone takes away her sword and she spends the rest of the episode scowling. Daryl shows Rick that Carol is still alive and the two of them hug. Michonne looks on thinking that maybe these people aren’t trustworthy after all. Continue reading

The Office: Broken Fourth Walls and Busted Faces

vlcsnap-2013-02-07-17h58m34s189[NOTE: I realize this post may become obsolete mere hours after it is posted, but I’ve only just completed it and wanted to get it out before tonight’s episode]

Spoilers Abound! (if you’re not caught up)

Two weeks ago, The Office took a bold step and decided to actually reveal the documentary crew who has been filming life at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company (now Sabre, still?) for the past eight-plus years. Midway through its final season, it’s understandable that the show would be open to changing things up in such a big (and maybe distracting and potentially disastrous) way. They don’t really have much left to lose at this point. Still, it’s a very interesting development for the show, which has always kept the documentary crew invisible, though not absent from episodes.

As novel as this change seems, the show has technically been “breaking the fourth wall” since episode one, having the characters to speak directly to the camera in talking-head interviews and allowing them to acknowledge the existence of the camera throughout the series. We knew of the crew’s existence and it mostly worked (I can’t say the same thing for the two seasons of Modern Family I’ve seen, where it always seemed like the talking-head sections were at odds with everything else, even causing temporal conflict at times).

The Office has never really broken the fourth wall from the other side though, allowing the crew a chance to appear on camera Continue reading