Friday, December 31, 2010

Mini Reviews: Dead Man Walking, True Grit, Age of Consent

Today, because I feel like writing movie reviews but I don't feel particularly like writing 800+ words about any of them, I'm going to do three mini-reviews. These will be maybe three or four paragraphs each, on the three movies I've seen since getting to Florida. In order of when I saw them, and coincidentally in descending order of quality:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

TV Power Rankings (part two)

(numbers 10-6: Extras, Firefly, Flight of the Conchords, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Deadwood)

5. Rome

Simultaneously very well-made (apparently the two seasons combined cost HBO some $100 million) and trashy, Rome would be an unequivically guilty pleasure if the quality were just a hair lower. Instead, the care put into every aspect of the show—particularly the absurdly gorgeous set designs and cinematography—work to highlight all of the sex, violence, and nudity in a manner that is, simply, glorious. The cast, which included a few actors that have become reasonably sought-after since (Kevin McKidd and Ray Stevenson especially) does a great job of both going way over-the-top and giving more conventionally strong performances, depending on the needs of a particular scene.

In short, off the top of my head, I can’t come up with any other production that so thoroughly exemplifies the term “gratuitous”. And I most certainly mean that as a compliment.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

TV Power Rankings (part one)

In honor of my completion (finally) of the HBO series Deadwood, today I am debuting a new feature: my retroactive television power rankings. To qualify for this list, a show must be finished airing (thus the ‘retroactive’ part), and must be Anglo-American (so I don’t have to consider anime shows). Also, I need to have seen every episode, which drastically reduces the number of shows in contention. Okay, maybe not every episode, but enough to be able to thoroughly judge a show. And for Lord knows what reason I tend to watch things I like, so I recommend every one of these shows. If I didn’t, I would never have gotten through them.

At some point I might do a second list for ongoing shows, but for now I feel that they’re best left off this one. It’s just do hard to pin down an ongoing show with any degree of certainty; ask me how I felt about Friday Night Lights after seasons one and then again after two, for example, and I would have given very different answers. In ascending order then: