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Friday Reviews

Time for a slew of reviews.
Last night I watched the Watchmen movie with DoktorPeace.

Pro: Surprisingly fidelity to the source material. The film was jam packed with story-details straight from the graphic novel. The opening credits alone contained several hidden references for us cool dudes that read the book ahead of time. Although the ending was different, you can't really blame the writer. Best easter egg? When Laurie (Silk Spectre II) is seen putting away coffee cups at the start of a scene aboard the Archimedes. Awesome.

Con: Director Zack Snyder is the Wes Anderson of action movies. Both men must have been trained at the school where everything on film is more meaningful in slow motion. I'll be the first to admit that when a dude gets punched, it's even more awesome when it's slowed down and you can see the blood drops splashing, but do we really need a slow-mo shot every 30 seconds? Editor's Note: This is the only article to ever compare Zack Snyder and Wes Anderson.

Pro: Rorschach is super-cool. The film did a fine job of capturing his craziness and uncompromising bad-assery for film. They omitted an explanation of his cool mask, but besides that, he was done splendidly.

Con: Tacky soundtrack. Opening with Bob Dylan's "The times they are a changing" song is ballsy, but accenting a funeral scene with Simon & Garfunkel's "The sound of silence"? Come on! "All along the watchtower" signals the beginning of the film's third act. Here's the deal: I know these songs are referenced casually in the novel and used as make-shift titles. Their use is fine for a comic made in 1987. But for a movie made in 2009? These songs have so much attached meaning due to film usage already, using them in film again is just preposterous. The only way I can reconcile their usage is to take the Doktor's interpretation. That these songs are used for their cheesy nature and that it is all a part of the film's larger message. (Also, how about that extended sex scene with the bad (original) version of that Hallelujah song?)

Pro: The girl that played the second Silk Spectre was hot.

Grade: A-

Two quick reviews here:
First, ABC premiered its new, clever cop show, Castle starring Nathan Fillion. It features a tired odd-couple style premise. He's the sassy, mystery writer; she's the bad-ass lady-cop. Together they fight crime! For a pilot episode, it was surprisingly entertaining and light on the heavily expositional dialogue that bogs down most first episodes. We learn he has an ex-wife, a Lucille Bluth of a mother, and a precocious daughter. The mystery itself was passable but the chemistry between the leads was electrifying. Bonus points for a cameo appearance by Stephen J. Cannell.
Grade: B

Second, I've been following Fox's new Joss Whedon vehicle Dollhouse starring Eliza 'Pouty Lips' Dushku. The show's premise is that a secret company brainwashes hot people into doing crazy missions for clients. When the hot people aren't on the job, they wander around a day-spa all brainless. It's cool. All plot recaps aside, I really hope this show gets a chance to take off the ground. The episodes are finally hitting a nice stride and I'm starting to warm up to her as the lead character. At first I was all, "she's way too pretty in a skanky-kind-of-way to take seriously." But now it's like, "Okay, she totally can act like a brainless blank slate between missions. This works." Here's hoping it has a chance to develop. The Internet does not need another failed Joss Whedon show for the trolls to whine about on the message boards.
Grade: B+

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  1. Blogger chris | 1:15 PM |  

    Dollhouse is pretty awesome. I love and hate multiple things in it every episode. But ultimately, I'll definitely keep watching.

    Gotta check out Castle, but as of now Dollhouse is the only good new network show to come out this past season.

  2. Blogger Sean | 2:27 PM |  

    i hear ya, chris. sometimes the show feels like it's trying too hard to appeal to super-nerds. lots of babes dressed all hot. "look nerds! women wearing boots!"
    mission: accomplished.

    on the other hand, it has the teacher from rushmore. she's great.

  3. Blogger qualler | 11:24 AM |  

    I agree that Dollhouse is probably the only show that has debuted this year that balances more "good" than "bad". But, I'm getting kind of annoyed by Eliza Dushku and Joss Whedon continually talking about "hey, it's not that great right now, but episode six, it totally takes off!" Hello? Most shows nowadays should be good from the beginning to truly be good. And I'm not psyched about the long-term potential of a show led by Ms. Dushku, hot or not.

    She does have very pouty lips, though.

  4. Blogger Sean | 11:29 AM |  

    I think the wait and see talk is fine. A lot of shows started mediocre only to hit a stride of quality. The first season of Star Trek:TNG was filth. Same goes for the first eps of Seinfeld.

    Unless you mean that "nowadays" is 2009. Being good from the beginning is a tall order for tv. A lot of quality might sneak through the cracks. This is dangerous.

  5. Blogger chris | 4:45 PM |  

    I think they keep harping on the wait and see because FOX totally screwed with his original idea for the show and they had to alter a lot of stuff, thus making it take them a while to figure out a way to make it actually good.

    It is no way a great show and I don't think will ever be, but it's entertaining. It's just short of a "Life" level of goodness, which wasn't too great of a show at first, but got there after a few eps.

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