Author Topic: goodguy's Watch Log  (Read 68954 times)

Offline goodguy

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1464
  • Colleen West never liked the first light of day.
    • View Profile
Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #30 on: March 22, 2009, 08:26:14 PM »
I have to say my favourite episodes are in season 3 (Pine Barrens! :hysterical:).

"This guy killed 16 Czechoslovakians. He was an interior decorator."  :hysterical:

Season 3 didn't convince me either. I admit, I'm mildly curious how it develops from here - e.g. the new FBI attempt started in the last episode. But overall, the series is just not that interesting to me. Showing the lifes of not so bright people might occasionally work in a movie, but watching them for 30+ hours is, uhm, boring. The scrabble board between Meadow and Jackie Jr. symbolizes that rather well.

Average episode rating per season (scale 0-4):

Season 1: 2,88
Season 2: 2,65
Season 3: 2,73

Favorite episodes:

1x08 The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti
1x13 I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano
2x07 D-Girl
3x04 Employee of the Month
3x12 Amour Fou
Matthias

Offline goodguy

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1464
  • Colleen West never liked the first light of day.
    • View Profile
Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #31 on: May 10, 2009, 03:51:18 PM »
With a thread title like "Watch Log", I really should post more often. Anyway, since Jon asked so nicely, here are a few words on ...

   Iron Man (2008)
Written by: Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway
Directed by: Jon Favreau
Starring: Robert Downey Jr.
DVD: R2-UK Paramount (oct 27, 2008)

My rating:

Cover blurb: Suit up for action with ROBERT DOWNEY JR, in the ultimate adventure movie you've been waiting for, Iron Man! When jet-setting genius-industrialist Tony Stark is captured in enemy territory, he builds a high-tech suit of armour to escape. Now, he's on a mission to save the world as a hero who's built, not born, to be unlike any other. Co-starring TERRENCE HOWARD, JEFF BRIDGES and GWYNETH PALTROW, it's a fantastic, high-flying journey that is "hugely entertaining" (Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal).

Overall, an enjoyable experience. The story is simple and doesn't always make much sense; the political aspect is nothing more than window dressing (although thankfully not as exploitative as Rambo), yet in shines in a lot of details. It is funny, but mostly in a dry-witted way. It is emotional, but that too is mostly underplayed and rarely melodramatic. Robert Downey Jr expectedly is marvelous with such material, so is Gwyneth Paltrow, and both have a great chemistry. Jeff Bridges unfortunately has to go completely bonkers at the end, but before that, he also gives a fine performance.

The action sequences lack the excitement of, for example, Transformers, but they are adequate. I usually enjoy the character stuff more anyway. And like Transformers, the movie gets a bit boring in the final confrontation. Watching Tony Stark design and build the Iron Man suite in his Malibu house, assisted only by an equally dry-witted AI, then taking it on a test fly - that is just so much more entertaining than two metal monsters pounding on each other.
Matthias

Najemikon

  • Guest
Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #32 on: May 10, 2009, 04:21:28 PM »
Pleased to see you enjoyed it! :laugh: I think anyone willing to accept the inherent silliness is rewarded by a very good performance from Downey Jr. at least.

Offline goodguy

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1464
  • Colleen West never liked the first light of day.
    • View Profile
Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #33 on: May 10, 2009, 09:16:55 PM »
Pleased to see you enjoyed it! :laugh:

I think we more often agree on a movie than not. Don't get me started on Wanted, though. Your bewilderment at my purchase was absolutely justified. Everybody drew Matrix comparisons, I expected something like Shoot 'em Up - but nobody told me that it is about people who can't shoot straight.

I think anyone willing to accept the inherent silliness is rewarded by a very good performance from Downey Jr. at least.

He is a great actor. And I'm almost tempted now to give Tropic Thunder a try.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2009, 09:48:53 PM by goodguy »
Matthias

Najemikon

  • Guest
Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #34 on: May 11, 2009, 01:39:16 AM »
Pleased to see you enjoyed it! :laugh:

I think we more often agree on a movie than not. Don't get me started on Wanted, though. Your bewilderment at my purchase was absolutely justified. Everybody drew Matrix comparisons, I expected something like Shoot 'em Up - but nobody told me that it is about people who can't shoot straight.

I think anyone willing to accept the inherent silliness is rewarded by a very good performance from Downey Jr. at least.

He is a great actor. And I'm almost tempted now to give Tropic Thunder a try.

Hmm, coincidence. I watched Tropic Thunder only last night. :D I'll stick some comments in my watch log, but for now, definitely worth seeing for Downey Jr. and Tom Cruise, and if you enjoy war films, plus huge explosions.

I enjoyed Wanted for what it was for the most part and in the end the "not shooting straight" was still annoying though not half as much as I expected. But what's Shoot 'Em Up like? I was curious about that for a while but then it fell off the radar a bit.

Offline Achim

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 7170
    • View Profile
    • ya_shin's site
Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #35 on: May 11, 2009, 07:20:39 AM »
But what's Shoot 'Em Up like? I was curious about that for a while but then it fell off the radar a bit.
Shoot 'Em Up is Clive Owen against Paul Giamatti (sp?). It start of with Clive being a nurse and shooting the biblical cord and ends 90min and 1Mio bullets later. It's not bad, taken for what it is, which is what the title tells you already :P

Not everybody's taste, obviously, and somewhere between lactating hookers (can we say that here?) and the shoot out while having sex the film almost lost me too.

Offline goodguy

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1464
  • Colleen West never liked the first light of day.
    • View Profile
Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #36 on: May 12, 2009, 12:49:39 AM »
But what's Shoot 'Em Up like?

Over the top action and violence, outrageously funny, deliberately offensive and cheesy. Brilliantly casted with Clive Owen as angry, carrot-eating hero, Paul Giamatti as erudite contract killer, and Monica Bellucci as hooker with a heart of gold. There is a conspiracy involving gun control, babies and bone marrow - not that it matters much. As Achim said, the title is pretty much the plot. I really liked it.
Matthias

Najemikon

  • Guest
Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #37 on: May 12, 2009, 12:51:07 AM »
Hmmm, sounds interesting! I thought it would be like Smokin' Aces, which should have been much better than it was.

Offline Achim

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 7170
    • View Profile
    • ya_shin's site
Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #38 on: May 12, 2009, 06:46:48 AM »
Hmmm, sounds interesting! I thought it would be like Smokin' Aces, which should have been much better than it was.
I'd say there are similarities, but with less effort to convey a story. :laugh:

Offline goodguy

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1464
  • Colleen West never liked the first light of day.
    • View Profile
Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #39 on: May 21, 2009, 10:16:23 AM »
   House M.D. (Season 1-4, 2004-2007)
Created by: David Shore
Starring: Hugh Laurie
DVD: R2-DE Universal (S1-3), R4-AU Universal (S4)

My rating: (S1+2+4),  (S3)

House M.D. essentially is a medical procedural, very formulaic for the post part. I don't like hospital shows. I don't like procedurals. Even the quirky ones like Monk and The Closer didn't hold my interest for more than a couple of episodes. So I shouldn't like House, but I really, really do.

One reason is the writing. It is exceptionally brilliant, with a sharp and snarky humor. The cases are intriguing, because they are usually pushed far beyond normal medical occurrences and the way a solution is found is truly inventive and can be admired even on repeat viewing, when the surprise no longer exists.

The show has a great production design and the cinematography shows a constant and very high level of craftsmanship and occasionally ventures into something truly artistic and beautiful.

But the ultimate reason to watch the show is of course House as played by Hugh Laurie. Yes, part of the praise again belongs to the writers for subverting the usual human interest angle and teary-eyed-ness of hospital shows with a physician who prefers to solve his cases on a whiteboard and tries to avoid contact with patients at all costs. But the way Laurie brings this character to life is truly something else. He does the mixture of high intelligence and misanthropic bitterness perfectly, his comedic timing is impeccable, and he brings an amazing physicality to the role - kinda ironic, considering he plays a cripple with a cane.

The supporting cast is really quite good as well, but naturally pales in comparison. To quickly round them up: there is House's team of three assistants, then there is the hospital administrator Lisa Cuddy, and House's only friend Wilson, who also is a doctor at the hospital. With a new case to solve every episode, there is of course a large number of guest stars, and some of them truly shine.

Season 1 (22 eps) is the most formulaic one, with only a small backstory arc involving a conflict between House and a new chairman of the hospital board.

Season 2 (24 eps) tries to bring some variety to patient-of-the-week stories by amping up the drama between House's assistants, but those episodes feel rather contrived and the ones that stick to the formula and focus on House are much stronger.

Season 3 (24 eps) is the weakest of the bunch, again due to the attempt of shaking up the PotW formula. A conflict between House and a cop is drawn out far too long, and adding a romantic relationship between two of the assistants IMHO didn't really work as well.

Season 4 (only 16 eps due to the writers strike) marks a fresh start. House lost his team at the end of the previous season and now assembles a new one during the course of several epsiodes, hilariously staging Survivor-like games to pick three winners from an inital cast of about 30 applicants.

DVD Note:

S1 is Fullscreen (that applies to all R2/R4 releases), whereas the R1-US is Widescreen, although non-anamorphic. S1 and S3 have German title card inserts - a minor annoyance, but sometimes it bugs me. S2 has an authoring error: the English subtitles are missing from one episode. The Australian S4 has no subtitles at all and one featurette is flagged as 4:3 while it actually is WS, resulting in a distorted image. The missing subtitles aren't really a problem for me, but a few times the medical jargon is hard to follow.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2009, 10:18:36 AM by goodguy »
Matthias

Offline goodguy

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1464
  • Colleen West never liked the first light of day.
    • View Profile
Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #40 on: May 21, 2009, 01:52:46 PM »
   True Blood (Season 1, 2008)
Created by: Alan Ball
Starring: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Tramell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley
DVD: R1-US HBO (May 19, 2009)

My rating: -

Cover blurb: Vampires have come "out of the coffin" and are now living among us. Surviving on synthetic blood, they no longer need human blood to survive. Or so it seems...
The small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana boasts a wide array of colorful locals. Meet Sookie Stackhouse (Academy Award winner Anna Paquin), a sweet and innocent waitress who hides her powerful ability to read minds; Bill Compton, a 173-year-old vampire who's just moved back to town; Sookie's brother Jason, a ladies' man who can't seem to stay out of trouble; tough-as-nails Tara, Sookie's loyal best friend; Sam, the owner of Merlotte's who tries to keep his feelings for Sookie to himself; Lafayette, a man about town who's always cooking up something illicit and "off the menu" and a quirky cast of characters who each hide their dark secrets in the shadows of the night in this series that's like no other.


I'm currently in the middle of watching this series for the second time in a row, which is a rare thing for me to do. Last time this happened was with S1 of Veronica Mars. Of course, that doesn't say much about the quality of the series per se; it is just to emphasize what a highly enjoyable experience I found it to be.

It is kinda strange, though, to watch an HBO show that starts with a teaser before the title sequence. And what a title sequence that is! Very beautiful, perfectly capturing the mood of the show, and with a great theme song as well.

I admit I have a faible for that southern gothic thing, the imagery, the speech patterns - all of which makes me predisposed to like this show and more easily overlook or forgive eventual flaws.

Enough with the preliminary rambling.

Season 1 of True Blood is based on the first novel from a book series by Charlaine Harris, although there are some significant changes. That's according to a Wikipedia article; I haven't read the books and can't say if they are for better or worse, although one change to a main character later in the season strikes me as an rather odd choice.

The characters lack the richness and complexity present in Alan Ball's previous work Six Feet Under, but they are still interesting and engaging. It's just a bit more on the stereotypical side, and relies more on shortcuts than real exploration of a character.

Obviously, the vampires are a metaphor for certain political discurses, gay rights for example. But it isn't too overdone and the show seems to take an even stronger interest in psychological themes. On the other hand, the vampire lore is embraced with a certain fondness for the trashy side without making fun of it in the way that Buffy did. There is one notable exception to that: a newly made vampire near the end of the season could be straight out of a Buffy episode.

The entire cast is exceptional including the supporting roles. Anna Paquin is amazing, and especially in the early episodes the mix of innocent/sassy/smart with the occassional girlishness is absolutely adorable.

As I already said elsewhere, I liked the Southern accents and the melodic speech patterns. I also liked the great mix-up of cursing vocabulary, using both explectives and those properly tamed versions.

The show looks as stunningly beautiful as I have come to expect from the better HBO shows, the attention to detail is amazing. Some of the show has been shot on location in Louisiana, while other exterior shots have been taken in the LA area or on sound stage. For the most part, the latter ones blend in very well. Combined with a simple and equally beautiful soundtrack, the show almost effortlessly creates a rich atmosphere.

There is a lot of explicit gore and blood, but the vampire SFX is rather subdued. I liked the snake-like fangs, but some people may have a hard time getting used to it. As far as vampire abilities go, the speed thing is simple, yet elegant and effective.

There are also a lot of explicit sex scenes, but to my European mind they are rather tame.
Matthias

richierich

  • Guest
Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #41 on: May 21, 2009, 02:26:36 PM »


My rating: (S1+2+4),  (S3)
[/td][/tr][/table]

a few times the medical jargon is hard to follow.


Bizzarly I would of given exactly the same marks per season, season 3 was slightly below par, and the twists in the new characters in series 4 really perked the series back up again.

We always laugh at the medical jargon, god knows what most of it means! And the way they use a defibrillator is hilarious, it is so Hollywood! In real life it's of course nothing like that.


Great series though, I love it
 

Offline DJ Doena

  • Administrator
  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6284
  • Country: de
  • Battle Troll
    • View Profile
    • My Blog
Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #42 on: May 21, 2009, 02:55:05 PM »
My favourite running gag from House is the possible diagnosis of "Lupus". ;)
Karsten

Abraham Lincoln once said The trouble with quotes from the internet is that you never know if they're genuine.

my Blog | my DVD Profiler Tools


richierich

  • Guest
Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #43 on: May 21, 2009, 04:38:37 PM »
My favourite running gag from House is the possible diagnosis of "Lupus". ;)

Have you seen the extras?, they do spoof sketches as something called 'Valley' girls    :hysterical:






« Last Edit: May 21, 2009, 04:43:42 PM by Rich »

Offline DJ Doena

  • Administrator
  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6284
  • Country: de
  • Battle Troll
    • View Profile
    • My Blog
Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #44 on: May 21, 2009, 06:18:03 PM »
The first one would be so much more funny without the fuckin' beeps in it.
Karsten

Abraham Lincoln once said The trouble with quotes from the internet is that you never know if they're genuine.

my Blog | my DVD Profiler Tools