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Entries in TV (234)

Friday
Jul252014

Day 1 at SDCC: Batman, Cosplay, & Frozen oh my!

Anne Marie is reporting from Comic Con in between her weekly A Year With Kate postings. And all with sprained shoulder. What a trouper. - Nathaniel


Anne Marie, Her Sling, and A DragonGreetings from San Diego! Comic Con officially started yesterday morning, and despite absolutely massive crowds, I managed to squeeze myself (and my sling) through the convention center floor and into a few panels to pass the good news on to you. Pro tip for first time congoers with sprained shoulders: A sling does not work as a well as a handicap sign. I got jostled and outright pushed until (no joke) a man dressed as Superman yelled out, "Step aside, citizens! This woman is injured!" He really is a boyscout after all.

Here are a five things I learned at Comic Con today...

1. Marvel dominates the movies, but DC has its eye on TV 
DC has five different TV shows on network television this season: Arrow (3rd season on the CW), The Flash (CW), Constantine (NBC), a midseason replacement called iZombie (CW) that was pitched by DC's VP of Marketing as 'The Walking Dead meets Veronica Mars,' and Gotham, the much-buzzed-about police procedural/Batman prequel for Fox. Once again, DC is splitting its properties between different networks (as opposed to its competitor, which is keeping it all under one studio/network), which means that the only shows with a chance of creating a crossover universe are The Flash, Arrow, and iZombie on the CW. The Flash and Green Arrow fight zombies. That would be weird.

2. DC is riding Batman's cape-tails as long as possible...

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Thursday
Jul242014

I was dreamin' when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray ♫

A topic worth thinking carefully over though this stream of consciousness must do for now.

Esquire claims that 1999 was the last Great Year of Movies. Several good points are made but OF COURSE the writer had to throw out that exhausting false equivalent "tv is better than film" argument again that actually has very little to do with the topic at hand. Stop people of the internet. Think before you type. The two art forms are not interchangeable - they have different strengths and weaknesses and the transcendent TV series are but a tiny sliver of the product on TV just as the most magical movies are a tiny sliver of films made. The best TV is not equivalent to cinematic blockbusters, what's equivalent to that if you must have your damn equivalencies are massively watched shows like The Big Bang Theory, The Voice, Duck Dynasty and Modern Family and the like and anyone who thinks those shows are better than what's been at movie theaters in 2014 deserves to be slapped. Or at least be strapped to a chair and forced to sit through these pictures plus Boyhood and Love is Strange (which will be here soon).

The problem of abundance and people ignoring and not supporting that abundance is complicated. The truth is people are lazy and windows to home viewing are short which as only rewarded the laziness and people would rather just let stuff come to them. That doesn't in any way mean that "stuff" playing in movie theaters is lesser than it used to be.

Anyway the article is a good read and there are strong points made about just how creatively fertile that period at the movies and how influential versus the depressing sequel fanaticism of the now. And, what's more, we don't know what's going to be influential from the now. Maybe Under the Skin will have descendants. The lack of originality is not fully to be blamed on Hollywood's creativity or filmmakers but on us. We're the ones that pick the hits and the world wants Transf4rmers for some ungodly death-wish reason, you know? "Age of Extinction" is right!

 

But anyway, yes, 1999 was a great year for movies. Still, most of the best ones cited in the article were not enormous hits: Run Lola Run made $7 million; Go made $17 million; Being John Malkovich made $22 million, Fight Club made only $37 and was considered a financial disappointment, etcetera. Time has made these movies enormously celebrated but that time was not 1999.

My very longwinded point is this and it's always this and those citations help underline my point: there are always great movies. You just have to actually look for them because almost never do they fall in your lap on 4000 screens and make $200 million plus in the US. And, finally, to wrap all this up there has been at least one year since 1999 that was phenomenal all over your face - bam! -  and that was 2004 as recently discussed on the podcast. 

Tuesday
Jul222014

True Blood: Return to Oz

Here's Adam, who is still on the death march to True Blood's final episode.

This weekend's episode of True Blood took place almost entirely at Sookie's house as assorted Bon Tempser forced a celebration of life on the grieving fairy. Eventually Sam Merlotte’s girlfriend/fiancé/baby mama (I’m sure she was given a name at some point during the show, but I can’t/will never for the life of me remember it) stands up and causes a scene. She's all judgmental righteous and 'how can we just have a party while surrounded by all this death?' (because heaven forbid these characters have a chance to let loose and not shudder and scream every time they walk into a room, right?). She even manages to scream out, what are we all doing here?!

What am I even doing on this show?

Bitch, that’s what we’ve been asking of you since you suddenly appeared all willy-nilly last season as a lead character. Where was Letti Mae when her trusty butcher knife could’ve actually been useful?

Meanwhile, outside the party... Lets give a round of golf claps for Lafayette penetrating James, people! [Decidedly NSFW extremely impolite musings on this week's episode after the jump...]

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Monday
Jul212014

Curio: James Garner, Jim Rockford, and an altered matchbox car

Alexa here, back from vacation with an atypical Curio. I was very saddened at the news of James Garner's passing. While I am a fan of many of his films (The Americanization of Emily ranks especially high), he is primarily remembered from television, and, for me especially, as Jim Rockford. His beleaguered, Marlowe-esque hero was a touchstone of my childhood.

In fact, I am something of a Rockford Files obsessive: I even altered a toy Firebird to more closely resemble the one made famous from many a car chase. [More...]

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Saturday
Jul192014

Team Top Ten: Best TV to Film Adaptations of All Time

Amir here, to welcome you to another edition of Team Top Ten, a poll of all of the website’s contributors. The topic du jour given that it's Emmy season is Best Films Adaptated from TV Series.

For as long as film and TV have coexisted, their fates, stars, successes, failures and histories have been entangled. Their ever-shifting dynamic has had an immense impact on both industries. The complexity of their relationship made devising a list like this one quite difficult, beginning with the question of what really constitutes an adaptation. For example, The Holy Grail and Life of Brian are not adapted from Monty Python's The Flying Circus; they are inspired by it, but one is more inspired than the other, so we rendered the former film eligible and the latter ineligible. On the other hand, series like Mission Impossible and Naked Gun present a different type of challenge because the sequels are continuations of the original film, rather than the TV series, but we considered them eligible nonetheless. We faced another difficulty with franchises like The Addams Family and The Addams Family Values, based on a series that is itself based on comics. The extent to which the films were inspired by either source was taken into account and we considered only the former film eligible in this case though the latter has far more ardent fans among the team here.

And so on and so forth. The point is to take this list with a grain of salt and add your personal favourites in the comments below. Without further ado…

TEAM TOP TEN
BEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME INSPIRED BY TV SERIES

10. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me
Unlike these days, David Lynch needed to make a film in order to portray all of the incest, rape, pedophilia, murder and drugs that his and Mark Frost’s television series mostly only alluded to. While Twin Peaks, which ran for two seasons in the early 1990s, was a woozy blend of murder mystery, soap opera, dark comedy and surrealist imagery, the film was an altogether different beast. A dark and often brutally ugly ‘horror melodrama’, it angered many fans and even filmmakers (Quentin Tarantino was not a fan). For people willing to take the plunge, however, into the dark recesses of Lynch’s mind, it is a compelling and tragic affair that remains one of the definitive directorial statements of the ‘90s. Plus, David Bowie as an FBI agent who may be a ghost. Or an alien. Or a shape-shifter. Who can tell? –Glenn Dunks

9. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Ghost Protocol
seemed like a squeaker eligibility-wise, with the show a distant, tenuously related memory and three other movies interceding between them. But the film is one of the great pop entertainments U.S. studios have produced in recent years, dynamically edited and gorgeously shot by Robert Elswit without the self-conscious handsomeness of There Will Be Blood or Good Night, and Good Luck. With set-pieces as stunning as the Kremlin infiltration, the sandstorm chase, and everything else that happens in, on, or around the Burj Khalifa, this is top-notch, exuberant, and imaginative action filmmaking.  I liked De Palma’s gimcrackery and Abrams’ more traditional and character-driven suspenser, but Ghost Protocol is the franchise’s happiest marriage of scene construction, silliness, and star charisma (not just from Cruise, but from everybody).  Its division into discrete, flavorful sequences gives it the roaming energy of a television serial. You want to binge four more movies afterward. –Nick Davis

8 more after the jump

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