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Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Backlog of Film Reviews: The best on TV

Little Children
* ½
As pretentious as a film can get. A wannabe American Beauty that is far more unintentionally funny, and full of presitge film cliche's. Good performances. I loved In the Bedroom, but Todd Field totally fails at making a naturalistic morality tale. The whole omniscient narrator? What was that about? I've already seen this movie before and that was Todd Solontdz's Happiness, and while both films had Jane Adams in them, only Happiness worked.

The Prestige
* *
This is a good looking film, but all those twists? The first, I saw coming from the first scene, the other, the “prestige” of the film, ruined the only good character depth the film had. A puzzle film that is too self-indulgent not to feel like it’s showing off.

Pan’s Labyrinth
* * * 1/2
An amazingly gorgeous, yet dark film. A great script, great performances, and a lot of heart. Years ago (‘94)I was telling everyone about his little film Cronos, and it looks like Del Torro is coming into his own, but he still has a little ways to go.

The Devil and Daniel Johnston
* * * *
A brutally honest, and heartbreaking look at singer/songwriter/artist Daniel Johnston’s battles with manic-depression. The film concerns his initially troublesome relationship with his parents, who eventually save him.

Requiem
* * *
This is The Exorcism of Emily Rose, but done as a straightforward drama. The film is well made, well acted, but lacks direction, and feels rather preachy. The performances, and some great camera work save it.

Children of Men
* * *
I should have loved this film, but was unable to connect to it, probably because I didn't feel that the characters were the top priority in the film. This film looks incredible, and has terrific energy when it’s focused, but the film suffers from some pacing problems, and moments which could have been much subtler.

13 Tzameti
* * *
A terrific French thriller, which manages to make a lot out of a little. Think of it as a more literate version of hostel.

The best TV Shows on TV in 2006 (actually what else would they be on but tv?)
1) The Countdown with Keith Olbermann (MSNBC)
If we still did a man of the year, it would be Keith, not some cheap mirror.
2) The Colbert Report (Comedy central)
3) The Office (NBC)
Steve Carrel is a genius.
4) The Daily Show w/ Jon Stewart (Com. Central)
5) South Park (Com. Central)
Their best season ever? Almost. Make love, not Warcraft, could be their best epi ever.
6) Friday Night Lights (NBC)
Despite it’s cliche’s, this is one gripping show.
7) 30 Days (FX)
While it’s never consistently on, it’s still has some of the most arresting moments on TV.
8) Lost (ABC)
Really odd half-season, not sure what to make of it yet.
9) Arrested Development reruns (G4)
Wow, this was really a great show. Nice to see it’s still around, sort of.
10) Sci-Fri Fridays (KUED)
You never know what they’ll show, but it’s always something cheesy, obscure, and fantastic.

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