Thursday, 8 March 2007

I LOVE Madonna (part 1)

She pisses me off, but isn't that what a relationship is all about, love and infuriation? She is acting so much better in this than the BMW ad she did with Clive Owen and her hubby.
I for one love her line, and hope my darling cousin will be flying over soon so I can play Barbie with her and dress her all up!

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Quick set up.
Buffy's mom has died, and her friends converge at Willow's (the red heads) dorm to drive to the hospital together. Willow cannot decide what is appropriate to wear and starts getting annoyed with Anya's question. Anya used to be a demon but is now human, and does not have a concept of human mortality or understand grief and she struggles to make sense of the death of someone she knew. I miss this show. If you have never watched it, I urge you to rent it!

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Mini Review number 11 - Snow Cake

Alan Rickman stars as Alex, an emotionally distant British man who gets into a tragic car accident whilst driving across Canada. The repercussions of the crash bring him to snowy Wawa, Ontario where he finds himself looking after an eccentric, high-functioning autistic woman named Linda (Sigourney Weaver).
As Alex gradually begins to adjust and open up to his new surroundings, he develops an awkward friendship with Linda and a friendship/romance with Maggie (Carrie-Ann Moss)

Director Marc Evans, best known for My Little Eye) has a real eye for character and location detail, as the film progresses the snow slowly begins to melt.

Rickman is fantastic as Alex, his instant reactions to the people around him speaking volumes about his unspoken past. Weaver has the more obviously showy performance but she plays it to perfection. In what could have been an obvious Oscar bait performance full of showboating, is instead played with subtlety and intelligence which is probably why it made no noise come awards season.

Angela Pell's script crackles with great lines and moving dialogue. Ultimately, it's the sort of film that creeps up on you and you don't realise how much it has affected you till you find yourself still thinking about it days later.

Sunday, 4 March 2007

Brilliant and overlooked

What is it with the TV awards? Everyone knows the Emmy’s suck and to a lesser extent the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Golden Globes when it comes to TV and rewarding 'the best'. At least the Golden Globes had the intelligence to nominate Sarah Michelle Gellar for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but that had a lot to do with the fact that the Hollywood Foreign Press loves to have attractive women at their awards ceremony (Jessica Alba for Dark Angel????).
These awards have a real phobia towards anything with a science fiction slant. There are tens of thousands of people out there who will all stand up and say that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was one of the greatest TV shows ever! And this would not be just obsessed fan boys, many critics agree if not all. Not only was Buffy an extremely well written show, it was also one of the most inventive and well-acted TV shows. Sarah Michelle Gellar, Emma Caulfield and Alyson Hannigan all act circles around Allison Janey in The West Wing but it seems the powers that be can not see that even though a show is considered sci-fi this does not mean that there is no talent involved aside from special effects and make up. Anyone who has seen the Buffy Episode The Body knows what I am talking about.

It is the same reason science fiction doesn’t do too well at the Oscars in acting, Academy members do not have enough imagination to get past the setting and see that this actor is actually showing honest emotion. Lord of the Rings only garnered one acting nomination for Ian McKellen. Sure Sigourney Weaver got a nomination for Aliens, but that was more because she had broken the barrier for women in action films.
It is mildly amusing that an entire industry based on vision lacks it when it comes to rewarding science fiction, possible one of the biggest industry money makes behind comedy (and don’t get me started about the Academy’s aversion to comedy actors). What is boils down to is that members of these organizations do not want to have to think. They do not want to have to invest in a character and go on an emotional journey, that is too exhausting for them with their lives of self absorbtion. They like to sit down and have a point of reference when watching a performance, whether it be a country they know, or a point in time they have factual knowledge of, or (as seems to be the rage) are they portraying a real person. If the latter is the case, then half the work is done. “Do they sound like the person – check! Do they look like the person – check!” In the past 5 years, 80% of the lead acting awards for Oscar have gone to actors playing real people. These awards shows are getting lazier. It is as if they are saying “How can the acting be realistic if the setting is not?”

Why this is getting my feathers ruffled is because I have been watching one of the best written, best developed, and best-acted TV shows ever. All the critics agree with me for a change and almost every episode shocks me with its intentionally fuzzy moral framework and brings me to tears with its emotional honesty.
Yet its name never appears when it comes to Awards time basically because, although it is a fiercely intelligent drama, it is set in space.
Battlestar Galactica
is this show, and if you have not yet gotten hooked, I urge you to rent the miniseries then the first season.
The show boasts some of the most honestly flawed characters I have witnessed on the small screen, and the acting talent is unparalleled. Mary McDonnell, Edward James Olmos, Katee Sackhoff, Tricia Helfer, Grace Park, Tahmoh Penikett, Aaron Douglas, James Callis, Jamie Bamber, the whole cast in fact give a master class in acting, pulling you into their world and making you care.

Sad to say that this amazing show will go down the way as Buffy did. Will have millions of avid fans, but never be the moneymaker it deserved to be. Yet we have twenty five million versions of Law and Order and CSI to choose from that are all successful. Strange.
The funny thing is, I have never really been a huge fan of science fiction. This is mainly due to the fact that I need it ground in some sort reality. Everything was too clean and smooth in Star Trek, and the aliens and creatures in Star Wars seemed to be more about making things look bizarre than making them organic.
With shows like Firefly, Buffy and Battlestar, and movies like Lord of the Rings, which feel thought out and ground in a reality that follows a line of logic, I am slowing becoming interested in the sci-fi genre.