Been almost two weeks since the last update - just haven't had or made the time to be more diligent here, but I'm trying.
And thus, I need to first give belated Happy Birthday! wishes to
So, what's worth mentioning? Ah, yes - movies.
As I said a couple weeks ago, I thought Forgetting Sarah Marshall was just outstanding, and not just because of my (obvious) KBell infatuation. The overall quality of the Jason Segel-penned script, with the inclusion of realistically-developed and portrayed characters, made the whole story that much more memorable. I'm glad to see that other flist-ers have seen it and also approved. Though I do believe the final box-office will show its merit as a financial success (it's already cleared much more than its budget), it doesn't look to be matching the domestic totals of other Judd Apatow productions - The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, or Superbad. Which, really, is unfortunate, because I think FSM is probably the best well-rounded film of the bunch, in terms of balancing comedy and heart with great dialogue. Perhaps Jason Segel's full-frontal scenes scared dudes away from repeated viewings? Oh well - I'll probably see it again this weekend.
And easily the biggest movie of the year so far is Iron Man, and I also saw that on opening day. I'll add to what other flist-ers have said, and agree that it is definitely worth the price of admission. Director Jon Favreau has hit a home-run with his biggest project to date, and Marvel's first foray into financing their own movie (rather than selling the rights to an outside studio) has paid off. Iron Man manages to combine an enjoyable script (a little sarcasm and satire cleverly mixed in with the humor, not taking itself too seriously) with an A+ cast and superb visual effects (courtesy of Lucasfilm's Industrial Light & Magic). I'm not an Iron Man comic die-hard by any means, but I am a little familiar with Tony Stark's background, the type of person he's supposed to be, and with the characters that surround him. And from what I took away from the moves, the entire cast is just about perfect for their roles. Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges, and Terrence Howard are pitch-perfect in their respective supporting takes on the well-written script. And of course, Robert Downey, Jr. just nails Tony Stark. The attitude and physicality are dead-on for what was really necessary for the character, and he just seems to really be having a ball as a big-budget action-star.
I'll have to see it again to be completely fair, but I'd say Iron Man ranks right up there in my top-5 of modern-era "comic book" movies. It's easily better than any of the Spider-Man films, and the Fantastic Four jokes. I think I'd even put it past the first X-Men, and possibly on par with X2. It's still below Superman Returns and Batman Begins on my personal list, but those two are Warner/DC masterpieces that I really almost look at as heavy dramas about comic characters, rather than just comic-based action flicks, which is pretty much where all the others lie. But as an eye-candy-filled, entertaining-as-hell introduction/origin story that isn't leveled-down for the kiddies (Spider-Man and FF, I'm looking at you), Iron Man is top notch. Go see it. Oh, and stay 'till the end of the credits - especially if you're a Marvel-'verse comic reader. There's a bit of a nice tease.
I've already got my ticket to see Speed Racer this Friday in IMAX. And it's not that I was highly-anticipating this flick as a "must see right away" type of thing, but just watching the teaser ads the last couple of weeks in HD on my 60" TV made my jaw drop a bit, so I'm anxious to see the next evolutions in visual effects the Wachowski brothers can come up with. Oddly enough, I recently re-watched all the bonus material from The Complete Matrix Collection - all the behind the scenes documentaries and featurettes about the stunt work and filmmaking technologies developed for the first film, Reloaded, and Revolutions, as well as the shorts from The Animatrix. All of that reminded me that Larry and Andy Wachowski have some seriously ballsy imaginations, so my interest in Speed Racer - where the sets and locations are almost entirely virtual - is definitely piqued. Also, my boy Matthew Fox plays Racer X. So that's another plus.
Speaking of Foxy, last week's episode of Lost: 4.10 - "Something Nice Back Home" - became one of my all-time personal classics, and probably my second favorite of the season (behind 4.05 - "The Constant").
I see that a couple of other flist-ers have recently started the show, which is awesome. Again I advise anyone that doesn't watch, but is curious about doing so - either borrow or rent the DVDs, or download all the eps from the beginning. You won't be sorry, and will easily become a more intelligent and quality-discriminating television viewer just by watching.
Battlestar Galactica has also been excellent, but IMO is almost in a plot-limbo right now, as the characters are scattered around - or away from - the fleet. The acting is still top-shelf as always, but I think we're in the midst of a build-up toward the race for Earth. Seeing the varying reactions by Tori, Col. Tigh, Tyrol and Anders to their respective newly-found identities as Cylons is interesting as hell, though. Lee's beginning to see that having and enforcing the morally-righteous high-ground isn't necessarily what may be best for the populace, politcally, as Baltar's prophet/messiah status builds. And Kara's facing mutiny along her desperation to "feel" her way to Earth. Classic.
Smallville's still a jumbled mess (and it's gonna drag on for an eighth season - fuck me), but I will say that last week's Tom Welling-directed episode was his best work of the three episodes where he's been behind the camera. Story was hole-filled and preposterous at points (as usual), but his blocking and camera placement was much improved.
Supernatural is still the only critical-acclaim-worthy show on The CW, and is still fun as hell. The faux-reality satire of "Ghostfacers" had me LMAO for an hour - among the appropriately creepy traditional haunted-house standbys. Tweaking the suspense/horror genre is something this show does consistently well - IMO, on par with Buffy the Vampire Slayer in that regard. I'm really looking forward to seeing how in the hell Dean's soul-to-Hell pact will be dealt with, now that we've got a fourth season to look forward to.
I guess that's about all I've got. Plus, I'm tired of typing - doing all this tonight since there was no new TV to watch. Tomorrow's another full Thursday night lineup, including the last episode (of a stike-shortened season) of Scrubs to air on NBC. It's almost a sure thing that ABC will pick it up for an eighth and final season, since it's an ABC Studio show. So hopefully we'll get at least 13-17 more episodes to see it sent off properly - one of the funniest shows to ever air, IMO.
Off to bed in a bit, probably. Peace out.
Kristen Bell is awesome.