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07 May 2008 @ 10:40 pm
Wednesday evening rambling...  

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

apriljoiex, who celebrated on the 3rd (sorry for the late-ness), and I'll go ahead with two-day early wishes for empressvesica, whose day is the 9th. Here's giving you ladies only good thoughts for a prosperous and fortune-filled year to come.  

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"). 
And this is primarily because of the outstanding story of this ep's flash-forwards.  _cinjudes_ is well aware that, at heart, I will always be a Jater - a fan of the Jack and Kate 'ship. Yeah, I know Jack episodes are sometimes viewed by a section of the fanbase as less interesting than those of other characters, and I know plenty of the ladies love the Skate 'ship - Sawyer and Kate. But I'm an unabashed defender of the "good guy" who usually does the morally right thing, even when it's tough or "uncool".  I latched onto the closeness that TPTB chose to develop between Jack and Kate in the first season - and think Matthew and Evangeline Lilly have great chemistry. I don't deny that Evi also has good chemistry with Josh Holloway, and the Skaters got quite a bit of what they wanted toward the end of season two and throughout season three. It was just nice to have this episode show that my hope for the characters since the pilot was not in vain. Of course, we also saw that Jack's descent into his own personal hell of addiction and paranoia began to show itself at the end of the ep, but seeing that he and Kate were seriously happy for a moment - and trying to make a life together - was fulfilling. If I were less manly, I'd daresay it was "squee-worthy". But I'm macho so I won't. ;)  

But seriously, just like the previous week's Ben-centric episode, we got some great story movement among the characters. In "current time" on the island:
--- At the beach, Daniel is trying to earn some trust back with the group, while Charlotte is still deceptive (she speaks Korean!). 
--- Jack's stubbornness and desperate desire to maintain control keeps his illness downplayed until it becomes a crisis. 
--- Juliet and Kate come to an understanding that they both have heavy feelings for the doc, and it appears that Juliet is resigned to the fact  - and admits so to her competition - that any feelings he has for her are dwarfed by what he feels for Kate. 
--- And perhaps Kate is finally admitting some reciprocation of those feelings to herself (even though everyone else has already known how she feels since week one).
--- Jin is willing to do anything to ensure that Sun and their unborn child make it off the island.
--- Away from the beach, we see Sawyer in an uber-protective mode over Claire and Aaron, while still keeping up the quips ("Ugh.. it's too early for Chinese.")
--- Frank manages to warn the three that Keamy's men are on the trail (and not all dead from Smokey's wrath, apparently) in a very butt-clench worthy moment, as they hide from certain machine-gunned death.
--- And in the final scenes, Claire sees CHRISTIAN (DAD!) HOLDING AARON!  And Sawyer awakes to find her gone, with Aaron left under a tree! Spooky!

The flash-forwards were also chock-full of plotty goodness.
--- The Jate. I know it's not important to some, but it is to me. And they're hot. Jack got handfuls of Kate-ass. They're raising Aaron together. Jack gives her a RING. Kate assures him that he can be a good father. It was all goodness. At least, the first two-thirds, anyway.
--- Hurley's craziness is deepening, since his visit from undead? Charlie. He tells Jack that the Oceanic Six are all dead - demonstrating Jack as living his own "heaven" as proof.  And we get the mention that Aaron shoud not be raised by Jack (or perhaps anyone other than Claire?). And Hurley tells Jack he'll get his own visitor soon.
--- And on cue, undead? Christian shows up to Jack at his office. Jack's sanity starts its slippage.
--- Said control is further degraded by paranoia over Kate keeping a Sawyer-requested secret. So much for the happily-ever after, as wee see the beginnings of Jack's alcoholism and addiction. Perhaps his past with Sarah and his father has irrevocably damaged his ability to trust?
--- Jack's derision to Kate that she's "not even related" to Aaron brings up the intentionally-vague possibility that perhaps he knows of his relation to Claire by this point?

Anyway, lots of good stuff that answers some questions while raising others, as is par for the course with Lost.  This week (4.11 - "Cabin Fever") deals with Locke (and Jacob!), so here's hoping for some more mind-trippy happenings.

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.

Spectacularly Adequate Empress: Iron Man - Oh My YES!empressvesica on May 8th, 2008 06:04 am (UTC)
Aww..thanks kindly! You are the first!

Iron Man - O. M. G!!! *flails* I'm not sure which was hotter - the effects, Robert Downey Jr., his car, Robert Downey Jr., the "I want it NOW" computer system he has (that 3-d manip part? *DROOL*), Robert Downey Jr., the tight writing, or...you know...Robert Downey Jr.

And I am penciling in Speed Racer for Sunday night after the folks all head home. It just looks so...shiny.
Jeff: SR - smirkj_mac179 on May 8th, 2008 08:23 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome! ;)

And I concur over the drool-worthiness of all of Tony's billionare accessories. That 3-D imaging computer - interactive, too - was made of win, and his car collection was almost literally priceless. Notice that the one they did manage to destroy - the '67 Ford Shelby Cobra - was actually probably the most valuable, had it been a real one (a replica can run about $25-$35 grand, whereas the rare real things may be up to $500K or more).

Speed Racer just has me curious as hell. I've read some really positive reviews regarding the story - that the acting and family drama isn't lost among the VFX - so I'm looking forward to it.
~ CinJudes ~: lost - kate - 2.06 - despair and love_cinjudes_ on May 8th, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC)
If I were less manly, I'd daresay it was "squee-worthy". But I'm macho so I won't. ;)

Puh-lease! Ok, I'll play along and pretend that I have never heard you squee before. We both know the truth. Although, I admit you did take this revaluation with a bit more calm than I had expected. I guess your KB worship has pushed your squee meter up a few notches.

Since we have discussed this all at length already, I really just wanted to give you a hard time. And for myself I would like to say that as a Kawyer at heart - Jack episodes are always most excellent and that the same way you can appreciate Kawyer/Skate - I can appreciate Jate as well. Oh, how times have changed...

*gets nostalgic for Cin/Daddy smackdowns of old*

As fandom soulmates I guess it's inevitable that we should end up if not agreeing then at least agreeing to disagree. On this point, even though we do have different ship preferences, I know that we now agree on the whole. Plus, we both like love Kate - so there in lies our commonality that most of the fandom rejects. Basically I think alot of that is a byproduct of the ship wars. Anyway, we are lucky we got out of that mess of a fandom before it ate our soul or something. Too bad the same can't be said about SV. *bleh*

Jeff: Lost - 4.10 - Jate 3j_mac179 on May 8th, 2008 08:34 pm (UTC)
Since we have discussed this all at length already, I really just wanted to give you a hard time.

I wouldn't expect anything less. In fact, all the Lost babble in this entry was typed with that in the back of my mind. ;P

I agree that our appreciation of Kate has allowed us to remain civil on the 'ship-disagreement front. Every once in a while I check back into The Fuselage (briefly - before I start to wander and get disoriented again over the sheer size of the board) to skim certain threads. It's unfortunate that certain sections of the fandom are so skewed in their separate devotions - to the point where they barely tolerate other fans of the show who are just as passionate as they are. You're right that a lot of the (unfair) bashing of Kate as a character seems to spawn from those who can't stand her with one of the two men. I think maintaining a distance from the inner-belly of the 'ship-dom relating to Lost was a wise move, indeed.

Oh, and you can still feel free to art-away for me, for the *squee*-worthy stuff of 4.10. Heee...
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