Big screen first:
Definitely, Maybe — I like Ryan Reynolds quite a bit, but he fell a little flat for me in this, and I’m not sure if he was really bad or if he just didn’t have much to work with. All three of the women he’s involved with are wonderful, and of course Abigail Breslin is fantastic. I didn’t even recognize Kevin Kline until I saw his name in the credits, but he’s great too. It’s a perfectly sweet movie, and I’ll probably add it to my chick flick collection. It’s frustrating, though, because if it had had a stronger role and/or performance for the male lead, I think it could have been one of the few really great chick flicks. Alas, I was left thinking that all the girls could have done better.
No Country for Old Men — I’m somewhat baffled as to why this won all the awards it did. The cast is superb, and the plot engrossing, but the ending is unsatisfying in the extreme. We were at my parents’ with a guest who was reading the book, so when we got home from the theater, we flipped to the end. Nope, no enlightenment there; the book ends the same way. Eh. We had lots of fun nitpicking the anachronisms, though. (Were ATMs common, or even in existence, in West Texas in 1980?) Javier Bardem was great, and I look forward to seeing what he takes on next — no doubt all kinds of choice scripts are coming his way.
Charlie Bartlett — It’s Ferris Bueller for the Ritalin generation! It was just as much fun as the trailer made it out to be, but had some darker moments that I didn’t expect. Anton Yelchin really holds his own in some pretty intense scenes with Robert Downey, Jr., so I expect future greatness. I liked Kat Dennings, too, which reassured me that I won’t hate her in Nick and Norah.
Small screen stuff:
Wonderfalls — I’d seen a couple of episodes when it aired, but wasn’t drawn in by it. Later I was told that Jaye becomes much more likeable in the unaired episodes — typical for a Fox show — so I gave it another shot, and liked it much better this time around. Lee Pace’s presence helped. It’s a pretty tart show, so I wasn’t expecting such a sweet ending, but it worked well.
New Amsterdam — Surprisingly good for the latest entry in the immortal detective genre. Casting an actual European helps with the accented flashbacks. (Remember how awful David Boreanaz was when forced to fake an Irish accent?) While giving a hilarious nod to Highlander, they’ve gone a very different direction with this character: he can and does have kids, and at least a couple of them (as adults) know who and what he is. That adds a lot of complexity to his history. The explanation for his immortality is cheesy as hell, but that’s expected. I like.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles — The show is uneven as hell, but when it’s good, it’s very, very good. That last episode was delightfully chilling. And Brian Austin Green, of all people, is doing a damn fine job as Kyle Reese’s big brother. John Connor is the weakest link, but it’s not Thomas Dekker’s fault; John’s just being written as an idiot about half the time. Fox damn well better bring this back. If nothing else, we must see a Terminator go on a prom date.
State of Play — we’re halfway through this miniseries from the BBC. The first two episodes were stunningly good, and then the third one fell off a little. I’ll let you know how it turns out. (ETA: very well indeed.) The cast is amazing: both leads from Life on Mars plus Polly Walker, Kelly Macdonald, James McAvoy, Bill Nighy, and who knows who else will show up before it’s done. I’d read about this because it’s being remade as a feature. I don’t see the point; it’s excellent as is.
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