Monday, December 22, 2008

Time to call a Spade a Spade-Shoddy Writing on Television

What is shoddy writing? It's a polite way for me to say Sh**ty writing. I'm singling out Heroes for this post. After watching the mid-season finale I have to say that it ended for me on a disappointing note. This has started to become a pattern with this show that when things don't work the way the writers/producers had intended they decide to sweep things under the rug and pretend they didn't happen. Who do you think you're fooling? Let me list a few that have troubled me:

1. No reference to the previous season and the fallout from that. What happened to Peter's romantic love interest who was stuck in the past?

2. What happened to Nathan's wife and kids?

3. I didn't think it was necessary to kill Elle off. If there were concerns about her schedule the perfect thing to do is have her leave the show for nine months and come back with a baby in tow. Before her and Sylar reunite she gets killed, and Sylar is left alone to raise their baby.

4. The whole Saw element of the finale didn't work. If you're going to put characters into situations that were suppose to test their moral/ethics let them make a decision. Don't have someone show up to save the day so they don't have to make that choice.

5. I would have liked to see Angela and Arthur face off again. I really think an opportunity was missed in not exploring their relationship. Found it interesting how he tried to control her by using mind control in the past.

Now let me move on to the things that are good.

1. I adore Daphne and Matt. There is something charming about this couple and they are the type of couple you root for to stay together.

2. Making Nathan a bad guy. I had watched Adrian Pasdar when he was on a show called Profit. Man was he evil on that show. This is a good direction to go with his character, because we know he isn't a complete bad guy and there is always a chance Peter could reach him and bring him back to the good side.

3. Happy that Micah will be in the next installment. Would love to see Tracy adopt him as if he were her own son.

There has been a lot of talk that Heroes needs to go back to its Season One roots, and that will solve all the problems of the show. I don't agree completely, I think the failure has been that they've gone away from the relationships that made this show successful. They weren't always the romantic type. You had love of a parent to a child (Claire and HRG, Micah and Nicki), brother to brother (Peter and Nathan), friend to friend (Hiro and Ando). Also, think they need to go back to the through line Tim Kring keeps bringing up: ordinary people who wake up one day and discover they have powers. I think we should never forget that they were average people like you and me. I still have high hopes for this show. Looking forward to the next half of the season.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Can't smile without you

If you watch Hellboy II: The Golden Army this song will stick in your head. There's a scene where Abe and Hellboy are listening to romantic songs. Abe is trying to get in touch with his emotions. They're both drunk and they start singing this song "Can't Smile without You". It's hilarious and they both aren't that bad at singing. I really enjoyed this movie, the pacing and the action sequences. I have to give props to the actors, animatronics controllers (don't know what you call the people controlling the facial movements) who embody some of the creatures in this film. It's hard sitting for hours being made up or being stuffed into a costume. However, I find that their performances carry a level of nuance, and I also believe that actors do better when they have something to interact with. I for one am not a fan of complete CGI. I still think it looks fake and cartoonish. However, I am a fan of combining animatronics and CGI. A couple of years ago I went to an exhibit on animatronics in films. The Chronicles of Narnia employed this technique with Aslan. If you want to see an earlier example go watch Labyrinth. It's amazing what Jim Henson was able to do. It also is still one of my favorite movies of all time.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Death Note or as the Japanese say Desu Noto

I have to admit I've fallen under the spell of the Death Note. My favorite character is L and the Shinegami Rykuu. I've been recommending the live-action Death Note movies to friends. It seems that the rest of my friends don't agree with me and think I'm completely nuts for recommending the movie. I've heard criticisms about the series that it doesn't take a strong stance on Light Yagami's vigilante justice. Which is exactly why I enjoy it. How many times do you have to deal with a movie drilling its message over and over? I think a stance is taken but you aren't beaten over the head with it. The series through Light's actions take you on the journey to where you come to a conclusion about the character. Do you hate him? Is what he's doing wrong? I think there are a few key moments that define this character and by the end you see what kind of person he becomes. Check it out and let me know if you disagree?