Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Quote of the Week

"I'm rather sick of all this kissing at the talk shows. Of course, that's the old Yankee thing in me. I don't use first names immediately; I don't kiss people I don't know. I just don't. I've seen a lot of people I don't know I'd liked to have kissed, but I didn't."

Bette Davis

The Carpet's All Paid For, God Bless the TV

First off, Favorite TV episode of the week (2/11-2/17) was Medium, "The One Behind the Wheel" (airdate: 2/14) 'cause it was romantic (Valentine's Day, 'natch), and it featured Joe (Jake Weber) who I totally love. But it was tough, as this week had several great episodes of television, starting with Rome and 24, and followed by The Office and Heroes. But Medium is like my television comfort food lately, I love just spending time with the characters, and the stories are always entertaining without being overbearing. It wins again.

Lost, meanwhile, is losing me fast (and yes, I guess I did just throw out a lame pun) -- I was bored to tears by an episode featuring one of my favorite characters (Desmond). That spoof on the Lost writers that's making the rounds on the Internet is getting to be less a spoof with every episode.

I also love TV for the simple reason that channels like TCM and Fox Movie Channel allow me a chance to see films that aren't available on DVD. Last week on FMC I watched an Elia Kazan film I'd never heard of before, Man on a Tightrope (1953, grade: A-), starring Fredric March and Gloria Grahame. I loved it. It was like the dark, disfigured sideshow cousin of The Greatest Show on Earth (DeMille, 1952, B-).

And for record, those promised series on Brit Lit adaptations, films from my childhood, Czech New Wave, and Fantasy cinema (mentioned here and here), will still happen. I kinda just go with the flow on this blog and I've been sidetracked by a lot of other movies and TV shows and whatever, but I am getting around to the stuff I promised. I think starting with my childhood films will be the way I'm gonna go, 'cause I think they reveal a lot about my tastes and development as a movie lover. I think you never really lose those influences on your childhood imagination, so this series is important as a window into how my warped mind got to be the way it is. I was thinking about making it a blog-a-thon, but honestly, I don't have the focus or the ability for something like that (I think I'll just enjoy all the great blog-a-thons run by other more capable bloggers). So the blog-a-thon is out. But, anyway, stay tuned...

Monday, February 12, 2007


I've been in a very 1975-1985 kinda mood it seems lately. First Purple Rose of Cairo, then Nashville, then Network, Muppets Take Manhattan, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, and Coal Miner's Daughter.

I have not watched a black and white movie since last Sunday. Did not see that one coming.

Favorite Television Episode of the Week (2/4 - 2/10): Derelict's Pick


Not my favorite week of television, I'll be honest. Nothing really grabbed me this week. The Office left me in a state of turmoil, and I was deeply unhappy after watching it. Also, for once, I found the humor a little forced. So that also depressed me.

24, Rome, My Name is Earl, Heroes, Lost -- all decent (though no magic turtle, unfortunately).

But, well, nothing really clicked -- until I watched Medium on the Tivo on Saturday. Medium was good TV. It wasn't mind-blowing or anything, just a good, solid hour of television that did everything right. And it had Captain Push, who I love 'cause he kicks ass and makes me smile. So "Apocalypse, Push" wins.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Quick grades

Nashville (Robert Altman, 1975, A-)
Shane (George Stevens, 1953, B+)
Arizona (Wesley Ruggles, 1940, B+)
The More the Merrier (George Stevens, 1943, A-)
Too Many Husbands (Wesley Ruggles, 1940, B)
Purple Rose of Cairo (Woody Allen, 1985, A)
Hollywood Canteen (Delmer Daves, 1944, B)
The Show (Tod Browning, 1927, B-)
Kapo (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1959, A-)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Favorite Television Episode of the Week (1/28-2/3): Derelict's Pick

Any episode that has Dame Diana Rigg with a condom on her head and Warwick Davies getting kicked in the face by Ricky Gervais wins hands down. And Stephen Merchant is literally a giant. I know there were a lot of short people in this episode, but I never fully realized just how gargantuan that guy is. It kinda freaks me out.

Winner: Extras, Episode 9 (guest star: Daniel Radcliffe)