Archive for November, 2006

Review: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip 101 – 105

Sunday, November 5th, 2006

Another new NBC entry, with a title to match the intricate workings of a late night sketch show. Basically the whole West Wing team are behind the scenes, and you’ll get what you’ve paid for. It’s mostly indepth storytelling in a subtle dramatic way. woven into a overly smart script (sometimes too smart for my taste). This means you won’t get your bite size lowest common denominator easy laughs, nor will you get the cliches you’ve seen too often during primetime. However, you most certainly will get more satisfaction and appreciation for the extra dedication to create something special, and that’s what really counts. And hey, even Matthew Perry impresses me in this drama role (after being very not funny during the last few seasons on Friends), and that says a lot.

Review: Heroes 101 – 105

Sunday, November 5th, 2006

On to NBC, which last year only had My Name is Earl as a hit (while I watched the halfway canceled E-Ring just to fill time), now has 2 new strong entries for this fall.
I’ll start with Heroes, basically a toned down version of The X-Men (less obvious, more subtle, but they did copy Xavier’s opening narrative a bit), combined with bits that made The 4400 special (intrigue slow story telling, with indepth character development). A bit of stealing, but better a good steal than a bad own creation. I guess it’s the story telling that really does it, while writing with a tentative doom looming around keeps the adrenaline pumping. Besides personal drama, there’s mystery and humor. As a whole, it’s an intriguing experience, and a hit is born (ratings are well in the top 10 range, and a full season order has been confirmed).

Review: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

Friday, November 3rd, 2006

You’ve gotta hand it to Sacha Baron Cohen, he’s a genius when it comes to crude unexpected humor. You’ll pretty much know how it works, if you’ve seen the bits on his Channel One or HBO shows, but this time, it’s glued together by a full script. Plus, he takes it a step further, this is truly extreme cinema you’ll be seeing. The mix of scripted (himself with actors) and unscripted (sections with unknowing participants) are contrasting, but it’s still a solid mix of different laughs. Granted, it’s not high-tech storytelling, there’s nothing new about the Borat character. But it’s such a laughing cannon, you can’t get around it.
If you fancy yourself to have even have the slightest sense of humor, I will eat my leather shoes (without condiment or sauce) if you can keep your laughter down to mere chuckles. Hell, I’ll eat my whole if you keep your eyes dry. Trust me, you’ll wanna wipe the floor before watching this, if you want to keep your clothes clean.8+.

Review: Clerks II

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

Twelve years ago, Kevin Smith made a mark with Clerks, showing his own style and off-beat humor. And now he’s back, his ego a bit bruised (Jersey Girl flopped, even though it wasn’t really bad at all), and back to low budget. Like most of his movies, it’s starts off slow, seemingly about nothing. Silly dialogue about nothing etc. Then a story starts taking off, and hilarity ensues. Inbetween the atrocities and vulgarities, you can see a real movie being born, even as far as the main subject being everything about life itself. Definitely one of those rare funny feel-good movie without being too pretentious.7½.