Thursday, August 24, 2006

Back to Our Regular Scheduled Programming

Sorry for the quick digression yesterday, but one must reach out to friends in need. Now it is time for us to get back to the other important things in our lives; Snakes on a Plane, Eureka, and Rockstar: Supernova.

  • Last Friday my wife and I went to the theater to watch the "cutting edge" and "internet buzzworthy" camp-action film Snakes on a Plane. We had a good time. The film delivers what it promises, namely snakes...on a plane. There are plenty to spare. Sure we had fun, but is the film any good from a "is it rewatchable" perspective? Not an objective aesthetic perspective (it falls very flat on that count), but on a basis of whether a Snakes on a Plane DVD will spend more than once spinning in one of our DVD players.

    Quick The film was fun, but I think it would fall flat on multiple viewings. Unlike many of the masterpieces in the camp-action film genre (Deatrace 2000, Big Trouble in Little China, and Kung Fu Hustle) Snakes on a Plane is neither campy nor action-y enough for multiple repeated viewings, a couple of extra viewings sure but nowhere near Deathrace level. Snakes starts with appropriate camp, but it has a patina of respectability. It is this patina that made my wife wince whenever the villain delivered a line of dialogue -- thankfully rare -- and made me wonder if someone couldn't have just made the film "straight."

    Don't get me wrong. I had a great time at the show, but I left wanting either a more serious film or a funnier one. In the end, I left the theater amazed at how quickly snakes could hollow out a human skull, how useful olive oil is, and wondering why I was denied a kung fu showdown between the villain and the random kickboxing stud who happened to be on the flight. Happy Married Couple, but we're only watching it one more time on Netflix.

  • The Summer television season is an interesting hodgepodge of new, and old, television shows. It is a time to try out a popular series you haven't watched regularly in the past, and a time to watch interesting new shows on cable networks. One of my wife's, and my, favorite shows is "The Closer" on TNT. We like the character dynamics and the way the show plays with standard criminal "procedural" narrative devices. It's well written, fun, and we discovered it last year. This year, the Summer brought another enjoyable show to be recorded regularly on our TiVo.

    SciFi channel's new original series "Eureka" is a gem of a show. The best way to describe it is a quirky, modern day, science fiction, version of the Andy Griffith Show. Colin Ferguson plays a formal US Marshall who has recently become the Sheriff of a strange town called Eureka. The city is filled with fantastic technology and strange characters. Most of the town's residents are supergenius scientists who have been recruited to live in Eureka by the US Government where they invent the devices that make our lives easier. The city was created during the Cold War to ensure the development of the sciences in the US and to prevent espionage etc.

    Ferguson is wonderful as the Sheriff and presents the character's "talented fish out of water" personality with humor and charm. Each episode he deals with some new, and often interesting, problem resulting from the town's unique residents. Much like the "Andy Griffith Show" the stories are often mundane narratives about quirky citizens, well at least they often begin that way. Unlike in Mayberry, there are some very evil people who are interested in Eureka and the series has a few secrets that it is keeping from the audience. It will be fun to see where the show is heading. Happy Married Couple.

  • When it comes to "Rockstar: Supernova," I have only one thing to say. If Magni doesn't win...I don't think I will buy their CD. That is unless Dilana wins. Really, for me it is between those two with regard to who I think would be the best edition to the band. Toby's cool, Storm is a Valkyrie, Lukas looks like the love child of Clint Howard and Billy Idol, and any one of them would be "alright" and I might buy the CD after hearing a couple of songs first. I'd buy the Dilana or Magni "Supernova" CD sound unheard. As for Ryan, he is a jackass. I can't believe that people have forgotten what a jerk he was the first couple of weeks. I know that the "writers" are painting Dilana as a bit of a diva lately, but it will take more than creative editing to get me to like Ryan. Dude can't decide if he is Emo, Grunge, or Glam and is phenomenally inconsistent. Magni is a straight up rocker. Dilana is the epitome of Punk meets Glam (the '70s deal). Lukas is straight Glam, glitter and all, but without the voice to pull that style off (except when he actually lets himself sing, then he has a nice voice). well...Toby, he's like jock rock, same goes for Storm. She could totally beat me up and make me like it.

    My ranking of the final 6:
    1. Magni
    2. Dilana
    3. Toby
    4. Lukas
    5. Storm
    6. Ryan

    I know that I am not "in sync" with the public on the Magni deal, but I think that the 15 year-olds who dominate the polls are nuts.

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