Saturday, October 29, 2011

scenes from the haunted fishtank

One of the many downsides of being knocked on my ass for a month is that I've watched a lot more TV.
  • The Troll Hunter. I was expecting this to be really bad, but in fact it's excellent. It's Norwegian, and there are very clearly a horde of cultural references we won't get, but it's a fantastic movie. The lead actor is a Norwegian comedian, and he leaves me very, very curious about what Norwegian comedy looks like. (I'm not going to link to any descriptions about the movie. Just go rent the DVD, or stream it on Netflix, or pirate it, or whatever, right now.)
  • The A-Team. I was really expecting this to suck, and I think that's a completely reasonable expectation, but instead you get a quite well-done shootout-caper movie of a much higher quality than the schlocky-but-personable TV series of my childhood. Given Mister T, you might have to stretch to imagine B.A. Baracus having much depth, but MMA fighter Quinton "Rampage" Jackson turns out to be a genuinely good actor.
  • Breaking Bad. Hooooooly crap, this is one of the most masterful things to ever happen to television. The plot: a high school chemistry teacher is diagnosed with terminal cancer, and starts cooking methamphetamine to provide money for his family after he dies. That's the beginning. It's harsh: every episode is tense with impending doom, endless awkward moments and human train wrecks, carefully examined frame by frame in slow motion. It's about change, and how we choose to create ourselves and our lives with every choice we make. Here's a great essay comparing it to the three other Great TV Shows Of The Moment.
  • Heroes. Promising first season, but it sucks pretty quickly. I gave up and reading the episode synopses for the last 1.5 seasons.
  • Game of Thrones. Based on George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire novels. It's brutal in spots, as you (or I, at least) would expect from something authentically medieval. It's not for the squeamish, but I've found it aesthetically stunning from the opening shot of the first episode. And check out the opening credits. Also, dwarf actor Peter Dinklage!
Of course, except for The Troll Hunter, I recommend reading books and talking to people instead. =)

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