Tag Archives: Firefly

Grizzly Review: ‘Cowboys and Aliens’

I wanted to like this movie so much more than I did, but it just wasn’t happening. Not to say I hated it, but it definitely could have used some work. That being said, let’s get to the premise of the whole tale.

Basically this fella wakes up with no memory of…. anything really. This movie probably set the record for the most times that the phrase “I don’t know” was used. One of the things he doesn’t remember is the metal bracelet on his wrist. This bracelet, as we know from the trailers, has the awesome ability to deal out seemingly endless ass whoopings to both aliens and humans alike.

He makes his way to the town of Absolution, a little place run by the Cattle Boss Woodrow Dolarhyde and his imbecile son Percy. Percy doesn’t really run anything, he’s just a downright turd who bullies everyone in the town because of who his father is. Our mystery man as it turns out is really Jake Lonergan, a wanted man for numerous crimes. After he is taken captive by the local law enforcement is when the real fun begins, because that’s when the aliens arrive. Their attack results in Dolarhyde’s dumb ass son, and many other townspeople being taken captive by the invaders, with Jake’s bracelet activating in proximity to their ships. He manages to shoot one down and the wounded pilot is their ticket to finding the captives that were taken.

 

The group to go after the alien and their people consists primarily of Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford), Jake (Daniel Craig) and Ella (Olivia Wilde) who is a rather mysterious woman with a very keen interest in Jake’s past and missing memory. The tag-along company includes a Bartender named Doc who’s wife was taken, one of Dolarhyde’s cattle hands, and a preacher. Doc is played by an always excellent Sam Rockwell, and serves as a bit of comic relief as the man not accustomed to gun play or combat. Meacham the preacher is played by veteran of the screen Clancy Brown, who is a favorite actor of mine. Aside from Pet Semetary 2, Shawshank Redemption and the HBO series Carnivàle, this was the first extended role he’s had in a movie in a very long time, and it was good to see him in it.

I won’t explain anymore about the plot of the movie, so as to not give away any spoilers. The movie suffered from the many amnesia flashback scenes that Daniel Craig had. To me, the whole amnesia aspect only served the purpose of finding an excuse to put the wrist blaster onto Daniel Craig. If you look at it from a standpoint of trying to add depth to Daniel Craig’s character Jake it failed miserably. I like Daniel Craig and think he did a great job in the movie, but his character was just a shell that I really could have cared less about.

“No my name is not Indiana F–king Jones! It’s a different hat!”

Even though Dolarhyde’s son was a complete nincompoop, I still felt more sympathetic towards him because of his past as a soldier and depth of care for his son’s well being. That being said, Harrison Ford did a great job in the role of Woodrow Dolarhyde playing his usual gruff and stern self, but this time with a twinge of crazy to it. As the movie went on I liked him more and more, especially towards the end when he starts to take charge. There was a particularly touching scene with him and a dying somebody. (You’ll know what I’m talking about when it happens in the movie.)

Hell, Even Ella’s background was far more interesting than Jake’s once you find out what it is, but like I said I won’t spoil it for you guys. Needless to say Olivia Wilde was a great actress once more, while also managing to be one of the hottest women on the planet.

Kudos to her!

The aliens themselves were kind of one dimensional, but I did enjoy them. They were definitely scary enough and kind of reminded me of the Independence Day invaders the way their set of little arms emerged from inside of their large outer body. Some people though (Doc Kronner) only thought of our little disgusting friend Kuato from Total Recall.

GO KUATO! IT’S YOUR BERFDAY!

One thing that I did not enjoy about the aliens was their main reason for being on Earth. Most people would be fine with it I guess, but I just cringed when I found out. I was actually hoping that the aliens were going to have a translator of some sort so as to have some sort of communication with the humans, but they still worked fine as the more primal type of aliens who just like to kick primitive human ass.

“Come on 007. Haven’t you ever shot a wrist blaster? It’s like this!”

I wish Jon Favreau all the luck in the world, but I’m starting to think he may have just got lucky with Iron Man. Iron Man 2 wasn’t that great of a movie, and Cowboys and Aliens was just a step above that. His movies – though shot beautifully – are suffering from something I can’t quite pinpoint. Perhaps the writers (Orci and Kurtzman) were still a bit rusty from writing the piece of shit we call a movie Revenge of the Fallen. So maybe it’s really their fault.

Either way I give the movie a 2 out of 5 bears. Great presentation and cast, but it fell flat on story and utilization of the material. It could have been so much more, because it took out all of the bad from the graphic novel aesthetically, but the story from the graphic novel would have better suited the movie.

‘If Only One More’ – TV Shows We’d Love to Have Gotten One More Season Out Of…

So for our latest Staff Piece we decided to take a look at shows we feel could’ve gone a little longer. This list is consists of TV shows that could’ve benefited from one more season…

Deadwood (Brian Kronner)

tv showsThis is one of those shows whose cancellation seemed to make no sense. I mean it obviously came down to the monetary expense of the show’s production and the never stellar ratings like anything else, but it seemed popular enough to survive those obstacles. Critically loved and awarded (28 Emmy Nominations in 3 Years), this is the show that put Ian McShane on the map and won him a Golden Globe during the 2nd season. The show itself ended somewhat ambiguously, with Bullock (Olyphant) and Al Swearengen (McShane) having to join forces against Hearst, who is taking over the town. The season ended with Hearst leaving town, victorious, and many local matters unresolved amongst our principal characters.

Continue reading ‘If Only One More’ – TV Shows We’d Love to Have Gotten One More Season Out Of…

Guilty Pleasure Television – or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Crappy TV

Everyone has a few ‘guilty pleasure’ shows. Programs that while you may find them entertaining, you can’t really argue that they’re good. A lot of reality TV shows fall into this category and the fan bases will forever tell you they watch for the train wreck. I have no real issue with people watching garbage television, just so long as they don’t argue that it’s actually good, that would be an insult to actual good programming.

Now, while I try to avoid most reality TV, I’m not immune to the allure of Guilty Pleasure Programming. Something where you can just turn off your brain and watch the pretty moving pictures. What follows are the 2 shows that I deem to fall into this category. Not great, but they’ve drawn me in.

If you scroll down the page, I’d be interested to see what your own list looks like in the comment section…

Hawaii Five-O

This one is hard for me because of where it’s aired – CBS. Since the invent of this site, I’ve made my distaste in CBS’ programming loud and clear. I don’t like it. But that doesn’t mean they can’t occasionally put out something decent. This TV season they premiered an extraordinary original a remake of an old cop show that took place in Hawaii. And while I’ve only sparsely seen bits and pieces of the original, the only real parallels I have been able to draw are the title, the setting, and the catch phrase. Of course, to a TV Exec, what else do you need? Hell, MTV launched a remake based only on a title

The only reason I checked this show out to begin with was the cast, mainly Scott Caan. Scott Caan is the son of James Caan (MSU Alum, ‘Sonny’ in The Godfather) and an actor I’ve always enjoyed. Along side of him is Daniel Dae Kim (Angel/24), who earned my respect because he had Jack Bauer‘s respect for 3 season’s worth of ass kicking. That is before he crashed on that island with the Hobbit guy. And finally Grace Park, who most people know as ‘that Asian chick from Battlestar Galactica’. She was good on Battlestar, and while I didn’t find her overly attractive at the time – she wears a bikini like a pro. Alex O’Loughlin plays ‘Steve McGarrett’, the head honcho, but going in I didn’t know much about him. He had a short arc on The Shield a few years earlier, but that was about all I recognized him from.

So I watched the first episode with little to no expectations. Actually, less than that – CBS expectations. And I was pleasantly surprised to see Dae Kim joined by fellow Angel alum James Marsters, who played ‘Spike’ on both the aforementioned Angel as well as on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He murders McGarrett’s father and then appears to die at the end of the episode, only to reappear later in the season. Thus giving us a nemesis for our principal character. It was old school – Like McGyver with Murdoc.

This aspect alone makes me want to continue watching.

After the death of his father, Steve – a Naval Intelligence Commander/All-Around Badass is sanctioned by the governor (24 Alum – Jean Smart) to create his own investigative task force on the island. This is how our team comes to be. McGarrett first recruits a reluctant Danny Williams (Caan) who is a Jersey cop still pretty new to the island, having moved there to be closer to his daughter. His constant complaining about the island cultures, and his longing for New Jersey reminds me of myself when I visit friends in California and can’t seem to stop thinking about Detroit. ‘Danno’ is the tie to the police, as McGarrett is actually military. As can be expected, they start out at each other’s throats, but eventually become friends. Touching, I know. The next member to join the team is Dae Kim who plays Chin Ho Kelly, a disgraced HPD Detective, accussed of stealing money from evidence, but who was a friend to McGarrett’s father. And finally, Chin’s cousin Kono Kalakaua (Park – who despite actually being older than Caan or O’Loughlin), plays a rookie – fresh out of the academy.

Not bad for 37 huh?

The main advantage to being on CBS (aside from a barrage of advertising) is the budget. I will openly admit that this show has action sequences that put some movies to shame. Maybe that has something to do with the show being produced by the same guys who did the last Star Trek movie, but suddenly what I expected to be ‘just another cop show’, turned into ‘just another cop show…with a cast I really like, beautiful scenery, and legit action sequences’. And while a lot of the ‘case of the week’ stuff is a little played out, this show is actually pretty enjoyable.  And since How I Met Your Mother took its recent ‘Quality Nose-Dive’, this remains as the only show I regularly watch on ‘America’s #1 Network’.

Castle

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I am a fan of Nathan Fillion. I loved him in Firefly and for that alone, I’ll check out anything he is in. Castle is that newest thing. Fillion plays ‘Rick Castle’, a wise-cracking, super-rich, but kind-hearted mystery writer, whose friendship with the Mayor has granted him access to shadow ‘NYPD Homicide Detective Kate Beckett’ for inspiration.

Nice heels Detective…

Beckett is played by Stana Katic, who – while not a bad actress, looks more like a runway model than “A Murder Po-lece”. ( <— That’s a Homicide reference…anybody?) Beckett is played by Stana Katic, who previously appeared on both The Shield and 24, but was probably best known as Bond Girl – ‘Corrine’ in Quantum of Solace.

The two of them work together on murder after murder, as Castle writes an entire series of books about ‘Nikki Heat’, a character based on Beckett.

Typically the case seems clear-cut, we find out the initial suspect is a red herring, and something Castle said earlier, that seemed ridiculous, now is made plausible. Eventually though they hit a wall and it’s up to Castle to interpret something said to him by either his mother or his daughter that breaks the case wide open. Man, Beckett’s close rate must’ve been terrible before they brought a writer in to teach them how to solve crimes.

It’s pretty cookie-cutter.

Fillion and Katic are joined by a capable, but not extraordinary supporting cast, who can all be seen above.  Actually, that statement sounds harsh. I really can’t imply that any of them are sub-par actors since they aren’t given much to work with in the script department. I will say that the on-screen chemistry is there for the most part.

Now for all the bitching I do about CBS, in honesty, the Disney owned ABC isn’t much better. This show is more generic for sure than Hawaii Five-O. It’s a cop Show, set in New York, with 2 white lead actors, and a supporting cast filled out by a Black female doctor, a Latino Detective, and a Black Police Captain. All of whom are very capable and respected, and then the white Irish cop who is the obviously the moron of the bunch. Very PC Disney, spread it around. ABC is so terrified of offending someone, that it’s actually become a detractor from the show before. Like the episode dealing with terrorism, where they had a very short clock to find a bomb in NYC and Beckett was more interested in the rights of the suspect than in finding the bomb. I don’t know about you, but if I’m a New Yorker, and there is a Nuke ready to detonate, I think I’m ok with the cops using harsh language and verbal threats. Profiling be damned!

Overall the show is entertaining, but its draws it’s ratings from the oldest trick in the book: Will  They – Won’t They? While the show each week is driven by the most recent murder scene, the underlying narrative of the show focuses on the sexual tension between Castle and Beckett. Much like Pam and Jim on The Office before it sucked. Or David and Maddy on Moonlighting, this theme will drag on until they eventually have to sleep together, which will destroy the show and it will be forced to limp off into a TV graveyard. For this reason, fans who want them together should stop hoping so fiercely, because the minute they do, the fuse on the time bomb of mediocrity and cancellation will be lit. Save the hook-up for the series finale…

This video however is enough to make me keep watching and soaking in my weekly Fillion Fix.

So those are the 2 biggest guilty pleasure shows of mine. That’s not to say I don’t have others. I could put Nikita, or Storage Wars, or Breakout Kings on this same list. Those though are shows I’ll watch if on, but don’t go out of my way for. Hell for that matter I could even include SNL if I wanted to because that show has become something awful.

Anyhow, what are yours? Big Bang Theory? Real House Wives? Anything on MTV?

Nathan Fillion on the possible return of FIREFLY!

It was just 2 days ago I had a conversation about had Firefly aired a couple of years later the Syfy channel might have bought it off of FOX like they did with Stargate SG-1. Then yesterday news breaks that Syfy has in fact acquired the syndication rights to the cult hit.

Upon news of the purchase Nathan Fillion was contacted by Inside TV, and he answered a few questions…

[quote] EW: What was the best part about playing the character?
NATHAN FILLION: It was my favorite job ever. What wasn’t great about it? I got to wear a low-slung holster. I got to ride horses. I got to have a spaceship. I got to act mean and curmudgeonly. [Creator Joss Whedon] is really good at kicking characters in the nuts so the other characters would have laughs at my expense and that was great too.

If Castle had its series finale tomorrow and Fox said to you and Joss: “We screwed up, let’s try doing Firefly again.” Would you do it?
Yes. Yes. I would examine very closely Fox’s reasoning — I’m a little gun-shy. If I got $300 million from the California Lottery, the first thing I would do is buy the rights to Firefly, make it on my own, and distribute it on the Internet.

What’s the most common thing Firefly fans say to you?
No. 1, “Is there going to be more?” No. 2, “Why was it canceled?”

Why do you think the show has had such an enduring appeal?
It’s a great question. We’re the most story-literate society the world has ever seen. What Joss tends to do is twist story conventions into reality. Whereas the story goes like this, real life goes like this, and that’s what Joss has mastered.

Do you ever watch the show nowadays or is that just weird?
It’s not weird. I haven’t watched it in a long, long time and I would like to revisit it. [/quote]

 

Syfy will air the series in its entirety, plus some new extras. They will wrap each episode with interstitial segments starring renowned physicist Dr. Michio Kaku, who will discuss the theoretical science behind the show’s sci-fi concepts. Firefly premieres on Syfy March 6th at 8 p.m., with the two-hour pilot, followed by the first episode at 10 p.m. Following that, Firefly episodes will air every Sunday, in their original intended order and upgraded to high-definition.

The Crew of Firefly on the Enterprise…

Wow. So that’s all good news, and I’m thrilled that’s it on TV again, but as far as Fillion’s comments, it’s just another actor spewing fan-speak right? Well that’s the question being asked by Syfy.

After Nathan Fillion announced  he’d love to step into the role of Capt. “Mal” Reynolds again, a couple of Firefly writers chimed in to say they’d also climb on board as well.

First, Jose Molina, who produces Castle, wrote 23 episodes of Dark Angel, and wrote the Firefly episodes “Trash” and “Ariel,” tweeted: 
Replying to Molina, Jane Espenson, who wrote 23 episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as well as a couple The Batman cartoons, and the “Shindig” episode of Firefly, added:


Could FOX actually be convinced to pick up the series again? It’s doubtful, but we can hope. As far as the chances of Fillion actually buying the rights to the show in order to create new episodes, a fan campaign has already started over at ‘Help Nathan Buy Firefly‘ and Facebook to try to raise the big bucks needed. Unlike the Robocop Statue, no donation center has been setup yet, but I wont be surprised if one pops up soon…

Series Finale of TERRIERS Tonight?

I fear for the worst. Despite my repeated e-mails to FX, it seems as though they may have already given up on Terriers.

During last night’s 90-minute season finale of Sons of Anarchy, which is sure to be FX’s highest-rated show of the winter, they found time for only one Terriers ad. I saw no less than seven commercials for the return of Archer, which is still more than a month away, but only one for Terriers which is on tonight.

Continue reading Series Finale of TERRIERS Tonight?