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Archive for March, 2014|Monthly archive page

“My life’s been a circle of violence and degradation, as long as I can remember. I’m ready to tie it off” -Rust Cohle

In Television on March 10, 2014 at 8:28 pm

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Sadly, I was one of countless individuals who suffered the HBOGO crash that occurred last night which frustrated me to no end and led to countless distractions while at work. How will it end? Who will die if anyone? Will there be a collective sigh of release or will there regret, because a show, this good, is no longer there?

For those of you who are late to the party, “True Detective” stars Matthew McConaughey as Detective Rust Cohle an insightful utterly unique individual who brings his own set of skills to the police force alongside Woody Harrelson as Detectives Marty Hart who often just reacts to the stuff that Rust spouts. These two are paired up to solve the murder and decorative placement of a young girl while the viewer sits along for the ride as the story line bounces between the 1990s, the early 2000s, and the present. Did I make this seem like an insipid unoriginal cop drama? I did? I apologize, because this show is anything but that. The viewer witnesses the acting ace that McConaughey has suddenly decided to show while also witnessing a subtle yet fantastic chemistry between two veteran actors who appear to have an all encompassing knowledge of their characters.

Does it sound like I absolutely love this show? Because it should. From the first trailer I witnessed to the finale, I was captivated the by the script, the acting, the cinematography, the makeup, the setting and the story. All of it, in only 8 episodes. That tells you something right there, that a show that is so short, can tell so much.

First time creator, writer, and producer, Nic Pizzolatto decided to grace us with his intellect, his skill, and his overall understanding of what it means to be a human and witness the darkest side of humanity. This show illustrates the relationship between two men, akin to two gunslingers holding out in a Western outpost, as they attempt to keep the bad men from the door. When all else fails they have each other and it is only that, that they need.

This show will definitely have a few nominations at the Emmy’s, so, if you consider yourself an individual who loves television, then watch this show. Any which way you can. Now, for those of us who have witnessed the compelling finale of this great creation, read on. Those that haven’t stop right there!

This was exactly how I wanted it to end. Closure. A closure of their relationship. A closure of the case. A closure of their life. That’s what I wanted and this finale gave it all to me, from the mournful tears of Marty as he realizes that his life nearly ended to the final all or nothing shootout/hand to hand fight. I loved it. I loved the creepiness of Tuttle with his ever changing accent and his nightmare of his house. I love the shot of Cohle as he gazes out the window with one black eye and an injured hand. I love the idea that they can finally rest. These two individuals who have been through so much, mostly self-inflicted, can finally rest.

I read that with the ending of “Breaking Bad” and “The Sopranos” that the golden age of television is coming to an end. I think “True Detective” dismisses that allegation. Yes you can show a typical cop drama in which a serial murder is being hunted but this becomes so much more, when you focus on relationships. The connections we feel to each other and how these change over time. That’s what makes great Emmy and Oscar worthy television show and movies. The connection we have to one another. “True Detective” illustrates how a man can change when he stares into the blackest part of humanity and how he comes to terms with what he sees and how it affects him. it shows that no matter what we see or witness, that with the help of others, we too can find those humane pieces of ourselves that keep us who we are. This is what makes great television.

On a closing note, it would be ill-advised of me to not comment on the role that women played in this season. Now, notice I said season, this show is an anthology in which the next season will be a different set of actors with a different story entirely, so not all hope is lost. However, women played a very minor part in this show but I will also play devil’s advocate here and state that it took place in the South, a place known, generally speaking, for its utter disregard for women’s rights, and it involved the murder of women. So, that being said, the roles that women played were realistic to the setting and the time period. However, I suggest to Mr. Pizzolatto to include some powerful women in his next season, who knows maybe a female detective, that will knock our collective socks off and show us what great work he can do.

My Take on the Oscars 2014

In Awards on March 3, 2014 at 6:20 pm

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What. A. Year. and what a great collection of films. In the past, I have commented on films that have won, that I know, and films, that have lost, that I know, which sadly, leaves a few categories out of my critique. However, it would be pointless for me to comment on a film or category that I knew nothing about so, I will continue to offer my opinion in this fashion and if you don’t like it….well I’m sorry.

The Winners!

Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey

First off, can I comment on the year that Matthew McConaughey is having/will have with “True Detective” of course. It appeared as though he needed to shed those 40 or so pounds to shake off that terrible rom-com type-casting that appeared to be all he could do. Now he’s in it. With such films as “Dallas Buyers Club” and “Killer Joe” McConaughey has found that if you put him in something dark and gritty, he will excel and I wish good fortune upon him because I think he totally deserved this win. Yes, Leonardo could have finally gotten a win, but sadly, this year was just not his and I agree with this. I’ve seen both films but agree whole hearedly with the Academy’s choice.

Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave

Totally deserved this win. Amazing story, beautifully filmed, and incredibly well-acted. There wasn’t even a chance for the other films and I’ve seen nearly all of them. “12 Years a Slave” tells a heart wrenching TRUE story of a freed slave who strives for his own freedom. It is a beautiful devastating film and absolutely deserved this win.

Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave

If Jennifer Lawrence won for this, I would have given up all faith in the selection criteria for the Academy. Seriously. She deserved this. Every single person in that audience knew it, I knew it, and if you see this film, you’ll know it. Astounding performance by raw actress.

Actor in a Supporting Role: Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club

Now I know there was a lot of hope that Barkhad Abdi would take this award, but if you’ve seen “Dallas Buyers Club” you know Leto deserved it. He became his character, auditioning for the role in drag, and totally sold the audience on his struggles as well as his strength. Leto displayed an aspect of his abilities I have never seen before and absolutely deserved this award.

Best Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years  A Slave

Without a doubt. Those lines appeared authentic and powerful. They were delivered with charisma that was unmatched by any other contender. Granted, the actors bring that to the screen, but the lines themselves must be powerful. They must move you, bring chills to you. These lines did it, without a doubt.

Best Original Screenplay: Her

I have to say, I’m glad Spike Jonze walked away with something because, given the competition, I didn’t think he would walk away with anything. “Her” was a powerful movie about an interesting and original topic and I believe that this man, who started out with “Jackass” and filming music videos, deserved this win.

Gravity for just about anything that has to do with the technical aspects of filming

Have you seen this film? No? Well you should see it, in IMAX 3-D. You will be trasnported to space and you will be on the edge of your seat. I’m serious. From start to finish this film was a fantastical adrenaline rush that really made you strive with the character. Such a beautiful and frightening film

The Losers:.

Sandra Bullock Best Actress for Gravity

People either love her or hate her and in “Gravity” I loved her and felt that just like, McConaughey, she deserved some recognition for a number of terrible movies she’s done in the past. I also feel that she deserved some credit for the amount of work she put into that film. I would imagine it isn’t easy reacting to debris that isn’t actually there but she did it quite well. That being said, I did not see “Blue Jasmine” but will have to view it to see what the fuss is all about.

Steve McQueen for Best Director for Twelve Years a Slave

Sydney They Call Me Mr. Tibbs Poitier was presenting the award. A man who broke the racial barriers in Hollywood and filmed a fantastic thriller in an area in which racism still prevalent, during a time in which racism was still prevalent. And he could have presented the award to Steve McQueen a man whose movie describes the struggle of a freed slave against the tyranny of the white slave owner. This was the perfect setting and yet, sadly, it didn’t happen. Don’t get me wrong, I love “Gravity” but I believe that the setting was perfect for McQueen to take this award home.