Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Comics and hysteria

I recently went to comic con with a friend... what a puzzle it all is. Waiting in line for coffee between Thor and a Klingon while they adjust their outfits... The amount of free swag, dizzy array of promotions, banners and unending line ups can give anyone a severe headache.

Dressed up fans are treated like rockstars and the frenzy for a sneak peek of a highly anticipated movie is astonishing.

Most interesting upcoming flicks?
Probably Scott Pilgrim, Cowboys and Aliens and especially Don't be Afraid of the Dark (fantastic teaser).

It's been a pretty dry year for films, Inception was a nice change. I've seen frequent "best film ever rating" for Inception which should always be taken with a grain of salt since the person is probably 18 years old and hasn't seen a lot of films yet. It's exciting and certainly fun, similar to Paprika and a few Japanese films of the past.

Perhaps I'm a bit tired of the constant visual stimulation. After five days of watching film panel after film panel I'm left with the feeling that I've been fed nothing but vapid entertainment (Tron 2, Skyline, Battle Los Angeles, Salt, Green Lantern, Thor), rather than a true gut wrenching experience. It's sadly becoming common for Hollywood to hire commercial/music video directors who lack the foundation of storytelling and thirst for reading to truly stretch the mind. A pity.

There was a staggering amount of marketing for films and television that distributed t-shirts, books, stickers, temporary tattoos, freebie giveaways, and huge billboards plastered on hotels which will all lead to $$$.

Poirot's Murder on the Orient Express? Link here to watch! (links to other sections on youtube right)
Do you miss Hastings? I do. Here's an old Poirot: The Adventure of the Clapham Cook here

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


A very different take on Murder on the Orient Express last Sunday. Less polished, with a handheld technique that gave the experience an altogether more tense scenario. Diminishing the lustre of the famed Orient Express, it focused on Poirot's struggle with his views on justice and punishment. As a fan of the books I am curious how they will slowly arc Poirot's internal struggle of moral justice in his final bow "Curtain".

Overall? It's not a favourite unfortunately, and I do prefer the recent adaptation of Hallowe'en Party, (new online version link to part 1 of 9 here).. but I'm glad they made it.

Another new Mystery episode? One of Agatha Christie's best, The Pale Horse. The change? Adding Miss Marple into the story, perhaps a rather unnecessary addition.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Q & A

Conan O'Brien - Inside the Actors Studio 1/9 here

Before the s**t storm of controversy and downfall of his job as host of the Tonight Show.

A few other wonderful comedians...
Chris Rock here
Ricky Gervais here
George Carlin here
Eddie Murphy here
John Goodman here
Jason Bateman here

Simpsons here

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Summer distractions

If you're not the type that enjoys baking in the sun, or just crave a temporary reprieve from the blazing heat... cinemas may provide less than stellar options this year.

What is there to look forward to?

I was stunned to see the record breaking scathing reviews for Avatar the Last Airbender... and other than Inception what else has generated buzz?

Lowest of the low?

I must admit, the eight percent rating has made me curious. How bad can a kid film really be?? Usually even "splat" rotten reviews are not exactly bottom of the barrel, but as I scanned through many of the top critics' full articles I was astonished to find few positive qualities highlighted. With the high ticket prices and overuse of 3D technology, Hollywood has already felt the backlash of over saturating the market with extravagant mediocre material.

Perhaps Norman Jewison was right, television will take the reigns for quality storytelling and original entertainment. With projects such as Foyle's War, Pacific, Game of Thrones, Dexter, True Blood, Borgias, Lost in Austen, Tudors, Mad Men and Mentalist... do audiences really need to leave home?

Poirot X: Murder on the Orient Express starring Eileen Atkins (Gosford Park) and Marie-Josee Croze (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) airs this July 7th!

Marple: Secret of the Chimneys here

Full Poirot: Hallowe'en Party up and ready! Part 1 here.. links on right to other sections