Dave Duncan

"Eat Well, Stay Fit, Die Anyway"

Archive for the 'Television' Category

Elwy Yost’d Be Proud

I’ve posted before about how great TV Ontario is… public broadcasting at its finest, I would say. Well, this weekend is a treat for fans of Sci-Fi… well, of good movies at least. ‘Saturday Night at the Movies‘ is putting on the best line-up I’ve seen in my 28 long years. That’s saying a lot given how often they run war movie marathons. Alas, I’ve gone off-topic…

First up, at 8pm ET we have ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still‘. This 1951 classic gave us some iconic images for future alien invasion movies and dealt with a lot of social issues of its time. That, and it also gave us the hilarious line “Klaatu barada nikto” which is pretty popular with nerds… er, I mean… science fiction buffs.

Second, at 10:10pm ET they’ll be showing the Director’s Cut of Ridley Scott’s ‘BladeRunner‘. I remember seeing this on CityTV as a kid and nearly crapping my pants from fear… after being bored to death by how slow scenes moved. Well, as an adult, I can say it still scares me a bit, but it’s a phenomenal film. It’s got Harrison Ford playing a great Harrison Ford character (essentially Indiana Jones and Han Solo in one person) and Rutger Hauer going insane. Pure… awesome.

Lastly, at 12:35am ET you can sing along with ‘Planet of the Apes: The Musical’ starring Troy McClure. Oh, sorry… I misread that. It’s the 1968 version with Charlton Heston being grimy, sweaty, surly and… yelly(?) with some crazy looking monkeys. These are in the heady days before Tim Burton decided to badly remake an AWESOME film for some unthinkable reason, and before Mark Wahlberg was even BORN! This film inspired a whole generation of monkey-hating sci-fi fans, and helped many of my high school friends ride out the new year, so I’m very well acquainted with it. Oh Taylor… you poor human.

These are the kind of ground-breaking films that directors and screenwriters watch and drool over… before chopping them up into out-and-out remakes, or thinly-disguised ones.

It’s safe to say that we’ll be having a vote at the cottage about watching these movies (which show commercial-free, I may add) but I kind of hope it’s voted down… I can always rent them.


In the Year 2000…

With U2 playing a record FIVE NIGHTS in New York City this coming week, that means that us fans will be getting lots of airtime and news time with the boys. All that starts tomorrow night with Conan O’Brien. Conan has devoted his whole hour-long show to the band, who’ll be performing several songs, and hopefully poking some fun at themselves in some skits.


‘Over There’ is ‘Over-Acted’?

Hmm. So I finally got around to watching ‘Over There’ last night (Lunchbox PVR’d it for me… which is TIVO for you Yanks), and I’m trying to reserve judgement for now. I’m trying to keep in mind that it’s a mini-series, and that means that there’s a finite amount of time to build these characters into something believable, but I couldn’t help but notice a few things.

First of all, at least one actor (the guy who plays ‘Dim’ Dumphy) looks like he took courses at the ‘Ben Affleck School of Lazy Overacting’. Yes, I know that ‘lazy overacting’ seems like a bit of an oxymoron… but that’s what it is. Still, there’s some great dialogue, and the filming was cool, so there’s hope yet.

The music was pretty good, with one GLARING exception… Under no circumstances should a TV show have a scene where a character writes and then sings a song that has no montage…. it’s just him singing. It’s brutal to watch, and you feel bad for the poor actor. You can hear the audio change from a spoken scene to a voiceover from a studio somewhere. It’s just bad.

So far, I’m not as impressed as I’d hoped I’d be, but I remember thinking the same thing after episode one of ‘Band of Brothers’ (also airing on History this fall) and that series literally blew my mind. I’m going to be patient and see how this plays out.

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‘Over There’: Tonight on History

Yes, I’m a History Channel addict. There, I said it. Are you happy? Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, there’s a new Steven Bochco (NYPD Blue, etc) show that premieres tonight on History that I’m salivating for. It’s called ‘Over There’ and it’s a sort of on-the-ground depiction of the war in Iraq.

I’m going to repost a review by Christine Clark that I clipped from DOSE magazine. It contains some spoilers for the first of the thirteen episodes, so if you plan on watching the whole mini-series you may just want to pass. It’s going to air tuesday nights at 9pm on History Television (in Canada).

For the review, just click on Read more

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