Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dolls, Toys and Links

The House Next Door Did you read any of these "Pixar Week" articles arriving to coincide with the Toy Story 3-D release? Interesting stuff therein and not all of it is the typical media fawning over all things Pixar. Though I'm kinda miffed that there's a defense of Cars and takedown of WALL•E. Sometimes there's no need to be contrarian. Every once in a while the general consensus is correct
Rotten Tomatoes Martial arts star Tony Jaa (Ong Bak 2) picks his five favorite flicks. Very mainstream tastes (The Dark Knight. Yep. Forrest Gump?! Ewww)
TV Munchies "15 TV characters who never came out of the closet (but should have)"
MTV Spider-Man 4 is nearing a start date (March, 2010) and a release date (May, 2011). Watch out here comes the Spider-Man (and Mary Jane) Not sure if this is a good idea but #2 was so wonderful that I'll just pretend #4 is #3. Good plan or...?

My New Plaid Pants fine piece on The White Ribbon "The Answer is the Question is the Answer"
The Auteurs Daily chooses the best film sites. I'm truly honored to be among the 57 cinephiles listed
Empire Kristen Bell has joined the cast of the already intriguingly cast Burlesque: Cher, Christina Aguilera, Stanley Tucci. So many possibilities
Erik Lundegaard pens a lovely review of the evocative Bright Star
Coming Soon Mia Wasikowska is going from leading Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland to leading Gus Van Sant's Restless. Can you think of a bigger aesthetic leap? Burton to Van Sant, oh my. Please pray that the largely audience-untested actress is as versatile as she sounds.

Finally... the AV Club has nice things to say about the low-rated second season of Dollhouse. I'm not as sad that the show will probably be cancelled as I once was but I'm definitely disheartened. A Dollhouse failure will only serve to teach the broadcast networks not to take chances on shows with cult followings and that's a sorry lesson to learn. They need to be moving towards the cable model which is, generally speaking, more nurturing to small audience shows with ambition.

I haven't covered Dollhouse this year because I'm trying to find a way to cover tv that's more in line with the goals of the site (movie love!) hence the switch to movie referencing tv coverage of Mad Men or stray episodes of other things. And, let's be frank, I've also been disappointed that this fascinating Joss Whedon series is still awkward and has stumbled back to early Season 1 stand-alone business. The strengths of the first season were all in the long-form storytelling and I thought that they'd realized this as well as found surer footing as they went along.

Weirdly in the comment discussion following this AV post some fans seem to only now be realizing that Enver Gjokaj (who plays Victor) is the best actor on the show. It took a gay dancing scene to convince them? We've known he was the MVP for a long time. He's virtually the only "doll" that doesn't seem like he's acting a role once imprinted... he merely is the new person he thinks he is. He does spot on impressions of people you wouldn't think you could mimic -- like fellow actor Reed Diamond -- and he's engaging in blank state, too. None of this can possibly be easy, as the uneven performances elsewhere indicate. If you ask me he should have been in the running for a Supporting Actor Emmy nomination last year. I'd like to predict a huge career for Gjokaj post-Dollhouse but Hollywood has a weird self-defeating way of putting blinders on when it comes to newish actors doing great work within the sci-fi world. For instance, in anything resembling a sane world Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica) would be a huge star by now, inundated with film and tv offers. Instead she just has to work the ensemble on aging TV shows like 24 or Nip/Tuck? Boo. If I were a casting director, I'd have Gjokaj and Sackhoff on speed dial.


Liz said...

In other exciting news, Keira Knightley will be making her stage debut in modern-day version of Molière's The Misanthrope in December. She has a supporting role and is playing a
Hollywood starlet and allround gossip who toys with the men around her. All this talk about seeing her in a comedy and she's doing one on stage!

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Arkaan said...

Nathaniel, don't get me started on Broadcast Networks. I didn't bother start watching Dollhouse because I figured Fox would malign it so thoroughly beyond recognition. Meanwhile, NBC got rid of five hours of programming, which means much of it's more ambitious television (Southland, Kings) don't get the shot they deserve. It's terrible.

Ryan T. said...

I definitely agree with you about Enver Gjokaj. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing how his post-Dollhouse career pans out.

Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Guy said...

Well done re: The Auteurs list. I'd say what excellent taste they have -- but since we're on it too, that sounds a bit classless ;)

Adam M. said...

Wasikowsa has the goods. She was incredible in the first season of HBO's 'In Treatment.' Did anyone happen to catch that? I knew she was destined for big things after I saw her on there.

Drew said...

I totally agree with you about Enver Gjokaj, but I disagree with you that he's the only good doll. I think Dichen Lachman is phenomenal too. The other outstanding cast member is Olivia Williams. I really hope it doesn't get cancelled just yet. At least give it a fair run.

mB said...

Enver, Dichen and Olivia (and the now departed Amy) are what make me come back to the Dollhouse - even if it has been a rocky and uneven road. Episodes like the one from last night showcase everything than can and should work in the series - here's hoping the rest of the season (if it gets aired) holds up as well.

susannah said...

Wow, thanks so much for the commentary on Dollhouse and the ghetto actors on sci-fi shows continue to be put into. I suppose it's related to the general disdain directed at science fiction television, but it's so disappointing that even after Buffy and Battlestar Galactica the actors can't be recognized for good acting rather than just good acting in a science fiction program.

Anonymous said...

Are you saying Forrest Gump is a bad movie? Maybe it won awards over more deserving films, and maybe it's overrated, but that does not make it bad.

JA said...

I want more Enver & Olivia scenes! And Enver & Dichen! They need to make them into a triangle and just kill Echo. Something tells me Producer Dushku ain't having none of that though.

And thanks for the link, Nat. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on The White Ribbon. And I can't wait to watch it again. And again. So on.