Thursday, June 10, 2010

Randomness: Mad Hatters, Wolf Men, Born Stars, Sad Texans


  • I didn't cover the new DVD releases last week but Alice in Wonderland and The Wolfman (previously reviewed) debuted and I figured 'Why hold a poll to see which movie you want me to cover when I know that Tim Burton's blockbuster will win?' I'll write about that one (finally) soon. In the meantime, now that you've had a chance to look at Benicio all hairy, what say you? This morning I was suddenly wishing Johnny Depp had played the werewolf and Benicio the Mad Hatter. Mixes up expectations a little, no? In both cases the casting felt a little too "spot on", which is why it's so weird that Benicio was so terrible (and terribly bored) while playing wolf. And maybe the Depp / Blunt pairing might've been a truer bodice ripper?

  • From here on out the DVD reader request poll will be bi-weekly (starting next week) so that I can keep up with the reviews. Previously: An Education. Next: The Road and Alice in Wonderland.

  • Streep at 60 the series returns this afternoon. I hope you'll have plenty to say about one of her craziest star turns.


  • Today is the 88th anniversary of Judy Garland's birth (née Frances Gumm). Since Judy G is one of my ten favorite stars of all time, you know that the first thing I did this morning was click on over to Nick's Flick Picks to see him wrap up his Best Actress project with A Star is Born (1954). Oh, the torture! He's making us wait a little.


  • Confession: I've been on a TV binge lately. Maybe it's those upcoming Emmy nominations (July) haunting me and convincing me to get caught up on Dexter, United States of Tara, Nurse Jackie, Glee (I continue to be madly in love with Lea Michelle's voice. I could listen to her all day long.) and Friday Night Lights. Regarding the latter: I know that it's not an Emmy favorite but that's just one more knock against their validity as an institution. Last week's episode "The Son" had me crying harder while watching television than I have since Buffy's "The Body" some years ago. Some fans and media types are trying to energize a Zach Gilford for Best Supporting Actor campaign but Emmy, as my wisest TV guru friend Joe Reid reminds me, has a really tough time noticing a show ever if they don't notice it right from the start. And if Emmy can't see that FNL's lead actress Connie Britton is consistently worthy of the actual statue (I'm talking even better than great movie actresses gone TV like Holly Hunter and Glenn Close on their respective shows and skyscrapers above some other regulars), well... how would they notice a supporting actor? Emmy's loss. With the exception of Mad Men, there's not a better drama on television.
Sound off on all of this randomness in the comments. Surely you have feelings to share, be they of the couch potato, lycanthropic or friend-of-dorothy variety.
*
*

23 comments:

Kim said...

I echo the Friday Night Lights love. "The Son" was one of the finest hours of TV this season. It really is atrocious that the show doesn't have a boatload of Emmys. Maybe the acting is TOO subtle/realistic for them?

Lea Michele blows my mind. The belting she was doing during this week's finale was unreal.

Shaheema said...

I LOVE everything you said about Friday Night Lights. It blows everything else out of the water. What Zach Gilford did in The Son, what the entire cast - Kyle Chandler & Connie Britton in particular - have been doing for FOUR SEASONS... the Emmys have to get with it at some point, right?
FNL was included in their Top 10 drama picks for the last 2 years running, if I recall.

notanotherblog said...

To me, Lea Michele's voice is childlike, absent of the emotional gravity of an adult's singing. That's what I felt when I was listening to her in the Madonna episode. I couldn't even finish five seconds of her version of "Like a Prayer." If anything, that episode made me appreciate Madonna more.

Rant over, A Star is Bron is gonna be screening in my city the day after Gay Pride, of all days it could be screening. And I'll be there! Squee! :D

Kimberly said...

Thanks for the Comment du Jour, Nathaniel! Clearly I'm thrilled to see Streep @ 60 return.
May just have to watch A Star is Born in honor of my fellow Gemini Judy.
Also, waiting with baited breath for Mad Men to begin again. Dying to see where they pick up at Sterling, Cooper, Draper & Pryce. 7/25 Can't come fast enough!!

notanotherblog said...

*A Star is Born, sorry LOL

Ivonne said...

I read so often that Friday Night Lights is so good! It never made it to Germany (which is quite amazing if you see what crap is bought and dubbed), but with all the praise I think I should check it out somehow.

Tonight, for Judy*s birthday, I will watch The sound of music. I only watched it once a long time ago as a young girl and did not even made it to the end because I found it horribly corny tacky cheesy kitschig ad nauseum (do not hate me, but maybe some of you know the german Heimatfilme of the 50s? It seemed too similar). Having learned that I am quite alone with that opinion, I'll give it another try.

John T said...

There's not a better drama on television anymore (excepting Mad Men), since Lost is off the air. :)

Volvagia said...

Lost? Really? It just screams of "Overrun", that TV curse. (Often even the best dramas suffer it after their second or third season. The best comedies last longer at six-eight. (Seinfeld, Cheers, Frasier.)) Also: Sounds way too dense for A/V literature of any form, even TV, to be truly satisfying. Yes, Mad Men is probably the best show on the air. But it's more likely that it took that title from The Wire, as opposed to Lost. And The Wire ended two years ago.

Kyle said...

I'll like Mad Men better when they write January Jones off the show, she's the absolute worst thing about it.
That and getting rid of Sal...huge loss.

Rahm said...

I'm right there with you and your Friday Night Lights love. One of my favorite shows. The writing and acting are fantastic. It's a shame it doesn't get any Emmy love.

When Friday Night Lights ends after the 5th season it's going to be bittersweet. Glad it won't overstay it's welcome, but sad because I love it so much.

Robert Hamer said...

"Next: The Road and Alice in Wonderland."

And Doctor Zhivago, right?

Chris Na Taraja said...

OMG Judy could have been making a comeback with Betty White!!

NATHANIEL R said...

robert -- oh right. ARGH. maybe i'll have to do this monthly ;)

chris -- that is crazy!!! i didn't even think of that.

teo said...

Friday Night Lights was the best show on television this year, including Mad Men. Mad Men's third season didn't really pick up until the end, but Friday Night Lights was like a masterpiece every week. The Emmys are a complete joke, and their refusal to acknowledge this show is yet more proof of that.

And for the record, Lea Michele on Glee is a shadow of Lea Michele live. I think she works to make herself sound younger for the character, because her voice live is significantly more mature. Glee's finale was a lot of fun though wasn't it?

BillBill said...

Zach Gilford is being campaigned in guest actor in a drama series, not supporting actor in a drama series, FYI. He won't make it into either category, but guest is an easier playing field than supporting actor is.

NATHANIEL R said...

BillBill -- how is that even legal? He's in every episode. He's part of the main cast!

kin said...

Hey, Nathaniel, did Sandra Bullock in the Blind Side reminded you of Connie Britton? I still haven't seen the movie, but I always got that vibe from the trailer, and that Britton should have gotten some of Bullock's glory.

Ben said...

Kind, I definitely compared Sandra Bullock and Connie Britton when watching The Blind Side. I thought, "OK, Sandra is not too bad." Then, I imagined how much better Connie Britton would have been in the role....

I realized I was getting older when I had more of a crush on Tami Taylor than on any of the high school beauties on the show.

BillBill said...

It's about contractual billing. He was billed as a guest star, received "guest starring" credits in the opening credits, and Gilford's not a part of the main cast anymore. That's why he's going guest.

NATHANIEL R said...

BillBill -- odd. For not being part of the main cast anymore, his part hasn't slimmed at all.

billybil said...

I'm sorry, Nate - I remember now - you actually did a blog a while back which prompted discussion of vulnerable actresses. I think I even touted Garland's vulnerability at that time. Sorry for forgetting for a while. I wish I could be a more reliable reader than I am.

NATHANIEL R said...

i don't even remember that. ha ha.

but i'm still so weirded out by this Zach Gilford thing. I mean, does this mean he's going to exit the show halfway through the season. How can he not be a regular cast member when his part isn't any smaller than it used to be?

P.S. Who else loved that they had Lila return and didn't even give her a line. That was such a smart generous choice given the scene in question.

adri said...

I think one of my favorite of Garlands roles is Easter Parade. She gets to do a variety of songs, including comedy, and looks totally charming.

With her vulnerable aspect, Ièm glad that Gene Kelly broke his leg and had to be replaced by Fred Astaire. Kelly gives the impression of having a mean side and contempt for his leading actresses, which I find too much when the actress in question is Garland.

Astaire, on the other hand, with his care and appreciation for his fellow dancers, you can trust will make sure that Judy is alright. So I can relax more when watching Judy in this part.