Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Quick clips for Wednesday September 24

A post in which I offer to fist-fight a producer/writer

I know that this is a movie blog and that, technically, my murderous feelings of rage against the television show "Heroes" has no place here. Well, guess what, there's no governmental oversight committee to ensure all blogs stay on point...and, besides, if you read this blog, chances are you watch, have watched, or may one day watch the aforementioned television program that has inspired my wrath. See, here's the thing, there's a decent amount riding on "Heroes." Really, there's more riding on that half-witted, exceptionally poorly written, terribly acted show than on "Lost." Why? Well, "Lost" is beloved by fans of good writing, clever characters, and complex situations; it is not beloved because it is science fiction (often it is beloved despite that fact, at least for some people). Alternatively, "Heroes" is purely a comic book come to life, a fact that should make me happy...but doesn't because it's the type of comic book I would never, ever read (on account of all the sucking.) As a concept, it was lifted pretty directly from the comic "Rising Stars," dumbed down by a factor of about 1000, omitted the things that made it interesting, and crapped on audiences everywhere who were told "eat this, it tastes like crap." By the way, I've watched every episode.

Audiences that were given Iron Man and The Dark Knight have figured it out: Comic book adaptations don't have to be written to the lowest-common denominator, which is "Heroes" writer/producer Tim Kring's target audience. As a writer, I wouldn't trust Kring with penning a blurb for my toothpaste. I could, no joke, spend about 10,000 words discussing the stupendously awful writing on this show (which includes both plot and dialogue that are so poor, my wife proposed a drinking game composed of taking a shot whenever someone says exactly what they feel ["I feel scared because I'm frightened."] or when someone does something that only furthers the plot ["I could solve this with a conversation, but instead I'll go back in time!"]). I'm going to "spoil" (and I use that word loosely, as a third-grade education could "spoil" the plot developments) what just happened last episode in order to show the colossal stupidity.

Watch, as you can follow the events and their lameness without ever having watched the show: In the future, a guy decides that all the terrible things currently happening are because his brother announced something on television he shouldn't have, so he travels back in time to FIVE SECONDS BEFORE HIS BROTHER SAYS IT AND SHOOTS HIM. Now, if you have a preschool diploma, you're probably asking, "Why didn't he go back like 3 days before and tell him not to say those things...then, if that didn't work, he could shoot him as a last alternative." Well, observant first grader, that would make sense, and logic of any kind is banned on this show, which only traffics in plot twists you've seen 100 times and characters that can be described based on their powers alone played by actors who were rejected for Noxema commercials.

So why do I watch? Two reasons: Number one, I'm horrified and yet drawn to it. I need to believe that this will get better and won't devolve into "Misfits of Science," which (by the way) is a better show. I want to believe that a mainstream superhero series can find a place on network TV because the subject matter is good enough. Second, the episodes not written by Tim Kring are sometimes okay. I know that isn't a ringing endorsement but if its an okay superhero show or "Dancing With the Stars," you know which side my bread is buttered.

In conclusion, I want to fight Tim Kring. I want that vegetable-brained half-wit to be fired from his own show or bludgeoned to death by one of his scripts. I want the actors to rebel and disembowel him for his unparalleled talentless stupidity. He is the worst writer I have ever had the misfortune of enduring. I survived last season with the promise of better times ahead. I'm giving "Heroes" five more episodes, three if all of them are written by Kring. After that, I'm gone like Kring's dignity. I know this isn't movie news, but it is a public service announcement, and there ain't much going on this week.

Misguided? Maybe. Greedy? Nope.

Michael Moore is so loathed by conservatives that they are going into unknown territory to attack him...humor (sorry, I forgot about Bill O'Reilly, the unknown territory is intentional humor). With An American Carol, the right-wing has fired what looks to be a painfully unfunny assault against the documentarian, who is easily spoofable (so long as your agents of spoofing aren't, say, Kelsey Grammar and Trace Adkins). Say this about the slovenly self-proclaimed do-gooder, he believes in what he's saying. His latest film, Slacker Uprising, is being given away for free. At, anyone can download the flick, which covers Moore's tour of the US in 2004 after the release of Fahrenheit 9/11 but before the presidential election, which pretty much ignored everything he said in the film. Yes, it appears as though Slacker Uprising is more akin to a video of a concert than a true documentary, but it's free, so what do you want from the guy? Actually, this is a good place to talk briefly about dividing the message from the man. Whatever you think of Moore, Sicko was pretty doggone good (until the last third), and his stated intentions for releasing this for free are also admirable (he wants more people to vote). I doubt if all liberals were to decide on their mouthpiece that it would look and act like Michael Moore, but the words are what's important here, not the pie hole they're coming from. We'll take a peeksie at the video soon and let you know all about it (it was just released on Tuesday) but, in the meantime, feel free to check out something for free, a phrase you don't hear often these days.

A daily Bond update for my Chicago peeps

As evidenced by my Bears license plate holder, my Cubs T-shirt, my Bulls underwear, and my "I heart the Windy City" face tattoo, I love me some Chi-town. I got to go to the Chicago Film Festival once a long time ago and saw some awesome stuff (like Man of the Century) but things have improved a bit since that so? Well, is reporting that their sources have stated that Daniel Craig and Jeffrey Wright (stars of the upcoming Quantum of Solace, which is the new Bond movie and not the documentary on molecular sadness) are going to be in Chicago in October. The festival kicks off on October 16 with The Brothers Bloom, which I am dying to see (it looks like Wes Anderson in his prime), but...could 007's new film make an appearance? The article points out that director Marc Forster's last two films have played at the festival (Stranger than Fiction and The Kite Runner) it's possible that this could be happening. If it does happen, I sure hope that some people who live in that city who I know well attend and report back to me. Actually, I hope they do that anyway about the festival. Consider yourselves on 007 alert.
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