Saturday, January 7, 2012

Brad's Week in Dork! (1/1/12-1/7/12)

I watched only one movie during the first week of 2012.  After the massive amounts of cinematic cramming that I was doing at the end of the year, I think I just needed some downtime from the movies.  But I did watch some TV.  And I had one fun Dork excursion.


Hugo:  A second viewing for me.  Matt had managed to miss this film last year and I thought that his Top Ten just wouldn't be legit until he consumed the delights of Martin Scorsese's first family film, as well as first 3D film.  I was also curious to see if the film still held as much power over me as it did the first go 'round.  I'm pleased to say that it most certainly did and I am quite happy with it's placement as my Favorite Film of 2011.  I paid particular attention this time around to Scorsese's use of the 3D format and there is at least one particular "Hitchcock shot" near the climax that just melted my heart on the second viewing.  There seems to be some serious backlash towards this film in the last few weeks, but dammit! Hugo genuinely speaks to my joy of cinema and the young version of Michael Stuhlbarg's Rene Tabard is ME!  And the old version of Michael Stuhlbarg is the ME! I want to BE!  A minor character to latch onto for sure, but what ya gonna do.

The Magic Of Milies:  Got this 3 Hour + documentary in from Netflix and I'm watching it now as I type this.  It's more than a little dry and all I really want to do is watch the films of Milies rather than all this talking head business.  But it's interesting to learn how close the events of Hugo mirror the reality of the filmmaker.  And if you really want to check out the actual films of Milies all you have to do is turn to youtube...


Star Trek The Next Generation Season 3-4:  Started back up with Next Gen.  A year ago I bought all seven seasons of the show during one of those Barnes & Noble Buy Two Get One Free sales and after stalling out on the Shockingly Crappy to Somewhat Mediocre episodes of Seasons 1 & 2, I've whipped through the third season and started the fourth.  It's only just started to get consistently decent with the Best of Both Worlds climax of season 3.  It's funny how characters like Geordi and Data, who were favorites of my youth, have becomes some of the least compelling characters for me.  And a guy like Shatner-wanabe Riker keeps me coming back for more.  Lisa caught a few episodes with me and now she's started the show from the beginning with season one.  That pleases me to no end.  First I turned her onto Kirk & Co and now she's eating up Picard's bunch.  Long Live Trek.

Mildred Pierce:  I read the original James M Cain novel nearly twenty years ago and as I was watching the first two/three hours of this HBO mini-series I kept asking myself, "Where's the murder?"  Well Todd Haynes took it out of the story and presents us with an excellent melodrama of a Depression era divorcee who works her way up from nothing to great wealth and a miserable home life.  Sound like fun?  If not, turn away.  But I found this event to be absolutely captivating and it's five hour run time flew by.  Kate Winslet definitely gives the year's best performance as Mildred and her battles with her villainous daughter brought loud shouts of aggression from this viewer.  Also, it's a gorgeous looking picture with some of the most beautiful costume setting I've seen.  Felt like I could walk right into that world.

Justified Season 2 Episodes 1-7:  This week, whenever my wife and I were in the apartment we were watching Justified Season 2.  Maybe not as good as Deadwood, but Justified fills that void.  Obviously, Timothy Olyphant has that cowboy swagger down pat but the stories just have everything I want out of a cop show.  It's sure footed with proud, over-confident Elmore Leonard characters.  I love the surprising turn of events between Olyphant's Raylan and Walton Goggins' Boyd; the way those characters have come together--my favorite tv couple since William Shatner & James Spader in Boston Legal.  And having read an Advance Readers Copy of the new Raylan novel I can now report that a lot of that book stems right out of this season.  Really looking forward to seeing how this all plays out and I'm definitely going to have to download the new season as it airs.


The Nerdist at 930 Club:  I enjoy the Nerdist podcast, but my wife LOVES it.  On Friday night, we ventured out into DC to the 930 Club for a live recording of the podcast.  I was amazed at the crowd.  The line wrapped well around the block and I was in awe of the number of nerds/dorks/dweebs dressed as The Doctor (I saw mostly 11s, a couple 10s, and a 4) and Firefly Jaynes.  How did we become so prevalent in the mainstream?  In some ways it makes me quite uncomfortable.  I liked being on the fringe,  a weirdo.  But the internet has made us all weirdos.  And the Nerd explosion has allowed for such cinematic miracles as the upcoming Avengers movies.  So, I just gotta get used to the fact that Nerds Rule now.


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