Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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Doobity Doo Wop Say What Yeah

I am at my parent's house right now, and I have found that somebody has nicked by supercomfortable sweatpants. This transgression shall not go unpunished.

Million Dollar Baby

This may only have been the print that I saw, but the Panavision photography of this film, while almost completely grainless, seemed dark and drab. One may wonder for the bulk of the film why this is so, but this color scheme works perfectly at the end.

As with any film directed by Clint Eastwood, the performances in this film are absolutely first-rate. The idea of it being an anti-sports film about boxing is a strange one, but manages to fly on the strength of that cast. Eastwood and Swank are fantastic (the latter shines in the scenes dealing with her character's white trash family) but unfortunately I personally ended the film feeling that it was somewhat lacking. There is nothing terribly wrong with the film per se, but it doesn't really ever trancend much either. Despite the superviolent boxing sequences, there is a blandness to this film that is only exacerbated by the blandness of the cinematography.

This film was a critical favorite and may be poised to win an Oscar or two, but I can't really shake the feeling that it was perhaps a bit overhyped.

Wolfram & Hart
The Series

Angel season five started out a bit rocky, but at some point the writers remembered that this was Angel after all, and so things start getting insanely fucked up again. There were some real emotional wringers the season puts one through, and I can really say that it left me feeling hollowed out. This was some harsh stuff.

A note about the supplements: they really packed a lot of commentaries on this set, and one can hear how bitter the participants were about not getting another season or two. At several points, some of the commentators hint at an Angel film, which is a prospect I think would suck. There's too much that would have to be explained for it to pay off anything from the series, and as the writers found during the course of season five, the series is at its best when it is raising its stakes on several different squicky levels at once (the only good thing a movie would bring would be the chance to hear the Angel "I'm Game" theme booming on French horns like their supposed to be, rather than electronically).

I felt that the attempt to make Angel less serial wasn't the best idea... one of the things that I think people tend to appreciate most about the show is the fact that it takes its time and develops its characters and delves deep into them, which doesn't work if the series keeps "resetting to zero" every hour. After a certain period, it is apparent that they gave up on that idea and Angel begins to be more like Angel. The Lindsay storyline was particularly rewarding, allowing us to revisit our Wolfram & Hart roots, but the absence of Lilah was felt. Because the season was set at Wolfram & Hart, I was kind of hoping to see more of her, and possibly Holland Manners (who casts a great shadow over Team Angel's tenure there).

Bringing Spike on to Angel could have been a really bad idea, but they played it beautifully. The relationship between the two goes back so long, they have so much shared history and what in the vampire world is a familial link that their dynamic is quite interesting to watch. The fact that Angel himself is now no longer the only vampire with a soul around pisses him off. It also throws a monkey in the wrench of his puruit of Shansu. Spike, for his part, couldn't really care less about being human... on the other hand he doesn't want Angel to get anything particularly good either.

There are a lot of deaths in this season. The passing of Cordelia was very wrenching for me, especially coming off the second season like I had. Her absence did effect the show, and her sendoff was a hard one to accept. I knew it was coming from the beginning of the episode (they make it quite clear that she is the one in bed in the hospital ward, but dramatically it is easy to overlook until the very end), but I kept just hoping that it would... just... work out.

Fred, oh, Fred. How horrific. In one of the commentaries, it is mentioned that if there is one character that all of the others can agree to love, it was her, and watching her die was extremely painful. Ilyrea was an interesting development, but with the show having been cancelled, there is no way to know where that would have gone.

Which brings us to Wesley. Ouch. I really related to Wesley. His character arcs were always among the show's strongest, and seeing him murdered was particularly rough.

Okay... now the big question... is the finale a cliffhanger or not?

Well, I don't really think so. Although Angel, Spike and Ilyrea have some fight left in them, Gunn is soon to be dead (argh!!!!) and the forces of Hell have been unleashed against our friends on Team Angel... the only thing that could save them now is an army of slayers. Okay, that's not necessarily impossible, but it is nevertheless most improbable, and in a sense I can agree with David Bell's closing statements in his commentary track on the series finale: isn't this how you want to remember these characters?

Pigs in Space

Hungry for more, I started checking out Joss Whedon's other show, Firefly. I was a bit surprised at its premise, and was even more surprised when I started watching it and found that it was hard sci-fi meets the Western. Space bandits! Now that's entertainment!!!

I'll have more to say once I finish the sole season box set, but I wish to make special mention of the fact that Firefly is the first television series I've ever seen to convey that there is no sound in space!!! Yes!!! Every exterior shot, even if it involves a crash or an explosion, plays out in complete silence, save for the occasional music cue. May I just say how happy I am that at long last this has been done!?!
Tags: buffy/angel, cinema, firefly
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