The five best things I came across in the past week.
1. Community returns!
There’s enough on the internet about Community and how it needs to make a relatively big splash in the coming weeks in order to stick around, so I won’t write about that. I will tell you how happy I was to see the dysfunctional family back to being dysfunctional and familial. And the writing was sharp as ever (probably because they didn’t take a break in the production of the show, just the airing of it). Britta describing an analogy as “a thought with another thought’s hat on it,” was super brilliant to me as a budding, delusional writer. Check out this excellent trailer for the second half of the season.
2. The Awakening
This is, unfortunately, not a retelling of the Kate Chopin story of a woman’s struggle in the late 1800 American South. It is, however, pretty great. There’s history (it takes place shortly after WWI), there’s atmosphere (spooky giant English house with constantly overcast skies), there’s a ghost or two. This film, not yet released in America, is a gothic horror film in the tradition of The Others, The Orphanage, and The Devil’s Backbone, though it owes most of its style to The Turn of the Screw, the modernist novel (hey, there’s the Chopin connection!) that kicked off the gothic horror tradition. Are there really ghosts, or is our hero, played quite well by Rebecca Hall, not all there? There are a few good scares and a few great dramatic scenes, so check it out if and when you can.
3. John Carter
I don’t want to talk about the budget of this film or how much it made. I’ll save that for the next Jawesome Thing. The movie is what it is, which is to say not great but not as bad as it has been made out to be. There are some excellent scenes and, had they given this space epic a more epic runtime instead of the standard two hours, it might have been great. It would have allowed for more character development and a less rushed feel to the film. It’s still a fun way to spend your two hours. I recommend seeing it on as big a screen as you can, and in 2D if possible, as it was post converted and not shot in that format.
4. Corey Atad’s fighting the good fight
I’ve been known to call the internet out on a few things from time to time. This week fellow blogger and internet friend Corey Atad did it for me. Just take his opinions on John Carter‘s budget and its opening weekend haul and The Hunger Games vs. Battle Royale as being almost exact reflections of how I feel. It’s like our minds have joined into one angry and overly-concerned-with-frivolous-things supermind. We are legion, for we are two.
5. Bruce Greenwood on The River
The River is an ok TV show. It’s a found footage miniseries (only 8 episodes) detailing a rescue party composed of family and former workmates trying to find a nature documentarist (I may have just made that word up) who has gone missing down a mysterious tributary of the Amazon. Along the way there have been ghosts and monsters and storms and junk, and it’s all been just ok, for the most part. But last week (technically in time for the previous list of Jawesome Things but I didn’t see it until this week, so shut up) focused almost exclusively on the missing man and his obsessive search for The Source – whatever that is – , played wonderfully by character actor Bruce Greenwood. I don’t know how they got him on this show, though I suspect that Steven Spielberg Executive Producing it probably helped, but his ability to inhabit nearly any role produced some fantastic tv. There’s a moment, late in the episode where he is lost and dying of hunger, thirst, and infection and his dog shows up – don’t ask – and he must decide whether he can kill his best friend. It’s an intense and emotional moment because he wouldn’t be wrong to eat the dog, but it’d also be a truly brutal thing to endure. Greenwood sells all the ways this plays out in his head and it is horrible and wonderful to watch. I don’t know how well the episode (titled simply “Dr. Emmet Cole” after Greenwood’s character) would work on it’s own, but I suspect it would fare quite well, as you don’t get much in the way of the current plotlines. Look out for it. If there’s any justice Greenwood will be nominated for something for it.
Those were the 5 Jawesome Things of the week. What were yours? Leave a comment and let me know!