What I'm Watching: July, 2011
Before diving in, if you want to pick my brain on Transformers 3, swing over to my LiveJournal where I go pretty in depth with it, and no need to repeat myself.
With that out of the way, I came across an odd little movie on the pay stations a few weeks back, and checked out this thing called Portal. No, not THAT Portal. Sadly. This Portal was about a pair of guys whose car gets stuck in the thickest fog bank this side of London's East End. They spend the night at the lone hotel they find, and then things get weird. As the plot unfolds, they discover they're stuck in a time loop, and there's satanists behind it all. This was a really clever idea, done well enough, and made good use of 'bottle' storytelling, and the dense fog really helped sell the closed in idea, and minimal sets. It doesn't quite execute as well as it would have liked, but since it was literally something I discovered at 3am on a Saturday, I can't complain. As is usual, the ending falls apart and doesn't really resolve anything, but yeah, acted well enough, and had an intriguing enough plot that it was legitimately interesting. If you find it at some 3am, check it out.
The summer tv season has begun, and one of the first new shows to come out was Falling Skies. In short, this is a post-invasion show, and we're following the resistance movement in Massachusetts. The first episode wasn't bad, but didn't blow me away, but I am becoming more intrigued by why the aliens are here, what they want, and what they're doing. I love that we are not seeing all CGI, and we get some practical aliens. And hooray for them being REALLY alien. I'm tired of humanoid aliens. My biggest complaint is I want to see more of how we got here than just "the aliens invaded, and technology stopped working". There's a story in there, in and of itself. I get wanting to not go that route, since this is the story of the resistance, the fight back, and not the invasion, but I would like some details sprinkled in here and there. It gets better each week, and the introduction of their Lokean archetype definitely brought a new level to the show. You need that element of chaos.
And if you're like me and disappointed in Teen Wolf, you can get your animalistic funtime on in another show, The Nine Lives of Chloe King. I'll admit it, I am kinda loving this show. It's about a teenaged girl who wishes for some excitement for her birthday, something different, and boy, does the karma fairy grant her wish hard. She discovers that not only is she a long lost member of a supernatural race of feline-like people called the Mai, but she is their prophesied unifier, who will live nine lives. The show is very Buffy in tone, with those high school tropes and allegory, but not quite as much quirky writing or cleverness. But not everyone is a Joss Whedon, so I don't hold that against the show. But yeah, this is a really solid show that fills that Buffy void very well. I hope the show finds a way to develop a little more beyond just having Mai versus a group of humans called the Order, but the high school drama gives it some variety. Much better than Teen Wolf, much better acting, much better writing.
Finally, back to the movies, or DVD, I caught Adjustment Bureau at long last. And...I loved this movie. I love when science fiction poses questions, looks at the human condition, and plays with concepts that are just the other side of known reality. And it's not REALLY science fiction, since there's no technology doing anything, but that's the closest place it falls into. I love questioning fate, free will, choice, and how we all fit into the big plan. This movie was fun, with an amazing cast, and a unique idea, or an old one told in a new way. I highly recommend it if you like classic Twilight Zone or Outer Limits, because this falls very well into that wheelhouse. It's much more like those stories than the modern Will Smith attempt at making I, Robot an action movie.
That's it for now, back to the big time reviews! See you in a few days.