Sunday, May 26, 2013

There are far worse things to binge on: Welcome Back, Bluths!

The Idiot Box: Arrested Development returns...

I'll admit, when I first saw the advertisements for Arrested Development, I wrote the entire series off. Seriously, David Cross in cutoffs, no thank you. Due to a lack of anything being on television one fateful Sunday evening, I watched the second episode, Top Banana. Needless to say, I was completely wrong and the series has a devoted and loyal fan that never missed an episode. The day that the series ended back in 2006 as a four episode side-note on a Friday night was more than depressing. Like most, I held out hope that the series would return in some capacity (Either on Showtime or a movie) but even that looked bleak.

All was not lost, I had the DVDs and even after multiple viewings, the series (and the episodes themselves) never lost their wit or ability to make me laugh. Over the past seven years since Arrested Development went off the air, I have exposed the series to other people (including Lady Funkowitz) as my contribution for keeping the show relevant. None of it mattered in the grand scheme of things but damn it, it was a show that everyone should give a chance even if the network did not.

David Cross (in one of the "bloopers") explained why Arrested Development was put to pasture on a network notorious for putting out shit:

Flash forward seven years later and the impossible has happened. Netflix picked up the series for a fourth season consisting of fifteen episodes. At 12:01 am, all fifteen episodes became available and my excitement knows no bounds. Of course, I am worried but that the episodes will not be the same (think Community) but it will be great to see these characters again. Mitch Hurwitz somehow caught lightning in a bottle the first go round and I expect that he can pull it off again. Plus, if the episodes suck (I still have faith), I have a sounding board for the three readers who frequent this page. Now, if you excuse me, I have five and a half hours of television to watch.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I wanted to drop a bomb. But people didn't believe in this lead enough to drop a bomb: Zero Dark Thirty

Film Foray Cavalcade no. Soixante-trois: Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty

I have to say it. The Hurt Locker is an overrated film. It was so very overrated. There I said it. Whew. That was not as bad as I thought. Seriously though, it is a good film not a great one and I would not consider it the best film of 2009. Needless to say, I was very hesitant towards seeing Zero Dark Thirty and frankly, it has a lot to do with Bigelow being as overrated as her "masterpiece." Moreover, I expected it to be a rah rah political lovefest extolling the dominance of American covert and military might and I was wrong on both counts.

Zero Dark Thirty reminds me a lot of United 93 in that the was apolitical in its presentation of the subject matter. To portray the events in this manner was a great decision, in spite of the Republican accusations to the contrary. By all accounts, Zero Dark Thirty is the best piece of cinema to come forth from Kathryn Bigelow. For sure, the film is a slow moving film but that does not diminish compelling nature of the story or the caliber of the performances. Ultimately, given the power of hindsight, this film would rest towards the top of my "best of" list (I probably would have written about it as well... Not two months after).

One of the most popular misconceptions about this film (aside from the aforementioned Republican position) was that the film promotes the use of torture to obtain information during interrogations. Honestly, the film presents the opposite perspective since the United States would have found Bin Laden much quicker using information received from individuals under duress. Moreover, it is far more important that it re-injects the use of torture as an interrogation technique (within the context of intelligence gathering) into the consciousness of American citizens to ensure that it does not happen again. Although, I can admit that I might be reading into Mark Boal's script. In the end, Zero Dark Thirty offers an interesting perspective on the "greatest manhunt in human history..." Move over, manhunt of John Wilkes Booth.

Parting Thoughts:
Kyle Chandler needs to be in more films... But that goes without saying.