Category Archives: claire danes

Homeland

I’m a latecomer to this show. I tried watching it during its first season and just couldn’t get into it. My mom-in-law was enjoying it, so I gave it another shot, this time, getting through two episodes, and not digging it because I found t too predictable.

Then Emmy time came around just before the start of the second season of “Homeland.” The show was a big winner, and I had friends who were surprised I wasn’t watching, saying it was right in my television wheelhouse. I relented, and watched the whole first season streaming in about a week.

I was wrong. It’s really only predictable for about four episodes, after that I was irrevocably hooked. The second season has been as just as good as the first, something I wasn’t sure it could keep up.

There are problems however. The first was something I thought only I was seeing, but as a recent “Saturday Night Live” sketch brought to light, Claire Danes’ overacting and crazy unblinking eyes when having an anxiety attack skate the thin line between reality and over the top almost to the point of laughing out loud. Her crazy face jumps the shark every time she makes it.

Brody’s daughter is the current equivalent of the daughter in “24,” where you have to ask, why do we care? It’s subplot just for the sake of subplot, rather than efficient storytelling. These last two points make me wonder if we’ll get a third season despite how amazing everything else on the show is.

Time will tell. Despite what I’ve said, I’m glued to my TV every Sunday night.

Quickies 2-25-2010

A Serious Man ~ The latest from the brilliant writer/director Coen brothers at first seems to be about a 1967 college professor whose life unravels after his wife leaves him, but underneath it all, it’s really a black comedy about Jewish religious mystery. This strong contender for Best Picture Oscar is a step back in the right direction for Coens after a couple misfires. Highly recommended.

GI Joe: Resolute ~ This animated version of GI Joe represents a more adult interpretation. Rather than ray gun weapons and morality plays, this one has knives, guns and blood. The realism is more gimmicky than anything else as the story and the characters are fairly predictable and pedestrian. A fun watch for fans but offers little else to the rest of us.

Temple Grandin ~ An excellent entry from HBO Films based on a the true story of Temple Grandin, an autistic woman who designed more humane methods for taking care of and unfortunately slaughtering cattle. It’s a powerful story with an actoring tour de force by Claire Danes as the title role that if she doesn’t get an Emmy nod it’s a crime. Highly recommended.

What Happens in Vegas ~ Harmless but fairly predictable 2008 romantic comedy about two people, Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher, who meet and marry in Las Vegas while intoxicated then hit the jackpot. To keep the cash, a judge orders them to stay married for six months, and hilarity, as they say, ensues. It’s predictable fun, even though I still don’t see what the big deal about Kutcher is.

The Dead One ~ This minor horror flick is proof that typecasting sometimes can not be broken. Wilmer Valderrama of “That ‘70s Show” plays the undead pawn of an ancient evil Aztec god, and it’s really not a bad scary movie, with legitimate horror moments, but every time Wilmer is on screen all I could think was “It’s Fez!” Really ruined it for me.

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Terminator 3

WAS THIS FLICK REALLY NECESSARY?

A Film Review of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

Copyright 2003 Glenn Walker

Why? Other than money, I mean. Why was this film made? A quick look at Terminator 2: Judgement Day will show you a sequel is both unnecessary and impossible. The future that created the Terminators was prevented and will never come to be. That dark future was averted thus no more Terminators and especially no more sequels.

Money ($170 million to be precise) was obviously the motivation, but not enough of it apparently. Rumors say Arnold Schwarzenegger offered up a portion of his salary to guarantee the notorious and notably boring fifteen minute crane chase scene was filmed. Money was not enough to secure original director James Cameron even though he stands to make quite a chunk of cash anyway due to his ownership of the Terminator characters.

Instead the project was given to novice director Jonathan Mostow who really has only Breakdown and U-571 under his belt, hardly a resume worthy of directing the third Terminator film. His constantly bouncing and moving camera obscures most of the fun special effects and great action scenes. Mostow made me almost fall asleep during the big chase scene. Where he attempts to pay homage to scenes from the first two films it comes across hokey rather than foreshadowing. Mostow’s direction is pitiful.

Casting was another problem. While Schwarzenegger returns as does Earl Boen as Dr. Peter Silberman (the only two to appear in all three films), the rest of the cast does not. Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor is described as having died to explain her absence. The unconvincing Nick Stahl replaces Edward Furlong (missing because of drug problems) as John Connor. Claire Danes efficiently proves she is not an action heroine and newcomer Kristanna Loken effectively plays the new female Terminator but neither were the original choices for those roles.

The plot (if you can call it that) has holes big enough to drive a rampaging crane through. There is no backstory throughout the beginning of the film. It is all just hang on for the ride, gee, we hope you saw the first two movies. Later on when the characters are on a timetable to save mankind there is endless explanation and stopping for exposition. There are many flaws, too many to list here.

This is the worst film I’ve seen this year. Do not waste your time or money.