The new crop of 2013’s TV


Previously I mentioned in passing my reluctance to get into any new TV series. Strangely, right now, the thought of perhaps something I get sucked into lasting years is enough to put me off watching anything new. Or maybe I’m still mourning Breaking Bad and fear that nothing will ever reach those heights.

Maybe that’s a fear worth having. Because honestly, the new TV pilots I did catch – what utter crap. That’s just my point of view, but it’s a point of view I’m standing by. American network TV has taken a serious nose dive. Right? Let’s take a look see at the ones I took a look at:

100 movies: Insomnia

100 movies of 2012

[yellow_box]Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy![/yellow_box]

InsomniaInsomnia (16/06/12)

Two Los Angeles homicide detectives are dispatched to a northern town where the sun doesn’t set to investigate the methodical murder of a local teen.

There was a strong sense of familiarity while watching this film. Not the plotting so much but just the way it looked. Certain scenes. Use of score. In my head I could place scenes from everything from The Prestige to Batman Begins, Dark Knight and even Inception. I love it when you can see familiarity in a director’s work from his earlier films. The only difference I could call between this earlier film of his is that it’s a fairly normal and linear in the way the story is told. It is a detective story. A well told detective story.

The story itself was simple. Find the killer. Made more interesting by Pacino’s insomnia-ridden detective struggling with dealing with what he’s done. Whether he meant to do what he did or whether it was all just an accident. He was doubting himself. Which made me as the audience member, doubt him and what he himself was seeing.

I think the only weak point, which I couldn’t ignore in this film, was Al Pacino. I think he did a brilliant job and I’m not knocking his performance. It’s probably his last good film in recent years. But I couldn’t help but thinking the character called for someone a bit younger. Especially in the scenes where he needed to be a bit more, spritely. It just looked like he was struggling! Maybe that was the point. What with the whole insomnia thing.

Robin Williams was excellent as the creepy killer. He wasn’t overly creepy. Just weird enough. A muted performance. Him and Pacino worked very well together. Both the characters and the actors. Never thought I’d see Robin Williams and Al Pacino in the same film together!

Overall, a very good film. The ending didn’t really satisfy me. It felt too clean. Maybe I was wanting too much. But other than that, a good crime thriller with Nolan’s fingerprints all over it.
Rating: 3/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

100 movies: World’s Greatest Dad

100 movies of 2012, Annual Movie Challenge

World's Greatest DadWorld’s Greatest Dad (14/01/12)

A comedy about a man who learns that the things you want most may not be the things that make you happy, and that being lonely is not necessarily the same as being alone.

IMDB – you lie. This isn’t a straight-up comedy, black comedy yes, but comedy. No. Things get pretty dark. Also, I don’t think I actually laughed at any point during the film. That’s not uncommon. But there were, maybe, a couple of points where I had a smile on my face.

There was one point in the film that really moved me, thanks to Robin Williams’ doing some pretty good drama-acting. But overall, I didn’t get on with this film. I was bored/annoyed throughout various points. The ending was satisfying. Even with the film being a shade over 90 minutes, it still felt like it took a little too long to get there for me. That’s just my mind being a bit weird.

It’s not a bad film, but it’s not all that memorable for me.
Rating: 2/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

100 movies: What the kids are watching

100 movies of 2010

I may be bingeing on Christmas season TV…

Race to Witch MountainRace to Witch Mountain (15/12/10)
Harmless film, easy enough to watch with a very simple plot. There weren’t much surprises but it was entertaining enough. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was a good enough leading man in it. The actors who played the kids – AnnaSophia Robb and Alexander Ludwig weren’t all that amazing, but did an okay enough job I guess. Why did I watch it then? Well it was on TV and I had done packing. That a good enough reason?
Rating: 2/5

ShrekShrek (23/12/10)
How have I gone this long without ever having seen Shrek? I remember vaguely seeing the second one at some point or another but not being all that impressed. The first one was a lot better than I was expecting. Some good jokes, fun music and a nice twist on some fairy tales. Of course the animation quality has aged the film a fair bit. Though you could say the same thing about Toy Story. I’m not as in love with Shrek as some people got, but enjoyed it while I watched.
Rating: 3/5

Shrek the ThirdShrek the Third (25/12/10)
Christmas day is to be spent laying like a lump on the sofa watching whatever turns up on TV. Shrek the Third happened to be one such item. Not nearly as good as the first. The music was still good though. Jokes were a bit weak and not all that great to laugh at. More rolling of my eyes than anything else.
Rating: 2/5

March of the PenguinsMarch of the Penguins (27/12/10)
Beautifully made documentary narrated by one of the best voices to narrate anything like this – Morgan Freeman! It was interesting to watch but you really have to respect the people who were out there to make this documentary. Not only were the penguins out there in -80 degree Celsius weather but so were the film makers! Penguins have it really hard, it’s a wonder that they’re not extinct if you combine what they have to go through in order to have children and humankind’s impact on their environment. I’m perhaps giving this a higher mark than I was initially thinking, only because of how much respect I have for the people who were down there filming all of what I saw.
Rating: 4/5

Happy FeetHappy Feet (27/12/10)
Penguins dancing and singing – more amusing than I initially thought it would be. Drawn in by the cuteness of the animated fuzz balls the songs were fun and the tap dancing was kind of very cute to watch. The obvious message behind the film was the effect of humans on the environment felt a bit forced towards the end. Jammed in there just to make sure the film had a message in it. I don’t personally feel it was needed, but then again, I don’t know where the film would have gone had that not been put in there. Fun, cute and even more cute.
Rating: 3/5

Read on to see the full list of movies seen this year: