Thursday, March 07, 2013

What I Watched in February

I wasn't able to get out to the theater at all in the month of February. That may well be the first time that has happened in years and I'm fairly shocked. I guess there just isn't enough time in the day- week- month to do all the things I'd like to do.

I spent a lot of my time in front of the home screen watching television shows both old and new. I'm keeping up with several shows that have no trouble holding my interest including ARCHER, JUSTIFIED, YOUNG JUSTICE, ARROW, THE WALKING DEAD and THE FOLLOWING. I also used the old NetFlix to catch the first (very good) season of DOWNTON ABBEY. There is a show I can get behind and I now understand the general public fascination. Its quite well done. 

 ARCHER continues to be one of the funniest shows I have ever seen and in its newest season is building on its cast of bizarre characters in ways that make each episode another step along an amazing comedic path. It has more laughs per minute than any other show on television. JUSTIFIED is a truly great crime drama that manages to be smart, funny and suspenseful while keeping you completely invested in its characters. The acting is award worthy as is the writing. The cast is stellar and my only complaint is that I wish each season was longer - 12 or 13 episodes is just not enough for me. THE FOLLOWING started of as a show I thought was going to be a 'very serious thriller' but it has become a crazed show about an impossible serial killer conspiracy keeping the FBI running around like lunatics. It has become mostly unbelievable but in a way I'm glad. Its more fun to have an unhinged pulp crime show that barely keeps its plots and situations based in reality than another serious police procedural. I'm still watching and hoping it doesn't jump too many sharks in its desire to entertain.

 YOUNG JUSTICE is easily the best animated super hero TV show that has ever been on television. The brilliantly plotted second season is a joy as we have watched a supposedly benign alien invasion turn the Earth into a battleground for warring factions from off-world. Every hero is well delineated and all the villains have clear agendas. The interpersonal relationships are one of the strengths of the stories as we see characters attempt to deal with life in its complicated sloppiness. This show sets a high bar for future super hero television. ARROW was a show I willing to drop if it turned into crap but surprisingly it has gotten stronger as it goes along. Not that there haven't been minor missteps and it does occasionally rely on standard TV action clichés too often but I find the show compelling. Its nice to have solid live-action super hero show that doesn't revolve around one of the big DC characters. 

Here are the movies I squeezed in last month-- 

GAMES (1967)- 7 (great little shocker from Curtis Harrington)
THE SCARLET CLAW (1944)- 8 (Excellent, creepy Sherlock Holmes tale) (rewatch)
TEN SECONDS TO HELL (1959)- 8 (Hammer produced post-war film)
THE BRIDES OF DRACULA (1960)- 9 (rewatch)
EVERYTHING OR NOTHING (2012)- 10 (excellent documentary about the Bond series)
GODZILLA: FINAL WARS (2004)- 8 (rewatch)
IRON SKY (2012)- 7 (fun science fiction comedy)
CAROL FOR ANOTHER CHRISTMAS (1964)- 5 (earnest, preachy Serling TV movie)
NORTHERN PURSUIT (1943)- 7 (rewatch) (Errol Flynn as a Canadian Mountie fighting Nazis!)
TERRORVISION (1986)- 4 (pretty bad sci-fi/horror/comedy)

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