Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Magnets Yo

I don't feel much like writing. Even so, the blog demands it.

Ride the High Country was a disappointment, if only because I was expecting so much from it. It's a fine movie and I enjoyed it.

Brave is another great Pixar film. As someone who liked Cars 2, I can honestly say that Pixar's streak of perfection remains unbroken.

The Amazing Spider-Man is much better than I was expecting it to be. I think I like it better than Raimi's. Andrew Garfield is our best screen Spidey so far.

Planet Hulk is okay, but could have been amazing if the animation had stuck closer to Carlo Pagulayan's pencils. The story is condensed a bit, too, and doesn't quite pack the same emotional punch as Pak's story does on the printed page. Planet Hulk was the last great Hulk storyline. I can't tolerate all of the Red Hulk crap going on in the series right now.

Golden Saddles, Silver Spurs isn't even boring enough to fall asleep to. The narration is enough to make any cowhand want to give up and start a new life as a city banker, because anything must be more exciting than this.

I watched The Big Bang Theory Season 1 and The Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! while cleaning and sorting and transferring data from a laptop that kept crashing. Both shows benefitted from this state of divided attention. I'd have a hard time sitting still to watch either one, but they both worked well as "amusing enough" background entertainments.

Finally, Breaking Bad.

I was able to watch the season premiere live, but I almost regret doing so. Watching with commercial breaks sucks. Not getting to watch the end credits sucks. I've watched the episode a second time. The look on Skyler's face at the end of the episode is much more effective when followed by a cut to black and rolled credits than it is when followed immediately by a lame AMC promo.

It's hard to write about the premiere without sounding like Chris Farley. Wasn't it awesome when they used the magnets and the laptop went flying and Jesse shouted Yeah Bitches and everyone was happy and Walt is such a badass-Because I Say So!-and how could it get any cooler and can't you just not wait to find out how that machine gun is going to be used?

Seriously, I was not disappointed. I love this cast. I love the direction. It's pretty amazing how much emotion these actors are able to convey with the slightest changes in facial expressions.

As always, the show looks great. I could post a couple dozen screen shots.

Narratively, it's nice and concise. The shifting roles and relationships in the aftermath of Season 4 are clearly delineated. All of the characters, including Walt, are re-oriented toward and relativized by Walt's new position of power. This is often uncomfortable. The way that the episode ends is radically awkward.

Lastly, the magnet set piece is an incredible short "heist" sequence! It's an ingeniously destructive "theft" that has never been seen before (at least by these eyes). Earlier, I posted the picture of the junkyard man shouting "Yes!" after a successful trial run. That's exactly how I feel while watching Breaking Bad. YES!

I've also watched (and re-watched) eight features from '32. I should have another post up soon.

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