Saturday, May 30, 2009

Why the New Buffy Movie Is a Good Idea

This is a continuation for yesterdays post on the pros/cons of making another Buffy movie. In an attempt to be objective we have come up with a list pointing out the best of the new movie's concept. So, here are the pros...

1. It will be popular. Whether Buffy fans want it or not doesn’t matter. Even though the need for a Buffy movie developed outside of TV series mythos still has momentum, one that does not will still be watched by all of the series fans anyway. They talk about a new movie like it is the Antichrist but that is just inciting others to see it through…all the talking, and then the idea of a new movie without the cast grows in popularity. And really for all the hard core fans talk, they are the ones who will be first in line at the movies for this ‘hated’ revamp, at the very least they will be there out of curiosity.

2.Joss Whedon lost his mojo. Now it is a little known fact that Joss Whedon runs on a magical juice that flows through him to produce witty dialogue that is simply so good that it’s unholy. If you keep that mojo pumping, his work is great. But it seems that he’s finally lost it. If anyone has seen Dollhouse, they can see that his work just isn’t as fresh, isn’t as entertaining, and isn’t very witty. It seems that he just got old and lost that inspiration that so many writer/directors have lost from too many years in Hollywood. Think of Oliver Stone, he was amazing in his prime, but now…did you see W. or Alexander? They were both uninspired and dull, lacking any and all edge. Oliver lost it; he sold out; he got old. Now I don’t think this is the same thing that happened to Whedon. It is more likely that the FOX executives, being the minions of evil that they are, have stolen his creative mojo juice. Because I find that easier to believe than the idea of him selling out or get old. That being said, the loss of Whedon in the new Buffy movie may not be so bad. Damn you FOX minions!!

3.If you want to see Buffy continue at all, this is the only chance. Revamping the Buffy universe in movie form is the only way it can continue…beyond comic books.

Firefly #5 TOP 10 TV Shows You Should Watch Over The Summer Break

5. FireFly

Joss Whedon’s Firefly is an action-adventure western/sc-fi. It chronicles the lives of the crew of Serenity (the firefly class ship). It is set 500 years in the future, when humanity leaves earth and colonizes various planets. Shortly after a civil war between the Alliance and the brown coats, the unified government and the Independents, the crew of the ship Serenity, lead by Captain Malcolm Reynolds, attempts to maintain a life on Serenity by taking any job that pays enough.

Firefly is sort of the passion project of Joss Whedon that he made after Buffy the Vampire Slayer and before Dollhouse. It was canceled before its time, which ultimately made Whedon die inside and ruined him for Dollhouse. It’s an interesting concept: cowboys in space. All the elements that Whedon excels at are seen here, a descent story, character driven, and especially witty dialogue, and this is something that seems to be missing in today’s television.

Whedon seems to have somewhat taken the story for Firefly from Clint Eastwood’s western The Outlaw Josey Whales. I have no idea people cannot see the connection; just put Eastwood in space and it’s the same thing. This isn’t a bad thing because it had an interesting concept. It featured Eastwood as a confederate soldier on the run from the Union army immediately after the fall of the Confederacy. The twist is that the confederate soldier is the good guy and the Union is bad. Why? Because Josey Whales isn’t fighting for slavery; he’s fighting for his own freedom. In it Eastwood’s character goes on the run from the Union and encounters people, outcasts who have been wronged by the Union society, who join him and create a home for themselves on a farm in a ghost town. Whedon uses the same idea in Firefly by making Malcolm Reynolds a soldier who lost in the fight for independence against the Alliance and makes a home for himself along with his crew in the sci-fi version of a ghost town, a ship in space.If you know Whedon, it’s all about the dialogue. Firefly is serious when it needs to be and witty the rest of the time. What Whedon shows in Firefly is that the action shouldn’t be the only entertaining part of a show, you need good dialogue to keep it entertaining the entire time, and this show has that. Last but not least is the early performance by Summer Glau as River. Before she played creepy/crazy fem-bot on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, she was doing it better on Firefly. It is also where you will find the origination of the camera zoom-in. Before Battlestar Galactica used the zoom-in to distinguish their space battles, Firefly did it first and probably inspired its use in Galactica.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Why the New Buffy Movie Is a Bad Idea

It was recently announced that a new Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie is in the works. For Buffy fans, this news is bitter sweet. The new movie is rumored to be a revamp (pardon the pun) that will not feature the original cast of TV series, the mythology or many of the beloved characters. Most alarming of all even the great Joss Whedon has been cut out. Reasons why it should not happen:


1. There is no Buffy without Whedon. The original Buffy movie wasn’t very good, mainly because Whedon did not have creative control over his own brainchild. It was a campy movie that written by Whedon but created by people who did not understand the concept. It survived as a campy movie but not much else. That is until the story was retaken by Whedon and turned into a series. The Buffy movie’s only high points were found in Whedon’s writing and wit.

2.The cast can still do it. It is only necessary to change the cast when the originals are too old or don’t look the part anymore, but the series didn’t end that long ago and the actors still look pretty much the same.

3. A solid franchise does not need a revamp. Franchises like the James Bond Movies and Batman only needed revamps because they lost their audience and built a bad mythology that needed to be forgotten. The Buffy universe set by the TV series, which still continues in a comic book series, is still liked by Buffy fans. The only reason the prospect of a Buffy movie is possible is due to the outcry of the fans that want to see Whedon and the original cast again. A revamp seems contradictory and more like a money grab by a movie studio in dyer need of innovative ideas, and not having the talent to come up with their own. Bam! You’ve got yourself a Buffy Movie.

That’s it for the cons, but tune in tomorrow for the pros list that will probably offend the hard core Buffy fans

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dollhouse and Joss Whedon...Why Watch

It seems that the slow start to Joss Whedon’s new series Dollhouse is, in part, because of the animosity between him and Fox executives; the geniuses behind the cancellation now famous Firefly series (also created by Whedon). To start, Joss Whedon the creator of Dollhouse has said publically in a magazine article that this project will be his last TV show. After reading this Rolling Stone article that has been posted on Dollhouse’s official website one might say that Dollhouse will indeed mark the end of Whedon’s Television career. Statements made by Whedon like ‘developed out of existence’ when referring to Fox executives and their interference in the shows creation, speak to the possible distain the creator of such cult hits like Buff the Vampire Slayer and Firefly has for the television industry, especially the executives. That being said I guess we the viewers should just take what we can get and not critique too much. Maybe, or we should just hold out until the end of the season and make your judgments then.
As a matter of fact the latter was worth the wait. Even after the shows rocky start the season did in fact end with a bang. It seems that the show went through an awkward period whenever every episode depended on Eliza Dushku and her ability to portray a different personality. Acting talents (or lack thereof) aside, one can get pretty tired of an actor or actress getting into mischief ever week without there being any lasting consequences. Just enjoy what could very possibly be the end of an era. The season finally of Dollhouse was filled with witty and sometimes disturbing dialogue the likes of which Whedonites have come to expect from the show’s creator. Without giving anything away, the show ends with a stand off between two of the main characters Echo and Alpha in a surreal and violent/funny manner. This big finish may reignite the some of the Whedon faithful and bring viewers back for another season of watching.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Breaking Bad...Not Bad At All

A high school chemistry teacher dying from lung cancer decides to break from society’s rules and decides to make the best of his nearing death by cooking crystal meth with a failed student, Jesse. With a wife getting ready to have their second child and their son disabled with MS Walt has many responsibilities and has so far in life been able to keep a mediocre level control. Upon learning of his cancer Walt ponders his options, not wanting to be a burden on his family he at first does not tell them about his cancer in hopes that he will be able to take full advantage of concrete amount of time in which he can cook crystal meth and make enough money to take care of his family after he is gone. This twisted version of the American Dream, carving out his own path in the world gaining power and money, and prestige Walt now in his mid 50’s is able to do what most people really want… take the things that the law and social ritual deem wrong. What is the point of following the law of the land if you are only going to be living there for short amount of time and will never feel the repercussions of your actions? That’s taste that Breaking Bad leaves in your mouth a kind of misanthropic version of the American Dream, where the means to bring you to your goal are inconsequential since the consequences have no hold over you. Partnering up with Jesse allows Walt to acquire the connection to the subculture of his surrounding city, with his unmatched ability to cook crystal meth Walt’s product is soon sot after be anyone with a pipe and a taste for meth. The strange student teacher relationship that forms between the two is the driving force of the show it has allowed for some of the more exiting dialogue. Walt scolding Jesse for being the crack smoking whore banging screw-up that he is almost always accompanied by a failure on Walt’s part to execute one of his well thought out yet poorly executed plans. Definitely a show to watch.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Sons of Anarchy Overview

The Sons of Anarchy is a dramatic exploration of a motorcycle club based out of a small California town. In this town the Sons of Anarchy (or SAM CROW as they are often referred to as) run guns, porn, stolen goods and pretty well anything of value within the town limits. The town sheriff rests comfortably in the pocket of the club and allows the group to come and go as they please as long they keep their exploits at a subtle level. What you can expect from this show is a Soprano’s meets the Hells Angels type feel. As a cable show it can go that extra mile in terms of violence and content, who wouldn’t want to watch some badass bikers shoot up a rival biker club and then hit a brothel?
First and foremost, this show has a very gritty feel to it. Examples range from the castration of a pedophile, to a former club member being forced to have his club tattoo burned off with a blowtorch (a signature grim reaper back tattoo all sons must bare). Every episode has something new to offer, the dynamic between members is much more caviler than what you may have seen in other organized crime type shows, members of the club playfully banter with one another. Special attention is given to the newest recruit to the club lovingly referred to by the sons as ‘one nut’ given his special disability of an obvious nature, courtesy of a recent tour in Iraq. The sons even have an agreement with the IRA as suppliers of AK 47’s which caused many interesting moments throughout the first season, like when the IRA contact was injured in a bar shoot out and injured as in shot in the ass and not being able to go to a hospital because he was currently wanted in the USA for being a terrorist…sort of thing. The show really surrounds the character of Jax a lifer within the club and the son of one of the forming members of the Sons of Anarchy. Jax’s coming to terms with the birth of his crack baby…you heard me crack baby, his wife in the show is a junky, and the return of an old flame only compound his already wavering belief in the so called anarchist mission of the motorcycle club. Looking for guidance Jax turns to a manifesto written by his now long dead father which is all about the ideology that the Sons of Anarchy was founded on, and has long since been abandoned for more violent and self-serving ideals. This show is a grower; it should only get better as time goes on as we learn more about the characters and their circumstances.