Archive for Features
The Twin Cities Film Festival came to a close Saturday night after 10 days of screening a total of 78 films. Of those 78 I managed to see two of them – Screwed and Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. But the festival is about much more than watching movies. I got to talk to filmmakers, attend panels, go to the red carpet, and I even got to help cover a news story on the fest with KARE 11. My first experience at a major film festival was outstanding, so I decided to share what I thought about the films I saw as well as their impact.
Last May I brought you all a list of who I believed to be the best villains in film, so now I think that it’s only fair for some of TV’s best baddies to get credit where credit is due. From a malicious ex-wife to serial killers, television has shown us that their villains can be just as evil, if not more so, than those in film. Below is a list of who I think are the greatest bad guys in television history. (Note: This list is based off shows that I have seen, so some villainous characters might be omitted).
Every summer I tell myself I’ll play video games. However, once I’m home I realize I only have the old Xbox and no particular desire to spend the sometimes frightening amount of money that proper gaming requires. So I watch movies, because it’s cheaper and, I think, just as entertaining. Last summer, as theaters were overflowing with the usual generic nonsense (I stopped counting the sequels, prequels, reboots and superhero-CGI-nerd-fests a while ago), this proved very unsatisfactory. So I tried something I never thought I would enjoy: I went on YouTube and watched someone else play a video game, namely, The Last of Us. The game, developed by Naughty Dog, is about 14 hours long; I watched it all in a week.
Back in May, Fox announced that their real-time drama, 24, would be returning to the small screen in summer 2014 as a twelve episode mini-series titled 24: Live Another Day. I am a HUGE fan of the show and as someone who felt the season eight finale was a good season finale, it wasn’t a good series finale, I am more than excited for it’s return next year. Over the past few months I’ve allowed this news to digest and have generated some ideas that I believe will make this unofficial 9th season of 24 to be as successful as its predecessors.
Let me just say before anything else that I know this is a generally unpopular opinion. The Big Bang Theory is one of the most watched comedies on television and has way more viewers than most of the shows I watch regularly. Clearly, my opinion that it’s unfunny and highly overrated is not the popular one. However I know a lot of people, particularly other geeks, who do agree with me, and I think I’m starting to understand why.
After what has been a very disappointing year for film, this question has been spinning around in my head — where have all the good writers gone? Because of all the summer flops that have come out in the past few months, most of my movie watching time has been devoted to watching some classics from as far back as 1963′s The Great Escape. Hollywood has always been churning out crap, but it seems that in the last few years there has been an exceptional amount of more crap. Good movies are becoming so much of a rarity that it’s becoming frustrating for me as an audience member. Now to answer the big question asked above — they’ve all moved over to television.
The top nominations for this year’s Emmy Awards, television’s Oscars, mostly went to the same old veterans: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, 30 Rock, Homeland, and Modern Family among others. Very few newcomers have made it to the top categories except for Netflix’s brilliant House of Cards which was nominated for Outstanding Drama Series, Lead Actor and Actress (Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright), and Directing (David Fincher). And of course, the TV films and miniseries change every year, so we’re seeing new faces in those categories as well.
This past weekend the sequel no one wanted or anticipated made its debut — Grown Ups 2, the film that stars actors no one else in Hollywood will employ anymore (David Spade, Chris Rock, Kevin James for the most part, Adam Sandler, Tim Meadows, Taylor Lautner, and more), made a splash at the box office beating the very well received and marketed, Pacific Rim. While Grown Ups 2 didn’t beat out the Minions and Despicable Me 2, the fact that it netted $41.5 million dollars says a lot about the stupidity of the America public.
First of all, I should say this isn’t a “best foreign films” list. I don’t have the pretension to know all foreign films, or which are the best. If you find a film has been forgotten, please share it in the comments. My goal was to gather movies from around the world that were both outstanding and enjoyable. I tried to select films from a wide range of countries, but ultimately, most ended up being from Europe, Asia and the Middle East. They are fairly well-known too, and most are actually on Netflix.
It’s difficult to shed a tear for characters that die in the movies, mostly because we don’t get to know them for more than 90 – 120 minutes. However, in television, the story extends far behind a restricted time frame. We often get to know characters for months and years on a television show, so when a beloved character makes their curtain call, it impacts the audience on a deeper level. These characters become your friends and the emotional attachment to them makes it hard to bear as they make their departure from the series. Below is a list of what I think are the saddest character deaths on television. Keep in mind that I’m basing my list off of shows that I have seen, so some famous ones may be left out.