Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mad Men Season 4 Finale Recap - Will the disappointment never end?

Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Price had so much promise at the beginning of this season, starting up their independent firm and making a fresh start, with all principle characters in tow. But of course, Don let us down yet again while we waited for his redemption but in true Mad Men fashion, we were left shocked and of course, disappointed.

Episode Highlights:

- Megan’s amazingly calm reaction to when Sally knocked over the milkshake. I had a mental flash to all hell breaking loose if Betty had been there instead of Megan. Even Don was surprised with her composure and ability to deal with the commotion.

- Peggy got a new account, singlehandedly bringing SCDP back from the red. She's always been my favourite character to watch grow and develop into a successful copywriter. Just looking at her meeting with the Nylon company compared to Don's meeting with the American Cancer Society, it's clear that she's advancing and moving forward while Don's ideas are starting to get tired.

- Not so surprisingly, Joan kept Roger’s baby and will seemingly pass it off as her husband’s. By the way, he’s looking a lot less weak and much cuter now. Gotta love a man in a uniform. But, next to Roger’s eternal childishness and increasing uselessness, anyone looks good.

- Don’s ridiculous engagement, not to his girlfriend Faye, but to his annoying secretary, Megan. That came out of nowhere, as does pretty much everything on this show, so I don’t know why I’m even surprised at this point. We all expected more from Don, finally having found an equal in Faye, but he ended up right where he started. And he even gave Megan Anna’s recycled ring, the one the ‘real’ Don Draper gave her. What an ass.

- Joan and Peggy’s bonding session where, for the first time, they actually got along. These two should’ve been friends long ago, but for some reason, Joan never accepted Peggy or anyone for that matter, as a friend. Watching them laugh over Don’s engagement was priceless and one of the best scenes of the finale!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Six Feet Under - HBO's First Family of Death

"Alan Ball's all-in-the-funeral-family drama expanded on the themes of his movie American Beauty: families keep secrets, people maintain facades, and while death may be final, life is messy." - TIME

Death is such the mystery. No one can really explain it, although there are countless theories as to where we go and what happens when we die. I recently started watching Six Feet Under, HBO’s critically acclaimed drama (and sometimes comedy) about a funeral home, and two seasons in I can honestly say I’m officially hooked. Why I suddenly developed an interest in this show now, over four years since it went off the air, I have no idea.

I have nothing really in common with a story like this on the surface. It’s like when I first got into Big Love, I was somehow so interested in the concept, although I couldn’t relate to polygamy at all. There’s a certain attraction to watching something original and out of the ordinary, something that pushes the envelope. And it's definitely an interesting and unexplored idea. How do funeral directors deal with such sadness around them on a daily basis? Do they become numb to it or does it affect the way they live their life and the choices they make.

Six Feet Under is dark and morbid, depressing to watch at times, but always compelling and incredibly well-acted, challenging us with each episode. It’s more than just about funerals, delving into spirituality, relationships, and how we react to losing people, not solely through death. And at the root of the show is the Fisher family, dysfunctional at best, but with all the elements of a traditional family structure. Except of course that the Fishers run a mortuary from their home, the father’s just died, the second son (Michael C. Hall of Dexter!) is a closet homosexual, and the mom is overbearing and uptight, yet surprisingly free-spirited at times. Visually, it plays out with flashbacks and daydream sequences that are very realistic to the way we exist, distracted by memories of people and events from our past.

I'm terrible since I need to know how it all ends before I get there but even though I already googled the series’ ending, I can’t wait to see how it all plays out. Now I know what all the fuss was about.

Frances Conroy is phenomenal in her role as the Fisher family Matriarch.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

With Ryan Gosling, All Good Things (must come to an end?)

What is it about Ryan Gosling that makes me swoon? He's made such a transformation since playing goofy troublemaker on the short-lived after-school show Breaker High. With success in various genres of film, from the epic and probably greatest romantic movie of my generation, The Notebook, to his critically acclaimed and Oscar-nominated work in Half Nelson, and the hugely anticipated upcoming Blue Valentine, he's got quite a resume already and he's just getting started.

Despite the presence of Kirsten Dunst (who I seriously cannot stand - not even a little bit), I'm filing All Good Things under must-see. First of all, the film is unofficially based on Robert Durst, the wealthy son of New York City real estate mogul, who was suspected of killing his missing wife, but never went to court for it. With Ryan portraying what looks like a mysteriously dark and disturbed character, the movie screams suspense, right down to the background music. Plus, Ryan Gosling has proven to be extremely choosy with his movie roles, so I'm at least intrigued.

All Good Things Trailer
In theatres December 3rd, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Finally! Blue Valentine Trailer - The sweetest thing.

We finally get to see the official trailer for the hugely anticipated new film starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams that played at TIFF. All we really know is that it's a love story that doesn't end well. And the trailer adds a bit of bitter-sweetness that I'm sure we'll see more of when it actually comes out. I'm not sure about the release date as yet.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Review: Buried alone with Ryan Reynolds? Only in a dream.

Intensely gripping, Ryan Reynold’s newest film, Buried, kept us on the edge of our seats from beginning to end. Each moment was unpredictable, and although I was skeptical at how Director Rodrigo Cort├ęs would be able to keep a plot going while confined to a coffin, somehow he managed to do it marvelously. Apart from a quick 10 second shot of another face, Ryan’s is the only one we see onscreen for the entire 90+ minutes of the film (although why would anyone complain about that?!). Kudos to Ryan, though, who managed to convey the panic and terror of this kind of nightmarish situation very convincingly. Claustrophobics beware, it may be too intense for you!

Buried opens in theatres this Friday.