Archive for May, 2007

Pirates!

May 26, 2007

Today I went and saw Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, and it was impressive.

I didn't realize how long it was (≈3 hours) until I looked at my watch as I left the theater. They maintained the pace and tension very well. The ending was something I didn't see coming, and not what I expected at all.

On more detail, I found it interesting that Will was mortally wounded with the last sword he himself made. Also, the wedding was quite different from the average sort. There was the usual scattering of humorous moments throughout, which generally worked.

One minor complaint I have was with the beginning. While the sort of crackdown seen in the beginning of the film fits with British anti-piracy and colonial rule methods of the times, the precise wording of the proclamation, with phrases like “state of emergency”, “habeus corpus suspended”, and the like, seems like a not-so-subtle attempt at a political dig at the current administration's actions in dealing with illegal combatants in the terrorists' war on the US.

All in all, I think is was a satisfying, if somewhat bittersweet, ending to an excellent movie trilogy, one of the best, and more original, films from Disney in quite some time.

Also, they had the trailer for “The Golden Compass.” The casting and visual effects look good, but I'm somewhat worried about some of the changes they're rumored to have made to the story & setting have me worried. I greatly enjoyed the books, and I'm worried much of the central themes and elements will be removed or distorted terribly in an attempt to avoid offending certain thin-skinned elements.

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Summer TV

May 22, 2007

I've begun seeing ads for the new or returning summer shows. A few have managed to catch my attention amongst the endless reality shows:

New Shows:

Creature Comforts (CBS, Mon. 6/4)
This is an American remake/version of the British show by Aardman animation, the makers of “Wallace & Gromit.” While I enjoy the products of Aardman, and they are working on animating this version, I am somewhat leery of Americanized remakes of British shows, as the quality usually suffers in transition (“The Office” and “The Weakest Link” being only the most egregious examples, and “Whose Line is it Anyway?” one of the few exceptions).

New Amsterdam (Fox, Fri 6/1)
This series looks like it may be interesting, if somewhat unoriginal: we've got elements of Highlander (immortal in New York), Forever Knight (undying cop), and of course the countless legends or lone immortals (e.g. Captain Van der Decken). Hopefully it will show at least some bit of novelty.

Returning:

Standoff (Fox, Fri 6/8)
I enjoyed this show quite a bit, and am glad it's returning (If only “Justice” were returning as well).

Last Comic Standing (NBC, Wed 6/13)
This show has proven rather entertaining, particularly in the latter portions of each competition. Hopefully we'll have more contestants like Dat Phan and Jay London (and less like Ant).

Eureka (Sci-Fi, Tue 7/10)
Though I don't have cable, I have friends that do, one of whom introduced me to this great show during its brief first season. I'm glad it's been renewed, and will resume soon.