So we saw Spidey on the fourth, and I...enjoyed it, but I cannot say I thought it was very good. Garf was totally Peter to me, way more than Tobey ever was; he made me feel just the way comic!Peter does, which is essentially ":DDDDDD oh, bb. :DDDDDD" But I just...had a lot of issues with the writing. And I swear I didn't know it beforehand, but when the credits rolled and my mortal enemy Steve Kloves popped up, I literally pointed at the screen and hissed "MOTHERFUCKER! That's why it was bad!" I am sorry, but I cannot ever forgive stuff he did in the HP movies and this totally had all his hallmarks: the As You Know dialogue ("I'm not an educated man, Peter, but I've tried to raise you right since your parents mysteriously disappeared" YES THANK YOU; GOT THAT. And I legit thought we were gonna get way more backstory on his parents, too) and attempts at humor at weirdly inappropriate moments--like, Peter's funny, yes, but some of that was just corny, like tearing the girl's shirt off on the subway and the Flash Gordon basketball scene and whatever [and P.S., no one sleeps on the subway like that] and just...oh, I hate him so, so much. I know it wasn't all him, but I'm choosing to blame him, deal with it. And I thought Ben's death was placed kind of oddly: like, he kinda seemed to be forgotten for a big chunk of the film, whereas realistically it would kinda consume Peter's whole life for a while, except then he's also distracted by all the Lizard stuff. His death scene was certainly heartbreaking, but the emotions didn't play out right or something. And I liked Rhys Ifans, though (a) Connors is American in the comics; if you're going to change it, LET HIM USE HIS SEXTACULAR WELSH ACCENT, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND (b) I didn't really get how he went from his slightly Harrison Bergeron-ish desire to eradicate human fallacies to, like, total meglomaniacal contempt for humanity. I seem to recall him as more of a tragic Jekyll/Hyde figure. And wasn't the lizard-gas cloud thing a bit too much like Batman Begins? I don't know. And I didn't even love James Horner's score, for once--there were too many weird 'comedy' melodies, and he legit ripped off Titanic; the scene with the cranes was totally "Take Her to Sea, Mr. Murdoch." Like, do you think I'm new here? Because I am not. I did weirdly like the use of "Kingdom Come" in the action/training montage, however. And I did genuinely love Andrew and Emma, and some of the fight choreography was pretty gr8, and anything where Denis Leary has a shotgun is okay with me, although killing him off was harsh. But better him than Gwen, I s'pose. When he's like "I'm gonna throw you out the window now" I'm like AAHHHHH JFC PETER NO, but then it was okay. Sheesh. AND I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY CUT OUT THE SLAP. A year ago I watched them filming the final scene between Peter & Gwen in my neighborhood, and originally she slapped him for something he said before walking off. They must have done 25 takes, and they cut it out. Poor, poor Garf. Heh. And I did like the stinger with...Norman Osborn? It kinda sounded like Willem Dafoe to me. So overall I was kinda disappoint, but not entirely, and in other hands the next one could be awesome.
Oh, and I was distracted by Garf's hair in EVERY SINGLE SCENE. Not even lying. ♥____________♥
So I saw War Horse on Saturday as a slightly belated Christmas gift, first having a very delicious Mexican dinner. I had this chicken tortilla pie thing; it was awesome. And we were in the first freaking row for the show, which I thought might kinda ruin the illusion, but in a way I actually thought it made it better. It kinda does this interesting meta-fourth wall thing; it's not trying to 'fool' you into thinking "oh, there's a real horse onstage!", it's more the idea of one, if that makes sense. Like, the dude who controls the head is actually kind of dressed like a stablehand, as if he's both serving the horse and being the horse at the same time. And it was the little mannerisms that really made it: the flicking ears, the occasional shudder in the shoulders and side, like when they're shaking off a fly, and the way he actually seemed to breathe; the two people inside the cage thing were actually subtly moving constantly and it really looked like natural breath. It was really, really awesome. The puppetry is definitely the best part; the story's solid and all, of course, but it's adapted from a YA novel, after all, and the winsome first half kinda doesn't match up with the really rather harrowing second half. I mean, that's probably the point, but I was actually a bit surprised at how dark & harsh the war parts were, more so than in the movie and the book. It's quite jarring to see someone very convincingly pretend to be shot in the head four feet in front of you, lemme tell ya. There was this oddly-shaped ripped-paper peninsula screen thing hanging above the stage, and it actually totally worked as a backdrop of sorts, displaying the year and location as well as reflecting the sky and then also the battleground and other, like, relevant imagery (my favorite moment: bloodstains blossoming on white fabric and then turning into fat red flowers). I wasn't all that fond of the actor playing Albert, tbph; I thought he kinda played it too big and boyish and didn't really rein it in [har] even in the later war scenes (but did I cry when Joey and tear-gassed!Albert were reunited? Of course). I did like the mom a lot, however, as well as several of the main soldier characters. The cast was also pleasantly diverse; it was kinda amusing to see a Latino Nicholls and an Asian Stewart, after seeing Hiddles & Benny in the film. (Did I ship them as well? Of course.) And I rather liked the live music and the minstrel-type gal, not to mention the harmonized soldier-y war ballads, because that always gives me feels. Highly recommended; see it if you can.
Henry IV, Part 1: Oh, Hiddles! That was delightful in every way. I think I like Part 2/Henry V better because they're much more intense & epic, but frat-boy!Hal was marvelous. Was it me, or was there a ridiculous amount of hand porn going on there? Was he just gesturing a lot, or was that just my brain? Well, it worked for me. Of course he's brilliant at the dialogue, which is just--I can't--Lord, boners errywhere. And disturbingly, I definitely heard Loki's cackle in there once or twice amid the "ehehehehe" we all know & love. Foreshadowing, yo. AND HIS JEREMY IRONS IMPRESSION. C R Y I N G. You know he was thrilled to do it and he even had his gestures down and I was just losing my shit. 8D And I love his friendship with Poins ("my good sweet honey lord" has been a tag on my Tumblr for a month), though I had a feeling Falstaff would snatch wigs everywhere because he's kinda the best character, and he pretty much did. It's Hal's later treatment of him that kinda defines him, I think, and rather made me stop liking him, so we'll see how that plays out. I wasn't familiar with Joe Armstrong before this, but I really liked him (and his charming Oop North accent), and I liked the way they expanded upon Hotspur's relationship with
YES WE'RE FINALLY CAUGHT UP ON BREAKING BAD. \o/ And holy balls, what a finale. Sadly, I was already spoiled that Gus died (if I hadn't already read it, the "ALL HAIL THE KING" posters in every subway station here might've done it) and I've seen that crazy-ass gif of him all half blown to hell (WHY is that a trend in characters I love?! Seriously, WHAT) on ONTD & Tumblr and stuff, but I thought it was a dream sequence or something because he looked, like, alive. And pretty chill. BUT NO, he just straightens his tie and BOOM, DEAD. Oh. My. God. FLAWLESS. Flawless performance. I have, like, never been prouder to share my name with anyone. :') Such a boss. The true brilliance of this show is how you can loathe someone and totally root for them at the same time because they're just so badass and the writing is so intense--like, Walter's pretty fucking unforgivable by the end there and sabotages himself every which way, like drunkenly bragging that Gale (O LAWD GALE ;_______;) totally wasn't a genius and Heisenberg is someone else~~~ who is clearly awesome, and yet every time Hank gets closer to figuring him out you just want to completely die of fear. And yet Hank's awesome too, with his determination and Sherlock skills and adorable "Eye of the Tiger" karaoke. ("Catch a bad guy!" DEAD.) And again, Walt's scenes with his kids redeem him--tearfully apologizing to Junior & telling him all about his father's death (Huntington's?! Good God, this family drew all kinds of medical short straws) was so moving, ugh. BUT THEN HE CALLED HIM "JESSE." Which is adorable because I still weirdly love their father/son relationship BUT it's also super-shitty because of what he routinely does to him, and because hi, Junior has feelings too, goddamn. I still love Skyler; IDGAF what anyone says. Her airheaded secretary routine was amazing, and yet it was demeaning, so you could tell she was growing to resent Ted just as much as she resented Walt for making her play another crappy 'role.' And she clearly knows that Walt orchestrated that explosion, and I think that was a big turning point for her. She doesn't know that he's killed people before. D: I heard Mike's in S5, so I guess he lives, but geez, way to not reassure us in the finale there. And is Ted dead?! Seriously?? That whole scene was so evilly hilarious. "Huell, are you happy?" "Reasonably." CACKLING. And then as my dear mutantjules pointed out, oranges. NOT A GOOD SIGN. Saul, Skinny Pete and Badger continue to be wonderful ("I think I got, like, this cat? I think I'm supposed to feed it or something"), but of course Jesse's life just gets worse & worse; his insane parties and obvious fear of being alone was breaking my heart. (The callback of the "gimmick" of the pizza place not cutting their pies, as seen in the amazing roof-toss in 3x02, was THE GREATEST CONTINUITY I HAVE EVER HEARD. EVER. BOW.) His bond with Mike is very endearing, however, and it looks like he & Andrea are okay now, thank the Lawd; domestic!Jesse is so unspeakably precious. BUT WOW, did not see that twist coming with Walt having poisoned Brock after all. D: That was insanely complicated, somehow stealing the ricin cigarette and then convincing him it was Gus and somehow getting the kid to eat the berries, etc, etc--brilliant, and thoroughly Gus-like. HE WHO FIGHTS MONSTERS, WALTER. Jesus. How poisonous are those berries? I mean, was Brock really in danger of legit dying, or was it just a distraction? Because that's pretty unforgivable. Fun fact: as originally written, in the S2 finale Walt was actually supposed to give the passed-out Jane a hot shot and intentionally murder her, but Cranston was like "...er" and the network was like "UM WAT" and they decided that was too dark too soon and changed it. Which I think was smart. But now...I think we may have Gone There. I don't know. But that was very clever.
AND BYYYYYYY THE WAY: during & after "Hermanos" I was totally shipping Gus/Maximo, because hello, they were ~hermanos de otro madre~ and his death was clearly a hugely motivating factor in like basically everything Gus did after that, and he was just so distraught when he got shot--but then I found exactly ONE fic and I was sad. BUT THEN I found this interview with Giancarlo himself:
I think I went beyond just the surface of the idea that is thrown out, that they could be lovers. That certainly is a possibility. I wanted to cultivate the caring nature of a man who was coming up with someone who was a dear, dear, beloved friend, and that to me deepens it over anything that could be sexual. It was a deeper relationship. I loved the fact that it's never really pointed to one way or the other, that the audience has to make up their own mind. To me, that is much more important to have and that's why if it were just a lover, I don't think that the hate would be as deep, or the revenge would be so poignant.
SCREAMINGGGGGG YES GOOD \8D/ NEXT SUNDAAAAAAAAAAY ERR MAH GERD (and then there's only seven episodes in this half-season, which is totally balls, BUT Boardwalk comes back on 16 September so I only have two weeks of sadness in between YEY)
THE NEWSROOM: ...because yeah, I don't quite think my Sunday nights are gonna be spent with this show. :\ I am just kinda not feeling it. It's smart and wonderfully quippy, but it's not really holding my attention & I kinda don't care about any of the characters, despite liking several of the actors. And really, two weeks in a row of both main females being scattered and ditzy? Mac's obsessing over Will's many girlfriends while Maggie needs Jim to calm her down from a panic attack? Really? After the whole doesn't-know-how-to-send-an-email thing last week? Not that panic attacks are ~weak or anything, but on top of everything else, it's just not helping her character. I so wanted to ship those two, but I cannot. Their scenes were sweet, but too unbalanced for me. (I do kinda like Jim/Neal, though.) At the moment Sloan is the only reasonably-written woman, and she's barely developed at all. Jane Fonda is always welcome, but heavens, so many speeches. I do enjoy Sam Waterston's one-liners like nothing else ("I've been sitting here for two and a half hours and I still don't know why; it's like being in the cast of a Fellini film"), but that is not quite enough. I agree with basically all of the show's points about media irresponsibility and the Tea Party and other extremists making moderates look bad and all that--and I cannot pretend I don't share Sorkin's sneering contempt of reality TV--but that's just it; it's so clearly Sorkin himself. And I love his dialogue & agree with him on nearly everything! It's just that it's a bit embarrassingly indulgent to, like, filibuster so transparently. In my opinion. Ah, whatever, maybe I'll hold on a few more weeks just so I know what David's quoting all the time. He gets ever so peeved when I don't.
EDIT: Yeah, basically this.
Well, that was concise. Apparently there was a new episode of "Wallander" last night, so I'll have to track that down, despite its tragic Hiddleslessness. (Knowing that show, they killed off Magnus in some horrific, tragic, bloody way. Argh.) And I'm starting "Luther" soon because I need something to watch on my lunch breaks and there are only ten episodes and also, duh, Idris Elba. And "Covert Affairs" is back tomorrow! ♥
(last update from Brooklyn...!)