Sunday, December 28, 2014

Unfinished Business for 2014, "Gotham" briefly reviewed...

I wanna like "Gotham" I really do...but sans the Caped Crusader (who is here depicted in his boyhood by some unmemorable little twerp)all we have to carry the series is the young Detective James Gordon who is fated to become Batman's most Ardent Enabler, Police Commissioner Gordon. Here is my point it is counterintuitive, so brace yourselves....Who The Hell Gives a Rat's Ass about James Gordon OR his Goddamned Back Story? I know I don't. It is akin to entire big budget television series devoted to the Amazing Adventures of Inspector Lestrade or the Action Packed Saga of Miss Moneypenny. Otherwise....Gotham seems to be a well cast show whose creative high point will be a sort of scherzo on "The Sopranos" with nascent big name super villains instead of New Jersey Mafioso. The concept does nothing for me but we have "Smallville" to thank for the notion that super hero shows WITH NO SUPERHEROES IN THEM are inherently popular and profitable.

Friday, December 19, 2014

George Clooney has a point

when he says that we have just allowed a Foreign Despot (Komrade Kim Jong Un of the North Korean People' Democratic Republic) to terrorize Sony to the point where they have pulled Seth Rogen's latest comedy "The Interview" from distribution. He makes the entirely sensible observation that is an ominous example of the abrogation of the First Amendment at the whim of the same Komrade Kim, Dictator of North Korea. Lets get something clear here, we've been letting The First Amendment get awfully shopworn and tattered lately, between the Patriot Act, NSA eavesdropping and certain practices favored by Hollywood Studios to curry favor in authoritarian markets (exp. the remake of "Red Dawn" where the bad guys went from Chinese to North Korean in the blink of a pixel thus ensuring the ongoing tolerance of the Middle Kingdom for said film's producers). It simply fell to Kim's Despicable Regime To Take the Next Step and really administer a beatdown to Sony...and you know what? WE LET IT HAPPEN! Listen...all of the first amendment intersects with pure commerce, a certain amount of free speech is therefore created in order to make someone somewhere a pile of money, nevertheless THAT SPEECH MUST NEEDS BE PROTECTED AS MUCH AS THE POSTINGS OF THIS OBSCURE BLOG!!! And we didn't do that. We let Sony chicken out along with the theater chains...on nothing more than a threat. I don't know what is going to happen on the Korean Peninsula, my only policy thereon is simple "Make Sure Our Word is Good and Our Powder is Dry", more than that may not be possible at this juncture. I do know however that we cannot allow a foreign despot any veto over our First Amendment Rights no matter how commercially driven they may be, any more than we should allow the NSA to snoop in our emails or permit predator drones to kill US Nationals on Foreign Soil. ALL these things degrade the law and our protections under the Bill of Rights....we've built up quite an arsenal it's the wonder of the world, I do not give Komrade Kim long odds on the battlefield if he wants to test that notion...but lets start protecting the First Amendment here at home with the exact same ferocity.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Forcibly Commended...

Last week at the Annual Meeting of the Boston Society of Film Critics, Channel Zero was voted a Commendation for our nigh twenty year long commitment to repertory film screenings and offbeat movies in general. That is All Well and Good, Channel Zero is duly grateful, after twenty years of Genteel Obscurity (and too many venues to count) we could use a little positive press attention. Thanks to everyone who spoke up on our behalf and who voted for us.... However if'n you look at that link, the Award Winner on the repertory circuit locally is The Harvard Film Archive, like across the board! Clearly we are gonna need to Punch Above Our Weight if we ever hope to move up in the ranks. :) Still it is as good a time as any to pause and reflect hard to believe all this started on VHS in the bowels of the now departed Liberty Cafe in Central Square... Now look at us, twenty year older and still clinging to the side of the same damn burning lifeboat. :)

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

"The Flash" Tuesdays 8pm The CW

I wanna like this show, "The Flash" is one of those dependable B-List DC super heroes who single skill set (super speed) is endlessly shoe-hornable into almost any conceivable comic book challenge. And then there is The Flash's rogue's gallery, maybe not as notorious as Batman's, but a dependable collection of one-trick ponies, mad scientists and at least one sentient gorilla...better known more popular super heroes get by with worse for antagonists (COUGH Spider-Man COUGH!) Alas the nominal star of this show, Grant Gustin as Barry Allen/The a little too short and a little too young looking to pull off forensic scientist for the local PD. That is a minor quibble. my main beef lies in the show's odd structure which mandates that it is a very very formulaic super hero show (that draws A LOT from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer) until the last five minutes when Barry Allen's trusted mentor Dr. Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) does some secretive heavy handed thing to indicate to the aud that He May Not Be On The Side of Righteousness. Its all very ominous and mysterious but you have to wade thru fifty minutes of Nothing New to get there. Then again what do I apparently this show is cleaning up in the ratings producer Greg Berlanti is a new wunderkinder of TV with three hit shows this season ("Arrow" and "The Mysteries of Laura" being the other two) with more on the way.