TV Series

Movie Monday – The Campaign, The Amazing Spider-Man

This past week we watched The Campaign and The Amazing Spider-Man. Of the two I liked the first better.

I was pleasantly surprised by The Campaign. I don’t generally like the type of movies that Will Ferrell makes, things like Talladaga Nights, Stepbrothers, Elf, and even Anchorman, which I know some people love. That Saturday Night Live style humor just isn’t something that appeals to me. But The Campaign was surprisingly clever and smart. Absurd and excessive but topical at the same time. And for once the absurdity wasn’t a turn-off for me. The chemistry just worked. We both really enjoyed it. Thumbs up for this one.

Spider-Man on the other hand…ugh. Why did they make it again? It’s just too damn soon to be making it again. Sure, the effects were amazing. His costume is outstanding. The scenes of him flying through the city from building to building and crane to crane are spectacular. I’m sure it was impressive in 3-D at the theater. And for young people who haven’t seen the previous versions, perhaps this is more compelling. But the story was only halfway interesting (to us) and the new cast and characters (Gwen – what happened to Mary Jane?) did not do anything for us. I couldn’t relate or feel anything for the characters. That’s pretty rare for me. I even felt more for the cast/characters of the new Footloose remake and I was horrified that they decided to remake an old favorite of mine. To sum up, I didn’t like it. I can appreciate the quality and skill of the filmmaking but I didn’t enjoy it as a story.

Cam Brady: My heart is pounding. Like a phone book in a dryer.
~ The Campaign

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Movie Monday – Terra Nova

Don found another sci-fi show we haven’t seen that we started watching on netflix this past week – Terra Nova. We’ve watched the first 4 episodes. The premise is that in the far future – 2149 – the Earth has become overpopulated in the extreme, to the point that there is a law allowing only 2 children per family, and so polluted that people have to wear respirators when outside. In the search for a way to start over or save civilization scientists find a way to travel back in time (in a parallel time-stream) and begin sending “pilgrimages” of people 85 million years into the past to colonize the world. It’s sort of Stargate meets Land of the Lost. There are dinosaurs, but they are not quite the same. The same goes for plants and food. Everything is similar, yet different.

I’m not sold on it yet. A friend recently told me he watched an episode or two of Falling Skies and it didn’t hook him because he felt the acting was sub-par. That’s a great way to describe my feelings about Terra Nova. It’s an interesting idea but it seems sub-par in a lot of ways. The dinosaurs and other special effects don’t come off convincingly, some of the acting is less than stellar, and one particular casting choice is just not working for me. I’m trying to have an open mind. I freely admit that the aliens in Falling Skies are a little cheesy looking and the effects aren’t high budget either but for some reason it works for me. Similarly, Eureka is often very cheesy and some of the effects are blatantly obvious, but again, for some reason I’m willing to look past it. Terra Nova might grow on me. We’ll see.

Josh: The sky’s insane.
Jim: This whole place is.
Terra Nova, Season 1, Episode 2: Genesis: Part 2