Battlestar Galactica

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Battlestar Galactica. Admittedly, the title suggests an embarrasingly puerile space-romp in the same vein as the original series which aired nearly thirty years ago. With that in mind, I can understand how many would question why the modernized “reimagined series” is receiving nearly universal praise.

Since the franchise relaunched in 2003, Battlestar Galactica has become without question the finest cable television program still in production – science fiction or otherwise. The masterful guidance of former Star Trek producer Ronald D. Moore deserves a good deal of the credit for reshaping the framework of the series, but there are a myriad of vital components to that framework.

Battlestar benefits the most from the prodigiously redeveloped characters and tightknit story plotting, which lends the program a much greater depth than it’s predecessor. Further, the decision to abandon many stalwart science fiction conventions (i.e. laser weapons, excessive technobabble, etc.) and rely instead on a more realistic depiction of a possible alternative future is perhaps the lynchpin of the programs success. 

Battlestar characters still employ ballistic weaponry and do not live in a utopian society. They do not explain problems with lines like “The primary hydroelectric magnetosphere regulator is overloaded” and they certainly do not possess technology that can materialize matter across vast distances. Further, the plot threads are not resolved by hack trickery such as the oft-used deus ex machina conclusion – which Star Trek relied on heavily at times.

With the fifth and final season of The Wire winding down on HBO and many abandoning hope in ever enjoying Lost again, it has been suggested by quite a few bloggers and periodicals (Entertainment magazine, for one) that a perfect solution to the television drought is to pick up BSG.

The penultimate third season will be available on DVD March 18, and the final season will begin airing April 4 on the Sci-Fi Channel. Despite being the resident town crier of the program’s merits, I must concede the executives handling of the show tends to repulse many viewers not generally drawn to science fiction. At times, it’s even insultingly pandering.

The two-hour film Razor, intended to serve as a bridge episode between the third and fourth seasons, simply did not reveal anything especially interesting – other than to prove they killed the Admiral Cain character off much too soon. Michelle Forbes, herself a sometime Star Trek actress, was simply brilliant in the Cain role.

Unquestionably the worst aspect of the film’s inital airing is that between commercial breaks, the powers that be inexplicably felt it was a good idea to insert spots after a major event occured that went something like: “It has been revealed. Admiral Cain is a….lesbian!” Ridiculous.

If the imminent release of BSG:S3 creates a vaccuum of disinterest within, I’ve helpfully provided a list of many other upcoming DVD releases. It should be noted that a host of wonderful films such as The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, 3:10 to Yuma, Michael Clayton, American Gangster, Once, La Vie en Rose, and In the Valley of Elah are all readily available on DVD.

Feb. 26 – Beowulf, The Darjeeling Limited, Goya’s Ghosts

Mar. 11 – No Country for Old Men, Bee Movie, Hitman

Mar. 18 – Battlestar Galactica – Season Three, I Am Legend

Mar. 25 – Lost Highway*

Apr. 01 – Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Apr. 08 – There Will Be Blood, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

Apr. 29 – The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Vol. 3

May 20 – National Treasure: Book of Secrets

* Finally, this bizarre yet brilliant film will see a proper home video release! Now, where’s my proper copy of 1492: Conquest of Paradise?

Published in: on February 25, 2008 at 7:02 pm  Comments (1)  
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Daniel Day-Lewis Wins Best Actor

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Daniel Day-Lewis rehearses his acceptance speech during a lull in shooting There Will Be Blood.

Oscar #2! Mr. Day Lewis has won his second Oscar for his performance in There Will Be Blood, a film which sprung like a golden sapling from the mad, beautiful head of Paul Thomas Anderson (er, his words, not mine). Mr. Day-Lewis had already won a limey Oscar (BAFTA) for his work in the film, but let’s face it, no one really cares about those.

What’s next for Mr. Day-Lewis? I’m hoping he accepts a role in the upcoming G.I. Joe film as Cobra villain Destro. I can see him now, silver facepaint and over-muscled onyx skinsuit replete with crimson cape, spouting “Cobra attack!”

Oh, if only. . .

Speaking of upcoming films, here’s a list of notable ones for the remainder of 2008:

Feb. 29 – Semi-Pro
Feb. 29 – The Other Boleyn Girl
Mar. 07 – 10,000 B.C.
Mar. 14 – Horton Hears a Who!
Mar. 14 – Doomsday
Mar. 14 – College Road Trip
Mar. 14 – The Accidental Husband
Mar. 14 – Pride and Glory
Apr. 04 – Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay
Apr. 04 – The Ruins
Apr. 11 – Foodfight!
Apr. 18 – Righteous Kill
Apr. 18 – The Forbidden Kingdom
May 02 – Iron Man
May 16 – The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
May 22 – Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
May 30 – Sex and the City: The Movie
Jun. 06 – Kung Fu Panda
Jun. 13 – The Incredible Hulk
Jun. 20 – Get Smart
Jun. 27 – Wall-E
Jun. 27 – Wanted
Jul. 02 – Hancock
Jul. 11 – Hellboy 2: The Golden Army
Jul. 18 – The Dark Knight
Aug. 01 – The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Aug. 08 – Pineapple Express
Aug. 15 – Dragonball
Aug. 29 – Babylon A.D.
Oct. 03 – Valkyrie
Oct. 10 – Body of Lies
Oct. 10 – City of Ember
Oct. 24 – Igor
Oct. 24 – High School Musical 3
Oct. 31 – Scary Movie 5
Nov. 07 – Quantum of Solace (Bond 22)
Nov. 07 – Madagascar 2: The Crate Escape
Nov. 21 – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Nov. 26 – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Dec. 12 – The Day the Earth Stood Still
Dec. 25 – Star Trek

Christmas with Captain Kirk. Won’t that be nice?

Published in: on February 24, 2008 at 11:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

There Will Be Blood

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Plainview reclining after a strenuous day of practicing his Sean Connery impersonation.Plainview reclining after a strenuous day of practicing his Sean Connery impersonation.Plainview reclining after a strenuous day of practicing his Sean Connery impersonation.

 

 THERE WILL BE BLOOD (2007)

vantika’s rating: B+

Daniel Day-Lewis. The amorous lothario in The Age of Innocence. The heroic freedom fighter in The Last of the Mohicans. The heart breaking artist ravaged by cerebal palsy in My Left Foot. And now. . .the Gordon Gekko of oil mongers in There Will Be Blood. Here we find a performance that can be characterized as half George Hearst a la Deadwood and half Sean Connery send-up.

How does that translate? Perfect. Daniel Plainview is a man who, in his later years, roams through his mansion clutching a shotgun and relishing the destruction of his own possessions via said weapon. This is nothing more than a fine cinematic flourish and carries no real relevance to the story itself other than to perhaps illustrate the deterioration of his sanity. Still, it’s a testament to the abilities of director Anderson that he could have wound the plot around this device alone and we would sit – absolutely transfixed. 

Published in: on February 21, 2008 at 10:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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