When the undead evolve, no one is safe!
Extinction will be in select theaters on July 31st.
When the undead evolve, no one is safe!
Extinction will be in select theaters on July 31st.
I’ve got a lot of things to do, but I’ve spent most of the day [so far] watching the finale of Lost over and over again. The last half hour really gets to me – not that that first two hours didn’t. The more I watch it, the less I think about it – and the more I feel.
Over the course of the series, I’ve grown to love Lost’s multitude of characters – Jack, Kate, Hugo, Locke, Charlie, Sawyer, Jin, Sun, Michael, Walt, Sayid, Boone, Shannon, Desmond, Penny, Mr. Eko, Ana Lucia [though she took some work], Libby, Faraday, Miles, Charlotte, Rousseau, Alex – and love/hate others [Ben, Widmore]. Some were utterly reprehensible – like Keamy and, eventually, The Man in Black [though the writers did a nice job of making him ambiguous for just long enough].
So now, to quote Jim Morrison, this is The End. It all comes down to one last blowout episode. Was it, in the end, worth it? Absolutely! [Spoilers galore follow the jump…]
After ten-and-a-half months, Lost returned with its final season premiere, a two-hour premiere called LA X, last night. The final Lost recap, in a stroke of genius, was narrated by Michael [Ben Linus] Emerson and tracked the individual character arcs of the main cast members – an approach that was unique for these things – and set the tone for a most unusual beginning to Lost’s end. I have no idea how many theories were rendered invalid last night, or how many fans were thrilled or ticked off, but no can say the answers didn’t begin with a couple of big bangs!
Spoilers follow the jump.
Losties rejoice! ABC has announced that the last leg of the epic saga of Lost will premiere on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010.
While keeping episode details close to the vest, the network says that Lost’s final season will get underway with an evening-long event – a recap special at 8/7C, followed by the series’ final two-hour season premiere at 9/8C. The series will then move to its regular timeslot, Tuesdays at 9/8C, on February 9th.
I’ve just seen the two-hour premiere of season five of Lost [ABC Wednesdays, 8/7C, beginning on Jan. 21st]. You think it was strange and wild and exhilarating before? Just wait until you see what’s next!
Although my agreement with ABC is that I can’t give away plot points, I can, perhaps, give clues. I can tell you that Vincent’s back – and that Sawyer plays a more prominent role. I can tell you that things have changed between Benjamin Linus [Michael Emerson] and Sayid [Naveen Andrews]; that Hurley [Jorge Garcia] has reached his limit on lying – and that Sayid’s life may depend on him; I can tell you that a potential legal problem may change Kate’s [Evangeline Lilly] and Aaron’s lives, and that Charlotte [Rebecca Mader] may not be well. And speaking of Hurley, remember Dave? And Charlie’s enigmatic appearance at the mental institution [“I’m dead. And I’m here”]? I can safely say that Hurley sees dead people.
There are lots more clues that I could give you in that vein, but when the events to which they allude happen, all that’ll happen is that some answers will be given [like why Hurley finally reaches his limit with The Lie] and more will be asked [like what’s happening to the people who were left on the island]. Even the titles of the two parts of this season’s premiere have titles [Because You Left & The Lie] that are carefully gauged to give hints that spawn unexpected answers and set the stage for more [and possibly bigger] questions. As is always the case with Lost, context is everything.
Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof co-wrote Because You Left and Stephen Williams’s direction keeps up a pace that matches that of last season’s three-hour finale. Revelations are given in quick bursts and emotional moments in almost a state suspension – but no scene lasts for more a few moments. The Lie, written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz and directed by Jack Bender, keeps up that pace, for the most part but lingers a bit more over the key emotional sequences, giving them more heft as the give and take of answers and questions mounts.
I have to say that I enjoyed the season five premiere episodes as much as the three-part season four finale. Everyone we care about gets a choice moment or two and the plot forges onward. The rollercoaster ride that is Lost is definitely maintaining the quality level it regained last season.
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Let’s be clear on this – I have never seen any of the Speed Racer anime´ nor have I seen any of the manga, and am barely aware of vintage merchandizing. Now that we have that out of the way, I have to say that, as a Speed Racer virgin, the brightly-colored film by the Wachowski Brothers is a lot of fun.
Emile Hirsch rocks as the title character, a boy in the process of becoming a man – and a believer in fair play when it appears that there hasn’t been any in professional racer since, well, ever. His rock solid family [John Goodman as Pops Racer, Susan Sarandon as Mom Racer and Paulie Litt as younger brother Spritel], pet chimp, Chim Chim and girlfriend Trixie [a very anime´ looking Christina Ricci] give him the courage to turn down an offer to sign with the top team – at which point he learns of the real nature of his beloved sport. From there it’s only a matter of winning a couple of races [against an entire field of cheaters] and bringing down the Royalton Racing Team [the team he turned down]. Nothing to it – not!
While there’s not a lot of plot to Speed Racer, there’s almost always lots going on as Speed – with the help of the mysterious Racer X [sure it’s not hard to make the connection between him and Speed’s older brother, who is supposed to have died, but it’s a convention – just like nobody recognizing Superman behind Clark Kent’s specs. Deal with it and move on!]. The races are beautifully staged exercises in gladiatorial driving; the fight sequences really capturing the odd, freeze-frame style of anime´ and manga; the cast is clearly having more fun than should be legal, and the whole thing just feels good. The only real flaw in the film is that it’s just a wee bit too talky – but that hardly matters.
For a movie with a candy-colored world [the bright, shiny color of fresh hard candy – not the pastels of rock candy], the emphasis is on the kind of grounding that a good family provides and the kind of justice that is most deserved – the justice of the untouchable evil being brought down by one man with a mission. This may be my first encounter with Speed Racer but it won’t be my last.
Final Grade: A
Speed Racer was always one of my five wholly grails of films. Weirdly, I’ve never been that into the cartoon, but always thought it would make an amazing film. I was prepared to totally hate Speed Racer, everything that I saw of the film before I saw it sucked Chim Chim’s monkey balls which were then thrown in my face. The trailers were bad, the clips were amazingly stiff. Casting awful. CGI was crap. Clearly the directors/writers Wachowski‘s have lost their damn minds. Warner Brothers raped my childhood and I LOVED every psychedelic, trippy, vertigo induced minute of it. This movie capped off a fantastic film week that included Iron-Man and Son of Rambow. I liked Iron-Man a lot, but this is the movie that just punched me in the happy bone. I had a smile on my face for days after the screening. Why did this work so well? In a word, despite the weird LSD induced colors this film was about something. It had a heart and soul to it. And I wasn’t expecting that in a summer blockbuster. This movie is about family and love – of racing and each other. Each race while fast, frenetic and colorful told the larger story. It wasn’t about just getting to the finish line as fast as you can.
From the opening graphics to the end closing credits the Wachowski’s nailed everything that was good about Speed Racer and elevated it to the 10th level. In a film like this the makers forget what was it about the original source material that drew people to begin with. For example in Mission Impossible two and three, they complete remade and destroyed the original, classic well known theme song. It’s a minor thing, but that theme is part of MI’s character. Just like in Speed Racer the classic theme is vital to maintaining the integrity of the show/film. Before I walked into the theater I saw an ad for that god awful Speed Racer cartoon on Nicktoons where they completely bastardized the original song. I thought for sure it would be used in the movie as well. The Brother’s W, not only kept the original theme but gave it this majestic orchestral score that put a huge grin on my face. They kept all of the musical beats from the series. Even the one modern version of the song that roles at the end credits is incredibly cool.
And that’s why this film was so great, they did a lot of nods to the original classic moments – The Monster Car, yep it’s there (doesn’t look so monster), Chim Chim and Spritle pretending to be a goon? Yep, it’s there. Speaking of Spritle, I’ve always hated those two in the cartoon, but here. They pretty much steal the film. Young Paulie Litt is at time hysterically funny. The way Racer X (Matthew Fox) is handled is perfect. I was actually fooled by the twist that really wasn’t a twist towards the end. Emile Hirsch brings a certain charm to Speed. Some of his line delivery is stilted and emotionless. But the writing is so strong and enough is going on that you don’t notice it as much. Speed Racer may not be Oscar worthy “best film,” but it’s the most fun I’ve had at a movie in years. Every frame is infused with love and care. It’s an extremely rare A+.
Final Grade A+
EM Review by
Originally posted 5.8.2008
Vantage Point is a pretty cool idea: meld the multiple point-of-views of Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon onto a modern thriller. The basic idea is that the President of the United States is assassinated and we get the act from several different points of view – each adding a little more to our knowledge of the event.