Saturday, February 24, 2007

iRant: Lost gets lost (and good riddance)

I've finally done it. After multiple seasons of increasing disappointment, culminating in the most recent episodes (which have been plain 'ol bad), Lost has been removed from the auto-recorded programs on my DVR. I've been talking about doing this for a while and if I didn't get to see the show in beautiful hi-def (and I have to admit it's still very nice to look at) then I would've done it long before now.

Lost is just a terrible, substanceless tease. Each week brings the promise of something new to be revealed, but there are no answers, only more (stupid, insipid) questions. Although the first season, and to some degree the second, were quite good as network television goes, the show how so "lost" its way that it's very hard to believe that there is any over-arching story going on here at all.

Let's face it - Lost was burdened by its concept from the beginning and should have ended after a couple of seasons (there's a reason why Robinson Crusoe was such a quick read). What's going on now is just a pathetically slow death kept on life-support entirely for business, as opposed to creative, purposes. Such is the way with television, but it's hard to believe how low Lost has sunk.

Look at a show like Heroes (which I really like) - it, too, unwinds a continuing stream of new questions with each episode. The difference is that it also answers some of these questions every episode. If the makers of Lost could muster up enough pride to understand that this endlessly wavering series is not going to make it past another season then they'd smarten up and start writing their way out of this tangled mess they've created. At least then, after a final season of explaining what's going on instead of just creating further shallow "mysteries" like some David Lynch series gone bad, viewers could look back and think that all in all it wasn't a total waste of time - good first season, decent second season, some floundering in the middle, but boy did they wrap it up tight! However, given the decision-making that has brought the show to its current sorry state (and the lack of much competition on Wednesday nights), I'm not too optimistic about a "creatively principled" ending anytime soon.
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2/24/2007 10:04:00 a.m.  

Monday, February 19, 2007

commandN 80

Amber and Will talk about open Gmail, hi-res Skype, OpenID with AOL, and more. Jeff brings you some blogging tips.

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2/19/2007 09:57:00 a.m.  

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

eyeCandy: Alpha Dog (2007) 4/5

I didn't know what to think when I first heard about Alpha Dog. I mean, was this going to be a Justin Timberlake vehicle or a serious movie. Turns out it is a serious movie, and quite a good one at that.

Alpha Dog is based on actual events: the kidnapping and subsequent murder of a crazed druggy's 15 year old brother by a group of teenagers led by the local pot dealer/wanna-be-gansta. The movie is a disturbing look at the increasing disconnect between real life and the life depicted in rap videos and tabloid news.

Jake Mazursky (played by the talented Ben Foster, best known for his role as Claire's boyfriend in HBO's Six Feet Under) is a psychopathic, drug-abusing Jewish kid with some serious Nazi tats who owes teenage kingpin Johnny Truelove (Emile Hirsch) $1200 in drug debts. The diminutive Truelove tries to play tough and is wholly outclassed by the crazed Mazursky, who demeans Truelove in his retaliation. When Truelove and his crew (including Mr. Justin Timberlake, who is surprisingly capable in his role) happen across Mazursky's younger brother, Zack, Johnny decides kidnapping the kid would be some serious payback. Zack (Huff's Anton Yelchin) is happy to party with the "big kids" (which is what he ends up doing after the first few hours) and figures he'll be back home within days. Needless to say, things escalate beyond all reason.

Alpha Dog is ably directed by Nick Cassavetes, and has a great supporting cast, including Bruce Willis (Johnny's dad), Sharon Stone (Zack's mom), and the first I've seen (although it is brief) of Alan Thicke in years. The fact that this atrocity actually happened is totally disturbing, and it's not exactly a movie that'd make your average parent very optimistic about raising a kid today (at least not amongst the idle rich in Southern California). That said, with the copious sex, drugs, and hip hop involved, that's probably not the target audience anyway.

PS: I hope you didn't expect a romantic movie for Valentine's Day ;-) .
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2/14/2007 09:35:00 p.m.