Friday, 9 January 2009

Top Ten for 2009 (part three)

5. Melrose Place remake
I have a few things to say about this. Firstly: 90210 was launched last September, and it was pretty damn near awful. I'm only still watching it because we get Brenda and Kelly angst, and also, a teeny part of me hopes that it will suddenly become amazing. There have been a few highlights: I really liked the big bitch fight climax between Naomi and Annie - even though this type of storyline has been done a million times, I thought the dialogue was concise and well written. And they haven't been too cutsey with the other storylines, so maybe it has some potential (if only a bus would run over Annie). It's done really well in America though, so people seem to like it, and this I guess is why they have decided to remake Melrose Place.
Now I must confess, I have only ever dipped in and out of MP, and have certainly never seen a whole series. But that's not through lack of want: it's just never repeated (only on Living a few years ago, and then we got rid of Sky), and the box sets are soooo expensive. But from what I've seen (and heard) it was pure guilty pleasure TV, AND - to be serious for a moment - there are no other shows on TV like this. MP revolved around the lives of a group of mid 20 somethings who all lived in the same place, and how their lives interacted with each other (to more and more ridiculous levels). It was soapy, but not a soap. It was made for teens, but it wasn't about teens. And it didn't have some crime/fantasy/law theme to fit in either. It was just about normal people, having very melodramatic lives. And you just don't get that on TV! The only show I've ever seen come close to the MP format was Oz's The Secret Life of Us, which was far classier and a lot less fun, in a way. There just aren't programmes about people in their 20s going through career, relationship, family, friends dilemmas - and I don't know why, because it's a real niche area.
Anyway, the pilot for the remake has been scheduled for the new season in September, so we'll just keep an eye on this one and wait and see who is cast for what roles. If it can retain much of what it was, but with a more modern, original slant (unlike 90210), then it could be really good.

6. The Time Traveler's Wife Film
I read the book last year, and loved every moment of it. It was one of those books that you never, ever want to end; yet instead of prolonging the joy, you end up reading it all the time because it's so compelling and engaging to stop, and suddenly it's all gone. Wahhh. I can't wait for the film version of this, and to see how they present it onto the screen. I purposely read the book before the film comes out, because it is one of those praised pieces of fiction every one raves on about. They're definitely not wrong. Rachel McAdams is a wonderful actress, and she will no doubt bring the right balance to the character of Claire: headstrong, passionate, but also fragile. Eric Bana as Henry I'm not so sure about: he's a bit iffy in his film roles, so he'll either be brilliant and likeable or I just won't give a toss. And I hope it's not the latter, because the book made me cry! One of only two books to ever make me cry.
There seems to have been a lot of delays with this film, which is slightly worrying. It was originally due out on Boxing Day, but as no trailer ever appeared that seemed can that notion. In fact, I'm still waiting for a trailer to appear. As you can see in the photo above, the film (possibly bar re-shoots) seems to have finished filming - so have they come across problems in the editing? Are they waiting for something? It's all a bit fuzzy. So, no news on a release date or anything yet, but I'm pretty sure I'll be seeing it sometime later this year. Eeeee!

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Top Ten for 2009 (part two)

Continuing on with our list of things to dance about in 2009....

3. Damages Season Two
Again, my favourite actors never seem to let me down (well maybe - Blueberry Nights). I only started watching this off by chance, because I adore Rose Bryne since she blew me away in Wicker Park and I went on imdb to see what she had coming up next - and I saw she'd just done a role in a new TV series. I read the premise, and it sounded faintly intriguing: I'm not really one for crime/law/police type shows, but this one seemed to hold a darker agenda, plus, it was about to start on BBC 1, so I thought what the hell. AND IT WAS BRILLIANT! So well put together with the flashbacks moving backwards so it would clash with the present story right in the middle of the series. The writing was great, and top notch actors all suiting their characters perfectly. I especially loved the character of Ray Fiske, and the moment when he shot himself really shocked me. I hadn't seen it coming, it was done right on the screen, and it showed the fragility of every character. In fact, it was one of those jaw dropping moments where you want to discuss it with EVERYBODY, yet no one watches the damn show. Anyway, it was a revelation, and nice because it's so different to the other programmes that I watch. It still has that speciality about it. Season Two is set to be just as manipulative and complex as Ellen's working secretly for the FBI. It's actually just started in the US, but because I need to see season one through again before I start, I'll wait til it comes to the Beeb next month.

4. Diablo III
Now, it's extremely rare for me to get excited about computer games. I'm even a bit over the Sims now (although more to come on that later). BUT, here I make a very big exception. In fact I am so excited about the sometime release of Diablo III later this year that there is even going to be a holiday planned around it, so that we can buy the game, have a long weekend off, and just play, play, play (and eat homemade sausage pizzas). I've always been a bit of a fantasy geek - I loved the Fighting Fantasy books when I was younger (still do...) and we even had a basic Dungeons & Dragons board game at home, which was so fun to play, especially when you made up the adventure yourself. And I adore all fantasy films. Buuuuuut - I never followed through with the gaming aspect of it, mainly because I'm a right girl and wouldn't have a clue how to do combat (where are the dice?!) . Strategy and planning I can do - but not the fighting bit. This is where the boyfriend comes in - because he can do all of that, I can sit and watch and plan strategies, attacks and pretty much everything else for him!
I first got into Diablo through my brother a few years ago, and I got watching him play... and then you get sucked in. I loved how simple it was: a simple, enjoyable RPG (with fighting). And then a couple of years ago, the boyfriend discovered it, and I remembered how much I'd enjoyed it, so watched him play, too. And then the obsession started... I have so many random memories connected to Diablo: sausage pizza for one, and lemon cheesecake; also thunderstorms... it must have meant an awful lot if I can remember such vivid things like what the weather was like and what we ate! It seems a long time ago now, and we need something new. When Diablo III was announced finally last year, we were both immediately excited and wanted it right now, right then! But of course, they keep teasing us with little titbits and no release date has yet been scheduled. Because I don't play a lot of games, I think of this as my one big event, the one thing I can be a bit of a 'gamer' for. And because we don't know when, or if, the game will continue after this, I'm going to savour every moment for what it's worth....

Monday, 5 January 2009

Ten for 2009 (part one)

So a new year begins, and as all new years do, we start with the horror that is January. It's dark, it's cold, we are faced with a long walk ahead and we are tired. Oh, and also fat and depressed. Yadda Yadda gloominess. So let's forget about all of that right now, and attempt to cheer ourselves up with TEN THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2009!

Over the next few days I will preview the things I am squealing silently about inside. In absolutely no logical order...

1. Fables
Now, I guess I should be well informed about this and be excited from wanting to see the comics portrayed on the screen in a well realised, accurate way. But this is more of a hunch really. I haven't read any of the comics, and to be honest, I don't plan to. I know how far graphic novels have come, and how sophisticated (and perhaps underrated) they are, but they just don't appeal to me - there's something very teenage boy about them that I just can't shake. Plus, I'm not a big fan of having pictures to accompany what I read - I don't want to be told how someone or something looks, I want to piece it together myself in my head. Anyhow, I read that ABC is planning on developing this into a TV pilot - hopefully series - and it was the premise alone which got me hooked: characters from fairytales living in modern day New York city. That is brilliant; an idea I only wish I had come up with myself to write! I love fairytales, anything from the original dark and gory stuff to the technicoloured schmaltz that is a Disney film. So, this has the potential to be fantastic - if they choose the right actors, and get the tone right and most importantly - have a good script, then I think this could be a real treat for the Autumn. The people working on it are from Six Degrees, which I never actually watched (mainly because ITV put it on at such a stupid time), but has generally received good reviews. So that's a good start. News as we get it!

2. New York, I Love You
Gloriously exciting for so many reasons. As soon as I got wind of this in the works, I was already panting like an over exuberant dog, purely because Paris Je T'aime is one of my favourite films, and with the New York sequel happening, it just opens the door for so many more films, which is what pleases me the most. I travelled all the way to Sheffield to see Paris, such was my desire to see Natalie Portman, but the film captured me like no other. It's so simple, but because every story has its own cast, direction and ideas it means that every single one has had the effort put in to make it spectacular. Of course there were a few duds (Wes Craven? Love? Really?), but the charm of the whole film more than makes up for it. And then of course, we have this: not a remake, but completely different stories set in a different capital city. It's clearly going to be more adventurous and grand than Paris (just look at the stellar cast!) and won't be as quirky and quaint, but it'll be nice to have those differences. It's like watching a book, and everyone has a favourite chapter.
My excitement grew of course when Natalie Portman got involved. I also called that this would be her first directing job and I was right! So if nothing else, I'll get to enjoy this film because Nat will be both on screen and behind. And her directing piece, Eve, has been getting all kinds of praise throughout the short film circuit, so that's really promising. There are just so many of my favourite people here as well: Scarlett Johansson, Blake Lively, Rachel Bilson, Shia LeBoeuf, Ethan Hawke, John Hurt, Christina Ricci, Olivia Thirlby... I'm just hoping it's as good as it should be, and then I'll be happy (and off to see it about ten times, probably).

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a place for me to share my little joys from the world of film, TV, music and gaming - plus any other little titbits that I need to share, or more importantly, remember later...