Saturday, March 29, 2008

LOST Diaries: episode 8

Confidence Man

"Shannon's inhaler runs out and Boone believes Sawyer has the remaining three in his stash. When Sawyer refuses to give them up, Jack and Sayid resort to torturing Sawyer until he agrees to reveal the location of the inhalers. In flashback we hear Sawyer's story and find he is not who he says he is."

read here

YES! Iraqi-Jack Bauer emerges on the island! A few more tight close ups of Sayid's eyes would have been better while admitting that he has indeed tortured people before.....(as in, do you really have what it takes to let me shoot him while you're lookin' him in the eye?.........YES. (close up on Jack's eyes)" I hate to say this but this one has been the most interesting, I was seriously wondering what the crap Sawyer's beef with the world was.....!? Sad, sad, sad. Slicked-back hair while doing business was a nice touch.

LOST Diaries: episode 7


"Charlie begins a painful journey of withdrawal from drugs, surprisingly aided by Locke, whose true motive for helping Charlie is a mystery. Meanwhile, survivors struggle to find and free Jack when he's buried alive in a cave collapse, and someone might be secretly thwarting Sayid, Kate, and Boone when they enact a plan to find the source of the French transmission."
read here

Very Nice. An ending reminiscent of A MILLION LITTLE PIECES.......I liked it. GOOD FOR CHARLIE. I enjoy the way that the sort of ridiculous drama between Kate and Jack became something emotional and more meaningful when she's faced with the possibility of losing him. WHY ISN"T ANYONE DIGGING? No kidding.

LOST Diaries: episode 6

House of the Rising Sun

"Walt and the others are shocked when Michael is brutally beaten, but only the non-English-speaking Jin and Sun know the truth behind the attack. Meanwhile Kate, Jack, Sawyer and Sayid argue about where the survivors should camp -- on the beach, where they're more likely to be seen, or in a remote inland valley where fresh water abounds; and Locke discovers Charlie's secret."
read here

Not bad. I wondered what the crap the story was going to be with those two. I really have to wonder about someone, even a fictional character who will beat someone in front of their child......this will have a direct link to the bit I'm eventually going to write about THE BRAVE ONE.....later. The business between Jack and Kate is already feeling very much like a marriage. Does she have a total attitude with him because he wanted to move the tribe into the cave instead of having some relations with her? Very much seemed that way. I am very much enjoying finding out about all these randoms.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


All right. Taking my own advice is proving to be harder than I thought.......
That said, here are the things I think were positive about this film:

1. The casting was good/everyone is physically attractive.
2. Ryan Gosling doing the southern accent was surprisingly pleasing to my ear.
3. Anthony Hopkins is generally creepy no matter what he does, and I think the film played that well.
4. Story was interesting/I wanted to know how it would end.
5. DA Guy (ray mcdeer from THE FIRM?)....I always enjoy him.
6. Despite the twisted torch I carry for characters like JR Ewing and Dr. Romano, I actually enjoy it when the little guy (or in this case, the ethical guy) wins in the end. Good vs. Evil, that sort of thing.

the only negative things I have to say are unfortunately major so here they are:
1. ending was obvious once ray mcdeer uttered the words "ATTEMPTED MURDER"
2. this would have been much better as a short film or Night Gallery or Twilight Zone episode. Yes, I'm a little on the obsessive side when it comes to those two shows, but really, I'm serious about this. I don't think it really had enough bulk for being a feature film. It really came down to having a two hour buildup to a 2 second punch line. Not that I didn't enjoy the ride.......!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Two Great Books

A bit depressing, but very enjoyable read. This is the second O'Nan novel I've read (the other being Last Night at the Lobster, which resonated for different more personal reasons) and he seems like a very true-to-life type writer. Something about the dreariness of both novels however really makes me want to give the guy a big hug or put a huge, obnoxious smiley face on his doorstep. WELL DONE!

I can't really say anything about a Stephen King novel that hasn't already been said; I love him very much and think he's a great writer. This was a very wonderful experience. I was obsessed with it for a couple of days and really wanted to know how it turned out. Ending a bit "mysterious" for his novels but very good. Anyone who enjoys Blade Runner, 28 Days Later, The Terminator or The Matrix will most likely enjoy this too. WELL DONE!

The Twilight Zone Diaries, episode 15


originally aired: January 15, 1960
written by: Rod Serling
starring: Dewey Martin, Edward Binns

"Her name is Arrow One. She represents four and a half years of planning, preparation, and training, and a thousand years of science and mathematics and the projected dreams and hopes of not only a nation but a world. She is the first manned aircraft into space. And this is the countdown, the last five seconds before man shot an arrow into the air."

classification: science fiction

story: An astronaut kills his two companions to survive on what he believes to be a hostile plant until he discovers that they have really landed in the Nevada desert.

my summary: This one is pretty good! It's very quick moving and the twist is interesting. The only complaint I have is for Dewey Martin (Cory): acting is overdone and generally bad. If the lines were more sublte and his delivery wasn't so explosive this would have been a lot better. Good landscapes throughout. Ending is nice and morbid.

"Practical joke perpetrated by Mother Nature and a combination of improbable events. Practical joke wearing the trappings of nightmare, of terror, of desperation. Small human drama played out in a desert ninety-seven miles from Reno, Nevada, USA, a continent of North America, the Earth, and of course---The Twilight Zone.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Twilight Zone Diaries, episode 14

Third From the Sun

originally aired: January 8, 1960
written by: Rod Serling
starring: Fritz Weaver, Joe Maross

"5:30pm, quitting time at the plant. Time for supper now. Time for families. Time for a cool drink on a porch. Time for the quiet rustle of leaf-laden trees that screen out the moon. And underneath if all, behind the eyes of the men, hanging invisible over the summer night is a horror without words. For this is the stillness before the storm. This is the eve of the end."

classification: science fiction

story: Two families plot to escape from their planet, which is threatened by nuclear destruction, in a rocket. Their destination: Earth.

my summary: Now I realize that when most people think of The Twilight Zone they totally envision a sci-fi series. But is it just me or are the science fiction episodes the lamest ones of all? They are all the same and have little to no plot. This one had some interesting camera techniques (round table, shot from underneath) and I kind of enjoy Fritz Weaver. I think this story was a good enough one but probably better on paper than on film.

"Behind a tiny ship heading into space is a doomed planet on the verge of suicide. Ahead lies a place called Earth, the third planet from the sun. And for William Sturka and the men and women with him, it's the eve of the The Twilight Zone."

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Twilight Zone Diaries, episode 13

The Four of Us Are Dying

originally aired: January 1, 1960
written by: Rod Serling
starring: Harry Townes, Ross Martin

"His name is Arch Hammer. He's thirty-six years old. He's been a salesman, a dispatcher, a truck driver, a con-man, a bookie, and a part-time bartender. This is a cheap man, a nickel and dime man, with a cheapness of mind, a cheapness of taste, a tawdry little shine on the seat of his conscience, and a dark-room squint at the world whose sunlight has never gotten through to him. But Mr. Hammer has a talent, discovered at a very early age. This much he does have. He can make his face change. He can twist a muscle, move a jaw, concentrate on the cast of his eyes and he can change his face. He can change it into anything he wants. Mr. Arch Hammer, jack of all trades, has just checked in at $3.80 a night, with two bags, some newspaper clippings, a most odd talent, and a master plan to destroy some lives."

classification: drama

story: A con artist who has the ability to make his face change sucessfully impersonates four people but ends up being shot by the father of one of his victims.

my summary: A clever story, I always enjoy tales about creepy twins. Good use of urban settings, neon signs, hotels, skyline, etc. I always wondered what this one would be about when I heard the title. It was toward the end of the series of the videotapes, probably one of the last ones I got.

"He was Arch Hammer, a cheap little man who just checked in. He was Johnny Foster, who played a trumpet and was loved beyond words. He was Virgil Sterig, with money in his pocket. He was Andy Marshak, who got some of his agony back on a sidewalk in front of a cheap hotel. Hammer, Foster, Sterig, Marshak---and all four of them are dying."

LOST Diaries: episode 5


"Jack is nearly delirious from lack of sleep and struggles to overcome the haunting events that brought him to Australia and, subsequently, to the island. Meanwhile, Boone gets caught in a treacherous riptide trying to save a woman who went out swimming. A pregnant Claire's health takes a bad turn from lack of fluids, and a thief may have stolen the last bottles of water. Veronica Hamel guest-stars as Jack's mother, Margo.

Also, Jack flashes back at 12 years old, to find himself on the playground in an altercation with a bully, who ultimately beats him up, and later learns a life lesson from his father."
read here

Wow, Jack, wow. I am floored. You look like my brother. I enjoy Matthew Fox's portrayal very much. Identifying dead father? Spot on. I didn't ever have to do that myself, luckily, but couldn't have written it or performed it better even if I had. VERY ENJOYABLE. I'm starting to look more and more forward to watching.....status is elevating......!

LOST diaries: episode 4


"The survivors are jolted awake in the middle of the night when wild island beasts (which are wild boars) invade the beach encampment. Kate and Michael join the mysterious Locke on a hunt for food -- and a shocking secret about Locke is revealed. On the hunt for food someone is injured. Meanwhile, some survivors are horrified by Jack's plan for the dead bodies still scattered among the wreckage -- he wants to burn them. Jack sees someone that's not there, and we find out that one of the survivors was not able to walk but now he can."
read here

I'm almost speechless. SO not the direction I expected this to take. What an emotionally charged twist! The wheelchair is a delightfully clever hint being used to haul wood! This is starting to feel a bit like the Clue VCR Game of the late 80s--Murder in Disguise where the cards told you to look for a certain item hidden somewhere that would later help you solve the murder--"the weapon hidden in the plant was used by the suspect who helped Mrs. Peacock unpack her suitcase," etc. I LOVE IT.

Positive Energy

Rare is it that media critics (even psuedo ones like me) ever only point out the positives in the items they review. I just recently found myself complaining that a former manager of mine focused too much on everyone's flaws and shortcomings and could have benefitted more from emphesizing strengths instead. I am taking my own advice: positives first, negatives only if they majorly take away from viewing/reading experience. I sometimes forget that the things that I sometimes just casually dismiss are somebody's projects, something they probably worked hard's not nice to just be sarcastic and rude about it even if I thought it sucked. (all bets are off with this new "policy" if Michael Bay is involved, ESPECIALLY if it's a remake.) And the Twilight Zone. I've put in my time for years----no, DECADES, watching those tapes. If they piss me off I'm taking free reign to say so, with sarcasm. Items such as Sex and the City, 24, or random films will be ranted about with this new format taken into consideration. I feel more positive already. (SMILEY FACE).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

LOST diaries: episode 3

Tabula Rasa

"Jack and Hurley discover an alarming secret about Kate, as the marshal's life hangs in the balance and he suffers a lot of pain. Meanwhile Kate, Charlie, Sawyer, Sayid, Boone and Shannon ponder the mysteries they have begun to uncover and worry that telling the other survivors will cause panic. They decide to lie for the time being. Also, Locke's befriending of Walt disturbs Michael, but Walt is more concerned in finding his dog. Lastly, Kate flashes back to when she was arrested by the marshal in Australia."
read here

Wow. The bit with Kate is starting to bore me a bit. I mean, how dangerous could she be? I like the creepy bald guy, still a little suspicious of him though. Sawyer. GODDAMNED REDNECKS! If you had one shot......(eine gelegenheit.....)? And misses. I guess he needed a little more practice with his "weaponry." Good for the kid, getting the dog back. Prudish Korean woman just standing there topless? Right. Her husband wouldn't clean her clock twice for that or anything......! I am wondering what everyone is doing in the way of food right about now. That would be my first thought, probably as the damned airplane went down.....OH GREAT, WHAT THE CRAP ARE WE GOING TO EAT NOW?!?!?!?!? Always be prepared: bring a secret snack-pack.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

LOST diaries: pilot episode 2

"Having escaped the "creature" and retrieved the plane transceiver, a group of the survivors travel to higher ground so they can transmit a signal. En route, they receive a mysterious transmission and encounter another of the island's inhabitants. Meanwhile, back at camp, Jack tends to a wounded man who reveals a secret about Kate."
read here

YES! Getting very good. IT"S A POLAR BEAR! French woman's voice very creepy. NIce little mystery with Kate and why exactly she was in handcuffs. Her flashback to the crash was by far the scariest. What is the bald man's secret?!?!?! Hooray for the pregnant woman feeling her baby move! Prudish Korean man and wife? Lots of little items. How fun.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

LOST diaries: pilot episode 1

"A sudden plane crash leaves at least 48 survivors stranded on a jungle island, forced to scavenge for survival from the wreckage of the plane. As they get their bearings and pin their hopes on a quick rescue, the band of strangers begin to learn the island holds deep and dark secrets. A group of strong-willed survivors: Jack, a surgical doctor; Charlie, a former rock star; and the enigmatic Kate venture into the dark heart of the jungle to try and recover the airplane transceiver. But even heroes have secrets, as the survivors will soon learn.";title;0

Wow. Relatively late in the game, we have started watching LOST. One episode in and I am already really digging it. My brother said once that I would love it because it was very "Twilight Zone." HOW TRUE!!! Even the music is very much similar. Matthew Fox is very-fine juices. I don't think I'll be willing to get on board an airplane very soon though, these place crash situations have always bothered me. When I was working at NWA I used to have at least one plane crash dream a month.
Bald guy smiling with orange in his mouth: BRANDO FROM THE GODFATHER?!?!!?

I am very excited by this. Sometimes media comes along that gets me this way: 24, Dexter, etc.
How wonderful.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Twilight Zone Diaries, episode 12

What You Need

originally aired: December 25, 1959
written by: Rod Serling
starring: Steve Cochran, Ernest Truex

"You're looking at Mr. Fred Renard who carries on his shoulder a chip the size of the national debt. This is a sour man, a friendless man, a lonely man, a grasping, compulsive, nervous man. This is a man who has lived thirty-six undistinguished, meaningless, pointless, failure-laden years and who at this moment looks for an escape. Any escape, any way, any thing, anybody to get out of the rut. And this little old man is just what Mr. Renard is waiting for."

classification: drama

story: A desperate and bitter man tries to exploit the strange powers of an old salesman who can tell what people need in their futures. The salesman fights back by giving the other man a pair of new shoes which cause his death.

my summary: This is mildly clever but just doesn't interest me very much. Serling's opening monologue is great; they used it again for Vic Morrow's racist character in The Twilight Zone Movie and I think it works much better there. Pedot's ending summary was pretty weak. PEDOT? I liked the opening scene: interesting people in the bar. Oh and almost getting hung in the elevator was a nice touch too.

"Street scene, night. Traffic accident. Victim named Fred Renard. Gentleman with a sour face for whom contentment came with difficulty. Fred Renard took all that was needed--in The Twilight Zone."

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Money Pit

Yes, well, our house is no where near this large or nice, but I thought the picture pretty accurately showed the situation going on here last summer from August to November. We watched part of the movie last night and regrettably stopped before the Shirk Brothers finished ripping up the house (WHAT ARE YOU TESTING MISSILES HERE OR WHAT?!?!, yes, as a matter of fact, we are.) There are probably several hundred different rants (none of them media, sadly) that I could go on about my anger and frustration from a damaged roof and ripped up house (contractors taking their sweet ass time, roofer doing a horrible job even after he wrecked our house, insurance adjustor screwing us and never calling us back, bee hives, dumpster rentals, credit card payments, credit ratings, uppity neighbors, etc., etc.) but I'm kind of done being upset about it as we are back inside, baby born healthy in hospital and NOT the residence inn where we were staying, and ****most**** of the shit is getting paid off.
I guess I realized after watching a good hour here that the story of Walter and Hannah works well because of the cheesy, The Cheap Girls Band, Max, the pervey carpenter and plumber). Shelley Long kind of bugs but I think she works well overall. Tom Hanks, hate to say it, ALWAYS better in comedy.
"I KNOW where the bucket is. I don't need you to TELL me where the bucket is....."

Bachelor Party anyone?

The Twilight Zone Diaries, episode 11

And When the Sky Was Opened

originally aired: December 11, 1959
written by: Rod Serling
starring: Rod Taylor, Charles Aidman

"Her name, X-20. Her type: an experimental interceptor. Recent history: a crash landing in the Mojhave Desert after a thirty-one hour flight nine hundred miles into space. Incidental data: the ship with the men who flew her disappeared rom the radar screen for twenty-four hours. But the shroud that cover mysteries are not always mae out of tarpaulin, and this man will soon find out on the other side of a hospital door."

classification: drama

Story: Three astronauts who have returned to earth mysteriously disappear one by one as if they never existed.

summary: OKAY! Enough with these existential "no one knows me" where have I been, insert me into some random setting shows! That's three in the last two tapes! I am getting very annoyed, although this one has probably been the strongest episode out of any of them.......blah.

"Once upon a time there was a man named Harirngton, a man named Forbes, a man named Gart. They used to exist but they don't any longer. Someone or something took them somewhere, at least they are no longer a part of the memory of man. And as to the X-20 supposed to be housed in this hanger, this tool does not exist. And if you have any questions concerning the aircraft and three men who flew her, speak softly at them, and only in The Twilight Zone.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A Boy's Best Friend is his Mother.....

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

The Twilight Zone Diaries, episode 10

Judgement Night

originally aired: December 4, 1959
written by: Rod Serling
starring: Nehemiah Persoff, Ben Wright

"Her name is the SS Queen of Glasgow, her registry, British. Gross tonnage: 5000. Age; indeterminate. At this moment she's one day out of Liverpool, her destination: New York. Duelly recorded on this ship's log is the sailing time, course destination, weather conditions, temperature, longitude, and latitude. But what is never recorded in a log is the fear that washes over a deck like fog and ocean spray, fear like the throbbing strokes of engine pistons, each like a heartbeat parcelling out every hour into breathless minutes of watching, waiting, and regretting. For the year is 1942 and this particular ship has lost its convoy. It travels alone like an aged, blind thing groping through the unfriendly dark stalked by unseen periscopes of steel killers. Yes, the Queen of Glasgow is a frightened ship. And she carries with her the premonition of death."

classification: drama

story: A passenger on the Queen of Glasgow cannot remember how he came to be on board, but is certain that the ship will be torpedoed at 1:15am. He is, in fact, the U-boat captain condemned to eternally relive his victim's fate.

summary: very slow-moving and uninteresting. I think this is the first time I've ever watched this all the way through. I've tried numerous times to get into it but always ended up turning it off. I guess I really like the idea of how this all is supposed to take place, the "Death's Head Revisted" episode is similar, having Gunther Lutze live out the torture and pain that he himself ordered at Dachau....this for some reason just doesn't have the pull that "Death's Head" does. I remember the line from the opening clips on the CBS videos Dewey had...."I KNOW we're being stalked!" I guess the best part would have to be the dude seeing himself through the binoculars....getting ready to bomb.....himself. Blah. I do kind of enjoy Serling's intro and wrap-up here....he really busts out the fancy prose.

"The SS Queen of Glasgow, heading for New York, 1942. For one man, it is always 1942. And this man will ride the ghost of that ship every night for eternity. THis is what is meant by paying the fiddler. This is the come-uppance awaiting every man when the ledger of his life is opened and examined. The tally made and then the reward or penalty paid. To Carl Lanser, this is the penalty, this is judgement night in The Twilight Zone.