Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bonfire of the Vanities

Hmmm. Candace Bushnell's early inspiration? Rich guy makes some bad choices (pampered, superficial, caricatured women deal with not always getting their own ways). If you ask me, Sherman McCoy should have married his perfect Yale chin and Carrie Bradshaw should have just found a way to hump her wardrobe. Life goes on.

I do wonder if "American Psycho" was Bret Easton Ellis's response to this novel, with a murderous twist? Pierce and Pierce, was it really a place? Ha. I just googled it and there is an investment group of that name, but if they're any sort of major player in today's market I doubt they would have such a boring website. Maybe they're just trying to stay under the radar. Mergers and Acquisitions = Murders and Executions.

The only thing I recall of the film was Kim Catrell as the wife and Melanie Griffith as the cupcake. I try to avoid exposing my eyes to Melanie Griffith about as much as I try to avoid raw sewage, so obviously her scenes (with a Christing southern accent!) were difficult. I'm feeling brave, so it's on my netflix cue, ready for another try. Along with WUTHERING HEIGHTS. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Life and Times of Richard Alpert


Tonight, at long last, we get something we've been waiting YEARS for! How exciting! I want to know everything about Richaardus, EVERYTHING!

A few items, just for the hell of it.

1. What is it about the island that makes people want to destroy it? Did the armed forces bring JUGHEAD to the island, and if so, for what purpose? How is it that it was never detonated (before Juliet)? How would anyone be able to find the island and then get a nuke onto it? Was that the work of The Smokey Man? (It's an island, it doesn't need protecting.) I think he was telling a big lie with that one.

Is the island the only place that can **contain** The Smokey Man? Is that why he wants to leave it and then have it destroyed? If this really is like The Howling Man, then he can only be contained by the staff of truth, maybe the island is a bigger, more special staff, that can contain the devil, and that's why he wants to go? He can't leave as long as his opposing figure (Jacob) is keeping him there, but now that Jacob is gone, he's free to bolt?

The Island is under water during the beginning of the flash sideways. If LOST=Howling Man, someone let the Devil out, and if the island (staff of truth) is underwater, the only thing that could contain him is gone, leaving him free to unleash his evil all over the world.

2. What is up with the Statue and what is up with the loss of fertility? How did that statue get reduced to just a foot? Does that symbolize The Smokey Man having more power over what happens on the island than Jacob? (Bad is more powerful than good, by the time Jack and Locke get there?) They COULD have successful reproduction before, what changed that? Wikipedia says that the Sobek Statue symbolized The River, Warfare, and Fertility. Sobek = God of Creation, often paired with Ra, God of Sun. Sobek was also said to be a repairer of evil. If the statue got hashed, chances are good that 1. the evil cannot get repaired and 2. the evil did it.

More later, I have a feast to prepare and some heavy black kohl to apply.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

LOST and The Twilight Zone.

I can't hold back anymore; here are the shows from the Twilight Zone's first season that are relevant to LOST. Later seasons to follow. This is sooooooo fun! I wish LOST had been on when I was in college; my nights would have been spent taping up my glasses to do exactly this. The summaries are taken from Marc Scott Zicree's excellent book, "The Twilight Zone Companion."

1. "Where is Everybody?"

Mike Ferris, an amnesiac in an Air Force jumpsuit, finds himself in a town strangely devoid of people. But despite the emptiness, he has the odd feeling that he's being watched. As he inspects the town's cafe, phone booth, police station, drugstore, and movie theater, his desperation mounts. Finally, he collapses, hysterically pushing the "walk" button of a stoplight again and again. In reality, the "walk" button is a panic button, and Ferris is an astronaut-trainee strapped in an isolation booth in simulation of a moon flight. After 484 hours in the booth, he has cracked from sheer loneliness. His wanderings in the vacant town have been nothing more than a hallucination.

From the moment I saw Jack open his eyes up in the pilot episode, I was certain that this was what was happening: They are in some isolation booth somewhere and they are creating all of this drama out of sheer insanity or boredom. I don't necessarily think this episode is the most relevant anymore, but the hallucinations still fit if you consider the random dead people who seem to pop up all over the island; some we know about, like Locke, (Claire?), and Sayid. What about Christian Shephard? What is actually happening (flash sideways) and what is not actually happening? Are certain things just memories or were they actually experienced?

2. "Mr. Denton on Doomsday"

The setting is the Old West. Al Denton--once a feared gunslinger, now the town drunk--is forced to draw against Hotaling, a sadistic bully. But on that same day, Henry J. Fate rides into town. Somehow, Fate's glance gives Denton's hand a life of its own, and Denton gets off two miraculous shots, disarming his tormentor and regaining the respect of the town. His dignity renewed, he swears off liquor. . . (and yes, that is a young Martin Landau pouring the booze into Denton's mouth)

This is reaching a little, but the basic idea is that of the second chance, which is a huge factor for all of the characters. The survivors of 815 are immediately presented with a second chance, (courtesy of Henry J. Fate?) just by being able to start over again on the new island civilization. This is most important for those who were on the wrong side of the law when they took the flight, notably Kate and Sawyer, maybe even Sayid. Charlie got to start over too, eventually triumphing over addiction, developing a relationship with Claire (and Aaron), and pulling some major hero stuff down in The Looking Glass. Rose and Bernard get a second chance to enjoy each other without Rose's cancer; Sayid finds love with Shannon. Locke, obviously takes on an entirely new life on the island (1. no longer paralyzed and 2. replacing Ben as The Others' Leader), Jin and Sun conceive a baby despite struggling with infertility before the crash, and Hurley is no longer a jinx.

The Island=Fate?

3. Judgement Night

On board the SS Glasgow is a German named Karl Lanser, with no memory of how he got there, yet with the feeling that he's met all the passengers somewhere before. Things are made even more mysterious by Lanser's certainty that an enemy sub is stalking the ship, and by his premonition that something is going to happen at 1:15 A.M. His fear proves correct: at one-fifteen a U-boat surfaces. Peering through binoculars, Lanser sees that its captain is . . . himself! The U-boat sinks the helpless freighter, then crew members machine-gun the survivors. Lanser sinks beneath the waters. Later, on board the sub, a lieutenant suggests they might all face damnation for their action. Kapitan Lanser discounts this theory--not realizing that he is, in fact, doomed to relive the sinking of that ship for eternity.

In this story, the SS Glasgow = The Flying Dutchman. Might the Oceanic 815ers be the new crew of the new Flying Dutchman? There is something very tangible about these people having to do things over and over until they get them correct. . . but how does this happen, exactly? Who is pulling the strings? Eloise had a little bit of control over some of the events, or explaining them, anyway. "No Desmond, YOU DON'T BUY THE RING!" "LIKE IT OR NOT, THE ISLAND ISN'T DONE WITH YOU!" What does she know? Is there a manual of island "rules" that she is following? Why is she even involved in all of this anyway? Is there ONE MAIN EVENT that has to happen?

4. Mirror Image

Millicent suspects the bus station is run by lunatics: snappishly, the ticket taker tells her that she's repeatedly asked when the bus will arrive, adding that her suitcase has already been checked. In the washroom, the attendant claims she was there only a moment before. Yet she's done none of these things. She realizes that it is not their sanity which is in question when, in the washroom mirror, she spies a duplicate of herself sitting in the waiting room. Rushing out, she finds the room empty. . .

This hadn't really been on my radar as one to watch out for until Sayid smiled that EVIL smile back at Ben in the Temple after he had obviously gone public with "Team Smoke Monster." This is how "Mirror Image" ends, with the man's doppelganger running away from him, grinning a horrible grin back at him the entire time. A battle between the good and evil inside them?
Fighting the demons inside themselves? Yes.

Honorable Mention: "People Are Alike All Over."

Friday, March 5, 2010

Let's not forget about Rose. . .

I have been watching Season One again in between Tuesdays to review.

I still think these shows are very much like the Twilight Zone. The subject matter is mysterious and sometimes creepy, the accompanying score is almost like a 50s horror film (think Bernard Hermann of "Psycho" fame), and there is just something fantastic about all of this.

Knowing what I know now, things are popping out left and right during the pilot and first two episodes ("Tabula Rasa" and "Walkabout")
1. When John Locke is in his box-distributing office, he is adding figures on an adding machine. The sound is subtle, but THE FRICKING SMOKE MONSTER is edited in at the same time just as the scene ends! SMOKE MONSTER SOUNDS! Like a premonition?
Very cool.

2. John Locke obviously meets the Smoke Monster in the jungle when they go out for their first boar-hunt. He looks RIGHT at it. Kate and Michael are off tending to Michael's leg; John is alone. When he surprises everyone by returning to the beach, alive, Michael asks if he got a good look at "it." "NO," he lies. Why does he lie? And why did it just leave him? It totally bitched up the pilot and snatched him from the plane. . .

3. When Kate and Jack are on the beach after she tells him that she wants to tell him what she did, Jack says that he doesn't want to know. Then he says, "We all DIED. I think everyone deserves to start over." Hmmmm. This after Jack (in the pilot) wakes up quite a distance away from everyone else (He walks among them but is not one of them).

4. Rose. When she's sitting on the beach fondling her wedding ring, Jack talks with her a bit. She says, "You have a nice way about you. A good SOUL. I guess that's why you became a doctor." Jack says NO, he was born into it. In a few later episodes comments are made about Jack's **unpleasant** bedside manner. By Hurley, and someone else, I think. As in, he has a nice way about him when he's NOT being a doctor (You don't have what it takes, Jack).

Rose KNOWS things. That her husband is not dead. That her cancer is gone. Not to follow John (I'm not going anywhere with that man!) Then later, she and Bernard seem to know that Juliet is going to croak. I thought at first they were regarding her with tenderness (are you sure you don't want some tea?) because she was pregnant or something; no, she was just a few minutes away from getting sucked into the swan pocket. It's like she isn't influenced by the things that are going on around her, she just makes her decisions and sticks with them and to hell with the rest of you!

There are a few things that I want to know.

1. Explain Horace, Mathematician. What the hell was his deal? Did he build the cabin?

2. Give me some closure on that child, Annie, that was Ben's friend.

3. Lapidus and Miles are the only two from the freighter that have survived. The pilot and the corpse-whisperer. Miles has proven useful by telling Sawyer that Juliet wanted to tell him that IT WORKED. We know that Lapidus is not a candidate. We know that he can fly both helicopters and "big birds" in less than ideal circumstances. We know that they were making a runway over on Hydra Island. Is Yemi's beechcraft still around or did Eko burn it? The Ajira plane must still be there, but I think there were trees in it. . .

4. Why was Dogan the only thing keeping Smokey out? Did Dogan CATCH it? Serling used the staff of truth to keep the devil inside his cage; was Dogan using some sort of holy ash or something? Was there something INSIDE Dogan? A sacrifice to never see his son again?

More, more, more.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

There's Still Time.

Not for me, says Sayid.
I can't even write about this last episode, it was one of the few things in life that has left me speechless. I watched it, sat there dumbfounded, reloaded it on the DVR and watched it over again. The flash sideways in this one was a little ho-hum, I mean a lot happened, but not even Abrams could follow up what was going on on-Island with equal action; the stuff that happened there was pretty much the coolest and most exciting series of events to ever happen, if you ask me. I did however appreciate that horrible Martin Keamy getting creamed again, THAT I'll watch as many times as it needs to happen because I don't think I've ever been as grossed out by anyone.

Wow. Just ONE. BIG. WOW.

And the image above is taken from The Twilight Zone, the episode is titled, "Mirror Image." The uncomfortable leering glance back is to the man's other self, or twin. I thought it was fitting, given Sayid's similar grin to Ben as he tries to get him to come along with the good guys. And the last word that my scanner unfortunately cut off on the bottom is "ALTER-EGO."

Sometimes I think the shows are one and the same.