Category Archives: TV and Film

And the agony of Dee Cineloathing

Posted on October 3, 2010 by

I put Appaloosa on the Ziplist for two reasons:

First, it’s a Western featuring Viggo Mortensen, who can sometimes act and always ride, two things I approve of.

Second: One of my all time favorite movies is Silverado, and I’m always looking for something that has that same kind of goodness.

This is perhaps futile, given the bravura ensemble cast of Silverado–Danny Glover, Kevin Kline, John Cleese, Linda Hunt, and (in defiance of his usual tendency to fall into the worst script ever) Scott Glenn–and the awsome direction of Lawrence Kasdan.

The quest for another good Western Love has led to some dark moments in Dua filmwatching: Hidalgo might be as good as it’s gotten. We watched The Quick & The Dead with Sharon Stone, though I should admit that I did howl with glee at the sheer tackiness of its ending. We watched all of 3:10 to Yuma, Chaos knows why. And we made it to the dust dull what the hell end of Appaloosa too. We came away with a bad case of cineloathing and a realization: perhaps it’s the Silverado effect, but we don’t turn bad Westerns off. We turn off bad other stuff–dramas, comedies, SF–even when we like the artists involved. But not Westerns. What is that all about? I don’t know, but it’s on the To Learn list now.

What can’t you turn off?


Spiders

Finally, Thursday THE RAIN GARDEN words: 927, for a total of 31441.
Friday: 1044, total 32485
Saturday: 1134, total 33619. I am happy with this rate of progress. All my characters are in free-fall now… I expect to have good momentum until they hit bottom.

The thrill of Tee Victory

Posted on October 2, 2010 by

The cop show Blue Bloods is the new thing we are picking up this season: it tells the story of one Irish-Catholic family in New York who are all in the justice biz. Tom Selleck is the widower patriarch of the clan; he’s also the police commissioner. Donnie Wahlberg is his loose-cannon eldest, and has made detective. Actors I don’t know by name or sight fill out the roles of A.D.A. Daughter and uniformed Rookie. There’s a martyred son in the mix, Donnie’s married with kids, and a cranky Grandpa too.

Two weeks in, the verdict is… promising. There are a lot of undercurrents: old fights and new ones, family love and loyalty and work obligations clashing, and of course, a crime of the week. Also, the pilot had some nicely stylish direction and camera work.

It ain’t Boomtown, but I can’t keep holding that against new crime TV forever, now can I?

Anyone make a great new discovery this season?

In other news: Wednesday’s THE RAIN GARDEN words: 813

Favorite Thing Mystery Monday…

Posted on September 20, 2010 by

My post today at Favorite Thing Ever is about the awesomely creepy Minette Walters novel, The Shape of Snakes.

And in case you missed it, kelly-yoyoKelly gives a most excellent pitch for Twitch City – The Complete Series, whose don’t miss central thesis is: Molly Parker is Lickable.

Other sources of televisual excitement in Dualand include the season premieres of both House and Castle, not to mention the CBC documentary: Queen Elizabeth in 3D. Really. That last bit isn’t a joke.

Life, the universe, and David Attenborough

Posted on August 30, 2010 by

Today I am posting on Favorite Thing Ever again, this time raving enthusiastically (if semi-coherently) about my true true love for a nine-part series of BBC life sciences documentaries that are absolutely filled with wonders, with a particular focus on The Life of Birds.

(And while you’re there, stop in and laugh hard at the video clips in kelly-yoyoKelly‘s post about Maid Marion and Her Merry Men!)

Name dropping, with chicken and artichokes

Posted on August 27, 2010 by

Most of the writers I’ve interviewed for the Journey series have agreed that the big joy of working in publishing is getting to know so many cool and delightful people. I got a concrete reminder of the essential truth of this when Peter Watts came through Vancouver on his way to Worldcon. We spent Wednesday evening catching up over dinner and wine.

Peter and I got to know each other when Starfish first came out–I reviewed it, and wasn’t entirely sold. We exchanged a few e-mails about my review and by the time the second book was out I’d changed my mind; Peter was kind enough to forgive me my reservations. All of which are gone: read Peter! He’s great!!

Peter is also a big fan of Rumble–who responds by treating him with uncharacteristic aloofness–and even named a head cheese after him in Behemoth).

Anyway, it was one of those lovely, magical nights. He introduced us to Mr. Deity and we talked a lot about TV–Dexter and Breaking Bad and the ill-fated tv pilot Virtuality. Even as writers, it’s easier to talk tv than books–there’s still an awful lot of it and you cannot watch it all, but the areas of overlap are greater. This is part of the appeal of book clubs, I guess: if everyone agrees in advance to read something, you know you can talk about it with someone.

(On somewhat of an aside, another writer I know, Nancy Richler, is in a book club that specifically focuses on books its members failed to finish the first time. They’re currently wading through Henry James’s The Golden Bowl.)

We have more company coming to town this weekend… it has been an action-packed month! However, I am hoping to find time to post some Victoria pictures and do some grading.