Friday, February 29, 2008

LOST The Constant, first thoughts

In my opinion, that was the best episode of LOST ever.

Despite the fact that I was exhausted after an awesome and exciting day of seeing the next President of the United States speak in Fort Worth, I watched the episode twice, back to back.

It reminded me of a few things, first, of the books Slaughterhouse Five and The Time Traveler's Wife, and also of the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the episode entitled All Good Things.  In each of those stories, a character is unstuck from time.  The Time Traveler's Wife, however, isn't as good a comparison, despite being an outstanding book, because the character actually travels through time in body as well as mind.  In the other two stories, and in this episode as well, the character only travels through time with their consciousness.

In the series finale of TNG (Star Trek fans understood that), Captain Picard is unstuck from time, experiencing things in three different time periods.  As the episode progresses, he recognizes a time anomaly that is constant in all three periods.  It isn't until he confronts that anomaly that he is able to return to the "present day" and time reverts to normal for him.  I also think it's fitting that Star Trek is referenced in this way in LOST, since series creator, J.J. Abrams is writing and directing the new Star Trek movie.
Billy Pilgrim, the main character in Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five, isn't so lucky as Desmond and Picard.  He remains unstuck from time throughout the entire story.  What's interesting about Vonnegut's book is that a main character in the book is Sci Fi writer Kilgore Trout, who is the book version of Kurt Vonnegut.  In Phillip K. Dick's Valis, which Locke gave to Benry Gale to read last week, one of the main characters is Horselover Fat, the book version of Phillip K. Dick.  Not sure if that connection is intended or important, but it certainly was interesting to me.

Another side note, a few weeks ago when I talked about the second episode introducing the Freighter folk, I mentioned that Jeremy Davies was in the outstanding film Million Dollar Hotel.  His character in that movie is in love with a women named Eloise, also the name of the mouse in this episode.

Back to the episode, although the helicopter only takes a small amount of time to reach the freighter from the Island, it seems longer to those still on the Island.  And that time difference is far greater then the 31 minutes we were shown earlier.  This leads me to believe that time runs completely differently on the Island as it does off of it.  In other words, on the Island, time is not a constant.

Minkowski, the real one, not the episode one, is famous because he realized and defined time's role in our world, the fourth dimension to our three dimensional beings.  Therefore it remains constant in how we see it.  We can't relate to time as it truly is, since as three dimension beings we can only see the part of it that intersects with our world.  Just as a picture on a piece of paper would have no understanding of depth.  It would understand height and width as they truly were (being an understandable part of their two dimensional world) but wouldn't fully grasp depth, the third dimension.  Somehow, the Island isn't part of the three dimensional world that we're used to, and therefore time doesn't work the way that we're used to it working.
In the episode, Minkowski dies, I think, because the ideas that he represents (i.e. the theories posited by his namesake) are no longer valid.

Until Next Time, I'm going to think on this more, and probably watch the episode again, and I wouldn't be surprised if I have some more thoughts on this episode.  As I said, I think this was the greatest episode of LOST ever.

Monday, February 25, 2008

3rd Annual My Thoughts As I Had Them During the Oscars

Welcome to what has become a staple and fan favorite here the Third Annual "My Thoughts As I Had Them During The Oscars" Post coinciding not so coincidentally with the 80th Annual Academy Awards.  Here we go...

-Welcome back Jon Stewart, host of the First Annual "My Thoughts As I Had Them During The Oscars" Post.  Here's hoping he doesn't steal as many of my jokes this time around.

-The first mention of the writers strike of the evening.  I wonder how many there will be?  I would advise against using this in any drinking game capacity as it is likely to lead to alcohol poisoning.

-Great joke about the themes in the movies nominated for Best Picture, "Thank God for teen pregnancy to lighten the mood."  Nice.

-He mentioned Javier Bardem, he'll win.  He mentioned Daniel Day-Lewis, he'll win.  He mentioned Cate Blanchett, she'll win.  Oh, sorry Jon, if you had read my prediction post you would have known not to put your money on Julie Christie.  She's not going to win.

-Making fun of Norbit is fun as well as important (since it got a nomination and the amazing Zodiac did not).  Jon says, "too often the Academy ignores movies that aren't good."  Hilarious.

-I figured there'd be some political talk this evening.  Jon's getting some good punches in against John McCain here.  "I don't care if it takes 100 years," he says, "we will keep Iraq movies in the theaters."  That's funny.  Great opening he's got going here.  Thank goodness the writers are back.

-He gave Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama some name recognition, but despite making fun of McCain he didn't mention his name at all.  I wonder which party Jon Stewart supports?  How true his point about black presidents and women presidents, they're usually in disaster movies.  "How else will we know it's the future?"

-Okay, here we go, let's get started.

-Sidney Bristow to give the first award.  Move your hair out of your face Sidney.  Where's Jack Bristow when you need him?

-Costume Design goes to Elizabeth, and while the costumes are elaborate, the speech is short, sweet, and to the point.

-The problem with watching the Oscars live is that when I try to fast forward through the commercials, the DVR button puts up an annoying little box reminding me I'm live and can't skip ahead.  How unfair.

-George Clooney's opening line: "Hi, you guys."  You heard it here first, Clooney's new movie, Goonies 2.

-If only the damn Titanic song wasn't playing, this would be an awesome introspective.

-I was just wondering why Jon wasn't watching the movie in widescreen.  I wonder if Apple paid for that joke.

-Time for a prayer.  Dear God, please let the filmmakers of the world understand that we don't want any more movies about penguins.  Amen.

-I still don't see how The Simpsons Movie wasn't nominated for best animated film (and it is tragic that Spiderpig didn't receive a best song nomination.  Utterly tragic.)

-I wonder if they're going to have her up throughout the night in 27 different dresses.  You know, cause she's in that movie, 27 Dresses.  Never mind.

-I'm still upset that Norbit gets a nomination and Zodiac, Josh's Choice for Number One Film of 2007 gets completely left out.  Do you people realize how horrid and wrong that is?  Horrid and wrong, people, horrid and wrong.

-I can't help it, I really like Amy Adams.

-"The Oscar goes to... Catherine."  A little clip of Sean Connery giving the award to Catherine Zeta Jones a few years back for Traffic.  I love how he paused there.  I know he's retired and all, but I wonder if he could give Daniel Craig a few lessons on pausing so that Daniel doesn't say bondjamesbond like it is one word next time.

-Yeah, Jon, it is the 80th Annual Academy Awards, but it's also the Third Annual "My Thoughts As I Had Them During The Oscars" Post, let's not forget that.

-Can you smell what award the Rock is presenting?  Just wondering.

-Golden Compass just won for Special Effects.  That's a bit of a surprise.  I mean, sure, Michael Bay isn't a very good director, but the effects were actually pretty amazing.  Not to take anything away from Golden Compass, but come on.

-Only Jon Stewart can get away with calling Cate Blanchett a dog and have it come off like a compliment.

-Tom Wilkinson was amazing in Michael Clayton, but he was the only one.  Man that movie sucked.

-You're welcome, Javier.  I'd like to thank my middle school and high school Spanish teachers since I actually understood that.

-Dangerously close to stealing my joke there, Jon.  Be careful.  Remember we talked about this.

-Sadly, the Binocular tribute and the Bad Dream tribute were actually better then the sound effect choir and the weird dancers turning into penguins from last year.

-See Sidney, J.J. Abrams' first leading lady, Felicity, knows how to keep her hair out of her face.

-I'm really glad that they broke up the songs this year.  Do you think that they decided to do that after reading my suggestion about it in my prediction post?  I wondered who all those California footprints belonged to.

-Bee Movie was another Animated movie far better then the ones actually nominated for best animated feature.

-WHAT?!?!  Are you kidding me?  Tilda SwintonSwinton played George Clooney's role, and George Clooney played Tilda Swinton's role, this might have been an interesting film.  As it was it sucked, and there is no way that she should have won an Oscar or even been nominated.

-I like how they show everyone writing so prim and proper, then they show the Coen Brothers lounging on couches.  That's actually how a lot of my writing gets done too.

-And so it begins for No Country, the first Oscars of many, I believe.

-That was actually a cool little bit there by the President of the Academy.  I was expecting another "Movies are Great.  Go out and see more Movies" speech.

-Super Delegate jokes are both funny and timely.

-I know that Jon said that was Miley Cyrus, but has anyone ever noticed she looks a lot like the singer Hannah Montana?  Sure, they're hair colors are different, but a wig could fix that.  I'm suspicious.  And another thing, have you ever noticed that Superman looks a lot like Clark Kent, only without the glasses?  Think about it.  It's an uncanny resemblance.

-Man, the Academy must hate Michael Bay as they dis Transformers again.  Instead, they give it to Bourne, directed by Paul Greengrass, the only director who shakes the camera as much as Michael Bay does.

-I got motion sickness just watching that clip from Bourne.

-I was starting to get better when they showed a clip from Transformers.  Where's my Dramamine?

-Told you that both these awards would go to the same movie.  At least I was right about that.

-Ha.  Told you Julie Christie wouldn't win.  Should have read my prediction post Jon Stewart.  Then you would have only been wrong when mentioning Cate Blanchett at the beginning.  Too late now.

-I just want to say, I could totally take Jon Stewart at Wii Tennis.

-Now the moment that every comment I received on my prediction post has been eagerly anticipating.... THE SONG FROM ONCE!!!!

-I totally want my own wall of guitars.  That's awesome.

-Was that Frank Calliendo or was Jack doing his own impersonation of Jack?

-The Coen Brothers supplied a picture of "Roderick Jaynes"?  That's showing dedication to your pseudonym right there.

-Another surprise.  How can you even tell if the shots match in the editing of Bourne?  And how much Dramamine did the editor go through to edit this picture?  Did I mention that the camera shakes a lot in this movie?

-The first ever IMDb joke in Oscar history.  Probably won't be the last.

-I wish I could have worked with Hitch.  I'll just have to settle for stealing from him in everything I do.

-Side note during a commercial here, but am I the only one freaked out by the "When you turn your car on, does it return the favor?" line?  No!  And I'm thankful every day that it doesn't.  I have enough issues as it it, thank you very much.

-I have to say, that shot right there makes me want to see Mongol.

-Does anyone else feel like they've seen the whole movie of Enchanted now just from the three nominated songs?

-Luckily, I got this one right, since it's apparently the only category my readers read.  Original song goes to Falling Slowly.  They'll all think I was perfect since it's the only prediction they payed attention to.

-Case in point, my friend Anne just texted me excited about my being right.  What can I say, I'm a genius.

-I'm glad that they let her come back out to give her speech.  It was a good one.  Classy moment.

-Wow, another surprise.  There have actually been a lot of them tonight.  I wonder if Deakins hurt himself by being nominated for two different films, splitting the vote.  I'm actually really saddened by the fact that he lost.  He's by far my favorite cinematographer in the business, and I was really looking forward to him winning.

-This is always my favorite part, the Farewell Montage.

-We'll miss you Miss Moneypenny. (Said in Sean Connery accent)

-I'm dedicating the Third Annual "My Thoughts As I Had Them During The Oscars" Post to Heath Ledger.  Sorry about making fun of you in the First Annual "My Thoughts As I Had Them During The Oscars" Post.  We're going to miss you greatly.  I'm especially sad that we'll never get to see you as a director.  Terry Gilliam said you would be a better director then he could ever be, and that's about as high a praise one could hope for and it makes me sure that it is a great tragedy we'll never get to see your work.  To Heath Ledger.

-We had a Spielberg theme going there for a second.  Jaws, Spielberg.  Close Encounters, Spielberg.  Rocky, Stallone.  Amy Adams should have gone with E.T. (Spielberg) or Indiana Jones (Spielberg) in order to keep it going.

-Speaking of Indiana Jones (Indiana was the dog's name [also in Sean Connery accent]) here comes Harrison Ford.

-Now she will forever be Diablo Cody, Oscar winner and former stripper.  Because you know they'll never stop referring to her as a former stripper.

-That's my new favorite speech of the night.  I'm a huge Diablo Cody fan.  From blogger to Oscar winning Screenwriter.  I can dig it.

-Did Helen Mirren even read the envelope or did she just announce Daniel Day-Lewis.  It's like when you have to ask a super easy question in Trivial Pursuit, and you don't even look at the back of the card to check the answer, because you know the other team got it right.  And it was probably for a wedge.  Anyway, no, I don't think Helen Mirren even read the envelope.

-Daniel Day-Lewis says this is the closest he'll come to being knighted.  It's funny cause she was Queen Elizabeth last year in The Queen.  Get it?

-The Coen Brothers.  Oscar Winning Directors and the minds behind The Big Lebowski.  It's right that those things should go together.  In fact, one might say those phrases really tie the room together, Dude.

-Ethan Coen is hilarious.

-Great.  Now I really want to see Henry Kissinger: Man on the Go.

-Go on back out there Coen Brothers.  More Oscars for your shelves.

-Scott Rudin says that he can't think of two other people he'd rather be on stage with then the Coen Brothers.  What about Halle Berry and Dame Judi Dench from earlier this evening.  Those two guys seemed pretty funny.  (And you thought I wasn't going to mention Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill, I would have done it earlier, but I was laughing too hard to actually be having any thoughts to write down while they were up there.)

-Oh well, 50% ain't bad.  Sure it isn't as good as I've done in the past, but it's a .500 batting average, and that would get you in the Hall of Fame, guaranteed.

Until Next Time

Friday, February 22, 2008

LOST Eggtown, first thoughts

Okay, I'm not going to lie, this episode didn't really impress me, so I'm not going to spend too much time on it.  There were a lot of things in it that I'm sure we'll be thankful for later (like Faraday having trouble remembering three playing cards), but overall a bit on the slow side.

The big reveal was that Kate is now raising Aaron.  I started to anticipate that this would be the case when Claire told Kate to pick Aaron up while they were doing laundry, so I was a little disappointed by this since I saw it coming from so far away.  For a second I got excited about this episode.  When Kate and Dr. Jack spoke outside the Courthouse, I began to think that maybe I was wrong and Aaron wasn't Kate's "son", but that somehow Dr. Jack was going to be the father.  That would have been a bit of a stunner considering for some reason he didn't want to see the baby.

But then it turns out I was right all along and that her "son" was in fact Aaron.

So why doesn't Dr. Jack want to see the baby?

Well, this is where the whole thing gets sad.  My theory is that at some point soon, Dr. Jack and Claire will realize that they are in fact brother and sister, most likely through a shared Christian sighting (or now that I think about it, a sighting between Sawyer and Claire where Claire exclaims "That's my father" and Sawyer looks shocked.  She asks why and he says that it is also Dr. Jack's father.)  Then, their relationship will firm as they realize they are the only family either of them has left that's worth anything.  Then tragedy will strike and Claire won't make it.  Dr. Jack will lose his sister just as they were getting close and seeing Aaron will be too much for him to handle.

Anyway, that's all I can figure, and Claire has to die, because I don't see her giving up Aaron otherwise.
So, the question is do we now know five of the six or does Aaron not count as one of the Oceanic 6 since he's a baby and was just counted as part of Kate?

The more important question raised by this episode is why haven't Frank, Sayid, Desmond and Naomi's body made it to the freighter yet?

Until Next Time, Overall, I wasn't thrilled by the episode, but I believe that it will set us up for more exciting episodes in the future.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Oscar Preview and Prediction Post 2007

There are a lot of categories, so let's get down to it, shall we?


The nominations are

George Clooney - MICHAEL CLAYTON

Daniel Day-Lewis - THERE WILL BE BLOOD



Viggo Mortenson - EASTERN PROMISES

There really isn't a question here.  As I said in my Top Ten Post yesterday, Daniel Day-Lewis's performance will go down as one of the greatest ever taking a completely unlikable character and making him riveting to watch.  Day-Lewis should and will win.


The nominations are


Julie Christie - AWAY FROM HER

Marion Cotillard - LA VIE EN ROSE

Laura Linney - THE SAVAGES

Ellen Page - JUNO

Julie Christie is far and away the favorite here, and definitely the safe bet if you're picking to impress, but Oscar has surprises every year, and overall, there aren't many places for surprises this year.  This however is a possible spot for a shocker, therefore, I'm going out on a limb and predicting the shocker.  Most people will tell you it will be Julie Christie, I'm however going with the young and talented newcomer Ellen Page, and actually think that if it's not her then Marion Cotillard will win.  I'm picking Ellen Page, but predicting that it won't be Christie giving us our big surprise of the night.


The nominations are



Philip Seymour Hoffman - CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR

Hal Holbrook - INTO THE WILD


First of all, let me say that Tom Wilkinson was about the only good thing about Michael Clayton, he was tremendous.  Any other year, I'd say that Casey Affleck was going to win this category considering his performance was beyond brilliant, but again, there really isn't a question this year in this category.  Javier Bardem embodies the killer in No Country for Old Men so completely and gives us the single scariest villain in film history.  In return, we can only give him the Oscar.


The Nominees are

Cate Blanchette - I'M NOT THERE


Saoirse Ronan - ATONEMENT



Honestly, I'm not sure why Tilda Swinton got nominated, surely there were better actresses in supporting roles, Michelle Pfeiffer was great in Stardust, and Chloe Sevigny was brilliant in Zodiac.  It's not that I don't think Swinton is a fine actress, but her character was so ridiculous I'm not sure any actress would have done well in the role.  Amy Ryan was very good as was the young Saoirse Ronan, but my feeling is that Cate Blanchette in the role of Bob Dylan will win this one like a rolling stone.  (That's in reference to a Bob Dylan song, in case you didn't get it.)


The nominees are




None of these films should have received a nomination, but since they did all get nominations and they are the movies we have to choose from, your winner will be Ratatouille.


The nominees are






There will be an Oscar for There Will Be Blood.


The nominees are






Two of these films, Assassination and No Country  had the same cinematographer, Roger Deakins, and he will win an Oscar this year.  It probably should be for Assassination, but it will ultimately be for No Country.


The nominees are






I think that this Oscar will probably go to Elizabeth.  Oscar loves this time period, and not much of this film was Oscar worthy, but I think they'll honor the one part that was.


The nominees are






I'm holding out hope that Sicko will win this year, and I think that it has a chance just because it's the only non Iraq war related nominee.  Michael Moore won just a few years ago, however, and a lot of people really dislike him, so that could hurt his chances.  If it isn't Moore, my money is on War/Dance.


The nominees are






I think that Roderick Jaynes will win an editing Oscar here, the question is will they hand out two Oscars for Roderick Jaynes or make the Coen Brothers (since Joel and Ethan together are Roderick Jaynes) share this one? In either case, No Country continues its strong night.


The nominees are






The Counterfeiters, although that is the only one with any buzz whatsoever, which makes it a pretty easy guess to make.


The nominees are




Just looking at the nominees should let you know who will win, La Vie en Rose.


The nominees are





3:10 TO YUMA

Definitely, one of the best parts of the movie Atonement is the score, and I predict it will get it's lone win in this category, mainly because Jonny Greenwood's score for There Will Be Blood was determined not to meet the requirements as an "Original" Score.


The nominees are

"Falling Slowly" - ONCE

"Happy Working Song" - ENCHANTED

"Raise It Up" - AUGUST RUSH

"So Close" - ENCHANTED

"That's How You Know" - ENCHANTED

A long time ago, this was one of my favorite categories (and I still hold out hopes that one day a song I write will win an Original Song Oscar), but of late this category has gotten old.  First of all, I don't like that they do all of the songs together.  Even when they don't do that, they do it at just two separate points with three songs together at one point and the other two together at one point.  I think the Original Song nominees should be spaced out throughout the show the way it used to be.  I also think that each movie should be only allowed to be nominated for one song rather then one film getting three nominations.  (Last year, that film was Dreamgirls, this year it is Enchanted.)  In any case, the song "Falling Slowly" will win the Oscar this year, as Once is a critically acclaimed film and this is its only nomination.


The nominees are





I'm picking Sari's Mother since it's about an Iraqi woman (big subject) who has a son with AIDS (big subject).


The nominees are






I'm going with I Met the Walrus simply because it's about an interview with John Lennon, and how can you go against the Beatles?


The nominees are






It is hard to get this one right, it is almost always the most difficult to predict (along with the Short Animated), I'm picking The Tonto Woman, because I heard it's based on an Elmore Leonard story, and I love Elmore Leonard.


The nominees are






A few years ago, King Kong won a crap load of Oscars despite being a horrible film, I have a feeling that Transformers might do the same (although, to be fair, it was much better then King Kong).  If No Country doesn't sweep all 8 awards, look for a win for Transformers here and in


The nominees are




3:10 TO YUMA


If you didn't get my segue, I was predicting that Transformers could win here too.  I'll let you in on a secret, whoever wins one will win the other.  It almost always happens that way.  No Country does have a chance to sweep out though.  If it wins both of these, it won't lose in a single category.


The nominees are




At least the effects in Transformers were good, unlike King Kong when they were almost as bad as the movie itself.  The 1933 version had better effects in my opinion.  Of these nominees, though, I don't have a problem with Transformers winning.


The nominees are






Not even a contest.  Former stripper Diablo Cody will now have to be described as former stripper and Oscar winner Diable Cody.  Juno wins easily.


The nominees are






The winner of this will win Best Picture, and I predict that movie will be No Country for Old Men.


The nominees are


Jason Reitman - JUNO


Joel and Ethan Coen - NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

Paul Thomas Anderson - THERE WILL BE BLOOD

It is rare that a directing duo wins an Oscar, in fact, I can't recall it ever happening before, although they have occasionally been nominated (including last year for Little Miss Sunshine).  Look for that to change tonight, the Coen brothers are going to need some new shelf space for all of the Oscars they will win this year.


The nominees are

First let me give you my thoughts on the two movies I haven't talked about already in my Top Ten and Honorable Mention Post from yesterday.


This was an interesting film, and I simply loved the ending.  I'm still not sold on Keira Knightley as an actress.  Sure she's beautiful, but she's never blown me away in a role and this movie is no exception.  The rest of the cast is very good, however.  There is a great tracking shot about halfway through the film.  It is an amazingly well executed shot.  The score is hauntingly beautiful and very effective.  All of these pluses, however, are ruined by the fact that a sitcom-like cliche is what Robert McKee would call the Inciting Incident, and that ruins the whole film for me.


This movie is simply horrible.  I didn't like it at all.  It's boring, it uses cheap story tricks to try to keep you interested, it seems like a lot of the main actors don't really want to be in the movie at all, Tom Wilkinson being the one exception, relishing his role as the one interesting character in the entire boring movie.  George Clooney, who is a great actor and much better in most everything else he's done, as the title character never seems to give us a good idea of who he is and what he stands for, making it hard to really care what decisions he makes, and seeing as it is through him we follow the action (if you can call it that) of the film, the movie suffers greatly.  How this movie got nominated at all surprises me.  Why, oh why, did the Academy forget Zodiac?




If you've read this far, you probably have an idea of what I'm predicting will win, No Country for Old Men.  It's possible that There Will Be Blood will shock us all, but I highly doubt it.  This will probably go as predicted and this will be one of the least surprising Oscars of all time.

Tune in on Monday for my Third Annual Thoughts As I Had Them During The Oscars Post and we'll see how I did.

Until Next Time, I'll be watching LOST a little late tonight as I will be watching the debate of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama from our state capital, Austin, Texas.  I just wish I could be watching it in person instead of on television in the metroplex.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Top Ten of 2007

Buckle up your seat belts, gentle readers, for we are about to take a journey together.  An epic journey, for this will be an epic post.  At least in terms of length.

So, last night, after watching the speeches of John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama (in my old home town of Houston), I switched my television feed from the satellite to my computer (yes, I use my HDTV as my monitor, what did you expect?) and began to watch Michael Clayton rented from Amazon Unbox via digital download.  Before all of you Apple supporters out there get upset, I tried iTunes first, but you couldn't get Michael Clayton from there yet, so over I went to Amazon Unbox.  For those of you who don't know, digital download is one of the various ways studios and distributors are looking at for "How People Will Watch Movies In The Near Future", the other big one being on high def discs, primarily BluRay as HD DVD, sadly, appears to have lost the format war.  (Did any of you even know there was a format war?)  The way that both Unbox and iTunes do it in the rental market is they download the movie onto your computer.  You have 30 days to watch the film.  If you start to watch the movie, you have 24 hours to finish it.  Here's where digital download and I disagree.  The positives of digital delivery, of course, is that you don't have to leave your computer desk to get the hottest new releases.  But with Netflix (and Blockbuster, I guess) you have as long as you want to keep the movie and you can watch it as many times as you want, plus you're paying just one monthly fee for the discs that you get as opposed to paying $3.99 each time.  In many ways, digital download seems like a step backwards to the days of paying a premium for each film you rent and being on the clock for when it has to go back.  These are the reasons people like Netflix so much.  If not for my failure to think about the effect of holidays on the postal service, I probably wouldn't have used this at all, but the convenience won me over this time.  I can't see myself becoming a proponent of this system in the future though.  Which is bad for them, since someone who uses their HDTV as their monitor is exactly who they're marketing to.

Oh well, the point of all of that is to say that I have now seen all of the best picture nominees and feel confident that I can give my definitive Top Ten of 2007 list.  Before we get there, however, there are a few honorable mentions, so let's start there.


As this list will prove, I think that 2007 was a resurgent year for the Horror genre.  In recent years, the horror film has been corrupted by the graphic blood and guts type films, the Saws and the Hostels among many others.  While films of that nature continued to grace our movie screens, they didn't do as well as they have in years past, hopefully the public is getting tired of them.  In 2007, we also saw some horror films that were more true to what the genre was in the past when practiced by the masters like John Carpenter and Alfred Hitchcock before him.  One of them was directed by William Friedkin, who knows a little bit about classic horror films, having directed The Exorcist.  His 2007 film, and Josh's Choice Honorable Mention is...


This movie was based on a play, and the film didn't deviate from it's inspiration too much, the majority of the action taking place in a small apartment.  Friedkin does a good job with his limited space, though, using the camera to his advantage, doing things that can only be done in film, while the play like aspect helps to put the audience in the shoes of the two main characters.  A truly disturbing film, far more in a psychological sense then in a physical sense, this movie was a proud return to the horror genre I grew up with as opposed to the crappy films they're packaging as horror most times these days.

This was also a big year for animated movies, and yet strangely the good ones weren't nominated for Oscars.  Two animated films that are far better then any of the three with Oscar nods will have to be satisfied with just receiving Josh's Choice Honorable Mentions....


This digitally animated Disney film showed what we can expect now that the Pixar team is in charge of all of Disney animation.  It was clever, funny, and captivating.  Everything that most Pixar films usually are and far too few Disney films have been of late.  Add in the eye catching "Disney Digital 3D" and this film was masterful.  The only negative that I see about Disney being run by the Pixar crowd is that Pixar films suffer because of it, as this film was far better in every way then this summer's Pixar release, Ratatouille.


Expectations were high for this film, and despite all the odds stacked up against them, they delivered with this film.  Some critiques noted that it was just an hour and a half long episode.  Is that supposed to be a bad thing?  What exactly is wrong with that?  I wish every episode was an hour and a half long.  I wish every episode was this good.  And how in the world is Spiderpig not nominated for best song?  Criminal.

By the way, TMNT

Other then being a good year for Horror and Animated films, this was also the best year ever for movies that show us the funny in regards to unplanned pregnancy.


This was a hilarious movie that has the added bonus of introducing the world to the genius of Seth Rogen.  He already had a bit of a cult following due to his work in Judd Apatow's (director of this film as well as The 40 Year Old Virgin) television series Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared.  Seth Rogen steals the show as surprised father to be Ben Stone and proves that he can not only carry a film, but is actually pretty damn good at it.  It might have been a Just Missed the Top Ten film for making unplanned pregnancy funny if there hadn't of been a film that did it even better.



Diablo Cody, former stripper and famed writer of blogs, gives us a heartwarming story about not only unplanned pregnancy, but, gasp, unplanned teenage pregnancy!  The characters are extremely real, the dialogue is spectacular (honest to blog), and this film has the added bonus of making us remember the greatness of Arrested Development by featuring both Jason Bateman and Michael Cena, it's only too bad that they didn't share a scene together.  Ellen Page is incredible as the title character, the seemingly unflappable teenage mom-to-be.  The movie, while certainly a comedy, treats the subject of teenage pregnancy realistically and unflinchingly, including a great scene focused on the touchy and controversial subject of abortion.  No question, if I had made a Top Eleven list, this film would have made it.

Which brings us to Josh's Choice for....


We're obviously going to count them down, because it's oh so much more fun that way.

10. The Last Legion

Action films are usually predictable, poorly acted, cheesy, and without strong female characters.  This movie, on the other hand, is original, features superb performances, exciting, and has an outstanding female lead.  It is a new take on the Arthurian legend, and far better done then the Clive Owen stinker a few years back.  It's cast is outstanding, with Colin Firth, Mr. Darcy in the BBC Pride and Prejudice, Oscar winner Ben Kingsley, and the greatness that is Kevin McKidd (most recently the hero of NBC's Journeyman, and prior to that Lucius Vorenus on HBO's Rome).  He plays the bad guy in this film, which gives you an idea of how Rome might have looked if he'd have played Titus Pullo instead of Vorenus.  Aishwarya Rai plays a woman warrior from the Eastern Orthodox Empire who helps to protect the young last Caesar of Rome.  Not only is she smart, but she kicks some serious butt too.  No need for a man to save this young lady, although there are plenty of instances where the men need her to save them.  That alone would give it high marks, but it's actually a good film too.

9. The Mist

Frank Darabont gives us his third Stephen King adaptation (having previously written and directed The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile).  At first I thought this was an odd choice for him, considering the obvious theme that the first two films shared, prison, but after seeing this film, I realized that this story was a perfect choice for him as the same themes run through this movie as well.  Another film that returns the Horror genre to its roots, this movie does a great job of making an interesting film that at times also scares the crap out of you.  This film also has the greatest ending of any film in a long time.

8. The Darjeeling Limited

Wes Anderson's latest proves that he is a master of storytelling.  Combining eccentric characters with dead on dialogue and crazy hi-jinks is always entertaining, and again succeeds in this picture, a story of three brothers struggling to find themselves and repair their relationship in the wake of their father's death.  Both funny and touching, this film is pure Wes Anderson.

7. Sicko

This is a must see movie.  Especially as we get ready to elect the next President of the United States, it is important to have an understanding of one of the most important issues, Health Care.  Michael Moore, as much as many people dislike him, does a good job in this film of avoiding the anti-conservative rhetoric that turn so many people off and sticking to the facts to give a bipartisan take on such an important issue.  It will astound you how backwards we really are on this issue, considering we are supposedly the one remaining "Super Power" nation left in the world.

6. Stardust

What a great film this is, a fantasy in the vein of The Princess Bride, and I think that it will gain a similar cult status.  Just like that movie, this one features many great cameos by great comedic actors as well as what very well may be the greatest performance that Robert DeNiro has ever given.  I won't spoil what that performance is exactly here, because it is much better if you see it first hand.  Funny fantasy films about the power of love come to rarely not to cherish them when they are done just right like this film was.

5. Sunshine

The best Sci-Fi/Horror film since Aliens, this movie from director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting  and 28 Days Later) blew me away when I saw it.  It is beautifully shot with stunning visual effects and perfectly combines two genres to make a great film that will please fans of either one.  Plus it is nice to know that Chris Evans, so over the top as Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four pics, can give a good dramatic performance.

4. There Will Be Blood

A challenging film where no one is portrayed in a good light, this movie, the latest from Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia and Boogie Nights) is a beautiful looking film that looks at the ugliness of power and greed.  It's a movie about oil, but organized religion doesn't escape unscathed either.  Daniel Day-Lewis gives one of the greatest performances of all time as he takes a completely unlikable character that should be completely unwatchable and keeps the audience riveted.  The score from Jonny Greenwood from band Radiohead is probably the best score I have ever heard.  The music keeps you from realizing that the beginning of the film is without dialogue.  Unfortunately, many of the pieces heard in the film had previously been played by Greenwood in concerts keeping the score from meeting Oscar's original requirement, meaning the best score I've ever heard isn't eligible for a Best Score Oscar.

3. No Country for Old Men

Yet again, the highest an Oscar Best Picture Nominated film can get on my Top Ten is third (which should tell those of you keeping score at home that neither Atonement or Michael Clayton made the list).  This is a great film, no doubt, and a return to the genre that made the Coen Brothers in the first place.  This, like number 4 on the list, is a challenging film, that doesn't end, so much as finishes.  The performances are all top notch and Roger Deakins is proven, yet again, to be the best Cinematographer ever (more on that in a moment).  Javier Bardeem embodies psychotic killer Chigurh so completely, I'm going to be scared if I ever meet him (and will probably piss myself if he asks me to call the flip of a coin.)  No question in my mind, his character is the scariest villain in the history of film (move over Hannibal Lector and Nosferatu, you have company.)  It is exciting that a challenging movie like this (as well as There Will Be Blood) is getting the attention that it is, hopefully more smart and challenging films will be made in the future.

2. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

This movie was very nearly number one, and if I hadn't made myself choose this year (as opposed to the tie from last year) it easily could have been.  This movie is even more amazing by the fact that it is only the second film ever from director Andrew Dominik (don't worry, I hadn't heard of him either).  The screenplay is brilliant, the acting is top notch, and the film is simply beautiful.  First of all, let us all thank the movie gods that despite the acting talent skipping Ben it lodged itself firmly in Casey.  He actually is the lead in this movie, but is nominated in as a Supporting Role.  Unfortunately for him, it doesn't matter.  If he were nominated in the lead he would have been up against Daniel Day-Lewis, and in the supporting he's going up against the scariest villain in the history of film as brought to us by Javier Bardeem.  If he gets a juicy role in 2008, however, he could be in line for a makeup Oscar similarly to Al Pacino (Scent of a Woman, as opposed to almost anything else he ever did), Russell Crowe (Gladiator instead of Inside Man), or Denzel Washington (Training Day as opposed to Malcolm X or Hurricane).  Brad Pitt was, as always, brilliant as well.  And the movie looks amazing due in no small part to Cinematography by none other then Roger Deakins.  The tone of the film is reminiscent of a Terrance Malik picture as the beautiful nature puts us in a place for the film to truly speak to us.

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for..............

The Number One Movie of 2007 is...............

Can I get a drumroll please?

Okay, okay, enough dramatics.

1. Zodiac

Does anyone even remember that this movie came out this year?  Oscar seemed to have forgotten.  This was a powerful film, not about a serial killer, but about what obsession can do to us.  The need to solve this unsolvable case tears at the lives of everyone involved, ruining many of them as if they themselves were victims of the Zodiac killer.  David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club, The Game) takes on a challenging subject obsessively himself and rewards us with a powerful film.  He is definitely in the discussion of this generation's best director and this film is no exception to his deserving that status.  Jake Gyllenhaal is brilliant in the role of Robert Graysmith, a cartoonist who becomes obsessed with finding out who the killer is, nearly losing everything in his quest to answer the question.  Robert Downey Jr. continues his streak of playing to type as a man who could have it all if he didn't succumb to the siren call of drugs and alcohol mirroring his own life.  Hopefully he stays clean in real life so he continues to reward us with performances such as this.

Until Next Time, thanks for sticking through this massive post.  Probably tomorrow I will give you the Oscar Prediction Post so you can amaze your friends with your foreknowledge of who will win the golden statue.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Movie Talk

I'd forgotten how great it is to have intelligent conversation about film with someone else who knows film history, someone with whom I can talk about The Battleship Potemkin and they say, "Yeah, Eisenstein." (The Russian director who pretty much invented editing, thereby directly influencing every single movie ever made afterwards.)  Or someone with whom I can reference Malick in regards to the outstanding film The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and they immediately understand the tone of the film.  Or someone with whom I can talk about a tracking shot and we both immediately reference Touch of Evil.  It had simply been too long, and it was very refreshing to be able to have that experience last night.

Plus it was great to see my beautiful niece and fly her around in the air.  All around a good day.

This weekend, I also saw the movie Definitely, Maybe.

Don't judge.

Actually, it wasn't nearly as bad as I was anticipating.  I have to be honest, I am not a fan of rom-com's or as they're more commonly referred to as chick flicks.  I hate the stunning lack of originality that most of them suffer from, the lack of comedy despite the fact that they are supposedly "romantic comedies", and I usually am not a big fan of the cast that these types of films go with.

Definitely, Maybe was over a third of the way through before I had the whole plot figured out (that's pretty good for a chick flick), the story was far more original then most (although the same idea is handled much more brilliantly on television with How I Met Your Mother), it had many great comedic moments (due in part to the political in jokes, I'm a sucker for good political humor), and the cast was excellent (of course it helps when your lead is the extremely likable Ryan Reynolds as opposed to Julia Roberts or Sandra Bullock playing Julia Roberts).

Until Next Time, I've got Knight Rider tivoed, but the first five minutes of it that I saw last night weren't very promising, here's hoping that overall it's better.  Also, I should be getting Michael Clayton from Netflix on Wednesday, meaning I should be able to hit you with a massive Thursday post involving my Top Ten of 2007 and my Oscar Predictions, then early next week, the Third Annual My Thoughts as I Had Them During the Oscars Post.

Friday, February 15, 2008

LOST The Economist, first thoughts

Okay, first let me say "Wow!"

Good, got that out of the way.  In my opinion, this was one of the best episodes of the entire series.  It was incredibly well written and perfectly paced.  In short, I admired it on a technical level as well as enjoyed it on an entertainment level.

When writing for television, the emphasis is on what they call Act Breaks.  These are the end of one Act, leading into the next.  The reason they are so important in television and emphasized more then they are in film is that they are also where the commercial breaks go.

I don't know how much longer Act Breaks will be considered so important, as with the advent of DVR and Internet downloading, the viewing audience is finding many new ways to watch television, ways that don't include your classic commercial breaks.

But, for the moment at least, they are still a reality, and the great television writer finds a way to use those breaks to his or her advantage.  They don't always succeed, or at best succeed at most once or twice through the episode.  Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, the credited writers for last night's episode, succeeded brilliantly every time.  If I were teaching a class on perfect Act Breaks in dramatic television, this is the episode I would use to illustrate my point.

The first Act Break is Sayid shooting the other guy on the golf course.  Seriously, did anyone see that coming.  I yelled, "Holy..." well, never mind what I yelled.  It was my house I can say whatever I want.

The second Act Break occurred as Sayid was heading to the other side of the Island to recover C.S. Lewis (the female one).  Frank asks Dr. Jack where Sayid is from.  Our Lord of the Flies hero answers him, "Iraq." Frank asks, "What was he, some sort of diplomat?"  This gets a laugh from Dr. Jack, and presumably us, as he responds, "No.  He was a torturer."  Classic.

The third Act Break finds Hurley trapped in a closet.  You think, oh, that's how he got back on Team Jack's side.

Or at least you do until the fourth Act Break when you discover that Hurley LIED!  For the crazy John Locke! Awesome.

The final Act Break shows our man Sayid have a shoot out with the cute Elsa shortly after some nice canoodling.  (Word of warning, if you are a cute blond, I would advise against sleeping with Sayid.  Studies show it will result in a gun shot to the abdomen.)  And then the realization that she has the same sort of bracelet as, da, da, daaaaa, (that's dramatic music, in blog form) Naomi!

Literally, these were perfect Act Breaks, they were either "Holy ..." type moments, or good humorous moments. (Which they almost always are in comedies, but are okay in small doses in a dramatic show such as this.  They handled it perfectly.)

Now that the dramatic teleplay writing lesson is complete, lets look at a few of the other things that stood out.

The Clocks:

This was the most interesting part to me.  Time plays an important part of this show (and whatever my new theory will be).  Daniel's experiment appeared to show us that time off of the Island is at least 31 minutes and 19 seconds off of time on the Island.  I'm betting that this would be an even larger amount the further you are away from the Island.  Just my feeling on it.

Benry Gale:

So, a couple of things here.  I want to know what happens to bring us to the point where Sayid works for this man.  Especially since in the episode Sayid says, "The day I trust Ben is the day I've lost my soul."  Looks like that day is coming, my friend.  Sad to say, but it looks like that day is coming.

The second thing is his secret compartment of money and passports.  Did any of you notice the name on the one that Sayid looks at?  It said, "Dean Moriarty" who if I remember correctly was a character in On the Road, the book by Jack Kerouac.  I don't remember the book well enough (it's been about 10 years since I last read it) to know if that's important.  Of course, another Kerouac book is Dharma Bums, so it could be that.  Also, Moriarty is the name of the nemesis of Sherlock Holmes, and, in my opinion, the best bad guy in the history of literature, but then I'm a huge Sherlock Holmes fan.

The Bracelet:

So, it appears that the bracelet that Sayid removes from the wrist of Naomi is very similar to the one worn by Elsa in the "flash forward".  What does this tell us?  That there is some connection between them, obviously, and I'm betting it is more then just shopping at similar stores.  My theory, they both work for Matthew Abaddon, I think he's "The Economist".

Until Next Time, sure I was wrong about Claire and Aaron this time, but I still stand by my theory that they will be part of the Oceanic 6.  The real question is whether you count them as two people, or just one.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Little TV News

How's this for handy, courtesy of,,,20177894,00.html?iid=top25-20080214-Return+dates+for+30%2B+TV+shows

This is a listing of when your favorite television shows are returning to the air with new episodes, and a guestimate of how many new episodes you can anticipate.

Speaking of new episodes, tonight is, of course, the third episode of LOST.  Supposedly we find out another of the mysterious Oceanic 6 tonight.  My money is on Claire (and Aaron, of course).  Why, because of the fact that a.) Desmond foresaw her getting on a helicopter, and b.) because as Christian's daughter, in her "flashforward" we might get a better idea (or at least another clue, please) as to why he is so suddenly important.

Until Next Time, I just finished reading an amazing book, The Devil's Candy.  It's about the filming of Tom Wolfe's famous book, The Bonfire of the Vanities, and if you're interested in the art of making movies, this is a must read.  I'm actually rather shocked I didn't have to read this book in school.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Writer's Strike is Over!

Writers are rebooting their computers, so, what does that mean for our favorite television shows?  Well, for a majority of the new shows this season, nothing.  The networks don't plan on getting new episodes from any of the freshman dramas, meaning that we'll be getting the final results on Josh's Choice for Best New Show of the Season soon (as soon as we get through Sarah Connor Chronicles in fact, so that it gets a fair shake).
It also probably won't affect serialized shows, such as Heroes, 24, and Prison Break, as there isn't time to complete a good story arc with the amount of episodes they would be able to produce before the end of the season.  And, in the case of Heroes and Prison Break, the already completed episodes have a good season ending type finish.  In the case of 24, the show isn't worth showing if you can't do all 24 episodes, and they would be unable to complete the 11 episodes necessary to get to the full day.

It's the best news for comedies, such as How I Met Your Mother, The Office, My Name is Earl, and 30 Rock.  They'll be able to get 7 or 8 episodes done, bringing these seasons to a respectable 19 or 20 episodes, nearly a full season, despite the strike.

LOST will get at most an additional 5 episodes this season, Carlton Cuse has said the season will have at most 13 episodes, but that the other 3 episodes will be rolled into seasons 5 or 6, guaranteeing us our full 48 remaining episodes for the last three seasons.  They will complete the planned story arc of this season in the episodes that they have left.

Formulaic shows will also come back, with the ability to do anywhere from 4 to 7 more episodes, CBS estimates it will get 6 or 7 episodes from the CSI shows, Without a Trace, Cold Case, Criminal Minds, Ghost Whisperer, and the most mentioned show in this blog that I don't watch, Numb3rs.

As for one of the best loved shows of this blog, and last year's winner of Josh's Choice for Best New Show of the Season Award, Friday Night Lights, the network wants to bring it back, but it's future is uncertain due to it's inability to score big ratings.  If this show ends without even finishing it's second season, it will be one of the biggest tragedies in the history of television.

Still no news from SciFi on television's best show ever, Battlestar Galactica.  14 of the 20 episodes are completed, and due to the way SciFi handles the seasons, by giving 10 or 11 at the beginning of the year, having a hiatus for a few months, then giving us the remainder of the episodes, and due to the fact that the new season won't start until April 4th, there is plenty of time to get those last 6 (the last ever for this amazing and brilliant television show) episodes done.  Still, I'll feel a lot more comfortable when the cast and crew is brought back or at least the producers or SciFi tells us that the show will be completed.

Until Next Time, towards the end of next week, look for my Top Ten of 2007 film review as well as my Oscar Preview Post, then shortly after the awards show, my 3rd Annual Thoughts As I Had Them During the Oscars Post.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Writer's Strike Stuff

The scene at picket sites yesterday looked a lot like the last day of high school adding to the speculation that the strike will be over early next week and that yesterday was the last day of picketing.

On CNBC, Michael Eisner former CEO of Disney, actually said that "A deal has been made, and they'll be back to work very soon.  I know a deal has been made.  I know it's over."

Until Next Time, the members of the WGA still have to look over the supposed contract and agree to ratify it.  A meeting is set for Saturday, but it certainly does appear as though the strike will be over very soon.  Stay tuned for updates on this developing story.  (I just always wanted to say that.)

LOST Confirmed Dead, first thoughts

So, last night we got a little look at the "freighties" (although I think I still want to call them the "rescuers") and what they were doing before coming to the Island.

Daniel Faraday is a physicist, (his name sake is most likely Michael Faraday, a physicist from the nineteenth century who worked on electromagnetism and whose birthday is September 22, the same day the plane crashed.)  We first see him crying to footage of the discovered flight 815.  I have to admit, I thought that Dan was an interesting character, referred to in Naomi's flashback with Abaddon at the end as a "head case", and that Jeremy Davies played him brilliantly.  Jeremy Davies is best known for his role in "Saving Private Ryan", but I became a fan of him due to the little known, but amazing movie, "Million Dollar Hotel" as well as his funny turn in "Twister".  I think that he's going to be a good addition to the cast.  I also think that there is far more to him then we've seen so far.  He strikes you as someone who can't really hide anything, as Dr. Jack and Kate were able to see through him almost immediately from his inability to hide his gun as well as his inability to lie about strange items from his helicopter.  I don't know that I buy it, though.  I read that his original name in the script was Russell Faraday, which is the name that Flagg takes at the end of Stephen King's The Stand, and if you aren't aware of The Stand, or Stephen King's work in general, Flagg is the main bad guy (not only in The Stand, but also in Eye of the Dragon, and the Dark Tower Series.)  Giving him that name makes me think there is more to him then we first saw.

Miles Straume is a ghostbuster, no really.  I'm not sure what he's up to, but he definitely was interesting.  We first see him using his ability to find a crap load of cash.  It does seem he really has some ability to commune with the dead, as he finds the cash and confirms Kate's story about Naomi, but at the same time, he was using it for a different cause then the woman thought.  He was there for the money, not to ease the dead boy's spirit.  Reminded me of Sawyer, Ben, and Cooper, it was a con they all would have admired.  His ability will no doubt come in handy on this particular Island.

Charlotte Staples Lewis, whose namesake is no doubt Clive Staples Lewis, better known as C.S. Lewis author of The Chronicles of Narnia and Christian mainstays such as The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity.  It appears that for some reason she was a disbeliever about the discovery of 815.  It also appears that she knows something about Dharma, as she wasn't the least bit surprised to find a polar bear in Tunisia, and seemed to expect to find the Hydra Station collar.  I can't wait to work out more the reasons behind her name.

Frank Lapidus is apparently the guy who was supposed to be piloting 815 instead of mind reader Matt Parkman who we now know is named Seth Norris in the LOST universe.  When he sees the body of Norris on TV, he immediately calls Oceanic to inform them that it isn't Norris, because Norris never takes off his wedding ring, and the body in the plane isn't wearing one.  I'm inclined to agree with the guy on the other end of the phone, it definitely could have fallen off, but this definitely opens up the possibility that the plane discovered underwater was planted there.  I'm still thinking that we're dealing with some sort of alternate universe/time travel type thing, and that both planes are actually 815.

Naomi's flashback reintroduces us to the creepy guy that bothered Hurley in the mental institution.  I honestly don't know what to think about him. 

Other things..

Apparently, it wasn't Locke's eye in the cabin.  He certainly seemed shocked that Hurley knew anything about it.  Even creepier, however, was Benry Gale's contemplative look.

Towards the end of the episode, Miles attempts to call Minkowski.  Perhaps named after Hermann Minkowsi, who took Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity and realized that it would make more sense in a four dimensional area, pioneering the idea of a four dimensional universe where time is the fourth dimension.
The radio news that Miles listens to in his flash back tell us that all "324" passengers on 815 have been confirmed dead.  324 divided by 3 is good old 108.

The photo of Benry Gale that Miles shows Dr. Jack and Juliet appears to have been taken off of the Island to me.  I can't wait to see what would have made Benry Gale ever leave the Island and what he did to piss these people off.

Until Next Time, Overall, I thought that it was a pretty good episode.  Not the best job they've done introducing new characters, but much better then the way it was handled last season with Paulo and Nikki.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Good News on the Writer's Strike Front?

It appears that the 4+ month strike is possibly coming to an end.  A meeting is scheduled Saturday for the members of the WGA to go over the proposals in a possible new contract with the Studios, which could lead to a end to the strike by next week.

This means that some of our television shows could go back into production for the remainder of this television season giving us probably about 4 or 5 more episodes of LOST and possibly 7 more episodes of How I Met Your Mother according to Entertainment Weekly on-line.,,20176432,00.html?iid=top25-20080207-TV%27s+post%2Dstrike+relaunch%0D%0A

Variety tells us that the stike ending is by no means a slam dunk,

but things are certainly looking up.  If there is an end to the strike next week, (or whenever it does take place) I will look for answers on how many new episodes we can expect from other important shows, especially the fate of television's all time greatest show, Battlestar Galactica.  Stay tuned.

Until Next Time, will we find out any new identities of the Oceanic 6 tonight on LOST?  That's doubtful, as tonight's episode is supposed to give us a look at the past of the "rescuers".  When we do find out more about the Oceanic 6, however, I am anticipating, as are others, I've been told, that Claire and Aaron will be among them.  Why?  Because Desmond told Charlie he saw them getting on a helicopter, and that's enough for me to make the prediction.  Either way, enjoy tonight's episode, and I'm sure I'll have some thoughts on it tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

More on LOST

So, I just watched the final mobisode on, and if you are a LOST fan, you really need to check them out.  Go to and click on "originals" and it takes you right to the mobisodes called Missing Pieces.

What they are is little bonus scenes from throughout the entire series, showing a little more about various moments in the shows past.  The first one, for instance, is a little more of Juliet before book club.
There are a few funny ones, a few very interesting ones, and then there is the last one.  This Missing Piece is entitled "So It Begins" and it takes place just before the opening scene of the show, Dr. Jack awaking on the Island.  It is from the point of view of Vincent.  Running around the jungle, sniffing at luggage, just being a dog in an interesting new surrounding.  Then, he comes across someone.  At first, still from Vincent's perspective, we just see legs.  Then the camera gives us a shot of the person.  It is Christian Shepard.  He calls Vincent over to him and tells him, "I need you to do something for me.  Wake up my son, he's got work to do."

Then, we see the opening scene from the first episode of the first season of LOST.


Is Christian Shepard Jacob?

Is Christian Shepard alive, brought back from the dead by the Island or Jacob?

Was Christian brought to the Island at the time of his death the way that Anthony Cooper, Locke's dad, supposedly was, another connection between our leader representing faith and our leader representing science?

I had no idea when I asked what I thought was an innocuous question (What happened to Christian Shepard's body) in my Season 4 preparation post that it would turn out to be one of the biggest mysteries of the new season.

Anyway, some new thoughts that I had on the premiere, The Beginning of the End...

Hurley is Jonah.

What do you think of that?  Last year I cited Mr. Eko as Job, but I think I like this comparison even more.
I started to think of it in part because of the show following LOST on Thursday, Eli Stone, where the protagonist is apparently a modern day prophet.  That just put the idea of prophets into my head, which always makes me think of Jonah, maybe because in middle school (or as we Disciples call it, Chi Rho) I was in a South Hills (you can't see it, but I just did the hand signs) produced musical based on the ichthyophobic prophet.  Anyway, I realized that there was a parallel.  Jonah, a prophet, hears from God that he has to go and bring the good word to the people of Nineveh, well that's just about the last place that Jonah has any intention of going.  Hurley, fears that his visions of Charlie are based on the fact he needs to go back to the people left behind on the Island, just about the last place that Hurley has any intention of going.  Both of them, in fact, go in exactly the opposite direction.  For Jonah, that's literally, he charters a boat in the opposite direction, for Hurley, he goes in the opposite direction in his own life, back to the mental institution that he was so ashamed of before, but now he goes there willingly, even gratefully.  Then, for Jonah, there is the storm that the sailors blame on him, casting him overboard in order to get swallowed by a gigantic fish.  Hurley, in the common room of the mental institution, sits in front of a black board featuring a boat and a gigantic fish (as well as an island).  Jonah ultimately comes around to the fact that he needs to do the right thing (of course maybe he'll do anything to get out of the belly of the fish), Hurley appears to be coming around towards the end as well, telling Dr. Jack, "it wants us to go back."

I'm interested to see if the Jonah parallel continues in the next Hurley-centric episode.

Until Next Time, if you happen to live in one of the many states having a presidential primary today, get out there and vote, meanwhile, I'll hope that the race stays close enough that when it's my turn in a month it still won't be decided.

Friday, February 1, 2008

LOST The Beginning of the End, first thoughts

What a triumphant return.

Okay, what we know...

6 Losties escape the Island back to the world of the real (to borrow a Matrix quote).

3 of them are Dr. Jack, Kate, and Hurley.

People do know about the plane crash, and that the "Oceanic 6" were on it. (Sadly this pretty much destroys a large part of my theory.)

What we know from exterior sources...

Flight 815 was found, under water, just as Naomi said, so she didn't lie about that.  If you watched the Oceanic spot during the interesting Eli Stone, you actually saw the plane under water no where near the, or any, Island. Also, the Find815 game confirmed this.

What we can safely infer...

While people know that the Oceanic 6 were survivors of Oceanic 815, it is believed by the outside world that they are the only ones.

The outside world has no idea that there was (or is) any Island.

Mike, Ana Lucia's partner, tells Hurley that he knew someone on that plane, and asks if he knew her either "on the plane" or "before the plane took off", but there is no mention of surviving after the crash on any Island.
For some reason, the Oceanic 6 are lying about everyone else who survived, and probably the fact that the Island is there.  Hurley lies to Mike and claims that he has no idea who Ana Lucia was.

Interesting moment...

When Hurley comes across Jacob's cabin, and looks inside, he sees Christian Shepard sitting in Jacob's chair, and is then startled by an eye.  I had no doubt when watching it that the eye belonged to Locke, didn't even think that it could be someone else, but the online community isn't sure.  My feeling is still that the eye did belong to Locke, it would make sense that he would come back here after killing Naomi, and it would explain why he was there just as soon as Hurley made the cabin "disappear".

The real question though, isn't who the eye belonged to, it is what the hell is Christian Shepard doing in Jacob's chair?  I had wondered what had happened to his body, what if Jacob is somehow commandeering it?  Jacob, after all, doesn't appear to have a solid body of his own.

Unanswered questions that I brought up in my last post included what happened to Dr. Christian's body, and how the Island could cause something to happen in the real world (at the time that was only getting Juliet's ex hit by a bus, but now it includes causing Charlie to appear, which we know isn't just in Hurley's head because Lewis, another mental patient, saw him also).  How does the Island have ability this far away from its base?
Maybe if it has an agent of Jacob or some part of Jacob himself off of the Island then it can manipulate things similarly to the way it can on the Island.  In Not in Portland, Richard was that agent.  Maybe Dr. Christian is that agent in the "flash forwards", as I'm not buying that Dr. Jack was confused about his father being upstairs.

Other questions from this episode...

When does the "flash forward" take place?

I think this is important, because the "flash forward" from Through the Looking Glass was April of 2007, or present day, more or less.  I want to know how long they had been returned at that point, and at what point in the timeline they were returned in our world.  At the time of "rescue" they have been on the Island for 91 days (according to the iteration count, courtesy of the pop up notes in the replay of Through the Looking Glass) or just over three months.  Are they going to be returned at the same time as the length of time they're on the Island or slightly out of phase time wise?

I have no doubt that time travel of some sort will play a role.  Not just because of the Desmond episode last season, but because of one of the special features on the season 3 dvd, the Orientation film for Station 6, the Orchid Station.

He asks in the video after the second 15 shows up what time they set the station.  The woman answers "Negative 20"  He asks how long they've been there, she says "Nine minutes, but we're still learning..."  When the second bunny is recognized as the same one that he's holding, he says "Keep them away from each other!"  All of this screams time travel to me.

Until Next Time, I'll be watching the episode again (as Locke says, "We're gonna need to watch that again") as I've only watched it once so far.  If I notice anything else, I'll be sure to let you know.  Any of your observations or thoughts are, as always, also appreciated.  Welcome back LOST, we've missed you.