Friday, October 18, 2013

Pick O' the Week - October 18

This week Carrie hits theatres with all the pomp and circumstance of its viral marketing (I don't think those people will be coming back to that coffee shop anytime soon) and Word & Film has taken an interesting look at some of King's most re-produced stories.  In other new movie news, Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel now has a trailer and it looks fantastic!  Release ate for this one has been set at March 7th.

We may be getting closer to the future of television with news that Netflix will now be offered via some cable boxes in Britain and Will Ferrel's new miniseries with IFC & Funny or Die, The Spoils of Babylon, now has a trailer that's so insane it feels like we'll soon be hearing it was all an elaborate joke.

And on that note, on to the picks!

In Theatres: I'm sure you could have guessed it from Matt's comments last week but if you're lucky enough to be in one of the areas that is showing 12 Years a Slave in theatres then I urge you to seek it out.  Not only are the reviews thus far majorly positive (and it won the audience choice award at TIFF), it's nice to see an actor like Chiwetel Ejiofor finally getting the attention he deserves.  He's been quietly providing solid performances in some really great movies over the years (as the big baddie in Serenity, I would argue he's the major reason that film can stand apart from the Firefly TV Show) and I'm very excited to see what happens with him come awards season.

At Home: Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing was released on DVD and Blu Ray last week and as a big fan of literature and the re-imagining of older material (so must we all be in this post-original idea world but I digress) I urge you to check it out.  While it's by no means perfect, I have never enjoyed this play quite as much (it's not one of his better ones) and the depth of feeling is quite well navigated.

On TV:  Bryan Fuller is something of a fan favourite for his work on certain shows (most notably with Pushing Up Daisies), however Fuller's notoriety has led to what some call "The Fullerverse."  The implication here is that all of Fuller's shows take place in the same universe and small nods to this fact can be seen in several episodes.  I myself wasn't a huge fan of Pushing Up Daisies (though the visuals cannot be denied), rather I preferred a lesser known show called Dead Like Me.  Featuring Mandy Patinkin, Ellen Muth and Callum Blue (as well as Rebecca Garheart very briefly), the show follows a group of "grim reapers" who must walk the earth reaping souls and helping people move on with their afterlives.  An air of mystery permeates the show and it has long been rumoured that the unfinished storyline is in the works to become a movie (the show was cancelled in 2004 at the close of its second season).  Available on DVD and Blu Ray.

Retro Re-Watch: Midway through this posting I realized that I've been following a theme here: auteurs.  Certainly Steve McQueen is well known for his unique perspective as evidenced by films like Hunger and Shame, Joss Whedon's vision (though admittedly commercial) can be clearly seen in any of the projects he's had a hand in, and there is, of course, the "Fullerverse."  For that reason I chose to select a film/auteur that I have often chosen before (I really do love his stuff): Charlie Kauffman.  Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is one of my favourite films of his to date and combines a certain diagetic quality with in-camera affects.  When Joel Barrish discovers his former lover Clementine has had her memory erased so she doesn't have to deal with the pain of their breakup, he decides to go through the procedure himself; with detrimental concequences.  Available on Netflix.

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