December 23rd, 2006


The Good Shepherd

Tonight I went with sarahlangan and J.T. to see Robert DeNiro's The Good Shepherd.

Oh. My. God. The movie takes place over the course of about 20 years and the damn thing feels like it plays out in real time. It was long (nearly 3 hours), boring and tedious, punctuated only by brief moments of dramatic intrigue and the loud snoring of someone in the audience. The film doesn't have a single plot beat or twist that will surprise you. Don't waste your time or money.

I'm actually a little angry at this movie for how good it could have been compared to what it is. Even if they'd trimmed an hour of extraneous material -- and there's plenty to choose from -- it would have been so much better. What a wasted opportunity.

I see most movies on DVD these days because movie ticket prices in New York are insane, and because most theater audiences seem to have forgotten they're not in their living rooms. I only saw three movies in the actual theaters this year -- X-Men 3, The Black Dahlia and The Good Shepherd -- and they were all stinkers. But at least I got to see Shepherd for free, thanks to a Regal Cinemas gift card. Phew!

Doctor Who Second Season Finale


You know how us nerdy types like to get together and debate who would win imaginary fights? You know, like Superman vs. the Hulk, Kirk vs. Picard (though no one ever explained why they would be fighting), Thor vs. Storm, or the time Dave Wellington and I argued over whether a werewolf would win against an army of zombies only to realize it couldn't be decided without the help of a 20-sided die.

Well, that's how I felt watching the second season finale of Doctor Who. Aliens are invading the Earth, and as if that isn't bad enough, when that weird orb at Torchwood Tower opens up to show what's inside, I was like fuck!

I don't want to give anything away, but this episode was clearly aimed at the ten-year-old Who fan inside me who always wondered who would win in this particular alien smackdown.

Though I think it's hilarious that when the two alien armies first meet, they just stand around snapping each other like catty drunks at the Duplex.

"Your form is inelegant."

"Elegance means nothing to us."

"That is obvious."

I teared up at the end, the scene on the beach on Norway. I love that everyone in Rose's life is back together again -- not to mention Mickey's wonderful transformation into a man -- but the Doctor's inability to finally tell her he loves her is heartbreaking.

Then again, I also teared up when the little girl gets her tricycle back at the end of Monster House, so what do I know? I'm just a big softie. (Don't tell anyone. I have a reputation to uphold.)

Ultimately, I don't think the second season of Who is as good as the first. The stories and character dynamics are less fresh, and it sort of follows the same basic arc as the first but without coming together as cohesively. Still, it was quite a trip, and I look forward to seeing where the third season takes us.