Monday, January 21, 2008

Writing Bad

LAUDING: Breaking Bad on AMC. If I'd told you one-year ago, today, that by January 2008, two of my favorite shows would be on AMC, would you have said, (a) are you turning 67 this year, (b) you're crazy like a dacshund chasing a rabbit, or (c) would you have just thought it odd me making such a statement? Like, who cares says crap like that?

Next year, two of my favorite shows will be on The Oprah Network.

See ...I say things like that all the time.

Where was I? Ah, yes ...Breaking Bad. It's kinda weird to see Malcom-in-the-Middle's Dad playing a desperate, terminally ill meth-cooker, but he makes it work. His character is not much different than his Malcom's-Dad character - skittish, nervous, and on the verge of a complete crazy-man meltdown.

The premise, the characters, and the filming are, again, top-notch. Like Mad Men, I think AMC has another winner - if the writers ever stop striking, darn it! Or, I should say, if the nets and producers open their wallets!!! Pay those people and pay them now. I shudder to think what it's going to be like in about 10 weeks. I won't be well.

If you're reading this, it's not too late to get hooked on Breaking Bad. You only missed the season premiere and it airs again next Sunday and probably a half-dozen times throughout the week. Set your Tivo ...this show is great.

I'm never a fan of the wobbly cam, but it kinda works here.

AND LAUDING: Cloverfield. I know I'm the last person to actually be talking about this movie, but its a rare occasion that I get caught up in hype the likes of which surrounded this movie. I called my brother and we acted like we were back in h.s. as if it was essential that we see Cloverfield on its opening weekend. The camcorder-esque shooting of the entire movie didn't bother me and I liked this angle on the whole Godzilla-genre. Was there a monster? Yes. Was there running and screaming and buildings being smashed? Oh, yes. Was it cool? Totally. It's what going to the movie theater is all about. Big movie, big monster, big explosions, and big special affects - maybe some of the best since Lord of the Rings.

But, why am I writing about it ...I'll leave the juicy stuff to my fellow spunkybean writers ...Mr. B's review is here and a more in-depth look at the movie and JJ Abrams work will be along in the next day or two.

The biggest thing I took away from it was this nagging feeling that something actually happened in New York and I had just seen some incredible footage. It was meant to feel like people's personal footage we've all seen from 9/11, and I think the effect worked.

I thought the musical number right in the middle of the movie when they were walking on the train tracks was a bit zany and found it hard to believe anyone in that situation would start singing "Doo Wa Diddy", but I guess it was meant to ease the tension. It felt very forced.

ASKING: Why is everything I watched this weekend shot by non-steady cam or, as in the case of Cloverfield, a hand-held camcorder?

Who's excited for American Idol for four more hours this week, raise your hand!


EJ said...

"Breaking Bad" is waiting for me on my DVR, and I'm so excited. I'm glad to hear you approved, because I like to think of us as AMC buddies.

Myndi said...

I was kinda hoping you guys would say this sucked...I guess I'll have to pick it up so I can sit with the cool kids at lunch...

EJ said...

I can't speak for Don, but this is the first time I've ever been a cool kid. Hard to believe, huh?

Darrin Wassom said...

Don had a moment (once) similar to Sawyer on Lost. He got punched in the face and asked the puncher if that was the best he had.... Well, I think he actually said, "My Grandma can hit harder than that" a verbal throwing down of the gauntlet. Don quickly learned that his Grandma might have had a mean right jab but she had nothing on this guy. Ask him to tell you the story! Of course, feel free to delete this comment if it renders your status as "cool kid" obsolete.

Don said...

It should be noted I was fighting 3 guys at once. It should also be noted that neither of the three really wanted to fight me and I kept trying to push their buttons with my forked tongue. Finally, when a near miss of a punch all but missed me, I told the puncher he punched, "like my Grandma." At this point, the two friends held my arms and he punched and broke my nose.

Why were we fighting? Because I pushed them out of their seat at the stadium.

Darrin. You'd enjoy Breaking Bad. I don't usually mind wobbly-cam, but there's this scene where he's sitting by the pool lighting matches and at that point I kinda got sick of the wobbly cam. Sometimes its just not necessary. It's a still shot, and it's goin' all up and down. It bothered me. Not enough to stop watching, but enough to make note.

Myndi said...

I'm guessing some liquid courage was involved...

EJ--I was always somewhere in the middle myself. Gotta love going to school with 2000 people. It makes it easy to just kind of blend.

EJ said...


You made it to the middle? You lucky stiff.