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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

daily open thread

Another new feature, and one you can expect every day Monday through Friday.

News stories I missed? Stuff you’d like me to cover? Questions you have for me? Something movie-, TV-, DVD-, or pop culture-related you want to talk about? This is where to do it.



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  • t6

    I just want to say three things:

    1) MAJ, you are awesome, and thanks for this site. Keep up the good work. Even if you are biast (You don’t have the quote up anymore, so I’m not sure I misspelled that correctly.

    2) I think it is a crime that The Wire is receiving no awards nomination love for its final season. Andre Arroyo should have gotten a nomination at least. What’s up with that?

    3) January Jones is great in Mad Men, but where is the love for Elizabeth Moss?

  • JoshDM

    – Request submission for “Kentucky Fried Movie”.

    – Request submission for “Sword of Gideon”.

  • Ryan H

    Seconding the motion to declare MAJ awesome

    Also, because she does not have enough on her plate I would love to hear her thoughts on the semi-canceled series The Middleman. No other show has ever had lucha libre wrestlers battling ninja masters in aztec temples for the fate of art student superheroes (episode 3). One of the greatest shows to likely not be renewed.

    Last, but not least, I cry a little every time a new giveaway occurs. Right across the border, but out of luck.

  • MaryAnn

    I have not seen *Middleman.* Maybe when it comes out on DVD I can comment on it.

    The giveaway situation, requiring winners to be in the U.S., is a demand of the contest sponsors, not me. If it could be otherwise, I would make it so.

  • Mark

    I’m wondering if anyone else saw the first episode of the new ITV series Demons? Did anyone think there was anything worth salvaging there, or is it really just the huge train wreck that I thought it was?

  • Diane

    MaryAnn-Just wondering if you watch any tv shows you’d be embarassed (or at least be reluctant)to admit to?

  • Mo

    I second the Middleman. I’m still trying to be good and wait to watch it legally on DVD (stupid borders) but it’s really hard. I loved what I’ve read of the comic book it’s based on- especially since the comic version of Wendy Watson is so much like one of my gamer friends it’s a little scary. It should be fun to see a real geek girl turned superhero up on screen for a change.

    I haven’t seen Demons yet, was it really that bad?

  • Ryan H

    Yes, Wendy Watson is probably the ultimate ass-kicking geek girl to ever be unleashed on television.

    Unfortunately, ABC has not decided what they are doing with the series yet. It has made a few best of 2008 lists, so there is some hope. Not yet officially canceled but not yet renewed for a second season.
    No announcement as far as DVD goes either. I think it is on iTunes in the US, but not sure. It’s all very sad.

  • Jennie

    Here, here, for MAJ as awesome!

    Am I the only one that finds it frightening that HBO is planning US version of ‘Shameless’? Hollywood Reporter has a piece on it here

  • MaryAnn

    MaryAnn-Just wondering if you watch any tv shows you’d be embarassed (or at least be reluctant)to admit to?

    Nope. If I like something, I’ll admit it.

  • Todd K

    Re: Demons

    In my opinion, it really was that bad. It plumbed the cliche of “Bram Stoker wrote non-fiction!” (I’m honestly not sure what I hate more, that or “you’ve read too many stories!”) while bringing nothing new to the table. The acting was rather meh, and the writing tried to pass off jaded pseudo-snarkiness for something more clever. I watched about 75% and was not motivated to stick around for the “nail-biting conclusion” which was obviously headed for one of two entirely unoriginal motivations for the young protagonist to take up the mantle of demon-killing.

    I MIGHT look at the next episode if there’s nothing better on, just to see if it was the 1st ep set-up that was poorly executed, but I’m not holding my breath, and I certainly wouldn’t go out of my way to watch again.

  • Gee

    Re: Demons: all I could think about for much of the time was when is he going to put his shirt on?! Christian Cooke is good looking but it was so blatantly gratuitous I couldn’t believe it.

    Philip Glenister’s American accent sounded okay to me, but I’m not American. I’ll be interested to hear the informed verdict on it.

    I’m sort of looking forward to Being Human (Russell Tovey),

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Being_Human_(TV_series)

    but worried what might have been done to it with the cast changes and making it more BBC3-like following the wonderful and well-received pilot. How many other 1 hour TV pilots end up with a fan following across genres/ages? Perfect cast chemistry, drama, funny, dark, touching… Why change it?!

    The pilot is well worth tracking down and easy to find.

  • amanohyo

    David Tennant resembles Paul Waaktaar-Savoy. I first noticed the similarity at around the 0:38 mark in this video. Veeeery interesting…but what does it all mean?

  • MaryAnn

    Really? I don’t see the resemblance at all.

    And who knew A-ha made a song other than that “Take on Me” one…

  • amanohyo

    I only notice it from time to time. Maybe they just have similarly shaped heads? Youtube comments are a blight upon humanity, but I admit that I sometimes have fun randomly jumping from song to song just to see where I’ll end up.

  • Keith

    I had never even heard of “The Middleman” until last night. After our monthly sci-fi group meeting, we went to one of our member’s house for a movie night. The last thing we watched were the first two episodes of “The Middleman” DVD. I was delighted (and saddened to find out it was cancelled). It is silly, but clever; based on a comic series. A sort of cross between Men In Black and The Avengers (the old TV show). Now I’ve gotten it and in the process of watching all the episodes. Anyone who is a fan of geeky comic sci-fi, should check this out. You may find yourself as pleasantly surprised as I was.

  • The Middleman has been in my Netflix queue for ages but I have yet to get to it. I suspect MaryAnn may have the same problem. Well, that and the hundred other things she already has on her plate.

  • Keith

    You have to pay attention in The Middleman. They are constantly throwing in all sorts of cultural references and doing cute things. They give time stamps for many of the scenes in the show, but each one mentions some different time zone somewhere else in the world (that’s no where near where the scene is supposed to be taking place).

    There was a cute bit in episode three where the main character Wendy Watson is conversing in Spanish with another character and we get English subtitles. She says a couple of lines in English in the middle and they go with Spanish subtitles before she switches back into Spanish with more English subtitles. There is another scene where someone quotes some Johnny Cash and we get “Obligatory Johnny Cash Reference” text on the screen (was watching Book of Eli earlier and when Denzel’s character quotes some Johnny Cash, I thought of this scene).

    All sorts of cute stuff like this keeps popping up. There is also all sorts of geeky and pop culture references (I’ve heard a variation of “frakked” a couple of times now). Watching the pilot episode with my geeky friends and we all got plenty of laughs out of it.

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