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Entries in the wire (4)

Monday
Jul162012

You Should Be Watching Newsroom

Newsroom is one of the best shows I've seen since The Wire.  I watched the first three episodes with Mrs. Foxtrot this weekend and we loved every minute.  Check out the trailer:

I watched several trailers on youtube to find one that does this show justice, but none of them conveyed the greatness of Newsroom.  In fact, the first episode of Newsroom is the BEST pilot I've ever seen.  By the end of the episode I knew the temperaments, emotions, and motives of all the characters and I knew what the show was all about.  In stark contrast, The Wire pilot is muddy, introduces a ton of characters that don't connect (in the pilot), and took me a few watches to actually enjoy the show. 

This is Jeff Daniel's finest hour, and it is hard for me to picture him driving around in a van that looks like a shaggy dog.  He plays the douchey, yet intelligent, newscaster, who is revamping his cable evening news show.  You'll see a few other faces like Slumdog Millionaire and Olivia Munn.  The acting is top notch all around and is bolstered by Sorkin's writing which is witty, fast paced, and tells a great story without any extra fluff.

I still think The Wire is the best television show ever made, but Newsroom might be a contender in my book.  After finishing the first three episodes I questioned why so many people waste time watching anything on the CW... HBO continues on making quality TV, and I highly recommend you check out Newsroom. 

Wednesday
Jun202012

3 Great Netflix Streaming Shows You Should Be Watching

Netflix streaming is about 85% crap, 10% watchable, and 5% gold.  I've scrolled through what felt like endless obscure genres (like Gritty Independent Dramas Starring Weak Female Leads) to narrow it down to a few epic shows.  Mrs. Foxtrot and I have watched all available episodes of the shows below, and promise that they don't disappoint.

3. Luther

I avoided Luther for a long time because I though it was a TNT original series.  I then found it out it was a BBC show and starred Stringer Bell from the Wire, and I was hooked.  It is great show that takes place in the UK where Britian's finest track down serial killers and obscurer murders.  This show is gritty and a little dark at times.  The characters are pretty good, and I don't feel they take on the normal cop stereotypes.

2. The Killing

AMC knows how to make great television!  As a quick side note, you should be watching Mad Men and it is streaming on Netflix.  I kind of stumbled on The Killing, and found it to be very enjoyable.  It takes place in Seattle, which is a welcome reprieve from LA/NY.  The whole series revolves around solving a single murder case, which has a ton of twists and turns.  This show is a bit of a slow burn (like Mad Men), which means I'd give it a few episodes before things really start to move. 

1. Sherlock

Another BBC gem, Sherlock may be the best streaming TV show on Netflix.  A modern retelling of the classic literary tale, this show does a great job story telling.  You get a bird's eye view of Sherlock's problem solving skills and unique observational ability.  Sherlock picks up on tiny details about people which makes for a really fun experience.  This show keeps a good balance of humor and mystery and my biggest complaint is that the show is so damn short! 

Thursday
Jun072012

EPIC: The Wire, The Musical!

The Wire is the best television show ever made.  The writing is top notch, the characters are amazing, and the story does a hell of a lot in just a few seasons.  What could possibly make the best show even better?  A musical! 

Monday
Mar122012

John Carter The Movie: Reviewed

When I first saw the John Carter trailer I didn't have very high hopes.  The trailer for this movie simply sucks.  I'm not quite sure who the trailer is catering to, but it feels like it was pulled from the same cookie cutter as any one of the "Rome" and or "300" spin offs.  \Disney is still looking to film the cash cow void that was Pirates of Caribbean.  Prince of Persia was a failed attempt and I though John Carter was simply next in line.  Then I heard that the John Carter was directed by Andrew Stanton who directed Finding Nemo, Bug's Life, and WALL-E.  After I heard that, I got really interested, because Pixar consistently makes amazing movies.  Check out the trailer and then I'll get into the review.

I have two big problems with the trailer. First is the jumping across the canyon looks lame.  It is quickly explained that because of the lighter gravity on Mars Carter can jump really high.  After a funny scene of Carter falling on his face getting used to the gravity, I totally bought it, and it no longer felt campy.  The other big problem I have is that this movie feels like an arena style Gladiator movie with giant white apes.  Truth be told only about four minutes of this movie takes place in an arena, and the ape fight goes quickly. 

I'll save a lot of the details of the story so you can enjoy it, but as the trailer so eloquently states, John Carter gets transported to Mars.  There is an entire civilization of people entrenched in a big war that is about to come to a head.  John quickly gets involved and uses his nun chuck high jump skills to help fight the war. 

This movie is what I wanted out of Star Wars Episodes I, II, & III.  Good CGI, entertaining story, and decent acting. If Andrew Stanton had done said Star Wars Episodes and perhaps Indy and the Crystal Skulls, they might not have been steaming piles of poo.  Stanton does a great job with this movie and has the feel of a fun sci-fi style popcorn flick  There is a lot of action, and some great fight scenes.  The four armed aliens are great, and the CGI is damned amazing.  There is a big six legged dog, that follows Carter around.  He looks kind of like Jabba the Hut and steals the scene every time he is on screen. 

This film does have a few short comings despite my glowing review.  The story is kind of all over the place, and feels a little more complicated than it needs to be.  The acting is good until it tries to get overly serious and then it feels a bit campy.  On the flip side, the comedic beats are great, and I laughed many times throughout the film.  Taylor Kitsch (Riggins, from Friday Night lights) is surprisingly good, and it gives me a slight glimmer of hope of Battleship.  There is a ton of other big names: Dominic West (McNulty from the wire), and aliens played by Willem Dafoe and Thomas Haden Church who all did a fantastic job.

If you are looking for a fun summer style blockbuster I highly recommend John Carter.