Twin Peaks – Definitive Gold Box Edition (2007)

Twin Peaks Definitive Gold BoxWhen “Twin Peaks” aired in 1990 no one thought it would have much of a chance as a TV show and even today one must wonder why or how it did become such a phenomenon. Was it because of the cherry pie and the fine cuppa Jo? Was it because the mystery of Laura Palmer’s murder kept people coming back to “Twin Peaks” each week? Was it Dale Cooper’s (Kyle MacLachlan) messages to Diane on his Dictaphone? And who the hell is Bob?

“Twin Peaks” was and still is full of mysteries, mysteries that will never be answered. Some of them should have better remained unanswered but such is life, you seek the answer until you finally get it and then you move on. And what about Laura Palmer’s murderer? You really needed to know, didn’t you? I won’t spoil it for you here, so read on!

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Rome Season 3 Cancelled

It’s been known for a while now, Rome, another superb HBO show has been cancelled and will end after only 2 seasons. Main reasons: lack of viewers and too expensive. [ source ]

Granted, Rome was originally intended as a mere miniseries but spawned into a full series after the network saw the quality of the scripts. Unfortunately for HBO and any other network, viewer numbers are everything, esp. when the cost for the entire first season is around 100 million U$. We cannot really blame HBO when the viewers rather prefer crap over intelligent, quality TV series. If more people would have watched shows like Rome, Deadwood, Firefly, Invasion they would not have been cancelled, easy as that. Networks need to make profit and have to provide what the majority wants to see and if the majority wants to see crap then they have to give them crap. Besides, what network are you looking for when you want to watch quality shows? HBO, right?

Rome will end on March 25th 2007.

The Illusionist (2006)

The Illusionist (2006)The Illusionist” (2006) tells the tale of true love lost at child’s age (or rather torn apart) and found again years later, saved by a net of illusions. What is real what is illusion? Eisenheim (Edward Norton) the Illusionist has mastered his art and comes back for the love of his life (Jessica Biel) years after and tries to rescue her from the clutches of Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell) which leads to her being murdered or is she?

Production values are top notch, costumes and make-up transport you right back to the Romatic Era of late 19th century Vienna. Disbelief is suspended for the time being. Rather than asking yourself “How does he do it” you keep asking yourself “Is it real?”.

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Apocalypto (2006)

Apocalypto (2006)Mel Gibson’s latest film “Apocalypto” (2006) is about a young man Jaguar Claw (Youngblood) who gets captured during a raid on his village. He is marched off with the rest of the survivors to the local temple to be sacrificed.

One thing first, this is not a documentary, so if you expect to see what the Mayan civilization was like then you best go grab some books on the topic. This is just a movie that picks that time era as a setting for what can be only described as a powerful visual and graphically explicit jungle adventure. Any debate on how Gibson fails to accurately depict or slanders a culture long past is futile and those who do, please stop confusing film with reality.

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Boston Legal (2004)

Boston Legal Season 1Boston Legal” is a spin-off of “The Practice” and while I am normally not into law shows, Denny Crane (William Shatner) convinced me otherwise or should I rather say his friend Alan Shore (James Spader) did.

Markus (not Aurelius) and I were talking about TV shows a week ago while having Sushi for lunch and I told him that he must go see “Rome” (but first read my review on it) and so he did and now his friends do, too and so on. What does that have to do with “Boston Legal” you might ask; nothing and everything.

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Rome – Kalends of February

The final episode of the first season of “Rome” ends with the ides of march so poignantly titled “Kalends of February”.

“Thus ever for tyrants!” Cassius declares, raising Brutus’ hand in the air.

A powerful and dramatic season finale ending in anger, grief, murder, revenge and death and yet there also is forgiveness and redemption. How will it all unwind? We will have to wait until the start of season 2 in 2007 to find out. Production of the next 12 episodes begins in March 2006. Alternatively you can brush up on Roman history (44 B.C.) in order to find out what the next epic conflict will be about.

So much is for certain: Niobe will not come back. “Rome” is no Romero Zombie Zoo, so you can stop speculating! She is dead. Gone. Pushing up the daisies, joined the choir invisible. She is a late Niobe! R.I.P.

Match Point (2005)

matchpointWoody Allen is back in the game and he has a “Match Point” in this one. Chris (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers), a young man who wants to make something out of his life, quits his professional tennis player career, becomes a tennis instructor and quickly moves on once he meets Tom (Matthew Goode) and his sister Chloe (Emily Mortimer). Chris starts dating Chloe but is secretly in love with Tom’s fiancĂ©e Nola (Scarlett Johansson).

Torn between a posh upper-class lifestyle with all its luxury and his lust for Nola, Chris is contemplating his possibilities to have both and give up neither. A lot of it depends on chance as the movie points out in the very beginning with an analogy to a tennis ball hitting the net. Whether you lose or win depends on where the ball will land: pure chance – the movie’s main theme.

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Corpse Bride (2005)

51pnlqbHNkLTim Burton’s “Corpse Bride” is loosely based on a Russian folktale where a soon to be groom unknowingly cites his marital vows to what seems to him like a wooden stick that looks like a hand reaching out of the ground. The wooden hand comes to life and a terrified Victor (Johnny Depp) finds himself in the clutches of a cursed corpse bride.

At the very beginning of the movie you already realize that you are in for a meticulously composed piece of art. From the sweeping of the broom to the wagging of the tail to the cutting of the fish everything moves in the rhythm of the clockwork opening theme composed by Danny Elfman. The musical score is not quite as memorable as in “Nightmare before Christmas” and more generic, yet it does have its grand moments, e.g. the “Corpse Bride” song.

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Garden State (2004)

garden_stateIf the only thing that keeps you going is your faith and you no longer know what you believe in or have stopped believing in anything anymore then you must feel quite lost and life may bear no meaning. “Garden State” is about twenty-six-year-old Andrew “Large” Largeman (Zach Braff) who is so numb and void of emotions that he has literally detached himself from everything and everyone around him.
When we zoom in on him in the beginning of the movie, he is lying in a white room in a white bed and he looks so pale, he might as well be already dead.
Together with Braff the viewer goes on a journey of awakening, of rediscovering life, of experiencing emotions, honest and heartfelt emotions.

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Shaun of the Dead (2004)

shaun_of_the_deadShaun of the Dead” is a tribute to George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” (1968) and follows the original plot line by and large in a rather unconventional manner. Ironically, it is even rated higher than the original although only by a small amount. This is mostly due to the fact that “Shaun of the Dead” is a funny movie if you are into British humor that is. Splatter like slapstick and terrifc perfomances all with posh British accents give this movie the certain “je ne sais quoi”. I know, the French invented it but what can you do?

“Shaun of the Dead” is not a horror shocker. It has blood and gore but you can only but laugh at scenes like “There is a girl in our garden”. A zombie as Shaun and Ed find out minutes later when they push her and she trips and rams an iron pole through her stomach. Getting back up with all that glibbery noise and a huge hole through her body she is coming at them both… minutes later we learn the importance of having a record collection at hand.

There’s lots of incredibly coherent and witty dialogue that will make you see Zombies in a whole new light, like “Okay. But dogs CAN look up!”. And you know that once “you’ve got red on you” things are going to be bad. Really bad. So bad that you will “Take car. Go to mum’s. Kill Phil – Sorry. – grab Liz, go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for all of this to blow over. How’s that for a slice of fried gold?”