Thursday, January 31, 2008


A MAN’S HAND unwinds a short length of green string. We’re extremely close, with a shallow, blurry focus. It’s like the first moments after a dream—just fragments.
Scissors cut the string. The man wraps it around his left wrist. A loop. A bracelet.
We see the man’s teeth, the edge of his chin as he pulls the knot tight.
His fingers pull against the string. Solid. It won’t break easily.


John August is a screenwriter who can come up with scripts like those for Doug Liman’s Go! and Tim Burton’s Big Fish (two personal favourites), then can go all the way to the far end of the spectrum for McG’s Charlie’s Angels movies.
Now that’s displaying a range.
With The Nin9s—which has the structure of Go! (three discrete yet inter-connected sections) and the thematic complexity of Big Fish—August broadens his range even more, by not just delivering another intricate and ambitious screenplay, but by directing it as well.

Gary Banks (Ryan Reynolds) is the star of the hit police procedural Crim9 Lab (“This fall, Mondays are killer.”), who has a minor meltdown as a result of having his heart broken by a woman. A baggie of crack later and he’s under house arrest (in a house that he claims is haunted by a “zeitgeist”), and in danger of being written off the series by its showrunner.
Or is he?

If you’ve seen the trailer of The Nin9s, it’s pretty evident that this is the sort of film you can’t really talk about lest the cat prematurely get out of the bag.
What I can say is that this is another fantastic script by August, and his handling of the intricate and delicate material displays a steady and confident directorial presence.
He also gathers a great cast for The Nin9s, starting with Reynolds, who shows a sharp versatility here I’ve never really seen before; usually he gets to play variations of his wise-a$$ sitcom self, as in Blade: Trinity. Here, he’s given the opportunity to inject nuance and a certain amount of subtlety in his performance, and he doesn’t disappoint.
He’s then supported by Hope Davis (always a treat to watch) and Gilmore Girls’ Melissa McCarthy. Like Reynolds, McCarthy’s another eye-opener, as not only is she allowed to make a departure from her Sookie TV persona, she also gets a chance to play herself.
(E.R. fans should also note that Dahlia Salem is in here too, also as herself.)

There. I may have already said too much.
Let’s just leave it at this: if you like your cinema complex and layered, The Nin9s should be on your radar.
At the very least, you’ll learn something really, really interesting about koala bears.

Parting shot: Reviews of Blade: Trinity and The Amityville Horror, in which Ryan Reynolds also appeared, can be found in the Archive, as well as a Tim Burton retrospective, where Big Fish is mentioned.

(The Nin9s UK quad courtesy of; DVD cover art courtesy of; image courtesy of

(The italicized first section of the review is from John August’s final shooting script for The Nin9s.)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Eastern Promises may have been scarce at the Oscars, but it’s the most nominated film at this year’s Genies, tied with Roger Spottiswoode’s Shake Hands With The Devil (a dozen nominations each). Sarah Polley’s Away From Her, meanwhile, received 7 nominations.
Below are the nomination breakdowns for both films, as well as those for Paul Fox‘s Everything’s Gone Green and Andrew Currie‘s Fido.

Away From Her:
Best Motion Picture
Achievement in Direction (Sarah Polley)
Achievement in Editing (David Wharnsby)
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Gordon Pinsent)
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Julie Christie)
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Kristen Thompson)
Adapted Screenplay (Sarah Polley)

Eastern Promises:
Best Motion Picture
Achievement in Art Direction/Production Design (Carol Spier)
Achievement in Costume Design (Denise Cronenberg)
Achievement in Cinematography (Peter Suschitzky)
Achievement in Direction (David Cronenberg)
Achievement in Editing (Ronald Sanders)
Achievement in Music – Original Score (Howard Shore)
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Viggo Mortensen)
Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Armin Mueller-Stahl)
Achievement in Overall Sound (Stuart Wilson, Christian Cooke, Orest Sushko, Mark Zsifkovits)
Achievement in Sound Editing (Wayne Griffin, Robert Bertola, Tony Currie, Andy Malcolm, Michael O’Farrell)
Original Screenplay (Steve Knight)

Everything’s Gone Green:
Original Screenplay (Douglas Coupland)

Achievement in Art Direction/Production Design (Rob Gray, James Willcock)
Achievement in Costume Design (Mary E. McLeod)
Achievement in Music – Original Score (Don MacDonald)

To one and all, congratulations. (You can download the complete list of nominees here.)
The 28th annual Genie Awards will take place on March 3, 2008.

Parting shot: Reviews of Eastern Promises and Everything’s Gone Green can be found in the Archive.

(All OS’s courtesy of

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


“For what’s the sound of the world out there?”
“What, Mr. Todd? What, Mr. Todd? What is that sound?”
“Those crunching noises pervading the air!”
“Yes, Mr. Todd! Yes, Mr. Todd! Yes, all around!”
“It’s man devouring man, my dear!”
“And who are we to deny it in here?”
-- “A Little Priest”

It’s odd that for a master of mainstream macabre, the film that turns out to be Tim Burton’s darkest and bloodiest, is a musical. That’s rated R.

Burton’s adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is yet another triumph for the 49-year old director who made a name for himself with his Gothic (and highly visual) romanticism for all things shadowy and decayed.
It’s his sixth collaboration with his cinematic alter-ego, Johnny Depp, and his fifth with his lady love, Helena Bonham Carter, both of whom acquit themselves admirably as the obsessed, single-minded barber out for revenge, and Mrs. Lovett, owner of a decrepit meat pie shop and adorer of all things Todd.
And not only do they have to act, Depp and Bonham Carter (and the rest of the film’s delectable cast) have to sing too. And these musical numbers sound tricky, in all probability a challenge to professionals, and certainly not a cake walk for untrained vocal chords. But they pull it off with skill and talent to spare.

Burton meanwhile, paints the multiplex canvas with yet another darkly gorgeous portrait of the outsider coming up against “normal” society, though admittedly, it’s been awhile since said outsider was homicidal (the last time we had one of those from Burton was Batman Returns).
The director’s assembled band of creative cohorts are, as always, impeccable. Colleen Atwood’s costumes (BAFTA and Oscar nominations; her 7th collaboration with Burton), Dante Ferretti’s production design (Oscar nomination), Dariusz Wolski‘s camerawork (Wolski also shot Alex Proyas’ The Crow and Dark City), all bolster performances by an excellent cast that includes Alan Rickman, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Timothy Spall, giving us a film that not only moves, but looks good while doing it.

Having never been exposed to Sweeney Todd in any of its previous incarnations before, what came as perhaps the biggest surprise for me, was the music. By turns sweeping, infectious, sobering, and chilling, Sondheim’s musical landscape for this tale of tragic tale of obsession and revenge, is astounding.
Consider: one of the musical’s cheeriest numbers is entitled “The Worst Pies In London.” No mean feat, that. Then, to have that triumph and the audacious cannibal anthem, “A Little Priest,” all in one musical. Sheer bloody genius!
Getting Burton as appointed cinematic translator was a match made in Grand Guignol Heaven. When you can expertly juxtapose a beautiful number like “Johanna” with shots of throat-slitting and body dumping, well, surely you understand the material, right? (The pastoral idyll of “By The Sea”—in the midst of the pervasive ash grey palette of the film—was another masterstroke as well.)

With Sweeney Todd, Once, and Across The Universe (Julie Taymor’s Beatles-inspired work may be uneven, but no one can deny its daring), 2007 should go down in cinema history as the year the movie musical proved it could be so much more than just fat-suited A-listers in drag.
It no longer has to be just about people busting out into boisterous song and energetic, jazz hands-inflected dance. Like Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge before them, these musicals obliterate the common perception of the genre.
With Sweeney Todd, Burton and Sondheim give testament to the fact that you can have blood and cannibalism—with the R rating to go along with all that wholesome family entertainment—and still have an emotionally involving narrative that utilizes the grammar of brilliant songwriting as its alluring language.
And let’s face it, if asked which was the more disturbing thought, Johnny Depp as a fright-haired, murderous barber, or John Travolta in drag and a fat suit, I know what my answer would be.
What about you?

“We’ll take the customers that we can get!”
“High-born and low, my love!”
“We’ll not discriminate great from small! No, we’ll serve anyone, meaning anyone…”
“And to anyone at all!”
-- “A Little Priest”

Parting shot: After Javier Bardem’s killer ‘cut in No Country For Old Men, Sacha Baron Cohen’s coif as Signor Adolfo Pirelli, takes runner-up as Dodgiest Cinematic ‘Do for 2007.

Parting shot 2: Reviews of Once, Across The Universe, and No Country For Old Men can be found in the Archive, along with a Tim Burton retrospective (“In The Shadows of Mainstream Cinema”).

(Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street OS courtesy of; images courtesy of

(Thanx to Bianca, for springing for the ticket.)


Over the past weekend, the DGA presented those big-a$$ medallions of theirs to the winners of their various Outstanding Directorial Achievement Awards for the year 2007.
Congratulations to all the winners, particularly Joel and Ethan Coen, for winning Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for No Country For Old Men, and Barry Sonnenfeld, for winning Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series Night for the “Pie-Lette” episode of Pushing Daisies.
Joel Coen had this to say after receiving the award:

"Ethan and I have a bookshelf in our office where we keep various plaques and such that we've gotten over the years that we call our ego corner. Whenever Ethan has a really bad day, he gets a bottle of Windex and a big can of silver polish and goes over and spit shines those medals for an hour or two. It makes him feel better. This is a really big one—in every respect. It's going to keep him busy."

You can check out all the winners here.

Parting shot: A review of No Country For Old Men and episodic recaps/reactions of Pushing Daisies can be found in the Archive.

(DGA award image courtesy of; No Country For Old Men OS courtesy of; Pushing Daisies image courtesy of

Monday, January 28, 2008


Just two questions before I get down to the congratulations.
One: where were the Stunt Ensemble awards? I mean, if you’re gonna establish a couple of brand new awards, you could at most, include it in the show, or at least, mention the winners in passing during the live telecast (like the Oscar sci-tech awards).
Two: where was Sarah Polley?

Okay, with that out of the way, congratulations to Javier Bardem and the cast of No Country For Old Men, for taking home the Actors for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role and Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
And though Daniel Day-Lewis walked off with the Male Actor in a Leading Role, I can almost forgive him for snatching the honour once again from good old Viggo, for his acceptance speech/tribute to actors who’ve inspired him, the late Heath Ledger in particular.
Congratulations must also go out to Julie Christie, who made reference in her acceptance speech to both the WGA strike, and the writer/director of Away From Her, the brilliant Sarah Polley. (Again, where was she?)
And of course, to the recipients of the Stunt Ensemble awards, The Bourne Ultimatum (for Motion Picture) and 24 (for Television Series).

A happy 75th to the Screen Actors Guild, and congratulations to all the nominees and winners. (You can check out a list of all the winners, err, I mean recipients, here.)

Parting shot: A review of No Country For Old Men can be found in the Archive.

(SAG crest courtesy of; No Country For Old Men OS courtesy of

Friday, January 25, 2008


Julie Taymor’s Titus is quite possibly the wildest and most interesting Shakespeare film adaptation I’ve ever seen. I wasn’t overly fond of her Frida, though.
Those sentiments clearly don’t make me a rabid fan of her work. She is, however, one of those directors that are always on my radar, whose films are always worth, at the very least, a healthily curious look.
And when her Beatles-inspired musical, Across The Universe, ran into some studio interference, well, that just pumped up my curiousity all the more. I mean, when a film gets into trouble with the studio, more often than not, that means it’s not your usual, run of the mill Hollywood pap. (Or it’s gone insanely overbudget.)

Jude (Jim Sturgess) is a factory worker from Liverpool who makes the great escape to the U.S. of A. with a personal agenda. Lucy (Running With Scissors’ Evan Rachel Wood) is a privileged young girl about to go off to college.
The paths of these soon-to-be star-crossed lovers are about to intersect, and in the company of Lucy’s brother Max (Joe Anderson, who played Peter Hook in Control) and a motley crew of—in Lucy’s mom’s own words—“promiscuous drug fiends,” they spend a pivotal summer in New York, while war rages in a tiny Asian country called Vietnam.
It’s there, in the Big Apple, social unrest and awakening going on all around them, that Jude and Lucy learn life’s most valuable lesson: all you need is love.

At its core, Across The Universe is a love story.
But that, of course, is complicated by, not just the ‘60’s counterculture backdrop, but also the presence of the film’s supporting characters, some (like Max) more prominent than others (the sadly underused Prudence, played by the curiously named T.V. Carpio).
Things get a tad disappointing when a character like Prudence is introduced into the narrative with the quiet and poignant yearning of “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” only to be shuffled in and out of the story without any apparent rhyme or reason.
Jo-Jo (Martin Luther McCoy) also gets a powerful and effective introduction, with the gospel stylings of “Let It Be,” his arrival in the big city heralded by Joe Cocker’s blazing rendition of “Come Together” as urban anthem.
Jo-Jo, at least, gets slightly more face time than Prudence, but his subplot (also romantic) happens largely off-screen.

Clearly, the choice to set Across The Universe during the ‘60’s was to give the story more depth and resonance, and I’m all for that. But when the narrative fails to support not just the number of characters, but also the weight of its own intentions, then the film falls short of the dizzying heights of its immense potential. The result is a tale that lacks substance, peopled by characters that aren’t as fully realized as they ought to be.
The narrative, as well as its energy level, doesn’t quite sustain itself over the 2-hour running time. And somehow, the climax leaves the impression that the characters survived the ordeal, rather than triumphed over the adversity of the times.
While it takes a page from Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge by utilizing popular music as narrative shorthand, Across The Universe doesn’t hit the bull’s eye the way Luhrmann’s rousing and incredibly moving musical did.

That’s not to say that Across The Universe is a complete let down. This is one of those cases where the parts are most definitely greater then their sum.
“Strawberry Fields,” which juxtaposes Jude’s agonized personal confusion, with the horrors of Vietnam (though the flaming strawberry bombs are arguably a tad much); the snatches of “Across The Universe” that we actually manage to hear—as Taymor chooses to pit it in a discordant war with “Helter Skelter.”
And those final moments of “Across The Universe,” with eerie visuals that rival some of the more vivid images from Titus.
These are when the film works the best, when the imagery and the music (and in some numbers, Daniel Ezralow‘s choreography) merge into a cinematic experience that stays with you past the end credits.

Across The Universe also boasts some interesting appearances by Bono, Eddie Izzard, the aforementioned Cocker, and a past Taymor collaborator (the cameo’s too sweet to spoil the surprise).
It’s also got solid musical support from McCoy (touted as “one of music’s next big movements”), Carpio (daughter of noted Asian singer Teresa Carpio), and Dana Fuchs, who, as Sadie, eerily recalls Janis Joplin (whom she played in the off-Broadway hit, Love, Janis).
The central performances are however, slightly problematic. Sturgess and Wood can sing well enough, sure, but sometimes, the emotion doesn’t shine through as much as it should, particularly from Wood, whose Lucy, after all, is asked and demanded more of by the narrative.
There’s also the very suddenness of the film’s denoeument, sparked by a rendition of “Hey, Jude” placed in a weirdly improbable context. This is arguably one of the bigger shortcomings of the film, leaving the audience with a vaguely unsatisfying ending, as if they needed to wrap things up, and weren’t at all sure how.

Still, though Across The Universe may be uneven, and I’ve still to find that Julie Taymor film that slays me completely, this is clearly not a boring film.
In my books, Taymor’s still a far more interesting director for a musical than, say, Rob Marshall.
Or Joel Schumacher.

Parting shot: Proving she likes to work with familiar faces, Taymor is gearing up for the Spider-Man musical, with Bono doing the music.
To further reinforce that notion, word once floated on the web that Taymor was looking at Sturgess and Wood to play Spidey and Mary Jane in the musical, though I’ve yet to hear anything concrete regarding casting.
Taymor is, of course, best regarded for her work on The Lion King musical.

Parting shot 2: For those of you who love behind-the-scenes thingies, Dana Fuchs blogs about her experiences during the Across The Universe shoot here.

Parting shot 3: Reviews of Running With Scissors and Control can be found in the Archive.

(Across The Universe OS courtesy of; soundtrack album cover art courtesy of; images courtesy of Sony Pictures and

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Heath Ledger
April 4, 1979 - January 22, 2008

(Image courtesy of


Brad Renfro
July 25, 1982 - January 15, 2008

(Image courtesy of

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Before we dive into this, I think it’s interesting to note that Saw is by far the most successful and popular horror franchise of the 21st century (or any century, for that matter). Truth is, there really isn’t any competition. All told, the four installments thus far have raked in nearly $300 million, with Saw V already scheduled for an October 2008 release.
Of course, if the 80’s taught us horror geeks anything, it’s that there are a lot of ups and downs in even the best franchise, and Saw is no exception.
I loved the original, but felt that the second had too many unrelatable, hastily sketched characters running around just waiting to get iced by the next gruesome trap. And while the third did attempt to trace its way back towards the dark territories mapped out so splendidly in Saw, it still fell far short of the heights scaled by the original.
Which brings us to Saw IV.

So, to get this out of the way: yes, Jigsaw is dead. He died in Saw III and he’s still dead.
Long live Jigsaw.

As I’ve mentioned ‘round these parts before, I was worked up about this fourth installment since the screenplay was written by the delightfully twisted wretches behind Feast, Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan.
So was my excitement justified? Yes, and no.
To begin with, and perhaps most importantly, after the original, this is the second best Saw installment to date. It manages to do a number of things in its 95-minute running time: delve into the pre-Jigsaw history of John Kramer; elaborate further on Jigsaw’s methodology; explain how all the heavy-lifting and legwork in previous chapters were done by a terminally-ill man and a mentally unstable girl; and tie in rather well to the events depicted in Saw III.
It’s clear that Melton and Dunstan understand what makes the franchise tick, and they serve up all that the fans have come to expect from a Saw movie, from the gore (and oh, so much of it) to the climactic twist (the same sort used in Saw II, though pulled off far more effectively here).

Opening with Jigsaw’s autopsy—quite possibly the most audacious on-screen post-mortem I’ve ever come across, something that should make even the most jaded CSI procedural hound squirm—Saw IV is also the bloodiest of the lot.
Which, of course, is one of the points of a Saw movie. But I’m just wondering where all this is going. How far can this franchise go? What celluloid atrocities will we witness in Saw IX?
And as wickedly clever as the script gets, it does have an annoying tic of pumping the audience with retroactive history in that by-now familiar Saw quick-cut editing style courtesy of Kevin Greutert. This method works for me when it’s used with a modicum of restraint, or when it’s used to fill us in on characters we’re already semi-familiar with.
In Saw IV, it just feels like this was done a tad too much, to the point where it becomes a lazy narrative cheat: why bother taking the time to establish a character when we can just stutter-strobe through their life history in nine seconds before we turn them into gobbets of mangled flesh?
And while Saw IV also—and perhaps belatedly—turns its attention to the other law enforcement types caught in the bloody wash of Jigsaw’s wake (notably Costas Mandylor’s Hoffman, introduced in the third installment, and Lyriq Bent’s Rigg, who’s been around since Saw II), it also sadly continues in the grand, bone-headed tradition of the franchise, to depict those same law enforcement types barreling headlong into dark rooms and abandoned warehouses without back-up, protective gear, or so much as a little Post-It to tell their other cop friends where they ran off to. Idiots.

As a microcosm of the franchise itself though, I suppose it’s only apt that Saw IV displays a range of ups (the traps are baroquely wicked and the bloodshed and mayhem suitably graphic, while the decidedly non-linear narrative pays attention to what came before, even giving us a cameo from one of Saw II’s cast of ne’er-do-wells; seeing Gilmore Girls’ Scott Patterson as FBI Agent Strahm is also a kick and a half) and downs (the most significant of which I’ve mentioned above).
Looking back, I guess this is probably the best case scenario, since I honestly don’t think I expected this installment to be better than Saw. I’m happy it’s continued to lift the franchise from the offal-filled pit it found itself in following Saw II. But the twisted point of Jigsaw, his hellish Hallmark life lessons, have been both hammered in, and hammered to death, over the course of four films.
While Saw IV not only reinforces that mindset, it also strives to lay out—in its own effed-up, helter-skelter way—Jigsaw’s idealistic past and his blood-drenched present, as well as offer up a tantalizing suggestion of the dark future. Given that achievement, this latest installment has certainly justified its reason for existence. (It’s also gone a long way in explaining why Saw III always felt like a story that had only been half-told.)
But as I pointed out earlier, where are we going with this? We already know what Jigsaw wanted to say, and we’ve seen a whole lotta blood shed to make that point.
So what will Saw V have to say that will necessarily be new and worth our attention (and money)?
Time will tell, I imagine.
Till then, I’m almost tempted to revisit Saw III for a neat (and bloody) double feature.

Parting shot: Reviews of Saw and Feast can be found in the Archive.

(Saw IV OS and images courtesy of

HEY, IF IT ISN’T OSCAR! 2008 (2)

So after last night’s post, I searched for a complete complete Oscar nominations list, and was successful at both and
For the sake of completion, here’s a list of all the Oscar nominations I’m excited about this year…

Across The Universe:
Best Costume Design (Albert Wolsky)

Eastern Promises:
Best Actor (Viggo Mortensen)

No Country For Old Men:
Best Picture
Best Director (Joel & Ethan Coen)
Best Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem)
Best Adapted Screenplay (Joel & Ethan Coen)
Best Cinematography (Roger Deakins)
Best Film Editing (Joel &Ethan Coen)
Best Sound Editing (Skip Lievsay)
Best Sound Mixing (Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff, and Peter Kurland)

Best Song (“Falling Slowly”)

Best Sound Editing (Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins)
Best Sound Mixing (Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell, and Peter J. Devlin)
Best Visual Effects (Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl, and John Frazier)

And the nominations from films I’ve mentioned here at the Iguana, but have yet to see are…

Away From Her:
Best Actress (Julie Christie)
Best Adapted Screenplay (Sarah Polley)

The Golden Compass:
Best Art Direction (Dennis Gassner, Art Direction; Anna Pinnock, Set Decoration)
Best Visual Effects (Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris, and Trevor Wood)

Best Picture
Best Director (Jason Reitman)
Best Actress (Ellen Page)
Best Original Screenplay (Diablo Cody)

Lars and the Real Girl:
Best Original Screenplay (Nancy Oliver)

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street:
Best Actor (Johnny Depp)
Best Art Direction (Dante Ferretti, Art Direction; Francesca Lo Schiavo, Set Decoration)
Best Costume Design (Colleen Atwood)

I’m still bummed by Eastern Promises’ lack of Oscar presence, and concerned about the chances of “Falling Slowly,” though one must recall last year, when Dreamgirls had three songs up for the award, and Melissa Etheridge swooped in for the kill.
You never know, really.
Having mentioned “Falling Slowly,” though, here’s what Glen Hansard had to say about the nomination:

"It's insane. God, what a day it's been! I'd like to say I was out having a walk and wasn't bothered and took it all in stride but the truth is I didn't sleep last night and we just killed time until it came on TV, but then they only announced the major categories. We're in the Czech Republic so my friend in the States called me and we couldn't believe it. We were jumping up and down. It was hugely melodramatic and Irish. We cracked a bottle of champagne and got drunk before 3:00. It was only in the shower I realized what a riot this has been. We made the film in January 2006. We went to Sundance and won an award in January 2007 and now we have an Oscar nomination so I'm thinking January is my lucky month.”

Good on you, Glen!
Now if only the WGA strike gets resolved—fairly—within a month, so we can actually have an Oscar night, instead of an unattended event people won’t cross picket lines for…

Again, congratulations, one and all. (You can check out the now complete list here.)
Awards will be presented on February 24, 2008.

Parting shot: Reviews of Across The Universe, Eastern Promises, No Country For Old Men, Once, and Transformers can be found in the Archive.

(Oscar OS courtesy of

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


43.1 HEY, IF IT ISN’T OSCAR! 2008
As per my usual Oscar routine, I watched the live announcement of the major nominations (on BBC). I then quickly scuttled over to, for the rest of the nominations.
Apparently though, what’s up at the site at the moment may not be a complete complete list (only one of the three Best Animated Feature Films is listed; Best Cinematography has four nominees listed), so if there are any nominations I’m unable to mention below, well, that’s the reason.
At any rate, the nominations I’m excited about are…

Across The Universe:
Best Costume Design (Albert Wolsky)

Eastern Promises:
Best Actor (Viggo Mortensen)

No Country For Old Men:
Best Picture
Best Director (Joel & Ethan Coen)
Best Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem)
Best Adapted Screenplay (Joel & Ethan Coen)
Best Cinematography (Roger Deakins)
Best Film Editing (Joel &Ethan Coen)
Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing

Best Song (“Falling Slowly”)

Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing
Best Visual Effects

Nominations from other films I’ve mentioned here at the Iguana, but have yet to see are…

Away From Her:
Best Actress (Julie Christie)
Best Adapted Screenplay (Sarah Polley)

The Golden Compass:
Best Art Direction

Best Picture
Best Director (Jason Reitman)
Best Actress (Ellen Page)
Best Original Screenplay (Diablo Cody)

Lars and the Real Girl:
Best Original Screenplay (Nancy Oliver)

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street:
Best Actor (Johnny Depp)

As always there are some disappointments.
One of the most glaring is probably that Eastern Promises is severely under-represented. One nomination, and since all indications point to Daniel Day-Lewis stealing the gold for There Will Be Blood
But then again, there are some welcome sights, like “Falling Slowly” getting in there for Best Song. It’s up against three songs from Enchanted though, so we’ll just have to see.

Congratulations, one and all. (You can check out the sorta complete list here.)
Oscar Night is on February 24, 2008. Hopefully, the WGA strike will be over by then…

And since we are talking about awards, the Art Directors Guild also recently announced their nominations for the 12th Annual ADG Awards.
And the nominees for Excellence in Production Design in 2007 that got me all pumped are…

300 (Fantasy Feature Film; PD: James Bissell)
Heroes: Episode 1020 “Five Years Gone” (Single Camera Television Series; PD: Ruth Ammon)
Lost: Episode 322 “Through The Looking Glass” (Single Camera Television Series; PD: Zack Grobler)
No Country For Old Men (Contemporary Feature Film; PD: Jess Gonchor)
Pushing Daisies: Episode 101 “Pie Lette” (Single Camera Television Series; PD: Michael Wylie)

Other Feature Film nominees I’ve mentioned ‘round these parts before but have yet to see are…

The Golden Compass (Fantasy Feature Film; PD: Dennis Gassner)
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Period Feature Film; PD: Dante Ferretti)

But the high point for me for this year’s ADG awards will most certainly be stop-motion animation grand master Ray Harryhausen receiving the honourary Outstanding Contribution to Cinematic Imagery Award.
Ray Harryhausen is a hero of mine from my grade school days. This is the man who painstakingly brought to life the mythical beasties that threatened the lives of cinematic heroes like Sinbad and Jason, made dinosaurs battle cowboys, and flying saucers and giant octopi and prehistoric monsters leave great swathes of property damage in their wake.
He brought a kid’s dreams to life on screen, and made that kid a lifelong devotee of cinema.
I will be forever indebted, Mr. Harryhausen. Congratulations.

Another honour for the evening is the awarding of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Stuart Craig, who did the production design for Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie, and won awards for his work on David Lynch’s The Elephant Man, Anthony Minghella’s The English Patient, and Stephen Frears’ Dangerous Liaisons.
Craig’s work will best be known to today’s generation of movie-goers though, through the Harry Potter franchise.

Congratulations, one and all. Awards night is on February 16, 2008. (The complete list of nominees can be found here.)

Parting shot: Reviews of 300, Across The Universe, Eastern Promises, No Country For Old Men, Once, and Transformers can be found in the Archive, along with episodic recaps/reactions to Heroes, Lost, and Pushing Daisies.

(Images courtesy of [Oscar OS], [No Country For Old Men OS], and

Monday, January 21, 2008


“The germ of the idea that became The Living and The Dead comes from the trauma of having to watch my mother die of cancer. She was diagnosed in December of 2001 and by March 2002 was dead (somewhat perversely she died on Mother's Day). It came completely out of the blue and happened three months after my father died of a heart attack so it was a tough time; not least because for the first couple of months there always seemed hope that she might make a recovery. Specifically, I remember looking at my aunt who was also caring for my mum but looked severely ill as well (she had sciatica—a backbone disorder) and thinking I was the living in the home of the dead.
“In true authorial fashion I immediately thought
The Living in The Home of The Dead was a great title for a film and started writing something to try to distract me from the horrific reality of my life at that point. I failed dismally to do this, lacking the concentration and the will, but almost six months after my mum's death, felt it would be a good thing to focus on and so tried writing it again. As it was, it still took me four months to complete the first draft which is way longer than anything else I've ever written, but by the end of December, I at least had a script.”
-- Simon Rumley

Donald (Roger Lloyd-Pack, who played Barty Crouch in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) is actually the Lord Brocklebank, aristocracy who’s hit upon some hard times. He lives in the massive and rambling Longleigh House on the family estate with his ill, bedridden wife Nancy (Kate Fahy) and his mentally challenged son James (Leo Bill, Pvt. Jones from 28 Days Later).
Their filial routine is one of pills and injections, as Donald tries to keep from having to sell the manor, while James constantly tries to prove himself trustworthy and capable. Things go from bad to worse though when Donald needs to take a business trip, and leaves before Nurse Mary (Sarah Ball) arrives to take over.
What follows is a harrowing cinematic experience as James settles into his self-appointed role of Man of the House, while his da is away.

Now, while that set-up makes no mention whatever of psycho slashers or vengeful contortionist ghosts, make no mistake, Simon Rumley’s The Living and The Dead is a horror movie (or at the very least, can certainly be taken as one). It just trades in the gore and the modern-day curses for the all-too real terrors of mental and physical infirmity.
It’s an 83-minute immersion into a world where the burden of caregiver is a crushing, overwhelming weight, made all the more considerable in light of Donald’s sense of pride and denial regarding his situation. Entombed in a vast, empty manor, with sheeted furniture and peeling wallpaper, the only link to the outside world, a ratty old rotary telephone, Donald goes about the day-to-day with a stoic manner that seems to be oblivious to the fact that this is an accident just waiting to happen.
And when things go wrong in this film, they just go horribly, horribly awry.

With an 18-day shooting schedule, and a weighty script that rests firmly on the shoulders of three principals, who take up some 90% of the film’s screen time, skilled and able thespians are required for the heavy lifting, and thankfully, Lloyd-Pack, Fahy, and Bill are more than up to the task.
And while Bill is undoubtedly the actor most lauded in this production, given his portrayal of the troubled James, Lloyd-Pack‘s and Fahy‘s contributions are no less significant, and just as agonizing to view.
They are the three citizens of this tortured kingdom, the audience’s companions in a land where all will end in betrayal, where nothing can be trusted or depended upon, not even your body or your mind.

If it hasn’t already become painfully obvious, The Living and The Dead is not an easy film to watch. It’s disquieting and uncomfortable, two of the things horror is supposed to be.
I could say that cinematographer Milton Kam makes the most of the single location, heightening the sense of emptiness and abandonment with just the right angles and framing. I could say that Benjamin Putland‘s editing also heightens the pervasive sense of sanity trickling away from all involved in this domestic tableau gone to hell. I could also say that writer/director Rumley has crafted a powerful tale of tragedy and madness, and is definitely a name to watch for in the future.
I could say all of that, and I wouldn’t be lying.

But I’d need to say this too, if only to make it clear just what you’re about to get into, if you do decide to brave this one.
If The Living and The Dead is to be taken as a horror movie, it’s certainly not an entertaining horror movie (and there are those, even when they have substantial and significant subtext in the midst of all the scares and the grue); I don’t think it was meant to be one.
It prickles and rankles, and doesn’t offer much in the way of grace notes. It’s also relentless. Not in the Hollywood octane action thriller sense of the word, but in a locked-in-a-house-with-a-madman-where’s-the-key-oh-no-it’s-in-his-pocket sense of the word.
And it just makes it all the worse that the madman in question isn’t some sick psycho intruder, but a family member who just wants to be normal.

So, yes, The Living and The Dead is a brilliant movie, horror or otherwise.
It’s just not for everyone.

Parting shot: The quote which kicks off this review is part of Rumley’s extensive notes for The Living and The Dead, which can be found in their entirety at his website,

(The Living and The Dead OS courtesy of; images courtesy of, except image 4, courtesy of TLA Releasing and

Friday, January 18, 2008


So how all-mighty is the Writers Guild? They’ve already reduced the recently concluded Golden Globes night to a whimpering, awkward mess, and now, they’ve just whupped the collective a$$ of the world’s greatest superheroes.
Is that scarier than Darkseid, or what?

As of January 16, Wednesday, George Miller’s Justice League film adaptation is on “indefinite hold,” this confirmed by Warner Bros., and reported by Variety.
The studio has also allowed the options on the cast chosen by Miller to lapse, leaving them free to take on other projects, though the studio did inform the actors that they are “determined to make the film with them in it.”
To be completely fair though, aside from admitting that the present script could “benefit from a little more work” (impossible at the moment due to the WGA strike), there was also the matter of tax breaks, or some such financial gobbledygook, as the reasons for the project’s failure to be greenlit.

Of course, the Australian government has already made this subsequent statement: “We understand the postponement of filming is absolutely confined to creative issues and especially to delays in refining the script due to the writers’ strike,” this, from a spokeswoman for arts minister Peter Garrett. (Naturally, they’d say that. I mean, who wants to be keeping company with the likes of Lex Luthor and the Joker, right?)
This has shed some light on the whole “let’s film in Australia” deal, at any rate, as it seems like WB was going for some sort of Aussie quota, to get that 40% rebate. (And some people wondered why Australian model Megan Gale was in the mix…)

Whatever the case may be regarding all that money talk though, the production of the Justice League film could begin, at the earliest, in late summer or early fall (provided the WGA strike is resolved soon).
All of which leaves WB, for the time being, without a superhero tentpole for 2009 (one of the main reasons why they were so hot to get Justice League in gear in the first place).
There still hasn’t been any movement or official word regarding Bryan Singer’s next project following the Tom Cruise-starrer Valkyrie. It’s still unclear whether his next film will indeed be the previously reported The Mayor of Castro Street, as Gus Van Sant’s Milk (also about slain San Francisco mayor Harvey Milk) is supposedly still an active proposition. If Castro Street stalls, then Singer could get serious about The Man of Steel again.
But there’s a whole lotta “ifs” in there.

Which leaves me a sad little camper at the moment. If there wasn’t gonna be any Man of Steel in ’09, then I could at least have looked forward to Miller’s take on the League.
Right now though, things are so up in the air, it isn’t even funny.

On the other side of the coin though, with NBC searching high and low for fresh programming in this lean, struck TV season, the network has indicated to the SciFi Channel to take the Battlestar Galactica prequel, Caprica, off the limbo shelf for a serious second look, to determine whether it should be greenlit for production.
After all, there is a complete script ready to go.
And we, of the BSG faithful, are keenly aware of the final 20 episodes before we will be forced to bid adieu to the crew of the Galactica, so maybe a little love in this lean, struck TV season could be a good thing, yes?

So word has come down the pike that the DGA and the AMPTP have signed on the dotted lines, which, hopefully, will encourage negotiations with the WGA to be rekindled.
Variety’s got extensive coverage of the DGA deal, and you can go here (“DGA makes big gains in new media”) for a lotta numbers and mathematical whatchamahoozies outlining the agreement, here (“Industry reacts to DGA deal”) for, well, industry reactions to the agreement, and here (“Showrunners showing enthusiasm”) for, uhhh, showrunners’ reactions to the deal.
In that article is the following passage:

“Meanwhile, should a deal [with the WGA] be hammered out within the next month, network and studio insiders have said that portions of this TV season—as well as pilot season—could still be salvaged.
“It would be on a case-by-case basis. Some series could power back up relatively quickly and churn out at least a few more episodes this year, if not an entire back nine order.”

So here’s hoping, right?
I mean, come on, the fate of the Justice League depends on it!

(JLA artwork by Ariel Olivetti, courtesy of; Battlestar Galactica image courtesy of

Thursday, January 17, 2008


“Well, although I would never say this is a biography of Shane Meadows, I think the characters (specifically in This Is England) are based very much around my youth growing up in the hills and small towns. I would go around with a certain type of kids, participate in the random acts of violence, was very into the skinhead movement because all of my friends were skinheads. I wasn’t the most popular kid in school so I went around with a group of older kids, some of whom were good to me, some who just liked to have me there to pick on. But they did make me feel like a part of their group, which is why I did a lot of what I did.”
-- Shane Meadows (July 2007)

It’s summer in England, 1983, and Shaun Field (Thomas Turgoose) is a 13-year-old who’s lost his da to the Falklands War. Isolated and picked on, Shaun feels the first twinges of the transformation his life is about to undergo when he chances upon a group of local skinhead youths led by Woody (Joe Gilgun), who takes a shine to Shaun and gradually inducts him into their gang.
That’s the basic premise of Shane Meadows’ This Is England, a coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of a country troubled by a questionable war and a flood of immigrants, while splinters of the skinhead movement continued to mutate into a decidedly darker, and more brutal animal.

Meadows’ script is almost neatly split into two sections (a two tone, if you will), the film’s first half chronicling Shaun’s absorption into Woody’s social circle, while the second half is viewed under the encroaching shadow of Combo (Snatch’s Tommy, Stephen Graham), an older skinhead who’s just been released from a three-and-a-half year stint in prison.
Tellingly, Combo’s introduction into the narrative occurs at the same time as Shaun’s first real taste of the opposite gender—as found in young Strawberry Switchblader, Smell, played by Rosamund Hanson—as if to suggest that sex and violence are two of the cruxes to be found in the adult world, which waits on the opposite end of this pivotal summer.

Meadows places his script in the hands of a largely young cast, and is rewarded with some naturalistic performances, particularly from Turgoose and Gilgun.
The revelation here though is Graham, who obliterates the image of the goofy sidekick he portrayed in Guy Ritchie’s Snatch, and delivers a textured performance as the film’s ostensible antagonist.

Before Combo’s entry, there’s an aching tenderness to be found in This Is England’s first half, as Woody takes Shaun in, not only making him part of a larger whole, but also providing the young boy with a male role model to emulate and admire.
But even throughout this section of the film, I dreaded the other Doc dropping, somehow thinking that Woody’s interest in Shaun would end in betrayal and rejection.
And perhaps it still did, but only in light of the gloom caused by Combo’s arrival, which opens the door for Shaun to enter a world of hate and racism.
But of course, like any proper coming-of-age tale, there comes a point in the narrative where Shaun is forced to make that final, fateful decision, as to what kind of man he will be when he enters the realm of adulthood, whether as a foot soldier for prejudice, or someone hopefully better than that.

Ultimately, This Is England is a slice of young life that offers up a snapshot of a time before the Internet and cell phones, a time of Rubik’s Cubes and Lady Di and Thatcher’s England, when a young boy’s lot was, sadly, still the same as it is today: to find a father figure who can help lead him into the world of adults, and, barring that, to hopefully stumble into it with the least amount of scarring possible.

Parting shot: Being a sucker for the Cinematic Musical Moment, Meadows’ use of the Clayhill cover of The Smiths’ “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want” just slayed me, trumping the Ducky-pining-for-Andie-in-his-lonely-room scene from Howard Deutch’s Pretty In Pink.

Parting shot 2: This Is England has been nominated at the 2008 BAFTAs for Best British Film and Original Screenplay, and it also got a healthy number of nods at the BIFA 2006.
Out of 7 nominations, This Is England won awards for Best British Independent Film (beating out Stephen Frears’ The Queen, among others) and brought home the Most Promising Newcomer for Thomas Turgoose (who beat out strong contenders from Brothers of the Head and The History Boys).
Its other nominations were for Best Director of a British Independent Film, two nods for Best Performance by a Supporting Actor or Actress in a British Independent Film (Joseph Gilgun and Stephen Graham), Best Screenplay, and Best Technical Achievement (Ludovico Einaudi, Original Music).
This Is England also found its way onto the 2007 Top Ten Films lists of Newsweek critic David Ansen (# 3) and Los Angeles Times critic Kevin Crust (# 9).

Parting shot: You can check out the 2008 BAFTA nominations I’m excited about in Afterthoughts (41), in the Archive.
The complete lists of nominees and winners at the BIFA 2006 can be found at

(The Shane Meadows quote at the top of the review comes from the director’s interview with Benjamin Crossley-Marra of You can find the complete interview here.)

(This Is England UK quad courtesy of; DVD cover art courtesy of; images courtesy of


As we hit the midpoint of January, the WGA strike moves into its 11th week, and while talks haven’t yet been resumed since the December 7 collapse, there has been some headway in getting the Hollywood machine up and running again.
Following an interim agreement with Worldwide Pants (which allowed David Letterman to get back on the air with his writers in tow), similar deals have been struck with Tom Cruise’s United Artists, the Weinstein Co., Spyglass Entertainment, and Media Rights Capital.
What this means, of course, is that these companies can resume production and development of whatever projects they have on their slate, getting a jump on the majors who are still mired in the backwash of the WGA strike.
It isn’t the all-encompassing resolution that will end the strike, but it is movement that will hopefully spark a full-fledged return to the bargaining table.
You can read the full Variety story (“WGA pacts with Spyglass, MRC”) here, which partially details the terms of the interim agreement.

41.2 WHAT THE BAFTA?! 2008 (2)
And here are the nominations from the final BAFTA 2008 ballot that have got me excited.

Best British Film (Orian Williams/Todd Eckert/Anton Corbijn/Matt Greenhalgh)
The Carl Foreman Award [for Special Achievement by a British Director, Writer or Producer in their First Feature Film] (Matt Greenhalgh, Writer)
Supporting Actress (Samantha Morton)

Eastern Promises:
Best British Film (Paul Webster/Robert Lantos/David Cronenberg/Steve Knight)
Leading Actor (Viggo Mortensen)

No Country For Old Men:
Director (Joel Coen/Ethan Coen)
Adapted Screenplay (Joel Coen/Ethan Coen)
Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem)
Supporting Actor (Tommy Lee Jones)
Supporting Actress (Kelly Macdonald)
Cinematography (Roger Deakins)
Editing (Roderick Jaynes)
Sound (Peter Kurland/Skip Lievsay/Craig Berkey/Greg Orloff)

This Is England:
Best British Film (Mark Herbert/Shane Meadows)
Original Screenplay (Shane Meadows)

Control’s Sam Riley was also nominated for The Orange Rising Star Award, which is voted for by the public. Riley is up against Disturbia and Transformers star Shia LaBeouf, Juno’s Ellen Page, and Stardust’s Sienna Miller for the award.

Other nominations for films I’ve mentioned ‘round these parts before, though have yet to see are:

Away From Her:
Leading Actress (Julie Christie)

The Golden Compass:
Special Visual Effects (Michael Fink/Bill Westenhofer/Ben Morris/Trevor Woods)

Original Screenplay (Diablo Cody)
Leading Actress (Ellen Page)

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street:
Costume Design (Colleen Atwood)
Make Up & Hair (Ivana Primorac)

Spider-Man 3 was also nominated for Special Visual Effects.

The film with the most nominations is Joe Wright’s Atonement (14), with No Country For Old Men and Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood coming in second (9 nominations each).
Congratulations, one and all. (For the complete list of nominees, go here.)

BAFTA night is on February 10, at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London.

Parting shot: I must say though, that it’s a shame that Once (which was on 3 of the BAFTA longlists prior to the last cut) didn’t get onto the final ballot. Sad, sad shame.

Parting shot 2: Reviews of Control, Eastern Promises, No Country For Old Men, This Is England, Once, Stardust, Transformers, Disturbia and Spider-Man 3 can be found in the Archive.

(Control UK quad and Eastern Promises, No Country For Old Men, and This Is England OS’s courtesy of

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Season 2 Episode 8
‘Morning Comes’
Written by Scott Buck
Directed by Keith Gordon

This is one of those great episodes where a whole lotta sh!t goes down, so let’s get to it.

Following the fire at her place, Lila’s been spending a whole lotta time at Dex’s, much to Deb’s annoyance; while Dex comes to think of them as a “cobra and a mongoose,” Deb thinks of Lila as a “gross, English titty vampire.”
With the Lila thing going on—he’s also beginning to suspect that maybe, Lila did set the fire on purpose—Dex is cold-cocked at work when Lundy brings in the FBI to help investigate the cases of the Bay Harbor Butcher victims, since he thinks the Butcher could have a law enforcement background, and could, in fact, be one of the Miami PD.
Asked to review the cases he handled, where the perp ended up back on the streets, only to get iced by the Butcher, Dex is forced to cover the fact that he fudged the blood work by admitting that he got sloppy with said blood work (which he never does).

Unnerved by Lundy’s sudden attack, Dex realizes he needs to put some distance between himself and Lila, so he can focus on staying a step ahead of Lundy’s hunt. So he lies about going bowling, only to have Lila insist on coming along, getting the address of the alley off him.
Later, at the alley parking lot, Santos Jimenez (who Dex decided not to kill a couple of episodes back) attacks Dex, wounding him in the arm, but Lila’s screams bring Angel and the rest of the bowling team to the rescue, and Jimenez drives off.
Dex lies to Angel about the attacker trying to grab his watch, but later on tells Lila it was Jimenez.

In the wake of the attack, Dex realizes he needs to take care of Jimenez, and begins to consider the possibility that he can’t really change and has to embrace who he’s always been.
Dex tracks Jimenez to a cabin out in the Everglades, which is stocked full of cocaine. (Apparently, Jimenez never got out of the coke business.)
It’s here that Dex falls off the wagon, and chainsaws Jimenez into itty bitty pieces.

Meanwhile, Lundy asks two things of Deb: 1) to help with the case investigation, as she’s new to Homicide, so there should be no conflict of interest as these are old cases they’re looking into, back when she was still with Vice; and 2) to have dinner with him.
She says “Yes” to both, reluctantly to the first, and eagerly to the second.
The date, if you must know, goes swimmingly, and the two seem to be really into each other.
Back on the work stuff, Deb asks Angel to help her with her investigation, which leads to a license plate number of a car that quite possibly belongs to the Bay Harbor Butcher.
It’s while working late on tracing the license plate that Deb sees Lila come to the station, where she’s brought Dex some dinner, since he said he was “working late.” (He is, of course, just not at the station.) Amused, Deb can’t help but drive the point home: Dex lied to you.

So what does Deb’s favourite gross, English titty vampire do, but sneak into Rita’s place (using the key she filched from Dex) to see if he’s there. Rita finds the fact that the door was unlocked odd, and calls Dex to ask him if he’s been by, something she’d already asked him not to do.
Having finished chainsawing Jimenez, Dex has just looked through Jimenez’s wallet, and finds a note with the bowling alley’s address on it. Dex realizes it was Lila who clued Jimenez as to his whereabouts. Dex then checks his key ring, and finds the key to Rita’s place missing, so he tells Rita to get out of the house and call the cops. He also leaves Jimenez’s sawed-up body in the cabin.
Making sure the cops watch Rita, Dex goes over to Lila’s and demands the key back. He then asks her if she called Jimenez, and Lila says it was because she felt Dex drifting away from her, and she just wanted him back, wanted him just like at the motel, after he’d gone to see Jimenez that first time.
Realizing she’s far more dangerous than his “addiction,” Dex warns Lila to stay away from Rita, and to stay away from him.
Yahoo! In Dex’s own words, “The Lila experiment is over.”

When Deb cracks the license plate number, it turns out to be for a vehicle that had been impounded at their own lot. Thus, it appears that Lundy was right, the Bay Harbor Butcher really is one of the Miami PD. Lundy asks that this be kept between him, Deb, and Angel, though Deb and Angel are understandably distraught that the killer is someone who works at the station.
Thankfully, there are no records as to who exactly signed the vehicle out, used it in the commission of a murder, then signed it back in.

When Doakes is brought back in for Lundy’s investigation, he finds out from Lundy that one of the cases involved some sloppy blood work, and something clicks in Doakes’ mind.
He walks out on the inquiry and later that night, breaks into Dex’s apartment (while Dex is off taking care of Jimenez and Lila, and Deb is at the station), and the mofo finds the blood slides Dex hides in his AC unit!
Man, Dex is so screwed!

I really thought that somehow, things would get lain on Doakes’ doorstep, that he’d somehow get fingered as being the Bay Harbor Butcher.
I also thought that just as he’d discover the damning evidence, that Lila would arrive and end up killing him, thinking he was a burglar or something. Then she’d see the slides and discover Dex’s deep, dark secret.
But that’s not how things panned out. She gets dumped, and no one’s around to keep Doakes from squealing about the slides.
Holy guacamole!
Man, Dex is so screwed!

(Image courtesy of

Monday, January 14, 2008


So in light of the WGA strike and the terribly awkward and minimalist affair that was this year’s Golden Globes, I’d just like to say “Congratulations” to the following, for taking home the gold.

To the Coen brothers and Javier Bardem, for winning Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture, for the awesome No Country For Old Men. (See, Senor Bardem, that dodgy haircut was worth it.)

To Jeremy Piven, for winning Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries, or TV Movie, for his great work on Entourage.

And though I have yet to see either film, to Julie Christie for winning Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama, for her work on Sarah Polley’s Away From Her; and to Johnny Depp, for winning Best Actor in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical, for his work on Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, which also nabbed Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

To one and all the rest of the Globe winners this year, congratulations! You can check out the complete list of nominees and winners here.

Parting shot: A review of No Country For Old Men can be found in the Archive, where episodic recaps and reactions of Entourage are also situated.

(No Country For Old Men and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street OS’s courtesy of; Entourage image courtesy of; and Away From Her image courtesy of