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Outstanding Season 2 Opener
While I enjoyed the rather abbreviated Season 1 immensely, I find that Season 2 opened with a bang (literally) and was both exciting and emotionally intense. There are some great scenes between the main characters that are heart wrenching. The action is relentless and the chemistry between the cast is up several notches. A new character is introduced in this episode. While I don't want to give anything away, suffice it to say you will think of the second Terminator film when you see this character in an awesome scene at the final act. Everything from the cinematography, directing, acting, story and special effects in one episode blows away the previous season in its entirety. If you already liked the show from Season 1's 8 episodes, I think you will like it even more with season 2.
Kyle XY (2006)
It's a great show!
The implications already point to the idea that Kyle is an alien or result of some sort of alien intervention on Earth. Perhaps he may be similar to that of Starman, who had to learn the basics of human behavior in a relatively short time. It's interesting, exciting, humorous and touching all at the same time. It has elements of Superman or Smallville and the character is very reminiscent of the Kal-el character in Smallville. The character is very unique and in some ways not unlike the lead in the John Doe show on Fox a few years ago. Great premise and great acting, good story. I hope it does well and is made into a DVD series. In the meantime, I suggest that everyone start recording it as who knows what may happen in the land of cable. It's on ABC Family right now with a showcase coming up on ABC in general. Let's hope the public receives it well. It's well crafted and human.
NYPD Blue (1993)
The best police drama on television.
I have been an avid watcher of this series since its debut in September of 1993. The character Andy Sipowicz has evolved considerably over those 12 years, from a troubled alcoholic on the brink of losing his career to triumphant family man and eventual squad leader.
The writing in this show is outstanding, which explains why it's had 84 Emmy nominations and has won 20 of them. The acting is equally outstanding, with Dennis Franz pulling in 4 Emmys for his performance as the Everyman Andy Sipowicz, who we all can identify with, especially in his struggles to remain sane and good in a world which has given him so many disappointments.
After watching an hour of NYPD Blue, it's hard to imagine that we were watching fictional material, especially since the cases are often based on real events. One case in particular comes to mind, in which an older married man had concealed an affair with an immigrant woman by murdering her and placing her pregnant body in a barrel and hiding it in a house that he had owned in New Jersey. I was surprised to see that case profiled in a recent documentary as I had thought up to then that the story was purely fictional. NYPD Blue, for that and many other reasons, is perhaps the most realistic cop oriented drama ever made for television.
Over the years, while watching Blue, one gets to know the characters and their many dimensions and it's hard to imagine them as fictional. Sipowicz and Medavoy are the only fixtures in the constantly changing ensemble cast, but all of the actors do an excellent job. The show's creators pay careful attention to every detail from the realistic dialog and stories to the acting and technical aspects. The show is gritty yet full of heart, especially when showcasing Andy's personal life. The stories consistently show kindness on the part of the detective squad toward the people they serve and their dedication to justice despite all the chaos they face episode after episode. We are drawn in to like the characters and feel what they feel. This is drama at it's best, and Bochko and Co. are the best at what they do. Watching NYPD Blue makes me feel like I'm getting the best quality that Television can offer. I marvel at the intricate interplay between all the elements of each show, from the unique camera work to the realistic dialog that is taken from real police experiences (one of the writers was a cop in real life) to the dead-on acting performances from all the cast to the excellent editing. I can always count on every episode to get my emotions in full gear. It is so well done, I am emotionally drained after an episode, especially when one of the characters has a trauma or failure in his or her life.
It's not just about solving cases, it's what the characters experience in solving them. The creators round out the characters so well that they become part of you as you watch each episode. That's the feeling I come away with as I watch NYPD Blue. I am saddened that it finally went off the air March 1, 2005, but at the same time I am glad that it continues in syndication on TNT and Court TV. We true fans can get a three hour fix every day and two hours on weekends.
Continuity is another element that remains consistent throughout the entire 12 year run. Some shows get lost in their continuity sometimes, with characters "forgetting" their past. Not on this show. You see the characters evolve realistically and none of the characters are one-dimensional. Sometimes, we don't get a full picture, as in the case with Murphy in the last season, but we get enough about each character being rounded out so well, that we can pick up on their various personality traits. All in all, this is one of the best programs ever created for television. I will always keep Andy Sipowicz and crew close to my heart. Let's hope they release all 12 years on DVD!
War of the Worlds (2005)
A very entertaining thriller with some really creepy moments, some outstanding visual and sound effects, and some good performances by the characters.
This was an excellent film. I found it to be entertaining and thrilling, which was the intention of the producers. If you are expecting an educational film with no plot holes, then you will be disappointed. If you are expecting a typical Spielberg spectacle, then you will be in for a treat. The visual and audio effects are truly amazing. Not bad for a 7 month project. The tripods are very much like those described in HG Wells book, complete with an ominous war cry and a very convincing death ray. This film pays homage to both the book and the original 1953 film. Gene Barry and Ann Robinson, who starred in the original film, have a cameo at the very end of this film. Tom Cruise, despite his controversial public persona, does an effective acting job here. Dakota Fanning, who plays his daughter, has an Oscar-worthy performance in the film. While the film has some references to 9/11, the terror mainly comes from the realization by the characters that the only thing left to do is escape the onslaught. A very entertaining thriller with some really creepy moments, some outstanding visual and sound effects, and some good performances by the characters.
Well acted and painfully sad one camera film
This film relies mainly on one camera to capture every little action and detail of the lead character, Rosetta, especially in her reactions to the despair she suffers throughout the film. I caught this one on IFC on May 23rd. The acting is so realistic, it is hard to imagine that the story is fictional and is shot in a documentary type style, where the hand held camera follows the actors, sneaks glimpses of their world in much the same way an ENG crew would on a story about poverty in a small European town where the economy is so bad there is little one can do to survive outside of desperate acts. In this case, Rosetta, the young girl with an alcoholic mother, lives in a trailer with no heat, has to sell re-sewn clothes to make a meager existence until she finally sees an opportunity open up for a job selling waffles at a small stand in a high traffic part of town. A young man who works there is smitten with her and offers to split some earnings from selling waffles he makes outside of his boss's knowledge. To tell you what happens next would give away the rest, but suffice to say this film is bitterly realistic, terribly sad and the ending is rather sudden but it shows some promise for the characters. The movie is shot with almost no budget, but some great camera work, some scenes a little long but edited fairly well, no music, and subtitles under the French dialog. It deserves awards for telling a very credible story demonstrating hardship of the poor in Europe and what measures one has to take to survive. I was deeply moved and driven to weep during painful scenes of the lead character's despair and what seems to be a hopeless situation. The character is genuinely portrayed by a young actress from Belgium performing extremely well for her first film role. Fine work by director and cast.