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12 years in prison for a crime you didn't commit...what does that do to a man?
Charlie Crews is a former cop turned inmate who has just gotten out of jail after 12 years for a crime he didn't commit. He becomes a detective again upon his release as part of a settlement with the city. I just watched the pilot, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's not some dumb action piece with big car chases and naked women. It also has a great relationship between the two lead characters, a man and a woman. They're detective partners, but there isn't any forced chemistry tacked on. You know, the whole they hate each other, but you can't deny the attraction...uggh. This avoids that perfectly. It also has some great actors, Damian Lewis is always great, since "Band of Brothers" he's displayed a remarkable talent for character roles. And this is most certainly a character drama. But unlike Shark or Monk or something where the character is the whole plot, there's also a great deal of other fantastic elements. The man was in jail from 1995-2007, so there's cute scenes about a sort of culture shock, mostly pertaining to technological advances. But there's also a darker side, as Crews was brutalized in prison (as a former cop) and has a vendetta against those who conspired to put him in jail. This is the overarching arc of the series, but smaller cases worked with his partner form the bulk of the story lines. I was really impressed and look forward to further episodes. I just hope that NBC manages to get this show enough ratings to keep it on the air. Kudos on a job well done. J.
A Smart, Funny, Well-Done Canadian Show. Kudos.
I'm impressed...I really like this show. I never watched it when it was on originally on Movie Central because I thought it was another "Sex and the City" rip-off, only Canadian, and I wasn't the hugest fan of SATC to begin with...but I turned it on the other day on Showcase (where it reruns the same 6 episodes ad-nauseum...please get the second season) and on Movie Central, and I was pleasantly surprised. It is sort of a version of SATC, but it's not totally, because it's about Hollywood. And, since I gather it's about creator/writer Brigitte Bako's real-life (if you disregard the disclaimer) it actually has some bite. The concept is basically an actress named GiGi in her early 30's goes back to Hollywood after some time to try to regain her career, but her original acting career was in sort of bad, b-movies, almost soft-porn kind of stuff (Bako was in the "Red Shoe Diaries"). So the jobs she gets offered are not, well, high caliber. She has three friends, a bad-boy on/off boyfriend etc. The friends also have story lines in the show as well. So the show sort of oscillates between showbiz and personal. It really shines in the showbiz stuff, since that provides the show with it's funniest laugh out loud moments. (There is a scene in the episode "HBO", about the third of fourth episode, where I was in hysterics, I still giggle when I think about it...it was probably the best in the series, shout out to Alberta). So overall, a really solid show. I hope there's a third season, but since it's been over a year since the second...so,probably not. *****I also just want to add that I'm impressed with Bako. Here's a girl who maybe wasn't getting the roles she wanted (I assume from the show) and didn't have the career she wanted, so she went out and created a great role for herself. And she was active in writing the episodes as well as producing and creating the show. Good for her. How often do we hear actresses complaining about how hard it is to get roles in Hollywood if you aren't in you 20's anymore? Bako did something about it. And it's great. And she's great in it. Thanks for the show. And to the viewers, WATCH IT!
October Road (2007)
Oh man, oh man...man...what a mess. I watched about 10 minutes of this and I knew it was not going to be, you know, good, or even adequate, or even watchable for that matter. Instead, it lost me. I'm the exact age of these people, and I'm even in a similar situation (not the writing about friends thing) with my friends from high school and all that, but I couldn't relate at all. And I get the feeling the whole point of this show is relate-ability, especially to people like me. It missed that mark big time. Also, on "That 70's Show) Laura Prepon wasn't a great actress, but that was OK, 'cause it didn't need acting, but whoa! When her character started speaking, I actually started laughing, her voice was so flat, I can't even pretend to act that bad. Maybe she was just having a bad day. Anyhow, I would not recommend this show, at all, ever. Watch "Raines" instead, it's a much more interesting show, with, like, good writing and acting and characters and all that good stuff a show should have. J.
The Black Donnellys (2007)
WATCH IT! Solid, smart, well written, directed and acted character/crime drama.
I just watched the first episode tonight (we got it a day early in Canada) and I thought it was great. I'll admit that my upbringing in suburban Canada doesn't qualify me as an expert in the subject matter of the show, and I won't speak to its authenticity, but as a television show, as a work of "art", for lack of a better term, I thought it was really entertaining and engrossing. It was well written and well directed, as one would expect from Haggis and Moresco (all you Haggis haters please give it a chance, spread a little love), but I also thought the characters were really well drawn and well acted. Right now when you think of "young" television, meaning shows about people under 30, what usually comes to mind are shows like the moderately entertaining "Heroes" and "How I Met YourMother" as well as every crappy CW show (with the exception of "Veronica Mars" which ROCKS). And when you think of young Hollywood in general, people like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton and movies like "American Pie" pop into mind. Right now, with few exceptions, shows or movies with or about young people inevitably end up being some sort of poorly acted freak show, usually with bad writing, characters and...well you get what I'm trying to say. As a 26 year-old, it's getting harder and harder to find shows and characters I can relate to (again, just want to give props to "Veronica Mars"). So, when I see a show like "The Black Donnellys" it gives me hope that there is more to "young" television than exploitative drivel. That's not to say older people won't like it as well, because I would imagine this show would appeal to a fairly wide demographic, BECAUSE IT'S GOOD! The only problem I had with the first episode, and what I suspect is going to be a theme throughout, is the romance/pining thing between Tommy and Jenny that I felt was a little forced and honestly seemed a little borrowed from the movie "Sleepers". But it's not a big problem.
SO, TO SUMMARIZE: on the whole a very solid hour of dramatic television. I only foresee two problems: 1. NBC has the a terrible advertising department, and though the ads for the first episode have so far been OK, I'm sure the "very special Blossom" advertising they've been using for "ER" and other shows lately or the annoying repetitive "Heroes" advertising will start to creep in, so please watch even if it looks like it sucks from the ads. All that means is the ads suck. 2. The timeslot is a little weird, after "Heroes". I see "Heroes" as being a much lighter fantasy show, aimed toward a more broad audience, probably more people under 18 and families, and "The Black Donnellys" is certainly not that. Hopefully the scheduling will change and NBC will pair it with one of the Law and Orders, which would be much more appropriate. SO I"LL BE WATCHING, and hoping NBC has the foresight to keep this show through to next season and give it a chance, regardless of ratings. Because NBC could use a few more intelligent and genuinely entertaining shows. MovieChickie
*************** EDIT...CRAPPY SHOW AFTER ALL>>> July 07 OK, this show has now been canceled for a while, but I just wanted to say that I was disappointed with the way it turned out. I thought the pilot had a lot of promise, but it never delivered. It just sort of...fizzled...the acting was good but the story lines were just boring, well, terrible and I never cared about the characters. Overall a kind of boring blip on the T.V radar. One of those shows you'll probably never think about again. Mo vieChickie
The Departed (2006)
Amazing Film--Stays With You Long After It's Over!
OK, so I'm one of those people who likes indie films, and usually roots for them at the Oscars and so on. I watched Babel a few weeks ago, and that movie is REALLY GOOD (and I laughed so hard at Little Miss Sunshine, I think I peed myself a little), don't get me wrong, but there is something about The Departed that makes it basically a perfect movie. Obviously, the acting is perfect, so I won't waste your time on that. Why should you see this movie? Because of the incredible directing by Scorcese (who is not usually a favourite of mine) (I'll get back to this in a moment), and the characters that form from both the actors and the writing. So, the movie is about (NOT REALLY A SPOILER, but if you know nothing about the plot and don't want to, stop here) a cop who spies for the local gang lord, and a cop who is undercover in the gang lord's ring. But here's the thing, (and if someone has already pointed this out, I apologize for the repeat) and it's totally brilliant, they are basically the same character. They're from the same background, same age, roughly same characteristics. They are two sides of the same coin. And what makes it better is one leads a life of seemingly happiness, while the other just can't seem to win. To me, that's what makes this movie so incredibly GREAT!! And Scorcese directs this aspect of the film so perfectly, I just can't explain it. It's just perfect. Props to Monaghan (and the original Hong Kong writers) for doing this so well. And the thing I love about this is that as far as I can tell, it's really meant to be more of a gangster or action film, or that seems as though it was the original intent, but instead this jewel emerges and it's not about gunshots and running through dark alleys, drugs, strippers and whores, but about these two men and their lives in this brief intersection. INCREDIBLE MOVIE!!! SHOULD BE SEEN BY EVERYONE!!!