Sunday, May 04, 2008

Fortune And Glory

The new Indy trailer came out this weekend, attached to newly minted blockbuster "Iron Man." All I can say, after watching the trailer over and over and comparing it to the underwhelming teaser, is... fuck yeah, that's more like it.

I'm still not convinced about Shia.
It's not the years. It's the mileage.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Let The Summer Movie Shenanigans Begin!

All I need to say about summer movies, I've said before in a previous post from two years ago.

Tis the season for big dumb summer blockbusters, and 2008 promises to be a good one when it comes to that type of movie. "Iron Man" hits screens everywhere today, launching Hollywood's assault on our senses and wallets, in a season that will include a new Indiana Jones movie, a new vision of the Joker in a sequel to an excellent Batman flick, a Kung Fu fighting Panda, stoners on the run from killers in what is sure to be another Apatow hit, and a little Pixar robot that could just be the biggest hit of them all. And maybe some of these big dumb summer blockbusters might not be so dumb after all... the reviews for "Iron Man" are pretty incredible, and great buzz is building for a lot of the biggest blockbusters of the season, some of which are made by real filmmakers and not just Michael Bay hacks... king of Hollywood Steven Spielberg, Chris Nolan, indie darling David Gordon Green, and "Finding Nemo's" Andrew Stanton all have big movies coming out this summer.

Maybe this will be the summer that the little kid in all of us have been dreaming about. Or maybe we'll just get to see a few buildings blow up real good.

Either way, pass me the popcorn.

Lost Watch: Jacked

Episode Title: Something Nice Back Home
Air Date: May 1, 2008

It seems like it's been awhile since the masterminds behind "Lost" gave us an episode about how Jack is a control freak martyr more obsessed with helping others than helping himself who is totally incapable of happiness... but they corrected that mistake last night with the latest episode. I was beginning to forget all that, what with all the amazing character reveals about Benjamin and mind blowing plot twists that have advanced the story in amazing new ways in the last few weeks.

Alright, I'll stop complaining and try to think of "Something Nice Back Home" as a moment for all of us fans to catch our breath after the roller coaster Ben To The Future episode from last week.

Jack gets sick and, just like Jack, tries to pretend everything is fine. When Juliet presses him, she discovers he needs an emergency procedure to have his appendix removed. Jack, being a stubborn control freak, insists on staying awake for the surgery, and wants Kate to sit in on the procedure and hold up a mirror... to make sure that Juliet is performing the procedure right. But even Jack can't take it, and they put him under and make Kate leave. Jack, unsurprisingly, survives.

The most intriguing part of the on island drama, which feels like the kind of conflict that would have happened early in the show's run, before they got so deep into the mythology, was when Rose tells Bernard she's worried about the reason that Jack got sick... because, as she says (and knows from personal experience,) people get better on the island, not sicker. Has Jack "angered the gods" as Bernard puts it? Or is the island pissed at him for trying to get the survivors off of it? Also worth noting are the scenes between Jin and Sun and freighter people Charlotte and Daniel. Jin realizes that Charlotte can speak Korean after he sees her listening to them, and he tells her that she must get Sun off the island when the helicopter comes back... or he will hurt her friend Daniel, who she clearly has feelings for (despite his weirdo crazy scientist nature.)

The more interesting part of the episode was the flash forwards, where we learn that Jack and Kate are living together... and seem to be deeply in love (and doing it a lot, heh heh.) The flash forward even starts with Jack reading to little Aaron... from "Alice in Wonderland," no less. But Jack and Kate's seeming domestic bliss can't last for long, because, let's face it, it's Jack Shepherd and Kate Austen we're talking about here. Besides the flash forwards clearly take place between Kate's trial episode, when she insisted that he has to be able to deal with baby Aaron if he wants to be with her, and the first flash forward episode featuring crazy, unconvincing beard sporting, pill popping Jack. Last night's episode begins to show how well adjusted post island Jack became that out of his mind Jack.

Jack visits Hurley in the mental institution, who tells him that Charlie visits him often... and that he has a message for Jack, that "you're not supposed to raise him." Hurley's spooky warning is an echo from the creepy psychic who gave Claire the same warning in season one, that only she can raise her baby, and proves the writers are finally starting to tie every little story string together. Even though he tells Hurley to take his meds, Jack is clearly shaken by Hurley's words... and his warning, that "someone is going to visit you soon."

Jack proposes to Kate, and she accepts, but we know that's not gonna last... he still has yet to become crazy bearded Jack who hangs out at the airport and flies around the world on Oceanic planes "hoping they will crash." He starts to become suspicious of her when he overhears her on a phone call and she seems to be lying about who she was talking to.

Jack really starts to lose it when Hurley's promise about a visitor comes true... when Jack sees his dad in the hospital waiting room. Jack, afraid that he is truly losing his mind, asks a fellow doctor to write him a prescription for anti-depression meds... and so Dr. Jack Shepherd's love affair with pills begins.

After much badgering, Kate admits she was fulfilling a promise to Sawyer, which obviously pisses the good doctor off, and leads to the end of their domestic bliss... and the beginning of Jack's new found fondness for alcoholic beverages. The nasty breakup fight ends with Kate telling Jack she doesn't want him around "her son," which Jack angrily responds to by saying "your son? He's not even related to you!" So obviously Jack has figured out that Claire was his sister... making Jack Aaron's uncle, which explains a lot why he was so hesitant to accept him in order to be with the woman he loves.

And what of our Claire-Bear? In the episodes "B" story (or "C" story, depending on if you count the on island and flash forward stuff as "A" and "B" stories... I'm going to stop being a screenwriting structure nerd and move on....) Sawyer, Ghostbuster Miles, and Claire carrying baby Aaron are heading back to the beach after deserting team Locke. Not much happens to them on their little journey... Sawyer protectively tells Miles to stay away from Claire, and they hide in the bushes when the mercenaries who attacked Ben in last week's episode walk by. But the episode ends with some juicy Claire stuff... her father (and Jack's father, let's not forget, who is supposed to be dead, let's not forget that either,) shows up in the middle of the night. In the morning, Sawyer wakes to discover Claire and Aaron are gone... and Miles tells him that "they wandered off into the jungle" When Sawyer asks why he let her go off in the jungle alone, Miles tells him they weren't alone... that she was with someone she called "dad." Sawyer runs to the sound of a crying baby... and discovers an abandoned Aaron sitting under a tree.

Claire seems pretty much gone with the wind at this point, and her mysterious disappearance will probably not be resolved by the time the Oceanic 6 leave the island, seeing as her baby leaves and she doesn't.

So, we're left with an episode that is a bit slower, and a bit heavier on character development than it is on plot and story (though there is plenty of good set up stuff.) Maybe we didn't need another Jack episode, but it was interesting to see Jack and Kate finally make a go of it as a couple... and to see them predictably fail at it. And from the promos for next week's episode, it looks like we're finally really going to get to meet Jacob, the one guy Ben claims he takes orders from, so there's really no reason to worry about the state of "Lost." Though I probably don't need any more reminders that Jack is a control freak martyr more obsessed with helping others than helping himself who is totally incapable of happiness. I think that base is well covered at this point.