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On the cusp of GONE GIRL's release, take a minute and watch this video about director David Fincher's craft. Fincher is rather famous for this quote: "People will say, 'There are a million ways to shoot a scene', but I don't think so. I think there're two, maybe. And the other way is wrong." This video, especially in its dissection of a talky scene from SEVEN, does an excellent job of explaining why Fincher believes in the quote above and why he is considered one of our great directors. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPAloq5MCUA#t=13


My goodness is it fantastic to be able to watch Ellen Burstyn onscreen on a weekly basis. Even though her stint on LOUIE has been small and she is saddled with a heavy accent, her charm and humor and talent just shines right through. I wish she could have a more regular presence on TV, maybe on a big drama, like a Margo Martindale-type role. Hell, I'll start the campaign for Burstyn in TRUE DETECTIVE S2 right now. She would kill it, her performance in REQUIEM is still one of the bravest gonzo acting jobs I've ever seen.


Congratulations THE AMERICANS. I was already scared of Keri Russell's character, and now, as of last week, I am flat-out terrified of Matthew Rhys's character. Seriously, do not piss that man off. It can be really fun to see a normally composed actor just completely lose it. I'm talking eyes-bulging, vein-popping, ear-piercing primal rage. Damn well played Rhys. In any other year, I'd say clear off the dust on your Emmy shelf, but I don't think anyone this season is going to slip past Rust Cohle.


So sad to hear that Bob Hoskins has passed away. He was in a dozen better movies, but as a kid, I so loved him as sweet bumbling Smee. Ah Smee, surprisingly good with the ladies, smitten with gold, and consistently stumped by the word 'epiphany'. Rest in peace Mr. Hoskins. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsB2KGaX6bg


Woah, AGENTS OF SHIELD, apparently all you needed was a WINTER SOLDIER kick in the ass to turn in a good episode. Huge stakes, character choices that can’t be taken back, and a great logo to close out the episode. That was thrilling! And, as is always the case, a Blue Oyster Cult needle drop never hurts.


This has been my least favorite season of JUSTIFIED (which is still a compliment considering how highly I regard this show). I still can’t get behind Michael Rappaport’s villain. He exudes more confusion than menace, despite his size. And the less said about the prison storyline, the better. But a couple nights ago, in the penultimate episode, everything came together and fell apart at the same time and it is joyous. I could tell how much I was into it, even being moved by the tears of one of Boyd’s henchmen. But the main draw is, as always, Raylan vs. Boyd, once again at each other’s throats and damn is it fun to watch those two trade quiet but devastating verbal blows on the dramatically darkened floor of the marshal’s office. It’s like a really good stage play. And Raylan’s risky and brutal Hail-Mary of a move to end the episode puts the drama squarely in JUSTIFIED’s sweet spot: Not shoot-outs and violence, but the blurred line between Harlan family loyalty and the law. There is one more season of JUSTIFIED left and I am hoping, as I assume most fans are, that it will be a full circle back to the pilot; the reckoning, the final showdown between Raylan and Boyd. Bring on the finale! *Just had to tag a bit of monologue that Timothy Olyphant lays out to Boyd in this episode. It demonstrates what I mean about how unique the dialogue is for this show. It’s poetic and badass, yet still with this Elmore Leonard, Western-movie cadence that might come off as cheesy if it weren’t being delivered by some of the best actors on television. It’s a balancing act in every scene and more often than not, JUSTIFIED gives you a verbal patter that you won’t hear anywhere else: “Your file is thick with the names of the suffering and the dead, many of them put there by your own hands. The trail of human wreckage you’ve left behind, rotting in jail cells and cold graves throughout this state. And why? Because they had the poor judgment to believe your lies and follow your tune. It’s high time that tune reached a shuddering crescendo.”


Just as he has been doing for the last nine years, NPH almost single-handedly saved the final episode of How I Met Your Mother. I didn't like most of the episode, I felt a bit manipulated and sad. But NPH's last scene, the naked emotion running across his face, was authentic and just beautiful.


This extended scene from PARKS AND RECREATION is a couple weeks old, but I just can't get enough of it. Adam Scott's freaked-out reaction to the greatest gift his nerdy character could ever receive is just delightful. The best part is those first steps he takes towards the throne, its like some kind of balletic swoon. It makes me wonder what gift would make me react like this. I know, for sure, that there is something out there that would make me lose my geeky mind, I'm just not sure what it would be until it actually hit me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mS_CvXj21uk


{jaw drop} . . . in a throwaway moment, did ARROW really just introduce who I think they introduced?! Wow, the cojones on this show. For those who need a superhero fix between Marvel
movies, this is the only tv show to be watching right now.


With Oscars almost upon us, its fun to look back at some of the Academy's better moments. This is a great article about the Best Song win for ONCE. I remember seeing this one in a little theater in Salt Lake City with a Q&A and musical performance with the actors afterwards. I was shocked that Glen Hansard's guitar really does have a huge hole in it, worn away from how much he plays. What a deserving win for two hard-working artists performing an aching haunting love song, and at the Oscars, a damn classy moment for Jon Stewart. http://www.avclub.com/article/the-story-of-onces-best-song-win-reads-like-a-fair-201439


I'm guilty of just about all of these, especially 'The Stanky Legg''. Good to see Will Smith having some fun. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTpn30Pms8I


Every morning, a internet comic service emails me one strip of a 'Calvin & Hobbes' comic. Its a great way to start the day; some of the strips are sweet, some uproarious, some sad, but they are always so very very good. For some reason, I was thinking of the little dinner-roll shoe kid today and missing his crazy adventures. Last year, I wrote an article about what 'Calvin & Hobbes' meant to me as a kid, along with links to some of the great strips. Check it out if you have a minute! http://www.sasquatchfilms.net/sqog/calvinandhobbes


Whew, if you are a fan of dark drama with fantastic acting, check out TRUE DETECTIVE. Three episodes in and I am absolutely hooked. In a year of great performances, Matthew McConaughey is giving his best work, with Woody Harrelson not far behind. The show is hypnotic and its depiction of bayou Louisiana is mysterious, with this seedy, infected rot of corruption lurking beneath the surface of things. Yet the land is still shot by the cinematographer in this hazy, blissful color palette. Like I said, dark, and a little slow, but once you get into the rhythm of slow plot progression and incisive character exploration, its hard to walk away. Just look at that church revival scene in the beginning of the third episode. The show doesn’t care about the sermon or the church characters, instead, using the scene to dig further into the psyches and desires of our two detective leads. And that last image to close out episode three, damn. Gave me freakin’ nightmares. If you get into the show, read the episode reviews on pastemagazine.com after you see each episode, they are really fascinating digs into the complexities of themes presented in each chapter.



Good fight Niners, so close, can't wait for next year, love this team so fiercely! But wow, Sherman, that is just an embarrassing classless reaction from a good play but a lucky deflection. Pass that trophy back to Wilson!




2014 NOTES



Archer-season premiere

Community #3 or #4

Sleepy hollow season finale – cuckoo bananas. Bonkers breakout hit.

Wd-the grove-even walking dead aftershow guy looked shocked. 2 leads tremendous

Hannibal-2nd season premiere fight

Nina’s eyes in americans interrogation scene, americans father so mad, gay assassin.

House scene in fargo premiere; pancake scene in fargo

Arrow-streets of fire, big action penultimate yet acrtually a character piece

Fargo, find money in snow, dark episode with all death, religion exploration, the perseverance of tired decency in the face of sickly funny and overwhelming chaos.

Americans, complex beautiful last episode with multiple revelations.

Louie daughter and Hungarian playing violin

Hannibal-finale, lyric beauty, like end of blade runner,spiritual, cloak of dread

Mad men finale-the complexity of acting on hams face at the end

Fargo-awfulness of loathsome despicable act lester sending his sweet dim wife in, tense voffee scene, molly’s sheepish expression of winning when fbi sees her boards. Fargo shouldn’texist, and it shouldn’t be this good.

Leftovers premiere-prickly and nervy. Moments of epic emotional grandeur mixed with scuzzy human dirt. Great to see Berg back. Theroux like a sparking electrical wire. How many dogs can you kill in an episode?!?

Leftovers-preacher episode. Eccleston’s grin with the roulette win,wow.

24-heller’s speech in finale, jack almost suiciding himself over Audrey, squeeze chloe hand

Leftovers-guest, nora episode, her ruses with herself and the stripping away and plain fear in front of wayne, love these follow the preson around, like a parable. ‘will I forget them?’ hopeful ending for once

Leftovers-finale, incredible scenes of nora durst, way she says ‘look what I found.’

Kora-season finale, so sad!

Outlander, long scene with jack in room, cat and mouse, fantastic work by both, esp tobias menzies, so very evil but she wants to believe because she looks like husband. Reread the av club review

Strain, bad, but ill watch anything kevin Durand does. What happened to vampire vampire killers? Regina king??

Wire season 2,ep 8: Beadie and Jimmy both go back to her place fully aware that they're going to have sex, but when Jimmy gets a look at her place -- with the abundant evidence of Beadie's role as a single mom doing what she can for her kids -- he backs out. In many circumstances, a man bailing over kid-related imagery would seem cowardly, but it's the most morally upright thing Jimmy does all episode. He knows he's bad news -- as Bunk told him last season, "You're no good for people, man" -- and that even vaguely sober, he'll bring Beadie and her kids nothing but pain, so he backs out before it can go anywhere serious. When he's on the phone with the whorehouse madame, she asks him what kind of girl he wants, and we see him looking at the exact kind of girl he wants: Beadie Russell. But he knows, deep down, that he's not the kind of guy she would want if she got to know the real him -- at least, the real him at this moment. o I want to briefly sing the praises of the wonderful Amy Ryan in her role as Beadie. Just check out how many emotions wash over her face as she realizes Jimmy is about to walk out the door: disappointment that she's not going to have sex with this man she's very attracted to, guilt that perhaps getting a look at her cluttered, kid-friendly house was a turn-off (even though he knows Jimmy has kids), but also a bit of relief that her new job isn't going to be complicated by an office romance, as well as the stiff upper lip attitude that's carried her as far.

Parenthood, zeke’s face look up smile when amber told him she was pregnant http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching/review-parenthood-happy-birthday-zeek-great-grandpa

Flash pilot-got chills with that arrow/flash scene, so cool!! And wow, that empty Grodd cage?!?

Chalky’s death, so many wonderful moments, music playng in his head.

Flash 2-jesse martin’s beautiful smile for the father comments at the end. Wow. His giddy laughter in later ep

Soa-woah, hard to believe, mostly drea’s rxn to telling abel that she is frist mommy, but also tig and venus, wow, so genuine, his best freakin moment out of nowhere.

Constantine, guy suffering for 5 days, john at bedside with many, horrific and brutal, really surprisingly good and the root of this character.

Arrow, cupid ep, arrow and ray going to diggles house for dinner, thought a bar, but no, they need connection and family, so sweet!

AOS-wow, superhero non-white female birth, what a cool sad sequence and so game-changing!

Arrow fall finale-what a literal cliffhanger, crap that was huge! And that I love you to Felicity. And freakin Routh and ATOM!

Orange is new black: what an ending, blue oyster cult and crazy rosa. Great great villain in Vee.