Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Sunday, January 23, 2011


It's cold outside, so we're staying in, and have been all weekend.  The couch is comfy and there was a lot to watch on television and DVD.  Briefly:

  • Devil (2010) - Horror flick based on a story idea by M. Night Shyamalan.  Five people are trapped in an elevator and one of them is the devil.  Which one?  The abusive security guard?  The pickpocket old lady?  The sleazy mattress salesman?  The blackmailing siren?  The fifth person (who has a devastating secret)?  Blood and nastiness abound, with a slightly cheesy ending.  B+
  • The Social Network (2010) - The founding of Facebook.  Very good performances by Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield.  Not too many characters come off well in this flick -- Aaron Sorkin's script does a good job of putting nuances on shallowness.  A-
  • Wall Street:  Money Never Sleeps (2010) - It's been eight years since Gordon Gekko has been released from prison.  He's found new fame as a best-sellling author but is biding his time to make a comeback and to get his revenge.  (He may be channeling his inner Khan Noonien Singh here.)  Michael Douglas does a good job as Gekko and Josh Brolin performs well as his antagonist.  Shia LaBeouf struck me as totally uinbelievable in his role, Charlie Sheen puts in a gratuitous performance, and Frank Langella is looking old.  B-
  • Law & Order: UK - "Hidden" (season two, episode two, 2009) - Prosecutor Jamie Steel (Ben Daniels) knows a recently released rapist has not been rehabilitated and now has a chance to try him for rape/murder.  I've seen every episode thus far shown on BBC America and Jamie Steel seems to be the losingest prosecutor in the world, or (perhaps) the UK empanels the O. J. Simpson jury for every trial.   Despite this (and plot holes), I'm enjoying the series.  B+
  • Medium - "Me Without You" (series finale, 2011) - After seven years, this enjoyable -- and sometimes frustrating series -- sails off into the sunset.  This episode suffers badly from "seriesendingitis", a terrible disease that series producers catch when they want to tie up loose ends while providing something supposedly unexpected for the viewers.  The disease usually hits the ego and stains the series while straining credulity.  This episode was a mess as well as a ripoff of too many other shows and movies.  Oh, well, at least I know now that Ikea shelving will still be popular 41 years from now.  Extra points for the closing credits.  C-
  • Primevil - An anomoly opens in a school where three students are serving detention.  When the ARC team show up, two of the students fear they are the police and manage to lock down all inner and outer doors to the school.  Munching on people ensues.  Meanwhile, Philip decides that all the specimens should be put down, prompting Abby to try to smuggle them out of the ARC.  Evil Ethan kidnaps Emily.  This series has had so many changing cast members, it's sometimes hard to keep them straight.  In this episode, we are bludgeoned with unbelievable characters behaving unbelievably.  A good premise for this episode is wasted.  D
  • We also tuned into QVC while they peddled the Jacqueline Kennedy Collection of costume jewelry.  This is something Kitty tries to catch whenever it is offered.  Self-styled "Kennedy historian" Philip Katz delivers patter on the history and stories behind each reproduction, sometimes accurately.  In this case, the devil is in the details rather than the elevator (see above).  Some of his gaffes seem scripted, some impromptu, and many are designed to push merchandise by embroidering on the Kennedy mythos.  No, JFK never designed all the pieces of jewelry that Katz claimed.  And, no, Jacqueline Kennedy did not make an overseas trip to Canada.  These QVC episodes would be a complete hoot were it not for the pathetic phone calls from excited buyers who fell for this line.  A gulty pleasure, thus not eligible for rating.
       How was your weekend?

1 comment:

  1. Mostly football, but I did catch Primeval though. I find myself continuing to watch despite all you say. For so few episodes, the revolving door policy is distracting.

    Law and Order UK I find surprisingly interesting. I came to the Law and Order franchise late and left early. So far this one has delivered, though the latest is in the DVR queue waiting for a chance to watch it.