Veronica Mars

Netflix has allowed me a crazy lot of leverage in watching shows I always wanted to, but could never get around to at the time they were on originally, such as Veronica Mars, and through the first couple of seasons I couldn’t understand why anyone would feel the need to cancel the show.

The cast was strong, the characters were quirky, loveable, and (sometimes) easily hated– you found something in everyone that made them at least compelling characters, and the story line itself felt like it at least had threads of continuity, even as seasons passed. I couldn’t understand why anyone would feel the need to cancel something with that much potential, but honestly, I kind of understand it now– it’s no one’s fault, really. Well, that’s not true, there is someone at fault…

… Don’t look so innocent there, guys. You know it’s all your fault. The relationship of Veronica and Piz was forced, it was shallow, and it was ridiculously too sugary for me. I get it, boy likes girl on first day of meeting and after a few times hanging around her wants to be with her. Guy pines over girl who doesn’t see him. Girl finally sees him after breaking up with the boy who would actually die for her. They hold hands– it’s cute, sweet, and completely boring. I hated Piz as a character from the start, something about him just drips with cliche and it’s… obnoxious. As soon as they officially got together I lost most of my interest in the show… I went from watching several episodes a day to none. I didn’t even finish the last few episodes because I’m not sure if I can handle anymore of the VePiz action.

It’s funny to me that there are only a few episodes after their official shift towards dating… it makes sense to me, though… I wouldn’t want to continue on watching those two. I’m a hardcore VeGan fan. Veronica and Logan had the tragedy I like to see in my love stories– I hated Logan the first time I met him, but through two seasons he grew on me as the guy that she really should invest in. He may have lost his way a few times, but what boy doesn’t? Keith’s reaction to Piz reading actual books instead of ‘just being into surfing’ is kind of retarded. I’ve never seen any of Veronica’s other boys as ignorant… they enjoy surfing, it doesn’t mean they lack any kind of intellect. Just because they don’t read books by people Keith has never heard of doesn’t make them less worthy of Veronica– sheesh.

Towards the end of season three, they just lost that thread that made Veronica as good as she was, and Piz helped kill that… I’m honestly glad I didn’t have to watch anymore– if they had revived it I would have boycotted unless I could get past the Piz/Veronic stuff and well into the drama of the finale– maybe Piz would have died… mm, there’s a thought.

I still recommend, at the very least, watching the first couple of seasons of Veronica Mars– and even the beginning of Season 3 has its merits, but… hey, maybe you’ll like Piz more than I do…

Weeds.

I recently went on a binge of watching episodes of Weeds and managed to polish off the entire series– it’s funny because I started watching it when it first came out and just lost track of myself, and it, after a point– so basically I just caught up on five seasons of Mrs. Botwin and her dealings.

I really, really enjoy the show as a whole, it entices me in ways I can’t explain because even though I don’t, personally, have any investment in the idea of marijuana or anything of the sort, I find the inner-workings of the whole thing kind of interesting– the way she tries to convince herself she’s not doing anything too bad because she has to provide for her family, when a normal job isn’t exactly all that out of the question (especially after they moved to Ren Mar and she didn’t have the McHouse to pay for anymore, I mean c’mon.)

I am, however, a bit put off by the fact that the woman seems to want to sleep with everything. When the show first started and she seemed to have this gung-ho, “I can’t get off without my husband and he’s dead so I’m going to be a miserable old shrew” attitude… I could kind of relate with it, but somehow her newfound “Sex is my power and I’m going to use it at every turn even though it makes me seem kind of cheap and trampy to /everyone/.” point of view leaves a bad taste in my mouth, if only because the woman doesn’t seem to have any moral compass of what’s right and wrong.

I realise saying that will raise a debate about the definition of right and wrong, but I do believe having sex with a drug Kingpin just because you needed to have a little more power in your inner circle of drug workings is not at all moral, nor is it being done for her children. If she wanted to have sex with the man because it was just sex, and it was detached, and it wasn’t going to completely eff up her life, fine… that I can deal with, but somehow this thought process she runs is that as long as she’s sleeping with someone on the inside she will always be in the know– she will /always/ be on top.

She has this ability to complain about the workings of her life as if they are somehow out of her control. No one has ever forced her to do any of the things that have led to her subsequent downfall, and the corruption of her children, but her. She wanted the easy way out and loss the moral high ground about five seasons back. I understand doing what you must to provide for your family, but sooner or later you’re just being a greedy little bitch about everything.

That being said, the show is still amazing– it has enough to draw you in and keep you on board (like this last season’s finale, eee), which leads me to wonder just how everything is going to pan out. You learn to miss Conrad and Agrestic, but things seem a bit less annoying by Season 5. The woman’s been married three times in the last five years, two have died, one could die next season, her middle son is a complete sociopath, her eldest has no bone in his head to tell him when to stop, and her baby is barely being mentioned anymore (it’s kind of sad that he was a gimmick that got tossed). Her friends are all devoid of any ability to manage their own lives as well– the new drug cartel (I laugh) of Celia, Doug, Sanjay, that one guy whose name I don’t remember, Dean, and Isabelle, is just… going to be ridiculously slapsticky, I think. Also, wondering where the hell Andy ran off to, leaving his pseudo-fiance with a psychopath– I’m working under the delusion that he went to get help and wasn’t just bailing. I’m kind of hoping they pick up the ball and run with it, though, because honestly… the show has so much potential and needs to be expressed.

All in all, I’d say the series is at least worth a watch, because the acting involved is rather up there the scale, and everything seems to have a kind of… leaning towards greatness.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

There are likely to be spoilers in this without perhaps me meaning to, so please read with caution if you have not a) read the book and/or b) seen the movie. Thank you.

All right, we’ve had these types of discussions before, over the Harry Potter films and their inability to properly follow the storyline of the book, and I understand still the idea that your movie is only based on the books, and that you’re allowed to take liberties, but I believe that with this newest installment of the whole ‘Based On’ argument, we’ll find just why I hate liberties.

Honestly, I just recently read the books, at least the ones I had on hand, and so when I heard about the movie I was incredibly happy– that being said, I had a qualm with the books in that they’re the oddest type I have ever read, because they start off strong, and dwindle towards the end so you’re willing to skip a few chapters just to see what happened, but I digress; the books were still quite amazing even in that.

They had that touch of Greek Mythology that you always want to see in books of that type, just hints at the reality of the mythos and peeks into the workings of its government and beasts. Honestly, when I first started watching the film within two minutes a huge red flag went up going, “DANGER, this is not the movie you want to see.” but still, I pressed on with hope.

Poseidon and Zeus’ meeting atop the Empire State Building was more or less just stupid, needless and set the theme for the rest of the movie. Yes, we get it, they think he stole the master bolt, but in the book they had no idea that Percy was that son of Poseidon, nor did Poseidon ‘build a cabin just for him’. Honestly, the entire thing made me want to stab someone in the face, because they took some of the most important points and raped them– it’s harsh, but it’s reality.

Percy’s fight with Annabeth during capture the flag, which was meant to be a fight between him and /someone else entirely/ was completely ridiculous– the fact that it sets a weird tone for his and Annabeth’s relationship is beyond the point when the whole point of that fight was showing that Poseidon was going to claim him– he didn’t know creeping towards the water would ‘heal’ him, he fell in a puddle and Poseidon was basically like “Fine, that’s it. Kick his ass, son.” and then he got claimed.

The LUKE STORYLINE, oh dear god do not even get me started on that as he a) lacked his scar, b) had his own cabin full of technology instead of just, you know, a cabin with a bunch of other kids from camp, his father’s and otherwise, and c) was just utterly ridiculous and unbelievable. They butchered the underlying storyline of how Luke hated the Gods, yes, they pointed that out, but the entire thing was that he was working to try and overthrow the Gods by bringing back Kronos. He’d been corrupted and had decided to help the Titan return to the world and wreak havoc.

Oh, did I mention Kronos isn’t even mentioned? They ruined the plausibility for follow-up stories unless they suddenly introduce Luke again going, “Oh, now I found this titan that I want to help, ‘kay?” No, no that’s not how it works. Annabeth never believed Luke was evil, even after he tried to kill Percy on his return to camp (which also didn’t happen in the damn movie).

Other things of note: They removed the scene where Ares shows up, Clarisse was not in it at all, they did not have the scene where they got Aphrodite’s scarf, the scene with the hotel was completely ridiculous and overdone and not at all as interesting as it was in the book, Percy Jackson looked like a fangirl’s dream of the 16-17 year old pretty boy instead of the 12-13 year old kid he was supposed to be, Annabeth didn’t look any older than him, Annabeth didn’t have her invisibility hat and had ‘never’ seen her mother somehow, Poseidon was the reason for the rule of Gods not being able to have (any) much contact with their children instead of the fact that the original treaty between the three brothers was so overpowered spawn didn’t affect the world as much, and… there’s just so many things they screwed up that I can’t get over it.

I went through this entire thing with the idea that if people had not read the books they’d be fine with the way the movie turned out, but anyone whose even skimmed the books will see some serious discrepancies with the story’s entire flow– that creating the problem that we’ve lost all thread of how the movies are going to go from here, if they even make sequel. You might think that’s a good thing as it’ll create fresh movies for us, something new to experience, but in the end we’ve lost interest in the story as a whole, or at least I have.

So utterly disappointed.

Best Movies I Saw in 2009.

Taking a page from Kathleen’s post in the same nature, I’m going to try to post the top ten movies I saw this year– from her list it doesn’t look like they had to come /out/ this year, but just that I saw them this year, so let’s go from 10 to 1, shall we? Also, honorable mentions for movies I have yet to see but have good hopes for: Inglorious Basterds and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

  • 10. X-Men Origins: Wolverine – While I found a lot of it kind of convoluted, and it didn’t have a lot of the Deadpool I’d love to see, it was still rather entertaining with enough plot twists and actions to keep me interested. Plus, comic book nerds unite.
  • 9. Julie & Julia – I realise the movie wasn’t a major accomplishment or anything for anyone, but it was cute, and I enjoyed watching it, and Meryl Streep as Julia Child was just… amazing.
  • 8. Four Christmases – All right, I love me some Reese Witherspoon and I kind of like Vince Vaughn, so it was definitely a movie to drag me in, and it was quite entertaining and funny. Not an amazing achievement but definitely worth a watch.
  • 7. Veronika Decides to Die – While not one of the more well-known movies, or even touted this year very much, when I watched it I fell in love with Sarah Michelle Gellar all over again– she’s an amazing actress, and David Thewlis is convincing as the Doctor who hides behind his patients, but ultimately is trying to make them see. I adored it, nice look inside the mental health epidemic.
  • 6. Dragon Hunters – A really under-appreciated animated movie that has a design and style unlike you’ve seen elsewhere, the characters are compelling and the story is different enough to pull you in, but familiar enough that you feel at home with it– to be fair it smacks of World of Warcraft at times, but in a good way. Definitely worth seeing.
  • 5. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs – I seem to watch a lot of animated films, but that’s because they’ve evolved a long way from just stupid humour, as shown best in this film where I don’t think many children would be giggling their heads off, but adults can find subtle humour in little things within. <3
  • 4. Up – Pixar usually hits them out of the park but the mix of humour in this film with the almost making me cry was just overwhelming at times. Besides, Dug was enough to make anyone love this film.
  • 3. Coraline – The adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s fantasy/”horror” title was actually rather provoking– I was actually disturbed several times in that way I /like/ to be when I’m experiencing Gaiman genius– definitely great.
  • 2. Zombieland – Mixing humour with shooting the skulls off of zombies has to be one of the most brilliant things I’ve ever seen– honestly, I wish I had thought of it, but it still stands as one of my favourite movies this year.
  • 1. Marley and Me – All right, you might be going ‘wtf?’ or at least thinking I’m a bit cracked out to have this on the top, but if you’ve ever had dogs die on you and had to take them to be put down, you know exactly why this movie affected me the most, I actually had to pause it and bury my face in my boyfriend’s lap to sob at one point. That’s a movie that evokes feelings.

Now let’s go this one better and point down the biggest let-downs of this year that I saw. Should be interesting. In reverse order again.

  • 4. I Love You, Beth Cooper – Again with the disappointment on the comedy front, even though I very much like Hayden and what she does– just felt kind of meh about the comedy aspect and the general story, it’s been done.
  • 3. Year One – Jack Black usually makes me think of Comedy, and especially when the movie is touted as a comedic endeavour, I expect there to be delivering– I was sadly disappointed when the jokes were ‘funny’, but not enough to make me actually laugh, more like “Oh, that’s kind of funny.” then I move on to the next scene– I think I laughed /once/, then it was over. Mreh.
  • 2. Watchmen – I had such hopes for this movie as well, considering the hype it got, but in the end I was underwhelmed and found the only things in it to be worth the time was the fight scene in the prison hallway, and Rorschach as a hole as a compelling character, but still not enough to save the film.
  • 1. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – the biggest let down of all was the one I was most excited about. I cannot believe what they did to the story and how convoluted the plot got– they left out everything that made the book good and added in stuff that made the movie terrible. Elaborated on more here.

I invite you all to do the same and reflect on the movies– you might agree with me, you might not. <3 Comment with opinions, obviously.

True Blood, again

Again there may be spoilers and such, read at your own risk.

So, I managed to again marathon watch True Blood and polish off Season 2 in record time (which had me up to 8 am), and actually quite enjoyed this season.

Honestly, I may have ended up liking it more than Season 1, if only because of Godric and the evolution of Eric’s character. I felt that season 1 had that intrigue, but it kind of dragged at points, like the development of characters was going too slowly to fully drag me in– I actually found myself refusing to go to sleep just to watch another episode, hence being up until 8 am one night just watching seven or eight episodes.

The fact that most of the season took place in a divided loyalty setting (with Sookie, Eric, Bill, and Jason off in Dallas, while Tara, Sam, and the rest were in Bon Temps), was actually rather intriguing to me, like somehow it added another flavour to the series to see how well these people did split up, without each other, how they managed without their polar halves. Seeing Jason develop into a somewhat competent man was quite enjoyable. 😀

Though, by far, my favourite part of the season was meeting Godric, and getting delved into that relationship between he and Eric– you learn so much about Eric in that season, and even though you feel like you want to slap him around for all the trickery, you do feel for him in losing Godric, the person who brought him to his new self, and the person who was /still/ teaching him even a thousand years later– it is obvious in many ways that Eric is absolutely and truly in love with his Maker (whereas Bill and Lorena are just like “nyeh”).

I can’t wait to see what comes of the new bond between Sookie and Eric, though I also have a bit of that worry that it might end up in more relationship drama with Sookie being a kind of faux-whore. It annoys me to no end that everytime she gets mad at Bill she starts looking at other people to kiss.

And oh, OH, this is a huge spoiler for the last episode so please do not read on if you don’t want to know, but Sookie pausing and having her own stupid drama after her beloved vampire lays his heart on the line and asks her to marry him and go to Vermont to see it done, and running off to the bathroom like a squealing girl to cry and think about her other options, only to realise what we all knew all along– that Bill is the only person she should ever want to spend her life with— and coming out to find him gone because of her indecision?! If she hadn’t left to cry to herself and be a sissy, she would have been there instead of him getting ninjaed off by silver chains.

The stuff with Maryann was relatively interesting at times, though I honestly didn’t feel that part of the season was all that tasty– I had high hopes for Maryann and got a bit let down by what it turned into– she ended up annoying me to no end and I sought to just see the end of her whole plot line and move on. Also, poor Eggs.

… Regardless, having to wait until June is probably going to kill me. 😐