Archives for the month of: February, 2014

[#182 on my Buffy/Angel ranking
of all 254 episodes from both series]

Sasha's recreation of Sean's post-conversion swim past Cordelia.

Sasha’s recreation of Sean’s post-conversion swim past Cordelia.

An extremely silly monster-of-the-week episode sadly sandwiched between the masterful I Only Have Eyes for You and the two-part s2 finale, disrupting the flow and tension of the Angelus storyline. I didn’t hate it as a stand-alone, Read the rest of this entry »

James.stanley

1955 James is dreamy but dangerous. His tortured, drifting soul finds a kindred spirit in Buffy, though this doesn’t become apparent until well into the episode. 

Marti Noxon corrects last week’s misstep with Killed by Death by returning us to the barely suppressed regret and layers of guilt left in the wake of Passion. I’m stuck considering exactly how strong I Only Have Eyes for You is because as a stand-alone, there’s not that much here besides a common ghost trope, but in the scope of the season, the story transcends genre as Read the rest of this entry »

der Kindestod in basement

I knew that eventually I’d come to an episode that I didn’t care for in my first viewing and that my second swipe at the series would fail to change my opinion about. That moment has arrived with Killed by Death. I admit that I’m a bit surprised and mildly disappointed since I have cultivated an appreciation for other recalled duds like I, Robot… You, Jane; The Pack; and Teacher’s Pet. None of these s1 eps ranks as a favorite for me, but I saw them in a different light on round #2 when taken into account Read the rest of this entry »

Angelus taunts through his sketches of slumbering targets. He takes torment to the level of performance art in Passion.

Angelus taunts through his sketches of slumbering targets. He takes torment to the level of performance art in Passion.

Buffy has been to this point quite proven successful at silliness (Halloween and Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered); internal legend construction (Angel); alienation (Out of Mind, Out of Sight); twists (What’s My Line Part 1); shock (Angel’s revelation in Read the rest of this entry »

Cordelia is the only one bewitched, bothered, and bewildered without magic. She's truly smitten by Xander.

Cordelia is the only one bewitched, bothered, and bewildered without magic. She’s truly smitten by Xander.

More mirthful shenanigans! I had imagined the descent into darkness would be a constant following Angel’s reversion to soulless vampire in Innocence, but instead the showrunners planted two more lighthearted episodes into the framework of the season before returning with a vengeance to the grim nightmare they’d promised with Angelus. Last week’s Phases gave us a diversion from vampirism nearly altogether, Read the rest of this entry »

Oz is a werewolf. That's far more manageable than a soulless vampire. Lucky Willow. Unlucky Buffy.

Oz is a werewolf. That’s far more manageable than a soulless vampire. Lucky Willow. Unlucky Buffy.

After the sturm und drang of Innocence, Whedon grants us a bit of levity with Phases. I hadn’t remembered taking this brief semi-break from tragedy, but it’s well timed. The show must go on, even though Buffy’s heart has been broken, Angelus is unleashed on Sunnydale, and pervasive doom hangs overhead. We’ve got Oz in the gang now, in a Read the rest of this entry »

Resonance because it could be real. Some of Buffy's deepest pain is typical for teenage girls, not just Slayers.

Deeper resonance because it could be real. Some of Buffy’s deepest pain is typical for teenage girls, not just Slayers.

And so Buffy changes forever. This episode is a challenge for me because I’m trying to imagine how it must have been received on its initial broadcast as well as attempting to remember how I perceived the dark turn that it takes. Then I have to reconcile those two ideas with how I’m experiencing the episode now. Why? Because I see Read the rest of this entry »

Drusilla in good spirits with her floral party arrangement, just before her complete flower-shredding breakdown.

Drusilla accompanied by a gagged Miss Edith, in good spirits with her floral party arrangement just before her complete flower-shredding breakdown.

Unlucky number thirteen for Buffy. Surprise is full of surprises:

  • for Buffy (a sparsely attended surprise party at The Bronze – and later unplanned sex!)
  • for Spike (a better attended celebration in the abandoned factory with a special gift of an unassembled über-demon)
  • for Miss Carpenter (an unwelcome visit from her curse-ranting Uncle Enios)
  • for Willow (an invitation to date from Oz)
  • and of course, for Angel and the audience (the return of Angelus).

Read the rest of this entry »

my movies january 2014

I’m always a little surprised when I see my movie lists. I know people who don’t see a movie a month let alone several a week. I’m more surprised because I feel like I watch a fair amount of tv. Where do I find the time? If only I could use this power for good. Well anyway.

1 – Snakes on a Plane – not any fun
2 – Witness for the Prosecution – Laughton’s prickly fun
3 – West of Memphis – our prejudiced peers4 – Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – India scares me
5 – Bronson – fell asleep, twice
6 – After the Sunset – frothy heist fun
7 – her – actually liked Scarlett
8 – Stranger than Fiction – good weird fun
9 – Brave – Emma Thompson’s everywhere
10 – Chronicles of Riddick – not my choice
11 – Admission – dumb and boring
12 – Frankenstein* – riveting, dynamic theater
13 – Behind the Candelabra – narcissist made sympathetic
14 – Promised Land – hate Damon’s writing
15 – Beautiful Creatures – not too bad
16 – Philomena – those damn Magadalenes
17 – A Good Day to Die Hard – should’ve stayed dead
18 – Looper – one freaky kid

* This was one of those “events” promoted during previews in movies theaters. Touted as “Special Events” these are limited showings of live performances – theater, opera, concerts – presented in a movie theater. I have been a season subscriber to the opera for 18 years. I support any attempt to engage new audiences to opera in particular but I was always suspect of how it would play in a movie theater. Opera pretty much defines grand theater and it would have to be reduced to a movie screen. Also, opera is performed without amplification, the orchestra and singers perform without microphones, relying on their own ability and the acoustics of the room. I also assumed the camera would mimic an audience member or those PBS Great Performances and stay pretty static. Basically, I wasn’t sold.

But I have always lamented not being able to hop the Concorde to see some of the great London plays. One such play was a retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein directed by Danny Boyle, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternating performances as either Dr. Frankenstein or The Monster. And so my first foray into theater at the movies. I don’t know how much Danny Boyle had to do with the filming of the play but I am guessing he had some if not quite a bit. I thought they did a wonderful job of bringing the play to life. Rather than a static shot of the proscenium that I expected, there were dynamic camera moves that reveled in the wonderful stage and fantastic lighting with perspectives you’d never have as a live audience member. I am curious to see another play and if all of them are so well filmed.

 

 

Bad Eggs Buffy asleepI’m not going to dilly-dally here. I like Bad Eggs.

Part of this lies with my great fondness for Invasion of the Body Snatchers in all its incarnations as well as most of the homages to it featuring alien replacement/possession. I was a major fan of Robert Rodriguez’s The Faculty (written by then-horror giant and Sarah Michelle Gellar favorite Kevin Read the rest of this entry »