Archives for posts with tag: Soviet Union

[#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 »


A not-as-brief-as-I’d-like rundown of my Netflix streaming. Note: Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime almost merit their own summaries.

  • Deep Impact: This has not made much of an impact. I’ve been on this one for two weeks and still have almost an hour to go. I just don’t care about anyone in the movie and the apocalypse preparations are more tiresome than timely.
  • Theremin: Holy fuck this documentary was a surprise. I had no idea how the theremin originated, nor what kind of fantastical life its creator led. There is a Cold War/Soviet Union twist to this story that baffles the mind. Plus, Theremin himself maintains his enigmatic self straight through to the end.
  • The Walking Dead: I am closing in on the halfway mark of the second season. I have to be in the  mood for dread, which is really all I get from the series, so I haven’t plowed through it like I have with other cable shows that I’m a late arrival to. This is a good thing.
  • The Sarah Silverman Program: I’m still in s1. I’ve watched scattered episodes before, so some are being re-experienced, though I don’t think viewing them in the context of the whole series makes any difference. It’s funny but a little too mean for me. I appreciate the songs.
  • Louie: I enjoy it, but not nearly as much as I’m supposed to. Louie feels a little too mean as well, though his meanness sometimes gets directed toward a showcase of Louis C.K.’s own self-assessed patheticness.
  • Wilfred: What’s with all the mean-spirited comedies that I’m watching one after the other? This one is probably on the chopping block. I tire quickly of mean best friends and people who put up with them, even if the best friend is an Australian comedian in a dog outfit.
  • The Brother from Another Planet: This one I’m enjoying far more than I did The Man Who Fell to Earth (slog!), though I have to watch both slow-moving films in installments. I’m about midway through this John Sayles film.
  • Black Widow: I saw this in the eighties and didn’t remember much. Why?!? It’s really a terrific film about female drive, envy, friendship, and multi-layered betrayal. Theresa Russell never really impressed me, but I like her here a lot, sort of a mash-up of Kathleen Turner with a shade of Shirley MacLaine. She jumps from sophisticated socialite to Southern new money to Malibu Barbie™ with each new conquest/prey, with an undercurrent of single-minded ambition. How can ruthlessness and regret stand so closely? And Debra Winger – this is one of her best roles. The character and the actress are perfect complements to the Black Widow, Theresa Russell. Bob Rafelson managed to make a fantastic film noir in the middle of the eighties! This isn’t as good as his Body Heat from 1981, but what is? This came as a rare pleasant surprise in my revisiting old movies. I would absolutely put the scene of Theresa Russell swimming nude in a pool and extending her hand out like the poisonous reach of a jellyfish into my top ten femme fatale moments. And I have a lot of femme fatale moments!
  • The End: Burt Reynolds stars and directs. I also saw this one decades ago, though maybe not in its entirety. A few things stood out in my adult viewing. One, Burt Reynolds really is a good comic actor, and he really knows how to share with other actors on the screen. Two, the pacing is way off, with some comedic scenes stretching twice as long as they should. Three, some of the unfunny segments are also shockingly racist, particularly one with a Mexican “beaner.” While not wincing, I did enjoy all the co-stars. I am making a mental note of discussing this further.
  • Moog: This doc on the Moog synthesizer is boring the fucking daylights out of me, and I’m not even to the thirty-minute mark, meaning that this is in contention for a spot on Raúl Cries Uncle, as in I may not force myself to finish it. The clever, winking opening credits gave me such hope for a contemporary look at a beloved artifact, but Robert Moog himself cannot hold the screen for more than ten seconds before he turns into one of the more unpleasant drones that his creation has the capability of making . He’s like my industrial ed teacher whose lack of presentation actually gave birth to a lack of interest in how things work. Moog and my industrial ed teacher were good at making things, but not inspiring the casual listener. Note: Moog is actually more engaging discussing Theremin!
  • Reel Injun: I am about a third into this documentary about representation of American Indians in American cinema, and am becoming more engrossed as I go. I can’t tell if this is arranged chronologically or by theme. I’m hoping for TV to get some time alongside films.
  • Equilibrium: I stopped after about three minutes with a brainless shoot-em-up opening that made me think I’d fallen upon a lost eighties action movie, not the smarter sci-fi Michael Fassbender film that I’d banked on. It’s in the endangered pile.
  • Nikita: I’m halfway through a rocky s2, but the midpoint seems to have picked up by changing the game and introducing some new though predictable alliances. Eps 12 and 13 have nearly made up for the bad season (shoot-em-up scenes ad nauseam that may have cut short my patience for Equilibrium) thus far, though I’m still pining for last season. I have hope. Mr. Lousy, you should give this one a go once you’ve run your course with Alias.
  • Archer: Now this is a spy show that knows what it’s doing! Thank you again, Mr. Lousy, for steering me here!

Marvin Hamlisch: the man who made you understand what it means to fuck James Bond. Carole Bayer Sager and Carly Simon helped.

Yes, I know he wrote The Way We Were, The Entertainer from The Sting, and A Chorus Line, which, on a side note, I saw on Broadway starring Saved by the Bell‘s Mario Lopez. But Marvin Hamlisch solidified his status forever with me by writing Nobody Does It Better, the theme song from the 1977 James Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me, with then- Read the rest of this entry »

I accidentally gave myself a Rorschach test while looking at the flag borne by the leader of the Russian athletes in this procession. I’ve already discussed my great displeasure in the design. Now matters are more complicated as I’ve discovered two bulbous penises engaged in what I imagine to be frottage.

Just as I reckoned that the unflattering grey Read the rest of this entry »

Team U.S.A. celebrates their gold medal in what I can only call Gulag Grey.

Why are the U.S. athletes on the podium dressed like proletariats from the Cold War Soviet Union? Did Nike want to remind us of the decadence of the bourgeoisie by putting dour grey uniforms on American athletes as they ascended the podium? Shapeless factory grey Read the rest of this entry »


Reproductions of Che’s image revolve around the original reproduction of Che’s image.

I just finished working out the simulacrum in the film, The Thirteenth Floor – about simulated realities that imperceptibly transform into authentic, independent realities.

And here comes simulacrum again – in Chevolution., a documentary directed by Luis Lopez and Trish Ziff, which chronicles Read the rest of this entry »

Also in the running: all the places name-checked by the Beach Boys in their horrible 1988 song Kokomo.

In the stupendous fourth season finale of Parks & Rec, April panics after she believes she has accidentally mass-deleted documents in the office, and after making an emergency phone call to Andy (who arrives and says something like, “First of all, you did the right thing by hiding under this table”), the two of them brainstorm lists of places where they could begin life as fugitives to escape the consequences of the deletions: worst in April’s mind is a long lecture from Leslie Knope about Read the rest of this entry »

I’ll get to the movie.  Give me a minute.

In considering Joss Whedon’s TV series, Dollhouse, I recognized that the Dolls could easily be interpreted as Whedon’s meta-commentary on his creation, use, and sometimes disposal of characters, particularly female ones.  (I’ll never forgive him for what he did with Cordelia on Angel.)  Joss Whedon is acutely aware of his position as creator and how his faithfully, or obsessively, his fan base follows his creations.  After Buffy, Angel, and Firefly, he was due some navel-gazing with Dollhouse.

Yet I chose to watch the show from more of a sci-fi perspective than from the standpoint of how a creator considers his creations.  I found the questions raised in Dollhouse about humanness, Read the rest of this entry »

Why am I so irritated with the fourth season of the series Damages, the legal drama starring a Rasputinesque, Machiavellian Glenn Close as ruthless attorney Patty Hewes, and a lovely, doe-eyed, not-as-guileless-as-she looks Rose Byrne, on whom I Read the rest of this entry »

We’ve still got another Hunger Games sequel to go, so now is the time for the Mockingjay District 13 presidential campaign to begin. I am already endorsing Jane Fonda for President Coin.  Perfect on so many levels.  She exudes an off-putting air of superiority and presents as seemingly sympathetic yet somewhat icy.  Her Read the rest of this entry »