Note: Due to spending some time on other projects (such as dealing with my spotty internet connection again), I didn’t have time to write an article for today. Instead, I’m digging up another old review of mine from my pre-blog days when I would occasionally write these on forums I was a member of. In this case, the review is from 2006, of a 2005 film entitled Edison Force, directed by first-time director David J. Burke. It was originally going to be a theatrical release called Edison, but a strongly negative reception at the Toronto Film Festival led to it going direct-to-video. Had I known that, I may have avoided it — but at the time I tended to watch first, investigate later. Admittedly, I still do; how else is one to discover hidden gems? Not that this is one. The review is left unaltered save for a few minor adjustments, so it may lack some of my current polish… though my snideness is in full abrasive force.
I’ll start my review with a bit of disappointment, as the movie doesn’t involve a science-fiction task force run by Thomas Alva Edison, which would probably have made a better movie. Edison Force is about a wannabe journalist (yes, not even a full-fledged journalist) who uncovers corruption in the Edison city police department’s “First Response Assault and Tactical” team. The lead is played by Justin Timberlake, of all people, and… his acting is about what you’d expect, which is to say, not much. Which is really disappointing considering the rest of the cast consists of such worthies as Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, LL Cool J (who plays the other lead, one of the cops, and does a good job), and Dylan McDermott, who steals the show as the truly psychotic cop Lazaroth. Bit parts are filled out by Cary Elwes, Piper Perabo, and other generally-recognizable actors. Continue reading →
Last Saturday, I did something I haven’t done in many years: I watched a new episode of Saturday Night Live. I did this for a couple reasons, the main one being that some friends had said it was a good episode, and that this was a rarity for the current season (I’m in the Pacific Time Zone, these friends are in Eastern and Central, so I was able to get a heads-up; and yes, this does mean I wasn’t watching it “live”). I had also seen some chatter from Dan Aykroyd and Steve Martin that they would be on, and I’m a fan of the older comics, so that was an incentive as well. And finally, I’ve been reading a book on the history of Saturday Night Live (which I’ll probably give its own review when I finish it), so the show has been on my mind lately.
Justin Timberlake was hosting, and while I’m not the biggest fan of him as a serious actor, he does pretty well in sketch comedy. Since I haven’t really watched it since high school, I didn’t expect to recognize any of the cast members; other than the surprise of seeing Kenan Thompson among the players, this held true. But overall, even though I didn’t know the comics, it felt like the same show. I didn’t like every sketch, but I laughed at most of them, so I’d say it was a fairly good episode. Naturally I got a big kick out of the “five timers club” and the Three Amigos salute.
I don’t see a need to recap the whole episode. But all this reading and this recent watching has gotten me thinking about the show, and about sketch comedies in general. So it seemed like a good time for a ramble on the subject. Continue reading →
So there’s this meme going around called the “Liebster Award”; it’s basically a way to pass around questions and draw attention to other blogs. I’ve been tagged by three people (that I know of; if I’ve missed one, sorry!), so I figured I’d knock out a post to answer the questions. There are a few rules associated with it, but a: I’m not always good about following rules, and b: most of the rules relate to passing the award on. While there are many bloggers who I think are worthy of a spotlight — if I’m following you, and/or if I’ve featured you in my Weekly Weblinks, you’re almost certainly one of them — I suspect that anybody I could tag either doesn’t want to do it or has been tagged three or four times already. So like a few others I’ve seen, I won’t be passing it along — but if by chance you haven’t been tagged and want to have been, consider yourself tagged and steal 11 questions from the people who asked me questions. I’m sure they won’t mind.
The other rules are that I have to post eleven things about myself, and answer 11 questions from the people who tagged me. Since three people tagged me, that’s 33 questions. Plus 5 more from a fellow rule-breaker. So here we go. Continue reading →
Andrew Niccol wrote and directed this 2011 film, which stars Justin Timberlake as a man living in the ghetto of Dayton in the future. Exactly how far in the future is unclear, though in most respects the time closely resembles the present day. In this future, people no longer age post-maturity; at age 25, they simply stop growing older and continue to look 25 no matter how many more years they live. But, ostensibly to avoid overpopulation, everybody has an internal timer, visible through the skin of their arm, which reads out how much time they have — and everyone is given one year on their 25th birthday. When that time runs out, they simply die. Surviving past one’s 26th birthday means that one has to earn additional time, and time has become the main currency in the world. People spend time on goods and services, earn time for their work, and steal time from each other on the streets. The rich have eons and live in luxury; the poor quite literally live from day to day.
It’s a concept with a lot of ramifications, with many different aspects that could be explored. I have no qualms in saying that it’s perhaps one of the best and most creative science-fiction concepts to hit the cinema in years. But my praise for this film largely ends with the concept; the rest of the film just doesn’t live up it. Continue reading →