Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Ugly, the Bad and the Good

Yer all dying to know what I thought of my Holiday Viewing, aren’tcha?

The Ugly
We should all just admit it: The Doctor Who Christmas specials suck. Flying Sharks in a Christmas Carol? The Mecha, the Box and the Wardrobe? Titanic in space, ferchrissake! They usually run the gambit from goofy to this bad. And then there is this year’s abysmal offering which just utterly fell apart as both a Doctor Who story, and as a coherent narrative in general.

Matt Smith isn’t very good at angst or grief. He’s quite good at the manic, playful side of the Doctor, which I quite like (Doctor Two is a personal fav), and he can handle angry okay. But I did not buy him as sad and alone at the beginning. A little upset maybe, but he immediately perked up the minute that something interesting happened, and as a result, he got a whole lot more interesting to watch. His playing with he alien butler was the highlight of the episode, and the best Who dialog that Moffat has managed to shake loose all year.

But this year, the playfulness went right off into teeth aching twee. The best example I can give is the idiotic ‘invisible stairwell’ and the TARDIS being parked on a cloud. It was suppose to represent loneliness and perhaps a bit of romanticism for the good Doctor (when Oswin showed up anyway), but it came across as ‘we ran out of money, so someone run down and grab a fog machine and old wrought-iron stairway from props!’

Don’t even get me started on the splattered cow pat that Moffat passes off as 'plot’. I can’t even begin to tell you what happened here. The super-saphic duo of Lizard and Wife were brought in because the fans liked them, and then promptly did absolutely fuck all (Screenwriting 101: Show Katanta -> USE THE KATANA!). What the ice-nanny and the kids had to do with it, I have no idea. The snowmen where about as scary as a slush puddle. And most unforgivable of all, they somehow wasted the awesome Richard E. Grant (Withnail!) even more than they wasted the awesomely awesome Derek Jacobi (Claudius!). 

Fine, Oswin is kind of neat, but I’m TIRED of the “Doctor and cute-female-companion-with-a-destiny show”. Can we please have something different now?

Not until Moffat leaves, unfortunately.

The Bad
There are a lot of mixed reviews for the Hobbit, and this is because it is an incredibly mixed movie. There are some parts really didn’t like (the battle in the Goblin King’s cave was … incredibly video-gamey), and some parts I adored (Riddles in the Dark).

But I have to say, unless the next two movies (a VERY bad sign given how padded this one is) are a marked improvement, I will not be adding them to my movie collection the way I eagerly gobbled up LotR.

Which actually depresses the hell out of me; since ‘The Hobbit’ was the first ‘grown-up book’ I remember reading.

The Good
It doesn’t seem to have gotten much press, but if you are a fan of Zombies, animation, or just enjoy funny, well written movies; see ParaNorman. 

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