I wish I could make this up, but in May of 2011 I graduated from college without a job, with no clue what I was going to do, and that was completely my fault. It wasn’t for a lack of trying, because for a long time I had two goals in my job hunt. The first was that I always wanted to work in the film industry and secondly, I wanted to work a job where I’d be happy. But in the days leading up to graduation, I naively thought that as soon as I grabbed my diploma, my imagination of an Ari Gold-like figure would shake my hand and say, “Welcome to the team!”
A month ago, Bill Simmons had Jason Whitlock on his podcast, talking about an article that had been posted on Simmons’ Grantland.com blog. The article argued that “Breaking Bad” is perhaps the greatest television series of all time, surpassing “The Wire,” which many believe is the greatest of all time. Whitlock argued in favor of “The Wire,” due to “Breaking Bad” not having finished it’s run yet and so there’s no way to tell how it will be viewed overall once it’s completed. Simmons then made a comment that when making a group of the best television shows, you have to include “The Sopranos” just because it was “the first of the shows,” as he puts it. Thing is, and while “The Sopranos” is a masterful television show, it wasn’t the first of “the shows.” It wasn’t the first show that opened the gates for other cable television series to prosper, because there was one before it.
Take a look at the cable TV shows that just premiered, shows like True Blood, Weeds, Curb Your Enthusiasm, etc. From the outside, they’re all different. You have a soap-drama, an unfunny comedy, and a funny comedy. But to the viewers of the show, there’s one thing that’s similar in all of them, at least for their most recent seasons, which just premiered this month. They all jumped ahead in time in between seasons.
It was the summer of 2006. The World Cup was in full swing and I was a on my way to becoming a senior in high school. This was the first time I had ever been interested in the World Cup, and football soccer for that matter (even more than when I actually played soccer in the 7th grade), because everyday after spring track practice we’d all go to the basketball courts and play pick-up soccer. Why? Who knows, but it was fun and we played it American Style: AKA no rules. We were awful, but it was still a blast.
Looking back, and I can’t quite remember the quote, but a teacher once told me that there is no such thing as an original written work. Everything that someone may say is “new” and “revolutionary” really isn’t, because it can be traced back to some archetype/genre/anything from past storytellers. Now, when looking at Hollywood and the films that come out each year, it seems like they aren’t even trying when it comes to originality. If you were to take a glance over the films released this summer (2011) you’ll see that it’s filled with adaptations, prequels, sequels, reboots, etc. Even J.J. Abram’s Super 8, which was being boasted and assumed to be the best “original” work this summer, is now being considered no more than a homage to the 1980’s Spielberg films, sometimes a little too much so.
In 1984, actor/director Robert Redford founded the Sundance Film Festival for independent filmmakers working outside the studio system to showcase their films. With only one theater showing the films, Redford would stand outside trying to persuade anyone who walked by to take part in the Utah-based film festival. Now, 27 years later, the festival received over 3,000 feature-length submissions from around the world as well as over 6,000 U.S. and international short film submissions while attracting over 50,000 visitors. Hit the jump for more… Continue reading »
Imagine a small pill that allows your brain to become a super-computer, one with the capability of remembering the most minute of images you have subconsciously have seen over the course of your life as well as learn and master absolutely anything in a fraction of the time it would normally take you. Sounds pretty great right? Well, not for Eddie Morra it isn’t, the character Bradley Cooper plays in “Limitless”. In fact, it isn’t that great for “Limitless” as a whole, a film that isn’t all that intelligent to begin with. Hit the jump to see why. Continue reading »
After it’s freshman season being met with stellar reviews and ratings, FX’s hit series “Justified” premiered its second season last month and it looks to surpass its prior season’s accomplishments. Set in the boondocks of eastern Kentucky and the town of Harlan, “Justified” tells the tale of Deputy Marshall Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), a shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later lawman that deals his own kind of justice when needed. Hit the jump for my thoughts on Justified’s season two opener… Continue reading »