TV Review : The Leftovers/Pilot

Considering we are in the midst of a revival of the golden age of television, I will be taking a break from film to talk briefly about the new HBO series, The Leftovers, brought to us by the man whose work I love to hate, Damon Lindelof. After being blasted with the promo for three months in a row, we’re finally left with an actual look at this new series which tries to answer the question of why 2% of the worlds population decided to just get up and Houdini the fuck out of here. It’s the sort of premise that I’m totally into. I’ve been into mysteries for as long as I can remember but sometimes Mr. Lindelof tries way too hard to be mysterious. As long as aliens don’t pop up, I feel like this is an idea that hopefully will get me to ease up on the man.

Well, huh?

I have no idea what is going on in this. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. I’ve always been into not having things spoon fed to me on a silver platter. I like to try to figure things out for myself. The first episode revealed the big disappearance and the aftermath three years later, but that’s about it. We don’t really know exactly who the GR cult is or what they want although I’m sure it has to do with the fact that they didn’t ascend to some other plane of reality. The show speculated on why there are rabid packs of dogs running around and honestly that makes sense. It seems to be symbolism of chaos and order, a dilemma that police chief Garner, played wonderfully by Justin Theroux, seems to be wrestling with. The end of the episode was in my eyes a very good sign that Garner is starting to see things clearly. He chose order over chaos.

Very intriguing show so far that has sunk its hooks into me. It isn’t a groundbreaking show yet, but it’s certainly something to think about and take a journey with.

SUDDENLY I’M HIT.

Film Review : Leviathan (2013)

IMDB Score – 6.4
Rotten Tomato Score – 78%

Directed by – Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel

A documentary shot in the North Atlantic and focused on the commercial fishing industry.

Part of the reason I started this website was to let some of you people into my world of weird films I come across. As of let, I really haven’t been watching many bizarre or less seen films. It’s Oscar season and I’ve been busy getting out to the theater as much as possible to get in my viewings of some of this years award chasing films. My Netflix dvd queue is now at the point where I’m starting to get some of the films that have been backlogged that are a bit more obscure or challenging. This is one of them.

As you can see by the vague synopsis brought to us by IMDB, Leviathan is a documentary about the fishing industry. One view of the trailer tells you that we’re not going to be watching a run of the mill doc narrated by Mike Rowe. Leviathan is a visceral experience. Comprised of no dialogue besides a few strewn sentences muttered by the crew at times that are barely audible, the film shows us what happens on a fishing vessel. A real one. No producers. No rewrites. No jump cuts. Twelve cameras were strung across nets, fastened onto bodies, and tossed in and out of water. What we see is a completely raw look at life on the ocean, for man and for fish. I’ll tell you this. It is not pleasant. It is gruesome and ugly but necessary for your fish tacos at Chipotle. They serve those there right? I think they do.

There’s a “scene” that I don’t mind describing as there is no real plot to spoil which involves one of the few steady shots in the film. A crewman, tired and exhausted, is in the kitchen watching TV. He is defeated. Sagging eyes and heavy breathing accompanies the sound of “The Deadliest Catch”. Yes, he is watching a show about fishing after he just spent a whole day fishing. The show goes to commercial and we here an ad about an energy drink. “You ever get the 2:30 tired feeling? You know where you just want to go to sleep?” It’s funny. The people on the commercial had a tough tennis workout and want a nap. This guy has just spent 18 hours hauling rigging and cutting the fish off heads and this is the inane commercials he’s watching. The dude falls asleep. Deep shit here guys.

That last line seemed a bit negative. I enjoyed the film. It is a one of kind look at whats it’s like battling the ocean day in and day out and what it takes for your fish sticks to become lunch. It’s not a political statement but just a raw visual experience. I don’t know if I’ll watch it again, but it was a one of a kind viewing.

4/5

Film Review : √Čvocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie (2012)

Netflix Watch Instant
IMDB Score – 5.3
RT Score – 86%

Some documentaries are uniquely filmed and offer compelling narrative to go along with beautiful cinematography. Others rely solely on the subject matter to sell the film. √Čvocateur falls into the 2nd category in which simply the story of Morton Downey Jr. was enough to keep me interesting. The story is told from the perspective of the people who knew him personally and also features audience members of his now infamous show. It’s an interesting look into a man who covered many spectrums such as politics, television, and music, and also was batshit insane. The film features plenty of great footage from his talk show which was filmed in Secaucus, NJ, which is a 30 minute drive from where I live. It’s no wonder lunatics of all shapes and sizes comprised the audience and fueled the angry machine that was Morton Downey Jr.

3/5