Too Much TV – Fall 2010

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Image by derekraugh via Flickr

We watch too much television at my house. We should probably seek professional help. Instead, we’re trying to figure out how to juggle DVR schedules and On Demand shows so we can watch everything we want to see… HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA… [ahem]

Ok, now that I’ve had my nervous breakdown, let’s go through the list…

Last Thursday on the CW, I tried to watch the new Nikita. And though there were some good things (the action was cool, gadgets were cool, girls were beautiful) it just didn’t engage for me. I blame that not on Maggie Q, who plays Nikita in this incarnation of the story, but on the weak characters surrounding her. Shane West as Michael pales when compared to Roy Dupuis in the Peta Wilson-led La Femme Nikita of the late 1990s. And though I used to love Melinda Clarke, her Amanda pales against Alberta Watson’s Madeline from the ’90s series as well… I could go on, but suffice it to say that I won’t be watching again unless I’m very bored.

This week, we have only one show. It’s one my wife started watching and when I found time to see it, I actually enjoyed it…

  • Parenthood (ABC), Tuesday September 14, 2010 at 10pm CST/9pm MST

Next week is insane however…

Let’s start with Monday, September 20, 2010. Eight shows that we want to watch happen to air between 7pm and 10pm our time. Geez. And even if we only watch the first episode of a new series (I’m not convinced I’ll watch The Event, Chase, or Hawaii Five-O, but want to see the first episode to find out), that only reduces the list to 5 shows on a single night…

  • House (FOX), 8pm CST/7pm MST
  • Chuck (NBC), 8pm CST/7pm MST
  • Rules of Engagement (CBS), 8:30pm CST/7:30pm MST
  • The Event (NBC), 9pm CST/8pm MST
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS), 9:00pm CST/8:00pm MST
  • Castle (ABC), 10pm CST/9pm MST
  • Chase (NBC), 10pm CST/9pm MST
  • Hawaii Five-O (CBS), 10pm CST/9pm MST

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 is a little better…

  • Glee (FOX), 8pm CST/7pm MST
  • NCIS (CBS), 8pm CST/7pm MST
  • Raising Hope (FOX), 9pm CST/8pm MST
  • NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), 9pm CST/8pm MST

Wednesday, September 22, 2010, we only have a couple…

  • Undercovers (NBC), 8pm CST/7pm MST
  • The Defenders (CBS), 10pm CST/9pm MST

Then Thursday (September 23, 2010) explodes again… Even though I won’t watch Grey’s Anatomy or Private Practice (they’re my wife’s shows), that’s still seven out of nine shows…

  • Bones (FOX), 8pm CST/7pm MST
  • Big Bang Theory (CBS), 8pm CST/7pm MST
  • S#*! My Dad Says (CBS), 8:30pm CST/7:30pm MST
  • Fringe (FOX), 9pm CST/8pm MST
  • Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 9pm CST/8pm MST
  • CSI (CBS), 9pm CST/8pm MST
  • Outsourced (NBC), 9:30pm CST/8:30pm MST
  • Private Practice (ABC), 10pm CST/9pm MST
  • The Mentalist (CBS), 10pm CST/9pm MST

And Friday (September 24, 2010) we only have a couple again:

  • Supernatural (CW), 9pm CST/8pm MST
  • CSI: NY (CBS), 9pm CST/8pm MST

So in the first big week of premieres, we’re looking at… 25 shows potentially.

To add insult to injury for our poor DVRs, there are more premieres scattered throughout October and November too…

  • No Ordinary Family (ABC), Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 8pm CST/7pm MST
  • Stargate Universe (Syfy), Tuesday, September 28, 2010,
    9pm CST/8pm MST
  • Human Target (FOX), Friday, October 1, 2010, 8pm CST/7pm MST
  • The Walking Dead (AMC), Sunday, October 31, 2010, 9pm CST/8pm MST
  • Lie to Me (FOX), Wednesday, November 10, 2010, 9pm CST/8pm MST

That’s a lot of television and I’m guessing a few will fall by the wayside before too long, but still… As Keanu would say – “Whoa.”

What are you planning on watching?
–Fitz

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DVD Review: Metamorphosis (2007)

Christopher Lambert
Image via Wikipedia

Hi all…

Sometimes even the combination of an amazing story from Hungary in the 16th century, a beautiful actress, and Connor MacLeod can’t quite get a movie on track. Filmed in Austria, Germany, and Hungary, the locations were gorgeous. Add to that the horrific tales of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, accused of killing and torturing young women and possibly even bathing in their blood to keep her youth, and you have some great elements that could have made for a good, if not great, horror film. Unfortunately it doesn’t hit that mark…

Metamorphosis was filmed in 2007 and is coming to DVD on August 24, 2010. The film stars Christopher Lambert (Highlander), Corey Sevier (Decoys), and Irena A. Hoffman (Four Christmases). It was written, directed, and produced by Jeno Hodi, who also directed Black Sea Raid and wrote Armstrong.

At the beginning of the film, we see Constantine Thurzo (Lambert) at the funeral of his brother. The strange ceremony ends with men driving a stake into his brother’s heart before burial in consecrated ground. Constantine wants his brother to be buried near their castle and digs the body up after dark, intent on reburying the body in the family cemetery. And as you might suspect, bad things tend to happen when you remove the stake from a dead body in a horror movie.

Keith (Sevier) is doing research for a book about the Countess and brought along his friends J.J. (Charlie Hollway) and Kim (Jennifer Higham) for company. While on their way to a monastery near the Bathory castle, the trio gets lost at night in the Carpathian Mountains and pick up the mysterious and beautiful Elizabeth (Hoffman) who offers to help them find their way. When they get there, they learn that the monks won’t take them to the castle as they had agreed because of recent wolf attacks in the area.

But don’t worry, Elizabeth knows the way to the castle. Along the way, the jeep the group is driving hits a rock and everyone is thrown out of the vehicle as it bounces down a mountainside. Somehow nobody gets seriously hurt and they continue on foot to the castle, meeting up with a creepy bearded man and his girlfriend also headed to the castle.

After being chased by wolves and meeting up with a monk and a nun, they manage to find their way to the castle and get the lights turned on. It seems however, that they might have done better if the lights had stayed off…

First, let me talk a bit about the good things for this film.

The use of the legend of Countess Bathory was a great start. Anyone who allegedly drains victims of blood so she can bathe in it to stay young is definitely a perfect horror movie character. It’s not the first time we’ve seen the Bathory legend used in a film either. The animated movie Hellboy: Blood and Iron used a similar legend as the backstory for its plot and did it more effectively in cartoon form. My only wish for Metamorphosis was that they’d managed a stronger story based on the history and legend.

Also, Lambert seemed to have a great time with his character Constantine as a vampire. The “Lambert laugh” was in full swing along with the evil grin we’ve seen in movies like Highlander and Mortal Kombat. Honestly, it was Lambert’s gleeful villain that saved the film for me. Everyone else took themselves far too seriously.

It’s never good when I can’t come up with a third good thing for a film. Honestly, I’m not sure if it was the acting, the directing, or the writing that really made it drag in places, but something simply didn’t click.

My biggest issue was the film was the way that it played with time. Once the group crashes down the mountain, there are these bizarre flashes where you see the same scene a couple of times in succession. Later, these “flashes” are explained as Keith’s attempts to change events while they were all in Purgatory. Vampires in this world seem to have the ability to shift from the real world to the spirit world of Purgatory at will. And since Keith wants to change how things ended up, he tries a few times to adjust how things happened.

It was this little wrinkle that kept me from really enjoying the movie. I think if those aspects of the story had been written out of the script and the film was made more linear, it might have worked better.

Beyond the movie, some trailers, and the option for Spanish subtitles, there were no extras for the DVD.

So if you’re interested in the Bathory legend, I would recommend Metamorphosis as a renter. But other than that, unless you’re a huge Christopher Lambert fan, I’d probably avoid this one.

This article first appeared at BlogCritics.org here.

–Fitz

p.s. Look for this movie at your local rental store, pick up Hellboy: Blood and Iron, or read about the stories of Countess Bathory…
Metamorphosis

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The Third Castle…

Hi all…

A few days ago I posted pictures of “three castles” that I saw while I was in Germany last week. I even spoke about each of the three castles. Unfortunately, either due to lack of sleep or general lack of brainpower, when I wrote the post I neglected to include the third castle

I spoke about Castle Favorite, and here’s the missing picture:

Castle Favorite

I had a great trip, but am very pleased to be home in time for Thanksgiving!

–Fitz

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