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March 2012

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Mar. 14th, 2012

Lions and Psychos and Bear Tracks

Treating myself: A pint of Bear Tracks ice cream and six episodes of the Steven Moffat penned supernatural thriller “Jekyll.” The combination proved to be very unsatisfying. The Bear Tracks didn’t have enough chocolate bits in it and the TV show was unbelievably inconsistent.
“Jekyll” is a modern retelling of the old Jekyll and Hyde stories, only it concerns a scientist Tom Jackman and his super strong, younger, taller alter-ego. Individually, the six episodes that make up this series are all pretty good. James Nesbitt is great as the fearful, highly moral Dr. Jackman, and equally convincing as the amoral socio-path that is Mr. Hyde. But, when you watch all six episodes in a single afternoon, the flaws shine through.

From one episode to the next the things people say and do are contradicted, reversed, and just generally make no sense. For instance, Hyde is supposed to be super strong. He demonstrates this many times. 1) He throws a large 250+ lb man through a window that is 7 or 8 feet above the ground. 2) After beating the snot out of that very same man, Hyde casually carries his injured body to a hospital wrapped up in a canvas drop cloth. Hyde carries the bundle one-handed as if it was an empty laundry bag and drops it at the feet of an emergency room nurse. And the best of all is 3) Hyde jumps into a lion’s den enclosure at a zoo, kills the lion, and throws its corpse over a 15 foot high fence onto the top of a van in the parking lot (I’m not going to guess how far that might be). I need to do a Google search to see how much a grown male lion is, but it’s probably more that the really big guy!

So we establish in the first two or three episodes that Hyde is really, really, strong… but then by episode five he is unable to get out of a locked cellar. He spends a great deal of time looking for the key and I kept thinking “Why don’t you just bust the door into kindling and stroll away casually?”

Another example of the lack of consistency in this show is the following strange concept: In episode 1, Jackman locks himself up in order to lock up Hyde. He uses a keypad lock and tells his assistant not to tell Hyde the combination. Jackman also locks away his personal belongings in a small safe that also has a keypad lock. We are lead to believe that Hyde doesn’t know the combinations for either lock. But, in a later episode, Jackman and Hyde can talk to each other in their minds… then they suddenly lose that ability by the next episode. In a flashback to when Hyde first emerges (which BTW is either six months ago, or seven years ago), he can successfully guess a number Jackman is thinking of (do you see where I’m going with this?) Hyde and Jackman have flashes of each other’s memories, but Hyde doesn’t know what Jackman’s name is or that he is married with children (these would be very strong memories so why can’t Hyde see them?). When Jackman’s personality is destroyed, leaving only Hyde… then Jackman’s memories come on in full force and Hyde can access all sorts of memories. WHAT?

The worst thing in the scripts was the slew of people saying completely opposite things.
• An old lady refers to Hyde as “pure Evil” and then later explains that he is in fact “Love.” (Because Love is super strong and a psychopath… she really does say that)
• Jackman makes a joke about his Ego getting so large that it walked away. Or did he mean his Id?
• The cabal that wants Hyde (for an unspecified reason) keeps talking about how unique he is… but Hyde’s mother has the same curse and is in charge of the cabal! Apparently it’s something that can be passed down through the generations. That hardly makes it “unique.”
• The cabal seems perfectly fine with killing Jackman’s kids to get Hyde to come out… but don’t they also have his genetic curse? Why doesn’t the cabal study the kids?
• Hyde is constantly referred to as a “killer” but never kills anyone until the third or fourth episode when he kills probably the most evil character ever. (I was quite satisfied with his brutal death. Kudos to you, Hyde!)

Lazy writing is also a hallmark of this series. The concept that Hyde and Jackman don’t share injuries (in direct contrast to what has been happening all along) is introduced at the beginning of the very last episode. Then it becomes the most important element of the climax. Chekov would have been very disappointed that the writers didn’t showcase this concept in the very first episode.
The violence was mostly off screen, which is frugal film-making and leaves a lot to the imagination, but the producers could have showcased Hyde’s super powers a little more. The super-sniffer power got old pretty fast. When he does show some ability like the above mentioned super-strength, his super-speed, and his ability to climb sheer walls, he never uses them when it counts. For instance, at the very end of the last episode he walks down a corridor while people shoot at him. He could have crawled up the walls, moved very fast to dodge the bullets, and perhaps used various objects lying around as projectile weapons. I have no doubt that ANYTHING in Hyde’s hands can be used as a weapon, but he often chose a really large knife. (And the fact that he walked into this fortress to rescue his wife without ANY weapons on him, is just absurd! Where is Roger LaCoco and his ball bearings when you need him?)

Speaking of weapons, what was with Hyde’s teeth? He had vicious monster teeth… and sometimes he didn’t. Could he transform his teeth? Why didn’t he transform his nails into claws? Or grow another set of arms? Be consistent people! Either Hyde’s transformation is subtle and he is the “next step in human evolution”… or he is a regressive monster with hairy arms and big teeth!

Ah!! It makes me crazy! Every time I think about it the more I think of things that are wrong!

Mar. 11th, 2012

Stuff :The Final Chapter

Was looking over some old blog entries and saw that I vowed that 2011 was going to be the year I got my stuff out of storage. In August 2011 I went to Pennsylvania to get what I could out of there (mold and muck ate most of it). Then this past Feb I went to Texas to get the last of it. (A failed attempt on my father's part to get my stuff for me). Now finally it is all here. A good deal of it is still in boxes but I sort and sort every weekend for the past three weeks. From 45 boxes I now only have 5 boxes to go through. Some stuff is getting sold, some is being donated to various places, and some I keep... hopefully the last part is a small percentage.

When I am lighter then I can move.

Mar. 8th, 2012

Book du Jour

Rule the Web by Mark Frauenfelder. The copy I have is an advance uncorrected proof, so its a bit hard to read... there are a lot of bits missing. But I just read the section on blogs and Mark suggests that a blogger should post something everyday.

(crickets)

So here is my blog entry today.

Jan. 29th, 2012

Reading

Comic Books 101: The History, Methods and MadnessComic Books 101: The History, Methods and Madness by Chris Ryall




Almost done with this one and it was nice. There were some great stories about the origins of comics and the people who made them. But, it was scattered, sort of like reading a book of lists.



View all my reviews

Reading

x


Island of Exiles (Sugawara Akitada, #4)Island of Exiles by I.J. Parker




Had this book banging around the house for a while and decided in an idle moment to read it. It's quite good. I would read more of this 11th century Japanese detective if I come across more.



View all my reviews

Jan. 22nd, 2012

Going nowhere

My dreams are usually really great. In them I am interesting, I have friends and I am an important part of something great.  Last night my dream was basically my life. I was with a couple of people who were having fun and complaining that I was not fun at all. I had tickets to see the David Letterman show which taped at 6pm. I told them I was taking a nap ant to wake me so we could watch Letterman. Well, they woke me at 10pm thinking I was going to watch TV. I was upset and they said that it was not a problem since we could all go out to a club now. My anxiety level ratcheted up so much that I woke up in tears. I got out of bed early because I can't bear it anymore.

I'm so miserable and I don't know what more I can do about it.

Dec. 5th, 2011

Neutral

Today's rating: 5
Key thoughts: A little anxious about driving tomorrow. Other people are going interesting places and I can barely get out of the house.
Didn't drive today, but had a productive day at work and especially at home. I don't think the spiced nuts are very good but I gave it a shot. I look online for a nice apartment. I suppose I can afford $800 a month, but only if it is an improvement on my current apartment. (Which isn't hard since my current apartment is crappy.)
I have to push through some guilt a neighbor laid on me... "Don't move! You are such a good neighbor!" But I really am excited about the prospect of a washer/dryer and windows that look out to something other than a dark alleyway.

Dec. 4th, 2011

Driving

Today was a big car day. One of my main sources of anxiety is driving in this horrid city. Today I tried to be nice to my car by giving it a quick wash. And I drove the route to my therapist so I can drive it on Tuesday. Still a little anxious about that but I'm working on it.

My job search went no where today. I just keep thinking I'm not qualified for anything. I blame my low self-esteem on the way I've been treated here. I doubt it will be any better anywhere else, but that just might be my low self-esteem talking.

Dec. 3rd, 2011

Still here

I look at my old blog entries and I am amazed that I am still living here and still mired in unhappiness. It's been almost 5 years since I moved to New Orleans... and a worse 5 years I cannot think of:
1. Put all my stuff in storage (some of it never to be seen again)
2. Spent what little money I had to move down here for a job.
3. The boss is a socio-path and fires a bunch of people (myself included)
4. No money to live on
5. Trapped in a shitty city with no prospects
6. My cat dies
7. My parents give me a spectacularly shitty car.
8. I move out of the tiny over-priced efficiency apartment into a spectacularly shitty apartment.
9. My father dies
10. My contract-to-contract job expires
11. I try to kill myself, but I am stopped by the idea of my body eternally being in this shitty city.
12.My depression continues to spiral downward and I see no future

But, I'm working on it.

Apr. 24th, 2011

Bruises

 I haven't started the 5HTP yet because on Thursday I had a tooth extraction that has left be beat up and bruised. In the dentist's chair I did my Tai Chi breathing (through the bubbling well!) and I have been doing pretty good. I am on a minimum of pain killers but the black eye and bruising on my jaw are very disconcerting to look at. Generally speaking I am still pretty chipper about things. The acupuncture is really doing the trick and is helping me have a brighter outlook on things.

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