Monday, March 26, 2007

BSG - Crossroads pt. 2

Well. I mean... Um...

Yes, there was much cheering at the Tallguy household. You knew that. My Kid Brother IMed me at some unlivable hour to indicate he was was not happy about Jimi Hendrix... IN SPACE.

I thought the trial was perfect. I think Wild Bill said it back in s2 - "Nobody gets a free pass" (or words to that affect - I'm not looking it up). And by the looks of it, GB isn't going to. "Your new life," the creepy people said, leading him off to... GB has to be thinking "What, another one?"

Lee. Ahhhhh, Lee. I hope you continue to get to have good shows now that -- ah, but more on that later. He was wonderful. He made me cheer. He argued (passionately) for the wrong man for all of the right reasons. And he convinced the Old Man. "Forgiven." Wow. (SWIMW doesn't care, because-- ah, but more on that later.)

Felix! Felix you sneaky, lying, conniving. MAN was he enjoying that. He didn't care if it worked or not. This was catharsis for him. This was demon purging, pure and simple. No, not even that. Felix looks like he thinks he's damned anyway, so he can say or do anything to put GB to rights. Wow.

AD-not-A is being used rather sparingly, don't you think? After walking out on Lee last week? How will she react to-- ah, but more on that later.

The Cylons. First of all, four not five. I won't leap to conclusions as to the fifth. They have to hold that card. Second, seems a little too pat. I'm not quite buying that it means what we're supposed to think it means. And if it does, does that mean that baby Tyrol is as special as Hera?

BUT. EyeTigh got to make that SPEECH. Oh my gosh. Between that and Lee, that sums up the show at its best. And then everyone mans their posts. Even Lee.

We're on the road to Earth. So say we all.

Starring Katee Sackoff as Starbuck. Well, you have to admit they gave us fanboys a good run, don't you? As soon as the unknown DRADIS blip winked out, I knew it was either Lee being taken to Kara, or it was Kara. I know it's only been two weeks, but oh we missed her. With the blown out over-white looking viper, I'm still thinking the white ships from the 1978 BSG.

Minor nit - So, we're launching everything we have, and someone takes a viper MK II and leaves MISTER Adama a MK VII? Ah well, it was good to see him marching off to the fight.

Other minor nit - in all the CiC LAURA is the first to notice DRADIS contacts? Guess Felix and Duala have had a rough week.

MAJOR nit - Two Thousand Fraking EIGHT! No scotch for you, RDM! Get back to work!

Bring it on. Ah, I still love this show.

BSG - Crossroads Pt. 1

Ok, so I’m way late. I know this. By the time I post this, many of you will know how the whole thing turns out (until next season). Can’t be helped.

There has been some contention in the Tallguy household. I’m on Lee’s side (mostly) and she’s in the Duala camp. My opinion is this: If you’re going to have the trial, have the trial. And all it entails. There is a very strong case (Mr. Zerrick) not to have the trial. I understand that. But don’t kinda have the trial. You also have to go with the conceit that it makes ANY sense for Lee to be there. Part of that argument goes to “there aren’t any lawyers left” that was kind of glanced at at the beginning of the ep. So I might not agree with what Lee is doing, but I get why he’s doing it, and I even think it needs to be done.

What does The Law look like in this “make it up as you go” society? Did existing Colonial law make any provisions for the commander of a battlestar to wield so much power, co-equal to the President? My youngest brother and I were discussing why Now isn’t as good as Then (1st season) and one of the conclusions is that we are too familiar with the Big Powers now. The story is no longer about The President, it’s about Laura. The politics that were so omnipresent first season are almost non-existent. Ah well.

“It’s in the fracking SHIP!” Ah, when all else falters, there is EyeTigh. Being his EyeTigh-eyist. He’s just awesome. Bill and Saul is the great unbreakable love on this show. And I don’t mean that in any way nasty. They have the strongest, truest bond of anyone else. I’m probably referencing the original series too much, but I’m thinking the phantom signals are from Earth. Or at least leading them to Earth.

Laura’s got the cancer back. (What do the Cancer-planet people think of this name? Are they offended? That’s one of the Twelve, yes?) Sign #1,246 that we are in the home stretch next season. Earth, here we come! I loved the kamala exchange between her and Lee. If they had actually continued to show that she and Lee even KNEW each other after Kobol, I might have taken her side. I think she only adores “Captain Apollo” when it’s convenient.

Gaius Baltar: Still so so so lost. RDM made the comparison between GB and Manson, in that they are monsters with a following. I don’t buy that. You can be distanced from Manson. Nobody that was on New Caprica can be distanced from GB. I’m not accepting that he could even be liked, let alone loved.

Lamprey continues to be likeably dislikeable. Being Mark Sheppard doesn’t hurt. One wonders what Laura WOULD have done at New Caprica. We’ve seen her blink in the face of impossible odds before. I don’t think she would have risen up against the Cylons, but I don’t think she would have allowed the insurgency to start either. I wonder if any of the witnesses (Felix? Where are you?) will mark that GB signed the death warrants with a gun to his skull? It’s interesting that he’s being tried (I think) for all the wrong crimes. I think his worst crime was after the election and before the occupation. Again, just me.

Sam is out making the rounds. It’s what Kara would have wanted. Kara was crazy, Sam. In case you missed it, the implication was that he and Tori were involved.

First we don’t like Tori because she’s not Billy (remember Billy? Duala got him killed) and now we don’t like her because she’s going after (one of) Kara’s man (men). And she’s Hearing The Music.

Wild Bill. Sorry, I’m with Lee on this one. Have the trial or don’t. But you still don’t get to call it off because you don’t like how it’s going. Has Lee ever lied to him? (Have to think. I’m sure there will be some glaring instance of it that will be promptly emailed to me.) Kara did. That got to slide. They’ve had more than their share of disagreements, but come on! If Lee says he didn’t know about Ellen (and how on Earth would he?) then he doesn’t. So Bill gets to be a cranky old cuss (and not in a good way) and Lee takes the whole fall for it. Nice.

Next week! Well, last night! For me, right after I post this! THE END OF THE SEASON. As much as I tire of the end of season cliff-hangers, I have to admit, nobody does it better than BSG. So say we all.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Pizer. Charlie Pizer.

Oh rapturous day! iTunes has added the score to The Black Hole by John Barry! Zounds! I checked Amazon: No CD. Just iTunes. Truly, brave new world that has such soundtracks in it. I wonder what the licensing deal with this is.

An my gosh is it a John Barry score. I mean, this is almost definitive Barry. Translation? It's James Bond in space! Ok, Moonraker is James Bond in space, which came out the same year, but this may be more so. That's the amazing thing. We played this record into the ground when I was ten. I'm trying to think of an analogy that isn't John Williams. But Williams will do. It would be like kids listening to Harry Potter and then finding out that a long time ago- er, a while back Williams had written this Star Wars and Superman stuff. Which sounds just a LITTLE bit like John Williams, right? Now I go back and listen to this and wonder at the idea that it could have been anybody EXCEPT John Barry. It's got the low brooding strings, the muted horns, the light pensive snare drums, it's all dark and foreboding and terribly mysterious. Set lush factor twelve. Oh, and then there's this fanfare because it was 1979 and space needed fanfares. Unless you were making Alien. But this was adventure. Even though it was mostly "haunted house in space" adventure. There are two amazingly awesome things that keep this from being a totally awful movie: The art design (Mary Poppins in space!) and the score. (Almost anything gets better with "in space!" Western? In space! You can't take the sky from ME!)

When I was a kid I listened to the fanfare, and the title (swirly music!), and maybe one or two tracks that were "tuney-er". I have a lot of scores from that time like that. Then I grew up (stop laughing) and realized that Star Trek: The Motion Picture has NO bad notes. Neither (obviously) does Star Wars. This isn't boring, it's just not fast. Learn the difference, skinny boy. (Bernard Hermmann would have left me lost back then. Maybe not, I was quite taken with Journey to the Center of the Earth.) Now the robot funeral may be one of my favorite tracks. It's gorgeous! Oh, and it sounds more than a little bit like James sneaking around Istanbul in From Russia with Love. But I heard it first with Ernie Borgnine and Slim Pickens the Robot.

Also on soundtrack news I got a suite from Grand Prix by Maurice Jarre. Not terribly well recorded, alas. This was my first film score ever. My Dad had the album and the beginning sounds like race cars, so that was exciting to a small child. Got played a lot when I was, oh, two? Again, years later I'd hear Firefox or Laurence of Arabia and realize what a recognizably Jarre score this was.

I'm trying to think what other Holy Grail scores I have left. Other than a few Star Trek episodes ("RISK is our BUSINESS!") I think I'm done! Wow....

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

BSG - It's the LAW!

The Son Also Rises

Now this is BSG firing on all cylinders. And they FINALLY wrote a really good Lee episode! It's been since, what, Captain's Hand?

After the GREAT scene with the Adama's, SWIMW grumbled "They killed Starbuck just so they could have that scene, didn't they?" I said no, but it was a great bonus. I was really worried that they were going to have to skip past all of this kind of thing. Or Bill looking at Kara's file. (I laughed when the first thing that jumped out at you was "DISCIPLINARY ACTION".) Or any of the bits with Anders. I really thought we would never see Sam again.

AND they introduced a great new character AND did a great story. BSG used to do this pretty effortlessly and consistently. Heck, we used to have to cut away to Helo and Sharon every week.

Lee - oh, THIS is the Lee that I missed. "Serial Contritian" (or however that's spelled). That's our Captain Apollo. Who's heart didn't break when he called Racetrack "Starbuck"? (I know, it was supposed to, but just because it's manipulative doesn't mean it isn't good.) And it's nice to find out that his relationship with Grandpa was just as confused as the one with dad. I would have liked to see what's going on at home with ADA in the Starbuck aftermath. But they kept a lot of balls in the air this week, so I've got to forgive a couple.

WildBill - Wow, I've missed the Father / Son dynamic that was a cornerstone of the show. I've missed seeing just how crazy Bill is about his boy. One of the high points of the series was when they had just about wiped out the fleet looking for Starbuck and Apollo asks WildBill "What if it was me?" And WB looks at him and says "How can you ask me that?" It's also great seeing (still) how WB totally unable to let Lee know how crazy about him he is. And how much Kara's death is killing him. Run with it, Eddie!

Badger! Ooooh he was good! He was a rock star! I can't wait for the next two eps if they have him in it. I hope they think twice before killing him off for good. (Three times, I guess. He was supposed to die THIS week.) I loved seeing how he played everyone around him, probably not even knowing he was doing it. I take that back. He ALWAYS knows he's doing it. He's like Gaius Baltar, only only without the innocence. The scene where we see Baltar furiously searching for SOMETHING, then see Badger totally USE Baltar's pen against Six, ooooh. That was masterful. The sun glasses were a major affectation, but gosh they worked. At first I thought the Joseph Adama connection was a tad reachy, but it worked out very quickly. Poor Jamie Bamber, sitting in the room with James Callis and Mark Shepard, wondering "How come *I* have to have the fake accent?"

Gaius is getting interesting again. He's moving into his new kind of crazy. He really truly feels he is the wronged party and is willing to play that to the hilt. He's kind of bewildered at why he is where he is. Which is hilarious.

Six - well. Is that the luckiest piece of casting ever? They cast a model and they got an actress. She really is one of the great suprises of the show. I've said it before. I'll say it again.

Not enough EyeTigh. Looks like that gets fixed next week.

Pop vs. Soda

Now it can be told! (Always said "soda" m'self.)

The Not So Great Gatsby

Lileks mentions the movie of the Great Gatsby yesterday, and deplores it. This is largely what I have heard about the film. (I've never read the book.) Nobody liked it. Well, nobody I've ever heard of or from.

Yet I'm almost certain that I'll see it some day. (But I'll never see Driven.)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

BSG - Catchup!

First off, my sincere apologies to anyone who's been looking at the Angry Kid for three weeks! Brrrrr! (Heh, brrr - like, you know, it's COLD.)

I haven't said it in a while, so in case you forgot:

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER! No, seriously! No kidding around.

Dirty Hands

Ok, I'll surprise you all: I liked this episode. A lot. I think this ep tried (accidentally as it turns out) to get back to what I consider one of the basics of BSG. What happens when you blow up twelve PLANETS and stuff sixty thousand people into a bunch of space ships. (I think it should also be asking "What happens when that sixty thousand gets cut down to THIRTY thousand!")

Listening to the podcast, I find that this happened by accident. Ron Moore says that previous episodes ask questions, but this episode gives an answer. ("Unions are good," in case you missed it.) I think he's wrong. Not about the unions, that's another matter. (If he really wanted a good union episode, when Starbuck wanted her viper she should have tried to get it herself. Then the knuckle-draggers could have told her she didn't have seniority on the union list to do that while they took their coffee break. THAT would have been union.) I think he's wrong that this episode gave an answer. I don't think it did. I think it asked some really cool questions about this society. I think it showed more guts than the show has had recently in saying "It's the end of the world, how do we act?" Where it got interesting for me was when Tyrol asked "I'm a deckhand. Does that mean my kid is a deckhand?" It kind of goes back to the questions that Tom Zerrick asked in Colonial Day: Why do people still do the jobs they do? The Galactica folks? Sure - they're in the military. Although even that's a little fuzzy. Lee was a reservist. He didn't want to be a viper pilot all his life. (Coming up - Lee Adama Lawyer. That's right: L.A. Law.)

I like that certain shutdowns are totally unacceptable. I'm not real sure why Seelix got promoted at the end. Where they just being jerks before? She wasn't really needed after all? I did like Tyrol's statement that there are some people that SHOULD be doing unskilled labor now. Journalists come immediately to mind. Ad men. Maybe lawyers. I think they should re-address the fact that they are in an extraordinary survival situation. There are a lot of skills that will need to be passed on. Knuckle-draggers, pilots, computer specialists, chemists, printers, doctors, priests, baggage handlers, ALL of this stuff. These ships need to be maintained, NEW ships are going to need to be built. They need to start looking YEARS down the line. It would be interesting if the show started making more statements about "This stuff don't fly anymore. We're almost dead."

So, regardless of Mr. Ron's statement that he's giving out what to him is an obvious answer, I think they are some fascinating questions. Not that I think the show will pursue them. Ah well.

Boom boom boom.


Ding Dong...

How does the rest of that song from the Wizard of Oz go?


Wow. They killed her. They really killed her. The circumstances surrounding her untimely demise are mysterious enough, so I'm thinking she'll be back. If not, they'll need a really good reason for it.

Needless to say, She Who Is My Wife is pissed. Lots. She's plotting a show right now that will have Starbuck, Fred Burckle, and Wash, and all the other characters who were killed by evil writers (many of whom are Joss Whedon). She's also plotting the death of poor Dualla. She'll calm down eventually. But RDM should be locking his doors. (I know, Mrs. Ron apparently received real threats for Thrace-unrelated things, so that's not funny at all. We're not really threatening you or your scotch, Mr. Ron.)

Wow. RDM killed Starbuck AND Captain Kirk. That's quite a record. Got your sights on Batman next? James Bond? The Lone Ranger? Santa Clause?

Great ep. Gorgeous. Kudos to the FX gang. Really wow. Great writing. Terrific casting. Kara's mom was perfect. Much better than Lee's mom. They looked like each other, for one thing.

I knew Kara was going to die as soon as she said "Nothing but the rain." Callback to the pilot? Uh oh. Then they got all "closure-y" with her and Anders and her and Lee. It started to feel like "a very special Battlestar Galactica". Her and Lee patched it all up. She was dead. WHY I have no idea. But I saw it coming.

EyeTigh's reaction of horror and bewilderment was perfect. Theirs is one of my favorite relationships on the show.

I have hopes of seeing how this effects Lee. But I've had those hopes many many times. The upside to a Kara-less BSG is that we MIGHT get a good Lee ep. Could happen. No, really.

And the Old Man of the CiC tearing up his toy ship in helpless useless rage was the perfect moment in a show of perfect moments. EDIT: Ok, just heard the podcast. This was IMPROV. This was Crazy Eddie. And this was a RENTED prop, running in the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS!

Nice to see Leoben (or whoever) being used for something GOOD for a change. Flesh and Bone is still one of my faves, and the New Caprica bits were SUCH a letdown.

My money is that there is meaning to when Starbuck got out of bed wearing her BRIGHT RED pjs. They cut away from it so fast I almost felt like they realized they were tipping their hands.

Whether this is any good depends entirely on what happens next. Killing characters is easy. Making them worth killing is another matter. There were terrific and realized reasons for Wash and Book to die. (Hop over to Firefly for a moment folks. If you haven't seen it, well, I just spoiled some big stuff, but you should go watch anyway. We'll wait.) I haven't seen WHY Kara is dead yet. Right now it feels like it's because a) Ron wanted to be SHOCKING or 2) Katee Sackoff wanted to see if she could do better than White Noise 2. You have to give us back as good as you took away. Otherwise, well, we hear Heroes is really great.

My other (wishful) thinking is this. This might be The Show Fights Back. We have The Internets. We have all the spoilerific material in the world. Way before a thing happens it's telegraphed all to heck and back. I'm a spoilerphobe, so I didn't hear any of this. After the fact I've found some buzz. Apparently her name WILL be leaving the credits. There's talk of KS auditioning for shows, pilots in the works. What if it's a big setup? Seriously, what if they're using the buzz to give us the best head fake ever? Crazy dreaming, I know. But gosh, I'd love to see them pull it off.

As it stands right now, Kara went crazy and killed herself. But Moore is still babbling on about DESTINY (no escaping, that's for me!) so it still feels unfinished. Oh, and we didn't see her eject, right? But we saw a couple of cutaways to the ejection handle. It just occurs to me. I recall back in the commentary for Kobol's Last Gleaming II, Moore talked about how they wanted Baltar to walk into the bright light and meet Dirk Bennedict, who would announce he was God. Another random thought is that bits of this for some reason reminded me (cause, yes, that's how my head works) of the Light Ships from the original BSG. Not that they remind RDM about that, so it might just be me.

Will she stay dead? She'd better not. So say we all.

Next week? Badger Badger Badger Badger Badger Badger Badger Badger....