Movies and TV

THE MAN FROM EARTH (2007) is a successful example of something difficult to do—an SF story that’s mostly sitting around and talking about the SF stuff. In this case college professor David Lee Smith tells his colleagues (including Ethan Phillips, Tony Todd and William Katt) that he’s actually an immortal caveman, which leaves them alternatingly firing off questions, trying to poke holes in his story or dealing with his revelations. The Jerome Bixy script has some great touches, like all the stuff Smith doesn’t know (as he points out, even the fact he’s a Cro-Magnon is something he had to work out from reading paleontological books) but a lot of it is devoted to a lengthy discussion of religion (it seems Smith spent some time in Judea about 2,000 years ago …) which is all too familiar (the idea Jesus got his ideas from Eastern mysticism goes back 300 years or more); another problem is that the film’s night scenes are almost totally black. This could easily have been an expanded Twilight Zone episode (Bixby did quite a bit for them) but in a good way. “I just realized your name is a pun—John Oldman. Old man.”

THE GUILD’s fourth season has Felicia Day’s Codex waking up in bed with Wil Wheaton (as Chaos, the leader of a rival guild) and trying to balance what she hopes is a relationship with him with her duty to her own crew. Meanwhile Zabu’s mom returns hoping to see him for her birthday (“Lamest respawn ever.”) and Clara and Tink go into business. The Codex/Chaos bits got too embarrassingly uncomfortable, but overall another win for this Internet series.
DINNER FOR ONE is an old British skit that somehow became a New Year’s perennial in Germany (my sister having returned from there, she steered me to it online): An elderly woman hosts a New Year’s dinner with her dutiful manservant providing all the other people, which gets increasingly comical as he has to drink the toasts for four men (and with each course, a different wine is served …). Beats the hell out of me (and plenty of other people) why it caught on, but certainly fun. “The same as every year, ma’am?”
Courtesy of Netflix I caught up on the first half of the current DOCTOR WHO season as the Doctor meets the world’s most unusual spaceship hostess, rematches with the Daleks and the Weeping Angels and notices that Rory and Amy are getting older—this establishes their time with him runs 10 years from their perspective before their departure in the final episode. This isn’t drastic enough to justify all his brooding in The Snowmen (which comes after this run). Overall, good, though (Rory and Amy will definitely be missed). “I just committe to be a bridesmaid—months in advance!”

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  1. Pingback: TV | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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