Notes: LEFTOVERS, STAR WARS, THE STRAIN, TREMORS, VENOM…

by on August 29, 2014

in Entertainment

Bits of news and opinion on

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The Leftovers

Has anyone been watching The Leftovers on HBO? When I first saw that it was from Damon Lindelof (Lost, Star Trek, Prometheus)? I approached the series with caution because like Lost, I’m fully expecting things to take place that aren’t explained and what not.

What I didn’t expect was for the primary event taking place, then never or rarely dealt with after it occurs. Right off the bat, we have the disappearances, and then, the appearance of the white robe cult.

What’s impressed and disappointed me has been that once the cult showed up, we’ve never pondered the disappearance again. And in media interviews over the months, Lindelof has suggested this was going to be the case.

But the other night a few weeks ago, I was entranced by the episode and the things going on with the characters in the story and then it hit me… hey, I haven’t cared about the mysterious disappearance much at all.

So then what is it about the disappearance? Why haven’t we seen more about it?

Lindeloff created a soap opera with a riveting start, then moved forward with his stories of the people, and that’s that. Much like the smoke monster in Lost.  So are the disappearances this show’s version of the “smoke monster?” It’s like a tease and then done.

The other thing this show did is shock and disgusted me. Which is a rare thing these days.

In an episode one of the cult members is captured by the angry townsfolk, tied to a tree and stoned.

Literally, we were shown in as graphic a form as possible, stones repeatedly hitting her in the face and we watched her death as she passed through the different stages of pain, initial trauma, the more serious trauma where it appeared she was being actively concussed, and then the big rock hit…

To be honest, it was more graphic than I was comfortable with and to some degree, seemingly unnecessary. I get it… she was stoned. I didn’t need the detailed close up of the big rock crushing her face in.

But there you have it. It’s a great character series as we follow the show, but I’m still waiting for an explanation about the disappearances. And suddenly, I’m feeling like I am in familiar territory from Lost.

Except this time, I’m not hanging around to find out if all they’re going to do is tease and taunt.  They did that once to me.

Amazon HBO Offerings  ]

The Librarians

Do you remember those TV movies with Noah Wyle, called The Librarian? Well, there were three of them and either they did good enough to warrant a series, or this is another stab in the dark.

It is what it might sound like… Indiana Jones like theme, like, The Professor!, or a prequel to Syfy’s Warehouse 13…  but with a librarian.

It’s now coming at us in the form of a new TV series where Wyle is reprising his role of Flynn from the TV movies. A few of the series directors include Dean (I wanna make another ID4 movie) Devlin and Jonathan (I can’t let go of Star Trek) Frakas.

Why does this combination make me worry a little?

It’s due out on TNT sometime later this year, and filming has wrapped for the season, so brace yourselves.

Star Wars

If you can believe the rumors, and honestly, who doesn’t want to in this case: The Millennium Falcon will be appearing in Star Wars Episode VII, but without Han Solo and Chewbacca.

Other rumors suggest that Luke is a prisoner somewhere, at some point in the movie.

[ Star Wars on Amazon ]

The Strain

Have you been watching The Strain on FX?

If you’ve read the books, you know that the first few episodes that set up the story seemed a little different from what you might have remembered from the books. But in all fairness, things on TV are different than they are in books.

For one, a buyer of books is in it for the long haul with the story. A TV watcher can come and go as they please, much like a web surfer, so you have to catch their curiosity and keep it for a TV show.

So there’s that.

But then, after the dust from the intro episodes settled down, I think that the show is a solid performer on the tube. Once I got past the differences, I am no longer distracted by them but rather, entertained.

Be it as it may, there is one huge facet of the story that we missed on TV and that’s how the people changed once they get infected.

On TV we only see people change but we don’t know how they feel or the experience they personally have as they change. In the book the description of what a person goes through during the transformation is very well done and adds an empathic kind of entertainment you can’t get from a TV series.

But TV can only go so far with what they’re trying to tell you. It’s a big difference between entertaining someone who wants to read the details and someone who is exhausted from a long day and only wants to enjoy something without working at it.

The Strain is on FX Sunday nights.

[  The Strain (The Strain Trilogy Book 1)  ]

Tremors

Word on the street is that there is another Tremors coming our way soon…  Tremors 5 is what it is being called right now… but who knows what it will be called by the time it hits the streets. And to be honest, I think they need to let it go. It was done right the first time and done questionably the second time.

Under The Dome

Has CBS’ Under the Dome jumped the shark for you yet? Have they run out of plausible material for folks trapped inside a mysterious, *****-induced dome? Or was this part of the book the series is based on?

SPOILERS if you haven’t kept up with the show:

Who knows, but now we seem to be drawing folks into the story that live outside the dome. We have a locker that’s a secret entrance to caves that leads to a way out. And now we’re getting “outside” stories, looking in.

For one, I felt it was pretty unnecessary to follow Barbie’s adventures of dealing with his criminal friends, but we got this time filler any way. But what I do like is seeing how the outside world is seeing the dome and treating it. It’s like a really bad Big Brother experience. But with an entire town.

And obviously, for now, aside from the exit, there’s also that red door entrance. (I presume.)

But from what I can surmise, and maybe I missed something, but these outside-the-dome stories were not part of the book.  Now it looks like CBS might have a decent enough show on their hands and their scrambling to create filler content. And when you run out of plausible ways to add people to a finite environment, then what the heck!?

I think it’s starting to jump the digital shark…

Venom Movie

Yes, aside from the Sinister Six spawning forth from the latest overly busy Spider-Man movie of fifty story lines launching sixty movies (yes, I’m exaggerating a bit), there’s also going to be a Venom movie.

Hey, once Venom gets over being bad, he’s a pretty cool cat.  For now, the title being referenced for the flick is Venom Carnage.

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