The First Evil (asta77) wrote,
The First Evil
asta77

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The Doctor Is In and I'm Not Talking About House

I saw Mr & Mrs Smith this afternoon. I went in with fairly low expectations (other than looking at the pretty) and was surprised to find the movie much better then I anticipated. The first hour seemed a bit sluggish, spending too much time on setting up how mundane their everyday lives had become and how unhappy it's made them. And while I found the action sequences entertaining they seemed less a necessity to the story and more of a way of seeing how they could one up what's been done before. Still, Brad and Angelina and guns is pretty damn cool especially the bit in the final shoot out where they're quasi embracing while blowing away their assailants.

Brad and Angelina did have some very good chemistry and I'm not strictly talking in the romantic/sexual sense. Their verbal assaults were as well choreographed and timed as their physical ones. Most importantly, they looked like they were having fun particularly in my favorite scene, the highway chase. Between guns firing and cars crashing (and Brad hanging out the back of a minivan in his underwear swinging a golf club - oh to have a cap of that), John and Jane Smith pick that time to start sharing the truth about who they really are. The one reveal that caused me to burst into laughter was, upon Jane admiting she was orphaned at age five, John inquiring as to who gave her away at their wedding. Jane confesses she hired an actor. I can't recall his exact line, but it was something along the lines of "I knew I recoginzed him from 'Fantasy Island'!"

The ending was a mixed bag. I find it hard to believe that after everything that went on before, they were allowed to continue on with their lives. At least I assume that's the case since they appear to be seeing the same marriage counselor at the end of the film as they were in the beginning. But, the last shot of Brad and his eager reaction to their revitalized love life - loved it.

Overall, I give it a thumbs up. My favorite Brad Pitt role prior to this was in Oceans 11. His performance here was very similar and shows, while he may never win an Oscar, he has a real flair for light comedy.

Oh, and FOX TV Alert, in addition to Adam Brody (in a very small role) Jennifer Morrison (in an even smaller role) appears.


In other weekend viewing news, I finished watching Doctor Who. As mentioned previously, I liked it a lot. This going into something with low expectations appears to be a good thing. ;) As much as I enjoyed it, I can't say I put it on the same level with 'House' or 'Battlestar Galactica' when it comes to current TV devotion. Maybe having nearly zero knowledge of what came before impacts my opinion. I'm sure some things flew right over my head. However, two episodes of the series ranked as some of the best TV I've seen this past season.


As I've said many times before, if I don't care for the characters, I'm not going to like a show. So, when I immediately took a liking to The Doctor and Rose, it was a good sign that I would stick with the show to the end even if I didn't like everything I saw. Rose's boyfriend, Mickey, and her mother, Jackie, took awhile to grow on me. Mickey seemed whiny (a trait I hate) and Jackie a self-absorbed, conniving harpy. But, as the show progressed, Mickey came through for Rose and The Doctor on more than one occasion to the detriment of himself, if not physically, then emotionally. As for Jackie, she loves her daughter deeply and I think desires her to have a better life than she herself has had, but fears for her daughter who endangers her life as she escapes their humdrum existence.

For every episode of the series, the BBC did a 'Doctor Who Confidential'. Thus far, I've only watched the one for the finale, but something I thought was different about this series was made mention of - that Doctor Who is not THE focus of the show. The story we are seeing is as much about Rose as it is about The Doctor. Throw in the reoccurring characters of Mickey, Jackie, and Captain Jack and that out of thirteen eps there were three two-parters, the show very much had an ensemble feel.

I have very little knowledge of any of the previous incarnations of The Doctor. I saw a handful of eps in my childhood in the dark ages when we only had five channels and our PBS affiliate would run old eps. It's possible Christopher Eccelston is not the first to do so, but I loved his ability to transition in any given scene from zany Doctor to tortured Doctor showing how he used levity to mask the pain. His performance was so layered, so nuanced, so human that he's leaving some mighty big shoes to fill. I know nothing about the guy that is taking over the role, but, at first sight, all I could think of was, well, he looks like a dork. :/

Off the top of my head, on my Flist I could only recall that thedeadlyhook and doyle_sb4 had posted some analysis of the series (if I missed any other good posts, please point me to them) and their views of Captain Jack were quite divergent. Me, I loved him. Not just because I went "Hey! It's John Barrowman!" (who's easy on the eyes), but because his character was more than he presents himself as. He has a Han Soloish quality. He's not someone immediately recognized as a good guy, he can con people out of their money without losing a night's sleep. But innocent people dying because he screwed up as in 'The Doctor Dances' or the thought of humankind ceasing to exist as in 'The Parting of the Ways' will easily persuade him to sacrifice his life for the greater good.

Not to mention, Jack is one of the best damn depiction’s of a bisexual character I've ever seen. I was more than a little dumbstruck that it was a complete non-issue on the show. There was Rose's momentary shock after The Doctor informs Rose that it's a big universe out there with not just men and women, but different species and a lot to explore. ;) Yet, I think her reaction was due more to disappointment that Jack may not be (and probably wasn't) just interested in her. Frankly, The Doctor/Rose/ Jack could be my first OTP3. :)

My least favorite ep was 'The Unquiet Dead'. It just felt way too much like a Buffy episode what with the channeling and the dead rising and aliens that came across a lot like demons. Not to mention, the cheesy Nineteenth Century recreation had me waiting for William and his mother to show up. And Dickens?! I hate that guy.

'Dalek' was probably suppose to be a really powerful episode and, as I mentioned previously, it did get to me an emotional level. The plight of the not-really last Dalek gave me a knot in my stomach. There's just something about that feeling of disconnect, of utter loneliness and desperation that gets to me. As I mentioned previously, I had the same feeling watching 'I Was Made to Love You' when April’s sole purpose for being - loving Warren - is taken from her. No longer with a purposem she 'dies'. If not for Buffy, she would have done so alone.

I was also reminded of the ep 'I, Borg' in which Picard is at the precipice of giving an order to implant a virus that will annihilate the Borg until he talks to Hugh who uses the term "I". It was easy to wipe out a race when they were seemingly mindless machines with a singular purpose to assimilate. Once Picard realized he was talking to an individual capable of change things became far less simple. Picard also faced what The Doctor faced - becoming just like your enemy.

Rose had the benefit of not being a participant in the Time War, not seeing her entire race destroyed, and not being haunted by the memory of being the one having a hand in it all. She could see that lone Dalek as an individual, a being in pain, and that unlike the doctor it had nothing - not even it's hate to keep it going thanks to her DNA.

Yet, I still have one problem with the Dalek storyline overall, they just ain't all that scary, imo. Ideologically, I get why they are so threatening, but all I see are flying Legos in space. And to have them destroyed, again, supposedly, by the power of the TARDIS through Rose seemed contrived. Or maybe the weight of their history is lost on this newbie.

Now, the eps I did think kicked ass in all sorts of ways were the two-parter 'The Empty Child' and 'The Doctor Dances'. Those eps easily rank up there with the best of 'Buffy', combining comedy, tragedy, horror, romance, despair, and hope fluidly. However, do not watch the former late at night, in near pitch black conditions. A zombie child with a gas mask for a face going around asking "Are you my mummy?" non-stop is one of the scariest things I've ever seen. And I am not easily scared.

I did let my brain overcome my irrational fear long enough to realize that poor Jamie kept asking for his "Mummy" meaning that Nancy was his mother and not his sister. However, the reason as to why Jamie and the others became as they were didn't dawn on me. Not only was it utterly fascinating, it actually made sense! In sci-fi terms at least. If the nanogenes sole purpose was to fix things, but they didn't have a blueprint then they would do the best they could. When Jamie is finally made into a real little boy again, courtesy of his mother's DNA, well, there may have been a tear. I think it had more to do with The Doctor's impassioned reaction - "Give me a day like this. Give me this one." After seeing so much death and destruction, to witness a miracle, life being given rather than taken away, was such a powerful moment.

And I could not possibly discuss 'The Doctor Dances' without talking about the Doctor dancing...with Rose. Yep, one of my coupling kinks. I may have watched that bit several times (made all the better by The Doctor informing Rose that he, too, is sure Jack would like to dance, but with who? ;). Still, as much as I adored that scene and the chemistry between Billie and Chris, I can honestly say I wasn't watching this show with the ship in mind. I wasn't even excited by the kiss at the end. I'd say I'm maturing, looking at the overall story instead of focusing on just two characters, but I have that whole Lee/Laura thing going on.;p

I really don't have much to say about the finale. Again, with it so heavily reliant on the Dalek's and knowing the Universe couldn't go kaplooey because that would mean no new series come Christmas I just wasn't feeling that invested. I was immensely relieved that Rose managed to bring Jack back to life before she was stripped of her power. I just hate it when secondary characters I love die.

Finally, a question to those who have seen the series. Am I the only one who didn't pick up on the "Bad Wolf" references? I knew it must be significant when it was so prominently displayed on the side of the TARDIS in 'Rose' and that it would appear again at some point, but I didn't pick up the reference in every episode. Maybe I should have been paying closer attention. After all, it wasn't too far into the series before I caught on to what a tremendous job the writers were doing of tying *all* the episodes together. It was definitely, along with the acting and characterization, one of the strengths of the series that even the weakest episodes played a part in the overall story arc.
Tags: doctor who
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