I spend a great deal of my time consuming media. Considering the amount of time devoted to this pursuit, it seems only natural to record my thoughts here. Often I see something truly fantastic and then let it slip off into the ether. I’m going to change that now, starting with 13 Assassins
, Breaking Bad
and The Wire
“If you value your life, you’ll die a dog’s death.”
Before 13 Assassins, the Takashi Miike films I’d seen were Audition, Visitor Q and Three… Extremes (this is actually three shorts with only one his). These certainly aren’t for everyone, and I doubt I’ll ever watch any of them again. Audition is my favorite of the three by far, with Visitor Q being too bizarre and his short “Box” in Three… Extremes being so forgettable I can’t recall anything about it (siamese twins?).
I heard nothing but good things about 13 Assassins and its nearly hour-long final battle. It didn’t disappoint. The premise is that a group of 13 samurais are enlisted to kill a sadistic lord, who is the brother of the current Shogun and son to the former. You truly despise the villain and his continued arrogance fuels your desire for his downfall. The final battle is exceptionally well done. It doesn’t suffer from hyper-editing or too many close-ups that cause action scenes to become incoherent messes. So, see it! Also, TOTAL MASSACRE.
"So no matter what I do, hooray for me because I’m a great guy? It’s all good? No matter how many dogs I kill, I just, what, do an inventory and accept?!"
Jesse Pinkman, you break my heart. This show has been, and continues to be, phenomenal. It’s beautifully shot; it constantly rends my heart; badassery abound. I love it and I’m overjoyed it now has a defined end point so it can be planned out thoroughly and avoid pulling a Lost (or a Weeds for that matter). Don’t let me down!
Rating: 5/5 for the first three seasons and all of season four so far (through nine episodes).
"How you expect to run with the wolves come night, when you spend all day sparring wit’ the puppies?"
By my estimation The Wire is the most critically acclaimed television show… ever. I put off starting this show despite the critical acclaim, constant love and references to Stringer Bell I never understood because of the commitment. 60ish hours is a long time, and full-hour shows on HBO feel daunting (it is compared to that 42-47 minute stuff!).
Everyone was/is right. The show lives up to the hype and then some. Before starting The Wire, I’d watched the first season of Treme (and quit shortly into season two) and Generation Kill. Treme became not worth the effort, and Generation Kill was good but not great. These experiences with David Simon left me wondering if I’d feel lukewarm about The Wire too.
I started with The Corner, since I heard it was sort of the predecessor to The Wire. It was good, and seeing the real individuals it was based on at the end brought it all together. I’ve watched the first four seasons of The Wire, with discs one and two of season five coming on Monday. Omar Little is my favorite character because of quotes like the one above (he must be everyone’s favorite, right?). The show does an excellent job of feeling realistic, and showing the warts of every character. No one feels two-dimensional. The characters are actually too warty to be realistic in my view, but maybe people in the Baltimore area are just terrible.
Rating: 5/5 so far, but you’ve already seen it all anyway.
This post was waaaaaaaaaaaaaay late. I watched 13 Assassins as Hurricane Irene was passing over, and I wanted to make this post shortly after. Oh well, better late than never.