Sunday, February 22, 2009

"The Wrestler" has spirit, and yes I am going to post every single "Watchmen" clip I can find

Actually, before I mention anything about last night's "Spirit" awards, it may unfortunately be time to sound the death knell for Joss Whedon's "Dollhouse."

And, given what we've seen so far in the first two episodes I can't say I'm terribly surprised at these rather dismal numbers.

The show's basic premise wastes an engaging lead in Eliza Dushku as, so far at least, as her memory is erased and re-embedded for each episode we never get to see her as the character Echo. She's a surprisingly solid actress when given the chance, so here's hoping that as her "doll" becomes more self-aware (if the show can last long enough for that to really happen), she's given the chance to do more than go on a silly mission for each episode.

Which leads in to the second problem with the show so far: It clearly can't decide if it wants to be something we've come to expect from the Whedon camp, meaning a big dose of humor and humanity along with all the action, or simply a traditional police procedural/serial. If it sticks with being more of the latter, the show will be gone in a month, and the creators will have only themselves to blame.

Here, by the way, are the fairly abysmal numbers. For its second episode, "Dollhouse" attracted 4.2 million viewers (1.7 million in the coveted 18-49 slot), meaning it finished second in its time slot to an episode of "Supernanny" (5.2M/1.8M). I can't even begin to calculate just how depressing that is.

But here today, before I got off on that tangent, it was supposed to be all about easily one of my favorite films of 2008, Darren Aronofsky's "The Wrestler," which was a big winner at last night's "Spirit" awards for independent films.

Along with Mickey Rourke taking home the Best Actor award (which could happen at the Oscars tonight, too, but I think it will go to Sean Penn), Aronofsky's flick won Best Cinematographer for Maryse Alberti and Best Picture (which works just fine in my book, since "Let the Right One In," "Milk," "Slumdog Millionaire," "Tell No One" and "The Wrestler" are my five favorite flicks for the year.)

In other big categories, Melissa Leo was a surprise (but thoroughly worthy) winner for Best Actress for "Frozen River." If you haven't seen this little immigration drama yet, it's just out on DVD, and very well worth a rental. I'm still hoping Anne Hathaway prevails at tonight's Oscars, but if either of them were to upset the Streep/Winslet express, I'd be very happy.

James Franco (for "Milk") and Penelope Cruz (for "Vicky Christina Barcelona") snagged the supporting acting awards, and though I normally deplore the awarding of Best Director and Best Picture to two different flicks, it was great to see Thomas McCarthy recognized for helming "The Visitor" too.

Easily the best "Watchmen" clip yet

If you have more of a life than me and therefore haven't read the "Watchmen" graphic novel, than I suppose the following clip is a bit of a spoiler, as is the description I'm about to give of it, so if you don't want to have anything revealed just stop now and move on to the final segment about "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus." For anyone who's still here, this clip courtesy of MTV features Nite Owl (Patrick Wilson) and Silk Spectre (Malin Ackerman) kicking some serious ass as they work to spring Rohrschach during the prison riot near the end of the story. Enjoy, and then stick around just a bit longer for what I think is the first poster from Terry Gilliam's next flick.

A poster for Terry Gilliam's "Imaginarium"

You really don't learn too much from this poster, except for a glimpse of late entries Jude Law, Colin Farrell and Johnny Depp (who all stepped in to finish the work started by the late Heath Ledger), but it does have a very promising look about it. Now if this can only play wide enough to reach my little corner of the world when it finally comes out in September, I'll really be satisfied. Enjoy, and have a perfectly lazy Sunday. Peace out.


Chalupa said...

Where do you find all these Watchmen clips? I'm loving them. Keep em coming.

Have you seen "Uncler" at It's a parody of The Wrestler and pretty good.

J. Marquis said...

I watched the first episode of "Dollhouse" and was greatly disappointed. The acting was fine but I just thought there were glaring logic problems...why would a rich guy hire an "active" rather than an experienced hostage negotiator? Why would you pay a huge amount of money for an "active" date rather than just hire a high-priced escort?

Reel Fanatic said...

Those are two of the most glaring questions, Mr. Marquis, and the show just raises far too many more to be on for much longer, I'm afraid ...

As for the "Watchmen" clips, I get them from a variety of sources, but most often Aint It Cool news, the MTV Movies Blog or, three absolutely must-have movie geek sites

Nell Minow said...

I have some Watchmen clips up, so take a look.

I was very disappointed with the second episode of "Dollhouse," a tired replay of "Most Dangerous Game." I trust JW, who says this is all going somewhere, but I thought it was overheated and under-written.

Reel Fanatic said...

I trust him enough to stay tuned too, Nell, but I definitely agree with your assessment of the show so far ... The second episode was a lot better than the first, but still very average at best .. and I'll definitely stop by to check out your clips!