Welcome to The Morning After, where I share with you what I’ve seen over the past week either in film or television. On the film side, if I have written a full length review already, I will post a link to that review. Otherwise, I’ll give a brief snippet of my thoughts on the film with a full review to follow at some point later. For television shows, seasons and what not, I’ll post individual comments here about each of them as I see fit.
So, here is what I watched this past week:
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Brad Bird’s transition from animation to live action is completely successful. Here’s a director who understands the need for dramatic tension, creating suspense where it might otherwise not exist and taking a fairly generic plotline and twisting it into a thrilling adventure. The performances are about what you’d expect for this kind of film, but where the James Bond franchise focuses on glitz and the Bourne series focuses on the grit, Mission: Impossible has successful found a niche between the two. I didn’t love the third film, but this fourth film is right on par with the second in terms of excitement and fun.
I saw this one some time ago, but I couldn’t find where I’d given my thoughts on it in previous Morning After releases, so here goes. As much as I am starting to despise Johnny Depp, this was a surprisingly fresh performance for him. He’s very much in Fear and Loathing mode, but it works for this fish-out-of-water Western. And I’m also not a huge fan of the genre, so I was very reticent to pick this one up. However, I’m glad I finally sat down to watch it. The story is interesting, if a bit simpleminded at times and many of the jokes are quite good. There’s an adventurous spirit here that helps it distinguish itself from most traditional westerns. While I think that both Kung Fu Panda 2 and The Adventures of Tintin are better films, this one is still pretty good.
The Guild (Season 5)
The webseries seems to be reaching its nadir. The slow degradation of quality was bound to happen eventually. This season, taking place at a prominent gaming convention finds the guild struggling with a number of issues, including lying to one’s parents, abusing one’s fans, trying to find love where there isn’t any and other seemingly humorous concepts. Unless you’re into computer gaming, this is probably not a series that will catch your attention and when more than half the 6-to-8-minute episodes don’t contain a single sidesplitting moment (as the prior seasons did), it may be time to hang up the hat or find a new direction. And the endless parade of guest stars, though some are quite interesting, just highlights how far the show has gone from industry parody to self-parody without much hope of redemption. While the end of the season was starting to get better and left off on a suitable cliffhanger, a fun sixth season is needed to save the series.