Sunday, July 08, 2012

The 2012 Summer Screen Review (Part I)

I'm not sure why I'm paying for cable these days.  For the past two or three months, I've perhaps watched about three hours of actual broadcast television.  Due to a hectic schedule and a limited attention span, I've been watching DVDs almost exclusively.  A lot of bad low-budget movies and a lot of episodes of How I Met Your Mother.

Which brings me to the first official post of the Summer Screen Review.  I finished up Season Three of HIMYM on DVD.  This was a season with several episodes I hadn't seen before, which was enjoyable. Watching so many episodes in a short period (I've gone through three seasons in the past month or so), a few things become evident.

  1. Barney is truly a horrendous human being.  He's great for comedy, but in the real world he would not be my friend.
  2. The writers really play interestingly with narrative structures, with sometimes ingenious results, nesting flashbacks within flashbacks within flashbacks, having fun with the unreliable narrator concept, and enjoying the chance to mislead the audience.
  3. Lily's hair poses a lot of problems for continuity.
It's also nice to enjoy all of the extras on the DVDs.  This was a show being made when the business of DVD sales was already acknowledged, so there are lots of commentaries, extras, and amusing tidbits.  Commentaries were done immediately, so the next seasons (already in reruns for me now) are still unknown to those speaking, generally.  Enjoyable.

I also ventured out to see The Amazing Spider-Man on the ole big screen.  I don't seem to make it out to the cinema that often (I'll try to do better this summer) so this was my first outing in a while.  It's true that the reboot is coming awfully quickly following the Sam Raimi trilogy, but it's a decent little superhero movie.  It's not brilliant, and seemed to lag for a while, but it's enjoyable enough.  I thought they took shortcuts with the introduction of his costume and webbing (what, was that stuff mail-ordered?) but it's forgivable enough in the big picture.  I enjoyed both Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone and, although it seems to be reaching to be Marvel's answer to the darker edge of Christopher Nolan's Batman films, it doesn't quite pull off the tone it seems to be shooting for.  Regardless, I was entertained for a couple of hours and enjoyed it for what it was.  

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