Archive for the ‘Ioan Gruffudd’ Category

Fall TV Week Three: Thursday & Friday — Watch Broadchurch Instead!

October 2, 2014

tvset1Before I begin: a quick, exciting reminder (well, I’m excited about it anyway!): there’s a new Boyfriend of the Week up!  Check it out at!

Meanwhile, back on the tube of boob, it’s only the middle of week three and I’m already behind on watching new stuff. After hearing from a few people here and on Facebook, by the way, I’m definitely planning to give Selfie a try, but will not be bothering with Manhattan Love Whatever The Heck That Was.

Also still digging Scorpion, incidentally.  It’s not brilliant, but it’s fun, and there’s a lot to be said for fun when you’re me.  Thought episode 2 of Forever was much better than episode 1, and am hoping to feel the same way about episode 3, which I’ll probably watch tonight.  It is also not brilliant, but man, I do love me some Ioan Gruffud, and I’m really enjoying Judd Hirsch in it as well.  Might be a keeper.  We’ll see how the next few weeks go.

Here’s what’s up tonight:

vampdiariesThe Vampire Diaries — 8pm — CW.  Never seen this; vampires are my least favorites of all the monsters, and 20-something vampires I tend to find utterly insufferable, especially but not limited to when they are “sparkly.”  I did enjoy The Strain this summer, while we’re on the subject of vamps, though I could definitely pick some bones with it.  Much better than the novel, anyway (my review of the novel is here if you’re interested). I never read the other two in the series, but will definitely stay tuned for more of the show. Corey Stoll is almost certainly going to show up as a Boyfriend of the Week at some point, too. I’ve been seeing a lot of him lately and I dig.

badjudgeBad Judge — 9pm — NBC.  This appears to be yet another tired, tired show about a successful professional woman who can’t keep her personal life in order. Because, as it’s been well-established by network television, women can only achieve one type of success in their lives — professional or personal — NOT BOTH. Pardon me while I barf up my breakfast. This one stars Kate Walsh, for better or for worse (depending on how you feel about Kate Walsh; I flip-flop) as a highly respected criminal court judge who “sleeps around” in her off-hours.  As network TV would like to remind us, women who sleep with a lot of men are BAD.  Men who sleep with a lot of women, on the other hand, are, you know: successful in both their private and personal lives. Pardon me while I barf up my mid-morning snack. Bad Judge: the most perfectly crafted sitcom title of all time (assuming the goal was endless ridicule).

gracepointGracepoint — 9pm — FOX.  This is the American remake of the incredibly good BBC series Broadchurch, which I think aired on BBC America last spring.  David Tennant starred in the original as a sad-sack detective investigating the murder of a little boy, and he’s playing the same role here as well.  This leads me to suspect this will mostly be a fairly straight-forward remake, without much in the way of additional content or perspective, which leads me to my next suggestion:  Don’t bother; go straight to the original without passing GO! Reviews of this one have been pretty humdrum, and I’m not planning on tuning in at all (not just because of the reviews, but also because the original was utterly heartbreaking and I don’t think I can go through it again). You can stream the original on Amazon for $1.99 an episode (there are 8 total) — and it’s well worth doing. Pay for it, please, don’t steal it; I believe in supporting good content with dollars.

Reign — 9pm — CW.  I have no idea what this is and cannot presently be bothered to go find out.  Enjoy!

atozA to Z — 9:30pm — NBC.  This sitcom is apparently a romantic comedy modeled a bit after the movie 500 Days of Summer.  Stars Ben Feldman (Mad Men) as Andrew (of the A in the title), dating a woman named Zelda (of the Z), and will chronicle their relationship from start to finish.  It actually seems like it could be kind of fun, but I’ll wait to try it until I see if it lasts or not. Reviews for this one have described it as a bit clumsy but overall fairly charming — I’ll be curious to hear what you guys think if any of you tune in!

That’s it for Thursday!  Friday only sees the return of Last Man Standing (8pm ABC), by the way, so no post tomorrow!

Fall TV Week Two, Monday: Gotham, Scorpion, & Forever

September 22, 2014

tvset1This is the big week for fall TV premieres (hoorayyyyyzzzzzzzz. . .), so I’ll be breaking it down one day at a time for a few days, so as not to overwhelm.   But first, a few thoughts about last week’s n00bs.

First off, I already said I wasn’t going to be able to stomach Red Band Society though I did, in fact, go watch the rest of the pilot. Opinion unchanged. It’s a show tailor-made for 12 year old girls, so if you’re one of those, you should totes watch because the boys are super cute.  Everybody else, on the other hand, is just going to sit there cringing at the waste of a perfectly fine Octavia Spencer. Did you know she was supposed to star in a remake of Murder: She Wrote instead, but it got shelved? Wouldn’t that have been awesome? (Yes, I know I’m old. SO ARE YOU.)

The Mysteries of LauraAs for The Mysteries of Laura, I have mixed feelings about that one.  I surprised myself by kind of enjoying it, though I was irritated pretty frequently, and not just by that extraordinarily ill-fitting Columbo coat on Debra Messing (though, of course: first and foremost the coat).  At the same time, there’s going to be a lot more Josh Lucas in this than I was expecting, which could solve a lot of scripting and characterization crimes for me. We’ll see what happens with this one over the next couple of weeks.

I also saw the first two episodes of Z Nation on FOX, which I liked well enough to want to keep going.  The characters are decent, and the story so far is intriguing, despite not being terribly original (guy immune to zombie virus being protected to the death by ragtag team of survivors trying to get him to California science lab — been there, done that, but I did like the zombie baby — there would be a LOT of zombie babies, after all). Will be sticking with that one too, at least for now.

What did you guys think of these?  Hitten zee comments withen your comments!

And now: what’s up tonight:

The Big Bang Theory – 8pm – CBS – Can’t stand this show, but since I’m pretty much the only person on the planet who feels that way, I wish you all the best.

gothamGotham – 8pm – FOX – One of the most-hyped new series of the year, this one stars Ben McKenzie, formerly of The O.C. and the extremely good cop series Southland.  He plays commissioner Jim Gorden of Batman fame, but back before Batman times, when he was a fresh-faced young detective.  Based on what I’ve read, each season plans to chart the rise of a particular villain from Batman lore, including Catwoman (tween-aged in season one), the Riddler, and the Penguin.  Bruce Wayne is here too, but as an 11 year-old, so don’t expect much in the way of crime fightin’. Even more inspiring a concept, for me anyway, is the fact it co-stars the ever-scruffy and delicious Donal Logue as Gordon’s much-more grizzled partner.  Mighty good Boyfriend material here, in other words.  Could be fun — should at least be put together fairly well. Looking forward to seeing what they do with this idea, though keeping my expectations at a minimum just in case.

The Voice – 8pm – NBC – Never seen it. Not planning on startin’.

scorpionScorpion – 9pm – CBS – This is one of the few new shows this fall I’m actually kind of excited about (it could be super fun as long as it doesn’t totally suck).  It’s (loosely) based on the real-life experiences of Walter O’Brien, infamous genius hacker, and is about a group of nerds who form a Justice League of sorts to solve crimes for the government.  Not incredibly inspired by the cast, I have to say, but the premise is a good one and it might at least tide us over until CSI: Cyber premieres mid-season.  Fingers crossed!

sleepyhollowSleepy Hollow – 9pm – FOX – I really enjoyed this series last year until the last few months it was on.  Then, suddenly, I found myself losing interest, and I still have about 8 unwatched episodes from season one on my DVR. I’m recording the new ones with the plan to try to get back into this one at some point, but who knows what’ll happen there.  Are you guys big fans of Sleepy Hollow?  If so, what do you like about it? Tell me in comments and I bet you’ll get me all revved up to get back on board.

The Blacklist – 10pm – NBC – Frankly astonished this is still on.  I lost patience with this show about 2 episodes in last year. Did it actually end up being good? Did I screw up again? Oh, don’t answer that.

foreverForever – 10pm – ABC – Poor Ioan Gruffudd, trying for a network TV hit again.  Will this one be the one?  I was game to think so until I saw an ad for it the other day and was physically pained by the incredibly cheesy, overacted narration (from Gruffudd). I literally went like this, “Blaaaaaarggghhhh!”  But who knows, maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised.  Gruffud plays a medical examiner who is immortal, and I’m certainly intrigued by the fact that every time he dies (which is apparently a lot, weirdly enough), he apparently comes back to life completely naked in a nearby river.  I could get into that.  Co-stars Judd Hirsch, too, and I do loves me some Judd Hirsch. Not exactly excited about this one, but we’ll see.  Incidentally, the pilot is tonight, with a second new episode tomorrow, and then starting next week, I think it moves permanently to Tuesdays.

That’s it for today!  Check back tomorrow for more! IF YOU DARE.

Fall TV Premieres: Oct. 3-9, 2011

October 4, 2011

I’m back!  Quick update on what we’ve seen so far:

Digging So Far

Ringer — It’s not brilliant, but I’m actually pretty sold so far, in no small part because Ioan Gruffud is so ridiculously good-looking.  However, after that terrible CGI boat scene (complete with fan pointed at her hair!) from the pilot, the show apparently lost about a gazillion of its gazillion-and-one viewers, so I’m sure it’s doomed.  The Curse of Meg Wood strikes again.

Terra Nova — It’s not brilliant, but I’m actually pretty sold so far.  Hey, that sounds familiar.  I was worried this show was just going to be Land of the Lost Redux, all man v. dinosaur, all the time.  But instead, the added twist of The Sixers group makes it a lot more interesting.  I’m definitely game for a few more episodes at least.  Though, again, it’s not doing well, so I’m sure it’s doomed too.  WHY ME?

Unforgettable — Much as I loathe Poppy Montgomery, I kind of enjoyed this one.  Somehow managed not to record last week’s episode, though, so I’ll have to see at least one more before I put in a verdict.

Prime Suspect —  I DID NOT HATE IT.  However,  though I realize it’s trying to be true to the original by having the entire police department be staffed with open misogynists, I have a hard time believing this is truly possible in this day and age.  Closeted misogynists, yes.  Open misogynists: a law suit waiting to happen.  Also problematic:  The actual plot of the pilot (the case she was on) wasn’t very engaging.  But I like some other elements of the series (for example, it’s refreshing to see a tough female lead who has a steady boyfriend — usually, it seems to be assumed that tough females in positions of power are hopeless when it comes to relationships, which, f-you, networks).  I’ll stick with it for now.

Up All Night —  Kind of liking this one.  I might get tired of it, but it’s nice having a quick 30 minute thing to fill in random early mornings here and there.  Plus, it’s truly funny at times, and the couple reminds me a bit of my sister and her husband.  Minus, the friend character (Ada) is potentially too annoying for me.  Jury’s out.

Given Up On:

A Gifted Man —  I didn’t last ten minutes.

Pan Am, Playboy, Revenge, other soaps:  Didn’t bother with at all.

Not Sure Yet:

Person of Interest:  Been recording this one, but I haven’t been in the mood for it yet.  Not a good sign.  I’ll give it a shot later this week and report back, though.  Anybody digging it so far?

Coming up this week!

Monday, October 3

House (Fox) — 9pm — I quit watching House a few seasons ago (back when the season’s long-running storyline was about the cop trying to bust him for drug-seeking; I’ve talked about this before so I’ll spare you the lecture this round), but got sucked back in last year and enjoyed it.  However, this season, House starts out in prison, and I’m already kinda done before I’ve begun.  It’s getting harder and harder for me to suspend my disbelief with this series.  Bad enough House’s diagnoses are wrong 95% of the time (when’s the last time he got anything right before the patient was near-death?), but the fact he keeps getting into this kind of trouble and then getting his job back is just ludicrous.  I don’t want a guy who hallucinates as my doctor.  I don’t want an ex-con as my doctor.  This guy would never get to be a doctor anymore.  This is just getting silly.  Put him on some water skis and have him jump a shark — let’s get this over with already.

Wednesday, October 5

American Horror Story (FX) — 10pm –Man, NO idea what to expect from this one.  It’s about a family who moves into a haunted house, and apparently, the craziness starts off bang-zoom and is super-duper massively crazy (created by the same guy who did Nip/Tuck, Ryan Murphy, so the crazy part makes sense).  But though Dylan McDermott is an old Boyfriend of the Week, he’s also a terrible actor, and I definitely can’t see him being successful as the lead of a horror series.  Then again, this is an FX show, and FX can do seriously bananas stuff and have it turn out pretty well (The Shield, e.g.).  I’m intrigued, but I’m not getting my hopes up.  A really creative horror show would be a blast (The Walking Dead, speaking of which, returns the 16th; stay tuned!).  But can FX really pull it off?  Can McDermott?  Can Jessica Lange?  (Okay, Jessica Lange does kind of creep me out.)  We shall see.

Thursday, October 6

The League (FX) — 10:30pm –Returning series — Never seen it.

Friday, October 7

Sanctuary (SyFy) — 10pm –Returning series — Keep meaning to watch it, never do.  Any good??

Saturday, October 8

Rules of Engagement (CBS) — 8pm — Returning series — This is still on?  But has just been moved to Saturdays?  D-O-O-M.

Fall TV Premieres Are Here! Sept. 12-18, 2011.

September 12, 2011

Hi, everyone!  It’s that time of year again!  The time of year where I tell you what new shows are starting up, which ones (old and new) I’m planning to watch and why, and how much I hate Law & Order: Special Victims Unit even though I KEEP WATCHING IT FOR GOD’S SAKE SOMEONE STOP ME.

Here’s what’s up this week (I’ll try to hit all the new shows, but as for returning series, will only be mentioning ones I watch or ones I want to make fun of — you’re on your own for the rest).  Feel free to hit the comments and tell me/us what you think about the new shows, what you think about the old shows, which new show you’re the most excited about, which new show you think won’t last past its second episode, and how you feel about “reduced-fat Oreos” (personally, I’m against ’em).

Ready, set. . . DVR!

Tuesday, Sept. 13

Ringer (CW) –9pm.  Remember Buffy the Vampire Slayer?  Well, she’s back, only she’s not fighting vamps anymore (more’s the pity. . .).  In this new series, Buffy plays a woman named Bridget who, after witnessing a murder, flees to New York City to hide out at her estranged, wealthy, identical twin sister’s house.  When he sister dies suddenly in a boating accident, Buffy decides, well, if the bad guys are after Bridget, then why don’t I just become Siobhan? (p.s. Bridget and Siobhan? What kind of twin names are those??)  I have a feeling this isn’t going to work out as well as it always did in Sweet Valley High, friends.

I’m looking forward to this one, and not just because of Buffy (I’ve always liked Sarah Michelle Gellar), but also because ex-Boyfriend Ioan Gruffud is in it (I think he’s the rich twin’s husband).  Granted, Ioan can be pretty hit or miss, but overall, I think this show sounds like it could be an action-packed blast.  Fingers crossed for good writers.  I’m trying not to get my hopes up.

Parenthood (NBC) — 10pm — This show isn’t perfect — it’s gotten somewhat repetitive and is often a little on the fakey, plastic side — but I still really enjoy it, and the reason is the cast (namely Lauren Graham, Bonnie Bedelia, Craig T. Nelson, and ex-Boyfriend of the Week Dax Shepard).   I confess by the end of last season, I was getting a little bored, but I read this summer that Jason Ritter may be coming back, as the CRAZY-handsome English teacher madly in love with Lauren Graham’s character, and that would make the series well worth tuning back into for me.  Peter Krause’s character, on the other hand, is starting to annoy the bejesus out of me, and I’ve never liked Monica “Weird Eyes” Potter.  Luckily: Mae Whitman.

Wednesday, Sept. 14

Up All Night (NBC) — 10pm — I’m not  a big sit-com watcher, but I’m looking forward to Up All Night, the first of two new comedies on NBC Wednesday nights this fall.   This one stars Christina Applegate as a new mom trying to maintain her self-identity (cool career woman) in the face of every new mom cliché she’s ever heard and loathed.  Will Arnett (from Arrested Development, yay!) plays her husband, a stay-home dad trying to support his wife’s attempts to have it all.  The cast is so great it might just be grand.  But it could all too easily be insipid and unoriginal instead.  Fingers crossed it ain’t.

Free Agents (NBC) — 10:30pm — This comedy is based on a British series that starred Stephen Mangan (currently starring in Showtime’s terrific series Episodes, which I ADORE) and that means one thing and one thing only:  This show is going to suck.  (Name one Brit/US crossover comedy that hasn’t, I double-dog dare you.)  The one thing that sounds good about it is the cast.   Anthony Stewart Head was in the original and will be playing the same part, I gather, in this one (the office boss).  And I also really like Kathryn Hahn, who played the administrative assistant on Crossing Jordan.  Hank Azaria, the star of the series, is a bit more hit or miss for me.  But I’m game for episode one at least.  We’ll see.

Thursday, Sept. 15

The Secret Circle (CW) — 9pm — I don’t know anything about this series, other than the fact it’s based on a Young Adult novel series about witches and, naturally, is set in Washington state, where doom and gloom always look so pretty (just ask fans of Twilight).  The one semi-promising element of this series is that it’s executive produced by Kevin Williamson.  But that’s not promising enough to pique my interest, I’m afraid.  No plans to tune in for this one unless the buzz after several episodes is strong.  Anybody read the books, by the way?

Next week is the big week for returning shows, with a smattering of newbies tossed in for good measure, so check back here next Monday for the week’s schedule!  I’ll be posting these every week until the fall season has fully launched (mid-October), and I’d love to hear what you think of the shows as they start to roll out!  Hit it!

MOVIE: Sanctum (2011)

February 17, 2011

My expectations for this movie were low — I was pretty much just after a 2-hour episode of I Shouldn’t Be Alive and a chance to stare lustfully at Ioan Gruffud’s delicious  nose for a while.  So, it says a lot that even going in with little in the way of hope, I still emerged from this stinker disappointed. When are the people who make movies going to realize that scripts matter?  This movie had all the elements it needed to be really entertaining — a great setting and a decent story (about a group of people trapped in a huge, underwater cave system in Australia, forced to work together to try to find their way out with minimal gear). But instead of focusing on the adventure elements, they spent way, WAY too much time on stupid, trite, unoriginal interpersonal relationship nonsense.  Beeyuck, I say.

If the whole movie had been like the last ten minutes, my pals and I agreed, where the survival and escape parts finally became the focus, it could’ve been pretty good.  Alternatively, if the characters had been interesting people with actual depth, instead of merely being oft-recycled characters from 8000 other films just like this one, it also could’ve been pretty good.  Or at least pretty better, anyway.

Instead, our four main characters were these extremely familiar yahoos:

Cranky Team Leader:  Extremely focused cave diving expert who abandoned his wife and son years ago when he realized the only thing he truly cared about was work.  Can’t express emotions and has long since given up on trying.  Likes to quote Coleridge incessantly, I’m assuming because the writer read “Kubla Khan” in high school and has been waiting ever since to impress chicks by working it into a script.  (Shut up, Coleridge.)

Team Leader’s Teenage Son:  Dragged along on this expedition by his father in a half-hearted attempt to un-irreconcilable their differences.  Predictably snotty and bitter about it, though I should note he was the only character I liked who made it to the final act.  As it turns out, Rhys Wakefield is pretty adorable;  I wouldn’t mind seeing him again in something.  Something . . . say . . . good, perhaps.

Rich American Prick:  Ioan Gruffud’s character (forced to speak in a brash American accent, which did not help matters much), who is funding the expedition.  He’s just arrived at the site as the film opens, primarily, it seems, to show off his huge, costly project to his new girlfriend.  He’s an arrogant jerk.  He also, coincidentally, has all the worst lines in the film (my friends and I were snorting back laughs every time Ioan opened his mouth, poor fella).

Also, for the record, I never want to hear Horatio Hornblower use the word “clusterfuck” ever again.  It just comes out all wrong.  Ioan, next time make them let you substitute “absolute bollocks” instead, ya dig?  Obliged.

Rich American’s Stupid Girlfriend:  She’s actually an experienced mountain climber, which is why it was so surprising when she refused to take any of the advice the divers kept giving her.  You’d think an experienced-anything would know better.  It starts with her refusing to put on a wet suit despite the obvious risk of hypothermia (the water is a mile deep in a CAVE where it gets no SUN, lady!), and it only goes downhill from there.   I couldn’t wait for her to die, to be honest.  I’m sure that makes me sound like a terrible person, but, hey, just wait until you meet her.

These guys all get trapped in the cave system together when a hurricane hits land above them and a boulder falls into their only known exit.  They spend most of the next 90 minutes bickering and swimming around, boring boring boring, and it’s not until the final ten minutes, when we’re down to just the father and son, that the movie finally hits its stride.  In the meantime, everything else goes exactly as you’d expect — the father and son clash constantly then finally bond when it becomes clear to the son that his father cares if he lives or dies, the Rich American argues all the time and acts cocky and is later revealed to be a total coward, all the nice people get killed early on and in truly horrible ways, etc. etc.

And then, ugh, there was the 3D, which was absolutely pointless.  It added nothing of interest whatsoever visually (not that there was much to work with — boringest underground cave system EVER), which surprised me because it was my understanding they shot the movie in 3D, as opposed to adding the effects later, and so one would assume they were thinking about cool things to do with it the whole time.  Alas, not.  Also, James Cameron was the producer, a man who clearly knows a lot about how to use 3D effectively (Avatar was a bad movie, yes, but the 3D effects totally blew my mind).   So, like, what the hell, team?  If you have the option of seeing this in 2D instead, you should take it.  Save yourself the extra dough and spend it on margaritas afterward so you and your own movie-watching pals can get sloshed and make fun of Ioan Gruffud all evening.  Ach, if only we’d known!

Then again, I should probably mention that it’s entirely possible this movie was a lot better than I’m giving it credit for.  Because, in all honesty, I spent a ridiculous amount of time focusing on Cranky Team Leader’s face, ignoring everything else, trying to figure out why Stellan Skarsgaard looked so weird.  Turns out, Stellan Skarsgaard looked so weird because he was actually Richard Roxburgh.  Go figure.

That plus the fact we were waited on by Poor Man’s Philip Seymour Hoffman at the concessions stand left me all dopplegangerly disoriented, which I’m sure helped matters very little.

Phew.  Whadda stinker.  I will say, though, that I had a great time watching this movie — there’s really nothing quite as entertaining as seeing a bad film with a couple of bad-film loving friends.  Let’s do that again soon, ladies.

[Prequeue at Netflix | View trailer]

Genre:  Action, Adventure
Cast:  Richard Roxburgh, Ioan Gruffudd, Rhys Wakefield, Alice Parkinson, Dan Wyllie, Christopher Baker, Nicole Downs, Allison Cratchley, John Garvin

MOVIE: In the Loop (2009)

August 17, 2009

Several years ago, a British reader of the Boyfriend of the Week sent me a couple of CDs that contained six episodes of a sit-com she was mad-crazy about called The Thick of It.  Not only did she want me to watch the series and tell her if I liked it, but she was especially keen on one of its stars, an actor and stand-up comedian named Chris Addison.

I watched the first episode with some hesitation, I’ll confess,  because I’d just finished watching the first season of the British version of The Office and didn’t end up loving it as much as everybody seemed to think I ought to.  That is, I didn’t hate it — but. . . meh.  I figured if I ended up not loving The Thick of It either, the entire United Kingdom might write me off at long last.  That would be horrible!  I like the British!  They talk so cute!

Five minutes into episode one of The Thick of It, though, and I was absolutely in love.  The series, about the bumbling spin machines at work behind the British government, was not only one of the most riotously funny things I’d ever seen, but it was absolutely goddamn brilliant to boot.

The problem with the request of my reader, though, was that when I was done with the six episodes she sent, I wasn’t in love with Chris Addison.  I mean, his character Ollie (“Toby” in the movie, but essentially the same guy) is absolutely my type in real life:  a super-enormous, highly intelligent dork.   But the BotW isn’t about real life, it’s about fantasy.  And in my fantasy world, the character for me was definitely going to be Malcolm Tucker, played by Peter Capaldi.   Despite the fact Tucker’s an absolutely vicious bastard, his brutal directness holds the same appeal to me as Hugh Laurie’s Gregory House. I probably think to myself, “SPIT IT OUT, ALREADY” 19 times a day when I’m talking to people, and if there’s one thing I absolutely lack patience for, it’s people who tiptoe around topics.  Drop someone in front of me who not only spits it out, but launches it across the room like a SCUD missile, and I will immediately fall prostrate at their feet like the the penitent Magdalene.

This movie, in case you hadn’t already made the connection, is based on that British series (which, as far as I know, only had the one season, though I heard a rumor from someone today that director Armando Iannucci is planning a second season for 2010).  It features a lot of the same cast, including Peter Capaldi and Chris Addison, but also has a few notable additions, like Gina McKee (better known to some of us as Irene from The Forsyte Saga with Damian Lewis and Ioan Gruffud) and James Gandolfini. The backbone of this movie is about the escalation of the British and American governments towards war in Iraq.  But in reality, this film is a cutting satire about media strategy and political spin, and the dunderheads on both sides who flail around in a sea of absolute nonsense day in and day out.  Oh, yeah, and it’s also about us poor schlubs — the politicians’ constituents — and how very, very unimportant we truly are.

The disaster starts when government minister Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) says in a radio interview the sentence, “War is unforeseeable.”  Though that line is absolutely meaningless in every way, it immediately sets off a gargantuan mess of frenzy, beginning with Malcolm Tucker blackmailing a reporter into pretending it was never said, and ending with Foster’s flying off to Washington DC to meet with the American government.  There, we get a shot of the spin at work behind the scenes of our own political process, complete with an absolutely spot-on-hilarious subplot involving a secret “war” committee that may or may not have actually existed before the news of its existence was leaked to CNN, and a never-ending stream of jokes about how young most of our political go-to people are compared to their counterparts in the UK (“your f*ucking master race of highly-gifted toddlers. . .”)

I took my husband to see this with me because I knew that as a political news reporter, he was either going to laugh the entire time or get really cranky — kind of a win-win for me in terms of entertainment.   As it turns out, he loved it too, and even laughed out loud when someone in the film referred to “the media forces of darkness.”  I suspect, though he would neither confirm nor deny, that his job resembles this movie a lot of the time.  And you know what else?  He’s totally a Malcolm Tucker.  Which is why we get along so well.

If you’ve seen the film and you’re curious about the TV series, you can find a bunch of it on YouTube.  The first part of episode one is here (for the rest, you’re on your own):  But you don’t have to see the show to appreciate the movie.  If you like sharp political satire, or the hyperarticulate wit of cranky British people, you could not do better than In the Loop.   Except maybe with Yes, Minister, which I hope they movie-ize next for those of us living ‘cross the pond.  Can’t wait for it to come out on DVD so I can turn the English subtitles on — I’m pretty sure I missed at least two dozen snipy insults in “surround bollocksing” due to fast-moving British accents, a fact that will haunt me from now until the day I manage to catch and make note of them all.  F*ckity bye!

[Prequeue me at Netflix | View trailer]

Genre: Comedy
Cast: Peter Capaldi, Tom Hollander, Chris Addison, Paul Higgins, Gina McKee, James Gandolfini, Anna Chlumsky

No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to DIE.

April 1, 2008

Not that this is in ANY way important, but for some reason, I just had the urge to tell you that Daniel Craig has been voted “best dressed Brit” by GQ magazine again.  Ex-Boyfriend Prince William, on the other hand, made the WORST dressed list.  But since I have an absolutely PERFECT record of predicting the wrong person will win on every season of Project Runway(but Chris made his outfits using HUMAN HAIR!  C’mon, that was AWESOME!), I’m hardly about to hold this against him.  I’m sure he looked fabulous.

In even better Boyfriends in the News news, however, I read this morning that Horatio Hornblower (okay, okay, Ioan Gruffudd, but he’ll always be “Haitch” to me) just landed a role on a network television show scheduled for the fall season.  (Read all about it.)

I’m torn between two reactions to this:  1) “YAY!” and 2) “You’re coming back to TV but NOT doing an eighth Hornblower movie?  So. . . you hate me, is that what you’re saying?” 

I’ve been recently working my way through the A&E Hornblower series for the 86,093rd time, myself, and man, if you still haven’t seen those, gettenzee hott.  Never have I ever applied the word “dashing” more appropriately.

That said, I can only assume Ioan didn’t make the Best Dressed Brit list for one reason and one reason alone — this hat: