Hey Cleo.

Movie: Somewhere (2010)
Written and directed by Sophia Coppola.  Starring Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning.
Summary: Cleo, 11, visits her dad, Johnny Marco, a successful actor with a privileged lifestyle who doesn’t really know what to do with himself, at the famous Hollywood hotel Chateau Marmont.
Review: It’s a pretty slow movie.  Not much really happens.  Contrary to the title of the film, the story doesn’t really go anywhere.  The shots are really long and drawn out.  There is very little dialogue.  Background music is only sparsely used.  A lot of people will find this film to be a huge bore.
I loved every minute of it.
Sophia Coppola’s directing style from Lost in Translation carried over into this film, as the atmosphere of the two is very similar.  Actors Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning really connected, and their chemistry on screen is wonderful to watch.  The story is simple, yes, but the way it’s presented is quite interesting.  I found myself smiling through most of the film, and it wasn’t particularly comedic.  It was all just very nice, a pleasureful experience of watching the relationship between a father and a daughter unfold.
This film is definitely not for everyone, and I’ve already stated why.  If you want a quiet and subtly moving film, then go for it.  If you want something that might be a little bit more interesting and still has a bit of intellectual depth, wait until The Social Network comes out on DVD and rewatch that.

Television: Legend of the Seeker, Season 1 (2008-2009)
Executive Producer: Sam Raimi.  Starring Craig Horner, Bridget Regan, and Bruce Spence.
Summary: Richard, a woodsman’s son, is confronted by Kahlan, his Confessor, and Zed, a wizard of the First Order, who inform him that he is the Seeker of Truth, who is destined to save the Midlands from the evil ruler that is Darken Rahl.
Review: We’ve seen it countless times.  Take a normal average guy and tell him he’s destined to save the world.  That’s pretty much what J.R.R. Tolkien did in Lord of the Rings.  And also what J.K. Rowling did in Harry Potter.  Legend of the Seeker, loosely based on the Sword of Truth series of novels by Terry Goodkind, shares that basic premise.  However, the show is done surprisingly well.  It takes many stereotypical plot devices that we’re surely all familiar with, but it utilizes them in the best of ways.  It picks up on such themes as family, love, justice, revenge, violence, and much more.  The series is very well written, often bringing me on the verge of tears with its emotional intensity, whether from sadness or from happiness, but also at times it is able to make me laugh out loud with its occasional jokes.  I don’t think I’ve experienced any other television series that is so frequently moving and poignant.  Probably the only gripe I have against the show is that the action sequences often use slow-motion.  Other than that, almost everything else is flawless.  The acting from the four aforementioned lead roles, as well as from some of the bigger supporting roles, is very good.  The sets are beautiful, as the show is filmed on-location in New Zealand where they also shot the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.  The musical score always perfectly fits whatever mood the series is trying to set.  The CGI, whenever needed, isn’t exactly Transformers, but it’s convincing enough.  If you can get past the fact that this is indeed a fantasy show where people bang their swords together instead of shooting each other down and chasing each other in cop cars, then I’m sure you’ll find something to like about it, as there are many kinds of characters in it that you can possibly relate to.  The series is very episodic, much like Supernatural’s monster-of-the-week and House’s case-of-the-week, but that only makes it so that there are many different situations and people to explore in a very well-thought-out world that isn’t so much different from our own.
The series was canceled after two seasons.  I’m having trouble starting the second because I know that with every episode I watch, I’m that much closer to the end where there will be no more to look forward to.


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