Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Awesome Stuff

So, in the last month I have been checking up on some very awesome stuff, briefly reviewed in order of their awesomeness here.

Scott Pilgrim

Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life is the first volume of a comic about a young slacker, unemployed and in a band, who starts noticing a rollerblading delivery girl, and must defeat her evil ex-boyfriends before they can date. Naturally, it is much better than a one sentence synopsis would indicate. Simple, black and white panelling gives room for some really strong characters with some really excellent lines. It is short, you can breeze through it in 'bout an hour, but is really is incredible. So much so, I am already re-reading it.

In Bruges

Two Irish hitmen are sent to hide out In Bruges ("It's in Belgium") after a hit. This becomes a set up for an incredible movie, a wonderful black comedy with some exceptional performances, some real great characters. Lot of swearing, but not unnecessarily so. Definitely worth watching, as it really is a brilliant film.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

So, the fifty-billionth Apatow comedy of the last twelve months is about a guy who has just been dumped by his long term girlfriend, and ends up going on the same holiday as his Ex. And so we have Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Thing is, that while this is quite funny, and has some sweet moments, it is just not as good as you would hope. The plot is too formulaic and not as effecting as you would hope, and the jokes are not as hilarious as you would wish. So the film is stuck in limbo, not connecting emotionally or being outrageously funny. It is good, actually it is funny and sweet and enjoyable, but it is not a great memorable comedy to search for. Then again, Russell Brand is hilarious.

30 Rock

Ever since Friends ended I have been looking for a new sitcom. Probably even before that, since Friends had been crap for it's last few seasons. There have been hilariously funny shows, (I love watching Arrested Development or Scrubs,) but not many brilliant sitcoms. After liking, but not loving, Big Bang Theory, I decided to check out 30 Rock, the critically loved, multi-award winning sitcom from Tina Fey. And my response? Meh.

The premise is that Liz Lemon is the head writer on a SNL style sketch show, under new management. With an insane new lead, and her interfering boss Alec Baldwin, she must cope with managing the show and keeping her boss happy, while trying find love, an' all dat.

I have to say, this reminded me of some Ugly Betty meets Studio 60 crossover. Firstly, the lead character is a 30-something woman, and many of the things she worries about are really quite girly. Add to this that the show about writing and creating a TV sketch show, a premise that is not as funny as they seem to think, and the show becomes slightly harder to like, as a premise, than say... a show about two young physicists.

Nonetheless, it is funny. There are reliably a couple of good solid laughs per episode, and if this picks up it may become hilarious. I will surely check out the second series, but it is just not as funny as I had been hoping, and my search for a new sitcom continues. Next up on my serach for a new sitcom, How I Met Your Mother. Now that excites me. A lot.

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