Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Recommendation: Good

I might as well admit now that one of my favorite actors is Viggo Mortensen and because of this, I try to keep an eye on his current projects. It seems like I spend a lot of my time waiting for movies to become available for viewing. I waited about 8 months for Good to come out on dvd/blu-ray. While waiting gives you something to look forward to, sometimes it can make your expectations a little too high.

Good is one of those movies that left me feeling a little disappointed but I still think it is worth viewing-- perhaps even more than once! If you are expecting an action/drama piece like Defiance then get that right out of your head now. It is more of a character driven, out of sequence film filled with music symbolism (I'll get to that in a minute).

What made Good interesting and worth viewing (even a second time around) is the two lead actors, Viggo Mortensen and Jason Isaacs. Viggo plays John Halder, a passive, stressed out university professor who's latest novel catches the interest of none other then Hitler himself. John's best friend, a Jewish man named Maurice, is the more carefree of the two, more outgoing and always encouraging John to live a little. The more John gets sucked in by the Nazi party, the more his morals don't seem to matter and his hunger for acceptance and prestige puts a toll on his relationship with Maurice who is obviously horrified to see his friend becoming every Jews' worst nightmare.

The script is good, the acting is top notch (although it is weird to see Viggo in such a passive role!)...so what is it about the movie I didn't like? The music drove me a bit crazy. I wasn't so impressed by the actual soundtrack and from the opening scene I was a bit thrown off by the tempo of the classical music while John sits anxiously in the backseat of a car (that you soon find out is taking him to a member of the Nazi party). I guess what I am trying to say is that during some scenes the music seemed a bit off or didn't quite fit the mood. That being said, I did come to realize that some of the music was symbolic-- I am just not quite sure I understand the meaning. There were parts where John clearly was hallucinating and music usually accompanied those illusions. Upon further reflection, I have my own theories on what it all means but I think a second viewing might help.

What do you think?


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Andy Whitfield: This...is...SPARTACUS!

Cancer...freakin'....sucks! That is the first thing that popped into my mind after the news I just read. As some of you may or may not know, the STARZ cable channel embarked on a new, original, somewhat controversial tv series called Spartacus: Blood and Sand last spring. Headlining the show was a new face to American audiences, Andy Whitfield. He brought something special to the screen; honest, fresh, sexy, fierce. While most Americans may not have known Andy, as SOON as I saw those piercing eyes in the promotional ads and trailer before the show even aired, I knew who he was. He had starred in a little independent flick called Gabriel (2007) and I never forgot about him. When I realized he was taking on the role of Spartacus, I thought wow, great! This is going to be Andy's big break and he is going to go on to do even better things now that America has finally noticed him. After all, he is only 36 years old, at the prime of his life!

Well I couldn't have been more shocked to find out back in March that he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and would be undergoing immediate treatment. But there was hope. The doctors said they caught it early and he would be as good as new. STARZ representantives were fully supportive and decided to halt the production of Season 2 while Andy went through treatment. In the meantime, to keep the sets in use, they created a miniseries called Spartacus: Gods of the Arena which is to be aired sometime next spring in hopes to keep fans satisfied until Season 2 is filmed and aired.

Things were really looking up until today. Today I learned that Andy's cancer has returned with a vengeance and due to doctors orders, he must pull out of the production of Season 2 so that he can focus on treatment and his health. This saddens me so much and is down right scary. It is just a reminder that life is so fragile and precious and you never know what hand you are going to be dealt.

Now in the wake of the tragic news, the representatives at STARZ send their love and support to Andy and his family while not rushing into a decision on what will become of the hit series. How can it go on without Andy Whitfield? How can he be replaced?

This post is dedicated to all those who are suffering and have suffered from this savage disease. I send my love to Andy and his family while he fights this battle. In my opinion, Andy IS Spartacus, so if anyone can beat it, he can!