Monday, May 24, 2010

The Last of Lost

It's over.

I came to the show out of curiosity, having read interesting things about its first two seasons, but by then it was too far into its run to even contemplate jumping on board. Then, a local Barnes and Noble had a Buy One Get One Free (of equal or lesser value) TV season DVD sale and I saw my chance. I got season one and season two and promptly let them sit on my floor for a few months as Season 3 proper started in real time.

One day, I opened season one up. I put it in the DVD player. And a whole new world opened up to me. Like Others, I was bit by the bug, the mystery digging deep under my skin. Here was a show right up my alley: exotic locale, interesting characters, a Smoke Monster, polar bears, mysterious Others, and the Island, oh, the Island itself. I was captivated and sucked in and burned through both seasons so quick it made my head spin. Then I got season three and that season finale blew my mind. I was in, and in good.

From there, I watched it play out, in real time, waiting anxiously when the show was off the air, wondering what was going to happen to these people I'd grown to love. Would more die, like Charlie? Would others disappear, like Walt? I had to know! And I held on, patiently, loving it all, every nanosecond, wishing it could last forever.

And then it came. The End. I knew it was coming but all this while, I couldn't believe it. Now it's over. And I sit here, feeling like my best friend just moved to another country and I will never see him again. I am bummed, tired, depressed, but mostly...I am satisfied.

What an ending! I think they really did what they should have done, which was concentrate on an emotional climax rather than some procedural, point-by-point dissecting of all the mysteries of the Island. How boring would that have been? Yes, this approach left a lot of questions unanswered and, given the resolution of the Sideways Universe, they even brought up more questions (like, how did Kate and the others live out the rest of their lives? Were they happy? What about Hugo and Ben on the Island? What kind of wacky adventures did they have?). But all of that was okay. Because what we got was:

Sun and Jin together, smiling and happy.

Charlie and Claire, together again, holding baby Aaron.

Juliette and Sawyer. Oh, my, God. How did I not fall to the floor weeping?

And Jack. Sweet, I-got-issues Jack. When he stumbled through the jungle, returning to the spot he first arrived on the Island, and Vincent ran up and laid down by his side, I lost it.

And then Jack's eye closed.

And it was over.

The show ended as it had begun and I sat, stunned, crying, and as happy as I've ever been watching a TV show.

So, thank you, creators of Lost. Thank you actors. Thank you directors and editors and writers and those who worked on the sets. Thank you for one hour, every week, where I could put this cold world behind me and get Lost in your world for a while, where polar bears and Smoke Monsters roamed, and people, flawed, messed-up people, could find each other and find redemption. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I look up now and my statue of Hurley from the golf game stares down at me as if to say, "Dude."

And I have to agree.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

No Sign of the Morning Coming...

Today, Ronnie James Dio died. Many are blogging about it and are saying words more poignant and meaningful than I ever will. I just wanted to mark his passing, to note he was more than just a mere singer in a heavy metal band. He was a good man. He did a lot of work for charities, most famously for the Hear N' Aid project in the eighties. He brought a lot of good will and smiles to millions of people, and somebody like that will always be missed. I love his music, with Rainbow, Sabbath, and his solo years. He was a tremendously talented individual with a quick wit and a smile for anyone.

You will be missed, Dio.

I read these lyrics from his song, Rainbow in the Dark, and they seem like the best way to sum it all up:

"I cry for magic - I feel it dancing in the light
But it was cold - I lost my hold
To the shadows of the night

"There's no sign of the morning coming
You've been left on your own
Like a Rainbow in the Dark"

We've all been left alone, now, in a world a little more dreary with Dio's passing.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Horror Trifecta!

In honor of the Kentucky Derby weekend, I present the horror movie marathon I had on Sunday in order of Show, Place, and Win!


Adapted from a Clive Barker short story and part of that whole After Dark Festival (where they release 8 new movies a year, 2 of which are usually pretty good and the rest...well, it depends on your tastes). I read the short story 22 years ago (I believe, and as I type that, I have never felt older) and hardly remember much except I liked it a lot and was looking forward to this movie. And the movie is good, if you're patient. Not a lot, horror-wise, happens the first hour. Stuff does, but it's mostly psychotic flashes and daydreams. But at the hour mark, the film gets very good, indeed. The story centers around 3 college students doing a thesis on Dread by interviewing fellow students and other volunteers about what scares them the most. Along the way, we learn about our 3 main characters and what their greatest fears are. And, of course, one of them is a psycho on the edge, ready to indulge in some real fear studies. If you're patient, you'll probably like this a lot. I just wish all the horror in the last 30 minutes had been expanded upon earlier in the movie. But I liked it, and you probably will, too.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
I dunno. I really did like this. It was a cool updating of the whole Freddy mythos that added some modern touches but really stuck with the tried and true. If you've seen the original then you pretty much know what's going to happen in this one. There's no major curve balls thrown at you and I liked that they returned Freddy to his earlier, darker incarnation. This Freddy is mean, for sure, and more than a bit sadistic. There's plenty of gore and some nice jumps so I do recommend seeing it. My only problem was with Jackie Earl Haley, and it wasn't because he wasn't any good (he was; he was great in the role) but because it wasn't Robert Englund in the role. It just didn't feel like Freddy, what with the different actor and different make-up. But that's my trip, not yours. Check it out. I really was pleased with what they did with this film.

The Human Centipede
Okay, this film has had a lot of buzz for its notoriety. I watched it on VOD last night and I have to say, it mostly lives up to the hype. The very idea at the core of the film is what's so disturbing and the movie does not let us down in showing all the permutations of this act. If you don't know the story, the basic version goes like this: 2 American girls on vacation in Germany have their car break down at the wrong place and time, ending up in the clutches of a mad doctor with a mad desire to create a human centipede by joining three people, ass to mouth. Yes, I mean surgery and sewing and shit eating. I won't tell you anymore except to say it's best not to be eating while watching. The film was really good and it pushed some boundaries of taste, which I always appreciate. The best thing, though, was the fact it was really, at its heart, a Mad Scientist Film. I haven't seen one as good or audacious as this since Re-Animator. Highly recommended, if you can stomach it.