Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Serenity of Knowing Firefly Can't Die

Today we’re going to take a break from Netflix in order to discuss something.

Networks suck. Ok, not all networks. One in particular, however, sucks. I mean, who in their right mind cancels a show like Firefly? A real suck of a network, that’s who.

I think the majority of us, even if the network isn’t blamed, agree that canceling Firefly was one of the worst ideas in television history.

We lost Serenity and they took the sky from us.


Of course, this was over a decade ago.

Something they weren’t able to take from fans of Firefly was our love of the actors involved.

We watched as Nathan Fillion played in a strange alien film (Slither) that was pretty much amazing because of him and his costar. We squee’d when he starred as the cocky Captain Hammer across from Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother, Gone Girl, Starship Troopers) and Felicia Day (Dollhouse, The Guild, Supernatural) in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Some people only watched Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters because they knew he played Hermes and all of us bounced when he made those off-hand references to the lost sci-fi series he was a captain in. Now, we watch as he plays a cocky writer on Castle and remark about how awesome he pulls off that “cocky” persona… always.

We may not be able to pronounce Alan Tudyk’s last name, but we know his voice by heart. His part as Wash in Serenity broke our hearts and he’s imprinted on the pieces floating around in our chests. We watched him as Alpha in another short-lived series by Joss Whedon (Dollhouse). We couldn’t believe our ears when we played Injustice: Gods Among Us and heard his voice for Green Arrow. He was an unsung hero (well… villain) in Frozen when he voiced the Duke of Weselton. Naturally, when he voiced Alistair Krei in Big Hero 6, we just assumed that meant he was the bad guy.

Most of us followed the other actors: Gina Torres (24, Hannibal, Suits), Morena Baccarin (Homeland, Stargate SG-1, Gotham), Adam Baldwin (Chuck, The Last Ship, Angel), Jewel Staite (Stargate: Atlantis, The Killing, The L.A. Complex), Sean Maher (The Playboy Club, Make It or Break It, Much Ado About Nothing), Summer Glau (The 4400, Dollhouse, Arrow) and Ron Glass (All Grown Up, Death at a Funeral, Lakeview Terrace). For the purpose of this post, however, we’ll be paying attention to Fillion and Tudyk.

Why? Because they are creating another show.

No, this one won’t have Browncoats in space, but does that matter? Everything those two touch shines like diamond among the coal. Besides, we’d be fools not to expect the references; the private jokes that exist solely between them and their fans.

In fact, the show is about a couple of actors who played parts on a previous sci-fi show that was canceled by the network after one season. It seems like a bit of an inside look into what happened to the actors of the show right after it was canceled. They’re also recruiting some familiar faces.

Watch the video below for more information on who might be appearing.

The best part about this new show, “Con Man?”

No network can cancel it.

Fillion and Tudyk are joining forces and pushing their show to followers of IndieGogo. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s pretty much Kickstarter for movies.

This. Thing. Looks. Awesome.

The perks aren’t too bad either, and a lot of the stretch goals have already been met.

I will be pledging as much as possible to the show created by two of the best actors out there, in memory of our lost Serenity. I urge you all to take a look. Pledge or share or just generally spread the good news.

A message to the actors of Firefly that have kept the link with their fans: We know you could have just moved on. We know you could have ignored that the show ever happened. We're grateful that we still share the private jokes of the story line with you. It makes us feel like Firefly can never truly end; like losing something doesn't mean you lose everything. Thank you.

“Con Man” Indiegogo:  

Monday, March 9, 2015

Dare (2009)

Number Rolled: 70
Movie Name/Year: Dare (2009)
Genre: Thriller (wtf, really Netflix? Who was high when they determined this?)
Length: 90 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Next Wednesday Productions, Gigantic Pictures
Producers: David Brind, Jason Orans, Mary Jane Skalski
Director: Adam Salky
Writer: David Brind
Actors: Emmy Rossum, Cady Huffman, Ashley Springer, Matthew Garrick, Brianne Berkson, Lucy McMichael, Annie Hibbs, Zach Gilford, Chris Riggi, Rooney Mara, Alan Cumming, Emily McNamara, Suzanne Savoy, Adam Fleming, Ana Gasteyer, Wayne Pyle, David Brind, Brea Bee, Sandra Bernhard, Michael Braun

Alexa Walker wants to be an actress. When her drama club is set to perform in front of a Broadway star, she gets to work to try and ensure she’ll stand out. Unfortunately, her drama partner Johnny Drake, seems to have no interest in putting in any effort at all. Luckily, her best friend Ben Berger is there to help her through it.

It may sound like a coming-of-age comedy, but don’t be fooled. In the interest of avoiding spoilers wherever possible, I only describe the beginning of the movie in The Random Review, not the plot.

This film definitely took a dramatic left turn after the start. Considering it’s labeled a thriller, I thought that left turn would bring us somewhere dark and pulse-racing. Somewhere, you know, thrilling. In fact, the whole reason I added the movie to my list was because the comedy-plot came with a “thriller” genre. I thought that was unique. Instead, Dare is a drama. Someone was on acid when they decided it was thriller.

I want to say the mislabeling is why I didn’t like the movie, but I can’t.

The plot was scattered. Showing some story from each of the main character’s perspective would have been a good idea, if it had been done right. For instance, The Rules of Attraction also showed the story from several different perspectives. Unlike Dare, they managed to do it in a way that heightened the viewing experience. This film just felt broken.

Not only that, but there was no ending.

The Sopranos ended mid-word, but it left viewers with a general idea of where it was going; enough to offer debate. Dare seemed to end before the final scene. No questions are answered. There is no payoff. There’s not even the illusion of payoff.

Dare got the extra “.5” for one reason.

The actors weren’t bad. Emmy Rossum (Shameless, You’re Not You, The Day After Tomorrow) and Ashley Springer (Teeth, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Visitor) made their characters very convincing. It was Zach Gilford (The Mob Doctor, Friday Night Lights, Super), however, that really took his character to the next level. He brought so much life to Johnny Drake, that it made me angrier that there was no ending. I needed to know the rest of his story and wound up with a teaser that led to nothing. 


Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 64%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 34%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 2.6/5
Trust-the-Dice Score1.5/5

P.S. Not a thriller. Seriously. I can’t say it enough.

Movie Trailer: