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Millennium – The Wild and the Innocent (Review)

This February and March, we’re taking a trip back in time to review the fourth season of The X-Files and the first season of Millennium.

The Wild and the Innocent is an ambitious piece of television.

It is not a piece of television that works as well as it might, the execution of the central ideas leaving a little to be desired, but it is an episode that commits whole heartedly to something unique. In I Want to Believe, Robert Shearman refers to The Wild and the Innocent as “a plot more suited to Cormac McCarthy than Chris Carter.” He’s not wrong. The Wild and the Innocent is a story about cycles of violence and abuse in the American south, a grim road movie with some very harsh conclusions about the way that the world works.

That sinking feeling...

That sinking feeling…

It still fits within the milieu of Millennium. After all the classic “serial killer road movie” is still a serial killer story, and Millennium has already carved out that niche for itself. However, the image of Frank Black and Peter Watts following a trail of bodies from Missouri down through Arkansas suggests a different show than the one that has been airing since The Pilot. In many respects – with its heavy philosophical voice-over, its country-tinged soundtrack, its fixation on the outlaw couple – The Wild and the Innocent feels almost like some old American folk tale.

There’s something decidedly old-fashioned here, with the episode playing more like a western than a police procedural. In the documentary Order in Chaos, Carter described Frank Black as character from a story “like Shane, like any cowboy, any good movie, Western movie.” As such, he fits in quite comfortably with this new type of story.

Road warrior...

Road warrior…

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Short Stories 2011: Frank Turner

Ronan from Swear I’m Not Paul asked me to pass this on. It’s a short film documenting life on The Road with Frank Turner, as the songwriter shares his own thoughts on his life’s journey, as filmed by James Henry. It’s an understated yet powerful little piece and well worth a look just for the honesty of Turner and the wonderfully sparse black-and-white photography from Henry.

10 for 10: Top Ten Movie Moments of the Year

Tomorrow, I’ll be revealing my top ten movies of the past year. It should be a fairly straightforward list, and – to be honest – there won’t be too many surprises on it. Anyway, I thought I’d put together my list of the top ten “moments” from the past year. As ever, I’m Irish – so I’ve yet to see the major crop of Oscar nominees – but it’s worth keeping in mind that there isn’t really a major overlap between this and the list of the best pictures. Some of the best movies didn’t have iconic moments, while some of the best moments were in otherwise lackluster films. Some good movies had great moments, and some great movies had simply okay moments. So, with the rules out of the way, let’s get this countdown under way!

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They’re Adapting: Why is “Unfilmable” Such a Dirty Word?

The word “unfilmable” is thrown around a lot these days. Mostly quite unfairly, but sometimes somewhat justly. It’s typically used as a go to word when somebody is genuinely terrified of what an adaptation of a certain work may look like, but don’t want to concede that the thought of what Hollywood will do to a clever and insightful idea chills them to the very bone (this is the system which turned down a chance to make Fahrenheit 451 because they couldn’t sell it to thirteen year olds). However, the word itself simply suggests that there are some ideas, stories, narratives, presentations, whatever that simply can’t be transitioned from one format to another – here, of course, the other is always cinema or television. So, is it ever fair to describe something is “unfilmable” and is there any shame in the idea?

Lost in Adaptation...

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Non-Review Review: The Road

Fire is a recurring image in the work of Cormac McCarthy. Particularly the notion of a generational line “carrying the fire” and being the good guys. There’s a moment at the end of No Country For Old Men, another adaptation of McCarthy’s work, where the tired sheriff played by Tommy Lee Jones shares a weird dream he’s been having with his wife, where he finds himself walking down a long road, and he passes his father – who is carrying a torch. It’s a powerful image, which really cuts to the heart of the piece. For those wondering what that road and that torch may actually look like… well, there’s this.

The Road less traveled...

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10 for ’10: My Most Anticipated Movies of 2010…

‘Tis still (barely) the season and all that…

I thought I’d very quickly jot down my most anticipated movies of the upcoming 12 months. This is a personal list and is by no means anything official or objective. It’s subjective all the way, baby. Keep in mind that I am a nerd who lives in Ireland, so two of these bad boys have already seen release and mixed reception Stateside. So, let’s get this thing started.

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It’s The End of The World As We Know It – And I Feel Fine

So last week we had the box office dominance of Zombieland, a post-apocalyptic comedy. Over the weekend we had the simultaneous broadcast across US network television of five minutes of Emmerich’s newest disaster flick 2012. We also may have the first post-apocalyptic Oscar-nominee in The Road this year. And that’s just in the last three months of the year. Looking back over the last decade alone there have been a million-and-one end-of-the-world thrillers, chillers, comedies and dramas. That’s a lot of apocalypse for a relatively small planet. So, what gives? is there a greater reason for the zeitgeist’s fascination with the end of the world?

Darth Vader offers an example of what the end of the world might just look like...

Darth Vader offers an example of what the end of the world might just look like...

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