Shorties #6

I was concerned that the holiday season would be a cultural dead zone, but things are piling up faster than I can write about them! Aaaaaaah!

#1: Koyaanisqatsi: I'm surprised that I hadn't heard of this 1982 movie before it was sprung on me by a date. Francis Ford Coppola helped produce it, Philip Glass wrote the score, and it was enough of a cult film to warrant being the first of a trilogy. Translated from Hopi as "Life Out of Balance", it has no dialogue, but is merely a series of clips progressing from the beauty and stillness of nature through hectic scenes of urban life. Frankly, it was too much of "Nature Good! People Bad!" kind of message for me, but even if the tone didn't strike the right artistic balance, the music and editing were remarkable. (Grade: C+)

#2: "Serenity": Not the Serenity that I've already mentioned. This one was the pilot episode(s) of Firefly. Back then, I wondered if I didn't like the movie because I needed to be more familiar with the source material, or if I just didn't like it. Looks like we've got an answer now, because the TV show was no better. An antihero here and there is fine, but there are simply too many unlikeable characters in this franchise. I doubt I'll pursue this show any further. (Grade: C)

#3: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day: This 2008 film is pretty much a fluffy little nothing, and I mean that as a compliment. Frances McDormand is terrific in everything, and this is no exception. She plays a poverty-stricken governess, who through a quirk of fate, finds herself attempting to rescue a ditzy aspiring actress (Amy Adams) from various romantic entanglements. It's a charming movie that's best enjoyed some snowy night in front of the fire with a mug of hot chocolate. (Grade: B)

#4: United State of Pop - "Shine Brighter": I always enjoy DJ Earworm's yearly mashup of the top 25 pop songs of the year. Nothing has beaten out 2010 as my favorite one, but 2012's compilation comes pretty close. (Grade: B+)

#5: How I Met Your Mother - Season 7: Granted, I wasn't in the best headspace as I watched this season, but I'm pretty sure that has little to do with my opinion that it's the weakest of the bunch. There were some bright spots here and there, but for the most part, the MacLaren's gang may have put their best days behind them. (Grade: C)


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