TV Review: The Wire – The Complete Series

In five years when you discover this, you will know.

The Wire The Complete Series

Starring: Dominic West, John Doman, Idris Elba, Frankie R. Faison, Wood Harris, Deirdre Lovejoy, Wendell Pierce, Lance Reddick, Clarke Peters, Andre Royo, Sonja Sohn, Seth Gilliam, Larry Gilliard Jr, Domenick Lombardozzi, Michael K. Williams, Jim True-Frost, Delaney Williams, Corey Parker Robinson, J.D. Williams, Aidan Gillen, Jamie Hector, Robert Wisdom, Anwan Glover, Chad Coleman, Jermaine Crawford, Tristan Wilds, Maestro Harrell, Julito McCullum, Reg E. Cathey, Isiah Whitlock Jr, Robert F. Chew, Amy Ryan, Glynn Turman, Paul Ben-Victor, Pablo Schreiber, Chris Bauer, James Ransone, Clark Johnson, Thomas McCarthy, Michelle Paress, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Neal Huff, Michael Kostroff

Series Creator: David Simon
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Movie Review Catch-up

I’ve been making some changes in how I’m going to pursue this reviewing hobby of mine, starting with where my reviews will be posted, and where they won’t (besides here, of course). Another big change I’ve decided to make for this year is what I’ll be reviewing. In the past, I made a point of reviewing every movie I saw from the current year (i.e., if I saw a 2007 film in 2007, in theatre or on DVD, I tried to review it). This has become an unmanageable pace for me, particularly at the end of the year as I cram to get movies in for my year end lists and Andy Movie Awards posts.

As a result, I often feel like I have a big backlog of movies I “have” to review, which is a little silly, I know. My bigger concern is my desire to review all recent-ish movies has kept me from doing other sorts of posts, like TV or music reviews, older movies, or lists I’ve had bubbling in my head. So from now on, I’ll be doing fewer movie reviews, but hopefully more other kinds of posts, which should be fun for me (which is what this is all about, after all).

That said, the biggest reason I made a point of reviewing newish movies is that it’s the area that I think most people are most interested in reading my opinion of. If a movie is still in theatres or new to DVD, people may be interested in what I thought of it, so they can decide whether or not they want to see (that is, if they’re interested in my opinion of anything. I’ll assume some people are, otherwise, I’ll assume no one is reading this). To that end, periodically I’m going to do movie review catch-up posts, where I do mini-reviews for a handful of recent movies that I never got around to reviewing. These mini-reviews will basically be a paragraph of opinion that will mostly be summary-less, with an assigned score. I think this will be a good solution for movies I don’t have a whole lot to say about, but still have a bit of an opinion of. Sound good?

Read on for reviews of:
Be Kind Rewind (2008) 
Black Book (2007)
Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
Lust, Caution (2007)
Persepolis (2007)
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Blogcritic Magazine: My New Blogging Adventure

I've decided to do what I can to get more people to read my reviews, since I think they're pretty good and all. To that end, I have recently joined the website Blogcritic Magazine, “A Sinister Cabal of Superior Writers”, who will publish my reviews on various pop culture subjects.

It's a pretty good site, so I encourage you all to check it out. Right now, a link to my The Other Boleyn Girl review is on the home page. Now that I'm a writer for that site, all of my reviews will debut there before I post them here (I'll probably delay it by a day or so). This is a request they make so more google traffic goes to them (which they, in turn, could pass on to me by linking here twice with every post of mine). Here's hoping this leads to bigger and better things, even if they aren't that much bigger or better.

You can view all my Blogcritic contributions here: http://blogcritics.org/writer/andy_sayers (so far it's just the one, but that's where they'll all be indexed). And if you're the type to Digg or Reddit or Shoutwire internet articles, feel free.

Funny Gromit Moment

So Gromit heads upstairs and I hear some thumping around. It sounded like an empty cardboard box, which Gromit likes to destroy, so I wasn’t too concerned. But I did go up the stairs to check it out, to make sure he hadn’t gotten into too much mischief, and I was greeted with this:

So of course I was so alarmed with the fate of my beagle and the possibility of suffocation that I grabbed my camera. And took two pictures.

I also really like that once he recognised that he had gotten himself into a situation that he couldn’t get out of himself, he decided to have a seat and maybe think it through. Poor bastard. That box didn’t even have any doggie treats left in it for his troubles.

I’d like to thank London…

For making it so inhospitable our last day. This way, we won’t regret leaving at all.

The weather has been absolutely miserable today, and both my meals sucked. We managed to walk down to Westminister Abbey in the windy rain, only to turn around when we learned that the long line was outside. Fuck that. So back to where we started (Leicester Square), to go to the Portrait Museum (with a special Vanity Fair exhibition). No Shakespeare’s Globe for me.

Here’s hoping tonight’s play will be better.

It’s rainy and miserable… this must be London

It’s our final day in London, as we leave early tomorrow morning. Since I last posted, we went to the British Museum, the Tate Modern gallery, shopped at a market in Knotting Hill, went to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, watched The Other Boleyn Girl, and had really good Indian food (and some not so great British food). So, another calm and relaxed Andy and Kim vacation then.

At the market, I bought three Smiths records, a Stone Roses record, a Joy Division 7-inch and a couple t-shirts (The Stooges and Neil Young). That’s pretty sweet, I must say. Madame Tussaud’s was fun, but way too crowded to really enjoy. The same was true of the British Museum (well, maybe replace “fun” with “interesting” for that). I enjoyed the Tate Modern, especially since it was later in the evening and thus less crowded. It’s hard to look at stuff when you’re dodging crowds.

We’ve got tickets to go see We Will Rock You tonight, so that should be a big extravaganza of fun… or something like that. Til then, we’ll head off the Westminister Abbey, then maybe St. Paul’s Cathedral and Shakespeare’s Globe. But maybe not… it is pretty miserable out. We may be less ambitious in our travellings. We’ll see.

I feel fine, not too exhausted. But I am looking forward to going home. I miss Gromit.

Saturday in the old country

Another busy day in a teeming metropolis yesterday. Kim gets a little squirrelly with all these people around. I don’t think we’ll be booking any trips to Tokyo or Hong Kong anytime soon then. Yesterday we started the day with a bus tour of the city, one of those hop on hop off double-decker deals. We took it from Victoria Station near our hotel to the stop by the London Eye, where we had lunch then went on the Eye. That was cool. It was even sunny enough to enjoy it (but still windy enough to make the day chilly, which is probably why March isn’t everyone’s favourite vacation month).

From there, we took a cruise tour of the Thames (free with our bus tour ticket), going all the way to Greenwich and back. We didn’t do much there, since it’s mostly a naval place, but… I’m counting it as a place I’ve been. We mostly hung around Piccadilly and environs after that, having dinner at a Modern Indian Tapas restaurant. It was all very interesting, but a bit too modern for our tastes. We’ll have to find some honest Indian food later.

We were going to go see The Other Boleyn Girl, using the same keeping-things-British model that lead us to go see The History Boys the other night (which we quite enjoyed), but we got to the cinema after it started. So we saw Be Kind Rewind instead, which Britishness aside, was probably the movie I wanted to see most. Since I may not be writing as many movie reviews when I get back, I’ll say that it was decent, but not as good as I’d hoped. I’d say to leave it as a rental, which would also be thematically appropriate.

In “other countries do things oddly” news: the movie theatre had assigned seats. They charge higher prices for premium seats (so, the middle basically), then issue you tickets for specific seats. We paid the general price, and were seated in row N, seats 17-18. Odd that.

Books are really cheap here. At HMV in Bath, we bought The Diving Bell and the Butterfly for 3 pounds ($6), and Touching from a Distance for 4 pounds ($8). Two newish paperbacks for $14? Not bad. I also bought a couple David Bowie CDs I’d been trying to track down for 2 for £10. The strangest thing? They weren’t wrapped! You could just crack open the cases and look at the CD (or, take it if you were a thief). My mind, it was blown.

Off to the British Museum today, to go look at stuff from other countries. Cheerio.

Greetings from London. Pip-pip and all that.

After a casual few days in Bath, we are now in London, wearing ourselves down in all the hubbub. Bath was a nice place, albeit on the quiet side. This was probably for the best at the beginning, as it took us some time to recover from the flight and get used to the time difference. We got there at 2:30, then slept until the next day.

We spend the rest of our time touring the small city, taking in some exhibits, riding some buses, seeing some Roman ruins. On Monday, we took a tour to Stonehenge and surrounding environments. It was cool and all, but really frickin cold and the cramped van that took us around made us feel a bit sick. In the future, I think I’ll just recommend a trip to Stonehenge and Avesbury, but skip the Cotwolds stuff. When we got back to Bath from that tour, it was time to indulge in the spa that makes the town famous. It was basically a really expensive warm pool, but it was still nice. Also nice was going out for Nepalese food afterwards. Because that’s cool.

We were in bed most nights around 9, sometimes partaking in the DVDs at the B&B (tried to watch Flushed Away, but it was too awful to keep us awake. Truly terrible). So the adjustment to London has been harder. We mostly strolled around looking for somewhere to eat last night, but today has been busy, busy, busy. After buying discount tickets for a show tonight, we went to the National Gallery, zipping around only paying attention to the featured works (otherwise, we’d be there all day). We walked down Westminster to the War Cabinet and Churchill Museum. This was quite possibly the most well done museum I’ve ever been to. If you’re even remotely interested in the man and are in London, I highly recommend it. After a quick change and dinner, we are now about to see our play, The History Boys. I felt seeing something British would be more appropriate than an imported American production. Here’s hoping it’s good.