Category Archives: Some Spoilers

Liz Tells Frank Stuff She Forgot About “It’s A Wonderful Life”

Dear Frank,

poster_wonderful_470_ixWe’ve had some interesting times this week! We learned what to watch if you’re super in the Christmas mood, and we learned what to watch if you’re SUPER-SUPER-SUPER-SUPER not.

John and Jesse took us to some dark places, and I think today, on CCH Pounder’s birthday, we should try to remember the real meaning of the season. Or at least, try to remember stuff that happened in It’s A Wonderful Life. Because what a weird movie this is!

Of course, I have, like, Christmas to celebrate, so let’s not get too bogged down in details. You know what happens in It’s A Wonderful Life, Frank! We all do! But there are some key details that might have slipped under the radar for you over the years… Read the rest of this entry

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John Tells Liz What Happened In The New French Extremity Movement

Dear Frank,

As you know, our good friend John Ross usually tells me about properties related to or derived from female-skewing young adult literature. Today, he’s taken a… different path. But it should be an interesting time!

Love,
Liz

Dear Liz,

Cat FrightenedIt’s the most wonderful time of the year…for most people. But for many, the holidays have the potential to be the most depressing time of year, a time of “unrealistic expectations and excessive self-reflection.” To make matters worse, everything pretty much shuts down — you can’t go to work, you can’t go out, everyone’s gone home to be with family or loved ones — leaving you with not much to do but sit there and dwell on how single you are, how little you’ve accomplished this year, how it’s dark at 4pm, or whatever.

This is also true of the characters in many of our most beloved Christmas movies. Scrooge in A Christmas Carol is subjugated to intense self-reflection, forced by ghosts to relive the most shameful moments in his life and even visit his own grave. In It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey reviews all the missed opportunities in his life that eventually drive him to commit suicide. In the end, however, they always wake up reborn on Christmas and proceed to go bug nuts insane, running down the street, hugging everyone, throwing money around and shouting elatedly.

But this catharsis is only possible after a dark night of forced purgation by an inescapable, seemingly omnipotent entity. Only after they’ve reflected on their sins and faced death can they truly appreciate life.

Wait a minute… That sounds familiar… Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “The Fall” (The Gillian Anderson One)

Dear Frank,

The-Fall-BBC-2-posterI am right now watching Gillian Anderson make out with someone who isn’t David Duchovny. This is very confusing for me!

I should probably back up a little.

Whenever I’ve fallen deeply for a show, Frank, I’ve often been compelled to track down other media featuring the actors in question. It is why I have seen no shortage of very strange British dramas featuring Doctor Who cast members, the David Duchovny “comedy” Evolution, and at least one episode of the show Eureka, because of the lady who did the voice for Elisa Maza on Gargoyles.

Still, it’s always really weird, isn’t it? I mean, we accept no shortage of movie stars in no shortage of various roles, but when you closely identify an actor with a part — there is no getting around it. Especially when said actor has a history of investigating serial killers! So that’s why, for the duration of this post, I will be referring to Gillian Anderson as Scully. Sorry, girl. Blonde hair or not, The X-Files is forever.

Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank Why “Catching Fire” Was Better Than “The Hunger Games”

Dear Frank,

jennifer-lawrence-catching-fire-poster-610x903Are you sitting down? You’re not walking anywhere, right, setting yourself up for some amazing pratfall once I conclude this vaguely cliche beginning and tell you something utterly ridiculous? Maybe take a seat, relax, though not too much. BE ON YOUR GUARD, Frank, because I have SHOCKING NEWS…

…We now live in a world where the man who directed Constantine made a better Hunger Games movie than the man who directed Pleasantville. Yes, I’m saying that the man who thought Shia LaBeouf would be a believable street tough has out-performed the man who gave us one of the more unappreciated and beautiful films of the 1990s.

(I mean, sure, Gary Ross’s use of the word “colored” ends up being pretty heavy-handed, but I adore the scene where Reese Witherspoon learns to love books, so shut up, Pleasantville haters.)

(And yes, also, sure, Francis Lawrence did make one of the best casting moves ever by signing up Tilda Swinton as the angel Gabriel but WHATEVER.)

Anyways, Frank, the point is that Catching Fire? It is really good! It is, in fact, arguably better than the film which came before it! I was told this in advance, but was very doubtful (see above). And yet, totally true.

The reasons for why, though, are pretty simple… Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Orphan Black”

Dear Frank,

orphan_black_xlgI am writing this the Monday after the Emmys, which the Internet, in proud Internet tradition, declared to be the absolute worst. I mean, it wasn’t great and SERIOUSLY YOU GIVE BEST ACTOR TO JEFF DANIELS OVER CRANSTON WHAT THE FUCK YOU THINKING GUYS, but at this point complaining after an awards show has become a little rote.

However, some would argue that the greatest injustice of the Emmys this year did not occur Sunday night, but back in July, when a young lady named Tatiana Maslany was not nominated for Best Actress in a Drama.

People were very upset by this! Why, you ask? Well, Frank, good ol’ Tatiana stars in Orphan Black, a show about a girl who discovers that her family history is a little… complicated. Like, clone complicated.

And as a result, Tatiana ends up not just playing the main character of Sarah, but a variety of other young women who happen to look just like her — and she does it really well. Like, scary well. Like, Emmy-worthy well.

That was what I heard, anyway. I watched the pilot back when it first aired on BBC America a few months ago, but while it ended on a solid cliffhanger, I didn’t quite get into it, for whatever reason, and didn’t follow through until just recently. For the show has crazy-good buzz, so I figured it was one of those where you need to give it at least two or three episodes to rev up. And I was right!

So here’s the basic deal, Frank… Read the rest of this entry

“Star Trek: Voyager” Season 6: The Skip It/Watch It Guide

The adventure continues thanks to the wonderful Whitney Bishop, who continues her quest through the Delta Quadrant with the cleanest refugees in Starfleet. Season 6 is here — we’re almost home, you guys! –Liz

Voyager_S6Season six of Voyager really becomes the Seven Show. On the one hand, that’s great, because Jeri Ryan is still the most talented cast member and Seven of Nine has some of the most interesting character development still left. Also, up until the end, it strayed away from the disasters that are usually her romance plots and embraced her ability to do other things, like take care of special-needs children and wear less makeup.

On the other hand, though, focusing on her means leaving a lot of good characters by the wayside. Nothing of note has happened to Chakotay in a good long while, and while Harry, Neelix, and Tuvok are present in a lot of scenes (and get to lead the plot in about an episode each), they’re generally supporting the action, not carrying it. That’s just death on a show that’s supposed to be an ensemble cast. I read that this season was a slog for Robert Beltran, and I have no problem believing that, considering how he was in every episode of the show (as was Tim Russ), but I don’t actually remember his being in most of the ones this season.

I’m also just going to point out the fact that three of the four cast members the show forgets about are three of its four cast members of color, put that down, and back away slowly. (If you’re interested in detailed-yet-spoilery statistics, Adherents.com has a list of Species / Race / Gender / Ethnicity Breakdown Among Star Trek Cast Members, which was a good read.)

SEASON SIX Read the rest of this entry

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