Return to Twin Peaks

I’m pretty much loving the new Twin Peaks on Showtime.  There are some bits here and there that seem awkwardly implemented or haphazardly introduced, but overall I’ve been very pleasantly surprised.  My fear was that David Lynch, having been out of the filmmaking game for so long, would have lost his mojo.  More specifically, that the series would have been little more than a re-tread of the original.  No fear: his mojo is solidly in place, and bright, novel storytelling abounds.

The New York Times has written a lot on the return of Twin Peaks, including a good amount of favorable criticism.  On episode (“Part”) 3:

Mostly though, this hour is pure, magnificent abstraction, right down to the unexplained few minutes of Dr. Jacoby’s spray-painting a rack of shovels. The rest of the series could be nothing but Kyle MacLachlan shouting “Hell-ooo-ooo!” at slot machines and this episode alone will have justified the entire “Twin Peaks” revival.

Thankfully, the other 3 hours have been equally worthwhile, which portends well for the remainder of the series: an auspicious beginning to be sure.

I’m really looking forward to this…

A magnetic, majestic, eloquent and deeply soulful talent has passed

leonard-cohen-post-text-block-1aA couple comments.  It was long ago, but I may have first become aware of Leonard Cohen by way of the great Oliver Stone picture Natural Born Killers; his songs so perfectly fit that maniacal road trip:

And now the wheels of heaven stop
You feel the devil’s riding crop
Get ready for the future: it is murder

And an observation: I haven’t dug into it much, and in fact was not aware of it until yesterday, but Cohen was another artist who produced right up to his death — in that beautiful tradition laid down by Warren Zevon (with whom I’ve at times confused Cohen — inexplicable I know), the man in black Johnny Cash, David Bowie, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

leonard-cohen-post-text-block-2aEach of those musicians presaged their own death in their final works.  Leonard Cohen’s last album, released less than a month before he died: You Want It Darker.

VOD Log: Big Fish

Big Fish - poster smallBig Fish is sweet, and charming, and lovely.  And dull.  Given the open-ended framework, there should have been much more.  Most major critics were no more impressed than I; Richard Corliss, Time:

Big Fish makes a big push for transcendence, but the strain shows. It’s like trying to push a daydream uphill.

Big Fish - text block

A.O. Scott (with whom I usually disagree), the Times:

But the most curious thing about this magical-realist fable… is how thin and soft it is, how unpersuasive and ultimately forgettable even its most strenuous inventions turn out to be.

Roger Ebert didn’t care for it either.  Big Fish attempts to cast a magical glow in the way that Forrest Gump or The Princess Bride did, but both the story and its ability to awe fall short.  5/10

Comparison Notes: True Stories, Forrest Gump, The Princess Bride

Buh-Bye, Android

As someone who has long held that the pushers of Android have a reservation waiting for them at the seventh gate of Hell, I was amused at yesterday’s very good New York Times article on the state of Google’s mobile OS, which arrived just in time to rain on the Google I/O parade.  Two things I didn’t know that stand out:

 Of Google’s mobile search ad revenue, “about 75 percent” comes “from ads on iPhones and iPads.”

Love it!  And, earlier in the same paragraph, this juicy tidbit:

 “Google pays billions [emphasis mine] to Apple to make its search engine the default search provider for iOS devices”

Google better hope that Apple doesn’t turn that spigot off.  After stabbing Apple in the back, Google must now genuflect before its master.

Buh-Bye - skit image

One of SNL’s best skits 

Sean Penn as Action Star

A.O. Scott:

It’s not a hard and fast rule, but in general when the main character, sometime in the third act, says, “I did some bad things … ” and stares off into the middle distance, the implied end of the sentence is “including this movie.”

I often disagree with Scott, but he is — like most Times writers — witty, smart and often very funny.

This is a dead time for movies — I’ve seen all the Oscar contenders that I’m going to see, and that leaves nothing but a big slew of really bad movies to wade through until baseball season starts and rescues me from the tedium.