That was the question on Doctor Who this week. Though it feels like a question that has been asked time and time again, the question was asked again of Clara. Unlike every other time that Clara might have been left to ride on her own, this was the first time that she pushed back.
It’s October so I am officially returning back to the weekly Entertainment Link-Off posts. My coverage of the Melbourne International Film Festival was a bit slow but at least you caught a snapshot of some of the films at the event this year. Anyway, since we’re back to your weekly links to movies, TV and music, let’s kick it all off with the star of Gone Girl, Rosamund Pike. I have to say, the film is fantastic and the acting performances are top notch. On top of that, I say this is the perfect anti-date movie of the year.
After the jump, Mystique might be the focus of the next X-Men film, Robert Downey Jr. wants Mel Gibson in the next Iron Man movie, Kevin Smith has a crazy awesome idea for Jaws, and check out some potential endorsements for Jeremy Lin. Continue reading
One thing that tends to happen when you tag along with The Doctor on the TARDIS is that you leave your real-life behind for a few months or years. That’s not the case if you’re Clara Oswald. Though she’s done many, many things while a travelling companion on the TARDIS, the one thing she hasn’t done is pack her things and move in.
This week, we finally gotten some semblance of payoff to Clara’s dueling lives as The Doctor becomes The Caretaker (who likes to be called The Doctor) at Clara’s school. Now she has to juggle maintaining her sanity while her personal life and time traveler life collide.
So… this is pretty much what happened. Back in 2004, Zach Braff made his directorial debut Garden State, which garnered positive reviews and a cult following. Thanks to that following, he was set up a Kickstarter campaign, which enabled the fans to fund this feature,, Wish I Was Here, which is essentially a quasi-remake of his former flick. Both movies star Braff as a struggling actor/manchild dealing with daddy issues while working through a series of life adventures. Oh the soundtrack to both films is quite nifty and both features a Jim Parsons cameo. I think that pretty much sums it up. That being said, Wish I Was Here is not a bad movie. The strong acting performances and the story with a big heart does have its appeal, though it certainly lacks cult appeal like his directorial debut Garden State.
In Wish I Was Here, Zach Braff stars as Aiden Bloom, a family man/struggling actor who is still waiting for his big break in Hollywood. He has an overly supportive wife Sarah (Kate Hudson), who holds a mundane unrewarding data entry job so that her husband can chase his acting dreams at casting audtions. Meanwhile, his father Saul (Mandy Patinkin) also helps out his family by funding the Bloom children, Grace (Joey King) and Tucker (Pierce Gagnon) to attend a private Jewish school. Unfortunately with Saul’s deteriorating health and increasing medical costs, he is not able to fund for Grace and Tucker’s schooling anymore. This forces Aiden to face the harsh fact that he is a man in his mid-thirties who is pursuing a dream that will not likely pan out while neglecting his own family at the same time. Unsure of what to do and in possibly a quasi-mid-life crisis, Aiden tries to home school his children (to hilarious result), mend a broken relationship between his father and his brother Noah (Josh Gad), refurbish his own home and contemplate on a possible career change.
There is no doubt that the primary storylines in Wish I Was Here has been explored multiple times before. Like Garden State, it deals with the whole issue of arrested development, family issues and dealing with terminal illness once again. At times it feels like a copy and paste job from ten years ago. On the plus side, there are redeeming elements to the movie. Zach Braff does have a good eye behind the camera and the shots are beautifully done. He also has a knack for good music and the “mixtape” element of his films often find a place in many people’s hearts.
The strong performances in the film certainly help carry this movie. Joey King and Pierce Gagnon are quite charming in their roles and they are perfect foils to Braff’s character. Kate Hudson is back in a role worthy of her talent after spending a good portion of her career being typecast in romantic comedies. She brings so much poise into a role as a woman with great sensitivity and resolve.
Even though Wish I Was Here doesn’t really bring anything fresh to the table, the movie is quite relatable. There’s still plenty of laughter to be found in the film and it does tug on the right heartstrings at the right moments.
The final product might be somewhat of a disappointment, but it certainly had its heart in the right place. It is hard to fault on that; hence the Wish I Was Here still ends up being rather enjoyable but not as memorable as its predecessor.
If there’s anyway to describe the first few episodes of Peter Capaldi’s run at the helm of the TARDIS, it might be that he’s getting a lot of the standard Doctor Who adventures out of the way. There’s the Dalek adventure. He’s done the adventure with a historical figure. There’s the horror episode. This week, it was timey-wimey genre bending.
The Doctor and Clara were tasked with robbing the most secure bank in the universe. However, this wasn’t the standard bank robbery caper. Of course not. This is Doctor Who.
It’s rather bizarre not to see a Beatles track sneak into “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby”, an interesting film that looks into a deteriorating relationship from the perspective of both parties involved. This feature debut from Ned Benson is actually two films shown back to back subtitled Her and Him respectively. While the order of the presentation may vary depending on which screening you attend, the one at the Melbourne International Film Festival kicked it off with Her followed by Him. In addition to the ambitious storytelling, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby is anchored by solid performances from the leads Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy. In addition, the supporting characters ranging from Bill Hader’s comedic touch to Isabelle Huppert’s fun portrayal of Eleanor’s chain-smoking wine guzzling mum surely helps this film move along its lengthy runtime. Continue reading
Steven Moffat has two tricks that he really likes to use when writing episodes. The first is creating and/or solving problems through wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey time paradoxes. I’ve lost count of the number of times that we’ve seen that. The second is trying to scare little children of everyday things. We’ve done statues, shadows and this week, we’re supposed to be scared of being alone in the dark.
Moffat decided to hybrid timey-wimey with everyday horror in Listen. In many ways, it’s a spiritual successor to Blink, the first time we met the Weeping Angels. Maybe it was a bit too familiar, though.