I’m behind the eight-ball on this one, I know. Movie-related web-sites across the web have been showering praise on this small-budget Swedish vampire film for the past two years, but I only recently got around to seeing it. It’s just as terrific as I’d heard.
Oskar is a twelve-year old boy whose parents are separated. He doesn’t seem to have any friends, at least not any that we see, and he’s terribly bullied by a trio of boys from school. Oskar likes to hang-out by himself in the courtyard of the building where he lives with his mother. One night, he meets a girl, Eli, who has just moved into the building. The two form a gentle friendship. Of course, once we see Eli’s father/guardian Hakan murder a man in the woods and drain him of his blood, it’s clear that Eli hides a terrible secret.
That plot could easily describe a film that played into a whole lot of dumb, horror-movie cliches, but I was delighted that nothing could be further from the truth. Director Tomas Alfredson, working from a screenplay by John Ajvide Lindqvist (adapting his own novel) has crafted a surprisingly gentle, tender film that is at once sweet and chilling. Let the Right One In unfolds through a series of small, quiet scenes. It’s a very still movie (though that stillness is punctuated by a few moments of intense violence). The way the camera lingers on the frozen, snow-covered landscape reminds me in some ways of the Coen Brothers’ Fargo, and also in the way the M. Night Shyamalan was unafraid, in his early films (like The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable) to let a quiet long shot tell the story.
All of this would be irrelevant were not the film’s two leads, Kare Hedebrant as Oskar, and Lina Leandersson as Eli, so spectacularly good. There is no over-acting to be found in this film. Both Hedebrant and Leandersson are able to express a world of character through their small, underplayed facial expressions, often without speaking a word. (Or when, as is often the case in real life, the words they are speaking fail to convey what’s really going on in their hearts and minds.) Whenever I see great performances by child actors, I always credit the director as much as the actors themselves, and so kudos to Mr. Alfredson for drawing such restrained, naturalistic performers out of his stars.
I am not a big horror fan, but Let The Right One In quickly won me over. I’m so glad to have finally given it a shot. It’s hard to believe that one could describe a vampire movie as tender, but this one is. I … [continued]
I was a fan of 24 from the very beginning. However, despite my long-held allegiance to the show, I have not once regretted my decision to sit season eight out. I had become so frustrated by the show’s descent into endlessly recycled story-lines (to a degree that verged on self-parody) that I felt it was time for me to move on.
But having followed the travails of Jack Bauer since his very first really bad day, I couldn’t resist tuning back in for last night’s series finale.
Even though I hadn’t watched any of season eight so far, it only took me a few moments to figure out what was going on. 24 is never that complicated, and it was pretty clear who the good guys were and who the bad guys were. In some respects, I think I probably enjoyed the events of this installment more than I might have had I had to sit through the previous 22 hours of circular storytelling and familiar 24 tropes of moles in CTU, double-crosses, assassinations, and Presidential moral conundrums. It’s sort of like tuning in to the final few minutes of a close-score basketball-game — I can get a lot of enjoyment from the tense final minutes without having to have watched the whole two-hour back-and-forth that got us there.
I found myself quite enjoying the first hour of this two-hour finale event. There were some great tense sequences, such as Jack’s kidnapping of Pillar (and let me say that it was a pleasant surprise to see Dollhouse‘s Reed Diamond) and President Taylor’s manipulation of Dalia Hassan. It was interesting to see how far President Taylor had slipped towards the dark side since I’d last seen her, and it’s always fun to see Jack when he’s in full-on Righteous Hand of Vengeance mode. I felt like this was the fun, fast-paced 24 that I’d loved years ago.
Unfortunately, things slowed down significantly in hour two. I had no patience for all of the silliness with the data-card that everyone was after, and Chloe seemed unusually hapless (particularly considering that she somehow seems to now be in charge of CTU). Most problematically, though, was how quickly Jack got taken off the board. After his confrontation with Chloe, he’s completely passive for the rest of the hour. I can’t say I thought that was a wise narrative choice for the final hour of this action-adventure series.
I don’t want to spoil every detail of the ending, but to me it was a big let-down. It felt like a series finale, not a season finale. Yes, Jack is in a difficult spot when the hour draws to a close, and he’s forced … [continued]
So that’s it. We’re done. ”The End,” the epic-length two-and-a-half-hour finale of Lost that aired last night, was a magnificent episode. It was pretty much everything that I could ask a series finale to be: both a thrilling, emotional episode on its own as well as a wonderful capstone to the series as a whole.
Too bad it comes at the end of one of the most disastrously terrible seasons of a previously-great show that I can remember.
Spoilers obviously lie ahead for the finale of Lost, gang, so be warned!
The Lost finale reminded me of everything about the show that I used to love. From start to finish, “The End” exuded a narrative confidence that has been sorely missed. A two-and-a-half-hour finale could very easily have been a bloated, indulgent exercise, but I found the episode to be exquisitely paced. Yes, they took their time with the story, but I felt this was worth it in order to give all of the wonderful reunions in the sideways world their due. The writers cashed in every single chip they had in terms of the audience’s investment in these characters, but I thought those moments paid off phenomenally well. It was delightful to see so many of the familiar faces return, and each reunion felt like a powerful emotional payoff to six seasons of storytelling. (But where were Michael and Walt??? More on this later.) And those slow, emotional beats were well-balanced by some terrific, tense sequences on the island. (I thought the take-off sequence aboard Ajira 316 was particularly compelling.)
Yes, the exact nature of the sideways world was left vague, but that is the kind of narrative vagueness that I have no problem with. I don’t exactly understand whether that universe was intended to be a glimpse at what awaits us all after death, or whether it was (as Christian Shephard seemed to hint) something magical that was somehow created by the collective unconscious of all the castways. Either way, I don’t really understand why the characters didn’t immediately remember who they were — why they each had to somehow be “woken up.” But, you know, I don’t really care. J.R.R. Tolkien didn’t precisely explain the nature of the Gray Havens in The Lord of the Rings, and it wasn’t necessary for him to do so. What was important here at the end of Lost was the idea that, somehow, all of our characters got a taste of the happiness they’d all been chasing — and that we, the audience who had invested in those characters, also got to taste that happy ending. That the ending was tinged with the bittersweet — since the show made … [continued]
I know I’m turning into a bit of a broken record regarding the continuing series of animated DC Universe DVDs, but I can’t really help it. I’m really enjoying the direct-to-DVD series so far, and I certainly understand that I should count my blessings that these unique and well-made animated projects exist at all. But I’m still waiting for one of these new animated films to truly hit the ball out of the park. These films are great, but none yet rival, say, the animated Batman: Mask of the Phantasm from 1993.
Which is not to say that the latest animated film, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, isn’t a lot of fun — it certainly is! Based on a variety of different comic book story-lines, this film has some fun with the idea of alternate universes existing parallel with the main DC universe. Lex Luthor flees one-such alternate world, where alternate versions of the Justice League members have banded together to form the Crime Syndicate and take over the world. Luthor — actually fighting on the side of good in that universe — determines that his world’s only hope lie in heroes from another universe entirely — our Justice League.
It’s a pretty familiar set-up, but what follows is a fun, tightly-paced action adventure in which Superman, Batman, & co. are forced to confront darker, more ruthless versions of themselves. There are some nice character beats, and several terrific action sequences.
The voice acting — as is par for the course in these Bruce Timm-supervised DC animated productions — is top-notch. Hark Harmon (NCIS, The West Wing) is Superman, William Baldwin is Batman, Chris Noth (Mr. Big from Sex and the City) is Lex Luthor, and Vanessa Marshall is Wonder Woman. Portraying their adversaries are Brian Bloom as Ultraman, James Woods (so many great movies, including Casino and Once Upon a Time in America) as Owlman, and Gina Torres (Zoe from Firefly) as Superwoman.
Despite those great actors, though, I must confess that I miss the voices from the original animated Superman, Batman, and Justice League TV series. It was GREAT having those core original actors (Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy, and Clancy Brown) back for the last DC animated DVD, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (read my review here), and I missed them in this installment. This was particularly the case because this film isn’t a direct adaptation of a specific comic book story — in fact, of all the DVD films, this adventure feels the most like it could have been an extra-long episode of the Justice League series. This isn’t a surprise, because on the special features it is revealed that writer … [continued]
Yesterday I began writing about the terrific comic book series Powers, by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming. I’ve had great fun, over the past few weeks, re-reading the series since the very beginning.
I have no idea what prompted me to pick up issue 1 of Powers ten years ago. I think I might have previously read a collection of Mr. Bendis’ series Jinx, and maybe I recognized his name on the comic. Or maybe it was the dynamic, eye-catching cover by Mr. Oeming. Either way, I have a distinct memory of reading the first issue while sitting and waiting at my barber shop, and being completely blown away by this exciting, dynamic new type of comic book.
It was a kick to go back and re-read those early issues, now a decade later. They hold up remarkably well. It’s clear, right from the beginning, that Bendis and Oeming were a powerhouse team, and that they had seized on a really unique, engaging concept for a series. But it’s also fascinating to see how dramatically both men’s styles have changed over the years. The early issues are VERY dialogue-heavy. Mr. Bendis has always been known (and rightly so) for his dialogue, and it is very common for him to cram far more dialogue into one of his issues than can be found in most comic books. However, the early issues or Powers are literally drowning in word balloons. Now, that’s not a criticism. The dialogue is phenomenal, and is a huge part of what gave Powers its distinct feel. But as the decade has passed I think Mr. Bendis has grown a lot more confident in his collaboration with Mr. Oeming, and more willing to let the images stand on their own to tell the story. It’s also interesting to see Mr. Bendis’ reliance, in those early issues, on incorporating a lot of police lingo into the dialogue, without any explanations as to what the terms mean. I remember noticing that right away when first reading issue one. I thought it was cool, and that it helped with the you-are-there sort of realism that Mr. Bendis was trying to create with his stories. I think it is another mark of Mr. Bendis’ growing confidence in his skills, and in the series, though, that those sort of things faded away as the series progressed.
Mr. Oeming’s drawing style was also quite different, back in those early issues. It’s neat to look back and see him experimenting with his page lay-outs (using multiple panels, large blocks of black space, etc.), and even more-so with the way he drew characters and especially faces. One can see … [continued]
Detective Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim investigate homicides that involve super-powered individuals. But what does it mean to be a cop in a city filled with super-heroes?
That is the deceptively simple premise for Brian Michael Bendis & Michael Avon Oeming’s comic book series Powers. With the series celebrating a decade of its existence, and just a few months ago beginning to release volume III of its run, I thought it would be fun to re-read the entire series from the beginning. I’ve been reading the series since the release of issue 1 back in 2000, and it has remained one of my favorite comics throughout that time.
Brian Michael Bendis has found great success writing and drawing a number of black-and-white crime books (Jinx, Goldfish, Torso) and also, over the past ten years, writing mainstream super-heroes for Marvel Comics, where he has become one of their pre-eminent authors guiding Ultimate Spider-Man, Daredevil, and the Avengers franchise (among others). But, to me, Powers remains his most potent creation. This fusion of street-level noir, crime stories with a world filled with super-heroes has proven to be an incredibly elastic concept through which Mr. Bendis & Mr. Oeming have been able to tell all sorts of stories over the past decade of the series.
There are few writers working in comics — or, frankly, in any artistic field — who can equal Mr. Bendis’ facility with dialogue. This man can capture the way people really speak, and right from the beginning this enabled him to draw the reader into the world of homicide detectives. This realism provides a key counterpoint to the idea that these detectives work in a city where super-heroes and super-villains live and fight — it grounds the series, and the characters. Mr. Bendis has also never been afraid to push the boundaries of what can be done in a creator-owned work. Powers is profane, and it is violent. Characters have sex, and characters are brutally murdered. But it’s rare that any of that feels indulgent. It’s all part of Mr. Bendis and Mr. Oeming’s creation of a universe that feels “real” — where serious shit can and often does go down. In that vein, the two men aren’t afraid to turn over the apple-cart of their series. In a mainstream Marvel or DC book, creators are obligated to, for the most part, maintain the series’ over-all status quo. Not so in a creator-owned book like Powers, and Mr. Bendis and Mr. Oeming really push that freedom to its limit. The series has changed direction WILDLY at several points, so far, in its run, and quite a few of the original cast of characters are … [continued]
After re-watching Albert Brooks’ film Modern Romance a few weeks ago (read my review here), I decided the time had come to revisit some of his other films. I started by tracking down Lost in America, his 1985 film that, somehow, I had never seen.
Mr. Brooks (who also directed and co-wrote the film, with Monica Johnson) stars as David Howard. After failing to get a promotion at work — one that he’d been working towards for years — he tells off his boss in spectacular fashion (the explosion is just as much fun as you might think) and gets fired. So he convinces his wife Linda, played by Julie Hagerty (Elaine Dickinson from Airplane!) to quit her boring job as well. They sell their house, liquidate their stocks, buy a Winnebago and set out to roam America and find themselves. Unfortunately, their first stop is in Las Vegas and, after only one night, they’ve lost all their money. Left with only $800 to their name, David and Linda have to try to find jobs in the small, midwestern town in which they find themselves.
In my humble opinion, Albert Brooks wrote and directed far too few films. So it was a great delight to get to discover, for the first time, an Albert Brooks film that I’d never seen. Lost in America certainly isn’t my favorite Brooks film (that would be Modern Romance), but there’s a lot to appreciate here. There’s a lot of comedy today that wrings laughs from awkward, painful moments (the original British The Office comes to mind), but Mr. Brooks was pushing those boundaries thirty years ago. For a “comedy,” there’s a lot of real, human moments to be found in Lost in America (and in all his films, really!).
It’s clear from the film’s opening scene — a slow, slow pan through David & Linda’s home, while a Larry King interview with film critic Rex Reed plays on an out-of-sight radio — that we’re in the hands of a filmmaker with great skill. It’s a very meta choice to start one’s film with a lengthy monologue from Rex Reed talking about films, and it indicates that Mr. Brooks was after more than just a few yuks. Lost in America tells the story two people who both find themselves trapped in their lives — trapped by their go-nowhere jobs, by the expectations that they put upon themselves about what they “should” be doing, about the house they “should” be living in, and so forth. It’s a situation in which, one presumes, many middle-class folk find themselves in at one point or another in their lives. There’s a strong aspect of “wish-fulfillment” … [continued]
I entered season six of Lost with enormous enthusiasm. After re-watching the first five seasons on the show, I had gained a newfound respect for the wonderful, overall tapestry of the show, and I was beyond excited to see those myriad story-threads get pulled together over the course of the final season.
That didn’t quite work out the way I had hoped.
A few days late, last night I finally had a chance to watch the series’ antepenultimate episode “Across the Sea.”
I don’t, frankly, really even know where to begin.
But looking back, I’ll remember this as the moment when I gave up my last embers of hope that the show would reach anything resembling a satisfying conclusion.
Instead of dissecting the flaws of the episode, let me direct you to this interview with the two show-runners, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, conducted by the great Alan Sepinwall (who has just started a new blog over at Hitfix.com).
I have been reading and listening to interviews with Mr. Lindelof and Mr. Cuse for years now, and they’ve always struck me as funny, intelligent men who really knew what they were doing in charting this weird, complex show. But now their comments just make me sad.
There are two exchanges that are really worth noting. Here’s the first:
As we’ve gone into this final season and you’ve introduced new characters like Dogen and Lennon and the other Temple people, and new mysteries, there have been some people who’ve said, “Okay, they don’t have to answer all the old mysteries if they don’t want to, but it’s not fair for them to keep introducing lots of new ones at this late date.” How do you respond to that?
DL: Are there any readers who actually like the show?
Many readers like the show. I like the show. But these questions are out there.
CC: We feel that we as storytellers, basically can only approach the storytelling the way that we do, which is it felt like there was no way that we could just be answering existing questions without the show feeling didactic. There would have been no larger narrative motor. For the show to devolve into running through a checklist of answers, we would have been, honestly, crucified for that version of the show. It’s ironic that the episode that’s generating so much controversy is one in which we answered questions, but it’s not surprising to us. Between what the audience thinks they want and what they will find entertaining – we have tried ot make the show in a way that people would find it entertaining, moving engaging. To do that required having new … [continued]
This is great — some classic Seinfeld moments rejiggered as a trailer for a weepy movie:
Thanks to my buddy Ethan K. for sending this my way!… [continued]
This made me laugh:
I’m always chasing after that perfect cinematic experience — the rare movie where everything just seems to magically click, and I walk out of the theatre totally jazzed by what just unspooled before my eyes. I felt that way when I saw the first Iron Man. I was really blown away by the confidence with which director Jon Favreau and his team (headlined, of course, by the amazing Robert Downey Jr.) pulled off their exciting, engaging, and all-around FUN first installment.
Best of all, while that first movie was certainly a complete story all its own, it ended on a terrific high-note that promised fertile stories ahead — Tony’s spur-of-the-moment “I am Iron Man” admission in the final scene of the film, and the end-of-the-credits button that introduced Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury (played by Sam Jackson, who was the visual model for the character in Marvel’s “Ultimate” universe created about a decade ago) and made mention of the “Avengers Initiative.” I walked out of that theatre unbelievably pumped for the stories to come, and when Marvel announced, about a week after Iron Man‘s opening, their plans for future films based on Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man 2, all of which would build to a movie-version of Marvel’s super-hero team The Avengers, it was clear that an extraordinary venture was underway.
But that venture was fraught with risk. Both Thor and Captain America seem like characters who work great in comic books but would be fiendishly difficult to pull off believably in a movie version. And while most of the key creative players behind Iron Man were returning for the sequel, well, I probably don’t need to list for you the many, many sequels that have been colossal disappointments, unable to capture the magic of the first installment.
Alright, already, so what did I think of Iron Man 2?
Mr. Favreau and his team have crafted another fun, engaging installment of the adventures of Tony Stark. They haven’t reinvented the wheel. They haven’t turned over the apple-cart in the way that makes some of the truly great movie sequels so notable (The Empire Strikes Back, The Wrath of Khan, The Dark Knight…). I didn’t walk out of the theatre with that same tingle that I had after seeing the first Iron Man. But that doesn’t mean that the film isn’t very good.
Robert Downey Jr. proves that his perfection as Tony Stark in the first installment wasn’t a fluke. He’s once again phenomenal, totally magnetic whenever he’s on screen. I was pleased that the filmmakers resisted the temptation to trim any of Stark’s rough edges — Tony is just as much a … [continued]
It’s funny — although I acknowledge that Peter Bogdanovich is a significant, influential director, I must admit with some embarrassment that I’ve seen very few of his films. Many of his ground-breaking films from the ’70s remain, as-yet-unseen, on my lengthy “to-watch” list: The Last Picture Show, What’s Up Doc?, Paper Moon, etc. I actually know Mr. Bogdanovich more as a knowledgeable film historian (his audio commentary on the DVD of Citizen Kane, for example, is magnificent and enlightening) than I do as a director.
But I’m a big fan of a film that he made in 2001, The Cat’s Meow. The film is based on Hollywood whispers (“the whisper told most often”) about the events of a fateful boat cruise hosted by legendary media mogul William Randolph Hearst in 1924 that (might have) resulted in the untimely death of director Thomas Ince.
As the film tells the tale, W.R. Hearst invited an assemblage of show-biz folks (and a few gossip-writers) to join him on a yacht cruise in celebration of Mr. Innes’ birthday. One of the guests was Charlie Chaplin (played by comedian Eddie Izzard), who may or may not have been involved at the time with Hearst’s very young starlet wife, Marion Davies (played by Kirsten Dunst). (Of course, Hearst’s relationship with Marion Davies was most famously depicted — not in a positive light — in Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane, which resulted in Hearst’s attempts to block that film’s release.) Though the weekend was supposed to be a fun getaway, it seems that almost every guest on Hearst’s yacht arrived with their own agenda. The fun of the film is in watching these powerful Hollywood personalities bounce off one another, as each guests’s true ambitions bubble just below the surface.
There’s a lot of humor to be found in the film, although it shouldn’t be mistaken for a farce. The Cat’s Meow is actually a pretty sad story — this boat cruise did not have a happy ending for many of its guests.
Mr. Bogdanovich assembled an interesting mix of actors for the film. I really enjoyed Eddie Izzard’s performance as Chaplin. He doesn’t really look like Chaplin, but still, the casting is inspired. Izzard really nails the charisma of Chaplin, without falling into mimicry. It seems to me that Kirsten Dunst isn’t that well thought of as a serious actress, but I thought she was terrific here as Davies. Unlike Mr. Izzard, she really does look the part — and she brought a surprising amount of soul to the performance. (You’ll have a lot more empathy for Marion Davies when watching The Cat’s Meow than when watching Citizen Kane!) Edward Herrmann (whom my … [continued]
There’s a great article about Mel Brooks up at Boston.com, because his musical Young Frankenstein is coming to Boston for a two-week run. I was disappointed by Young Frankenstein when I saw it on broadway, but this brief piece about one of our comedic legends is worth a read.
Here’s a fascinating article about the many different versions of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. I’m a big fan of this groundbreaking film, and I’d love to see the newly-restored 147-minute version.
One of my very favorite web-sites, thedigitalbits.com, has posted a very informative interview with DVD Producer Michael Pellerin. Mr. Pellerin has been involved with the DVD releases of The Lord of the Rings since the very beginning, and he has some fascinating comments on the recent blu-ray release of the trilogy as well as the material that Peter Jackson has been saving for the eventual ultimate blu-ray super-duper box set. (Can’t wait for that!)
Speaking of Peter Jackson and The Lord of the Rings, December 2012 needs to hurry up and get here already!!!
Artist Ron Miller has created a series of breathtaking images entitled the Eight Wonders of the Solar System. Gorgeous.
I am starting to believe that Ridley Scott is actually going to make the Alien prequel that has been rumored for years. Mr. Scott spills a lot of beans in this interview with MTV, although it was the folks at HitFix that revealed that he’s actually planning to create TWO prequels. OK, color me cautiously intrigued. I’m excited to see Ridley Scott return to the Alien universe for the first time since 1979, though as a rule I think prequels are stupid.
Here’s a great profile of comic book genius Jeff Smith. Bone is one of the masterpieces of the medium (if you haven’t read it — you really must), and I’m really digging his new series Rasl.
Star Trek geeks: check out this incredible opening movie from the 2009 FedCon Science Fiction Convention. This gorgeous 4-minute short film, created by Tobias Richter, features an action-packed sequence featuring the U.S.S. Kelvin & redesigned U.S.S. Enterprise from J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek film. Pretty awesome stuff. (Though I still hate the redesigned Enterprise…)
Speaking of Star Trek, I am giddy with excitement over the next batch of episodes in the phenomenal fan-film series Star Trek: Phase II. (I’ve written before about Phase II here, and here is my review of one of their recent episodes, “Blood and Fire.”) There’s a great series of teases for these upcoming episodes up at Trekmovie.com, including the revelation that these mad geniuses are planning on including Arex (the … [continued]
As with Death at a Funeral (which I reviewed last month), The TV Set is a film that I’ve been wanting to see ever since it was released. It was one of those films that sounded really interesting to me, and was very well-reviewed, but I just never got around to catching it. I keep a little notebook with a long LOOONG list of all the movies that I want to see someday. Any time I read about a film that sounds interesting, I add it to the list. I’ve been very busy lately, but I’m really happy that I’ve been able to cross some great films off of that to-watch list lately, thanks to Netflix!
The TV Set stars David Duchovny as Mike Klein, a TV writer. Mike has written and sold a script for a new TV pilot called The Wexley Chronicles, and over the course of the film we follow the process of casting and filming the pilot from Mike’s well-liked script.
I am a big fan of television, and as a result, The TV Set is difficult to watch at times. That’s because this film dissects, with surgical precision, why so much television is so terrible. Written and directed by Jake Kasdan (Orange County, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story) and produced by Judd Apatow, the film is based on Apatow and Kasdan’s experiences making the brilliant-but-quickly-cancelled TV series Freaks and Geeks. Over the course of the film we, along with poor Mike, watch with horror as the network takes his script — which they liked because of its originality — and, through a thousand small compromises that they force Mike to make, set about to eliminate all of the project’s uniqueness in order to create something that will offend no-one and appeal to the widest audience possible. The process is summed up in an awkward confrontation between Mike and the network head-honcho Lenny (Sigourney Weaver), in which she tells him flat-out: “originality scares me.”
The cast is superb. Duchovny is perfect as the talented but also sort of sad-sack Mike. We can see, in his eyes, the quiet desperation with which Mike is trying to hold on to his vision for the project, and the anguish that each little compromise causes him. Sigourney Weaver kills as the tough, take-no-prisoners Network boss Lenny. She is a riot, and to describe Lenny as a formidable presence would be a grand understatement. Ioan Gruffudd (Horatio Hornblower from USA’s series, and perfectly cast but then stranded by the execrable Fantastic Four movies) plays Lenny’s right-hand man Richard, brought over from England to head up the network’s TV development. Whereas Lenny only cares about … [continued]