10 Cent Review – In Time

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No, Justin, hold out for a better script!

This could have been an amazing movie.  The premise is intriguing, it has something meaningful to say about allocation of resources, and it stars lots of beautiful people running around.

So much potential; such a horrendous waste.

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10 Cent Review – Homeland

How crazy is Carrie, really?

How crazy is Carrie, really?

political thriller full of realistically-portrayed mental health issues that gives me a heart attack weekly

If I tried to get into everything that makes homeland awesome, I’d be here for hours, and I’d spoil half the show for you.  Here’s what grabbed me from the first: all the characters are archetypes turned on edge and the acting makes them so real it hurts.

There’s the super sleuth who is so obsessed people think she’s crazy.  In Homeland, she is crazy, but that doesn’t mean she’s wrong.

There’s the war hero torn by PTSD who is being used by his government to popularize the war.  In Homeland, he might go the usual route and kill himself, but he might also be so torn up about it that he’s willing to blow up a room full of people to make his point.

There are others: the mentor, the grieving widow, the best friend, the hard-nosed boss, etc.  Each brings something new to the role.  Mandy Patinkin, in particular, shines beyond what I ever expected.  He was fantastic in Dead Like Me.  He is great in Homeland.

My roommate picked up Season 1 this summer, and within two weeks we were caught up and had ordered Showtime.  The plotting is tight, the characters are consistent, and it contains some of the most gloriously messed-up relationships I’ve ever seen on television.  I’m never certain where they will take the story next, but it always rings true.

5 out of 5 Deadman Switches

10 Cent Review – Super 8

super 8

Thought provoking family sci-fi film about loneliness and alienation (pun intended)

Super 8 was not the best movie of 2011.  Super 8  may not have even been the best alien movie of 2011 (I hear great things about  Attack the Block which I still have to see).  It was, however, the best live-action, family film I’ve seen in a very long time.  Heartfelt performances (can someone give Kyle Chandler the awards he deserves?), geeky childhood enthusiasm, and small town desperation combine to create something special.

3 1/2 Alien Thumbs Up