I was looking forward to the much-anticipated face-off between Marcel and Klaus on "The Originals" (Tues. at 8:00 p.m. on the CW) last night. While the two vampires and former friends brought different assets to the table, that didn't necessarily mean it wasn't a fair fight. Klaus is an Original (so he can't be killed) and a hybrid (so he's even more powerful than a vampire). Marcel is just a regular vampire, but he has an army of fellow vampires, plus a pocket witch (Davina) on his side. This was going to be a long, drawn-out battle to the death, right?
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The Broadcast Film Critics' Association is hardly the first group or individual to note that this has been remarkable year for black filmmakers and black-themed films. Ever since "Lee Daniels' The Butler" emerged as a surprise box-office sleeper in the summer, followed shortly afterward by the triumphant festival debut of "12 Years a Slave" -- both films consolidating the Sundance success of Ryan Coogler's "Fruitvale Station" in January -- the shorthand narrative of 2013 as "the year of black cinema" has been cemented in the media, and inevitably bled into the awards race.
Yesterday saw the premiere of the first Firewall & Iceberg video show. As promised, though, the podcast isn't going away. And, as promised, this week's is the long-awaited all-"Breaking Bad" show. It ran a little shorter than planned, due to massive technical difficulties during the segment with our special guest, but it's nearly an hour of your questions and our answers, plus discussion of the overall greatness of the series and where it might fit into the Pantheon now that it's done.
And as mentioned on the video show yesterday, we have a new email address for questions for both versions: email@example.com. So fire away, folks, as I suspect we'll need a bunch of good questions next week, as we shift into the dog days at the end of the calendar year.
The very simple rundown:
"Breaking Bad" (00:00:00 - 00:54:00)
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.
There's also now a complete archive of all the podcasts to date.
Mark Burnett explains the show had to use a public domain version of the song "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" so the show could sell it on iTunes.
There's been a lot of speculation about the possibility of Scarlett Johansson scoring an acting Oscar nod for her acclaimed voice work in "Her." It'd be a first, but the buzz is growing in volume. Still, if she pulls it off, it'll be without any help from the Golden Globes -- the HFPA has ruled her ineligible in their Best Supporting Actress category. It's not exactly surprising, given that they've previously disqualified motion-capture performances by the likes of Andy Serkis. (The Globes are littered with arcane restrictions: animated and foreign-language films can't compete for Best Picture, for example.) Warner Bros. appealed against the ruling, but to no avail; the good news is that she's still eligible for Oscar and SAG consideration. [Variety]
One thing was very clear when watching "Django Unchained" last year: Quentin Tarantino was delighted to finally be making a Western.
I don't blame him. The conditions when making a film in the genre can be difficult. I know that John Carpenter has told me several times that the whole reason he's never made a real Western is because of how much he hates horses. You're outside, you're typically on a location, and it's not easy work. Tarantino took to it, though, so much so that it looks like he might be giving it another try.
Tonight, Tarantino was a guest on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," and a friend of mine went to the taping to see what happened. He Tweeted from NBC's studios about a comment that Tarantino made, and it's news even if it's still somewhat vague news. He said the director was sipping moonshine during the interview and that he revealed that he is almost done writing his next film. He also revealed that it's a Western.
The holidays are almost here, and for many people, that means happy family gatherings with warm conversation and time well-spent together. For an equal number of people, that means finding something to watch so no one has to really talk to each other, and the best way to deflect things via movies is to find something everyone enjoys.
The worst way to do it is to throw on "Irreversible" and belly laugh all the way through.
I'm not saying you'd do that. Not you. You're a decent person, not Max Cady from "Cape Fear," and you would never intentionally make everyone in the family uncomfortable. You would never pick a film that would freak out your parents or your siblings or your kids or your spouse. You would never put something on that would stop conversation cold, replacing it with dense walls of silent judgment directed at you, just because you thought it was funny to freak everyone out.
Really nice continuous shot to open the show and remind us of who's been given the boot. And hey, is Bill Nye double-jointed? Because I don't think arms are supposed to spin like that. While I'm excited to find out who takes home the mirror ball tonight, I'm not quite sure why we need two hours to allow three people to compete, eliminated dancers to dance, and announce rankings. An hour, absolutely. Two? Seems a bit much. But maybe it will be fun. Oh, and Ylvis is performing "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)"!