Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Behind the Candelabra

Behind the candelabraThe Gist: Behind the Candelabra tells the story of famed performer Liberace as seen and lived by Scott Thorson, his longtime lover and boy-toy.

Although I have very little knowledge of Liberace’s oeuvre, I wanted to know more about him and I sure was impressed by his talent from the few performances presented.  The man was a great pianist and was clearly born to entertain and perform.

The source material is obviously one sided, but I suspect that it’s not too far from the truth, considering the times Liberace lived in and the high stakes involved in his forbidden homosexual relationships with a series of men he liked to consider and treat like his properties.

Michael Douglas and Matt Damon do a spectacular job and the movie is worth a look even just for their performances.

The Bottom Line: A well made biography of one of the most revered and famous entertainers the world has ever seen.  Great performances and a good script seal the deal.

Grade: 8

The Big C Hereafter

The big C hereafter The Big C Hereafter concludes The Big C and brings closure to all who have followed the hilarious and dramatic adventures of Cathy and her family during her fight against a deadly form of melanoma.

The show has always been extremely well made, dealing with a very touchy subject with the utmost care, and that level of quality is in full display here, for the conclusion of Cathy’s journey.

As one might well expect, the end of the show doesn’t bring any surprises, but I was impressed by how well it was handled.

Laura Linney is one of my favorite actresses and once again does an excellent job.  So do the supporting players, Oliver Platt, Gabriel Basso, John Benjamin Hickey, and Gabourey Sidibe.

Overall a great show that is not for everyone but that should be watched by all because of the veraciousness it brings to the topic of fighting cancer.

Grade – Last Season: 9

True Blood

TB6_Poster_3.inddSeason 6 of True Blood was the first one without creator Alan Ball behind the scenes, a potentially worrisome development.  Add to it that season 5 ended with Bill transformed into something of a God, and therefore seemingly unstoppable, and there was certainly a lot to be concerned about.

Fortunately, the new show runners didn’t mess up too much, even though the overall quality of the season was lower than previous ones.

I was intrigued by the “humans fight back” storyline, followed by the concentration camp-like events, and the final resolution, and I was pleased by how they nicely tied the Warlow and Lilith stories together, making them cohesive.

However, I was quite bored by the secondary stories: the one about Terry and Arlene, the one about Andy and his fairy daughters, the one about Sam and the teenage crusaders, and the one about Alcide and his pack.

As you can see there were quite a few and were clearly just used to carry each of those characters’ stories forward.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough there to make us care about them, and I always felt like they were actually bringing momentum to a halt.

Anyway, the show has been renewed for another season, so our favorite vampires will be back next summer, and I for one cannot wait.

Grade – Season 6: 7

Falling Skies

Falling skiesSeason 3 of this rather original show about alien invaders doesn’t disappoint.  A new species of aliens, the Volm, has been added to the mix.  The Volm are on our side though and apparently sworn long-time enemies of our invaders, the Espheni.

The big question is can we trust them or will they turn against us once the Espheni are defeated?

Both the acting and writing are strong suits of this show and the visual effects are a nice addition to the whole.  Spielberg’s brand clearly still means quality.

Grade – Season 3: 8