Comments on watching and making films.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

David Carradine found dead

From the AP - 

BANGKOK – Actor David Carradine, star of the 1970s TV series "Kung Fu" who also had a wide-ranging career in the movies, has been found dead in the Thai capital, Bangkok. A news report said he was found hanged in his hotel room and was believed to have committed suicide.

A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy, Michael Turner, confirmed the death of the 72-year-old actor. He said the embassy was informed by Thai authorities that Carradine died either late Wednesday or early Thursday, but he could not provide further details out of consideration for his family.

The Web site of the Thai newspaper The Nation cited unidentified police sources as saying Carradine was found Thursday hanged in hisluxury hotel room.

It said Carradine was in Bangkok to shoot a movie and had been staying at the hotel since Tuesday.

The newspaper said Carradine could not be contacted after he failed to appear for a meal with the rest of the film crew on Wednesday, and that his body was found by a hotel maid at 10 a.m. Thursday morning. The name of the movie was not immediately available.

It said a preliminary police investigation found that he had hanged himself with a cord used with the room's curtains. It cited police as saying he had been dead at least 12 hours and there was no sign that he had been assaulted.

police officer at Bangkok's Lumpini precinct station would not confirm the identity of the dead man to The Associated Press, but said the luxury Swissotel Nai Lert Park hotel had reported that a male guest killed himself there.

Carradine was a leading member of a venerable Hollywood acting family that included his father, character actor John Carradine, and brother Keith.

In all, he appeared in more than 100 feature films with such directors as Martin ScorseseIngmar Bergmanand Hal Ashby.

But he was best known for his role as Kwai Chang Caine, a Shaolin priest traveling the 1800s American frontier West in the TV series "Kung Fu," which aired in 1972-75.

He reprised the role in a mid-1980s TV movie and played Caine's grandson in the 1990s syndicated series "Kung Fu: The Legend Continues."

He returned to the top in recent years as the title character in Quentin Tarantino's two-part saga "Kill Bill."

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Thoughts on the season finale of Breaking Bad

Note - There are spoilers involved in this post. If you haven't watched the Season 2 finale of Breaking Bad, and you are planning on doing so, don't read this post.

So, a couple of days ago I watched the season finale of one of the coolest shows on TV - Breaking Bad. The season felt like it had really been building up to a boiling point, with the opening of the season starting with Tucco going insane and kidnapping Walt and Jesse, and has gotten progressively more intense. One of the things that I loved was how they had been setting up something at the beginning of almost every episode - a black and white mystery of visual puzzle pieces that you just knew was going to revealed in the final episode. 

So, needless to say, Sunday was a highly anticipated night for me, but... I was left disappointed. First of all, the show was only an hour long. I'm sorry, but you could have easily have had a two hour episode (a la Lost), and had plenty to say to keep it interesting. The whole episode felt very anti-climactic. Skylar didn't seem to care about any of the stuff that had happened during the last two seasons, until Walt, under pain medication responds to her question "Where's your cell phone?" by saying "Which one?". Really? After all she went through to try and figure out if he had a second phone in the first place, and had finally got to a point where she accepted the idea that he didn't, and then she just totally freaks out when, under mind altering conditions, he infers that one exists? Just seems like they're stretching it a little... 

It felt like Walt Jr. was, somehow, under used... I don't know, it just felt like he should have had more to do in that episode. I loved the fact that we saw more of John de Lancie's character Donald, but I wish we could have seen even MORE of him. Who is he, really? I mean, other than Jane's father. I loved, in the second to last episode, how Walt and Donald ended up in that bar together, talking, without ever understanding who the other one was. I wish there would have been another meeting like that, and then, maybe, in season 3, they find out who the other is (I don't know... maybe that's cheesy...). 

I did like everything with Jesse, though. For the first time, I felt like we really saw him as a 3D character. He was always, sort of, the same for the last two seasons, and now, we finally see him breaking apart when the one person, the only person, he cares about dies.

But what really pushed me over the edge - the fact that all of those puzzle pieces they had been setting up during the whole season amounted to almost nothing that really had to do with Walt or Jesse, or Walt's family, or anything really related to drugs. When you find out that its a mid-air collision, and all of the stuff you were counting on to be some crazy thing that goes wrong, turns out to be something horrible, mind you, but still not related to Walt.

So, it was disappointing. Not horrible, but disappointing. BUT, the whole season was pretty good, so, I guess we can forgive the finale for not being quite up to snuff. Just a quick note to Vince Gilligan, though - Vince, next season, let's end it with a bang!