“The Killing” Is 2011’s Best Comedy


As the finale for The Killing was winding down, I was chuckling to myself. This ludicrous season was being capped off in the most ludicrous way possible, with the evil politician being brought down after our brave hero cops decided to go back to the scene of the crime and found evidence to convict, evidence that could have been found the morning of the ki– sorry, The Killing, but apparently wasn’t given a second thought during the two torturous weeks our bumbling protagonists had been investigating the case.

Earlier in the episode, the cops decided to check out the car that Rosie Larsen had been found in, and lo and behold, there was evidence! This was the first time in 13 episodes that the cops had decided to check out the car. As this was unfolding, I laughed and laughed.

Meanwhile, the subplots we were watching this season were ending in hilarious fashion as well . . . the grieving dad met the girlfriend of that dude he nearly killed, and she didn’t recognize him even though he was at the center of the city’s most covered investigation. We watched as the grieving mom decided to bail on her family because she realized she had influenced her daughter to do crazy stuff (or something…Lord, that was awful.)

But in the final 10 minutes, The Killing became epic in the annals of TV stupidity.

You see, as our cop boarded the plane to get with Her Family That We Never Cared About, she received a call revealing that her partner had faked a key piece of evidence. Here’s the thing: The only way she would have found out is if her partner had gone ahead and done that thing that he could’ve easily lied about doing. Only he did it. Because….WHAT? HAHAHAHA

That’s right, folks. The season-long mystery of The Killing that was the only reason anyone still watched? It wasn’t solved. The only reason millions of people tolerated this pile of crap, the central mystery, was not solved. Instead they decided to betray their only interesting character (who was only semi-interesting) and blue-ball the entire audience. Amazing. It’s like if the creators of Lost had decided to abandon lots of their central mysteries and strand everybody in a magical church. OH WAIT CRAP.

This season of The Killing was a better parody of AMC’s programming than any SNL sketch that could be written. EVERY SINGLE SCENE was filmed in the dark, in the rain, with everybody glowering, and red herrings popping up every second with no purpose. This is the kind of show I could see the Memento Guy loving; On a segment-by-segment basis, it was sorta kinda decent. But if you were to, you know, actually think about the mystery (which, frankly, I thought the show was encouraging), it’s a hot mess.

If you love to laugh, buy the DVD of The Killing when it comes out. Or just get the Criterion release of Stanley Kubrick’s “The Killing,” a noir-mystery film that’s approximately 9 trillion times better than AMC’s The Killing.


Why “Superman: The Movie” Isn’t All That Great


I re-watched the original Christopher Reeve Superman last weekend. Superman: The Movie was a classic according to my memory, but watching it again made me notice the stuff in the film that didn’t work. Maybe it’s because I’ve become elitist and bitter, but is it me, or is this movie not all that great? HEAR ME OUT, HYPER-REACTIVE NERDS!

I still really like the film, for the most part. I still think Christopher Reeve was the best Superman, and Margot Kidder’s pretty great, especially compared to Kate Bosworth’s whatever-the-hell-that-was in Superman Returns. The best part of the movie, and the reason I think so many people remember it fondly, is John Williams’ Superman theme. I remember we played it at my Uncle John’s funeral last year in his honor, and I was exhilarated and devastated in equal measure. It’s as triumphant and inspiring as Superman himself is supposed to be. You could play that music over a picture of a ball of poop and it would still be awesome.  And yet, despite the iconic score, the film itself is not as good as it should be, and not nearly as good as Bryan Singer thought it was when he ripped it off for his failed reboot. My complaints:

Gene Hackman’s Luthor Blows.  As I understand it, Lex Luthor is an evil super-genius that eventually became President. Hackman’s Luthor is more like a shady real estate guy who’s dressed like he’s doing a guest spot on The Love Boat. He also has two comedic sidekicks, Otis and MISS TESCHMACHER (a joke that never gets funny, btw), but Hackman’s Luthor is such a goof, he doesn’t need to be weighed down by more goofs. At no point does he feel like the supervillain he’s supposed to be. He’s just a third-rate con man that somehow made enough money to build an underground lair in a Metropolis subway.

Marlon Brando Blows Worser Than Hackman’s Previously Mentioned Blowsiness. After Last Tango In Paris, Brando pretty much stopped giving a damn, and in Superman: The Movie, it shows. As Superman’s dad Jor-El, Brando puts on a crappy semi-British accent and apathetically mumbles his way through the performance. It’s one of the worst do-it-for-the-paycheck performances of all time, right up there with, well, Brando in Apocalypse Now. Brando’s such a humorless rambly goof in both films that he single-handedly brings them down a notch. It’s rather well-known that Brando never knew his lines, and he would paste them up all over the set so he could glance at them during the take. In Superman, you can actually see him doing it. He also calls Krypton “CRIP-tun.” It’s never a good sign when the man that spawned the last great hope for humanity can’t pronounce the name of his home planet.

Worst. Deus Ex Machina. Ever.  I think it’s always been known that Superman’s plan of flying around the Earth until he reverses time is ridiculous, but it’s so damn stupid that it kills the ending. I wish that while Superman was whirling around the planet, the filmmakers cut to what was happening on Earth, showing the planet fall apart as it tilts off its axis, with stuff crashing everywhere, culminating in an appearance by Donald Sutherland as The Clumsy Waiter. Instead, the Earth stays intact, and Superman successfully pushes the reset button. So dumb. SO DUMB.

It’s not a great movie, but it’s certainly an influential one, the movie that helped jumpstart the comic book movie summer phenomenon. Seeing as how every movie this year is either a sequel or a crappy comic book movie, maybe that’s not a good thing.