Wednesday, May 26th, 2004

Stories Often Told

I was really only lukewarm on the first Shrek – it was pleasant but a little bit milquetoast for my liking. It felt overly restrained, maybe because of the poor track record to that point of any animated feature that wasn’t Disney. Well I think that the success of the first one gave them the confidence to go all out on the sequel, and it’s fantastic. Shrek 2 is far and away the most fun I’ve had at a movie in recent memory. It starts a little slowly with the same safe tone as the first film, but completely takes off when Shrek and Fiona travel to the land of Far Far Away. The sight gags and jokes keep coming fast and furious for the duration of the film and don’t let up for a minute – Everything from the prison break through the grand finale is non-stop laugh-out-loud funny. Antonio Banderas’ Puss-In-Boots steals the show, no mean feat considering the level of voice talent involved. Hell, even the soundtrack is impressive. Not surprisingly, two more sequels have been given the go-ahead and the studio is in talks to secure the voice talent. As much as I’m looking forward to The Incredibles this Fall, I can’t imagine it topping Shrek 2 as best animated film of the year. Hell, restricting it to the animated category is doing it a disservice – this is easily the best movie I’ve seen this year. Go see it.

Harvey Pekar originally did this strip singing the praises of Billy Bragg for publication in Entertainment Weekly, but they backed out after a previous strip with Sean Penn got a little too controversial for their tastes.

One show I’m looking forward to at NXNE this year is the Rainbow Quartz Records showcase at Healey’s on Friday June 11, which will feature Volebeats, Myracle Brah and Denise James. Not familiar with the artists? The label (the self-proclaimed “source for perfect guitar pop”) has set up a special NXNE minisite to get you acquainted..

The final 24 commentary for the year. Sniff. So yeah, I dunno. As I expected, season 3 sputtered out at the end. As promised, they did manage to write out most of the current cast which at least offers the opportunity of a blank slate for season 4, and hopefully with the late season start date they’ll have the time to put together a better storyline and not fly by the seat of their pants so much. I got excited at the start of the finale when the warning came up promising graphic violence, but I guess their standards for ‘graphic’ are different from mine. I guess cutting a guys hand off with a fire axe is graphic. My question is who on earth keeps an axe in a classroom in this day and age? I thought kids weren’t even allowed to bring butter knives to school. Geez. I’m a little surprised Chase survived – telling Jack that he was quitting the field before the mission was over was just dumb. Hasn’t he ever seen any cop revenge movies? He may as well have pulled out a picture of the boat he just finished paying off and talked about his plans to sail around the world when this was all over. It’s a shame Palmer is leaving but after this season, there’s really no way he could have stayed on without it being contrary to how the character was written from day one. Finally, Jack’s breakdown at the very end? It was affecting – it was good to show the other side to his ultra-intense super-agent persona. Poor Jack needs a vacation. But honestly, in every scene from the hospital on, I was waiting for his nose to start bleeding. So there you have it. Let’s get on with our lives, shall we?

Update: The Toronto Sun has its own snarky review of the 24 finale.

np – The New Pornographers / Electric Version

By : Frank Yang at 8:47 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. sam says:

    24 – last episode. i’m gonna miss commenting on it every week with fellow watchers. the episode did sputter out at the end. but at least we got that last scene with jack in his truck losing it. i was pretty sure chase was gonna eat it too when he told jack he was quiting the field. but that was a great scene between the two of them. oh, one thing: how did gael’s wife know saunders was the man responsible for gael’s death? did i miss something where kim tells her or something?

    so chase is probably coming back (although probably with a desk job. but somehow that doesn’t fit him (and they’re re-attaching his hand, luke skywalker-style??? i laughed out loud when jack said that)) next year. aside from that… they’ve killed everyone off. lol. as i wrote on my blog, hopefully we’ll see a field op next season. enough with the los angeles bomb threats. we need something fresh and new and exciting. but somehow, i think the creators know this. the next one should be amazing :)

  2. Frank says:

    Gael’s widow saw Saunders’ info on the computer screen and put two and two together. Lucky she found that gun!

    Read this:


    Kim will not be back as a regular next season, nor will Chase, Michelle or Tony. Thank god! Let’s clear the slate and start again.

  3. Vroom says:

    When it comes to Rainbow Quartz, gotta check out the Jessica Fletchers. I am pretty bummed that they aren’t going to be part of the NXNE showcase, but the show should still be pretty good.

    Sorry no 24 comment here.

  4. sam says:

    chase, michelle and tony are not coming back??? fuck. oh, okay. as "regulars". very cool, then. i’m all for it. a new set of characters, a new slate. i guess that could put jack in the field, then, uh?

    i missed the part where gael’s widow sees the info last night.

  5. solace says:

    glad i’m not the only person who thought Shrek 2 was hilarious and better than the first :)

    the "farbucks" gag was just downright awesome

  6. Eugene says:

    The Volebeats are playing some other Canadian dates prior to Toronto. 6/9 in Montreal and 6/10 in Ottawa. See the link below for more info. They don’t tour often so catch them if you can. Great pop/country stuff. Sky and the Ocean is a classic. oh – and Ryan Adams once claimed they were his favorite band. But that’s a story for another time.