McNulty's Foresight

My first encounter with HBO’s The Wire was many years ago, thanks to a sign nailed to a telephone pole on Cranbrook Road in Cockeysville. It read something along the lines of, “HBO’s The Wire Will Be Filming” and listed a date.

What the fuck was The Wire? we all asked at work. Because, of course, none of us had ever heard of it before. It was probably six months later when we found out that it was the anti-Sopranos.

Courtesy of Netflix, I watched the first three episodes of The Wire today. Back many years ago when I actually had HBO, I saw several episodes of the second season, and enjoyed it greatly. So today I started from the beginning and hopefully I won’t have to wait for too long before the 3rd season arrives on DVD.

Knowing how the 2nd season kicks off, I laughed as McNulty said his most undesireable job would be working on a boat. Hah. Enjoyable.

(It still isn’t as good as BSG).

Gaaaaaaahhhh!!!!!!!!

I was a bit worried when I heard Brendan Gleeson had been cast as Mad Eyed Moody because, well, everytime I see him in a film I picture him as Hamish Campbell.

Then I surfed over to Ain’t-It-Cool-News today before showering, packing up the cats, and bombing my apartment. (I’m off to do that in a moment, never fear).

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I don’t think I’ll be picturing him as Hamish no more, here’s hoping Draco Malfoy’s “ferret bouncing” scene makes it to the silver screen.

Exciting!

A new Serenity trailer. The only thing more exciting? A new Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire trailer.

Back to Serenity … if you don’t know what the fuck it is, it’s the film continuation of the short-lived FOX series “Firefly“, which was created by Joss Whedon. FOX cancelled the show, it made its way to DVD, and did so well in sales that Universal bought the rights and brought Whedon back to direct the film.

If you’ve never seen “Firefly”, do yourself the favor and buy the box set, or alternatively, add it to your Netflix queue. It’s really really good. As in, Better Than Battlestar Galactica good.

BSG 2×02 "Valley of Darkness"

My thoughts last week be dammed, not exactly “Die Hard in space” was this episode.

As with “Scattered”, the episode follows multiple points of view. The primary story arc is concerned with a Cylon raiding party aboard Galactica, but we also visit with Starbuck and Helo on Caprica (Starbucks drives a humvee), and the stranded crew of Raptor 1 on Kobol.

Generally, a lot of tv shows will have an episode that can best be described as “Die Hard” … for example, in Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s “Starship Mine”, Captain Picard takes on the John McClane role. Replace the MP5 with a phaser, and terrorists after gold with terrorists after something from the warp core, and you’ve essentially got the plot, which involved Picard running around the Enterprise clobbering people with – among other things – a saddle.

But this isn’t that for Battlestar Galactica, not by a long shot. There are only two combat sequences, and they’re both over with rather quickly. The best parts of the episode come not from the combat, but rather, the race against time — see, Tigh’s familiar with the Cylon tricks (he’s fought them before), and knows they’re trying to get to the aft damage control where they can ventilate the ship to space. Enter Apollo and a ragtag group of Viper pilots, Marines, and technicians, who race to intercept the last few Cylons before they can finish their deadly mission. Also throw in – just for fun’s sake – the ousted President Roslin, her aide, and a couple of random crewmembers (including the Marine I mentioned here as being a new recurring character, he got a name but I forgot to make note of it) trying to reach sickbay and instead straying directly into harm’s way. In good news, though: Dualla and Billy have dirty-dirty sex in sickbay!!!!! (In bad news: we don’t get to see them have sex. I’d’ve settled for a shot of Dualla’s boobs.)

What makes the threat of the Cylons so awesome is the status of the ship – main power is out, backup power is sporadic. Exterior shots show Galactica slipping out of alignment with the civillian fleet and “falling” clear. Inside the ship, corridors are littered with boxes and crates and dead bodies everywhere. Lighting is provided almost entirely by flashlights mounted to the Marines’ weapons or the dull glow of a console on a crewmember’s face. And in the background — gunfire, and the rythmic step of the Cylon centurion’s cold, metal feet as they march onward. The episode doesn’t quite work on a horror film level, but its certainly suspenseful and well worth the watching.

We don’t see Boomer this episode, although Starbuck and Helo have it out about his releationship with her. Tyrol’s decision to end the life of his crewman despite all he, Callie, and Tarn went through (Tarn got killed) is particularly harsh but well played.

There’s a frantic pace to this series which is so often missing in other hour-long dramas. There’s a sense of urgency – we don’t move, we die type of deal. Paul’s Blog is right when he writes, “WOW! They’re going places with this [series].” It’s going to be a hell of a fun journey … (already is)!


Upcoming:

The crew of Raptor 1 might be rescued next week, but I think it’ll be a long time before Starbuck and Helo are back aboard Galactica. If they ever get back, that is. Roslin looks like she’s shit-out-of-luck at being reinstated any time soon, but that’s okay because Richard Hatch is back next week as sly-villain Tom Zarek.

Filming on Fallsbrooke Road, Timonium …

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… I don’t know what, or who, but it explains two things:

One, why the Baltimore County Police Department was posting “No Parking” signs on telephone poles, and Two, why that “Star Trailer” has a California license plate.

I’m also assuming, that since it is a California license plate, this isn’t just The Wire doing some Timonium filming.

BSG — The DVD Differences

As mentioned earlier, Battlestar Galactica: The First Season is one of the few exceptions to my newly-enacted “don’t buy DVD” policy. I was looking forward, on Tuesday, to swinging past Best Buy and pick up the set, which is theirs as an exclusive from July 26th until the national release in September.

Then I read this post in DVDAnswers about the differences between the exclusive set and the national set.

The Best Buy set is a FOUR disc set, with only DELETED SCENES as bonus features. Best Buy states on their website that their set will not work with some North American players.

I’m going to play it safe and wait for September. With a full slate of 22-episodes for the show’s second season, it won’t be like I’m not getting a Battlestar fix, right?

Catching up on Potter

…has been on my agenda for the past few days. I should have re-read Order of the Phoenix before diving into The Half-Blood Prince. I was like, who are these people? Luna who? Katie who?

I finished watching Sorceror’s Stone last night and also made it through the first hour or so of Chamber of Secrets. They really are fun movies and there’s something to fill every scene — even when you’re seeing some of these films for the second, third, or fourth time, there’s stuff in the background that makes you go, “Cool!”

The dog’s been enjoying the company. She’s not good as posing, but man … I swear … she can snore! In any case, I hope to finish Chamber tonight and then watch all of Prisoner of Azkaban tomorrow night. I’m going to rewatch all three before going to see Goblet of Fire, which opens in five months.

I’m a little bummed that Order of the Phoenix won’t be released until 2007, but I guess they want to space out the movies a bit more evenly so they don’t (too) screwed if Rowling decides not to release Book Seven for three years, right?

And because I'm up anyway …

DVDAnswers.com has some information on the upcoming DVD release of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

Extras will include an audio commentary, a brand new long-form documentary, numerous new mini documentaries that take you behind the scenes of Episode III, and deleted scenes. One of these scenes chronicles the birth of the Rebel Alliance. It takes place in Senator Bail Organa’s office, and we meet Senator Mon Mothma, who, as we see in Return of the Jedi, is the leader of the Rebel Alliance.

Despite my vow not to buy anymore DVDs — thanks to my Netflix subscription — this will be one of three exceptions to that rule. The other two are Batman Begins (probably on DVD around the same time) and Battlestar Galactica: The First Season, which, by the way, if you’re not watching? You should be, because it is one of the best shows on television.