Let’s just abandon any idea that my picks of the week are recommendations from personal experience. I only see about two or three films a month in theatres, so most of the time I’m going to be picking the films that I most want to see or that I’ve heard good buzz about. And I’ve heard great buzz about Sarah Polley’s directorial debut, Away from Her. I find it really interesting that Polley, who’s 28 and best known for her acting in indie films, chose to make her first film as a director about an aging couple dealing with Alzheimer’s. And apparently she does a really great job, too, as does veteran actress Julie Christie as the struggling woman. I’m always glad to hear about good films from women directors, because dang it, we need more good women directors. So I’m hoping to catch Away from Her soon.
Other notable releases this week:
Bones: Season Two – I quite enjoy Bones, though there were several story decision in the latter half of Season Two that didn’t make a whole lotta sense
Grey’s Anatomy: Season Three – And I’m addicted to Grey’s, even though last year’s finale made me pretty mad, not to mention scared about how this season will go
Another week of TV-on-DVD to catch up before the new seasons starts the end of this month. And the standout this week has to be The Office Season 3. The Office has consistently been one of the best shows on television for at least the last two years, and it’s one of very, very few sitcoms I can even stand (possibly because, like Arrested Development, it has much more of a season/series arc than most comedies). And last year’s season finale won my award for best season finale of the year–and I watched, like, twenty shows last year. This year promises to be similarly excellent, so catch up now!
Other recommended TV releases:
30 Rock: Season One (one of the other very few sitcoms I really like; it ended up being one of my top two or three new shows last season)
Prison Break: Season Two (I’m recommending this to myself, too–I stopped watching halfway through the season, but I’ve heard it got a lot more interesting after I stopped, so I’m contemplating Netflixing the second half)
Movie DVD of the Week…I haven’t seen any of the movies being released. The big mainstream releases are Jane Fonda’s Southern family drama Georgia Rule and Larry the Cable Guy’s Delta Farce (gag me now), and on the indie side, we have Stephanie Daley, which at the very least promises great performances from Tilda Swinton and Amber Tamblyn in a suspense/drama about a teenage girl who may or may not have killed her newborn child.
With less than a month before the fall TV season starts, most of the studios are releasing the DVD sets of last year’s seasons–just in time for people to catch up. Of all the releases this week, I’d recommend Heroes Season 1. It was one of the best new shows last year, following a disparate group of individuals who discover they have superhuman powers. Heroes may have had a plot hole or two, but it more than made up for it with its intricate storytelling and impressive ensemble cast.
This is the first week I’ve done a DVD Pick of the Week, so I’ll also point out that Ugly Betty Season 1 came out last week; Ugly Betty was my favorite new show last year, hands down. Heroes was a close second, but Ugly Betty is pure and delicious fun every second.
Other new releases this week, none of which I’ve seen, so I’m ordering them based on how much I’d like to see them:
Friday Night Lights Season One (people I respect keep saying how good this is, but I’ve never tried it)