Speaking of remastered disks, another great new release is The Stone Roses' self-titled CD from 1990. (Actually, now, the more precise title is The Stone Roses 20th Anniversary.) I love all the songs on the disk, but I'm especially pleased to hear the rousing, "This is The One," in crisp, remastered clarity.
I haven't seen nearly enough films lately. But all that's going to change! The holiday season is upon us and there's a slew of movies that I'm eager to see. First among them is Avatar. I know, I know: there's a lot of James Cameron backlash out there right now. Apparently the Avatar trailer doesn't live up to the hype (or the promise of the 3D technology). But talk about griping! What do movie fans want? They're disappointed with the Avatar trailer? C'mon! It's breathtaking. Plus, if I'm going to plop down ten dollars to see a movie, I know James Cameron is going to deliver. Nobody gives you a better bang for the buck. Sure, Avatar will feature the same old Cameron cliches--a simplistic romance and a heavy-handed message about corporate greed. But so what? The special effects, the action, the attention to detail--film and genre geeks everywhere should be celebrating. I think Avatar will be exhilarating. It will also be one of those rare films that must be seen on the big screen. There's no waiting for the DVD with this one! (For an in-depth profile of James Cameron and more info about Avatar, check out this New Yorker essay.)
As long as Glee can provide episodes as great as "Wheels" this past week, I'll be eager to tune in. But while "Wheels" shows how good Glee can be, it also underscores how uneven the series is. Some episodes are cartoonish and slapstick with flat characterizations and buffoonish performances, others (like "Wheels") are captivating, well-acted, and moving. Clearly, series co-creator, Ryan Murphy, is the real talent here. He wrote "Wheels" as well as being co-writer on the season's other outstanding episode, "Preggers." I hope he gains more creative control on Glee as the series goes along. Of course, Glee will eventually face the dilemma of all "high school" shows: Do the characters graduate or stay in high school forever? The premise of the show demands the latter (it's all about high school glee club, after all). But the young actors who play the students are already looking too old for their roles and certainly by season two it will be hard to accept them as teenagers, let alone high school students. I guess we'll be seeing "community college glee" in the next few years. (Still, right now I'd rather watch Glee, with its 25-year-old high school kids, than FlashForward or the god-awful V. Ughh.)
15 hours ago