The Blog Formerly Known as Rebel Prince

Cult TV, Gen Y rants, and endless opera.

Archive for February, 2012

On why I’ll miss the good old video store…

Posted by therebelprince on February 29, 2012

Simone Simon in “Cat People”

My local video rental store is closing this week. I’m choosing not to take this personally, although it is the third time I’ve moved house and instantly seen the local infrastructure crumble before my eyes. But I can’t help admitting a pang of sadness when I saw the “closing down sale” sign. Maybe it was just guilt, that I rented Date Night six months ago and then never went back. But I think it was something more; I believe that the loss of the video store is more dangerous than just a loss of the ’90s way of life…

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Game of Thrones: “The Wolf and the Lion” and “A Golden Crown”

Posted by therebelprince on February 27, 2012

Aidan Gillen as Littlefinger

Welcome back, as we continue our rewatch of the first season of Game of Thrones with two largely-successful instalments.

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Hitchcock Reviews: 1935 – 1939

Posted by therebelprince on February 22, 2012

A scene from “Jamaica Inn”

 Alfred Hitchcock had always made the most of his situation. During his early years as a title designer and art director, he’d taken on any other task available to develop his filmmaking skills. After his brief silent era, and some patchy-but-competently-directed early films, Hitch came into his own with 1934’s The Man Who Knew Too Much. Following on from this, he would make six more films – of varying quality – before departing from England’s fair shores to the Land of Dreams. Today, I’ll take a look at those six films, and just what they contributed to Hitch’s legacy.

“What are you all waiting for? A spectacle? You shall have it, and tell your children how the great age ended. “

– – Sir Humphrey, Jamaica Inn

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Game of Thrones: “Lord Snow” and “Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things”

Posted by therebelprince on February 20, 2012

Maisie Williams as Arya Stark

Last week, I took a look at the first two episodes of HBO’s soaring epic, Game of Thrones. As we countdown the days until Game of Thrones‘ second season, let’s check out the third and fourth instalments:

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Smash: “Pilot” and “The Callback”

Posted by therebelprince on February 19, 2012

Megan Hilty as Ivy in "Smash"

I miss watercooler shows. Not that I was old enough – or even alive enough – to analyse the contemporary reactions to Dallas or Twin Peaks or Seinfeld (three of my favourite shows, incidentally, so perhaps I’m a lot more mainstream than I thought), but it’s been ten years since a scripted series topped the Nielsen ratings for a season, and it’s clear that no series will ever be able to capture such a broad cross-section of the public again, in an era full of cable series, DVDs, and internet recaps (and self-defeating TV schedules). Sure, shows like Lost or Grey’s Anatomy tap into a certain part of the cultural zeitgeist (and some, like Game of Thrones, manage to win over a good chunk of non-genre fans), but they still tend to find a particular niche of fans, and then run with it.

Not that Smash is going to reverse this trend. It’s a rag-to-riches musical set in the pansexual world of show-business, in which straight men, gay men, and women alike all idolise Marilyn Monroe, and baseball is just an excuse for a musical number. We may live in a post-Glee world now, but this still isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.  I was prepared to hate Smash, on the basis of previous TV musicals – GleeCop Rock, the entirely forgotten Hull High – and my general confusion at the popularity of mainstream musical theatre. Instead, I’m enjoying a number of elements, although I have that sinking feeling that the elements I’m taking to aren’t the ones we’ll be seeing a lot of…

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Mad Men Season 4 Rewatch: Episodes 6 – 11

Posted by therebelprince on February 15, 2012

Cara Buono as Dr. Faye Miller

Today, we continue to revisit the fourth season of Mad Men, in anticipation of next month’s fifth season premiere.

“We’re flawed because we want so much more. We’re ruined because we get these things and wish for what he had.”

 – Don Draper

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Game of Thrones: “Winter is Coming” and “The Kingsroad”

Posted by therebelprince on February 13, 2012

 I’m not usually a fantasy fan. But I’m also not really a fan of Westerns, cop shows, or mafia movies. So when HBO – which had already used those genres as the templates for some of the greatest TV series ever made – announced they were adapting a major fantasy series, with Peter Dinklage (of my favourite indie flick, The Station Agent), I quickly sought out the published volumes of George R.R. Martin‘s A Song of Ice and Fire, and devoured them. The scope, tone, and dense politics and characterisation, make the books a joy. In the lead-up to the second season of HBO’s Game of Thrones (and after the release of the series’ fifth novel, A Dance with Dragons), I thought I’d rewatch the ten-episode first season.

This week, we tackle the first two episodes:

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Hitchcock Reviews: 1930 – 1934

Posted by therebelprince on February 11, 2012

A shot from “Murder!”

Haunted heroes, complex villains, nail-biting suspense, tangled-but-exhilarating plots, and the subtext of a very dirty mind: these are just some of the reasons Alfred Hitchcock remains such a fascinating figure for film buffs the world over.

After last week’s look at the silents and embyronic “talkies” of Hitchcock, this time we’re looking at his break-out English period, where – in a string of largely forgotten movies – the ambitious, young director began to iron out his style, even if he was still working largely with other people’s scripts, and other people’s visions.

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The HBO Rankings: #11 – #1

Posted by therebelprince on February 3, 2012

Bret McKenzie in “Flight on the Conchords”

Hi there, folks! This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post, in which I ranked HBO’s major series from worst to best. (Well, from least great to greatest… I kinda like them all, so it seems unfair to say otherwise…)

Please check out those rankings for some explanation of my views, or just dive in below:

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The HBO Rankings: #23 – #12

Posted by therebelprince on February 2, 2012

Alexander Skarsgard as Eric in “True Blood”

Nerve.com recently ranked the major HBO dramas from worst to best, and the article got me thinking about my own feelings. Inevitably, here come my own biased views on the matter. Submitted for your consideration, my thoughts on HBO’s major programming of the last 15 years.

[This will be in two parts, with the bottom 12 today, and the other 11 coming in the next couple of days.]

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