bookzombie: (Default)
[personal profile] bookzombie
I picked up the DVD set of the television series 'Demons' as something to watch while cycling. My expectations were low, and while it wasn't the total train wreck I was expecting, on the whole my expectations were met!

Aside from Philip Glennister's American accent, which was as risible as I'd heard, there was one major issue with the series: it is as dumb as a stick, in so many ways.

Firstly, the stories are dumb. At no point does the writing bring any surprises. For example, in the episode where the harpy is going to kill Luke in revenge for an ancestor killing her sisters, the villain is obvious right from the first moment. I kept hoping that the were going to do something surprising but they never do: everything resolves exactly as you would expect. By the way, I can't believe for a moment that a single parent working as a teacher would be able to afford that flat in London.
Secondly, Luke himself is dumb. He's supposed to be studying for A-levels, although you are never given any clues to what he is supposed to be studying. But they keep trying to make him a Buffy-equivalent character and they miss the point completely. Buffy may not be particularly clever, but she makes up for it by her brilliance as a Slayer, so you, the viewer, forgive her for it. But Luke doesn't even seem to be very effective as a demon hunter. He seems to have one moment each episode where he is a bit competent and that's it. Also, man does he sulk!
Finally, it treats the viewers as if they are dumb. For example, naming the blind psychic concert pianist 'Mina Harker' and then leaving it until about the fourth episode to reveal that she is that Mina Harker. Honestly, how dumb do they think the viewers are (and how dumb are Our Heroes? Even if they've never read the books the names are part of the popular culture. I could believe Luke not knowing, but Ruby as well?)
I did like elements of it: there are some nice guest performances and the sniping relationship between Ruby and Mina is rather fun, but overall this was going nowhere. Has it been renewed? I would be very surprised if it has! 

On the other hand, you have the new Star Trek movie, which on the whole gets it right. Well-cast, good script and special effects.

I was very impressed by the way the script found a way to side-step all the twisted continuity which could have scuppered the film. It's not subtle, but it is quite clever. Most of the characterisation was good: Quinto was as fine as Spock as I'd expected and Karl Urban nailed McCoy. The other actors sensibly didn't try to do 'impressions' of the originals: particularly anyone trying to do an impression of William Shatner is now always going to sound like characture! I was also impressed by how much of the story Zoe Saldana's Uhura carried; I was expecting a cypher and she was actually a much stronger presence. Bruce Greenwood also brought a necessary gravitas to Christopher Pike (although I'm sure that it wasn't just pennski and me who had the words 'Don't tell him your name Pike!' going through our heads in the torture scene!) Also providing some weight was Leonard Nimoy. When you look at the film you can really understand why they didn't ask Shatner to do a cameo: his style would have overweighed the rest of the film, rather than just doing what needed to be done and fading into the background as Nimoy does.
There were things I wasn't so bothered by: the redesign of the Enterprise itself was fine, but the bridge layout was confusing; I really found it hard to parse the topography of it. The 'red matter' is a terrible plot device and there is too much reliance on coincidence. And finally there is no way that, even after the events of the film, that Kirk would have been given a command that quickly: at the most it might have knocked a couple of years off him getting a ship.
But most of these are quibbles: overall it was a very enjoyable experience that I'm glad I saw it on the big screen. 

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-11 10:06 am (UTC)
ext_3751: (Default)
From: [identity profile] phoebesmum.livejournal.com
We sat all the way through Demons, and I honestly couldn't tell you why, it was obvious it was never going to improve. We did note that the even-numbered episodes tended to be slightly less bad - I won't say 'better' - than the odd-numbered ones.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-11 11:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] swisstone.livejournal.com
I have nothing to add, I just wanted to use this icon again.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-11 08:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pennski.livejournal.com
That's a perfectly valid comment from where I'm sat.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-11 12:29 pm (UTC)
andrewducker: (Default)
From: [personal profile] andrewducker
The "Red Matter" is, of course, the stuff produced by the Mueller Device in "Alias", JJ Abrams spy series...

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-11 10:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] desperance.livejournal.com
Luke himself is dumb. He ... doesn't even seem to be very effective as a demon hunter. He seems to have one moment each episode where he is a bit competent and that's it. Also, man does he sulk!

He's very pretty, though.

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