Friday, January 28th, 2011

The Dark Side of Oscar Bait

This week, The King's Speech—the story of King George VI’s attempt to overcome a crippling stammer in the years leading up to and during World War II—became the most Oscar-nominated film of the year. Given the film’s pedigree, this high mark should come as little surprise; The King's Speech is a first-class example of the “Oscar bait” subgenre. All the traits are there: subject matter dealing with an affliction rarely depicted in cinema, at least not with seriousness; a setting with great historical significance, especially to an Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences obsessed with World War II; a lead performance that requires a transformation, in this case [...]


Reissue, Reboot, Reboot: The Last and Latest "Sherlock"

Tonight at 9 p.m., PBS will air the third and final installment of the short series “Sherlock," created for the BBC by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatis, both of latest-iteration “Doctor Who" fame. “Sherlock" stars the stereotypically named Benedict Cumberbatch in the role of Sherlock Holmes and “The Office"’s Martin Freeman as trusty sidekick and audience surrogate Dr. John Watson. The mechanics of the show should be familiar to anyone who’s ever encountered Holmes in literature, radio, television or film. A series of murders and crimes confound all authorities and laymen. Enter Sherlock, master of logic and deduction. He knows all, finds clues others can’t, and ties [...]