Pre-Week Brain Dump (Part 2 of 2)

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Part 2 of yesterday’s effort to cleanse myself before the work week begins. I recognize that being the Tuesday of that week, this hardly qualifies anymore as being “pre-” anything… but dammit if I was going to leave a Part 1 dangling. I’ll never do you like that. More structured writing to follow!

1) FOX’s Fringe

The end of summer means a decrease in sunscreen sales and an increase in sales of L.L. Bean backpacks. More importantly, though, it means the start of the fall television schedule. New shows. Old shows. Old shows disguised as new shows. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, really; one that I never hesitate to get lost in. While there are certain shows I’ll never touch (ahem, Grey’s Anatomy), I look at these first few weeks of programming the way some do the first few weeks of college classes – I shop. What does it hurt to sample a little Privileged? Try out True Blood? Every show (except Grey’s Anatomy) deserves a shot on my schedule, so I try my hardest to catch the pilots of damn near all of them.

I hadn’t planned on watching JJ Abram’s latest sci-fi jaunt, Fringe, but found myself bored Sunday on Hulu and decided to give it a whirl. Not too bad! Points off for recycling the airplane-in-crisis opening of his magnum opus, Lost, but Fringe quickly establishes itself as altogether different from its ABC cousin. It’s more X-Files than anything else, centered around a mysterious series of events known as “The Pattern” and an FBI agent’s quest to understand what’s going on. She teams up with a genius scientist (played by LOTR’s crazy-ass King Denethor) and his genius son (played by CHARLIE F^#&*N CONWAY) to explore the titular “fringe” science behind all this nonsense. It really is nonsense – translucent skin comas and LSD dream communication by minute 30 – but a lot of fun, too. The first episode’s ending suggests a “mystery of the week”-type approach, making it immediately more accessible than Lost and hopefully a keeper. I know I’ll be watching.

(Editor’s Note: Steve says he thought Fringe “sucked ball$”, but Steve can be an idiot.)

2) Surfer, Dude

I’m linking to a trailer below, but let me reiterate once more that I will not turn Lifting Fog into an Ain’t It Cool News-ish “check out this trailer!! Check out this leaked set report!!” site. Beyond just lacking the necessary resources to do so, I’m happier reacting to news rather than “breaking” it (as if I could); experiencing stories with you, sharing our thoughts. Our souls. Our bod-

Sorry. Still here? You’ll remember from the Fringe blurb above that my Sunday was monumentally lazy, filled with TV and Smash Bros. and Papa John’s pizza. Not feeling like I’d quite reached the pinnacle of sloth, though, I figured it was time to revisit an old addiction: Apple trailers. I’m pretty sure most of us have been down this dangerous road before. It’s innocent at first – you check out the new Bond trailer, some Oscar contenders. Nothing serious. But soon you’ve exhausted the tentpole movies and, still hungry for more, you find yourself in Indie territory. Studio divisions at first – Sony Pictures Classic, Warner Independent, Fox Searchlight – then weirder stuff. Stuff they don’t advertise. Stuff like Surfer, Dude.

Click it. I mean, don’t. But yeah – click it.

Did you understand any of that? Does what you’ve just seen make any logical sense? Is this a real movie? I think I know what my brain feels like on Angel Dust. If the trailer is to be believed – if this isn’t a bizarre hoax of some kind – then the movie came out almost two weeks ago. In theaters. People are being asked to buy tickets to this movie.

Please don’t misinterpret the above paragraph – this isn’t a dime a dozen “OMFG I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS SHIT GETS GREENLIT I COULD DO SO MUCH BETTER I STUDIED FILM” post. Far from it. Slightly embarrassing though this is to admit… I’m utterly fascinated by Matthew McConaughey. The guy’s got killer pecs, sure, but more importantly a career that seems impervious to criticism. Have you ever heard someone say something truly negative about his acting? Even watching the Surfer, Dude trailer, I’m less inclined to ream him out than to say “Oh, Matty!” and toss him a beer. His shirtlessness is that powerful

After Dazed and Confused, he seemed ready for mega-stardom but wound up playing the same role thirty eight more times. I wouldn’t say he’s a bad actor. I mean, he acts in BAD movies – see Fool’s Gold, Failure to Launch, Two For The Money, How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days, Sahara, or The Wedding Planner – but always manages to emerge unscathed. He’s elemental. He’s unflappable. He’s, like, at one with the universe. I’m guessing he did something really good in a previous life.

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