What I’m watching

The Crazies:

Not even the delicious Timothy Olyphant could hold my attention for an extended period of time with this movie.  Yes, yes, the military storms the town to contain the infection that causes people to go murderously crazy and yes, yes, the sheriff’s wife gets mixed up with the “infected” because she’s running a mild temperature thanks to her pregnancy.  Smokingly dramatic plot points that I could see coming from a mile away.  And oooh, the “crazies” are still functional people, so they can move fast and drive cars, unlike traditional “zombie” movies.  It’s a little contrived, a little borrowed in large part from other movies.  A little “Outbreak” meets “28 Days Later”.  And it’s a little too slick, even down to the ways the characters interact…as though they were coated in Teflon and let loose on each other.  If you must watch it, I recommend doing so with a laptop nearby, so you can search
out video clips from other movies and see who came up with any particular point in a movie first.

The United States of Tara:

If you like dysfunctional family dramedies, then run, don’t walk, to your nearest place du video obtainment and slap your meathooks all over a copy of this Showtime series.  Block out chunks of time so you may watch obsessively.  Toni Collette plays Tara, a suburban mom who has multiple personalities (OK, today it’s called dissociative identity disorder, but I get stuck on Sybil), and she is amaaaaaaaazing. Her transitions are physical and flawless, and you know before she opens her mouth if she’s operating as Tara, or T (a promiscuous teenage girl), or Alice (an uber-1950s housewife), or Buck (a motorcycle-riding Vietnam veteran, so yes, he’s a dude).  And while watching Tara figure out what caused her disorder could border on the grim, the writing is so intensely good and the characters are so flawed-but-charmingly-real that you aren’t emotionally beaten up watching it.  It’s not about morosely feeling bad for Tara and the Gregsons (though those moments certainly exist within the confines of the show), it’s about coping as a unit, and finding ways to get through crises as a family who, despite being really, really flawed, genuinely love and care about each other.

Editor’s Note: it’s weird when you realize you’ve watched so many movies you start to recognize the set houses.  I just watched “Supernova” (Luke Perry + Peter Fonda + Tia Carrere + Emma Samms + weirdly strong, punching people so hard they fly ten feet through the air, Michael Myers-esque character who stealth-swims up rivers and, five minutes after emerging, is dry, so I can only assume all of his clothing is made of microfiber + apocalyptic scenario narrowly averted + Lance Henricksen = epically winning movie fail) and realized that Luke Perry’s house is the same
house the family lived in in the movie “Silent Hill”.  And if it’s not the same exact set, then set builder B was ordered to copycat set builder A.

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