Tuesday, July 05, 2005

A Little Yin For My Yang

Every now and then I find it necessary to balance out all the bitching and moaning I find myself perpetuating in this web log thingamajig with some things that I actually enjoy enough to pass on to you, the public...or anybody that happens to come across this tree that falls in the the forest every two weeks or so.
Here are three for now:

1. RESCUE ME-The FX cable network has managed to pop out some excellent television on a less-than-regular basis. THE SHIELD, the documentary series (I refuse to use the "reality show" moniker) 30 DAYS and of course, the one and only NIP/TUCK, the most deviously clever hour of dramatic television of the last five years (returning this September). Right up there with the PLASTIC SURGEON FUNHOUSE is Dennis Leary and Peter Tolan's RESCUE ME, a no-holds-barred look at a New York firehouse in the post 9/11 world. Always amusing, often heart-wrenching, sometimes outrageous, this show takes absolutely no prisoners in its depiction of people who face a life and death struggle each and every day of their lives. This may be more of a guy's show than anything else, but if that's true, it takes the guy's show to a whole new level. I don't mean in an idiotic Tom Leykis fashion either but with a wit and intelligence not often seen in these circumstances. RESCUE ME shows men in all their complexity-heroic, moronic, childish and paternal. It is the male equivalent of SEX AND THE CITY and it's about time. The first season is out now on DVD if you'd rather catch this from the beginning instead of diving right in the middle. While you're at it, check out Leary's other series THE JOB, also out on DVD. New episodes of RESCUE ME air Tuesday nights at 10pm and are repeated throughout the week.

2. HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS-recently released on DVD and now showing on pay per view, this is not just another martial arts film, despite the pulpy title, but the best love story of the year. (That's right. A love story. I am a big mush pot. I've heard it before.) Director Zhang Yimou's followup to last year's best film, HERO, may not be as fantastic as its predecessor, but it ranks a close second. It does, however,contain one of the most spectacular action scenes ever filmed-a battle in a bamboo forest, one of those jaw-dropping sequences that is forever etched into my memory. HOUSE stars the great Ziyi Zhang of CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON and HERO, putting her right on the top shelf of one of the current world cinema's finest treasures. She has the sweetest little smile and would kick your ass from here until next Spring. Her co-star, Takeshi Kaneshiro, has the potential to be a real international star as well. A spectacular picture.My only regret is that I didn't see this on the big screen. My loss.

3. TAKE 5-The best damn candy bar of the new millennium-milk chocolate, peanuts, caramel, peanut butter and a salty pretzel-right in the middle. Sweet and savory all in one bite. Here's the real Yin and Yang! Hershey's, you've done it again.

A TV show, a Kung Fu movie and a candy bar...
They might not seem like much of a silver lining to you, but to me...
at least they're something.
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