Joe's Movie Reviews

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Keanu Goes To Hell

1. "Bigger Than The Sky." You... well, okay, I... always want to be able to support "little" movies over the big, gigantic studio blockbusters. But sometimes the "little" movies are just so little... and sometimes, so specialized... that they just don't grab you the way you want a movie to do. That's the case with "Bigger Than The Sky", a perfectly "nice" little film that just doesn't go much of anywhere.

This is the story of a Portland, Oregon resident who's just been dumped by his girlfriend, and, looking for something to snap him out of his depression, spots a sign outside a local community playhouse for auditions for a new production of "Cyrano de Bergerac". He's never acted before, but he figures, why not?... and the experiences he goes through when he's cast as Cyrano himself change his life and those of several other cast members.

Audience members who've been involved in community theatre will probably love this one, but with the sole exception of "Waiting For Guffman", I don't think I've ever seen a film about community theatre that's done anything for me. The cast of "Bigger Than The Sky" is appealing and gives quite good performances, but most of the roles aren't much... certainly nowhere near as colorful as the Christopher Guest film. It's nice to see Amy Smart (the play's Roxanne) in an actual ROLE instead of another piece of teen exploitation, and John Corbett gives it his all as the seemingly nice guy playing Christian who, as it turns out, has a few secrets in his past... but it's hard to work up a whole lot of concern for their fates. There are at least two (or is it three?) outstanding characters/performances: Sean Astin is a delight as the insufferably egotistical actor who might potentially be about to become the NEW Cyrano, and his mother, Patty Duke, has a ball playing eccentric twin sisters (echoes of "The Patty Duke Show") who both work behind the scenes for the theatre company. The screen lights up whenever either of them is on.

Astin and Duke are both supporting players, though, and I spent most of "Bigger Than The Sky" 's running time waiting for not Guffman, but for something to come along and get me excited about what I was watching. After all, I've felt that way in the past about "little" films where not a lot happens. The difference is, though, that though the events may have been small in those films, the emotions were still big. Pretty much everything is "little" in "Bigger Than The Sky."

2. "Constantine". Or, Keanu Reeves goes to Hell (sorry, you non-Keanu fans, you don't ACTUALLY get to see that in this film). Based on the DC comic series "Hellblazer" (which I've never read), "Constantine" is the story of John Constantine, a man born with the unfortunate ability... you might call it a curse... of being able to see the demons and angels that actually live among us masquerading as human beings. This ability finally drove him to take his own life... but he was revived, and spends all his time now as a freelance exorcist sending all manner of Hellspawn back where they came, in hopes of being able to buy his way into Heaven when he leaves this mortal realm next time. In this film, he comes to the aid of a police woman (Rachel Weisz of the "Mummy" films) who's convinced her twin sister's death was the result of supernatural causes and not a suicide, as most believe.

There's certainly no shortage of spectacular effects here... Hell really looks as frightening as you'd expect it to, and those demons certainly don't LOOK like CGI... but there's no escaping Keanu in the lead. I've enjoyed some of his movies, like "Speed" and the first "Matrix", but in spite of him, not because of him. Reeves was actually a very promising actor for a few years very early on, but except for his supporting role in "Something's Gotta Give" he's struck me as seeming like he was literally sleepwalking through his paerformances in everything he's done in the past decade or so. There has to be something really unique or special about a Keanu Reeves movie other than Keanu himself to get me excited about it, and "Constantine" doesn't have it.

What it does have is a lot of mystical mumbo jumbo about a bargain between God and the Devil about the fate of the human race that has nothing to do with the Bible or any new agey books I've ever seen, but comes across like a warmed-over souffle of bits and pieces of both. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that this is really COMPLICATED mystical mumbo jumbo... if the film had all the scenes in which Reeves explains to some other character what all this means edited out, the result would probably be a half-hour short.

Weisz has been interesting in some small, independent films but she doesn't seem to be very involved in the commercial stuff she does, and in "Constantine" she says virtually every line in the same monotone and might as well be wearing a rubber mask for all the change in facial expression you get. Then there's the attempts at humor... "attempts" is exactly the word.

Is there anything worth watching in "Constantine"? Well, yes... though just like "Bigger Than The Sky", it's in the supporting role department. Tilda Swynton is terrific as the angel Gabriel, but a Gabriel unlike any you've ever seen... a haunting, sinister, androgynous Gabriel who's quite willing to commit any amount of evil if it will result in ultimate good. Oh, IF ONLY this movie were called "Gabriel"...
but you can't have everything. In fact, in the case of "Constantine", you can't even have very much.

3. "Because Of Winn-Dixie." Looked at in a cold, clinical fashion, there are all sorts of reasons why "Because Of Winn-Dixie" shouldn't work.
It stars a cute kid and a cuter dog, it's full of all kinds of life lessons, it features a rock singer in a major role, and it doesn't do the Newberry medal winning book it's based on full justice. So why do I ultimately give a "thumbs up"... something Ebert and Roper certainly didn't do?

No, it's not just because (author of the original novel) Kate Decamillo is a Minnesota resident these days. And not because Jeff Daniels is given a rare role that lets him play something other than an annoying doofus (though that helps). And CERTAINLY not because of the creepy and obvious CGI effects used whenever the dog "smiles." So what, then?

Story: a preacher whose wife has left him and their young daughter live isolated, friendless lives in a small Florida town in which apparently every other long-time residents are locked in their own little worlds, as well. Then one day, while at the local Winn-Dixie supermarket, the daughter "adopts" the runaway stray dog who's tearing up the store and names him after the place she found her new, and only, friend. Winn-Dixie will eventually turn the lives of most of the town's citizens around.

Well, Daniels actually is pretty good here, and newcomer Ann Sophie Robb as his daughter is considerably more natural than a lot of child actors... she's more child than actor, which is good. And let's face it, it really IS hard to resist the little dog playing Winn-Dixie... as corny and hoky as it might seem to have a dog change a whole town's lives, if that could be possible, this would be the dog to do it. It's difficult to argue with the story's basic message about friendship and making a difference in the lives of others, too, even if the original book got that message across with a bit less sentiment.

The book gives us a solid foundation, side-stepping a lot of obvious pitfalls, and the film, while losing something in the translation to the screen, maintains quite a bit of that approach (and, incidentally, stays surprisingly faithful to the novel's story). When you consider that things like "The Spongebob Squarepants Movie" and "Racing Stripes" are currently trying to separate moviegoing kids from their parents' money, you could certainly do a lot worse. There are films like "Bigger Than The Sky", which ought to work but don't, and then there are movies like "Because Of Winn-Dixie", which probably shouldn't work (as I mentioned, Ebert and Roper sure don't think it does)...but which, nonetheless, do. Well, at least I think they do, for all that matters.

Thursday, February 17, 2005


Well, after an incredibly busy week, I finally get the time to do the reviews I meant to do on Mondat... and anyone reading this is probably going to be sorry...

1. "Hitch". I skipped the recent release "The Wedding Date", advertised as "The first great date movie of the year" (In February, is this such a great achievement?), but decided to go for this one, in spite of its similar advertising. I suspect I probably made the righ choice between the two, but still, this is not exactly the Will Smith of "Ali" or "Six Degrees of Separation"... or, for that matter, even "Men In Black".

Smith plays Alex Hitchens, the legendary "Date Doctor" of New York,,, anyone with relationship problems can come to Hitch, and for a fee he will tell them how to get the person of their dreams (though he makes it clear he only accepts clients who have a sincere interest in a real relationship, and will not deal in anything sleazy). There happens to be a local gosspi columnist who's been damaged by enough relationships that she's out to expose and humiliate the Doctor... whose real identity is unknown to all but his clients. So wouldn't you guess that she begins a genuine relationship with Hitch, who she doesn't realize AT FIRST is her quarry... and of course, you can figure the rest.

Which is the main problem. Well, one of them. Smith is smooth, stylish and amusing in the lead... the man hasn't forgotten how to get laughs a few years after his last comedy. But the romantic comedy is probably the most formula-bound kind of film in existence (other than a James Bond movie), and if you've seen one... well, if you haven't quite seen them all, you've seen MOST of them, including "Hitch".

Most of this film consists of bad sitcom-level jokes, unconvincing pratfalls, and plot twists you can see coming a mile off. Casting Kevin James of the CBS show "The King Of Queens" as Smith's chief client doesn't exactly help you forget or ignore the film's sitcom elements, and Eva Mendes in the role of Smith's love interest/nemesis doesn't help you forget that she used to be a model and still gives her movie roles all the intensity and believability of a stroll down the catwalk.

"Hitch" is a harmless enough piece of fluff, I suppose. But there are harmless pieces of fluff that are also very entertaining movies, and then there are movies like "Hitch". There may not be many good comedies out right now, but that's no reason to rush out and see this one. You could do better.

2. "The Sea Inside". Now, HERE's a contrast... I saw this one later the same day I saw "Hitch". Talk about different worlds...

Nominated for a Foreign Language Film Oscar this year, this one may not sound promising at first: it's the semi-true story of poet Ramon Sampedro (played by Javier Bardem), who, many years before this film begins, was injured in a diving accident and has been a paraplegic ever since. He rarely ventures out of his room, much less his house, and has been fighting a battle with the government to allow him to finally legally end his life. Hey, what do you say we bring grandma and the kids to this one?

What it turns out to be is a movie of remarkable emotional power that never descends into the kind of soap opera bathos that it likely would be if it had been made in Hollywood. Part of that is due to Bardem's incredible performance as Sampedro... the man is simply one of the best actors on the planet, and would probably be a much bigger name if he were an American. He has to do almost all of his acting in this film with his face... no gestures, no body language... and it's an amazing, strong performance. The rest of the cast is up to his standards, which is really saying something.

The fact that about 85 percent of the film's two-hour running time takes place in Sampedro's small room shouldn't put anyone off. This film takes you emotionally to so many different places you'll forget about the fact that you're not going anywhere physically. The subject of euthenasia is certainly by no means one of those safe, tame, non-controversial topics on which to base a film. There are those who will object to the moral position the film takes, but theren's never any question that this is not a movie advocating it for every person in Sampedro's situation... just the story of one man who decided that was what he wanted. What has given some critics a problem about this movie is that Sampedro is clearly not a depressive... he is still possessed of an incredible life force, a tremendous sense of humor, and a love for his friends and family, so some have written that they can't believe he wants to end it all just because he isn't crying and despairing all the time. Those folks are missing some major points the movie makes, and are actually revealing themselves to be just like the government forces that are trying to stop Sampedro's quest. After all, who can say what makes life worth living for any one individual?

I think I can say with some assurance, though, what makes certain FILMS worth SEEING for MOST individuals. And there are very few who won't get a lot out of seeing "The Sea Inside". I don't know whether it will win the Oscar, but it OUGHT to. And if you're interested in quality movies, you ought to see it.

3. "Are We There Yet?". And here's one you'll be able to live quite well without every seeing. Especially if you're a fan of star/producer Ice Cube. It's hard to believe that the Ice Cube who made such downright incendiary rap records some years back and starred in such movies as "Boyz N The Hood" is the same guy who plays the lead in this forgettable "family" comedy. He's a father now himself, with children of his own, and I certainly admire his wanting to make a movie they can see, but I don't admire his making THIS particular one.

Cube (not being on a first name basis, I can't really call him "Ice") plays a guy who hates kids (as he puts it "they're just like cockroaches, except you can't squash 'em"). Then one day he falls madly in love with a woman who turns out to be the single mother of TWO children. For her sake, he tries to pretend to make nice with them, but they're wrongly convinced their father is going to reunite with mom eventually, and will stop at nothing to sabotage any new relationship. But when dad bails out from driving the kids to meet mom in a nearby city where she's on a business trip, Cube will REALLY regret volunteering to do the job himself.

Remember "Home Alone"? Remember all those "wacky" tricks Macauley Culkin played on the robbers? Did they seem funny to you? Well, maybe if you hadn't seen the Three Stooges do all of them years ago. If you haven't, you've certainly seen all the "Home Alone" imitators since then. "Are We There Yet?" is yet another of them. 80 or so minutes of a couple of kids delighting in causing all manner of excruciating pain to an increasingly frustrated adult, followed by ten minutes of sentiment. Sounds like something Laurence Oliver would have starred in, doesn't it?

Cube can be an actor of real force and strength, and he certainly has the touch with light comedy, too, as anyone who's seen the "Barbershop" films knows. But how much can anyone do with a role, or a movie, in which he isn't so much a character as a punching bag who's only there for the purpose of suffering abuse at the hands of the kids? he falls down, he yells... that's pretty much the role. it's really surprising that he produced the film... you know he has more in him than "Are We There Yet?". I mean, at least Macauley Culkin seemed like an actual kid. These two monsters are kids clearly trying to ACT, and it's truly frightening to see. Hmm... maybe if there's an other "Omen" movie, they could play the next spawns of Satan. That movie would probably be more interesting than "Are We there Yet?".

4. "Bride and Prejudice". Or, Jane Austen goes to India. Which is not really as strange as it might sound. After all, if "Emma" could become "Clueless", why not?

In this rather drastic revision of the Austen original, it's an Indian woman who's the heroine. One of several daughters, she's in no hurry to be the first of them to marry, and is certainly not eager to follow her parents' ideas of the best mate if she DOES. When a very off-putting (but wealthy) Indian emigre now living in London wants her hand, her parents are thrilled, but she's not. She also isn't thrilled with the idea of a relationship with that guy's best friend, Mr. Darcy, a Britisher visting India with his pal. But fate seems to have its own plans.

Most of this film is pure Bollywood, complete with absurd, crowd-filled song & dance numbers at the most unlikely time. And it's quite entertaining to watch, the more unlikely it is. There's just a pure, unstoppable giddy sense of fun that's hard to resist. It's almost enough to make you ignore Martin Henderson's thoroughly wooden and charmless performance as Darcy, especially since the rest of the cast is an utter delight. The action shifts to London late in the film, and a lot of the joy in the movie goes out of it at that point.

But the movie is still such eye-dazzling entertainment for much of its running time that I can't find it in me to slam it for the relatively small portions of the film that don't quite live up to its best moments. This is a movie that I went to not really expecting much from, particularly considering that the director is Gurinder Chadha, who made the "rousing, feel-good" sports film "Bend It Like Beckham". But it won me over in spite of myself. It didn't make me think that Martin Henderson will before too long not be "Martin Who?" just like Matt Caulfield of "Grease II" became "Matt Who?" (don't remember Matt Caulfield? exactly my point), but I didn't really care. And if pure, unrealistic sillyness is something that you don't find it completely impossible to be entertained by, it's quite likely to win you over as well.

Sunday, February 06, 2005


1. "The Merchant Of Venice". Probably Shakespeare's most controversial play, "The Merchant Of Venice" has never before been adapted to the screen in an English language version. Now that it has, millions of people who've never read or seen it (including yours truly, who has actually read and/or seen most of Shakespeare's plays) get a chance to decide for themselves if the play is anti-semitic. The verdict? Well, probably.

For those unfamiliar: a young citizen of Venice (played by "Shakespeare In Love" 's Shakespeare himself, Joseph Fiennes) is in love with the beautiful Portia (Lynn Collins), but lacks the money to court her properly. He goes for help to his friend Antonio (Jeremy Irons), who lacks the funds himself but wants to help... so he reluctantly goes for a loan to the Jewish money-lender shylock (Al Pacino), who demands a literal pound of Anontio's flesh if he fails to repay the debt. When Antonio's ships all meet with disaster and his business is in ruins, it looks like Shylock may get his wish, and Antonio may lose his life, which could put quite a damper on the whole courting thing.

I recently read a long, detailed article by this film's director, Michael Radford, explaining how the play is a product of its times (when major tensions existed between the Jews and Christians of Europe), and how Shakespeare took great pains to show how Shylock was mistreated and harassed by his Christian neighbors so severely that any evil he may have done was on their heads. But this still doesn't excuse the protagonists's constant reference to him as "Jew" and "The Jew" (he has a name... it's Shylock, remember?), or the way they conspire to humiliate him and drag him down in a punishment far out of proportion to any crimes he's supposed to have committed (and these are the people who side we're supposed to be ON!). Pacino doesn't help the situation by over-acting the role so outrageously that even the sympathetic "Hath not a Jew eyes?" speach comes off like the ravings of a madman about to start foaming at the mouth. He's the classic Jewish stereotype... as played by an Italian American.

Well, then, how well is the film MADE? Not as well as it could have been, actually. Aside from Pacino, Feinnes doesn't seem to play a Shakespearean role as effectively as he played Shakespeare himself (not THIS Shakespearean role, anyhow), and Lynn Collins as Portia seems to be trying to do her best Gwyneth Paltrow impersonation and trade on audience goodwill for the previously referenced Feinnes/Paltrow collaboration, forgetting to be herself in the process. Radford seems to have chosen to excise so much of Shakespeare's original text that even someone such as myself unfamiliar with the original can tell that a great deal of significant material is missing. And then there's the overly melodramatic musical score...

I don't know if Shakespeare himself was an anti-semite, or simply trying to tell a story ABOUT anti-semitism. Maybe the original play, with all the material Radford cut out, clarifies everything. But as for this movie, we have a story that's discomforting to watch (and not in a good way), and a film that's not very well made even if that weren't the case... with one glowing exception. Jeremy Irons as Antonio is nothing short of brilliant, bringing a quiet yet desperate dignity and forcefulness to his role that stands head and shoulders above the performances of every other member of the cast. What a film this might have been with Irons at the center of the story. Somebody put this man in a LEADING Shakespearean film role, soon!

2. "Planetfall". Most regular filmgoers have seen their share of digital video releases. Generally, they're low- or no- budget affairs, stories of regular days in the regular lives of their protagonists. Not here. This zero-budget digital effort is a science-fiction story set on another planet and features space ships, aliens, explosions, and all those fun things. Of course, it doesn't come off like Jerry Bruckheimer, but that's part of its strange, twisted charm.

In the distant future, a female bounty hunter is hired to track down a shipment of what she's told is just money but which she suspects is something quite other, which has crash landed on an Earth colony world. What she doesn't know is that several other groups are also out to find it for their own purposes, and will literally kill to get it.

Filmed largely in Minnesota and Wisconsin by Minneapolis' own Car School film making group, the film's cast does not exactly give Oscar-worthy performances, and when the film requires you to believe that a character is falling off a rope bridge into a river of molten lava, the whole thing looks so fake you may feel like laughing more than anything else. But the local review that called it "what Ed Wood might have done if he had access to a SLIGHTLY higher budget and digital video" is not really fair. Wood always took everything he did completely seriously, and this film is made by people who are clearly aware of how cheesy and cheap this film is, and who do not hesitate to have fun with it. Its off-kilter sense of humor is constantly rescuing it from potential disaster, and some of the acting is actually not bad at all. And Minnesotans should have fun watching Tyrell Ventura, the son of our former governor, as Cyrus Theed, a sleezy businessman who will sell anything as long as it's of questionable legality. All of this, plus special effects that are often way beyond what you have any right to expect from digital video.

So what if eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin never convince you that they're really another planet? So what if the whole film is just too low-tech, at times, to be believed? How many huge budget science fiction efforts from Hollywood these days have the totally nutty sense of fun that this film has? Acknowledging that your film is cheap and cheesy can be a tremendously liberating experience. If you're the kind of person who can get into enjoying a movie like that, then you should head on down to the Saint Anthony Main theatre, where "Planetfall" is currently a Twin Cities exclusive, and have yourself the same experience as the audience I saw it with, who were laughing throughout (in all the right places). You may find yourself echoing Frank Zappa's sentiments in his song about cheap science fiction/horror movies: "I need a little more cheapness, please!"

3. "The Lizard." Currently in a week-long run at the Oak Street Cinema, this film from Iran gives many their first look at a genre that most might have suspected did not really exist: the Iranian COMEDY!! Yes, really.

"The Lizard" is the story of an imprisoned burglar who escapes one day while disguised as a Muslim cleric. Unfortunately for him, everyone on the outside believes he's what he appears to be, including the congregation of the Mosque who were waiting for a new leader and become convinced he's the man they were told was coming. Suddenly the man who expected to make a clean getaway is stuck improvising strange, rambling sermons (not easy when he's almost totally unfamiliar with the Koran) on such subjects as the movie "Pulp Fiction". Worse yet, these sermons become hugely popular and he begins to become famous, not the best of developments for a man who doesn't want to draw attention to himself.

Weirdly and genuinely funny, this film will show audiences a whole different side of both the Iranian people as a whole and the Islamic religion in particular, in a story that brings to mind the title of an old Twilight Zone episode, "People Are Alike All Over". The story's observations about government, religion, compassion, and what exactly goes into living a good, moral life have a good deal of relevance wherever you live and whatever you believe, and should spark post-film discussions for a long time after the film is over. That's after you've stopped laughing, of course, which might take a while.

Oh, yes... some of you might be wondering whether this relatively benign film, which was a huge success with audiences in its native country, wound up being banned by the government there. To which I say: is "Alexander" a bad movie?

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Why You Should Be Watching "Buffy"

In 1992 a cheesy, not very funny horror comedy was briefly released in theatres. Titled "Buffy The Vampire Slayer", it deservedly was greeted with scorn by many, including writer Joss Whedon, whose original vision had been ruined by the producers and director. But five years later, the impossible happened: Whedon got the chance to do it again, the right way this time, on weekly television, and the result was the single most imaginative series of the past decade.

Yes, a show called "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" is indeed as good as all that. And if you were or continue to be scared off from watching what you THINK is just a hoky teen horror show, here are a few reasons why you should have been watching "Buffy", and why you should do all you can to catch up with the show now that all seven seasons are available on video.

First, we have Buffy herself. A lot of TV shows and movies CLAIM to bring you "girl power" and/or empowerment, but "Buffy" is the real day, created by a guy who has said he got sick of watching tiny blonde cheerleader types running from the big bad monster until they were devoured by it, and thought "Wouldn't it be great if she turned around and kicked the monster's ass?" And never doubt, the monsters on this show are NOT just monsters... whatever problem or trauma teens face growing up, or adults face adjusting to adulthood, or people in general face just trying to get on in life, there's been a "monster" on "Buffy" representing that dilemma. So when Buffy kicks the monster's ass, she's also demonstrating how these problems can be overcome by someone who doesn't exactly look like an Amazon superwoman. And she's a character who genuinely grows as you follow her from a high school junior to a 22-year-old young adult at series end. Anyone else get tired of watching characters stay the same over the course of a decade or more?

"Buffy" is also an ensemble show whose supporting cast was more than capable of taking the spotlight when need be. Willow Rosenberg, Xander Harris, Rupert Giles, Spike, Oz, Tara... these and many others helped form probably the most interesting and unique ensemble on network TV in many a year. And they helped continually reinforce the show's message about the importance of friendship... something you don't see in enough shows, and don't see convincingly in most of those that try it.

As to the show itself: well, there's the problem. That is, the very thing that made the show most appealing to so many fans also made it a difficult sell to many others. As James "Spike" Marsters once said in an interview, "Every time you think you've figured out exactly what this show is, it turns into something else". Do you like straight-faced, terrifying horror? "Buffy" gives you the almost totally silent episode "Hush", featuring the terrifying "Gentlemen." Do you like comedic farce? You could watch "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", in which Xander's attempt at a love spell don't go quite right. do you like serious character-based drama? how about "The Body", probably the single most realistic portrayal of the impact of the death of a loved one to have ever been telecast on series TV. If you're a musical fan, you could watch "Once More, With Feeling", which beats most of the best musical films ever made for sheer creativity and fun. Trouble is, many people like a series to be just one thing, and stick to it. They have trouble adjusting to a show that can not only be all of those things from one week to the next, but often can be all of them in the course of a single episode. Joss Whedon just had too wide a variety of creativity driving him to just settle into a predictable rut. The variety is one of the greatest things the show had going for it, and if some people find that difficult to adjust to, well... their loss.

Then there was the fact that the show depended so heavily on viewers' knowledge of what had gone before. Past events and characters often figured into the present-day storylines so much that newcomers felt it too difficult to catch up if they came into the show too many years after the series opener. Well, I guess this one is legit. I started watching a couple months into season three, catching up with earlier shows later, and it was a struggle at first, though a struggle well worth it. I'd imagine anyone trying to beging watching in, say, seasons four or five would find it REALLY tough. But the show is now available in its entirety on both VHS and DVD, so you can't use that excuse any more.

Come on... a series with more imagination and inventiveness in the course of a single episode than most shows have in an entire season? A show filled with characters you actually grow to care about, and that
features snappy, pop-culture-savvy dialogue that can often put Tarantino to shame? That gives you important lessons about life while never forgetting to tell a great story? A show than can be so incredibly many different things? And you're going to be put off watching it because of a silly thing like the title? That's no excuse for not watching "Buffy." Especially if you care at all about quality, creative television, there IS no excuse not to watch.