ensemble chemistry!

Why "Forever" is NOT Just Another Crime Procedural, and May Just Be the Best Show You're Not Watching

If you missed the September 2014 debut of ABC’s “Forever”, you’re probably not the only one. Afloat in an absolute sea of shows on Tuesday nights (I myself had about eight on that night at its peak), it might have been overlooked in its ten p.m. (eastern) time slot. But it’s quickly risen to the top as one of my favorites, and if you haven’t had a chance to check it out, I’m here to tell you why you should.

ABC hasn’t quite seemed to figure out how to market the show, so it tends to come off in ads as just another Castle or CSI derivative, but it’s far from it. Yes, there is a homicide case to solve just about every week, but at its core, Forever is a supernatural mystery about the eternal lifespan of New York City Medical Examiner, Dr. Henry Morgan (played by the charmingly English Ioan Gruffudd).

Over two hundred years ago, in a scuffle on a ship crossing the Atlantic, Henry was shot, killed, and thrown overboard into the ocean. Inexplicably, he came back to life. Over the years, any time Henry dies, he wakes up naked in the nearest body of water, and in NYC, that is frequently the Hudson River.

In the course of this seemingly endless life (some of which is revealed to us through well done period flashbacks), Henry has worked in the medical field, often with the dead, trying to find the secret to end his curse. These centuries of experience have given him extraordinary powers of observation, in addition to his well-practiced medical abilities, giving the victims and families of horrible tragedies the one thing he can’t seem to find - closure.

Keep reading

6 Things I Love About 'Birdman'

1. Michael Keaton - It’s his film and he owns it, 100%. A stunning, fascinating, complex performance. Dark, twisted, laser-focused yet wild and raw.

2. Emma Stone - Unexpectedly matches Keaton’s madness in terms of a wild, unpredictable performance. Perfect casting for Keaton’s daughter, she looks the part, and more importantly, her performance is deeply complex and compelling.

3. The Cinematography - Director Inarritu and DP Lubezki successfully articulate the rawness and energy of live theater with mind-blowing cinematography that moves so brilliantly and winds its way through the story. This is a must-see for the theater. Seamless camerawork and editing makes it feel like it’s all one shot, like no two shots are the same. It also means that the performances are wildly organic and untethered. It’s inspiring, it’s provocative, it’s refreshing.

4. The Whole Freaking Supporting Cast - Yeah, I already mentioned Emma Stone. But, everyone else is equally amazing. Edward Norton. Zach Galifianakis. Naomi Watts. Amy Ryan. They’re all totally kick-ass performances, especially Norton and Galifianakis. Usually, I’d say, yeah, you should go. Keaton’s in it. Stone’s in it. But the supporting cast is so strong, you’re pretty much obligated to go, you don’t want to miss this type of chemistry and ensemble work.

5. What It’s About - This film is so multi-layered, so meaningful in so many different ways, and these intermediary scenes between Norton and the critic (the incomparable Lindsay Duncan), and then Keaton and the critic, are just sublime. The Critic versus The Artist. Celebrity versus Artistry. Dreams versus Reality. Truth versus Pretend. Family. Community. Self-Love. Self-Loathing. Fear. Courage. The “Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance.” Ultimately, there’s a connection with each character. I felt like I knew Stone’s character, I knew girls like that; I knew Keaton’s character, I grew up in the theater, I know men like that, I know artists like that, I am like that. There’s an immediate emotional engagement from the very start of the film. You see yourself reflected in the story and in the characters.

6. The Final Shot - This is pretty much how I felt after the movie. It was magical, surreal, sublime, unforgettable.