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Caprica Recap: Season 1, Episode 3, “Reins of a Waterfall”

Battlestar Galactica and Caprica’s creative force Ronald D. Moore takes the directing reins with this episode, and one can feel the dynamic really begining to jell.



Caprica Recap: Season 1, Episode 3, “Reins of a Waterfall”
Photo: Syfy

Now, that’s more like it. Battlestar Galactica and Caprica’s creative force Ronald D. Moore takes the directing reins with this episode, and one can feel the dynamic really begining to jell. Whatever misgivings I had last week over Paula Malcomson’s believability when Amanda publicly denounced her daughter as a terrorist evaporated in the powerful scene where Daniel confronts his wife about the incident. Moore directs Malcomson to a performance which explores the range of emotions Amanda is feeling, from betrayal to heartbreak to shock to defensiveness to shame to certitude that she did the right thing. Daniel, who just got beat up by Joseph’s brother Sam in retaliation for his niece’s death in the same suicide bombing, is not so sure Amanda fully comprehends the impact of her public denouncement.

Beyond the personal emnity it has created between the two fathers around whom the show revolves, the increasingly media-conscious backdrop of Caprica flares up with reports taking potshots at the powerful Graystones. Patton Oswalt (Big Fan) appears as the host of Backtalk with Baxter Sarno, a wry combination of Jon Stewart and Glenn Beck who reinforces the thesis I laid out in an earlier post. But Sarno’s tasteless jokes concerning Graystone’s tangential involvement with the Soldiers of the One are the least of Daniel’s worries. As the media interstitials placed throughout Caprica demonstrate, the backlash against Amanda’s admission is affecting Graystone Industries stock, attendance at his pyramid team’s home games, and his Cylon defense contracts are most certainly next. After some prodding from a PR consultant hired by his assistant, Cyrus (Hiro Kanagawa)—nice exchange between Daniel and Cyrus: “Scandals are sunburns, Cyrus. They fade.” / “Not if they give you cancer.”— Daniel decides at episode’s end to take the fight back to the media through populist funnyman Sarno.

And then there’s Joseph. Esai Morales gives some interesting shadings to the grieving Joseph, who has now reclaimed his Tauron heritage by restoring his family name, Adama. In BSG, the impression Joseph left for posterity was one of outstanding achievement in judicial service. In this episode, we are left with the possibility that Joseph instead made his bones by paying off judges to help his clients avoid going to trial. In any case, whatever the man’s professional ethics, there hasn’t been any indication he is ethically challenged in his personal life. Thus far, he has tried to instill a sense of morality in his young son, William. Concerning Daniel’s earlier attempt to ease Joseph’s grief by creating an avatar of his daughter, Tamara (Genevieve Buechner), Joseph responded with the requisite moral outrage one would expect from any TV series protagonist. So it becomes quite compelling to see our expectations of the man inverted just as he accepts the Adama mantle long associated with virtue. As the grief catches up with the Tauron attorney, he reverts back to the stereotypes he tried to disassociate from long ago, calling on his brother Sam to intimidate Graystone into reigniting Tamara’s avatar, and possibly creating a new one for his deceased wife as well.

Ultimately, Tamara-A cannot be found (she’s vanished into the V-club with her new acquaintances, Zoe-A and Lacy who are unaware of her identity), and Daniel admits it is unlikely he could create an avatar of Joseph’s wife. Adama’s thirst for justice sees the episode end in a way no one could ever have expected, with Adama telling his brother that Graystone only experienced one loss to his two demanding that Sam, “Balance it out.”

Quick Takes:

1. Daniel likes to box in a low-rent gym. Could this hobby lead to some sort of a mentor relationship with young William Adama, who grows up to be quite a boxer himself?

2. Two BSG vets are cast in new roles here. Fan favorite Luciana Carro, who played Starbuck’s rival Kat, plays PR consultant Pryah Magnus. And Christian Tessier, better known as Duck in The Resistance webisodes from back in 2006, plays a member of Sam Adama’s gang.

3. It is confirmed. Sam is gay and out to both his brother and nephew. But is his orientation known to his criminal associates?

4. An interesting tidbit by way of the Battlestar Wiki (a great resource worth checking out if you’re a fan), “The documentation in the BSG episode “Hero” gave William Adama’s parents names as Joseph and Evelyn Adama. Does this mean that Joseph will marry his assistant Evelyn?”

5. Amanda and Daniel have a “good frak” in front of the Zoe-A Cylon. If only they knew.

6. Sister Clarice has nothing on Gaius Baltar… so far. The same cannot be said about Polly Walker whose comic timing really sold the “tea” scene where she tries to seduce (figuratively, literally, or both) Magda Apanowicz’s Lacy.

7. Meanwhile, Lacy is smart enough to realize Clarice is fishing for info about Zoe’s avatar, her observation leading Zoe-A to admit that Zoe never fully trusted Clarice…

8. …with good reason. Who is the mysterious Arvo? What is his connection to the Soldiers of the One? And why does Clarice take instruction from him?

9. Zoe-A’s plea that she must somehow get to Geminon to find out her true purpose is met with Lacy’s response (the best line delivery of the show), “Do you realize you’re 6 feet tall, and you weigh a ton?”

No episode this upcoming Friday. See you in two weeks.

For more recaps of Caprica, click here.



Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Original Screenplay

This season, Hollywood is invested in celebrating the films they love while dodging the cultural bullets coming at them from every angle.



Green Book
Photo: Universal Pictures

You know, if it weren’t for the show’s producers effectively and repeatedly saying everything about the Academy Awards is terrible and needs to be changed, and the year’s top-tier contenders inadvertently confirming their claims, this would’ve been a comparatively fun and suspenseful Oscar season. None of us who follow the Academy Awards expect great films to win; we just hope the marathon of precursors don’t turn into a Groundhog Day-style rinse and repeat for the same film, ad nauseam.

On that score, mission accomplished. The guilds have been handing their awards out this season as though they met beforehand and assigned each voting body a different title from Oscar’s best picture list so as not to tip the Oscar race too clearly toward any one film. SAG? Black Panther. PGA? Green Book. DGA? Roma. ASC? Cold War. ACE? Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Even awards-season kryptonite A Star Is Born got an award for contemporary makeup from the MUAHS. (That’s the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild, not the sound Lady Gaga fans have been making ever since A Star Is Born’s teaser trailer dropped last year.)

Not to be outdone, the Writers Guild of America announced their winners last weekend, and not only did presumed adapted screenplay frontrunner BlacKkKlansman wind up stymied by Can You Ever Forgive Me?, but the original screenplay prize went to Eighth Grade, which wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar. Bo Burnham twisted the knife into AMPAS during his acceptance speech: “To the other nominees in the category, have fun at the Oscars, losers!” In both his sarcasm and his surprise, it’s safe to say he speaks on behalf of us all.

As is always the case, WGA’s narrow eligibility rules kept a presumed favorite, The Favourite, out of this crucial trial heat. But as the balloting period comes to a close, the question remains just how much enthusiasm or affection voters have for either of the two films with the most nominations (Roma being the other). As a recent “can’t we all just get along” appeal by Time’s Stephanie Zacharek illustrates, the thing Hollywood is most invested in this season involves bending over backward, Matrix-style, to celebrate the films they love and still dodge the cultural bullets coming at them from every angle.

Maybe it’s just tunnel vision from the cultural vacuum Oscar voters all-too-understandably would prefer to live in this year, but doesn’t it seem like The Favourite’s tastefully ribald peppering of posh-accented C-words would be no match for the steady litany of neo-Archie Bunkerisms spewing from Viggo Mortensen’s crooked mouth? Especially with First Reformed’s Paul Schrader siphoning votes from among the academy’s presumably more vanguard new recruits? We’ll fold our words in half and eat them whole if we’re wrong, but Oscar’s old guard, unlike John Wayne, is still alive and, well, pissed.

Will Win: Green Book

Could Win: The Favourite

Should Win: First Reformed

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Watch: Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir, Starring Honor Swinton Byrne and Tilda Swinton, Gets First Trailer

Joanna Hogg has been flying under the radar for some time, but that’s poised to change in a big way.



Photo: A24

British film director and screenwriter Joanna Hogg, whose impeccably crafted 2013 film Exhibition we praised on these pages for its “disarming mixture of the remarkable and the banal,” has been flying under the radar for the better part of her career. But that’s poised to change in a big way with the release of her latest film, The Souvenir, which won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Prior to the film’s world premiere at the festival, A24 and Curzon Artificial Eye acquired its U.S. and U.K. distribution rights, respectively. Below is the official description of the film:

A shy but ambitious film student (Honor Swinton Byrne) begins to find her voice as an artist while navigating a turbulent courtship with a charismatic but untrustworthy man (Tom Burke). She defies her protective mother (Tilda Swinton) and concerned friends as she slips deeper and deeper into an intense, emotionally fraught relationship that comes dangerously close to destroying her dreams.

And below is the film’s first trailer:

A24 will release The Souvenir on May 17.

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Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Sound Mixing

For appealing to voters’ nostalgia for drunken karaoke nights of yore, one film has the upper hand here.



20th Century Fox
Photo: 20th Century Fox

Given what Eric wrote about the sound editing category yesterday, it now behooves me to not beat around the bush here. Also, it’s my birthday, and there are better things for me to do today than count all the ways that Eric and I talk ourselves out of correct guesses in the two sound categories, as well as step on each other’s toes throughout the entirety of our Oscar-prediction cycle. In short, it’s very noisy. Which is how Oscar likes it when it comes to sound, though maybe not as much the case with sound mixing, where the spoils quite often go to best picture nominees that also happen to be musicals (Les Misérables) or musical-adjacent (Whiplash). Only two films fit that bill this year, and since 2019 is already making a concerted effort to top 2018 as the worst year ever, there’s no reason to believe that the scarcely fat-bottomed mixing of Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody will take this in a walk, for appealing to voters’ nostalgia for drunken karaoke nights of yore.

Will Win: Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody

Could Win: A Star Is Born

Should Win: First Man

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