Television ruled the new releases this week and proved that the best writers are currently toiling for cable television these days.
“The Walking Dead: Season 2” — AMC proved that the abbreviated first season was no fluke with this series that provided intense drama and zombie violence. The story picks up with Deputy Grimes reunited with his wife, son and best friend, Shane (who has designs on his pal’s wife). All of the secrets eventually come out, as the gang befriends a farmer and camps out on his family’s property. However, there is a secret in the farmer’s barn that will tear them apart. Great stuff that expands on the relationships from season one. Superb acting by Andrew Lincoln and Jon Bernthal, in the lead roles of Grimes and Shane. Scott Wilson also contributes as Hershel. Norman Reedus continues to be the most interesting character, with his laid back performance as drug dealer/zombie killer Daryl.
“Battleship” — The summer’s first big movie looks awful tiny on DVD. Someone took a famous board game and filmed it as a big noisy summer flick for short attention spans. The story finds our Navy on maneuvers when it is drawn into battle with an alien armada. Dreadful, and very loud.
“Boardwalk Empire” — HBO’s gangster drama returns with an even better second season that finds corrupt Atlantic City Mayor Nucky Thompson at the mercy of his enemies. His own brother turns on him, as well as the boy, Michael Pitt, that he helped raise. Friendships are tested as the corrupt influences of the Jersey shore go at it while the Teapot Dome scandal shakes the government. This is all filmed with the grandeur of a big budget film and looks fantastic. The last episode is gut-wrenching, as trusted friends turn on each other and a distracted G-man abandons his mission.
“Jersey Shore Shark Attack” — When I was a child my family vacationed in Seaside Heights every summer. Someday, I knew a great movie would be made there. This ain’t it. Sharks get stirred up by illegal drilling but can’t kill the talentless actors on display here fast enough.
Next week lightens things up with the comedy “The Five Year Engagement.”