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[personal profile] shadowkat
Finished watching Pitch and The Exorcist, now chilling watching a program on the history of American Folk Music on PBS entitled The is Your Land hosted by Judy Collins and the Smothers Brothers. So far The Kingston Trio and the Highwaymen have popped up. Unfortunately it's also a pledge drive...and not really just a musical celebration.

1. The Pitch - I really wanted to like this one, but it is just one baseball flick cliche after another, complete with a twist taken out Field of Dreams amongst others. It's about a young black woman who becomes the first major league baseball player for the San Diego Padres. She's a pitcher - which is basically the top and most difficult position - and got there for her screwball curveball special.

In flashbacks we see how she got there...and the fight she has with various detractors. And how everyone is counting on her to succeed. Finally, the Catcher tells her if she wants to do this -- to do do it for herself, no one else. And what do you know, she nails it.

It's well acted and has potential, but feels rather one note and somewhat predictable. Interesting approach to start off with her in the major leagues and struggling to make it work there then to take the usual route, which is to show how she got there. I'm tempted to see where they go with it, but my gut tells me that she'll end up in a romance with the Catcher.

I like the lead. Mixed feelings about the twist, which caught me by surprise. Not crazy about the other characters ...who feel somewhat boilerplate, including the ambitious sports agent (the actress who played Jennifer Jones best friend in Alias Jennifer Jones), team manager portrayed by Mark Conseuleos (Kelly Ripa's hubby), and her buddy from the minor leagues.

So, on the fence.

2. The Exorcist -- this is a television adaptation/update of William Peter Blatty's best-selling novel and the award-winning film starring Ellen Burnstein and Max Von Sydow. The television adaptation has to a degree maintained what made the book and film so frightening, which was the feeling of impending dread.

Much like the original - the point of view is either the younger priest's or the mother, Angela, (Geena Davis in the Ellen Burnstein role). The demon's target - her teenage daughter. Also much like the original, we have the dynamic of the older priest, Father Maros (Ben Daniels) and the younger priest, Father Tomas (Alfonso Herrera), who is quite compelling in the role. Actually, the two priests pulled me in - much as they had in the original film. And I like both of the actors a great deal. The original much like this version is more about faith/hope and how we handle despair/hate and evil or deal with it when confronted with it head on then it was about the supernatural. The younger priest, Tomas is having a crisis of faith when he is called to be an "exorcist". He barely believes in God and is ambitious, an up and comer. In one scene, his sister asks if he really wants to be a priest, since he's corresponding with a young woman and had previously had a relationship with one. The older priest is tired and has almost given up, also questioning his faith, and has shut himself up in a retreat for aging and retired priests. He has lost a young boy to demonic forces in Mexico City and wonders if there is a God and a point.

I always thought Blatty's "The Exorcist" deftly tackled some of the fears that underly the Christian religion and our society. A normal upper-class family, living in an house in the city, with a demon insinuating itself within its walls.

Differences from the original -- not just Angela's young daughter appears to be affected. Her husband appears to have lost his mind, her older daughter is depressed and has retreated to her room, and Angela hears whispers in the walls. When she comes downstairs - the chairs are pulled from the table and the books are knocked from the shelves.

Meanwhile, Tomas is plagued by visions of Marcos attempting to exorcise a demon from a child and failing. It's quite horrifying and somewhat gruesome.

The protagonist here as it was in the original is The Exorcist - the priests, not the mother or the family plagued by the demon. If it is a demon.

There's a twist in the end regarding who has been taken over that took me by surprise but made sense.

I may continue with it to see where it goes, although it is rather creepy and I did spend a good portion of it with my fingers over my face. I don't really like horror that much...and have a bit of a love/hate relationship with it.


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