December's DVD Reviews, Part I
Quick reviews from my Netflix queue and/or the library.

Desperate Housewives: Season 2: Disc 1, 2006
They could have ended this series with the first season.  Much like finding out "who killed Laura Palmer" effectively killed off Twin Peaks, this series lacks any cliffhangers precarious enough for the protagonists to skin themselves on.  We're just following the lives of people around the neighborhood, and I can do that already with a pair of binoculars and my parabolic microphone.

The Office: Season 2: Disc 1, 2005
You know, I had it in for this show after seeing the (still) superior BBC version, but the show is excellently crafted; it just has a lot to live up to for me.  I will admit to a huge crush on Pam though, even though she's completely wrong for me.

Heights, 2004
If you are the type to come away from those kinds of subtle artsy flicks with a negative reaction due to your inability to form an opinion, then you definitely need to see more movies like this.

Crank Yankers: Season 2: Vol. 1: Disc 1, 2002
As creative as the visuals are, the puppets aren't nearly as funny as the candid audio of people getting jerked around.  Or maybe I'm just a sadist with an over-developed sense of humor?  This stuff never gets old for me.

The Da Vinci Code, 2006
Not as bland as I expected after having read the book and seen the ending retrodden by every news magazine expo on the vercity of the supposed big secret (that everyone who works within a mile of a water cooler already knows by now).  Still, if you have an IQ above 70, you can find a better way to spend a couple hours.

Gilmore Girls: Season 5: Disc 1, 2004
The entire cast of the show is fast-talking, with the title characters being the wittiest, most sarcastic girls in town, forever making Dennis Miller-level references over everyone's head.  The plotlines are very ordinary (should she break up with goodie-goodie Dean to go out with bad-boy Jess?), but the dialogue is always funny.  Still, the best episodes for me are the ones where the mom wears jeans.

Invasion:  Season 1, Disc 3, 2005
Why does the "invasion" have to happen sooooo sloooooowly?

The Hills Have Eyes, 2006
I never saw the original.  This was basically a glossier version of any of the Friday the 13th series.  It was a series of people I never cared about getting killed in various ways.  Pretty much like how any reality show would be if I was allowed to run it.  I want the cast of Survivor to really earn that mantle.

Vanishing Point, 1971
Variously described by fans and critics as the ultimate car chase movie, this is, in fact, the ultimate car chase movie.  Seriously, that's the entire movie.  A car chase.  I can't break this down any simpler.  If I go any slower, the police will catch me.  Check it out, if only for the great scenes of the hot hippy chick nude on the motobike.  Oh, that got your attention, did it?

Farscape: Season 1, Disc 2, 1999
The show still hadn't found its stride in these early episodes, but it's been so long since I saw them that it's like looking at a gawky stage you went through in your old photo albums and somehow still feeling nostalgic for it.

Casanova, 2006
I liked this one a lot... up until the third act.  They obviously didn't know how to end a movie with so much going on, which is a shame because half the fun of a film with so many interwoven threads is to tie the audience up and have your way with them.  I got loose before the climax.  Don't you hate it when that happens?

PICK OF THE LITTER: Casanova.  I was suprised that I liked it, even though it abandoned me just as I was growing attached.  Just like the real Casanova would have done.  Damn it.

December's DVD Reviews, Part II
Quick reviews from my Netflix queue and/or the library.

Back Mamma, White Mamma, 1972
Why is it the white chick still gets top billing over Pam Grier even 30+ years later dispite the fact Pam Greir has made ten times as many movies and has ten times the graviational pull toward her chest?  My quick take on the movie: Too many gun fights and not enough shower scenes with a lacivious voyeuristic lesbian prison guard.

Entourage: Season 2, Disc 1, 2005
The only reason to watch this is Ari.  Unfortunately, I'm equal parts him, Monk, and Larry David, so I have to contend with Dani saying, "You." at the end of every scene with him.

Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital: Discs 1 and 2, 2004
Why are all the characters in every one of his projects a bunch of cartoon characters?  It isn't a very good effort, but it's very busy with many characters and no clear idea what to do with them.  I would rather watch writers who flail around helplessly because they're too stubborn to fall back on cliches than those who are complete hacks.  Apparently even Stephen King has some standards, despite criticisms to the contrary.

The Hot Rock, 1972
This is a great crime caper I saw as a kid.  There isn't anything terribly original here, but it manages to insert a lot of humor into scenes where you wouldn't expect it, yet without seeming cloying.  Steal a copy if you can find one.

Farscape (another random disc in the series), 2002
This is one from somewhere in the first season, somewhere around the point where it started to find itself and stopped beating the audience over the head with establishing the characters by over-playing their archetypes.

GI Jane, 1997
Okay, you know I just wanted to see a well-muscled Demi Moore for a bit.  The plot is entirely too predictable (I hoped in vain that there would be a twist I couldn't see around from a mile up the road, but there wasn't).  However, the meat of the film (i.e, training) is pretty good stuff.  Notable is Viggo LordOfTheRingstern in a great (and unexpected) performance as the drill instructor.

Will & Grace: Season 1, Disc 2, 1998
Jack steals the show.  Hell, I'd do him if all I was looking for was talent.  Ironically, I'm more attracted to Grace precisely because she has (as she puts it) the chest of a 12 year-old boy.

I didn't get around to watching much more than this though due to traveling over Xmas.  Sorry.

Pick of the Litter:  Probably The Hot Rock.  It's a different kind of crime caper.  Not as sophisticated as your typical Elmore Leonard adaptation, but better than average.

Copyright 2006 Ale[x]plorer.
Back to the index