January's DVD Reviews,
Quick reviews from my Netflix queue and/or
The Formula, 1980
Why was everyone around this time
so interested in Nazi secrets from 30+ years ago? Go rent The
Boys from Brazil instead.
The Three Burials
of Melquiades Estrada, 2006
Remember when Eric Clapton did
and blew everyone away by playing a different style and bringing in songs
no one knew he knew? This is Tommy Lee Jones' Unplugged.
It's worth it.
I felt as lost as the protagonists
did in the beginning of this movie, what without a plot or any semblance
of a story. The cop was a hot live version of a butch Lara Croft,
but looked about as realistic as the insanely irrelevant monsters.
The only thing scary about this movie is the prospect of a sequel.
On the commentary, Jack Nicholson
narrates the opening scene, "A man in search of something. Enough
of a story for (director) Antonioni." Actually, no real story ever
emerges, no plot developments, nothing. It's just a lot of footage
shot around a premise too shallow to wade in. The only thing
that's notable is the lengthy closing shot... and it doesn't come soon
1, Disc 4, 2006
Great cast and a decent enough
premise, but this show moves so slowly that it never gains enough airspeed
to get any lift. The girls are cute though.
2, Disc 2, 2006
The show keeps growing on me.
I have no idea why, especially considering how much I hate the dvd's menu.
There's almost nothing new here,
but you forgive them because it's told well. But then you get a great
ending and you like it a bit more than you thought you were going to.
Awwwww. Isn't that a great story? Still, it's hardly Best Picture
1, Disc (who knows), 1999
Not bad stuff. Around this
point in the series it was evolving into the great show it would become
just as soon as they added Chiana and her cute ass to the cast.
Great acting and a terrific premise,
but ultimately it's got more holes in the plot than [insert X-rated analogy
Season 2: Disc 2, 2005
Okay, yes, I had it in for this
one in the beginning, but it has quickly climbed out from beneath the shadow
of the BBC program on which it was based. Steve Carell is an amazing
actor who doesn't seem remotely uncomfortable about making the audience
The Devil Wears
Here again I thought this was
a standard story told exceptionally well. It had style. It
had better, all things considered.
Season 5: Disc 2, 2004
You can smell desperation brewing
in the writers' office when they start giving Lane her own storylines to
the exclusion of the suddenly and unnecessarily boring title characters.
Glen or Glenda,
Quite possibly the most confused
movie ever made, and I'm not talking about anything related to its subject
matter. It can't decide if it is a pseudo-documentary full of gravitas
and psycho-babble or an experimental film merging early psychedelia with
The Great New
It's neither great nor wonderful,
but Judy Greer is, and I will admit I rented just to see her even though
I lucked out and got to see her in her underwear and then half a nipple
later on. I guess that's nothing "new" either, but I'm happy.
As far as Hellraiser movies go,
this one wasn't too bad, but then again, they lowered the bar considerably
after the first couple in the series. Incidentally, Kari Wuhrer can
actually act and looks good. Hello? Hollywood? Call her
and give her some decent work, especially in movies where she's indecent.
1: Disc 1, 2005
Ricky Gervais returns! While
it isn't nearly as good as the original BBC version of The Office, it's
still a fun show. Funnier still are the outtakes on the disc, primarily
because the most hysterical thing in the universe is Ricky laughing during
a take. I'm not kidding you.
PICK OF THE
LITTER: The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. I liked
it and my neighbor Linda liked it. Considering how narrow an overlap
this is, this is an unprecidented recommendation.
DVD Reviews, Part II
Quick reviews from my Netflix queue and/or
There were so many places where
I kept thinking this movie would live up to its potential and go to one
of the dark places on the interesting fringes of its otherwise predictable
plot. It always seemed to be flirting with something better than
it was, but by the end I was watching the clock on the player and realizing
it was just killing time until it was free to run the credits.
Season 2, Disc 2, 2006
I still can't get over how relatively
plotless this season is. The trademark fast-paced and campy scripting,
direction, and perfomances are still the best of their kind, but I have
no reason to care. I just watch it for the hot mommies.
Hackers plus Frantic
plus Air Force One. I am just not a big enough Harrison Ford
fan to care about the sum of that formula.
This wasn't great, but it wasn't
nearly as bad as it was made out to be by the critics who haunted it.
A Prarie Home
If you can sit through the pointless,
meandering radio show it's based on, you might be able to make it through
this pointless, meandering movie. Usually his meandering has a point,
but I think Robert Altman died of boredom directing this mess.
The Omen III,
Okay, it's pretty hokey, but I
enjoyed it even though the plot synopsis would be shorter than this review.
I Love Your
Although it gets predictable a
short way in, this indie movie by actor and nearly-first-time director
Adam Goldberg isn't too bad. The fast-paced editing is an interesting
collage approach to story-telling, even though the average viewer will
probably find it too intense and hard to follow. In other words,
I loved his work.
Season 1, Disc 4, 2005
She's like the previously unknown
blonde Gilmore Girl who actually stands up for herself. By constrast,
those chicks on that other show have no self respect.
Come and See,
Depressing WWII story about German
atrocities in Russia. The movie-making isn't horrible, but the images
are. Be sure you have titrated up to a therapeutic dose of your anti-depressant
of choice before viewing.
Season 2, Disc 3, 2006
More of the same. I'm getting
desperate for reasons more compelling to watch than seeing anyone besides
Terri Hatcher's character in jeans.
1, Disc 5, 2006
Finally, it's over. Only
at the last did they finally start developing any intrigue to keep me interested,
but in the meantime their viewers invaded other shows and this series got
I have no idea what went wrong
here, but this was basically a poorly-made, over-long episode of the tv
show. I loved the show, but this project did nothing for me.
Art School Confidential,
This. This is what a Kevin
Smith movie should be. It's another picture from Daniel Clowes directed
by Terry Zwigoff (Crumb and Ghost World). Now those
guys are real artists.
Dani found this little gem loosely
based on a true story about an old shoe factory that turned its business
around by catering to a seriously niche market: Drag queens. It's
basically that Full Monty formula you already know (and can't really
hate), but it turned out to be well-made enough to kick ass in high heels.
There are some terrific satirical
points in this Mike Judge picture, but there's so much slapstick comedy
coupled with the unfunny Wilson brother (i.e., the one who isn't Owen).
It's interesting on so many levels, but it just doesn't work.
U2: The Joshua Tree, 1999
This is one of those "Behind the
Music" sorts of shows, only it looks more at audio engineering than drugs
and hookers used and abused on the other side of the mixing board.
It's definitely for musicians only, although they ran out of material five
minutes from the end and subject you to a live concert performance on a
show about a studio album. Yeah. Exactly.
Season 5: Disc 4, 2004
It was funny when Lorelai kept
hanging up on her mom until I realized that I was vicariously enjoying
it as though it were my future mother-in-law, then I felt bad.
Season 2: Disc 3, 2005
Okay, I admit it. My name
is Jim. I like Pam. That's why I watch this show.
Picture this: Bruce Willis in
his peak in an action comedy (two things Bruce does best). This had
the potential to be a bit better than it was. Honestly, without the
slapstick bits pushing it over the top or the ballast of the incredibly
unfunny Andie McDowell dragging it down (was she supposed to be a counterweight?!),
it would have been a terrific movie.
PICKS OF THE
LITTER: Tie: Art School Confidential made me care what was going
on while throwing in a lot of funnies that a hack screenwriter wouldn't
have bothered to come up with. And Kinky Boots was a pleasant
surprise in that the filmmaking was inventive without being experimental