March's DVD Reviews,
Quick reviews from my Netflix queue and/or
Sopranos: Season 5, Discs
1 & 2, 2005
I know there's an over-arching
story here, but all I remember at the end of an episode are little moments.
That's both the magic and the flaw of the show. That and the lack
of a score. No, I mean a musical one.
3, Discs 1, 2006
Here's a show that actually gets
better with age, and they've never even given it a facelift.
The L Word:
Season 3: Disc 2, 2006
My only complaint is that Pam
Grier doesn't kick ass. Well, her character doesn't. She still
does by paradoxically playing against type with a character that is such
a pussy that Foxy Brown would bitch slap her.
Holy fucking shit. I was
wrong last month when I said I Spit on Your Grave was one of the
most disturbing movies ever made. If this doesn't take that title,
then I have no desire to see any other contenders. And unfortunately,
this isn't even any good. It uses the Memento gimmick two
years after that movie premiered, and doesn't even have a story that would
be remotely interesting for anyone who shouldn't be in intensive therapy.
I only added this to my queue
because Judy Greer was in it. She was great, as usual, and that made
me want to shove a jawbreaker down the screenwriter/director's throat for
giving her this shitty, career-stunting material. Only other redeeming
quality: An all-too-brief cameo by Pam Grier (no relation). Oh, yeah!
3, Disc 2, 2006
This show really is a total soap
opera, but I'd watch it even if I was straight. No, wait. I
am straight. Damn you and your good looks, Christian Troy!
Dani dragged me to this at the
theater. While it has a great story and is well-acted and directed,
the fantasy elements are much fewer and further between than the trailers,
poster, etc. would have you believe. Also, it is definitely not a
fairy tale, so be prepared to spend at least a few hours afterward wandering
around a labyrith of your depression before you find your way out.
5, Discs 3 & 4, 2005
Since the library had this second
double-disc set, I decided the whack the rest of the season.
1, Discs 3 & 4, 1975
I've never been nostalgic for
this show, but these early episodes really draw into sharp relief the bad
decisions that have been made to make SNL what it is today: polished, predictable,
and overly reliant on derevative forms such as media parodies and impressions.
The original show was none of these. I was wrong. This actually
is worth being nostalgic for.
Mutiny on the
Here's a remake that improved
considerably on the original. Then again, you didn't have to travel
halfway around the globe to do that.
Bettie Page, 2006
Sure, she's great to look at,
but they kind of forgot to say anything of substance about her in the whole
fucking movie. Enjoy the pictures instead because the internet's
better than the movie.
Show, Season 1, Discs 1&2, 2003
I'm sorry, but racial humor is
only skin-deep, and you cannot stretch it across more than half an hour
of comedy. No one has skin that thick.
Want to watch a post-punk, early
new wave time capsule? Want to see one of those director-died-from-AIDS
movies "introducing Adam Ant"? Want to see Rocky Horror's
Columbia naked? Don't care about plot or structure? Then, boy,
have I got the movie for you!
Metallica: The Black Album, 2001
Rather than lamenting the fact
this band doesn't do crap anymore, let's take a trip down memory lane before
Napster and the psychotherapy sessions and go back to the one album that
found the compromise between musicianship and song writing. Admittedly,
it's for fans and studio technique geeks primarily. Yes, sad but
Season 6: Disc 1, 2005
Uh, oh. This is the beginning
of the season everyone warned me about. Still, the writing isn't
too bad from scene to scene. It would be nice if it mattered what
order they were in, but since we aren't going anywhere for a while in terms
of a story, who cares?
OMFG! I love Pam
Grier. I know you're going to say, "But, Alex, I thought you weren't
all about the big titties. Don't you hate her character on The
L Word?" Well, yeah. But this is Pam Grier... the real
one, back when she kicked ass. Okay, so the movie is a two-hour version
of any '70s tv show where someone drew a gun, but it's Pam. And while
it isn't a women's penitentary movie, it does mean that I don't have to
use my imagination to have a fantasy starring her.
It's amazing how good a depressing
movie can be sometimes. Oh, but lock up the fire arms and sleeping
Six Feet Under,
Season 5, Discs 3&4, 2006
We only have a finite time on
this earth, but some of it would be well-spent watching this series.
The Black Dahlia,
If you're going to make a noir
movie, you either have to have a sense of humor about it or it's going
to fall flat. I mean, if you're making a parody of yourself, then
you better be self-depricating in the process or the critics are going
to carve you up and leave your body in a field. Incidentally, I'm
going to play against type and agree with EVERYONE ON THE PLANET and acknowledge
that Hillary Swank plays a great transgender girl, a great girl boxer,
and even a great next Karate Kid. Playing a woman? Man, she
PICK OF THE
LITTER: The Libertine. You'd probably watch it anyway
since Johnny Depp is in it, but I'll take credit for you picking this up
since I'm recommending it.
DVD Reviews, Part II
Quick reviews from my Netflix queue and/or
Yes, I have the sluttiest
dvd drive in town.
Thank You For
I haven't rooted for the bad guy
since The Terminator, but this did it. It's the Bob Roberts
of this decade. And if you haven't seen Bob Roberts, rent
that one as well in time for election season.
3: Disc 4, 2003
She's jumped terrorists, spies,
even agents on her own team, but never the shark. Admittedly, about
half the gadgets on the show elicit an "Awww, come on!" from me.
It isn't quite Psycho,
but this nearly-forgotten little movie has a few surprises even if it stars
Anthony Perkins cliching the typecasting that would poison his career.
All five girls in this are essentially
the same, so no matter which way the plot turns, you'll never find your
way out. You'll be rooting for them to kill off characters faster
so you can escape this basically unimaginative little thriller with the
identical plot at The Cave.
Remember when Bruce Willis kept
playing characters that were too young for him right on into his 40s?
Well, now he's trying to play guys who are too old. We've gone from
Hard to "gonna die soon." And you'll hope the hitmen get Mos
Def five minutes after he opens his mouth.
1, Discs 5&6, 1975
More reasons why I have a crush
on Laraine Newman.
6, Part I: Disc 1, 2006
Normally I don't care for the
dream sequences on this show (or most others that don't budget for CGI),
but the extended one this season was actually very interesting. For
once I'm glad Tony doesn't sleep with the fishes.
Six Feet Under:
Season 5, Disc 5, 2006
I was worried, but now I am at
peace. They ended the series with the dignity it deserved.
There's no wonder why David Cronenberg
is my favorite director. I hadn't seen this one since I was in high
school, but it's terrific. All the usual Cronenberg themes are there.
I'm not surprised and, at the same time, can't keep myself from being affected
as though I didn't know what was coming next.
Early anime from the guy who did
Away, Howl's Moving Castle, etc., yet this one was coherent
and enjoyable all the way through. I was very, very surprised how
much I liked it.
TV movie of the week material
plus some titties equals cute, but whatever.
Less Than Zero,
Aimless, plotless meanderings
of characters you won't like and couldn't care less about other than the
fact that Robert Downey Jr. plays himself as a hopeless drug addict about
ten years before the fact.
Gross isn't scary; it's just...
gross. Get a clue. Idiots. This movie was made by people
with an IQ lower than its intended audience, and that isn't saying much.
The L Word:
Season 3: Disc 3, 2006
This is probably the only soap
opera you could get a guy to watch consistently. The missing element
in all the others? Naked lesbians.
of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, 2005
Much better than I expected.
It's still a kids' movie, and there's a ridiculous deus ex machina moment
(same as in the book and much of the bible), but overall it's a nice fairy
tale. If you're a male over 15 though, you'd best stick with Lord
of the Rings.
Not a great movie or even a great
performance, but it's worth watching Brad Pitt as a sociopathic redneck
because things he says that are wronger than the title is spelled.
This movie paradoxically makes
me believe in the devil by being a unconvincing remake that could only
have been produced through Satanic influence. I felt like they were
walking though the original's scenes rather than making an updated movie
from great source material. The remake was about as necessary the
PICKS OF THE
LITTER: Thank You For Smoking is good enough to make you want
to have a cigarette afterwards. Also,
Dead Ringers is worth
it for intellectual sickos (Do I know my readers or what?).