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

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.

Nip/Tuck: Season 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.

Irreversible, 2002
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.

Jawbreaker, 1999
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!

Nip/Tuck: Season 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!

Pan's Labyrith, 2006
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.

Sopranos: Season 5, Discs 3 & 4, 2005
Since the library had this second double-disc set, I decided the whack the rest of the season.

SNL: 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 Bounty, 1962
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.

The Notorious 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.

Dave Chappelle 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.

Jubilee, 1977
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!

Classic Albums: 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 true.

Gilmore Girls: 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?

Friday Foster, 1975
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.

The Libertine, 2006
It's amazing how good a depressing movie can be sometimes.  Oh, but lock up the fire arms and sleeping pills.

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, 2006
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 sucks!

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.

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

Yes, I have the sluttiest dvd drive in town.

Thank You For Smoking, 2006
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.

Alias: 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.

Pretty Poison, 1969
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.

The Descent, 2005
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.

16 Blocks, 2005
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 Die Hard to "gonna die soon."  And you'll hope the hitmen get Mos Def five minutes after he opens his mouth.

SNL: Season 1, Discs 5&6, 1975
More reasons why I have a crush on Laraine Newman.

Sopranos: Season 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.

Dead Ringers, 1988
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.

Porco Rosso, 1992
Early anime from the guy who did Spirited 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.

Cinderella Liberty, 1973
TV movie of the week material plus some titties equals cute, but whatever.

Less Than Zero, 1987
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.

Hostel, 2006
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.

The Chronicles 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.

Kalifornia, 1993
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.

The Omen, 2006
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 Pope.

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?).

Copyright 2007 Ale[x]plorer.
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