April's DVD Reviews,
Quick reviews from my Netflix queue and/or
A Scanner Darkly,
This is an interesting if not
especially great movie. It is faithful to Philip K. Dick's novel
in every reasonable way (and the actors even improve upon the characters
they're given to play here), but the film lacks the scope from which to
appreciate the themes the novel was able to capture in its wider lens.
Of interest though is the fact that this time Robert Downey Jr. plays himself
as a hopeless drug addict about ten years after the fact.
6, Part I: Disc 2, 2006
It's pretty much back to the same
old pattern, much like Tony, the frog, and the scorpion.
The Legend of
Drunken Master, 1994
Jackie Chan is always great, and
this is probably among the best films to serve as an introduction to him
since it's not so early in his career that the filmmaking is weak and not
so late that the star's punches are weak.
At best this would be an instuction
manual for Darwin Award contenders, but somehow these idiots don't even
get themselves killed... which was unsatisfactory as far as I was concerned.
Iron Maiden: Number of the Beast, 2001
I would swear that none of these
guys have seen "This Is Spinal Tap." Or maybe they have and are merely
pulling our collective legs... because there's no way they they could not
see what a bunch of parodies of themselves they are here.
My viewing experience paralleled
the story arc. I kind of wanted to like this but didn't expect much,
then found it did the job in the end. While it wasn't a great movie,
this same director as of Napoleon Dynamite (Jared Hess) actually films
humorous material in a funny way, so all the elements are elevated to the
turnbuckles and slam you stupid enough to enjoy it.
The Last Kiss,
I think Zach Braff is Ray Romano's
son. It's hard to watch anything with either in it, and this isn't
good enough to hurdle that threshold for me.
Yes, I saw this in the theater.
I am so glad I did because it was worth every penny (and I didn't even
make the matinee). And I honestly cannot compete with this
Live Nude Girls
A short (little over an hour)
documentary about strippers unionizing, it has all the right elements except
for the fact that talking about terms of labor contracts is frankly pretty
boring. In additional to the requisite nudity promised in the title
itself, you'll be tittlated by some of the inventive story-telling approaches
though (e.g., animations, narration, interviews, and stand-up comedy, believe
it or not), but the film never really grabs you by the balls, maybe because
that's against their policy under their agreement with management.
History of the Chicken, 2001
An unintentionally funny documentary
about *people* (not chickens) who love chickens. The title is as
confused as the subjects of this hour-long PBS program are that Dani and
her mom (and now I) find hilarious.
The L Word:
Season 3: Disc 4, 2006
Nyah. I wasn't so crazy
about the closure on this season, sorry. But I know the girls will
all have nice openings next year.
Love is the
Art imitates the art of the artist
whose life this biopic attempts to imitate. It's a bit intense, but
is actually pretty good... unless you happen to be watching it to learn
about Francis Bacon (the painter), its subject. You're likely to
be more lost interpreting this film without an understanding of him already
than trying to interpret his paintings.
3: Disc 6, 2003
Jennifer Garner can't disguise
how hot she is which is why I'd probably shoot first.
Not great, but pretty good.
Lord of War,
Why must Nick Cage get all the
good scripts? Quick summary: Good movie... with Nicholas Cage, dammit.
Dani wanted to see Ewan McGreggor
naked and I got to see Tilda Swinton naked out of the deal. Oh, and
then Emily Mortimer naked which made up for the fact it was slow going
and depressing overall.
Season 6: Disc 2, 2005
Dammmit, you two. Make up
already. No, better idea: Make out with one another.
PICK OF THE
LITTER: GRINDHOUSE!!!! Have you listened to anything I've
DVD Reviews, Part II
Quick reviews from my Netflix queue and/or
Clerks II, 2006
Normally I think Kevin Smith is
overrated, but somehow he sold this and a bag of chips and a Slushie and
some lottery tickets.
Ghost in the
Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Disc 1, 2002
While nowhere near as intelligently
written or artistically produced as the movies, this is still miles away
from anything Hollywood has ever produced. Just over five thousand
of them (or eight thousand kilometers) to be exact.
Pirates of the
Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, 2006
Keith Richards wasn't even in
it, and it still rocked, and not just because of how much I want to plunder
Keira's booty. I really wasn't expecting, well, anything from this
film (i.e., Keira wasn't going to be naked in anything flying Disney's
flag), but it was way better than the first one.
the Month, 2006
Do you like those made-in-the-'80s
comedies USA used to show late at night throughout the '90s. Well,
boy are you in for a treat!
I gave this a second chance on
the heels of Kevin Smith redeeming his soul with Clerks 2, but I
still think it's an incredibly weak film with too many characters with
too little to do in this too-thin plot what with the too-few jokes to go
around. The last criticism is especially pointed because there frankly
isn't an easier target than religion in general and Catholic dogma specifically.
Season 2, Disc 5, 2006
For the record, I'd probably still
watch it if she wasn't this cute, but I wouldn't enjoy it as much.
Somehow Oliver Stone figured that
the way to best remember 9/11 would be to make the hokiest movie ever made.
Seriously, it fails to capture the emotion or the events effectively and
instead turns real-life drama into cornball material that backfires at
what should be a slam dunk. We've lost the war on terror if we can't
turn him away from putting out films this sappy.
X-men 3: The
Last Stand, 2006
My open letter to the producers:
Next time, don't pay for a script. I mean, since you're just going
to toss out the entire fucking history of the comic books these are supposedly
based on, why not just put some cute girls in spandex and shoot lasers
and explosions all around them while they jump around and Hugh Jackman
lights a cigar and says something snarky. Make it a geeky version
of "Girls on Trampolines," and I'd probably get more out of it than this
train wreck of a movie.
March of the
I guess I'm supposed to feel something
for these birds with their pair bonds and their obsessive nurturing of
their chicks, but all I could think about was how stupid they were to move
inland (i.e., closer to the pole) and huddle together all winter instead
of doing the sensible thing and migrating like pretty much every other
bird in the world. No wonder the religious right loved this movie
Season 6: Disc 3, 2005
Plot developments? Where
did these come from? It's like they have real writers all of a sudden.
Still, the guys just watch it for the mom in jeans.
Yeah, I'm late getting around
to this one. Yes, silly, but it took me back to a time in my movie-going
experience when every picture was a cheaply-made thriller with a convenient
twist and a forgettable climax.
Very cool. It's slow in
spots, but atmospheric. That's all I'm going to say about this because
You Do Not Talk About Fight Club.
Notable as the first mainstream
movie about gay men, this is basically a Lifetime Original Movie about
gay men. It has all the quality of a made-for-tv movie and its shock
value has been eroded by two and a half decades of tv and the movies finally
coming out of the closet their producers lived in. Today this picture
is a huge, melodramatic laugh-fest, even if you aren't into archeology.
Pulse: Disc 1, 1994
Wow, lots of extras. Even
if you're an obsessive Pink Floyd fan, there really isn't a lot more you
could have asked for out of this disc short of the time machine and cattle
prod you'd need to get Roger Waters to join them onstage.
Honestly, I didn't think this
was bad at all (even if it wasn't terribly original). Of course,
even a Ryan Renyolds movie with a bad script has Ryan Renyolds in it.
You watch it to hear his delivery, not what he's saying since, with all
sarcasm, it isn't what he's really saying anyway.
PICK OF THE
LITTER: The Machinst for reasons I won't go into because they
happen to be why I enjoyed it, that's why. (Clerks II was
a pleasant surprise as well if you want something lighter.)