May's DVD Reviews, Part
Quick reviews from my Netflix queue and/or
Veronica Mars: Season 2, Disc 6,
One more season to go before I'll
have to search for some other PYT to fawn over in these reviews.
Awww, who am I kidding? I won't need a private detective to find
one of those.
All the King's
Let me finish it for you: "...couldn't
make me sit through this crap again." I honestly don't know where
it went wrong, but Sean Penn in this role certainly was a considerable
part of it. Read the book instead. Hell, do anything else instead.
Mayor of the
Sunset Strip, 2004
A look at the interesting and
sad culture of uninteresting celebs trying to look like they're happy in
the misery that is the LA music business. The subject of the documentary
is unfortunately so tragic that you want to know more about him and then
want to kill yourself in light of those revelations.
Okay, Labyrinth it's not.
It really takes a while for this movie to get started, and it's sort of
desperate and nonsensical (in artistically boring way), but ultimately
it picked up I got more into it. Unless you're a fan of Gaiman??
and ??? , you'll need drugs to suppliment the inspiration that wasn't present
in making it.
a Young Man, 1962
Hokey, which is sad because it's
a Hemmingway adaptation, and that ought to have given it balls at the outset.
I suppose we're supposed to be
shocked about this story of a teacher on drugs, but I've been a teacher,
and I wonder how most get through the day without drugs.
of a Serial Killer, 1986
For years I heard this was good.
It isn't. The "portrait" is painted so poorly that you would never
identify the guy in a line-up. Still, you'd figure a movie about a serial
killer would be interesting, right? Well, this one isn't, and it
just (I swear) becomes comical for all the killing that goes on.
To me, that's a worse crime than the murders that inspired it.
Proof that a film doesn't have
to be perfect to be engrossing. I could nitpick, but I'd rather you
just go see it, so I'm going to shut the fuck up.
Where the Day
Takes You, 1992
I have it on good faith that you'll
really like this movie if you've done a lot of meth. I failed that
drug test, but I enjoyed the picture anyway, especially McDermot McMulrooney
in a very un-McDermot McMulrooney role. And if you're a David Lynch
fan, you'll appreciate a sort of Wild At Heart film minus the pretentiousness
and/or weirdness that usually obscures the story itself.
Season 6: Disc 4, 2005
Another great series that's on
its last leg (i.e., one more season to go). I'm surprised how far
it traveled considering how slowly it moved.
I'm still trying to figure this
one out. If you hate Lynch, you'll probably never bother. If
you love Lynch, you'll talk about it for years (no, literally; the internet's
full of entries in the guessing game this one inspired). Honestly,
it's my favorite film of his, and that's saying a lot.
The Last King
of Scotland, 2006
Personally, I have trouble getting
through anything based in fact. There are some liberties taken here
(i.e., the protagonist is an invention of the original novel's author),
but knowing something really happened when what is depicted is incredibly
unpleasant doesn't make for enjoyable viewing. Forest Whitaker is
Season 2: Disc 1, 1990
I'm trying to find exactly where
this series jumped the shark. That's one that's harder to solve than
most of David Lynch's puzzles.
It's more than the Indian My
Big Fat Greek Wedding. Like one of my other favorites, Love
Actually, I think this film does a great job of exploring the multi-faceted
nature of love from more angles than simply the romantic one the title
PICKS OF THE
LITTER: Little Children was an unexpected hit for me, one that
(I think) outdoes American Beauty at examining life in suburbia.
For more daring audiences, definitely cruise down Mulholland Drive.
I dare you.
Reviews, Part II
Quick reviews from my Netflix queue and/or
Spanish thiller that has turned
into a cult movie. It isn't bad, but it's a Spanish movie, so...
yeah, you can find something better.
Season 2: Disc 2, 1990
There's still plenty of substance
at this point in the series, but you can see the seams starting to come
This was way, WAY better than
I had expected, not least of which because everything that was wrong with
was made right in this one. Sure, you know how it's going to end,
but the direction is phenomenal.
Sometimes real life isn't that
interesting, even if you have sex and murder and a private detective.
However, unlike the fact that Clark Kent was obviously Superman, you won't
believe that's really Ben Affleck playing George Reeves. Good job,
Ben, second only to you snagging Jennifer Garner.
More of the same, only the producers
are running out of blood and becoming less coherent. It's hard to
run a good premise into the ground, but they did. Saw = not sharp
Death of a President,
It's a post facto pseudo
documentary about what might (have) happen(ed) if the president had been
assassinated October of this year, but it isn't smart enough to even have
been written by him. There's nothing original about the filmmaking
here, and it isn't upbeat enough to double as a fantasy for, what?, more
than 65% of the country at this point.
Maybe you aren't me and you don't
have enough drama in your life. If that's the case, rent it.
It would have been great with a soundtrack to underscore the emotion, but
instead I'm just left sort of bored and depressed and thinking about people
in my life with their own problems between the scenes where Maggie Gyllenhaal
4, Discs 1&2
New season, so they revamped.
It's a little too fast a change for the plots to be as tight as Jennifer
Garner's abs in most of these, and the story arcs are formulatic even if
the plot twists themselves aren't, but it's a good mix most of the time
that happens to be explosive under the right conditions, so handle it carefully
and detonate it when I give you the signal.
Season 2: Disc 3, 1990
The Laura Palmer storyline at
the core of the show comes to a close here, and it's all about winding
down from this point forward. I'm just enjoying the familiar scenery
from the last couple trips I took down this road.
Notes on a Scandal,
The story here just didn't go
anywhere interesting enough outside of one twist. That doesn't make
for much of a dance.
Great parable and really inventive
movie. It's far from perfect, but it's one of the most inventive
comedies you've ever seen. (Assuming you'll rent it, which is what
My Name Is Earl:
Season 1: Disc 1, 2005
I'm not sure I can review this
objectively since I swear I grew up with this guy. He bought us all
beer with his lotto winnings, but they were nowhere near $100,000.
Funny show though even where things aren't the way I remember them.
The Storm That Drowned a City, 2005
An episode of NOVA. Not
about disaster footage so much as examining the causes of the disaster
that gave the world so much disaster footage to put on other shows.
No Such Thing,
The story has a bit of fun with
the conventions and cliches of fairy tales, but then it gets completely
lost without breadcrumbs about halfway through and leads you to a disappointing,
incoherent ending. Don't bother with it unless you're a Sarah Polley
Pulse: Disc 2, 1994
Just in case you haven't listened
to Dark Side of the Moon about a million times, here it is (plus
encores like Comfy Numb, etc.) and tons of bonus footage from the big screens
and behind the scenes.
The Ninth Configuration,
This movie has a cult behind it
that I'll probably never be a member of. It begins as an almost slapstick
comedy, then morphs into a depressing drama about halfway through.
I'm not sure what the other seven configurations are.
PICKS OF THE
LITTER: United 93 is quite honestly the best delivery of material
that is both dense and riviting (<-I don't use critic's cliches lightly;
please take note here). It's probably the best film you're going
to see in a long time. If you need something lighter (and you likely
will), give Nothing a shot.