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

Veronica Mars: Season 2, Disc 6, 2006
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 Men, 2006
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.

MirrorMask, 2005
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.

Adventures of 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.

Half-Nelson, 2006
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.

Henry: Portrait 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.

Little Children, 2006
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.

Gilmore Girls: 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.

Mulholland Drive, 2001
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 incredible regardless.

Twin Peaks: 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.

Monsoon Wedding, 2001
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 suggests.

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.

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

Thesis, 1996
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.

Twin Peaks: 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 loose.

United 93, 2006
This was way, WAY better than I had expected, not least of which because everything that was wrong with WTC was made right in this one.  Sure, you know how it's going to end, but the direction is phenomenal.

Hollywoodland, 2006
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.

Saw III, 2006
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 enough.

Death of a President, 2006
 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.

Sherrybaby, 2006
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 gets naked.

Alias, Season 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.

Twin Peaks: 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, 2006
The story here just didn't go anywhere interesting enough outside of one twist.  That doesn't make for much of a dance.

Nothing, 2003
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 I'm hoping.)

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.

Hurricane Katrina: 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, 2002
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 fan.

Pink Floyd: 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, 1980
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.

Copyright 2007 Ale[x]plorer.
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