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




Man, this batch was a cluster bomb!

The Lady in the Water, 2006
Another disaster by M. Night Shamalamadingdong.  It's a tag-team of bad direction and a mediocre screenplay that collectively insult the audience while the director puts himself onscreen as the most important character in the film.  This is an ever-escalating trend in movies I wish he'd stop making.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, 1998
I expected to like this a lot more than I did.  Sure, I'd seen it before (nearly ten years ago), but I thought maybe I'd just forgotten the plot what with all the weirdness going on all the time in the picture.  Nope.  It's pointlessly random and that means it's fun because it's random.  Of course, if you're trying to see it as anything more than that, you'll need drugs.  If you're over-selling it like that, get off the drugs.

Date Movie, 2006
Worst movie ever.  I don't throw that kind of dismissive review down lightly either.  I rented it because Alyson Hannigan was in it, and it may well be her last big screen appearance after this potential career-killer.

Snakes on a Plane, 2006
Sure, I knew this was going to be pretty bad going in, but it lacked the kind of acklowledgement of how bad it was that would elevate it to a movie that was laughing with us.  Huge disappointment.  Watch any parody of it instead.

Factotum, 2005
Another Bukowski adaptation along the same lines as Barfly.  Come to think of it, basically it's exactly the same as Barfly only nowhere as good on any level.  Have you seen Barfly?  'Cause I know you didn't see this one.  Guess what I'm going to suggest you see instead.

Twin Peaks: Season 2: Disc 4, 1990
There is actually a lot in here to love, even though these episodes are from the deservedly much-maligned season that was such a step down from the first bunch.

Owning Mahowny, 2003
Want to see yet another Phillip Seymour Hoffman movie where he gets lost in the role?  Okay, that's most of them, but this one's pretty good.  Also interesting is Minnie Driver similarly hiding out in a character you'd never notice (much like her career these days).

My Name Is Earl: Season 1: Disc 2, 2005
This isn't rocket scienec; it's a formula that's sure to break down at high velocities (like those encountered when catching up on a full season via nearly back to back dvds), but I have to admit that I still like it.  For one thing, I think there are volumes of philosophy that could be written on Earl saying "Hey, Crab man!"

The Other, 1972
A creepy movie based off Thomas Tryon's most famous book, but it's kind of dated.  I'm sure a good director could update the hell out of this into something compelling.  Until then, just sit tight or find something else to rent.

Oldboy, 2003
I think my rule ought to be that my enthusiastic reviews read simply "SEE IT!"  I mean, my favorite movies are almost always the ones with the most interesting premise or twists or something else you'd find out about in a review, and I don't want to spoil things.  As such, all I'm going to say about this one is SEE IT!

Gilmore Girls: Season 6: Disc 5, 2005
Sure, they get on my nerves sometimes when the writers manufacture drama that isn't really there, but the show redeems itself more often than not, especially in the episodes where the mom wears jeans.

Classic Albums: Queen: Making of a Night at the Opera, 1975
Even with only half the band participating, this is still a great "behind the scenes" (or tracks; whatever), and it's a much more interesting album to hear about them making than to listen to, and that's saying a lot.

Nights of Cabiria, 1957
Another meandering Fellini movie (Yes, that is redundant) about a sort of a lost soul, like most other Fellini movies.  We basically get to tour every side of Rome and then wonder what it was all about when it ended, same as every other Fellini movie.

PICK OF THE LITTER: Oldboy.  Duh.  Check it out.  It's currently #116 on the IMDb, so apparently everyone over there agrees with me on this as well.

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



Crank, 2006
The title is actually the pharmacological prerequisite for enjoying this one.  It's just a dumb action flick with a few gimmicks and a premise that you'd have to be dumber than the characters to believe for the duration of the film.

Lost, Season 2: Discs 3&4, 2006
Honestly, almost nothing happens in any given episode, but they milk the drama off every scrap of information they reveal.  These guys are so much better at this than the Bush administration, and the girls on the island are good-enough looking that I don't mind being teased.

200 Cigarettes, 1999
Here we have a great cast conglomerating around a script that never gels.  You'll forget about this movie afterward in less time than you'd take to smoke that many cigarettes even if you were Denis Leary.

Color Me Kubrick, 2005
Cute movie about John Malcovitch playing a real-life con artist pretending to be Stanley Kubrick.  It isn't bad, but it would have been so much better if it was about Katherine Keener inside John Malcovitch playing a real-life con artist pretending to be Stanley Kubrick.

Magnum Force, 1973
Another Dirty Harry movie, and one that basically could have been an episode of Hill Street Blues if they'd edited down the unnecessarily long shots of people driving places and cut the scene of a then-unknown Suzanne Sommers topless.  Then again, the latter is the only reason this is worth watching.

The Prestige, 2006
What did I say I was going to tell you about fucking awesome movies from now on?  GO SEE THIS FUCKING MOVIE!!!

The Professionals, 1966
Everyone considers The Searchers a classic (except for me), but here we have essentially the same story, only this one is at least ten times better for reasons of a great cast, script, and a couple good-lookin' rough-n-tumble gals.

Waiting for God: Season 1, 1990
Cute BBC sitcom about what Dani and I will be like when we're old.  Yes, seriously.  I really enjoyed it, but I realize it isn't for everyone.  For one thing, Dani wasn't crazy about it, pretty much the same as her character wouldn't be.

Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii: Director's Cut, 1974
Man, this is awful, even with lots of extras on the disc.  I mean, I love Pink Floyd, but watching them flounder through the early "classic" (<--sarcasm!) material is kind of painful.  It's a talent show that happened to have been filmed professionally.  You'd have to be on the same drugs they were on back then to imagine they'd be a success within a couple years of this.

Powaqqatsi, 1988
The second part of a trilogy contrasting post-industrialized Western culture and contemporary agrarian societies elsewhere in the world.  It's pure cinema verite, but if you're me, you'll probably be distracted by the annoying soundtrack by Phillip Glass even though the footage is fantastic.  Note: If you hated Disney's EPCOT, then just skip this.

Ready to Wear, 1994
This is about as even as a road full of pot holes.  Sure, there are even spots, but you wouldn't want to drive over it.  Robert Altman's wild approach doesn't always work, and in this, frankly, it looks like amateur hour with some of the incredibly awful subplots.

Parting Glances, 1986
Another early gay movie.  It's an indy film that tries to take on too much in too short a piece, but you have to forgive these guys since there was so much no one else had been talking about openly in cinema since, well, forever.

Palindromes, 2005
Whoa.  I'm not sure where to begin with this one.  I'll guardedly recommend it to readers here who enjoy challenging films.  If you dug Todd Solondz's Welcome to the Dollhouse, then you may in fact find this is your thing, although it does go deeper and stranger places than any of his other work.

PICK OF THE LITTER: The Prestige is easily my fav of this lot, but Palindromes is a must-see for those who want something very different that will keep you thinking well after you've put it in the mail.




Copyright 2007 Ale[x]plorer.
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