July's DVD Reviews, Part
Quick reviews from my Netflix queue and/or
24, Season 5, Discs 1&2, 2005
New season, same old Jack.
Normally you can't believe the ridiculous leaps of logic shows hurdle in
a season to make the plots work, but here they do it in a fraction of a
day and we're supposed to be okay with it since Jack Bauer is a super hero.
What the hell though; I'm going to watch is for the Asperger's chick with
the computers because I'm weird like that.
in a Golden Eye, 1967
In spite of a cast that includes
Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, and a young Robert Forrester (and directed by
John Houston, no less), this is only worth sitting through to watch one
of the most over-the-top examples of camera work in cinema history at the
film's none-too-soon conclusion.
in Black: A Classic Album Under Review, 2006
Even fans of the band will have
had their fill for a while by the end of the two (TWO!) hours of discussion
of this album which, oddly enough, doesn't even feature any recent interviews
with the actual members of the band. There are some stock interviews,
but mostly it's anyone else they would wrangle: recording engineers, guitarists
from AC/DC cover bands, etc.
My Name Is Earl:
Season 1: Disc 3, 2005
Not only to do I love this show,
I think it's fucking beautiful. Seriously, I'm pretty sure this is
what you would get if Steinbeck wrote a sitcom.
of Happyness, 2006
Corny. And wouldn't Will
Smith be happyier (sp?) fighting aliens? I know I'm supposed to be
rooting for the character, but I'm thinking the same thing I was during
of the Penguins: Why the hell don't you move someplace more hospitable?
I can't believe I like this one,
but I do. I mean, we all pretty much know this story, yet I found
myself completely engrossed by it beyond what's you'd expect even from
a guy with a crush on Helen Mirren (guilty!).
Season 6: Disc 6, 2005
This show manages to defy expectations,
but not the way you think I'm getting at. With most tv you want to
say, "Hey, less talk and how about some plot developments!" Here
we have the one show where the plot developments always seem artificial
and just distract from witty dialog and my enjoyment of the scenes where
them mom's wearing jeans.
The Commemorative Edition: Disc 1, 2006
Great documentary about the events
for more than a decade preceding 9/11 that led to that day, then another
documentary about the events of 9/11 itself. I haven't seen anything
that presents the timeline so effectively, but it's by National Geographic,
so you kind of expect quality here.
Cheesy horror movie that actually
doesn't have a bad premise, but runs out of material faster than a mutant
bear on a rampage in the woods should run out of victims. Okay, yes,
that's the premise, but they so sell it fairly well. No, really.
Awww, forget it.
Season 2: Disc 5, 1990
Worst actress of all time: Heather
Graham. If anyone but the hardcore fans would have made it this far
in the series the first time around, she wouldn't have had a career.
Come to think of it, just what has she been up to these days?
Director's Cut, 2001
Honestly, I still don't have any
idea what's going on, and this is in spite of the fact that this version
tries to spell it out for you more than it probably should. If you
haven't seen either cut of the film yet, start with the original so you
won't feel like you're being insulted.
O.C. and Stiggs,
Robert Altman's attempt to turn
the '80s teen flick trend on its ear doesn't really do much more than present
a disjointed version of what would have been a decent teen flick.
Ironic, considering Altman spent his career rebelling like a teenager.
PICKS OF THE
LITTER: I'm drawn to real-life stuff this time around for some reason.
I'm going to recommend The Queen because it was such a surprise
to find that I liked it that I wonder if it will have the same effect on
you. Also Inside 9/11 because of all the sensationalized and
obviously agenda-laden productions on the subject ou there, this one is
the least biased and best produced.
Reviews, Part II
Quick reviews from my Netflix queue and/or
Mick Jagger's film debut in which
he's just one of a number of wild ingredients thrown into an effective
(if kind of plotless) experimental film. The flat-chested naked French
girl was the highlight for me though.
Queen of Outer
Zsa Zsa and '50s sci-fi.
Add another element to that equation and you'll have a movie so camp that
light would escape the projector.
New Police Story,
One of the more recent (Hong Kong-based)
Jackie Chan movies. And you know what that means... His budget goes
up while his acrobatic abilities decline. It's more dramatic than
most, so there isn't a lot of his trademark comedy. Verdict: Check
out one of the earlier films instead as they're at least inventive enough
to have a decent title.
6, Part I, Disc 3, 2006
You shouldn't be reading this.
Either you're willing to stick with them this far to see where this is
going or you've split before the Feds close in.
One for urban explorers only.
It was filmed in one of everyone's favorite abandoned insane asylums.
You'd have to need committing to one to find anything interesting about
this film otherwise.
Dumb. Really dumb.
It tries to be Scream or
something, but I didn't care for that one either and some of those people
actually had talent. No such luck here.
3: Part 1: Disc 1, 2006
As with The Sopranos, it's
just more of the same. If you weren't into the show by this point,
there's nothing new here for me to recommend.
Season 1: Disc 1, 2005
I like that it's random and fast-paced.
Unfortunately, that means that in spite of the fact that this show is far
more inventive than tired series like SNL, it isn't as effective at parodies
as the old guard, so you get bored with it after a few episodes.
The Rocky Horror
Picture Show: Bonus Material, 1975
A treat mostly for die hard fans
(guilty!), but there are enjoyable bits such as Meatloaf's surprisingly
funny behind the scenes stories and a tour of the original castle location
by Richard O'Brien in which he performs several songs on a solo acoustic
guitar. Time Warping indeed!
My Name Is Earl:
Season 1: Disc 4, 2005
It's all good. That's would
Earl would say. Now that I've caught up on the first season, I'm
gonna have to agree with him.
Penn & Teller:
Bullsh*t!: Season 1: Disc 1, 2003
If you hate bullshit (the cultural
phenomenon), you'll love P&T for ripping on people who spout it and
sell it under the banner of alternative medicine, pop psychology, parapsychology,
or any religion.. Great stuff!
I love robots, but I didn't get
this at all. I wasn't feeling it, so you would think maybe I would
have liked it more if I was an emotionless robot, but I didn't see the
point of it on any level.
Junk war movie that looks like
it was thrown together by a bunch of amateurs (for the most part) without
a script. How it made it to dvd is beyond me.
Shadow Chronicles: The Movie, 2006
Awesome sequel/update to the Robotech
saga that takes it into the CG age. It's a bit too crammed with characters
which is why the fans will love it (because we've missed those guys for
the past couple decades), but there's more than enough action and new twists
for this to make a great intro to the series for the newbies.
Season 2: Disc 6, 1990
It's over, and it's a shame that
it's a cliffhanger that will never be adequately resolved, but I have to
admit I enjoyed the ride even where it was bumpy. The fairly decent
updates among the extras are an enjoyable closure that make up for the
fact the episodes lack that.
A different kind of a vampire
story. It never gets to the level of the great thriller I think it
might have been, but it gets points for originality alone.
PICKS OF THE
LITTER: Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles was a winner for me
since I didn't expect it to be able to successfully tackle anywhere near
as many plot threads as it did (both leftovers and new inventions).
Add to that any of the tv shows listed above since there's a reason why
they're in my queue disc after disc.
just lowered their price. I don't own stock in them or anything,
but they're a good company who doesn't deserve to be bullied by Blockbuster.
If you're sick of wasting gas going to the local video chain store, sign
up with them.