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

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.

Reflections 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.

AC/DC: Back 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.

The Pursuit 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 March of the Penguins: Why the hell don't you move someplace more hospitable?

The Queen, 2006
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!).

Gilmore Girls: 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.

Inside 9/11: 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.

Prophecy, 1979
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.

Twin Peaks: 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?

Donnie Darko: 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, 1985
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.

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

Performance, 1970
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 Space, 1958
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, 2004
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.

Sopranos, Season 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.

Session 9, 2001
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.

Death Tunnel, 2006
Dumb.  Really dumb.

Boo, 2005
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.

Entourage: Season 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.

Robot Chicken: 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!

Robots, 2005
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.

The Ravagers, 1965
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.

Robotech: The 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.

Twin Peaks: 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.

Ravenous, 1999
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.

NOTE: Netflix 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.

Copyright 2007 Ale[x]plorer.
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