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

The Singing Detective, 1986
This is quite an ordeal to get through, but it's an interesting postmodern/existential production.  If you have six hours and enough antidepressants to spare, then "enjoy."

Jason of Star Command: Disc 1, 1979
I know from my parents that I watched this show on Saturday mornings when I was four or five years old, but I have absolutely no memory of it.  That's the best thing about it.

Classic Albums: Meat Loaf: Bat Out of Hell, 1999
Meatloaf is just as entertaining a storyteller about his music as he is a performer.  Even if you aren't a fan (and, honestly, I'm not much of one), this is fun to watch.

The Shape of Things to Come, 1979
Complete joke of a flick, but I love sci-fi B-movies from this period.  I have no defense.

Simon Birch, 1998
I ended up liking this, but it's really dumbed down from the source material.  If you want quality John Irving, I'm going to recommend The World According to Garp.

Showgirls, 1995
I had never seen this, believe it or not.  In some ways it really is a bad as critics contend, and yet it's endearing in how dumb it is.  It's simultaneously cutting edge with the excessive nudity (i.e., you're completely desensitized halfway through it unless you grew up obsessed with Saved By the Bell) and yet the (intentional) humor is a throwback to '80s John Hughs movies.  WTF?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 1: Disc 3, 1997
Ugh.  Finally.  I'm hoping this show finally begins to mature next season into something to justify the cult that keeps pushing me to watch the series.

Sci-Fi Files, 1998
Documentary exploring themes across the history of sci-fi cinema.  There's nothing terribly insightful here, but it's enjoyable to trace the evolution of a genre about what's possible in the future and wonder what's possible in the future of that genre.

Sholay, 1975
Awesome Indian movie that literally is equal parts comedy, tragedy, musical, action-adventure, etc.  It's a bit of Kurosawa/Spaghetti western out of Bollywood (It's been called a "curry western"), but I just totally got into it.

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, 1992
It's been fifteen years since I drug my then-girlfriend (who had never seen a single episode of the tv show) to the theater with me and had her leave wondering what was wrong with me for liking this kind of movie.  Admittedly, it's so harsh that it lacks the charm of the series, but it's an interesting story and piece of work on its own, and it's classic Lynch for those who appreciate his quirks (which are prominently on display throughout).

Clerks, the Animated Series
Meh.  It misses the point of the original material and instead just plays games with iconic characters.  Complete waste of time.

PICKS OF THE LITTER: It's no Star Wars, but Sholay has many of the same elements that made it a classic, and I think it ought to find a wider audience (in this hemisphere I mean; it broke every record over there).  On the other hand, Showgirls has been derided for reasons that have nothing to do with the way the movie should be viewed: An unintentional satire of itself, and it's worth (re?)viewing it as just that.

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

Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society, 2006
A much more sophisticated plot than anything you'd find in American animation, but I'm always disappointed this show didn't live up to the quality of the movies.  They set that bar so high, you'd need cybernetic enhancements to hurdle it.

Year of the Dog, 2007
A quirky film about quirky people you probably see every day... just not on film.  I liked it on the basis of that, even though it was short on material.

Children of Men, 2006
It suffers from a lack of ideas about where to go with the plot (warning: the ending is a let-down), but if you go in knowing it's more a portrait than a story, I think you'll appreciate one of the most amazing and thought-provoking pieces of cinema produced in the last few years.

Bobby, 2007
Pretty decent movie from that Estevez kid, believe it or not.  It isn't great, but it's pretty good in most spots.

12 Monkeys, 1998
Bruce Willis + Terry Gilliam + Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden by any other name = Awesome.

Alias, Season 4, Discs 5&6
This show has a bad habit of building up for a long time and resolving things too quickly to be satisfying, sort of like what I'd be like in bed with Jennifer Garner.

Jason of Star Command: Disc 2, 1979
It's incredibly dumb, but I love watching what they were able to accomplish with minimal special effects technology and a correspondingly primitive budget.

Monk: Season 5: Disc 3, 2005
Pretty much every episode is the same except the details of that week's case, and yet I somehow still enjoy it for reasons secondary to all the detective work anyway.

Sketches of Frank Gehry, 2005
Documentary about an architect who makes things you can't believe people paid to have built.  He definitely thinks outside the box though, which is more interesting than his designs themselves.

PICKS OF THE LITTER: Hands down, Children of Men is the best-directed movie I've seen in the last few months.  And 12 Monkeys is definitely worth a first (and a second) look if you haven't traveled back in time to that one yet.

Copyright 2007 Ale[x]plorer.
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