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