January's DVD Reviews,
Quick reviews from my Netflix queue and/or
Son of the
Why is it foreign movies are so
much better at showing normal people? The characters in American
movies are always so... foreign. This rental is a good alternative
to anything resembling a script J.Lo's agent has recommended she audition
The Day Time
Incredibly cheezy, plotless flick
that is only noteworthy as an example of every special effects technique
available to filmmakers of the time. MST3K commentary track not included,
but you can't help but mke up your own.
Bob Saget: That
Ain't Right, 2007
He's obviously overcompensating
for years of bottling up his Tourette's after being contractually gagged
by Disney (in both senses of the word), but that's perhaps what's funniest
about this performance. Admittedly, I've seen him do better standup
elsewhere (i.e., YouTube), but this isn't bad.
This Filthy World, 2006
Ostensibly an evening in an auditorium
with a director, it has about as much to do with film analysis as any of
the entries in the "An Evening with Kevin Smith" series. Really,
it's more a stand-up performance from a guy with really great stories and
incredibly funny observations. I enjoyed it more than most of his
movies, honestly, and I consider myself a fan.
5 Decades of Smiles: Disc 3, 1949
Three discs in, it's finally getting
to the meat of what the show would evolve toward, but it's still not as
sophisticated as it would eventually become. Some good set-ups for
30 Rock: Season
1: Disc 2, 2006
The first disc wasn't a fluke.
I really didn't expect to like this, but I do. A lot.
I've never seen a more narcisitic
filmmaker in my life. Seriously. Who sets up a camera to film
himself for a(n incredibly pretentious and amateurish) documentary when
he's making an emergency phone call about his mother's overdose?
What a fucking piece of shit.
La Jetee / Sans
Two short films. The first
is the basis of 12 Monkeys and is noteworthy for using nothing but
still photography (i.e., it's like a photocomic with audio), but it isn't
that good. The second film is worse. 12 Monkeys is definitely
worth seeing, however.
Summer of '42,
Ironically, Porky's was
more honest about exploring teenage sexuality and satirizing the ignorance
of those at that awkward age, probably because it isn't bogged down in
the autobiographical nostalgia this film falls victim to.
Season 3: Disc 1, 2006
More of the same. No, I
mean that in a good way. Keep it up, guys! This is possibly
one of the three best shows on television at the moment.
Live at the Moore, 2007
Okay, some folks are never going
to like concept rock anymore than they'd dig opera, but I grew up with
Floyd The Wall, so even making the effort these days gets you an A+
in my book. That these guys are still doing it with conviction and
good musicianship is bonus.
I still don't really know what
this was about, but I liked it.
5, Discs 1&2
No big changes this season for
once (unless you count with the cast). Lots of hotties though.
They finally got a good one for a bad guy, er, girl.
One: Blue Lion
Okay, every episode of this show
is almost exactly the same, but if you saw it when you were 10 years old,
it was awesome. Funny how time-travel works.
Sure, it's basically just another
Run or It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, but you know what's
been missing from the cineplex for the past generation? Another Cannonball
Run or Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
Ashley Judd has years taken away
from her for a murder she didn't commit. I know it's only two hours
(less if you figure I'm FFwding), but I didn't do anything to be robbed
of those precious moments I wish I had back instead of watching this.
Yes, I'm finally getting around
to seeing it. Stephen Baldwin likes to pretend he never made this
movie since he went rightwing nut job. True story. Ironically,
his distancing act comes at the point when this is honestly no more shocking
than any other romantic comedy. It's cute enough; I liked it even
if I hadn't been imprinted in the '90s with a crush on Lara Flynn Boyle's
The spaceship made from junk soars,
but the filmmakers crash when they run out of ideas in the third act.
It would have been better if they'd just left it open-ended about two-thirds
of the way through so that they'd save the disappointment for the sequel
the way so many other '80s movies did.
PICKS OF THE
LITTER: The Fountain was surprisingly more interesting
than I expected considering a bad review I saw by an ignorant reviewer
(i.e., Ebert), and 30 Rock has some classic writing going on there.
Also, if you aren't watching The Office by now, you should probably
shoot yourself because whatever you're watching instead represents a waste
of your life.
DVD Reviews, Part II
Quick reviews from my Netflix queue and/or
I know the book was written by
a teenager, but the movie seems like it had to have been made collectively
by folks with a stereotypically bad attitude toward adults. Or at
least that's all I can figure the way they were insulting my intelligence.
Are Easy, 1988
This is a celluloid time capsule.
I'm not a big fan of the late '80s, but if I were, this would be my favorite
movie ever. It's so bad it's totally freakin' awesome.
Eddie and the
A movie with more of a premise
than an actual plot, it manages to carry the audience along on a genuinely
classic soundtrack as padding between doling out the few actual developments
to the story, but you won't mind.
This is one of those awkward special
effects movies that was a little ahead of the available technology.
It isn't bad, but it's clumsy about trying to figure out when it's a comedy
and when we're supposed to take the action seriously. Go with Ghostbusters
Okay, the movie probably won't
go on to be a classic, but the casting is absolutely perfect... a very
rare thing in a movie with any kid actor, let alone a film full of them.
It feels emotionally very genuine in ways that work with even a grown-up
audience, if you follow that irony.
I feel sorry for the collateral
damage of the rest of the cast, but it was worth selling my soul to the
devil for Nick Cage to finally be cast in a film on par with my opinion
Three words: Shaun of the Dead,
but OMFG, this is incredible. Same guys, only this one is 100% original
instead of a genre parody. I was in so much awe of the filmmaking
that I didn't laugh as much as a non-film nerd would. If you're in
that category, have an oxygen tank handy.
I know, I know. Ironically,
it's been the victim of so many copycats that its own reputation is somewhat
tarnished. Still, it's better than I expected even after having seen
so many of the other thrillers that came out of this period.
The difference between the film
and the social phenomena of the same name is that the latter are actually
I am so embarrassed to admit this,
but this is a really, really good movie. Hell, I would vote for that
guy if I had the political wherewithall of a kindergartener.
What Lies Beneath,
Not that bad, but really not that
Documentary on blaxploitation
flicks, meaning I'm checking this out primarily to see (the goddess) Pam
Grier. However, aside from the eye candy, this is a pretty decent
(if kind of short) examination of the forces at work influencing and influenced
by this period in film history.
A Very Long
One of the most amazingly-directed
films I've ever seen. Unfortunately, for all the detailing in the
work, there isn't a whole lot of plot, and I found the subject matter depressing
the way I find almost every historical film depressing. It's a nice
counter-point to Amélie (also by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and also
with Audrey Tautou in the lead).
My Name Is Earl,
Season 2, Discs 3&4
Okay, we jumped in here since
the library had these discs and not the first couple, but the chief thing
to report is that first season wasn't a fluke. It's more of the same
this time around, but that's still very much a good thing.
Who Killed the
Electric Car?, 2006
This movie made Dani angry. Nothing
makes Dani angry. Ergo, for that reason alone, you have to see this
PICKS OF THE
LITTER: Thanks to raiding Katherine's dvd collection over the break
(hence the overflow here), there's more to chose from than most review
sets, but for the music lovers, Eddie and the Cruisers is a quiet
classic that deserves to be seen. A Very Long Engagement
and Hot Fuzz are both fantastic and raise the bar (hopefully) for
ambitious American writers/directors. I hadn't seen Kindergarten
Cop before and, believe it or not, it transcended its cookie-cutter
script for me, maybe because it was snack time. And finally, for
the reality junkies, Who Killed the Electric Car? is a look ahead
at what you should be driving, whether the industry wants you to