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

Totally Awesome, 2006
Not really all that awesome (although I've had a crush on the female lead here since the new Battlestar Galactica), but if you grew up in the mid to late '80s, you'll appreciate all the pop culture references they crammed into this one.  Incidentally, I never thought I'd say this, but Chris Katan is in fact totally awesome here.

Epic Movie, 2007
I turned this off after 20 minutes (about 10 minutes real time since I was in 2x).  I looked it up just to see if I was missing something.  Nope.  Everyone on the internet agrees with me; it's in the IMDB Bottom 100.

Candid Camera: 5 Decades of Smiles: Disc 6, 1949
You're only going to make it up to this disc if you love this series already, so I'm probably preaching to the choir here.

The L Word: Season 4: Disc 2, 2007
I'm surprised that the quality is holding up here when you'd think the series would have gotten stale.  It was never great, but somehow I've never been able to turn away even when there weren't gratuitous lesbian love scenes.

Fingerstyle Jazz Guitar, 2004
Unless you're following along with sheet music they don't bother to include with the Netflix rental here, you aren't going to learn jack just watching this.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, 2007
Better than the first one, but that's not saying much.  They did at least start to mold the characters according to how they've always been written, something so classic in comicdom that it hardly seemed like I was seeing the FF in the first flick.  If they get that right next time around and have a decent story, then they'll really have something.

Miss Potter, 2006
Meh.  Sometimes interesting lives don't necessarily translate into interesting life stories when they're put on the screen.

Rome: Season 2, Disc 1
Picks up where the previous one left off, so it's more of the same only bolstered by some minor upheavals resulting from the end-of-season cliffhangers, but you know what I'm talking about since your history book is full of spoilers.

Psych: Season 1, Disc 2
You know that great show Monk?  So do the producers here, and they try to capture its magic and fail in most regards.  The cast never gels and the premise (he's really a great detective but pretends to be a psychic because they'd never believe he's just a really really detective... huh?) is so worn after just a few episodes that you can tell it walks with a limp that it tried to disguise so as not to attract attention when fleeing the scene of the crime.

Desperate Housewives: Season 3, Disc 5
Still pretty good.

The Office: Season 3: Disc 4, 2006
End of the season.  I loved it.  LOVED IT!  I'm not going to tell you how it wraps up, but I loved it.  LOVED IT!

Dexter: Season 1: Disc 3, 2006
This lures you in.  Be careful.  Mace won't help you either.

The TV Set, 2007
I only rented it because Judy Greer was in it and I want to marry her.  I can't say this movie was terrible, but it was so far from good that it (unintentionally, I'm sure) resembled the level of quality and cycle of artistic compromise it tried to lampoon so much that it shot itself in the foot.

Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 6: Disc 1, 2007
Pretty good.  Pretty pretty good.

PICKS OF THE LITTER: I am amazed that Curb Your Enthusiasm never gets old.  It's such a small, unambitious show, and yet it always works for me in spite of the fact it's about me.  And, seriously, either you're watching The Office by now or you're an idiot.  Yes, seriously.

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

Broken English, 2007
Normally I don't give away much in a synopsis so you don't know what you're in for (unless you read the mouse-over pop-ups on Netflix instead of blindly adding it to your queue just because I said so), but this is an awesome movie about falling in love.  Yeah, every movie has that, but this one is good and it's real and it's true and that's something movies so rarely are.  It's a bit scattered in places, much like Parker Posey who is in it and who I'm in love with, but it's well-acted the whole cast through, and here's a side of her even fans who have seen nearly everything by her (read: me) hadn't seen before.  It's the real thing that you'll totally get if you've ever been in love.  No, make that if you've ever fallen in love.

28 Weeks Later, 2007
Unnecessary.  Not badly made, but completely pointless and unsatisfying.  A waste of good talent that turned into a mob of raging zombies chasing after money.

Ugly Betty: Season 1, Discs 1&2
It's basically a live action cartoon that unapologetically rips off The Devil Wears Prada.  Surprisingly though, it's got heart.  There's no substance to the show whatsoever, but you find that you care just the same.

The Hoax, 2007
Another cartoon, but one I didn't find especially enjoyable.  This is in spite of having a great true story on which to base this failure so that it wouldn't be just that.

Grey's Anatomy: Season 1, Discs 1&2
Third in a series of live-action cartoons.  It's fast-paced enough that you don't really notice that how little human interaction there is among the principles in the series.  It's all cut together with medical emergencies and faux-witty dialog (i.e., it's delivered fast and unrealistically) to break up the viewer's attempt to get a close enough look at what they'd otherwise diagnose as a mediocre show.

David Gilmour: Remember That Night: Live at the Royal Albert Hall: Disc 1, 2007
Lots of Pink Floyd classics bookend a complete performance of Dave's latest solo album (though nothing from either prior solo album which tells you how good his solo albums are typically).  Pretty good show all around, even if you aren't a die hard fan (which I'm not so much anymore; sorry, Dave).

The Train, 1964
Burt Lancaster.  They don't make action heroes like this anymore.  Not the best movie he'd ever been in, but you can't go wrong with most of them anyway.

Catch and Release, 2007
Wow.  Complete crap, and that's my opinion even after looking at an hour and forty minutes of Jennifer Garner.  To answer the question the screenwriter/director was pondering about how to make a romantic comedy about a fiancé's death and sudden appearance of an illegitimate child, my advice is this: Don't.

Deathproof, 2007
To draw from the immortal words of web film reviewer Neill Cumpston, "It's a taquito buffet that you puke up after getting hit with a motorcycle, and it turns into a bikini chick that blows you and kills your boss with a hammer."  If that sounds like a positive review to you, then you'll love this.  If not, enjoy Catch and Release instead, lameass.

The L Word: Season 4: Disc 3, 2007
Speaking of taquito buffets, while this show has actually been pretty good about avoiding gratuitous lesbian sex scenes (unlike most else Showtime is known for after 11pm), I have to say I especially liked this disc for the fact it that got just a tad little sleazier than usual.

Candid Camera: 5 Decades of Smiles: Disc 7
Takes us up through the '80s when the show was actually more a metaphor for the Regan-era reality we were being pranked into at the time.

Elvis: The Miniseries, 2005
You'd normally think of Elvis as a role for bad actors (read: impersonators), but Jonathan Rhys Meyers makes him genuinely believable as a tragic character in an otherwise rushed made-for-tv production.

Dune, 1984
Say what you like here, it's still David Lynch and Frank Herbert.  Granted, it's something of a disaster in that it's inaccessible to many viewers, but there's so much to love for those who make the effort or just naturally wade into the material.  Additionally, this release has quite a bit of footage compiled recently and with new interviews from just a couple years ago.  Many deleted scenes included that weren't even in the Alan Smithee version that rabid fans like me sat through repeatedly to savor even the most ill-conceived frames.

Johnny Suede, 1992
Even the director sees this as a failure, but it isn't bad exactly, just less than it might have been.

PICKS OF THE LITTER: I rarely watch movies a second time.  I watched Broken English more times until it was over due at the library than Mark David Chapman's read Catcher in the Rye.  Either there's something very, very wrong with me or there's something very right about this seemingly meandering little independent movie.  Both probably.  You go see it while I go see a shrink and we'll compare notes.  While you're loading up your queue, Deathproof kicks ass on four wheels and you have to see Dune if only for the kick in the ass it will give you to read the novel to answer the question most uninitiated first-time viewers have afterward.  Namely, "What the fuck was that all about?!"

Copyright 2008 Ale[x]plorer.
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