April's DVD Reviews,
Quick reviews from my Netflix queue and/or
Desperate Housewives: Season 3, Disc
Nice season wrap-up this time
around. Decent closure mixed with enough cliff-hangers to string
you along much in the way token gifts on anniversaries do for actual housewives.
Season 2, Disc 1
Not really all that good.
Or great, I suppose if you liked the first season a whole lot. For
me, it's getting old faster than I can watch them in FFwd.
Not so great, and this is coming
from Paul Rudd's biggest cheerleader who isn't a fat girl. It's okay,
but I saw potential in the material that the rest of the crew ironically
didn't dig for.
From the director of Porkys
Porkys II, the idea here was a socially conscious take on Porkys.
It ends up being an series of improbable and not-terribly-imaginative pranks
to no conceivable political effect whatsoever. Oh, and no nudity,
so that's two strikes for a Bob Clark movie featuring Kim Cattrall.
Hailed as one of the greatest
movies of the 20th century, it's one of the most forgettable movies of
the 20th century. I saw it about five years ago and blanked on it.
1: Disc 4, 2006
I have almost as many issues with
this series as the title character has about, well, everything, but I have
to admit that it has a quality to it that rises above most of my criticisms
and makes it more engrossing than it should be, possibly because the chick
who plays Dex's sister is hot.
Penn & Teller:
Bullsh*t!: Season 2: Disc 1, 2004
Piled higher and deeper.
It's nice to hear them publicly rip on those who most deserve it.
(Most of you and Diana in particular will enjoy the bit in here where they
go off on the Men Are From Mars guy.)
Season 3: Disc 1, 2006
You know how I'm always right?
Well, I hadn't seen this show in a while, so I had some trepidation about
whether they still had the momentum to lift off from the emotional dregs
of last season. Guess what? They did and I'm still always right.
They should just change the name of the show to Battlestar Fucking Galactica
to avoid any confusion that it's COMPLETELY FUCKING AWESOME.
Tom Green: Inside
& Outside the Box: Disc 2, 1997
More of the desperate antics of
an unoriginal comic. Truth is, the desperation took him places on
stage and on the streets and wherever else there was a camera that few
were willing to attempt.
Under the Cherry
The much-maligned Prince movie
that almost no one ever saw, it's commercially unviable in that it's the
exact opposite of Purple Rain in every way: It's in black &
white; With only a couple exceptions, the songs are all but buried as background
or source music; Instead of being a tragically misunderstood introverted
character, he's an over-the-top blend of every comic film character from
the '20s through the '50s. And you know what? It's a pretty
damned good movie for all that. The one criticism I have is that
the screenplay is a bit all over the place so you can't see the story arc,
but I'm okay with that because I like not knowing where a filmmaker is
trying to take me. If nothing else, the cinematography is at least
as gorgeous as Prince thinks he is.
All American, 1940
Enjoyable enough even if you're
me and don't like football or Ronald Reagan (who's only in it for his very
famous 5 minutes, don't worry).
The Movie, 2006
Animated film that follows the
re-envisioned comic book series so closely that I'd recommend just reading
the source material instead unless you're in that much of a hurry that
you're waiting for the film adaptations instead. Geez.
Remarkably awesome. I'm
not much of a Pixar fan, but this is actually good on just about every
PICKS OF THE
LITTER: I rarely agree with The Office's Dwight Schrute about
anything, but if you aren't watching Battlestar Fucking Galactica,
then you're a complete idiot. Also Cars rocks and Under
the Cherry Moon deserves a chance that you never gave it the first
time you passed on watching it.
DVD Reviews, Part II
Quick reviews from my Netflix queue and/or
Grey's Anatomy: Season 2, Disc 2
Prognosis: It's not that bad,
but not that good either. Why do I watch? The title character's
affect is as flat as her ass, but guess which I'm paying more attention
to? (See the title of the show for clues.)
and (thankfully) only season, Discs 1-4
This came out around the same
time as vaguely rip-off sister-shows Invasion and Surface,
but was perhaps the worst of the lot. Simply no clue where to go
with a potentially promising premise, it devolves into a cop drama without
any awareness of how to spool out enough mystery to string along viewers
(see Lost for an example of a successful version of just such an
on-going experiment). It's no surprise it dipped below the Nielsen
threshold well before even the first run of shows was finished production
and the series was canceled.
An Evening with
Kevin Smith, 2002
I'm not saying he should be in
front of the camera, but clearly his talent isn't so much behind it as
telling stories about generally being around cameras and the folks who
finance his (often inept) use of them.
Not as good as I remembered it
when I was a kid and we watched it on VHS, but it's still fairly effective
at exploiting a legitimate fear. This was, of course, back when Stephen
King still had some not-complete-contrived fears left to write about.
The Ten, 2007
Dammit, Paul Rudd, you're capable
of better than this. Not that I didn't like it for what it was...
a throwback to the slapstick comedies of the late '80s that TBS reruns
at 4am, only with folks you'd recognize from Comedy Central today.
4, Discs 1&2
This show is more in need of rejuvenation
than the patients on it. To say that the plots have gotten sillier
and more soap opera-ish would be to indict the entire series since that's
a good description of what they've always been. No, it's something
about the execution so far this season that's guilty of malpractice.
Tom Green: Inside
& Outside the Box: Disc 3, 1997
They never reveal it, but the
premise here was to give an unfunny Canadian a talk show and tell him he
has to do anything he can to make teenagers laugh or they'll shoot him.
Clever he isn't, but he makes a fool of himself the way most folks do when
there's someone off camera giving commands down the barrel of a gun.
I Am Legend,
Not legendary, sorry. It's
an updated (i.e., CGI this time around) version of The Omega Man
(1971), one of the three speculative fiction flicks Charlton Heston made
(the others being Planet of the Apes (1968) and Soylent Green
(1973)) that really got you thinking about the future the first time you
saw them. This doesn't. It's about as substantive as the piece
of shit War of the Worlds remake we were subjected to a couple years
ago that, along with this one makes me welcome an alien invasion or apocalyptic
Penn & Teller:
Bullsh*t!: Season 2: Disc 2, 2004
What more can you say about this
show other than they call 'em out and shoot 'em down. These guys
should get funding for this kind of public service, especially when they
nail the government itself.
Van Halen: The
Van Halen Story: The Early Years, 2003
Documentary video produced from
old interviews with the principals and new interviews with the peripherals
(read: roadies and the Pete Best of the band). Boring for most of
the world, but great stuff if you're living in the past and willing to
accept anything reminiscent of it not matter how mediocre... much like
those folks who bought tickets to the comeback tour this year.
Curb Your Enthusiasm:
Season 6: Disc 2, 2007
You like this show or you hate
it. Either way, it's probably a good litmus test about how you feel
about me, so screw you.
Galactica: Season 3: Disc 2, 2006
Don't waste your time watching
anything other than this show for the next couple years since everything
that follows will be a pale imitation.
Remember That Night: Live at the Royal Albert Hall: Disc 2, 2007
Extras, mostly. High-quality
home movies, in fact, if you want to know the truth, but if you dig Dave,
then you'll enjoy a lot of this. There's even a fairly lengthy jam
session with him and Rick with a bass player and drummer sitting around
in a barn that's worth the price of admission even if you don't care for
all the behind the scenes stuff.
The L Word:
Season 4: Disc 4, 2007
Nothing memorable. Remarkably
less drama than I've come to expect from this much estrogen with no men
5 Decades of Smiles: Disc 8, 1949
More good stuff. The idea
behind the show was always good, but it took until in my lifetime before
we got to the perfect storm of the technical sophistication of pinhole
cameras and wireless micro mics coupled with clever set-ups that were funny
in and of themselves. It could only be better when the Japanese took
the idea and ran with it in a society not nearly so litigious.
PICKS OF THE
LITTER: Okay, I don't think
The Ten knocks it out of the park,
but there's a lot to like here. An Evening with Kevin Smith gets
the same description; fans of his will love it, all three of them who haven't
seen this yet anyway. Similarly, hardcore Floyd fans will love all
the extras on Disc 2 of David Gilmour: Remember That Night, all
three of them who haven't whacked off to it yet anyway. And if you
haven't put Battlestar Fracking Galactica in your queue, you must
be a fracking toaster.