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

Trancers IV, 1995
I love desperate movie sequels.  Once they've exhausted the original idea in the first film or two, they move on into the realm of the ridiculous.  It's probably the silliest thing ever written by Peter David, and that's saying a lot.

Count of Monte Cristo, 2002
A bit too soap-operaish (or telenovellaish) by the time it's over, but this really is quite a story and not bad as far as adaptations go.

Pirates of the Carribean 3: At the World's End, 2007
The story and (to a lesser extent) the direction takes risks greater than the pirates themselves.  In the opinion of most, it isn't the movie they expected this to be.  I'm of the opinion that if you make the movie everyone expects, your movie is redundant.

I'm Not There, 2007
Experimental and therefore interesting, but not especially engrossing.  There are several noteworthy performances, however.  Watch it for yourself and pick your own favorites.

Stardust, 2007
Billed as a "fairytale for adults," this is the first fantasy film I've liked since my pre-teen years.  Win!

Inland Empire, 2007: Extras Disc
At least as bizarre and inexplicable as the film itself.  Extras include almost another film's worth of outtakes and shorts such as behind the scenes and even (believe it or not) a segment of Lynch cooking his favorite dish punctuated seemingly in real time with him sitting in the living room telling stories with added sound effects.

Superman: Doomsday, 2007
Cartoon adaptation of the "Death of Superman" storyline... for which it really doesn't do truth or justice, but that's the American way.  More noteworthy than the "movie" is the lengthy extra featuring all the creators involved in comics during that time explaining the process and fallout of one of the most talked-about storylines in the series.

Raising Arizona
His name isn't Earl, but it's easy to see the genesis of that series here.  It's at least as funny as that series and more so for being first.

PICKS OF THE LITTER: Some movies have something magical about them that transcends their parts, and Stardust is one of those, but Raising Arizona is a classic of its own.

August's DVD Reviews, Part II
I quit Nexflix for the time being while I work my way through the backlog of dvds borrowed from friends.  I didn't even have time for any from the library lately.  These are courtesy of Kat and AleC.

Universal Soldier, 1992
The influence of all the robotic ass-kicking movies that preceded it (e.g., Robocop, Terminator, etc.) is abundantly evident, but it still works somehow... largely because or in spite of the cheesey jokes and over-the-top acting/dialog, etc.

Airheads, 1994
Possibly the last '80s movie, one that happened to have been made halfway into the next decade.  It reminds me of forgotten comedies re-run in the middle of the night on TBS, only you don't need to be an insomniac to partake in the thoroughly unoriginal and unconvincing premise or humor.

Invader Zim: Discs1&2, 2004
It takes quite a few episodes before the series moves past the one-joke premise of an alien hiding in plain sight, but then they find their stride.  In the meantime, the animation and art direction is very original and always interesting.

Family Guy: Blue Harvest
I've never been a Family Guy fan precisely because the references to other movies are a distraction from their story.  Here it works because this is obviously what they'd rather be doing than making their own show.

The Craft, 1996
Even though there's nothing much original here, it's very effective at telling the story... until it runs out of material somewhere into the third act.  Then it becomes just a remake of the climax to the 1978 made-for-tv version of Dr. Strange that's only good for laughs.  In other words: no craft.

Along Came a Spider, 2000
Thrillers are caught in a Catch 22.  You have to make things complicated in order to keep the audience guessing.  And yet, at some point, that complexity delves into the preposterous.  This is one of the latter cases.

Frailty, 2001
Surprisingly held my attention all the way through... and then kept surprising me when I figured I had it all figured out.

PICKS OF THE LITTER: The fact that I liked Frailty in spite of the fact Matthew McConaughey was in it ought to speak volumes as a recommendation.

Copyright 2008 Ale[x]plorer.
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