Monday, September 5, 2011

Matt’s Week in Dork! (8/28/11-9/3/11)

    As far as weeks in Dork go, this one was kind of meh.  Work was rough, and my legs were still pretty messed up from my bike crash (finally starting to really get better, I think).  I got a little reading in.  Mostly comics.  But I haven’t written any reviews, because…well, because I kept finding other things to do instead of what I should be doing.  So, first up, the stuff I watched.

Fright Night:  One of the better remakes I’ve seen in a while, it was a solid updating of the classic 80s horror film.  Plenty of nods to the original, but with lots of fun new twists.  The cast was excellent, even the usually annoying Colin Farrell was good.  As always, I could have dealt with less CG blood.  How hard is it to make the real stuff?  Definitely worth a watch.  It’s a nice looking film with a solid script and good performances.  Not amazing.  But good.

First Man Into Space:  “The conquest of new worlds always makes demands of human life. And there will always be men who will accept the risk.”  It seems like this tale has been told just too many times.  Every other science fiction/horror film in the 50s seems to have involved a guy going up in a rocket, getting manipulated by something, then returning to earth as a slavering monster.  This one has a good cast and is well shot.  But  it’s just more of the same.  I think The Quatermass Xperiment has a bit more flare.  But this one is better than several others I’ve seen.

Hi Mom!

Being There:  A strange, quiet film.  Peter Sellers plays a simple, good man, with not understanding of duplicity or cynicism.  As he wanders through the world, he spreads a strange kind of peaceful message that people misunderstand but are attracted to.  Very odd.  But interesting.  And what an ending.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes:  Far better than I was expecting, and far less steeped in anti-science, this movie isn’t amazing, but it’s certainly worth a watch.  The effects are uneven, some being fantastic, others kind of wonky.  And the story is largely a retelling of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.  But it’s moderately well done.  It did remind me how different movie ratings are today.  This film is clearly held back from being as brutal as it seems to demand, and gets a PG-13, where Conquest of the Planet of the Apes really is brutal and had a PG rating.  Times have changed.

Doctor Who: Underworld:  A fair story arc, based largely on the legend of Jason and the Argonauts, it’s heavy on effects, though not always effective.  Budget issues kept it from looking as good as it might have, considering how grand the vision was.  A good guest cast in this story.

The Perfect Host:  David Hyde Pierce is charming and fun, but sadly this is one dinner party you may want to skip.  The film just never quite works.  The performances are fine, I guess, and the idea not too bad.  But it never really comes together.  Still, if you like his work, Pierce is probably worth the price of admission.  I just wish it had more to recommend it.

Erik The Conqueror:  An Italian Viking epic?  Why not?  Some pretty impressive sets and location shooting pepper this so-so tale of Norsemen brothers, raised separately who are thrust back together through various machinations.  It’s OK, but nothing to write home about.  I kept wanting it to be a bit more brutal, a bit more action packed, a bit more sexy, …something.

Corridors of Blood:  Boris Karloff is once again trying really, really hard to do right by mankind.  But, like nearly every scientist in a 50s movie, his efforts go awry.  Overall, a solid film, but not really especially good.  Karloff has a lot of heart, though, and it’s nice to see him work.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Season One-Part One:  Boy oh boy this show is wacky.  More crazy, obscure DC characters get pulled out of the dusty cartoon closet to team up with or stand against the Dark Knight.  Interestingly, a multi-part story is being hatched in the opening tags that I can’t wait to see the end of, featuring Starro the giant starfish from space.  It even had an all to brief appearance of The Challengers of the Unknown.

Shark Night 3D:  Do you love gory horror movies with lots of gratuitous nudity?  I know I do.  Sadly, this isn’t one of those films.  A bland cast of people who look like other people you’ve seen in movies that are pretty much the same as this one.  And, man, the weird, awkward, unintentional (?!) racism that swims around Sinqua Walls’ character…Yikes.  Sadly, the best part of the film is the post credits tag, which had me laughing.  Probably the first intentional emotional response I had to the film.

Yeah.  That happened.

    I also watched a few episodes of Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected, which was fun in a sort of Ray Bradbury Theater sort of way.  Not quite The Twilight Zone, but a little more consistent than Night Gallery.  And I caught a couple episodes of Space Angel, which seems fun.  But I do hate that mouth thing they do.  I’d rather they just embrace their primitive animation style than thrust in weird looking live action mouths.


    I watched this Nietzsche lecture that I found somewhat interesting, as well.  Nietzsche has been coming up a lot lately, and it’s making me want to start reading him again.  We’ll see.

    I read some graphic novels, like Afrodisiac and Tales from the Motherland.  And I really do need to get on the ball and do some write-ups.  But they are getting me pretty excited about going to SPX next weekend.


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