Sunday, September 18, 2011

Matt’s Week in Dork! (9/11-9/17)


    So, I guess I didn’t really fail in making this week a bit more dorky than last, but I didn’t get a heck of a lot of movie watching in, sadly.  Still…

Doctor Who: The Horns of Nimon:  Graham Crowden goes all Brian Blessed on this episode, playing a crazy, military cult leader bent on resurrecting his warlike people’s star spanning empire.  Add to the mix some platform heel wearing space minotaurs and a bunch of dim kids being lined up for sacrifice, and you’ve got some great classic nuttiness.

The Black Velvet Gown:  Well acted and fairly well made, this film just ended up not being very interesting.  I liked that the women were strong and tried to fight against society’s rules.  But, when all was said and done, it was just sort of dull.

300:  Look, I’m not pretending.  I love this movie.  If you’re looking for historic accuracy, you’re clearly looking in the wrong place.  If you’re looking for some kind of touching meditation on the human condition, look somewhere else.  This is a grand, visually striking, completely over the top adaptation of a wild graphic novel.  Silly?  Maybe.  But it’s awesome.  Violent, bloody, and dark, while retaining a grim sort of macho humor.  A sort of celebration of men and a lost, mythic time of simple heroism.

The Limey:  Just a darned fine film, this may be Soderbergh’s best work.  The cast is fantastic, with Terence Stamp giving one of the best performances of a long and storied career.  Even the bit players in this, like Nicky Katt as the wise-cracking hitman are memorable.  So many great scenes, great bits of dialog, and excellent music.  This would be a great movie to watch after the old British show The Sweeney, as I can absolutely imagine Wilson having been busted originally by Regan and his crew.

Destination Moon:  A fairly realistic, pre-real Moon landing portrayal of humanity’s first attempts at space exploration.  There are some of the usual character archetypes, and most of the story beats one comes to expect from this sort of film.  But it’s not bad at all.  Worth checking out.

Drive:  Feeling like it dropped right out of 1979, with a healthy dose of Michael Mann, Drive is a quiet, beautifully crafted film with a driving soundtrack.  It’s also occasionally shockingly brutal and graphically violent.  I mean it.  Much more The American or A History of Violence than The Transporter, it’s a slow burn with a lot of tension and a lot of build-up.  And the cast does an excellent job.  Even people I normally don’t enjoy, like Ryan Gosling who seems to be channeling Rollerball era James Caan.  Well worth seeking out, but not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach.

The Secret of Isis:  This little bit of 70s glory is a lot of fun to watch.  The exceptionally lovely JoAnne Cameron plays a mild mannered teacher who can change into Isis to battle foes by reciting cheesy rhymes and looking cute at things.  It gave me a nostalgic feeling, reminding me of my very, very early days.  From the fashion to the music, it’s a time capsule I expect I’ll find myself revisiting from time to time.  Oh, sure, it’s After School Special, saccharine sweet message and fairly easy resolutions don’t make for the most compelling TV.  But, it’s a pleasant time waster, none the less.  (At the time I'm posting this, you can watch episodes on IMDB). 

Hyperdrive Season 1:  These six episodes are mildly amusing, but not especially good.  The cast is mostly likable and the production values surprisingly good.  But, the writing simply isn’t there most of the time.  Not to say it’s never funny, but it frequently isn’t.  A show like this can’t help but be compared to Red Dwarf, and sadly, it fails to live up even a little.

    On Saturday, to round out the week, Brad and I took a trip up to Hunt Valley, MD to Monster-Mania.  I’ve said before, and continue to hold, that I’m not a fan of these celebrity based cons.  And, after my experience at HorrorFind a few years back, the idea of hitting this one up did not appeal to me.  However, I was up for a road trip and it’s always fun to hang with Brad.  And it was fun.  Still not my bag, but fun.  Attending it, I was reminded how much I’m just not into the horror film scene.  Even though there are plenty I love, there’s just so much I’m not into, and the fans seem to have embraced everything I don’t.   And I’ll say this, meeting Tom Atkins was a thrill.  Like Sid Haig, he really seemed to enjoy himself and like the fans.

    On the book front, I don’t have much to report.  However, I have read a bunch of DC’s “The New 52” and so far, I have to give it a resounding, “meh.”  If you’re going to reboot your entire universe and start all your lines back at issue number one, at least have the balls to DO SOMETHING with it.  Of the nine I’ve read so far, only Red Lanterns and Green Lantern have been …well, maybe moderately interesting.  There are still a few titles I’d like to check out, but I’m not holding my breath.  It seems DC, like Marvel, still refuses to actually take any real, dangerous chances.  It’s just more of the same.

    On the music front, I’ve been into soundtracks this week.  The soundtrack for Hanna eventually dropped, and I picked that up.  And then, after seeing Drive, I had to get that, too (and got Attack the Block in there, as well).  Great stuff.


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