Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Matt’s Week in Dork! (1/22/12-1/28/12)

    Things calmed down a bit this week, and I got a bit more movie watching done. 

Moon:  Classic, story and character based science fiction is a refreshing change of pace in the CGI action movie field of recent years.  Sam Rockwell is almost a one man show, and carries the weight of this film quite well.  The score and effects (using models!) are fantastic.  Check this one out for a nice break from all the Avatars and Transformers.  Enjoy a good Heinlein/Clarke style story.  And just think, this was made on something like one sixtieth of Avatar’s budget.

How to Steal a Million:  A charming caper film featuring two leads in their prime.  Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole play a sort of cat and mouse game, while goofy Hugh Griffith plays a lovable old rogue art forger.  The movie looks very pretty in that 60s sort of way.  Movies like this, from this era, always feel a little off when they don’t have Cary Grant starring in them.  However, it’s still plenty of goofy fun.  And young Eli Wallach is a trip and a half.  

Hard Ticket to Hawaii:  Not nearly as much nudity as Malibu Express, it still has more than a dozen movies today.  It’s silly, poorly made, awfully acted, and utterly stupid.  Also, tons of fun.  If you like this brand of stupid, it’s worth checking out.  And man, the finale is just amazing.  Cancer Snake!!!

Attack of the Crab Monsters:  A very, very weird atomic horror film from Roger Corman.  Is it someone eating corn chips?  Or is it…CRAB MONSTERS!?  The film manages to ramp up the weird beyond a simple giant atomic monster, with mysterious voices calling folks out to their deaths.  The production on this one looks surprisingly good, though the creatures could use some work; mostly not having human eyes would have helped.  If you enjoy Corman type movies, it’s worth checking out.  (And don’t worry, the lady scientist still makes the food for the menfolk).

Island of the Fishmen:  The sound on this movie is like a bad cassette tape being played in an old church.  Everything echoes, yet everything is muffled.  Horrible dubbing.  Bad effects and choppy editing.  Mix in some voodoo, colonialism, and the like.  Oh, and Barbara Bach.  Not really as pretty as I remember her.  Still, I found the general story/setting interesting.  Voodoo.  Atlantis.  Sunken treasure.  And yes.  Fishmen.

Doctor Who: The King’s Demons:  A very short (only two part) story, it still manages to feature the Master, hamming his way through some Medieval Times reenactments.  This episode features the debut of the short lived attempt to have a robot as companion on the show.  It’s an interesting idea, but clearly technology hadn’t caught up with imagination (still hasn’t, really).

Underworld Awakening:  Kate Beckinsale’s Ass stars in this craptastic orgy of bad CGI and cornball dialog.  Every cheesy line of dialog feels like it stepped out of the scriptwriting classes of James Cameron and George Lucas.  Every slow motion walking shot looks like it was inspired by Michael Bay.  The plot is a whole bunch of who cares.  Most of the actors look like they just walked off a GQ photo shoot.  And man, those CG werewolves just looks awful.  About 20 years later, and they don’t look any better than An American Werewolf in Paris, and nowhere near as good as pre-CG practical effects.  Still, star Kate Beckinsale’s Ass certainly does a lot with the screentime allotted, flexing, shining, and generally looking perfect.  Too bad there wasn’t a script half as meaty.

Razorback:  The 2001 of giant killer boar movies?  Well, it’s certainly a trip.  There is something darned peculiar about Australians (heck, most folk from below the equator).  Everything from the way the movie is shot to the actions of the characters are somehow off.  Even the way the movie progresses isn’t quite right.  Bits of this remind me of the South African film Dust Devil.  Other parts have obvious similarities to Walkabout and the Mad Max films.  And it’s more than just the accents and locations.  Something in the mindset of the production.  Make the effort and find a copy of this movie to watch.  It’s something special.  Or at least unique.

The Gray:  A handful of crash survivors are stalked by some tough wolves in this intense thriller.  Liam Neeson is a man driven to edge of society, living as a wolf killer in the wilds of Alaska.  An alpha male, he may be the group’s last hope.  A very good cast of relative unknowns back him up, as the weather and the wolves take their toll.  The film is a nice reminder that we are beasts, for all our posturing and high mindedness.  We’re still a part of nature, and nature is still a part of us.  When the chips are down and the hounds of hell are coming, I hope I have someone like Neeson at my side.  Wolves are beautiful and majestic creatures.  They’re also the product of evolution, and packaged to kill.  And so is Man.

F#%@ it!  I'll do it myself.
    And I checked out a handful more Star Trek episodes from season 3.  Again, some good, some really bad.

    I read and reviewed a new Dark Crystal graphic novel, a new Aliens graphic novella, and the first of the D’Argo centered Farscape graphic novels.  I also finally wrote my reviews for the last three volumes of the new Conan series.

    And another installment of Prodigal Son went up.  It’s a short one about music for games.

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