Saturday, May 5, 2012

Matt’s Week in Dork! (4/29-5/5)

    In spite of a misstep with The Raven, this was a pretty good Week in Dork.  Granted, I did start it off with an all day, monster binge of Fringe on Sunday.  Wow, I haven’t done that sort of blitzing through a TV show in a LONG time.  Ended the week with a bang, though.

Private Duty Nurses:  The lecherous landlord in this movie is so danged creepy.  And the frizzy haired Nam vet is perhaps even more awkward.  And then, crank it up a notch with the Black Power doctor.  So many weird and uncomfortable sex scenes.  The dudes in this movie seem to all be a-holes, though eventually, the principle from The Breakfast Club seems OK.  And so much weird ADR.  But that was kind of the style at the time, I guess.  And then of course there’s SUDDEN SHOOT-OUT!!!

The Raven:  Quoth the raven, ‘this film sucks.’  Grueling, soul sucking, sleep inducing.  These are all worthy descriptions of this hum-drum crap-factory cast off.  The script is beastly.  The acting is worse.  The CG blood is awful.  That slack-jawed, gravestone toothed, blonde bimbette needed to go.  And the whole thing is shockingly slow paced.  Oh, and the end…the end.  Actually, speaking of the end, there’s the end credits.  They’re the best part of the film, and I don’t mean that simply because they signal the film finally being over, which was well overdue.  But they’re actually the most exciting part of the film.  Totally out of place, and having nothing whatsoever to do with the movie, they were none the less somewhat interesting, and I like the tune that plays over them (though it was used better in the hallway fight from Repo Men).  Anyway, back to the film.  Well, why bother, really.  Just skip it and watch paint dry instead.

The Wicker Tree:  Two shit-kicking American hayseeds travel to Scotland to dish out some Jesus to the pagans.  Right off, it feels like it’s covering the same general themes as The Wicker Man; religious based sexual repression VS pagan free spiritedness (and the whole murder thing).  While the film looks pretty good and I dig some of the vibe and ideas, the two Americans are so hopelessly stupid and hickish, it all just feels silly.  One really weird thing about this movie is the music.  At times, it seems almost random, swelling dramatically without cause, then turning into cheesy 90s straight to video soundtrack.  Holy crap, the ending is bloody awful, too.

Haywire:  Once in a while, you see a movie trailer and think, “Gah.  This movie looks like a giant steaming pile of crap.”  (Well, OK, that happens more than once in a while).  But, really infrequently, you end up seeing the movie and finding out that the trailer didn’t do the movie any kind of justice.  That’s the case with Haywire.  Everything about the trailer was bad, from the acting to the porn-video quality of the footage itself.  However, when seeing it on the small screen, and in the context of the film, even super awful lines like ‘You better run’ don’t sound terrible.  I’m not putting this up for Oscar consideration or anything, but if you were totally turned off by the awful trailer, give it a chance.  It’s MUCH better than it looks.

Monty Python’s Life of Brian:  “How shall we f#$% off, Lord?”  Possibly the greatest movie about religion ever made, I guess I can see why it made a few waves when it was released.  As usual with Monty Python, it balances extreme farce and lowbrow humor with profound cleverness and subtle touches.  It skewers the tendency in people to follow whatever comes along, and those who exploit it.  And along the way, it’s just darned funny.  And the finale…classic.  Plus, it’s got Latin humor.  How often does that happen?  “People called Romanes, they go the house.”

Fringe Season Three:  The third season of this show takes bugnuts to the next level.  If you’ve been watching the show up to this point, you should find plenty more of what you come to expect, with a few nice surprises and plenty of the usual funny, weird, creepy, and just awesome bits.  If you haven’t been watching the show, don’t start here.  Go back to season one, or season two at least.  Once season two starts up, you can’t really jump in.  You just shouldn’t.  If you haven’t watched this show, fix that.

The Avengers:  I’ve only really been into comics for a decade, and I’ve never been much for the bigger Marvel or DC titles.  I liked a little Brubaker Captain America and some Silver Surfer, but that’s about it.  However, I’ve enjoyed many of the various movies, and I love the idea of this crazy super-team conjunction of films.  Though I haven’t loved all of the movies leading up to it, the very notion of it being pulled off gave me the quivers.  And, having seen it, wow, did they pull it off.  Like my favorite lead-in movie, Thor, they didn’t shy away from or act ashamed of the essential craziness of the whole thing.  No trying to explain things away or trying to be ‘realistic’ or ‘real-world.’  This is Marvel Comics.  This is the Avengers.  This is a thawed out Stars and Stripes wearing super soldier, a mega-millionaire inventor, a Norse god, and a Jekyll/Hyde analogy teaming up to fight aliens.  This is distilled blockbuster entertainment with a solid script, some interesting characters, plenty of wild action, and all kinds of fun.  And who’d have thought I’d love the Hulk so much?

    As far as TV that wasn’t Fringe, I got in a few episodes of Land of the Lost.  Man, I love that show.  And after watching Life of Brian, I dug out my complete Monty Python’s Flying Circus box set, and got to watching.  Great stuff, man.

    Finally, on Saturday, before seeing the very, very enjoyable Avengers film, Brad and I (and his wife and our friend Robert), all hit up some comic shops for Free Comic Book Day.  I got (free) Atomic Robo, Mouse Guard (hardcover!), Serenity/Star Wars, Valiant 2012 featuring the awesome Cary Nord working on X-O Manowar, The Hypernaturals, and 2000AD.  And (purchased) Tom Scioli’s American Barbarian and Fraggle Rock Classics.  A good day all round.

    I’ve been reading, but like last week, not finishing much.  One of these days.


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