sfr3d.gif (19860 bytes)January 2003
© 2003 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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Damnaliens DVD Review by Steve Sawicki
Note: order the films from Amazon by following the hyperlinks to buy  junk food for the aliens and keep them away from the dog.) Want a second opinion? We suggest www.imdb.com - Ernest

Itís dark, albeit getting lighter, in most of the northern hemisphere.  This puts people, and I include myself in that group, in a bad mood and makes them cranky.  This is a bad thing.  You can try those sun lights and you can try being outside more often but the only true answer to this problem is movies.  Except you donít want to get bad movies because that just makes cranky people aggressively cantankerous.  I could give you examples but Iím not in the mood.  As a public service Iíve decided to find at least one good thing in each DVD I review this column as a way to help subvert what seems to be just another ecological process and warp it with technology.

Recent Releases / Classics / SFTV / Anime

Recent Releases

Ahnold was busy kicking some other form of alien butt so they had to find someone else for the aliens to kick around.  They decided Danny Glover? and some Columbian drug lords would do the trick as Predator 2, waddles itís way onto the screen.  A classic case of bad acting, bad writing, minimal direction and the idea that enough action covers all errors.  Whatís there good to say about this?  There was no Predator 3.

I suppose it was only a matter of time when making fun of bad films on film became a phenomena.  I grew up with Creature Features which had a host poking some fun before and during the B SF movies they would put on.  Technology gets the best of us though and with The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection Volume 2, we get to watch it at our leisure and with running commentary.  The commentary is only funny about 40% of the time (70% for you high school drop outs) so you have to sit through a lot of dialogue thatís as bad if not worse than the film.  On the plus side, well, at least they didnít ruin the career of any good actors in the hosting of it.

Soon, weíll have more versions of film than we know what to do with.  Weíll have the theatrical version, the directorís cut, the editorís cut, the actorís cut, the revised version, the adapted version, the directorís girlfriendís kidís version and so on.  X-Men 1.5, is the beginning of just such a downfall.  Is it better?  Better than what?  For all itís defects the theatrical release is the film.  Period.  You donít get to go back and tinker with it because itís coming out on a different format.  You donít get to go back and add things or fix things. Gees, Hitchcockís spinning in his grave so fast heís causing earth tremors.  This version is longer but not better. Boycott it.  Better yet, buy it and then send it back to the studio and demand the film you saw in the theater.

Every once in a while a film comes out that you know people will ignore.  Curse Of The Queerwolf, is just such a film.  Itíll be ignored mostly because of the title.  But you should not ignore it.  Itís a campy beast full of intentional errors and faults.  Itís a fun romp through P-Town during a perpetual full moon.  Besides, youíll never be able to call yourself a completist if you donít. 

Classics

There are classics and there are classics.  Unfortunately these days, a classic is anything thatís been absent for 12 months or more.  This month we actually have two movies that fit the bill. First, Metropolis, which a couple of issues back was reviewed as a theatrical release (see review)

Itís good enough to demand space here as well.  Metropolis, (restored authorized version), is now out on dvd.  Go, buy, watch, and be astounded.  This flick was made in 1927.  Itís more than a classic, itís the basic underpinnings of everything.

Second, Beauty And The Beast (Restored Version), is a true classic and another worth restoration. It is, most likely, John Cocteauís masterpiece.  Itís a somewhat surreal telling of the classic story complete with fantastic imagery, excellent music and superb acting.  This is simply a film that you owe it to yourself to see.  A beautiful rendition that truly has to be seen to be believed. 

SFTV

When a show does well on television the first thing the suits do is try to clone it.  Buffy did very well and it wasnít long before we were presented with a spin off.  Angel, Season 1, collects the first year of episodes of what ended up being a much darker and angst filled version of Buffy.  Only in this case instead of a slayer we get a vampire and instead of quiet Sunnydale we get the City of Angels and instead of a peppy, preppy band of followers we get a lose band of miscasts and losers.  The show hangs well together though and itís a decent addition to genre fare.

Love it or leave it, thatís the way I feel about British television.  Sometimes they get it very right and sometimes their just poking themselves in the eye with a sharp stick.  After hearing a lot of good things about Red Dwarf, Series Pack, I decided to investigate myself.  Nope, nothing good here besides moronic humor, frat boy hijinks and very bad special effects.  On the bright side the show didnít last all that long so there really arenít that many episodes to be bothered by.

Anime

I intentionally wanted to avoid the mumbling 'bots this month because I wanted to be able to say something nice.  So, after much searching I stumbled across DNA2: Metamorphisis.  The story is simple.  This boy will soon father 100 sons who will go on to father 100 sons.  This babe from the future returns to stop him.  The only problem is that heís a nerd and itís only after sheís injected him with a serum that he becomes possessed with the occasional ability to be a hunky heartthrob.  Thus sheís created the very thing she was sent back to stop.  This is a pitiful excuse for anime.  Itís too violent and not funny enough.  If only they had a few giant robots to even things out.

sfr3d.gif (19860 bytes)© 2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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