Review by Steve Sawicki
So I had about an hour and a half and I wanted to get a hamburger and the only place close was the Hard Rock Cafť on Beverly Blvd, which is just around the corner from La Cienga. I was in Hollywood, meeting with producers and really needed some protein to keep me going. After convincing the sixteen year old at the door that I really didnít want to give him ten dollars regardless of how good the three bands playing there that night might be and that I would undoubtedly be gone before the first even started, I settled in. I would have gone somewhere else except it was raining hard outside and I didnít have a car and in Hollywood those are two extremely unlikely events. The chatter inside was all about Oscar, but what did I care? I wasnít nominated and nothing genre related would come close to winning either. And it didnít. The war had just started and the great pretender was about to find out that things were not quite the way he thought. It would, no doubt, be a hard lesson but Bush deserved it. So far as I know he doesnít like genre flicks either. Something to do with a lack of imagination. In any case while I chewed my burger I pondered what Hollywood would decide to be appropriate war fare for those of us who chose not to watch CNN 24/7. (It's obvious, Steve...the alternative to War-TV is Wag the Dog! -ed)
Okay, so there are a lot of flicks that are borderline genre. Being John Malcovich, is one of them. This idea, that you can somehow use a trap door to get into the mind of someone else is a unique one. Unfortunately they chose a really boring guy to take over. I mean, maybe if they had chosen Ted Kennedy or one of the Baldwin brothers or even Madonna it would have been more fun to watch, but letís get real, who really wants to be John Malcovich, even for ninety minutes?
Too many people equate foreign with alien. Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets is a good example of this. Sure, itís a good flick and a great one for kids, but people have been hanging labels of mythic proportion on it. It is not the first movie to glorify the geeks. Doesnít anyone remember Revenge of the Nerds? Or any of the Disney movies? It is also not the first movie to present genre work in a family package. It is, according to those who have toiled through them, true to the books. Not that film should be true to print, unless youíre talking about the screenplay, but itís worth noting.
There are certain films that hit us where we live, that help us fulfill our deepest desire. Cheerleader Massacre will, I am sure, do that for a lot of women. This is a film about cheerleaders and about how they, um, get massacred. They get massacred one after the other, which does not really meet the definition of the title but then it would be a really short flick otherwise.
Why just get one thing wrong when you can go for the hat trick? Treasure Planet" not only manages to mangle Robert Louis Stevenson's classic story (which has been done excellently in the past) but does it in such a way as to harm space opera and Disney kid flicks at the same time. This is worthless piece of drivel and you should not watch it. In fact, you should petition the editor of this ezine to edit this review out for fear it might actually cause one or two people to rent it. You donít want to encourage this kind of thing, trust me.
We need a good werewolf story. Itís been too long. Darkwolf is about a werewolf in LA. But, would anyone really notice? Maybe theyíd think it was just some actor having a bad hair day. There is some nudity in this flick which goes a long way to saving it, but not enough to actually carry it through to the end. This is poorly written, barely acted, amateurishly shot, hardly directed and produced on less than a shoestring. Otherwise, itís a pretty great flick. We still need a good werewolf story though.
If every filmmaker has a zenith then they have a hole that theyíd prefer no one see them climb out of. * Batteries Not Included" is Steven Spielbergís pit. Smarmy does not begin to describe the goo that drips from this story of a rag tag bunch of aliens helping a group of tenement living down and outers. The storyís been done, and better, about a zillion times and Spielberg himself has done better aliens.
Wait no longer, Cube" is out. This is a great flick and really showcases what a talented producer and director can do with a few bucks and a lot of imagination. Sure there are a couple of gruesome scenes and some of the character development might be hard to watch but thatís all part of what makes this a great thing. Not only that but I just got Cube 2, Hypercube, which Iíll tell you about next time.
You canít have a month go by without the release of a Star Trek dvd. I imagine for the rest of our lives weíll be haunted by these things. Theyíll probably end up rivaling those AOL discs. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The Complete Second Season" is the latest with 26 episodes. While there are some silly ones sprinkled throughout, there are also others that include the introduction of the Dominion and the JemíHadar as well, probably the best DS9 villain.
I suppose it is good that nadirs are captured forever and that the slide to the bottom is captured as well. Here we have just such a thing. Farscape Season 3 Vol. 4 enables us to watch how it all started to go wrong. This is the beginning of the character in peril year, where each episode put a character in danger and everyone else had to rush to save them. This got tiring, and besides, there were characters I didnít want saved.
I spent a great deal of time looking for my favorite mumblers but they just werenít to be found. I did manage to find the next best thing though in Transformers, Season Two, Part Two which contained 26 episodes. I suppose you should actually view season two part one first just for continuityís sake, although 50+ episodes of changing giant robots might just be too much for anyone. If only they would mumble more instead of making every statement a forceful one.