Review by Steve Sawicki
Who has the energy to combat the precursor of the summer movie release season. Sure, summerís not until the end of June and itís the beginning of May but when you start expecting sense from Hollywood youíre in bigger trouble than you know. So, with three blockbusters out right now and two more coming before the 25th, an amazingly important day in the history of SF by the way, whatís a viewer to do? This might explain the dearth of studio named dvd releases. Thank goodness for the smaller studios and the independents for keeping us supplied with those small silver discs. Still, itís a tough search to find watchable material. Tougher still to find something worth recommending. Itís like casting pearls before swine. Which is actually stupid since pigs donít really wear jewelry. Now, casting pears before swine could seriously lead to some trouble, but we better not go there.
One might, I suppose, get tired of movies about robots seeking their souls.† Bicentennial Man, based on the Asimov story of the same name, treads on this well worn path.† Robin Williams is more or less wasted in this flick.† Not that he does a bad job but that we keep expecting him to be funny.† And that pretty much sums the whole thing up in a sentence.† Not a bad movie but we keep waiting for it to get interesting.
Yet another flick about soul searching, Encino Man combines the charm of Pauley Shore with the artistic oeuvre of Branden Fraser. Okay, never mind, itís a stinker. This flick, about two high school miscreants who stumble upon and revive a caveman, is actually worse than it sounds. Lotís of grunting and thatís the good dialogue.
More soul searching in Sabertooth, about a big kitty which gets cloned, sort of, and the gets free to wreak havoc on the countryside. Another movie where stupid people get themselves in trouble, get some innocents killed and then get offed themselves. A few moments of tension and interest but not enough to carry the thing. Woodenly acted, which is kind of ironic since it takes place in the wilderness, and full of stupid people, being, well stupid.
Is Star Trek on the odd or even cycle? Star Trek-Nemesis should definitely be an odd one. I think the studio finally resorted to their threat of the last writerís strike and let monkeyís at the typewriter. How else to explain the idiocy that fills this flick? The only Nemesis here is the one that repeatedly insults your intelligence with stupid logic and dumb plot devices. Now, this is a stretch for even Star Trek the series that exemplifies the make it up on the run style of plotting. Almost makes you wish theyíd gone searching for God again
It is said that if you search long and hard enough you eventually come to the end. I think I did it. Dr. Jekyll and Mistress Hyde was my first clue. In this flick a female doctor believes that she can separate the female psyche into itís two component parts, the thoughtful, mothering, moral side and the slutty side. Guess which side this movie spends most of itís time on? I could close by saying something snappy like ďif you make it they will come,Ē but Iím much too classy for that kind of thing.
Search no more, we have a winner. Cube2, Hypercube, is one of those rare sequels that works. If you remember, Cube was about a group of people who found themselves inside a cube full of smaller cubes some of which were quite lethal. Well, Hypercube, does it again. I wondered how theyíd make the sequel and where theyíd go. Well, they went no where and it worked. Different cube but the same idea with some interested twists just like the first flick. Nicely done. Go, search, see.
I suppose with the animation stuff coming out it was inevitable that a new version of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea would be released. Whatís new? Ya got me. Unless itís the lower price. Still, how can you go wrong here? Great acting, good story, nice visual effects that only look a little cheesy with the passage of time. Only goes to show that when youíre searching for true entertainment you canít go wrong sticking with something a bit old but reliable.
Okay, so how can you tell when the creators of
Godzilla got stuck searching for the latest monster?
Gamera, the Invincible, is how. Who else but they would think a giant turtle would be seen as threatening? Well, okay, itís sort of a giant dragon turtle that walks on two legs but itís a turtle none-the-less. Please, what will they think of next, a giant moth?
Okay, the truth may be out there but boy are we tired of searching for it. The X-Files, Complete 7th Season collects every episode, even the stupid, boring ones. Lucky us.
The problem with miniseries is they have all this time and they use it whether they need it or not. Frank Herbertís Children of Dune, was slow to get rolling but eventually became something worth watching. They could have cut all of Susan Sarandonís parts out and not lost much. Otherwise I enjoyed this long series. Not as much as the first one but then the second book was a tougher read as well, with Herbert dwelling more on the change of leadership than on anything else. If they keep true to form the next two shouldnít be missed. Ultimately, itís nice to see something done with some class and obvious care.
May is a wishy washy cartoon month. I know, itís anime and not cartoons. Well, excuse me, but if youíre going to maintain that kind of attitude Iím not going to tell you about all the exciting robot episodes I watched this month. Youíll just have to search for things to avoid elsewhere.
Maybe Steve's right, but I think the
is worth taking a look at. "
- From Amazon: "Matrix writer-directors Larry and Andy Wachowski commissioned
seven artists from Japan, America and Korea to make nine short films set in
the world of their feature trilogy. Some of the top anime directors
contributed to this anthology, including Yoshiaki Kawajiri (Ninja Scroll),
Koji Morimoto (Robot Carnival), and Shinchiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop). Some of
the films tie directly into the narrative of the live- action movies"