May 6, 2008

DVD Pick of the Week: Mystery Science Theater 3000 - The Movie

Welcome back! Well, to some of you, anyway. To the rest of you, glad you decided to stop by and I hope that this humble column helps you navigate the stacks of new releases each week. My goal is to point you toward titles of interest and warn you away from those films that seek to do nothing but leech away your time and give you nothing in return.

This week brings an eclectic selection of films: there is an Oscar nominated collection, a couple of horror flicks that could be worth investigating, a few reissues coming back to DVD, some television sets, and a couple of films from earlier this year, not to mention one obvious "skip it" title. I know there are a few here that I am looking forward to checking out, as well as some that I am eager to see for the first time. Read on and see if any strike your fancy.

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie. I haven't seen this in ages. I haven't seen that many episodes of the series, something that one day I will rectify. In the meantime, there will always be the movie, which targets the sci-fi cinematic classic This Island Earth. I remember working in a video store and putting this on a loop at least once a week. Now I will be able to relive those days of long ago. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

P.S. I Love You. This shouldn't be a good movie. The plot is ludicrous, the characters are borderline unlikable, and, well, let's just stick with it shouldn't be a good movie. Despite this, I found myself enjoying it. Somehow I found myself identifying with the characters, not that I have ever been involved in anything even close to what these characters go through. The movie sidesteps real life and resides in an alternate reality running parallel to our own. This is a world where romance extends beyond the barrier of death. The results will draw you in. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

The 4400: The Fourth Season. This show is excellent, it is just a shame that it was canceled. It is yet another show cut down before its time. The series centered on 4400 alien abductees who have returned and exhibit special abilities. It goes a step further as a rift forms between them and the rest of the world, leading to a potential war. It is a shame we will never know the final outcome. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

I'm Not There. Bob Dylan: the man, the myth, the enigma. Dylan is the subject of Todd Haynes unconventional biopic. It features a number of performers playing versions of Dylan, while never actually being called Dylan. It is an interesting excursion into Dylan's life and a unique way of approaching the biopic. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Crossing Jordan: Season 1. I always enjoyed this series, although I never watched with any consistent regularity. Jill Hennessy stars in the title role as a medical examiner who continuously finds herself in the middle of bigger cases. It was highlighted by a relatively light touch and an entertaining supporting cast. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Teeth. I'm looking forward to sinking my teeth into this one. Get it? Teeth? It is the story of a teenage girl who has a mutant set of choppers in a place that her boyfriend will not be a big fan of. Never came around while it was on the big screen, but at least now I will be able to hit pause if I have to. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

First Sunday. The characters are given surprising amounts of depth, and the themes of family and redemption are woven nicely into the comedic fabric that makes up this surprisingly entertaining offering. No, it is not the best of its kind, but it succeeds at being more than one would expect and sometimes that is enough. Ice Cube and Tracy Morgan work well together, while Katt Williams steals all of the scenes he's in. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Over Her Dead Body. I'm sure it sounded like a good idea in the pitch meeting. What executive in his/her right mind wouldn't laugh at the idea of a dead woman haunting her still living fiancé's new girlfriend? It sounds like it would write itself. I can see the people in the room getting all atwitter about making it happen. However, the concept is half baked and the execution is lame. This would have been better served staying on the shelf. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

La Roue. I am completely unfamiliar with this silent French film, but what I have read makes it seem like essential viewing, from the editing techniques that were developed to the special effects that were invented, there must be a lot to be gleaned from this lengthy film. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

The Car. James Brolin stars in this 70's era horror film about an evil car. Predating Christine comes this evilmobile and Brolin as the sheriff out to stop it. Sounds like plenty of corny fun. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Serial Mom. John Waters film about a murderous suburbanite mother (Kathleen Turner) is a film I thought looked dumb when it was in theaters, of course I was not as into movies then as I am now. I must admit to wanting to take a look see and see what I missed. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Twister: Two Disk Special Edition. I remember watching this spectacle on the big screen and having a lot of fun watching Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt chasing down the funnel clouds while avoiding Cary Elwes and flying cows. It is now getting the SE treatment. I am unsure if it will be worth the upgrade, so you may want to rent it first. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Delirious. Steve Buscemi stars in this story of a crossover between stardom and the paparazzi and a homeless kid. Joining Buscemi is Michael Pitt, Alison Lohman, Gina Gershon, and Elvis Costello. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

2007 Academy Award Nominated Short Films. I love these collections, although I have never bought one. Not many people get to see these shorts on the big screen, so seeing these collections is a great way to see these little seen films. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Saawariya. A Bollywood film funded by a Hollywood studio? Not sure how this came about, but I keep hearing good things about it. Wanting to check out more Bollywood productions, this may be a good place to start. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

BraveStarr: The Movie. 1980's era animation comes to DVD. I have never seen BraveStarr, but I am sure I'd like it. I was more of a Thundarr kind of kid. This feature length film introduces the interstellar marshall to audiences prior to the start of the series. Seems like a good enough place to be. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

The Hottie & The Nottie. Paris Hilton as the lone top-billed star? Not a good idea. It made a whopping $27,000 at the box office. Sadly, it will likely do well on DVD, no help from me, of course. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Abominable. This Sci-Fi Original was actually pretty good. Jeffrey Combs is among the stars, and he is always watchable. It is not a great movie, but it is pretty good in developing some tension, not being annoying and actually being worth the time. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Devil Times Five. 1970's era horror film about some kids who have escaped from a criminal psychiatric ward who terrorize a group of upscale people at a dinner party. I have heard some bad things, but should be worth a rental. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Zombies Anonymous. How can you go wrong with a title like that? It looks like yet another low budget outing, but I like the description. It is set in a world where the living and the dead co-exist and must figure out ways to make it work. Could be worth adding to my horror collection. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)


Anonymous said...

Good Morning,

Crossing Jordan's seson one DVD should definitely be purchased and not just rented. This was a solid series and Jill Hennessy did an awesome job as Jordan.


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