Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
February 8, 2007
Freecell, Toys, DVDs, and Reviews
Category: Toys … TV, Film, & DVDs

Hey all! How've you been? Whatcha been up to? I've been playing Freecell. My streak is currently at 168 wins. Fantastic.

I have also been buying toys and DVDs, as usual. Lately I've been on a Transformers kick in terms of toys -- in the past week, I have added four new ones to my collection (bringing my TF count to a grand total of six, or eight if one includes Bootleg Prime and a Go-Bot I have had since I was four years old). I think I will probably stop with them whenever this Megatron is released in a month or so, though. I also picked up a few TMNT figures at Wal-Mart this weekend -- two because they were reduced to $2 each, one because it came with a TMNT PC game. The game is kinda crappy.

I picked up way too many DVDs yesterday -- The Goonies, Team America: World Police, The Last Samurai, Secretary, Meet Joe Black, and Lost in Translation. They were only $5 each, but that's still more than I like to spend during a given outing. Seriously, I am not buying any more DVDs until I have at least put a significant dent in my current queue. Knock on wood.

So, now I will briefly review the movies I have watched thus far this year in an average of five sentences or less. If they seem like particularly poor choices to you, it's because I haven't lately felt like watching any subtitled movies or being let down by any movies that are supposed to be good, so (with the exception of The Cat and the Canary, which came to us courtesy of the uber-cool Mickey Glitter, and Team America: World Police, which I did think I would enjoy) I've been watching movies that I expect to be terrible in the hopes that I will be either pleasantly surprised or at least not disappointed because I knew what to expect. Here goes:

Men in Black II: I watched this one shortly after midnight on New Year's Day, and it wasn't nearly as awful as I'd heard (though it was not good). Granted, the film was a lot sillier than the first movie (frex, one of the baddies was a "Ball-chinnian" alien, with guess what hanging from his chin) and the major revelation at the end was pretty unsatisfying, but I did like how and why they brought Kay back. Lara Flynn Boyle vamping it up as Serleena was kinda hot, too.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse: Given that the first film was absolutely dreadful, I expected this to suck as well -- but while there are certainly better zombie films, this is probably my favorite movie of 2007 and the best live action video game film adaptation I've seen yet. I could've done without the pimp character, and that the characters did ridiculous things like split up and send a journalist with absolutely no combat or firearm training off by herself in a zombie-infested school (she got eaten, naturally) didn't sit well with me, but the fast-paced action and hotness of the female leads nevertheless made this an enjoyable flick. It's certainly not as intriguing or scary as any of the games, though.

The Island of Dr. Moreau: It is admittedly very, very hard not to like this movie, but it's bloody awful. It's basically Jurassic Park, but instead of dinosaurs you have deranged "Zoobilee Zoo" outcasts... not to mention Marlon Brando in whiteface and wearing a bucket on his head (not at the same time), Val Kilmer doing Marlon Brando impressions, and Fairuza Balk bellydancing. What?

Planet of the Apes: Again, not bad, but certainly not good. Almost everything worthwhile about the film (with the exception of the makeup, costumes, and effects, which were great) owes to its source material, so I'm much more interested in seeking out the older films and TV shows than I am in seeing this again. Also, the way the apes and humans immediately dropped their animosities after thousands of years of slavery and mistreatment and suddenly became friends at the end was stupid. Thade was clearly evil -- so outwardly evil that none of the characters in the movie has an excuse for not calling him on his evilness and refusing to go along with his evil plan. And Helena Bonham Carter was hotter as an ape than she is as a human being in real life.

The Cat and the Canary: Largely derivative -- likely because this is the umpteenth remake of the film, not to mention the fact that the general premise of surviving family members gathering in a mansion for the reading of a will and being knocked off one by one has been done to death -- but nevertheless an enjoyable watch. Cyrus West's posthumous speech -- along with the visual tricks that serve to further highlight his connection to his family members despite being long dead -- was particularly interesting.

Team America: World Police: I was surprised by how much I did not like this movie. Maybe my expectations were too high, but this film was far less funny and clever than your average "South Park" episode, and almost everything that Team America attempted to do has been done better before on that show. The songs were amusing, but otherwise I thought this film was a huge disappointment.

Okay, that is all for now. Ja ne, minna-san!

-posted by Wes | 3:41 pm | Comments (6)
  • Jenny says:

    ITA with you on Team America. I bought it on a whim one day and was shocked how unfunny it was. Especially since the few chuckleworthy bits had already been repeated ad nauseum by morons and pretty much robbed of all their amusement value before I even saw the opening credits.

    However, I must defend Dr. Moreau as the genuine cinematic masterpiece that it is. (Though i will admit--I had never seen Zoobilee Zoo, but based on the images on imdb, you pretty much nailed the resemblance.)

  • Mickelodeon says:

    What? A short review of The Cat and The Canary...and no mention of Honor Blackman? I know you said she certainly wasn't at her hottest, but what about Olivia Hussey?? (vbg) Woo-wee. Cousins...and roommates. But don't worry. They weren't planning on having children.

    There goes my imagination...

  • Wes says:

    Oh dear, I forgot to mention Honor! But she really wasn't all that prominent in the film, was she? You did warn me, but I'd nevertheless kind of expected the movie to be like Honor Blackman and her Kinky Boots on Parade. 😉

    Speaking of things I forgot to mention, I did not mention my most impressive recent toy acquisition! I will have to mention them soon, but suffice it to say... exterminate. :mrgreen:

  • Mickelodeon says:

    Well...okay. She wasn't that prominent, you're right. But it IS Honor Blackman, playing a lesbian. 😉

  • The Goonies and Lost In Translation should be required in everyone's DVD libraries.

    I've got the Planet of the Apes six-disc box-set with all of the original films -- pretty awesome stuff.

  • dave says:

    I remember liking Dr. Moreau while everyone I was with hated it. It's worth mentioning that it at least gave us a great south park character, with chef demanding to know what that little assistant thing was.

    I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who was 'eh' on team america - I felt like the emprerors new clothes on that one!

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