Friday, February 29, 2008

Recent Viewings 2/29/2008

After writing up these reviews, I noticed the only one I liked was the TV series. So, I put that review first if you want to cut to the chase.

Dexter (Showtime Original Series)
The awesome premise of this show is Dexter is a sociopathic serial killer who was raised right (his adoptive dad realized what he was and helped guide his compulsions to "good" ends), who therefore murders other serial killers and miscellaneous criminals.

Even more brilliant, Dexter narrates the show, so we know his thoughts, which are the best part of the show. When one of the women wink at him in a suggestive matter, he sighs mentally and groans, "I wish she wouldn't do that. I have no idea what it means." Being

Also hilarious is the one cop who suspects Dexter is something other than what he seems, Sgt. Doakes. He's one of the characters/actors who can drop the f-bomb like it was poetry. I perk up every time he comes into a scene because he always makes it better.

Amazingly, they're airing it on CBS on Sunday nights, so you can tune in to see if you enjoy it too. Sadly, you'll miss Doakes' best lines, but it's still a hoot.

Aside from Ashley Judd getting nekkid, Bug is to be avoided.

I thought it was going to be a creepy horror story about bugs that got under your skin. But it was really about how insanity can be contagious. Gosh, newsflash, huh? Uh, see any true explanation of Scientology (or if you want a more fun, useful example, see any version of The Manchurian Candidate) if you had any doubts about contagious nuttery.

When it was over, and I was past mourning that lost hour and a half of my life, I thought: This really reeks of having come from a stage play, and sure enough, it had. The writer of the piece is renowned in the theatre world for getting his actors nekkid. You'd think he'd come up with story a lot less transparent (har har) if his true motive is getting to skin.

Hell, just hit a shaker bar and get it over with, methinks.

Heartbreak Kid
Didn't see the original so I can't provide any comparison, but this version is lame. The best (and perhaps only real) joke in the whole flick is when Ben Stiller's character gets stung by a jellyfish and his new bride comes to his rescue by peeing on it, and her exposed bush is a sight to behold (NSFW!!!). (This is the third outrageous bush gag I've seen in movies, the others being in Waiting and the first Scary Movie.)

This one was close but no cigar. I really enjoyed the first few scenes of dialogue because that is how teenage boys talk about sex and their frustrations at that age. But when they get to school, the movie begins the barrel roll as it goes tits up.

It eventually becomes so absurd, it's the only comedy in memory that so thoroughly cornholed my suspension of disbelief I recall thinking "aw, c'mon."

I have to admit I was amused by most of the "McLovin'" story arc, so if you're bored one night and you don't have to pay for it, it may be worth spin just for that.

I've was digging on Red Curtain Movies while they offered Divx movies, and one of the flicks I snagged was this one. It was from an (illegal, I'm sure) cam recording, meaning someone took their video camera to the movie and taped it off the screen. For about 1/5 of the film, the culprit's clothes are in the way, etc. It's a miserable way to view a movie. However, I really just wanted to get an idea if I liked it enough to hit the theatre and see it right.

I couldn't get past the first half hour it was so bad. I thought that in addition to being a bootleg from a cam, it might have been a working print, or the cam guy had only taped sections of the movie. I went out to the movie spoiler and read the plot summary, and by gum I had seen the actual theatrical release of the movie.

The narrative jumps are so drastic and unintelligible that I would mentally reel, trying to catch up as the next scene played. I was able to eventually bridge the narrative, but it made for annoying viewing.

And why did they think it was a good idea to make a movie about a guy with the same superhero power as the favorite character on the TV show "Hereos"? And then tell a story not nearly as good.

Picard says it best:

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