Yes, yes, it's been a loooooooooooong time since I've done some Netflixing.
It's been too hot in the bedroom to sit there and type for hours on end on a Netflix post.
And all sorts of wacky crap has been happening. Some of it is still happening!
But the weather has nicely (and finally!) cooled down, so I can sit there and type my life away!
I'm gonna be keeping the "reviews" short, as there's a lot of stuff to cover.
Also, I'll have to do multiple posts.
Streamflixing (Movies streamed through Netflix)
That movie slipped under my radar and word of mouth seemed to indicate it wasn't very good.
I thought it was good. Not great, mind you, but good and interesting. It's got little bits of other sci-fi
movies in it, like "Forbidden Planet", "Event Horizon", and has some booga-booga "Alien" moments.
A group of specialists are flown to the middle of the ocean and sent down to an underwater habitat to
investigate what appears to be a spaceship that seems to have been at the bottom for over 300 years.
The specialists are a psychologist (Dustin Hoffman), a marine biologist (Sharon Stone), a mathematician
(Samuel L. Jackson), and an astrophysicist (Liev Schreiber). Rounding out the cast are the Navy guy
in charge (Peter Coyote), the Navy technician (Queen Latifah), and Huey Lewis in a bit part. :)
We here at the Kzinti Freehold are fond of Mr. Schreiber. He's one reason we saw the "Wolverine" film.
The movie is based on the Michael Crichton novel of the same name published the year before.
Unusually, the movie lacks the "machines inexplicably fail at the critical time" signature Crichton move.
Maybe it happens in the novel. Apparently, a lot of things are different in the novel.
If we were to find this DVD on sale somewhere for $5, we'd probably pick it up.
The China Syndrome (1979)
This movie was a big deal when it first came out. And not just because it opened a few days before the
Three Mile Island nuclear accident. The film is not much too look at, lacking glamorous locations and
lavish sets, but that's not the point. It's all about the human drama and the ratcheting suspense.
A junior TV reporter (Jane Fonda) and her freelance cameraman (Michael Douglas) are on-site at a newly
activated nuclear power plant when they witness a SCRAM (emergency shutdown) event from a soundproof
observation room. The cameraman films it all on the sly, but he and the reporter don't know what happened,
since they couldn't hear anything. Back at the TV station, her boss refuses to run the story, fearing
criminal prosecution and other things. Meanwhile, the supervisor at the plant (Jack Lemmon) suspects that
something's not kosher with the reactor because he felt some unusual vibrations during the SCRAM.
The two parties investigate independently, until the supervisor contacts the reporter after he finds that
something is indeed wrong at the plant. By that time, hitmen are trying to get to him, and he winds up
going to the plant to avoid them. Upon finding the plant running at full power, he grabs a gun from a
guard, kicks everybody out of the control room and takes it over.
Not much I can say about this film, the performances are top-notch and it's drop-dead serious.
It doesn't have a music soundtrack, just whatever's playing on the radios or jukeboxes.
Tango & Cash (1989)
Another one of those movies I completely and utterly missed.
I don't even remember what I was doing in 1989! Not going to theaters, apparently.
Boy, I don't know where to start with this one. It's so cheezy and Lethal Weapony, except goofier.
Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell do seem to work well together though. There's also Teri Hatcher and
one hell of a B-movie cast: heavy breathing tough guy Jack Palance, "Blade Runner" veteran Brion James,
James "I've been playing an old man for 50 years" Hong (also a "Blade Runner" vet), everybody's favorite
living troll-doll Michael J. Pollard, and the chin-a-riffic Robert Z'Dar (go home Jay Leno!).
The plot? Who cares! It's an '80s action movie! Okay fine, Tango & Cash are the best two cops in L.A.
and they get, like, totally framed, fer shure! And everybody believes it because they're so stupid!
Vroom-vroom, bang-bang, stuff blows up, there's a neat armored SUV with lethal gadgets.
This a beer-and-pizza-with-your-buddies kind of movie.
French lesson: Brion James' character in the film is named "Requin". That's the French word for "shark".
"Requin" is also the name chosen by French translators for Jaws, the Bond villain played by Richard Kiel.
Friendflixing (DVDs borrowed from friends)
Firefly: The Complete Series
Missed it the first time, only saw a few episodes then, was not in the mood for a space western.
Since then, I've watched the entirety of "Deadwood" and several newjack westerns, and also watched
the entirety of "The Adventures Of Brisco County Jr." (that was fun!), so I was ready to tackle this.
And you know, it's pretty good. The Chinese outbursts are a little annoying, but I guess that's one way
to get around those pesky broadcasting censors. After all, even Picard got away with "merde"! :D
It was a good TV show, with some witty dialogue and interesting characters.
It's a shame Fox killed it. Fox has killed a bunch of good stuff. And Fox ruins movies now! Jerks...
I actually Netflixed this when it first came out, but after watching the entirety of "Firefly",
I figured I would watch it again now that I had a firmer grounding in that universe.
And I had apparently forgotten almost everything about the film because I wound up enjoying it all over
again, but on a deeper level. I was horrified anew at the revelation of the Reavers' origin. And I spotted
some of the nods to other works of sci-fi, especially the ship labelled "C57D". That one drove me nuts,
as the appellation looked familiar, but I couldn't quite place it. I had to look it up after the movie.
C-57D is the model number of the Earth saucership in "Forbidden Planet". Old school yo! :D
So yeah, I'm sure most of the people reading this have already seen it.
Yeah, it is good stuff, it's not just you. :D
Netflixing (DVDs obtained from Netflix)
The Man Who Would Be King (1975)
Ah yes, another one of those classic movies I had never seen. This one has a pretty good reputation.
And I can see why: Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer in a movie directed by John Huston.
Based on a short story by Rudyard Kipling, it is a fine tale of high adventure, hubris, and friendship.
Sean Connery and Michael Caine play veteran British soldiers who have stayed in 1880's India after their
tour was up, unwilling to return to England to work unrewarding menial jobs. These worthies hatch a scheme
to invade a savage land called Kafiristan and set themselves up as kings and rob the country blind.
They draw up a contract stating their intent and have Christopher Plummer (as Rudyard Kipling) witness it.
They then go off and succeed beyond their wildest dreams! Sean Connery becomes a god! But can he stay one?
An excellent film, really, quite quite good. Definitely a must-see.
The DVD was a flippie, which is not unusual, but both sides were labelled as "Widescreen".
Movie flippies usually have the fullscreen version (FAIL!) on one side and widescreen (WIN!) on the other.
This one didn't. Oh boy, it didn't, not at all. It was all widescreen.
Also, it had the first half of the movie on Side 1, and the rest on Side 2.
And the same Bonus Features on both sides (mostly text stuff, with one making of featurette).
Whoever mastered this sucker must have thought he was making a laserdisc! :D
Because Fanged God knows nobody makes double-sided DVD players.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Yes, I have this on laserdisc, but not this version. No, my player is still not working right.
I was jonesing for some Star Trek MoPic action, so I rented this and I'm glad I did! You know why?
Because this is the Director's Cut made in 2000 with extra FXs by Foundation "Babylon 5" Imaging.
I had never seen it! The film was recut by Robert Wise and some new shots were completed, and it really
improves the film greatly. The pacing is much better, things are better explained, and you finally get
to see what the V'Ger ship itself looks like once out of the energy cloud.
This is the DVD I've wanted to buy for a while now, and it's apparently sold out and gone. Paramount has
released an "Original Cast" box-set that includes Star Treks 1 through 6, and what little information
I have so far seems to indicate that they're all theatrical versions. ARGH!!! Time to hit eBay!
Crank: High Voltage (2009)
Jason Statham plays Chev Chelios, the toughest man alive, in this sequel to the unhinged actioner "Crank".
The film picks up minutes after the end of the original, and that high altitude drop from the helicopter
apparently didn't kill ol' Chev, though he's definitely looked better. Some Asian gangstas grab him and
take him to a private hospital. They nurse him back to health, only to remove his heart and stick in a
battery-powered replacement. Chev escapes the makeshift hospital and soon discovers that he needs to
electrify himself regularly to recharge the artificial ticker's battery. Highjinks ensue!
As much as I like the original "Crank", I have to say that I am disappointed by this sequel.
I mean, yes, there's more of everything that made the original such a "Tex Avery on crack" insanity ride,
but there's also more unpleasant things. There's more gratuitious gore for one thing, and we here at the
Kzinti Freehold do not approve of such things. There's also some really utterly tasteless stuff going on.
And lots of innocents getting mowed down. We don't approve of that either. I felt dirty after watching this.
I have "Crank" on DVD, and I really don't think "Crank: High Voltage" will join it any time soon.
Apparently, this is David Carradine's last movie. He plays the 100 year-old Chinese pimp daddy who wants
the indestructable Chev Chelios heart for himself. (Guess a green-eyed girl won't work for him! :D )
"Lois & Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman" Season 1 (1993)
I know what I was watching in 1993 instead of this! I was watching
aka "Star Trek Underwater". Both shows were on at the same time on competing networks.
Also, I was only interested in Batman, superhero-wise, via the excellent "Batman: The Animated Series".
Plus, this was more of a romantic comedy with occasional bouts of Superman.
So yeah, I utterly and completely missed this.
I have now plowed my way through the entire first season and found it goofy, or in French, "nunuche"!
It had its moments though, like Tony Jay (the voice of Megabyte in "Reboot" and Shere Khan in "Talespin"),
and David Warner as Jor-El! That's pretty cool! And James Earl Jones, if only in one episode. Cool too!
But Tracy Scroggins (aka Capt. Lochley from B5 Season 5) as a cougar? And Richard Belzer as a cop?
Yes, I know the Belz went on to be on CSI or whatever. And Jimmy Olsen looking like Scott Baio?
Anyway, Dean Caine is a pretty good Clark Kent and Superman, I admit. And Teri Hatcher is fun.
And I really like Lane Smith as a Perry White who's a Southerner and an Elvis fan. Elvis is everywhere! :D
I'm now starting Season 2 and I see that tracy Scroggins is gone and Jimmy's been replaced.
I haven't seen who the new Lex Luthor is yet, I've only watched Disc 1.
I heard the show improves after Season 1 so I'm sticking with it for now. We shall see.
Okay, that's it for now!