Thursday, December 31, 2009

Stuff I Want In 2010 (Or, Unreasonable Demands)

1. The alleged "Pinkerton" special edition album with bonus tracks and whatever needs to come out
2. Hasbro needs to make Sunstorm in its next Classics/Universe line (repaint of Starscream)
3. An official announcement of some substance for the live-action Star Wars TV show.
4. Darius Burst for PSP released in the USA. Failing that, any Darius game on Xbox Live.
5. "The Office" gets wind of Lost's plan to end the show and follows suit. Failing that, start hiring or firing people.
6. US release of Masterpiece Edition Grimlock, at or under $75
7. G.I. Joe's continued integration of non-Joe characters like Matt Trakker. Maybe Spike Witwicky or grab a new license just to throw 'em in the Joe line. Like Metal Gear Solid.
8. Mattel steals Hasbro's idea of "guest stars" like Matt Trakker and includes other licenses in Masters of the Universe. Lion-O's about due for a new toy.
9. Star Wars is released or announced for Blu-Ray.
10. Salamander gets released for Xbox Live Arcade.
11. Transformers Classics Kup. It's about time.
12. Hasbro announces an Oscar the Grouch action figure. (Hey, they got the license.)
13. Somebody makes a decent, fairly priced Samus Aran toy.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Yet More Movies I Have Recently Watched/Rewatched

The Day The Earth Stood Still (original)
Surprisingly good-- it's a 1951 sci-fi flick that manages to look pretty good for its age. The same guy who directed this also did The Sound of Music and Star Trek: The Motion Picture, meaning he is a better man than you or I. The basic message of "stop fighting you idiots because you'll destroy us too" was used in other movies, "Plan 9 From Outer Space" comes to mind, to a fairly amusing end. Here, it's just part of the movie which was worth seeing.

The Day The Earth Stood Still (remake)
The original movie was fun, in part because it looks old but it's also pretty brisk and fairly golly gee-wiz in places. The remake? Awful. There are some great casting decision here but the effects are wonky and the reimagining of Gort was outright unpleasant. Keanu plays Klaatu as a humorless douche rather than a curious and interested outsider, and several scenes could have been cut just because they barely added backstory and didn't help the plot. Plodding, slow, pretty miserable. (We got it because it included the original film for cheap.)

Awwww yeah Gremlins. What's not to love? For the ladies, you have Gizmo. For the slasher nerds, you have killer green monsters. For movie fanatics, you have Robbie the Robot walking around in the middle of the movie. The effects mostly hold up well, the acting is good enough, and I'm quite pleased to have this one on Blu-Ray now. I wish Gremlins 2 was out too.

Santa Claus (via MST3K)
Uhhhh... hunh. The featurette was arguably more interesting than the film itself, as apparently this movie introduced Santa Claus to Mexico in the 1950s and was something of a known entity to boomers. This I find hard to believe-- the movie has Santa Claus fighting the Devil in places, but generally it's a bunch of surreal set pieces and what the 1950s probably considered political correctness with a bunch of kids from around the world doing native song things... which came off as more or less racist. All the more reason to see it, really.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Christmas (arguably not a movie)
We caught this and it's generally pretty funny with some extremely disturbing yet funny images involving blood and hiding in furniture. I'd describe it in detail but that would ruin it for you. Also, it's got that Huddleston guy in there who you may remember as the old/real Jeffrey Lebowski.

The Omega Man
Never saw this one before, and I think overall I liked it. It's very 1970s in parts, specifically the music and some of the supporting players introduced about 50 minutes into the film. Heston was pretty great, the mutant bad guys were pretty flat (essentially smarter zombies/cultists), the look was mostly pretty good. It didn't feel like a particularly expensive flick, but for the five bucks I paid for the Blu-Ray I had a great time. Worth seeing, movie nerds.

I need to watch some more Apes movies this week.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Movies I Have Recently Watched/Rewatched

My Internet and Phone went out for several days, which pushed along the large amount of DVDs and Blu-Rays viewed in my den of crap. Here's some of what I watched.

Bought this in like 2004 but never watched it. Caught it after midnight this weekend, which is the right time to watch pretty much any science fiction movie made in the 1970s. I don't know what it is, but it makes them all better. Which is good, because this was a bit of a drag. It looks like a very expensive student film, with tacked-on CG bits. But it's arguably worth seeing, just because it's really funny to see a movie with such a strong anti-consumer, anti-conform message from the guy who can owe his lifestyle to toy collectors. And, you know, tons of groundbreaking movie tech. But also toy collectors.

Inglorious Basterds
I missed this in the theaters and bought the Blu last week. Totally worth seeing. I look forward to rewatching it in the new year. If you can take a little bit of blood, it's a genuinely entertaining piece of work.

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
Haven't seen this in years. There were lots of neat costumes and setpieces, and the writers clearly loved writing the Kirk-Spock-McCoy exchanges. But man, Sybok sucks. And the desert guys distracted by the Uhura Fan Dance was straight out of Bugs Bunny.

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
I remembered this being awesome, and it was largely very good. Great composite effects, wonderful costumes, decent pacing. A lot of motivations were weird, but it was worth seeing again. And will be worth re-seeing again, again.

Kill Bill Vol. 1
Still awesome. Especially the back half.

Planet of the Apes
I saw the entire series after midnight on the Disney channel many moons ago, which is, of course, the ideal time to watch them. This one aged really well. Some of the makeup could be better, but the cinematography was certainly decent and I'm looking forward to rewatching the sequels.

Gremlins is on the list for the week, can't wait to see it again.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Goodbye Cable, Hello Movies

So we got rid of the cable (DISH network, specifically) a couple of weeks ago when our 5-year-old DVR box receiver finally died as the hard drive conked out. We've toyed with adjusting our package to nix a level of programming (which we didn't, due to GSN and FX) and then also considered dumping HBO (which we didn't, because it always had something good on.) So while I'm missing some stuff, most of it is on Hulu or an equivalent so that has been working out just fine.

The best part of all of this is that the massive DVD collection in our hallway is not only getting sorted, it's getting watched. Numerous Star Trek films, episodes of Pee-Wee's Playhouse, and other goodies are finally being screened in my home rather than the horrible stuff we tended to watch on the DVR. Which may or may not have included a number of shows on VH-1 that surrounded long-form dating game shows.

I think this says less about the state of TV programming than it does with my inability to say no to the pop culture stuff that won't help my job or general well-being in the same way as, say, rewatching the entire Planet of the Apes series. Which is a good idea, good for you, and good times.

So I guess my plan for the new year is to choke down every last one of these hundreds of movie DVDs or sell them off. There's so many movies I need to see again, or at all, that this should be a good way to spend a year. I may be less informed BUT at least I'll have a better catalog of references from which to laugh at MST3K DVDs. (I've already got the Mothers jokes covered.)