New DVD review from Nick at Nite:
I like bad science fiction. Star Trek, Quantum Leap, Sense and Sensibility, Starman, Superman, Christine, Kramer v. Kramer, Tron, all science fiction, all bad, all awesome. In the 1980s, there were two awesomely bad science fiction movies involving mutated creatures killing underwater explorers: Leviathan and Deep Star Six. They play like episodes of Jacques Cousteau meets Dr. Who meets Land of the Lost meets H.R. Puff-n-Stuff, except they are not French and there are no giant sea turtles. Leviathan starred Peter Weller and was made after his best work in Robocop (they shouldn’t have made any sequels) and The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai (whatever happened to the sequel promised at the end of the first film?). Deep Star Six starred one of the dads from the TV show My Two Dads and a bunch of B movie castoffs (it was really, really bad). The Cave is a reworking of these original movies. It involves some underwater explorers who explore caves with underwater passageways. It has Piper Perabo (Looper), that guy from the television show Invasion and another guy I recognize from some other show (great descriptions, eh??). Funny, but while watching the movie I kept thinking, I think these actors think this is going to be a big hit. They were so wrong. Unless, of course, I am the target audience. Well because this is a science fiction movie there is a parasite in the water that attacks its host, a human, and grows into a creature or creatures that attack the underwater crew or rather the parasite infects those who enter the cave and then they turn into creatures that attack the underwater crew. It is just crazy. To make the movie all the more eerie and strange it all happens in the Carpathian mountains and it involves a flashback to when it was all under Soviet control. It is a little sad, but this is exactly my kind of movie. I give it a “C” for everyone else and for me I give it an “A.”
A book review from The Movie Snob
My Fundamentalist Education: A Memoir of a Divine Girlhood, by Christine Rosen (2005). Another memoir from somebody who is right around my own age. Rosen’s parents divorced when she was very young, and her father and his new wife (a very sweet person, not a wicked stepmother type) raised her and her older sister in St. Petersburg, Florida. Fatefully, and apparently without full knowledge, they sent Rosen and her sister (and their new little sister) to Keswick Christian School, a private school run by a fundamentalist Christian denomination. Keswick was a distinctly odd place by secular standards, although its routines are not entirely unfamiliar to a graduate of Catholic schools like me. The students wore uniforms, went to chapel, sang songs about Jesus, were entertained by visiting Christian musicians and missionaries, and learned their King James Bibles backwards and forwards. Although Rosen is no longer a fundamentalist and pokes plenty of gentle fun at Keswick, her memories of the place (and the youthful anxieties it instilled in her, like worrying about the Rapture) are nonetheless genuinely fond ones. If you want to learn more about what fundamentalists really believe, or just want an enjoyable read about growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, this is the book for you.
From The Movie Snob:
Deep Sea 3D (B+). I can’t believe it has been almost a month since I last saw a movie! This was a good one to mark my return to the multiplex, a nice 3D IMAX nature documentary. Deep Sea is a cut above the usual IMAX nature fare. Good visuals and good use of 3D effects. Lots of variety–a few sharks, an octopus, the nasty Humboldt squid, sea turtles, starfish, some sort of weird sunfish looking things, and a friendly right whale. Ho-hum narration by Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet that didn’t include a single reference to Finding Neverland, or at least not that I noticed. This one is worth taking the kids to.
New DVD review from Nick at Nite:
The Upside of Anger
This is a fine, fine film. It proves that Kevin Costner (3 Days to Kill) can be in a movie that is a box office failure, but is still good. Joan Allen (Off the Map) gives a heartwarming performance as a mother who turns to alcohol following the disappearance and apparent departure of her husband. She raises four daughters. There is some hilarity, some tenderness, and some outright uniqueness. I am often dragged kicking and screaming to movies like this . . . this one actually sucked me in. It was so good that I caught only about thirty minutes of it one day and waited for it to come on again so I could watch the whole thing. The Movie Snob advises me that some people were critical of the movie because of the way it ended. These are the same people who don’t like Where the Red Fern Grows or Old Yeller or how the last Presidential election turned out. Relax. Just enjoy the movie. I give it an “A.”
New DVD reviews from Nick at Nite
Like its title, this movie is a dead end. It is like sitting in your car on Central Expressway at rush hour without a cell phone and a broken radio. Frankly, I am not sure why I even watched. It was billed as a horror movie and seemed more like a bad after-school Halloween special. It is an intriguing concept; it had very poor execution. Basically, people are stuck on driving on a road that seems to go nowhere. No matter how fast or far they drive they can never get off the road. A mysterious lady in the woods surrounding the road haunts them and a guy in muscle car is supposed to be very scary when his car appears on the road. Almost all of the passengers in the car die. Everyone but the passably cute girl. I was mostly bored. I feel like people are not even trying. I long for Jeepers Creepers 3 or another good zombie movie. I give Dead End an “F.”
I used to like Jodie Foster (Nim’s Island). Every movie she was in except Nell was great. Some people even liked Nell. You know, people who eat granola. Seriously, what’s the point. Granola doesn’t even taste good unless it comes in the shape of a rectangular bar and is coated in chocolate. Anyways I rented this movie because it has Jodie Foster in it. She is always in clever, enjoyable films like Contact, Taxi Driver, Little Man Tate, and Panic Room. I should have gone with my gut and passed on this garbage. The producers thought they had it all – great actress, good story, and recurring plot twists – but they missed one thing. This movie is set on a plane. All movies set on a plane, with the exception of Airplane, stink. Passenger 51, Executive Decision, Air Force One, Airport 77, and all of those plane disaster flicks of the 70s. Jodie knows better and so do I. I give this movie an “F.”