Sunday, February 10, 2008

So I watched some DVD's....

Isn't the video store great? There aren't any videos in the video store, mostly just DVD's these days, but just the same they are wonderful. It's like a wonderland of well, wonder. I love just going up and down endless shelves and examining the little plastic cases, reading the backs of movies I've never heard of or know so well, and trying to decide which ones to pick from the multitude.

I have a reasonable DVD collection, which doesn't quite equal the VHS collection I once had. However, no matter how many I own, there will still be thousands I don't. Each year at least 100 new movies come to DVD, and countless older films that have been converted. How am I supposed to keep up? Perhaps one day when movies are completely digital, it'll be a little easier. For now, there are "video" stores.

So what does someone like me rent on a normal average DVD watching afternoon? This week my selections included: Lethal Weapon, An American Werewolf in London, The Librarian II, Thunderball, and Good Morning Vietnam. The former two I'll discuss momentarily and I believe one at least requires explanation.

That would be The Librarian II. Many of you will be saying, what in the hell? It's a MFTV (or made for television) movie starring the once respected Noah Wyle and Gabrielle Anwar and is the sequel to the film The Librarian. Both actors found a great deal of success in the 90's, Wyle with E.R. on television and Anwar with feature films. I have no idea why either has been subjected to this type of Hollywood banishment but we may never know.

Having said this, I rented The Librarian II: Return to King Solomon's Mines for 2 reasons. First, for some reason I enjoyed the first film, cheesy and low budget as it was. It's a film that struggles between family movie and gritty action/adventure. When I finished watching it I didn't feel enthusiastic but I did like it. Most people will hate it. The second reason I rented Librarian II is Gabrielle Anwar. While her career has taken a massive dive, her appeal is still up there. I'm fully confident this movie will royally suck like its predecessor but I still don't mind watching the low rent Tomb Raider/Romancing the Stone/Indiana Jones rip off with some stars who were popular once. Besides, if you don't have a basis of comparison, how will you know when something is really good?

Let's get down to business now shall we?

Early versions of the Fantastic Four films weren't as successful

I saw an American Werewolf in London (1981) when I was a kid. I remember being terrified of the beast and the horrible dreams title character David had. I really like Werewolf films, especially where they use make-up or puppetry for the creatures. This flick had a lot going for it. What really lets it down is the script and the shoddy editing. The movie also suffers from being so dated that it distracts from viewing (this is of course not the case for many movies of years gone by such as Star Wars). American Werewolf in Londo
n is an average film with no real scares, bland comedy and a really stupid ending. Yes stupid. I have to say, I believe from memory the sequel is superior, but now I'll have to rent that too! The appeal for this movie lies with the initial story buried underneath all the crap, some of the ground breaking FX and the charming actors. Pity they didn't have much to work with. SCHLOCK 2.5/5 stars.

"Are you sure I'll win Best Mullet of '87"?!

Lethal Weapon (1987) stars Mel Gibson (pre racist slurs and religious nutcasery) and Danny Glover (pre 'Shooter' lisp). These guys were the ultimate action movie buddies. The Lethal Weapon Films set an industry standard which has been copied time and time again. It's directed by Richard "I made Superman fly" Donner and is written by Shane Black who is an above par action flick writer. Lethal Weapon basically gets two cops, one straight and headed for retirement (Glover) and the other crazy and suicidal (Gibson of course), and pits them against the evil drug dealing bad guys.

What makes these movies exceptional is the chemistry between Glover and Gibson, or Murtuagh and Riggs. What made me laugh was the insistent saxophone that has become movie score legend and the instant drama. I still love this movie and thought it had a relevant and strong message for a time in America when the War on Drugs was at the forefront of everyone's minds. I still give Lethal Weapon 3.5/5 stars because it's a damn good action movie.

So that's what I've seen...what did you rent on DVD this week and what was the verdict??? Comment below!

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