SPECIAL FEATURES B
DVD GEEK FACTOR 7
(OUT OF 10)
It's hard to believe this one is 10 years old. It's also hard to believe that Paramount would go through the trouble of doing a newly remastered deluxe edition, yet still not release it on Blu-Ray. I'm sure they'll get around to it; there's money to be made off of us hi-def addicts.
This is the perfect movie to watch after seeing the new Star Trek. Tim Allen's best role has him starring as has-been actor Jason Nesmith, former star of the Galaxy Quest TV show (a clear riff on Trek). After a humiliating experience at a fan convention, he finds himself on a real spaceship with aliens who believe his TV show was actual Earth history. Nesmith enlists the help of his former co-stars (including Sam Rockwell, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub and Alan Rickman) to save the galaxy.
This is good-natured fun, both a love letter and a sly poke at the fanatics who have kept stuff like the old Trek alive through the years. Justin Long is especially good as a young fan who must help save Nesmith and friends with help from his earthbound computer (with brief interruptions to take out his mom's garbage). Rockwell is constantly funny as the shipmate who will probably die, as is Shalhoub as the squinting ship engineer.
SPECIAL FEATURES: While the new documentary on the making of the film is fun to watch, I could've done without the sight and sound of Sigourney Weaver rapping. What the hell was that about?
MOVIE TRIPLE F!
SPECIAL FEATURES F!
DVD GEEK FACTOR 0!
(OUT OF 10)
I'm a Donnie Darko fan, so I popped this one in, because sequels to films I like always make me curious. Actually, sequels to films I hate make me curious, too. I'm sad that way.
For starters, this movie contains no Jake Gyllenhaal and no Richard Kelly (the writer and director of the original film). It also has no Drew Barrymore and no Patrick Swayze ... hell, they couldn't even get Noah Wyle to stop by for this thing.
What's it about? Well, I'll tell you, because, regrettably, I watched the whole thing.
Remember Samantha, Donnie's little sister who danced in the totally awesome "Sparkle Motion" act? She's played by Daveigh Chase, and this film picks up her story in 1995, seven years after the events of the first movie. She has run away, because she can't get over the death of her brother (and because producers couldn't lure any of her family back for the sequel). While on her road trip, she has nightmarish visions of herself dead.
Her visions include the watery wormhole things from the original; the creepy bunny rabbit also reappears, in a slightly different form. This is the pinnacle of lameness, because the rabbit was fully explained in Donnie Darko and has no business hanging around in this movie. Apparently, the rabbit's contract demands were easier to meet than Barrymore's requests.
Samantha and her friends repeatedly die in this movie, and it's up to time-traveling wormholes to bring them back. There's also a subplot about the world ending, and a crazy, kooky character named Iraq Jack. It's all a shameless attempt to sucker the fans of the first film into buying or renting this.
Stay away ... stay far away.
SPECIAL FEATURES: In a filmmaker commentary with the folks behind this atrocity, they try to put a positive spin on things. There's also a making-of doc and some deleted scenes. Yes, there were scenes so bad that they couldn't even make the cut in this piece of shit.
SPECIAL FEATURES B+
DVD GEEK FACTOR 8
(OUT OF 10)
This one deserved a lot more love than it got at the Oscars. Kate Winslet won the Best Actress award, but for the wrong movie (The Reader). She wasn't even nominated for this film, which featured far better work on her part. Leonardo DiCaprio was also passed over; he not only should've been nominated, but he should've won the prize. The actor has never been better in a movie, and his snub is a real puzzler.
They play April and Frank Wheeler, a married couple trying to be bohemian in the '50s—and failing miserably. When the two unleash their first fight—in a car, roadside, early in the movie—it's the scariest depiction of marital discord ever put on film. Things only get worse from there; the picture is far from pleasant, and it can't be accused of pulling punches.
The movie was nominated for three Oscars, including Art Direction; this makes sense, because it looks outstanding on Blu-Ray.
SPECIAL FEATURES: A nice selection of deleted scenes, all of them well-done, that further demonstrate what a great film this is. The castoffs are better than most film's kept scenes. Director Sam Mendes provides a commentary for the full film and the deleted scenes. There's also a nicely produced making-of documentary.