by Genevieve Williams
So, I was *supposed* to go see The Matrix this past weekend. Unfortunately a relapse of the flu, coupled with too much beer and not enough sleep, knocked me out for all of Saturday and part of Sunday. I spent the time productively: I watched videos. Some of these movies I'd never seen all the way through before, or had only seen a long time ago.
clearly, i've had too much coffee today
I'd never seen this although I knew the basic storyline. Special effects are surprisingly good; compare and contrast with Star Wars, which was released only a few years earlier. I know it's easier to make SPFX look good in low light, but still, very impressive. Only one shot looked bad (when the chest-burster pops out onto the dinner table--it looked like a rubber sculpture punching through latex, which is almost certainly what it was).
This show never quite had a chance to hit its stride. Good storylines were weakened by some uncomfortable performances and what a former Air Force airman friend of mine called toy soldiers, though this improved toward the end of the show's run on Fox. By the way, does anyone know where I can get additional episodes on tape? The show had its bad points, but it had good ones too, and I miss it. It was basically a war drama, and I like those.
Currently waiting on a delivery of episodes 4-6. Already have eps 1-3. It blows my mind that when I first saw this (several years ago) I didn't get that it's a comedy. I guess I had no sense of humor, because the inherent comedic possibilities of a father and son who get turned into a giant panda and a girl when doused with water are obvious. Anyhoo, I love this series. I'd love to go to a martial arts school that called its style Anything Goes.
Something interesting about this movie--I was never all that interested in the adventures of the main character, AKA Wallace (Mel Gibson). Once his character's started on his path (which is pretty much inevitable to start with--you KNOW exactly how the plot's going to pan out) everything about him is a foregone conclusion. No, the REALLY interesting character in this movie is Robert the Bruce (Angus MacFadyen), because he's the one who has the moral struggle to deal with, he's the one who's constantly questioning his motives and actions, he's the one whose actions aren't entirely predictable, and he's the one who has to deal with the gray areas. His character's father makes the observation at some point in the film that heroes are easy to admire, with the implication that it's a lot more difficult to admire people who are forced to compromise but who get things done.
I can't remember the complete title of this, and it doesn't really matter. It's some sort of cheapie documentary on the vampire legend that makes all the usual stops in history and literature (Vlad Tepes, Lady Bathory, Bram Stoker, Nosferatu, etc.) and commits a couple of extremely laughable errors (such as misnaming the narrator of Interview With the Vampire). Stock footage of some guy who looks like a member of an 80s metal band stalking some wannabe supermodel (in a white nightgown, of course) through misty woods at night. Extreme closeups of this guy snarling into the camera reveal obviously fake fangs (since most people don't have pearly white teeth, those who purchase the more realistic looking costume fangs are advised to darken them before wearing them in public. The easiest way to do this is to wear them while drinking coffee and/or smoking). When he narrows his eyes in a way that's obviously supposed to be scary it simply makes him look myopic. And a narrator surrounded by lit candles who lisps like a stock gay character in an 80s Hollywood comedy doesn't make one want to take this any more seriously. However, it *is* highly amusing. The music, though, is incredibly annoying--someone went nuts with an early-model Korg synthesizer on the organ setting with the flanger and chorus on max, and this stuff plays almost continuously throughout. Very distracting.
I've never had that much of a fascination with vampires, really. I play the game socially, to hang out with friends--the gawth equivalent of playing bridge or forming a reading group. I can't understand the popularity of Anne Rice and hope one day to write the Great American Werewolf Novel. Ha.
Return to the April 1999 Index
Return to the ORBzine Homepage.
© Speculator 1999-2006