Tuesday, February 21, 2006


I had a deal on DVDs last week. These are just a few that I smeared my eyes over.

Finding Neverland (2004) DVD •½ I expected to love this, but God it was awful. I gave up after about 40 minutes.

The Great Train Robbery (1979) DVD •••• Michael Crichton is an arrogant fool when it comes to global warming (and much else besides, one suspects), but his writing and direction of this are awesome. A fun, luscious, hilarious romp. Listen to his commentary track about (well, all of it, but especially) filming Sean Connery on the roof of that train. No special effects! That's really Sean's head that almost gets opened by those overpasses at 50 miles an hour.

Grizzly Man (2005) DVD •••• There's an awful lot in this movie.

November (2004) DVD ••• Marvelous. First-time viewers may be put off, because you really can't figure out what's going on until the end, and even then you have to think about it quite a bit. I can give this much away without spoiling it: You know how they say that when you think you're about to die, your whole life flashes before your eyes? Well, it may not be your whole life. The entire movie takes place, without exception, in about one minute of real time on the evening of November 7.

Brian Doyle-MurrayCabin Boy (1994) DVD ••½ I'd always wanted to see this for David Letterman's appearance, which did not disappoint. The rest of the movie had its moments but was mediocre overall. Did you know that Brian Doyle-Murray is Bill Murray's brother?

The Yes Men (2004) DVD ••• Fun and sad, too. These are the pranksters who impersonate WTO economists. They say outrageously hideous things and the capitalist running-dog audiences just nod in blithe agreement. Are all of them gay? (I can ask that, right?)

Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) DVD ••½ This was okay, but it just lacked the charm and focus of the original shorts. I can understand why Richard Roeper gave it a Thumbs Down®, but I wouldn't go that far.

Child Star (2004) DVD ••• By Don McKellar, whose other work (as actor and auteur) I've liked. There's a commentary track on the DVD, but it's not listed anywhere on the menus, not even on the Special Features menu. Isn't that crazy? I'm glad I looked for it on my own. McKellar never comments on the irony, however, of actually using (i.e., exploiting) a child actor to make a movie about using (i.e., exploiting) a child actor to make a movie about using (i.e., exploiting) a child to save the President...


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