Thursday, July 08, 2004

Movie Rentals, Weeks of 6/30 and 7/5/2004

I haven't watched a lot of movies over the last tow weeks due to work and the holiday, but here is a run down of my recent rentals:

STARSKY & HUTCH (1975-76) Season 1, discs, 4 and 5. I finished out season one of this gloriously cheesy '70s cop show. In recent episodes, Starsky nearly dies from a slow acting poison; Hutch gets into the ring with professional wrestlers; and Huggy Bear is super fly as ever! My one beef with this series is that, in the beginning, Huggy owned a restaurant and bar, but sometime mid season he leaves it behind to be an "entrepreneur". This means that the character started selling glow in the dark crucifixes on street corners, or running a rat racing gambling operation (I kid you not) in an abandoned warehouse. I'm sure this change was done by the writers to give him more "street cred", but I think it watered Huggy down into a stereotype. I guess a black man owning a bar was a little too much in Aaron Spelling land at that time.....

DEMONLOVER (2002). This is a French film with an international cast, including Connie Nielsen (GLADIATOR), Chloe Sevigny (LAST DAYS OF DISCO), and Gina Gershon (SHOWGIRLS). The film was SUPPOSED to be a stylish corporate espionage thriller set in the internet adult entertainment industry, but the plot is so convoluted and executed so poorly, that I struggled to even finish the film.

SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES (1983). I had such high hopes for this film, based on a Ray Bradbury novel. I love carnival stories, and what attracts me to them are their surrealness, their freakiness, if you will. There's not a lot of that here. The film is basically a touching story about a father and son against the backdrop of a "sinister" carnival that comes into their idyllic town. I put sinister in quotes because this is a Disney film--so the "horror" that Netflix promised me is very watered down. Bradbury wrote the script himself, but I'm sure (as in most cases) the book is ten times better. Maybe I'm just viewing the film through jaded eyes. The carnival stories I like are more along the lines of Todd Browning's FREAKS (1932) or even HBO's recent series CARNIVALE.

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