Movie A Day! 021-025: “Gone, Really Gone, Girl!”

Here we are with two movies you might actually watch! Balanced with some filth and another Doctor Who.

021 01-15 Touch Me (1971) 3/5
Cracked open another one of Vinegar Syndromes PEEK-A-RAMA sets. This one features three films (CRY FOR CINDY, TOUCH ME and the previously lost ACT OF CONFESSION, 4 if you count an alternate version of CRY FOR CINDY. Those VS folks really know how to deliver the seedy goods) by Anthony Spinelli who did such good work on SEXWORLD. This first film pre-dates DEEP THROAT and is in the “classic”, for it’s time, educational style. A psychiatrist is introducing the viewer to the form of therapy known as “Encounter Groups” because the stress of the modern world and Vietnam has us all hung up man! It’s all an excuse to eventually getting around to showing people having sex, with the BS documentary form in place to try to give the film merit so the makers don’t get chucked in the clink for being dirty pornographers. Anyway, this was one of the best of this type that I’ve seen with the writing more sincere than these typically are (no “professors” telling their students to whack off to playboy like in the Ed Wood written one) and the Doctor, while a total quack (and not actually a real doctor of course) actually coming off as concerned for the mental health of the “patients”. It’s also in form with others from the era where it’s mostly a softcore picture with hardcore inserts, until the final reel or so anyway. So as a porn flick, you can do better on a tube site. As a relic of a forgotten era though, it’s a fun watch.

022 01-16 Gone Girl (2014) 4/5
Finally got my hands on the latest David Fincher film and it didn’t disappoint. Technically perfect like all his films, I loved this noir throwback. The less you know the better, go with the ride and you’re in for a real treat as this one could sit quite comfortable at the table with VERTIGO and LAURA. Affleck has never been better, we can stop shitting on him for PEARL HARBOR and ARMAGEDDON, he’s the real deal. Rosamund Pike is no slouch either, and I’ll leave it at that out of fear of spoilers.

023 01-17 Doctor Who S02E02 (6parts) – The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964) 3.5/5
This is the story that should have been the season opener! The Doctor, FINALLY get’s the group back to contemporary London at their regular size, only to find London decimated by a Dalek invasion! The Daleks are enslaving humans, turning some of them into cyborg guards, to mine into the earths core so they can get their hands on the magnetism. I mean come on, how badass are the Daleks? Anyway, the Doctor solves everything, but the most notable aspect of this one is, he leaves his granddaughter Susan behind with only one shoe! She’s fallen for some guy, and he thinks it’s best for her to stay, even though she doesn’t want to! The Doctor is such an asshole! Looking forward to the next one now since I’m curious if they acknowledge the Dalek decimation of Earth as cannon or some dumb alternate dimension type thing.

024 01-17 Rush (2013) 3/5
This movie proves that even one of the most boring sports to watch, auto racing of any type, can make for an exciting movie. Or it’s just me oddly enjoying movies based on sports I hate. Anyway, this tells the true story James Hunt and Niki Lauda, sport rivals in the Formula 1 circuit in the 70’s. Ron Howard does a good job on his second car picture (GRAND THEFT AUTO was his first, it’s arguably better), and the actors are fine I guess. I mean, Thor plays the handsome Brit playboy Hunt and some guy no one’s heard of plays the miserable German, it’s about as base and stereotypical as two real people can be. Still, it’s a good one worth checking out, though admittedly I’d rather just watch an actual documentary.

025 01-17 Cry For Cindy (1976) 3/5
Anthony Spinelli goes for tragedy in this adult film from the porno chic era. It tells the story of Cindy, a girl who gets into hooking to help get her boyfriend through doctor school. It’s told as a remembrance from the people who knew her, since the film pretty much starts with her suicide. Hits all the plot points you would expect, but manages to hold your interest. Not for least the near constant queefing of Cindy on the soundtrack. Drinking game!

After a few days, if you think too hard about GONE GIRL it doesn’t make a lot of sense. But like Fincher’s THE GAME, it’s still a hell of a ride, plot issues or no. I’m already itching to watch it again. I also knocked half a star off RUSH. I really would rather just watch a documentary on the two racer guys. They lived a public life, their races were all taped. Just make a fucking documentary already!

That’s about it for this posting. I’m exhausted and can’t think of much to write.

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Movie A Day! 011-020

So in typical fashion during the holidays, some dumb family stuff went down. I nearly made it through unscathed, but New Years day, people decided to get shitty for all the wrong reasons. I wont get into details since none of it really directly effects me, but it made me realize that I hated hearing the drama and I don’t really need to hear it. Which got me thinking about social media. Do I really need to be plugged into Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and whatever else all day and all night long via my cellphone? Especially since I spend all day on a PC at work, and more than a fair share at home. So I decided to pull the plug on social media on my cell phone. So when I’m away from the computer, I am away from the “noise”. Sounds good right?

It sucks. Twitter is pretty much “The News” now, if you follow the right feeds. I’m so use to being plugged in that my brain is all short circuited by not having all the feeds at my finger tips, and the convenience of instagram to look at cat pictures, or check out Vice news while standing in a line or on the bus. And this disconnected “What am I Missing?” panic is while still regularly checking in on all of it throughout the day. It’s weird right? This must be what addiction feels like. Have any of you tried cutting the computer cord as far as social media goes?

Movies! (and television specials)

011 01-05 Son Of Dracula (1943) 3/5
Okay, I’m giving this a three out of five which in my ratings means it’s pretty good and I’d probably watch it again. I’m going to watch it again because it’s from the Universal Monster cycle and I’m always watching these films at some point, but it really isn’t that good of a movie. Lon Chaney Jr. get’s a crack at playing a vampire, as he stars as Count Alucard, the son of Dracula. See what they did there? I told you it wasn’t that good of a movie. The thing is, it’s so wonky, it could have been a good movie but the casting stinks. Chaney Jr. is a terrible Dracula, but Universal wanted him to be a “Man of a Thousand Faces” like his old man so he got the push. Frank Craven (don’t worry, there’s no need for you to have heard of him, I had to look him up) as the Doctor that figures things out is so homespun and folksy that it doesn’t help any either. So you get a dopey, miscast vampire picture with a some good ideas (like DRACULA’S DAUGHTER, this one too has a women that ultimately takes control) and some cool effects that is fun but really just doesn’t work. So a good “bad” film it ends up being, but certainly not essential.

012 01-06 41st People’s Choice Awards (2015)1.5/5
Stumbled into watching this one. It was boring. A bunch of people I barely recognize from shows I don’t watch got awards. It was hosted by the stars of MOM, some sitcom I’ve never even heard of but one of them is Anna Faris from the SCARY MOVIE series. I like her, but she is a terrible host. Favourite movie was MALEFICENT, so that’s about enough said about this one.

013 01-08 Elvis (The ‘68 Comeback Special) (1968) 5/5
014 01-08 Elvis – 1st Sit Down Show (2004) 4/5
It was The King’s birthday, so we spun this one. The “Comeback Special” has to be one of the most electrifying things to have ever aired on TV. Elvis performs in front of a live audience for the first time in 8 years with everything to prove, and he completely succeeded in relaunching his career after becoming a parody of himself (not for the first time) making those dopey movies. The final performance of “If I Can Dream” completely holds up today message wise. Forget all the jokes, the jumpsuits and stories, and check out the link and see an artist perform with the type of complete conviction rarely seen.

The sit down show is one of many special features on the DVD set. Elvis recorded two “informal jam” sit down performances and two “Stand-up” solo performances in front of studio audiences while recording the special. This is the complete footage of the first sit-down show, finding Elvis reunited with DJ Fontana and Scotty Moore who he performed and recorded with in 1956. It’s raw, it’s messy, and it’s staggering to see Elvis stumble over stories and then effortlessly turn it on and nail a song.

015 01-09 The Raid 2 (2014) 4.5/5
So how do you top one of the best action films ever made? You don’t, you go “The Godfather Part II” route and create a film with more depth. It shouldn’t work in the action genre, but fuck me, these guys managed to add a twisty turny, noirish gangland plot without compromising all the kickassery that you can find in the first film. It’s pretty much the perfect martial arts movie and highly recommended.

016 01-10 August: Osage County (2013) 3/5
This one kept getting trailered at the start of blu-rays (new word alert! When a trailer for a film is constantly being shoved at the start of a DVD/Bluray, it’s getting “Trailered”. Someone write Webster!) and got me interested enough that I decided if I ever saw it on sale cheap I would pick it up. Mainly due to being a long time fan of Juliette Lewis. Anyway, it popped up for $5, which is as cheap as it gets these days. It’s good. It’s a southern drama based on a play that manages to not feel too much like a play while you watch it. It’s rather soapy and melodramatic, but everyone is really good in it, and I’m biased to think Lewis was really good in a smaller but complicated role as the little sister. Oh, it’s about a bunch of sisters reuniting with their bitch mum over a family tragedy. Juliette Lewis plays the little sister. Did I mention Juliette Lewis was in this? It was good and fan fave Benedict Cumberbatch is in it too.

017 01-11 Doctor Who S02E01-3 Planet of Giants (1964) 2.5/5
Since Who is so stand alone in it’s stories, and the BBC actually sell them as separate films instead of seasons, I figured I might as well count the classic Who as their own thing. This is the season 2 opener, and it was ambitious in scope but just didn’t work. The TARDIS futzes while landing on contemporary earth causing it and it’s passengers to arrive about ant size. This sets off a plot about someone who’s developed an insecticide that is capable of killing all insects. It’s just too much of a collision of two different plots and just never works.

Tina Fey, Margaret Cho, and Amy Poehler.

018 01-11 72nd Golden Globes (2015) 3/5
The only reason to watch this is for Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. They nailed the opening like no others have nailed an award show opening before. Sadly, as the show dragged on, they appeared less and less which made the show less fun to watch.

019 01-12 The Invisible Man’s Revenge (1944) 3/5
Yup, still watching the old Universal Horror films. Down to one a week, they’ve taken the place of my beloved Zatoichi. This one makes zero sense as far as the Invisible Man series goes since while the Invisible Man has the name “Griffin” like his predecessors, he is no scientist and ends up getting invisibility via a mad doctor played by John Carradine. If you can get past that, it’s pretty damned good. Griffin was ripped off, possibly thought killed by partners in a diamond mine deal gone wrong. It’s years later and he’s recovered his memory, and is looking for his cut. A very noirish plot for a horror film, that’s balanced by some really wonky comedic elements and the best special effects yet. Sadly, this is the last of the Invisible Man cycle, he’ll only show up on comedy bits now, which we’ll get to eventually.

020 01-13 Charlie Brooker’s 2014 Wipe (2014) 3/5
Pretty self explanatory this one. Charlie takes a look at the news year that was 2014. If you don’t know who Charlie is (if you’re outside of the UK you probably don’t, I learned of him from The Farwall.) you should acquaint yourself with his work since he’s arguably doing some of the best TV, period. Anyway, this one wasn’t as funny as past years, and frankly, that it was funny at all is a miracle when you consider the constant horrors that seemed to be coming weekly last year. So it’s worth a watch, plus Shitpeas and Chunk are back and brilliant, and the only misstep is the totally shit song he ends it with.

There it is. Instead of posting every Monday I thought I’d post every ten films. Ten seems too long though so I think I’ll do it every 5 films. Thoughts?

Movie A Day! 397-407: Last Christmas To The Head

We have nearly made it, only a few days left and 2014 is put to rest. Everyone making out okay? This time of year can feel like survival sometimes. My holidays are going okay, so far. It’s been mostly quiet and low key, which is what I wanted. It’s the first Christmas without dad, and mum and I are accepting it quietly while cracking the odd joke about how dad wouldn’t be impressed with us and our celebration since we’re going small.

I passed 400 titles this past week. Not bad. Watched some great, classic films, and some not so great films. As per usual. Here they are!

397 12-21 Christmas Evil (1980) 4/5
My (and John Waters) favourite Christmas movie looking fantastic on Blu-ray via Vinegar Syndrome! This one came out in the midst of slasher mania and was obviously designed to be the Christmas version of HALLOWEEN. Surprisingly, they went more psychological, so the first half plays more like a TAXI DRIVER style character study before going completely loopy. Believe me, it gets deliriously loopy, so check it out.

398 12-23 Kelly Clarkson’s Cautionary Christmas Music Tale (2013) 3/5
Yup, still watching Christmas specials. This one was one of the better ones mainly because Clarkson can sing anything in a way that doesn’t drive you up the walls. The sketches aren’t as good as the performances, but the performances are all good and Clarkson has a fun personality.

399 12-23 Masterchef Canada Holiday Special (2014) 3/5
Stumbled on this one. They brought back 5 contestants from Season one, who along with their families compete in cooking challenges with the winning family getting $10,000 for their favourite charity. It was surprisingly fun, and since it’s Canadian, everyone was happy, working together and having a good joyous cry instead of baiting and trying to screw everyone over like the American version.

400 12-24 Hot & Saucy Pizza Girls (1979) 4/5
This is one of the porno chic titles that gets tossed around as being a classic so it was nice to finally view it via Vinegar Syndrome’s release. Directed by Bob Chinn, this one fits right in with the teen sex comedies that were popular at the time. Think of PORKY’S or ANIMAL HOUSE type comedies, except with hardcore sex. John Holmes starts as an owner of a pizza shop who has a gang of sexy, skateboarding delivery girls who deliver pizzas throughout San Francisco on their skateboard as a cover for hooking. There is a mysterious “Chicken Rapist” out to get them, run by a fried chicken group who want to put the Pizza Girls out of business. Desiree Cousteau is back playing her naive dumbbell persona that she did so well in PRETTY PEACHES, and future feminist porn director Candida Royalle is memorable as well as one of the Pizza Girls. Cut out the porn, and it would still be a fun and funny little film.

401 12-25 2014 Disney Parks Christmas ‘Frozen’ Parade (2014) 2.5/5
This was on Christmas morning and was probably your last chance to see Ariana Grande soullessly warble out a Christmas song. Seriously, if it was a variety type special from this year, Grande was part of it. I guess she won the magic ticket.

402 12-25 All Is Lost (2013) 3/5
This one has Robert Redford as a guy dealing with sail boat that has a hole in it. In a twist, that it all this movie is about. All of it. No kidding. A guy on a boat, by himself. So your enjoyment will be based on if you don’t mind watching a guy on a boat with a hole in it for ninety minutes. I liked it, and I thought Redford did a really good job. That said, I don’t think I’m going to be spinning it a ton. It’s a neat experiment and change of pace, but not completely successful. I have a sneaky feeling that this one was made as Oscar bait to get Redford a statue.

403 12-26 The Green Mile (1999) 4.5/5
This is the best of Frank Darabont’s Stephen King prison novel adaptations, which is saying something since the other one he did was THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION. I like this one better though, since it has gruesome executions and Tom Hanks pissing all over the place to balance the sentimentality that is borderline over-sentimental. Plus it has that god damned mouse!

404 12-27 Doctor Who Christmas Special – Last Christmas (2014) 2/5
405 12-27 Black Mirror – White Christmas (2014) 4/5
These should be the last of the Christmas specials for me. Doctor Who had Nick Frost as Santa, sorry, as Father Christmas since it’s British. Anyway, he was a great Father Christmas but the episode dealt with Jenna and her dumb boyfriend. For fuck sakes, that shit was wrapped up in the season finale! I thought we were done with her and her horseshit. I’ll give next season a chance, but I’m far from excited for it.

I never did watch BLACK MIRROR SEASON 2, and I’m going to rectify that toot-sweet since this Christmas special was excellent. John Hamm and some other guy are working at some unexplained job on Christmas, and Hamm is telling stories of what brought him to the isolated outpost. It’s smart and cynical, Brooker has a dead tight script and Hamm has never been better. I want more Black Mirror please, even though season two is supposed to be a bit dodgy.

406 12-27 Bullet To The Head (2012) 2/5
Walter Hill finally gets a new movie out, and it sucked. Walking human Growth hormone experiment Sylvester Stallone is a hitman who gets set-up on a bad job and has to work with a cop to sort things out. It hits every dumb cliche there is to hit. The cop is Korean, so there is way too many Asian jokes at his expense to get a pass in this day and age, and 90% of the dialogue seems to be exposition to explain what the characters are doing, and why they are defying all common sense and logic. So skip this one.

407 12-27 Oui, Girls (1981) 2/5
A detective goes undercover at a swingers ranch to solve a murder. I think that’s the plot. This one was spoken of pretty highly in the book THE OTHER SIDE OF HOLLYWOOD, and was considered to be director F.J. Lincoln’s best film. As a porno, it’s not bad, but as a movie it just didn’t make any sense with way too many plot holes. I know, it’s a porn, but I expected more. Pizza Girls delivered a plot, no reason this one shouldn’t have. F.J. Lincoln is also mostly known for his role as one of the attackers in Wes Cravin’s LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, so between that and the hype from the book, this one was a let down.

That’s it for now. There will be one more post, The wrap up for 2014! I’ll try to post it this week anyway.

I’m on the fence with continuing this blog into 2015. It’s actually a bit of work writing these dumb mini-reviews and finding the posters and math. Ugh. Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Movie A Day!: 364-368 – Not Quite A Movie A Day

Not a big week of movie watching this past one. I’ve been catching up on shows I fell behind on with the horror challenge, as well as had some evenings blown out.

Of course, the big movie news this past week was that it ends up that Bill Cosby is a horrible, serial rapist. I always find these things conflicting. I, like most people, grew up with Cosby, both with his stand-up and his TV shows like Fat Albert, that magic pen educational thing, The Cosby Show. God damn it Bill, why did you have to be a monster? I nearly bought the complete Fat Albert a while back, and part of me still want’s to re-watch them, but I don’t want to give him my money. Kind of like how I always planned to watch all of Woody Allen’s films, and now will probably steal copies rather than buy the discs, if I bother to even do that. Not that I’m so morally high minded, I’m still picking up Roman Polanski discs. Does the weakness of the creators invalidate their art? I don’t know. I’m not the only hypocrite though, that fucking monster Mike Tyson continues to get movie roles, and now a cartoon series on Adult Swim. Why is he given a pass?

I hate this decade. It seems like for the past few years, every week has some new horror happening. The movies have mostly gone to shit too.

364 11-16 Doctor Who (2005) Season 8 (10 Episodes) 3.5/5
As some of you know, I was blogging recaps of these, so you know I was really enjoying them at the start. The first few episodes were pretty solid, and Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor is doing a great job. My issues were with baggage from the old series. Clara is awful, and the romantic stuff with here is equally awful. There was a few episodes, especially “Kill the Moon” that just weren’t as good as they could of been, and it was largely due to Clara being a dead-faced side kick, and the producers constantly bringing in kids for the Doctor to deal with. Too many fucking kids, frankly. Thankfully the two part finale rights most of the wrongs, so I’m still in for next season. Plus they prick-teased a Christmas special with Nick Frost as Santa Claus, so that’s a must watch.

365 11-16 The Wolf Man (1941) 5/5
Lon Chaney Jr. gets his starring role, creating the title monster on the Universal Horror classic. This one is really pretty great, even if Chaney Jr. is a bit miscast as Larry Talbot, returning to his home town to reconcile with his old man, the great Claude Rains. Once he gets werewolf-ed though, it gets great, and Chaney is great as the Wolf Man. This one has it all, Bela Lugosi as a gypsy, cool Wolf Man make up, foggy moors. On top of that, pretty much everything you know about werewolf’s comes from this movie. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

366 11-17 D.O.A. (1950) 3.5/5
I finally got around to seeing this one after seeing the remake from the late 80’s with Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan. I liked that one, and I liked this one. Edmond O’Brien is in the lead as the man who is poisoned and has 48 hours to find his killer. It’s good stuff, I just wish this one wasn’t public domain since the copy in the admittedly cheap DVD set I got is the pits and barely watchable.

367 11-22 The Last Hurrah (1958) 4/5
This one stars the great Spencer Tracy as a long running mayor looking for re-election. Since it’s 1958, the old ways of politics are fading away as television and photogenic candidates are becoming important. There’s some nice commentary in this one, as well as bits that get a little over melodramatic, as is often the case when director John Ford deals with Irish leads. That said, it never wanders or annoys, and the support cast featuring many John Ford regulars (and Basil Rathbone, who almost steals the picture) is top notch.

368 11-22 Purely Physical (1982) 2/5
This is the first film in yet another PeekARama collection from Vinegar Syndrome. This set features two films from Chris Warfield, a director I never heard from. The basic plot is a woman takes a job working the desk of a motels night shift so she write about the patrons. That’s it for plot, the film is basically loops and never all that interesting.

That’s it for this round-up. Next week I should hopefully get some more movies in. I can;t believe I didn’t get a Zatoichi in! I have to get them wrapped up, I just received a massive Bruce Lee set so I can re-watch all of his films. As a bonus I got a four film collection of Jimmy Wang films. No idea what those will be like.

The End

Star Who? 6 – Doomsday Machine Caretaker of Marinus

Right, another Wednesday, another blog about Doctor Who and Star Trek.

Doctor Who 2005 S08E06 – The Caretaker 3/5

Well, readers from last blog will recall my dread for this one. It might of been low expectations or pure dread, but it wasn’t as bad as I feared. It was far from great. This one focuses on Clara and her boyfriend, with the Doctor getting mixed up with them due to having to go undercover in the school that they both work in due to an alien threat. It’s genuinely funny, mostly due to Capaldi being a dick as the Doctor. Which is also a little bit of a problem since the line between him being teasing or flat out mean to Clara is getting a little blurry. At least this one didn’t sink into total romance garbage like I feared it might, so I guess I’ll keep watching.

Star Trek S02E06 – The Doomsday Machine 4/5

This one was another great one. The enterprise stumbles upon another federation ship, the USS Constellation, all shot to hell. Upon investigating, they discover only the Captain alive, and the cause is a planet destroying machine that is of course, on line to hit a populated galaxy. So there’s a lot going on, with the first third being a bit of a mystery as they figure things out, and the last two thirds being all action with Kirk and gang dealing both with the mad Captain survivor and trying to figure out how to stop the Doomsday Machine. About the only thing missing from this one is the over-moralizing and social commentary that usually is brewing with Trek, but it’s not really missed since this one doesn’t muck around and just drives forward. Great stuff, and well worth a watch.

Weird brain aliens!

Doctor Who S01E05 – The Keys of Marinus (6 episodes) 2/5

This one features the Doctor and companions arriving on a planet that has an acid lake and a glass beach. Weird eh? Anyway, ends up a bunch of strife is happening, and the Doctor is forced to retrieve the titled keys in order to free a cosmic consciousness that will prevent the baddies from taking over. The keys are hidden throughout the planet so the Doctor and group have to use pre-set “Time Dials” (watches) to travel about, which is kind of cool. As a result, each episode of the arc is a kind of a mini-story, from primitive action to court room drama. Which is neat. The problem with this though is that it’s so episodic that it doesn’t really gel narrative wise. Hell, the Doctor vanishes for two of the episodes, supposedly so Hartnell could go on vacation. So once again you get a story arc that revolves around Ian as much as anyone. Susan, the Doctor’s granddaughter. Remember her? She’s still around but barely does anything plot wise to keep things moving other than panic and make a lot of noise. Which is a shame since you would think they would at least try to incorporate her more into the episodes. Anyway, not the worst episode ever, but not a particularly remarkable one either.

And with this one I’m going to end Star Who. I have fun writing them, but I also realize that I’m partaking in a form of blogging that I hate to read myself. The episode recap. I skip by them on every site that posts them, so why am I doing the same thing? Really, my favourite part of Star Who is the blog titles that sound like terrible prog-rock albums.

So if you enjoyed this side blog, thank you and I appreciate it. I’ll keep going with my movie a day blog until the end of the year, and as I finish seasons of Doctor Who and Star Trek, I will post them there.

The End

 

 

Star Who? 5 – Time Apple Polo

We just had a long weekend so I nearly forgot to post this since I was thinking it was Tuesday instead of Wednesday. A real life time paradox, fitting of this stupid blog! Too bad the new Doctor Who was a bit shit…

Doctor Who 2005 S08E05 – Time Heist 2/5

I love a good heist movie. Even the bad ones I tend to at least like. So why did I find this one a bit crap? The Doctor and a team have to break into the universes most secure bank, and there’s a weird memory wipe bit so you’re discovering the reasons along with the Doctor. There’s lot to love. It just completely falls flat. I’m going to blame production. The design and everything is fine, the plot is a bit dodgy in execution, but what really bugged me was the look. I know it’s a cheap show, that’s not the problem. Well, it’s partly the problem. They attempted to make this episode “cool”, with slow motion bits to a “James Bond” style score. When the score is cheap synth music, the whole thing looks like it is trying too hard to be something it’s not and just falls apart. So many shows these days rely on a score that just undermines the whole thing. See CASTLE as an example. If they scrapped the score and the slo-mo, hip “Oceans 11” style stuff, it could of been great.

 

Star Trek S02 E05 – The Apple 3/5

Kirk and landing party are exploring a planet that appears to be not unlike biblical Eden except the flowers spit poison darts into your chest and the rocks explode like bombs. Just like Eden! They encounter a naive, never aging populace that survives via worship of a God personified by a giant mountain idol. So this is another one of those mystical Star Trek’s that seems to be pro-Christian living and freedom while shitting all over the idea of organized religion. It’s kind of bold stuff when you think it’s 1967 primetime TV, especially with Spock’s concerns that Kirk is the “Apple” of Eden, giving knowledge to the people who will be corrupted by it. It ends up being a pretty good episode, with the “God” putting a big whammy that threatens to destroy the Enterprise. Kirk claims a crew of just under 500 people if I recall correctly, seems small for a ship that size right? 400 of the crew must be janitors. Which reminds me, where’s the Star Trek show dealing with the janitors and people who are on the ship to earn a paycheck? I still think that would be a great Star Trek show! Someone make it happen. In the end, another solid Star Trek episode.

Doctor Who S01E04 – Marco Polo 3/5 (Seven Parts)

This one is a tough one to review since it’s the first “lost’ episode. At some point, the BBC decided it wasn’t worth keeping old shows, so they wiped their tapes. At this point in time, no video elements of this story arc are known to exist. The version I watched is a fan made restoration using still photos and the surviving audio elements. So it’s tricky to give this one a fair shake since it’s basically a two and half hour slide show. That said, plot and story wise, it’s a good one. This would be the first historical episode, and it has an educational feel to it that is a bit awkward. Was Doctor Who designed to be “Carmen Sandiego” style educational show? Anyway, after fixing the faulty switch from the last serial, the Doctor gets Ian and Barbara back to earth, only the early twelve hundreds where Marco Polo see’s being able to use the Doctor’s caravan (TARDIS) as a gift to Kublai Khan so as to get out of some obligation he has. There’s lots of intrigue, the Doctor himself is even more unlikable than before, and it’s pretty clear that the show should be called “The Adventures of Ian” at this point since he seems to be the real drive of these adventures and is constantly explaining and figuring out the plot points. It’s a shame this one is lost since based on the photos, the production design was a step up. In the end, if you can tolerate power point episodes, this one (probably) isn’t the worst you can do if you’re obsessively trying to watch the entire series.

So there we are. The first crap episode of the new Doctor Who. the preview for episode 6 showed the Doctor becoming a janitor at Cara’s school so he can keep an eye on her romantic interest. So the series might be heading strait to the shitter and become completely unwatchable. So next week should be interesting!

Star Who? – Listen to the Mirror Of Destruction

Another blog! Three days in a row. You didn’t think I would forget about poor old Doctor Who due to the horror challenge did you?  This one features a great episode so let’s get to it.

Doctor Who (2005) S08E04 – Listen 4/5

Another really strong episode. This one practically goes full horror, with the Doctor wondering what would happen if there was a being that only existed to hide, what would it do? Some genuinely spooky bits, it works really well. There is also some insight into both the Doctor’s past and future that I’m trying not to think too hard on since I don’t think it fits. I seem to think that Gallifrey, the Doctors home planet, was a bit more cosmic than the English farm setting they showed here. Maybe it was ret-conned? Future Doctor Who looks bad-ass, I want to see more of that. The nit-pick on this one is once again the assistance of the dumb and unnecessary romance angle for the companion. I have a feeling that the previous two Doctor’s stories relied heavily on the companions wanting to fuck the Doctor, so they are trying to create a new boyfriend for Clara. It’s dumb, but to this episodes credit, and the only reason I’m not knocking it down, is that the whole thing relies on the romance bit. It’s going to get really corny if they keep trying to shoehorn this dating stuff in every week though. If they want to do “Sex In The City” with Clara, then give Clara her own show. Sex in the TARDIS!

Star Trek S02E04 – Mirror, Mirror 4/5

This one is a classic episode, one of those episodes that leech out of pop culture into popular culture. It’s the one with “Evil Spock”, identified via his goatee. See, you’ve heard of this one! They also get fancier uniforms that incorporate a gold sash. It’s a great episode too. Due to a magnetic disturbance while beaming up from a planet, the landing crew of Kirk, Uhura, Bones and Scotty are swapped with those of a parallel dimension where instead of peaceful explorers, they’re raging asshole pirates. Everyone on the evil Enterprise seems hellbent on assassinating each other in an attempt to become Captain. It makes for lots of fun bits, and the the evil Enterprise really is a hellish place so it actually makes it tense to watch Kirk and crew navigate the violence and politics while trying to figure out not just what the hell is happening, but how to get back to they’re own dimension. It’s trippy good, and well worth a watch regardless of your Trek fandom.

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Doctor Who S01E03 – The Edge of Destruction 2/5 (2 Parts)

This one was a bit flat. A small explosion from the TARDIS control panel knocks everyone out. When they come too, they are all acting a bit odd, and as they get more suspicious of each other, the more violent they get. The Doctor is full on asshole in this one and thank goodness it’s a short one since it was dull as dishwasher despite sounding like a cool one. They never leave the TARDIS, so this should make it suspenseful. Maybe I was having a bad night, but my brain kept wandering and I kept having to back it up to figure out what was going on. I was glad it ended, since it was constantly a confused mess. So confused that I had to read the wiki blurb on it to re-familiar myself with it since I’m writing this the day after. There was one neat bit though, you get an inkling during the episode that the TARDIS might be self aware. Which is important, maybe. I know the Baker Doctor was always talking to the TARDIS, so maybe this is why? Anyway, a switch is labeled with a sharpie for maximum cheapness so that’s a good point to end on a positive. The next episode should be better.

See? The best so far new Doctor Who, A really good Star Trek and a shitty old Who with a sharpie label. This blog is awesome.

 

The End