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The World of Myth Movie Reviews

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The World of Myth Movie Reviews

Hey everyone! This is Reaper Rick and I want to welcome you to the NEW 'Review Section' at World of Myth. Last month, most of the readers who answered our poll wanted to see 'Movie Reviews' added to the list of things that we are irreverent toward, so I'm going to talk about movies and DVDs and such.

Unfortunately, since we didn't know until the last minute that the movie review would win the poll, I wasn't able to get out and see any new movies in time for this issue to be posted (couldn't afford it anyway--they don't pay me, you know), so I'll discuss some favorite films that recently came out on DVD.

First on the list, is of course, "Van Helsing". It is a horror movie in the classic vein, complete with werewolves, vampires, Frankenstein's monster (how many of you knew that the monster's name was NOT Frankenstein?) and spooky old castles, with just enough humor interjected and surprises thrown in to keep it from being too trite.

It starts out a little rocky--I mean, even my wife thought the Mr. Hyde character looked like an animated creation, but after that opening scene, things picked up. Lots of strange characters, lots of good, well scripted action sequences and LOTS of great special effects. Plus, there is the unknown, lurking secret that Van Helsing is carrying around with him and trying unlock.

Jackman is marvelous as the tormented vampire/monster hunter and I could watch Kate Beckinsale in anything and be impressed. David Wenham provided much needed comic relief as a medieval "Q" to Jackman's James Bondish character, although I don't recall "Q" ever actually 'scoring' with the ladies in any of the Bond films.

The special effects throughout the film are great (with the possible exception of Mr. Hyde), but the big battle scene at the end was somewhat disappointing. Action happened too fast to follow in some scenes and the actual death blow was over so quickly, if you blinked, you might have missed it. The ending left something to be desired, as well. The montage of smiling ancestors, finally ascending to heaven was not--in my opinion--an appropriate finish to this otherwise action-packed adventure. It just lacked the Big Ending you might have expected after watching the rest of the movie.

The DVD has lots of great extras, so pick it up if you haven't already. All together, for an opening that wasn't too believable and an ending that was a bit sappy, but a good story line and great, overall special effects, I give "Van Helsing" Three and a half 'Howls of Pleasure' out of a possible Four.

Also recently released on DVD (and something many of us have been waiting YEARS for) is the four disc "Star Wars" set. I've seen all three movies dozens of times, but with them all being remastered and all of the special effects, plus the bonus disc, it's well worth the price. However, I've seen the set advertised for anywhere from $45 to $65, so shop around for the best deal. Some younger viewers might consider the effects and creatures a bit sloppy, compared to more recent films, but remember that these were the very first of the 'Space Opera' movies and were cutting edge, for their time.

Movies that have been out for a while, but are still worth picking up, include "Underworld" (another 'lip-licking' vampire/werewolf flick), "Pitch Black" (with our boy 'Vin' battling some really Cool monsters), "Hellboy", and all of the "Lord of the Rings" movies. A 'sleeper' that many might have missed, but is well worth watching, is "Brotherhood of the Wolf". It's been out for over a year, but you can still probably rent it at your favorite rental place. And, one of my all time favorite Sci Fi monster masterpieces, the "Alien" series is out on double disc sets, or you can buy the entire movie set with extra extras, for a whole bunch of money. But, they are still great, even after all these years. I have heard that "Star Trek, Generations" is now also out in a collectors two disc set.

And let's not forget TV. If anyone hasn't seen it yet, check out "Farscape" on the Sci-Fi channel (or on DVD). Lots and lots of far-out characters, creatures and special effects, along with a pretty good story-line. "Farscape" stars, among others, actress Claudia Black, who was also in "Pitch Black", but was unfortunately chomped on rather early in the film.

And now, to go from movies with some of the 'Best' special effects, ever, to a movie that gives us an inside look into the man who became synonymous with low budget effects and made some of the worst films, EVER!--"Ed Wood" was recently released on DVD.

Fans of Ed Wood (and you can't call yourself a 'true' fan of Sci Fi and Horror flicks if you aren't an Ed Wood fan), know him for such classics as, "Glen or Glenda", "Bride of the Monster" and his very best(?!), "Plan 9 From Outer Space". If you have seen any of these (and I use the term, loosely) movies and are curious as to how (and why) anyone would spend so much time and effort to produce such BAD pictures, pick up "Ed Wood" and find out. Starring Johnny Depp--and we all love Johnny--Sarah Jessica Parker, Bill Murray and Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi, it's a campy romp through Hollywood's early efforts to chill and thrill theater audiences. And, if you still haven't seen any of Wood's classic films and can't find them in your local store, Amazon.com has them for sale individually and in boxed sets. Get them--Christmas is almost here!

The bonus features alone are worth the price of "Ed Wood" and it's a 'must have' for fans of one of the worst writers and directors the movie industry has ever produced. Although the film doesn't delve deeply enough into Wood's personal demons to give us all of the answers we might want, we do get an insight into the bizarre workings of his unusual, twisted intellect. Over all, "Ed Wood", our favorite cross-dressing movie director, earns Three 'Flouncing Curtsies' for effort and entertainment value.

Okay, I gotta get outta here, but next month I'll dip into some other great flicks and see what they taste like. If you have any questions you want answered about a particular movie or have suggestions or comments, contact the Editor of "World of Myth" and mark your e-mails, 'Movie Reviews'. Until next time, remember, don't sit too close to the screen or you'll grow hair on your eyeballs!

Reaper Rick



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