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
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!