Thursday, December 30, 2010

Netflix 2010

So it's the end of 2010 and a lot of websites, magazine and TV shows are featuring all kinds of lists - best movies of the year, worst movies of the year, etc.

Whatever.

I went through my list of Netflix rentals for 2010 and made some rambling statements. Here they are for your enjoyment.

Best Worst Movie
was very entertaining and having worked behind vendor tables at comic book shows and seen how various horror cons work, I could really feel for those guys when they went to some cons and no one cared about them. After that, I checked out Troll 2, which some people I know couldn't believe I had not seen. Well now I have. Wow. It's everything they said it would be. And more. And yes, it's one of those that you just have to watch to understand.

The Forbidden World and Galaxy of Terror DVDs were spectacular. Not only because I love these sci-fi/horror sleazefests, but the extras were crazy extensive!

Love love love love Fringe.

Loved Anvil: The Story of Anvil.

Moon was great. Reminded me of Silent Running.

Bog was a "regional," that being usually a one-off, small-budget production made by people with big hearts and often no talent. Those movies where a guy got some money together, shot with local townsfolk in places like bars, private homes and the woods, often with a cheap monster costume and cheeseball effects. Plots are rather ridiculous and acting is usually wooden, save for one or two mega-overactors (often the ones with lots of 'theatrical' stage experience). These regionals also spotlight the local architecture, unique land formations or cultural events. Most of the ones I dig are from the 70s so you also have the fashion, haircuts, cars and decor of the time. Invasion of the Blood Farmers, Giant Spider Invasion and The Alien Factor all fall into this category. Bog was relly bad.

Cthulhu was such an odd movie. Shot here in the northwest, it's a modern riff on Lovecraft's Shadow over Innsmouth with a gay man returning to the small town he grew up in to find a local church involved in unearthly worship. It's dark and a little slow and not very gorey or scary. It's unsettling. Some of it's cool. Some of it is dull. Tori Spelling is in it and does fine in a small role. The northwest locations are exploited well. I listened to the commentary and that helped with some of the murkier plot issues and I learned a lot about a typically troubled low-budget production. I also read several interviews with the write and director, which shed even more light onto things. Seems like they were trying to utilize an often-used theme of Lovecraft's, that of someone who had gone to the big city or university returning to a small someplace they once knew, only to find it similar on the surface, but dark and changed just beneath the surface. They really wanted to tell the story of a man who grew up in a small town, hiding and ashamed of his sexuality, who went to the big city where he could live the lifestyle he wanted to and then had to return home as a changed person and face what he had initially tried to escape. But shoehorning that together with a Lovecraftian tale just didn't seem to gel for me.

Beyond that, in finding out more about the production, they had at least one cool looking fish-man costume created and went to far as the have helicopter shots of fish-men coming up out of the surf and then they barely used any of the footage! Many have said that a lot of Lovecraft wasn't really about monsters per se, but about mood and suspense...a looming sense of dread. A lot of movies that use Lovecraft as a basis or inspiration have showcased big slimy monsters and some say that isn't necessarily true to the author. Well, I dig big slimy monsters, so that's what I was hoping for here and I think we got too little of them. As I said, it was an odd movie.

Liked the squid-head manhole cover, though.

I still dig The Outsiders.

And Toy Story 3 was great, and made me tear up.

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