December 16, 2007
December 13, 2007
Won't'cha be my neighbor... bitch!
Oh, on a random note... was treated to lunch today at the Fort Meyers Officers Club. On base we passed by General Petraeus' home.
I heard on the news this morning that some German minister threatened to boycott future US climate talks unless we agreed to follow their lead in Bali.
Let's see. Since adopting Kyoto, most of Europe - including Germany - have not only *not* met their reduction goals but have mostly ignored them because they've proved to be unreachable without major damage to their economy.
But that inconvenient truth doesn't stop them from lecturing the US. Who, by the way, is actually making progress towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions by using modern technology.
So I say lets reduce our carbon footprint in Germany by closing down every last damn military base and bringing the troops home. Some would probably be shifted to Poland or other eastern European countries, you know, the ones who actually want us there.
Less money for western Europe. We could spend some of the savings on health care for the kids who really need it here at home.
December 12, 2007
For those few who haven't heard, I am a staff reviewer there. It used to be called Joe Horror, but we've expanded. The old reviews are going to be migrated over, and the new ones are already available.
Looking for a great movie? Or maybe wondering about that obscure title on the shelf at the rental store? Wildside Cinema. Spread the word.
December 10, 2007
I hadn't even noticed.
December 09, 2007
Last Monday I made a quickie doctor's appointment because it felt like I had an ear infection. I'm not a hypochondriac, but when I need to go see the doc, I do it. Over the last six months, I've seen the docs way too often. So yeah, I had an ear infection. Both ears, in fact, along with a sinus infection. After four days on antibiotics, not only were the ears not feeling better, they were hurting. Another call to the doctor's office resulted in a new prescription, the antibiotic equivalent of a surgical nuclear strike. I'm all for that. I started the new regime yesterday, but it'll take a day or two to really start kicking in, and in the meantime I've been popping tylenol like candy to keep myself from driving an icepick through my eardrum. And sleeping. I don't sleep much, I've never needed all that much. Yet I've probably slept 36 out of the last 48 hours, and been miserable every waking moment.
This has got to end. I've had one helluva string of minor medical mindfucks, and I'm ready to surrender. Hear that God? UNCLE already!!!!!
December 07, 2007
Netflix has broken my heart not once, but *twice* this week when a sci-fi DVD arrived cracked and unplayable. Both times, it was Slave Girls From Beyond Infinity.
So there, I watch horror, sci-fi, *and* T&A.
Update: Heh, I just thought to myself, "I put the 'ick' in eclectic." Sometimes I just crack myself up.
December 05, 2007
December 02, 2007
These guys are starting to release old made-for-TV thrillers and horror flicks. This is the Rocket Jones review of the first one, in my own informal style. As an added bonus, Wildside Cinema has asked me to post reviews there as well (in their own format). So the astute businessmen at Wild Eye are getting a two-fer, which should be a lesson to all, Rocket Jones is an efficient use of your resources and you should all send me free screeners to review. End disclosure and shameless self-promotion.
IÂ’m not a big television watcher, which is probably a good thing because if I watched more of it nowadays, then IÂ’d really mourn for the days when network movies like this aired on a regular basis.
Crawlspace (1972) is a psychological drama about a retired couple who discover that a creepy young man named Richard is living in the crawlspace at the back of their basement. Being childless, the womanÂ’s maternal instincts kick in and she talks her husband into letting Richard stay at least through the cold New England winter. TheyÂ’ve met the guy before (he did some work for them in the old cottage they bought when they retired), and although heÂ’s weird, he seems more socially retarded than scary. Before long theyÂ’re taking him meals and talking to him in the darkness, although he rarely answers back.
Slowly, the couple begin to draw Richard out of his shell. They appeal to his Â“civilizedÂ” side, which only works occasionally. ItÂ’s pretty obvious that Richard has mental problems, but he appears to be harmless and starts doing chores around the house for the couple. At the same time, the local police are suspicious of Richard and warn the couple about the dangers of the situation. The couple are offended by the attitude towards Richard as an Â“outsiderÂ”, without realizing that the townsfolk view them in the same way.
That right there, the distrust of people different than themselves, is the key to this movie. In and of itself itÂ’s not a terrible thing, but when it crosses the line from suspicion to exclusion, then it becomes a problem. ItÂ’s kind of like if the town had had a local nutcase, theyÂ’d feel protective and make allowances for the odd behavior because theyÂ’d known him or her their whole lives. Yet if an eccentric hobo passes through town, then theyÂ’re ready to do the whole torch and pitchfork routine to rid their quiet community of the unknown menace. ItÂ’s one of the darker aspects of human nature.
RichardÂ’s lack of social skills cause problems, especially since the prickly locals are looking for any excuse to be assholes. Things escalate, as these things tend to do, except that normally you donÂ’t have a mentally unstable dude on your side. ThatÂ’s not the advantage youÂ’d think it would be in a situation like this, at least this time it wasnÂ’t.
IÂ’m not going to tell you any more of the story, because it really is worth seeing. The movie wastes no time and jumps right into an uncomfortable situation, and from there the tension gradually builds right to the end. Now, because it was a TV movie, Richard doesnÂ’t seem all that scary and the parts that are supposed to be chilling are rather mild. DonÂ’t expect a Hollywood-style blood and gore.
What you can expect is some damned fine acting and writing. The dialog rings true and the various performances are well done, and itÂ’s especially interesting to watch the coupleÂ’s attitudes do a complete one-eighty as the movie progresses. The score is nicely done too. I donÂ’t often mention the music in my reviews, so take that as a positive note.
Albert, the retiree, is played by Arthur Kennedy. Kennedy won a Tony award and was nominated four times for Oscars as Best Supporting Actor and once for Best Actor. His wife Alice is played by Teresa Wright, who was nominated for three Oscars in her first three movie roles! See what I mean about damned fine acting?
On to the details and the disk itself. The color of the transfer is slightly shifted to the red end of the spectrum, which made me think ofÂ… well, old television. It wasnÂ’t so bad that it was a distraction. The fullscreen picture is clean and almost completely free of artifacts, although in places it is showing its age. Considering the original source is thirty-five years old, itÂ’s a damn nice transfer.
ItÂ’s only 74 minutes long, meaning the original hour and a half was padded out with 16 minutes of commercials. Nowadays, it would be a miniseries. Sad.
There are no extras on the DVD, but I canÂ’t think of anything Wild Eye could have included besides trailers from their other releases or some television commercials from that era or a plug to Rocket Jones (RocketJones.mu.nu). Any ideas?
I donÂ’t see it on Netflix (yet), and unless youÂ’re a television afficianado you will probably want to rent before buying. That said, I think theyÂ’re worth picking up. Yes, I said Â“theyÂ”. I have another review coming soon, for The DevilÂ’s Daughter, and as much as I liked Crawlspace, I liked that one even more!
IÂ’m going to finish this up by mentioning one unintentional laugh-out-loud moment during the movie. Richard comes upstairs for dinner, wearing a suit. With his wild hair and scraggly beard, he looks like the Geico caveman!
Yesterday I had a spot of skin cancer removed from my face, and now I have 5 stitches. All I need is a couple of bolts sticking out of my neck and I'll be set.
In the future, I'll refer to it as what happened when I got into that knife fight.
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