Friday, November 08, 2019

Media Notes: Roundup for October 2019

 This is a somewhat random selection of the movies and series on DVD and/or online I watched during October 2019.

Movies and films (links to for basic information unless noted otherwise). Some of these I watched via or other online source. The DVDs come from the public library (unless noted otherwise). In addition, I will try to add other trivia notes, such as when a film is based on a book adding the information about the book (at least the WorldCat record if available):

  • The Boondock Saints (1999. Action. Crime. Thriller). The basic movie description: "Two Irish Catholic brothers become vigilantes and wipe out Boston's criminal underworld in the name of God." Willem Dafoe portrays the FBI agent chasing the MacManus brothers who, after seeing the indifference in the world to crime and corruption, take it upon themselves to bring justice in the name of God. Thing is they started out by accident, and soon they see it as a calling and start getting better at it. As bad guys start dying, Dafoe's character starts to wonder if maybe the brothers are right. Great little film. One of the fascinating elements for me is how it is filmed, the crime scenes explained by the agent then recreated. The ending's twist is quite good too. One of my favorite films. Via TubiTv (though I do have this in DVD too).  
  • Dog Soldiers (2001. Horror. Action. Werewolves). A group of British soldiers are out in Scotland for a military exercise. The squad soon find there was a special ops squad out there as well, and all they find is their remains, except for one survivor. Soon they learn that what killed the special ops is after them as well, and it becomes a race for survival. Meanwhile, that one special ops survivor? Oh, he knows way more than he is saying. Movie overall is a pretty good werewolf thriller, something pretty good to watch during Halloween season. Worth a look. Via TubiTv. 
  • Shadow of the Vampire (2000. Drama. Horror). A fictionalized account of the filming of the classic vampire film Nosferatu. Director Murnau will make his film no matter what, including hiring a very peculiar actor in the role of the vampire. As strange events happen, and even people disappear (which did happen in the real filming), the rest of the crew wonder just how true to his acting the actor is or is he supernatural? The film is an interesting project, and it does capture a lot of the ambience of the 1920s and silent films. Malkovich does great as the director, and Willem Dafoe is great as the vampire who acts as an actor acting as a vampire. Film does have some slow moments but also some pretty good suspense scenes. Overall, something different from your usual vampire fare. Via TubiTv.
  • Old 37 (2015. Horror. Thriller). This alleged horror film has a nice premise: "Two brothers intercept 911 calls in a beat up old ambulance to torture and kill helpless victims" Sounds like the makings of a proper slasher film. In reality, there is some shock and horror at the beginning, and then the film mostly becomes a damn combination of after school sappy special and teen soap opera as the film is more worried about some outcast teen girl having a crush on one of the local douchebag guys while said douchebag is more worried over getting laid with the local teen skanks and driving a fast car. To be honest, you keep watching waiting for them to get in the inevitable car wreck and hoping Old 37 comes around and kills them all, the sooner the better. The acting is pretty awful, and you are soon paying more attention to the stupid shit they do (more stupid than even in most real horror films) than to the little horror there is. The teens overall are your typical stupid selfish teens that you could not care less about. As for the killers, what little we learn via flashbacks about them is also fairly cliched, and their motivation is not quite what is advertised either (it's a revenge plot, badly presented too).  By time anything happens, movie is over. This is one you can safely skip. It is one of those films directed by Alan Smithee, which is a nice way to alert you how bad this is. Via TubiTv. 
  • No Country for Old Men (2007. Crime. Drama. Thriller). The basic plot: "Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande" Josh Brolin portrays the thief, and Javier Bardem portrays Anton Chigurh, the psychopathic hitman who will stop at nothing and kill anyone or thing trying to stop him from getting the thief. Meanwhile, Tommy Lee Jones portrays the veteran Texas small town sheriff trying to solve the crime while he knows this may be bigger than them all. Movie can be a little slow but it is overall a good and well made movie. Quite on the dark side. Not always a straightforward film. I liked it, but I do not think it is the big deal some people have made it to be. Via TubiTv.  
  • Outpost: Black Sun (2012. Horror. Science Fiction.). Another entry in the Nazi zombies genre. This time, the Nazis have a technology based on magnetic fields in order to create a zombie army to bring back the Reich. A young Nazi hunter reluctantly teams up with a special forces team trying to stop the menace.  The basic plot is not too bad, but the movie can be seriously slow at times for being a horror thriller. In fact, it seems the writers kept dragging the end of it to add a bit of length to the film. The lead character is really not that good, neither is the other researcher that joins up with her. Take it for what it is: a low key Nazis plotting to rise again using zombies. Also, this film seems to be part of a series of Outpost movies, but I could only tell that from looking up the information on IMDB; there is no hint in the movie this is part of a series. However, the ending is a bit open. Overall, somewhat entertaining but no big deal. Via TubiTv.

Television and other series (basic show information links via Wikipedia unless noted otherwise). Some of these come in DVD from the public library. Others may be via YouTube, which, as noted before, I keep finding all sorts of other old shows in it, often full episodes:

  • Sherlock Holmes (1984-1994. Granada Television Series). I watched some later parts of this back in September and October of 2018. I found some more episodes online (one place had pretty much the full run), so I watching some more of this favorite series. Via YouTube. Highlights this time: 
    • "The Second Stain." From Season 3, Episode 4. The Prime Minister and one of his other ministers are in distress when a very important document goes missing. Holmes soon discovers a blackmailing plot and a murder. The ending is one of the nice and fun moments in the series. 
    • "The Six Napoleons." From Season 3, Episode 7. A classic mystery where Holmes has to figure out how six small busts of Napoleon are connected to a murder. Turns out there is more than meets the eye. Another bonus in this episode is Marina Sirtis portraying the daughter of Venucci (many may know her from her role as Counselor Deanna Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation). 

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