The DVD Project: Part 15

May 31, 2012

I am officially at the time of year where the DVR is starting to look sparse, and I would normally be looking for a new series to discover on Netflix. Instead, I have a plan I place, knee deep in the letter F at this point (both in individual films and television series). Hopefully we’ll see the pace pick up in my viewing now that there’s very little “new” on television for me to stay caught up on.


The Devil’s Rejects
This movie is awful. Not so much in the sense of poorly written or acted (although, the film is so entrenched in its own imagery that it serves as enough of a distraction that you wouldn’t notice either of those things) but in that it’s so brutal and over-the-top-violent that it’s difficult to watch.

Different from the Saw films (of which I only made it through one, we’ll get there much later), this is Natural Born Killers level violence without any of the emotional impact or character development, something that makes a truly gruesome film worthwhile. See also: The Last House on the Left. (The original, I haven’t seen the remake.)

Rob Zombie is truly going for a Texas Chainsaw Massacre level of gross here, but there hasn’t been enough time for this movie to become a laughable cult classic. It’s too real, and too raw, or maybe I’m just too old.

I think the more important discussion to be had about this film is the casting of Sheri Moon Zombie. We’ll see her again when we get to Zombie’s remakes of Halloween, but we won’t see her anywhere else – not even in any other horror movies. Sheri Moon Zombie suffers from what I call “Helena Bonham Carter Syndrome” wherein she seems incapable of getting work from anyone but her husband. (Then again, Tim Burton seems to have an inability to cast anyone other than his wife and Johnny Depp, so maybe there’s a deeper issue there that needs digging into.*) What is this? Why does this happen? If the only person giving you work is your own husband, is it time to reevaluate your career?


This film is beautiful. It is the male film equivalent of Beaches.**
The casting is brilliant: Paul Reiser, Ellen Barkin, Tim Daly, Kevin Bacon, Mickey Rourke, Daniel Stern, and the 1980’s omni-present Steve Guttenberg. The film was successful enough to earn a TV pilot (WITH JAMES SPADER),*** but didn’t make it. There is word of a musical to be released this year.


So, this movie is supposed to be an updated version of Rear Window, and I suppose it is… with teenagers. It’s a pretty good recent horror film. David Morse is scary as hell, there are some very good jumps, and pulse raising sequences. (I do always get the title of this movie confused with that Halle Barry movie Gothika though. No idea why, they have nothing in common.)


Do You Want to Know a Secret
This movie isn’t even a B level horror movie. It’s a C, and it’s totally worth watching. Joey Lawrence, Chad Allen, and Jeff Conoway – totally worth the $5 price tag.


Don’t Say a Word
Brittany Murphy is dead, and I cannot express how sad that makes me. This is a great film with a decent plot. A thriller, not a horror movie, it’s one of Brittany Murphy’s best roles (right there with her roles in Clueless and Girl Interrupted.)


Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog
Hey, remember the writers’ strike? Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long blog is when Nathan Fillion went mainstream and endeared himself to a lot of people, for me it was the beginning of the end. Seriously though, for a 3-part internet launched musical mini-series Dr. Horrible was a huge hit. People are still singing and quoting it today. It was a beautiful expression of people doing what they love to do in spite of “the man.” (You can’t see it, but I’m making air quotes.)


Drive Me Crazy
If you had told me in 2000 that Melissa Joan Hart would move into near obscurity while Adrian Grenier became a superstar, I would have laughed at you. Clarissa Explains It All! I would have exclaimed! Sabrina the Teenage Witch! I would have shouted! Then again, if you had told me that I would go on to throw up in my mouth a little when I saw Adrian Grenier, I also would have told you that you were obviously on shrooms. (Oh, Entourage, you ruined so many great male actors for me.) Thankfully, Melissa Joan Hart is back on TV with Joey Lawrence in Melissa and Joey, and Mr. Grenier is probably forever destined to play douchebags. (Although he apparently has a new show about green living? And eco-responsibility? I… what?)

This movie was totally underrated when it came out and has a serious cult following. It’s great. Watch it.


I really like Adrien Brody, and I feel like I should like this movie more than I do, but I don’t. Milla Jovovich is the best part of the film.

Easy A

Easy A
Best teen comedy since Mean Girls – brilliantly written and cast. I like to imagine Lindsay Lohan making voodoo dolls of Emma Stone in a dark room. If only you hadn’t started doing lines of blow off the back of public toilets, LiLo, you too could have had this career.

Of Note: I fucking love Dan Byrd. I love him. Cougar Town is one of the most underappreciated comedies on television, and Dan Byrd is a huge part of why. Also, I adore Thomas Haden Church, but can we all agree that Sideways made us want to open a wrist, or two? Good god. (Hey, remember Ned and Stacey? Before Debra Messing was someone? “How’s bidness?” “Biddy.”)


This movie is the depressing result of our nation’s obsession with understanding school shootings. I hate to tell you this, but we will never understand school shootings. That’s not how we’re going to stop school shootings. People being responsible with firearms, having gun safes, and locking up bullets is how we’ll stop school shootings because teenagers have been filled with angst and misguided rage since the dawn of time, we’ve just made it astoundingly easy for them to have access to semi-automatic weapons.

It’s one of the better movies that deals with this subject but, seriously, depressing. Depressing to the point of disorienting, you’ll either want to eat everything or never want to eat again when you’re done watching it.


This movie is good in spite of itself. It’s culturally insensitive and features too many naked boobs, but it genuinely made me laugh out loud a handful of times. I have no idea how I came to own this movie. (Yeah, it’s mine, not Spencer’s. I don’t even know. Was the ad campaign for this movie really good? Does anyone remember?)


This movie is absolutely wonderful, and I would actually place it in my top ten comedies. It is effortlessly funny and well-cast.


The Facts of Life: Seasons 1-5
I’m not even kidding when I say that I learned the facts of life from The Facts of Life. I can remember watching this show in our family home in Pennsylvania, which means I was under the age of ten. Even before I started collecting seasons on DVD I remembered the eating disorder episode (where the girls are dieting, except for pudgy Natalie who declares she’d rather be a “happy magic marker” instead of a skinny pencil), the flood episode where Blair develops a crush on the headmaster (and she and Tootie wind up trapped in the barn rescuing their horse and bunnies, respectively), and the abortion episode (where Natalie writes a story about a fictitious classmate, only to discover her story hit close to home).

This show dealt with everything from adoption, to teenage prostitution, to parental death, divorce, parental affairs, suicide, and teen sex. With nine seasons they had the time to go cover a lot of ground.

I, personally, cannot wait for the season 8 release to DVD so I can watch my favorite episode “Seven Little Indians,” a spoof on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.

*Dear Johnny Depp, it’s time to break up with Tim Burton. It was cute at first, but as a fan, I am growing weary, and I am not alone.
**Why don’t I own Beaches?
***1980’s James Spader, people. Not the creepy Robert California Spader of the last season of the Office. We’re talking Pretty in Pink/Bad Influence level Spader. How is it even possible that this show wasn’t a hit?

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