February 5, 2007

Fighting DVD Reviews

Ok, we're all getting over the Super Bowl, but if you need to cheer up...here are some DVD reviews.

First, when I was small and wee, then-Chicago Tribune critic Gene Siskel did an expose on kids getting into R rated movies. It was in that spirit that I watched This Film Is Not Yet Rated, which is one of the better documentaries of recent memory. Ostensibly, it serves as damning criticism of the MPAA Ratings System as well as an expose of the people who serve on their board..in secret. It never veers towards Michael Moore territory, and in all honesty - although it takes its subject matter seriously, director Kirby Dick doesn't take himself too seriously. (And for those comic fans who want a ratings system, this film is a good argument against it). Strongly recommended

For some reason, Find Me Guilty didn't seem to play in St. Louis, and I missed it theatrically. (I also blame Tom the Dog, but I blame him for everything. Directed by Sidney Lumet (who directed one of my all-time favorite movies), this film does the seemingly impossible - make Vin Diesel charming and articulate in real life. (Thanks to Lisa for reminding me of his other major role). Much of the script is taken from real court transcripts, but don't let that fool you - this is a film you're going to dig. Make sure this is on your radar, especially if your local video store runs out of major movies. Strongly recommended

I'd like to consider myself an eco-friendly guy, but what is it about An Inconvenient Truth that leaves me feeling....well, uncaring about its subject matter? I guess I wanted more of the "dangers of global warning" and less of the "close and personal with Al Gore". It seems that this movie is more about "how important Al Gore is in delivering this message" than "it is important that we start taking care of our environment because in 50 years, we'll be living underwater." It's funny, but there's a much more engaging, motivating piece coming up - but unless you're one of the converted, I don't believe this movie is going to change your mind. Not recommended

For every success, there are failures - for every Lost, there's a Threshold or Invasion. In Doctor Who's wake, there's Eleventh Hour. It would be easy to call this Jean-Luc Picard: Scientific Detective, but it's much better than that. Created by Stephen Gallagher (and only spanning four episodes), it's an attempt to mix X-Files and real science. Out of these four, two are brilliantly atmospheric (focusing on cloning and an epidemic), one is pretty good (and did more to connote the danger of global warming than Mr. Gore's film), and one is a solid klunker (featuring a "healing spring") that would provide a good two to three weeks' worth of posting by Polite Scott. However, it's a good, entertaining alternative, and well worth your time. Recommended

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