Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dallas: The Complete Tenth and Eleventh Seasons

Waking up from a season-long dream, Pam realizes that Bobby is still alive and well, and it’s quickly back to corrupt business as usual at Southfork and Ewing Oil. Season 10 appropriately sees a return to the less flashy template of Season 8, although there is one major holdover from the infamous dream. Steve Forrest was introduced as ranch hand Ben Stivers in Season 9, and he is reintroduced here as a new incarnation of the same character, only this time his name is Wes Parmalee. (Pam’s obvious psychic abilities go unmentioned.)

Read the rest of the Season 10 DVD review by clicking here and visiting Premium Hollywood.

With each new Dallas release, I expect the show to finally start sucking, and this was the first set where it seemed like that might actually be the case. Picking up (as soaps are wont to do) where we left off, Pam has been burnt to a crisp in a fiery explosion, because Victoria Principal wanted off the show. But Pam lives – bandaged up and looking an awful lot like Karloff’s Mummy, inert in a hospital bed. Why not just kill her, fer chrissakes? Apparently, after the dream season fiasco, the producers were simply not going to kill off a major player for good, and the first third of the season revolves around this nonsense. Will she live or won’t she? What will she look like beneath the bandages? Will Bobby ever let little Christopher see his mummy again? Is it possible Victoria isn’t gone after all? The first ten or so episodes of the thirty presented here are some of the silliest Dallas I’ve ever seen. (Even the producers seem to think it’s all a joke – one of the episodes is actually titled “Mummy’s Revenge.”)

Read the rest of the Season 11 DVD review by clicking here and visiting Premium Hollywood.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

S. Darko

Despite the fact that Donnie Darko was one of the most imaginative, bold, exciting and talked about cult films of the last ten years, nobody really asked for a sequel. It was just that kind of movie – it said everything that it needed to say in one sitting. Heck, even Richard Kelly’s director’s cut that came around a few years later felt pretty superfluous. Nevertheless, the bean counters have won again, and so we have S. Darko, which is made by an entirely new set of creative folk yet stars Daveigh Chase, who played Donnie’s little sister, Samantha, in the original.

Read the rest of this review by clicking here and visiting Premium Hollywood.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Doctor Who: Battlefield

The Sylvester McCoy era of Doctor Who is probably the most divisive of the entire series. Some will defend it as an important stepping stone in the show’s history and an era in which the show was at its strongest in terms of narrative and characterization. Then there are others, like me, who think it’s mostly a bunch of nonsensical, poorly written garbage. Oddly, I didn’t always feel this way and, in fact, was in the former camp when these stories were first produced. But most of the era has not aged well, and it often feels like it’s trying to be about ten times more important than it actually is. The show turned into a series of grand gestures that it was incapable of seeing through to their proper dramatic conclusions. “Battlefield,” the first story from the classic series’ final season, may even be the perfect example of everything that was wrong with the McCoy era of Doctor Who.

Read the rest of this DVD review by clicking here and visiting Bullz-Eye.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Doctor Who: The E-Space Trilogy

Like 1970 before it, 1980 was a year of transformation for Doctor Who. Incoming producer John Nathan-Turner and his new script editor, Christopher H. Bidmead, were keen to institute a number of changes to a series that had become increasingly stale, as well as difficult to take seriously. JN-T wanted to give the show a massive visual overhaul (including a new title sequence accompanied by a fresh arrangement of the theme tune), while Bidmead was keen to whip up some serious, hardcore sci-fi. Together, they reinvented the show for the new decade, and their success as a team is most obvious within the confines of this three-part storyline, which saw the Doctor (Tom Baker), Romana (Lalla Ward), and K-9 (voiced by John Leeson) trapped in another universe known as E-Space. Along the way, they pick up the mathematical boy genius Adric (Matthew Waterhouse), and by the end of the trilogy, the TARDIS crew goes through some pretty big changes as well.

Read the rest of this DVD review, which discusses the stories "Full Circle," "State of Decay," and "Warriors' Gate" by clicking here and visiting Bullz-Eye.

Boston Legal: Season Five

It seems almost pointless to write a review of this series at this stage. I mean, if you’ve not yet climbed onboard the Boston Legal bandwagon, well, it’s a little late now: the 12 episodes contained within this set are its fond farewell. There’s always a chance, however, that one of the uninitiated will read these words and feel compelled to check out a little slice of something they’ve been missing out on. I will, of course, tell you that Season Five is not the place to start. No, go back to the beginning and bask in it in a way that I did not. The initiated, on the other hand, will buy this set regardless of anything I have to say, yet they might be amused by my musings. Allow me to share.

Back when I first started writing for Bullz-Eye, one of the very first reviews I tackled was Boston Legal: Season Three. I had not really watched the show prior to that, though I tried on more than one occasion. In fact, when it first started, I thought, “Wow! A series with both Spader and Shatner? This is for me.” Then I tuned in, and hated it. It seemed like the show mostly amounted to Spader wearing various stupid hats and silly costumes, which to my mind, was far beneath the actor I’d long considered one of the finest in the business. I didn’t want to see him degrading himself, so I quickly ceased bothering to give the show any more chances. Time moved on, and Boston Legal was shoddily treated by ABC through rescheduling, and it became a total non-issue. Then my mother, of all people, became a huge fan. She was constantly urging me to watch Boston Legal and insisted I would love it. I dared not explain to her my reasoning for failing to tune in, as surely she wouldn’t understand how I felt about James Spader whoring himself on a weekly basis.

Fast forward to my new editor Will Harris asking if I’d care to review Season Three. Since I was new to the Bullz-Eye fold, I felt I should play company man and agree. Besides, my mom had been urging me to check it out, and this was as good an opportunity as any. Thank you, Mom. Thank you, Will. Without the two of you, I likely never would’ve given this show – which I’ve come to treasure dearly – a real chance. In case you’re wondering, yes, I did go back and check out the two seasons I missed, and as far as Spader goes? Well, Alan Shore is easily the greatest role of his career, and it’s almost a shame that he isn’t forced at gunpoint – perhaps by Denny Crane – to play the character for the rest of his life. Almost.

Read the rest of this DVD review by clicking here and visiting Bullz-Eye.