Tuesday, July 12, 2005

AFTER HOURS: Enforcin' the Law

Two weeks ago, I announced After Hours as a weekly feature - and then promptly skipped its second installment. Trouble is, I don't see nearly as many movies as in years past, and last week I hadn't seen a single one (mostly due to a busy July 4th holiday weekend). Thus, no After Hours.

Have no fear, dear readers - I sat on my ass a lot over the past few days, and do have some stuff to report. Again, this is somewhat of a rebirth of my old Red & Black capsule movie review feature, which was my favorite thing to write back in 'da day. It will hopefully provide you with a sliver of direction in which to take your movie-watching, but more than likely it will just serve as an insight into the kind of crap I voluntarily watch. In the Red & Black, I had to see pretty much everything. Now you can point and say, "You actually chose to watch White Noise?"

No, I still haven't made it out to theaters more than a couple times this summer, but I do have plans on seeing Wedding Crashers on Thursday night. (That movie, by the way, is really stirring those "Why the hell didn't I write that?!" vibes in me). And there is no way I am missing The Dukes of Hazzard, Domino and The Aristocrats on their respective opening weekends.

Oz: Season 3 (1999) Call me kooky, but I just love prison rape. Actually, to my great dismay, the third season of HBO's acclaimed prison series is very light on anus pounding, instead focusing on good ol' fashioned neck-stabbing-with-blades-hidden-in-eyeglasses-type violence. In all honestly, "Oz," despite being quite R-rated and very adult in nature, probably has an even harsher reputation than it deserves. The first four seasons, before it practically turned into science fiction during its last year, are worth checking out (for some reason, I had seen every season but this one). (A-) DVD

Reno 911!: Season 2 (2004)
Everybody loves "The Chappelle Show," and yes, it does make me chuckle. However, the best live action show Comedy Central has to offer is far and away "Reno 911!." This series started with an easy-to-fail premise (a parody of "Cops," which is pretty much a parody unto itself) and managed to create one of the funniest half-hours this side of "Arrested Development." Bonus points for this "Season Two" package - the show's rampant profanity (bleeped out on TV) is here in all its glory. "'F' you, 'F' you, and fuck you!" (A) DVD

Stander (2003) Note to self: Don't believe Internet geeks. I got tricked into watching Boondock Saints and Hellboy because of wild overpraise from 16 year olds, and now Stander joins that list. Tom Jane stars in this purportedly true story of a South African cop who rebels against apartheid by..., uh, robbing banks. Sorry, but stealing money and buying a mansion to protest apartheid reeks of "I'm going to take this TV because I'm pissed off about Rodney King"-type opportunism. The movie really tries to sell Stander's morality for a while, but by the time it started showing cracks in his armor I had lost interest. (C-) DVD

Stalag 17 (1953) A quintessential "guy movie." Billy Wilder (Some Like It Hot, The Apartment) directed this World War II-era comedy-drama set in a German P.O.W. camp. Much like The Great Escape (one of my top five favorite films), the film's thrust comes from the prisoners' attempts to get as much past their captors as possible. Trouble is, signs are growing stronger that one of their own is in cahoots with the enemy. Could it be the shifty Sgt. Sefton (William Holden, who won an Oscar for this role)? This fantastic film at least proves that the "twist ending" wasn't something created by M. Night Shyamalan. (A-) DVD

Update: "Domino" was just delayed from its August release to October, causing me no small amount of consternation. Apparently the real Domino Harvey died, and now Tony Scott needs more time to finish the film... blah-de-blah-blah. I need me some Keira!

1 comment:

Riley said...

I still haven't seen STALAG 17. Billy Wilder's the best, though.